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Form submission date extended for supplementary exam: The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) has extended the last date to fill forms for class XII science students who want to take the supplementary examination. Students who have failed or not taken exams for two or more subjects in class XII board exams held in March can now fill the forms till June 30 instead of the earlier announced deadline of June 20. The results for class XII (science) were declared on May 17. The applicants are to pay online fees along with an online application for rechecking, re-evaluation or for availing duplicate copies of their OMR sheet. Under normal circumstances, the re-evaluation is done in Gandhinagar. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the board has decided to divide the state into different zones and set up centres for re-assessment of exam papers. (22-06-2020)
High Court stays Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has stayed the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad owing to concerns over social distancing amid the current pandemic. Two days back the Supreme Court had refused permission to hold the annual Rath Yatra in Puri citing danger to health on account of the pandemic. The 143rd Rath Yatra was scheduled to be held on June 23. The Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad is only a little less grand than the one in Puri in terms of the scale of celebrations. (21-06-2020)
Rose plant has grown to a height of 46 ft: A man in Godhra has nurtured a sapling in his garden since 2006, and it has now grown into a rose plant that is 46 feet tall. It has been granted a certificate for being the tallest rose plant in the country. The owner has now approached a general insurance company to get the plant insured. He also wants the plant to be featured in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is now taller than the owner’s three-storey house. Steel supports have had to be erected to ensure that the plant does not stop growing for lack of support. According to the Vadodara based Community Science Centre, such growth is unusual in rose plants. (21-06-2020)
Hundreds of people arrogantly refuse to wear masks: The police department will use the city’s extensive CCTV camera network to identify people who are not wearing face masks. Those who are not wearing the masks will be penalised; e-challans will be issued to them. The same CCTV system is also used to catch traffic offenders. The authorities have already fined 334 persons and collected Rs. 66,800 from people for spitting in public places and not wearing their masks. Considering the number of Barodians who are casually ignoring instructions to wear masks, it would seem that they do not care about their fellow citizens – and about themselves. (20-06-2020)
CEPT ranked 4th in NIRF Architecture category: CEPT University, Ahmedabad, participated for the first time in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), and it was ranked fourth in the Architecture category. CEPT University was any case considered to be among the best institutes in the country in the habitat disciplines. The top three institutes are IIT Kharagpur, IIT Roorkee and National Institute of Technology Calicut. Among the other well regarded institutions are School of Planning and Architecture (Delhi), Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (Kolkata), School of Planning and Architecture (Bhopal), National Institute of Technology (Tiruchirappalli), and School of Planning and Architecture (Vijayawada). CEPT is the only Private University among the top 10 rank holders in the Architecture category. A total of 66 institutions in India participated in the Architecture category. The criteria include: Teaching, Learning and Resources; Research and Professional Practices; Graduation Outcomes; Outreach and Inclusivity; Perception. In February 2020 CEPT’s Faculty of Architecture got the top rank in the state in the Architecture category of Gujarat State Institutional Rating Framework (GSIRF). (20-06-2020)
Seven villages included under Vadodara corporation limits: The Urban Development and Urban Housing Department of the Gujarat government has notified the inclusion of seven villages on the outskirts of Vadodara city under the jurisdiction of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). The villages of Bhayli, Vemali, Sevasi, Bil, Karodiya, Undera and Vadadla have been incorporated into the city limits. Four panchayats have also filed petitions in the Gujarat High Court against the government decision. The petition of the protesting villages – Bhayli, Bil, Karodiya and Sevasi – is slated for hearing on June 26. Their panchayats have prayed that the decision of the government is not as per the provisions of the Provincial Municipal Corporation Act. The government notification means that the panchayats in the villages will stand dissolved. The notification, however, specifies that the land belonging to the state government and the panchayat will not be vested in the custody of the VMC yet. The villages had seen extensive real estate development over the years. With this notification a population of around two lakh and a land area of around 40 square kilometres will be added to VMC. The new areas will be included in the new election wards to be formed before the next civic polls scheduled at the end of this year. (19-06-2020)
Municipal limits of six Gujarat cities expanded: Five cities of Gujarat and the capital city have now increased in size with the incorporation of peripheral villages and some municipalities within their folds. Ahmedabad's area has increased by 39 sq km to approximately 505 sq km, with a population of about 75 lakh. Gandhinagar has added about 149 sq km to its existing 177 sq km, and it will be now 326 sq km. Surat has added 146 sq km, Vadodara 40 sq km, and Rajkot 34 sq km. Bhavnagar has also been expanded. (19-06-2020)
