Baroda Archive News
Lockdowns affected informal sector women workers
A recent study – 'Building Resilience and Strengthening our Solidarity' – covered the effect of the second wave of the pandemic on 15 women's collective social enterprises in six states across five sectors -- agriculture, handicrafts, services, manufacturing and finance. Among 15, seven co-operatives from all five sectors were covered from Gujarat. Other states were Bihar, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. The study was done by the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Cooperative Federation along with SEWA Bharat.
- Over 60% of women workers in the informal sector lost their livelihood and there was a 65% reduction in their income.
- The pandemic has disproportionately affected informal women workers, uprooting lives and livelihoods.
- For women in the informal sector, it has been a triple crisis: of health, livelihood and care. Due to a long lockdown, coupled with restrictions, these workers lost their work and income.
- Services sector followed by agriculture were the most hit during the months of the second lockdown.
- In addition to income and employment loss, the report also highlights lack of access to health resources – medicines, tests, hospital beds, doctors.
Natural or artificial water bodies should not be disturbed in state
There is an interesting PIL before the Gujarat high court and the state authorities have been restrained from disturbing or changing the use of any natural or artificial ponds, check dams or other water bodies in the state. The PIL, filed by two NGOs, wants a survey of all water bodies including check dams and artificial water bodies in urban areas. The PIL cites the case of a man-made waterbody in Vadodara. Some other points made by the NGOs:
- The authorities should publish a list of water bodies in the official gazette with details such as depth and location and should maintain and preserve them.
- There is no legal protection provided to check dams and water bodies on private land.
- The TP authorities do not notify water bodies created for rainwater harvesting.
- Gujarat has just 2% of the country’s water resources with 5% of the country’s population.
- Total water availability in Gujarat is 50 billion cubic metres (BCM) with 38 BCM of surface water and 12 BCM of groundwater.
- When there is heavy reliance on man-made water bodies, emphasis must be put on protecting them.
- There are various schemes due to which many check dams and lakes have been created in the last few years, which now need to be preserved.
No clear formula governs fees for medical services
There is no clear and transparent formula which determines the fees charged by doctors and the fees for medical services These charges often vary from hospital to hospital. A consumer commission has therefore asked insurance companies how they define ‘reasonable and customary charges’ for deductions from medical insurance claims. The Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in Ahmedabad city then ordered insurance companies to pay Rs. 40,000 to claimants who paid medical bills of Rs. 93,900; the insurers had paid them Rs. 53,900 and deducted the rest citing the terms and conditions of the policy to quantify the amount. The commission termed the deductions a deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. It said that charges for anaesthesia, surgery and OT are variable and depend on infrastructure at hospitals, skill, seniority and expertise of doctors and they cannot be compared with other hospitals in the surroundings. (16-12-2021)
Constructions without building-use permission demolished
Following the high court’s order, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) begun a sealing drive in May and sealed 2,516 buildings,which were mainly commercial complexes, that did not have valid BU permission. Some examples:
- AMC carried out demolition of three properties and the sealing of nine buildings that did not have BU permission.
- Thirty apartments in Classic Lakeview were sealed as the tower did not have BU permission.
- The AMC sealed 34 flats and demolished two illegal properties.
In November the high court had said the authorities should demolish a couple of buildings to set an example, as it is better to put people out of their houses rather than watch them be charred to death. The judges said prevention is better than cure. The next HC hearing is on December 23 and there are still buildings in Ahmedabad that have not applied for BU permission or to be regularized. (16-12-2021)
Permission sought to open liquor shops in GIFT City
Two applications have been made to the concerned government authorities asking for permission to open liquor shops in Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City.
- GIFT City, the greenfield smart city, has India’s first financial services centre and a Special Economic Zone area spread over 29.5 per cent of Gandhinagar’s area of 886 acres.
- One request of some is that in GIFT City permission should be given to enable drinking in public, which is completely prohibited even for licence holders.
- Some people believe that liberalising the prohibition policy may attract more businesses into GIFT City, especially from foreign locations.
- Local laws do not apply to SEZs, but permission of the prohibition and excise department is required to open liquor shops.
