Latest Goa Breaking News & Headlines

Facing protests, Rane scraps draft bldg rules, 16B approvals
Times of India | 3 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:40 am
Times of India
3 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:40 am

Panaji: Town and country planning minister Vishwajit Rane on Monday scrapped the draft building rules that would have paved the way for golf courses, farm houses, film cities and yoga centres on Goa’s agricultural and orchard lands. Rane, who initially announced that he would keep the contentious norms in abeyance, appeared to have backed down in the face of street protests.The scrapping is being seen as a significant victory for citizens and green activists. Rane also announced that the TCP department decided to scrap all approvals granted to applicants under Section 16B (change of zone) of the TCP Act. Rane said that the department will file an affidavit before the Goa bench of the Bombay high court informing it about the policy decision. However, Rane intends to invite fresh applications under Section 16B.“Keeping the TCP amendments in abeyance will create more doubt, so I have decided to scrap all the amendments,” said Rane. “The expert committee and the TCP board will discuss these same amendments, discuss with all stakeholders, bring it to the board and then take the process forward.”He said that the suggestions and objections submitted by the people would be examined by an expert committee chaired by Los Angeles-based city planner Vinayak Bharne. Confederation of Indian Industry chairperson Swati Salgaonkar will be vice-chairperson of the expert committee.“I have sent an email to the chief town planner that the amendment has to be scrapped with immediate effect,” Rane said.Rane intends to place the draft amendments and the objections submitted so far before this committee, and based on the expert committee’s report, the amendments could be redrafted and notified again. “Our main aim is transparency and Goa’s benefit,” Rane said.The amendments would also include other changes such as allowing a higher built-up area for high-end hotels, and areas defined as central business districts, regularisation of illegal structures, and allowing for residential complexes in lands zoned as industrial.The TCP department’s moves irked civil society and prompted many to question Rane’s motives. “There is nothing selfish in my motives,” said Rane. “There is no personal agenda.”The minister also announced that the final approvals and provisional approvals granted under Section 16B of the TCP Act will be scrapped. “There will be no valid case of Section 16B from today. After that, we ask the court for permission to once again operationalise Section 16B,” said Rane.Earlier in the day, environmentalists and concerned citizens held a peaceful protest against the draft regulations outside the TCP building. The protest was organised by the Federation of Rainbow Warriors and other activists. The activists said that the TCP department has shown no scientific basis while framing the amendments to the regulations. Over the last two weeks, several villages have also organised gram sabha meetings where locals have panned the TCP department’s move to encourage golf courses, film cities, farm houses and other mega projects in the state.Activists had accused the government of proposing to have golf courses, film cities, yoga centres in agricultural zones and diluting laws to allow star hotels in the state without studying the carrying capacity. They had also charged the government of creating special commercial zones with high FARs and for proposing dilution of road requirements for new projects. The government had also come under severe criticism for trying to regularise illegal structures of upto 500 sqm built up area.The activists had demanded that Rane and chief minister Pramod Sawant resign instead of putting the state on sale.

Facing protests, Rane scraps draft bldg rules, 16B approvals
DHE to design e-courses for students across India
Times of India | 3 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:40 am
Times of India
3 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:40 am

Panaji: The directorate of education (DHE), which had last year launched DISHTAVO — by which pre-recorded lectures could be viewed online by students anywhere in Goa — on Monday went a step further with the introduction of MANDAVI, which allows students to take entire courses in the virtual mode to complete the credit requirements of their respective university or college programme.Toward this end, DHE on Monday entered into an MoU with a body under the aegis of the Union education ministry — the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC). The CEC will make the open virtual courses developed by Goa faculty available on the central platform, SWAYAM, which can be accessed by students across the country.MANDAVI (Mentoring and Nurturing Digital and Virtual Initiatives) will begin by offering massive open online courses (MOOC) in music and in analytical chemistry.“The initiative will create a bridge between learners and advanced technology. This visionary initiative will make Goa a role model for other states,” chief minister Pramod Sawant said.MANDAVI was introduced as per the recommendations of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, which aims to achieve a 50% gross enrolment ratio in higher education by 2035.Director of higher education Prasad Lolayekar said MANDAVI will see mentoring, training and support extended to faculty from higher education institutions in Goa to design and develop MOOC content. “By the end of the year, DHE will offer at least five MOOCs. DHE intends to democratise educational content as it believes high-quality education should be available not to just a small group of privileged students but to everyone who is willing to learn,” he said.The tie-up with CEC will allow the courses developed by Goa faculty to be taken by students to fulfil degree requirements of their colleges and universities anywhere in India.“The idea is to facilitate seamless integration of MOOCs into the academic structure of higher education,” said Lolayekar.MOOC courses currently under development at the DHE are based on University Grants Commission curriculum and the choice-based credit system. They are proposed to be offered in credit transfer mode on the SWAYAM platform managed by CEC. Director of the CEC, Jagat Bhushan Nadda, said NEP recognises the significance of digital technology in education. “Eminent scientists and practitioners from research institutions and industries have been involved at various stages of the MOOC development process,” said the nodal officer of this initiative, Kavita Asnani.

DHE to design e-courses for students across India
Govt employee among 2 held for abduction, theft
Times of India | 3 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:40 am
Times of India
3 hours ago | 27-09-2022 | 02:40 am

Panaji: Two persons, including a government employee, were arrested on Monday for allegedly abducting a Mumbai resident and decamping with electronics and cash worth around Rs 85,000.Deputy SP Jivba Dalvi said that Rama Gupta was in Goa conducting a survey for the National Payments Corporation of India. When Gupta reached a certain bar, the two accused questioned him about the survey. Later, one of the two took Gupta’s tablets and told him to ride pillion with him on his two-wheeler if he wants them back.The incident happened at around 3.30pm in Colvale. “One of the accused persons forcibly kidnapped him on a scooter, and when they reached near Colvale jail, another accused came in his car and forcefully put him in the car,” Dalvi said.Once in the car, Gupta was assaulted and threatened. Dalvi said that he was robbed of tablets worth Rs 80,000 and forced to transfer Rs 3,500. The accused then left Gupta at Karaswada and fled.Gupta then lodged a complaint, after which police formed a team for the probe. Colvale police arrested Milind Naik, 49, a resident of Pernem, and Prakash Shetkar, 39, a resident of Colvale.“The two stolen tablets were seized from the accused. Also, the vehicles and the scooter used for the commission of the offence have been taken into custody,” said Dalvi, adding that both were granted two days police custody. Dalvi said that Shetkar works at ITI, Peddem, Mapusa, as a peon.

Govt employee among 2 held for abduction, theft
Goa: TCP minister Vishwajit Rane scraps plans that paved the way for golf courses, race tracks and film cities
Times of India | 10 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 07:58 pm
Times of India
10 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 07:58 pm

PANAJI: In a significant victory for environmental activists and citizens, Town and Country Planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane buckled under pressure on Monday and scrapped the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations. Rane, who initially announced that he would keep the contentious norms in abeyance, appears to have backed down in the face of street protests and an admonition by the BJP. Rane also announced that the TCP department has decided to scrap all approvals granted to applicants under Section 16B of the TCP Act. Rane said that the department will file an affidavit before the Bombay High Court at Goa informing the court about the policy decision. “Keeping the TCP amendments in abeyance will create more doubt so I have decided to scrap the amendments,” said Rane. “The expert committee and the TCP board will discuss these amendments.” Earlier in the day, environmentalists and concerned citizens held a peaceful protest against the draft Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations outside the TCP building. The protest was organised by the Federation of Rainbow Warriors and other activists. The activists said that the Town and Country Planning department has shown no scientific basis while framing the amendments to Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations. Over the last two weeks, several villages have also organised gram sabha meetings where locals have panned the TCP department’s move to encourage golf courses, film cities, farm houses and other mega projects in the state.

