Baroda News

Restaurant industry in Gujarat wants home delivery to be permitted till 10 pm

The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has urged the Prime Minister to permit home deliveries till 10 pm in order to help the food and hospitality industry in Gujarat. GCCI also said that online food delivery in the evenings will also help families where several members are Covid infected. Over 35,000 hotels, restaurants, cafes, and small eateries operate in Gujarat and employ about 10 lakh skilled and unskilled workers. Many establishments are going through very hard times and are likely to close down, and their employees will be rendered jobless. (15-04-2021)

Tribal students skipped school due to lack of shoes

Mr. Anil Makwana, a teacher, noticed that many of his students from Boridra a remote tribal village in Narmada district, did not come to school to attend classes. When he tried to dig into the reasons for the absenteeism, he found that the problem was that the children did not have footwear! The children moved around freely without shoes or slippers in the village, but in the summer heat it was difficult to walk barefoot to school. So, no slippers, no school. Mr. Makwana then launched a footwear donation campaign and managed to collect 140 pairs of shoes and slippers. All the children are attending classes now. Mr. Makwana stays in Rajpipla town, 18 km from Boridra. (15-04-2021)

Gujarat Board exams postponed

The Gujarat government has postponed the Gujarat Board exams of Class 10 and Class 12. Mass promotions will be given for students of Classes 1 to 9 and Class 11. The government will review the situation on May 15 and announce the new exam dates. A 15-day preparation period will be given between the announcement of the new schedule and the start of the exams. The exams were earlier scheduled to be held from May 10 to May 25. (15-04-2021)

Gold hallmarking will be mandatory from June 1

The government said it is now fully prepared to implement mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts from June 1, 2021. It had announced in 2019 that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021. But the deadline was extended for four months till June 1 after the jewellers sought more time to implement this in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It had given jewellers more than a year to shift to hallmarking and register themselves with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present. So far, 34,647 jewellers have registered with the BIS. Around 40 per cent of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently. In the next few months it is expected that about one lakh jewellers will be registered. The registration process has been made online and automatic. Mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments. From June 1, jewellers will be allowed to sell only 14, 18 and 22 carats gold jewellery. (14-04-2021)

Gujarat’s billion-dollar market-cap club has 22 members

The number of Gujarat-based listed companies which have a market-cap of more than a billion dollars (approximately Rs. 7,532 crore) has increased to 22, up from 17 since April 2020. The companies that made it to the billion-dollar m-cap club in the past one year are Deepak Nitrite Ltd, Ratnamani Metals & Tubes Ltd, Gujarat Fluorochemicals Ltd, Symphony Ltd and Eris Lifesciences Ltd. Deepak Nitrite and Ratnamani Metals made the entry for the first time, the other three reentered the club. Adani Group tops the list of Gujarat’s most valued companies (all its six companies are in the billion-dollar m-cap club). Some others in the club are: Cadila Healthcare Ltd and Zydus Wellness, Torrent Pharma Ltd and Torrent Power, Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Astral Poly Technik, AIA Engineering, Gujarat Gas Ltd, Gujarat State Petronet Ltd. (14-04-2021)

CBSE postpones Class 12 board exams and cancels class 10 exams

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has postponed the class 12 board exams and cancelled the class 10 board exams due to the Covid-19 situation. Many people had urged the CBSE to reschedule exams at various levels or conduct them remotely.

  • The board exams for Class 12 which were scheduled to be held from May 4 to June 14 have been postponed.
  • Class 12 exams will be held only after the board reviews the situation on June 1.
  • A notice of at least 15 days will be given before the start of Class 12 board examinations. Details will be shared subsequently.
  • The board exams for class 10 to be held from May 4 to June 14 have been cancelled.
  • The results of the Class 10 board will be prepared on the basis of an objective criterion to be developed by the CBSE.
  • Any candidate who is not satisfied with the marks allocated to him/her on this basis will be given an opportunity to sit in an exam as and when the conditions are conducive to hold the exams.

Number of wedding guests cut further to 50 in Gujarat

The Gujarat government has further reduced the cap on the number of guests permitted at weddings to 50 from April 14. The decision came following suggestions from the Gujarat high court. There will now of course be further cancellations and postponements of weddings and this will once again hit the revenues of the struggling hospitality industry, but everyone realises that this is unavoidable under the circumstances. Most weddings in April have been shifted to later dates or have been cancelled. Now even May bookings are unsure. (13-04-2021)

Pune based insurance startup has a different way of serving clients

Companies that are in the business of health insurance do not usually do the things that Pune based startup Loop Health is engaged in. A newspaper reports that the startup is disrupting the way companies insure the health of employees:

  • Loop Health is a health insurance brokerage that also has a set of doctors, a dedicated 24x7 health advisor, and a health app.
  • During the pandemic, it tried to get medical care for people or answer callers who had anxieties.
  • It also organised mass vaccination programmes.
  • It not only sells group health insurance to companies but is also a medical service provider.
  • Loop’s medical advisors guide patients to avoid unnecessary surgeries. The medical advisor is a doctor who can build a relationship and who is their central point for help.
The rationale: As the cost of care goes up insurance companies decide to invest in prevention and primary care. The idea is to let the client have access to doctors at all times. As the doctors keep the client healthy and out of the emergency room, it also avoids high-cost claims and procedures. It seems that an insurance company in the USA, who has a chain of hospitals, even pays for groceries for low-income people so that they can eat fruit and vegetables; the company’s data shows that this will reduce claims later on. (13-04-2021)