- Till now prohibition laws have not been relaxed, even in SEZs.
- Gujarat has over 30,000 active liquor permits, including the ones issued to NRIs and foreigners.
- Those coming to Gujarat from other states can get a liquor permit by showing a travel ticket and residence proof. This permit is valid for a week, and can be renewed.
- Even with permits, consumption of liquor in public places is not allowed.
- The government also issues spot and group liquor permits for business delegations visiting the state.
Following talks with the government, doctors postpone strike
The doctors of six government-run medical colleges and eight Gujarat Medical & Education Research Society (GMERS) have postponed their strike after assurances that their demands will be looked into. They have given the government time till December 26 to meet the demand, failing which they may go on strike, according to the Gujarat Government Doctors Forum (GGDF). (15-12-2021)
More phones than mattresses in Gujarati households
Take a look at what the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 says about the number of households in Gujarat with mobile phones.
- 92 out of every 100 households possess cell phones – higher than basic household items like mattresses, TVs, chairs and clocks.
- The number of households with mobile phones was 97% in urban areas and 89% in rural areas.
- Only 86% households had mattresses, 80% owned pressure cookers, 84% had chairs and 73% had tv sets.
- Ownership of mobile phones is about the same as Andhra Pradesh (91%) and a bit lower than Maharashtra and Karnataka (93%).
- Most women use basic phones for communication.
- Kerala (97%) had one of the highest per household mobile phones.
- Demand has increased because almost all government schemes need a phone for OTP.
- 49% of the women said that they have a phone for their personal use.
- Younger women have higher access to the internet with smartphones.
Recording wife’s phone conversation without her knowledge is privacy breach
The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently observed that recording the wife’s telephonic conversation without her knowledge is infringement of her privacy. It maintained that “conversations between husband and wife in daily routine cannot be made the basis of or considered” for deciding a petition under Section 13 of the Family Court Act. “Furthermore, it cannot be said or ascertained as to the circumstances in which the conversations were held or the manner in which response elicited by a person, who was recording the conversations, because it is evident that these conversations would necessarily have been recorded surreptitiously by one of the parties.” A justice said that it is rightly observed that couples speak many things with each other, unaware that every word would be weighed in a court of law. Moreover, the court would be ill-equipped to assess the circumstances in which a particular response may have been elicited from a spouse at a given point of time. The high court set aside the family court order. (15-12-2021)
Online event organised by Pune based ‘Freedom from Diabetes’
Pune based Freedom from Diabetes (FFD) is an organisation which has specialised in diabetes reversal.
- Its annual event ‘Muktotsav 2021’ (December 16 to 19) will celebrate individuals who have successfully reversed diabetes among other lifestyle-related disorders through FFD’s unique programme.
- The four-day event aims to inspire others who hope to free themselves from diabetes.
- Participants can attend it online at the website drpramodtripathi.com/muktostav-2021/.
- The objective is to raise awareness amongst those who may be undiagnosed as well as those who want to free themselves from diabetes.
Over the last seven years, FFD has helped over 11,000 individuals reverse their diabetes.
There should be complete disclosure of all ingredients of food items
The Delhi High Court said that it is mandatory for food business operators to make a full and complete disclosure of all the ingredients that go into the making of any food item.
- The failure to comply with the requirements will expose the operators to class action for violation of the fundamental rights of the consuming public and invite punitive damages, apart from prosecution.
- Everyone has a right to know what they are consuming.
- The disclosure should not only be by their code names but also by disclosing as to whether they originate from plant or animal source, or whether they are manufactured in a laboratory, irrespective of their percentage in the food article.
- It should also be disclosed as to what is the plant source or animal source – in whatever measure they are used.
- Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (the Delhi High Court has said that it is mandatory for all food business operators to make a “full and complete disclosure” of all the ingredients that go into the making of any food item.) should verify all such claims made by the Food Business Operators.
- It matters not as to what is the percentage of ingredients which are sourced from animals. Even though their usage may constitute a miniscule percentage, the use of non-vegetarian ingredients would render such food articles non-vegetarian.
