Latest Ahmedabad Breaking News & Headlines

Will provide free and uninterrupted power in Gujarat if AAP wins: Arvind Kejriwal
The Indian Express | 2 hours ago | 05-07-2022 | 12:35 am
The Indian Express
2 hours ago | 05-07-2022 | 12:35 am

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said that “free” and “uninterrupted” electricity will be available in Gujarat, provided people are ready to “change politics” in the 2022 Assembly elections and bring the party to power.The Delhi Chief Minister was on a two-day visit to the state where he attended a town hall event near Vaishno Devi circle in Ahmedabad on Monday noon on the issue of free electricity, where he reiterated his poll promise of providing power free of cost.“Free and uninterrupted electricity supply is a talisman and I only possess it. No one else in the world has introduced free power supply except our government. We are honest people with noble intentions and we don’t want to make money from power companies. Electricity can be free, cheaper and uninterrupted in Gujarat as well, provided you are ready to change politics and bring us to power,” said Kejriwal.Kejriwal attacked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress for their alleged failure to make power supply an election issue.“Elections are coming in Gujarat and today we have assembled to discuss the problem of electricity here. I would like to ask you all that AAP is contesting elections for the first time in Gujarat but there have been many elections contested by the BJP and Congress. Has any party sat with you people to discuss the issue of electricity?” Kejriwal said.“They come, organize huge rallies, deliver big speeches and make big promises but then they loot the people for the next five years. Our party workers have been visiting villages in Gujarat, listening to the grievances of the people. Such people who only have 2-3 fans and bulbs, even they are getting electricity bills of thousands of rupees. If poor people have to pay electricity bills of thousands of rupees every month, then how are they supposed to send their kids to school and ensure two times meals? Why is electricity so expensive in Gujarat?,” he further said.Kejriwal accused ministers and elected representatives in the state of “consuming thousands of units of electricity” for free.“Ministers and elected representatives are making merry in Gujarat…they have several ACs in their bungalows yet their electricity bill comes to zero. Whereas you people, despite having only a few fans, bulbs, TV and a fridge at your home, have to spend thousands on the bill. This is unfair. The facilities given to these politicians must be extended to the common people also,” he added.Kejriwal also attacked the BJP government over the power supply provided to state’s farmers.“I got to know that farmers in Gujarat get electricity only during night hours. What is the logic behind this? On top of that, the rate of steep and there are frequent power cuts. I think the Gujarat secretariat Bhawan should get electricity only during night hours for a few days and these ministers should work only during this time. If our farmers will stay awake all night for electricity, when will they sleep?” said Kejriwal.At the end of the event, Kejriwal also promised the audience that he will return to Gujarat next Sunday, “with a solution for free electricity in Gujarat.”

Will provide free and uninterrupted power in Gujarat if AAP wins: Arvind Kejriwal
England vs India: Jasprit Bumrah breaks Kapil Dev’s 30-year-old record
The Indian Express | 2 hours ago | 05-07-2022 | 12:35 am
The Indian Express
2 hours ago | 05-07-2022 | 12:35 am

India’s stand-in skipper Jasprit Bumrah has surpassed Kapil Dev’s record. Bumrah has the most number of wickets as an Indian seamer against England in a Test series. Bumrah now has 23 wickets in the ongoing series, Kapil Dev had claimed 22 wickets in the 1981-82 series. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is third on the list with 19 wickets.WHAT. A. JAFFA. 🔥#TeamIndia needed something special to break this ominous opening partnership, and Bumrah delivered 🤩Tune in to Sony Six (ENG), Sony Ten 3 (HIN) & Sony Ten 4 (TAM/TEL) – (https://t.co/tsfQJW6cGi)#ENGvINDLIVEonSonySportsNetwork #ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/6TCIm8TY62— Sony Sports Network (@SonySportsNetwk) July 4, 2022On Day 4 of the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston, Bumrah removed Ollie Pop to go past the record of Kapil Dev.Bumrah reached another milestone as he completed 100 wickets in the SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries. He now has 101 wickets in SENA countries. Another 🪶 in Bumrah's 🧢😎1⃣0⃣0⃣ BOOM moments in Tests in SENA countries and we are 💯 times happier 🤩#OneFamily #ENGvIND @Jaspritbumrah93 @BCCI pic.twitter.com/Cr8I8KyMWZ— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) July 4, 2022Bumrah is only the sixth Indian bowler and fifth Indian pacer to reach the landmark, besides Anil Kumble (141), Ishant Sharma (130), Zaheer Khan (119), Mohammed Shami (119) and Kapil Dev (119). Interestingly, Bumrah also became the first Indian fast bowler to lead India since Kapil Dev in March 1987.With regular captain Rohit Sharma down with Covid and vice-captain KL Rahul being ruled due to injury, the Edgbaston Test is Bumrah’s first as an Indian captain.Earlier this year, Bumrah has been promoted as the vice-captain of the Indian team for the three-match ODI series in South Africa.Bumrah, the new ‘Smiling Assassin’ of Indian cricket, has the potential to become a ‘Captain Marvel’ if entrusted with full-time responsibility.It will be a steep learning curve for Bumrah and being a fast bowler, there will be spells of injury break as well as workload management hiatuses.But as and when Indian cricket is ready for next leadership transformation, the slinger from Ahmedabad will be way more worthy than a KL Rahul, who is considered to be Rohit Sharma’s natural successor across formats.

England vs India: Jasprit Bumrah breaks Kapil Dev’s 30-year-old record
Tougher road to God’s own country? Here is how much airfares to Kerala now cost
The Indian Express | 4 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 10:35 pm
The Indian Express
4 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 10:35 pm

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in cooling down inflated airfares, saying they were affecting Kerala’s tourism sector.“Let me bring to your kind attention a very important issue that is pulling the travel industry down and putting non-residents to extreme hardship. Airfares in both the International and Domestic sectors have become exorbitantly high recently. They are very high when compared to the fares that had been prevailing in pre-COVID times,” Vijayan wrote.In the past four years, Kerala, where tourism contributes 11 per cent to the State’s GDP, could witness a satisfactory tourist season only in 2019 as it was devastated by floods in 2018 and waves of COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.Kerala is connected with most Indian states by air. Here is the analysis of average airfare for the next 30 days (July 4 to August 4) from different states to Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram. (Prices are approximate and may change)From Delhi to Thiruvananthapuram, the average price of an air ticket is Rs 10,500 approximately for Indigo Airlines, Rs 11,000 for Vistara and Rs 11,500 for Air India. For flying from Chandigarh, the average prices are Rs 7,000 for Indigo Airlines and Rs 10,000 for Vistara.The average airfare from Lucknow to Thiruvananthapuram is Rs 6,200 for Indigo and Rs 12,500 for Air India. From Ahmedabad to Thiruvananthapuram, the average prices are Rs 6,200 for Indigo, Rs 13,000 for Vistara and Rs 22,000 for Air India.For flying from Bhopal to Thiruvananthapuram, the flyer has to pay Rs 7,200 for Indigo and Rs 14,000 for Air India approximately. From Patna to Thiruvananthapuram, the average air fare is Rs 8,500 for Indigo, Rs 11,000 for Vistara and Rs 14,000 for Air India.The average cost of flying from Raipur to Thiruvananthapuram is Rs 6,400 for Indigo, Rs 12,000 for both Air India and Vistara. Flying from Hyderabad to Thiruvananthapuram costs Rs 5,200 for Indigo, Rs 14,000 for Air India and Rs 12,500 for Vistara.In Vijayawada, the average air tickets prices for Thiruvananthapuram area Rs 7,500 for Indigo, Rs 12,000 for Vistara and Rs 14,500 for Air India.From Bengaluru to Thiruvananthapuram, the average flying cost is Rs 5,000 for Indigo, Rs 12,000 for both Vistara and Air India.The average airfare from Kolkata to Thiruvananthapuram is Rs 6,000 for Indigo, Rs 12,000 for Vistara and Rs 14,000 for Air India. For flying from Guwahati to Thiruvananthapuram, the average prices are Rs 6,000 for Indigo and Rs 12,000 for Vistara.As per the data available at state-owned retailer Indian Oil’s website, the price of jet fuel on Monday was Rs 1,41,232.87 per kilo litre. Last year in October it was around Rs 80,000, almost 40 per cent less.Aviation companies, raising concerns, have claimed that they will be unable to put planes in the air if prices keep rising as 60 per cent of airfare charges depend on fuel prices.The prices are rising in oil-import-dependent India due to the disruptions in supply chains due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and Rupee depreciating against the US dollar, making imports costlier.Fuel rates have been on the rise in India because energy prices globally have risen on the back of supply concerns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and demand returning after being hit by the pandemic. India is 85% dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

