Baroda Archive News
Police will use drones to monitor festival gatherings
To monitor whether Covid-19 guidelines are being followed, the Vadodara police will use drones during the forthcoming Ganesh festivities. The drones will be deployed for all the ten days of the festival and the day of Ganesh immersions. Only a limited number of Ganesh pandals have been permitted. The drones will monitor the main roads as well as interior lanes of the city. The police have a high-resolution drone that can be operated automatically and move along a pre-programmed route. It gives a live feed. Several drones will be employed. Face masks are compulsory, and all Covid protocols will have to be followed. (06-09-2021)
You can contribute 60% towards a village-level project
The Vatan Prem Yojana scheme has been launched under which Gujaratis residing anywhere in India and abroad can contribute 60 per cent of the cost of a village-level project, and the remaining will be borne by the Gujarat government. Donors can send money online. The first meeting of the governing body, under the chairmanship of the chief minister, was held recently where works worth Rs. 1,000 crore were proposed to be completed by December 2022. The scheme will cover village-level projects like smart classes in schools, community halls, primary health centres, anganwadis, libraries, CCTV surveillance systems, water recycling systems, drainage works, sewage treatment systems, beautification of ponds, bus stands, solar energy powered street lights, mid-day meal kitchens, store rooms, vyayam shalas and kits, crematorium, lake beautification, drinking water tube wells, motors, etc. A plaque of the donor will be placed after the completion of the project. (05-09-2021)
Working hours of primary school teachers increased
A notification issued by the Gujarat state education department says that the daily working hours for primary school teachers have been increased by two hours to eight hours from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, they will work for five hours as at present. From 35 hours a week, the working hours have been increased to 45 hours. Teachers’ associations have opposed this decision. The decision affects 2 lakh teachers in the state. According to the 2009 RTE Act, primary teachers of Class 1 to Class 5 are supposed to work for 800 hours a year and teachers of Class 6 to 8 are to work for 1,000 hours per year. (05-09-2021)
Defence Expo will revive Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar hotels
Ahmedabad’s hotel industry is expecting to have booming business in March 2022 due to the Defence Expo from March 11 to 14. About 3,500 rooms will be needed in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. This is the first big event to take place in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar after the pandemic. Five-star hotels may be sold at much more than the current Average Daily Rate (ADR). During the previous editions of the expo in Goa and Lucknow, the ADR was about Rs. 30,000 per room per night. Room tariffs may be between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 40,000 per room per night. Defence manufacturers, ancillary company representatives, embassy delegates, foreign government representatives and Indian officials will be coming for the expo. (05-09-2021)
Supreme Court asks Gujarat government to frame parking policy
The Gujarat government has been asked by the Supreme Court to frame a parking policy in two weeks, making it binding on all municipal corporations to resolve parking and traffic problems. The apex court said, “It cannot be disputed that the traffic problem in the metropolitan cities in the state of Gujarat is a very serious issue because of non-availability of public parking and even sufficient parking spaces in the malls and other markets. The citizens are compelled to park on the road. There is no uniform policy and/or guidelines and/ or notifications issued by the state government.” The bench issued directions to the state government to come out with a parking policy. The state home department, urban planning department and transport secretary will have to file affidavits in this regard by September 14. (04-09-2021)
Do not use dairy terminology to sell non-dairy products
All marketing companies that use dairy terminology for selling non-dairy or plant-based products will be discouraged from doing so with effect from September 15 by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). This decision applies to products like ‘soya milk’, ‘almond milk’, ‘pistachio milk’, ‘walnut milk’, etc., in the virtual offerings of e-commerce firms. The firms will have to delist all such products from their platforms. A demand to this effect was made by the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India (NCDFI), the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) that markets brand Amul and other dairy co-operatives. The objective is to stop plant-based beverages and products from masquerading as milk and milk products. E-commerce operators have been asked to ensure that no such defaulting products are listed for sale on their online platforms. As per regulations, use of any dairy term for a product which is not milk, milk product or a composite milk product (eg plant based products/ beverages) is prohibited and any such action is in contravention of the regulations. (04-09-2021)
Bio-bricks developed at IIT-Hyderabad turn waste into wealth
India’s first building made of bio-bricks from agro-waste was recently inaugurated by the Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad (IIT-H). Developed as a solution to the air pollution caused by stubble burning, bio-bricks when mass-produced cost only about Rs. 2 to 3.
