Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Potrait baby Boy

Potrait baby Boy 05, originally uploaded by jp_japes.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The University of Mumbai

The University of Mumbai (known earlier as University of Bombay) is one of the oldest and premier Universities in India. It was established in 1857 consequent upon "Wood's Education Dispatch", and it is one amongst the first three Universities in India.

As a sequel to the change in the name of the city from Bombay to Mumbai, the name of the University has been changed from "University of Bombay " to "University of Mumbai " ,vide notification issued by the Government of Maharashtra and published in the Government Gazette dated 4th September, 1996.

The profile of this University carved out in 150 years of its functioning attests to its manifold achievements as the intellectual and moral powerhouse of the society. The University has always given its best to the country in general and to the city of Mumbai in particular by enthusiastically shouldering an ever-growing load of social values and opportunities.

Initially, the University concentrated its efforts on controlling teaching at the undergraduate level and in conducting examinations. Later on it took up research and the task of imparting instructions at the Post-Graduate level. This resulted in the establishment of the University Departments beginning with the School of Sociology and Civics & Politics. The independence of the country led to the re-organization of the functions and powers of the University with the passing of the Bombay University Act of 1953.

It is now granted a Five Star status by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC). It has two campuses of area 230 acres and 13 acres, with 1.25 million square feet of built-up area, 22 thousand sq. feet of class-rooms and 84 thousand sq feet of laboratory space. It has two post-graduate centers, 354 affiliated colleges and 36 Departments. It has established its name in industrial collaborations and runs various professional courses.

At national level, it has excelled in sports, cultural and out-reach activities. In the last five years it has seen 104% increase in under-graduate students, 112% increase in post-graduate students and 147% increase in distance - education students. There is 156% increase in the number of research papers published in International journals. 12 Department/sections are recognized under various national programmes, such as SAP/CAS/DRS/DSA/COSIST/FIST. More than 80 teachers are on various professional bodies. 18 National/International awards are won by teachers in the last five years. Every year about 20 teachers visit abroad for academic activities. Recently more than 10 self-supporting courses have been started by the University.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

History of Mumbai

Fisherwomen and Stone goddesses

Although the archipelago which developed into the modern city of Mumbai was inhabited whenever history chanced on it, we are forced to imagine the lives of these early Mumbaikars, because the islands lay outside of the sweep of history and beyond the marches of armies for millennia. Stone age implements have been found at several sites in these islands. Later, around the third century BC, the coastal regions, and presumably the islands, were part of the Magadhan empire ruled by the emperor Ashok. The empire ebbed, leaving behind some Buddhist monks and the deep-sea fishermen called Kolis, whose stone goddess, Mumbadevi, gave her name to the modern metropolis.

Between the 9th and 13th centuries, the Indian ocean, and especially the Arabian Sea, was the world's center of commerce. Deep sea crafts made of wood tied together with ropes transported merchandise between Aden, Calicut, Cambay and cities on the West coast of Africa. Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta and other travelers passed by without ever making a landfall in these islands.

Bombay changed hands many times. The islands belonged to the Silhara dynasty till the middle of the 13th century. The oldest structures in the archipelago--- the caves at Elephanta, and part of the Walkeshwar temple complex probably date from this time. Modern sources identify a 13th century Raja Bhimdev who had his capital in Mahikawati-- present-day Mahim, and Prabhadevi. Presumably the first merchants and agriculturists settled in Mumbai at this time. In 1343 the island of Salsette, and eventually the whole archipelago, passed to the Sultan of Gujarat. The mosque in Mahim dates from this period.

The Slow Turn West

In 1508 Francis Almeida sailed into the deep natural harbour of the island his countrymen came to call Bom Bahia (the Good Bay). Bahadur Shah of Gujarat was forced to cede the main islands to the Portuguese in 1534, before he was murdered by the proselytizing invaders. The Portuguese built a fort in Bassein. They were not interested in the islands, although some fortifications and a few chapels were built for the converted fishermen. The St. Andrew's church in Bandra dates from this period.

For years, the Dutch and the British tried to get information on the sea route to India--- often by spying. Even the reports of such spies never bother to mention Bombay. Eventually, in 1661, Catherine of Braganza brought these islands to Charles II of England as part of her marriage dowry. The British East India Company received it from the crown in 1668, founded the modern city, and shortly thereafter moved their main holdings from Surat to Bombay. George Oxenden was the first governor of a Bombay whose place in history was finally secure.

The web of commerce which had supported the civilisation of the Indian Ocean littoral had died with the coming of the Europeans. The Mughal empire in Delhi was not interested in navies-- despising the Portuguese and the British as ``merchant princes''. The second governor of Bombay, Gerald Aungier, saw the opportunity to develop the islands into a centre of commerce to rival other ports still in the hands of local kingdoms. He offered various inducement to skilled workers and traders to move to this British holding. The opportunities for business attracted many Gujarati communities--- the Parsis, the Bohras, Jews and banias from Surat and Diu. The population of Bombay was estimated to have risen from 10,000 in 1661 to 60,000 in 1675.

Through the 18th century British power and influence grew slowly but at the expense of the local kingdoms. The migration of skilled workers and traders to the safe-haven of Bombay continued. The shipbuilding industry moved to Bombay from Surat with the coming of the Wadias. Artisans from Gujarat, such as goldsmiths, ironsmiths and weavers moved to the islands and coexisted with the slave trade from Madagascar. During this period the first land-use laws were set up in Bombay, segregating the British part of the islands from the black town.