Tougher road to God’s own country? Here is how much airfares to Kerala now cost
Muslims and Judiciary: We do not have Muslim or non-Muslim judges in India
The Indian Express | 7 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 07:35 pm
The Indian Express
7 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 07:35 pm

After the superannuation of Chief Justice A M Ahmadi in 1997 as the 26th Chief Justice of India, a research foundation asked me to conduct a project on the contribution of Muslim judges to the Indian legal system. I declined the offer with a one-line response: We do not have Muslim or non-Muslim judges in India. Our judges are ideologically neutral, unlike in the US where there are Republican and Democrat judges. That does not mean that questions about the inclinations of judges have not been raised in the past — Justices A N Ray and M H Beg, for instance. Justice K Subba Rao contested the presidential election as an Opposition candidate and Justice Krishna Iyer was a minister in a communist government.On June 20, Justice D Y Chandrachud was asked about the judiciary’s treatment of Muslims at King’s College London. A scholar judge, Justice Chandrachud didn’t take offence to the question but answered it politely. In this writer’s view, our judges do not have the litigant’s religious identity in mind while dispensing justice. But since no question is wrong — only answers can be wrong — let us examine how our courts have dealt with the issues relating to Muslims so that the record is set straight.Last week, Justice Surya Kant and Justice J B Pardiwala made scathing observations against ex-BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for speaking against the Prophet. Justice Surya Kant blamed her for the tragic killing in Udaipur. Unfortunately, the remarks of the judges have drawn criticism, though their real intention was merely to end the controversy, improve our international image and give a much-needed healing touch to the Muslims. Different benches of the Supreme Court had made similar strong observations against the Dharam Sansad held in Uttarakhand.In 2021, one Waseem Rizvi filed a petition seeking the deletion of 26 so-called controversial verses of the Quran. The Supreme Court not only refused to admit this petition but came down heavily on the petitioner and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000. In 1984, another petition in the Calcutta High Court had met with a similar fate.It is true that many young Muslims had been arrested on terror charges under successive governments. But that the accused in many such cases were acquitted clearly demonstrates that ordinary Muslim litigants have been getting justice from our judges.Even in the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, the Supreme Court termed the installation of idols in 1949 and the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 as “egregious wrongs”. The court accepted the central argument of Muslims that the Babri Masjid was not constructed after the demolition of a Ram temple and pointed out that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report had not found any evidence of such a demolition. It had also observed that the Places of Worship Act,1991, protects and secures the fundamental values of the Constitution. After the Babri Masjid demolition, the SC, in S R Bommai (1994) upheld the dismissal of the BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, this author had criticised this part of an otherwise historic judgment. Though in its Hindutva judgment (1995), the Court had controversially held Hindutva to be a way of life, and not a religion, it did indict Bal Thackeray and Ramesh Prabhoo for making anti-Muslim speeches.In the privacy judgment, the apex court talked about culinary freedom and the freedom to dress. As a result, several laws that put restrictions on beef-eating can now be constitutionally re-examined. In Hadiya’s case (2018) too, the SC overruled the regressive judgment of the Kerala High Court, though its decision to ask the NIA to investigate links between conversions and terrorist activities was unnecessary. In Tehseen S Poonawala (2018), it came down heavily against mob lynching and asked Parliament to enact a law against such activities. Even in the triple talaq verdict (2017), the majority deemed triple divorce to be void because the Quran doesn’t mention it and pointed out that what is sinful in theology cannot be valid in law.In his reply to his King’s College interlocutors Justice Chandrachud referred to the Article 30-related jurisprudence on the right of minorities to establish and administer educational institutions. The court has given the widest possible interpretation to the words used in Article 30: It has held that the term “institution” would include a university and its use of the word, “choice”, makes this right an expansive one. The court has consistently held that “government aid” cannot come with conditions that affect the minority character of an institution. The only disturbing decision in the long list of such cases is Azeez Basha (1967) in which the court took an extremely narrow view by holding that the Aligarh Muslim University was established by the legislature and not Muslims.In Ahmedabad St. Xaviers College (1974), Justice H R Khanna observed that “minorities are as much the children of the soil as the majority and the approach has been to ensure that nothing should be done as might deprive the minorities of a sense of belonging, a feeling of security, a consciousness of equality and the awareness that the conservation of their religion, culture, language and script as also protection of their educational institutions is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution.” He went on to say that “as long as the Constitution stands as it is today, no tampering with those rights can be countenanced.” In Bijoe Emmanuel (1986), the right of followers of Jehovah’s Witnesses to not sing the national anthem was upheld.Any matter referred to a Constitution bench does take four to five years and that explains the delay in hearing petitions related to the CAA and Article 370. But the judiciary disapproved of the heavy penalties on the CAA protesters in UP. Like all of us, judges too are fallible. There are a number of wrong judgments pertaining to Muslims — Ismail Faruqui (1994), for instance, where the SC held that a mosque is not an essential part of Muslim practice. But judges have gone wrong in cases that had nothing to do with Muslims. There are good and bad orders on habeas corpus — in A K Gopalan (1950), ADM Jabalpur (1976) and Bhima Koregaon (2018) petitioners were not Muslims.Thus, our judges have been not only fair but also quite sensitive to the Muslim causes. In fact, Muslim women in particular have had much more success before the judiciary than Hindu women. Muslims have full faith in our judiciary and do not need the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation or any other foreign agency to take up their causes.The writer is vice chancellor, NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Views are personal

Muslims and Judiciary: We do not have Muslim or non-Muslim judges in India
Bionic valve from pig may help heart patients avoid major surgery
Ahmedabad Mirror | 9 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 05:51 pm
Ahmedabad Mirror
9 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 05:51 pm

