1 Export Inspection Council’s food testing lab to be set up at Margao’s SGPDA market, in next three months
Porvorim: The formalin in fish concern has once again surfaced within the Legislative Assembly, as FDA Minister Vishwajit Rane pledged to establish a Food Testing Lab of the Export Inspection Agency, operating under the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries, within the next three months.
Originally proposed in 2019 at the SGPDA market complex in Margao by former Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, the lab's purpose was to comprehensively test various food items, including fish, milk, vegetables, fruits, and meat products. While a project office was set up in Margao, the initiative failed to take off.
In response to a starred question presented by Benaulim MLA Venzy Viegas, Minister Rane assured the Assembly that the FDA would conduct random testing of fish entering the state. Fish testing is currently conducted through laboratories established by the Quality Council of India (QCI) at the state's two borders. Recent media reports have highlighted irregularities and a lack of transparency in the testing process.
2 Goa Assembly adjourned sine die after 18 days of business
Porvorim: The Goa Assembly concluded its proceedings and was adjourned sine die on Thursday, wrapping up 18 days of legislative business.
Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar, in his closing remarks, highlighted the session's productivity. The session encompassed discussions on the 2023-24 budget, cut-motions, and demands for grants across various departments. It featured 144 zero-hour mentions, 36 calling attention notices, and 15 private member resolutions. Furthermore, the assembly introduced and passed 19 government bills, with one bill, "The Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill, 2021," being withdrawn. A total of 320 papers were laid, and 14 bills received assent from the Governor. The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) report was also adopted.
Speaker Tawadkar noted that the assembly attracted the interest of nearly 3,869 students and 2,285 teachers and staff from 65 schools and Higher Secondary institutions, who visited to observe the legislative proceedings.
3 Western Music branch to be set up in Margao from academic year 2025-26
Porvorim: Art and Culture Minister Govind Gaude announced on Thursday the upcoming establishment of a branch for the Department of Western Music in Margao. This initiative is slated to begin from the academic year 2025-2026 and aims to cater to music enthusiasts in South Goa District, provided a suitable location is secured.
Gaude's commitment followed concerns raised by members regarding the necessity for students from South Goa district to commute regularly to Panjim for Western Music classes offered by the Kala Academy.
Responding to a starred question posed by Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginald Lourenco, the Minister explained that the shortage of qualified instructors has hindered the filling of vacant music teacher positions.
4 Govt to consider setting up coaching centres to help poor students crack competitive exams
Porvorim: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday assured the Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) that the government will ‘consider’ setting up coaching centres for competitive exams in every taluka, to support poor students. Opposition MLAs through a calling attention motion tabled in the House brought to the notice of the Chief Minister who also holds charge of Education Department about the fear and anxiety in the mind of parents of candidates who aspire for taking admission for engineering colleges in Goa by answering the entrance test as government has abolished the GCET exam from 2023-24 and instead adopted JEE mains for granting admission for such programmes.
The opposition MLAs claimed that the level of examination of JEE is not suitable for the type of curriculum that has been adopted by Goa Board and hence this step will result in rampant rise in coaching classes that charge exorbitantly.
The MLAs asked the government to ensure that poor students don’t suffer and lose an opportunity to secure admission to local engineering colleges.