Tuesday, July 26, 2011

South Goa district library at Navelim Goa - A readers delight

The South Goa district Library named after one of Goa's Illustrious sons Mr Francisco Luis Gomes has been a pleasantly welcome addition to Margao and the district of South Goa .

Opened in November of 2010 , as of today the number of members opting membership at the library has galloped to an impressive 1,800 members with the number increasing every day.The continuous membership is therefore a clear sign that people in Goa have taken to reading.If one is desirous of seeking a membership at this prestigious library all that one needs are two photographs and a meagre deposit of Rs 200 and the formalities are completed pretty fast and you could get your membership in over 30 minutes flat.The members of the Library comes from as far as Quepem and Canacona talukas in South Goa

The Library is also impressively equipped with a book number aggregating to a total of 42,000 books besides over 20 daily newspaper publications, nearly 160 periodicals in various languages including one in Sanskrit and readers are bound find something that could be matching with their choice on the busy library shelves.

The library has also been designed keeping in mind the research students who seek more information on various topics. As such the library has a research oriented focus and also has online data bases. The volumes of books on various subjects are therefore a big boon to students who find the Library a great place to study and get additional material to supplement their prospects in their examinations

Many opine that the library is a good atmosphere for studying and are appreciative of the discipline besides the helpful staff a this reading centre in South Goa which many feel was a dire need of the student community who find this resource very helpful in their prospects.

The library also has a circulating section where the books issued can be kept for over a month and magazines for over 15 days. The library has other sections also including the braille section for the visually impaired. However the material at the Braille section is elementary and is not with research books or novels.

The library also has an auditorium that can accommodate about 88 people and another area which be used for exhibitions . The authorities are planning functions at the library on a regular basis to make use of the facilities which it provides.

There is a new demand proposed by avid readers at the library and that is to provide a bus service or some kind of a shuttle service to enable more people to avail of the use of the library's facilities.

The beautiful part of the library is that it is located on the outskirts of Margao city in Navelim village and is built under the name of Francisco Luis Gomes and is therefore located away from the hustle and bustle of the city amidst a green field of lush paddy fields and the atmosphere created by such an ambiance is considered priceless conducive to the reading and studying habit.

The timings at the library are: Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7.30 pm
Sunday from 9.30 am to .30 pm
Closed on public holidays

The Membership fees at the library are : Deposits: Rs 200 per adult
Rs 50 per child

Number of members currently enrolled : Adults : 1548
Children: 265


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goa's Old Secretariat to be centre for art museum

The Adil Shah Palace which has traditionally housed the old secretariat has been identified by the directorate of art and culture as a centre for art and culture in Goa, by converting it into a museum for the purpose. The Adil shah palace is presently undergoing a massive renovation exercise and a committee has already been set up to organise various painting exhibitions and shows in order to launch its new avatar.

In its order the directorate of art and culture states that the government has decided to commence various art galleries on the first floor of the building. A curatorial committee cosnsiting of members, Mr Abahay Sardessai from Mumbai, Mr Apurva Kulkarni, Mr Damodar Mauzo and Mr Viraj Naik has been constituted to organise a variety of events an exhibitions in the old secretariat building with Mr Vivek Menezes presiding as a co-cordiantor of the panel.

The committee is expected to organise exhibitions of various paintings of over 50 Goan contemporary artists on December 19 this year and will also organise an exhibition of the works of Agnelo Fonseca, an eminent Goan artist of yesteryears . The committee will remain operational for a period of six months from the date of inauguration of the first exhibition or event and hold many such exhibitions which are deemed essential during its six month term.

The Curatorial committee has been given the powers to co-opt any suitable member on its panel if so desired by it. The Mumbai based member of the committee MR Abhay Sardessai has been entitled to avail of economy class fare for his travel from Mumbai to Goi and back and avail of local transport at actuals for attending the meetings , programmes and events of the committee as per requirements.

The Curatorial committee is also entrusted with the task of recommending to the government the setting up of various art galleries and proposing purchase of any paintings for the museum as well as the art galleries which shall be, if purchased in the permanent collection of the government of Goa and will be decided with the concurrence of the department of finance Goa.


Goa Board talks tough on allocation of sports merit marks

If recommendations made by the Goa board of secondary and higher secondary education to the state sports review committee are accepted, the award of sports concessions under the much-touted Goa sports policy will not come without its set of conditions.

The board has submitted its "recommendations regarding implementation of the Goa sports policy 2011-2012" to the Goa Olympic association, sports authority of Goa (SAG) and the directorate of sports affairs, and has made it clear that "the board is the final authority to allot sports merit marks for those institutions affiliated to it".

The board and the SAG were locked in an acrimonious battle during the last academic year over the final authority in allotting sports marks. The SAG's contentions were repeatedly challenged by the board and it required the intervention of chief minister Digambar Kamat to rule in favour of the SAG. However, as the sports policy review committee prepares for its first meeting next week, the log-jam is expected to continue.