A bionic valve implant from pig may help patients with a debilitating heart condition avoid major surgery.The new JenaValve Trilogy bionic implant, which has a metal frame and a valve from a pig, can be fitted during a minimally invasive procedure that takes less than an hour, Daily Mail reported.”There’s been nothing like this before,” cardiologist Professor Andreas Baumbach, who led the team pioneering the device at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, was quoted as saying.The tiny device is designed to treat aortic regurgitation — a condition that starves the body of oxygenated blood and leaves patients fatigued and breathless.The problem occurs when the valve that sits at the exit to the heart, the aortic valve, becomes damaged and fails to close completely. This allows blood to leak backward into the heart and affects its ability to pump efficiently.It’s most commonly seen in older patients, and those with high blood pressure.The only option for such patients is open heart surgery, which involves opening up the patient’s chest, putting their heart on a bypass machine and replacing the valve/ However, many sufferers are left too frail to withstand this major surgery, the report said.”The JenaValve Trilogy will make a huge difference. The first few hundred patients have been treated now and there has been almost a 100 per cent success rate,” Baumbach said.To implant the JenaValve Trilogy, a small incision is made in the femoral artery in the groin, a fine, flexible tube called a catheter is then inserted into the artery and threaded up through the body and into the heart, with surgeons using an X-ray machine to see, in real-time, what they are doing.The JenaValve, which is made from a collapsible tube-shaped metal frame, is put into place via the catheter. Initially it is folded up, but once the surgeon confirms it is in the right place, it is opened out, the report said.Fully expanded, the valve is around an inch in diameter, but the size can be adjusted in-situ to make sure it’s a perfect fit.Three small legs — ‘a bit like the legs on the lunar landing module’, said Baumbach - lock it into position over the natural aortic valve, and it begins to work straight away.The catheter is then removed, the incision stitched up and patients are allowed to go home a day or two later, the report said.

Bionic valve from pig may help heart patients avoid major surgery
Express Impact: NGT panel disallows discharge of treated sewage to protected wetland in Gujarat
The Indian Express | 9 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 05:35 pm
The Indian Express
9 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 05:35 pm

A committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) after The Indian Express reported that a proposed sewage treatment plant of the Kalol municipality in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar district had been allowed to discharge treated sewage to the Ramsar-protected Thol lake has disallowed the discharge into the lake and its eco-sensitive zone.The joint committee was formed in March following an order by the NGT principal bench, which on July 8 will likely take up the report submitted on June 1 by the five-member panel, headed by State Wetland Authority member secretary S J Pandit.While taking suo motu cognisance of the March 19 news report, the NGT had directed the panel to file a factual and action-taken report and sought to know if “treated sewage can be utilised for secondary purposes, instead of being discharged into the wetland”.The Indian Express reported that the Gujarat Urban Development Company Limited, a government undertaking, had floated tenders for setting up a sewage treatment plant with a capacity to treat 33.10 million litres per day in the Kalol municipality and parts of the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority’s jurisdictional areas.In a communication of September 2021, Shyamal Tikadar, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and the chief wildlife warden of the state, granted permission for the proposed sewage plant to discharge treated wastewater in the Thol lake, which was designated as a Ramsar wetland site in April 2021.The NGT committee began its work on April 28 and completed the consultation process by May 12. Following a site visit, consultation with stakeholders, and deliberations on facts and records available and submissions of a subcommittee comprising subdivisional magistrates of Kalol and Kadi and Gandhinagar regional officer of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, several recommendations were outlined, the most important of which being that the “treated wastewater of the proposed sewage treatment plant of the Kalol Nagarpalika should not be allowed to be discharged directly or indirectly into the Thol lake and its eco-sensitive zone in any case”, according to the report.It has also been recommended that “the options of providing dedicated irrigation canals bypassing the Thol lake and without affecting the whole bird sanctuary, eco-sensitive zone of the Thol lake and reuse of treated sewage in the nearby industries should be explored”. Furthermore, “a guard pond-cum-distribution pond with an online continuous effluent monitoring system and regular manual monitoring should be provided for treated sewage from the proposed STP (sewage treatment plant), and treated sewage may be utilised based on requirements for irrigation and industrial purposes”.Some of the options identified by the joint committee and the subcommittee include utilisation of the treated wastewater in the garden area of the municipality, for use by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation-Kalol, which houses 180 industries; utilisation by other industries such as Arvind Limited at Santej and Bharat Vijay Mill at Kalol; and utilisation by the Kalol unit of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited, if feasible.On reutilising the treated wastewater, the NGT committee has also said that the municipality should advertise seeking expressions of interest for the utilisation of treated wastewater from the proposed plant. The panel also suggested that the state pollution control board take into account its recommendations while considering the Kalol sewage treatment plant’s application for consent.Following the distribution of the treated wastewater to industrial units and for other purposes, the remaining treated wastewater can be drained into a canal of Sujalam Sufalam Circle-1 for irrigation purposes, the panel said, adding that “technical modification in the existing pipeline” may be undertaken to ensure that treated wastewater does not get mixed with drinking water.

Express Impact: NGT panel disallows discharge of treated sewage to protected wetland in Gujarat
Despite language barrier, Chinese universities make huge gains in global rankings over the last decade
The Indian Express | 15 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 11:35 am
The Indian Express
15 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 11:35 am

China has been steadily climbing the world university rankings over the past decade as it continues to promote policies that strengthen the performance of its high-potential institutions on ranking metrics. The indianexpress.com analysed rankings data of Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education (THE) over the past decade to find that Chinese higher education institutions are consistently improving their share in the top-500 pie even as the dominance of countries like the US and UK has waned in recent years. Read |IISc top Indian university, overtakes IITs: QS World University RankingsIn QS World University Rankings (WUR), China has increased its tally in the global top-500 list from 16 universities in 2012 to 26 in 2022. In fact, in the latest edition, for the first time, China is home to two of the world’s top 15 universities  — Peking University (12th rank) and Tsinghua University (14th rank). More Chinese universities have also broken into the top 500 club of the Times Higher Education (or THE) Rankings in the last decade. China’s representation in the top 500 here has gone up from 11 in 2016 to 24 in 2022.The performance of Indian universities pales in comparison. There were seven Indian universities in the top 500 of the QS WUR in 2012. That number has increased to just eight. Similarly, as many as 71 Indian institutes participated in the Times Rankings in 2022 compared to 69 in 2021, but only four figured in the top 500. In 2016, India had five universities in the top 500.Meanwhile, first-world countries like the US and the UK continue to dominate the top 500 of world rankings but their share of universities in this group is shrinking. For instance, in the QS rankings, the US had 103 institutes in the top 500 in 2012, which came down to 87 in 2022. The UK, on the other hand, had 52 universities in the top 500 in 2012, which is down to 48 in 2022. Other countries such as Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain, too, have seen their tally in the best 500 universities decrease over 10 years. Performing on research metricsThe relentless rise of Chinese universities in the QS Rankings has been powered by their performance on parameters such as academic reputation, employer reputation, and faculty-student ratio. However, it’s the ‘Citations per Faculty’ parameter, where China really shines. The ‘Citations per Faculty’ parameter represents the total number of citations received by all papers produced by an institution across a five-year period by the number of faculty members at that institution. Most Chinese universities — including Peking University (96.7 out of 100), Tsinghua University (98.1 out of 100), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (97.1), University of Science and Technology of China (99.9), and Nanjing University (96.1) — score very high on this metric. “Where patterns emerge for any given country as a group, those that gain have typically demonstrated a fixed or increasing level of real-term investment in higher education and research over several years,” said Ben Sowter, QS Senior Vice President.Sowter added, “Such investment programmes, tend to be high-profile and in addition to enabling the uplift of individual institutions, also draw attention to the country as a whole, either as a destination for students and faculty or as fertile ground for partnership and collaboration. The target in these cases is better, more competitive, more recognised universities – and in due time, the rankings tend to reflect this.”As per Times ranking parameters in 2022, Chinese universities score high on teaching (eg: Peking University’s score of 91.4 out of 100), research (eg: Tsinghua University’s score of 95.7 out of 100) and industry income (eg Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University score a perfect 100 on this metric).  Excellence initiatives’Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education, told indianexpress.com, that China’s gains in global rankings coincide with a series of state-sponsored decisions and policies (known as ‘excellence initiatives’) that are designed to improve academic research and, hence, consequently, boost the competitiveness of its leading universities.“China’s is perhaps the most significant initiative in the world – for three decades now it has been supporting a relatively small group of universities with a major injection of additional funding, but also a range of policies to support excellence in higher education, including, for example, policies to attract leading Chinese scholars who had established careers abroad to return to China and help strengthen their universities, and policies to support the development of strong research cultures and incentives to publish research in the world’s leading international journals,” said Baty.China has also substantially increased funding for its universities during the past decade. Between 2012 and 2021, the Chinese government is now spending twice the amount it did on higher education — from $24 billion to $47 billion.**Total universities in top 500 rankings Filling the gapDespite a huge number of international students choosing to study in China, its universities have failed to achieve high scores in the international student ratio parameters in both QS and Times world rankings. China still sends most of its students abroad for study, mainly to universities in the West. “But, it is now very competitive in attracting international students as some of its universities now compete with the best in the world,” added Baty of Times Higher Education.Akshay Chaturvedi, Founder and CEO, Leverage Edu, also told indianexpress.com that China and Russia have had the largest outbound student population over the last two to three decades, as a result of which they are now in a phase where top universities want to set up domestic shops.“This led to more investment, more competition, and many newer universities—all of which in turn attract the world’s best faculty, including a lot of returnees. Second, both China and Russia, and more prominently the former, have demonstrated great focus in mapping higher education to the country’s macro focus areas i.e not doing everything under the sun and instead focusing on subjects of study where the country actively requires more future talent, like manufacturing previously and hard-tech now,” added Chaturvedi.Rohit Kumar Yadav, a fourth-year MBBS student at Shihezi University, told indianexpress.com that most students who opt to study at a Chinese university pursue MBBS courses. The situation is similar at Russian universities that mostly attract medicine students.“One of the reasons Indians flock to China to pursue MBBS degrees is the low tuition fee. The average annual fee for MBBS courses in China is 21,000 Chinese Yuan (Rs 2.5 lakh), whereas the annual fee at an Indian private medical college ranges from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 20 crore. Another reason could be the cutthroat competition for a high rank in the NEET-UG (National Eligibility cumEntrance Test-Undergraduate), where over 16 lakh students take the exam for over 83,000 MBBS seats,” said Yadav. 

