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Author: Tanushree Bhatia

45-year-old mom drives e-rickshaw for daughter’s education

Do not be surprised if you spot a lady driving an e-rickshaw, offering you a ride in the city.Dressed in a pink half-sleeve shirt over her saree, 45-year-old Sonalben Joddha, a resident of Asarwa, is a new driver who has come out of her societal norms. Her only aim is to afford education for her daughter.One of these days, you may spot her outside the Flower show organized by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) at Sabarmati riverfront, ferrying senior citizens.With a smile on her face, Sonalben’s enthusiasm is what attracts many. Quick enough to spot senior citizens and those who need help, Sonalben approaches them to offer a ride.She says, “I am connected with an NGO called ‘Sakhi group’ in the city and have been making ‘Kheechu’, a Gujarati dough used to make papad, since many years. Before six months, the NGO informed us that e-rickshaws are being given at low-interest rate along with training to promote greener city.””It was then I got interested and bought this rickshaw for Rs 96,000 on loan. We were given training and a license was issued. I was one of the 12 women who received this rickshaw and training from Ahmedabad.”The e-rickshaw has changed Sonalben’s life who used to earn Rs 3000 a month by stitching clothes. “Since five months, I have been driving this rickshaw and earn nearly Rs 1200 a day. It is a great relief to me as I am able to educate my daughter who is studying nursing.”Sonalben drives the rickshaw from Asarwa to Shahibaug from 10.00 to 4.00 pm after which she takes an hour break and resumes to her second job.”I make Kheechu in evenings and work till 9.00 pm every day.” My husband and my son also work. My son does two jobs but is not enough to run our family which is why we all are working hard.”When asked whether she faces any challenging incidents daily, she smiles and says, “Yes, I do. There are passengers who are very nice, whereas there are some who are not. I think I’m able to handle.”Speaking about the initiative, Shailendra Sharma, who has founded haalo.online along with his wife, Shagun, said: “Our initiative is women-driven GPRS enabled electric vehicles on rent that ensures a safe and clean system of transportation in city. To promote our aim, we have deployed two of our electric vehicle services to senior citizens for free at a flower show.”

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Any immediate respite for parents?

While the recent Gujarat High Court judgment comes as a great relief to parents by upholding state governments law for regulating school fees, how soon the parents will be able to benefit of the same remains something to be watched for.At a time when many schools across the state have started collecting fees for the next academic year, there is still no clarity on the fees for next academic year. The processes of the fee regulatory committee may take some time and, hence, schools are mulling over their decision for fees in the interim period.Commenting on the judgment, Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) said, “Now that the judgment has come we wish government will ensure that the schools can function smoothly without having to compromise on the quality of school education in Gujarat which has started improving over the last decade.”AoPS member schools range from JG International school, Udgam school, Divine Child International School. Delhi Public School, Anand Niketan school, etc.An academician requesting anonymity said, “The order seems to be a small win in a huge battle. Even today, schools can approached the Supreme Court or they can approach the FRC. If they go to the FRC in three weeks, as per law, FRC will have to pass an order in 90 days. Even if FRC passes an order early and well in time, schools can then go for revision which again would take 90 days and eventually higher court. All of this process will take a lot of time and there is no clarity on fees for next academic year.Sources said the schools may approach the government and ask to form guideliness for FRC as per the high court order. A major concern of this entire Act is that there is no upper limit of fees. As per the order, if schools can justify to the FRC, they can charge higher fees.Dharmesh Patel, one of the parents of the association of Tripada International School in Ghatlodia, said, “The decision is great, but the biggest challenge will be to see how and when the state government implements the same. Since the Act has been upheld by the court, the responsibility of the government becomes double ensuring justice to parents. Also, since there is hardly any school which had gone to the high court, FRC’s should not take a long time.”Raising an important concern, Pooja Prajapati, President, Parents Ekta Manch said, “We welcome the decision and it is a victory for the parents. However, some questions have remained unanswered. The court has allowed schools to file an appeal in six weeks regarding their concern. Then what is the point of keeping fee slabs. Taking advantage of this slab, many schools that used to charge Rs 7000 or so and if they now increase till Rs 15000, there is no clarity on the same. Our fight will go on.”Ruchi Chaudhary, Managing Trustee, Shankus Foundation, Divine Child International School said, “We welcome the high court order and follow the notifications of going to FRC for an increment of fees so as to maintain the quality of education and other quality amenities we offer to our students.”Manan Choksi, managing director, Udgam School for Children said, “We are getting a legal opinion on whether should we collect fees up to certain amount or not collect at all. While we can return post dated cheques collected from parents once the order of FRC comes, but need some clarity to plan yearly expenses.”Schools need to approach FRC in three weeks FRC to give its order in 90 days If schools are not satisfied, they can apply for revision (90 days) Eventually they can approach a higher court Aggrieved parents have no place to approach *No upper limit of fees for justification

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Ahmedabad University gets leading economist C Rangarajan

In a major recruitment drive with an aim to create a rich pool of academicians, Ahmedabad University (AU) has roped in leading economist of the country C Rangarajan.Professor Chakravarthi Rangarajan has joined AU as Distinguished University Professor. Not just him, AU has also been able to rope in a retired professor of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) professor P R Shukla who specialises in energy, environment and policies. Professor Shukla will also head the Global Centre for Environment and Energy.Professor Pankaj Chandra, Vice-Chancellor, AU, said, “Since January 2016, we have been able to recruit 35 faculty from across the world. To get best of faculties, we need to show them our vision and make them realise that they can experiment with new ways of teaching.”He added, “Whenever professor Rangarajan is in the university, even at this age (over 80 years), he teaches continously from morning till evening and that shows his dedication.” Prof Rangarajan has played a key role both as an academic and a policy maker. He has held several important positions which include Governor of Reserve Bank of India and Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Interestingly, while Professor Shukla is the first professor who has joined AU immediately after IIMA, AU has three more professors who have worked with IIMA in the past. Professor Chandra, prior to joining IIM-Bangalore as a director worked with IIMA.Professor Devanath Tirupati, one of India’s leading management academicians known for his expertise in Operations Management, too worked with IIMA and has joined AU’s management school. Professor Vivek Banerjee who is presently senior dean, startegic initiatives and planning at AU, has worked with IIMA for 18 years.HALL OF EXPERTISEProf C Rangarajan has played a key role both as an academic and a policy maker. He has held several important positions which include Governor of RBI and Governor of Andhra Pradesh. Professor Chandra, prior to joining IIM-B as a director worked with IIMA.

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Thakkarbapa Nagar MLA to withdraw cases against PAAS

There is some good news for Patidars of Saurashtrian Patel dominated seat, Thakkarbapa Nagar, that witnessed Patidar wrath in 2015 over reservation row. The new MLA, elected for the second time in a row, Vallabhbhai Kakadiya, has decided to withdraw all 12 cases registered against Patidars. Kakadia is a Patel and is involved in diamond business and had defeated Gita Patel of Congress last time.While listing developments that took place in past five years, Kakadiya is prompt enough to name a new crematorium, flyover, library, RCC road, etc. While Kakadiya garnered 88214 votes, he defeated Babubhai Mangukiya with 34088 votes. In 2012, he had defeated Gitaben Patel of Congress with 49251 votes.Quick to respond when asked about his priorities, Kakadiya, who himself is a Patidar says, “One of my main priority will be to withdraw cases against all Patidar’s. There are about 12 such cases registered so I will get them released. Another big issue in my constituency is illegal settlements on government land and others. In many places, the construction do not have proper documents and because of which for example even if a house is for 1 crore, a person does not get loan of even 2 lakhs. We will legalize all such sites.Since Patel will be representing the constituency for next five years, this is an endeavour of DNA to help you know your MLA.BACK TRACKNew MLA, elected for the second time in a row, Vallabhbhai Kakadiya, has decided to withdraw all 12 cases registered against Patidars. While listing developments that took place in past five years, Kakadiya is prompt enough to name a new crematorium, flyover, library, RCC road, etc.

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Once jobless, PhD woman slays 5-time BJP MLA from Unjha

About five years ago, Ashaben was 35 and held a PhD degree. But she was still jobless. After her initial frustration, she decided it was time to reform the education system in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a man who has been amply vocal about his ambitious development vision. But the hitch was: to change a system, one has to be in the system.Thus, Ashaben Patel, who has her heart in social work and soul in teaching, made the leap into politics.Ashaben’s first poll fight was in 2012, when she was beaten by a BJP MLA on 24,203 votes. Not the one to give up, she worked harder. This Assembly elections, Ashaben, now 40, toppled Narayanbhai Patel, a five-time MLA, at Unjha constituency which includes PM Modi’s hometown Vadnagar.Speaking with DNA, Ashaben said, “My native is Vishol which, too, falls under Unjha. I lost the previous elections as I was very new and people in Vadnagar did not know me. This year, I have won because of the people’s love.”Ashaben wrested the seat which falls in the Patidar-dominated Mehsana district with a margin of over 19,000 votes. She attributed her victory to her extensive social work in Vadnagar.Mehsana was the epicentre of the Patidar agitation which flared up in 2015. Ashaben bagged 81,797 votes as against Patel’s 62,268 votes.”In 2012, every one knew me in Unjha, but not in Vadnagar. My social work spread across 20 villages in Vadnagar over the past few years. Social work is carried out in small places and are low-cost affair,” she says.Ask her why she did not join the BJP. “Their ideology does not suit me,” she notes.Being a Gujarati, she does not accept BJP’s campaign – ‘Hu Chu Vikas, Hu Chu Gujarat’. “The word ‘Hu’ in Gujarati is about an individual and represents arrogance,” she points out.A PhD in Chemistry, Ashaben is a guide to six students today. “I have been into social and community work since my childhood, the reason I never got married. But when I did not get a job despite being a PhD, I had to clear GPSC to join as a class 2 officer. I wanted to teach, but did not get a job; I decided to change the education system. I first fought in zilla panchayat elections, followed by the 2012 Assembly elections.”Now that she has finally won a ticket to the Assembly, Ashaben has set her priority clear: improve the education and health care systems.SYSTEM ERRORAshaben Patel joined politics to change education system in the state Lost in 2012 polls, this time, beat BJP’s Narayan Patel in Unjha

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KNOW YOUR MLA: Maninagar MLA promises LED streetlights, cardiac dept

Traditionally a BJP bastion and a seat from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi contested thrice, it was very difficult for MLA Suresh Patel, who has won the second time in a row, to look at areas that needed development. Two years, and now Patel, who won with a margin of 75199 votes, has charted out plans for his constituency.Quick enough to respond when asked his priorities, he said, “Modification of LG hospital by setting up a department of cardiology, completion of work to ensure no waterlogging during monsoon and LED lights on streets are my priorities. Since the PM used to represent this constituency, the place has seen much development work. Since I took over this seat over the last two years, we have installed machines and improved roads to reduce waterlogging. Over 50% of work has been done. The remaining work will be finished in a year.”Suresh Patel of BJP took over the seat in 2014 after Modi quit as the legislative assembly member of Maninagar.

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Airport may shift some carriers to int’l terminal

Domestic passengers flying out of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI) here can now expect a few of their flights operating from the international terminal. With the city airport set to upgrade the existing infrastructure at the T2 international terminal by installing two new aerobridges, they are hinting at shifting some domestic operations to the international terminal.Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, said, “The two aerobridges will come up at the international terminal by the end of this year. Depending on time slots and a discussion with immigration, Customs and CISF, we may shift some operations, keeping airlines’ interest in mind.”Sources say that the international terminal is huge and remains non-operational for nearly six hours until the first flight of the day operates for Dubai in the afternoon. The terminal can easily be utilised for easing out some traffic at domestic terminal.Airlines Operator Committee (AOC) Chairman Shalin Joshipura said, “As of now, Air India and Jet Airways operate from T2. Once the aerobridges come, airlines might be interested to shift some of their flights to this terminal.”He added, “A lot of positive initiatives are being taken at the airport off late. This too will be an added feature.”A source said, “An international flight of SpiceJet that departs from Ahmedabad late in the evening comes from Chennai. As it has to fly abroad, it is parked at T2 and the domestic passengers are then taken to T1 by bus. This setting would surely be beneficial not just for the airlines but also convenient for the passengers.”However, while appreciating the effort, another official said, “Utilizing space is a good option but to maintain infrastructure as per standards of international airport would be a concern. Since Customs and immigration is critical points, extra care will have to be taken.”WINTER SCHEDULEFor winter schedule, Jazeera airways has commenced its operations from city whereas Air Arabia and Ethopian airlines are set to add new flights to the existing lot. Last week, SpiceJet also started Ahmedabad-Bangkok flight.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | I will join a party that approaches me first: Bhupendrasinh Khant

Defeating BJP’s Vikramsinh Dindor and Alpeshbhai Damor of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) supported by the Congress, independent candidate from Morva Hadaf located in Panchmahal district won with 4,366 votes, thereby giving a shock to many.All eyes were on this seat as BJP had replaced its sitting MLA whereas Congress gave up the seat for an ally. While Bhupendrasinh Khant wanted to contest on Congress seat, he contested as an independent candidate when Congress gave up its seat to Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP).Speaking with DNA a day after the victory, Khant said that he is willing to join a party. He says, “As of now, I am happy being in the Opposition. No party has yet approached me. The party which approaches me first, I will join them.”Determined to wrest the seat, which his mother won in 2012, Khant garnered 58,513 votes as against BJP’s Dindor who got 54,147 votes. The seat was won by Khant’s mother Savita in 2012 with a margin of 11,289 votes. She had defeated BJP’s Bijalbhai Damor. While Savita had got 56,886 votes, Damor had got 45,597 votes. But Savita Khant died on the day results were declared, days after having passed into coma on the day of the elections.In 2013 by-election, Congress fielded Savita’s son Bhupendrasinh in the hope of winning back the seat on sympathy but lost. Interestingly, this year BJP changed its sitting MLA Nimisha Suthar to field Vikramsinh Dindor.Speaking about priorities, Khant said, “I will mainly focus on roads, drinking water and education. These are some of the core issues that people here have been facing for many years. I am happy that I won despite contesting as an independent candidate and shows people’s trust in me.”

