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Ahmedabad

Modi undertakes aerial survey of flood-hit areas of Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting on the situation arising out of incessant rain and floods in different parts of Gujarat, in Ahmedabad on July 25, 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting on the situation arising out of incessant rain and floods in different parts of Gujarat, in Ahmedabad on July 25, 2017.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas of Gujarat and later reviewed the flood relief operations at a high-level meeting held at the Ahmedabad airport.
 
The meeting was attended by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, other senior ministers and top officials of the State Government, disaster response agencies and the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
 
Mr. Modi was given an overview of the extent of damage caused by floods, and the relief operations being undertaken.
 
He instructed all agencies involved in relief operations, including the Indian Air Force, to put in their best possible effort for immediate rescue and relief. He emphasized the importance of cleanliness, hygiene and health, and said these aspects should also be accorded the highest priority.
 
The Prime Minister said insurance companies including those dealing with crop insurance may be advised to organise assessment of damage to assets, crops and so on quickly, and take steps for early settlement of claims, so as to provide immediate relief to affected people.
 
He also called for immediate restoration of water supply, electricity and communication links.
 
Mr. Modi suggested that special teams be set up for repair of damaged roads, restoration of power infrastructure, and for health related assistance. 
 
Addressing the media at Ahmedabad Airport, the Prime Minister said Gujarat had faced heavy rains for the past week. He said ten more helicopters would be pressed into action for rescue from tomorrow, and asserted that the pace of relief work will be increased further. He said extent of damage would be assessed in both rural and urban areas, and both short and long term measures would be put in place. 
 
 
Heavy rains wreak havoc in Rajasthan, Gujarat
The Prime Minister appreciated the State Government, and all other agencies for the response to the flood situation so far.
 
He announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 2 lakh to the next-of-kin of those who died in the floods and Rs. 50,000 to those who have suffered serious injuries.
 
He announced an immediate additional assistance of Rs.  500 crore for Gujarat under the State Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). He expressed confidence that the people and the State of Gujarat would emerge even stronger and successfully tackle the challenge posed by the floods. 
 
He assured the people of the State that the Union Government stood shoulder to shoulder with them at this difficult time.
 
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Nine dead as bus from Gujarat overturns near Udaipur in Rajasthan

 
Nine dead as bus overturns near Udaipur
Nine persons died and 22 others suffered injuries when a private bus carrying pilgrims from Gujarat overturned near Nehla village, about 10 km from Udaipur, this morning, police said.
 
The mishap occurred around 8.45 am today when the driver of the bus apparently lost control over the wheel while trying to avoid hitting a motocyclist on a bridge, they said.
 
The deceased included six women and three women, the sources said.
 
Police and other emergency services personnel reached the spot and helped extricate the victims from the bus. The injured were taken to a nearby hospital, they said.
 
The pilgrims had left Ahmedabad yesterday night and were on a fortnight-long tour of various religious places in North India, including Haridwar in Uttarakhand, the sources said.
 
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Shankarsinh Vaghela parts ways with Congress, says won't return to BJP

 
Former Gujarat CM Shankarsinh Vaghela quits Congress
Former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela, who was leader of the Opposition in the state legislative assembly, today parted ways with the Congress but made it clear that he was not joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which he had quit nearly two decades ago.
 
Addressing a function, "Sam Samvedna Sammelan", organised in state capital Gandhinagar to celebrate his 77th birthday, Mr. Vaghela, a former Union Minister, said the party had actually expelled him 24 hours ago.
 
"They expelled me 24 hours ago because they were not sure about what I would say here today...Vinashkale vipareet budhdhi," he said.
 
"I am freeing myself from the Congress. I have resigned as the Leader of the Opposition. I will resign as Congress MLA after the (August 18) Rajya Sabha elections," he told the cheering crowd. “Rebellion is in my blood. I am on 77 not out,” he added.
 
The former Chief Minister said he had assured Congress President Sonia Gandhi that he would not betray her trust. He said he had told her that he would not join the BJP.
 
Mr. Vaghela, who had turned a rebel within the BJP nearly two decades ago, had floated his own outfit, the Rashtriya Janata Party (RJP), which he finally merged with the Congress 17 years ago.
 
"I was very upset while deciding to leave the BJP. Destiny has brought me to the same point where I have to now leave the Congress as well," he said.
 
Describing himself as a free bird now, he said he would dedicate himself to the service of the people from today. "I will be there for the poor, Dalits, traders, workers, farmers, daily wage workers and even poor upper castes," he declared.
 
Mr. Vaghela claimed he was a victim of a conspiracy within the party, which led to his expulsion.
 
But the Congress denied that the party had expelled Mr. Vaghela or initiated any disciplinary action against him.
 
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it was Mr. Vaghela's own decision to quit the party and resign from all positions within the party.
 
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Stressing that the party was always more important than individuals and that the Congress was committed to its ideology, Mr. Surjewala said. "We respect Mr. Vaghela as a senior leader," he said, recalling that the party had made him a Cabinet Minister at the Centre, then appointed him as chairman of India Tourism Development Corporation with Cabinet rank, the leader of the Congress legislature party in Gujarat and the leader of the opposition in the Assembly.
 
Mr. Surjewala said Mr. Vaghela wanted to be appointed as the Gujarat Congress chief, a demand that the party could not accept. "We are saddened by his exit," he said.
 
Though the party had asked its leaders and workers to stay away from the event, many of them were present at the function.
 
Mr. Vaghela's move has come just months before crucial elections to the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, expected to be held towards the end of this year. It has also come just a day after the results of the Presidential election, which indicated that about 11 of the 57 Congress MLAs in the state had voted for NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind and against the Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.
 
Apart from casting a shadow over the Congress' electoral prospects in the elections in the state, where it has been out of power for about three decades, Mr. Vaghela's exit could also make it that much more difficult for the party to get its candidate, expected to be sitting member Ahmed Patel, re-elected to the Rajya Sabha.
 
All the same, the departure of Mr. Vaghela from the party was widely expected for some months now, given that the Congress leadership appeared to be in no mood to accept his demand that he should be made the Chief Ministerial face of the party and allowed to lead the campaign.
 
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Common Facility Centre for gem & jewellery industry inaugurated at Palanpur, Gujarat

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The second Common Facility Centre (CFC) for the gems & jewellery and diamond industry was inaugurated at Palanpur in Gujarat by Minister for Commerce & Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, and Minister of State for Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) Haribhai Chaudhary on July 10.
 