Despite language barrier, Chinese universities make huge gains in global rankings over the last decade
10-year-old admitted with pneumonia turns out to be severe Covid
Ahmedabad Mirror | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am

A serious case of Covid infection in a 10-year-old, with ill effects akin to those of Covid in adults, was reported at a government hospital in Ahmedabad.First believed to be suffering from bacterial pneumonia, the 10-year-old boy from Bavla was admitted to GMERS Sola Medical College and Hospital (MCH) on June 25 with fever for the past fortnight, weakness and poor appetite. OPD treatment had yielded no results.The child was taken to the hospital 5 days after he began suffering from abdominal pain and vomiting. Mirror learned that the child also had difficulty in breathing and his condition was getting worse when he was admitted to the hospital.He was admitted into the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Perplexed over such a caseof ‘pneumonia’ amid constantly rising Covid cases, even as the child had no history of Covid, doctors urged a chest X-ray.That is when SARS-CoV-2 showed up. His lungs, especially the right lung, was inundated with what is known as ‘white out’ texture now associated with the coronavirus.His condition kept deteriorating even in the PICU. The boy was kept on a high flow nasal cannula.Further investigation by HRCT scan showed extensive consolidation in both right and left zones of the lungs showing ‘ground glass’ appearance, with the highest CO-RADS score of 5, another sign of suspected Covid.Meanwhile, the boy, his parents and relatives tested negative for Covid-19 by RT-PCR. However, the boy tested positive in an antibody test, further confirmation of suspected Covid.His parents had received two doses of the Covid vaccine, said doctors.Further medical examination showed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) comparable to Covid associated pneumonia. He also showed significantly higher levels of IL-6, indicating a cytokine storm initiated by the immune system, a reaction that is also associated with Covid infection. Dr Nehal Patel, HoD of Paediatrics at GMERS Sola MCH said, “While we had doubts on the child’s ailment, the white out appearance on X-ray, a CO-RADS score of 5/5 on HRCT with ground glass appearance and subsequent cytokine storm during treatment, confirmed our suspicion of Covid.”Once confirmed as Covid, he was provided extensive treatment with steroids. His parents breathed a sigh of relief by the end of the week when his condition gradually improved. He is likely to be discharged on Monday.Dr Patel said, “Vaccination of the age group above 12 years has left those below that age group vulnerable to Covid. Covid symptoms may present themselves with age shift to younger children. So adult vaccination with their booster is required for continuing protection in the family against Covid. Vaccination of younger children should start as soon as possible.”The white out appearance on X-ray, a CO-RADS score of 5/5 on HRCT with ground glass appearance andsubsequent cytokine storm during treatment, confirmed our suspicion of Covid–Dr Nehal Patel, HoD, Paeditrics, Sola Civil Hospital

10-year-old admitted with pneumonia turns out to be severe Covid
Typing error costs Colonel, wife flight to Barcelona
Ahmedabad Mirror | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am

Alocal consumer court ordered a private company to pay Rs 1.32 lakh to the wife of a retired army colonel for making a typing error in the visa documents for Spain. The army officer and his wife were not allowed to board the flight to Barcelona due to an incorrect date of birth mentioned in the visa. Later they had to cancel the ticket and change the travel plans.Complainant Amninder Kaur Dhir and her husband colonel Gurinder Pal Singh Dhir wanted to attend the convocation oftheir daughter scheduled in Barcelona, Spain for July 9, 2018. She booked two return tickets for July 5 and paid Rs 87,846.She had approached a company called BLS International for a visa for Spain and made the requisite payment of Rs 11,628. After getting the visa, the couple went to Mumbai to catch a flight. But when they were about to board, the airline personnel found that the date of birth of the woman mentioned in the visa was different from the date in her passport. They weren’t allowed to board the flight and eventually had to cancel the ticket. Due to last minute cancellation, they didn’t get any refund. The woman later found that the incident happened due to a typing mistake committed by the company staff while filling the visa documents to the embassy. They had to come back from the airport and take accommodation in a Mumbai hotel.They were able to travel again after they got the birth date corrected from the embassy of Spain on July 6. After coming back to India, she approached the company for compensation for the cancelled tickets but the efforts yielded no result. Hence, she filed the complaint in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC) through advocate Bhavesh Choksi for compensation of about Rs 1.32, including air tickets, hotel stay and travel fare in Mumbai.“The court order issued a month ago asked the company to pay us Rs 1.32 lakh and Rs 5000 towards mental agony. But we haven’t received it yet. We have received the visa documents in which they approved our visa. We never knew that the birth date was wrongly mentioned in the long numerical code on the visa document,” Col. Dhir told Mirror from Pune. At that time, he was posted in Gandhinagar.“After the order issued by the consumer court, the company’s representative offered us compensation of Rs 70,000 but we refused as we are asking actual expenses that we have to bear due to the mistake,” he said. Meanwhile, the legal representative of the company refused to comment when contacted by Mirror.