- To demonstrate the strength and versatility of the material, a prototype of a guard cabin was built on the IIT campus. The building is supported by a metal framework. The roof structure is made of bio-bricks over PVC sheets to reduce heat gain. The inside and outside of the wall is cement-plastered to protect the bio-bricks from rain.
- Burning of agro-waste after harvesting is a major cause of air pollution. Bio-brick technology counters the pollution caused by stubble burning.
- Bio-bricks are 10% of the weight for similar volume compared to burnt clay bricks and concrete blocks.
- Farmers can make this material at the site and thus reduce labour costs.
- The material exhibits excellent thermal insulation and fire-retardant properties. Used in roofing and wall panelling, it can reduce heat gain by 5 to 6 degrees.
- Not only does the agricultural waste become an income generator for farmers, it also gives them employment during their lean period.
- Compared to burnt clay bricks, Bio-bricks will cost about Rs. 2 to 3 when mass-produced.
- A perfect illustration of ‘Wealth from Waste’. IIT-H will propose to the Ministry of Agriculture that this can be widely adopted by the rural community.
- The researchers at IIT have secured a patent for the bio-brick material and its manufacturing technology.
Defence Expo 2022 will be hosted by Gujarat
India’s Defence Expo 2022 will be hosted by Gujarat from March 10 to 13, 2022. The state government has signed the MoU with the ministry of defence. The venue for the 4-day expo will be the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar for the seminars and the helipad exhibition centre for the displays. The defence ministers’ conclave may also be hosted in the state. (03-09-2021)
India has only 1.7 nurses per 1000 population
Nursing and midwifery organisations have come together to launch a campaign to highlight the role of nurses and midwives and reinforce their contribution to the health care system of the country – through education, service and leadership. The campaign is led by the All India Government Nurses Federation (AIGNF), an umbrella organization of nursing associations, Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Society of Midwives-India (SOMI), and Indian Nursing Council (INC).
- Almost 47 per cent of India’s health workforce consists of nurses and midwives.
- India has 1.7 nurses per 1,000 population, whereas the WHO recommended rate is 3 nurses per 1,000 population.
- Investment in nursing and midwifery will not only help achieve health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets but also contribute to education, gender and economic growth globally.
Schools have reopened for classes 6-8, but attendance is low
While schools reopened for classes 6 to 8 on September 2, the attendance was low – as per the records of 9,900 private schools and 33,800 government and grant-in-aid schools provided by the state education department.
- In government and grant-in-aid schools, average attendance in Class 6 was 35 per cent, and for classes 7 and 8 it was 33 per cent each.
- The attendance in private schools was 12 per cent for class 6, 7 and 8 each.
- Some private schools have decided to open in phases.
- Schools are facing difficulties in providing transport facility.
- Also, conducting both physical and online classes for students simultaneously is a challenge.
- According to the guidelines, only 50% of students are allowed to attend.
Schools reopen today for students of Classes 6 to 8
Gujarat’s schools will reopen today for students of Classes 6 to 8. Over 32 lakh students will start attending more than 30,000 government and private schools. Strict Covid protocols and guidelines – including the wearing of masks – have been prescribed by the government to protect children, teachers and other staff. Written consent is to be given by parents to the school authorities for sending their children to school. Attendance is not compulsory and online classes will continue. Teaching will be conducted at 50 per cent capacity. (02-09-2021)
Gujarat has 114 mobile subscribers per 100 population
The latest telecom subscriptions report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reveals that the number of mobile subscribers in Gujarat crossed the 7-crore mark in June 2021.
- There was a net addition of 2.78 lakh connections in June alone.
- The tele-density – number of mobile subscribers per 100 population – is 114, the sixth highest in India. This means that people are using multiple connections.
- In terms of tele-density, Gujarat lags behind Delhi (324), Himachal Pradesh (158), Punjab (140), Kerala (135) and Maharashtra (117).
- The increase in mobile subscriber numbers is mainly due to work from home and online classes.
Process begins to select MS University’s new vice-chancellor
The process has started to select the new vice-chancellor (VC) of MS University (MSU). For this a search panel has to be constituted to recommend the name of the new VC. The search panel will have three members: a nominee of the MSU syndicate, a nominee of the joint board of vice-chancellors (JBVC), and a nominee of the MSU chancellor.
- JBVC has appointed professor Pratapsinh Chauhan, vice-chancellor (VC) of Shree Govind Guru University (SGGU), Godhra, as their nominee. He is a former VC of Saurashtra University.
