Latest Goa Breaking News & Headlines

Leopard rescued from Velim well
Times of India | 3 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 04:59 am
Times of India
3 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 04:59 am

Colva/Canacona: A sub-adult female leopard was rescued by the forest officials and wildlife rescuers from a 12-15m deep well at Goanche Bhatt in Velim. The animal remained in the well through the day till it was rescued late at night in an operation that lasted for over two hours. One of the rescuers, Julio Quadros said, “Since the water level was not high, the animal could stand the entire time on the bed of the well.” Range forest officer Prakash Naik, who was part of the rescue team, said the cat, around one and a half-year-old, had not sustained any injuries. Velroy Fernandes, a resident, said he contacted the forest department as soon as he was informed about the leopard. He said the cat was first spotted on Wednesday morning by a person building a structure at the foot of the hill as he uses the well water. “When he spotted the animal in the well, he tried to rescue it thinking it was a house cat. But a few labourers informed him that it was a leopard,” Fernandes said, adding that he was informed at 8.30pm. Animal rescuers Quadros and Benhail Antao along with Naik and forest guards reached the site at around 10.30pm. “We lowered a trap cage into the well with a rope-operated door. The animal was trapped inside the cage and was brought up,” Quadros said. The leopard was kept under observation and was released into the wild around 2am.

Leopard rescued from Velim well
Green tribunal dismisses plea alleging CRZ violation at D B Bandodkar Ground
Times of India | 4 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 04:05 am
Times of India
4 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 04:05 am

Panaji: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has dismissed an application by activist Kashinath Shetye, who had said in his plea that holding activities and festivals on D B Bandodkar Ground along the Mandovi in Panaji, was violating CRZ norms. The tribunal rejected the appellant’s arguments and said that there is no case for interference by it. “Holding of festivals has been allowed in CRZ area which will result in damaging the mangroves and filling of salt pans and streams. The D B Bandokar Ground is identified as a playing ground in CRZ-II, as per the 2011 CRZ Notification,” the applicant told NGT. The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) said that as the area is a CRZ-II region, such activities are allowed on the ground. “It being admitted that the area in question is in CRZ-II, there is no prohibition for the activity in question. We also do not find any violation of the order of this tribunal dated July 22, 2016. The said orders (of GCZMA) do not in any manner record any specific finding about the violations alleged. Rather, the said orders only direct that there should be no violation of the CRZ Notification. Thus, no case is made out for interference by the tribunal,” the NGT said. The GCZMA told the NGT that in April 2017, it had carried out a site inspection and only then disposed of a complaint about use of the ground. “The said area is actually an existing football ground which is utilised frequently for various sporting activities and that the conduct of the event is in an area outside the no-development zone. In view of the same, the authority has arrived at a conclusion that NOC/permission from it was not required for the conduct of the said event,” the GCZMA had held.

Green tribunal dismisses plea alleging CRZ violation at D B Bandodkar Ground
Govt to host networking event for IT sector: Khaunte
Times of India | 4 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 04:03 am
Times of India
4 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 04:03 am

Panaji: Information technology minister Rohan Khaunte, who held a brainstorming session with academia, local IT firms and IT department officials, said the state government will work to bridge the skill and infrastructure gaps in Goa. Khaunte also said that in the coming 10-15 days, the government will organise a networking event in Goa that will bring startups, IT firms, academia and government officials on the same platform. He admitted that the IT sector struggles to find trained employees in Goa, which needs to be addressed. “On one hand, the industry needs skilled manpower, but on the other hand, when the industry comes, we find there is no skilled manpower. Manpower is being taken up by companies that are already there,” said Khaunte. “While we are inviting more investment in the IT sector, we have to also find out if there is skilled manpower to cater to their requirements.” He said that since taking charge of the department, he has reviewed the functioning of the IT department, the implementation of the Goa IT Policy and the Goa Startup Policy. “We have reviewed the changes, what needs to be done, what has been done in terms of infrastructure and connectivity. Now from the policy point of view, disbursements have to happen, certifications have to happen, events have to happen. We need to ensure that we look at employability in the right sense,” said Khaunte after the meeting. The minister said that Goa will try to emulate the best practices of the other states, particularly those that have evolved as successful IT and startup hubs, but he added that private players also need to chip in. “It cannot be the government alone. The government will be a facilitator. We are looking at why co-working spaces are falling short. If all the co-working slots are sold out, what can be done and what the expectations are from the government...These are the issues that are being discussed,” said Khaunte. He also said that Goa needs to project itself as an ideal destination for IT companies and startups.

