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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)
Ahmedabad will get one more huge multi-specialty advanced hospital: Ahmedabad is due to get a new multi-specialty advanced hospital on the VS Hospital campus in Paldi. To be called the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Medical Science and Research (SVPIMSR), everything about the new facility is expected to be impressive: 1,500-beds, cost of Rs. 582 crore, 78-metre tall building, 17 floors, tallest structure in Ahmedabad, rooftop helipad for air ambulance services, paperless, fully computerised, tablets for staff to access patient records, movement of blood, urine samples and medicines through pneumatic tubes using a computerised digital-coded password protected system, two basements with 2 lakh square feet parking area. It is likely to be inaugurated in January 2019. (17-09-2018)
Muni Seva Ashram gets high-power cyclotron for its cancer hospital: Gujarat’s first high-power cyclotron has been procured by the non-profit Kailash Cancer Hospital and Research Centre of the Muni Seva Ashram at Goraj, 35 km from Vadodara. This equipment will facilitate the diagnosis of several diseases. The cyclotron can produce medical isotopes for positron emission tomography (PET) and CT scans. The medical isotopes had to be brought from other states which increased treatment costs and created logistical problems. Medical isotopes have a life of only a few hours after they are produced. It is therefore better for them to be produced as close as possible to the hospital where they are used. The cyclotron project involved a cost of Rs. 18 crore, and a substantial portion of this was donated by the Belgium government. Muni Seva Ashram estimates that the cyclotron at the hospital will save Gujarat Rs. 30 crore annually by way of air fares. Also, the treatment cost will reduce by 75%. (16-09-2018)
Parataxonomy course started at MS University: MS University of Baroda (MSU) has started a certificate course in parataxonomy. Parataxonomy is a term that describes the work done by assistants to taxonomists. Just like nurses and paramedics are not doctors but are invaluable for doctors, parataxonomists increase the efficiency, value and productivity of taxonomists. This course is under the green skill development programme (GSDP) funded by the central government’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The effort is supported by the Gujarat Ecology Commission (GEC) and MSU Science Faculty’s Department of Botany and Department of Zoology. GEC will be the environmental information systems (ENVIS) hub for Gujarat. Running into 520 hours, the first batch of the course is being offered without any fees. The course will be conducted at the arboretum cum medicinal plant garden located on the university campus. The course includes: identification of plants and animals, knowledge of endangered and threatened plants, awareness about illegal trade in plants and animals, preparation of people’s biodiversity register, etc. (15-09-2018)
The Vadodara Navratri Festival finally finds a venue for its garbas: The Vadodara Navratri Festival (VNF) has finally decided upon a venue for its garba. It will be held at the open plot behind Reliance Mega Mall on the Old Padra Road. Incidentally, this is the same venue where the United Way of Baroda once organised its garbas. The VNF garba organisers went through a brief nervous period when the Navlakhi Ground permission did not materialise and the MS University union pavilion ground permission was withdrawn due to various reasons. (14-09-2018)
Do not immerse idols in rivers: The Gujarat high court has again issued guidelines to the state authorities to ensure that idols are not immersed in rivers. All concerned must abide by these guidelines, as well as those issued by the Central Pollution Control Board in 2010 for all religious festivals. The court ordered the authorities to ensure "that immersion of idols in River Tapi and other natural rivers in the state shall not be allowed not only during Ganesh Visarjan, but also on other similar festivals including Durga Puja, Janmashtami, Muharram. etc.” (14-09-2018)
Ahmedabad's bulk garbage producers will have to pay a high user fee: Bulk garbage producers in Ahmedabad city will have to pay a high user fee to the city's municipal corporation, or they can set up their own composite plants. Bulk producers are defined as those who generate more than 20 kg of garbage daily. A composite plant costs upwards of Rs. 15 lakh. Some of the large producers are L.D. College of Engineering and Indian Institute of Management. Ahmedabad has over 330 units which generate more than 20kg of garbage in a day. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation also plans to levy 'user charges' for solid waste collection - Rs. 1 per day for residential units and Rs. 2 per day for commercial establishments. It aims to collect about Rs. 116 crore annually as user charges from 16 lakh residential units and 8 lakh commercial establishments. (13-09-2018)
Amul Dairy plans to acquire production plant in USA: Anand based Amul Dairy is likely to set up its own production facility in USA, its first outside India. It may acquire a dairy plant in Wisconsin, a state which produces more than 25% of America’s cheese. According to an existing tripartite agreement (between Amul Dairy, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation – the body that markets brand Amul – and a local partner in the US) Amul makes paneer, ghee and shrikhand in Waterloo village in New York. Acquiring its own production facility will help Amul to expand its US operations. The company’s present sales in the US add up to Rs. 60 crore. (12-09-2018)
