FOLLOWING Supreme Court directions the National Eligibility Exam Test for medical seats have been cancelled. The National Testing Authority has admitted that there had been a leakage in the examination papers. The Cyber security cell has confirmed that there was a paper leakage. The NEET test will be conducted again for all the 24 lakh students who appeared in May. In Goa admission has been suspended for the 800 seats in medicine, homeopathy and Ayurveda colleges, nursing and physiotherapy courses, over 3,200 students from Goa had appeared for the NEET exam.


OVER 1000 pilgrims have died because of a heat wave at Mecca. A pilgrimage to Mecca which is called Hajj is mandatory for Muslims once in a lifetime. Those who have performed the Hajj are treated with reverence and can prefix their names with the Hajji title. Millions of pilgrims go to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj even though temperatures can go up to 50 plus. The pilgrimage involves trekking  from Mecca to Madina where the stoning of the pillar imprisoning shaitan takes place. Despite extensive medical facilities, the rush of pilgrims is so heavy that not all of them get protection from the high temperatures. Pilgrims are not prepared for the heat.  


MANY Indian students are attired in fake branded Nike shoes and clothing when they travel to the United States. The US has cracked down on Indians and other visitors who bring large quantities of fake branded American luxury products to sell in America if you please. It has been made clear that all visitors including students and those with job permits  may only  carry one set of imitation footwear, handbags and watches.

Curiously, this follows the discovery that over 40 million dollars worth of fake branded boots are sold in India alone. In every state and city in India including Goa, there are fake Nike, Adidas and Puma footwear, clothing and bags are available. These are much cheaper than the real brands.  Original Nike, Adidas and Puma goods are priced Rs3,000 plus against the Rs1,000 or less for nakli lookalike imitations. Over Rs30,000 worth fake branded goods were seized from students at migration counter in US airport on June 20, 2024.   


AS many as eight students of IIT Mumbai were fined Rs1.2 lakh each for staging a play based on the “Ramayana” during the annual performing arts festival on March 31. Their play called “Raahovan” was loosely based on the “Ramayana.” The students insisted that the play did not insult the “Ramayana” and was a feminist version of the play. There are many critics who believe that Sita was very badly treated by both Lord Ram and Ravaan in the “Ramayana.” The judges had no problem with the play. However, action was initiated on the complaint of some students of the RSS organisation, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarti Parishad. The students have decided to challenge the fine imposed by the institute.


A BRAND value survey conducted by Royster’s and Oxford University reveals a lack of trust in both  print media and electronic media. In the case of India’s largest newspaper group, “The Times of India” while 71% trust the paper, 16% claim that they don’t trust it. In the case of “The Economic Times” while 65% trust it 19% don’t although it’s a leading financial paper. Surprisingly, faith in All- India Radio and Doordarshan is the lowest with 20% claiming they don’t trust the government media, and faith in NDTV and India Today electronic channel is also very low. In terms of credibility digital media like “The Wire” commands much more credibility than the mainline media platforms.  


A COUPLE in Bengaluru who had ordered an xbox controller was shocked to find a live cobra taped  to the box delivered by Amazon. Fortunately, the cobra was so tightly tapped that it could not do any harm to the couple.  It was a live cobra which could be very deadly. The packet originated from Delhi. The entire incident was captured in camera and went viral.


MARRIAGES before the legal age are still very common in India. The minimum age for marriage is 21 years in respect of boys and 18 years respecting girls. A survey has disclosed that over 20% of those who got married in 2023 were illegal below age marriages. But even the police do not take any action when child marriages are reported for reasons best known to them.


MARION Mendes offers digital services during weddings. She and her team capture all the tender moments of the wedding day and pre-wedding events like mehendi and sangeet. To quote Mendes, “Our job is to capture the little tender moments of the event like the family practising for the sangeet ceremony.” Through reels everything agreed to is recorded and posted within two hours on social media. Mendes prepared a digital record for the wedding of entrepreneur Somdutta Singh at a beach destination wedding in Goa. 


AS part of a series of information campaign drives being conducted by State Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation, Goa (SOTTO) an awareness session was held for staff members of Department of Information & Publicity in office premises on June 16, 2024.

SOTTO Joint Director Dr Preeti Varghese and Consultant, IEC (Media and Publication) Shraddha Kerkar gave detailed information about deceased donor transplantation program titled “Nave Jivit,  Nave Life” and appealed for organ donars to save precious lives of others suffering from failures of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, and also corneal blindness, valvular heart disease, severe burns and traumatic amputation of hands.

Kerkar said that organ or tissue donation is a  noble act which gives an opportunity to save life after death.  She said living organ donation and deceased organ donation are two types of organ donation. In the first a person not less than 18 years of age can voluntarily authorize the removal of organs for therapeutic purposes within a legal framework. In deceased organ donation a person regardless of age can donate multiple organs or tissues and give life to many patients after brain-stem or cardiac death.