Govt to host networking event for IT sector: Khaunte
No outbreak of dengue in Ponda, cases on decline
Times of India | 6 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 01:57 am
Times of India
6 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 01:57 am

Ponda: Though 18 people in Ponda are suspected to be suffering from dengue, the health authorities have denied an outbreak of the fever in Ponda. Ponda health officer Dr Smita Parsekar said people need not panic as all the cases are only suspected. Directorate of health services’ (DHS) nodal officer for vector borne diseases, Dr Kalpana Mahatme, has also confirmed that there is no outbreak of dengue fever in the area. “The maximum number of fever cases were reported from Dattagad Bethora. All patients are now cured,” Parsekar said. “Altogether 18 suspected cases were found in April and May. Now the cases are decreasing and no new case has been reported in the last four to five days,” she said. Parsekar attributed the decline to the quick and vigorous action taken by the Ponda health centre, including source reduction drives, education and counselling, awareness and on-field inspection. “We are taking all precautionary measures and we urge residents to cooperate with us to prevent an outbreak. People also need to be careful and should not allow water stagnation,” she said. A total of five public health centres — Ponda, Usgao, Betki, Shiroda and Marcaim — come under the Ponda block of the health services department. Meanwhile, at a recent meeting convened by the health minister Vishwajit Rane at Altinho, Panaji, a decision was taken that all municipal councils should initiate dengue prevention measures such as fogging in areas under their jurisdiction.

No outbreak of dengue in Ponda, cases on decline
  • 43 suspected dengue cases in Sattari villages
  • Times of India

    Valpoi: As many as 43 suspected dengue cases have been reported from five villages of Sattari despite health authorities stepping up measures to control the disease in the taluka. Two weeks ago, 30 dengue cases were reported at Koparde, Satode, and Bhironda, and the number has now risen to 43 cases, with one patient each in two more villages of Dhabe and Caranzol. Workers from community health centre, Valpoi have been undertaking fumigation across several places in the taluka, and have also issued appeals to people to ensure that water is not stored in open containers. The CHC team is also handing out leaflets to all households on measures to be taken to prevent the spread of dengue. Sattari locals fear that cases would surge when monsoon commences. People have appealed to authorities to conduct fumigation operations not just in the houses of patients, but in all houses of the affected villages as well. Valpoi CHC health officer Dr Abhijeet Wadkar is closely monitoring the situation and various teams have been planning measures and public awareness campaigns to tackle the further spread of dengue in the taluka. Chairperson of Valpoi municipal council, Shezin Shaikh has also written to the health department to undertake fogging in all the 10 wards of the municipality.

  • Ponda sees 4 dengue cases, PMC swings into action
  • Times of India

    Ponda: The Ponda Municipal Council (PMC) has swung in action after the town’s hospital registered four cases of dengue. The PMC convened a meeting with health officials to decide on measures to curb any possible outbreak. PMC chairperson Ritesh Naik will convene a meeting of council members on Friday to plan measures. Naik told reporters after the meeting that awareness is one of the measures to contain the spread of the virus. He said that he will summon a meeting of councillors to ask them to create awareness drives in their respective wards. Though Ponda town has only four cases, there is an urgent need to take measures at this stage itself to prevent more cases, Naik said, adding that he summoned Ponda health officer Dr Smita Parsekar and medical superintendent of the Ponda sub-district hospital Dr Jayashri Madkaikar. He said that they will request people to ensure that there is no stagnant water around their houses. “If people have fountains in their houses, they should change the water regularly. Also, people should avoid leaving coconut shells scattered around as rain water collects in them,” he said. Naik said fogging is necessary at places where there are chances of water logging. He said PMC will undertake fogging at several places.

