Sunday, May 31, 2009

Goa tiatrist M Boyer bids adieu

Goa's most famous theatre personality and noted stage artiste, Padma Shree M Boyer passed away at his residence at Raia on Saturday morning after battling with a prolonged illness.The noted Goan dramatist, musician and singer was 78 and is survived by his wife Ms Martha, and five sons, Mr Sebastian, Mr Remus, Mr Stanford, Mr Errol and Mr Sywald.

Born in Raia on October 11 , 1930, and Christened as Manuel Santana Aguiar, he was a favourite performer in School. However the principal  of his school shunned his acting in tiatr and would penalise him with fines every time he was caught while singing on the stage. it is believed that he adopted the name M Boyer after the hollywooM Boyerd artiste Charles Boyer, in order to escape the fines.

Boyer had been a dominant figure on the Konkani tiatr stage for most part of the last century and was well awarded the Padma Shree in 2005 for his immense contribution to art and culture at the hands of former President of India, Mr Abdul Kalam.

To his credit are around 28 awards including the prestigious sangeet natak academy award in 1994 which he received at the hands of former President of India late Shankar Dayal Sharma.

At the age of 18, Boyer shot into the limelight with his very first tiatr titled " Rinkarri" ( Debtor) which he staged at the Mae de Deus Feast at Nuvem in Salcete Goa. The drama was well accepted by the audiences and since then Boyer never looked back.

A composer, singer, scriptwriter, actor, director and producer, in his long career Boyer has staged over 35 tiatrs and held out over 5000 perrformances in various dramas and around 1000 songs rendered in these shows which is a great achievement of this illustrious Goan.

A great writer of plays his own productions include famous tiatrs such as "Ekuch Rosto", which emphasised on social harmony, " Chintnam and Sopnamm" dealing with the evil of drugs, "Sounsar Sudorlo" which was critical of the dowry system, "Bhurguim ani Bhangar" which highlighted the evils of alcoholism, " Adim tem atam hem" which exposed superstitions, Dukhi Ganv Sukhi" dealing with student unrest, while " Mog Kazar Divorce" stressed on the importance of trust and love in the institution of marriage.

Boyer had received a golden corn from the late chief Minister of goa Mr Dayanand Bandodkar for his song "Japanese Okol" which was based on the hybrid variety of rice brought to Goa by the government in those days. Boyer being a favourite of the crowds was repeatedly called on stage to repeat his comedy songs and often used to compose the fourth extra verse on the spot which is a great talent that this artiste possessed.

M Boyer was suffering from Parkinson's disease  for a long time and was recently admitted to a hospital after he was infected with typhoid. After discharging from hospital the artiste was recuperating at home when suddenly the end came

Goa's "Purumentachem Fest" at Margao today

One of the major Church feasts in Goa associated with the stocking of provisions for the monsoon season is the feast of the Holy Spirit at the Holy Spirit Church Margao, which is also fondly known all over the state as the "Purumentachem Fest" of Goa.

While there may be many such feasts close to the monsoon season, it is believed that this feast at Margao essentially derived the reputation of being Margao Holy spirit feast the original  "Purumentachem fest" owing to its closest proximity with the monsoon season in Goa.

"Purumentachem Fest" a konkani term, could easily be translated into "Feast of Provisions " is a time for people to stock provisions for the monsoons. Although the feast has nothing to do with provisions, the timing of the feast induces a large gravitational pull over the crowds who flock to the fair at this feast to net a good bargain against all kinds of vendors displaying their goods, wares, stocks and harvests. Therefore many items and provisions that do not find their way at other feast fairs in Goa can be spotted at this fair. This peculiarity of certain items being sold only at this May month feast at Margao enticed people visiting the fairs to buy stocks in larger quantities by keeping in mind the upcoming Monsoons. That factor is probably the reason why this feast has derived the strongest bond with the term " Purumentachem Fest"

Salted Fish at the fair in Margao is considered to be the best bargain and people from far and wide within Goa and outside make a special trip to Margao for the feast to help themselves to stock up various varieties of salted fish. Kite fish ( solvve) is a distinct favourite amongGoa salted fish salt fish shoppers at this market as they are considered the most ideal for a good fish pickle (parra) and would help to pull off with the best meal on a rainy day. Dried prawns are almost a must and can help in making some delicious curry. Also the Bombay ducks in salted form known as the "Sukhe Bombil" have always been considered as a quick appetizer if roasted against the fire. Therefore this feast helps to keep the dying traditions of making nostalgic pickles such as "parra", 'balchao" and "molho" distinctly alive in Goa.

Besides the salted fish there is also a sale of traditional harvests of distinct Goan onions and other vegetables which can be stocked for the season. There is the usual fair of the wooden furniture where the traditional carpenters from South Goa display their wares be it beds,sofa sets, tables, benches, stools, showcases , cupboards etc etc. The furniture is known to give the sellers a ready easy market to display and sell their goods while also sourcing new customers for their future supplies.

The Grinding stones such as the flat grinding stone as well as the traditional "Rogddo" are also in full flow at the feast and while one goan rogddo may think that the electric mixers have taken over the Goan homes, the enthusiasm of these grinding stone traders to market their goods, belies that theory. There seems to be still a distinct lobby in Goa which is wedded to the apparent difference in taste, rendered with the use of the grinding stones and "rogddos' in their day to day requirements for cooking various curries, masalas and sweets in Goa.

Earthen pots are still ruling the roost in rural as well as urban Goa and the testimony to the fact is the regular return of these breed of traders who faithfully ensure that they occupy a portion of the market square at this Margao feast to show off their traditional wares  which need no introductions.The "Kunnem",the "burkulo" the "gurgulet" and the gardening vases get automatic buyers at this festival owing to their traditional attachment and the utility that  these earthen wares still command from the "niz goenkar" (true goan) more out of emotional attachment and traditional love than the practical compulsion to use them.