The board has prepared and submitted 18 point recommendations. While many of the recommendations could find favour, there are others which may take some time to be resolved.

The most contentious point will be the addition of the sports merit marks to the aggregate as several sportspersons had complained that the basic purpose of the marks was defeated since they were being shown separately and not added to the aggregate. The board has maintained that the "marks cannot be added to the aggregate as there is no provision of indicating the aggregate under the grading scheme".

The board has also maintained that the sports merit marks "cannot be added subject-wise due to administrative difficulties". The board has also suggested that the "sports participation marks need to be lowered and the sports merit marks need to be increased so as to encourage competition, which is the basis for merit".

Devising its own scheme, the board has suggested that only five marks be allotted to participation at the taluka, district and state-level, while zonal and national participation will entail the sportsperson to 10 marks. International participation has been fixed at 20 marks from the prevailing 40.

The incentives for achievement, however, are more than usual. While the lowest merit marks is an additional two at the taluka level for bronze-medal winners - from the previous one - an international gold will fetch the student 20 merit marks. Currently, gold medalists are entitled for an additional 12 marks at the international.

The board has also suggested that a student should score a minimum of 20% in the external examination to avail of sports merit marks.

The Goa Olympic association has called for a meeting to discuss the recommendations on July 25 while the sports policy review committee will meet on July 28.



Goa govt in dilemma over cable stayed Zuari bridge

Despite plans being ready for a new 1.2-km cable-stayed Zuari bridge in the year 2005, the state is still caught in two minds about what to do about the bridge, whether to use its own funds and construct it or seek central assistance for its construction.

And with the time running out fast, we could be faced with a situation as was faced by the then chief minister, Mr Pratapsingh Rane, wherein he had to issue orders to get plans ready for a temporary steel bridge to be built within one year as a stop gap arrangement, the technical experts feel.

"The government does not want to displease anybody," allege the experts and common man while the officials and Chief Minister and the PWD Minister say that "the toll is the main bone of contention" between the Centre and state to finalise the bridge.

The contract for the highway expansion has already been handed over to IRB Infrastructure some time back.

However, it is their considered opinion that the Centre would not agree to waiving of the toll in some form or the other.

Sources say that the government had de facto handed over all but 17 km from Cortalim to Harbour and 20 km of NH 17B from Verna to Borim to the NHAI as a policy decision as far back as 2005.

The plans for a new state-of the-art 1.2 km long cable-stayed Zuari bridge were ready by the year 2004-5 with the Centre having paid around Rs 1 crore to a consultant, Span Consultants.

The estimate at that time was Rs 225 crore while the estimates today will touch Rs 500 crore. All drawings, details and plans are with the PWD.

State officials argue that these are main arterial routes, not separate highways, but the Centre is not ready to listen. Another argument is that if these were new links then the toll would be justified, but as this is about improving existing roads, the common man cannot be made to suffer.

Sources say that the state government has the money or has to arrange for it, as it has the knowhow, plans, everything to get a new bridge ready. Also nowadays consultants are available who take care of all details, they say.

PWD officials say that cable-stayed bridge or a steel bridge are the only options; but add that the only problem is that a steel bridge like the Konkan Railway one requires regular maintenance.

"The government has to take a call, toll or no toll. There is no guarantee on pre-stressed bridges. That is why the PWD had issued a ban after the Mandovi bridge collapsed. In the hinterland it is still okay. But on the coastal belt, it is a total no no," highly place sources inform, adding that if not the government could be faced with a scenario like in the past.

According to the sources the then chief minister as far back as 2005 had asked a government technical department to prepare an estimate for a steel bridge after fears were raised about the safety of the Zuari bridge after cracks were seen.

The project report was prepared and consultant was appointed and everything was ready when ultimately government decided against and the order was subsequently cancelled in 2007. Consultant was paid Rs 28 lakh.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Construction of new Zuari bridge must begin now

PANAJI: Expressing apprehension on the condition of the Zuari bridge, some authoritative sources said the lifespan of the bridge is set to expire in three years. And if construction of a new bridge begins tomorrow it would take a minimum of five years to complete.

The sources told The Navhind Times that the condition of the bridge is deteriorating and would continue to deteriorate as time goes by. If the bridge is declared unsafe for travel then that could mean going back to ferries and long queues, which would affect normal life and tourism too.

A senior technical official stated that work on the new bridge should have begun long ago. But the file on the proposed new bridge has been lying with the PAC of the assembly.

The indecision of the government on process for land acquisition for the NH-17 expansion project, which entails construction of the new bridge, also makes the matter worse.

Nevertheless the detailed project reports are complete and contract has been awarded. A state-of-the-art cable bridge is supposed to come up on the Zuari river.