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City students get 45k households to switch off power for an hour

In an attempt to spread awareness about energy conservation, 17 schools and their students were instrumental in saving over 13,000 units of energy by motivating entire neighbourhoods to shut down electricity for an hour.The schools, which have come together under the banner of ‘The Green Principals and Educators League’, planned to take their efforts beyond a one-day exercise by encouraging students to contribute to the cause. Students were asked to undertake projects on energy conservation to obtain marks in their second term.Under the project, it was decided that the students will shut electricity for an hour on December 11 at their residences and encourage at least five neighbours, friends or relatives to do the same. Interestingly, the students were able to motivate 45,000 households and save nearly 13,600 units.Speaking about the initiative, Renu Seth, a founding member of the initiative, said, “The results are great as the students and schools have really worked very hard. Students were able to motivate 45,000 households and we could save electricity worth Rs 80,000. This was a small step but if all schools join a similar initiative, we will be able to spread a lot of awareness and save energy.”Seema Merneti, Academic Coordinator for all branches of New Shama School in the city said, “Our school has underprivileged students, hence, it is good to see how they were motivated through this initiative. We have included this project as part of the curriculum and students will be marked on the same.”SAVINGS IN NUMBERSAverage units saved by a 2BHK house in 1 hour: 0.3 units Total number of units saved by 45,363 houses on December 11: 13,608.9 units Total units saved by one school: 413.29 Total units saved by this initiative: 14,022.19 units (mwh)

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | 4 Congress workers allowed to monitor CCTV in strong room

After Congress candidate from Amraiwadi approached the district administration apprehending discrepancies during counting of votes at the LD Engineering college on Monday, Ahmedabad collector has decided to allow four Congress workers to remain present at the Polytechnic where CCTVs would monitor the counting process.Congress’s Arvindbhai Chauhan was pitched against BJP’s Hasmukh Patel in Amraiwadi. He had approached the collector to allow them to remain present in the CCTV room at Polytechnic. The EVM’s have been kept at LD Engineering college as it is one of the centres for counting.Speaking about the same, Arvindbhai Chauhan, contesting from Amraiwadi, said, “We fear tampering and hence we just want to be extremely sure until the counting begins. This was the main reason that we met and requested the collector to allow our men accompany the monitoring team in the strong room. Thankfully, the permission has been given to four of our party workers who will now be present inside the strong room and monitor CCTV cameras 24×7.”Chauhan added, “We are also keeping a tab on which car enters the booth just to be sure from our side.”Just two days before the Election Commission counts the votes cast in the Gujarat Assembly elections, the Congress had approached the Supreme Court praying that the poll body be directed to tally 25 per cent of all ballots in Gujarat with voter slips printed by the Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines. The apex court, however, turned down the plea, refusing to interefere in the Gujart election.When DNA tried to contact Ahmedabad city collector Avantika Singh Aulakh, she was not reachable.Congress had earlier accused the Election Commission of being biased toward the BJP raising questions over Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘doing a roadshow’ after casting vote on Thursday.BJP too had earlier objected to the airing of Rahul Gandhi’s interview to private news channels before the second phase of elections.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Day after polls, candidates get some family time

While many would have thought that a day after elections would be relaxation time for the candidates of both parties, campaigning day and night since past fifteen days, DNA speaks with candidates across constituencies to know how they unwind.For most BJP candidates, it was totally a family time, and for some, even the weekend was dedicated to family, for Congress it was completely opposite. Most candidates of Congress had different responsibilities given by their own party, they too, however, squeezed out some time for their loved ones.Bhupendra Patel, BJP, GhatlodiaFor the AUDA chairman contesting from Ghatlodia constituency, this was a much needed break. He said, “I met my workers after polling just to get a feel of how it was. It has been few weeks that I have not been able to spend time with my family. I have decided to spend the weekend with them.”Patel who was the election in-charge of former chief minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel in 2012 election campaign has been carefully chosen by the BJP, to contest from a Patidar dominated Ghatlodia this time.Bhushan Bhatt, BJP, Jamalpur-Khadia”Now it is family time. My grand daughter from Netherlands is here and so my day is completely with her,” said Bhushan Bhatt of BJP contesting from Jamalpur-Khadia against Congress’s Imran Khedawala. He adds, “After elections, I met all my workers and understood their side of the story of phase 2 of elections.”A builder by profession, Bhatt has been a three-time municipal councillor from Khadia. He is the son of former speaker of Gujarat Assembly Ashok Bhatt who was an MLA here for 7 terms before he passed away in 2010.Hasmukh Patel, BJP, AmraiwadiFriday morning seemed like a Sunday for BJP’s Hasmukh Patel contesting from Amraiwadi constituency. He said, “Immediately after elections, my workers gathered at our karyalay on Thursday evening to share their experience and we ordered snacks and tea. Since the meeting lasted long, and due to tiredness of so many days, I woke up late on Friday. I will spend the day with my family.”Bharat Barot, BJP, DariapurFor Bharat Barot, the day started with a meeting related to counting that ended at 1pm after which he spent another few hours at his office, meeting his workers and understanding the scenario.He said, “After finishing meetings, I reached home around 4.30pm and had lunch. In evening, I will be meeting political friends for a holistic understanding.”When asked him about family time, he said, “My family also fights elections with me. My mother was also a councillor.”Bhatt is pitted against Congress sitting MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh who the 2012 Assembly election defeating the Barot by 2,621 votes. Bahot represented the constituency for five terms from 1990 to 2007 but it was taken away from him in 2012 assembly election.For CongressImran Khedawala, Congress, Jamalpur-KhadiaFor Imran Khedawala, a day after elections was well planned as he started his day meeting his party workers which was followed by a visit to VS hospital to distribute fruits. He said, “Since it was a Friday, I wanted to distribute fruits to poor patients in VS hospital. After reading namaz, I made various calls to my supporters and well wishers who helped me during elections which was followed by a visit to Jagannath temple with my Hindu friends.”Khedawala’s evening has been reserved for family and close relatives with a daawat. Khedawala belongs to Chhipa community that accounts for around 25,000 to 30,000 voters in Jamalpur-Khadia seat.Arvindbhai Chauhan, Congress, AmraiwadiChauhan’s day started with meeting his party workers first and then visiting the collector office. He said, “I spent the afternoon at the strong room at Polytechnic, checking the cameras, machines, etc. We are extremely concerned with the safety of the voting machines and in any case, we do not want any discrepancies. It is a kind of survey we are conducting and I am in-charge of the same. Evening has been kept reserved for my family and relatives.”Shweta Brambhatt, Congress, ManinagarThirty-five year old Shweta Brambhatt, who has a masters degree in Finance from London, had great plans to rejuvenate immediately after elections. Despite not keeping well since few days, Shweta kept her campaigning pitch high and had plans to visit Ambaji temple with her family. However, Friday entire day she spent her day in meetings and making reports. She said, “It has been an unexpected day for me. I had thought to take two days break to rejuvenate. Since I was not keeping well, I slept early on Thursday evening and woke up late. But had to go to GPCC for day long meeting and sorting reports. I had also planned to visit Ambaji temple but now it looks like only my mother will be able to go. I am tied up with work.”

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Gujarat elections 2017: Seaplanes for aam janta haven’t moved past MoU stage as yet

Amdavadis were treated to the sight of Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking off in a seaplane from Sabarmati riverfront to Dharoi Dam to offer prayers at Ambaji temple on Tuesday, the last day of campaigning before the second phase. This has given Amdavadis hope of travelling by a seaplane themselves in the near future, but little do they know that though a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding this connectivity was signed at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit this year, nothing concrete has happened after that.DNA had reported in January that to boost aviation, the government had planned seaplane connectivity — wherever there is a water body — across Gujarat.An MoU was signed between Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Ltd (GUJSAIL) and Supreme Airlines to promote this new mode of transport. Speaking to DNA, Captain Akash Agarwal, vice-president, Supreme Airlines, had said, “We will start operations by April this year from the Sabarmati riverfront, and thereafter connect various other destinations. Aviation enthusiasts can enjoy joy rides or use it to commute to tourist spots surrounded by water. We will invest Rs 40 crore. As of now, we operate in Rajasthan.”However, since there has been no talks this since then. Sources in aviation sector say the tendering process for seaplane connectivity is yet to be undertaken. “The MoU was signed with Supreme Airlines, which presently operates between Ahmedabad and Jodhpur,” says a source. “Perhaps they are looking for land and will begin the tendering process after that. As of now, nothing has happened on that front.”Speaking about PM’s seaplane, highly-placed sources said, “The entire arrangement was made by the Centre in partnership with SpiceJet. The central government intends to implement seaplane connectivity across the country. A demonstration was conducted recently in Mumbai and today (on Tuesday), there was another demonstration.””To implement amphibian planes,” informed another source, “firstly, a jetty is required, and then the necessary infrastructure. Once these are in place, various permissions will have to be sought.”TWITTER JIBEFormer J&K CM Omar Abdullah questioned the PM’s protocol on Twitter. “How is it that the security guidelines were relaxed for this flight? No Z+ protectee is allowed to fly in a single engine aircraft.”

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Schools across state to participate in ‘Earth Hour’ today

Seventeen schools from across the state will switch off fans, lights and other electrical appliances for an hour on Monday under an initiative to raise awareness of energy conservation and cutting down pollution in Ahmedabad. The schools, which have come under the banner of ‘The Green Principals and Educators League’, plan to take the efforts beyond the one-day exercise by encouraging students to contribute to the cause. Students will be asked to do projects on energy conservation for their second term.The schools have asked their students to observe the similar practice of switching off electricity for an hour at their homes and encourage at least five neighbours, friends or relatives to do the same. Renu Seth, founding mentor of the initiative, said, “From the time Ahmedabad has been declared a very polluted city, I have been trying to do something to increase the environmental awareness and green practices in our schools. Last week, all schools observed their meter reading for three days for an hour to get an average. The same exercise was done with five 2BHK houses as well. Once the project is over, we will get the findings and do a comparison to come out with a figure on energy conservation.”Seth said they plan to switch off power on December 11 to commemorate the World Energy Conservation Day which falls on December 14. “But since it is a poll holiday, we thought to advance it.”PARTICIPATING SCHOOLSDAV International School St Kabir School, Naranpura Anand Niketan, Shilaj Divyapath School Cosmos Castle International School, Bopal Cosmos Castle International School, SG road Lotus School New Shama School Danilimda Olive Green Kids School, Bodakdev Olive Green Kids School, Navrangpura S V Kadi Group of Schools, Gandhinagar (all four branches) Siddharth Public School, Himmatnagar Chinar Publi School, Alwar Doon School, Bhuj

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | BJP campaigns seek to mobilise Muslim women voters

In an attempt to make the Muslim women living in slum pockets aware of ‘vikas’, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has initiated a door-to-door campaign. THeir aim is to convince them to vote for the party. Interestingly, the campaign has been very strategically planned as the women BJP representatives have chosen afternoons for the same.Shehnaz Shaikh, General Body Behrampura ward Mahamantri, who has been working with the BJP for 15 years, has been instrumental in reaching out to several areas this election.”Women are free during afternoons as their husbands and children are out. Hence, we chose the afternoon to visit them. We spend around 20 minutes to an hour with them, depending on the issues and understanding capacity of the women. These are mostly uneducated women hence it is very important for us to reach out to them, explain about the work being done by BJP and eventually convince them to vote independently without being under any pressure.”Shehnaz, along with another 4 women, has covered households such as Calico Tekra, Nandas ki chaali, Bombay Hotel, Jamalpur, Khodiyanagar no Tekro, Behrampura, etc. During the visit, the team talks about ‘Vikas’ in their area.Water was a major issue for most of the women in Behrampura. Another lady who stitches clothes at home, Mehrnaz Devda said, “Water was a big issue in our area but thankfully now the problem has been resolved. Even our basti did not have a path with stones. It was a kaccha rasta, but now a stone path has been laid. However, the area still lacks a good school. There are so many children but we are forced to send our kids to a nearby school run by AMC. The education is not good there. So we immediately need a good school and recreational space for kids.”Rehanna Shaikh, who lives in a basti in Behrampura said, “We did not have a gas pipeline until now. Now, we have recently got the connection. Women feel safe, I do not know if it is the fear of cops or in general fear.” Nearly 500 Muslims, including women, had recently joined the BJP at a function organised by Jamalpur-Khadia MLA Bhushan Bhatt in Danilimda. Cleanliness was something that impressed Faheeda Pathan, a housewife and resident of Behrampura. She said, “Behrampura was one of the dirtiest areas. The dustbins were never cleaned for days. Now, we can see the change. The only thing that is needed is more big leaders.”Elaborating more on the campaign, Mohammad Farooq Qureshi, President, BJP Laghumati Morcha said, “We are targeting the Muslim women and making a group of five to convince furthermore to vote for BJP.”
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Gujarat Elections 2017: ‘Jay Shree Ram’ echoes at CM’s roadshow in Naroda