Then there are the other wares such as copper and aluminium vessels, garden tools such as pick axes, choppers, hammers etc. There is also a distinct readymade clothesline on display although most of the clothes at such fairs are of poor quality there is always the enthusiasm of the fair which unquestionably propels the visitors to  make frantic buys. Bedsheets and tablecloths besides other cushion materials are also on display and command sizeable crowds in the evenings.

Finally, one cannot miss the "kaddio-boddio", "laddoos"  "revddios" and the random open stalls of "festache chonne" ( Grams of the feast) which can be easily spottkadio bodioed all over the fair with the avid "festakar"  ( feast shopper) ensuring that he/she has atleast one pottli of the "kaddio-boddio" and one or two "poll" of the "festache chonne".  Without these sweets finding their way into Goan homes, people often consider their visit to the fair as an incomplete one and therefore the traders of these eatables are traditionally known to make brisk business by urging the people to buy some sweets in memory of the feast of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Goa bound tourists and public advised not to venture into the sea

The tourists visiting Goa have been warned not to venture into the sea from May 27th onwards in view of the increase in the wave intensity due to the forthcoming monsoons.Goa Beach

The public in general and tourists visiting Goa have therefore been advised not to venture into the sea from May 27 to September 15 2009.

The hotel and resort owners in Goa particularly those that are dotted on the beach belt of Goa are advised to take note of the prevailing situations and advise their guests by displaying suitable placards, billboards and  by distributing leaflets containing all information regarding the subject.

In case of emergencies, the following numbers may be contacted.

No Authority Telephone number
1 Police ( North Goa ) 100 / 2705094
2 Police ( South Goa ) 100 / 2705094
3 Tourist Police 2437038
4 Coast Guard 2531718 / 2520584
5 Ambulance (EMRI) 108
6 Department of Tourism 2438750 / 51 / 52
7 Drishti special Response services Pvt Ltd ( Life Guard Services) North Goa 2276987
8 Drishti special Response services Pvt Ltd ( Life Guard Services) South Goa 2780599

Friday, May 29, 2009

Goa bound in summer? Check your food & clothing

The onset of the summer in Goa calls for shedding of inhibitions towards the chilled stuff and people indulge in freaking out on small eats and chilled drinks and ice creams to ward off all the nuances of the weather prevailing in Goa during this time.  

The diet factor can therefore be divided into three segments. Basic water, fluids and basic main course. Water is indeed known as the balm of summer drinks in Goalife. It transfers out the heat from the body through perspiration and thereby keeps the body cooler. It is believed that in the case of children the intake of water should essentially be around three litres in the summer season in Goa while adults should consume around five litres.

Secondly fluids are also an essential intake for the body to simultaneously balance the vital composition of sodium and potassium in the body. Here the Goan tender coconut water is a great choice. Also lime juices, buttermilk and watermelon juice besides lemonades with mint and added salt and sugar can do wonders to cool the body internally.

For the main course, it is always better to take light and easily digestible food in smaller qualities but the frequency of should be more instead of taking big meals once or twice a day. Vegetables should be freshly consumed especially the vegetables that hold a lot of water inside them like bottle gourd, pumpkin, leafy vegetables etc could be the ideal ingredient for curries. Fruits with green salads and sprouts can decorate the dinner table making the meal a real healthy one. Red meats are best avoided along with most non-vegetarian foods and spicy foods when the temperature is on the rise.

For Clothing, it may be the right time for colorful prints and cool dress senssummer clothing in Goae to prevail. Synthetic and layered clothes are a big no-no. Cottons and natural fabric base3d clothing are preferred in light  colours during the peak of a Goan summer. Loose and airy clothes help to give the desired relief from the constant sweat oozing from the body. Elderly people and children should take precautisummer hat in Goaons to protect themselves from direct exposure to the sun and heat by sporting a cap or a hat which also gives a smart look. 

The skin also needs special treatment during summer in Goa. During the summer the vulnerability of the skin comes to the fore as the skin is bound to get exposed to the rays of the sun when you go outdoors in Goa. Taking a bath atleast twice a day reduces the external heat and soothes the skin which sun beating down in Goahas been exposed to the ultra violet rays of the sun, to a large extent. Generous use of Ultra violet screen lotion and powder ( talcum or prickly heat powder) would assist in nourishing the skin. However prickly heat powder is best avoided for children below two years of age.

For people in Goa who  do not have an air-conditioner to reduce the ambient temperature, should use the khas-khas mats ( vottivella chapalu) thick curtains or hang wet bed sheets on the windows and doors to reduce the inflow of heat. Infants may be placed under mosquito nets with a wet cloth cover placed under the fan to give a cooling effect.

If one is affected by the heat it is best to administer a lot of fluids and water preferably with electrolyte compound and rush the victim to the nearest doctor.

There are some home made cooling drinks such as lime juice and sour and sweet drinks which can help in cooling if taken once or twice a day. These drinks need to be served chilled to get the desired effect and has the potential to beat the heat to a large extent.

The eamango panna - drink in Goasiest mango drink to cool oneself is the Khatta meeta( sweet and sour) which can be prepared by grinding raw mango pulp to a paste and adding sugar and salt to taste. A few mint leaves and crushed roasted jeera to the paste helps it to preserve. Two spoonfuls of this paste in a glass of cold water , well stirred and with few crystals of roc salt is a thirst quencher besides cooling you naturally.

Congress leaders in Goa disappointed over cabinet exclusion

Congressmen in Goa were a disappointed lot, over the decision of the Congress party not to include any of the two Congress Members of Parliament in the Manmohan Singh cabinet.

The Congress leaders in Goa were keenly hoping that MR Francisco Sardinha who has been elected from the Mormugao Constituency to the  Lok Sabha for the third time and who has been a former Chief Minister and seen many Ministries in various Congress governments in the state of Goa besides being a good administrator, would get a berth in the Union cabinet which was expanded on Thursday.

Congressmen were therefore dejected that while other smaller states and Union territories were considered and accommodated in the Union cabinet, Goa was mysteriously kept out which many felt was unfair to Goa.