  • 38 cases of dengue in Ponda
  • Navhind Times

    Ponda: Even as various parts of the state are witnessingrain showers,cases of dengueare increasing at an alarming rate with the Ponda health centre reporting 38 cases ofthe diseasetill date.Dattagad area in the jurisdiction of Bethoda village panchayat has turned out to be a hotspot of dengue cases.This was informed by health officer Dr. Smita Parsekar on Monday during a meeting called by the Ponda Municipal Council chairperson Ritesh Naik to take precautionary measures with regard to the dengue cases.The Ponda health centre has 38 active cases of dengue.Out of this, 28 have been reported from the Dattagad area, while five patients are from the Ponda town area and another five cases have been reported from Curti Khandepar area.Stating that cases in the Ponda town area are scattered, Dr. Parsekar said the situation in Dattagad area is being brought under control by the health officials. The slum-like structures in the Dattagad area have become an area of concern due to the unhygienic conditions prevalent there. According to sources, the situation in Dattagad is almost like an outbreak with many people showing symptoms of dengue and yet to undergo a medical test.Dr. Parsekar informed that the health officials are regularly monitoring the situation in and around Ponda, and fogging and spraying is being taken up in the areas where the cases are being reported. “People are being constantly made aware about the preventive measures regarding dengue,” she said.Following the meeting,health officials have urged the locals to be aware and cautious about the dengue mosquito breeding in their areas like unused fountains, flower or plant pots, abandoned tyres and water bottles and other material or spots where water can accumulate. People should check their surroundings and not allow water to accumulate for more than seven days, as it may turn into a dengue mosquito breeding site, the officials have said.It may be noted that in October 2021, a 17-year-old girl from Nagzar Curti had died of suspecteddenguewhile undergoing treatment in a hospital. She was found to be denguepositive after an NS1 rapid test. Following the death, health officials had checked the surroundings of the house and found a dengue mosquito breeding site in a non-functional fountain in her premises.




Goa Tourism News

Tar ball disposal: Govt likely to turn to agency handling hazardous waste
Times of India | 6 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 01:57 am
Times of India
6 hours ago | 27-05-2022 | 01:57 am

Vasco: Tourism minister Rohan Khaunte visited the Arossim beach on Thursday to gain a first-hand understanding of the tar ball situation plaguing the stretch. Khaunte said that the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has been given the mandate to issue directions to clean beaches where tar balls have washed up. At present, the beach cleaning agency is tasked with the job. “Tar balls washing ashore is a challenge we face every year. It is the oil spillage in the high seas that is leading to the problem and affecting the environment. We visited the Arossim beach to get first-hand information about what was happening and what needs to be done,” Khaunte told reporters. Khaunte said that they are looking at various options to tackle the tar balls that have been collected. “We are contemplating handing it over to the agency handling hazardous waste,” he said. The tourism department has been struggling to dispose of the bags of tar balls collected since last year. He said that GSPCB has been directed to collect samples of tar balls and water for laboratory testing. “After the reports are received, a decision will be taken as to what is to be done.” “The state government will speak to the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways, and we will also discuss the matter with the chief minister,” Khaunte said. Tar balls have surfaced on around 15 beaches over the past 10 days. Though Goa has been facing the problem for the past several years, there has been no solution to the problem. The tourism department cleans the beaches, but collecting tar balls is a tedious job, a tourism official said.

Tar ball disposal: Govt likely to turn to agency handling hazardous waste
  • In new bylaws, state puts onus on civic bodies to tackle dumping of plastic waste
  • Times of India

    Panaji: The recent introduction of new bylaws and the notification of fines for municipal areas against plastic litter has put municipal bodies in a spot as they can no longer be mute spectators while plastic waste is dumped in their areas. Urban development department director Gurudas Pilarnekar said that since the notification has been issued, civic bodies must get cracking so that traders and residents are discouraged from discarding plastic waste as per their convenience. Earlier, under the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016, while municipal bodies and panchayats were empowered to impose fines, they were rarely proactive in implementing these rules or penalising violators. A government official said that now municipal bodies stand to get exposed if they continue to take a lenient view of people dumping waste or commercial establishments that do not shoulder their share of responsibility. The onus is also on manufacturers, producers or importers, the official said. “Manufactures or producers can be penalised Rs 50,000 for the first act of violation, and Rs 1 lakh for a second violation. The penalty will be Rs 3 lakh if a third violation is noted. Municipalities must be firm and deal strictly with violators, whoever they may be,” the officer said. Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants will be fined Rs 1,000 for the first contravention, Rs 2,000 for a second offence and if the violation is repeated a third time, they will be liable to pay Rs 3000 as fine. Mormugao Municipal Council (MMC) chief officer Jayant Tari said their awareness programmes are under way and that they have implemented the 2016 rules even before new bylaws came into force. MMC, which is the biggest council in the state, has a population of 1.2 lakh people. According to Tari, MMC’s biggest challenge is that of controlling the dumping of waste by illegal settlements spread across the port town. “Migrants live in the city in large numbers. Plus, there are several illegal huts and people living in them are prone to litter, making waste management a challenge,” he said. Stating that the civic body is trying its best to control the situation, Tari said that they have already roped in many commercial establishments. He also said that as soon as awareness is created about the fines, they will start penalising people and traders as per the new bylaws.

