Baroda News

Mr. Amitabh Bachchan terminates paan masala contract

A national anti-tobacco organisation requested Mr. Amitabh Bachchan to withdraw from an advertising campaign claiming that it would prevent youngsters from getting addicted to tobacco. Last week, Mr. Bachchan terminated his contract with a pan masala brand and returned the entire money received through its promotions. He said he was not aware that the promotion falls under 'surrogate advertising’. Several organisations applauded his decision to terminate the contract. One letter says, “… over the years, the tobacco control advocates have been steadily gaining ground in the fight against cigarettes, bidi, pan masala, gutka, and other addictive tobacco products. However, that progress is under continuous threat from underhanded marketing tactics such as surrogate advertising of seemingly innocuous ‘mouth fresheners’ from brands widely seen selling Paan Masala …”
What is meant by surrogate advertising?

  • A surrogate advertisement is an advertisement that duplicates the brand image of one product to promote another product of the same brand.
  • Surrogate advertisements are used to promote and advertise products of brands when the original product cannot be advertised on mass media.

A PhD programme in yoga may be offered by Gujarat University

Gujarat University plans to offer a PhD programme in yoga. It will conduct entrance tests for admission to its doctoral programme on October 30. The university has initiated the process of appointing a PhD guide for yoga, and a suitable candidate is likely to be appointed soon. The university had earlier set October 21 as the date for the entrance test but later rescheduled it to October 30. About 3,641 candidates have applied for 758 seats in different subjects. (21-10-2021)

Will you commit murder if a senior says so?

The Madras High Court recently wondered whether a police officer would commit a murder if his senior instructs to do so. Briefly, a police officer was accused of sexually harassing a woman subordinate IPS officer. The woman SP was travelling to Chennai to lodge a complaint against her superior with the state police chief. Another police official tried to prevent her car from travelling to Chennai. His counsel told the judge that his client had carried out the instructions given by his superior; disobeying the orders of the superior officers would amount to insubordination, he contended. It is on this point that the High Court asked whether he would commit murder if a senior directs him to do so. Only  lawful instructions can be carried out. Only 10 per cent of the police officers are acting as per their conscience, the judge said, adding that such incidents are a shame on the department. (21-10-2021)

Vadodara’s longest flyover is getting built, but the pace is rather slow

Vadodara’s longest flyover, approved in 2017, was due to be ready by 2020. But delays took over and now the authorities think that it will be completed between June and September 2022. Several factors may have led to the delay: lockdown, extensive shifting of service lines and underground cables, need to move drainage and water supply lines, etc., etc., etc. Still, better late than never? (20-10-2021)

Celebrity birthday parties prohibited at child care institutions

Birthday celebrations at Child Care Institutions (CCI) – usually held by celebrities and politicians – have been prohibited by the Karnataka government.

  • Such celebrations are usually held by celebrities, politicians, officers and their children.
  • The Directorate of Child Protection is of the opinion that such elite celebrations tend to have an adverse psychological impact on children living in the CCIs.
  • Such celebrations fuel misconceptions and misleading aspirations among children at the CCIs.
  • Most children confessed that they were not even aware of their own birthdays.
  • Also, it is not feasible for the CCIs to get funds to celebrate each child’s birthday in the same fervour, and this troubles young minds.
Most of the children living in the CCIs have been rescued from begging, sexual abuse, abusive parents, child labour and child marriages. (20-10-2021)

Mumbai saw a 2-degree rise in temperature as built-up area increased by 66%

A study by Researchers at the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, Osmania University in Hyderabad, and Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh has found that Mumbai has witnessed a 2-degree Celsius average temperature rise in 27 years while the built-up area of the city has risen by 66 per cent in the same period. The findings of the study can benefit urban planners and policymakers in urban green space spatial planning and urban heat island mitigation strategies.

  • Mumbai lost 81 per cent of its open land (barren spaces without any vegetation), 40 per cent green cover (forests, scrublands) and approximately 30 percent of its water bodies (lakes, ponds, floodplains) between 1991 and 2018 while the built-up area (areas developed upon) has risen by 66 per cent, leading it to become an island of high temperatures.
  • The average temperature in 1991 was 34.08 degrees Celsius, and it rose to 36.28 degrees Celsius in 2018, thus exposing people to higher heat risk.
  • With the pace of urbanization and landscape transformation over the last three decades in Mumbai, it is expected that the effect of urban heat island intensity will further increase in the city.
  • Heat islands are urbanized areas that experience higher temperatures than outlying areas or rural areas. Structures such as buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes such as forests and water bodies.
  • Using satellite imagery (USA-NASA Landsat datasets), the authors studied an area of 603 sq. km of Mumbai to understand the land-use and land-cover changes, difference in maximum, minimum and average temperatures, land surface temperatures, changes in vegetation cover versus urban built-up density between 1991 and 2018.
To overcome the heat stress there is an urgent need to promote urban greening at the micro, wards and mohalla levels and rooftop terrace gardening as well as discouraging the use of glass in high-rise buildings. (19-10-2021)

If your vehicle is over 15 years old, a fitness test will be compulsory

Please check how old your vehicle is. If it is over 15 years old, it will have to undergo the automated fitness test (AFT). The central government plans to phase out old and polluting vehicles under its vehicle-scrapping policy.