The exclusion of MPs from Goa in the Union cabinet denies the state any voice in New Delhi and many decisions concerning the state of Goa are taken without giving any Goan a say in the matter relating to the state and therefore many such decisions go against the state. For instance the burning issue relating to the diversion of water from Mhadei basin by Karnataka, the coastal regulation zone issue etc are not represented by anyone from Goa in this respect

Manmohan Singh installs "MS office " with 78 Ministers in cabinet

The week long Manmohan Singh government today completed the expansion of his Ministry by adding another 59 Ministers to his previous council of 19 thereby taking the tally to 78 ministers in his cabinet.

Manmohan Singh The news finally came in at 9.30 pm on Thursday when all the portfolios were out and it was eventually clear as to which Minister got what portfolio. Initially it as felt that the whole affair was on expected lines but then came in a few surprises. The former commerce Minister Mr Kamal Nath was moved to surface transport while a new commerce minister in Anand Sharma came in. Veerappa Moily as the law minister was also a surprise for many.

The tough balancing act with due consideration to regions, caste, political experience, political weight, religion, aptitude and merit had to be all taken into account before the exhaustive process of allocating the ministries was finally done. The government was also expecting efficiency from the new incumbents and as the Prime Minister noted that "business as usual' would not do.

No MP from Goa or UP could find a place in the cabinet either as a cabinet minister or as a minister of state.There are currently two congress MPs from Goa in the parliament with Mr Francisco Sardinha elected to the Lok sabha from Mormugao Constituency while Mr Shantaram Naik represents Goa in the Rajhya sabha. Other notable exclusions from the cabinet include the former KRD minister Mr Arjun Singh, Mr HR Bhardwaj, Jat veteran Mr Sisram Ola and outgoing Ministers Saifuddin Soz and Ashwini Kumar.

With 33 ministers of cabinet rank, seven Ministers of State( MoS) with independent charge and 38 MoS, there is hardly any more space for any more candidates as the council of ministers cannot cross 81 and therefore only 3 more can be accommodated.

The 78 ministers has 29 first timers and nine ex- Chief Ministers. the Nationalist Congress party's (NCP) Agatha Sangma is the youngest ever Minister at 28. She is the junior minister to CP Joshi who will also hold the additional charge of Panchayati Raj

The following is the exhaustive list of the ministers in the Manmohan Singh cabinet, with their portfolios

No Name Age Portfolio
  Manmohan Singh 76 Prime Minister
1 A K Antony 68 Defence
2 S M Krishna 77 External Affairs
3 Ghulam Nabi Azad 60 Health
4 Vayalar ravi 71 Overseas Indian Affairs
5 Murli Deora 72 Petroleum
6 Ambika Soni 65 Information and Broadcasting
7 Anand Sharma 56 Commerce & Industry
8 G K Vasan 44 Shipping
9 Vilasrao Dehsmukh 64 Heavy Industries
10 M S Gill 72 Youth Affairs and Sports
11 Pranab Mukherjee 74 Finance
12 Mukul Wasnik 50 Social Justice
13 Sharad Pawar 69 Agriculture
14 Dayanidhi Maran 42 Textiles
15 P Chidambaram 64 Home Affairs
16 A Raja 47 Communications and IT
17 Mamata Banerjee 54 Railways
18 Sushilkumar Shinde 68 Power
19 M Veerappa Moily 69 Law
20 Mallikarjun Kharge 67 Labour
21 S Jaipal Reddy 67 Urban Development
22 Kamal Nath 63 Surface Transport
23 Meira Kumar 64 Water Resources
24 Kapil Sibal 61 Human Resources
25 Pawan K Bansal 60 Parliamentary Affairs
26 Kumari Selja 47 Housing, Tourism
27 B K Handique 75 Mines, NE Development
28 C P Joshi 58 Rural Development, Panchati Raj
29 M K Azhagiri 58 Chemicals & Fertilizers
30 Virbhadra Singh 75 Steel
31 Farooq Abdullah 72 New and Renewable energy
32 Subodh Kant Sahay 58 Food Processing industries
33 Kantilal Bhuria 58 Tribal Affairs
  Ministers of state Independent charge
34 Prithviraj Chavan 63 Science and Tech,PMO,Personnel
35 Jairam Ramesh 55 Environment & Forest
36 Praful Patel 52 Civil Aviation
37 Sriprakash Jaiswal 64 Coal, Statistics
38 Salman Khursheed 56 Corporate, Minorities
39 Dinsha Patel 72 MSM Enterprises
40 Krishna Tirath 54 Women & Child Development
  Ministers of state    
41 Srikant Jena 58 Chemicals
42 E Ahamed 71 Railways
43 Mullapally Ramachandran 53 Home affairs
44 V Narayanasamy 61 Planning, Parliamentary affairs
45 Jyotiraditya Scindia 38 Commerce and Industry
46 D Purandeswari 50 Commerce and Industry
47 K H Muniyappa 61 Railways
48 Ajay Maken 45 Home Affairs
49 Panabaka Lakshmi 50 Textiles
50 Namo Narain Meena 65 Finance
51 M M Paliam Raju 46 Defence
52 Saugata Roy 62 Urban Development
53 S S Palanimanickam 58 Finance
54 Jitin Prasad 36 Petroleum and natural Gas
55 A Sai Prathap 64 Steel
56 Gurudas kamat 55 Communications and IT
57 Harish Rawat 62 Labour and Employment
58 K V Thomas 63 Agri, ConsAffairs, food and PD
59 Mahadev Khandela 65 Road transport and highways
60 Dinesh Trivedi 59 Health and family welfare
61 Sisir Adhikari 66 Rural Development
62 Sultan Ahmed 56 Tourism
63 Mukul Roy 55 Shipping
64 Mohan Jatua 71 I&B
65 D Napoleon 46 Social Justice & Empowerment
66 S Jagathrakhshakan 61 I&B
67 S Gandhiselvan 46 Health and Family Welfare
68 Preneet Kaur 64 External Affairs
69 Tusharbhai Chaudhury 42 Tribal Affairs
70 Sachin Pilot 31 Communications and IT
71 Arun Yadav 35 Youth Affairs and Sports
72 Prateek P Patil 35 Heavy Industries & Public Ent.
73 R P N Singh 39 Road transport and Highways
74 Shashi Tharoor 53 External Affairs
75 Vincent Pala 41 Water Resources
76 Pradeep Jain 49 Rural Development
77 Bharatsinh solanki 55 Power
78 Agatha Sangma 28 Rural Development

