SUNDAY, January 29, 2023 marked the inaugural Jesuit Mentoring Program for IAS aspirants (JMPI) by the Jesuits of Goa Province. Twenty students were carefully chosen for the mentoring program, from the Entrance Exam and F2F interview. Parents joined the students for the inaugural ceremony.

 Speaking on the occasion DIG  Bosco George gave the keynote address on “Serving the nation as committed civil service officials” and enthralled the audience present. Provincial of the Goa Province Fr Roland Coelho gave a brief overview of the program. He encouraged the students to remain focused, to be resilient, and to consistently work on the regular assignments given, so that they can be successful.

Fr Anthony D’Silva (director of Xavier Center of Historical Research-XCHR) urged the students to grow intellectually in a holistic manner, besides developing their cognitive faculties they need to give importance to their emotional intelligence (EQ) and also take care of their physical wellbeing (PI). He stressed on the for students to embrace a collaborative learning model so that all could learn together.

Guests at the functioin included Fr Pio Salvador Almeida (dean of Panjim Deanery), Fr Walter de Sa (parish priest of Panjim church), Prof Denzil Martins (ex-principal of Nirmala Institute) and Victor D’Sa (program coordinator). This initiative of mentoring the IAS students emerged from a talk conducted at the Collaborative Learning Café, which is yet another initiative of the Jesuits and Friends of the Jesuits where life-long learning is encouraged. A talk on becoming an IAS officer was given by Tino D’Sa, eminent retired IAS official. “Accompanying young people in the creation of a hope-filled future” is one of the four Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus.

The JMPI program commenced with a welcome speech by Velma Fernandes and lighting of the traditional lamp, along with prayer dance by students of Spring Valley School. The program concluded with a song and thanksgiving speech. After this while the parents left the students attended their first lecture.


UNION  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman has allotted Rs5,030 crore for irrigation projects in Karnataka when the Mhadei river headwaters are diverted by the Kalsa Bhanduru Mandovi. FM has earnestly followed the directives of Home Minister Amit Shah who while visiting Karnataka stated that Mhadei diversion project was a gift by the Centre and consented to by the Goa government. Clearly, Amit Shah doesn’t think Goa is an important state politically with general elections coming up in 2024.  


THE tax limit for complete exemption has been increased from Rs5 lakh to Rs7 lakh in the new budget. Even more significantly the highest tax payable which was 37% has been reduced to 25%. Retired government families will now be eligible to claim standard deductions up to Rs50,000 on their pension. If the tax-payer takes advantage of all the rebates, he can avoid paying taxes on an income up to Rs11 lakh.


THE cost of mobiles is likely to come down as the customs due on various components of mobiles have been reduced sharply. This is to encourage the shifting of the manufacture of mobiles from China to Russia. The total number of smartphones made in India is at present over Rs8 crore.


GAUTAM Adani has scrapped the FPO even though thanks to institutional supporters like LIC and the nationalized banks it was fully subscribed. Though the issue was fully subscribed it was quoting in the stock market at below 38% of its nominal value. Adani may also have been influenced by the hammering that the stocks of his company have taken in very recent times. Reportedly there has been a 399% fall in the market.


THE Panaji court complex at Altinho was burgled on Tuesday, February 31, 2023 when gold and cash kept in custody in on-going cases was robbed. The burglary has come as even the courts are not safe from robbery. Chances are this is an inside security lapse job robbery.   


TO address the shortage of nursing staff in the country it is been decided to set up 150 new nursing colleges in India. This will service the already existing 150 medical colleges. Many medical colleges have untrained or badly trained nurses who have to be learn on the job. There is a severe shortage of good nurses in Goa.  


THE budget for the current year has provided a huge incentive to owners of fishing vessels like trawlers. The government is willing to finance the replacement of existing trawlers with new modern vessels. There is also a scheme offer of increasing the number of fishing jetties and a cold storage chain so that there is no fish goes to waste.


THE union budget has imposed a 20% tax deduction at source on all tourism trips  abroad. TDS might also apply to those attending international conferences and the like. Genuine business trips, however, may be exempted.


CIGARETTES and tobacco products have always been a favorite target of the Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharam. This time around the excise duty on quality cigarettes has increased by 50%. The FM has realized that cigarettes are one product which is not price sensitive. This means that an increase in price will not necessarily lead to smoker giving up their smoking.

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