The first Common Facility Centre was set up at Visnagar, Gujarat. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has plans to open two more CFCs at Amreli and Ahmedabad in the state, a press release from the council said.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Sitharaman said that, from being the largest manufacturing hub, India needs to move to the next level, where indigenous designs are used in production of jewellery and at the same time caters to the needs of the world market. 
 
"With the facilities like the CFCs in Visnagar and now in Palanpur, I am sure we have taken the start and moving in the right direction to achieve our goal.  The industry needs to come up with such initiatives where the small and medium units gets the opportunity to combine their skills with the latest technology and facilities for maximum production," she said.
 
Mr. Chaudhary said the government's aim was to make the latest technology accessible to the MSMEs, and at the same time improve in quality of products. 
 
"Common Facility Centres would be a welcome change for the karigars, and an opportunity for them to perform at their best with the latest technology which are accessible and affordable. I am sure the industry will take advantage of the CFCs and bring a huge difference to their production in terms of quantity as well as quality," he said.
 
Mr. Kirit Bhansali, co-convener, Diamond Panel, GJEPC said, “Setting up of CFCs would be of huge benefit to small and medium diamond manufacturing units located in towns and interior villages, since most of these units are operating with old and outdated technology, and could not afford to make investments for installing state-of-the-art equipment. And this has resulted in lower productivity and affected quality to an extent.”
 
GJEPC has plans to set up such CFCs across all major clusters in India, thus helping to improve the quality and productivity of the small units.
 
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Three IIMA alumni contribute Rs. 2.5 crore each for upgradation of facilities

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Three alumni of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) here -- Raghunandan G, Vishwavir Ahuja and Aprameya R -- have announcing infrastructure funding support of Rs. 2.5 crore each  to their alma mater.
 
A press release from IIMA said conservation, restoration and upgrade of CR1 Classroom in Heritage Campus will be supported by RBL Bank, as announced by Ahuja (PGP 1981), MD & CEO, RBL Bank. 
 
“RBL Bank is  proud to be associated with IIMA. RBL has significantly benefitted from the quality education imparted at IIMA through several IIMA alumni in the senior management team. RBL has always focused on excellence in the banking industry and is delighted to make a contribution of Rs. 2.5 crore for shared vision to support education excellence at IIMA," he said.
 
At IMDC in IIMA New Campus, CR2 upgradation to a state-of-the-art facility and maintenance will be supported by Raghunandan  and Aprameya (PGP 2007 & 2008; both co-founders of TaxiForSure) with funding of Rs. 2.5 crore each.
 
“Contributing to IIMA is a proud moment for us as we owe so much of our success to IIMA. Having graduated from this great institute, opened doors for us through our entrepreneurial journey. We could connect with IIMA alumni in the startup eco system who were strong guides during our TaxiForSure story and in fact, were our source of strength and also the worst critics to ensure that we always did the right thing. Giving back to alma mater was top of the agenda as we consolidated our venture. It’s a matter of pride as we facilitate to create state-of- art facility at CR2 IMDC in IIMA to support institute’s focus on excellence in teaching and training the change agents in enterprises,” they said.
 
The release said supporting infrastructure goes a long way in the institute’s endeavor for capacity building and quality education. 
 
“Alumni are a source of strength for the institute. They contribute in many different ways to support the Institute’s priorities. IIMA deeply values their meaningful and significant contributions,” IIMA Director Ashish Nanda said.
 
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Adani Capital to invest Rs. 50 Crore in Pune-based PRA Realty

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Adani Capital Pvt Ltd, the NBFC arm of the Adani Group, has partnered with PRA Realty and will invest Rs. 50 crore in the company to provide capital for its project in Pune.  
 
This investment will be utilized towards the development of a one off, rare and iconic mixed-use project in the prime, downtown location of Shivaji Nagar in that city.
 
Promoted by Rustom Bharucha, PRA Realty is amongst the fastest growing real estate developers in Pune with close to 5 mm sq.ft currently under development and having delivered over 1 million sq.ft., a press release from Adani Group said.
 
“Our philosophy is to back growing and dynamic real estate developers. We were very impressed with PRA’s execution in the Pune market. We look forward to extending our relationship with PRA Realty and to explore opportunities with the group as they grow,” said Gaurav Gupta, CEO of Adani Finserve Private Limited, parent entity of Adani Capital.
 
“We are delighted to be working closely with Adani Capital, who are a fantastic team of professionals that have proven structuring capabilities and an extremely quick turnaround time. We look forward to partnering with them on our growth trajectory,” said Bharucha, Chairman and Managing Director, PRA Realty.
 
Adani Capital is Adani Group’s entry into the financial services business with a focus on wholesale and retail lending. The Adani Group is one of India’s leading business houses with revenue of over $12 billion.
 
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GoAir launches three daily direct flights between Ahmedabad, New Delhi

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Low-cost carrier GoAir today said it would launch three daily direct flights between Ahmedabad and New Delhi -- two from June 11 and the third from June 16.
 
The flights would give business travellers same-day connectivity between the two important cities, a press release from the airline said.
 
It said the service was being introduced in response to growing demand on the route, particularly from business and corporate travellers.
 
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Managing Director & CEO, GoAir, said, “The introduction of this new sector is in keeping with the airline’s growth plans with a focus on scaling up operations gradually. Both Ahmedabad and New Delhi are popular destinations for business, tourism and employment. Strengthening our network from a city like Ahmedabad will help GoAir provide a flexibility of choice to customers along with on time, convenient and an affordable flying experience. We have been growing our route network across the 23 destinations that we are present in and will continue to do so with the addition of new aircraft in our fleet as well.”
 
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Govt. says no new cases of Zika virus disease reported after three found in Ahmedabad

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The Government has said that, apart from the three cases of laboratory-confirmed Zika virus disease reported from Ahmedabad during January-February this year, no other sample has been tested positive in any part of the country so far.
 
"The ongoing country-wide Zika laboratory based surveillance in India has so far tested 36613 human samples and 16571 mosquito samples for the presence of Zika virus. No other sample has been tested positive apart from the three laboratory confirmed cases reported from Ahmedabad," a press release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said here yesterday.
 
The release said that cases of vector borne disease (VBD), mainly Dengue and Chikungunya, were noticed in the State of Gujarat during the post-monsoon period last year. The State Government had accordingly planned fever surveillance, vector surveillance and intense vector control activity. 
 