Goa’s tourism potential not fully tapped: Pooja Kapur
Navhind Times | 1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 01:57 am
Navhind Times
1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 01:57 am

The Ambassador to Denmark says she is amazed at state’s coastline, culture and cuisinePanaji: Stating that Goa has all factors in place for becoming a much better tourist destination, Ambassador of India to Denmark Pooja Kapur said that the state just needs to build on the factors to attract more tourists.In her first visit to the state, Kapur, during an interaction with the Goan industry, pointed out that the coastline, culture and cuisine are the three main factors which are considered in a successful tourist hub.“Denmark does not have them but still attracts tourists. Goa has these three stronghold factors and needs to work on the same,” she said. The Indian Ambassador to the Scandinavian country disclosed that Denmark is a sea-facing nation with a population of 5.5 million people. However it welcomes 16 million tourists a year based on innovations.The Indian government is partnering with Denmark on a number of green initiatives such as Swacch Bharat, Ujwala, Digital India, Jal Shakti, sustainable urbanisation and also on green hydrogen.The GCCI meeting focused on synergies between the two states in shipbuilding, green power, food processing and hybrid vehicles.Chairman of the Dempo Group of Industries Shrinivas Dempo, who is also the GCCI vice-president, asked how the state could promote sustainable tourism as well as other economic activity by emulating the Denmark model.He said that since Denmark had expertise in the sustainable model of industry, it could offer advice on using rivers to generate power. “Goa can learn from countries like Denmark in administrative reforms, sustainability reforms, ease of doing business. Goa has a huge shipbuilding industry. Scandinavian countries needed hybrid vehicles for transport. Goa could look at partnering with Denmark for ship building and hybrid vehicles,” said Dempo.The GCCI is seeking the Ambassador’s help to connect with the right companies and with the local Danish municipalitiesfor city partnerships.Members of GCCI managing committee who were present at the meeting included Harshvardhan Bhatkuly, Pratima Dhond, Nitin Kunkolienker, Vincent Ramos, Dr. Jennifer Kamat, Milind Prabhu, Sanjay Amonkar and Pallavi H. Arondekar.

Goa’s tourism potential not fully tapped: Pooja Kapur
Goa: Tourism department in the dark with 125 bags of tar balls
Times of India | 1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 01:50 am
Times of India
1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 01:50 am

Panaji: The tar ball menace is affecting more than just Goa’s beaches. The tourism department, which is responsible for cleaning the beaches, is at its wits' end on how to safely dispose of the bags of tar balls that have been collected. Already this season, the department has collected 75 bags, each weighing nearly 40kg. Meanwhile, 50 bags of a dark, sticky and oily substance, similar to tar balls, which were collected last May from various beaches, are also lying on its premises. Of the 37 beaches, 15 have been affected by the tar balls this year. Some of these include Keri, Calangute, Baga, Arambol, Mandrem, Miramar, Caranzalem and Siridao, Palolem, Rajbagh and Bogmalo. Stating that the issue of tar balls is a serious one as it affects more than one state, and keeps recurring every year, a tourism official said that they are made to go from one department to another for safe disposal of the environmentally harmful substance. “We are fed up with this problem. It is the same story every year. The chief minister had written to the Union ministry of environment last year. The ministry says a study is underway and the matter ends there for them, but not for us,” the official said. When the department first wrote to the environment department seeking its advice more than a year ago, they were advised to approach the Goa State Waste Management Corporation (GSWMC). “The GSWMC suggested an agency that we can go to. When we wrote to that agency, it asked us to give the chemical composition of tar balls. How are we supposed to have expertise to decipher the composition of tar balls? Subsequently, we went to the pollution control board, but no help came there, either,” he said. Meanwhile, tourism officials said that this year, their collection of tar balls will be much more than last May. Also, picking tarballs that remain embedded in the sand is not an easy task. And with no solution or takers, the collected tarballs are put in plastic bags and stored in dust bins on the department’s premises for safekeeping. Drishti Marine has also advised beachgoers to be cautious while walking on the beach.

