Baroda News

State must act against illegal extraction of groundwater

The Gujarat high court has directed the state government to frame appropriate guidelines for local authorities to regulate groundwater extraction and supply of drinking water. The court observed that access to clean water is a fundamental right and the authorities have a duty to ensure equitable supply of water. The court was acting on a PIL complaining about indiscriminate groundwater extraction in an industrial area for commercial purposes by supplying water to industries in tankers. If the government frames regulations, it will help to control illegal and indiscriminate groundwater extraction and supply of drinking water. The court was against extraction of groundwater, which is the state’s property, for the purpose of commercial exploitation. The court said that the state authorities are under a constitutional obligation to maintain natural resources. (30-07-2021)

4.3% of Gujarat’s adult population is alcoholic

According to information tabled recently in the Rajya Sabha, 19.53 lakh persons in Gujarat – or 4.3% of the state’s population – are addicted to alcohol. This is based on figures collected during the National Drug Use Survey 2019 by AIIMS.

  • Gujarat’s figure is higher than Rajasthan's 2.3%, Bihar's 1% and Jammu & Kashmir’s 4%. The national average was 17.1%.
  • 1.46% of Gujarat’s population was addicted to opioids, 1.38% to sedatives, 0.8% to cannabis, and 0.08% to inhalants.
  • There were no users of cocaine, amphetamine and hallucinogens in Gujarat, according to the survey.
  • About 8% of the total population was addicted to either alcohol or drugs.
  • The survey did not include tobacco dependency.
  • Experts also mentioned a rise in consumption of cough syrups and inhalants for the economically weaker section.
According to most of the de-addiction centres and psychiatrists, the number in OPDs for drug and substance abuse has increased two-fold in 2020-21 compared to 2019-20. An expert opines that the number has doubled due to anxiety and stress during and after the lockdown. Even those who had shunned their habits again started consuming alcohol and drugs to ease the stress. The new patients increased primarily for alcohol. (30-07-2021)

Half of Gujarat’s eligible population has received the first vaccine dose

As of Thursday, Gujarat has administered over 3.26 crore Covid vaccine doses. State government officials say that Gujarat has now covered half of its vaccine-eligible population with the first dose.

  • Of the total 4.93 crore vaccine-eligible population, 2.48 crore first doses have been administered.
  • Over 77 lakh second doses have been administered, thus covering 15 per cent of the state’s vaccine-eligible population with complete inoculation.

CBSE will announce Class 12 result on July 30

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will release the class 12 result today at The CBSE 12th result will be declared at 2 pm. The board had adopted an alternative assessment scheme to finalise the result. Using CBSE roll number finder, students can get their roll numbers. CBSE roll number finder is available at The CBSE class 12 result will be hosted on multiple platforms so that students can check their results conveniently. Students can check the result at UMANG, DigiLocker, SMS Organiser and DigiResults.

VMC will help residential societies to build groundwater recharge facilities

The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has decided to encourage groundwater recharging projects of residential societies and complexes by providing 80% of the cost of percolation wells. The remaining 20% of the cost will be borne by the societies. A proposal along these lines has been placed before the standing committee. If funds from any NGO or corporate social responsibility project are used, these will be deducted from VMC's share. The societies will have to provide documents such as maps, building permission and completion certificates, etc., to seek funds. VMC engineers at the ward level will verify the documents before clearing the work. (29-07-2021)

MS University's Faculty of Technology will seek NBA accreditation

MS University’s Faculty of Technology and Engineering (FTE) has decided to get accreditation for its programmes from the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). Though this is not a mandatory requirement, many private colleges and universities, including grant-in-aid engineering colleges, have got their programmes accredited from NBA. To start with, FTE will seek NBA accreditation for BE (Mechanical), BE (Civil) and BE (Computer) programmes. The ME programmes can be accredited only after the BE programmes receive accreditation. NBA was established by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to carry out periodic evaluations of technical institutions and programmes based on standards recommended by the AICTE council. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accreditates the university as a whole. NBA accreditates programmes and not departments that offer the programmes. (29-07-2021)

More animals for Kevadia Zoo in exchange for 40 lions from Gujarat

Gujarat will give 40 lions from the Sakkarbaug Zoo (Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden) at Junagadh in exchange for various animals from zoos across the country. Lions are valued highly in the animal exchange system, so Gujarat will get several animals in exchange for each lion.

