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

Change in route for metro near Pune station

The second corridor of the first phase of the much-delayed Pune metro rail project from Vanaz to Ramwadi will be partly changed. The section of the route from the Civil Court at Shivajinagar to Ramwadi will be altered.

The proposed section, from the Civil Court to Ramwadi, was via Mangalwar Peth and Pune Railway Station’s main entrance before joining Ruby Hall Clinic’s metro station. However, railway authorities requested a change in the alignment since they have planned expanding the main entrance. To avoid further chaos in the area, they appealed for the realignment. The rail officials suggested realignment from the Raja Bahadur Mill entrance. The new proposal was accepted by MahaMetro officials.

As per the new plan, metro will pass through Kamgar Putla, cross the Sangam Bridge above the rail lines to RTO on Wellesley Road, and reach Pune railway station near the divisional railway manager’s office. The onward route to Ramwadi stays the same. To ensure smooth transit, the metro station will be constructed in such a way that it directly connects to the railway foot over-bridge.

Joint efforts between MahaMetro and transport authorities are planned at Shivajinagar for smooth inter-changing of services among PMPML, MSRTC, railways, and metro.

After facing several hurdles over the years, construction of the Vanaz-Ramwadi line began in September 2017. The line is expected to be complete by 2021.

Sources: TOI, Pune Mirror

Pune welcomes Republic Day with 150 WiFi Hotspots

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in collaboration with Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited (PSCDCL), is set to inaugurate 150 free WiFi hotspots across the city on the occasion of Republic Day. Pune residents will now be able to access free internet facility in 199 locations. According to reports from Sakal Times, Google for the first time has tied by with a municipal body like PMC to enable them to set up ‘Google Stations’ that offer free WiFi service.

The citizens will be provided with 50MB data free of cost in hotspot areas at a speed of 512 kbps. Usage above the given limit will be charged with a certain amount for surfing private websites, while usage of government portals will remain free. The users within the network range will have to log-in to the WiFi using a One Time Password (OTP) that will be sent to their registered mobile numbers. This plan is aimed towards the ‘Pune Smart City’ project.

In their statement to the media, PMC said that they wish to reach out to the entire city with their free WiFi connectivity plan and wish to make Pune a digital city by 2020. The locations that are covered in the current plan include public places like hospitals, bus stops, gardens, police stations and government offices.

The current project will require the Smart City Corporation to spend around Rs 110 crore for setting up the infrastructure for the system and an additional of Rs 35 crore towards operational costs. Reports from Pune Mirror state that PMC plans to set up around 400-500 hotspot zones in the coming future. This is a major initiative of the Smart City policy that also includes provisions like emergency call boxes, public announcement systems, environmental and flood sensors.

Sources: Pune Mirror, Sakal Times

Sauteed Stories: Worth going back to

Started by a few young entrepreneurs, the vegetarian café, Sauteed Stories at KoregaonPark  is tucked between a busy road. It is a cosy, quirky and hippie place with artisan carvings placed throughout. Initially coming off as a dingy and shady café,once you enter, the restaurant gives you a true sense of comfort and relaxed environment perfect for a friendly outing. Filled with lamps, the café has a very eccentric ambience which complements its sassy and vivacious décor.

Having an unconventionally short menu written on a black board, the café serves European and Continental cuisine. The well-known honey chilli fries were the unsaid choice for the appetizer apart from the Nachos. The sweet, sticky and salty flavour in the fries is what makes the dish unique and a must try at the restaurant.  The extra kidney beans filling in the nachos were a put off, but the dish was savaged by the succulent sour cream which was to die for.

For the main course we ordered a thin crust exotic veg pizza. Being true to its name, the Italian specialty which was made in a wood fire oven had the perfect amount of seasoning with the right combination of exotic veggies like bell pepper, mushroom and jalapeno.  We also ordered the Barbecue mushroom pizza which was mediocre, in comparison to its counterpart. After relishing the exotic delicacy this pizza fell short of our expectations and failed to surprise any of our palates. The last dish we ordered was the café’s version of AgioOlio pasta labelled as speedy spaghetti. This one took mere moments to disappear from the plate with the tiny morsels of capers and the zing of garlic perfectly enhancing the flavour of the olive oil tossed spaghetti.  The only disappointment was the ice tea which was served in a fancy bulb like container but lacked any taste and was totally unworthy of the price.

Unaware of the exact location and mood of the restaurant we went for a Sunday lunch. However, the café is amazing for evening coffees or dinners as the outdoor setting, décor and lighting will give a very soothing and serene feel. On the whole, Sautéed Stories is a good choice for vegetarians looking for a delicious meal with a novel yet comforting ambience and visitors are sure to return with a story to tell.

Meal for two-Rs.1000/-