Water purifiers to be installed in public places in Pune

18 water purifying units worth Rs. 50 lakhs, will be installed at various public places in the Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) limits. Amol Jagtap, CEO of KCB, officially announced that the purifiers will treat waters drawn from borewells and work in this regard is currently in progress. Jagtap also assured that every ward in KCB will have a purifier with an hourly distributing capacity of 50 litres of water. Similar units will be set up in bus stops, schools, hospitals, market areas and in KCB office also, as reported by The Indian Express.

Among the 18 units to be installed, 2 had been developed by the CSIR National Chemical Laboratory, under the Gramin Vigyan Kutir programme, also referred to as the CSIR Techvill. The special units will be installed only at schools.

Senior scientist and in charge of CSIR Techvill said that the main objective of this initiative is to promote consumption of treated water. Interesting fact about these water purifiers is that they do not need much maintenance.

Previously, NCL did help several schools and hospitals with such units, under the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation. Both KCB and NCL are planning to install more such water purifiers in the years to come and help civilians to intake disease free pure water.

Public facing problems in the PEDL scheme

The Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL) has claimed that its ‘PEDL’ scheme has become a huge success, within just two months of its launch. To substantiate its claim, it has been observed that over 800 cycles were made available at different locations at various places in the city. Regardless of the development, the public has been facing many issues while accessing the cycles.

The Pune Mirror on Sunday did a small test drive and discovered a lot of problems while accessing the cycles, ranging from missing cycles to malfunctions making them unavailable. Some vehicles just refused to get unlocked and others showed that they are already being used by someone else when they were just still at a station. Additionally, there was the problem of users being shown that there was insufficient balance to pay for the ride when they actually did.

As an answer to these problems, the authorities claimed that these were only temporary, and that they were working towards their resolution. An official told the Mirror, “We introduced these cycles based on public response, which is huge. Hence, with PMC’s help, we are expanding across the city. We cannot deny some glitches, but we are tackling them as they arise. Earlier, we were using cycles from another company, which were free — now, we are only introducing the paid ones, as they create less issues.”

Pune’s Shruti Shrikhande tops UPSC CDS exam

Shruti Shrikhande, a 22 year old from Pune, has emerged as the topper among girls in the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Shruti, daughter of Brigadier Vinod Shrikhande, is a final year law student at Indian Law Society (ILS) Law College, Pune.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Shruti said that since her days in Army Public School, Pune, she has dreamt of being in the Armed Forces. The stories of her father’s career experience have always been a strong driving force that kept her motivated during the entire journey.

Talking about the preparation that went into topping the exam, Shruti says that apart from her daily academic regimen of about six hours, an hour was devoted for physical exercise including long-distance running and trekking with friends.

Overall 232 candidates in the country has qualified in the final exam for admission to the Officers Training Academy 107th Short Service Commission course (for men) and 21st Short Service Commission women (non-technical) course, commencing in April 2018. UPSC had released the results on its website, upsc.gov.in on Thursday, 1st February, 2018. Nipurn Datta has secured the top rank in the exam among boys.

Sources: Hindustan Times, The Indian Express

Protests by students at SPPU because of lack of facilities and infrastructure

Tensions have flared at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) campus as students belonging to external education courses have started agitations. These protests are against the lack of facilities and infrastructure available at the college. In an attempt to resolve the issue, a students’ union has also been approached. The external education course was almost banished for students last year but the decision was revoked and the excess fee levied for the exams was also done away with.

The institution is working on implementing a choice-based credit system (CBCS) to attempt to tackle the multiple problems faced by the students, reports Pune Mirror. Kalpesh Yadav, the president of the student body has been helping the students in their protests. He says that studying was becoming a task for outstation students because of the rigid rules at the college. External students presently studying in the college also had no proper facilities to avail. A second year B.Com student from Mumbai University was denied education at SPPU because they did not have the CBCS option, which is why he pursued his graduation at Mumbai University, according to Pune Mirror.