Goa: TCP minister Vishwajit Rane scraps plans that paved the way for golf courses, race tracks and film cities
Goa: RG wants September 28 deadline for new land norms to be extended
Times of India | 20 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 10:05 am
Times of India
20 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 10:05 am

PANAJI: Revolutionary Goans (RG) hit out at town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane after the latter accused political parties of submitting repetitive objections against the Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations. RG chief Manoj Parab said that the draft regulations apply to the entire state and all Goans had the same concerns. He said that Rane will be forced to apologise for introducing the draft norms. “He claims that the objections are cut and paste but I want to remind him that he has framed rules for the entire state not different rules for each village. If he has the ability to do, make plans for each village and then we will submit separate objections,” said Parab. Further, RG has demanded that Rane should translate the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations into Konkani and increase the time frame to submit objections and suggestions. The last day to submit objections and suggestions is September 28. On Rane’s recent dismissive reference to the nativist party, Parab said, “I want to remind him that we have one MLA in the assembly.”

Goa: RG wants September 28 deadline for new land norms to be extended
  • RG wants Sept 27 deadline for new land norms to be extended
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Revolutionary Goans (RG) hit out at town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane after the latter accused political parties of submitting repetitive objections against the Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations.RG chief Manoj Parab said that the draft regulations apply to the entire state and all Goans had the same concerns. He said that Rane will be forced to apologise for introducing the draft norms.“He claims that the objections are cut and paste but I want to remind him that he has framed rules for the entire state not different rules for each village. If he has the ability to do, make plans for each village and then we will submit separate objections,” said Parab. Further, RG has demanded that Rane should translate the draft Goa Land Development & Building Construction Regulations into Konkani and increase the time frame to submit objections and suggestions.The last day to submit objections and suggestions is September 27.On Rane’s recent dismissive reference to the nativist party, Parab said, “I want to remind him that we have one MLA in the assembly.”

‘Improve sambar population to raise tiger numbers’
Times of India | 21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:53 am
Times of India
21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:53 am

PANAJI: Goa should focus on conserving and improving the population of sambar deer in its protected areas to help tiger conservation in the state. Sambar is the ideal prey for tigers, as it provides sufficient supply of meat for days and will allow tigers to stay and breed in Goa, said A J T Johnsingh, Padma Shri awardee, conservationist, and former dean of the Wildlife Institute of India. While subsequent ministers have often said that there are no ‘resident’ tigers in Goa and these big cats keep shifting base to the forests across the border, Johnsingh said proactive measures are required to get tigers to breed inside Goa’s protected areas. “Barking deer, spotted deer may not contribute to tiger conservation and gaurs tend to attack tigers. Sambar, once hunted, can be consumed for days. First, a detailed survey of the sambar population is required in Goa. There are sambars, but some years ago as many as 20 were poached. Sambar conservation in Goa is tiger conservation,” Johnsingh told TOI. He said the argument that a tiger reserve is not needed in Goa does not stand because though the state has almost 700sqkm of protected area, these have many human settlements within. “At least 150sqkm of core area is required with no human population. Any existing settlements should be rehabilitated. Simultaneously, efforts should be made to improve sambar population in the entire 700 sq km. And Goa will see results in five years’ time. Having a tiger reserve will earn Goa funds from the Centre for support staff, a good field director and vehicles to improve its protected areas,” said Johnsingh, who has helped shape the Wildlife Institute of India over his two-decade-long stint there. An interim cattle compensation policy is also vital for tiger conservation, Johnsingh said. “In Corbett, in the buffer area, more than 10,000 cattle have been killed over the years. But there is not a single report of tiger poisoning. This is because if Rs 20,000 is provided as cattle compensation to locals, Rs 5,000 of it is provided immediately as interim relief. Some wealthy persons from Goa should come forward to help with funds for such immediate relief in the interest of tiger conservation,” he said. Goa also needs more courageous forest officials, Johnsingh said. “We need forest officials who have courage to tell ministers what exactly is needed for Goa,” he said. Johnsingh also said Goa is not suitable for tiger safari focused tourism because of its terrain and other factors. “In Goa, one should focus on nature tourism, like birdwatching, reptile watching, amphibian watching, rather than tiger tourism,” he explained.

‘Improve sambar population to raise tiger numbers’
Under BSNL’s offer, convert landline to FTTH
Times of India | 21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:52 am
Times of India
21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:52 am

PANAJI: Public sector undertaking Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has offered its existing customers a short window to convert their existing landline or broadband connection to fibre to the home (FTTH) service. The limited period offer for customers includes a monthly discount in tariff for a six-month period, said BSNL in a statement. The state-owned telecom firm hopes that the scheme will bring about a jump in FTTH connections and improve its finances. To make the scheme attractive, BSNL is offering the scheme to even those customers who have permanently surrendered their landline connection and telephone number. “Closed connections may be reactivated and converted to fiber connections, allowing retention of old phone numbers,” said BSNL. “Customers who migrate to FTTH will be given a discount of Rs 200 per month for up to six months. Existing landline numbers can be retained while connections are converted,” said BSNL officials. “BSNL Goa has received an encouraging response from customers, with close to 800 landline customers already migrating to fibre. Those who wish to avail this limited period discount offer may contact their respective area commercial officers,” said BSNL. BSNL connections have been delayed and suffering multiple problems for years with the issue getting worse ever since the public sector telecom company outsourced maintenance and operations to private firms in 2020. Goa used to have more than 500 employees to man the customer sales centres and operations centres but 70% of those employees opted for VRS in January 2020.

Under BSNL’s offer, convert landline to FTTH



Goa Tourism News

‘Improve sambar population to raise tiger numbers’
Times of India | 21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:53 am
Times of India
21 hours ago | 26-09-2022 | 08:53 am