- MSU’s syndicate members have appointed professor Jai Prakash Saini, founder VC of Netaji Subhas University of Technology (NSUT), New Delhi as their nominee.
- MSU chancellor Shubhangini Raje Gaekwad is expected to shortly appoint her nominee.
- The member appointed as the chancellor’s nominee heads the search panel which invites the applications from academicians.
- The applications are later scrutinised and the names of shortlisted candidates are suggested to the state government, which then takes the final call regarding the appointment.
24% of Gujarat’s eligible population has taken both doses
A Gujarat government press release says that over 1.34 crore vaccine doses were administered in the state against a target of one crore doses. On Tuesday, the state recorded the highest number of Covid vaccine doses administered in a single day since the vaccination drive began on January 16, with over eight lakh people being vaccinated. The state has so far administered 3.46 crore first doses of the vaccine, covering nearly 70 per cent of its eligible population of nearly 4.93 crore; 1.16 crore second doses have been administered, thus achieving complete immunisation for about 24 per cent of the eligible population. (01-09-2021)
Higher vehicle tax likely in Ahmedabad for cars costing over Rs 15 lakh
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) proposes to increase vehicle tax by 0.5 to 2 per cent for vehicles that cost above Rs. 15 lakh, up from a flat 3 per cent levied at present. For four-wheelers costing between Rs. 15 and Rs. 25 lakh the tax may increase from 3 per cent to 3.5 per cent, for vehicles costing Rs. 25 to Rs. 50 lakh, it may increase from 3 per cent to 4 per cent, for vehicles costing over Rs. 50 lakh it may increase from 3 per cent to 5 per cent. The hike will give an additional annual income of Rs 10 crore for the civic body. The increase in vehicle tax is calculated on the basic price of a vehicle. The increases may be effective from October 1, 2021. The aim is pollution control and to increase AMC revenue. The proposal also aims to encourage the use of electric vehicles. AMC may decide on 100 per cent vehicle tax exemption for all types of electric vehicles from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. There is no change in vehicle tax for two-wheelers, autorickshaws, loading rickshaws, four-wheeler loading tempos and mini-trucks. AMC has already announced 100 per cent vehicle tax exemption for electric two-wheelers in its 2021-22 annual budget. (01-09-2021)
Civic body proposes public-private partnership model for corporation’s gyms
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s recreation, cultural and heritage committee has proposed that the operation of the under-construction gyms in Naranpura, Sarkhej, Gota and Thaltej should be given on the public-private partnership model for the next five years to private players. The proposal states that all future AMC gyms should be given to private players to be run on PPP model. At present, there are 36 AMC gyms. A tender for this will be floated after the AMC standing committee approves the proposal. (01-09-2021)
Wet spell likely soon in rain-starved Gujarat
In the jargon of the India Meteorological Department, Gujarat is very likely to experience an ‘active wet spell’ during the next four days. Gujarat has recorded rainfall 50 per cent below normal this season; it has received 288.6 mm of rain as against the normal of 576.5 mm. Six out of the state's 33 districts have received ‘large deficient’ rainfall, a drop by more than 60 per cent of the long period average rainfall, and the remaining districts have got ‘deficient’ rainfall. (31-08-2021)
Rs. 3 crore reward for parathlete Bhavina Patel
The Gujarat government has announced a reward of Rs. 3 crore for parathlete and table tennis player Bhavina Patel for the silver medal she won at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. The chief minister announced the award as an incentive to Ms Bhavina under the state government's 'Divyang Khel Pratibha Protsahan Puraskar Yojana'. After her schooling in Sundhiya, a village in Mehsana district, she moved to Ahmedabad to do an ITI computer science course. It was in Ahmedabad that she took to table tennis. She is the first Indian to win the table tennis Paralympics silver medal.