  • Over 38% of the vehicles plying on Gujarat’s roads are at least 15 years old. All these vehicles will have to undergo the AFT.
  • AFT will be compulsory for commercial vehicles from 2023 and for private vehicles, including two-wheelers, from 2024.
  • As on September 30, 2021, 1.08 crore vehicles (out of the 2.84 crore registered vehicles) will fall in the 15-year bracket in 2023.
  • The state transport department is preparing detailed rules to ensure that these vehicles undergo a fitness test.
  • Each vehicle will have to be certified through a computerised automated test and these reports will be uploaded on the website of Parivahan without any human intervention.
  • The person will have the option to keep the vehicle with him or scrap it if it is certified as a ‘non-use’ vehicle.
  • Gujarat has an automated testing centre in Olpad in Surat, and two more are coming up in Ahmedabad and Anjar.
  • Such automated testing centres can be set up through public-private partnership.
  • For transport and passenger vehicles, automated tests will be made compulsory from April 1, 2023.
  • For private vehicles, testing will begin from April 1, 2024.”
  • Once the new rules are implemented, private vehicles will have to be inspected five years from the date of purchase. Transport vehicles will have to be certified every year.

Statue of Unity will NOT be closed for visitors from Oct 28 to Nov 1

The Statue of Unity at Kevadia will NOT be closed for visitors between October 28 and November 1 due to the National Unity Day (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas) celebration on October 31 to mark Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 147th birth anniversary. The Statue of Unity and other tourist attractions at Kevadia WILL REMAIN OPEN  from 28th Oct, 2021 to 31st Oct. The earlier notification regarding closure of these tourist attractions stands cancelled. However, keeping in mind the celebration of Rastriya Ekta Diwas, adequate security arrangements will be in place. (18-10-2021)

Prominent Gandhians protest decision to redevelop Sabarmati Ashram

Prominent Gandhian organisations have launched the ‘Sevagram-Sabarmati Sandesh Yatra’ to protest the decision to redevelop Sabarmati Ashram and turn it into a tourist centre. More than 50 prominent Gandhians began the yatra by offering prayers at the Sevagram Ashram on Sunday morning. They are set to march towards Sabarmati Ashram via Amravati, Akola, Khamgaon, Bhusawal, Jalgaon, Amalner, Dhule, Nandurbar, Bardoli and Surat, and will reach Ahmedabad on October 23. The convener of the yatra said that the Sabarmati Ashram may be turned “into a tourist spot, which would have a new museum, an amphitheatre, a VIP lounge, shops, eateries and various entertainment facilities. This will not only end the original form of the ashram, which is a historical heritage of not only India but of the entire world. This has caused great concern to Gandhian institutions…” (18-10-2021)

Cap raised on Eid-e-Milad processions to 400 participants

The government announced that 400 people can gather in an Eid-e-Milad procession if it moves within a locality, colony or street and does not go out of that area. Some politicians had urged the government to raise the limit on participation in a procession from 15 people to 400 people. As per guidelines issued by the state Home Department on Sunday, not more than 15 people and one vehicle could participate in a procession of Eid-e-Milad that will be celebrated on Tuesday to mark the birth anniversary of the last prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad. In a clarification issued on Monday, the state government said 400 people can take part in a procession, if it moves within a locality, mohalla or street and does not go out of that limited area. The processions can only be taken out during the day hours in view of the night curfew in force in eight cities of the state. (18-10-2021)

Hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle covers 45 km in 33 minutes

T-Works, the Telangana government’s premier prototyping centre, has now successfully built and tested an autonomous hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can travel up to a distance of 45 km. It can launch itself like a conventional drone and then fly forward like a conventional winged aircraft before making a landing vertically. Covering a distance of 45 km, it travelled for 33 minutes. A hybrid UAV, the Airborne Medical Rapid Transport (AMRT25), apart from the delivery of medical supplies, can be used for surveying, inspection, defence applications, surveillance and as a test bed for experimental payloads. (17-10-2021)

Parul University’s Innovation Expo 2021 featured 100 projects

The recent Innovation Expo 2021 organised by Vadodara’s Parul University showcased over 100 projects that were developed and funded with grants totalling Rs. 75 lakh. The grants were from government and non-government agencies. The expo featured innovators from many disciplines. One product  – VitaFALL – is designed to help old, differently abled and needy people; it received funding from Gujarat Student Start-up and Innovation Hub and under Gujarat government’s student start-up and Innovation policy (SSIP). Another product – Liberty Crutch – is a mobility device to provide functional independence to users through hands-free and pain-free mobility. (17-10-2021)