No ‘vulgar’ songs should be played during Ganesh immersion festivities: The police have announced that they may take strict action against organisers and DJs who play ‘vulgar’ or objectionable songs during the Ganesh immersion festivities. The cops may switch off the DJ systems, and perhaps even resort to confiscation. Excessive loudness of the DJ systems will be penalised too. It may be difficult to pinpoint which songs are actually ‘vulgar’, and how loud is ‘loud noise’. All we know is that the eardrums (and sometimes the whole body) literally shudder with the noise. And while they are at it the cops should also act against the blinding and flashing lights playing around the truck carrying the DJ system. (12-09-2018)
Hurry up and pay your property tax, or lose your drainage and water connections: Following threats to auction properties for which overdue taxes exceed Rs. 25,000, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) tightened the screws further on the defaulters by warning that the drainage and water connections to their properties will be cut if they do not pay up. The defaulters add up to about 6,000 property owners – roughly 500 in each of the city’s 12 administrative wards. VMC has also warned the defaulters to not sell or transfer their properties until they clear the dues. (11-09-2018)
Country’s first ‘transport sector’ university launched in city: The National Rail and Transportation Institute (NRTI) – India’s first ‘transport sector’ university – has finally become operational at Vadodara (it is temporarily using the premises of the National Academy of Indian Railways). It is financed by the railways ministry. With the University of California, Berkeley, and Cornell University as international partners, NRTI offers two undergraduate courses – B.Sc (Transportation Technology) and BBA (Transportation Management). Each course has a capacity of 50 students. More courses will be offered down the line. To begin with, the teaching faculty will consist of visiting professors from institutions such as XLRI and IIT Madras. (11-09-2018)
PURSE ‘strings’ loosened for MS University: The central government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) has announced a grant of Rs. 7.59 crore to MS University under the Promotion of University Research and Scientific Excellence (PURSE) scheme. The PURSE ‘strings’ are meant to be loosened to incentivise R&D activities. MSU had earlier received Rs. 9 crore for this purpose for the 2012-17 period; the latest grant is for 2018-22. The equipment purchased from the earlier grants includes single crystal x-ray diffractometer, energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer, Raman spectrometer, powder x-ray diffractometer, automatic gas pycnometer, IR thermography camera, etc. (10-09-2018)
Pay overdue property tax, or the property may be auctioned: If the property tax is long overdue the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) may auction the property. VMC has begun issuing public notices to all property owners whose overdue amounts exceed Rs. 25,000. Over 18,000 defaulters have been identified. It has started by issuing notices to 500 property owners in each of the city’s 12 administrative wards. The cost of publishing the public notices will of course be recovered from the defaulters. (09-09-2018)
Only two teachers from Gujarat win CBSE award: Vadodara’s Dr. Deepak Mahakul of Navrachana Higher Secondary School and Ms Smita Debata of Cygnus World School are the only teachers from Gujarat who have won the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) award this year. Dr. Mahakul, a visual art director at Navrachana, has developed a computer based art education package for class IX students. Ms Debata teaches science at Cygnus and blends a variety of activities to keep learners active and alert. Only 37 teachers received the award this year; 1,276 had applied for it. Each award includes a cash prize of Rs. 50,000. (08-09-2018)
Navratri garbas cancelled at MS University union pavilion grounds: The decision to allow the Vadodara Navratri Festival (VNF) to hold Navratri garbas at the MS University union pavilion ground had not gone down too well with many people, and the dissenters have finally had their say. The permission now stands withdrawn. The general opinion is that this university facility should not be let out to private parties or for commercial purposes, specially not for non-sports activities. Besides, it is felt that the ground’s infrastructure – for hockey, kabbadi, shooting range, cricket pitches, jogging and walking tracks – are likely to be damaged with events such as garbas. Several sports competitions are round the corner and the garbas would have disturbed the training schedules of athletes. The other objections raised pertained to the possible security problems that could be faced by the nearby university staff quarters and hostels for girls. (08-09-2018)