It said that one of the blood samples collected during laboratory surveillance during this period from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation limits tested positive for Zika virus. This sample was retested at National Institute of Virology, Pune and was further confirmed through positive RT-PCR test and virus sequencing at National Institute of Virology, Pune on January 3 this year, it said.
 
This sample was from a 34-year-old female patient admitted to hospital with complaints of fever following delivery of a healthy baby. She had no travel history to any Zika affected country. 
 
"Following the first case, the surveillance was further strengthened and thousands of blood samples were tested as only a thorough investigation can detect cases, given that 80 % of the cases are asymptomatic. Acute Febrile Illness (AFI) surveillance and testing of antenatal cases were undertaken by the State Government and ICMR in Ahmedabad. This surveillance in total yielded 2 more cases of laboratory confirmed Zika virus disease (samples collected during January and February 2017). The other two cases include a 22-year-old pregnant woman in her 37th week of pregnancy and a 64-year-old male with 8 days history of fever," it said.
 
The release said the Zika virus disease case was reported as part of an answer to a Parliament question raised by Ms. Vanaroja R, a member of the Lok Sabha, on March 17.
 
It said that, after due process of investigation and verification of the Zika virus disease cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified of all the three Zika virus disease cases on May 15.
 
"On 18th November, 2016 WHO had declared that Zika disease infection no longer constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Since WHO had already withdrawn the notification of Zika virus disease as a PHEIC the case was handled as per our existing protocol. 
 
"As a matter of abundant caution, measures to contain local transmission were carried out in the affected area. No further samples taken during antenatal screening and acute febrile illness surveillance have tested positive for Zika virus disease," it said.
 
Giving details of India's response to the Zika virus disease outbreak in other countries, the release said that, following the declaration of Zika virus disease as a PHEIC in February, 2016, the Government has been taking adequate steps to prevent, detect and respond to the situation. 
 
"The notification for Zika being a PHEIC was withdrawn by WHO on 18th November, 2016. However, India continues to maintain high vigilance and surveillance on the issue," it said.
 
According to the release, the following are some of the steps taken in this regard:
 
National Guidelines and Action Plan (with scenario based approach) on Zika virus disease have been prepared and shared with the States to prevent outbreak of Zika virus disease and containment of spread in case of any outbreak. 
 
An Inter – Ministerial Task Force has been set up under Chairmanship of Secretary (Health & FW) with Secretary (Bio – Technology), Secretary (Department of Health Research) as members. 
 
The Joint Monitoring Group, a Technical group under DGHS, tasked to monitor emerging and re-emerging diseases is regularly reviewing the situation on Zika virus disease. 
 
All the International Airports / Ports have displayed signage providing information for travelers on Zika virus disease and to report if they are returning from any of the affected countries and suffering from febrile illness. 
 
Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) is tracking for clustering of acute febrile illness in the community. It has also sensitized its State and District Rapid Response Teams. 
 
In addition to National Institute of Virology, Pune, and NCDC, Delhi, 25 laboratories have been strengthened by Indian Council of Medical Research for laboratory diagnosis. 
 
In addition, 3 entomological laboratories are conducting Zika virus testing on mosquito samples. 6 more Laboratories staff have been trained for vector surveillance for Zika virus. 
 
The Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) is monitoring microcephaly from 55 sentinel sites. As of now, no increase in number of cases / clustering of microcephaly has been reported from these centers. 
 
A 24x7 control room (011-23061469) is functioning from Directorate General of Health Services. The situation is being monitored closely. 
 
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Gold an important tool for financial inclusion: IGPC IIMA study

 

Gold is an important tool for financial inclusion among Indians, a study done among a thousand gold consumers across four districts from four states in urban and rural India has revealed.

The study was conducted by researchers Misha Sharma, Shambhavi Srivastava and Govind Singh from IFMR Lead and funded by India Gold Policy Centre (IGPC) at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).

The study participants were active consumers of gold who use gold beyond mere ornamental purposes, a press release from IIMA said.

According to the findings of the study, gold loan was the most popular gold based financial product and informal gold loans constituted a large pie of the market share, offering lower gold loan amounts at higher interest rates compared to formal gold loan providers offering higher gold loan amounts at lower interest rates.

Additionally, it was also found that gold loans were primarily being used for smoothening household consumption and for repaying previous debts, although, it must be pointed out that half of the sample also mentioned using it for productive purposes such as investment in business, education and household improvement and repairs.

The study had 1000 respondent across four districts – Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Hooghly in West Bengal and Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh -- with the sample split evenly across rural and peri-urban areas and with 83% respondents being male.

The study showed that more than 70% of the respondents in Coimbatore and Kolhapur had least or little preference to sell their gold. Hooghly followed a normal distribution and generated a mix of responses from 1 to 10, where 10 represents a high willingness to sell the gold. In Saharanpur, people did not seem to have a very high sentimental value for the gold they possess and more than 90% of respondents assigned scores between 6 to 10, representing high willingness to sell their gold.

The release said 44.37% of the total households approached confirmed having taken a gold loan. The average gold loan amount acquired by the study sample across all four districts was Rs. 31,387 at an average annual interest rate of 20 percent. People in Hooghly and Coimbatore were against parting with their gold. Specifically in Kolhapur, respondents revealed that they prefer other investments as opposed to one which uses gold as collateral such as land based as it does not require them to physically part with an asset. In Coimbatore most of the loans were acquired from commercial banks followed by pawn brokers. Similarly, formal financial institutions such as NBFCs and commercial banks seemed to be the most popular sources of credit in Kolhapur.

In contrast to this, gold loans in Saharanpur and Hooghly were mostly acquired from informal sources such as pawn broker and shopkeepers.

Major uses of gold loans as reported by respondents were debt repayment, health expenditures and smoothening immediate cash flow problems in businesses and households. Thus, gold loans, seems to provide ‘quick fixes’ to liquidity constraint and unlike most other loans are not primarily used for large planned expenditures such as purchase of new house or financing education.

Prof. Arvind Sahay, Head, India Gold Policy Centre said, “Gold could be classified as an alternate tool for financial inclusion among low income households. This is more so true for the rural economy that constitutes 70% of the total population and pre-dominantly engages in agricultural activities as their primary source of income. With income from agriculture being uncertain and some lack of institutional credit for farming activities, the agrarian population relies heavily on gold (in the form of gold loan or selling gold) to meet their agricultural expenses”.