Over 540 students conferred degrees at IIT-Gandhinagar convocation
At the 10th convocation of IIT-Gandhinagar (IIT-Gn) – it was conducted virtually on Sunday – 548 students were conferred degrees. Officials say that 73% of the outgoing Btech students, about 73% are placed, and 15% want to pursue further studies. The first batch of the five-year Dual Major BTech programme also graduated (in which the students got degrees in two disciplines with one additional year). Hero MotoCorp chairman and CEO Dr. Pawan Munjal was the chief guest at the ceremony. (31-08-2021)
Cities may need to use drinking water very carefully
Some cities in Gujarat are facing the possibility that their drinking water supplies may be rationed. The state’s Water Resources department may have to adopt staggered water supply to cope with the drinking water crisis. Out of the state’s 206 dams, only six have water reserves of more than 90%, and 54 have water reserves less than 10%. Last year during this time the storage was 12,347 million cubic metre (MCM), this year it is down to 8109.20 MCM. The Sardar Sarovar dam has a reserve of 4,310 MCM. (30-08-2021)
Training for police officers on investigation of cyber crimes
The National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) in Gandhinagar has by now trained hundreds of law officers, IPS probationary officers and also police officers from foreign countries to handle the investigation and prosecution of cyber crime cases. From August 13 to 18, 104 IPS probationary officers as well as some police officers from Maldives, Bhutan and Nepal went through specialised training at the NFSU campus. Around 250 law officers of the Gujarat government were trained on cyber crimes and law awareness. The training areas include Indian Penal Code and Information Technology (IT) Amendment Act sections; deep web; use of cryptocurrency for criminal activities such as drug smuggling and terror funding; trends in multimedia forensics; psychological techniques of investigation; Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) field level detection; mobile forensics. A five-week training programme on polygraph testing was also conducted for the Maldives police. (30-08-2021)
Companies join hands with universities to offer new courses
Companies are joining hands with universities to offer new courses and deliver skilled manpower.
- MS University is collaborating with Heubach Colour Private Ltd (HCPL) to launch a postgraduate diploma programme in industrial chemistry and sustainable technologies. The one-year course will offer six months of industry experience and the rest will be classroom studies. The objective is to provide chemical industry specific knowledge, exposure and training to fresh postgraduates of any branch of chemistry and graduates from chemical engineering or material science streams. HCPL will facilitate project internships at HCPL and other industries. HCPL will also support students to seek suitable employment with various chemical industries by providing guidance and counselling.
- The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), central Gujarat, has signed a MoU with MS University and Navrachana University to bridge the student-industry gap. CII has suggested a mandatory student internship programme for six months and teachers will also visit companies to learn the new technologies and stay updated.
- The Vadodara Chambers of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) of CII has signed a MoU with MS University to develop a particular skill set in the students, get them internship and placements in the companies.
- Gujarat Technological University (GTU) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation collaborated to offer a three-year diploma course in automobile manufacturing. Students enrolling for the course get hands-on training at the company’s facility and they also get a stipend.
- Gujarat Technological University (GTU) offers several certificate courses in the automotive segment at its two centres of excellence. One has been set up in collaboration with Keepsake Engineering Consultancy Private Limited, whereas the other is in association with German engineering firm Bosch-Rexroth.
- Gujarat University has signed a MoU with Adani Defence and Aerospace as well as Blu Ray Aviation to offer certificate courses in drone training. The course is offered as part of a tripartite agreement between the Gujarat state education department, Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Limited (GUJSAIL) and the companies.
- Gujarat University has collaborated with Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Home Association (AHNA) to offer courses in hospital management.
New Era Senior Secondary School students develop unique concept
Some students of Vadodara based New Era Senior Secondary School (NESSS) have come up with an innovation that has found a place among the top ten of Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL) Marathon in Gujarat – and top 300 in India. In the ATL marathon – an initiative by NITI Aayog – selected teams undergo essential training in order to research, ideate and implement their projects. The Atal Innovation Mission received 7,200 submissions from osver 17,000 students. The NESSS Team – Kartik Joshi, Shane Macwan and their mentor Sonal Shah – developed a self-learning interface in public places or near private schools and offices. The interface is an automated system with screens that can be operated using tokens. The system allows the underprivileged to study at their will, but the learning is not free. One waste plastic bottle is used as a token to allow 10 minutes of video-based learning time on basic topics. The bottles collected do not litter public places and plastic waste management is facilitated. The system may even motivate adults to join their children in learning. (29-08-2021)