Top bureaucrats want housing plots in Gandhinagar at concessional rates: Gujarat’s IAS, IPS and IFS officers want housing plots to be allotted to 800 all-India service (AIS) officers at concessional rates in Gandhinagar. They have written to the chief minister that this is what was done in the past. AIS and state service officers stopped getting housing plots in 2001. In any case, the matter is currently sub judice in the Supreme Court. A 1988 policy was such that IAS, IPS and IFS officers could get plots from 90 sq m to 330 sq m in Gandhinagar; these plots would be worth Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 5 crore today. (07-09-2018)
Officials excited about tourism potential of Statue of Unity: The 182-metre tall statue of Sardar Patel – the Statue of Unity – is likely to become a major international tourist destination when it is unveiled on October 31. Some of the excited claims being made about it are that it will rival the Kutch Rann Utsav, Sasan Gir or Saputara. The attractions to be offered include adventure sports, river rafting and boating, para-gliding, forest treks, ecotourism, a tent city, light and sound show, musical fountains, etc. The site is 3.5 km from the Sardar Sarovar Project. Besides, the Narmada district is rich in biodiversity – sloth bears, hyenas, leopards and many species of birds. Guides are being trained to meet emerging tourism needs. (06-09-2018)
Union pavilion ground may be used by a garba organiser: The MS University Union pavilion ground may be given to a garba organiser this Navratri. This will be a first for the university. The MSU syndicate may allow the Vadodara Navratri Festival (VNF) to hold garbas at this venue. When they started VNF garbas were held at the Navlakhi Grounds, but this venue is now likely to be used by the Kala Nagri Garba Mahotsav. The permission from MSU’s syndicate will have some conditions attached, but it is not yet clear what those conditions are. In the past the MSU Union pavilion ground has been used only for events like the university’s youth festivals or sports programmes like the Khel Mahakumbh. There are some people who do not agree with the decision to allow a ‘non-MSU’ garba at this venue. Let us see whether this decision is final, or whether it is changed as the debate proceeds. (05-09-2018)
Teaching posts sanctioned for MSU’s Institute of Policy Research and Journalism Faculty: The Gujarat government has approved the creation of five new permanent teaching positions at MS University’s Institute of Policy Research and International Studies (IPRIS) and the Faculty of Journalism and Communication (FJC). The approval is for one professor and two assistant professors at IPRIS and posts of an associate professor and an assistant professor at FJC. The IPRIS was set up with a government grant of Rs. 4 crore, the purpose being to focus on research in foreign policy, foreign relations, security challenges and security policies. (05-09-2018)
Gujarat’s first thalassemia wellness centre opens at Vadodara: Thanks to the efforts of a city based NGO – The Wishing Factory (TWF) – and many others, almost 200 thalassemia patients in Vadodara and some neighbouring districts will get free access to Gujarat’s first thalassemia wellness centre. What this free access means is that the patients will get blood filters, iron chelation pumps and medicines, and all of this in a friendly, comfortable setting. Thalassemia patients have to depend on fortnightly blood transfusions as well as regular medicines; the number of transfusions increases with age. A patient has to spend Rs. 2,800 a month on blood filters, a chelation pump costs about Rs. 34,000, and medicines are expensive. Such costs are not affordable by most patients. The wellness centre has 15 pumps which the patients can share. The centre receives financial support from a private company and a few donors. Crowd funding also helps. The expenses for 25 patients have been fully paid for by the private company. (04-09-2018)
High speed rail training institute at Vadodara will be ready by March 2019: The High Speed Rail Training Institute (HSRTI) in Vadodara is likely to begin training its first batch of 80 students by March 2019. The institute will train staff for the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL). The full-fledged institute is expected to start functioning in 2020. Of this, 80 personnel will be provided on the job training at Japan. The training includes modules on cutting edge technologies relating to high speed rail transportation. The entire bullet train project involves a fair amount of activity. It calls for acquisition of 1,434 hectares of land for the 508 km stretch (353 hectares in Maharashtra, the rest in Gujarat). This involves 7,000 individual plots in 195 villages in Gujarat and 104 villages in Maharashtra. (03-09-2018)