The study also observed that the relative lack of success of government schemes such as Gold Monetization Scheme, Sovereign Gold Bond and Indian Gold Coin Scheme can be attributed to people not being aware of these schemes. Respondents did express willingness to invest in these schemes if they got adequate information about the product, indicating the potential of the scheme with better targeting and promotion.

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A separate research project conducted by Balagopal Gopalakrishnan and Sanket Mohapatra, found that the quantity of gold reserve held by central banks in Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs) has risen sharply following the global financial crisis in 2008; that, on average, the percentage of foreign exchange held by central banks in EMDEs in the form of G4 (dollar, yen, pound and Euro) decreased from 84% to 74% with much of that decrease being compensated for by an increase in the holding of gold. Large increases in gold holding were seen in Russia, China and Brazil, but not India.

The research paper examines factors driving holding of gold by central banks in 50 EMDEs, with a focus on post-crisis developments. The researchers argue that the unprecedented monetary expansion in advanced economies has resulted in a shift in EMDE reserve asset holding strategy, resulting in continued accumulation of gold reserves even after the peak of the financial crisis.

The release said the increase in EMDE gold holdings in the post-crisis period was strongly associated with the large expansion in liquidity and increase in central bank balance sheets in the advanced economies. This post-crisis effect holds even after controlling for a range of country-specific factors, international gold prices, and global risk indicator, and is robust to alternative measures of global liquidity, sub-samples excluding the BRICS countries, alternative specifications, and the inclusion of additional controls.

The authors point out that US monetary policy is the primary driver of the global financial cycles and questions the level of independence enjoyed by other central banks, even those with flexible exchange rates such as the UK or the ECB. Therefore, the massive monetary easing conducted by the advanced economy central banks, led by the US Fed, have increased the vulnerabilities of the EMDE central banks given the spillover effects the monetary easing has had in the EMDE countries.

The paper also investigates whether global factors such as excessive monetary easing by the central banks in the advanced economies and changes in the global risk environment can explain this increase in EMDE gold reserves, after controlling for domestic factors. It concluded that monetary expansion in advanced economies is robustly related to the post-crisis increase in EMDE gold reserves.

Prof. Ashish Nanda, Director IIMA said, “The global gold ecosystem is undergoing transformation owing to geopolitical changes and economic dynamics. The gold market is shifting East, with India and China constituting more than fifty percent of the global demand and China becoming a leading gold supplier as well. In times of transition such as this, empirical research based policies and coordination along the value chain become critical. IGPC aims to address these needs and thereby impact policy and practice related to the gold industry in India and internationally.”

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Indian Navy and Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad sign MoU on data sharing, scientific cooperation

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Vice-Admiral S N Ghormade, Director General, Naval Operations, and Space Application Centre (SAC) Director Tapan Misra signed a memorandum of understanding here today on data sharing and scientific cooperation in the field of meteorology and oceanology.
 
With this initiative, both the organisations have embarked on a common platform of mutual cooperation, where the scientific advancements and expertise achieved by SAC would be synergised into the Indian Navy's efforts to keep the nation’s defence forces in step with rapid development in the field of Environment Sciences and Satellite Data acquisition technology, an official press release said.
 
This has further boosted the already established collaboration between the two organisations, it said.
 
The release said the broad areas of cooperation include sharing of non-confidential observational data for pre-launch sensor calibration and post launch satellite data validation, operational use of SAC generated weather products, provisioning expertise for installation of various satellite data processing modules at Naval METOC organisations, carrying out calibration and validation for ocean models, transfer of technology to generate weather information, training on latest technology and sharing of subject matter experts between the organisations for effective knowledge transfer.
 
Scientists from SAC, Principal Director Naval Oceanology and Meteorology and Chief Staff Officer, Gujarat Naval Area were among those present on the occasion.
 
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Ashish Nanda steps aside as Director of IIM Ahmedabad

Ashish Nanda
Ashish Nanda
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) Director Ashish Nanda today announced that he would step aside from his position with effect from September 1, 2017, citing personal reasons.
 
"Professionally, I have enjoyed the experience immensely and I have learned a lot. However, personally, living a long distance from my wife and son has been a challenge," Prof. Nanda said in a letter to all members of the IIMA community.
 
"When I joined, I had committed to serving at most one term. On September 1, it will be four years, to the day, since I took charge. It is a good time to step aside and to hand over the responsibility and honour of leading the Institute to the next, fortunate person. I will hand over responsibilities of director at the end of that day," he said.
 
"These past three and a half years, I have woken up every day feeling fortunate to be working for an institution that has contributed tremendously to me. I feel privileged to have followed in the footsteps of people I greatly admire, to have had the opportunity to lead the Institute at a crucial time in its trajectory, and to have contributed to the best of my ability to its continuing success," he said.
 
"I believe we are at a point when there is alignment among various constituencies of the Institute as to the direction we ought to follow and considerable momentum along the path that we are following. We have a committed and enthusiastic chairman providing vision and guidance, a wise and engaged board, faculty that is productive and energized, staff that is loyal and devoted, brilliant and hardworking students, a diaspora of alumni committed to the Institute’s long term success, governmental support for operating autonomously to achieve our dreams, and industry that respects and values the Institute. This is as good a time as any for leadership transition at the Institute," he said.
 
Prof. Nanda said he had, thus, requested IIMA Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla that he be allowed to step aside from the position of director, and he had acceded to the request.
 
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"Of course, my heart is always with IIMA. I am always available to help the Institute in any way that I can. And I will contribute to effect a smooth transition," he said.
 
"I am grateful to Mr. Naik, Mr. Patel, and Mr. Birla for their unstinted support and guidance, to the board members for their selfless contribution and prudent counsel, to the faculty for their dedication and effort, to the alumni for their avowed affection and engagement, to the staff for their fidelity and goodwill, and to the students for their dreams and their dedication. But I couldn’t have had this extraordinary adventure without the love of my wife, who, despite the distance we have lived apart, has been a partner with me in this journey every step of the way, the blessings of my parents, and the affection of my son," he added.
 
Prof Nanda was the Robert Braucher Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School, has been appointed as the new Director of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
 
He is an alumnus of the 1983 batch of IIMA. He is a gold medalist from both Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi and from IIMA. He completed his M.A. in Economics and Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught courses in Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. 
 