Home care services for Covid-19 patients: A few hospitals and nursing homes in Ahmedabad have announced a home care plan for Covid-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms. About 35 such facilities will offer chargeable home care services. Among these private hospitals and nursing are Shalby Hospital, HCG Hospital, Star Hospital, Tapan Hospital, Saviour Hospital and Dhvani Hospital. The upper limit for the service has been fixed at Rs. 699 per day; this includes a teleconsultation or a physical consultation by the physician, daily teleconsultation with a qualified nurse, a physical visit after five days, teleconsultation by a physician at the time of discharge from home care and written advice to be followed by the patient post discharge. The home care service will be availed by a patient only on the advice of a physician. Almost 80% of patients have mild to moderate symptoms for which hospitalisation is not required. Those above 60 years of age and with comorbid conditions will not be advised home care. The duration of home care fixed by hospitals is a minimum period of ten days. Other services included in the home care package include preparation of a Covid care plan and protocol, education and training of vital monitoring charts, home quarantine guidelines and teleconsultation by a dietitian. Patients will have to bear additional charges for any service or equipment besides these, including a basic Covid care kit. The whole idea is to reduce bed occupancy of Covid-19 patients with mild or moderate symptoms. This home care initiative by the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) has been launched with the participation of seven hospitals in the first phase. The number of hospitals will soon increase. (18-06-2020)
Health services included in MSME sector: Small and medium hospitals, nursing homes and clinics have now officially been included in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. This move has been welcomed by the Gujarat chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA). The sector has also been provided with a serial and code number. Hospitals will now be able to get credit facilities through financial institutions at lower rates of interest. They will get easy availability of finance, collateral free loans, lower electricity bills, and stamp duty and property tax benefits. The Covid-19 situation has affected the business prospects of many hospitals, and this move will give a little help to the healthcare industry. (18-06-2020)
Online exams for MSU’s final year degree and masters students: Considering the ongoing Covid-19 scene MS University of Baroda (MSU) has decided to conduct online examinations for final year degree students and those pursuing Master’s degrees. A total of 17,666 students, currently enrolled in the final semesters of bachelors degrees and students of masters degrees, are supposed to appear for the exams scheduled to commence from the last week of July. A recent special syndicate meeting scrapped the idea of offline examinations because most students have returned to their home towns and Covid-19 cases are on a rise. MSU has become Gujarat’s first publicly funded university to conduct terminal exams online this year. The examination pattern will be similar to that of UGC-NET with only objective-type questions. At one time only one question will appear on the screen and the student can answer it or skip it. There will not be any negative markings. More than one set of question papers will be readied and answers will also be jumbled for each student. They will be allowed to log in through their student IDs and appear for the examinations at the slated time. Only the syllabus taught during the offline classes till March 14 will be included in the examinations. The exams will be multiple choice questions (MCQ) based, and of nearly two hours duration. MSU will develop its own portal to conduct the exams. If the students face technical issues like power-cut or loss of connectivity, they will be compensated with additional time. While the exams will start around July 20, students who for any reason cannot appear in their exam will be given another chance to appear in online exams. Those students who appear for online exams can also appear for the exams to be held in October, to improve their score. For subjects such as Literature, MSU will try to accommodate suggestions from the respective departments and faculties if they wish to have descriptive questions and answers. For practical-based subjects like the Performing Arts, students will submit videos of practical assignments for evaluation. Conducting exams on the campus would have meant holding them in three shifts in a day, sanitizing hundreds of classrooms after each shift, conducting thermal scanning of every student and ensuring that each student wears a mask. (17-06-2020)
Boom time for hand sanitizer manufacturers: With the increasing demand for sanitizers, more companies have jumped on to the manufacturing bandwagon. Gujarat now has a total capacity to make 2 crore litres per day of hand sanitizers. Manufacturers have jumped into the fray from the allopathic, cosmetic and ayurvedic segments. It is estimated that the capacity has increased four times. Over 80 firms which were not connected earlier with the cosmetic or pharmaceutical business were granted permission to make sanitizers during the lockdown. Fresh product licences were issued to existing companies too. Zydus Wellness, Eris Lifesciences, Cadila Pharma, Rasna Group and Nivea India also entered the field. Gujarat now has 499 manufacturers, against just 228 earlier. These firms were issued 2,627 product licences, over half of which were during the lockdown. According to an industry member, if hand sanitizers worth Rs. 1 lakh were sold daily in February, the figure rose to Rs. 10 lakh in March and Rs. 30 lakh in April. (17-06-2020)