New ‘BH’ series for registration of personal vehicles
A new ‘Bharat (BH)’ series has been introduced for registration of personal vehicles owned by defence personnel, Central and state government employees, and employees of PSUs and private sector companies and organisations with offices in four or more states and UTs. The scheme is voluntary. At present a person may keep a vehicle for a maximum of 12 months in any state other than the state where it is registered; the owner has to get the vehicle re-registered before the expiry of 12 months. The’BH’ series aims to make the transfer of such vehicles to other states hassle-free; the vehicles will not require re-registration when the owners are transferred to a new state. The vehicle owners will have to pay the road tax for two years or in multiples of two; the process will be online so that there is no need to go to the RTOs. The road transport ministry has fixed the road tax of 8% for vehicles costing up to Rs. 10 lakh, 10% for those costing Rs. 10 to 20 lakh and 12% for those costing over Rs. 20 lakh. There will be 2% extra charge for diesel vehicles, and electric vehicles will be charged 2% less tax. After completion of the fourteenth year, the motor vehicle tax shall be levied annually which shall be half of the amount which was charged earlier for that vehicle. (29-08-2021)
ICAI launches 'Train, Earn and Learn initiative' in Vadodara
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has launched the Train, Earn and Learn (TEL) initiative in Vadodara to give employment and practical experience to city students while they study CA. Students from commerce colleges will be trained on a continuous basis and after training they will become eligible for internship with CA firms. The first, second and third year students of BCom will be able to undergo a two-week course to enhance their skills. Around 2,500 students have already been trained and placed in different firms under this initiative in Mumbai. Actor Sonu Sood is the brand ambassador for the initiative. (28-08-2021)
Admissions opened to 15 engineering courses for Biology students
Students who have passed Class 12 with Biology as the main subject will now be allowed to apply for admission to 15 undergraduate engineering courses. The new admission criteria have been announced in order to implement the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. Mathematics is not mandatory for engineering admissions. Gujarat has opened 1,291 seats – 955 state quota and 336 management quota – in 15 engineering branches to Class 12 Biology students. The Admission Committee for Professional Courses (ACPC) has received 1,700 registrations from students with Biology as the main subject, against 955 seats opened for centralised admissions. ACPC is the nodal agency for centralised admissions in engineering and pharmacy courses in the state. Compared to this, 35,259 registrations have been recorded by ACPC for 50,240 engineering seats in the state – that is, less than the total seats available. The undergraduate engineering courses offered to Biology students are in the fields of biomedical, rubber, textile technology, computer science and biosciences, food processing, dairy agriculture, nano technology, etc., at Government Engineering College Gandhinagar, Faculty of Technology and Engineering (MSU) Vadodara, Ganpat University Mehsana, LD College of Engineering and Parul University Waghodia. (28-08-2021)
Lady recovers from Covid-19 after 119 days of treatment
A 38-year-old lady from Narmada district has been discharged from Vadodara’s SSG Hospital after being treated for Covid-19 for 119 days, the longest period of hospitalisation for a Covid-19 patient in the state. She spent 77 days on a ventilator. She had been admitted to the hospital with 85% lung damage. She tested negative for Covid-19 in May, but she continued to be in a critical state, battling co-morbidities. (28-08-2021)
New guidelines issued for snake-rescue volunteers
What should you do if you suddenly spot a snake in your vicinity? Not too many people may be aware of the new snake catching guidelines issued in March by the forest department. Before you call a volunteer from an NGO, you should know the following:
- Calls should go through the taluka forest wildlife warden, and the warden will send a bona fide rescuer to do the job.
- Volunteers will have to register first, their names will be scrutinized by the respective forest department circles, they will undergo 15-day training by GEER foundation before they get a photo ID card which they will have to carry in rescue operations. They will also need to have a life insurance cover of Rs. 10 lakh; few insurance companies have a policy to cover such risks.
- Of the snakes that get rescued, 40% are poisonous.
- Earlier, when a call went to an NGO, the volunteer went to the spot and rescued the snake quickly before it could harm others or itself. There are about 2,000 volunteers in the state, mostly with NGOs.