He was faculty director of Executive Education and research director at Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School. 
 
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IIMA hikes fees for flagship two-year programmes to Rs. 21 lakh

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad
The Board of Governors of the Indian Insititute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) met here yesterday and approved a 7.7 percent in hike in the fees for its flagship Post Graduate Programme in Management and Post Graduate Programme in Food and Agri-Business Management to Rs. 21 lakh.
 
"This fee covers costs associated with tuition, accommodation, course material, library, placement services, and IT resources," a press release from IIMA said.
 
Both programmes are two-year courses and, at the increased level, the fees would work out to Rs. 10.5 lakh per year.
 
"General inflation and Seventh Pay Commission implementation exert an upward push on cost of programme delivery. The Institute is committed to striving for efficiency in its operations. As the most liberal among Indian management institutions by far in financial aid disbursements (in 2016-17, one-third of our students received financial aid), IIMA is also committed to ensuring that no capable candidate is denied entry for reason of lacking financial wherewithal," the release added.
 
IIMA had increased the fees for these programmes to Rs. 19.5 lakh from Rs. 18.5 lakh last April.
 
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UK visa application centre inaugurated in Ahmedabad

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British Deputy High Commissioner Ahmedabad Geoff Wain formally inaugurated the new UK visa application centre (VAC) here today.
 
A press release from the British High Commission said the new VAC offers a number of benefits to customers in Ahmedabad including more application counters to make it quicker and easier for customers to submit their visa applications. 
 
The VAC is also located in a more convenient area of Ahmedabad and continues to be co-located with the Schengen visa application centre to make it more straightforward for customers to apply for both visas at the same time.
 
"The UK continues to welcome more and more visitors from India. The latest visa figures show that over 395,000 Indian visitors came to the UK last year, a six per cent increase from 2015," Mr. Wain said.
 
"India is an incredibly important market to the UK which is why we continue to make it easier for people to apply for their visas and visit. Last year we introduced a new visit visa application form which for the first time is translated into Gujarati. We will continue to listen to feedback from our customers in order to make further improvements where we can," he added.
 
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IIMA invites alumni, corporates to contribute to restoration, conservation of its campus

IIM Ahmedabad
IIM Ahmedabad
For the first time in its history, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) has invited its alumni and corporates to contribute to the conservation and restoration of its Heritage Campus.
 
"About five decades ago, the renowned American architect Louis Kahn translated education philosophy into infrastructure when he assumed responsibility of building IIMA’s infrastructure," a press release from IIMA said.
 
"Generations of students since then have been inspired by the spaces to reflect, deliberate, break the mould, and free the spirit. These buildings have witnessed generations of academic life on campus and withstood Gujarat Earthquake. The grandeur of the Louis Kahn Campus infrastructure leaves the visitors to campus awestruck. But age has taken its toll, requiring conservation and restoration on priority," it said.
 
The release said the Government of India had recognized the conservation and restoration of IIMA’s iconic Louis Kahn Campus buildings as an important task and contributions for this are covered within the ambit of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the Companies Act 2013 under “protection of national heritage, art and culture, including restoration of sights of historical importance as well as promoting education.”
 
IIMA has recently received significant funding from individual alumni and alumni batches to support conservation and restoration of dorms, classrooms, and other infrastructure. 
 
The institute had announced last year the TCS–IIMA partnership for restoration and upgradation of Vikram Sarabhai Library at IIMA, supported by a Rs. 20 crore funding by TCS Foundation.
 
Dorm D1 is being renamed the “D-1 Professor Kamla Chowdhury Dorm” in memory of a founding faculty of the institute, with funding support of Rs. 3.5 crore by individual alumni. Classroom 3 is being renamed “CR-3: Professor Labdhi Bhandari Classroom” in the memory of another distinguished faculty member, with financial support of Rs. 2.5 crore also contributed by one of its alumni.
 
Classroom 4 is being renamed "CR 4:  1992 Batch Classroom" supported by a Rs. 2.5 crore contribution by the Silver Jubilee Reunion batch last December. The 1992 batch representative, Mr. Birendra Baid, said, "The time we spent at IIMA was among the best years of our lives. IIMA has given us much more than just an MBA degree –it is here we made lifelong friends, developed our personalities, and gained life skills that allowed us to pursue our careers with confidence. Giving back to the alma mater was always one of the top items on our agenda when we started planning our Silver Jubilee Reunion that was held in December 2016. We were fortunate that around the same time IIMA was embarking on a comprehensive restoration project for the Heritage Campus. The Batch of '92 is delighted to have contributed towards restoration of one of the Classrooms where we studied 25 years ago."
 
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Tower Lawn opposite Louis Kahn Plaza is being conserved and upgraded with funding support of Rs. 1 crore by the 1995 batch that came for their reunion on campus in December 2015. The 1995 batch coordinator, Mr. Rahul Phondke, said, "It was a small gesture from the batch reflecting our collective recognition of the fact that we all owe a significant part of our careers, lives and relationships to the Institute and no amount of financial contributions can really pay back the emotional debt which we owe to the Institute."
 
Ms. Susan Macdonald, Head – Buildings and Sites, the Getty Conservation Institute added, “After some 50 years, Louis Kahn's magnificent IIM complex still has the ability to inspire and move the human spirit. Inevitably, it is now suffering many of the conservation challenges typical of many great architectural works of the modern era. It is to be commended that IIM has commenced a careful and thorough program of work that seeks to understand these challenges and develop conservation approaches to sustain Kahn's great work over the next 50 years.”
 
 “I am touched by these gestures and thankful to our alumni for the love and care that they have for the Institute. The strong commitment of IIMA alumni to the institute will enable us to pursue excellence in teaching, research, and infrastructure and educate future generations of leaders,” said Prof. Ashish Nanda, Director IIMA.
 
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Modi attends 116th meeting of trustees of Somnath Trust at Somnath

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the 116th meeting of the trustees of Shri Somnath Trust at Somnath in Gujarat today. 
 
Apart from Mr. Modi, the meeting was attended by former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah, former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, Mr. P. K. Laheri, Mr. J.D. Parmar and Mr. Harsh Neotia.
 
Mr. Modi suggested at the meeting that the entire campus of the Shree Somnath temple be upgraded with water, greenery and facilities. He  recommended that the Trust should actively participate in the effort to make Veraval and Prabhas Patan cashless. He also said that the Trust should organise special "Mahotsavas" in all major cities. 
 