Rs. 5,000 aid for tribals undertaking Ayodhya pilgrimage

An official government release announced that the Gujarat government will give financial aid of Rs. 5,000 to each tribal person who undertakes the pilgrimage to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya. The state Tourism and Pilgrimage Development Minister said that tribal people are descendants of Shabari Mata who met Lord Ram during his 14-year exile. He announced the aid while speaking at Shabari Dham at Subir village in the tribal-dominated Dangs district, and he said that this is in line with similar assistance given for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, Sindhu Darshan and Shravan Tirth Yatra. Shabari Dham is a pilgrimage site associated with Lord Ram. (17-10-2021)

Awards likely for those who go out of their way to help accident victims

The Gujarat government plans to implement a scheme to grant a Good Samaritan award to those whose interventions save accident victims.  People who go out of their way to help accident victims will also get a cash award of Rs. 5,000. Directives to this effect have been received from the Centre. The Good Samaritan title will be given to those who ensure that accident victims with serious injuries get medical attention in the ‘golden hour’ from the moment of a road crash. The injuries in question relate to the brain or spinal cord, or those which warrant a major surgery, or at least three days of hospitalisation. This move will help accident victims and also reward the saviours. The government is preparing the final guidelines for the award. Officials said that three Good Samaritan awardees will be considered for national honours. Ten India-level awardees will receive Rs. 1 lakh each. (16-10-2021)

MS University hosted a symposium to promote the giloy herb

Under the national campaign on ‘Amrita for life’ several experts participated recently in a symposium on ‘Giloy: the magical herb’ at MS University. The experts were from the research and administration fields in ayurveda, reverse pharmacology, anatomy and pharmacognosy. The deliberations were related to giloy and increasing the awareness regarding its usage as a medicinal plant. The Botany Department of MS University has distributed more than 2 lakh giloy plants to people in Vadodara city and its surrounding villages. Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), is an Ayurvedic herb which has been used in India as a medicine for ages. It is also known as Guduchi. Its stem is used extensively for medicinal purposes; its root and leaves are also used. It is supposed to be an immunity builder. People can grow its stems in their homes. (16-10-2021)

Artificial intelligence training by Intel for students in Dahod district

Intel Inc. has picked the tribal-dominated Dahod district in Gujarat for a project in which students will learn the basics of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In Dahod – an aspirational district identified by the central government – many students face difficulties in pursuing education beyond Class X. The district’s top five schools in terms of student strength were selected for the project. The schools selected for the project include M.Y. High School in Dahod, S.R. School in Devgadh Baria, Pragati Girls High School in Limkheda, Shri I.K. Desai High School in Fatepura and G.L. Sheth High School in Singvad. Promising students will be picked for further training. A few other districts in the state have also been selected to develop AI skills in students of the region. (16-10-2021)

MS University’s Textile Engineering Department develops stab-proof fabric

The Department of Textile Engineering at MS University’s Faculty of Technology and Engineering has developed a slash resistant fabric which protects the person wearing it and is soft and comfortable.

  • The fabric can be used to equip security guards, bodyguards, police and army personnel with lightweight, easy-to-wear, cost-effective and fire-resistant body armour.
  • The currently available body armour is bulky and inconvenient to wear, besides being expensive.
  • The fabric is fire resistant and safe from acid bottles or petrol bombs thrown at the personnel by mobs.
  • The fabric is stab-proof.
  • The price is 40% less; the body armour cost can come down from Rs. 8,000 to Rs 5,000 per piece.
  • The fabric is also lightweight; the body armour weight can come down from 4.5 kg to 3.5 kg.

Ahmedabad patched up 25,000 potholes in 100 days

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has patched up 25,623 potholes from July 1 to October 14. AMC says that it has taken up road repair work in earnest, and this includes resurfacing and patching up of potholes. The cost involved is Rs. 17 crore. Is it impossible to build roads that do not develop potholes? (15-10-2021)

The southwest monsoon withdrew from Gujarat on Tuesday

The southwest monsoon withdrew from Gujarat on Tuesday. It started withdrawing on October 6, and withdrew entirely on October 12. Normally the withdrawal starts on September 15 and completes within two weeks, by September 30. This monsoon season, an average total of 811 mm (96.65 per cent) rainfall was reported in the state. However, when compared to the past three years, it is the lowest recorded during this time of the year. (15-10-2021)

Insurance company rejects claim related to anaemia

A man had taken medical treatment for weakness and body ache due to anaemia and had approached his insurance company to claim money for the treatment. The insurance company rejected his claim stating that treatment related to nutritional deficiency is not payable as per the terms and conditions of the health insurance policy. The man approached the consumer court, and the court ruled that weakness and body ache due to anaemia cannot be seen as a rundown condition or cause of nutritional deficiency. The court ordered the insurance company to pay the treatment expenses amounting to Rs. 33,820 to the complainant, along with 9% interest and a compensation of Rs. 10,000. The court said, “The insurance company should have proven its stand on nutritional deficiency by providing a doctor’s opinion and nutritional deficiency cannot be the only reason for anaemia.” (15-10-2021)

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Baroda News Archive