Goa: Tourism department in the dark with 125 bags of tar balls



Goa Political News

Industry to watch as govt plans private land bank for investors
Times of India | 1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 04:04 am
Times of India
1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 04:04 am

Panaji: The state government’s move to encourage the use of private land for industrial use has raised a few eyebrows within the private sector, with questions being raised about regulation of such private industrial zones. Industry stakeholders pointed out that the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation of Single Window Clearance Act, 2021, already has provisions for private land to be used for industrial purposes. With chief minister Pramod Sawant and industries minister Mauvin Godinho promising amendments and reforms in the coming assembly session, most industry players said that they will watch for further cues from the government. While officials with the directorate of industries, trade and commerce said that the proposal is still in the nascent stage, stakeholders confirm that if the proposal does go ahead, a Goan family-run group with vast tracts of land could stand to benefit. “The government feels that there should be a mechanism to inform investors about the availability of private land which can be utilised for industrial or manufacturing purposes and the process must be made easy to obtain approvals. For this a land bank of private land has to be created,” said a government source. Goa State Industries Association (GSIA) president Damodar Kochkar said that the Goa Investment Promotion Board already has the power to declare private land as an investment promotion area. “There is an existing provision in the IPB Act for private land to be declared as an investment promotion area and used for business. We must see how the government proceeds as this has to be well thought out,” Kochkar said. He wondered about the consequences if a unit setup on private land violates pollution and other norms. Section 42 of the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation of Single Window Clearance Act permits the Investment Promotion Board to recommend that private land be notified as an investment promotion area where local governing bodies will not have jurisdiction. Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and GSIA said the chief minister and industries minister have not shared details about the move to encourage private industrial estates though Sawant did make a passing mention during a recent meeting with GCCI’s management. Officials from the directorate of industries, trade and commerce also downplayed the announcement.

Industry to watch as govt plans private land bank for investors
186 panchayats in state to be brought under administrators
Navhind Times | 1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 02:25 am
Navhind Times
1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 02:25 am

Polls not possible in monsoon: CMPanaji: Proposing to conduct the forthcoming panchayat elections after the monsoon, the government has decided to bring 186 village panchayats in Goa under administrators after their tenure ends in June 2022.Stating that there is no possibility of holding the panchayat elections in the state during the next three months due to the rainy season, the Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant on Wednesday stated that the government has already sent a related file to the State Election Commission. “However, the final decision as regards holding these elections is to be taken by the Commission,” he noted.Speaking further, the Chief Minister said the OBC Commission also needs to send a report to the State Election Commission as regards the triple test followed for ward reservation for the panchayat elections.Altogether 186 village panchayats out of the total 190 panchayats in Goa are due for polls. The tenure of these panchayats ends on June 19, 2022.Meanwhile, highly placed sources informed that the State Election Commission is yet to receive any file from the government as regards the panchayat polls.“Once the Commission receives the file, it will study the comments of the government and act as per the Supreme Court guidelines,” the sources added.Furthermore, sources claimed that although the government has written to the OBC Commission about preparation of OBC data by adopting triple test, the Commission, as per its official, has not received this communication.It may be noted that the Chief Minister had recently said that his government will recommend to the State Election Commission to defer the elections to the 186 village panchayats.

186 panchayats in state to be brought under administrators
Kapil Sibal quits Congress
Navhind Times | 1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 02:25 am
Navhind Times
1 day ago | 26-05-2022 | 02:25 am