US based Patagonia buys 30,000 metres of khadi denim fabric from Gujarat
After an agreement between Arvind Mills in Ahmedabad and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to trade Khadi denim products all over the world, the US based fashion brand Patagonia has bought about 30,000 metres of khadi denim fabric worth over Rs. 1 crore from Gujarat for its apparels. Arvind Mills purchases from KVIC-certified khadi institutions of Gujarat. This initiative of KVIC creates extra work and benefits for the khadi artisans. Khadi denim is being increasingly used by leading fashion brands owing to its superior quality, comfort, and organic and eco-friendly qualities. (13-12-2021)
Sarhad Dairy plans to sell Kutch’s salt under the Amul brand
The Sarhad Dairy is planning to put to good use the salt pans of the Rann of Kutch. It is considering the possibility of selling Kutch’s salt along with milk, under the brand name of Amul. The dairy union, a member of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), wants to form salt cooperative societies on the lines of village level milk societies. Sarkad Dairy will study this idea further. If it works out, it may help agariyas (salt pan workers) earn more. Gujarat produces over 2 crore tonnes of salt per annum. (13-12-2021)
High dropout rate from schools in Gujarat, more so for girls
Here are some more findings from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5 conducted during 2019-21:
- 55% girls and 41% boys do not reach class 12 in Gujarat.
- Even among boys, out of every 100 students, only 59 reached class XII.
- The drop was steeper for girls at 55.1% compared to 41.2% for boys.
- Though disappointing, the picture has improved compared to NFHS-3 conducted in 2005-06.
- Compared to 57% boys and 44% girls attending higher secondary school in 2019-21, nearly 15 years ago only 36% boys and 28% girls were able to do this.
- 82% of the children in the 6-17 years group attended school – 87% in urban areas and 79% in rural areas. Attendance was 71% in 2005-06.
- The lower classes do not have high dropouts as fewer students fail. The major shift is seen in class X where results are around 65-70%.
- The failed students are less likely to continue studying.
- For girls, distance between school and home is a major factor.
- Water availability and sanitation is also a major factor. If schools do not have separate toilets, girls are less likely to attend.
- With onset of menstruation in higher classes, water availability is another issue.
- Numbers are improving due to the midday meal scheme and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.
Government doctors in Gujarat may go on strike from December
About 10,000 government doctors in Gujarat will go on an indefinite strike from December 13 to protest a withdrawn government resolution which had addressed several issues facing the doctors – promotion, non-practising allowance, pension, etc.
- Doctors of government hospitals, government medical colleges, Gujarat Medical Education Research Society doctors and dental teachers of government medical colleges are due to participate in the strike.
- They will withdraw from all duties except for Covid-19 duty and emergency duty, for the first two days of the strike.
- If the demands are still not met after the first two days, the doctors may withdraw from emergency duties as well.
Mihir Bhatt will be on the board of World Humanitarian Forum
Mr. Mihir R Bhatt – Director of All India Disaster Mitigation Institute – has been invited to be on the Board of the World Humanitarian Forum (WHF). Mr. Bhatt heads the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute at Ahmedabad. The institute has worked in India and nine other countries on accountability to affected population, cascading risks, and co-location of hazards in desert, delta, metro city, and high altitude communities. Its recent global report on adapting humanitarian action to the effects of climate change has attracted international attention from UN bodies engaged in humanitarian crises worldwide. Established after the 1987–89 Gujarat droughts, it is a registered public charitable trust. WHF is the largest and inclusive non-partisan forum in humanitarian aid and international development guiding the actions and thinking around humanitarian crisis. (12-12-2021)
Curfew will continue till December 20 in 8 cities
The government has notified that the night curfew in the eight major cities of the state will continue till December 20. It will be in force from 1 am to 5 am in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Junagadh. All other guidelines related to Covid-19 will remain the same. (12-12-2021)
Gandhinagar Institute will train Sainik School teachers
The Indian Institute of Teacher Education (IITE) in Gandhinagar and the ministry of defence (MoD) have signed a MoU to facilitate the training of teachers at Sainik Schools. It is for five years effective from January 2022, and 800 teachers from all Sainik Schools will be trained through courses named 'Gurudiksha' and 'Pratibaddhta'. The agreement was signed in New Delhi on Friday. (12-12-2021)
Panic buttons and GPS will be mandatory in Gujarat
The Gujarat government will make it compulsory for public transport vehicles to have panic buttons and global positioning system (GPS) trackers for passenger safety.