Gujarat grants industry status to logistics sector: The logistics sector in Gujarat has been given industry status by the state government. The aim is to attract spin-off investments in logistics that will result from projects like the dedicated freight corridor (DFC), the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor (DMIC), the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train, the Ahmedabad-Mumbai expressway, the Dholera and Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Regions, and the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region at Dahej. Provisions of the Gujarat Land Revenue Code and industrial policy have been suitably modified to give the logistics sector industry status. Even logistics facilities developed by the co-operative sector will get this status. Warehouses and logistics parks will get benefits like acquisition of land just like for manufacturing industries. Financial incentives will also be offered. The Gujarat Infrastructure Development Board (GIDB) has indicated five sites for logistics parks along the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor and the dedicated freight corridor: Palanpur-Mehsana, Ahmedabad-Surendranagar, Gandhidham-Samakhyali, Dahej-Bharuch and Hazira-Surat. The state government is setting up a logistics park in Sanand and GIDC plans to develop one at Dahej near Bharuch with the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR). The logistics park is aimed at serving industrial units at the Dahej Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR). (03-09-2018)
Gujarat may have a new high-tech biotechnology university: Gujarat government’s science and technology department favours the establishment of a new high-tech biotechnology university. A bill may be proposed to set it up at Gandhinagar. The government is looking forward to the biotechnology sector pulling in investments of about Rs. 15,000 crore by 2021. The state sees a lot of potential in this field and it does not want to miss out on the emerging opportunities for attracting biotech startups. The new university will offer courses at the postgraduate and doctoral level. (02-09-2018)
Artificial pond for immersion of Ganpati idols ready near Navlakhi Ground: The digging work has been completed for the artificial pond being built near the Navlakhi Ground for immersion of Ganpati idols. The pond has been lined with sheets so that water does not seep into the soil. The pond will be filled with 30 million litres of water. The water is being pumped into the pond from bore wells near the Navlakhi Ground; the pumps are operating 15 hours daily. Three other artificial ponds have been created for the same purpose at Ajwa Road, Soma Talav and near the Gorwa Dashama Temple. Many people hope that eventually the immersion ceremonies will take place only at such artificial ponds. (02-09-2018)
Plans of city’s bullet train terminal hub approved: The design of the Vadodara terminal hub for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project in Vadodara will be based on the ‘banyan tree’, from which the city derives its name. The terminal hub will be constructed near the railway station’s platform number six. All the existing structures adjoining this platform will be demolished. The terminal’s roof will be covered by solar panels. The ground floor will be common for passengers of the Western Railway and the bullet train. The first floor will be exclusively for bullet train passengers. The second floor will be the bullet train’s track level, and passengers will board it at this level. The bullet train track will be 23 metres above the Western Railway track. (01-09-2018)
The cycle can often be the more sensible form of transport: Ride a cycle, you may get a discount in some shops. Cycling enthusiast Nikita Lalwani wants to launch a mobile app to promote the cycling habit. Her simple, sensible point: less use of two-wheelers and cars means less pollution and better health. Cycling can often be a more convenient and quicker mode of mobility. Lalwani is one of the enthusiasts behind ‘Cycling Cities’. Her app will have to be downloaded on your mobile phone, and turned on as you ride; you will get points based on the distance covered and ‘carbon credit calculations’. The points will be redeemable in the form of discounts at some outlets. The app may be launched on September 22 –World Car Free Day. The points-based prizes may be a temporary feature. Lalwani was earlier selected as Bicycle Mayor by a group that encourages cycling all over the world. (01-09-2018)
State will have six more Passport Seva Kandras: Gujarat will have six more Passport Seva Kendras (PSKs) – at Amreli, Gandhinagar, Surendranagar, Patan, Bardoli and Sabarkantha. When these six become operational, the state will have a total of 25 PSKs. The new PSKs will be located at the head post offices in the respective towns. Other PSKs at post offices in Gujarat are at Anand, Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Bhuj, Dahod, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Mehsana, Nadiad, Palanpur, Veraval and Porbandar. (31-08-2018)
Flats ownership act may be amended: The Gujarat government has decided to amend the Gujarat Ownership Flats Act, 1973. At present the redevelopment of private societies – under the provisions of the existing Gujarat Ownership Flats Act, 1973 and the general development control regulations (GDCR) – is allowed but requires the consent of 100% of a society’s members. The proposed amendment will relax the consent requirement to 75% of a society’s members. A provision also being considered is that approval of 51% of members will be required in case a residential society has 11 property units or less, and 75% for larger societies. The state government will allow reconstruction of 25-year-old buildings, if 75% of the apartment owners have given their consent for re-development. The decision to redevelop can also be made if the local body has declared a particular structure unsafe or dangerous for the immediate neighbourhood. It has also been decided that the municipal commissioners of all the eight municipal corporations will head their respective Urban Development Authority (UDA) bodies. (31-08-2018)