PANAJI: Goa should focus on conserving and improving the population of sambar deer in its protected areas to help tiger conservation in the state. Sambar is the ideal prey for tigers, as it provides sufficient supply of meat for days and will allow tigers to stay and breed in Goa, said A J T Johnsingh, Padma Shri awardee, conservationist, and former dean of the Wildlife Institute of India. While subsequent ministers have often said that there are no ‘resident’ tigers in Goa and these big cats keep shifting base to the forests across the border, Johnsingh said proactive measures are required to get tigers to breed inside Goa’s protected areas. “Barking deer, spotted deer may not contribute to tiger conservation and gaurs tend to attack tigers. Sambar, once hunted, can be consumed for days. First, a detailed survey of the sambar population is required in Goa. There are sambars, but some years ago as many as 20 were poached. Sambar conservation in Goa is tiger conservation,” Johnsingh told TOI. He said the argument that a tiger reserve is not needed in Goa does not stand because though the state has almost 700sqkm of protected area, these have many human settlements within. “At least 150sqkm of core area is required with no human population. Any existing settlements should be rehabilitated. Simultaneously, efforts should be made to improve sambar population in the entire 700 sq km. And Goa will see results in five years’ time. Having a tiger reserve will earn Goa funds from the Centre for support staff, a good field director and vehicles to improve its protected areas,” said Johnsingh, who has helped shape the Wildlife Institute of India over his two-decade-long stint there. An interim cattle compensation policy is also vital for tiger conservation, Johnsingh said. “In Corbett, in the buffer area, more than 10,000 cattle have been killed over the years. But there is not a single report of tiger poisoning. This is because if Rs 20,000 is provided as cattle compensation to locals, Rs 5,000 of it is provided immediately as interim relief. Some wealthy persons from Goa should come forward to help with funds for such immediate relief in the interest of tiger conservation,” he said. Goa also needs more courageous forest officials, Johnsingh said. “We need forest officials who have courage to tell ministers what exactly is needed for Goa,” he said. Johnsingh also said Goa is not suitable for tiger safari focused tourism because of its terrain and other factors. “In Goa, one should focus on nature tourism, like birdwatching, reptile watching, amphibian watching, rather than tiger tourism,” he explained.

‘Improve sambar population to raise tiger numbers’
Goa: Ban on livestock entry may impact beef supply
Times of India | 2 days ago | 24-09-2022 | 11:21 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 24-09-2022 | 11:21 am

PANAJI: The availability of beef is likely to be affected in Goa as the state government has prohibited the entry of livestock into North Goa to prevent the spread of lumpy skin disease (LSD). North Goa collector Mamu Hage said that the director of animal husbandry and veterinary services has said that LSD is a contagious viral disease that primarily affects cows and buffaloes, and spreads rapidly through vectors. As per the order of the North Goa collector the entry of livestock “such as cattle and buffalo, from other states of India into the North Goa district, either directly or indirectly” is prohibited. Ahead of the tourism season that is likely to begin next month, meat traders said that the government should allow the transportation of healthy animals, else it would impact the supply of fresh beef in the state. “The problem is in north India, while animals in Goa or Karnataka are not severely affected by LSD. If there is a restriction on the transportation of animals, it will affect our business,” said Anwar Bepari, general secretary, Quraishi meat traders association. On average, Goa meat complex gets 10 to 15 animals a day, mostly from Maharashtra. “We will hold a meeting with all traders on Saturday to discuss the future course of action to provide for Goa’s daily demand for beef,” said the association’s president, Manna Bepari. The meat traders will also meet the director of animal husbandry and managing director, Goa meat complex, on Monday, to ensure that healthy animals are permitted to be brought to Goa. “These will be animals that are checked by veterinary doctors, that they are not infected with LSD and are therefore fit for slaughter. Only then will they be transported to Goa,” Bepari said. The government said that incidences of LSD have been seen in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Rajasthan, besides a few other states. LSD spreads through the bite of mosquitoes, stable flies and ticks. It can also spread through saliva and contaminated feed and fodder. The disease spreads more rapidly in warm and moist conditions. “This order shall come into force with effect from September 23, until further orders,” Hage said, adding that any person contravening the order will be punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Over the past few months, the department has taken measures with regards to LSD.“We have initiated vaccination of cattle in Goa”, an officer said. “To a large extent, we should be able to control the spread of the disease owing to vaccination. All government dispensaries have been supplied with the vaccines to be administered in cattle,” he said. The self-limiting disease is notorious for the development of skin nodules, which is associated with fever, enlargement of lymph nodes and depression. The disease also causes reduced milk yield, abortion in pregnant animals and sterility in bulls.

Goa: Ban on livestock entry may impact beef supply
‘Submit objections with scientific reasons’
Times of India | 3 days ago | 24-09-2022 | 04:45 am
Times of India
3 days ago | 24-09-2022 | 04:45 am

Panaji: With opposition mounting against the changes to the Goa Land Development and Building Construction Regulations, town and country planning (TCP) minister Vishwajit Rane accused activists of misguiding the people regarding the draft rules. Rane on Friday said the objections should be backed by scientific arguments so that the department can understand people’s concerns.He said domain experts will scrutinise the objections and suggestions receivedand only after that will the department proceed with the changes.“There are a few people misguiding the people of Goa, but there are certain guidelines laid down by the TCP Act that everyone has to follow,” the minister said. “The objections and suggestions that we receive will need to have a proper justification and learning of the subject, which will also help us understand the difficulties and the point of view of the people.”On Friday, RG held a protest outside the TCP office and submitted a list of concerns and objections regarding the draft proposal. A few days earlier, the Goa Bachao Abhiyan also listed out several loopholes in the draft regulations which could hurt Goa’s fragile ecosystem.“We will be inviting more experts on the panel who will be examining and scrutinising all the objections and suggestions received from the people and will move forward based on the procedures mentioned in the TCP Act, hence a very transparent mechanism that will be followed,” the minister said.Rane has already roped in representatives from the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, Indian Institute of Architects, Confederation of Indian Industry, Institute of Engineers India and Institute of Town Planners India to provide inputs on the department’s functioning.He said that with iron ore mining shut, the state heavily relies on the tourism sector for revenue and employment. Rane said that by unlocking land banks in Goa for big ticket projects like a golf course, film city and other niche projects, Goa could attract investors, create jobs and increase revenue.“We want a sustainable development model for the state that will help us progress in a balanced manner, by creating mere noise and clamour we will only leave the growth of our state stagnant,” the TCP minister said.

‘Submit objections with scientific reasons’



Goa Political News

BJP in office today due to Upadhyay: Kamat
Times of India | 1 day ago | 26-09-2022 | 04:45 am
Times of India
1 day ago | 26-09-2022 | 04:45 am

Margao: Up until about10 days ago, he was singing paeans to the founders of Congress and how its roots lay in the freedom movement. On Sunday, Margao MLA Digambar Kamat paid rich tributes to Pt Deendayal Upadhyay, an RSS thinker and former leader of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of BJP, on his birth anniversary. Hopping from ward to ward represented by councillors affiliated to him, Kamat led his supporters-turned-saffron karyakartas in eulogising the leader who showed the nation the path of antyodaya. For Kamat, the ideological switchover has been seemingly smooth and complete, effortless and instant. “Upadhyay laid the foundation of today’s BJP. If BJP is in office today, its credit goes to leaders like him who did the spadework for the party which was then known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh. It’s the exemplary work done by Upadhyay and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee that has now resulted in BJP coming to office,” Kamat told his supporters who stood shoulder to shoulder with original BJP karyakartas who had fought battles over the last 17 years.Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat of Sunday, wherein Modi hailed Upadhyay and credited him with India’s progress and achievements, Kamat said that BJP (then Bharatiya Jana Sangh) during those times worked towards reaching out to all sections of society and uplifting the common man. “It’s the duty of all karyakartas to remember the leader, and therefore the party chalked out this program of holding the shraddhanjali programme in all wards,” Kamat said. Political observers say that BJP’s success in Margao will hinge largely on how well the two BJP factions – one controlled by Kamat and the other belonging to the party cadre – gel with each other. A few days ago, BJP held a meeting with Kamat and the party cadre in Panaji in the presence of the top brass of BJP, including chief minister Pramod Sawant, that served as an icebreaker to thaw the relations between the two. The recent change in equations in the Margao Municipal Council (MMC), following Kamat switching over to BJP, led to the ouster of Ghanashyam Shirodkar, hardly a week after he was elected chairperson. Though Kamat’s nominee Damodar Shirodkar was defeated by Ghanashyam in the chairperson’s elections, it’s unlikely that Kamat will have the final word in deciding the candidature this time as a couple of councillors elected on the BJP-backed panel are also eyeing the top post.