- These features will be mandatory for old and new taxis, buses and other public transport vehicles.
- The state transport department will order all regional transport offices (RTOs) to ensure this.
- From the off date, vehicle dealers will have to ensure delivery of vehicles only after installation of panic buttons and GPS tracking devices.
- The home department and transport department will develop a new centralised control centre to record the locations of vehicles in which the panic button has been hit.
- When the panic button is hit, the law enforcement personnel must reach the spot in ten minutes and, if the vehicle is moving, it will be tracked continuously and local police will be asked to locate it.
- When a passenger presses the panic button, both the transport department and police control rooms will be alerted for quick action.
Food delivery personnel often drive rashly
Worried about rash and negligent driving, a corporator in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asked the civic body to monitor food delivery personnel who are in a hurry to meet delivery targets. The suggestion was that the BMC’s no-objection certificate should be made mandatory for delivery partners of restaurant aggregators in the city. It seems that online food delivery services often set unrealistic delivery targets for executives, and to meet this the delivery boys ride rashly and violate traffic rules. Further, there should be separate rules for online food delivery services. Vadodara also faces the same problem. (11-12-2021)
Pune will celebrate Pedestrian Day today
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to celebrate Pedestrian Day on Saturday.
- The objective is to underline the importance that pedestrians must be accorded in the city.
- Citizens should use private vehicles less and rely more on public transport buses for long distance travel.
- The mayor will also launch a Pune Walking Happiness Index, a simple tool for gauging the satisfaction level of pedestrians in selected streets in the city.
Floral waste from temples recycled into useful products
Students at MS University's Botany Department have launched a project to recycle the floral waste from temples into organic colours, incense sticks and organic compost. Usually flowers from temples are discarded into local water bodies or rivers, thus causing pollution. Floral waste from temples in Vadodara is collected, dried and later used in powdered form to make value-added products. The students behind this startup are Himanshi Ramaiya, Shivani Bhatt and Anjali. Dr. Amee Taunk has co-mentored the project along with Dr. Bhavna Sharma under the mentorship of professor Susy Albert. They have been encouraged in their efforts by Gujarat government’s students’ startup and innovation policy (SSIP). SSIP has enabled a grant of Rs. 40,000. (10-12-2021)
Court not pleased about private office on defence land
A private sports organisation was operating out of the Delhi cantonment area. The Delhi High Court was not pleased with the Centre and the Army for permitting this. Among the comments:
- “Tomorrow every federation will start coming…… You will give somebody India Gate also?”
- “Whatever it is, it cannot be permitted. A private organisation holding its registered office on Army land? Unheard of.”
The case has been listed for hearing on December 16. The High Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the matter. (10-12-2021)
Untagged cattle should not be released after being impounded
The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) is considering a suggestion that cattle that are not RFID tagged and registered should not be released after being impounded. Currently, impounded cattle are released after collecting fines and other charges. Door-to-door tagging of cattle has begun to ensure all cattle in the city have RFID tags. Some owners have even sold off their tagged cattle and bought new animals to escape being identified. The VMC administration is waiting for approval from the standing committee for the proposal of not releasing untagged cattle. (09-12-2021)
Investment of Rs. 10,000 crore likely in Gujarat by DP World
The global supply chain solutions company, DP World, may invest Rs. 10,000 crore in developing logistics infrastructure in Gujarat. The company recently said, “We are very keen to expand our ports and cold chain networks, develop multi modal logistics hubs and free trade zones…We intend to partner with the state government for the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat summit and we hope to sign an MoU for phase-wise investments exceeding Rs. 10,000 crore towards development of logistics infrastructure in the state.” DP World operates a container terminal and a container freight station at Mundra, two private freight stations in Hazira and Ahmedabad, rail services from Mundra Hazira and Pipavav ports, cold chain facility at Surat and express trucking service across through four cargo hubs of Vapi, Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad. (09-12-2021)
Anil Mukim is the new GERC chairperson
The Gujarat government has appointed Anil Mukim as the new chairperson of Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC). Mr. Mukim is a 1985-batch IAS officer who retired as the chief secretary of Gujarat government. The post of chairperson had fallen vacant in April 2021 after the term of the former head Anand Kumar ended. (09-12-2021)
Suggestion made to relax prohibition rules at GIFT City
There is a suggestion from some people that the authorities should relax prohibition rules at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), Gandhinagar, to encourage national and international fintech firms to have offices at the venue and attract talent to shift to the state capital. The reasoning behind the suggestion:
- The social life in GIFT City should be on a par with that enjoyed by professionals in other finance and technology hubs in India and abroad.