Despite the fact that the external education courses have been present at SPPU for over 30 years, proper implementation has not been carried out. Facilities are being put into place only now. Dr. Arvind Shaligram, the registrar at SPPU shared that the university is already working on plans to make external education courses more student friendly. He says that there has been a lot of confusion in the past with distance and external courses but this will change as there are plans to streamline the process very soon.

Source: Pune Mirror

CBI raids co-op bank over ‘illegal exchange of demonetised notes’

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on January 18 conducted searches at 32 places across Pune, Lonavala and Baramati. These places included 17 branches of a Pune-based Muslim cooperative bank. Not only the branches, but also the residence of Haroon Sattar Sayed, CEO, Cooperative Bank was also covered. It was alleged that the bank showcased irregularities in exchanging demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes worth Rs 40 lakh.

“Incriminating documents recovered during searches are being scrutinised. CBI registered a case under Sections 120-B, 420,471,477- A of IPC and Sections 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of PC Act 1988 against nine officers/ officials of a Co-operative Bank Ltd., Pune and others. Investigation is in progress,” read a press release issued by the central investigation agency.

According to the Indian Express, a source in the CBI said, “We have conducted searches in the past as well.., a case was registered after we had primary evidence and all the related documents.”

As per Pune Mirror, PA Inamdar, chairman, Cooperative Bank said that the CBI team had come to the bank for inquiries. He added that the bank management submitted all the documents that were demanded by the central agency.

In the context of SM Iqbal and Imtiaz Shikilkar, bank directors, Inamdar said that the allegations being levelled against the bank were completely baseless and frivolous.

Sources: Pune Mirror, Indian Express

IT Professional, Wife and Minor Child Found Dead in their Home in Pune

A 35-year-old IT engineer, his wife and four-year-old son were found dead in their home at Baner, Pune today in a case of suspected suicide. The parents were allegedly found hanging, however, officials are still uncertain about the child’s cause of death. Initial reports indicate the child’s death was caused due to administration of poison while rope marks discerned on the bodies of the parents indicate death by asphyxiation.

 

According to The Hindu, a Chaturshringi police official stated that the bodies of the deceased have been identified as Jayeshkumar Patel (35), his wife Bhoomika (30) and their son Akshay. The bodies of the family, natives of Gujarat, were found in their home on the Baner-Pashan link road. Patel was an employee at a reputed IT firm and his wife was a homemaker. As reported by sources, their house in Baner was locked from the inside for the past few days.

As per The Business Standard, Senior Police Inspector, Dayanand Dhome (Chaturshringi) said, “Today morning, neighbours, who developed suspicion after the Patels did not open the door for a long time, summoned the housing society office bearers and later called the police control room.

An officer deduced that either the husband and the wife hanged themselves after killing their minor child or the husband murdered the wife and the child and then finally committed suicide himself. Police are currently investigating the motive behind Patel’s extreme actions. They are also trying to narrow down on a time of death based on postmortem which is underway at Sassoon Hospital in Pune.

Sources: The Hindu, The Business Standard

Highest tax growth reported in Pune region

Based on a Times of India news report, Pune had the highest net direct tax collection zone in India from April 2017 till mid-January this year. The country comprises of 18 zones in total. Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad are other significant zones. Pune accounts for all places in Maharashtra, except districts in Vidarbha and Mumbai. The region has accounted for 24% growth, while the national average is 18%.

A C Shukla, Principal Chief Commissioner of income tax informed, “With the economic growth being 6%, the state has managed to achieve 75% as against the national average of 69%. The credit goes to the fear of law and not the law enforcement agency. People who do not disclose their income are being dealt with to ensure that income of the state is accounted.”

The Indian Express reported that Pune has successfully collected 100% taxes. The total amount received was Rs 13,143. The growth of personal tax has been 12.81%, Rs 5,312 crore this financial year. 9, 846.19 crore in corporate tax was collected.

“The results of 220 surveys conducted by the income tax department state that undisclosed income has been Rs 500 crore in the region,” Shukla added.

Tags: Indian Express, TOI