The meeting was decided Mr. Patel would continue as Chairman of the Trust for the year 2017.
 
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IIM Ahmedabad launches ePGP course with Hughes as technology partner

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The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) yesterday launched its e-Post Graduate Program in Management (ePGP), a two-year post graduate diploma program offered on Interactive Onsite Learning (IOL) platform, with Hughes Global Education as the technology partner.
 
A press release from IIMA said the objective of the program is to impart management education to junior, mid- and senior level professionals and entrepreneurs seeking skills and strategies to take their organizations to the next level.
 
The course, with over 800 classroom instruction hours, will provide the participants with skills for leadership in today’s knowledge economy through an innovative curriculum, it said.
 
During the first year of the program, the curriculum focuses on equipping participants with knowledge in various areas of management. Second year curriculum offers a range of electives to allow participants to explore management subjects in depth, it said.
 
The release said the ePGP would be a long-duration diploma program offered in hybrid learning mode, combining sessions delivered through Interactive Learning platform, class room based instruction, continuous evaluation, and mentored project work.
 
The program will comprise compulsory core courses during the first year followed by a bouquet of elective courses in the second year. Three campus modules are planned as integral parts of the program.
 
Hughes Global Education India Ltd. (HGEIL) is the education business subsidiary of Hughes Communication India Ltd (HCIL) and has pioneered ‘class apart learning’ in India for working executives, with more than 2500 students enrolling every year using technology since 2001.
 
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Not my money, says businessman who disclosed Rs 13,860 crore under IDS

Mahesh Shah, a businessman from Gujarat who disclosed Rs. 13,860 crore of unaccounted wealth under the Income Declaration Scheme on September 30 and had gone missing for the past few days, claimed on Saturday the money was not his and that he had acted as a front for some businessmen, politicians and officials.

 
Curious case of Mahesh Shah
Mahesh Shah, a businessman from Gujarat who disclosed Rs. 13,860 crore of unaccounted wealth under the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS) on September 30 and had gone missing for the past few days, today claimed that the money was not his and that he had only acted as a front for some businessmen, politicians and officials.
 
Appearing unannounced at the studio of ETV Gujarat in Ahmedabad, Shah, 67, told the television channel's journalists that he would disclose full details in this regard to Income Tax (IT) officials.
 
Teams of IT officials, accompanied by a police team, landed up at the studio shortly thereafter and detained Shah, a real estate dealer, and took him away for questioning.
 
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Shah told the television channel that he had agreed to declare Rs. 13,860 crore as undisclosed income on behalf of some others in return for a commission. However, according to him, those people had backed out at the last minute and he, therefore, could not pay the first instalment of the tax to be paid on the amount, calculated at 45%, amounting to Rs. 1560 crore before the deadline of November 30 ended.
 
Income Tax officials had carried out raids at Shah's residence and office premises in Ahmedabad earlier this week and found no evidence to suggest he possessed the kind of wealth that he had claimed in his declaration.
 
The Rs.13,860 crore that Shah had declared amounted to about 20 percent of the Rs. 65,000 crore of undisclosed wealth the Government had said had been declared across the country during the three-month window that ended on September 30.
 
Tehmul Sethna, the chartered accountant who facilitated the declaration before IT officials, was quoted in media reports as saying yesterday that he had last spoken to his client on November 29.
 
IT officials had cancelled Shah's declaration under the IDS after he failed to pay up the first instalment of the tax on the declared amount.
 
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14 dead as mini-truck collides with truck in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat

 
14 dead in road mishap in Gujarat
As many as 14 men died and three others suffered injuries when a mini-truck they were travelling in collided head-on with a truck on the Bagodara-Kheda highway near here late last night.
 
Police sources said the mishap occurred around 11.30 pm near Valtera village in Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad district.
 
The injured were taken to the Government Hospital at Dholka for treatment and were later referred to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad.
 
According to them, the victims belonged to three families from Sokhda village near Rajot. They were returning hom from a pilgrimage to Pavagadh in Panchmahals district.
 
The truck was laden with ceramic tiles was on its way from Wankaner in Morbi district to Andhra Pradesh. The driver of the truck fled from the scene after the accident, police said, adding that a case of negligent and rash driving had been registered against him.
 
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Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel offers to resign

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Monday offered to resign from her position, citing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's "tradition" of leaders quitting their posts when they attain the age of 75.

Anandiben Patel
Anandiben Patel
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel today offered to resign from her position, citing the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's "tradition" of leaders quitting their posts when they attain the age of 75.
 
Stating that she had always abided by the party's ideology, principles and discipline, Ms. Patel said many leaders had in recent times established the tradition of voluntarily giving up their positions when the reach 75 years of age, which had set an example for everyone in the party.
 
In a letter to BJP President Amit Shah, which she also posted on her Facebook and Twitter pages, she said this tradition had provided opportunities for younger leaders to work for the party and the country.
 
Ms. Patel said she would complete 75 years of age in November but, given the fact that Assembly elections are due to be held in the state towards the end of 2017 and it was also slated to host the next edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit in January 2017, she felt she should step aside right away so that the new Chief Minister would have time to prepare for these events.
 
She said she had urged the party leadership two months ago to relieve her of her responsibility and was now writing again so that she could step down as Chief Minister at the earliest.
 
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Ms. Patel recalled that the party had, during the last three decades, given her many opportunities to work for the organisation and the state at various levels, including as a Minister during Mr. Narendra Modi's 12 years as Chief Minister of Gujarat before he became Prime Minister and she was chosen to succeed him, becoming in the process the first woman to hold the position in the state.
 
The offer of resignation served to end months of speculation about whether Ms. Patel would be able to complete her term, especially in the wake of criticism of the way her Government had handled the agitation by members of the influential Patidar community in the state as well the more recent protests by Dalits.
 
Even as the reservation issue raised by the Patidars remains very much alive, more than 30 Dalit organisations organised a huge rally here yesterday to protest atrocities against the community in Gujarat.
 
Mr. Shah said the BJP Parliamentary Board would take a final view on Ms. Patel's offer of resignation.
 
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11 given life terms in Gulbarg Society massacre, 10 years for one, 7 for 12

 
Gujarat: Life term for 11 convicts in Gulbarg Society massacre case
A special court today awarded life term to 11 persons convicted of murder in the horrific February 28, 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre in Ahmedabad that occurred during the large-scale communal violence that engulfed many parts of Gujarat following the Godhra train burning incident on the previous day.
 