- This may make GIFT City’s first international financial services centre more attractive for professionals.
- The relaxation in rules may help in the run-up to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January 2022.
Under the current laws, the state allows liquor permits only to tourists and business travellers from outside Gujarat and India. The exemption in rules may create an international experience as well as attract talent from competing centres abroad. (08-12-2021)
Police nab man who allowed his cattle to stray on city roads
A cattle owner in the city has been booked and detained under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA) for allowing his cattle to stray on the roads. He used to let his cattle free on the roads and often got into brawls with people, and it was creating a dangerous situation for people on the road. The police have warned other cattle owners to not let livestock wander on the streets. Stray cattle often cause accidents. The city mayor Mr. Keyur Rokadia has said that such incidents will not be taken lightly. All municipal corporations Gujarat have started working on the issue of stray cattle. (08-12-2021)
Cleaning the river should have more priority than the Sabarmati Riverfront project
The Gujarat high court has suggested to the authorities that they should give priority to the cleaning of the Sabarmati river rather than to activities like the second phase of the Sabarmati Riverfront project. The court was worried about the contaminated condition the Sabarmati river’s water, which is also used for irrigation downstream. This polluted water contains poisonous elements like lead and mercury. The court said that cleaning the river is in the larger interest of the people. If crores of rupees are to be spent on the new project, then some amount should be earmarked for the repair or overhauling of sewage treatment plants. (07-12-2021)
Medical teachers in Gujarat will be on strike from December 13
At six government-run medical colleges and eight Gujarat Medical & Education Research Society (GMERS) colleges, doctors will go on an indefinite strike from December 13. Their strike is to protest the reduction in salaries and for other pending demands. The professors and lecturers are represented by the Gujarat Medical Teachers Association (GMTA). The demands include higher non-practising allowance in line with the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations. (07-12-2021)
Rajkot civil hospital now has a crib for unwanted newborn children
The KT Children’s Hospital – a part of the Rajkot civil hospital – now has a cradle for those who want to give a baby for adoption anonymously. This has been done by the Rajkot district administration. The intention is that the safety of a newborn child is taken care of when the child (in many cases) has been abandoned in the open making the baby easy prey for stray animals. The child put in the cradle will be handed over to the district child security unit. The initiative has been taken by the district administration, social security department and the Gujarat State Child Protection Society. (06-12-2021)
Several government schemes exist for persons with disabilities
Did you know that persons with disabilities can benefit from various government schemes if they have the mandatory Unique Disability ID (UDID) cards?
- There are about 12 lakh persons with disabilities in Gujarat, but only 2.47 lakh persons have the UDID cards.
- It is often not easy for persons with disabilities to get doctor certificates, as their mobility is severely hampered because of disability.
- The criterion to avail of schemes meant for disabled persons is that he or she has 40% or more disability.
- The government spends a lot of money on schemes for disabled persons, and the right persons should be informed accordingly.
Construction of 2 units begins at Dholera Special Investment Region
Five firms have been allotted land in the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR) and two have already started constructing their units.
- ReNew Power has 100 acres of land for a 2000 MW solar module manufacturing plant.
- Chiripal Group has 90 acres for a unit producing aluminium foil and PET Resin.