BJP in office today due to Upadhyay: Kamat
Trinamool Spent Rs 47 Crore For Goa Polls, BJP Rs 17 Crore: Election Body
Ndtv | 1 day ago | 25-09-2022 | 11:19 am
Ndtv
1 day ago | 25-09-2022 | 11:19 am

Eyeing expansion, the Trinamool Congress had actively campaigned for the assembly elections in Goa.New Delhi: The Goa assembly elections were keenly fought with the Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party throwing their hats in the ring but when it came to poll expenditure, it was the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress that loosened its purse strings spending a whopping Rs 47.54 crore.The BJP, which retained power in Goa with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at the helm, spent over Rs 17.75 crore towards election expenditure in the state.The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP spent nearly Rs 3.5 crore in Goa, where it tried its luck for the second consecutive assembly elections.The details of the election expenditure were submitted by the respective political parties to the Election Commission recently.The Congress, which was hoping to dislodge the BJP from power in Goa, spent approximately Rs 12 crore on the Goa elections.The Nationalist Congress Party gave Rs 25 lakh each to the 11 candidates it had fielded for the elections, besides spending on the campaign from the party's central fund.The Shiv Sena, which fielded 10 candidates in the Goa elections, spent nearly Rs 92 lakh towards poll expenditure. Eyeing expansion, the Trinamool Congress had launched an election blitzkrieg in Goa with poll strategist Prashant Kishor playing a key role in trying to get the party a toehold in the state.The party fielded 23 candidates in the Goa assembly election but none of them won, while its ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party put up candidates in 13 seats and managed to win two.The AAP fielded 39 candidates and managed to open its account in the state by winning two seats.The Congress had cried foul at the entry of Trinamool Congress and the AAP in the electoral fray in Goa, accusing them of dividing the anti-BJP vote.The BJP won 20 seats in the 40-member assembly and formed the government with the support of two MGP MLAs and three Independent legislators.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comEarlier this month, eight of the 11 Congress MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Michael Lobo and former chief minister Digambar Kamat, defected to the BJP.(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Trinamool Spent Rs 47 Crore For Goa Polls, BJP Rs 17 Crore: Election Body
10,000 sanads for forest land in 18 months: Goa CM Pramod Sawant
Times of India | 1 day ago | 25-09-2022 | 07:50 am
Times of India
1 day ago | 25-09-2022 | 07:50 am

MARGAO: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday handed over land title documents (sanads) for forest land under occupation to several beneficiaries under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Addressing the gathering at a function held at the south Goa collectorate, Sawant said that the government has set a target of handing over 10,000 sanads to claimants of both individual and community rights category, within the next 12 to 18 months. Sawant said that his government was working on the Antyodaya principle, and said that being able to hand over titles to rightful claimants of forest land under the Act was his biggest achievement since becoming the chief minister. “There were nearly 10,000 applications pending under the Act whenI became the chief minister in 2019. No sanad was given to any claimant before that. So far 2,000 to 2,500 sanads have been handed over to beneficiaries. The rest will be cleared in due course,” he said. He urged beneficiaries not to sell the agricultural land they have now come to own, but cultivate it with the assistance of the agriculture department. Sawant also inaugurated the FRC Sanad Information System portal that will facilitate beneficiaries under the Act to obtain their land title documents online. “This is yet another step in our mission towards making Goa swayampurna (self-reliant),” Sawant said. Despite a large number of claims, sources said lack of documentation by claimants, the requirement of 50% quorum at gram sabhas have turned out to be major impediments in speedy processing of claims.

10,000 sanads for forest land in 18 months: Goa CM Pramod Sawant
  • In a first for Goa, 46.1 sqkm notified as private forest
  • Times of India

    PANAJI: The state government on Thursday notified 46.1 sqkm area in the state as private forest, in compliance with an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). This is the first parcel of land in Goa to be notified as a private forest. However, in the meantime, work is in progress to confirm almost double of the area notified, which has been identified provisionally as private forest for now. Enumeration of 9,183 ha or 91.8 sqkm area is being carried out at present by 16 sub-committees comprising range forest officers, inspectors of survey and land records, and village talathis, under the supervision of the deputy conservator of forests. This area was identified as a provisional forest by the Thomas and the Araujo committees. “The review of survey numbers provisionally identified as private forests by the Thomas and Araujo committees is on as per the order of NGT dated January 7, 2021. Five interim reports have been already uploaded on the forest department website, and three compliance reports have been filed before the tribunal and the balance review work is under process,” an official said. The first parcel of 46.1 sqkm of private forest notified now in Goa was based on the findings of the Sawant and the Karapurkar committees, which were later reviewed and confirmed by the Sharma committee. The government panels, while identifying private forests, applied the criteria that the area should be either contiguous to government forest lands or, if in isolation, the minimum area identified should be 5 ha. And, canopy density should not be less than 0.4. The review committee has now formed several sub-committees, which are carrying out ground enumeration mainly based on the third criteria — that at least 75% of the tree species in the private forest are of ‘forestry type’. This will be the determining factor for an identified area to qualify as private forest. So that there are no objections to the forest found to be qualifying as private forest from the land owners, the review committee has now put multiple checks in place. These checks include the range forest officer or member secretary of the sub-committee mandatorily visiting all the sites and verifying 100% sample points on ground. Further, an inspector of survey and land records and talathi also attend the field enumeration and verify the report prepared by the sub-committee before sending it to the review committee. In addition, assistant conservators of forests have been assigned an area for checking and have to verify at least 20% of the sample points. Besides this, geo-reference photographs of the trees at sampling points have to be taken mandatorily, along with the representatives, objectors or owners of the land.

TMC likely to slap Faleiro with gag order in RS
Times of India | 2 days ago | 25-09-2022 | 04:47 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 25-09-2022 | 04:47 am

Panaji: The clock is ticking for Rajya Sabha MP Luizinho Faleiro as the Trinamool Congress Party is all set to reprimand the former Goa chief minister “for disobeying” the party high command. High-ranking TMC officials say the party’s disciplinary committee has issued a notice to Faleiro for “anti-party activities” and are considering issuing a gag order against him in the Upper House of Parliament.A TMC functionary told TOI that the party high command remains upset with Faleiro for his refusal to contest the Goa assembly elections and his subsequent refusal to “gracefully step down” from the Rajya Sabha seat.“The party’s disciplinary committee has issued a notice to Faleiro for working against the party’s interests,” said the functionary, adding that this is first part of the two-step process.“One action that is being considered is removing Faleiro’s permission to speak in the Rajya Sabha. Party MPs can speak only with permission from the party leader in Parliament,” a TMC official said.Interestingly, on Saturday Faleiro released a letter that he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking special permission to set up a central museum complex at Navelim in honour of Dr Francisco Luis Gomes. Faleiro lauded the Centre’s efforts to remove India’s “colonial mindset” and said that recognising Gomes’s contribution will be a step in the right direction.A TMC MP representing West Bengal, Faleiro wants to use his Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) funds to build the museum complex in his former assembly constituency.“I have funds in the MPLAD scheme which I will readily offer for such a museum complex. However, since I represent West Bengal in the Rajya Sabha, the utilisation of the funds in Goa may require special permission. If such permission is obtained. that would be my contribution to the project,” said Faleiro in a letter to Modi.TMC functionaries claimed that Faleiro is trying to buy time and attempting to curry political brownie points before the disciplinary action occurs.Reacting to Faleiro’s letter to the PM, a high-ranking TMC official said, “He has indulged in cheap politics for self benefit.”“Faleiro is showing his true colours. He is even praising PM Modi (in the letter),” the official said.