  • The Sakkarbaug Zoo will transfer lions that are subadults or below three years of age.
  • All the animals acquired in this exchange will be housed at the Kevadia Zoo.
  • The Delhi Zoo will get one lion and two lionesses from the Sakkarbaug Zoo for breeding under the animal exchange programme. The Central Zoo Authority has approved this. Sakkarbaug is also the breeding centre for the Asiatic lions. The Delhi Zoo will give five brow-antlered deer and two hippopotamuses for the Kevadia Zoo.
  • Talks are on to acquire gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) from a southern state or from Rajasthan. The zoos of Chennai, Hyderabad, Assam and Bhopal are in talks with Gujarat to barter their animals for lions.
  • The Kevadia Zoo will get a pair of sloth bear from the Sakkarbaug Zoo.
  • Of the 115 lions held in captivity at various zoos and wildlife parks in Gujarat, 85 are the Sakkarbaug Zoo alone.
The Sakkarbaug Zoo was opened in 1863. (29-07-2021)

Antimicrobial coating for Maharashtra’s state transport buses

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) will apply a coating of antimicrobial chemicals on its fleet of 1,500 buses in order to prevent the spread of bacterial infections among passengers. During the process of antimicrobial coating a chemical agent is applied on surfaces to prevent the growth of disease-causing microbes. The coating also helps to maintain hygiene in buses. About 1,500 MSRTC buses in Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar and Ratnagiri will be coated with the chemical. The coating will be applied twice a year. The buses are already being sanitised with disinfectants regularly, and this will continue even after the coating is applied. (29-07-2021)

Second dose of Covid vaccine can be taken on August 1 also

The Gujarat government has announced that the Covd-19 vaccination drive will remain open on August 1 (Sunday) also for second dose takers. (29-07-2021)

Night curfew timings have been relaxed in 8 Gujarat cities from July 31

The Gujarat government has announced that the night curfew timings in eight cities have been relaxed by an hour.

  • The night curfew in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Junagadh will be from 11 pm to 6  am from July 31.
  • Restaurants and eateries in these eight cities can function till 10 pm from July 31.
  • Food home delivery services are allowed to function till midnight.
  • The maximum limit for attendees at public functions in open spaces that was earlier 200 has been increased to 400 from July 31.
  • For functions in closed halls and auditoriums, a maximum of 400 can be seated with 50 per cent of seating capacity.
  • For the Ganesha Utsav permission will be given for a maximum four-feet idols.

RT-PCR testing rates at private laboratories fixed at Rs 400

The Gujarat government has reduced the Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test price in private facilities.

  • When the sample is collected at the laboratory, it will cost Rs. 400 against the earlier rate of Rs 700.
  • When the sample is collected by the laboratory at a hospital or residence it will cost Rs. 550 instead of the earlier rate of Rs. 900.
  • At airports, the urgent test price will be Rs. 2,700 instead of the earlier Rs. 4,000.
  • All tests are free at government facilities.
  • The HRCT test price at private facilities has been fixed at Rs. 2,500 instead of earlier Rs. 3,000.

Discussions are ongoing regarding the reopening of primary classes

The Gujarat government may permit classroom teaching for Classes 6 to 8 in the near future, perhaps in August. Classes 1 to 7 may follow some time after that. However, the final decision depends on the Covid situation. The government is monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis, and the advice of health experts will eventually influence the decision. Classroom teaching for Classes 9 to 12 had been allowed recently. (28-07-2021)

Vadodara's Khushi Purohit bags AIR 1 in NID Mains 2021

Vadodara's  Khushi Purohit has got the All India Rank (AIR) 1 in NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad) Mains 2021. Khushi is a student of city-based Navrachana School, Sama). A head girl of the school, she is an active participant in all school activities.The school's principal says that her creativity and artistic talents were evident very early in school. She has also been involved in environmental causes and social work. (28-07-2021)

GSET can be conducted in geography and philosophy subjects also

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has given permission to conduct the Gujarat State Eligibility Test (GSET) in geography and philosophy subjects. In 2019, social work and earth sciences were introduced as additional subjects, and geography and philosophy were dropped from the list of subjects. GSET will now be taken in a total of 25 subjects. GSET decides the eligibility for the post of assistant professor in state universities and colleges. MS University (MSU) is the state nodal agency for conducting Gujarat SET. GSET 2021 will be held on December 26. (28-07-2021)

MSU students get the highest number of ‘Shodh’ scholarships

The Gujarat government’s education department has a fellowship scheme – Shodh – to increase research orientation amongst students and to develop high quality research. This time MS University (MSU) students won the highest number of scholarships.

