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Newsletter. Issue 17. August 14 , 2010



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News Clips from Goa

NRGs urged to get PIO or OCI status
From post on GoaNet | Thu, 12 Aug 2010

Non-resident Goans having foreign passports ergo, foreign citizenship, have been advised by the NRI Commissioner Eduardo Faleiro, to apply at the earliest for a Person of Indian origin (PIO) or an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card. Actually, quite a number of foreign citizens of Goan origin have already opted for this facility. They can then stay in this country for 15 years of 30 years respectively without any need for a visa. These cards are renewable.

If you do not have a PIO or an OCI card, Non-Resident Goans (NRGs) with foreign passports can still stay in the country for long periods. The Union Home Ministry has agreed to grant long-term renewable visas to NRGs.

Presently NRGs are issued tourist visas when they want to come to Goa from their country of residence. These are generally 3 to 6-month visas issued by some Indian embassies and High Commissions abroad.

The problem gets sticky when NRGs have to stay on for litigation or family crises. NRI Commissioner Eduardo Faleiro reportedly wrote a letter to the Union Home Minister explaining that NRGs opted for foreign passports for employment only and now wish to return and spend the rest of their lives in India.

Earlier they used to be issued long-term visas but with the terror threat and tightening of security, recently they were being issued short term visas.

The procedure for getting a PIO or OCI card is detailed on the website: www.globalgoans.org.in

Info source: http://www.targetgoa.com/newsd-NRGs-urged-to-get-PIO-or-OCI-status-864


Goa university to have chair for diaspora studies
2010-08-10 15:30:00

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has agreed to create a chair for diaspora studies at the Goa university, Goa non-resident Indian (NRI) commissioner Eduardo Faleiro said Tuesday.

He said at a press conference here that the university had been asked to draft a proposal for creating a diaspora studies chair and send it to the UGC to expedite the process.

'The study of population migration in all its diverse aspects is one of the most fascinating areas of research at present. A large number of universities abroad have this facility,' Faleiro, a former minister of state for external affairs, said. 'However, the Goan diaspora in particular and the Indian diaspora in general constitutes significant communities worldwide. None of our academic institutions have facilities for focussed research and teaching on this subject,' he added.

Faleiro said his discussions with Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on the subject had borne fruit. 'The minister has agreed to my request and the UGC has asked the registrar of the Goa university to send a proposal for a chair on diaspora studies at our university,' he said.

Faleiro said the chair on diaspora studies will deal with the questions and issues regarding the Indian diaspora in academic depth and in a comparative context along with the study of migration in other countries. The Goa University would be the first varsity in the country to offer such a chair.

Incidentally, Goa is the second state in India after Kerala to conduct a survey on emigration of its working population from Goa, to other countries for employment, primarily in the Gulf region.


Goa to strengthen ties with diaspora

Goa is following in the footsteps of Kerala to engage with its non-residents who make up at least one-third of the state's 1.5 million population and contribute substantially to the Goan economy.

Eduardo Faleiro, Goa commissioner for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), who is the man behind the efforts, hopes the efforts will best serve the interests of the state.

Faleiro said he is happy with the 'positive' response from Non-Resident Goans (NRGs) to the work and study his office has done and for the cooperation from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA).

'The response is very positive. And what the MOIA is doing for the diaspora and NRIs is a matter to be appreciated, the way they have reached out and how it is well received,' Faleiro, a former union minister, told IANS during a visit to the capital.

His office will interact with overseas Goans on a sustained basis to identify areas of mutual concern, address the needs of Goans overseas by providing an institutional platform and formulating appropriate policies and also strengthen the bond between Goa and the overseas Goans by recognising their achievements.

The Goa Commissioner's office has issued 500 Goa Cards to Goan expatriates across the world in two years on request and payment of Rs.250. The Goa card holders will get faster and better attention from government departments and offices. Goa is also the second state after Kerala to have conducted a scientific migration study to understand and deal with irregular migration and exploitation of NRGs.

A Goa scholarship programme for diaspora children is formulated by the commissioner's office for the benefit of the wards of Persons of Indian Origin (PIO), Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and NRGs. The commissioner's office has also initiated the Know Goa Programme to acquaint youth of the Goan diaspora with the state and its culture.