- The other three units which have been allotted land are Tata Chemicals Ltd (10 GwH Li-ion battery manufacturing plant on 126 acres, Hindustan Petroleum for petrol stations and Electric Vehicles charging stations on three acres, and Torrent Power for a power distribution network on 6 acres.
- Infrastructure worth Rs. 3,000 crore has been created in 22.5 square kilometers of activation area in the first phase..
- The SIR is spread over 920 square kilometers.
The work of building a six lane expressway connecting Ahmedabad to Dholera will be completed in 18 months. (05-12-2021)
Vadodara has the highest coverage among cities for the second vaccine dose
Vadodara city has the highest coverage of second vaccinations compared to the large cities in the state.
- Over 85% of the persons who took the first dose of the have also taken the second dose.
- The city had recently reached the 100% vaccination mark.
- Against a target of 15,09,801 persons, 15,24,306 persons have been vaccinated.
The drive continues to ensure that all persons take the second. (05-12-2021)
Amul Dairy launches effort to reduce male progeny in cattle
Amul Dairy is making efforts to reduce unwanted male progeny in the state’s cattle population. KDCMPUL (Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd.) has started a mobile semen sorting laboratory to help farmers get sex-sorted semen for artificial insemination of cows and buffaloes at subsidised rates. The technology gives a 90% chance of a female calf being delivered. Amul Dairy will use ST Genetics India for this segregation process. This is the first time in the world that a mobile sorting laboratory will be used for this purpose. The lab was set up for Rs. 25 crore. Farmers will get semen of high-genetic bulls that can be used for artificial insemination to produce only female calves. The dairy will use ova of high-genetic females developed using embryo transplant. The goal is to double milk production. A farmer with 10 animals procuring 100 litres of milk will be able to procure 150 litres with 5 five animals. (05-12-2021)
Candidate declared unfit for ITBP post due to a tattoo
The Delhi High Court has upheld the decision of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to declare a candidate unfit for a post due to a tattoo on his right arm. He had been declared unfit during the medical examination. The tattoo is visible while saluting. The candidate had argued that the tattoo mark is his own name and does not cause any prejudice to anyone and no government guidelines prohibit a tattoo as a medical disqualification. However, the advertisement on the basis of which he had applied contained this particular disqualification. (04-12-2021)
University College Birmingham and Gujarat government to collaborate
The Gujarat government and the University College Birmingham (UCB) has signed an agreement to explore progression opportunities that will help meet India’s skills development goals. UCB will be a consultant in skills development for Gujarat’s vocational colleges and universities in many subject areas and promote co-operation in teaching and research. There will be significant industry involvement and standards, curriculum and quality assurance will be improved. (04-12-2021)
Capitalism must be, and can be, responsible
The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) will start the Arun Duggal Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Centre for Research and Innovation.
- It will contribute to the development of the Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance ecosystem in India and help Indian enterprises and organisations integrate ESG into their core business and investments decisions.
- Companies and policy makers are increasingly recognising ESG to be an intrinsic part of their long-term development strategy.
- The centre will facilitate dialogue and cutting-edge research to improve the ESG performance of organisations and enterprises, while nurturing an ecosystem for stakeholder capitalism in India.
- It is developing a unique India-centric ESG rating data framework to better measure the ESG performance of Indian companies.
- It will offer core and doctoral level courses in corporate sustainability.
- ESG performance of companies has emerged as one of the most important factors in flow of capital from investors all around the world.
- The goal is to be a centre of excellence fostering sustainable and ethical organisations defining the future of responsible capitalism.
Investments of about Rs. 11,000 crore committed in GIFT City
Talking about Gujarat International Finance Tech-City (GIFT City) with a investors and fintech firms in Mumbai, the state government said investments of Rs. 11,000 crore have been committed by 140 firms in GIFT City.
- GIFT City in Gujarat houses the international bullion exchange, fintech firms, aircraft leasing and ship leasing business activities and international stock exchanges.
- GIFT City will be a preferred financial hubs in the world in the years to come.
- The average daily turnover on international exchanges within GIFT City have exceeded USD 4 billion.