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani who kick started his road show from Naroda on Monday morning received a cold response. Roadshows, which attract a lot of local residents, here only had few locals and was crowded by local BJP workers. As soon as the CM boarded an open jeep, decked up with flowers, he was greeted with a ’tilak’ and a garland.In the entire vicinity, songs repeating ‘Jay Shree Ram’ were playing. A slogan turned into a song ‘Bharat Mein Rehna Hoga, Vande Mantaram Kehna Hoga’ and ‘Saat Din Ka Khel hai, Mard Ho Toh Saaamne Aao’ were being played constantly.As his roadshow approached, the CM removed his turban to wear a new turban by local BJP workers. Yet again, in the background, ‘Bhajapa Sharanam Gacchami, Modi Kamalam Gacchami’ was being played.Class 5 students Mansi Shekhawat and Nandini Chauhan of Kishor school became very happy when the CM waved his hand to them. When asked who is Vijay Rupani, the girls said, “Rupani is Modi’s best friend.”A retired government servant Mohan Gupta said, “The proposal to widen this road and clear traffic has been pending since a long time. This is a good way to showcase the narrowness of the lane. During Modi’s roadshow here, there was no place to stand but today, only BJP workers were seen.”Advocate Prakash Patel who also has his office in the same lane said, “Post GST, my earning has come down to single digit. The Vikas has only happened to the rich, not people like us. There is 18% GST on plastic, said Hiralal who sells plastic items on a cart. His cart was not allowed on the road due to CM’s roadshow.At Danilimda, MP Kirit Solanki and Suresh Pasi from Amethi received the CM from the roadshow and the CM boarded another open jeep.Groom leaves wedding to greet the CMIn a surprise to the CM, a groom Nikunj Setu, left his wedding and was seen rushing to the CM’s jeep. As soon as the CM saw him, he attended him and both exchanged garlands of flowers. He said, “The CM congratulated me for my wedding.”‘CURFEW MUKT GUJARAT DUE TO BJP’Interestingly, joining the CM at Danilimda were a group of Muslims. Mustufabhai Bidiwala, ex-president, BJP Laghumati Morcha, said, “We want BJP as during BJP’s reign, women in our community feel safe.” Mohammad Farooq Qureshi, another member said, “Check at Ahmedabad RTO. More than 75% people driving an auto-rickshaw are Muslims. So BJP has generated employment by creating a safer environment. Modi has ensured a curfew mukt Gujarat hence we want BJP to come.”
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How youth are driving social change in Singapore

Singapore has recently been ranked second in the 2017 World Smart Cities Index, thanks to its thriving business ecosystem, urban planning and its efforts towards clean energy. But the younger lot of Singapore, who are socially conscious, has a major contribution in its sustainable growth and addressing social issues.While many start-ups from India as well as other nations are relocating their base to Singapore, DNA managed to meet some of the young social entrepreneurs (Singaporeans and Indians), who are changing the shape of the country. Some of the most interesting social enterprises range from school of concepts to a socially conscious salon to an ex-cop who transformed an ex-convicts life, and the list goes on.Sruthi Sadanand, from Chennai, who is currently pursuing her masters in science from National University of Singapore is impressed with the ecosystem and ease that Singapore offers. She is one of the founders of Dexter Box or Infinite Engineers who design and develop fun learning activity kits for children to replace rote learning. While the kits are being used over 320 schools in Chennai, she is designing science experiments for elderly folk as well. She said, “Singapore is a country that really supports a lot of start-ups and ventures. People are easily accessible here. If I need to meet a school head for my work, I can just walk in so the paperwork is very less here and it is very encouraging.”For Mint Lim, starting School of Concepts was a deep rooted idea since her childhood. It is a social enterprise in the pre-school enrichment sector with heavily subsidized fees for its linguistic programmes that can enhance their school readiness and educational outcomes. “I am dyslexic and faced many issues on the language front. Autistic kids are not dumb but they need linguistic support. We run a literacy programme for nearly 1,000 children today.”Cheryl Ou, founder of Nail Social in Singapore, employs and trains single mothers and ex-offenders. It is a socially conscious salon to foster the future employment opportunities of local marginalised women. She said, “We specifically train and employ underprivileged women besides mentoring them through their personal challenges to become more confident and independent. In partnership with The Pink Room International Nail Academy, we network with various social agencies in Singapore to identify local women who face greater barriers of entry to employment.”A cop turned entrepreneur, Benjamin Tan, founder of Rickshaw coffee that focuses on transforming communities through coffee, got the idea for his start-up while working as a police officer. He said, “The guy who inspired me to do it as a subscription service was an ex-convict I had arrested. Lee was peddling contraband cigarettes that he delivered via bicycle and letter boxes as he was rejected by the society. And it was then I thought I should replace it with coffee beans.” Rickshaw Coffee works on a sole purpose to empower Lee to use his ability to engage people and help others in the community.
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Rolls Royce wheels into NID for campus placement

Every year, the placement season at the National Institute of Design (NID) witnesses a new trend. Interestingly, this year, the premier design institute saw the likes of a global premium car manufacturer, Rolls Royce, paying the campus a visit for placements.A highly placed source at NID said, “Yes, Rolls Royce is coming to NID for placements, and this is the first time that the car manufacturer is participating. Staff from Indian office of Rolls Royce will be visiting the campus for placements.”Speaking about its participation, a professor at NID, Tarun Deep Girdher, said, “It is too early to say anything but it is heartening news that companies known for product design have started realising that graphic design is also a specialisation.”As per sources, while Rolls Royce will be looking for varied roles, they are likely to scout for students of interaction design, information design and graphic design.At the national level, nine automobile companies including Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, Bajaj Auto, Volvo, Renault Nissan, General Motors, Tata Motors and Toyota were among the recruiters at IIT Madras. Of these, Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce and Bajaj Auto participated in the placements of IIT-M for the first time.In 2015, Ludhiana-based Trident Group, a leading home textiles producer, offered a Rs 72 lakh-pay package to a post-graduate student. Eight students from textile design had also bagged pay packages of Rs 48 lakh each.
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Sattvik food fest drops street food handvo & dhokla

Stepping up their efforts to ensure quality, the organisers of Sattvik food festival, Gujarat’s largest and most-awaited food festival, have banned Gujarati delicacies handvo, dhokla and khichu from their menu. The reason? They are easily available in roadside eateries.Not just that, the organisers, Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), have also decided to allow limited number of stalls this year, also to further up quality. The three-day 15th Sattvik food festival will begin on December 23 at AES ground, Bodakdev.Confirming the same, Ramesh Patel, secretary, SRISTI, said, “For the first time, we have banned items such as handvo, khichu, dhokla, boiled corn, etc. We don’t want to promote food that are easily available on roadsides. The idea of this festival is to promote traditional dishes. We have also decided not to have cheese and paneer in the festival as they are difficult to digest, and hence have no place in satvik food.”Professor Anil Gupta, founder of SRISTI, said, “Sattvik has been trying to attain higher and higher degree of authenticity in offering the traditional tastes of India and an organic India through the creative and innovative platform like the exhibition of innovations by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and other such organisations.”We also invite foodPreneur start-ups and small enterprises run by women and others to promote value addition in nutritious food. Unless farmers do that, their income will not increase. We should not forget ‘jaisa ann, waisa mann.’ So unless we eat healthy, live healthy and think healthy, we will not make our children and future generation and India healthy. There is a need to bring back the wisdom of grandmothers back into our lives.”According to Patel, the food festival will also host a community kitchen (food lab) where people will be taught how to cook healthy using the right vessels, through the right process and with the right emotions. Over 50 stalls from different states and 75 stalls from Gujarat will serve traditional food items during the festival.”The festival is aimed at providing a platform for popularising traditional recipes made from lesser- known crop varieties such as kodra (paspalum scrobiculatum), bavta (eleusine coracana), ragi (nagli), samo (echinocloa colonum), jowar (sorghum vulgare), bajra (millet), makka (zea mays), etc.
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NIDian uses jute to make a hall soundproof

In yet another attempt to promote jute, a student of National Institute of Design (NID) has used jute as a sound-proof material.Aimed at the hotel industry, her product is being used at the new auditorium which is being constructed at NID’s Gandhinagar campus.Bhavika Vajani, Masters Programme in Lifestyle and Accessories Design, took this idea as part of her graduation project. At NID, students in final year are supposed to take up a live project working for industry demands.Speaking about her journey, Bhavika said, “The project started with the aim to change the perception of jute as a cheap and rugged material. On studying the material in depth, it was observed that jute has really good acoustic insulation properties and that became the focus of the study.” “On conducting trend research I realized that there is an immense scope for application of this property to maintain the indoor sound quality of residential as well as public spaces like auditoriums, hotels, restaurants,” she saidSpeaking of challenges, she said, “Taming the material was the biggest challenge. Another challenge was exploring and enhancing the acoustic properties through surface developments while also focusing on the aesthetic value of the products to align them with contemporary interiors.””And the last one was to make it up to the market standards the material had to be treated for fire retardancy, water resistivity and also prevent it from antimicrobial attack, jute is a natural fibre.Speaking about the USP of the design, she said, “The highlight of my product is that it is treated for fire retardancy, water resistivity and anti-microbial attack which makes it at par with the fibreglass and woollen felt insulation panels available in the market.””The other advantage is its weight. Since it is lightweight and modular, it makes it easy to handle. The panel surfaces developed have been tested for their sound absorption and fire retardancy based on IS standards,” she said.
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A wedding that exhibits innovations, spreads awareness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to make a difference and boost innovation, an Amdavadi has got his wedding card printed that mentions sustainable practises of Honey Bee Network, which is a crucible of innovators, farmers, scholars and academicians documenting traditional knowledge and innovation.Chetan Patel who works with Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), a part of Honey Bee Network, has not only made a difference with his wedding card but also exhibited 30 innovations during his marriage ceremony on Saturday.”Wedding cards have a larger community reach, which is why I thought to use it as a means to spread awareness,” Patel said.Commenting on his initiative, professor Anil Gupta, founder of SRISTI said, “This has happened for the first time in 30 years that someone has even thought of this kind of a blend of cultural and social ways. While the card included numerous practices of innovations by children and farmers, he also gave an opportunity to exhibitors to display their innovations at his marriage. Chetan is the man who organises Shodh Yatra every year. Hence, it is overwhelming to even imagine what he has foreseen through this initiative.”He remarked, “This is a beautiful way of sharing information about what he has learnt with us by including these in this sacred ritual. Instead of a pamphlet, spreading awareness in such a manner is significant.”On exhibition, professor Gupta said, “The exhibition had a farmer from Haryana who had processed 200 kg fruits to make juice for 3,500 guests. He gave the remaining fruits to villagers to make ice cream out of them. We at SRISTI would be happy to help and support if any marriages or ceremonies are planned in an innovation fair where people can have a corner of creativity for their guests. Guests have to wait for long during such ceremonies and they can visit the creative corner.”

Most schools to charge by the month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Schools across the city are in a fix over new admissions. While the admission season for nursery begins after Diwali, this year the same has been delayed.Due to an unclear picture, most schools have changed their admissions as per the Fee Regulatory Act. Most schools have decided to charge admission, term, and monthly fees on a per-month basis. MP Chandran, spokesperson of Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) said, “We have communicated to our member schools that we have decided to charge admission fee for only one month as per the Act, subject to the decision by the HC. We are considering only sibling cases in JG International school.”Parents and school community have been in confusion since March 30 when the state government through its Gujarat Self-Financed School (Regulation of Fees Bill), 2017, put a cap on annual fees of self-financed schools across Gujarat at Rs 15,000 for primary section, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27,000 for higher secondary classes.Manan Chokshi, Managing Trustee, Udgam School for Children said, “Since there is no clarity from the state government as well as the HC yet, we have decided to start our admissions from December 1…. We have decided to charge admission fee only for one month along with regular fees. At the moment, we are only accepting inquiries and shortlisting them.”