Review of on-board meal services in domestic airline flights

Amid the rising number of Covid cases, the Centre has barred meals on flights with less than two-hour duration. For longer flights, the serving of inflight meals will be staggered among adjacent seats as far as possible. An office memorandum by the Ministry of Civil Aviation says that “Crew shall wear a fresh set of gloves for each meal/beverage service. The ministry said it has decided to review the on-board meal services in domestic flights in view of the increasing threat of Covid-19. (13-04-2021)

Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad closed again for visitors

It was only in early January that the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad had begun to allow visitors in small numbers, but following the recent spurt in Covid cases the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust has again decided to ban the entry of tourists till further notice. The prime minister had visited the Sabarmati Ashram in March to flag off a symbolic Dandi March as part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ initiative. (13-04-2021)

Police detain two persons for blackmarketing Remdesivir injections

The Prevention of Crime Branch (PCB) detained two persons including a doctor because they were suspected to be blackmarketing the drug Remdesivir. The doctor was allegedly selling the Remdesivir injection for Rs .7,500, much more than its price. A decoy was used to trap the culprits, who once worked at a private hospital. It seems that they managed to get the injection by manipulating the prescriptions given to patients by doctors. (12-04-2021)

Gujarat’s colleges directed to remain shut till April 30

Colleges in Gujarat have now been directed to remain shut till April 30 due to the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the state. All government and private colleges have been told to impart education through the online mode instead of calling students to the campus. Schools for Classes I to IX had already been ordered to remain shut. Shut down when the lockdown was imposed last year, the state’s schools and colleges had been reopened in January and February 2021 in a phased manner. (12-04-2021)

Wastewater can give some indication of pandemic spread

Researchers at IIT Gandhinagar and Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) have done a study which suggests that the viral load in wastewater can give some indication of pandemic spread and its trend. They recently analysed wastewater in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Gandhinagar. Their study said that Ahmedabad, with the highest number of Covid-19 cases in Gujarat, had the second largest RNA copies at 2,968 per 1 lakh litre of wastewater (based on the analysis of nine wastewater plants). Vadodara had the highest concentration at 3,078. Gandhinagar had 354 RNA copies per 1 lakh litre of water. The S and ORF genes were the highest in Vadodara, whereas the N gene was more prominent in Ahmedabad. Incidentally, the samples were collected in the first week of November 2020. . (12-04-2021)

Tulja Mataji Mandir will remain closed during Chaitra Navratri

The Tulja Mataji Mandir in Ranu village of Padra taluka will remain closed between April 13 and April 21 during the Chaitra Navratri. The decision has been taken by the temple management due to the current pandemic. The temple – located in Ranu village, 28 km from Vadodara –  is over 700 years old and usually has thousands of visitors every year during the Chaitra Navratri. (12-04-2021)

Padra police ‘interrupt’ wedding with 400 guests

The Padra police rightly interrupted a wedding celebration where about 400 persons had gathered and a dance and music event had been organised, violating all the Covid guidelines. The gathering was in violation of the notification prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 persons. The police registered an offence against the person who had organised the event for his daughter’s wedding. Believe it or not, the accused actually said that he was not aware of the restrictions. An offence was registered against him under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Disaster Management Act. (11-04-2021)

Amul opens its highest altitude branch at Leh

Amul has now opened a branch in Leh, near the Indo-China border. Amul’s 70th and highest altitude branch so far, this outlet will meet the demand in remote areas even when the road is closed in winter. Officials of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) – the organisation that markets the Amul brand – said that the Leh branch is fully equipped with ambient, cool and frozen warehousing and logistics infrastructure. Amul already has a branch at Srinagar, but the road from there to Leh remains closed for nearly six months. The Leh-Ladakh region is a good market for Amul products, butter being amongst the top-selling. (11-04-2021)

Many temples closed temporarily due to the pandemic

Many temple trusts have decided to close their premises till normalcy returns as far as the pandemic situation is concerned. The Somnath temple will remain closed for visitors from April 11 for an indefinite period; devotees can participate in ‘darshan’ using online platforms, including the official website of the temple trust. All temples of the Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) will remain closed in Ahmedabad. Akshardham temple at Gandhinagar has also been closed. Many BAPS Swaminarayan temples will remain closed till April 30. (11-04-2021)

Gujarat State Election Commission postpones Gandhinagar civic elections

The Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to postpone the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation elections which were scheduled to be held on April 18. The elections have been postponed for an indefinite period following requests made by political parties as well as several social groups. This decision has been spurred by the pandemic, in order to maintain public health and ensure that voting is done in a free and fair environment. The elections have been postponed till further orders. (11-04-2021)

Vali Mandal requests government to postpone board exams

The All Gujarat Vali Mandal has asked the Gujarat government to postpone board examinations this year due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases. The suggestion is that the exams should be postponed from May to June. The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) had announced that the class X and class XII board exams will be held from May10 to May25. Last year, over 17.5 lakh students had appeared in the board exams. The association has also requested the chief minister to consider mass promotions for students in lower classes. (10-04-2021)

Thrissur consumer forum asks railways to compensate for train delay

The district consumer dispute redressal commission at Thrissur has asked the railways to compensate three passengers for a six-hour delay that had upset their travel plans. They had booked tickets to travel, they reached the station ahead of the scheduled time, the train was late, but the railway authorities could not specify what time the train would finally arrive. Even after waiting for hours there was no specific information from the station authorities about the arrival of the train, forcing the complainants to explore alternative ways to travel. The railway officials submitted that the late running of the train was due to ‘unavoidable operational reasons’. However, the commission said that there was no evidence to establish that the late running was due to a genuine reason beyond their control. So it had no other alternative but to fix the blame on the railways alone. It directed the railways to pay Rs. 5,000 each to the complainants as compensation. (10-04-2021)

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