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Goa Law commission to amend Goa Mundkar act

Brazen sale of large tracts of land in Goa to all and sundry seems to have finally opened the eyes of the Goa government whose state law commission has decided to bring an amendment to the Goa, Daman and Diu Act 1975, more popularly known as the Protection to Mundkar Act to tackle the problem of sale of land by Mundkars who become owners of the land without any attachments.

The commission seems to have discovered that land prices are being hiked in the state and the above legislation in its current form says nothing about vesting of ownership rights in the tenants. The tenants or Mundkars, after attaining the status of the owner of the land are also observed to be selling their lands to non-Goans especially in areas of the coastal belt. Further, once the tenant becomes the owner of the land he/she comes out of the purview of Protection to Mundkar act and this aspect is sought to be taken care of by amending the said act.

A member of the commission also felt that the state has presently no legislation regarding apartments and flats and hence considerations of documents such as sale deeds and transfer of land and building to registered societies by the  promoters and builders is not undertaken on time.

The state's law commission has also noted that a number of Portuguese legislations like family laws, inheritance laws and those pertaining to marriage, succession as well as divorce still exist in Goa even after over 48 years of Liberation from Portuguese  rule and the commission is all set to make an inventory of the same. Subsequently, it is planned to obtain English translations of these legislations from the original ones in the Portuguese language.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Goa filmmakers want ESG CEO out

Goan film producers have asked the Chief Minister Mr Digambar Kamat to immediately remove the Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Entertainment society of Goa ( ESG) Mr Manoj Srivastava due to several issue affecting them.

Accusing the CEO of continuously trying to sideline the local producers, the Goan film producers in a memorandum made to the Chief Minister said that they are not in a position to carry out any new projects due to the failure of Mr Manoj Srivastava to finalise the film finance scheme and notify the same and blamed  the CEO for delaying the procedure to implement the said scheme which was recently transferred to the ESG..

In their statement the Goan film producers maintained that the CEO has failed to make the ESG the single window for all film related activities and questioned his attitude which they said was aimed at harassing local producers and promote only outsiders. the memorandum urged the government to remove the present CEO and appoint any competent person who is able to handle the affairs of the ESG smoothly.

The Goan film producers also smelt a rat in the Rs 2 crore expenditure made by the ESG on the short film centre as well as the IFFI TV which they said had neither benefited the ESG nor any local film makers. Suspecting foul play in both the projects they urged the government to constitute an enquiry into the affair.

Also under their scanner was a demand to enquire into the visit of the ESG CEO to two film festivals at Berlin and Cannes in which no other official was part of the delegation. they also demanded a total overhaul of the ESG and appointment of new persons to infuse efficiency in the organisation making it more transparent.

Goa Police sees major reshufffle after elections

The police department in Goa has seen a major reshuffle after the Lok sabha elections wherein over seven superintendents of Police and seventeen police inspectors have been reshuffled.The Dy Supdt of police Deu Banaulikar has been sent from Security, Panaji to the Goa reserve Police Force. Mr Nandkishore Raikar has been transferred from his current posting at Control room to JSO ( Home Guards Civil Defence) .Mr Nilu Raut Desai has been transferred to security Panaji from SDPO mapusa and Mr Gundu Naik who was stationed at crime branch Dona Paula has been now posted as SDPO Mapusa.

Mr Umesh Gaonkar has been transferred as SDPO from his present position as JSO ( Home Guards and Civil Defence). Mr Lourenco De Souza who was serving the North Goa traffic police has been transferred as special officer, Inspector General of Police , while Mr Shamba Sawant has been transferred to the police control room Panaji from his present posting as SDPO Margao.

Among the police inspectors, Mr Tushar Vernekar ( Margao Police Station) and Mr Devendra Gaad ( Quepem police station ) have been transferred to Calangute police station and Porvorim police station respectively while Mr Edwin Colaco ( Immigration Dabolim) is back at the Colva Police station. Mr Sagar Ekoskar ( Bicholim police station ) has been transferred to harbour police station while Mr Shivram Vaigankar ( Verna Police station ) and Mr Nelson Albuquerque ( Maina Curtorim police station ) have been sent to Valpoi police station and emigration Vasco respectively. Mr Harish Madkaikar is transferred to the Goa reserve police from the Valpoi police station.

Mr Santosh Desai has been transferred from Calangute police station to the Quepem police station.Mr Mohandas Naik from harbour coastal police station to CID special division Panaji and Mr Rajendra Prabhudessai from Porvorim police station to Margao police station.

Mr Raju Raut Desai ( Vasco Port emigration ) Mr Suresh Narvekar ( Sanguem police station ) and Mr Francis Corte ( Colva police station ) have been transferred to Sanguem police station, Dabolim airport - emigration and Panaji police station respectively.

Mr Dharmesh Angle from Vasco police station has been sent to Maina Curtorim police station while Mr Ram Asare with the harbour police station and Mr Braz Menezes ( Vasco police station ) have been transferred to CID ( special division ) and Bicholim police station respectively while Mr Nolasco Raposo has been transferred from Panaji police station to Verna police station.

However police inspectors Channapa Patil, Mr Manjunath Desai, Mr Sandesh Chodankar and Mr Sidhant Shirodkar as well as deputy Superintendents of Police Mr Serafin Dias, Mr Mahesh gaonkar Mr Subhash Goltekar and Mr Naresh Mhamal have been asked to continue at their present locations of posting.