State makes police verification of school staff mandatory

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of rising concerns over security in schools following the Ryan incident, the state education department has issued a list of rules. Schools across the city have been tasked with adhering to these assignments which includes getting police verification of teachers and support staff.While there has been no clarity on why the department has issued a list in the middle of the session, most believe this is in response to the Ryan International murder case in Delhi.When DNA poke to several school authorities, they confirmed the same. Anisha Shaikh, Principal of FD High School in Jamalpur, said, “Being a girls school, we have stringent rules that we have been following for many years. We have nearly 1,500 girls studying here and their safety is our responsibility. We have recently been issued a list of rules to be followed by the state government. While we have already been following most of them, there are some that are new. For example, the government wants us to issue smart cards to the teachers. Not just smart cards, schools have also been asked to do a police verification of all the staff, including teachers. This has probably been done after taking a learning from the Delhi school murder.”Speaking about the kind of rules they have been following, she said, “A card containing the personal details of the parents have been issued to them, to help us verify. In case there’s an emergency and the child needs to be released before school ends, displaying this card will become mandatory.Many a times, students wish to venture outside the school premises to get lunch. To stop this, we have opened a canteen inside the school where healthy snacks are available. Apart from this, we have installed a box in our lobby area that reads as ‘We Listen’, in which students who are unable to express themselves or voice their concerns in public, can easily do so.”Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma confirmed this and said, “Ensuring the safety of the students is our prime concern. We had also celebrated safety week in schools recently.” District Education Officer Navneet Mehta was not available for a comment.SAFETY CONCERNSThe state education department has issued a list of rules to schools across the city. Guidelines include getting police verification for teachers, support staff. Edu Min says ensuring students’ safety is the govt’s main concern.

Hoping for a change

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It bore the brunt of the police violence against Patels in August 2015 and decided to root for the Opposition. Power play has no stand here as Bapunagar is looking for a change, and is even convinced if the Congress comes to power.Residents of the lower middle class suburb of Ahmedabad want relief from both BJP and Congress. They need solutions, and fast. Less than a month to elections, they want a change in power.In the municipal election of December 2015, all wards of Bapunagar, including Rakhial and Saraspur voted in favour of the Congress after they suffered from police violence due to a Patidar rally demanding caste-based reservations.While the claims of the Opposition and the residents are on the same lines with the primary problems being water and pollution, the sitting BJP MLA Rajput Jagrupsinh Girdansinh says that most issues have been solved. “To curb pollution, we have made an Oxygen park that has 3,500 trees,” he said. Jagrupsinh had defeated Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai of Congress in 2012 with a margin of 2,603 votes.On the other hand, the opposition and residents have a list of issues to be talked about. One of the residents of India Colony said, “Change is needed. BJP is ruling for 22 years and now should change. We have complained so many times about the water problems but no one responds. Check the list of societies that every water tanker pays a visit to. This shows the actual problem.”BAPUNAGAR NEWLY FORMED CONSTITUENCY IN 2012Population: Over 2.5 lakhVoters: 167009Male: 89535Female: 77473Other: 1CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSMuslims: 50,000SC: 32,000Hindi speakers: 36,000Thakor: 10,000Devipujak: 12,000Patels: 10,000 (all figures are approx)VOTER TURNOUT IN PAST THREE ELECTIONS2012- 67.50%WHICH PARTY / MLA HAS WON IN THE PREVIOUS THREE ELECTIONS2012: BJP- Rajput Jagrupsinh Girdansinh (victory margin 2603 ) Congress: Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai2007: BJP – Barot Bharatkumar Chimanlal (margin 32%)Congress: Shaikh Mohammad Faruk Hussainmiya (margin: 18%)KEY ISSUES:Water
Pollution
Colleges
Gambling, liquor AUTHORITY SPEAKS1. Rajput Jagrupsinh Gidansinh, MLA, BJP:Bapunagar residents were facing a lot of issues due to pollution and to curb the same, we made an Oxygen park with 3500 trees.On an average, nearly 600-700 visitors come to the park. On health front, we have added important facilities like MRI, blood bank, CT scan, etc at Shardaben hospital. To prevent water logging during monsoon, in past five years, we have made stronger network of storm water network and built 4 bore wells and 3 water tanks.2. Shyani Dhirubhai Thakarshibhai, CongressI am out of town and I had fought elections in 2012. After that, I have no idea what kind of problems are there. My office gets all sorts of complaints.LIKELY CANDIDATES IN 2017:BJP: Prakash GurjarCongress: Dinesh SharmaWHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY1. Meenaben Gohil, social workerBapunagar is a hub of all kinds of illegal activities like bootlegging, gambling, etc. School students of higher grades are into serious addiction. There is a pan parlour which is a nuisance in our area, that promotes these activities. The most dirty water is released in our area that attracts dangerous insects into our homes. I have been fighting for these issues and will continue for the same. BJP needs to go now.2. Amit Naik, doctorIn all elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took out roadshows in our area and said that he will make this part like West Ahmedabad. While he became PM from CM but Bapunagar still remains the same. The biggest issue is that sports complex opened by the state government does not have qualified coaches. Young children of our area are struggling to learn. We do not have a government college and the place which was reserved for a government college today has an Oxygen park.3. Popatbhai Gajera, retired (I have photo of a water tanker as well that visited the society)Election or no election, biggest problem in my area is water. Women in my area struggle every day due to non availability of water. Despite so many complaints, the issue is never resolved and there is no one to listen to us.4. Mukesh Patel, sells pani-puriI used to rub diamonds earlier but left the work many years ago. Since then, I have been selling pani puri. My business got affected during the Patidar andolan, when the roads were shut for few days. I do not have any issue with the government but just that the fee of schools is too much. I have two children and hence it gets difficult to run the house.”5. Nalin Brambhatt, jewellerTo get season passes for buses, there is no facility available at any depot here. Students especially girls have to travel till Lal-darwaja for the same. Another important aspect is that there is no Anganwadi in Bapunagar. Free medicines are not given to the poor in Shardaben hospital.

AAI to relax norms, float partial privatisation tender soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major step, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is again in the process to float a tender with added features and relaxed conditions for partial privatisation of Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports.The bidding process that began early this year, after AAI had rejected Singapore’s Changi airport’s proposal to operate and maintain both airports, was extended several times, on various grounds.The AAI had received nearly 12 registrations including from international players until now but this step has raised number of questions. The AAI had invited Request for Proposal (RFP) from bidders for operation and maintenance of ‘select areas’ of the Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports late last year. The select areas include passenger terminal building, airport operations control centre, fire control room, kerb side approach road and passenger boarding bridges, apron area, including provision of ground handling services through approved ground handling and surface car park, among others, as per the bid document.Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI said, “We have had several interactions with potential bidders with an aim to find out their perceptions. Based on those, we have decided to add more conditions and features to the existing tender. The same is under the consideration by the Ministry and a decision is likely by this month end. Once approved, we will float the tender.”However, sources said the bidders have several issues with the tender terms and conditions and are not willing to come to Ahmedabad and Jaipur to manage.Sources say that the norms and conditions in the existing tender are extremely stringent due to which bidders fear a lot of interference from the AAI.An airport operator said, “Bidders want to have some development on the land processes. At present, the conditions are quite stringent. Out of 33 parameters, operator has to get more than 4.5 out of five on international scoring and if the score is less, then the airport authority will invoke a penalty clause. Now, things like overall experience at airport would differ and is a very generic term which is not measurable.”Speaking about the delay, chairman of Airlines Operator Committee (AOC) Shalin Joshipura feels that the partial privatisation will not be financially viable for the bidders.He said, “The delay has affected major projects at city airport here. For example, we have been demanding for a lounge but due to Operation and Maintenance it is pending. The present director has made changes, but more needs to be done. Airports like Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad are doing well merely because they are entirely privatised. Either the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport should be entirely privatised or remain with AAI.”Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, SVPI, said, “Airport operation is a complete ecosystem and we have to coordinate to see how customs, immigration, airlines and other stakeholders perform together to give a good product to the customer. Hence, work of airport director becomes very challenging and important.”TIMELINE2015 – PM Narendra Modi suggests to rope in Changi airport2016 – Changi airport officials visit Ahmedabad, to study further2016 – AAI rejects Changi’s proposal2017 – AAI opens bids to private playersExtends deadline number of timesProposes to change the norms/conditions

IRMA team into honey biz wins international accolade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team from the Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA) is among one of the six winning teams that pitched its social enterprise ideas for change, after an eight month journey of mentorship, overseas study visit and social entrepreneurial learning and exchange.A total of 16 teams, representing eight countries and territories were shortlisted from a pool of 138 participants at the 2017 Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) workshop held in March this year. The YSE, organised by Singapore International Foundation (SIF), is a social enterprise programme that nurtures an international network of youth keen in social issues through entrepreneurial means.The team from IRMA, Chaitanya Powar, Abhishek Sharma and Harikrishan Santhosh pitched their social enterprise Auctorem Solutions to the panel of judges at the final pitching session held on November 3. The sustainable venture based in the Western Ghat region of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, works with tribes to facilitate collection, extraction, purification and sales of natural and medicinal honey from the forests.Chaitanya said, “As against other players in the market, we provide safety gears and use scientific method of extracting honey. While we are giving livelihood to the tribal community, we are also ensuring that the beehive is not completely damaged.”Six teams were eventually awarded up to $ 20,000 in seed funding and were selected based on the impact, scalability and sustainability of their social enterprise, and the commitment level of its members.Interestingly, one of the winning team from Singapore, Freedom Cups, headed by sisters Rebecca Paranjothy and Vanessa Paranjothy, produces reusable menstrual cups for women and works on a model buy-1, give-1 where every purchase allows a woman from an underprivileged background to have clean periods.Rebecca said, “Sanitary pads and tampons produce so much waste on this planet. Our freedom cups can be used for 10 years and are hygienic.”Another Indian team that won the competition was Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti run by Summaiya Afreen and Rahul Goswami which strives to enhance the relation between the literacy level of mother and child through dual-generation strategies.8 COUNTRIESA total of 16 teams, representing eight countries and territories were shortlisted from a pool of 138 participants at the 2017 YSE workshop held in March this year.
YSE was organised by Singapore I’ntl Foundation.

MICA collaborates with AMC to celebrate city’s heritage

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coiniciding the dates of its annual marketing festival with the World Heritage Week, MICA, India’s premier management school for strategic marketing and communication, has collaborated with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to celebrate the heritage status of the city.MICANVAS, the three-day festival will kick-start on November 18 and will host a plethora of events, activities and competition where students from B-schools across the country will participate. Since the world heritage week begins from November 19, the theme of MICANVAS will revolve around heritage.Preeti Shroff, dean, MICA, said, “The students have partnered with AMC which suggested that the theme for our annual cultural event should revolve around heritage. AMC also suggested to turn our campus into a heritage one and will send its team to recreate heritage monuments on our campus.”Shroff added, “Apart from these, we are also organising a programme where students would compete on how to create a heritage campaign for Ahmedabad. It is a great opportunity of knowledge-sharing and belongingness that each student, Gujarati or non-Gujarati will have with the city.”Earlier, MICAVaani, MICA’s student- run community radio station, had recorded audio guides for 44 heritage sites in Ahmedabad, as part of effort that has gone into making Ahmedabad India’s first World Heritage City. These audio guides will act as aids for tourists to understand more about the various heritage sites in Ahmedabad. This project was undertaken by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) Ahmedabad chapter under the guidance of convenor Abhay Mangaldas.

On terror radar & ready for a wedding

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Magen Abraham Synagogue at Khamasa here is abuzz these days. And why not. Gujarat’s only synagogue is getting decked to host a wedding after almost six years. And it is the same venue that two IS suspects, arrested from Surat on Wednesday, are said to have held a recce of, allegedly plotting a lone wolf terror attack. The place, built in 1934, has become a talking point ever since.Though members of the community don’t want fear of a terror attack to dampen the mood, they don’t want to leave anything to chance either, and have asked for security at the synagogue so that the wedding can be held smoothly.Joseph Pingle, fondly called ‘Johnny’, is both excited and worried. Understandably so, because it’s his son wedding that is scheduled at the synagogue. Jews from Israeal, Canada and other places, including neighbouring Pune, are expected to attend the wedding ceremony on October 31.Pingle is one of the most important stakeholders of the community, being a cantor, priest, Hebrew teacher as well as the care taker of the synagogue.”When we heard the news, we sought security. Policemen have been deployed here since Thursday. We learnt the terror suspects did a recce on September 12. The synagogue is open to everyone. We have no idea who came when.”So why no weddings at the synagogue for six years? “There are about 140 Jews in the city and 160 in the state. The children of most of the Jews have gone abroad or elsewhere for studies, so no weddings took place,” Pingle said.”This is a big opportunity for community members to get together as part of the wedding,” Pingle added.Johnnybhai has a house in the western part of the city but, even at the age of 62, he lives in the house that belongs to the synagogue. “If I move out of this place, who will take care of the synagogue,” he wonders.On whether Jewish weddings can happen anywhere else, he said, “No. weddings can happen only in a synagogue, and it is the only day when a bride is allowed at the prayer zone inside the synagogue. We cannot postpone the wedding as all the arrangements have already been made.”The Bene Israel Jews arrived in India almost 2,500 years ago after a shipwreck near Alibaug, Mumbai. They have since grown into a rich and unique community, residing primarily in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Over the years, most Jews have migrated to Israel, USA, Canada and other countries, but a small fraction still remains here.