Lucknow/New Delhi: Announcing that he had resigned from the party on May 16, long-time Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Wednesday filed his nomination from the Rajya Sabha as a Samajwadi Party-backed Independent candidate from Uttar Pradesh.Sibal, whose exit is another jolt to the electorally-battered Congress that has seen a spate of high-profile resignations, said he dreams of bringing all the Opposition parties together in the fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2024. Refusing to speak against the Congress, a party he has been with for three decades, he said he bears it no ill-will and is not far from the party and its ideology.The former Union Minister went to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly premises to file his papers with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav by his side.A prominent member of the ‘G23’ grouping of leaders, which had sought an organisational overhaul in the Congress, Sibal’s tenure as the party’s Rajya Sabha MP ends on July 4.“I have filed the nomination as an Independent candidate. I thank Akhileshji for supporting me,” Sibal told reporters in Lucknow.“I resigned from the Congress on May 16 and am no longer a Congress leader,” he said, refusing to be drawn into criticism of the party.“I had a deep relationship with the Congress. It was for 30-31 years. This is not a small thing. I joined the Congress because of Rajivji (former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi). You must be thinking, how one can go from the Congress after 31 years. There must be something… Sometimes such decisions are to be taken,” he said and added that his ideology continues to be related with the Congress.His effort and his dream would be to see that all the Opposition parties come together on a common platform to fight the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha election, the lawyer-politician said. “We want to make a coalition and oppose the Modi government. We want to create an atmosphere in which we can oppose the BJP. I will personally work towards that,” he said.Discussing the SP’s support to Sibal, Akhilesh Yadav described him as a senior leader and a well-known lawyer. “He had been in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and put his point across well everywhere. I hope he will put his views on big questions of unemployment and inflation, insecure borders and China…,” he said.The Congress sought to put forward a brave face following the dramatic announcement of its leader, who has been vocal in his criticism of the Congress leadership and had called for a non-Gandhi as the new party chief.In Kochi, AICC general secretary K.C. Venugopal said “the space of the Congress is very broad”. Responding to a query, he said eight former MLAs had joined the party in Haryana two days ago but such developments were not getting prominence. He refused to comment on what the implications of this could be.A senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity that it is important for internal democracy to show a “mirror to the leadership” and noted that such voices are diminishing.Sibal expressed the hope that the Congress rejuvenates. “I have no ill-will,” he said. “We are all constrained by the fact that we are members of parties and have to abide by the discipline of that party but it is important to have an independent voice. When the voice of an independent is raised, people will feel that he is not associated with any other party,” he said after filing his papers.Asked whether his ideology will now be that of the Samajwadi Party, Sibal said, “I am with all inclusive ideologies. Be it of the SP, RLD, Mamataji (West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) or Stalin (Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin).”Sibal’s resignation comes after Sunil Jakhar and Hardik Patel resigned from the Congress in quick succession, which recently held a ‘Chintan Shivir’ in Udaipur. Among the others who have parted ways with the party are Jitin Prasada, R.P.N. Singh, Amarinder Singh and Ashwani Kumar.Taking a dig at his former party colleague, Prasada, who is now a BJP Minister in Uttar Pradesh, said, “How’s the ‘Prasad’ Mr. Sibal! #Rajyasabha.”Prasada was a member of the G23 when he quit the party and joined the BJP months before the U.P. Assembly elections. Sibal at the time had said, “Jitin Prasada joins BJP. The question is will he get ‘prasada’ from BJP or is he just a ‘catch’ for U.P. elections? In such deals if ‘ideology’ doesn’t matter changeover is easy.”Elections for 11 Rajya Sabha seats of Uttar Pradesh are underway and the SP is likely to get two more seats; the remaining will be bagged by the ruling BJP.There had been speculation that the SP could field Sibal as a Rajya Sabha candidate. He was the lawyer, who secured senior SP leader Azam Khan’s bail.Khan had been in Sitapur jail for over 27 months in various cases lodged against him in Rampur. His supporters said he wanted Sibal to go to the Rajya Sabha with the SP’s support. The SP has a strength of 111 in the 403-member Assembly while the BJP has 255.

Kapil Sibal quits Congress



Goa Election News

BJP will form next govt in Goa, says PM Modi after Pramod Sawant meet
Times of India | 2 months ago | 09-03-2022 | 10:48 am
Times of India
2 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 | 3 months ago | 17-02-2022 | 07:07 am
Times of India
3 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.

Bardez does not need proxy leaders: Fadnavis
Navhind Times | 3 months ago | 30-01-2022 | 01:14 am
Navhind Times
3 months ago | 30-01-2022 | 01:14 am