South Goa Shack owners fold up on happy note

The holiday season for the world tourist coming to Goa may have come to an end for the current season, but the the shack owners on the beaches of South Goa seem to be a happy lot with most of them satisfied over the outcome of the business despite the tourism in Goa being hit due to various factors.

As the shack owners are busy closing down their shacks on the Goan beaches in the South of Goa, there was a sense of satisfaction on their faces over the way the season fared despite the global economic meltdown and which was further compounded by the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26/11.Goa shack

The thatched roofs of the shacks were the only remnants visible on most of the beaches in South Goa as the deserted look on the beach started to crawl in, with the shack owners gradually dismantling their shacks due to the end of the holiday season in Goa.

However although the shack owners were satisfied, they were not comparing the season this year to the previous seasons which were definitely more successful. But given the odds of the current season they were happy to fold up on a happy note with many claiming that this season was a 4 month period for them with both domestic and international tourists pouring in the state in the later part of the season with most of them skipping the Christmas and New year periods which were otherwise great party periods of Goa with tourists thronging in Goa to get a bite of the Goan fever. However this year the state was put on a high alert due to fears of terrorism which were however found to be far fetched.

Russian tourists are also being credited to contributing to the seasons fortunes this year and with the German and British tourists flocking to Goa from January this year, it certainly seemed to have made the day of many tourist establishments in Goa. Russians are known to be very good eaters at restaurants and shacks in Goa and their patronage is most sought after by various eateries and shack owners in the state especially along the beach belt of Goa.

Goa SSC results: over 77 % pass the test

The Goa Board for secondary and higher secondary education announced the Secondary School Certification examination results on Tuesday which threw up a passing percentage of 77.12 percent. As has become a common trend in the last decade, girls continued to outshine the boys in Goa with the fairer sex snatching the top three honours for themselves while also achieving more distinctions and first classes than the boys.

A staggering 802 girls scored distinctions against 550 boys scoring the same while a tally of 1637 girls passed with a first class against 1234 boys securing first class. A total of 15,171 students had appeared for the SSC examinations in Goa this year with the passing percentage of 77.12 percent being the the best in the last five years.

Margao student Miss Melisa Shirley Luis of Damodar Vidyalay topped the list with a passing percentage of 94.67 percent followed by Shravani Devidas Gurav of Sarvodaya High School Churchorem who secured 94% and Vidula Uday Pednekar of Fatima Convent Margao who was close behind with 93.5%.

Thirteen schools recorded 100 percent results this year while 9 centres crossed the average passing percentage of the board - 77.12 percent. Ponda centre- 87.46 percent, Navelim, Porvorim, Margao, Mapusa, Vasco, Mandrem, Panaji and Mangueshi - 79.32 percent. Dharbandora centre recorded the lowest passing percentage of 57.47 percent

Green Goa Works(GGW) motivates garbage collection

Green Goa works led by its chairperson Mr Wendell Rodricks, called upon Goan villagers to launch a weekly garbage collection programme while ensuring his wholehearted support, assistance and advice towards the initiative.

Green Goa Works (GGW) has embarked on a venture in partnership with the government of Goa to clean six villages in Goa from all plastic and dry waste. The proposal found easy acceptance wth the Environment Minister Mr Aleixo Sequeira and directed the Science and technology department to examine the proposal and sanction the funds which was done expeditiously.

The main initiative for the cleanup was to enthuse the village panchayats to adopt a weekly collection system of dry waste such as plastic, carry bags, paper , pet bottles etc that the villagers have no avenue to dispose the garbage as of today except by burning or by dumping in the drains. GGW has planned to make the necessary arrangements for the waste collection by tying up with waste recyclers.

However niggling issues are creating the roadblocks for the project.On its part, the Goa government has sanctioned Rs 25,000 per year to every panchayat for this work. However the estimated cost for this work is around 45,000 per year considering a cost of Rs 900 per week of village cleanup. The money is therefore lying unutilised. The village of Parra is however an exception. The sarpanchas of other villages have also complained about the un-cooperative attitude of the BDO in sanctioning the money.

While three villages of Parra, Assagao and Verla have been cleaned, Bastora and Tivim are next in line. The procedure for the cleaning is pretty simple. The Panchayat is first issued a letter of intention ad the purpose stated above. After their panchayat meeting, a letter of confirmation is issued and dates for the cleaning are fixed. The GGW supervisor then goes with the panch of the ward and is shown all the spots where the garbage is littered or strewn which are identified as the bad spots. Photographs of the spots are taken before and after the cleaning. After the cleanup the Panchayat issues a letter of confirmation that the job is done. The waste recyclers or the scrap dealers are then directed to collect the plastic and other dry waste. A report is next filed along with some photographs with a copy to the government for introspection.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

North Goa shacks witness mixed fortunes in 2009

Access to Goan cuisine on the comforts of the beach for foreign purses has been considered to be relatively cheaper on the various Goan beach shacks as compared to the starred resorts for such tourists visiting Goa.

However the owners of the beach shacks in North Goa are not too pleased with the outcome of the outgoing season of 2008-2009 due to their sales plummeting during the peak months of December 2008 and January 2009.

While some beach shacks  on the northern tip of Goa expressed satisfaction there were many who were quite disappointed with the slow business the last season in Goa. The Mumbai terrorist attacks coupled with the recession in the world markets has taken its toll on this business community catering to the foreign tourists in Goa. Some were quite bitter about the police crackdown on all beach activities in the peak season of December  January which they felt dashed many hopes of a revival in their fortunes because they felt that tourists come to Goa only for entertainment and if that goes missing such tourists would rather skip Goa and go elsewhere.

the bunkers erected on the beaches in North Goa was also pointed out to be a major deterrent for the tourist flow as the beaches looked like as if the government was expecting an invasion and the fear and hassle of such over reactions from the government instilled insecurity among many according to some shack owners in the north.

however the shack owners were thankful to the tourism ministry for granting them the shacks two months before the Mumbai attacks during which period they conceded that they could carry out some business which finally proved to be their saving grace for the season. However the season was a bag of mixed fortunes for the entire lot of beach shack owners in North Goa. there are over 300 shacks in Goa with over 200 of them in the north alone.