Agricultural land cannot be transferred to non-farmers through wills: In a decision of great importance for land developers and builders in Gujarat, the Supreme Court has said that a farmer cannot transfer his agriculture land through a will to a person who is not a farmer. In a large number of cases farmers have transferred their farming lands to non-farmers by preparing wills; in Gujarat, a person cannot become a farmer except through succession. Lawyers involved in the litigation said that the title of a farmer can only be inherited through ancestors’ land. The issue before the court was the inconsistency between the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Lands, Act, 1948 and the Indian Succession Act for the purpose of interpretation on whether agricultural land can be transferred through a will. Like in an earlier high court decision, the Supreme Court also interpreted land laws for the benefit of the poor and disadvantaged, whose land parcels, it felt, require to be protected. (17-06-2020)
Vadodara administration prepares more Covid-19 beds: The Vadodara administration has begun working on increasing the existing dedicated Covid-19 facilities in the city’s government hospitals. The SSG Hospital will turn into a 500-bed facility. The emergency ward building will be upgraded and made fully operational as a dedicated Covid-19 hospital in the next two weeks with 500 beds, including a 100-bed Intensive Care Unit and 40 ventilator beds. The other wards in the building will be temporarily shifted out to prevent cross-infection. The Gotri Medical College hospital run by the Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society (GMERS) will add another 120 beds to its existing Covid-19 beds; the hospital already has a dedicated 250-bed facility for Covid-19. The paediatric ward of the SSG Hospital will be shifted to Gotri hospital by July 1 to allow the Covid-19 facility run from the pediatric ward to function at full strength. The need to scale up is because the city has to be prepared for the upcoming situation. The city needs about 2,000 beds, of which 1,500 will be in government facilities. About 500 beds for Covid-19 care have been acquired in empanelled private hospitals. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) last month empanelled 31 private hospitals in the city to offer 500 Covid-19 beds. The Divisional Railway Hospital at Pratapnagar has also started functioning as a Covid-19 hospital with 50 beds, of which 20 beds are ICUs, including 4 ventilators, 4 BIPAPs and specialist doctors for critical care. (16-06-2020)
Petrol and diesel prices increased in Gujarat: The prices of petrol and diesel have each increased by Rs. 2 per litre from midnight on Monday. It seems that the step has been taken in view of the fact that the state’s revenue has dipped significantly due to the lockdown while the expenditure went up to tackle the crisis. The government expects to earn an additional revenue of Rs. 1,500 crore through the price hike. (16-06-2020)
Gujarat’s GSDP may suffer a loss of Rs. 1.63 lakh crore: The committee of experts headed by Hasmukh Adhia has said in its report to the Gujarat government that the two months of lockdown may cause a loss of Rs. 1.63 lakh crore in the gross state domestic product (GSDP). Gujarat’s growth rate was earlier pegged at 13.32% by the 15th Finance Commission, but it will now be about 5% because of the losses suffered by all sectors. The report considers the likely losses by the standard 17 sectors of the economy considered for GSDP estimation. The loss of GSDP in the primary sector – crops, livestock, forestry and logging, fishing and aquaculture, mining and quarrying – will be Rs. 0.17 lakh crore. The loss in the secondary sector – manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, construction – will be 0.95 lakh crore. The loss in the tertiary sector – trade, repair services, hotels and restaurants, railways, transport by means other than railways, storage, communication and services related to broadcasting, financial services, real estate, ownership of dwellings and professional services, public administration, other services – will be Rs. 0.51 lakh crore. Since 10 days of the lockdown were in March 2020, the loss of GSDP for the year 2019-20 would be about Rs. 0.27 lakh crore. Therefore, the quick estimate for the GSDP for 2019-20 would be Rs. 16.36 lakh crore and not Rs. 16.63 lakh crore taken as the base figure for the budget of 2020-21. The remaining 50 days of lockdown were in the months of April and May 2020 and hence, the loss of GSDP in the year 2020-21 would be about Rs 1.36 lakh crore. The Hasmukh Adhia committee of experts was appointed by the state government to chart out a roadmap for reviving the state’s economy which has been hit by the lockdown. (16-06-2020)
Autorickshaw unions ask for relief package: Many autorickshaw unions in Gujarat are asking the state government to provide a special relief package. The lockdown has dealt a staggering blow to the earnings of autorickshaw drivers, and their business has not picked up too well even after the lockdown was lifted. The drivers say that they may resort to agitations if their demands are not met. The unions want interest-free loans or financial assistance for the state’s 8 lakh autorickshaw drivers. (16-06-2020)
Police will collect fines from people who do not wear masks: The Gujarat government has issued a circular stating that the police, not civic bodies, will collect fines from people who do not wear masks. The fine for not wearing a mask in public is Rs. 200, and it was collected so far by municipal corporations and local bodies. The latest government circular states that, instead of the municipal commissioner, collector, municipality and local self government bodies, the fines will now be collected by the police commissioner and superintendent of police in their respective jurisdictions. (15-06-2020)
HSC general results declared: The HSC general results declared on Monday show a pass percentage of 76.29%, 3.02% more than in 2019. The results for girls are 82.20%, and for boys are 70.97%. For English Medium the pass percentage is 81.72%, for Gujarat medium it is 76.11%. Of the 3.72 lakh regular students who appeared for the HSC (general stream) exam, 2.84 lakh students were successful. While Soni centre in Banaskantha posted the highest 97.76% pass percentage, Dolasa in Gir Somnath had the lowest result of 30.123%. Patan district had the highest pass percentage with 86.67% while Junagadh had the lowest pass percentage of 58.26%. Over 5.3 lakh students participated in the exams for general stream. The examination was conducted at 472 exam centres. (15-06-2020)