TMC likely to slap Faleiro with gag order in RS



Goa Election News

BJP will form next govt in Goa, says PM Modi after Pramod Sawant meet
Times of India | 6 months ago | 09-03-2022 | 10:48 am
Times of India
6 months ago | 09-03-2022 | 10:48 am

PANAJI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the BJP would form the next government in the state, chief minister Pramod Sawant said after briefing the PM over political developments in Goa. The assembly results are scheduled to be declared on Thursday. “Modi told me that BJP will form the government,” Sawant told TOI from Delhi. Modi held the meeting with Sawant to review the political situation in the state. During the discussion, Modi took constituency-wise details about the number of seats BJP will secure in Goa. Sawant provided details to Modi on what the results would be, and how BJP would form the government. “We will form the next government in the state and in case we are short of a majority, independent MLAs will support BJP,” Sawant said. He added that if required, BJP would seek support of MGP. The CM told Modi that BJP is getting around 20 seats, and with the help of independent MLAs, BJP will form the government. Modi also deliberated on the possibilities of forming a coalition government just in case there was a fractured mandate. The meeting also discussed seeking support from independent MLAs or regional parties. All the exit polls on Monday have predicted a hung assembly in Goa. The election is crucial for BJP as well as for Sawant as both are facing anti-incumbency. BJP has contested all 40 assemblies for the first time, and it’s also the party’s first state election in the absence of their strategist, former chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Modi addressed the people of the state during the election campaign and had said “Goa has decided that this wave of development and good governance should not slow down. Under the young leadership of chief minister Pramod Sawant, this journey will continue in the same manner”. Sawant, BJP state president Sadanand Shet Tanavade and BJP’s Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting in Mumbai to discuss the formation of the next government. Fadnavis already held a meeting with senior MGP functionary Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar over the post-poll alliance. Dhavalikar had told Fadnavis that the MGP-TMC alliance would take a decision after the results. BJP had started approaching independent candidates who are likely to get elected in the assembly election, already hitting the drawing board to strategise how to form the next government.

BJP will form next govt in Goa, says PM Modi after Pramod Sawant meet
  • BJP will form next govt in Goa, says PM Modi after Pramod Sawant meet
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the BJP would form the next government in the state, chief minister Pramod Sawant said after briefing the PM over political developments in Goa. The assembly results are scheduled to be declared on Thursday. “Modi told me that BJP will form the government,” Sawant told TOI from Delhi. Modi held the meeting with Sawant to review the political situation in the state. During the discussion, Modi took constituency-wise details about the number of seats BJP will secure in Goa. Sawant provided details to Modi on what the results would be, and how BJP would form the government. “We will form the next government in the state and in case we are short of a majority, independent MLAs will support BJP,” Sawant said. He added that if required, BJP would seek support of MGP. The CM told Modi that BJP is getting around 20 seats, and with the help of independent MLAs, BJP will form the government. Modi also deliberated on the possibilities of forming a coalition government just in case there was a fractured mandate. The meeting also discussed seeking support from independent MLAs or regional parties. All the exit polls on Monday have predicted a hung assembly in Goa. The election is crucial for BJP as well as for Sawant as both are facing anti-incumbency. BJP has contested all 40 assemblies for the first time, and it’s also the party’s first state election in the absence of their strategist, former chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Modi addressed the people of the state during the election campaign and had said “Goa has decided that this wave of development and good governance should not slow down. Under the young leadership of chief minister Pramod Sawant, this journey will continue in the same manner”. Sawant, BJP state president Sadanand Shet Tanavade and BJP’s Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting in Mumbai to discuss the formation of the next government. Fadnavis already held a meeting with senior MGP functionary Ramkrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar over the post-poll alliance. Dhavalikar had told Fadnavis that the MGP-TMC alliance would take a decision after the results. BJP had started approaching independent candidates who are likely to get elected in the assembly election, already hitting the drawing board to strategise how to form the next government.

IRBs misplaced cartridges recovered from Davorlim
Times of India | 7 months ago | 17-02-2022 | 07:07 am
Times of India
7 months ago | 17-02-2022 | 07:07 am

MARGAO: A bag containing 40 cartridges belonging to the Indian Reserve Batallion (IRB) that proceeded to Uttar Pradesh from Goa for election duty that was found misplaced on Tuesday, was recovered by Margao police on Wednesday from the roadside at Davorlim. Police sources said that about 900 IRB personnel had departed by an UP-bound train from Margao railway station on Tuesday evening. They were ferried to the Margao railway station by buses. However, it was after the train departed from Margao railway station that the “missing” bag containing cartridges came to their notice. The Railway police were soon alerted, who in turn contacted the Margao town police who launched a search exercise on the routes taken by the buses to ferry the IRB personnel to the railway station. The bag was finally recovered from a roadside at Davorlim on Wednesday. Police surmise that the IRB personnel left the bag containing cartridges after alighting from the buses to proceed to the railway station.

IRBs misplaced cartridges recovered from Davorlim
  • Missing live cartridges traced
  • Navhind Times

    Margao: In a major relief, the 40 live cartridges that were in the possession of IRB personnel headed for poll duty in Uttar Pradesh and had gone missing late on Tuesday night, were found in a gutter near Davorlim circle hardly half km away from the Margao railway station platform on Wednesday morning.Ten companies of IRBpolice personnel left by a train for Delhi from where they will travel to Uttar Pradesh. Four boxeswith each containing 10cartridgeshad gone missing. IRBpersonnel Nansekerhad made an application to the Margao police on Tuesday late night in which he had mentioned thatthe live cartridges in his possession had gone missing.He had reported that the cartridges went missing along the ring road between fire station and Davorlim circle. A search operation was conducted by police.Police teamengaged in the search operationhad visited the Konkan railway station area, checked the CCTV footagebesides parkingareaswhere buseshad dropped the IRBstaff, however, the cartridges were not found.However on Wednesday at around 10 a.m.,the four missing boxeswerefound in a gutter by LIB team of policewhich was also pressed into a search operation. It is still a mystery howthe live cartridges reached the gutter. Investigation is in progress. Police havekept the cartridges in custody after conducting legal formalities.




