Baroda News

Gujarat likely to announce new industrial policy

The Gujarat government is likely to announce, in June, a new industrial policy for 2020-2025 to attract new investment and generate jobs. The term of the industrial policy 2015-2020, which ended in December-January, was extended by six months until June this year. The focus of the new policy will be on the renewable energy industry as well as other emerging industries. The government will also focus heavily on attracting Japanese, American and European industries which are trying to shift base from China and give them plug and play facilities in Gujarat. The government has also decided to offer large chunks of land on long-term leases at nominal rates, so that industries can quickly begin production. It is expected that the benefits offered in the current industrial policy will continue. (26-05-2020)

Semester exams for final year students from June 25

The Gujarat government announced that the terminal examinations will be held from June 25 for undergraduate students in their final semester as well as for second and fourth semester post-graduate students. In cases where the situation is not normal due to Covid-19, a new scheme called Merit Based Progression will grade undergraduate students – excluding final semester candidates – based on performance in previous semester and internal exam marks. If a candidate wants to enhance his academic performance, he can appear for the semester exam in the next term. The terminal exam will be held by maintaining social distancing, safety and other health measures. The academic session 2020-21 will commence from August 1 for old students and from September 1 for fresh students. (25-05-2020)

College admissions to start from June 15

Admissions for all college courses – except those under the Admission Committee for Professional Courses (ACPC) – will begin from June 15. The admission process will be carried out for 90% of the available seats. The remaining seats will be allocated after CBSE and other board exam results. Online forms for Class 12 science students who cleared Gujarat board exams will be available from May 26. The new academic session will begin from June 21 for students of semesters 3, 5 and 7. Classes will be conducted online till the situation becomes normal. The academic session for Semester-1 students for undergraduate and postgraduate courses will commence from August 1. Only students who have got 45% marks in science subjects (physics, chemistry and mathematics) are eligible for admission in engineering courses. (25-05-2020)

Vacation in educational institutes of union territories extended

The summer vacation in private and government-aided schools, colleges, coaching classes and training institutes in the union territories of Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DNH) and Diu has been extended till June 7. A notification along these lines has been issued by the directorate of education of Daman, DNH and Diu. The summer vacation in schools was earlier meant to be from April 15 to May 16. (25-05-2020)

Diamond units in Ahmedabad can start production

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) says that diamond industries (cutting and polishing) and processing houses in the city – except in the 11 containment zones – can now commence production. The relaxation to the diamond and processing houses will be subject to the standard operating procedure issued by the industries department. (25-05-2020)

Vadodara airport may resume operations soon

The Vadodara airport may resume working after a gap of about 60 days. The airport may have to handle eight flight movements towards Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru – though it is not clear whether flights to Mumbai will be permitted by the Maharashtra government. The Vadodara airport authorities are in the process of drawing up new travel protocols in view of the current public health situation. Based on the standard operating protocol (SOP) issued by Airports Authority of India (AAI), a mock drill with the new set of rules was held on Friday. The airport usually handled 26 flight movements daily. The last commercial flight was on March 22. (24-05-2020)

Movement of migrant labourers hurts industries

The movement of migrant labourers from Gujarat to their home states has dealt a severe blow to many industrial units in the state. Due to labour shortage, several units cannot resume production even after the lockdown has been eased. For instance, in Sanand Industrial Estate about 100 units have still not been able to start. Also, the lack of public transport  prevents workers from commuting to work. Migrants account for 70% of the workforce in many industries. Out of about 900 ceramic tiles manufacturing units, only 120 units have been able to start operations. The Morbi ceramic industry employs around 4 lakh workers and 60% of them are migrants. Ceramic production in Morbi is at about 15% of its normal capacity. (24-05-2020)

Saurashtra to get Narmada water

The Gujarat government will supply water for irrigation in the summer months to Saurashtra under the SAUNI scheme. The government said that 25 reservoirs, 120 lakes and 400 check dams will be filled with water from the Narmada canal. This will also result in a rise of the groundwater level. The reservoirs, lakes, and check dams in Saurashtra and Kutch region will be filled with an estimated 4,000 million cubic feet of water from Narmada river during the summer. The process is being carried out in three phases. SAUNI (Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) is a project to fill major dams by diverting floodwaters overflowing from the Sardar Dam across the Narmada river to the drought areas. The project acts as a linking project where the water will be filled in irrigation dams that are already equipped with canal networks. (24-05-2020)

‘National Weather Services from IMD’ launched

The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has launched ‘National Weather Services from IMD’ on the existing Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) mobile application. All major weather services provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), including updates on current temperatures, rainfall, week-long forecast and weather warnings will now be available online on an app. The free app offers seven major meteorological services – current weather, city forecast, rainfall information, warnings, nowcast, cyclone updates and tourism forecast. Users can avail information on current weather for 150 Indian cities and it is near real-time information that is updated eight times a day. The app also supplies city-based weather forecasts, while seven-day advance forecasts of 450 cities are shared via this app. This app will provide rainfall updates at district and state levels, offered on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Upon choosing a desired district, the user will be provided with actual and normal rainfall for the selected period. Nowcast has been an important forecast issued by the IMD, which alerts people about immediate weather happenings. Nowcast is commonly issued for thunderstorm, rainfall, dust storm, lightning, among others, usually over a short period of time and over a specific geographical location. Nowcasts are valid for up to six hours and are issued from time to time, as per requirement. (23-05-2020)