Airlines welcome changes, want better airport facilities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Most airlines have responded positively to the recent non-privatisation model airport, in lieu of the changes made in the last six months to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI). However, though they are happy with a single operator — Airports Authority of India — they want assurance of a futuristic at approach, considering the pace at which traffic is increasing. The partial privatisation made both passengers and airlines hopeful; but, the bidding has been delayed for more than a year now.To attract more prospective bidders, the national airports operator, AAI, also made some major changes to the terms and conditions for privatising and modernising SVPI. The AAI had invited a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the bidders for the operation and maintenance of select areas of the Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports, late last year. The select areas include passenger terminal building, passenger boarding bridges, and apron area among others, as per the bid document.The proposal mentions that the O&M will remain with private players and the infrastructure will be handled by the AAI. Speaking on it, Shalin Joshipura, Chairman, Airlines Operators Committee, Ahmedabad, said, “Ahmedabad has witnessed tremendous growth and to match that, operational area growth took place, but nothing happened on the terminal front. I am equally interested in seeing how we focus on terminal development. We are seeing positive changes at the terminal under the current leadership, but we need to be more futuristic. If we get an assurance of a futuristic approach and synchronisation of infrastructure with the pace at which traffic is growing, we wil be satisfied with the AAI.”While the bidding process is due to get over by October end, there has been no clarity on the extension. Sources say that AAI doesn’t intend to extend it further.Speaking about recent changes at the airport, Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, said, “We have undertaken a lot of changes that includes more entry points for the terminal, numbering airline counters, queue managers, self check-in counters, etc. The latest was the installation of a Flight Information Display System, which will be visible from far. We have installed two video walls, one in the arrival bay and one in the departure. These will give flight-related information in three languages. We are also rebuilding the washrooms. At the international terminal, two new aerobridges are being added.WHAT’S NEWTwo video walls, one in the arrival bay and one in the departure have been installed. These will give flight-related information in three languages. The washrooms are also being rebuilt.

New changes at airport welcomed by airlines, hints towards single operator AAI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Airlines have responded positively to the recent non-privatisation model airport, in lieu of the changes made in the last six months to the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI). However, though they are happy with a single operator — Airports Authority of India — they want assurance of a futuristic at approach, considering the pace at which traffic is increasing. The partial privatisation made both passengers and airlines hopeful; but, the bidding has been delayed for more than a year now.To attract more prospective bidders, the national airports operator, AAI, also made some major changes to the terms and conditions for privatising and modernising SVPI. The AAI had invited a Request for Proposal (RFP) from the bidders for the operation and maintenance of select areas of the Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports, late last year. The select areas include passenger terminal building, passenger boarding bridges, and apron area among others, as per the bid document.The proposal mentions that the O&M will remain with private players and the infrastructure will be handled by the AAI. Speaking on it, Shalin Joshipura, Chairman, Airlines Operators Committee, Ahmedabad, said, “Ahmedabad has witnessed tremendous growth and to match that, operational area growth took place, but nothing happened on the terminal front. I am equally interested in seeing how we focus on terminal development. We are seeing positive changes at the terminal under the current leadership, but we need to be more futuristic. If we get an assurance of a futuristic approach and synchronisation of infrastructure with the pace at which traffic is growing, we wil be satisfied with the AAI.”While the bidding process is due to get over by October end, there has been no clarity on the extension. Sources say that AAI doesn’t intend to extend it further.INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL TO GET TWO NEW AEROBRIDGES:Speaking about recent changes at the airport, Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, said, “We have undertaken a lot of changes that includes more entry points for the terminal, numbering airline counters, queue managers, self check-in counters, etc. The latest was the installation of a Flight Information Display System, which will be visible from far. We have installed two video walls, one in the arrival bay and one in the departure. These will give flight-related information in three languages. We are also rebuilding the washrooms. At the international terminal, two new aerobridges are being added.

Ahmedabad airport imports Rs 52 lakh grass mower to deal with bird strikes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an aim to bring down bird hit incidents at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI) to zero, airport officials have imported a machine, the first in India, that has high capacity grass cutting and collecting power with its adjustable height discouraging the birds on the runway.The machine imported from Holland for Rs 52 lakh is extremely popular in the West, and known for maintaining local and international airports. It can cover 3-4 acres in an hour. The data revealed in an RTI reply by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on the number of bird strikes at SVPI mentions that between January 2015 and July 2016 there have been 70 bird strikes. Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, said, “Though we had grass cutters, the same left on the surface would again attract birds. The new machine also collects eggs of the birds. We have also taken help from Anand Agricultural University for a spray that prevents grass from growing.”Gangal said, “We want the cut grass to be used in a unique product or something else and hence have taken help from National Institute of Design (NID) as they specialise in creativity.” In 2010, Ahmedabad airport ranked third in India in being prone to bird hits. To scare away birds, airport authorities have been using firecrackers, reflecting films, zone guns and laser guns. Study at regular intervals have been carried out since past few years with the recent one by Gujarat Ecological Educational and Research Foundation that had found 41 species of birds in the vicinity of airport.Among the recommendations, one of the most important one was to focus on dealing with red wattled lapwing (Titodi) along with Kites as they remain active even at night, posing threat to aircrafts.RECENT INSTANCESIn April, grass beside the runway had caught fire delaying nearly 10 flights. Officials had said fire crackers used to keep the birds away were the cause of fire. In March, Air India’s Ahmedabad to London flight via Newark too had suffered a bird hit, while on its way to London, cancelling the further trip to Newark. The bird hit had damaged the nose of the aircraft as well as the radar antenna minutes before it was about to land at the Heathrow airport.

RSU develops mobile app to deal with fake cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to solve the menace of fake cops in the state, who are harrassing citizens more frequently, Raksha Shakti University has developed a mobile application that will help people authenticate cops. The application named COPS-G (Citizen Online Policeman Search-Gujarat) will have database of all the cops of different levels across the state.The application has been developed by third semester M-Tech student at RSU Priyank Parmar and mentored by professor Ravi Sheth.Speaking about the same, Priyank said, “The idea to work on this stuck me after I witnessed increasing cases of fake cops. They often harass people and people fall in their trap and end up paying a lot of money. We took almost six months to work on the app.”As many as 50 fake cop gangs are reportedly operating in the state, with nearly 25 of them based in Ahmedabad alone.”Once a citizen has been approached by a cop, the person can enter the date of birth or designation or buckle number in case of constable and immediately the entire profile of the cop along with a photograph and police station will be displayed. Based on that, the person can know whether the cop is fake or real. The person can also directly direct the call to 100, police control room”, said professor Sheth.He added, “We have written to the State Crime Record Bureau to help us collate the data of the state.”Confirming the same, Vikas Sahay, Director General, Raksha Shakti University said, “We have given a presentation to teh DGP Geeta Johri who has been quite positive about the project and soon will be launching the same. Once launched here, we will be replicating the model even in other states which have high number of such cases.”

Soon, courses for tackling bombs & quakes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>College students will now be taught how to deal with campus shootings, bomb threats, earthquakes, financial emergencies, etc., irrespective of the course they choose. The University Grants Commission (UGC) has written to universities and colleges across the country to offer compulsory courses on ‘Disaster Management’ to ensure that students are safeguarded against attacks, threats and accidents.St. Xavier’s college, Ahmedabad, has decided to offer such courses in its foundation programme from the next academic year. Confirming the same, Father Robert Arockiasamy, Principal, St. Xavier’s, said, “Since the circular came only recently, we will be able to offer the courses only from the next year. We have decided to offer these courses as part of the foundation programme or soft skills course, as accommodating such courses in any specific subject will be difficult. We also need to create some interest among students to take up the courses. The key challenge will be to motivate them.”Himanshu Pandya, Vice Chancellor, Gujarat University, could not be reached for a comment.The UGC notification said, “The Govemment of India is giving high priority to make students aware about disaster management in higher educational institutions. Planning for natural disasters and emergencies is something every educational institution must consider. Preparation is the key to saving precious lives or minimise the possible losses, if a disaster strikes. Accordingly, I am directed to request all universities to consider compulsory courses on disaster management which will include bomb threats, earthquakes, explosions, hazardous material spill or release, campus shootings, terrorist incidences, financial emergencies such as sudden health emergency, unexpected loss of income, death in the family or other family emergencies, etc.SHOCK ABSORBENTCompulsory course on disaster management will teach students how to deal with:Bomb threatsEarthquakesExplosionsHazardous material spill/releaseCampus shootingsTerrorist incidencesFinancial emergencies

IITGn alumnus helps map city’s Metro project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 26-year-old graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IIGn) is helping Ahmedabad Metro Rail project with underground infrastructure mapping through her expertise that does not damage pre-existing structures. Silky Agrawal who studied MTech in Civil Engineering from IITGn graduated in 2015 and launched her start-up GeoCarte Radar Technology Private Limited and incubated at IITGn.GeoCarte is a consulting organisation that provides non-destructive geophysical exploration with the objective of providing the innovative approach for subsurface investigation using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). GPR is one of the best modern tools capable of imaging subsurface invasively.Since 2015, Silky has worked on number of prestigious projects using IITGn’s network that includes working for Shree Somnath Trust, railway station in Gandhinagar and CST in Mumbai along with Ahmedabad Metro Rail project.Speaking about her work, she said, “We specialise in mapping manholes beneath the surface, locate excavation for archaeological sites, leak detection in underground pipelines and understand the drainage system of a city.”Silky added, “Ahmedabad is a Smart City now. It is undergoing massive development. It is extremely essential to prevent underground infrastructure and the pre-existing structures.”Talking about the work, she said, “We map the underground surface by not digging. We have completed first part for metro here and soon will be working on Pune metro.”She worked for proposed Shahpur metro station and located additional unknown utilities like sewage lines, electrical cables, underground storage tanks, and detected manholes.”Speaking about challenges, she said, “The most challenging issue on my entrepreneurial journey has been late night working on the site. It often gets difficult for girls to be on the site.”ACHIEVEMENTSSince 2015, Silky has worked on number of prestigious projects using IITGn’s network that includes working for Shree Somnath Trust, railway station in Gandhinagar and CST in Mumbai along with Ahmedabad Metro Rail project. She worked for proposed Shahpur metro station.

Jains are better at anger control: Study

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jain practitioners are more likely to be less impulsive and have higher anger control as compared to Hindus. The findings of a recent study — ‘Stress detection, impulsivity and anger control among Jains and Hindus’ — were presented at an international conference on forensics and cyber security held at Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU) on Friday.Interestingly, the study that has taken samples from both communities has found that since Jainism has more ‘tyag’ and ‘ahimsa’, these practitioners are more likely to be less impulsive and have higher anger control. Nearly 120 participants from both religions were interviewed and their responses were tested using stress detector scale, impulsive scale and anger control scale.The study has been done by students and faculty members of Institute of Behavioural Science at GFSU.Speaking about the research, Rutuja Karkhanis, assistant professor at GFSU, who guided the students, said, “One reason religious and spiritual traditions have been persistent in human history is that they provide meaning. Jainism and Hinduism are two ancient Indian religions and there are some similarities between them. Jainism has distinct religious practices like ‘tyag, tapasya, ahimsa and maun vrat’.All these practices are thought to have a gradual impact on every individual practising Jainism. We wish to take this study to all religions in future.”Twenty-one-year Madhuri Marathe from Goa, one of the researchers and a Masters student of Forensic Science at GFSU, said, “Positive psychology is often related to religion. So when I saw Neha Jain, one of my classmates, observing fast for a few hours during Paryushan, I was quite fascinated by the entire system. She also accepted that her lifestyle has affected her psychology.”One of the main reasons for less stress, anger and impulsiveness among Jains are that they practise restraint since childhood. As they grow up, they learn to control their behaviour, anger, urges,” she added.Said Neha, “We went to Jain and Hindu temples in and around Gandhinagar and asked questions to gauge people’s aggression, both passive and active. Participants were of 25-50 age group.”Commenting on the study, city-based sociologist Gaurang Jani said it was not just because Jains practised ahimsa. “For Jains, ahimsa does not go beyond the issue of animals. I think Jains are very cohesive as compared to Hindus. When you have cohesiveness, you have more support system in your own community and because of that support system, you find answers to any social or economic problem in your family or community. There is no need to go beyond,” said Jani.”If Jains have any problem, they meet their religious leaders who also take immense interest in family matters including the education of children and social issues. They not just preach but interact a lot with Jain families and their relationship goes beyond one generation. In Hindus, castes and sects are so divided that such support system has not been developed,” he added.