Of the 13 others convicted in the case for lesser offences, Special Judge P B Desai sentenced one to 10 years in prison and 12 to seven years of imprisonment.
 
As many as 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed in the incident in which a mob of hundreds of people attacked the residential colony amidst allegations that the police failed to respond repeated calls for help by those trapped inside, including the lawmaker.
 
Earlier, in his verdict on June 2 in the case, more than 14 years after one of the worst incidents during the 2002 Gujarat violence, the court ad dropped the conspiracy charges against all the accused in the case.
 
Of the 66 accused persons in the case, six had died during the course of the trial. As many as 36 persons were acquitted.
 
A total of 59 people, including many "karsevaks" returning from Ayodhya, were killed when sleeper coach S 6 of the Sabarmati Express was torched at the outer signal of Godhra station on February 27, 2002 -- triggering widespread communal violence in Gujarat, claiming over 1,100 lives.
 
The court had held that there was not enough evidence before it to retain Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relating to criminal conspiracy.
 
Lawyers for the prosecution had sought the maximum punishment for all the convicts. They argued that it should be treated as a "rarest of rare" case and the convicts deserved the death penalty or at least a life in prison till the end of their life.
 
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While describing the massacre as one of the "darkest days" in the history of civil society, the court, however decided not to award the death penalty to the 11 convicted of murder. It said life imprisonment for them would be till their death as long as the state did not exercise its power to remit the sentence. It urged the state not to use its power in this regard.
 
Ms. Zakia Jafri, wife of the late Mr. Jafri, lawyers for the prosecution and activists who have been fighting for the victims of the violence, said they were disappointed by the quantum of punishment handed down by the court. Ms. Jafri said she would examine the possibility of appealing against the sentence.
 
"CrPC provisions give power to the state to remit sentence after 14 years jail, section 433-A imposes some restriction on that power. In case the state does not exercise power to remit the sentence, life imprisonment will mean that it is till death," the court said. 
 
"I cannot add beyond what has been prescribed under Section 302. It is not necessary for a state to exercise power to remit sentence. The state may not exercise power of remittance," the judge said, hastening to add that his advice could not be binding on the state.
 
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Foundation stone laid for gauge conversion Ahmedabad-Mehsana railway line

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Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu laid the foundation stone for the gauge conversion of the 70 km railway line between Ahmedabad and Mehsana in Gujarat through video-conferencing at a function here yesterday.
 
Former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani, Railway Board Chairman A K Mital and Member Engineering Aditya Kumar Mittal were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
The project was part of the announcements made by Mr. Prabhu in his Railway Budget for 2015-16.
 
Mr. Prabhu said the gauge converson would also help faster connectivity between Delhi and Ahmedabad.
 
The cost of this project is estimated to be Rs. 478 crore, an official press release said.
 
There is already a broad gauge (BG) line between Ahmedabad and Mehsana. After conversion of the metre gauge line into broad gauge, there would be a broad gauge double line between the two places.
 
The section falls on the Ahmedabad- Delhi main line via Jaipur. Railways are in the process of making this entire section as double line. Out of 864 kilometer long route, 407 kilometer from Delhi to Alwar and Bandikui- Jaipur- Ajmer are already double line. Work is in progress on around 350 kilometer section in addition to Ahmedabad- Mehsana section.
 
The new 36 km line from Marwar to Chandrawal on this route is targeted for commissioning in this financial year.
 
The work also involves electrification between Ahmadabad and Mehsana. Electrification of existing BG single line is also in progress, the release added.
 
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24 convicted, 36 acquitted in Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Society massacre

A special court on Thursday convicted 24 people and acquitted 36 others in the horrific February 28, 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre in Ahmedabad that occurred during the large-scale communal violence that engulfed many parts of Gujarat following the Godhra train burning incident on the previous day.

 
24 of 66 convicted in Gulbarg Society case
A special court today convicted 24 people and acquitted 36 others in the horrific February 28, 2002 Gulbarg Society massacre in Ahmedabad that occurred during the large-scale communal violence that engulfed many parts of Gujarat following the Godhra train burning incident on the previous day.
 
As many as 69 people, including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed in the incident in which a mob of hundreds of people attacked the residential colony amidst allegations that the police failed to respond repeated calls for help by those trapped inside, including the lawmaker.
 
In the verdict that came more than 14 years after one of the worst incidents during the 2002 Gujarat violence, the court also dropped the conspiracy charges against all the accused in the case.
 
Eleven of the accused for convicted for murder by Special Judge P. B. Desai, while the others were held guiltyof lesser offences.
 
Of the 66 accused persons in the case, six had died during the course of the trial.
 
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Ms. Zakia Jafri, wife of the late Mr. Jafri, said she was disappointed by the verdict and would continue her fight for justice.
 
A total of 59 people, including many "karsevaks" returning from Ayodhya, were killed when sleeper coach S 6 of the Sabarmati Express was torched at the outer signal of Godhra station on February 27, 2002 -- triggering widespread communal violence in Gujarat, claiming over 1,100 lives.
 
The court held that there was not enough evidence before it to retain Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relating to criminal conspiracy.
 
The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on June 6. Lawyers for the prosecution said they would seek the maximum punishment for the 11 convicted for murder.
 
Mr. R. K. Raghavan, former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) who had headed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Supreme Court to probethe case, said he had "mixed feelings" about the verdict. He said they would consult legal opinion about their next course of action.
 
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Oldest living Indian Test cricketer Deepak Shodhan passes away

Deepak Shodhan Photo: Courtesy BCCI
Deepak Shodhan Photo: Courtesy BCCI
Deepak Shodhan, India's oldest living Test cricketer and the first Indian to score a Test century on debut, passed away at his residence here this morning.
 
He was 87.
 
Mr. Shodhan, who was born on October 18, 1928, had been suffering from lung cancer for some time and breathed his last this morning, sources said.
 
An elegant left-hander and a medium-pace bowler, Shodhan played for Gujarat and Baroda in domestic cricket between 1946-47 and 1961-62.
 
He made his Test debut against Pakistan, played from October 12-15, 1952 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. He walked out to bat at No. 8 with India struggling at 179 for six and, with the tail-enders for company, struck a superb 110.
 