Goa Education News

GVM inaugurates its first Dr Dada Vaidya Memorial Lecture
Navhind Times | 10 months ago | 12-11-2021 | 12:07 am
Navhind Times
10 months ago | 12-11-2021 | 12:07 am

In order to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dada Vaidya, the co-founder of Goa Vidyaprasarak Mandal, GVM’s Dr Dada Vaidya College of Education has initiated the Dr Dada Vaidya Memorial Lecture Series. The first lecture was titled National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and School Education in Goa. Resource person for the lecture was director of SCERT, Goa, Nagaraj G Honnekeri. In his address, Honnekeri elaborated on the major thrust areas of NEP 2020 with a special focus on the status of NEP’s implementation in the state of Goa. He pointed to the fact that Dada Vaidya’s vision to instil skill-based education along with formal education was completely in sync with the present NEP.Chairman, Goa Vidyaprasarak Mandal’s Working Committee, Bhaskar Khandeparkar said: “If ever a history of education in Goa is written, then the role of Dada Vaidya in bringing a renaissance in the field of education shall be correctly notified.” Declaring the lecture series open, Khandepakar said: “Goa Vidyaprasarak Mandal celebrates its 110th Founders Day on October 2, 2021, and it is the solemn duty of the College of Education to carry Dada Vaidya’s legacy ahead.”Principal of GVM’s Dr Dada Vaidya College of Education, Jojen Mathew presented a progress review report of the college. The college organised more than 20 national webinars/seminars and workshops in the fields of research education, and signed a few MOU’s with various national and international organisations.Former principal of the college, Allan Abreo highlighted the 95 distinctions secured in the last academic year and congratulated the meritorious students of the BEd, MEd and diploma in pre-primary education course offered by the college.The programme was attended by heads of departments, teachers of various sister concern institutes of GVM, teacher trainees of the college and members of GVM’s management.

GVM inaugurates its first Dr Dada Vaidya Memorial Lecture



Goa Covid News

Goa: As virus cases rise, health department urges people to wear masks in public places
Times of India | 1 month ago | 19-08-2022 | 07:35 am
Times of India
1 month ago | 19-08-2022 | 07:35 am

PANAJI: With Goa's daily average of Covid cases still hovering around 100 and above, the health services on Thursday appealed to people to wear masks in crowded places, especially during the festive period. For the past two days, the state has recorded 380 cases, with 180 detected on Thursday, taking the positivity rate to 14%. The active caseload increased to 941 and the mortality count rose to 3,957, with one fatality recorded over the past 24 hours. With 115 recoveries, the recovery rate stood at 98%. State epidemiologist Dr Prashant Suryawanshi said that people cannot be complacent and assume the pandemic has ended as the state has not recorded nil Covid cases. "If you take any public place, it appears that people have forgotten about Covid appropriate behaviour. Even in crowded places, people do not wear masks," he said. He said the state has reported around 100 cases on a daily basis, though on Wednesday, the count rose to 200 cases. "We want people to take precautions when they go to hospitals, pharmacies or crowded places. It is important to wear masks, especially with the ongoing festive season, and when crowding is inevitable," he said. He said that on an encouraging note, hospital admissions as well as fatalities are low. Goa recorded 14 deaths in July, and five this month till date. Not just in Goa, but even in other states, there has been a rise in infections, so much so that the Delhi government has mandated wearing of masks in public spaces, Suryawanshi said. "With cases still being reported, we cannot afford to relax completely," he said. He insisted that even people having mild symptoms should get themselves tested without delay. There has been an uptick in cases, while an outbreak has not been reported. State immunisation officer Dr Rajendra Borkar said that it appears as though the third wave of the pandemic has not ended, and ruled out the threat of a fourth wave. "When cases drop completely and remain stable on that level for a considerable period, then only we can say the wave has ended," he said. In February, health department officials had stated that Goa had crossed the peak of the third wave. The third wave in the state surged faster than the first two, and also reached its peak in the shortest duration, just 21 days.

Goa: As virus cases rise, health department urges people to wear masks in public places
After Centre’s snub, MPT looks to get pvt player on board for mobile harbour crane
Times of India | 2 months ago | 26-07-2022 | 04:13 am
Times of India
2 months ago | 26-07-2022 | 04:13 am

Panaji: The Centre has rejected Mormugao Port Authority’s (MPA) proposal for funding under the Sagarmala scheme to purchase a mobile harbour crane and has instead recommended that the port must go through the public-private partnership (PPP) route. MPA will now attempt to get a private player on board through a revenue sharing model for a period of 10 years, but this process could take at least six months, said MPA chairman Venkata Ramana Akkaraju. Akkaraju provided this information to a Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation that went to discuss the infrastructure gaps at the port. “The chairman said that a tender will be floated at the end of July where a new crane will be mobilised for a period of 10 years on a revenue sharing model, but that the whole process might take up to six months to complete,” said a GCCI office bearer privy to the meeting. “He also informed that a proposal for funding a crane was put forth under the Sagarmala scheme, but it was not approved stating that the port should try sourcing the crane via the PPP model.” The GCCI delegation comprised Chandrakant Gawas, Dhirendra Thakker and Sanket Kaskar. The purpose of the meeting was to urge MPA to develop port infrastructure. Gawas informed the MPA chairman about the lack of regulatory authorities at the port to issue important clearances in the movement of cargo. “According to the export-import procedures, there should be six government partnered agencies which include drug controller, animal quarantine, plant quarantine and truck controller that should be present at the port to issue clearances, but currently, there are none who are authorised to sign the clearances,” said Gawas. Akkaraju said that due to the insignificant cargo movement, it is not feasible for regulatory authorities to be present at the port. Akkaraju said that increasing the cargo volume should be the first priority. GCCI pointed out that even though Goa has a significant number of pharmaceutical industries that source raw material and manufacture medicines and medical test kits, the companies are forced to ship the cargo through JNPT or Chennai port. Gawas informed Akkaraju that the GMR Group is willing to support MPA in any way required so that both the water and air modes of transport can be used for the logistics sector. A GCCI delegation, along with Akkaraju and deputy chairman MPA Guruprasad Rai, met with minister for state for tourism and ports Shripad Naik and also requested him to resolve the long-pending issues.

After Centre’s snub, MPT looks to get pvt player on board for mobile harbour crane
Daily Briefing: BJP-Eknath Shinde coalition wins trust vote in Maharashtra; scientists look at Omicron sub-variant amid spike in Covid cases
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | 05-07-2022 | 11:40 am
The Indian Express
2 months ago | 05-07-2022 | 11:40 am