Earthquake tremors felt in some parts of Gujarat: Several parts of Gujarat felt tremors on Sunday evening. The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said that a 5.5 magnitude earthquake occurred at 8.13 p.m. It had its epicentre at Vaundh village 10 km north-north east of Bhachau in Kutch, according to the Institute for Seismic Research (ISR) Gandhinagar. The tremors were felt in cities like Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bhuj , Rajkot and Patan. ISR says that the earthquake originated from an expected region of the Kutch Mainland Fault (KMF) system, which is a complex web of faults. Such episodes are usually felt once in two to three years since the 2001 earthquake. The ISR has 65 sensors that continually monitor the region for these aftershocks. The fault system is in a state of continuous uplift and erosion since the 2001 earthquake and stresses are getting accumulated, leading to mild shocks, which are on expected lines and are normal. (15-06-2020)
Relax criteria for engineering college admissions: Gujarat’s self-financed institutions (SFIs) have asked the government to relax the eligibility criteria for engineering college admission from 45% marks to 40%. The Technical Colleges Management Association has highlighted the large number of engineering seats going vacant. The association has also raised this issue with the All India Council of Technical Education. This year 65% of engineering seats are likely to remain vacant, because only 26,287 students in Class XII Science (A group) got 40% and above marks. Currently, only students who have got 45% marks in science subjects (physics, chemistry and mathematics) are eligible for admission in engineering courses. (15-06-2020)
PPP route for affordable rental housing projects: In order to give a boost to the rental housing sector the Gujarat government will incentivize affordable rental housing projects through the public private partnership (PPP) mode. This is in addition to introducing a new affordable rental housing policy This move will also help to use the piled-up housing inventory. For instance, there are over 8,000 constructed apartments of the Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) that are lying vacant. All these properties may be offered under the affordable rental housing policy. Among those who will benefit are migrant workers who do not get housing facilities, and also workers who come to the state for a shorter time and do not want to buy houses. The government may use plots of land reserved for economically weaker sections (EWS) housing projects to create large scale rental housing facilities under the PPP mode. The plots reserved for EWS housing in all areas of all cities may be offered to private developers. Existing affordable housing schemes which are lying vacant due to poor demand will also be included in the PPP affordable rental housing schemes. This will help the floating population in cities to get housing facilities at affordable rates. Also, developers will begin to get money against their investments. The government may offer FSI and other incentives. It may also pay a subsidy for these affordable rental housing projects so that end users can get benefits. (14-06-2020)
Company Secretary examinations postponed: The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has decided to postpone the Company Secretary examinations for the June 2020 session. All the examinations, including for the foundation programme, the executive programme, the professional programme, and the post-membership qualification (PMQ) have been deferred. The ICSI CS examinations for the current session will now be held from August 18 to 28. The revised timetable has been included in its official website. ICSI has begun conducting classes online. It also offers free coaching and crash courses for those who wish to take the online exams. (14-06-2020)
Shops pulled up for charging for carry bags: Consumer courts in Ahmedabad have questioned the appropriateness of hypermarkets selling carry bags, and they have ordered two of them to refund the cost of the carry bags. They asked the hypermarket to pay Rs. 6,000 for charging Rs. 16 for the carry bags. The courts have also ordered compensation to be paid to customers by treating the sale of the bags as an unfair trade practice. A consumer court in Rajkot ordered a shop to pay Rs. 6,000 compensation to a person who was charged Rs. 16 for a carry bag. In another case a shop was ordered to compensate a buyer for charging Rs. 9 for two carry bags when she purchased 29 items. (14-06-2020)
Domestic violence increased in lockdown: The lockdown, not always a relaxing time for families, has also seen more than the usual number of cases where women have been the victims of verbal and physical abuse. Many women experienced frequent skirmishes, and eventually physical assault. Several victims reached out for help to the Abhayam-181 Women Helpline. During 69 days of lockdown in Gujarat, 9,420 women called the helpline to report domestic violence – this amounts to a call every 10 minutes! Amateur analysis may suggest that living inside the four walls of a house for a prolonged period may trigger small issues which were hitherto ignored by couples. (13-06-2020)
Gym owners seek permission to start operations: Vadodara’s gym owners and workers demonstrated at the district collectorate on Friday to seek relaxation provided by the central and state government after unlock 1.0. The gym owners believe that they too should be allowed to begin operations like malls and other places. They argue that ‘unhealthy items’ like alcohol and tobacco are being allowed, but not services like gyms that are used to keep people fit and healthy. The city has about 200 gyms and they employ about 3,000 persons. The owners say that in the next phase of relaxation the gyms should be allowed to begin operations. (13-06-2020)