His fine knock helped India take a 140-run lead, but the match ended in a draw with India winning the five-match Test series 2-1. 
 
Shodhan played only two more Tests for India on a tour of the West Indies in 1953. He made 45 and 11 in the first Test at Port-of-Spain but did not play the next three. He returned in the fifth Test, but was taken ill. He went in to bat at No. 10, after the hosts had taken a 264-run lead, and stayed put in the middle to help India manage a draw.
 
He played 43 first class matches and made 1802 runs, including a double century, with an average of 31.61. He also took 73 wickets at an average of 34.05.
 
His elder brother Jyotindra Shodhan, 91, also played first class cricket.
 
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) condoled Shodhan's death and deeply appreciated his outstanding service to Indian cricket over a long time.
 
Former India captain Dattajirao Gaekwad, based in Baroda and father of former Indian all-rounder Anshuman Gaekwad, is now the oldest living Indian Test cricketer. He is also 87, having been born on October 27, 1928.
 
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Committee on Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project to meet in Tokyo on Monday

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The second meeting of the high level Joint Committee on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail project will be held tomorrow in Tokyo.
 
The Indian delegation which is visiting Japan for the meeting, is led by Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog. 
 
Other members include Mr. A.K. Mital, Chairman, Railway Board; Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs; Dr. S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary and Mr. Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industry Policy and Promotion. 
 
The Japanese side will be led by Mr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan. 
 
Other members from the Japanese side will include senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLIT) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). 
 
An official press release said the committee would finalize the schedule of the project, terms related to the appointment of General Consultant and procurement conditions. 
 
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Since the loan negotiation and finalization of loan agreement will take some time, Government of India, to achieve timely implementation of project, has requested for a proper schedule of project implementation and had also requested for appointment of General Consultant before the finalization of the loan agreement. 
 
The appointment of General Consultant will enable start of preparatory activities like designing and preparation of tender documents, it said.
 
Since Make in India and Transfer of Technology are key components of the project implementation, an industry interaction between Indian and Japanese companies will be held on May 17.
 
The event will be see participation by almost 100 Japanese companies and 21 Indian companies. The industry interaction will enable Indian companies to explore business opportunities in participation with Japanese companies. The Indian companies include: BHEL, BEML, IRCON, Reliance Metro, Tata Infrastructure, JBM, Patil Infrastructure, IL&FS, Hindustan Construction Company and Texmaco Rail.
 
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IIMA announces five new projects, including Jindal School of Public Policy

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The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) today announced the launch of five new projects as part of campus growth and renewal, including the Jindal School of Public Policy.
 
The other projects are a new academic block, apartments for the  faculty, dormitories for students, and a brand new sports complex including the IIFL Swimming Pool. 
 
The institute appointed three architects for these projects: RMA Architects for the School of Public Policy, Arcop for faculty and student housing, and HCP for the new academic block and the sports complex. 
 
"These five projects are the first phase of a multi-year plan for increasing the capacity and renewing the IIMA campus, while maintaining its unique character," a press release from IIMA said here today.
 
The release said the Jindal School of Public Policy at IIMA would  be a multi-storey structure, including several classrooms and faculty offices. Prof. Rahul Mehrotra, Founder Principal of RMA Architects and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, will lead the design of the Jindal School of Public Policy. 
 
JSW has pledged a contribution of Rs. 85 crore towards developing this school, of which Rs. 25 crore has been earmarked for the building and support infrastructure.
 
JSW Group is one of India's leading conglomerates with interests in diverse sectors of the economy, including steel, power and infrastructure. “As part of our efforts towards furthering greater interface between Indian industry and academia, we have consistently been cognizant of the need to establish a durable mechanism to facilitate constructive interaction amongst government, regulatory agencies, academia, and industry participants in the development of policies affecting our economic environment, and our society at large,” said Mr. Sandeep Gokhale, President, JSW Group. 
 
“In furtherance of this objective, we are pleased to be a part of the initiative undertaken by the IIM - Ahmedabad through the establishment of the Jindal School for Public Policy. We hope that the school will go on to become an enduring platform in encouraging stakeholder interaction in the years ahead.”
 
The faculty housing and student housing facilities will be designed by the Montreal-based Arcop group — a pioneer in transformative design approach driven by sustainability. Faculty housing will be a multi-storeyed modern apartment building. 
 
The student housing facility will offer single-occupancy rooms for student accommodation within the context of a modern building.
 
“Arcop is honoured and delighted to be associated with IIMA in shaping the future of this campus, by celebrating the legacy and also by focusing on an innovative and integrated approach,” said Mr. Debasish Guha, Director, Arcop Associates Pvt. Ltd.
 
The new academic block and sports facility will be designed by HCP. The academic block will be built facing the existing academic block in the new campus. It will have several classrooms, faculty offices, and administrative offices. The sports complex will include an olympic-sized swimming pool contributed by IIFL, whose chairman is IIMA alumnus Nirmal Jain. The complex will also include squash courts, badminton courts, gymnasium, an athletics track, and other ancillary facilities.
 
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“I had a transformative experience at IIM Ahmedabad, The relationships built here continued with me in earlier stint at HUL and then in my entrepreneurial journey at IIFL. This prestigious institute has shaped my life and it is my privilege that I can give back something to my alma mater in a meaningful way. In addition to the highest scholarship at the institution, I am sure the swimming pool will reinvigorate the young minds with the spirit of sportsmanship and refresh their minds to innovate and contribute to the greater development of society,” said Mr. Jain.
 
“IIMA has a world-class reputation as a management institute, but it also has a fine history of architectural patronage. As master architects for both campuses, HCP is honoured to be a part of the IIM Ahmedabad story. We are very happy to have the opportunity to continue our association with the institute with commissions to design additional state-of-the-art academic spaces and a new world-class sports complex, which will include Olympic-standard swimming and athletics facilities,” said Mr. Bobby Desai, Director of Design, HCP.
 
On the occasion, Prof. Ashish Nanda, Director, IIMA, said: “This is an important step in the growth and renewal of our beautiful campus. We are adding these new buildings to help achieve our strategic goals while keeping true to the heritage and integrity of the campus. I am grateful to the Building Committee for their stewardship of the projects, to the Master Architect HCP for developing with us a shared vision of the future of the IIMA campus, and the architects for these projects — RMA, Arcop, and HCP —for joining us in taking our vision for IIMA forward.”
 
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