- Six aircraft leasing firms have been given licences to operate from GIFT City; seven more have applied for licences.
- 30 Alternate Investment Funds (AIFs) have lined up to enter IFSC.
Narmada district’s impressive project for the destitute
Eight districts of Gujarat have been directed to emulate the ‘Nirdharano Aadhar’ project initiated by the District Collector of Narmada to give support to destitute beggars and rehabilitate them.
- The districts are Banaskantha, Gir Somnath, Devbhumi Dwarka, Kheda, Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Aravalli and Panchmahal.
- The Narmada district has seen 133 persons from 81 families who have been given more than 1,500 benefits and 53 beneficiaries who have been completely rehabilitated.
- The benefits of government schemes have been handed out to destitute persons: two meals through a central kitchen, kits of necessities of life, special identity card including QR code, health check-up and treatment, Covid vaccination, monthly haircut, a bath every week, income in the second phase after the first-phase operation like shaving arrangement and changing new clothes, etc.
- The district has sought the co-operation of social organisations in rehabilitating the helpless.
MoU between Gujarat University and University of Ladakh
The Indian Institute of Sustainability (IIS) of Gujarat University and the University of Ladakh (UoL) have signed an MoU to offer joint degree courses and joint research with transfer of credits. A Ladakh cultural centre will be set up on the Gujarat University campus by UoL. The courses to be offered: MBA, integrated MBA in tourism management and sustainability, agribusiness management and sustainability, executive courses related to spirituality and mental peace, skill development courses including solar power technology. The objective is also to promote co-operation in agriculture, sustainability, start-ups and innovation. (03-12-2021)
Nationalised banks in Gujarat may be closed on December 16 and 17
Employees and officers of nationalised banks in Gujarat have announced a strike and the banks may remain closed on December 16 and 17. They will protest the proposed privatisation of two public sector banks.
- At least 4,800 public sector bank branches will remain shut for two days.
- About 70,000 bank employees and officers will be on strike.
- Transactions worth about Rs. 20,000 crore can be impacted.
- NEFT and RTGS transactions can be made online, but the formalities from the banks will be done when banking operations resume.
Post of visiting teachers in Gujarat to overcome shortage
To overcome the shortage of teachers in Gujarat the post of visiting teachers (pravasi shikshak) has been sanctioned in government and grant-in-aid schools.
- Visiting teachers will fill the 15,000 posts in government primary schools and nearly 4,000 vacant posts in government and grant-in-aid schools in secondary and higher secondary schools.
- The visiting teachers will be able to conduct a maximum of six periods in a day with a maximum limit of Rs. 27,000 per month as remuneration.
- The services of an eligible person from the local community or even retired teachers can be availed to compensate for vacant seats.
- The additional number of students in schools due to mass promotion is about 3 lakh.
Common entrance test for admissions to central universities
The common university entrance test (CUET) envisaged in the National Education Policy 2020 will be organised by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the central universities have been asked to take appropriate measures by the University Grants Commission UGC). The CUET will be for students who seek admissions in the sciences, humanities, languages, arts, as well as vocational subjects in higher education institutions. The central universities will admit students based on a common entrance test from 2022-23. For admissions to PhD, the NET score will be used wherever feasible. State universities, private universities and deemed to be universities may also adopt the common entrance test for admissions. These tests would be conducted in 13 languages in which the NTA already conducts JEE and NEET examinations. The UGC has not yet announced the modalities of the proposed test and the dates.
Certificate course in mountaineering at Savitribai Phule Pune University
Admissions have begun for a three-month certificate course in mountaineering and allied sports offered by the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) and Guardian Giripremi Institute of Mountaineering.
- The 12-credit course, starting from January/February 2022, has 40 seats.
- It is open for anyone between 18 to 60 years who has passed Class 12 and can pass a basic fitness test.
- The course content includes technical skills and knowledge in the Sahyadri ranges, soft skills and life skills, management and administration, disaster management and emergency response, health science, and nutrition.
- The theory classes will be held on weekday evenings while the practical sessions would be for one week offline at Sinhagad and nearby forts around Pune.