VMC warns against spraying disinfectants on people

An advisory from Vadodara Municipal Corporation warns people of the dangers of directly spraying disinfectants on people and points to the mental trauma it can cause to a person. It also cautions against thoughtlessly using chlorine and sodium hypochlorite – two popular chemical disinfectants. Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has urged people to avoid falling for misleading information about spraying disinfectants on people. The advisory states, “Spraying disinfectant on people or groups, under any circumstances, is injurious to physical and mental health. Spraying disinfectants on a Covid-19 patient does not kill the virus in any case because it is inside a person’s body.” Spraying chlorine on a person could cause burns on the skin and eyes, and the fumes can lead to nausea and vomiting. Inhalation of sodium hypochlorite can cause blisters in the throat as well as bronchospasms. (22-05-2020)

Bhailal Amin General Hospital shuts down briefly

The administrators of Bhailal Amin General Hospital (BAGH) have decided to temporarily close it down to ensure that all employees are 'pool tested' and the premises are disinfected. Located at Gorwa in Vadodara, BAGH is also a dedicated Covid-19 hospital. Some staff members of the hospital had tested positive. The management said it is undecided whether it will reopen as a Covid-19 centre on May 28. A VMC committee did not find any lapse in the hospital arrangements. (22-05-2020)

Covid-19 crisis affects the finances of civic body

The expenses of Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) have surpassed its revenue in April this year. The Covid-19 outbreak has sparked a financial crisis at the VMC. In April VMC collected Rs. 6.75 crore, and spent around Rs. 85 crore. In April last year, VMC had collected revenue of Rs. 29 crore from various sources. Income from building permissions, various taxes and charges as well as other sources has completely dried up. The expenses include salary and pension, operation and maintenance cost as well as electricity and other bills. The only revenue sources at present are interest, rent, some pending taxes, etc. If this continues, salary payments will become difficult. (22-05-2020)

Shops can be asked to close if they ignore rules

Warning people against crowding, the Gujarat government has said that it will be forced to shut shops or withdraw certain relaxations if crowds continue to swell in public places. It is the responsibility of the shop owner as well as the clients to see that there is no unnecessary crowding at paan parlours, saloons and spas. Saloons and spas are advised to give prior appointments to ensure that crowding does not happen. (21-05-2020)

Realtors get more time to finish projects

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Gujarat) has extended by six months the completion deadline for real estate projects in the state. This automatic extension will be granted to those projects which have their scheduled completion or extended completion date on or after March 25, 2020. “The completion date or extended completion date is hereby automatically (without application) extended by 6 months due to outbreak of Covid-19,” Gujarat RERA said in a recent order. The relief follows the Central Advisory Council (CAC)’s recommendations to states and Union territories to extend real estate project completion deadline by invoking ‘force majeure’ under Section 6 of the RERA Act. The cut-off date for the relief (announced on April 13) now stands revised from March 31, 2021 to September 30, 2021. The extension will also apply to all buyer-seller agreements (AFS) entered into prior to March 25, 2020 for which the project completion date is on or after March 25. (21-05-2020)

Prices of PPE kits, masks and gloves shoot up

Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) has asked the authorities to monitor the prices of PPE kits, masks and gloves supplied for hospitals, because suppliers have increased prices substantially. The prices of the PPE kits and N95 masks and 3-ply mask and gloves as the prices have been hiked by almost 300 to 400 per cent. (21-05-2020)

Rajkot and Surat in top six garbage-free cities

Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh), Rajkot and Surat (Gujarat), Mysuru (Karnataka), Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra) are among the top six garbage-free cities out of 1,435 municipalities which participated in the national-level ranking exercise done by the housing and urban affairs ministry. Out of 141 cities which qualified for ranking, 79 are from Maharashtra. Next year's rankings will cover all 4,372 statutory urban areas. (21-05-2020)

GUJCET will be held on July 30

The Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET) will be held on July 30, the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) said in a media statement. More than 1.25 lakh students are expected to participate in GUJCET. It was earlier scheduled for March 31, but delayed because of the lockdown. Of the 1,25,781 class XII (science) students registered for the exam, 49,888 students are from Group A, 75,519 from Group B and 374 from Group AB. The state level exam is held annually for science students seeking admissions in degree engineering and pharmacy courses in government, grant-in-aid and self-financed engineering institutions in Gujarat. (20-05-2020)

Class X and Class XII general results likely to be declared in June

The Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) will declare the results of Class XII (general stream) and Class X in the first half of June. The GSHSEB stated that the dates of results will be posted on the GSHSEB’s official website. This clarification was made by GSHSEB after a fake message was circulated on social media claiming that Class XII (general stream) results will be published on May 19. (20-05-2020)

Six months extension for PhD and MPhil students

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has granted six months extension to PhD and MPhil students for submission of research work. The extension is for all universities across the country and the colleges affiliated to them. Research scholars had asked for more time from UGC to submit their thesis and dissertations due to the lockdown situation. The 6-month extension is also applicable for those candidates who have already taken extension to submit their research work. There are about 800 seats for PhD courses and about 300 seats for MPhil courses in Gujarat. (20-05-2020)

Passes not needed for inter-district movement

The Gujarat deputy chief minister Mr. Nitin Patel said that there will now be no need for people to get passes from authorities to travel between districts of the state. Citizens will not be required to take travel passes for travelling between districts. People who stay in containment zones will however not be allowed to travel except for emergencies. (20-05-2020)

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