Gujarat gives industry status to information technology sector: The Gujarat government has given industry status to the information technology and IT enabled services (IT & ITES) sector. This means that companies in this sector will get the same benefits as manufacturing companies. Among the advantages are incentives on land and electricity, access to more investments and benefits under State Goods and Service Tax (SGST) regime. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) may also set up an estate exclusively for this sector. (30-08-2018)
Navratri likely to see a new garba organiser: A new garba is likely to make its debut this Navratri. It will be organised by a trust named Kala Nagri Cultural Foundation (KNCF), and the venue will be the Navlakhi Grounds. KNCF have appointed Markcom Solutions Pvt. Ltd. to organize the event. Playback singer Lalitya Munshaw will perform along with local artists. The proceeds from the garba will be donated for Kerala flood relief, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and the plastic-free Vadodara campaign. It is hoped that 50,000 persons will participate and another 50,000 will constitute the audience. Considering that KNCF will stage their event at Navlakhi Grounds, the Vadodara Navratri Festival (VNF) organisers may have to shift their garba to another location. (29-08-2018)
Vadodara airport will offer more domestic flights: Vadodara will get more domestic flights starting next month. IndiGo will offer a direct flight to Hyderabad from September 15, and Jet Airways to Jaipur and Indore from September 2. The Vadodara-Indore-Vadodara and Vadodara-Jaipur-Vadodara flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays. A new flight to Bengaluru and an additional one to Delhi are also on the agenda. By October end the city will have expanded from the current 22 flights to a total of 32 flights. The airport currently handles an average of 90,000 passengers every month. (28-08-2018)
Statue of Unity nears completion: Considering that the Statue of Unity of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is to be inaugurated on his birth anniversary on October 31, the last-minute preparations are on in full swing at Sadhu Bet at Kevadiya Colony near the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district. The 182-meter tall statue’s steel structure is likely to be ready in September, the bronze panels on it will be in place by October and the finishing work should be over by 25th October. Also under construction are a 52-room Shreshtha Bharat Bhavan, a cafeteria, a food court and related facilities. The other attractions include boating, a valley of flowers and, as private entrepreneurs begin to add to the infrastructure, resorts, hotels and restaurants. (27-08-2018)
Harni police station gets green building status: The Harni police station in Vadodara has been awarded the green building status by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). It is India’s only police station with a silver rating green building status. This project was pursued to completion by Mr. Manish Singh, DCP (administration). The police station has now been made eco-friendly; it consumes less energy, the waste is handled efficiently, a solar power system has been installed, and water wastage has been reduced by using meters and conserving rainwater. It seems that the energy saving is about 20 per cent. The IGBC norms cover site and facility management, water efficiency, energy efficiency and health and comfort. (26-08-2018)
MSU students union election results announced: The results of the MS University Students Union (MSUSU) have been announced. Vraj Patel from the National Students Union of India (NSUI) won the post of general secretary. The ‘Jai Ho’ group’s Saloni Mishra won the post of vice-president. Both Vraj Patel and Saloni Mishra are from the Faculty of Commerce. (25-08-2018)
MS University student union elections conducted peacefully: Friday’s MS University Students Union (MSUSU) elections saw the participation of candidates from the National Students Union of India (NSUI), the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the joint group of Vidyarthi Vikas Sangh and ‘Jai Ho’. The campus saw 39% voting, compared to 35% last year. Out of the 41,887 eligible voters, 16,490 actually turned up to vote. The proceedings were generally peaceful. (24-08-2018)
Applications for NA certificates will only be accepted online: According to a new Gujarat Government Resolution (GR) it is now obligatory to apply online for a non-agricultural (NA) certificate; officials will have to check land records online. To obtain the certificate an affidavit will have to be uploaded by the applicant on www.onlinerevenue.gujarat.gov.in. False affidavits will attract legal action. The non-refundable fee will be Rs. 0.50 per square metre. Ten days later the affidavit must be submitted in person, or sent by post. Officials appointed by district collectors will thereafter audit the records; no other documents need to be submitted by applicants. All communication between the authorities and the applicant will be by email only. According to the laborious existing system, getting a final NA approval can take as long as three years. (23-08-2018)