Soon, separate lane for pvt vehicles at airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amdavadis travelling to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI) either to drop off or receive folks in private cars can expect relief in terms of the ongoing toll-booth menace.City airport officials have decided to segregate private and commercial vehicles entering the arrival and departure bay in an attempt to solve traffic woes. Now, there will be a separate lane for taxis, buses and another for cars and other private vehicles.Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, said, “We have decided to segregate the private and commercial vehicles. This will also help us understand who is actually creating trouble at the toll booth. The segregated road is being constructed. The same should be implemented within this month,” adding that hopefully, this would help ease traffic and bring respite to passengers.Interestingly, the airport authorities, last month, had roped in students of HL College of Commerce to study and the collected data of a number of vehicles and types of vehicles passing by.Recently, airport authorities had issued an advisory following complaints of irregularities to ease passengers’ experience and prevent them from being cheated. However, this hasn’t changed much as 67-year-old resident of Chandkheda, who is a frequent flyer, says he was recently victimized by toll officials. Requesting anonymity, he said that he was made to pay the toll amount even after he adhered to the 10-minute policy.”When I reached the exit booth, I saw a long queue as a taxi driver was having an argument with toll-official. I informed the toll manager about this. However, they did not pay heed. All cars had to wait till the argument was over ended up paying the toll fee.”

Soon, dial 1962 for animal ambulance

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an initiative that will bring relief to thousands of animal lovers in the city, the the state government will soon launch a helpline dedicated to animals.Done in association with Emergency Management and Research Insitute (EMRI) that runs 108 free service ambulance in the country, the animal ambulance called Karuna Animal Ambulance can be called for on 1962, a free helpline, and will be similar to the 108 helpline and will be operational from 6am to 10pm for now.The vans, similar to 108 ambulances, are currently being designed and will have photos of different animals on them.Confirming the same, Dr Kachhia Patel, Director, Animal Husbandry Department, said, ” The ambulances will be equipped with all kinds of facilities like an ICU on wheels, etc and handle accidental cases and emergencies related to birds and animals. We are initially planning to start the 1962 services in seven districts of the state. The entire project is in the process hence I cannot divulge more details.”Gira Shah, Foudner, Jivdaya Charitable Trust, said, “For animals, follow-up treatment is the most important aspect. While we do have lot of vans that handle nearly 60 field cases on a daily basis, many times we do have to deny people our visit due to lack of resources. This initiative will help in the long run as it will save a lot of volunteers who help us in getting emergencies reach hospitals or our clinic. We get around 40 cases of OPD everyday.”Chetan Shah, a dog-lover, said, “This will be one of the best decisions of this year if the government starts a service like this. We as volunteers feel helpless at times when we are unable to reach the spot of emergency on time and then take the animal to a shelter. Ambulances, in such cases can at least provide basic treatment while being taken to a hospital. Animals can’t speak and hence it is even more painful to see their plight.”

State gives a miss to fruits in MDM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat government had recently revised the menu of mid-day meal (MDM) served to students studying in government and government-aided schools by introducing breakfast within the same budget. However, it gave a miss to fruits, which has been adopted by other states. The government included breakfast as children are unable to eat at one go.In Uttar Pradesh, government included fresh fruits in MDM last year that led to an increase in attendance. It introduced serving of peach, pear, custard apple, orange, bananas and other seasonal fruits to be served every Monday, to motivate children who often remain absent on Mondays.Sources from Gujarat education department said, “The government has revised the menu but it has only been implemented in a few schools in the state. We have included kathod (pulses and grains) which are rich in protein but milk and fruits are yet to be included. The menu has been decided after discussion with experts and nutritionists.”When DNA asked about inclusion of fruits here, Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, said, “We have revised our menu only recently. But as of now there is no proposal to include fruits in mid-day meal.” Chudasama was busy in the President’s visit to the state on Monday hence he could not talk further.City-based paediatrician Dr Hiral Nayak feels that while fruits are important, what the state is facing is an increase in number of protein deficiency. She says, “It is a very good move by the state government to include Kathod and Sukhdi as the latter has jaggery and the entire revise meal looks wholesome.”Another city-based paediatrician Dr Amit Gupta said, “Our basic criteria should be to prevent protein energy malnutrition which is prevalent in the state. According to me, the menu has covered all required forms.”He added, “Fruits will just add Potassium and vitamins, but I believe that MDM is on the right track. Nearly 40% of the kids even from good families are anaemic as their diet does not include balanced nutrition. If we go to lower socio-strata, the numbers would be higher.”IN THE MENUAccording to the new Gujarat government notification, the weekly menu will include Chana, Chaat, Sukhdi, Muthiya, mixed dal in breakfast. In lunch, children will be given Thepla, Suki bhaji, vegetable Khichdi, Dudhi-chana shak, Dal-dhokali, vegetable Pulav and Muthiya.

Hand-foot-mouth disease forces closure of school

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city school has declared holidays for its pre-school children after a few were diagnosed with the hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Since this disease is airborne and affects only children below 8 years, as a precautionary step, Eklavya school has declared a 4-day holiday stop its spread.The school authorities had initially declared two days holiday but then extended it to four days.A parent requesting anonymity said, “The holiday has been declared till Friday but since Saturday is a Dushera holiday and Monday is Gandhi Jayanti, children will resume school on Tuesday.”In this disease, viral infection causes sores and rashes in the mouth, hands, and feet with fever. As this news spread, Udgam School for Children sent out circulars to their parents regarding communicable diseases. Manan Choksi, Executive Director, Udgam School for Children said, “We are looking at the rapid spread of various diseases in the city. As a result, we are asking parents to inform in case their child is suffering from any such disease.”The notice issued by the school said, “We need to ensure communicable diseases do not spread amongst children. There has been a little respite from swine flu. However, dengue menace is still on. Today the little-known disease ‘Hand Foot and Mouth Disease’ is spreading rapidly in Ahmedabad. In case you notice symptoms related to any such communicable diseases please do not send the child to school; inform the vice principal and if the possible mention in the leave note, so that we can take steps to curb its spread.”A parent of a class 6 student in Eklavya said, “This is a good step by the school.”Commenting on this, JG International School Principal Kavita Sharma said, “We have done a lot of sessions related to monsoon-related diseases including swine flu and various kinds of infections. Fortunately, there has been no such case as yet in our school. From past two weeks, we have been holding sessions on safety, good touch, bad touch, hygiene, etc.”Despite several calls to the Eklavya school authorities, no one responded.

NID to give Vaishnodevi a facelift

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After making sustainable products using demonetised notes, National Institute of Design is now working on giving a facelift to Vaishnodevi, the famous shrine in the northern India, which is thronged by millions of pilgrims throughout the year.The Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, formed in 1986, which undertakes various developmental activities to make the yatra more comfortable, has sought help from NID to enhance the experience of a pilgrim, starting from signanes, facilities, crowd management.Professor Pravinsinh Solanki, who is spearheading the project along with his team has already readied them.”To understand the issues that people face every day while going uphill, I visited the shrine nearly four times this year. We are not just looking at signages but also focussing on those people who cannot read in any language. So visually they should be able to guide and help themselves. Another important aspect is that lot of people get lost while on their yatra. So we are planning to make colourful patches on the entire route and place boards which will educate pilgrims from both sides.”Among other aspects, our design includes crowd management, weather conditions, transportation, curbing the monkey menace, numbering the steps, two sided graphics, etc and souvenirs. We have a student from animation department at NID helping with visuals and a film and video student to make a short film for devotees.”Later, there will be interventions to improve on lockers, facilitate a better blanket availing option, etc.Pradyumna Vyas, Director, NID said, “Lakhs visit Vaishno Devi shrine round the year. Our endeavour is to make their journey more comfortable, rich and less cumbersome though design intervention. NID will be helping the shrine authorities in the entire totality.”

Parsis to organise Garba at 97-year-old sanatorium

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a first, the 97-year-old Parsi sanatorium on Sabarmati Riverfront will host Garba this Navratri. Organised by Ushta-Te Foundation, an organisation that works for the welfare of Parsi community members, the Garba celebration will be held on September 30.Parsi community members from all age groups are likely to attend this initiative. Mehr Medora, founder, Ushta-Te Foundation, said, “This is for the first time that we Parsis are organising Garba. The idea is to bring Parsis across all age groups on one platform to celebrate Navratri festival.”She added, “The aim is to bring the older Parsis and younger Parsis on one platform to share joy and celebrate the biggest festival of Gujarat. This platform will also help them bond informally.”Pervin Rustom Watchmaker, one of the volunteer of Ushta-Te Foundation, said, “We are not taking any help from professionals. Volunteers of Ushta-Te have downloaded songs. Maybe, we do not know how to play Garba the right way but we will play in a manner that we have observed for past many years.”He added, “We never went out of the way to organise a Garba-Dandiya event. Hence, this will be special for us.”Rustom said they are expecting 200 people to gather for the Garba event. “But, I do not know how many will be able to play Garba,” he added.Ushta-Te runs various initiatives under its umbrella, like a senior citizens’ club, Zarthushti Awareness Group of Ahmedabad (ZAGA) that focuses on overall development of children, a ladies group and others.Ushta-Te means ‘happiness to you’ and he foundation also provides educational loans and medical help to its members.The Parsi Sanatorium compound at Sabarmati Riverfront faces threat if the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) implements its revised city development plan.

200 schools await decision on fees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the 120 days that the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC) was given to make their decision on the proposals on fee structure submitted by schools known closes to an end on Sunday (September 24), a major chunk of nearly 200 schools in the city are staring at uncertainty.A total of 252 schools from Ahmedabad had approached the FRC, which was formed under the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act, 2017, on May 4 with proposals justifying their respective fee. Self-financed schools across the state were asked to submit their proposal within 25 days and the FRC was directed to reach a decision on each of the proposal within 90 days of receiving them. However, till date, only 50 schools have received a definitive response from the FRC.Also, the Gujarat High Court’s order on more than 60 petitions filed by schools and other associations challenging the cap on school fees, is awaited. It may be noted that these petitioners are opposed to the fee regulation.It is believed that the FRC may not want to announce their decision when the High Court order is still pending.The upper limit of fees that private schools can charge has been fixed at Rs 15,000 for primary, Rs 25,000 for secondary and Rs 27,000 for higher secondary level through the Act.A gazette notification published on August 24 stated that the Gujarat government through a notification under the Gujarat Self-Financed Schools (Regulation of Fees) Act 2017 stipulated that the fee regulatory committee according to the new amendment will have 120 days to fix fees for schools. The government had earlier fixed a 90-day time frame to fix fees. The government had clearly stated that the fee regulatory committee will declare the new fee structure within 120 days from the date of proposal submission (it was 90 days under the earlier rule).Ajay Bhatt from the state Education Department said, “A total of 252 schools in the city had approached the FRC. While it 50 schools have received a decision, over 200 schools are expected to get a definitive answer soon.”A senior official with the department, requesting anonymity, said, “It is most likely that the FRC will not give its verdict till the High Court passes its order. While the schools that did not approach the HC do not have to wait for the order, certain observations by the court may have an implication for them. Hence, the FRC will want to wait.”FRC CRITERIA TO ALLOW HIKELocation of the school
Investment cost incurred on setup
Infrastructure, quality of education, facilities
Admin expenditure, maintenance of services and utilities
Excess fund generated from NRIs as part of charity
Student strength
Classes and courses of study offered
Qualification of teaching and non-teaching staff
Salary components and yearly increments of staff
Reasonable revenue surplus for development purposes, education and expansion

Students help AAI solve toll booth woes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Airports Authority of India has roped in students from the HL College of Commerce to monitor and collect data from the toll booth near the city’s airports.A team of seven students, which was deployed at the toll booth from Thursday midnight, will keep a record of the number and types of vehicles passing by.”We have two projects related to the airport. In the toll booth project, the airports’ authority wants to ascertain what types of vehicles come to airport and the time taken at the booth,” said Dr Parag Shah, professor of Statistics, HL College of Commerce.”Depending on the data, different booths might be created for private and public vehicles. Seven students will work on the project for 48 hours in different shifts. They have been given shifts of 12 hours and after the project, we will collect an extensive data and submit to airport officials,” he added.”Once this project is over, the students will make an analysis of passengers flying with different airline companies, their preferences and reasons for choosing a particular airline. The project will start in October and we will cover the domestic and international airport,” he added.STUDENTS AT WORKAirports Authority of India has roped in students from HL College of Commerce
The team of seven students will monitor and collect data from the toll booths near the city’s airports