Good morning,The BJP-Shinde Sena coalition won the trust vote with 164 votes, the same number it previously garnered in the Speaker’s election. The last day of the special assembly session was marked by an emotional speech from Shinde, who referred to the death of two of his children in a boat accident in June 2000. He also tried to reassure his political rivals saying: “We don’t subscribe to the politics of vendetta…”🔴 Having comfortably won the floor test, the coalition may not press for disqualification of the 15 MLAs left with Uddhav Thackeray. Highly placed sources in the BJP said the party wanted “truce”, even though Speaker Rahul Narwekar said he would seek their disqualification as they had ignored a whip issued by the Shinde side for the Speaker election.🔴 Meanwhile, the failure of 11 Congress MLAs, including former CM Ashok Chavan, to cast their vote in the floor test led to raised eyebrows within the party with senior leaders raising concern and questioning their “recklessness” and “casual behaviour”. Chavan said: “We were late by two or three minutes. They closed the gates. There is no foul play. We were stuck in traffic.”At least 26 recommendations for appointment of judges to the Bombay High Court, which is currently functioning at almost half its sanctioned strength, are pending with the government at different stages of consideration, The Indian Express has learnt. The Bombay High Court currently has 57 judges against a sanctioned strength of 96 judges. At least five more judges are expected to retire this year.Scientists in India probing the possible causes for the recent rise in Coronavirus cases said BA.2.75, one of the several sub-variants of the parent Omicron variant, was now one of the most commonly detected sub-variant in the country in recent results of genome sequencing. It has been found to have an 18 per cent growth advantage over the other currently circulating Omicron sub-variants. However, there is no evidence as of now to suggest that the BA.2.75 also causes a more severe form of infection.The government has barred hotels and restaurants from adding service charge “automatically or by default” in the food bill. It said that in case of violation, a consumer can ask the hotel/ restaurant to remove the service charge, or seek redressal by filing a complaint.As drama swirled around the Maharashtra government’s survival, one of the characters at the heart of it was a politician from Haryana, Sonia Doohan. The 30-year-old national president of the NCP students’ wing was held along with an aide for allegedly using fake identification documents to check into a hotel in Goa, where Sena rebels were staying. Doohan, who played an “important role in the fall of the three-day BJP government in 2019” according to NCP’s Dheeraj Sharma, has denied the allegations.A day after their capture of two heavily armed LeT militants, the residents of Tukson village in J&K remain firm: they will not give way to terrorists, at any cost. One of the residents involved in the capture, a BA student, told The Indian Express about how he had alerted his brother of two “unknown people posing as traders” at a dhok. This led to a gathering of seven residents, who formed a cordon, and eventually went on to overpower the duo.A year since the Covid-induced oxygen crisis, hospitals in Delhi are struggling to keep the pressure-swing adsorption (PSA) plants going. Most of them switch on the plant once a week or for a couple of hours every day to ensure that the machine remains functional. The reason for this are multiple: High operation and maintenance cost, lower quality of oxygen generated, and fear of antagonising the regular liquid medical oxygen suppliers.Mumbai’s chawl and low-income housing localities have always boasted of a community dance culture. B-Girl Bar-B, born Siddhi Tambe, took her first steps in Breaking at a similar community centre. The 18-year-old has now earned a ticket to New York after emerging India champ at the Red Bull BC One Cypher earlier this month. We take a look at her journey.Delhi Confidential: Union Minister Amit Shah annually visits his village on the occasion of Bhaidooj and the second day of Navratri and participates in the meeting of Primary Agricultural Credit Societies. Shah revealed this while responding to Cabinet colleague Parshottam Rupala, who took a jibe at cooperative leaders and asked them how they contribute to the sector, during an event to mark the 100th International Day of Cooperatives.In today’s episode of the ‘3 things’ podcast, we talk about Maharashtra’s new government clearing the floor test in the Assembly and the protests against its decision to build a metro shed in Aarey forest. We also discuss a fratricide case in BSF and the rising concern of mental health issues among police forces.Until tomorrow,Leela Prasad and Sonal Gupta

Daily Briefing: BJP-Eknath Shinde coalition wins trust vote in Maharashtra; scientists look at Omicron sub-variant amid spike in Covid cases
  • Maharashtra Floor Test Live Updates: BJP-Shinde camp govt crosses majority mark in trust vote; SC to hear plea challenging Shinde faction’s whip on July 11
  • The Indian Express

  • Maharashtra Assembly session from today; Shinde govt to face floor test on July 4
  • The Indian Express

    The four-day old Shiv Sena-BJP government will face the floor test on July 4 during the special two-day session of the Legislative Assembly beginning here Sunday.The election to the post of the Speaker of the House will be held Sunday after the House proceedings begin at 11 am, an official said.Sena MLA and Uddhav Thackeray loyalist Rajan Salvi is the candidate of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine for the Speaker’s election. He is pitted against first-time BJP legislator Rahul Narvekar.Rebel Shiv Sena MLAs who support Shinde returned to Mumbai from Goa on Saturday evening on the eve of the Assembly session, and were lodged in a luxury hotel in south Mumbai, where Vidhan Bhavan, venue of the floor test, is located.NCP chief Sharad Pawar claimed that Narhari Zirwal, the deputy Speaker, can perform officiating Speaker’s duties even though a no-confidence motion is pending against him. The post of Speaker is vacant since February last year after Nana Patole of Congress quit.As many as 50 MLAs who support Shinde, including 39 rebel legislators of the Shiv Sena, on Saturday evening flew to Mumbai from Goa by a chartered flight. Shinde, who had flown to Goa in the morning, accompanied them back.Shinde has the support of 10 legislators of smaller parties and independents and 106 MLAs of the BJP in the 288-member House.Following is the party position in the Assembly: Shiv Sena 55, NCP 53, Congress 44, BJP 106, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 3, Samajwadi Party 2, AIMIM 2, Prahar Janshakti Party 2, MNS 1, CPI (M) 1, PWP 1, Swambhimani Paksha 1, Rashtriya Samaj Paksha 1, Jansurajya Shakti Party 1, Krantikari Shetkari Party 1, and Independents 13.There is a vacancy due to the death of Shiv Sena MLA Ramesh Latke last month.Two NCP members – Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal – have tested COVID-19 positive, while two other party legislators – Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik – are currently in jail.

  • Maharashtra Speaker’s election today: Stage set for first test for new CM Shinde
  • The Indian Express