  • 993 scholarships have been sanctioned at the state level.
  • Of the 145 applications submitted by PhD research scholars at MSU, 132 were considered for financial assistance.
  • The MSU faculty-wise figures are: Faculty of Science (68), Faculty of Arts (23), Faculty of Technology and Engineering (17), Faculty of Family and Community Sciences (9), Faculty of Education and Psychology (7), Faculty of Pharmacy (3), Faculty of Social Work (3), Faculty of Performing Arts (2).
  • Each student will receive Rs. 15,000 per month for two years for a full-time PhD programme, and an additional Rs. 20,000 as a contingency grant per year. Each student will thus receive Rs. 4 lakh at the end of two years of the fellowship.

Devotee footfalls are increasing at temples in Gujarat

Footfalls have been increasing at temples as Covid related restrictions are relaxed. One measure of the increasing number of devotee visitors is the amount of collections in the temples’ donation boxes – at the Somnath temple, Dwarkadhish temple, Ambaji temple, Ranchhodrai temple in Dakor. At the Ambaji temple donations have crossed pre-Covid levels; average donations have touched Rs. 40 lakh per week, compared to Rs. 30 lakh earlier. At the Shri Arasuri Ambaji Mata Devasthan Trust, the average monthly donation has gone up to Rs. 2 crore (including online donations), compared to Rs. 1.5 crore earlier. The average monthly donation at Somnath Temple has also picked up. (27-07-2021)

Museum planned to honour poet Jhaverchand Meghani

The Gujarat government plans to build a museum to mark the 125th birth anniversary of poet, social reformer and writer Jhaverchand Meghani. It will be built at Chotila in Surendranagar district, the place where the writer was born on August 28, 1896. The museum. Jhaverchand Meghani was conferred the title of Rashtriya Shayar (national poet) by Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial will come up on five acres at may cost Rs. 5 crore. (27-07-2021)

Bus services resume between Maharashtra and Gujarat

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has resumed bus services to various destinations in Gujarat at 100% capacity. The services had earlier been stopped in March when the Covid cases were rising in both states. As the travel restrictions have been relaxed, the number of people travelling between the two states has also increased. Private bus operators have also resumed their services between Maharashtra and Gujarat. Though the buses operate with 100 per cent capacity, passengers and staff must still follow all Covid related protocols. Passengers without masks or showing symptoms are not allowed to travel. (26-07-2021)

Light to heavy rain in different parts of Gujarat

Gujarat saw a spell of rain on Sunday, light to moderate in most areas and heavy enough to cause waterlogging in a few areas. The IMD says that the state is likely to experience an active wet spell till Tuesday morning, and fishermen have been warned to not venture into the sea off north and south Gujarat till July 29. In Vadodara, the rain was not heavy, but the areas usually prone to waterlogging were indeed waterlogged. By and large, Gujarat continues to be rain deficient so far; only two out of 33 districts have received normal rainfall. The state has this season received 195.3 mm rainfall, against the normal of 319.2 mm. (26-07-2021)

Four MSU students excel at national classical dance event

According to assistant professor Dr. Divya Patel of the Department of Dance at MS University’s Faculty of Performing Arts, four girl students from the city have won special category prize in the national level dance style competition organized by the Centre for Indian Classical Dances (CICD). The students – Neelima Ahirwal, Akanksha Gathe, Devanshi Bhatt and Vaishnavi Sonawane – had participated in the theme of ‘Unsung heroes of India’. They had performed Bharat Natyam on the song ‘Raj mane lagyo kasumbi no Rang’ written by national poet Jhaverchand Meghani. The dance was choreographed by Dr. Patel. The competition – ‘Dance of India @75’ – was a virtual classical dance event organized by CICD. The super jury consisted of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Dr Padma Subramanian, Dr Vinay Sahastrabuddhe, Manoj Joshi and Papon. Incidentally, CICD was founded by Dr. Sonal Mansingh (Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr. Sonal Mansingh in 1977). (26-07-2021)

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