BCA advances Durga Puja festivities by a day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The oldest Durga Puja in the state is 80-year-old. However, celebrating its anniversary this year, the Bengali Cultural Association (BCA) in Ahmedabad has decided to pre-pone the festivities by a day.Considering that many people will miss out on the celebrations if the organizers arrange the prasad distribution and related programmes on weekdays, the committee has decided to advance the meet-ups.The Puja is starting from September 25, but BCA will start celebrating the annual festival from September 24. The attraction of the first day will be Anandamela, a food festival where women will serve home-made food to the visitors. Besides the treat that will be sold at a very little price, the pandal-hoppers will also be a part of the musical event that will be held at the same venue.Kanak Das Adhikary, Genearal Secretary of BCA, said, “The Puja dates this year is not falling on any Sunday. This is the main reason we thought to advance it. We don’t want anybody to miss the celebration as we enter 80th year. There will be around 25 food stalls during the food festival.”Wrath of the rains:For the first time, BCA has this year invested in creating two domes of 250 feet so that the Puja is not hampered by the rains. Genearal Secretary of BCA, Kanak Das Adhikary, said, “MeT has predicted rains during Navratri. As a precautionary measure, we are creating two huge domes to cover the area.”Tribute to city’s heritage statusBCA has also roped in a master craftsman, Sanat Maity, who specializes in wood carving to create a unique entrance for the pandal. “The city has been awarded a heritage status. Hence, we are creating inscriptions, depicting the heritage of the city, depicting the heritage of the city on a wooden gate. The gate will be of 20 feet high and 40 feet wide.”ISKCON temple President visits KalibariLocated on Rajpath Club-Sardar Patel Ring Road route, the Rs 2-crore temple complex on Tuesday also hosted Jasumati Nanda Prabhu, President, ISKCON temple said. Considering Tuesday auspicious, Kalibari held an Amavasya puja also.In 2013, BCA had shifted its venue to the ground behind Doordarshan on Drive-In road. Owned by the Ahmedabad Education Society (AES), the ground was not been used for any event for 70 years.This year too, the Durga idol is being prepared by Kolkata artisans, who came to the city to prepare the idol, which is estimated to be around 17-feet-high. According to tradition, the artisans fetch clay from the banks of the Ganges, on the day of Rath Yatra.CULTURAL PROGRAMME:Date-Day Pujo prog Cultural progSept 24 Anandamela – food festival, musical show
Sept 25 Panchami Inauguration, children musical performance, dance recital
Sept 26 Shashti Drama by BCA theatre group, singer Saptak Chaterjee
Sept 27 Maha Saptami Children drama, Bengali folk song by a band in Kolkata
Sept 28 Maha Ashtami Dance show by Kolkata triupe, song
Sept 29 Maha Navami Comedy show by Mridul Bhattacharya, folk song
Sept 30 Dashami (Sindoor Khela) Song by Anneswa Dutta

Mrs Akie Abe gets neck massage, henna

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Blind People’s Association (BPA) in the city welcomed Japan’s first lady Akie Abe on Thursday morning, the students were all overwhelmed by her presence. Going beyond the protocol, Mrs PM, who was on a two-day visit to the city, got a Japanese neck massage from a blind student, hair art and henna by hearing-impaired girls and also made Diyas at their training centre.Nandini Rawal, Executive Director of BPA said, “Mrs Abe hugged, blessed and touched all our students. She was extremely down to earth.” Hearing-impaired Rina Vansphoda, 19, was fortunate to get a chance to apply henna on her hand.Vansphoda, a resident of Narol, through her interpreter, said, “I have been practising sessions on many people but I never thought of applying henna on Mrs Abe’s hand. Her hands were so soft and tender.” Urmila Vaghmashi, a blind student, said, “I massaged Mrs Abe’s neck. It was a neck relief pain massage that I learnt during my two years course here.”

RTE: Parents’ lifestyle comes under officials’ scanner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An air-conditioner installed in the house, or a recent pay hike can make all the difference in your child’s education under the Right to Education (RTE), as some parents recently discovered when their lifestyles came under the officials’ scanner.Last week, hundreds of parents received notices to attend a hearing with their submission on Monday, asking them to either withdraw their ward or pay regular fees. Consider this. One of the parents who approached the RTE Resource Centre helpline of the IIM, Ahmedabad, said that the officials relied on a heavy electricity bill Rs 4,000 to draw the conclusion, but they didn’t consider that the bill was the collected sum for six families living in the chawl.”These are some of the loopholes,” an RTERC member who attended the hearing said. He added, “Close to 1,500 parents were called by the District Education Officer, Ahmedabad, asking them to withdraw their child’s admission.They should have verified, before granting admissions. Now, the students have been in school for two months, so it is really unfair to ask them to withdraw now.” However, sources told DNA that during inspection by schools, most of the houses had ACs, LCD TV, etc., which triggered the notices. The District Primary Education Office added that they had called in parents of 85 children, suspected to have violated the norms.Mahesh Mehta, DPEO, said, “We finished the entire process a week ago and held a hearing for the parents found violating the norms. Nearly 17 of them have withdrawn admissions voluntarily and we are in the process of cancelling 20 more admissions.”Meanwhile, Ghanshyam Prajapati, a helper in a company with an income of R8,000 a month received a letter on September 6, asking him to appear for the Monday hearing. “I took a leave to appear for the hearing. However, when my turn finally came three hours later, they told me that the house I lived in was owned by my father. When I tried to argue (he shares the home with his siblings), they threatened to initiate a police inquiry. They then offered help to accommodate my child in another school if I withdraw the admission, or agreed to pay regular fees. It will be unfair to him if we change the school now,” Prajapati said.For Bipinbhai Sagathiya, a resident of Shahwadi and a sweeper with AMC, a hike in salary did not turn the tide. He said, “When I filled the form under RTE, my salary was R5,000 per month, but then the government hiked our fixed wage to R16,224. The officials have asked me to withdraw the admission, but understanding the circumstances, I have cancelled the admission and will pay regular fees.”When contacted, Navneet Mehta, District Education Officer and Sunaina Tomar, Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education, remained unavailable for comment. However, the figure of 1500 could not be confirmed by the authorities

File a plaint if charged parking fee: City airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To ease passengers’ experience and prevent them from being cheated, officials at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (SVPI) issued an advisory encouraging passengers to file a grievance and not pay Rs 85 if they relieve the cab within 10 minute grace time.As per the system prevailing at the airport, if a cab takes more than 10 minutes to come out from the arrival or departure bay, owner has to pay Rs85. Off late, there have been complaints that cabs are charging parking fee from passengers without giving any receipt.Manoj Gangal, Airport Director, said, “Those flying out need not pay the cab driver unless they delay him beyond 10 minutes, which is the grace period and no fee is charged for that. We had also realised that the exit booths at arrival bay were not enough to handle the traffic during peak hours. Hence, we have decided to widen the road and double the booth capacity.”Passengers also need to be very careful that they do not accept manual receipt from the toll booth and ensure that the receipt should not just carry AAI’s name but also the contractor’s name for it to be a valid receipt, he said.“I would request passengers, especially women, not to take up fight at the toll booth but file a complaint with us. We will ensure action and even an FIR if required,” he said.ADVISORYDo not pay the parking charge to the cab driver unless you cross 10 minutes.
Do not misplace the parking slip while driving your vehicle
Do not accept receipt without mention of AAI and contractor name
Do not take up fight with the toll manager, instead file a complaint
For complaints write to: [email protected]

Blue Whale: CBSE asks schools to instal firewalls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the controversial ‘Blue Whale Challenge’ reportedly becoming popular among kids in India, the CBSE has issued advisory to schools asking them to install firewalled network.The advisory titled, ‘Guidelines for safe and effective use of Internet and digital technologies in schools and school buses’, lists what schools need to take care of. One of the important advice is to avoid digital images or video of students and teachers on website of schools.Most schools in the city, off late, have been putting photographs of best performers or activities on Facebook and other social media platforms. While the photographs and videos are essentially being put for parents’ consumption, the board has taken a stringent view as cyberbullying cases are on the rise. On the advisory, schools said installing firewalls is expensive.Surender Sachdeva, principal, DPS Bopal, said, “Though CBSE keeps issuing guidelines from time to time, this one comes in the wake of video games like Blue Whale Challenge. We live in times when social media abuse can turn out to be dangerous. Many a times, messages on WhatsApp are misleading. Similarly, Instagram, Twitter and other such platforms can be used for bullying and challenge impressionable minds.”Ruchi Chaudhary, Managing Trustee, Shanku’s Foundation, Divine Child International School (DCIS), said, “We have a cyber room since two years in our school that restricts websites that we do not want our students to access. It is a good thing by the board to issue advisory but I feel a similar advisory should be issued for parents and children as well.”Manan Choksi, Executive Director, Udgam School for Children, said, “The advisory seems to be adapted from the Western culture where one needs permission to put photographs on website or making them public. However, the situation in India is different. Here the parents want photographs of their children to be put on various platforms to rest their own anxiety. With the present advisory, schools can blur the photographs if parents wish so. At Udgam, we share more photographs on a more secure platform — our school mobile app.”THE GUIDELINEThe advisory titled, ‘Guidelines for safe and effective use of Internet and digital technologies in schools and school buses’, lists what schools need to take care of.
One of the important advice given by the CBSE is to avoid digital images or video of students and teachers on website of schools.

State sees drop in beef cases, CP credits Muslim community

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This year, Gujarat has witnessed a sharp drop in the number of beef cases that have reached the Directorate of Forensic Science (DFS) since 2012. While forensic experts believe the recent stringent law has played a role in reducing number of cases, Ahmedabad police commissioner feels that it is the community’s cooperation that has caused an impact.Until now, the DFS was busy investigating cases related to cow slaughter and beef ban, receiving over 200 cases yearly for three years till 2016. In 2017, though, the figure plunged to 73.HP Sanghvi, deputy director, Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Gandhinagar, said, “Due to the law, the cases that are sent by cops to FSL have drastically gone down. Unlike earlier times, we now receive only 1-2 calls in a month. This year, only 73 cases have come to us as against 205 from the year before.”As per the data shared by DFS, of the 128 and 220 cases in 2013 and 2014, respectively, 112 and 200 tested positive, as against 77 of 204 in 2015.DFS has four cow-meat testing vans in the state. After cops intercept a vehicle suspected to be carrying beef, they reach the spot for testing. It takes around half an hour to test the meat and furnish the report. Sometimes, though, depending on how the meat is extracted, investigation takes time.’Credit goes to community’Ahmedabad Commissioner of Police AK Singh said, “It is not just the law. A huge factor contributing to the reduced number of cases is the understanding that has evolved in the community itself, particularly the Muslim community, as they have come out openly against cow slaughter. During Bakri Eid, all mosques and religious leaders issued a directive saying that under no circumstances should anyone from the community be involved in cow slaughter. And this is a big reason why we are not getting too many cases.”He continued: “We do get cases of meat that is illegally transported but most of it was buffalo meat. There were quite a few of such cases intercepted by the police but these were away from the city. So we enforced the laws strictly, uncovered involvement of certain gangs and took preventive action. The organised illegal slaughter of buffalo has also seen a drop.”The top cop said better understanding of and more sensitivity towards the issue brought down the case.Talking about the gangs, he said: “It is not just in Ahmedabad that we found such gangs. We are aware of four such sites from where multiple cases originated, but we have dealt with them.” He added: “In Ahmedabad, we have more than 100 check-posts for anti-terror purpose and prevent any kind of illegally slaughtered meat.”The lawThe Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2017, which encompasses slaughter of cow, calves, bulls and bullocks, penalises breaches with life imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh. It bans transportation of animals from one place to another at night. And prescribes imprisonment of up to 10 years, but not less then seven years, for those found to be involved in transportation, sale and storage of beef. Earlier, the maximum punishment was three years.Year Cases with DFS2012 1122013 1282014 2152015 2052016 2052017 73Total 938Beef inspection: Test resultYear No. of cases Tested positive2013 128 1122014 220 2002015 204 77Total 552 389

Now, SRISTI to organise Shodh Yatra 4 times a year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>From 2018 onwards, Shodh Yatra, a journey for the search of knowledge, creativity and innovations at the grassroots organised by Society for Research and Initiatives for Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), will be held four times a year.It is an attempt to reach out to the remotest parts of the country with a firm belief that the hardships and challenges of natural surroundings are prime motivators of creativity and innovations. Rameshbhai Patel, secretary, SRISTI said, “Until now, it was conducted twice a year in summer and winter. Now, Shodh Yatra will be conducted four times.”Professor Anil Gupta, SRISTI founder, spoke to DNA from a village in Uttarakhand, where he is accompanied by 30 students of the IIMA including five foreign exchange students as part of the Shodh Yatra.”We are in Bharwa Katal village in Dhanaulti exploring and meeting the villagers and understanding their problems. We have decided to hold such yatras frequently as more number of foreign exchange and doctoral students want to be a part of the yatra,” he said.Professor Gupta said, “One of our first visits was to a school where we realised that there was only one girl in class 9 which means girl students drop out after class 8.”Shodh Yatra was started in 1998, out of a meeting organised at Titodi in Junagadh district of Gujarat. The farmers present there felt it was important and necessary to encourage organic farming. Moreover, there were many people from nearby villages who had found the solutions of their own problems through their inborn ability and presence of mind.

GFSU to soon venture into humanitarian forensics

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU) is hoping to add a humanitarian dimension to forensics in the country to help disaster-hit people by launching a dedicated course on Humanitarian Forensics. The discipline involves taking blood samples of survivors of a calamity, matching it with the body so it can be handed over to the kin for last rites, the institute said.Talking in detail about the course, to be launched in association with the International Committee for Red Cross, CD Jadeja, Registrar at GFSU, said, “In any event that involves mass casualties, kin of victims often live with trauma all life, mostly because they are not able to see the body of their family members, when ideally they should have a say in the disposition of their remains. Humanitarian forensics deals in this area.”Other than mass post-mortems, humanitarian forensics also involves counselling of distressed patients who find it difficult to overcome bereavement. “We will also be roping in counsellors and psychologists to help us strengthen this course and make our students understand how to deal with such situations.”The course will chiefly include designing sensitisation programmes, how best to locate, recover and preserve bodies in a certain condition, designing special vehicle models for their transportation and portable mortuaries.