Staff ReporterMapusa/CurchoremStating that Mapusa or other constituencies does not need proxy leaders, BJP Goa election in-charge Devendra Fadnavis said, “Some people in Bardez have amassed wealth and think they can buy people, capture and rule Bardez. People of Mapusa have to make a decision about the one who will be the real representative for Mapusa, Joshua or (Sudhir Kandolkar) whose remote control is in Calangute. People want local leaders and all qualities are in Joshua”.Fadnavis was speaking after inaugurating the election office of Mapusa BJP candidate Joshua de Sousa in the presence of state president Sadanand Shet Tanavade, former minister and Siolim candidate Dayanand Mandrekar, Aldona MLAGlenn Ticlo, chairperson Shubhangi Waingankar and othersin Mapusa on Saturday. Targeting Congress leader Michael Lobo without naming him, BJP Goa election in-charge Fadnavis said that some people want to rule Bardez. Basically, BJP does not need those who control people through remote control and we don’t have such people in our party.“People want to capture all constituencies in Bardez and therefore in every constituency, these leaders have got a proxy” said Fadnavis.He further said that a young leader like Joshua had a short span as MLA and would do more work in the future as MLA.Commenting on Utpal Parrikar and Laxmikant Parsekar, Fadnavis said that BJP had offered Utpal two constituencies to contest the elections for the upcoming Goa Assembly polls, wherein in one of the seat’s was a traditional BJP constituency however, he refused to accept the seats and decided to fight the election as an independent.State BJP president Sadanand Tanavade said that some people are spreading propaganda against the BJP and have entered Siolim for their own interest to establish their rule. These people should first try to manage their own constituency first.Meanwhile, while speaking in Curchorem Fadnavis said, that public memory is short and people forget the good work done but remember what is not done. So there is a need to remind people again and again what good work has been done for them. Candidate Nilesh Cabral said the two time victory as an MLA of Curchorem is the real victory of party workers. BJP is the only party in which the workers work for the party without any expectation, he said.

Bardez does not need proxy leaders: Fadnavis



Goa Education News

GVM inaugurates its first Dr Dada Vaidya Memorial Lecture
Navhind Times | 6 months ago | 12-11-2021 | 12:07 am
Navhind Times
6 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

State’s genome sequencing facility becomes operational
Navhind Times | 2 weeks ago | 11-05-2022 | 01:36 am
Navhind Times
2 weeks ago | 11-05-2022 | 01:36 am

Staff ReporterPanajiAfter much delay, Goa’s first genome sequencing facility has been made operational at the North Goa District Hospital (NGDH) in Mapusa.Even though the facility is yet to be certified by the INSACOG forum of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Directorate of Health Services has claimed that it is at par with the Pune-based National Institute of Virology (NIV).The INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) has been set up by the Union Health Ministry to study and monitor genome sequencing and virus variation of circulating strains of COVID-19 in India.Addressing a press conference in Panaji, state epidemiologist Dr. Utkarsh Betodkar said that from now onwards the genome analysis will be carried out in the new facility at the North Goa DistrictHospital.It is pertinent to note that the genome study ascertains the different variants of the coronavirus that are in circulation in Goa.“INSACOG certification is only for reporting under national level and for just national recognition. We have applied with them and the process is on. Our quality check is with NIV, which is a hub laboratory for our state. They have already certified it…gone through, and we have made it functional. Now onwards, samples from Goa will be tested at our new facility at NGDH,” Dr. Betodkar said. Previously, in the absence of a genome sequencing facility in the state, samples drawn from different parts of the state were sent either to the NIV orthe National Centre for Cell Science, which is also based in Pune.A medical team of the NGDH,headed by the district hospital’s senior pathologist Dr. Varsha Munj,had undergone two-day training formaking the genome sequencing facility operational at the hospital.Dr. Betodkar informed that recent reports received from the NIV Pune have revealed that Omicron sublineage BA.2 has been the dominant variant in Goa in the last four months. “During the third wave, two strains of Omicron were there in Goa –B.1.1.529and BA 2. But in the last two months only BA 2 is prevalent,” he said.

State’s genome sequencing facility becomes operational
GSL chairman Nagpal retires after 3.5-yr stint
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | 01-05-2022 | 04:56 am
Times of India
3 weeks ago | 01-05-2022 | 04:56 am

Panaji: Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) chairman Bharat Bhushan Nagpal retired on Saturday after a three and a half year stint at the helm as the chairman and managing director of the government-owned shipyard. GSL’s finance director T N Sudhakar has been given additional charge as the interim chairman and managing director. Nagpal, who joined GSL in 2016 as director for corporate planning and business development took charge as chairman and managing director in December 2018 and has since sustained the shipyard’s growth and expansion. GSL’s order book stands at Rs 14,670 crore, it’s highest ever, and under Nagpal’s watch, GSL has also forayed into new business lines including development of autonomous vessels and the use of artificial intelligence in shipbuilding and maintenance in partnership with the private sector. During Nagpal’s tenure, GSL concluded the contract for five offshore patrol vessel (OPVs) and also commenced construction of the two stealth guided-missile frigates for the Indian Navy. GSL is also building two indigenous pollution control vessels and eight fast patrol vessels for the Indian Coast Guard and a floating dock for the Sri Lankan Navy. During his service, Nagpal laid special emphasis on corporate social responsibility, extending support to local communities and the government and working towards a link up with academia and start-up incubation centres. During the pandemic, he offered to help the state government with isolation and quarantine centres and also contributed Oxygen production plants and ventilator units to the government.