Do not hamper supply chains and logistics: While movement of people remains prohibited throughout India from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. during 'Unlock 1', there are no restrictions on plying of buses with passengers and goods trucks on highways. A communication to all states from the Union Home Secretary said that the purpose of restricting movement of individuals during the night was primarily intended to prevent the congregation of people and ensure social distancing. Supply chains and logistics are not to be hampered. The restrictions do not apply to instances of loading and unloading of goods (as part of supply chains and logistics), buses carrying persons and trucks and goods carriers plying on state and national highways, or persons travelling to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and flights. The lockdown is now restricted only to containment zones across the country and will continue till June 30. (13-06-2020)
MS University again not in NIRF top-100: MS University (MSU) has once again not made it to the top 100 list of the National Institute of Ranking Framework (NIRF) which is declared by the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development. It again featured in the university rank band of 101 to 150, and in the rank band of 151 to 200 in the overall education institutions’ rankings. Sumandeep Vidyapeeth is the only other institute from Vadodara in the same rank band as MSU in university rankings. The only institute from Gujarat which featured in the overall top-100 rankings of universities was the Gujarat University which has been ranked at 44th position. The NIRF rankings were released for a total of 10 categories: overall, universities, engineering, colleges, management, pharmacy, medical, architecture, dental and law. MSU’s pharmacy faculty jumped three ranks to the 14th position with a score of 57.68. In engineering, management, law, architecture and medical, MSU’s faculties do not feature in the top-100. The Faculty of Technology and Engineering was placed at 111th position (last year it was 137th). Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad has outperformed IIM Bangalore to regain the top position as the best management institute of the country. IIM-Bangalore has been ranked second. Gujarat University made an entry at number 60 in the list of higher education institutes in the overall category. In the overall rankings list, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar, has moved up from 51st position last year to 35th. It is also ranked at 24th in the list of top engineering colleges in the country. The Surat-based Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology is ranked at 54. Other institutions from Gujarat which are in the top 100 rankings in various categories include Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), P D Patel Institute of Applied Sciences (Changa) and Nirma University. CEPT University has been ranked at number four in the architecture category. (12-06-2020)
Khanderao Market opened again after three months: The Khanderao Market – primarily for vegetables and fruits – has now opened after a gap of almost three months. The market also houses the headquarters of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) headquarters remained. All the shopkeepers have been asked to wear masks and gloves, provide sanitizers and ensure social distancing. Only retail sales are allowed now, and wholesale business is not permitted. (12-06-2020)
Non-serious lockdown cases may be withdrawn: The Gujarat government may withdraw thousands of cases filed by police pertaining to non-serious offences – like going for a morning walk or taking a dog for a walk – during the lockdown. A whopping number of 1.75 lakh cases were registered, most of them by using overhead drones. The serious offences – like attacking Covid warriors like police and health officials, and violation of quarantine and deliberately endangering the lives of others during the epidemic – will not be overlooked. As the ongoing partial lockdown will continue till June 30, these cases can be withdrawn only after the month ends. In case the central government decides to extend the partial lockdown beyond June 30, the matter will be considered after the partial lockdown ends. This move will free the state police and the courts from the burden of a very huge number of trivial cases. (12-06-2020)
Ahmedabad tops again in Smart City project implementation: The special purpose vehicle, Smart City Ahmedabad Development Limited, has maintained its first position in terms of Smart City project implementation. The special purpose vehicle (SPV) scored 81.37 marks out of 100 to retain the first position among all the cities in the county. The SPV ensured that the implementation went on without any hindrance even during the lockdown. Ahmedabad submitted 35 projects under the Smart City Project Mission. A major part of this is area-based development, retrofitting of transit oriented zone (TOZ), in-situ slum housing at Rama Pir No Tekro, CG Road redevelopment along with a multi-level parking complex, 60 MLD sewage pumping station, metered 24x7 water supply, LED streetlights and laying of an optical fibre network across the city. Also, 186 locations in the city have been turned into Wi-Fi zones where citizens can access the internet free of cost. Most of these projects are on track, and some are on the verge of completion. (11-06-2020)
Teachers to be trained to use digital technologies: The Gujarat Council On Science and Technology (GUJCOST) has started to impart training to teachers for better use of digital technologies in academic activities. Over 250 teachers from 33 districts will be trained using GSWAN’s Adobe Connect platform. The idea is to generate a pool of teachers who have an expertise in enhancing online education as well as ensuring that students in rural and remote areas of Gujarat can also participate in online academic activities. In order to provide need-aligned professional development for teachers in secondary and higher secondary schools GUJCOST has tied up with Learning Links Foundation, a non-profit organisation. The ‘Digital Learning’ classes began on Wednesday; 70 teachers participated from various districts including Gandhinagar, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Mehsana, Patan, Kutch and Aravalli. (11-06-2020)