Typing error costs Colonel, wife flight to Barcelona
GHB societies protest to speed up redevelopment
Ahmedabad Mirror | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am

About 400 residents of various Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) societies in Naranpura gathered on Sunday morning to protest the loopholes in the Redevelopment Act that were delaying the redevelopment of their societies.The protest was carried out near the GHB office in Pragatinagar in the city.The protestors carrying placards detailing their demands formed a human and chanted slogans amid the clanking of utensils over the delay in the redevelopment of their societies.The federation representing housing board societies said they have made several representations to the Gujarat government’s Urban Development and Urban Housing Department and GHB officials for amendment in the guidelines for such societies in the Redevelopment Act.The demandsSandip Trivedi, Chairman of Rameshwar Apartment said GHB’s redevelopment policy under the Redevelopment Act has loopholes that need to be rectified to make it a public-centric policy.Explaining the need for reforms he said the Act should clearly state that when 75 per cent of the society members agree to redevelopment the rest 25 per cent need to be automatically made part of the decision.“The provision to divide or subdivide the existing plot should be eliminated and the entire development should be registered under one society and one association to avoid any discrimination against existing members,” said Trivedi.The GHB residents are also demanding the same type of construction and allotment for old residents as for new residents.Manu Chaudhary, another resident of a housing board society said the GHB needs to clarify that society members should get at least 40 per cent more carpet area than what they had earlier.“The provision to seek members’ consent on a notarized paper is not workable as neither the GHB nor the developer provides us with an advance confirmed plan detailing the total number of housing units, common area and amenities in the scheme, size of the houses, layout plan, rent details, allotment of houses, etc,” said Chaudhary.The residents are also demanding that the buildings being constructed as part of the redevelopment should have specifications and provisions to use the latest advanced design and material.There are around 195 GHB housing societies in Ahmedabad of which more than 50 per cent are in the Western part of Ahmedabad.The statusEarlier, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asked the Gujarat government and GHB to put redevelopment work of GHB societies on a fast track.In the last seven years, only one GBH society has been redeveloped. The redevelopment happened after the dilapidated building collapsed, resulting in the death of two people.Members of GHB societies in Ahmedabad like Amar Apartment, Suramya Apartment and Nirmal Apartment participated in the protest organised by the Housing Apartment Redevelopment Federation. The federation is an informal body working for the welfare of GHB societies and their right to redevelopment.The members have threatened to intensify their protest in the coming days if their demands remain unmet.

GHB societies protest to speed up redevelopment
Man loses Rs 14,000 in ATM fraud; BOI, SBI asked to refund money
Ahmedabad Mirror | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am

The Ahmedabad District Additional Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission recently ordered the Bank of India (BOI) and State Bank of India (SBI) to jointly pay Rs 14,000 to an Ahmedabad resident who lost the money from his account through an ATM transaction without his debit card. The complainant has his account with the BOI and the transaction took place through an ATM of the SBI in Mumbai.Parth Shah, a resident of Keshavnagar in Ahmedabad had his savings account with BOI’s Paldi branch. In August 2014, Rs 14,000 was withdrawn from his account through an ATM of SBI in the dockyard area in Mumbai. The money was withdrawn after midnight.Shah was stunned by the transaction as he was in Ahmedabad at that time and had his debit card with him. He had also not shared the details of his debit card with anyone. He wrote to the bank for a refund which was not done and so Shah filed a complaint with the Ahmedabad District Additional Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission against BOI and SBI.The counsel for BOI in a written submission argued that something wrong had happened through SBI’s ATM and so it was SBI’s responsibility. The counsel also argued that since a police investigation was on in the case and it is still not clear who is responsible for the fraud, the complaint should be cancelled as it is premature.SBI’s lawyers argued that the ATM through which the transaction took place is in Mumbai so the commission can’t conduct the proceedings. It further argued that the account was with BOI so it is their responsibility.The commission observed that despite a written complaint no action was taken by the BOI which had not even bothered to get the CCTV footage of the ATM. It also observed that the responsibility of money in the savings accounts was with the BOI and the data which was with the bank’s IT Department was misused. As for SBI, the commission said on the day of the fraud a person entered SBI’s ATM after midnight, spent 30 to 40 minutes in it, and executed 11 transactions yet not one security personnel bothered to enter the ATM.The commission held BOI and SBI jointly responsible and ordered them to refund the Rs 14,000 amount with 7% interest along with Rs 3000 for expenses and additional Rs 3000 for harassment.

Man loses Rs 14,000 in ATM fraud; BOI, SBI asked to refund money
Police to file complaint against passenger in airport gold loot case
Ahmedabad Mirror | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am

In the latest development in the gold robbery case at the Ahmedabad airport, police are all set to register a complaint against the complainant himself as he failed to produce bills of the gold he brought from abroad.Mohammed Faisal, a passenger arriving from Riyadh, had lodged a complaint at the airport police station on June 7 claiming that some unidentified persons in guise of Customs officials had robbed him of 100 gm gold and cash. After the arrest of the seven persons in the case, including employees of Namaste G which is the parking contractor company at the airport, the complainant himself has come under suspicion for his possible involvement in a gold smuggling racket.Faizal was received Ahmedabad International Airport by his friend Abdul Ahad early in the morning on June 7. As they were about to board the rickshaw, unidentified persons identified themselves as the Customs officers, robbed them in the rickshaw parking lot.According to Airport police station PI R R Desai, “After the incident, Faizal moved an application alleging that he was robbed of eight gold biscuits. In the preliminary investigation, a person named Hrithik Rathore was identified in the CCTV footage. He was working in Namaste G agency. After the due investigation, the airport police arrested a total of seven people, including six men from Namaste-G agency.”“Faizal, on the other hand, mentioned in the FIR lodged at the airport police station that only one gold biscuit was robbed from him. But airport police have recovered a total of 552 gm of gold from the accused. As the quantity of gold mentioned by the complainant are different, we have asked him to submit bills for the gold biscuits,” the cop said.Meanwhile, Faizal is untraceable after filing the FIR, and he has neither submitted the bills for gold biscuits nor appeared in person. Airport police sources said it could not be ruled out that Faizal was involved in the gold smuggling racket.Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone 4 Mukesh Patel said, “For the last several days, we have been busy with security arrangements for Rath Yatra. The complainant hasn’tsubmitted bills for the gold. Wewill now file a case against Faizalas well.

Police to file complaint against passenger in airport gold loot case
Do not waste vote on Congress, elect AAP to beat BJP, says Kejriwal
Ahmedabad Mirror | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am

AAP national convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said that his party can form the government in Gujarat if people who are angry with BJP do not vote to Congress and instead favour his party.He said AAP can form the next government in Gujarat if the party bags the votes of voters who are angry with the ruling BJP but do not want to vote for the Congress. He appealed to people to not waste their votes on Congress and ensure that it does not get a single vote in the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections.‘Cong only on paper’Kejriwal, on a visit to the state, on Sunday addressed a gathering of 7,000 newly-appointed office-bearers of AAP in Nikol. He said, “The Congress exists only on paper in Gujarat, while AAP’s organisation has become much bigger as lakhs of people have joined it in a short time.”He said, “I can say with certainty that today AAP has a much bigger organisation in Gujarat compared to Congress, which has been present in the state for so many years. Congress exists only on paper. It is the party without office-bearers or workers, while people are joining AAP in lakhs.”Kejriwal also claimed that the BJP delegation from Gujarat which visited Delhi recently has failed to find any shortcomings in schools and hospitals in Delhi. “They found no shortcomings. They had to cancel their press conference that was organised to expose Kejriwal. They said they will hold a press conference in Gujarat, but did not hold any,” he said.“Tell voters that there is no point voting for Congress. Last time, people voted for Congress with great hope. But 57 Congress MLAs have left so far (in Gujarat). Ask people to not waste their votes by supporting Congress. Ensure that Congress does not get a single vote in the upcoming elections,” he appealed to party workers.“They ended up voting for BJP (for the lack of option). If you convince them to support AAP, then nothing can stop us from forming a government in Gujarat,” the Delhi CM said.