Mid-day meals in schools are meant for children only: Mid-day meals are served to poor children in government-run primary schools and teachers are supposed to taste these meals to check whether basic quality and hygiene standards are being met. However, it has come to the notice of the authorities that many teachers have made it a habit to have only these meals and avoid bringing their own food. In one such case, the Junagadh deputy collector (mid-day meals) has been forced to issue a directive stating the obvious – that the children’s meals are only for the children, not for the teachers. The daily mid-day meals include 100 gm of grains and 20 gm of pulses for children of class 1 to class 5 and 150 gm of grains and 30 gm of pulses for children of class 6 to class 8. (22-08-2018)
Lord Shiva’s statue in Sursagar likely to be plated in gold: The Lord Shiva statue in Sursagar lake is likely to be plated in gold. Prior to the exercise, the 111-foot statue will be measured to determine its exact surface area. The statue, called Sarveshwar Mahadev, was commissioned by the Satyam Shivam Sundaram Committee and handed over to the Vadodara Municipal Corporation after it was erected. A sum of Rs. 7 crore has been collected for the project from donors. Considering that the statue is now the property of the civic body the project will need its formal approval. (21-08-2018)
Phone connection delayed by two months: A customer of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) applied for a telephone connection, the telephone was installed in his house, but the connection was not activated for over a month even though the guidelines stipulate a period of only a week. The customer approached the Vadodara district consumer dispute redressal forum with his complaint. He demanded that a fairly steep exemplary cost should be imposed on the telecom company. The court ruled that BSNL should pay the complainant Rs. 5,000 for the delay in providing the phone connection; the court said that it was a deficiency in service on the part of BSNL. (20-08-2018)
USFDA team to visit drug control laboratory in city: A team from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) is due to visit the laboratory of the Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration (GFDCA). Both organisations signed an agreement in 2017 to train drug control officials in Gujarat to provide safe and efficacious medicines globally, on par with USFDA standards. The visit is important considering that Gujarat accounts for 28 per cent of the drugs exported to USA and developed markets. This is the first visit by the USFDA team to the GFDCA laboratory. (19-08-2018)
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First Previous
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)
Ahmedabad will get one more huge multi-specialty advanced hospital (17-09-2018)
Muni Seva Ashram gets high-power cyclotron for its cancer hospital (16-09-2018)
Parataxonomy course started at MS University (15-09-2018)
The Vadodara Navratri Festival finally finds a venue for its garbas (14-09-2018)
Do not immerse idols in rivers (14-09-2018)
Ahmedabad's bulk garbage producers will have to pay a high user fee (13-09-2018)
Amul Dairy plans to acquire production plant in USA (12-09-2018)
No ‘vulgar’ songs should be played during Ganesh immersion festivities (12-09-2018)
Hurry up and pay your property tax, or lose your drainage and water connections (11-09-2018)
Country’s first ‘transport sector’ university launched in city (11-09-2018)
PURSE ‘strings’ loosened for MS University (10-09-2018)
Pay overdue property tax, or the property may be auctioned (09-09-2018)
Only two teachers from Gujarat win CBSE award (08-09-2018)
Navratri garbas cancelled at MS University union pavilion grounds (08-09-2018)
Top bureaucrats want housing plots in Gandhinagar at concessional rates (07-09-2018)
Officials excited about tourism potential of Statue of Unity (06-09-2018)
Union pavilion ground may be used by a garba organiser (05-09-2018)
Teaching posts sanctioned for MSU’s Institute of Policy Research and Journalism Faculty (05-09-2018)
Gujarat’s first thalassemia wellness centre opens at Vadodara (04-09-2018)
High speed rail training institute at Vadodara will be ready by March 2019 (03-09-2018)
Gujarat grants industry status to logistics sector (03-09-2018)
Gujarat may have a new high-tech biotechnology university (02-09-2018)
Artificial pond for immersion of Ganpati idols ready near Navlakhi Ground (02-09-2018)
Plans of city’s bullet train terminal hub approved (01-09-2018)
The cycle can often be the more sensible form of transport (01-09-2018)
State will have six more Passport Seva Kandras (31-08-2018)
Flats ownership act may be amended (31-08-2018)
Gujarat gives industry status to information technology sector (30-08-2018)
Navratri likely to see a new garba organiser (29-08-2018)
Vadodara airport will offer more domestic flights (28-08-2018)
Statue of Unity nears completion (27-08-2018)
Harni police station gets green building status (26-08-2018)
MSU students union election results announced (25-08-2018)
MS University student union elections conducted peacefully (24-08-2018)
Applications for NA certificates will only be accepted online (23-08-2018)
Mid-day meals in schools are meant for children only (22-08-2018)
Lord Shiva’s statue in Sursagar likely to be plated in gold (21-08-2018)
Phone connection delayed by two months (20-08-2018)
USFDA team to visit drug control laboratory in city (19-08-2018)
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