The forest department’s objective is to save the snakes, but this procedure also delays the rescue process, because a person has to inform the department first, and the department will then contact the volunteer. (27-08-2021)
Surat Municipal Corporation reuses 33% of sewage water
The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) treats 1,400 MLD sewage water daily, and 320 MLD – about 33% – is reused. SMC has also started reusing the treated water. By 2030 Surat will be reusing 100% of sewage water after treatment. Surat city was recently awarded the Water+ certification as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM); it was the first city from Gujarat to get this recognition which is awarded by the ministry of housing and urban Affairs (MoHUA) for adopting best practices in waste water management. Only cities which were declared ODF++ (open defecation free) cities were eligible to qualify for this certification. For Water+ status, the basic parameter is satisfactory treatment of the waste water from households, commercial establishments, drains and nullahs before it is released into the water bodies. Incidentally, SMC was the only Indian civic body invited at the panel discussion on Zero Liquid Discharge Cities at the Stockholm World Water Week (WWW) 2021 which was organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). (27-08-2021)
Water levels in dams are low
The water storage levels in the dams of North Gujarat and Kutch have registered a decline in the last ten days, while the dams in Saurashtra and Central Gujarat have registered a marginal increase. Overall, storage in the 206 dams – barring the Sardar Sarovar – is 51% of their capacity of 15,784 MCM. Only seven dams have storage of 90% of capacity, eight have 80% to 90%. Only 11% of the dams have more than 70%. One out of every four dams has less than 10%. The data shows that 61 dams have storage between 30% and 10%, and 185 dams have less than 70%. Gujarat will have to depend heavily on the Sardar Sarovar to meet its drinking water needs as other dams hardly have water that can be used for drinking. (27-08-2021)
Schools to reopen for classes 6 to 8 from September 2
The government has decided to reopen schools for classes 6 to 8 from September 2. This decision will apply to 32 lakh students in over 30,000 government and self-financed schools in the state. Online education will also continue since attending offline classes is not mandatory. Students attending schools have to submit a consent letter from their parents. Schools have to adhere to the SOPs issued for schools for classes 9-12 and other Covid-19 guidelines issued by the government. School authorities have to ensure that social distancing is maintained between two students and that face masks are worn. Students should not be allowed to gather on the campus ground, parking areas or any other areas, and they should leave the campus immediately. The entry and exit of students must be arranged in batches to avoid overcrowding. Also, all kinds of sports activities where students have to come in physical contact are banned. Schools must provide adequate hand-washing facilities and sanitizer points. (26-08-2021)
Cricketer Yastika Bhatia picked for entire Australian tour
Yastika Bhatia has been selected to play for the Indian team that will play against Australia in all the three formats of the game – three One-day Internationals, three T20 games and one Test match. The squad will tour Australia next month. The 21-year-old player, a left-hand batswoman and wicketkeeper, has captained the Baroda team that did well in the National U-23 Women’s T20 Cricket Tournament in 2019. Baroda cricketer Radha Yadav has also been selected in the T20 squad for the Australia series. A left-arm spinner, Yadav made her international debut in 2018 when she was selected in the Indian squad for the South Africa series. She used to play from Mumbai but shifted to BCA in 2014-15. (26-08-2021)
Special camps to give doses to all eligible school and colleges students
Vaccination camps will be organised with immediate effect in schools and colleges across 33 districts in Gujarat to vaccinate all eligible school and college students above 18 years of age, staff members, teachers and their family members before September 5. The Gujarat government will allocate additional stock of doses to each district. The central government has requested all states to try to vaccinate all schools teachers on priority before Teachers’ day on September 5. (26-08-2021)
Relaxation in curfew for Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi
The Gujarat government has announced a relaxation in the night curfew hours in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Gandhinagar, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Junagadh due to the upcoming Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi festivals. The relaxation will only be on August 30 and from September 9 to 19. The curfew hours at present are from 11 pm to 6 am. For Janmashtami, August 30, the night curfew will be from 1 am. A maximum of 200 persons will be allowed inside temple premises, and all Covid SOPs and guidelines must be followed. No permission will be given for ‘Matki Fod’ festival during Janmashtami celebrations. For Ganesha Utsava celebrations, from September 9 to 19, the night curfew will be relaxed to 12 am from September 9 to 19. At public places the idols must be less than four feet in height, while in private places the idols must be less than two feet in height. Permission has been given for only puja ceremony and prasad distribution ceremony at public places where Ganesha Utsava will be celebrated; no other religious or social function will be allowed. For the Ganesha Sthapana and Visarjan events, maximum 15 people will be allowed in one vehicle. (25-08-2021)
GTU announces online courses in ancient knowledge systems