- The subjects: basics of mountaineering, principles, weather conditions, skills like knots or packing, disaster management and specialised first-aid like treating snake or bee bites, managing frostbites and snow blindness, altitude sickness, etc.
- Admissions are open on a first-come-first served basis until December 15.
Night curfew in eight cities extended till December 10
The Gujarat government has extended the ongoing night curfew (1 am to 5 am) in eight cities from December 1 to December 10. The cities are Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Junagadh.
- All shops, financial institutions, shopping complexes, market yards, weekly markets, carts, salon and beauty parlours will be allowed to function till 12 am.
- Restaurants will be allowed to operate till 12 am with 75% of seating capacity, following all SOPs.
- Gyms with 75% capacity and cinema halls with 100% seating capacity will be allowed to function.
- Coaching centres with 50% seating capacity and libraries with 75% seating capacity can be open.
- Water parks and swimming pools with 75% capacity can function.
- Private and public buses with 100% capacity and state transport buses with 75% seating capacity will be allowed to function.
- In weddings, maximum 400 persons will be allowed to attend and in funerals maximum 100 persons.
- Weddings will not be allowed during night curfew hours.
- Similar SOP orders were also released for the rest of the state.
PM’s doctoral fellowship for MS University researcher Karan Joshi
Karan Joshi, a PhD student at MS University's Faculty of Pharmacy MS University has been selected for the Prime Minister’s doctoral fellowship. The researcher, working under the guidance of Dr. Prashant Murumkar, has bagged the fellowship for a project based on development of novel anti-Alzheimer’s agents along with developing alternative routes of synthesis of commercial drugs. The fellowship scheme for doctoral research is a public-private partnership between Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), an autonomous body under the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology and the Confederation of Indian Industry. It encourages young, talented, enthusiastic and result-oriented scholars to take up industry-relevant research. The full-time PhD scholars get a fellowship of around Rs. 70,000 a month contributed by the government and the partner industry. In all, 36 students from reputed institutes have received this fellowship. (30-11-2021)
Kedar Patel wins gold medal at national cycling meet
A 16-year-old boy – Kedar Patel, a Class 11 student at Ambe School, Manjalpur – has won a gold medal in the 26th National Road Cycling Championship held at Haryana. He won in the geared cycling category. He was selected for the nationals after he won a silver medal in the state championship organized by Gujarat Cycling Association. Riddhi Kadam and Vrushti Patel were also selected for the nationals after they won a silver medal in their respective categories. (30-11-2021)
Act very strictly against highrises without fire NOCs
The state and civic authorities have been ordered by the Gujarat high court to act immediately and strictly against highrises without valid building use permissions or proper fire-safety prevention systems. The authorities should demolish a few buildings to set an example: it is better to put people out of their houses than watching them charred to death. The court recommended drastic steps – including sealing of the upper floors. The GDCR empowers authorities to take action against unauthorised or unsafe buildings. (30-11-2021)
Ahmedabad now has a well-equipped full-service veterinary hospital
The recently BestBuds Pets Hospital in Ahmedabad offers ventilator support and an isolation ward for pets. It is a not-for-profit facility founded by Shaival Desai, a person who had lost his own pet due to the lack of adequate treatment for a relatively minor health problem. The hospital has all facilities to be able to treat pets. It can treat dogs, cats, birds, turtles, iguanas and many other animals and birds. It has ventilator support, two operation theatres, a digital x-ray machine, a lift and stretchers for injured pets that cannot walk, an isolation ward for pets infected with communicable diseases, It has facilities for chemotherapy. It can also treat stray dogs and guard and sniffer dogs of the CISF and BSF. (29-11-2021)
Baroda Bar Association polls to be held on December 17
Baroda Bar Association (BBA) elections of office-bearers and committee members will be held on December 17. Election commissioners of the lawyers’ body have issued a notification in this regard. Voting will be conducted at advocate house in Nyay Mandir campus, and counting will take place immediately after voting ends at 5 pm. The nomination forms will be available from December 2 and the last date for submission of nominations is December 9. (29-11-2021)