On Faleiro's request, the Indian government has delegated powers to the state for authentication of educational certificates from Goan academic institutions.


Imparting Qualitative Education
Published on: August 8, 2010 - 02:41 |
By Tomazinho Cardozo

In the recently concluded session of the Goa Legislative Assembly numerous issues related to Goa were discussed and highlighted. One such well-debated issue was education.

Practically all the MLAs participated in the discussion and many suggestions were put forward to improve the quality of education. However, I find a few very minor issues remained untouched; issues that can make a change in the quality of our education.

Those interested in education will say that the quality of education imparted in our schools needs improvement. Qualitative education means achieving an all round development of students. The Government initiates schemes to provide the required atmosphere in schools to facilitate complete growth of the child. Crores of rupees are provided to provide the required infrastructure. Some schools have benefited and some other schools hope to avail of the said benefits as soon as possible.

Many-a-time I feel that the Government and authorities responsible for raising the standard of education in Goa have their priorities wrong side up. There are some minor things that need attention and the will of the powers that be to effect a change for the better, many-a-time without even incurring much of a financial burden. However, these things are not given any importance in spite being brought to notice. Due to the negligent attitude of our bosses, be it at the school level or at the level of the Education Department, or at the ministerial level, students and consequently the standard of education suffer. I shall substantiate this statement with examples.

Take the case of the number of teachers. The number of teachers in a primary school is not based on the number of classes but on the pupil-teacher ratio, so much so that many-a-time primary schools with four classes have to content with two teachers only. Sometimes one teacher teaches more than one class in more than one medium of instruction. You can imagine the fate of students in such schools. How can you expect a high standard of education under such circumstances? Will the Government face a financial crisis if four teachers (at least) are provided for four classes in a Primary school?

Educationists and politicians always say that science plays an important role in the lives of students. We advise teachers and parents to inculcate a scientific temper in the children. We give reasons for this, but we fail to provide the required personnel to schools to help them achieve this goal. The existing Education Rules, which are almost 25-year-old, are outdated. According to these rules a Secondary School is entitled for a Laboratory Assistant (his job is to maintain the science laboratory and help science teachers in conducting practicals and demonstrations) if the total number of students in standard eight, nine and ten are at least 120. Schools with less than 120 students cannot have laboratory assistants. Is this not an injustice? How can authorities expect these students answer the same examination when are clearly disadvantaged? What about the students of standard five and above from these school? Are we not supposed to cultivate a scientific temper among them? A laboratory assistant for every school is a must and hence the Government must amend that rule on priority.

Politicians and bureaucrats should not treat education the way they treat industry, agriculture, etc. Education moulds the character and makes good citizens out of the children. All this is done through the teachers. Therefore, teachers should also not be treated like any other Government employee.

For example, take the case of a teacher who is retiring. Like any other Government employee he will superannuate on the last day of the month. It does not matter whether the teacher leaves the school in the first term or in the second term. He is out of the school. The students suffer. Even if a new teacher is appointed in his place students will be adversely affected as the continuity of the teaching-learning process gets broken. The Government has to bring an amendment to the concerned rule so that the teacher in question retires on the last day of that academic year.

The Government will do well if these small things are attended to on priority basis. It spends crores of rupees on schemes and events that are less important than education. Allocating a little more fund to education will definitely go a long way in improving the quality of education in Goa.


Goa priests ‘lack heritage sense’
Posted By jessy On August 9, 2010 @ 4:14 pm In Indian News

A prominent historian has accused several priests in Goa of selling off Church antiques because they lack an appreciation of these items’ cultural value.

Percival Noronha, a retired bureaucrat and historian, was giving a lecture on “heritage and Indo-Portuguese furniture” organized by the Indo-Portuguese Friendship Society-Goa on Aug. 8.

He said he had written to Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa about many valuable items from local churches and chapels being sold in expensive antique shops. The country as a whole lacks any “sense of heritage,” said the octogenarian historian, a founder member of the Goa-chapter of the Indian Heritage Society.