Online admission process begins for MSU's BSc course: The online admission process for MS University’s BSc (Honours) programme has been started for 1,020 grant-in-aid seats of the main campus. The admission process for seats at the Padra college will be started later. Subject allotment will also be done online. The last date for applying online is July 31, after which subject allocation will be done. In the subject allocation rounds, each student will be sent a message regarding the subjects allotted. If the student accepts, the fee challan will be generated and the fees have to be paid online to confirm admission. The faculty will conduct the first round between August 8 and August 10. There are 120 seats each available in botany, chemistry, geography, geology, physics, statistics and zoology, and 180 seats are available in mathematics. (11-06-2020)
State sees 29% growth in lion population: The recent count of Asiatic lions in Gujarat registered a 29% rise in their population. The count – called ‘poonam avalokan’ or full-moon night observation – had been done instead of the Lion Census 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. The count, done on June 5-6, recorded 674 lions. This is an increase of 151 lions from the 2015 figure of 523 lions. The lions are now spread over an area of 30,000 sq km, an increase of 36% compared to 22,000 sq km in 2015. The population has doubled compared to 2001, and the footprints have expanded by 400%. (10-06-2020)
Gujarat’s FDCA tops in India’s enforcement index: Gujarat’s Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) has been ranked high in the enforcement of the Food Safety and Standard Authority regulations in India. Gujarat was the best in the country when it came to implementation, food surveillance, implementation of best practices, setting up dedicated processes for certifying and the enforcement of regulations. Gujarat led the enforcement index, followed by Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala. The enforcement index is calculated based on measures undertaken since the regulations came into force. (10-06-2020)
Reopening of schools will be reviewed in August: The question of reopening schools will be reviewed by August 15. The opinions of health officials will be considered, along with the views of school managements, parents, teachers and other experts. Virtual academic sessions have begun in many schools, and students are taking classes from their homes. The study pattern is intense for senior classes, but junior classes get a blend of academics and activities. For KG to Class III, most schools are imparting lessons through videos. Educators prepare videos on academic topics and share them with parents who subsequently show them to their children. (10-06-2020)
Gujarat Board Class 10 results announced today: The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board Class 10 results this year was 60.64%, 6.33% less than in 2019. Of the 7.30 lakh regular students who appeared for the examination, only 4.81 lakh passed – just 60.64%. Of the 2.12 lakh repeaters who appeared for the examination only 9.10% cleared the examination. Among the 17,1717 external students who appeared, only 1,051 cleared the examination. The pass percentage of girls was 9.49% more than that of boys. The success ratio of girls was 66.02 per cent, while that of the boys was only 53.53 per cent. According to board officials, 22,470 students failed in one subject, while 1.34 lakh students failed to clear their examination in two subjects. These students will be allowed to take the re-test which will be held in July. Surat had the highest pass percentage of 74.46% while the lowest pass percentage was of Chhota Udepur at 47.47%. The number of schools getting 100% result was 281. A total of 10.83 lakh students had appeared for their examination which concluded just before the lockdown was implemented. (09-06-2020)
Collectors can decide land premium cases up to Rs. 15 crore: District collectors will now be empowered to decide land premium cases up to Rs. 15 crore. The earlier limit was Rs. 5 crore. This decision of the Gujarat government will decrease the time taken for approvals. The revenue department in a government resolution (GR) says, “Under the Tenancy Act, to convert new tenure land to old tenure land for agriculture or non agricultural purpose, premium approval limit power for the collector was Rs. 5 crore till date and for over Rs. 5 crore, it was in the powers of the government. Reducing the time limit for applicants for the said purpose was under the consideration of the government so by this GR it has been decided to increase premium case deciding powers of the collectors from the present jantri value of Rs. 5 crore to Rs. 15 crore. For over Rs.15 crore, government permission will be required.’’ (09-06-2020)
Assistance for pursuing research in higher education: The Gujarat government will give the 753 students pursuing research in higher education an assistance of Rs. 3.38 crore. Education minister Mr. Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said that in order to ensure that the students get into quality research the government has launched a scheme for high-quality research. The 753 students of 34 universities will be paid the first stipend amount of Rs. 45,000 for three months at Rs. 15,000 per month. The amount will be paid directly in the bank accounts of the students. Any student who is enrolled in the research programme after June 1, 2018, be it a private university or a government college, will be eligible for the assistance under the programme. Of 1,258 students, who had made online applications, 1,011 had uploaded their documents. (09-06-2020)
821 ASI monuments with places of worship open from today: All of India’s 3,691 ASI-protected sites were shut on March 17 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Out of these, 821 monuments that house places of worship will reopen from today. This includes 111 in Uttar Pradesh, 153 in Karnataka, 77 in Gujarat, 75 in Tamil Nadu, 65 in Maharashtra, and 60 in Madhya Pradesh. The ministry of culture has directed ASI to ensure that preventive measures are followed to contain the spread of Covid-19. Hand sanitisers and thermal screening will be a must. Only asymptomatic visitors will be allowed entry and they will have to wear masks. (08-06-2020)