The Gujarat Technological University has launched 12 new online courses on Vedic Indian knowledge systems. The three-month certificate courses – including study of Vedas, ancient architecture, vastu shastra, Indian arts, dharma and religions, Kautilya Political Science and Arthashastra, global footprints of Indian diaspora – are being offered in collaboration with Pune-based Bhishma School of Indic Studies. The courses will be run under the aegis of Dharohar-GTU’s Centre for Indian knowledge system established six months ago. Career opportunities are in the education sector, and also in the travel sector. GTU has also launched eight new courses in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence, cyber security and biotechnology. The new courses are masters in engineering in IOT (internet of things) and machine learning, postgraduate diploma course in data science, postgraduate diploma in biotechnology, and masters in technology in biotechnology. (25-08-2021)
IBM’s software lab will be established in Ahmedabad
Information Technology company IBM plans to set up a software lab in Ahmedabad, its fifth such facility after Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. IBM India Software Labs’ operations in Gujarat will be expanded, including the setting up of a state-of-the-art product engineering, design and software development centre. The centre will focus on developing solutions while leveraging global design techniques, agile methodologies and advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), security and automation to support the requirements of the government and global customers. (25-08-2021)
Vadodara may face a water shortage, unless it rains soon
The water level in the Ajwa reservoir is running low and officials at the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) are worried. If it does not rain soon, water availability from the reservoir may be affected if it does not rain soon. According to data from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Vadodara has a rain deficit of 47% this season. The Ajwa Reservoir meets 27% of the city’s water requirement. The city is expecting supply of water to Ajwa from the Narmada project canal near the reservoir. The pressure of water from the reservoir gradually reduces as its level recedes (it is a gravity drainage reservoir). The reservoir supplies water till the level reaches 203 feet. (24-08-2021)
Jungle Safari at Kevadia may soon feature chimpanzees
The Statue Of Unity Area Development & Tourism Governance Authority will shortly construct six new homes for chimpanzees at the 375-acre Sardar Patel Zoological Park. It will also construct an enclosure for orangutans and special areas for hyenas, rabbits, geese and swans. The cost of the project will be about Rs. 17.37 crore. Gujarat had been trying to get the three chimpanzees seized by the Customs department at Kolkata airport, because they were believed to be illegally smuggled from abroad. (24-08-2021)
High court says delayed payment interest is waste of taxpayers’ money
The Gujarat high court wants the concerned government departments to explain why three years delay was caused in disbursing compensation to a private person for an award granted by a lower court. In 2018, a man was awarded interest of 9% for one year and 15% till final payment and additional interest of 12% for the delay caused in payment. The court said that paying 15% and 12% interest would entail a huge liability on the state exchequer and it is the taxpayers’ money which is going out of the pocket of the state exchequer for the unnecessary and unjustified delay at the end of the officials. This high amount of interest is paid when even banks offer 6%-7% interest on fixed deposits. (24-08-2021)
International bullion exchange launched in Gandhinagar
The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) has launched the pilot run of the International Bullion Exchange. Soft Launched on Wednesday, it is scheduled to go live on October 1, 2021, the Foundation Day of the authority. India International Bullion Holding IFSC Limited (IIBH) has been created to set up and operationalise international bullion exchange, bullion clearing corporation and bullion depository in the International Financial Services Center (IFSC) at GIFT City in Gandhinagar. The holding company, IIBH, was established after a memorandum of understanding was signed between National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE), Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX), India INX International Exchange (IFSC) Limited (India Inx), National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL), Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CDSL). The International Bullion Exchange will be the ‘Gateway for Bullion Imports into India’, where all the bullion imports for domestic consumption will be channelised through the exchange. The exchange ecosystem is expected to bring all the market participants to a common transparent platform for bullion trading and provide an efficient price discovery, assurance in the quality of gold, and enable greater integration with other segments of financial markets. (24-08-2021)
Non-practising allowance for in-service doctors approved
Gujarat government will provide non-practicing allowance (NPA) to in-service doctors and teachers at the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) medical colleges in the state as per the 7th Pay Commission recommendations. The government termed this as a gift on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. (23-08-2021)
Vehicles powered by hydrogen generated from farm residue
Innovation laboratory Sentient Labs and MACS-Agharkar Research Institute in Pune have developed a technology to generate hydrogen directly from agricultural residue for use in fuel cell-powered vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology provides a large operating range, is suitable for commercial vehicles and leaves minimal environmental footprint. The vehicles emit only water, so they are pollution-free. The technology uses agricultural residue from sources like paddy, wheat or maize that is rich in cellulose and hemicellulose content. Hydrogen is directly generated from such residue using microbial culture. This biologically benign process generates digestate rich in nutrients which can be used as organic fertilizer. Its by-products can be used as soil conditioners while undigested solids can be sold as solid fuel. India generates about 200 million tonnes of unutilised agricultural residue which is mostly burned. (23-08-2021)
IISER Pune will train next generation of teachers