Goa FDA expected to be tough on eateries this monsoon

With the prospect of water borne diseases facing the state in the oncoming monsoons, the Goa FDA is taking no chances and is ecxpected to intensify its random checks on eateries in the state in a bid to prevent the occurrence of water borne diseases during the monsoon season.

The Goa FDA director maintained that the various restaurants in the state have been forewarned about the need to be compliant with the directives in the licenses issued to them and unhygienic conditions in these places would be viewed  stringently for strict action under the Goa Prevention of Food Adulteration rules.

De4pending on the gravity of the non-conformance of regulations, the penalty could range from suspension of license to its cancellation. The director explained that with the monsoons hitting the state there is a general tendency of overall deterioration of hygiene in various restaurants and the departments food inspectors have therefore been instructed to check on the supply and storage of water and overall cleanliness and personal hygiene of the staff in order  to prevent the contamination of the food.

Stale food and all such deficiencies are also expected to be viewed seriously by the Goa FDA during this coming season and joint inspections along with municipality staff and officers of  the health services will also be conducted as the spreads over 12 inspectors who will fan out across Goa along with food sampling attendants. There are an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 eateries all over Goa.

The FDA has further urged the participation of the Goan public to help the campaign and has asked them only to patronise clean and hygienic restaurants in the state while reporting any eateries that operate in unhygienic conditions. the telephone number of the FDA for reporting such situations is 2220245 with extension 225.

Goa's Bogmalo village wells adulterated with petroleum content

VIllagers of Chicolna Bogmalo were naturally upset and concerned over the finding of petroleum products in the drinking water wells once again around the area.

About a year ago a similar predicament was faced by the villagers in this area and the state government had assured then that the affected well owners would be provided compensation. However with opver a year passing, no compensation has ever come their way.

The villagers have now confirmed once again that the drinking water in the wells in the area have indeed been contaminated causing a major worry to the villagers. The panchayat members took a sample of the contaminated water from one of the wells and observed that it caught fire immediately upon lighting.

A spring near the area has also been contaminated thereby disturbing the aquatic life around the spring and raising the fear of the panchayat of villagers further The village of Chicolna Bogmalo had been trying to beautify this spring in a bid to attract tourists to the area. however with the contamination, no tourists are frequenting the place currently.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer time coolers in Goa

During the months of April and may, Goa is at its hotter end with humidity levels higher than usual. The heat coupled withsummer drinks in Goa the high levels of humidity often makes it unbearable leading to dehydration and fatigue. It is therefore that time of the year when people in Goa are thirsting for that super drink to quench themselves.

Also the desire to have a radiantly moist skin free of wrinkles or blemishes is there in almost everyone. The solution to have such a skin is to have lot of fluids free of alcohol.

In Goa traditionally people are known to have natural drinks to quench their thirst and cooling drinks such as tender coconut water, bhindachem sherbet , limbu sherbet and sugarcane juice are often served to guests in Goa.

Fresh lemon juice contains natural citric acid with ample vitamin C which helps to restore the electrolyte balance in the body. Kococonut water in goakum drinks are known to have proven to be effective against obesity. Another drink consumed by Goans during summertime is "kothmir-jeeryanche udak" which is a boiled decoction of coriander and cumin seeds. Drinks such as panak, tender coconut water keep the skin cells hydrated. Juices help our bodies get rid of toxins.

In Goa, Muslims serve sherbet-jaggery mixed with water and often flavoured with cardamom powder - On the day of Muharram. Panak is a juice prepared with kokum, fresh lime and water flavoured with spices. It is rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Panak is served on the day of Gudi Padwa, specially prepared during vaishakhi in Hindu Mutts.

After separating the Kokum rinds, the seeds that are left are soaked in water for 1-2 hours and then drained. The water in which the seeds were dipped is then flavoured with pepper powder, salt and jaggery. This is traditionally prepared in clay pots.

Another way of making panak is by mixing water in fresh kokum extract( agal ) alosummer drink in Goang with pepper powder, salt, ginger juice and jaggery. Instead of using fresh ginger juice, dry ginger powder (soonth) could be used. Another type of panak is made with lime juice, ginger powder, water and jaggery. Panak should be sweet and sour with a pungent tinge. Vitamin C in lime juice protects skin cells from free radical damage. Therefore drinking panak everyday will promote good health, heal your body, give you energy and prevent skin diseases.

Bhindache sherbet is a welcome drink prepared by soaking kokum rinds in water. After draining these, sugar, cumin seed powder and salt are added. Instead of cumin powder it is flavoured at times with cardamom powder. Panhe is prepared by boiling mature firm mangoes in water. the pulp is extracted mixed with sugar, ginger powder or cardamom powder and salt. This can be stored in bottles. In Maharashtra it is prepared by roasting green mangoes.

Limbache sherbet is a mix of lime juice , water, salt and sugar which is often flavoured with cardamom powder. In Goa, Catholics prepare "orchata" from almonds by blanching and then removkokum drink in Goaing their skins. Almonds are then ground into a consistency of thick coconut milk ( aapross) and strained. Almond milk thus extracted is then mixed with a syrup of one string consistency, continuosly stirred so that no lumps are formed. this is cooked till a thick syrup is formed, rose essence or almond essence is added and it is preserved in a bottle. Cashew nuts are used in the preparation in case almonds are unavailable. Orchata is always served on special occasions in diluted form.

Also types of fruit syrups called Xerope are prepared in catholic homes in Goa. Hindus term Xerope as Sherbet. Xeropes are prepared from local limes grown in Goa, which have a thick pale orange skin when ripe. This is known as Xerope de limao. Kokum syrup is called Xerope de brindao whereas Jamun (jambla) syrup is called Xerope de jambulao.Syrups are also prepared from ripe passion fruits.