He cited the disappearance of valuables from the state governor’s residence soon after India seized Goa from Portugal in 1961. The residence was a former Portuguese colonial palace. Making unique Indo-Portuguese furniture for churches began to decline in the mid-20th century. A more modern, monotonous style of furniture took its place, he said.

Traditional church furniture included specially made coffers, benches, sofas, and armchairs with high backrests from which ministers of the church used to address the congregation, he said. Some priests and other Church officials were also altering the original structure of churches, seriously affecting their character, constitution and heritage significance, Noronha said.

Some parish churches are now incorporating modern architectural styles, he lamented.

Source: ucanews.com


Life expectancy rises to 70 years in Goa
Better and easily accessible healthcare facilities have improved the life expectancy in the state to 70 years as against the mean age of the elderly across the country, which is 68 years.

A study carried out by Helpage India on ‘elder abuse in India’ says the average life expectancy in the country is 68 years with more than 50 per cent of the elderly are above 70 years. The study further states that close to 75 per cent of the elderly are married, while just about 23 per cent are divorced. Around 22 per cent of the elders are widowed. A practising physician, Dr Lloyd Souza observed that the average life expectancy in Goa has to be above than the national average because of the easily available as well as affordable healthcare facilities in the state. He said villages too are better covered in terms of connectivity are not too far away from Panaji and other major towns of the state. [NT]


Development works in Aldona to cost Rs 15 crore($7 million CAD)
Former finance minister and Aldona MLA, Mr Dayanand Narvekar said that an amount of ` 15 crore has been earmarked for taking up the works of laying of hot-mix carpet on Mapusa-Aldona road, improvement and repairs of various roads, drainage system, construction of Sulabh Souchalaya complexes, laying of water pipelines, construction of steel bridge over Sirsaim-Quitla river and many others development works in Aldona areas.

All these developmental works will commence soon after the monsoon, Mr Narvekar added. This was informed by the former finance minister while speaking at the village panchayat of Aldona in Bardez, where he gave a patient hearing to problems of the villagers on Tuesday. [NT]


10 more confirmed cases of swine flu
Even as ten more confirmed cases of swine flu have been detected in the state - 3 in Salcete - a recent meeting at the South Goa Collectorate witnessed directions to the Collectorate officials like mamlatdars and BDOs to submit a report on August 12 regarding the areas that are prone to swine flu. Out of a total of the 17 throat swabs sent for testing at the National Institute of Disease Control, Delhi, ten have been confirmed for H1N1. Five cases have history of travel to places in neighbouring states like Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. [NT]


Goa Archdiocese observes Prison Ministry
The Goa Archdiocese observed the Prison Ministry by celebrating the day with a concelebrated Mass by the Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao at the Holy Spirit Church here on Sunday.

The Archbishop gave a call to actively support and join the army of volunteers that are selflessly working through the Prison Ministry of Goa for the regeneration and rehabilitation of the prisoners in the state. In the homily, Fr Maverick Fernandes said “we are all prisoners of our mind and that through our attitude we have created this change and we have discriminated people and kept them away and showed less concerns to certain types of people in our society. It is easy for us to condemn the people who have been in prison and label them, but we fail to condemn our own irresponsibility towards them. Our attitude and prayer support can make the world a difference to our brethen as many of them are wrongly accused and some are victims of circumstances”. Fr Fernandes called the laity to bring about a change and awareness in the world through the inspiration of Jesus Christ. [H]


Saving Goa’s Elasmobranchii Species
Are Goans prepared to give up their favourite- “mori xacuti” (shark masala) and “mori ambot tik” (sour and pungent shark recipe)? It is possible if they have already given up ‘jumping chicken’ - fried frog legs - and turtle eggs omelettes.

Considering their growing consumption, saving sharks is more important than saving frogs and turtles. The Government of India through Gazette Notification of July 11, 2001 had prohibited fishing of all Elasmobranches, which include shark and rays. Despite the ban under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, several species of sharks have started appearing in local fish market in large numbers. These may include imports from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Everyday, hundreds of sharks, including baby sharks, are sold in the Panaji fish market. Thousands get sold at the Vasco and Margao fish markets. The forest department has admitted in the current assembly session that fishing and selling sharks is banned in Goa, but, interestingly, it is still awaiting the green signal from the state fisheries department. [NT]

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