Do not waste vote on Congress, elect AAP to beat BJP, says Kejriwal
  • Congress must not get a single vote in Gujarat Assembly polls, Kejriwal tells AAP workers
  • The Indian Express

    Attending the oath-taking ceremony of over 6,000 new office-bearers of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Gujarat unit in Ahmedabad, the party’s national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday called upon party workers to ensure that “not a single vote is cast for the Congress” in the Gujarat Assembly elections to be held later this year.As many as 6,098 newly appointed office-bearers of the party took oath on Sunday at a venue in Ahmedabad’s Naroda in an event attended by Kejriwal, AAP Gujarat president Gopal Italia and senior leaders Isudan Gadhvi, among others.In an apparent bid to secure the party’s position as the third front in Gujarat, Kejriwal exhorted his party workers to impress voters against the Congress and BJP. “We have to reach households in Gujarat and tell them about our work in Delhi and Punjab, how we have reduced electricity rates, and provided free education. We also have to tell people that there is no use voting for the Congress. Last time, they voted for the Congress, and today see how many Congress MLAs have left their own party. We have to reach each household and tell them they should not waste their votes on the Congress. The office-bearers of AAP will have to ensure that not a single vote is cast in favour of Congress this Assembly election,” said Kejriwal.“Secondly, there are many people who are upset with the BJP and want to remove it. However, they hate the Congress and don’t want to vote for them. They don’t have an alternative and on voting day, they see the option of Congress and are then forced to vote for the BJP. The votes of all such people should come to us. If we ensure these two, then I say with conviction that the next government is ours,” added Kejriwal.Recently, the AAP’s Gujarat unit was dissolved in a rejig ahead of the Assembly polls in the state. The party had announced a first list of 850 office-bearers with Gopal Italia continuing as state president. After a few senior leaders showed their displeasure towards the list, the party announced a second list of 6,098 office-bearers last week.Kejriwal arrived at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad on Sunday afternoon for a two-day visit to the state. On Monday, he will attend a townhall event on the issue of electricity rates in Ahmedabad.“Today, we will take a pledge to serve the country, work with kattar (steadfast) honesty, and fulfill the dreams of Gandhi and Sardar Patel of Gujarat. AAP is a kattar imandaar party, we can tolerate anything, but not corruption. If our worker does corruption, he will be punished, if someone else does it, they will also face the same. We have not spared even our own in Delhi and Punjab,” said Kejriwal to his workers.The AAP leader attacked the Congress party saying it has become defunct as the Opposition in Gujarat. He also took a jibe at the ruling BJP alleging that they have “paid workers” in their party. “Today, the Congress has no campaign on the ground in Gujarat, I have been told that it is doing nothing. I am happy that the AAP is expanding at this scale and, today I say with challenge, that our party is bigger than Congress’ organisation in Gujarat. Congress is only limited to papers, they have no office-bearers and workers left, and we have thousands and lakhs of people joining us,” he added.“In the next month, we are going to expand to the booth level and every booth in Gujarat will have minimum 10 workers of the AAP. We will surpass even the BJP in organisational strength in the coming months. They (BJP) will say that Kejriwal is lying. I tell these parties that many of your workers are ‘paid karyakartas’. I have been told that they are hired at a salary of Rs 10,000 per month. With money, you can get workers, but you cannot buy patriots. We will be working 24 hours a day in the coming four to five months, ignoring our families and well-being. We are not doing this to sit in the Opposition, but to win the elections and form our government.Kejriwal added that recently a delegation of BJP leaders from Gujarat had visited Delhi for an inspection of AAP-run government schools. “A delegation of BJP MLAs from Gujarat went to Delhi recently to expose the government schools of Delhi. I always invite such people and ask them to find flaws in our education model and tell us. However, the leaders were unable to find any flaw and they cancelled their scheduled press conference in Delhi. Later, after coming to Gujarat, they did not organise any other press conference,” Kejriwal said.

29-year-old accuses former lover of abduction & assault
Ahmedabad Mirror | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am
Ahmedabad Mirror
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 06:00 am

A 29-year-old woman who works with a private firm has accused her former lover and his friends of abducting and assaulting her.The accused, who got married to another woman, wanted the victim to continue a relationship with him. As per an FIR registered with the Vadaj Police Station, Amrita Rajput (29) a resident of Junavadaj works with a private firm near Parimal Garden. In 2015, when she worked with a company called Disha Consultancy at Ashram Road, she was in a relationship with the firm’s owner Ketan Barot.Later Barot got married and Rajput severed all ties with him.However, this was unacceptable to Barot who kept pursuing Rajput for a relationship.On Saturday, Rajput went out for a coffee at Cafe Coffee Day near Fortune Landmark after work. At the coffee shop, she saw Barot’s friends Hardik and Navin.Later Barot also arrived there in a car. The trio then forcefully shoved her into the backseat of the car and took her to a secluded spot near Zundal Circle. Barot then began to assault Rajput and demanded her phone which had recordings of their earlier conversation.Ketan then took Amrita’s phone and continued to assault her until his friends intervened.Amrita was then thrown out of the car. She took an auto and later contacted the police and 181 Women’s Helpline. She filed a case of abduction and assault against Barot and others.

29-year-old accuses former lover of abduction & assault
Amrit Gangar writes: A mosquito story from Khojpuri
The Indian Express | 21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 05:35 am
The Indian Express
21 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 05:35 am