The most ideal syrup, Xerope or sherbet should always be the refreshing one with the right proportions of all the ingredients used especially the juices and the sugar. With Goa experiencing the heat of the moment, it could be a good time to try your hand at the various options available to Goans to cool themselves the most natural way.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As if "pigs got wings"

The world is swine flu in the worldthreatened by a flu which had the nerve to even rock the economic markets in the world due to the fear of its spread which could hamper a lot of industries such as tourism and aviation in particular. Countries affected by the disease got added on day after day as if the swine could fly, thereby spreading the worth of its sneeze around the world.

The time one read about pigs flying was in Lewis Carroll's " Alice In Wonderland" where it as first spoken when the Duchess told Alice that she had as much right to think as "pigs have to fly". In "Through the Looking Glass", the Walrus and the Carpenter walked along the beach pondering,"whether pigs can fly". Many years later, in the year 2009, they seem to have done just that.

A new swine flu pandemic threatens to sweep the face of the earth and while some call it the Mexican Flu, the USA's renowned centre for Disease control has steered clear of any controversy by referring to the disease as the "H1N1" flu.

The reason for the above is due to the inconclusiveness of whether the virus actually originated from pigs and calling the outbreak as "swine flu' has already confused people into believing that they can get infected by eating pork products which has naturally infuriated the international pork industry and the Goan pork butchers are helplessly fuming.

The World organisation for animal health (OIE) and the the apex body of human health the WHO disagree on the nomenclature. OIE opines that the virus doing the damage at present is a cocktail virus of mixed human, avian and swine origin and should be called " North American Flu". Traditionally, influenza pandemics are named after the regions where they originated, like the Spanish flu - 1918-19, Asian flu - 1957-58 and Hong Kong Flu - 1967-68. But the World Health Organization is not getting carried away and sticking to its version - "Swine Flu".

Mexico has seen the biggest hit of the Flu with over 100 deaths swine flu preventions in Goa reported and is therefore the worst affected. Tourism being the biggest source of revenue for Mexico after Oil, the country is hard hit by the outbreak. Its tourism industry has lost more than Rs 5000 crores in revenues since the outbreak leaving its airports, beaches and hotels empty with occupancies less than 20%, at a time of the year when it is above 90%.

However the swine hasn't stopped here. It has flown. To the US, Canada, New Zealand, Israel and even western Europe, Germany, the UK and Spain have all recorded cases of swine flu with twelve other European Union (EU) countries looking at suspected cases.

Business rating agency Moody's has already stated that the Swine flu scare could adversely impact investment and business confidence even in countries such as India causing a drag in economic activity like household consumption, business investment as well as further pull down and already beleaguered tourism trade sector reeling under the effects of recession.

The government of Goa has therefore rightly taken precautionary measures to prevent the invasion of the disease into the state of Goa.

For the readers of this post if you are in danger of getting swine flu, it is good to make a check. Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs but has been known to spread to human beings. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body ache, headache, chills and fatigue. Extreme cases can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure causing death.

It is believed that the flu spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. People are also known to be infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose. Doorknobs, switches and lift buttons are common transmission points. Infected people can spread the infection from day one even before the symptoms develop which means that you can pass on the flu before you know the person concerned is sick.

To avoid swine flu, regularly wash your hands with soap, try not to touch surfaces that may be contaminated by the virus and avoid close contact with people whoa re sick. Those who get infected can be treated by anti-viral medicines which are available in Goa as also the rest of India.

Air-conditioner sales get a boost in Goan summer

The sale of air conditioners in Goa has risen exponentially  in the past couple of months as citizens try to desperately beat the heat in Goa by resorting to cool down the temperatures in offices, shops and homes in Goa through the use of cooling systems.

So traders in Goa who normally sell around five air conditioners per month are now selling around 30 per month thanks to the increased humidity in the split  AC in Goastate in the month of April and May this year. Also air cooler units blowing cool air, have also seen robust sales this year thanks to the heat in Goa and traders are on song selling a record number of air-coolers in Goa this year.

The popular brands of air-conditioners in Goa range in prices from Rs 16,000 to around 47,000 depending on the type of brand and the capacity. However the 1 tonne and the 1.5 tonne air conditioners are reportedly very popular owing to their mid range size. The brands available in the Goan market are Samsung, Hitachi, LG, Onida, Daikin, Godrej, Blue star , General and Voltas.

It is also nowindow AC goatable that the modern air conditioners sold in Goa consume lesser electricity for its use compared to the older models sold a few years back due to which the general public prefers to use an air conditioner compared to earlier trends.

The older generation of airconditioners employed toxic or flammable gases like ammonia, methyl chloride and propane. The usage of such gases could result in fatal accidents when they leaked. In the year 1928, Thomas Midgley Jr, created the first Chlorofluorocarbon gas, Freon, which was much safer for human beings but was later found to be harmful to the ozone layer of the atmosphere.

The blend mostly used in homes and buildings was an HCFC known as R-22. But it is to be phased out for use in new equipment by 2010 and completely discontinued by 2020.

However several non ozone depleting refrigerants have been developed as alternatives including R-410A, known by the brand name of Puron.

Room air-conditioners normally come in two forms or constructions. Unitary and split or packaged terminal PTAC systems. Unitary systems or the common one-room air conditioners sit in the window or wall opening with interior controls. Interior air is cooled as a fan blows it over the evaporator. On the exterior, the air is heated as a second fan blows it over the condenser.

The split AC ( PTAC) on the other hand is frequently used in offices, shops and hotels. It has two separate units ( terminal packages) , the evaporative unit on the exterior and the condensing unit on the interior with tubing passing through the wall and connecting them. This minimises the interior system footprint and allows each room to be adjusted independently.

So how does a Goan make a choice about what kind of AC he should fit in his house , shop or office. here is some advice.