Ahmedabad spent Rs. 6 crore on stray dog sterilization in two years: An RTI response filed before the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) revealed that the civic body spent Rs. 6 crore on sterilizing canines between 2017 and 2019. It is not clear how many dogs were actually sterilized. The cattle nuisance control department (CNCD) spent Rs. 1.99 crore in 2017, Rs. 1.35 crore in 2018, and Rs. 2.69 crore in 2019. According to one survey, the number of dogs were 2,10,852 in 2010, and 1,48,467 in 2019. (08-06-2020)
State cannot spare resident doctors from Covid duty: The Gujarat government has suggested to the Medical Council of India (MCI) that the final exams of third year postgraduate medical students should be postponed. The resident doctors have been working hard for over two months as frontline corona warriors. To compensate these resident doctors for the delay in their final exams the government has decided to treat the Covid-19 duty period as part of their mandatory internship – which normally starts immediately after their exams with their posting in rural areas for a year. Many doctors skip this internship by redeeming their Rs. 30 lakh bond (the students sign this bond while being given admission). Considering the rigorous Covid duty schedules, the government cannot afford to spare the doctors so that they can take their final tests (which are normally in April and May). The exams may not be held before August. Over 1,850 resident doctors across Gujarat will not be able to appear for their final year examinations. There are eight state and trust run universities and one deemed university in Gujarat offering MD and MS courses. (07-06-2020)
Lockdown strains Gujarat government revenues: The prolonged lockdown has hurt Gujarat’s exchequer. Government departments have now been given detailed guidelines to promote austerity and stop all unnecessary expenditures. The finance department guidelines are preliminary, and more stringent measure may follow if necessary. Capital intensive projects and programmes which are not directly to welfare may need to be put on hold. The government had to borrow about Rs. 5,000 crore in April-May due to the reduced flow of income. (07-06-2020)
Religious places likely to reopen, but only for viewing: The state government will allow the reopening of religious places – temples, mosques, churches, derasars, gurudwaras, etc. – in non-containment zones, but only for viewing according to central government regulations. Temple managements must ensure that devotees observe all safety protocols. Large places of pilgrimage must have registration counters and control entry by issuing tokens for specific hours. No religious rituals – offering prasad, sprinkling holy water, etc. – should be performed. Persons over 65 and children should not be allowed. (07-06-2020)
Gujarat government issues home learning guidelines: The Gujarat state education department has issued guidelines for home-learning in all primary, secondary and higher secondary schools. The department issued instructions that all primary and secondary schools will begin the admission process for Classes I and IX from June 8. All teachers and staff members required for the admission process will have to resume work. Schools will have to make arrangements for distribution of education materials to students who are entitled to avail them free of cost between June 8 and June 13. Various mediums like mobile applications, television programmes and online education platforms will be used for home learning. From June 15, DD Girnar television channel will telecast educational programmes for schoolchildren the schedule of which will be provided by GSHSEB and GCERT. The mid-day meal scheme will continue during the home-learning period and the government will make necessary arrangements for proper distribution. (06-06-2020)
Brief spell of rain brings some welcome relief: Barodians had a brief spell of rain on Friday evening, providing some temporary relief from the intense heat of the past few days. The downpour was quite sudden. Needless to say, even this brief spell of rain was enough to cause a bit of waterlogging in some areas. A few two-wheelers had to be pushed through the flooded roads. The waterlogging remained for about an hour. A few trees were uprooted too by the fairly heavy winds accompanying the downpour. The collateral damage affected some hoardings too. The monsoon is still some time away, but the ‘advance party’ has made an appearance. (06-06-2020)
Hubballi will have world’s longest railway platform: The world's longest railway platform will be at the Hubballi railway station of South Western Railway (SWR) in Karnataka. It will be 1,400 metres long and 10 metres wide. The extension work is going on and it will be completed in 12 months at a cost of Rs. 90 crore. The work is a part of the doubling between Hubballi and Bengaluru. The station will also get three more platforms, taking the total number of platforms to 8. The Gorakhpur railway station in Uttar Pradesh presently has the longest platform (1366 m), the second being the one in Kerala at Kollam Junction (1180 m). (06-06-2020)
Economy revival package of Rs. 14,000 crore for Gujarat: The Gujarat government has announced an economy revival package of Rs. 14,022 crore economy revival package for the state. The chief minister said the package should help the poor, labourers, self-employed and all sections of the society who have been impacted because of the lockdown. The package will give direct benefits to a large section of society. There will be Rs. 2,300 crore relief in property taxes, electricity bills, vehicle taxes, etc. Subsidies worth Rs. 3,308 crore will be given to industries and professionals. Industries in GIDC areas will get benefits of over Rs. 458 crore. The affordable housing sector will get benefits worth Rs 1,000 crore in the form of direct incentives, while the agriculture and fisheries sector will get benefits worth Rs 1,190 crore. Self-employed persons will get benefits worth Rs 525 crore. Simplification in the VAT/GST regime has also been announced. (05-06-2020)