French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard (still active at 92) once said that you either make a political film or make it politically. Sanjiv Shah’s remarkable film, Hun Hunshi Hunshilal, made “politically” in the year 1992 completes 30 years in 2022. Since then, India as a nation has witnessed many ground-breaking political transformations. Thirty years ago, in an article, I had written about the film: “A non-linear narrative full of crazy twists and all forms of music and sharp wit, Hun Hunshi Hunshilal is an allegory about today’s politics of dominance, of power and repression.” This “today” of then is also the “today” of now. History is a reptile slithering through time, never in a straight line.Young Rajat Dholakia composed its 40 songs (long and short, Gujarati and Hindustani) brilliantly penned by Paresh Naik who had also written the film’s original story, screenplay and dialogues that saw many spontaneous improvisations. Naik shows a remarkable knack for lending a poetic cadence to mundane prose. The film has over 20 playback singers, including Naseeruddin Shah and Raghubir Yadav. In his orchestration, Dholakia uses only percussion instruments such as dholak and tabla and no other string or wind instruments, which is noteworthy. The film had a small budget — the National Film Development Corporation had loaned the director Rs 10.75 lakh plus one lakh for post-production — and was originally shot on 16mm by Navroze Contractor. It was blown up to 35mm for a commercial release but it never had one, except for its telecast on Doordarshan.The metaphorical malarial “mosquito” is the de-facto hero of the story, as it hovers around the kingdom of Khojpuri, whose ruler Bhadrabhoop II (Mohan Gokhale) is annoyed by the breed (representing the struggling and questioning middle and lower classes). In the small village of Doongri, Hunshi (Dilip Joshi) is born to a quack. After growing up he adopts the more respectable moniker, Hunshilal, and moves to Khojpuri to work in the Queen’s Lab, which aims to eradicate the “mosquito” problem. There, he falls in love with his fellow scientist Parveen (Renuka Shahane). Here, the film acquires its English title, Love in the Time of Malaria, echoing Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 1985 novel Love in the Time of Cholera. Along with Parveen, who is in possession of the “Red Diary” which contains the records of all the “mosquitoes” in the kingdom, Hunshi’s life is in jeopardy, as both are constantly threatened by the despotic king’s goons.All the science and technology, all the machinery of warfare and the might of the good citizens are engaged to combat the “mosquito” menace. Emergency is declared, and suspected victims are identified and eliminated. Campaigns are launched to re-educate people to immunise their minds. Films, books, newspapers, and hoardings all join in praising the new symbol of Khojpuri’s answer to mosquitoes – the tortoise. It is the weapon wielded by King Bhadrabhoop II, backed by all the men and ministers, soldiers and satraps.Over the initial opening credits, Hun Hunshi Hunshilal begins with a lullaby-like song in a female voice: “Sleep / and in that sleep a dream / and in that dream / a story / the city of Khojpuri / and Bhadrabhoop, the king / a city of darkness / and dazzling lights/darkness at noon / and sleepless nights”. And we see the city along with a man spraying pesticide; old buildings in rubble and new ones coming up. “Mosquitoes” are the scourge of Khojpuri. A new breed has emerged which is immune to all pesticides. The illness it spreads responds to no known drugs, and worse still, the bite affects people’s minds more than it does their bodies.Three decades ago, Shah, the director of Hun Hunshi Hunshilal told me: “I had read a news clipping from the 1940s which said that Greece was destroyed by mosquitoes at some point in time. In fact, I had decided to include [in the film] a song about Greece and about the Mahabharata, a war of kings in which so many people died. The real issue is who dies in the war.”Hun Hunshi Hunshilal is an evolutionary parable that sees the growth of Hunshi from an ordinary, apolitical young man to a politically-conscious protester on the street. The same Hunshi who had helped invent a new drug “Quin-O-nion Hi” (as part of the King’s Onion Project) to eradicate all mosquitoes, was challenging the King without knowing that he himself was also a “mosquito”. The rambunctious “regional” film heralded a new breed of Indian filmmaking, that hangs between two poles represented by two songs: One is recited by Naseeruddin Shah — Man machchhar, chal man, karad karad (Oh mosquitoes! Come, prick their minds!) — and the other is Raghubir Yadav’s more pensive and philosophical, Hawa hai, yeh duniya hawa hai, yahan har dagar, har musafir hawa hai (Smoke, it’s all smoke, this world is an illusion, here each path, each traveller, is air) as Contractor’s camera pans over the city of Ahmedabad, the fictional Khojpuri where dreams grow into songs of hope.(The writer is a Mumbai-based film theorist, curator and historian)

Amrit Gangar writes: A mosquito story from Khojpuri
Many scenarios, similar outcome: Tuticorin plant may not restart, say experts
The Indian Express | 23 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 03:35 am
The Indian Express
23 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 03:35 am

Vedanta’s plan to sell off its closed copper smelter plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, could play out in several different ways, metal industry executives and analysts said, but towards the same outcome — the unit not getting restarted.Last month, the Anil Agarwal-promoted company invited expressions of interest for the copper smelter with a deadline of Monday, July 4. The offer includes the sale of the copper smelter complex, sulphuric and phosphoric acid plants, copper refinery, a captive power plant and a residential colony, among other associated infrastructure.When functioning, the plant addressed almost 40 per cent of India’s copper demands but was shut down by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board in May 2018 after violent protests emerged outside the plant because of environmental concerns, leading to 15 people being killed by police firing. In March 2020, the Madras High Court dismissed Vedanta’s pleas challenging closure of the plant, and the company then appealed against the order in Supreme Court, which started hearing the case in March this year. The company’s plans to sell the plant has come even as the apex court is yet to give its verdict.“We do believe that there are a lot of sensitivities involved, and any bidder looking to acquire the Tuticorin plant is going to very critically evaluate restarting production. The Supreme Court decision is also pending, and there is no political support from the state government,” Hetal Gandhi, director, CRISIL Research told The Indian Express.Gandhi also pointed out that because of the rising demand for copper, new players are showing interest in entering the sector. Ahmedabad-based Adani Group has started work to build a 1 million tonne per annum copper plant in Gujarat, which the company says will be one of the biggest copper refinery complexes in the world. It is expected to start production by 2024. “If you see, a new area that Adani is entering, like cement, has been through acquisition at a very high premium. So for the copper unit also, if they saw a remote chance at restarting production (at the Tuticorin plant), they would have tried (to acquire) it,” Gandhi added.A senior executive at a state-owned mining company said that Vedanta’s move to sell the copper plant could be a strategy to pressurise the government. “State governments are very keen on bringing in new investments, and the sale of such a major plant could send the wrong message for the political leadership. But also keep in mind that the Tuticorin issue is a very politically sensitive issue. Neither of the major political parties in Tamil Nadu have supported reopening of the plant. Even with a new owner, the obstacles to restart the unit still remain,” the executive said. An e-mail query sent to Vedanta in India did not elicit a response.Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceAnalysts said that the plant’s operations assume significance given India’s import dependence for its copper needs. “Since 2018-19, India is importing copper in different formats. In 2020-21, almost 52 per cent was being met through imports, and in 2021-22, this number jumped to almost 61%. So while the demand for copper is rising, we are seeing share of imports is actually going up. This includes both primary and secondary copper,” Gandhi said.Saurabh Bhatnagar, partner and metals & mining consulting leader, EY India, said: “Copper is a major component in many industries, with the electrical and telecommunications industries being the largest consumers, followed by transport, consumer durables, building & construction and engineering goods. Therefore, its usage remains a good indicator of economic health. With a consistent GDP growth of the country, and with a dip in domestic production, imports of refined copper increased to 92,290 tonnes in 2018-19 from 44,245 tonnes in 2017-18 while exports declined to 47,917 tonnes from 378,000 tonnes during this period”.“India will continue to import more copper in various forms in the country to meet its growing demand,” he added.

Many scenarios, similar outcome: Tuticorin plant may not restart, say experts
Gujarat: Community support brings new changes to village govt school in Sabarkantha
The Indian Express | 23 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 03:35 am
The Indian Express
23 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 03:35 am