If you want a nice neat look in your premises, the Split AC is a good option. Also if you didn't want to mess with the window, split would be a good idea. Besides if you don't like the external of a window AC installationwindow AC hanging out, a split may be a prudent decision. Also the compressor of the split can be located at a far distance through tubing. However if tubing and compressor for split is a problem then surely Window AC is the way to go.

Split AC is also expensive on the budget and you may want to look at that too before making a decision. Window ACs are cheaper and 
subject to the above, both AC's have similar functions in operations and makes no difference to comfort levels.

Man(date)mohan's power, rockets stock markets to long circuits!

The role of politics in India came full circle to remind investors in the country that the narrow understanding of economics is just not enough if one ignores the role of politics in the construction of financial fortunes.

And the proof of the above came in full measure on Monday 18th may 2009 with a skyrocketing force never witnessed in the history sensex2of the markets anywhere in the world as stocks, bonds and the Indian rupee went into orbit on the back of the pleasantly dramatic mandate for Manmohan Singh and the Indian national Congress. 

It was therefore the first ever instance that the Bombay Stock exchange which was founded in the year 1875, had to halt trading for the day when the 30-scrip sensex roared by 2111 points or a mind boggling 17.3% inside the space of a minute, making investors richer by over 3.6 lakh crore. In both percentage and absolute terms, the gallop was a record smashing performance, blunting the earlier single day rise record of 1140 points on January 25 2008. The picture was no different on the National Stock exchange with the rise being marginally sharper on the Nifty at 17.7%.

The sensex which fell from over 21,000 points since January 2008 to below 8000 points in October 2008 had regained around 26% fsensex1rom the beginning of 2009 till the eve of elections and has now extended its gains overnight to 48% taking it from last to first among the BRIC nations( Brazil, Russis, India and China) and pole vaulting it into the best performing index in the world, barring Peru.

The whole euphoria seems to be due to the fact that the Congress government received a powerful mandate, leaving the Left decimated and incapable of coercing the ruling combination to succumb to  Leftist agendas. With the government no longer dependent on coercive allies, a stable government is expected to push reforms with PSU disinvestments, liberalisation in FDI policies, private entry pension funds and possible labour reforms as well.

What happened to the stock markets on "Golden Monday' was therefore antisensex3cipated though not to the measure that it finally weighed. The upper circuit filter was hit in seconds after the market opened at 9.55 am climbing vertically by 17980 points on the sensex from Fridays close.Trading was therefore halted within seconds holding the sensex at 13,963 points between 9.56 am till 11.55 am. Thereafter , the moment trading resumed, the index jumped by another 652 points which left traders and investors with a pleasant daze.

Brokerage houses in Goa as in the rest of India had suddenly a splurge of telephone callers who were dumbstruck to believe the indulgence of the stock markets in a single day. Most of the brokerage houses in Goa as in the rest of the country however had almost nil business today since the markets hardly allowed anyone to enter the ring with the circuits hitting faster than the blinking of an eyelid.

Monday, May 18, 2009

India Election Results - tallies from 1951 - 2009

Since the year 1951 till 2009, the following table provides a complete insight into the various standing positions of the parties at each election

Election Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th No of seats
Cong-364 CPI-16 *SP-12 KMPP-9 PDF-7 489
Cong-371 CPI-27 PSP-19 SCF-6 JHP-6 494
Cong-361 CPI-29 SWA-18 JS-14 PSP-12 494
Cong-283 SWA-44 BJS-35 DMK-25 CPI/SSP-23 520
Cong-352 CPM-25 CPI-23 DMK-23 BJS-22 518
BLD-295 INC-154 CPM-22 ADK-18 SAD-9 542
Cong-353 JNP(S)41 CPM-37 JNP-31 DMK-16 529
Cong-414 TDP-30 CPM-22 ADK-12 JNP-10 541
Cong-197 JD-43 BJP-85 CPM-33 CPI12 529
Cong-244 BJP-120 JD-59 CPM-35 CPI-14 534
BJP-161 INC-140 JD-46 CPM-32 TMC(M)-20 543
BJP-182 INC-141 CPM-32 SP-20 ADMK-18 543
BJP-182 INC-114 CPM-33 TDP-29 SP-26 543
Cong-145 BJP-138 CPM-43 SP-36 RJD-14 543
Cong-206 BJP-116 SP-23 BSP-21 JD(U)-20 543


               KMPP- Kisan Mazdoor Praja party
               PDF- Peoples Democratic front

In 1957 - PSP - Praja Socialist party
             SCF- All India Scheduled Caste Federation
             JHP - Jharkhand Party

In 1962  - SWA - Swatantra
               JS  - Jan Sangh

In 1967 - SSP - Samyukta Socialist

In 1971 - BJS - Bharatiya Jan sangh

In 1977 - BLD - Bharatiya Lok Dal
             ADK - All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Khazagam

In 1980 - JNP(S)  - Janata Party (Secular)

In 1996 - TMC(M) - Tamil Maanila Congress ( Moopanar)

Lok Sabha elections 2009 : Final tally of seats and winners

Party Seats Alliance
Indian national Congress    206  

Trinamool Congress 






Nationalist Congress Party 



National Conference



Jharkhand Mukti Morcha



Muslim League Kerala State Committee



All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen



Bodoland People's Front



Kerala Congress (Mani)

  Total 262


NDA - 159 seats

Bharatiya Janata Party



Janata Dal-United



Shiv Sena



Rashtriya Lok Dal



Akali Dal



Telangana Rashtra Samithi



Asom Gana Parishad

  Total 159



TF - 80 seats

Bahujan Samaj Party






Biju Janata Dal





Telegu Desam Party






Janata Dal-Secular



Forward Bloc



Revolutionary Socialist Party






Haryana Janhit Congress



Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik)

  Total 80


27  Seats

Samajwadi Party



Rashtriya Janata Dal



Total 27



15 seats





Assam United Democratic Front 



Bahujan Vikas Aaghadi



Swabhimani Paksha



Nagaland People's Front



Sikkim Democratic Front




  Total  15

                                                Total       - 543 seats

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