As of now, the Centre has refused to release any funds for bridge maintenance except for minor patchwork, probably fed up with the inordinate delay caused by the state government.

But PWD officials said the condition of the bridge is being monitored continuously and every three months checking and testing is done.

NHAI experts also have done checking of the bridge.

"All investigations have been done. We appointed a consultant when the first report came out. The bridge was tested by him. He was satisfied with condition of the bridge, but said that heavy vehicles cannot ply on it. So we stopped heavy vehicles from plying on it," a senior PWD official said seeking to alleviate fears on safety of the bridge.

He, however, admitted that a new bridge was a necessity and insisted that the government was going ahead with the proposal on a priority basis.

Government officials claimed that except for differences on the toll issue most of the problems have been sorted out. Stating that they would insist that the construction of the new bridge be completed within the timeframe of three years, the officials said, "We will try to expedite the matter. The Chief Minister and the PWD Minister are after it."

Rubbishing the government claim that it has been trying to push the central government on the construction of the new bridge within three years, some officials asked whether any bridge can be built within three years.

"God willing, the construction should take five years from the time it starts. We are already too late. We should have started a couple of years back. If the state government is facing problems with other areas or the Centre is not agreeing to its demands then the work should be taken up by the state itself," some engineers felt. They recalled the hardships caused by the collapse of Mandovi bridge and long ferry queues before the Zuari was built.

Courtesy:Navhind times


Sports policy a step away from implementation at Goa University

PANAJI: The state sports policy is just one step away from being implemented in the Goa University and its affiliated colleges. The policy has been recently granted approval by the university's executive council and is now awaiting the governor's nod. Nearly 8,000 students are set to benefit from the policy's implementation.

"The executive council has approved the sports policy. Its implementation is now subject to the governor's nod. The policy will be notified the very next day of the governor's approval. The policy comes into force from the time the chancellor approves it," Goa University registrar Vijayendra Kamat told TOI on Tuesday. The governor is also the chancellor of the Goa University.

Special leave of absence for students who attend national and international sports events and grant of concessional marks for bringing laurels for the state and the country in sports are some of the perks students can look forward to during the current academic year.

The Goa University has not yet divulged the quantum of concessions its students can expect. But the policy provides for reservation of up to 5% seats from Class V to the graduation level for sports stars.

The university could not implement the sports policy immediately after it was brought in force by the state government at the school and higher secondary level as the university needed to assess prevailing standards set by several ordinances that govern various professional and degree programmes with reference to granting of sports merit marks and exemption from attendance. The Goa Medical College, for example, is governed by the Medical Council of India.

The GU's academic council had therefore constituted a sub-committee to deliberate on the sports policy. The standing committee had given its nod to the sports policy in principle and the policy was then sent for the academic council's approval.

In the case of a university, a state policy requires an ordinance to be brought into force to convert the policy's requirements into rules and regulations, which was done on the policy's approval by the executive council.

courtesy: The Times Of India


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goa Tourism launches sms service for tourists

Information on tourist and cultural hotspots – forts, beaches, heritage sites, religious sites, waterfalls and other places of interest will now be available at the tips of your fingers. In an effort to be more tourist-friendly, Goa tourism has embarked on a tech-savvy project which will make it possible for tourists to receive information on popular sightseeing spots on their cell phones. The Government of Goa along with the Infotech Corporation of Goa Ltd (ITGL) recently launched the Mobile Governance (m-governance) programme in the state. As part of the government to citizen (G2C) initiative, Goa Tourism is working with ITGL on this unique project.

In an effort to make the state more accessible to tourists, every place in the state which is of significant tourist interest will undergo a coding process. Explained Swapnil Naik, Director Tourism, Government of Goa “Locations which are of significance to tourists in Goa will be allocated with a specific unique code number.

Texting the code number in the format MGoa_(code of place) to the number 56070, will give tourists information about that particular place. Messages can be delivered in text as well as audio format.” Places of tourist importance - forts, beaches, cultural hot spots, heritage sites, religious sites, waterfalls, adventure tourism sites and other places of interest will be included in the project said Naik.

Sign boards listing the codes for each place will be placed at strategic spots across the state. The tourism department will also increase awareness through the department’s official website and through publicity material including brochures and other travel literature. Speaking about the innovative use of technology to promote tourism, Swapnil Naik said, “Goa Tourism is constantly innovating and improving in keeping up with the expectations of our guests. Getting tech-savvy was the need of the hour. We believe that this tourist-friendly project will be of immense help to the millions of travelers who visit our state year after year.”

He added, “We have been working closely with the ITGL on developing this mobile application which will aid tourists in providing information on the touristic attractions of the state within a matter of seconds, be it in the text or audio formats.”

Courtesy: indiainfoline


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