From less than 50 per cent in Class 10 and over 100 students enrolled outside the village to private schools commuting a distance of as much as 100 kilometre, Kubadharol High School did a turn around to over 93 per cent result and not a single student from the village seeking secondary education outside the village.With the community resolution passed in 2017, Kubadharol, a small village in Sabarkantha district’s Vadali taluka, not only provided infrastructure to the village school but also decided that no parent will send their children outside the village for studies.“Until 2017-18, over 100 children from the village would go to private schools as far as Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. The same year, the school’s Class 10 result was less than 50 per cent,” Kubadharol Yuvak Mandal chairman Ravindra K Patel said.“The same year, villagers got together, arranged for infrastructure in the school like computers and projectors while the Ahmedabad-based Dr K R Shroff Foundation helped the school with their teachers for Class 9 and 10. We held meetings with parents and passed a resolution that no child would leave the village for secondary education,” Patel added.The Yuvak Mandal is managing the high school—Class 9 and 10 of the Kubadharol grant-in-aid high school attached to the government primary school.Ravindra is one such parent whose son Chaitanya cleared Class 10 from the village with 87 per cent in 2020 while his daughter Nishtha, studying in Class 9, has achieved the first position in the National Merit cum Means Scholarship (NMMS) exam.Convincing parents was not easy initially, says Hiteshbhai Patel, the Prinicpal of Kubadharol High School. “We held repeated meetings with all the parents and convinced them that with the infrastructure facilities like digital aids and teachers available at the school, it is at par with any other private school to which they are sending their children,” Patel said.“It was tough initially but gradually as the results started improving, parents had faith in us and things got better. In 2020 SSC exam, 36 students had appeared in board exam, out of which, 78 per cent could clear. This year in the Class 10 exam, 30 students had appeared, out of which, 28 students could clear Class 10 with a pass percentage of over 93 per cent while 3 students have scored more than 90 per cent” he added.Vasubhai Patel, father of Kavya, who secured 94 per cent in 2022 Class 10 Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board results, said, “Because there were no teachers in secondary school, students were forced to move out of village for Class 9 and 10. But after Kubadharol school got support from the foundation with Math, Science and English teachers for Class 9 and 10 students and the infrastructure improved, we decided to not send our children outside the village and we are happy that we took this decision.”“Dr K R Shroff Foundation started working with Kubadharol school in 2012. At that point of time, children of farm labours and from economically weak background were studying in government primary schools and majority of the village children were studying in private schools in Vadali. Gradually, the school result and student attendance improved due to committed and dedicated effort made by Dr K R Shroff Foundation teachers,” says Uday Desai, president Dr K R Shroff Foundation.This also saw the increase in enrollment at the school. From an enrollment in the higher school (Class 9 and 10) to 52 in the year 2017, it is 76 in the year 2022-23.

Gujarat: Community support brings new changes to village govt school in Sabarkantha
Akhadas rejoice the return of annual Rath Yatra to Ahmedabad
The Indian Express | 23 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 03:35 am
The Indian Express
23 hours ago | 04-07-2022 | 03:35 am

Written by Rashi MishraAfter a break of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath returned to the streets of old Ahmedabad last week. Of those who rejoiced the occasion the most were the members of the 30-odd akhadas who are considered among the most salient attractions of the yatra every year.“It is said that we are the jewels of Lord Jagannath, and if we don’t do it, the yatra is incomplete,” said 26-year-old Nirav Solanki from Jai Maa Kali Akhada No. 1 in Dariapur.“We like doing it, so we do it. No one supports us. All these, barandi (a stick of wood which has two wooden balls at the end), chakkar (a wheel attached with long, free-falling ropes and has wooden balls at the end and swirled by the user), sword-fighting, are displays of defence and also of our culture. We only make these weapons. This is also our hobby,” Solanki added.“It is us who the public comes to see from far away places. My father has been participating in the procession since he was 15 years old,” said Solanki.According to Mukesh Hadvaidh (62), the president of Ahmedabad Rath Yatra Akhada Association, there are a total 30 such akhadas in the city.“Every year all the 30 akhadas participate in the procession. However, this year only 29 participated as one of the akhada’s head lost his father,” Hadvaith said.Solanki said that all the 30 akhadas are registered with the Shri Jagannathji Mandir Trust and all of them, especially the body-builders, practise throughout the year.Solanki works in a garment shop in Dariapur and his father, Deepak, is a rickshaw driver. In all, he has a family of six that includes his wife, parents, a brother and a sister-in-law.The tradition of akhadas participating in the Rath Yatra is around 100 years old.“Each of these akhadas are maintained by the individual owners on their own. We participate in the yatra as our worship to Lord Jagannath. This time the police were also supportive. We haven’t seen them this cooperative before. It was too good this time,” said Hadvaidh.“Usually no one encourages us or supports our art. But this time, the Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone 2—Jaydeepsinh Jadeja—with his team called all the akhadas in Shahpur for a meeting 2-3 days before the yatra. They gave us some fruits and protein supplements. This is the first time and they were very supportive,” said Pankaj Purani, a member of Bajrang Akhada No. 3 in the Khanpur area.Ruing the lack of support in general for akhadas in the city, Hadvaith said, “We do not get much support to maintain these akhadas. There are no proper places to practise, and the people in these akhadas come from economically poor backgrounds.”

Akhadas rejoice the return of annual Rath Yatra to Ahmedabad
Heavy rainfall across Gujarat till July 8: IMD
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | 03-07-2022 | 10:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 day ago | 03-07-2022 | 10:35 pm

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued heavy rainfall warning across Gujarat till July 8 as the southwest monsoon got active over Gujarat.“Heavy rain is very likely in the districts of Gujarat region, namely Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Navsari and Valsad,” the IMD forecast for Monday stated.On Sunday, heavy rainfall was witnessed in more than 100 talukas of southern, Saurashtra and central districts Sunday. Mangrol in Surat recorded the highest rainfall of 38 mm till 8 pm Sunday followed by Songadh in Tapi at 35 mm, Karjan in Vadodara and Khambha in Amreli at 34 mm each, Navsari taluka in Navsari and Mandvi in Surat at 32 mm each, and Netrang in Bharuch 30 mm.During the week, more districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall, the weather department warned. These include Kheda, Ahmedabad, Panchmahal, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Dang and Tapi. Heavy rainfall is expected in the districts of Saurashtra, namely Amreli, Bhavnagar and Botad on July 6.The weather department has issued heavy rainfall alerts for more districts of Saurashtra, including Porbandar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Gir Somnath and Surendranagar on July 7 and 8.The widespread rainfall has helped in bringing down the mercury. On Sunday, the highest maximum temperature of 39 degrees Celsius in the state was recorded at Vallabh Vidyanagar followed by 37.2 degrees Celsius at Kandla Port. Kandla Airport recorded 37 degrees Celsius. Ahmedabad recorded 36.8, Bhuj and Naliya 36, Deesa 34.6, Gandhinagar 34.5, Bhavnagar 34.2 and Surendranagar 34 degrees Celsius.

Heavy rainfall across Gujarat till July 8: IMD
Now, Nupur backer slain in Amravati
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 day ago | 03-07-2022 | 10:00 pm
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 day ago | 03-07-2022 | 10:00 pm

As the country’s attention was diverted to the major political crisis that erupted in Maharashtra late on June 20, an Udaipur-style murder of a man who allegedly shared a social media post supporting ex-Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Nupur Sharma went unnoticed, officials said.On June 21, a chemist in Amravati, identified as Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe (inset), was brutally stabbed to death for endorsing Nupur Sharma’s posts on Prophet Muhammad that raged into a major political issue.Comparisons are now being drawn between Kolhe’s killing and the dastardly hacking of an Udaipur tailor Kanhaiya Lal, in similar circumstances on June 28. While the City Kotwali police station is probing the matter, Amravati police commissioner Dr Aarti Singh said till now five persons have been nabbed and further investigations are underway.As per the probe, Kolhe, 54, shut his pharmacy and was returning home around 10.15 pm on June 21 on his two-wheeler, with son Sanket, 27 and his wife Vaishnavi on another vehicle.As they reached from Prabhat chow to the MCNH school, two unidentified men on a motorcycle suddenly forced him to a stop.One of them whipped out a knife, repeatedly stabbed him in the neck. After Kolhe fell down, the trio escaped on their motorcycle. Seeing this, Sanket stopped his bike, and got locals to help his profusely bleeding father to a nearby hospital where he succumbed soon afterwards.

Now, Nupur backer slain in Amravati