GSL chairman Nagpal retires after 3.5-yr stint
  • Cmde Nagpal retires as Goa Shipyard chairman
  • Navhind Times

    Staff ReporterVascoCommodore Bharat Bhushan Nagpal, NM, Indian Navy (Retd), Chairman & Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Limited has superannuated on Saturday and has relinquished charge as CMD of one of the premier Defence Shipyardsof India.Commodore Nagpal joined Goa Shipyard in 2016 as Director (Corporate Planning and Business Development) following a distinguished career of 32 years as a Naval Architect Officer with the Indian Navy. He took charge as Chairman and Managing Director of Goa Shipyard on December 1, 2018 and has since spearheaded the Yard ensuring sustained growth and expansion.Under his leadership and the commitment of Yard employees, Goa Shipyard continued its track record of ensuring on-time delivery of vessels successfully concluding the 05 Offshore Patrol Vessel order for the Indian Coast Guard despite disruptions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The yard signed the contract for two P1135.6 missile frigates for the Indian Navy and commenced production in record-time for the largest and most complex warship building project undertaken by GSL.GSL has also established its position as a competitive shipbuilding and refit brand in domestic and export market. Cmde Nagpal’s tenure saw the yard bag several orders on a competitive basis from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, the Indian Army, state administration and foreign friendly countries. In recent months alone, GSL has commenced the construction of two indigenous Pollution Control Vessels, signed a contract for 08 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard and construction of a floating dock for SriLanka Navy.On his superannuation, Cmde Nagpal expressed his profound gratitude to all employees and workers of Goa Shipyard, the Unions and the Ministry of Defence..for their unwavering support and commitment that has ensured that the Yard continues to reach new heights.

Goa: Six new Covid cases on Friday
Times of India | 3 weeks ago | 30-04-2022 | 12:57 am
Times of India
3 weeks ago | 30-04-2022 | 12:57 am

Panaji: Goa reported six new Covid cases on Friday with nil hospitalisations and nil deaths. A total of 469 samples were tested with a case positivity rate of 1.28%. Goa’s case positivity rate crossed the one percent mark twice this week, after several weeks. Active cases are at 44, the highest since April 2. Goa’s weekly positivity rate is 0.94% for North Goa and 0.82% for South Goa between April 22 and April 28.

Goa: Six new Covid cases on Friday
  • Goa sees two-fold rise in new COVID cases
  • Navhind Times

    Staff ReporterPanajiThe number of COVID cases doubled in Goa on Wednesday with the detection of 14 fresh cases.On Tuesday, Goa had logged seven fresh cases at a positivity rate of 1.23%.The test positivity rate recorded on Wednesday is 0.97% and the tally of active cases has risen to 39 in the state.Fortunately, no new death linked to the dreaded virus was reported in the last 24 hours.Two patients were declared as recovered in the last 24 hours andthe overall recovery rate in the state continues to be at 98.43%.The confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Goa currently stand at 2,45,409 of which 2,41,538 patients have defeated the deadly disease. Till date, 3,832 patients have died due to COVID-19 in the state.Meanwhile, amid a rise in fresh COVID-19 cases across the country, the public health department on Wednesday issued an advisory asking citizens to continue wearing masks at all public places.In an official communiqué, the department has urged people to continue observing all appropriate COVID behaviour as important preventivemeasures against the virus.It is pertinent to note that on Monday the expert committee of doctors had opined that the emergence of fourth COVID wave cannot be ruled out and hadrecommended wearing of face masks in public places and closed rooms.

  • Sunday sees 6 new Covid cases in Goa
  • Times of India

    Panaji: Goa reported six new cases of Covid infections and nil deaths on Sunday. With this, the total number of positive cases has now gone up to 25. Meanwhile, a total of 711 samples were tested and the case positivity rate currently stands at 0.84%. The state has reported 3,832 Covid deaths, 2.45 lakh cases and over 31,000 hospitalisations since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Goa’s recovery rate stands at 98.43 percent.