The State Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization was set up at Goa Medical College & Hospital in  October 2019 under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (government of Goa). Currently, there are 63 patients registered on the waitlist of “Nave Jivit” Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant Program of Goa. To date five deceased donor organ transplant have been performed at the GMC and 18 organs were donated, 10 kidneys, 4 livers, 3 hearts, and 1 Lung. A total of 30 kidney transplants were performed at Goa Medical College free of cost.

According to Dr Preeti Verghese the legal framework of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act (THOA) 1994 regulates removal, storage and transplantation of organs for therapeutic purposes and prevents commercial dealings in human organs. Goa has adopted amendment 2011 THOTA and THOA Rules 2014. Till date SOTTO has conducted awareness sessions for seven government departments with thrust on targeted groups such as schools, colleges and social groups.

DIP staff who participated in the awareness session interacted with consultant Mrs Kerkar and Dr Varghese on various aspects related to organ donation to gain knowledge.  Information Officer  Prakash Naik welcomed the resource persons and thanked them for providing valuable insights on organ donation to the staff members on the important topic aimed at saving lives of others by donating organs.


IT was the 78th anniversary of Goa Revolution Day and 350-plus schoolchildren from across Goa along with prominent Goan freedom fighters visited the historical Aguad Port & Jail Complex, Sinquerim, to garland and honour the statue of eminent Indian freedom fighter, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, who had been incarcerated there for catalysing a new phase in Goa’s freedom struggle on June 18, 1946.

Dr KB Hedgewar High School, Cujira, Shanta Vidyalaya, Sodiem and Vidya Prabodhini’s LD Samant Memorial High School, Porvorim, brought their students on study tours to the Aguad Port & Jail Complex to highlight the role played by the historical monument during the Portuguese regime and consequent freedom struggle.

According to history teacher Vishwas Raghunath Sangale of Shanta Vidyalaya, Sodiem, the students visited the Aguad Interactive Museum where an exhibition titled “Goa-The Land, The Struggle, The People; The Aguad Cinema; and India’s Civilisational Marvels” to be knowledgeable about Goa’s freedom struggle and the significance of the port and jail complex in Goa’s history.

It may be remembered that Dr Ram Manohar Lohia, an integral part of Goa’s liberation movement, was incarcerated at the Aguad Port & Jail Complex. I was a study tour for the students so that they could understand freedom fighters’ sacrifices. President of Goa, Daman & Diu Freedom Fighters’ Association Rohidas Ragunath Naik Desai, veteran freedom fighter Yeshwant Malik, committee members of the Navjeevan Society of Freedom Fighters Goa  Raya Shirodkar, Prabhakar Dattaram Naik, Dashrath Naik, Arun Dhargalkar and Dhiraj Naik were present as also secretary of the Goa, Daman & Diu Freedom Fighters’ Association Chandrakant Pednekar, along with their families. June 18 is celebrated annually as Goa Revolution Day or Kranti Din,  after Dr Lohia stirred popular consciousness at a public gathering in Margao where he issued a clarion call for liberation from Portuguese colonial rule. 


THE VM Salgaocar Hospital in Vasco in association with Caring Souls, Sneha Foundation and Victor Hospital successfully organized a blood donation camp on June 18, 2024. The camp received an overwhelming response with 25 persons  donating blood and receiving a Donor’s Card with certificates of appreciation. The initiative reinforces SMRC’s commitment to fostering a culture of compassion and community service. Such blood donation camps raise awareness about the critical need for blood donation and encourage more people to participate in a life-saving initiative. The hospital extends its heartfelt gratitude to all the donors, collaborators and supporters who made camp a success and dedicates itself to promoting a culture of give and take to make a positive impact in the community.


AGRICULTURE Minister Naik stated that in this modern era, if every individual takes inspiration from the freedom fighters who sacrificed their precious life for the liberation of Goa, the country will reach greater heights in the future. He was speaking after laying a wreath at the Martyrs’ Memorial at Kranti Maidan, Ponda  to mark Goa Revolution Day at a function in Ponda  on June 18, 2024.

The minister recalled that freedom fighters from Goa have contributed a lot towards progress and development of Goa. It is because of the tireless efforts of freedom fighters Goa got freedom from colonial rule and we should remain indebted to their sacrifices.  Ravi Naik shared that he had taken the issue of Kranti Maidan land with then Defence Minister  Sharad Pawar and General Rodrigues when he was chief minister of Goa, due to which the Ministry of Defence had allotted part of historic Kranti Maidan land to Ponda Municipal Council. He urged the Defence Ministry to consider allotting back the remaining portion of land.

 Amongst those present were Ritesh Naik (chairperson, Ponda Municipal Council), Commanding Officer 6 TTR–Ponda  Col Jasvinder Singh, ZP’s, sarpancha’s, Rohidas Naik (ex-MLA and general secretary of Freedom Fighters Association), freedom fighters, government officials and students of various schools of Ponda who presented  a patriotic songs session. Dy Collector and Sub-divisional Magistrate-Ponda Rohan Kaskar received the minister while Girish Velguekar compered the function.

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