Gujarat’s forests will be re-greened with lost native species: There is a major effort being made to conserve Gujarat’s native flora and re-green the state’s forests with its almost extinct native tree species. One step towards this objective is to conserve and promote the native species through seed collection. Silviculture and Forest Utilization circle (Silva) at Rajpipla in Narmada district has collected seeds of about 112 native trees from different forest areas. The exercise includes seven of critically endangered species, seven endangered species, 19 near-threatened species and 17 vulnerable trees. This project requires extensive fieldwork to find critically endangered and other rare species in the remote forest areas including those of Dang and Ratanmahal. Forest officers hope to raise more than 10 lakh saplings of rare plant species in 2020-21. These saplings will then be planted in the state’s forest areas. Trees with greater longevity like Kumbhio (Wild Guava), Saadad (Indian Laurel), Mahudo (Indian Butter Tree), Behada (Beach almond) and Chamoli (Pore Leaved Bauhinia) help in combating climate change by locking carbon dioxide and conserving water. (05-06-2020)
Anju Jain to coach Baroda senior women’s team: The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) has selected Ms Anju Jain as the coach of its senior women’s cricket team. The former India cricketer is also an Arjuna-awardee. She played for India for 12 years and had captained the squad during the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2000. After retiring in 2005 she became the selector for the Indian women’s team and then took up coaching. She was the coach of the Indian women’s team between 2011 and 2013. She then took over as the head coach of the Bangladesh women’s team in 2018; the team beat India in the Asia Cup finals. Ms Jain will join as soon as she gets the guidelines from the BCA. She has worked with a few Baroda women cricketers in the past. BCA has also hired ex-India cricketer Devieka Palshikar as an assistant coach. (04-06-2020)
Several temples may open for devotees from June 8: Several temples – Dwarkadhish temple, Somnath temple, Ambaji temple, Jagannath temple, etc. – may be opened for devotees from June 8, after a gap of almost 75 days due to the pandemic. Of course, the new precautions will have to be taken: no 'abhishek', limited number of devotees at a time, prasad in packages, social distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, thermal guns, sanitisers, police personnel on duty, single entry and exit points, etc. However, the temples are waiting for guidelines from the state government before taking a final decision. BAPS Swaminarayan officials say that they will review the situation on June 15 before deciding on opening temples all across the country. (04-06-2020)
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Form submission date extended for supplementary exam (22-06-2020)
High Court stays Rath Yatra in Ahmedabad (21-06-2020)
Rose plant has grown to a height of 46 ft (21-06-2020)
Hundreds of people arrogantly refuse to wear masks (20-06-2020)
CEPT ranked 4th in NIRF Architecture category (20-06-2020)
Seven villages included under Vadodara corporation limits (19-06-2020)
Municipal limits of six Gujarat cities expanded (19-06-2020)
Home care services for Covid-19 patients (18-06-2020)
Health services included in MSME sector (18-06-2020)
Online exams for MSU’s final year degree and masters students (17-06-2020)
Boom time for hand sanitizer manufacturers (17-06-2020)
Agricultural land cannot be transferred to non-farmers through wills (17-06-2020)
Vadodara administration prepares more Covid-19 beds (16-06-2020)
Petrol and diesel prices increased in Gujarat (16-06-2020)
Gujarat’s GSDP may suffer a loss of Rs. 1.63 lakh crore (16-06-2020)
Autorickshaw unions ask for relief package (16-06-2020)
Police will collect fines from people who do not wear masks (15-06-2020)
HSC general results declared (15-06-2020)
Earthquake tremors felt in some parts of Gujarat (15-06-2020)
Relax criteria for engineering college admissions (15-06-2020)
PPP route for affordable rental housing projects (14-06-2020)
Company Secretary examinations postponed (14-06-2020)
Shops pulled up for charging for carry bags (14-06-2020)
Domestic violence increased in lockdown (13-06-2020)
Gym owners seek permission to start operations (13-06-2020)
Do not hamper supply chains and logistics (13-06-2020)
MS University again not in NIRF top-100 (12-06-2020)
Khanderao Market opened again after three months (12-06-2020)
Non-serious lockdown cases may be withdrawn (12-06-2020)
Ahmedabad tops again in Smart City project implementation (11-06-2020)
Teachers to be trained to use digital technologies (11-06-2020)
Online admission process begins for MSU's BSc course (11-06-2020)
State sees 29% growth in lion population (10-06-2020)
Gujarat’s FDCA tops in India’s enforcement index (10-06-2020)
Reopening of schools will be reviewed in August (10-06-2020)
Gujarat Board Class 10 results announced today (09-06-2020)
Collectors can decide land premium cases up to Rs. 15 crore (09-06-2020)
Assistance for pursuing research in higher education (09-06-2020)
821 ASI monuments with places of worship open from today (08-06-2020)
Ahmedabad spent Rs. 6 crore on stray dog sterilization in two years (08-06-2020)
State cannot spare resident doctors from Covid duty (07-06-2020)
Lockdown strains Gujarat government revenues (07-06-2020)
Religious places likely to reopen, but only for viewing (07-06-2020)
Gujarat government issues home learning guidelines (06-06-2020)
Brief spell of rain brings some welcome relief (06-06-2020)
Hubballi will have world’s longest railway platform (06-06-2020)
Economy revival package of Rs. 14,000 crore for Gujarat (05-06-2020)
Gujarat’s forests will be re-greened with lost native species (05-06-2020)
Anju Jain to coach Baroda senior women’s team (04-06-2020)
Several temples may open for devotees from June 8 (04-06-2020)
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