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Pune plans to establish a dedicated department (Department of Science Education) to focus on research in science and impart teaching techniques and tutor the next generation teachers at school, college and higher education levels. IISER Pune will become the first among the seven IISERs and the IITs and NITs to have such a department. Experts in research in education feel that teaching at the school levels needs greater attention. The IISER Pune department will have full-time teaching faculty members who are keen on taking up research in teaching and education. This stream is a career option like any other subject. The courses will be open first for IISER Pune students. (23-08-2021)
India’s first gems auction house opens at Surat
India’s first gems auction house, an initiative of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), has opened in Surat. Called Navratna Gallery, the auction house deals in all categories of gems and jewellery, It is spread across 2,700 sq ft area, and it is insured for Rs. 30 crore. Any product falling in the category of gems and jewellery, including lab-grown diamonds, can be put up for auction here. About 175 companies from Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Surat have registered with the auction house. (21-08-2021)
About 15% of Gujarat’s population has received both jabs
On August 18, Gujarat became the second state in India to cross 1 crore population having completed both doses of Covid-19 after Maharashtra. In terms of population coverage, about 15% of the total population of Gujarat has received both doses, compared to 11.5% in Maharashtra. Also, 21% of the eligible population (4.93 crore) of Gujarat have got fully vaccinated (1.03 crore), whereas 65% (3.19 crore) have got the first dose. Out of the total, 24.6% took place in four cities – Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot. (20-08-2021)
Government plans to reopen Classes 6-8 after Rakshabandhan
The Gujarat government is planning to reopen Classes 6-8 after the Rakshabandhan festival on August 22. A formal decision is likely to be announced shortly and could be any time after the Rakshabandhan festival. Classroom education for Classes 6-8 has been suspended since March 2020. The education department is preparing guidelines for reopening Classes 6-8. Like other higher standards, the government will make physical attendance at school voluntary. Schools will have to provide online education also simultaneously. (19-08-2021)
New courses from MSU’s Department of Physical Education
MS University’s Faculty of Education and Psychology will shortly offer two sports and health related programmes – a three-year bachelor of physical education and sports and a one-year postgraduate diploma in health and fitness. The bachelor of physical education programme will cover sports psychology, sports medicine, sports training, fitness-wellness, injury management, sports management, etc. Students will also be taught games – athletics, kho-kho, kabaddi, yoga, malkhambh, tennis, table tennis, hockey, cricket, volleyball, judo, football. They will also learn traditional Indian games. The postgraduate diploma will provide students opportunity to learn subjects like exercise physiology, nutrition, gym management, injury and rehabilitation, yoga, aerobics, calisthenics and freehand exercises. The possible career opportunities: fitness expert, gym trainer, sports trainer. Both programmes will be offered by the Department of Physical Education. (18-08-2021)
Women in Dahod villages roped in to record electricity meter readings
An innovative project in some villages of Dahod district has roped in women to earn money by recording electricity meter readings at homes.
- Women here move from house to house to record electricity meter readings
- Women from Sakhi Mandals in Dahod taluka have been encouraged to get involved in the work of recording the readings of electricity meters and then make the bills accordingly. They move from house to house for this task.
- This activity is a part of an initiative to provide them employment.
- The women read meters of about 2,500 connections in five villages of the taluka.
- One woman can visit 70 to 80 houses per day in a populated village.
- The women are paid Rs. 6.88 per meter reading, and a woman may be able to earn about Rs. 10,000 per month.
- The work allows for flexibility; some other woman can be given the work if someone is unable to come for some reason.
- Women educated between Class 10 and Class 12 are eligible for the work.
- Dahod taluka’s livelihood manager says that a memorandum of understanding has been with signed with the power company (Madhya Gujarat Vij Co. Ltd.) for this project.
Training for a career in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry
The Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Co. Ltd. d (GUJSAIL), Blu Ray Aviation Ltd. and the state education department may sign an agreement to impart skill and guidance to those seeking a career in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry. Training will be given to operate drones. A diploma or certificate course is likely to be offered. The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted conditional exemption from Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Rules, 2021 to 10 organizations, including Blu Ray Aviation Ltd. The training of young drone entrepreneurs will focus on applications in mining, agriculture and infrastructure. others. (17-08-2021)
Stalker of girl sentenced to three years in jail by Pocso court
A special Pocso court in Mehsana has asked the state government to give compensation of Rs. 1.50 lakh to a girl who was being stalked on her way from her home to school causing her to stop going to school due to the harassment. The man accused of stalking has been sentenced to three years in jail. The court said that the victim has to live with a permanent scar for the rest of her life because of the incident. The scheme for compensation aims at rehabilitation of victims of sexual harassment in society. The court ordered that of the Rs. 1.50 lakh, 20% should be given now and the remaining 80% should be put in a fixed-deposit with a nationalised bank for three years or till she turns adult, whichever is earlier. (17-08-2021)