PRAMOD V/S RANE
THE villagers of Melaulim in Valpoi taluka where an Indian Institute of Technology campus has been proposed are caught in a war of opinions between Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane. The Ranes are against the location of the IIT Goa campus in Melaulim village in Sattari taluka. The brave Ranes, instead of fighting the battle politically, got the women of the village involved to confront a 700 strong police force on January 5-6, 2020. In the most serious confrontation some 200 strong village women managed to push away the huge police force. Presumably on the orders of the CM, the police had resorted to a lathi charge and the women retaliated with stones. Allegedly Police Inspector Sagar Ekoskar stamped on the breasts of a woman protestor. Shailendra Velingkar, son of former RSS Chief Subhash Velingkar, has been arrested. More than 21 women have been charged with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder.
WAIT FOR YOUR CALL
IF your phone rings it might be to inform you that your turn has come to take the vaccine to protect yourself from Covid-19. Ironically, till Friday, Jan 8 the companies that have already manufactured 40 million vaccine have not got any official order from the government. A 24×7 helpline has been set up for those who want to be vaccinated. An app coWIN app is also working now which will monitor and evaluate the side effects of the vaccine. While the government has automatically registered healthcare and frontline Covid warriors, others seeking vaccination will have to register on coWin app. The main identification document required is your Aadhar card. The app is also empowered to give feedback from the beneficiaries about side effects they may suffer post-vaccination.
DRINKING ON BEACHES
THE government has decided to impose a fine of Rs2,000 per individual and Rs10,000 on groups of people caught drinking alcohol on the beaches of Goa. There have been many cases of locals and particularly children getting hurt because of broken beer bottles left behind on the sandy beaches. Among other offenses for which action will be taken are smoking on beaches, entering the sea in a drunken stage, engaging in commercial activity without a license and driving or riding up and down beaches.
IF Narendra Modi and the BJP lose the next general elections
scheduled for 2021, will they refuse to accept the verdict and take over Parliament? Following
the example of the followers of Donald Trump who took over the American Capitol
building which houses the Senate and House of Representatives on Jan7, 2020.
The Judiciary has already been politicized. The only hope, if Modi and his
goons refuse to accept the results of the next Parliamentary election, will lie
in how the army reacts. In the US, President Trump is even trying to instigate
the army to let him complete his second term in office. Fortunately, in the
interests of democracy prevailing, the Supreme
Court of the USA has rejected Trump’s claims that the polls were rigged and refused to cancel the electoral verdict in favour of Joe Bidden.
NEW YEAR EVE IMPACT ON COVID-19
THE number of Covid-19 cases which had fallen below 50 have again risen to 119 cases, as reported on Jan 7, Thursday. What is more disturbing is that the number of recoveries (90) have been lower than the number of fresh cases. The good news is that there were no causalities on Thursday. However, number of tests conducted have fallen sharply. The figures are deceptive as the results for the new variant in infected cases have been sent to the Virology Institute in Pune and results take a while to come. The results of 17 Goans detained at the ESI hospital since December 22 came only on January 7, 2021.
ENGINEERING FINAL EXAMS
GOA University has announced that offline (classroom) final engineering exams will be held from January 22, 2021. The principals are expected to send the semester marks and NSS/NCC/sports/cultural marks before January 15, 2021. Online applications have to be submitted by January 11, 2021. Meanwhile though there are no takers for the 500 plus vacant seats in engineering colleges, there is a rush of students for the pharmacy course. The two pharmacy colleges have received 2,000 applications for 600 seats. Surprisingly this year all the seats for the Homeopathy, Ayurveda and allied health courses have been totally filled. This is attributed to the fact that the government may permit Homeopaths and Ayurveda vaids to conduct surgery after a bridge course. Meanwhile, schools may re-open for class 10 and 12 from January 11, 2021.
RELIGION V/S LIFE
THE Madras High Court has asserted that the right to religion is not higher than the right to life. Religious rituals are subject to public interest and the right to life. The decision came in the wake of demands by various groups to conduct religious functions at the Trichy Srirangam Temple. Religious functions of any religion can be held only if they follow the SOP for Covid-19.
DON’T be fooled by Facebook posts, SMS and even calls offering instant loans without any security. If you do not repay the loans, which carry exorbitant interest, your life will be converted into hell by the lenders who want to recover their money. Strangely, several Chinese nationals have been arrested in the instant loan racket. Unfortunately, they may be encouraged further in the wake of the Mumbai High Court judgement that calls demanding repayment cannot be considered abetment to suicide. The judgement came in a case when P Chauhan, who had taken a loan from Mahindra Finance Services Ltd to buy a new vehicle, was harassed into committing suicide.
A BIRD flu epidemic has broken out in many parts of the country including neighbouring Karnataka. The virus is spread by migratory birds which come to India to avoid the cold season in Europe. Many migratory birds come to Charoa island where the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located. The State government has also been warned about the bird flu spreading to Goa. However, experts have clarified that it is safe to eat fully cooked chicken but raw eggs should be avoided. The majority of birds which have died are – crows.