Colleges run by non-qualifiers to go

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Warning stringent action against teacher training colleges across the country, the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) is likely to narrow down on fraud colleges with the aim to eliminate them.Speaking exclusively to DNA, NCTE Chairman Santhosh Mathew, who was in the city to deliver a talk on ‘The crisis in teachers’ education in India’, spoke about the large-scale fraud in the sector, which extends to about Rs 18,000 crore a year. He said, “It involves underpaying faculty who are meant to be paid as per the UGC structure, providing illegal services such as 100 per cent attendance, 100 per cent internal marks, impersonating identity during exams and issuing degrees to such students.” He added, “A lot of people have entered the sector like road contractors, alcohol distributors or whoever is in the twilight zone is a college owner today.”Mathew’s talk was held at Ahmedabad Management Association. “Now that we are investing in schools, the enrolment rates have gone up. But the same attention is not being given to teachers. As a result, the standards have gone down leading to a huge crisis,” he added.Using Aadhaar number to find duplication of teachers, he explained, “We have introduced a ranking system. We will be ranking top 100 teacher training institutes across the country. For this, 90 video vans are being used to videograph classes. We are setting up a national portal for details of teachers taking classes including the notes distributed. We are also inspecting and accrediting every college in the next 12 months. In the past 15 years, 1,500 colleges were accredited whereas we have a task of accrediting 18,000 colleges. Using Aadhaar, we will identify how many teachers show up against multiple colleges. These steps will ensure elimination of fraud colleges.”Mathew said, “In the past 20 days, 71 cases in 11 courts have been filed against us.”

Gujarat school wants Blake’s poem replaced by Tagore’s

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahmedabad-based Udgam School for Children has proposed that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) replace a William Blake poem in a Class 8 English textbook with that of one by Rabindranath Tagore.According to the school located in Thaltej, Blake’s ‘The School Boy’, printed in the class 8 textbook of the National Council of Educational, Research and Training (NCERT), puts the school in bad light.The school sent an e-mail in this regard to the board on Wednesday. The correspondence by Sujata Tandon, Principal, Udgam school, stated: “It is to bring to your kind notice that English NCERT book of Class 8, has a poem named The School Boy in Unit V by William Blake on page number 84-85. I would like the panel of experts to review the poem as it is not having high praise for the schools. I would like to substitute it by some other poem on school.I have attached one for your consideration by an Indian author.”Confirming the same, Manan Choksi, the executive director of the school, said, “Blake’s poem focuses on the downsides of formal learning and shows how going to school on a summer day takes away the joy. The boy in this poem is more interested in escaping his classroom. When CBSE is taking a step forward and asking for suggestions, schools, according to me, should not restrict to pointing out syntax errors but semantic errors as well.”

AAI ropes in CEPT to draft land policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The national airports operator Airports Authority of India (AAI) has roped in CEPT University to formulate a policy framework to procure land for airport projects. As part of the pan India project, CEPT experts will look into Government of India’s initiative of developing new airports and expansion of the existing ones.The Centre for Urban Land and Real Estate Policy (CULREP) at CEPT will review options and recommend a broader ‘Policy for land procurement for airport projects’. It will be based on review of state laws and case studies of new and existing airports.Under the direction and guidance of CEPT president Dr Bimal Patel and Faculty of Planning dean Vidyadhar Phatak, the study will be undertaken by the joint team comprising professors Rutool Sharma, Brijesh Bhatha and Jignesh Mehta.Guruprasad Mohapatra, chairman, AAI said, “To develop any airport, 1,500-2,000 acre of land is required and even to expand existing airport, more land is needed. The present Land Acquisition Act is extremely time consuming and an expensive proposition. State governments are finding it difficult at one go.”Dr Bimal Patel said, “Many states have tried mechanisms such as land readjustment and pooling which can provide an alternative. As part of this study, we will review some mechanisms and recommend the most suitable alternative for land procurement. Such an alternative might also be suitable for land procurement for other large projects like industrial clusters, highways and ports.”The CEPT team will be assisted by geomatics experts, planners, urban designers and architects.Mohapatra added, “Some projects in Maharashtra were done on basic TP principles. This concept was also upheld by high court and the Supreme Court.”

Forensic Science applications at GFSU doubles

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The number of applications for admissions to various courses in Gujarat Forensic Sciences University (GFSU) has doubled this year. As against last year, when the university had received only 900 applications, this year, 2,000 applications have been received.The master’s degree programme, Forensic Science, has received the highest applications which are 716 for just 60 seats followed by Digital forensic, which received 642 applications for 45 seats.Talking about the same, CD Jadeja, Registrar, GFSU said, “There are two reasons for the trend. One is that the awareness towards forensic science has increased immensely. Secondly, there is a huge demand for forensic experts in the country and abroad because of increase in crimes rates. The nature of cases worldwide are also getting complexed day by day and the only solution to such cases is forensic science. There is a huge scope of employment in this field these days.”Giving a glimpse of the industry, Jadeja said, “This year, we have introduced two courses, MA in criminology and PG Diploma in Toxicology. Toxicology deals with the analysis of the noxious effect of drugs and industrial chemicals. Since there was an increase in such cases and demand for such experts, we introduced a course on the same.”

Private schools introduce Gujarati language in early classes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to push and revive Gujarati language in the state, some private schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and international board have introduced Gujarati language in earlier classes voluntarily.CBSE introduces three language formula for students, giving them a choice from class 6 onwards. While many schools teach two levels of the language before class 6, there are many who introduce the language in class 4 so that students have a good grip over the language.Surender Sachdeva, principal, DPS Bopal said, “While CBSE mandates three language formula from class 6, we have introduced the subject from class 5 so that children are better prepared. We are also contemplating to introduce Gujarati in class 4 as just three years of teaching a language is not sufficient. To enhance basic concept of a language, more classes are needed to be conducted.”He added that in class 9 and 10, over 100 students have opted for Gujarati. A member of Association of Progressive Schools (AoPS) Manan Choksi said, “Even if the board does not mandate to offer languages in early classes, I feel schools should voluntarily offer to teach Gujarati from class 3. Being in Gujarat, we need to promote and preserve the language which is dying.”International board does not have a mandate to offer languages in a particular class. But JG International school offers Gujarati and French from class 3 onwards.Kavita Sharma, principal, JGIS said, “We offer Gujarati and French as third language from class 3 itself. Research says students can learn more languages in early ages. Our main objective of offering Gujarati is to promote the regional language as we are in Gujarat.”Lamiya Shums, director, Anand Niketan, Shilaj, said, “We offer Gujarati from class 5 and Sanskrit from class 1. In class 5, students bifurcate as per their choice. For example, in class 5, we teach Gujarati textbook of state board of grade 3.”

Girl with deformity adopted by US couple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Regional Passport Office (RPO) Ahmedabad issued a passport within an hour for travelling abroad to an infant who was disowned by her biological parents due to a physical deformity.Duruva, a nine-month-old girl from Gujarat’s oldest orphanage Kathiawar Nirashrit Balashram in Rajkot, has been adopted by an American couple.Neelam Rani, Regional Passport Officer, said, “When the case came to us from the orphanage, we were touched on seeing the girl. She does not have a leg and may be it is the reason her parents disowned her. An American couple wanted to adopt her to get her treatment done which is why we immediately issued her a passport.”Chandrakant Patel, honorary secretary, Kathiawar Nirashrit Balashram, said, “We found the baby in a hospital. It is a pity that her parents left her just a few hours after birth. We have high demand for couples looking for girl child, which is why Duruva was adopted within nine months. Three more girls from our orphanage are in the process of adoption. This year, around 24 children have been adopted of which 14 are girls.”Neelam Rani said, “On an average, we get five cases a month. Recently there was a case where a couple from Netherlands adopted a child with visual deformity. These cases inspire and motivate us.” Last year, a couple had adopted a girl from the same orphanage whose nose was chewed by a rat. Patel said, “We had found the girl Durga from a dustbin without a nose. Someone had left her in a dustbin, where her nose was chewed by rats. But an American couple chose her, took her to the US and got her treated. The girl looks so beautiful now that one cannot recognise her. Durga’a surgery has become a case study there.”

MICA replaces assignments with animated videos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a leap in pedagogical innovation, MICA has replaced traditional way of teaching for difficult subjects through books with animated videos.For complex subjects like research methodology, quantitative techniques and marketing analytics, MICA has collaborated with a company to create animated content to teach the students.Ashutosh Dutt, associate professor, Marketing Analytics at MICA, said, “We realised that to simplify a complex topic, visuals can lead to better comprehension. While e-learning had converted lectures into presentations and PDFs, our attempt is to reach beyond this.”First year student at MICA, Ritika Moolchandani, said, “Videos when incorporated into the pedagogy enhances the learning experience and can be used to understand complex concepts in a better manner. Watching videos for statistics helped us break down the concepts and apply what we have learnt in a better manner.”She added, “Overall, the learning pedagogy adopted is interesting but it needs to be well integrated. The pace of the class is a bit too fast at times. There needs to be a good balance between the mediums of instruction like theory, videos and class interaction.”Another first year MICA student, Chandrahasa Potdar said, “Videos whenever used with suitable animation and graphics makes the entire learning experience more engaging.”

All IITs to follow IITGN model

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Foundation Programme of the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN), seems to be going places. After a huge success of the programme that disconnects students from their studies at the beginning of the course, the IIT Council has asked other IITs across the country to follow suit.IITGN pioneered the Foundation Programme in 2011, and it has impacted students significantly. It aims at nurturing the all-round growth of students, away from academics, contributing to their creativity, physical wellbeing and extra-curricular passions.Talking about the programme, Dr Sudhir Jain, Director of IIT-GN, said, “The idea was to delay the study time of the new students and allow them to spend some time on various other activities. In 2013, NIT Trichy started a similar programme and in 2015, IIT-Kota adopted it. Recently, the IIT Council studied the programme, considered student feedback, and asked all the IITs to follow our Foundation Programme.”The five-week programme includes various activities ranging from field visits to village walks to sports. The authorities at IITGN, while designing the course, considered the fact that during JEE preparations, students dedicate nearly 10 hours to their books and do not partake in any physical activity. Hence, foundation programmes should be designed to boost both mental and physical well-being of students.Amit Prashant, dean, IIT-GN, said, “This year, we have included yoga in our physical activities. We designed a careful review system based on student feedback and perceptions about the end-of-day events in the programme.”DAY PLANA typical foundation programme day looks like this:Hour long physical exercise session at 6:30 am
After breakfast, couple of lectures and interactive sessions with experts from various fields
Post-lunch sessions on creative passions
Sports in the evening
In the evening, students are encouraged to pen down their thoughts and follow up on the things they discussed in the course of the day

Schools ensure children keep up during rain vacay

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To make optimum use of the unexpected rainy holidays, schools across the city are using social media platforms to give assignments to students. Schools like Udgam, DPS, St Kabir, Anand Niketan, among others, have forwarded assignments to their students to practice at home.Udgam School for Children sent messages to students’ parents asking them to use the holidays productively. Confirming the same, Manan Choksi, managing trustee of Udam, told DNA that the school has uploaded assignments and worksheets on their mobile app. Choksi said, “As per the state government directive, our school will remain shut on Friday as well. Hence, we have sent Whatsapp messages to students’ parents to refer to our mobile app and have kids practice the assignments at home in order to use the holidays productively.”Pragya Pandya of St Kabir said, “We want our children to utilise their time off. Hence, all our teachers are sending regular assignments and revision work to students.”

Get kids to report sexual harassment on POCSO e-box: CBSE to schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To address the rise in cases of sexual harassment faced by children in schools and elsewhere, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked schools to educate not just parents but also the children themselves. It has urged them to motivate children to report their complaints directly on POCSO e-box, an initiative by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).NCPCR had developed The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) e-Box to facilitate easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against and by children so that action can be taken under the POCSO Act, 2012. A circular issued by CBSE has urged schools to popularise the e-box by talking about it during parent-teacher meetings, display related information on notice boards, school magazines and its walls and educate school counsellors and students during the regular assemblies.The schools have also been asked to screen a national award-winning film ‘Komal’ to create awareness among school children about inappropriate touching. The circular states: Childhood is the period of both ignorance and innocence. Teachers, parents and all concerned adults should try to keep children safe from any kind of abuse. Within our different areas of responsibility, guided by policy, legislation and experience, we should take steps to provide what is best for children. One important step in this regard can be equipping and empowering children at the right age.” It added that the ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, had commissioned ‘Komal’ which has been uploaded and made available on CBSE YouTube channel.”Students can file complaint on e-box if they face harassment by: Family member, relativesSchoolSchool bus, vanBlackmailInternet, phoneMarket

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