Goa’s CM demands special economic package

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Thursday sought a special economic package from the central government for people affected by the ban on the mining industry in the state.

“The centre should sanction a special financial package for people whose livelihood is affected due to the mining ban,” Parrikar said at the meeting of the National Development Council (NDC).

Parrikar has also demanded special status for Goa under Article 371 of the Constitution, because of its unique identity which, he said, was under threat due to rampant in-migration.

Courtesy: smetimes

Over 140 vacant posts in Goa’s technical institutes

The state’s education secretary, Keshav Chandra, has publically pointed to the severe shortage of trained faculty in institutes of higher education in Goa. Technical education institutes in the state are the worst affected with over 140 posts lying vacant.
The report Status of Technical Education in Goa, 2011 by director for technical education V B Kamat shows that only 463 posts for faculty members have been filled of the 605 sanctioned positions in Goa. Of the 15 technical institutes in the state, Goa College of Engineering at Farmagudi had the highest vacancies, where only 73 of the 134 posts have been filled.

Excluding a couple institutes, all technical institutes have at least a few posts waiting to be filled. The education secretary has come on record to state that the lack of trained faculty members in Goa is forcing the state to employ teachers on contract basis and not regularize their services. The state government is looking at making amendments to the recruitment rules to allow filling up of at least some of the positions and Goa is also exploring the possibility that meritorious non-Goan teachers can be accommodated to improve the delivery of quality higher education in the state.

According to the ‘Statistics of Higher & Technical Education 2009-10’ of the Union ministry of human resource development, Goa’s pupil teacher ratio for higher education stood at 16. While this is higher than the all India average of 24, it is lower than states like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu.

The gross enrolment ratio in Goa is on the rise and if measures are not taken to fill vacancies for teachers, the pupil teacher gap could grow wider.

The overall gross enrolment ratio in higher and technical education institutes between the ages of 18 to 23 years in Goa has increased substantially from 12.66% in 2006-07 to 28.3% in 2009-10.

Courtesy : TOI

Bahujan Samaj in Goa taken for a ride by BJP govt: Congress

The Congress party in Goa on Wednesday said that Manohar Parrikar-led government did not live up to its several promises made in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) manifesto during the March 2012 assembly election.


South Goa Lok Sabha Member of Parliament Francisco Sardinha, speaking at a press conference, went on to say that Bahujan Samaj has been cheated by this government. “Bahujan Samaj has been taken for a ride. BJP was voted to power because of its promises made to the people of Goa but it has failed to deliver,” he said.


The government, he added, is sleeping over its promises such as setting up Lokayukta in 100 days. The party also expressed its strong disapproval of the government’s decision to invoke National Security Act in the state. The government, in a notification dated December 14, invoked the stringent act for three months to take action against criminals.

Courtesy: indiablooms

Don’t speed on narrow Mumbai-Goa highway

As scores of Mumbaikars pack their bags to drive off to Goa via the Mumbai-Goa National Highway for the festival season, the highway police have sounded a warning. Given that the road has many narrow and rickety stretches, officers have cautioned motorists not to speed and to use their vehicles’ blinkers in fog.

The Mumbai-Goa highway passes through the Western Ghats, is littered with blind turns and has over 100 dangerous spots. “Driving below 80 kmph is crucial since, in the absence of dividers, the narrow road in the ghats is prone to collisions. Motorists should also not forget to rest after every hour of driving,” said additional director general of police (highways) Vijay Kamble. He pointed out that, a decade ago, a panel headed by PWD experts had “recommended an overhaul of major roads, including the Goa highway”. But so far, another officer said, little has happened.

S M Deshmukh, who has been campaigning for the widening of the Goa highway, said, “Of the total 470 km, only an 84-km patch between Palaspe and Indapur is being four-laned. And that too is expected to be ready by 2014. The fate of the remaining highway is unknown. Widening of the Mumbai-Pune and Pune-Satara highways reduced accidents by about 70%. Why then are the central and state governments going slow on the Goa highway?”

PWD officials cited lack of funds as the reason for the delay. Data compiled by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and state PWD shows that among the stretches of national highways that pass through Maharashtra, the Mumbai-Goa highway witnessed the most accidents and fatalities from 2006 to 2011. During the period, while 1,479 fatalities occurred on the Goa highway (476 km), the Dhule-Adilabad road (632 km) witnessed 1,471 deaths.

State officials said over 60,000 vehicles used the highway every day till four years ago. But since then, the figure has dipped, as many motorists prefer to travel to Sindhudurg and Goa via the Pune expressway and Satara highway. The detour is long and takes up an extra hour, “but is safer than the Goa route,” said Rani Shergil, a Mumbaikar who regularly visits Tarkarli beach.

According to a state official, several stretches of the Goa highway-particularly along the Kashedi ghat and Sangameshwar-are in poor condition. He noted that road elevation at curves is less than what is required. This leads to vehicles losing balance. “Also, there are spots where one cannot see vehicles coming from the other direction since the surface is uneven,” he added.

“Blind turns and village bikers make the road dangerous. Sukeli Ghat near Nagothane, Kashedi Ghat, Parshuram Ghat between Khed and Chiplun, Sangameshwar Road and the narrow road in Banda are risky stretches. We therefore avoid taking NH4,” said a regular traveller.

Courtesy : TOI

Goa hopeful of being allowed to issue VoA

While welcoming the decision of the Indian government to ease restrictions on tourist visas that mandated a two-month gap between consecutive visits by foreign nationals to India, the tourist trade in Goa hopes that the Centre will heed Goa’s request to be allowed to issue Visas on Arrival (VoA).

Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), described the decision to ease the two-month gap as a “good thing, a good step” but only the first step. Cabral said he is very happy that the Government of India has heeded the several requests from Goa government and the Goa tourism trade to ease the restriction. “Now, I hope they consider our request to enable Goa to issue VoA as that would be immensely beneficial to Goa tourism,” he was quoted as saying in a report in The Times of India.

Ralph de Souza, Spokesperson, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), said that this will particularly help Goa to cater to the 80 per cent Finnish tourists who visit Goa. Presently, if they want to avail of VoA, they have to come via Mumbai, which adds to their cost. “If we can issue visa on arrival in Goa, the sagging Scandinavian market will be revived,” Souza said.

Courtesy: hospitalitybizindia