    WITH THE Speaker’s election slated for Sunday after Shiv Sena announced the candidature of its MLA Rajan Salvi for the post against BJP’s Rahul Narwekar, the stage is set for the first test for the newly sworn-in Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his group of Sena rebels, and for BJP and the Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.Shinde and Fadnavis were sworn in on Thursday and the Governor has called for a special session of the assembly on Sunday and Monday for the Speaker’s election followed by a floor test. The election will mark the first battle in the House between Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena which has 16 MLAs, and Shnde-led rebel group with 39 MLAs.On Saturday, Shiv Sena chief whip Sunil Prabhu issued a whip, asking all the MLAs to be present in the assembly and cast their votes in favour of Salvi.Replying to the whip issued by Prabhu, Chief Minister Shinde asserted that it does not apply to his group as they have more than two-thirds of the total 55 Sena MLAs. He said, “We will face the floor test and we will win”.Sources said a separate whip is likely to be issued by the Shinde faction for the election and the floor test.Ajay Chaudhari, Shiv Sena legislative party leader said, “We have a strategy in place but I can’t disclose it now.’’ Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said, “We will fight the Speaker’s election and we believe in the Constitution. I have heard that the Shinde faction spokesperson Deepak Kesarkar said that Uddhav Thackeray is their leader. These MLAs now must obey the whip and vote for Rajan Salvi.”Shiv Sena parliamentary party leader Vinayak Raut said, “We have issued a whip that the rebel MLAs should vote for Rajan Salvi. If they don’t, it will be an added material in our case in Supreme Court for disqualifying them.”A three-time MLA, Salvi was accompanied by Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant, Sena legislature party leader Ajay Chaudhari, state NCP chief Jayant Patil, and Congress legislative party leader Balasaheb Thorat while filing his nomination for the election.Meanwhile, late Friday night, Thackeray sacked Shinde from the post of Shiv Sena leader in party organisation for indulging in “anti party activities’ ‘.“Dear Shri Shinde, You have been indulging in anti-party activities and have also voluntarily given up your membership of Shiv Sena. Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in me as the Shiv Sena Paksha Pramukha, I remove you from the post of Shiv Sena leader in the party organisation,” the letter issued by Thackeray read.The move came after Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis took oath as CM and deputy CM respectively on Thursday. Sources in Shinde camp said that they will challenge the letter legally.Ahead of the Speaker’s election, the rebel Sena MLAs and Independent MLAs returned to Mumbai on Saturday evening after spending almost 11 days out of the state — first in Gujarat, then in Assam, and then in Goa. They arrived in Mumbai on a special flight and will be camped at a south Mumbai five-star hotel along with BJP MLAs.Addressing them, CM Shinde asserted that the whip of state legislative leader Bharat Gogawale, who is a part of his group, will be applicable to them, and not that of Shiv Sena’s which has been reduced to a minority.Security was beefed up in Mumbai and police security was deployed along the route from Mumbai airport to South Mumbai hotel to avoid any untoward incident.As the floor test is also scheduled on Monday, Shiv Sena president and former CM Uddhav Thackeray held meetings with party leaders to carve out a strategy. Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap and Congress working president Charan Singh Sapra also met Thackeray at Matorshree Saturday afternoon and all MVA leaders held a meeting in the evening.The NCP legislature party will hold a meeting on Sunday morning to decide their strategy. State NCP president Jayant Patil said, “I feel elections should not be held. All three parties gave a letter… We have a deputy Speaker, Narhari Zirwal, and he has the right to run the House… When the government has changed, Koshyari has allowed elections for a Speaker and people are watching these developments.”Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, “Earlier, MVA demanded election of Speaker and it was denied by the Governor quoting law related to elections. Now, we can’t understand the reason to have elections. The Governor should not forget that he is a constitutional authority, and not a BJP worker.”

As active Covid-19 cases cross 1-lakh mark after 122 days, here’s what trend shows
The Indian Express | 2 months ago | 30-06-2022 | 07:40 pm
The Indian Express
2 months ago | 30-06-2022 | 07:40 pm

Covid-19 cases have been on the rise again in India, with the country recording over 18,000 cases after a gap of 130 days, taking the cumulative tally to 4,34,52,164, according to data put out by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday. Cases have increased by 78 per cent from the average two weeks ago and deaths, too, have gone up by 119 per cent.Active cases in the country also crossed the one-lakh mark on Thursday after a gap of 122 days. A total of 18,819 new Covid cases were reported in a span of 24 hours while the death toll climbed to 5,25,116 with 39 new fatalities. The active cases, as such, went up to 1,04,555 comprising 0.24 per cent of the total infections, while the recovery rate stood at 98.55 per cent.An increase of 4,953 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 4.16 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 3.72 per cent, according to the ministry.Where are Covid cases rising again?According to the data published by the Health Ministry, there are 43 districts around the country that are recording a weekly positivity rate of 10 per cent or more. Kerala tops this list with 11 districts, followed by Mizoram (6) and Maharashtra (5).Among the districts, Mizoram’s Kolasib tops the list, recording a positivity rate of 64.86 per cent. However, what is to be kept in mind is that the state does not perform too many Covid-19 tests when compared to others. The positivity rate is the proportion of samples tested that return positive.The other states that have been witnessing a noticeable rise include Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Manipur, Mizoram, Goa, Karnataka and Puducherry. While there are 42 districts in India that are recording a positivity rate between 5 and 10 per cent, the 627 others are still below the 5 per cent-mark.According to the trend this month, the country crossed the 4,000-mark on June 3, 7,000-mark on June 9, 8,000-mark on June 11, 12,000-mark on June 16, 13,000-mark on June 18, 17,000-mark on June 24 and 18,000-mark on June 30.India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. The country crossed the grim milestone of two crore on May 4 and three crore on June 23 last year. It crossed 4 crore on January 25 this year.What about deaths?The 39 new fatalities recorded on Thursday include 17 from Kerala, 7 from Maharashtra, 4 from Uttar Pradesh, 3 from Punjab, 2 each from Haryana, Karnataka and West Bengal and 1 each from Delhi and Sikkim.Of the total deaths recorded to date, 1,47,922 are from Maharashtra, 69,993 from Kerala, 40,117 from Karnataka, 38,026 from Tamil Nadu, 26,261 from Delhi, 23,538 from Uttar Pradesh and 21,218 from West Bengal. To put it into perspective, at least 1 in 2,602 Indians have died from the novel coronavirus, taking the cumulative toll to 5,25,116.The Health Ministry, however, stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.What does the trend show?Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 31 residents have been infected with Covid-19 in India. An average of 15,315 cases per day were reported in India in the last week with new infections increasing by 78 per cent from the average two weeks ago and deaths by 119 per cent.

As active Covid-19 cases cross 1-lakh mark after 122 days, here’s what trend shows
‘Test even if you think you have the flu’
Times of India | 3 months ago | 16-06-2022 | 09:22 am
Times of India
3 months ago | 16-06-2022 | 09:22 am

PANAJI: As Covid cases continue to rise in the state, health officials have said that people must get tested for the disease even if they have flu-like symptoms. State epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betodkar said that people have no option but to take precautions. On Wednesday, the state recorded a total of 82 new cases.

‘Test even if you think you have the flu’
  • People urged to get tested even for flu-like symptoms
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Even as Covid-19 cases rise rapidly in the state, health authorities have said that people should get tested even if they have flu or flu-like symptoms. On Tuesday, Goa hit 100 daily cases after nearly four months, after several days of daily cases ranging from 60 to 70. State epidemiologist Dr Utkarsh Betokdar said that people have no alternative but to take precautions. “People should get tested even if they think they have the flu,” Betodkar said. However, health authorities are still not ready to term the present rise a new (or a fourth) wave. “Hospitalisations are still on the lower side, just one or two admissions a week,” he said. “Since the rise, a single fatality has been reported, adding that the patient who died after contracting the infection was a 95-year-old woman. Betodkar said that most patients reported mild symptoms, unlike in earlier phases of the pandemic. Since the rise in cases, the majority of patients have been treated in home isolation. The directorate of health services is still unclear as to how to define the ongoing increase, but one pattern that’s been emerging has been similar to earlier, which is that South Goa is reporting more cases than North Goa. “We haven’t seen any clusters so far, but more infections are being reported from South Goa,” he said. Betodkar said that it may be because of “the higher concentration of population” in certain talukas of South Goa. The first wave originated at Mangor Hill, Vasco, in the first week of June 2020, reaching other parts of the state by the month-en. While Vasco became the hotspot, Salcete also reported a huge number of cases. During the second wave, Margao remained at the top, whereas in North Goa, Calangute, Candolim, Panaji and Porvorim saw the disease spread like wildfire, but the tally of cases in South Goa was higher than that of North Goa. Even during the third wave which began from December 28, 2021, and started dipping by mid-February, South Goa was ahead in terms of numbers.