With increasing prosperity and growing political power following the 1817 victory over the Marathas, the British embarked upon reclamations and large scale engineering works in Bombay. The sixty years between the completion of the vellard at Breach Candy (1784) and the construction of the Mahim Causeway (1845) are the heroic period in which the seven islands were merged into one landmass. These immense works, in turn, attracted construction workers, like the Kamathis from Andhra, who began to come to Bombay from 1757 on. A regular civil administration was put in place during this period. In 1853 a 35-km long railway line between Thana and Bombay was inaugurated-- the first in India. Four years later, in 1854, the first cotton mill was founded in Bombay. With the cotton mills came large scale migrations of Marathi workers, and the chawls which accommodated them. The city had found its shape.

Dreams of Power

Following the first war of Independence in 1857, the Company was accused of mismanagement, and Bombay reverted to the British crown. With the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, exports, specially cotton, from Bombay became a major part of the colonial economy. The Great Indian Peninsular Railway facilitated travel within India. This network of commerce and communication led to an accumulation of wealth. This was channelled into building an Imperial Bombay by a succession of Governors. Many of Bombay's famous landmarks, the Flora Fountain and the Victoria Terminus, date from this time. The water works, including the Hanging Gardens and the lakes were also built at this time. The Bombay Municipal Corporation was founded in 1872. However, this facade of a progressive and well-governed city was belied by the plague epidemics of the 1890s. This dichotomy between the city's symbols of power and prosperity and the living conditions of the people who make it so continues even today.

The construction of Imperial Bombay continued well into the 20th century. Landmarks from this period are the Gateway of India, the General Post Office, the Town Hall (now the Asiatic Library) and the Prince of Wales Museum. Bombay expanded northwards into the first suburbs, before spreading its nightmare tentacles into the the northern suburbs. The nearly 2000 acres reclaimed by the Port Trust depressed the property market for a while, but the Backbay reclamation scandal of the '20s was a testament to the greed for land.

The freedom movement reached a high pitch of activity against this background of developing Indian wealth. Gandhi returned from South Africa and reached Bombay on January 12, 1915. Following many campaigns in the succeeding years, the end of the British imperial rule in India was clearly presaged by the Quit India declaration by the Indian National Congress on August 8, 1942, in Gowalia Tank Maidan, near Kemp's Corner. India became a free country on August 15, 1947. In the meanwhile, Greater Bombay had come into existence through an Act of the British parliament in 1945.

Millennial Mumbai

Already India's main port and commercial centre, the City of Gold lured the poverty stricken rural population and the expanding middle class equally. The population boom of the '50s and '60s was fuelled by the absence of opportunities in the rest of the country. The language riots, the reorganisation of Indian states and the see-saw politics of the country did not seem to affect the city. The glamour industry's flattering portrayal of Bombay seemed to be the reality. However, by the late '80s the other big Indian cities had choked in their own refuse and Bombay's road ahead seemed to be blighted. How this city, renamed Mumbai in the mid 90's copes with the challenge of controlling its political fragmentation, disastrous health problems and load of pollution by utilising its wealth of talent and manpower is a story to be told by future historians.

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Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation


The duties of the Corporation are set out in the Bombay Municipal Act, first passed in 1872, and amended on various later occasions. It is responsible for Greater Bombay. The MMRDA coordinates between the BMC and CIDCO.

The Municipal Corporation is responsible for the creation and maintenance of roads and flyovers, including the cleaning and lighting of roadways. It is supposed to maintain sanitation and health; in this connection it manages hospitals, garbage collection and disposal, the sewerage, and the water supply. As part of its duties related to public health, it is responsible for the prevention of epidemics. The BMC must register births and deaths, and holds authority over all crematoria and cemeteries in the city. It is the office of record for urban property and is also responsible for setting up and enforcing building norms. Its duties include the maintenance of parks and public spaces, including beaches, and the provision of coastal safety in the form of lifeguards at beaches and lighthouse maintenance staff.


The jurisdiction of the BMC runs over the full island city: from Colaba in the south to Mulund and Dahisar in the north. It maintains toll stations (check nakas) at these two northern entry points to the city. The Mumbai Port Trust and defence areas, as well as the Borivili National Park are exempt from its jurisdiction. The main administrative offices are in the BMC headquarters opposite the Chhatrapati Shivaji Railway Terminus.

The city is divided into several municipal ward. Each ward elects a Corporator once every five years. These corporators in turn elect the mayor of Bombay annually. A sherrif is nominated by the chief minister of the state every year. The state government can overrule any decision taken by the Corporation.

Contact Numbers

  • A Ward: 22661353 / 2660107 / 2660339
  • B Ward: 23746790 to 23746798
  • C Ward: 22014022 / 22014077 / 22014013
  • D Ward: 23879949 / 23879572
  • E Ward: 23081471 to 23081479
  • F (South) Ward: 24134560 to 24134565
  • F (North) Ward: 24024353
  • G (South) Ward: 24309890 / 24305031 / 24223741
  • G (North) Ward: 24307276
  • H (West) Ward: 26422311 / 26422314 / 26422225
  • H (East) Ward: 26127292 / 26127293 / 26122592
  • K (West) Ward: 26236163
  • K (East) Ward: 28367102 to 28367104
  • L Ward: 25115103 / 25115104 / 25143057
  • M (East) Ward: 25580795 / 25561929
  • M (West) Ward: 25561900 / 25561994 / 25561974
  • N Ward: 25115130 to 25115135
  • P (South) Ward: 28722244
  • P (North) Ward: 28824913
  • R (South) Ward: 28054784
  • R (North) Ward: 28010341
  • S Ward: 25641220 to 25641224
  • T Ward: 25645289 / 25645291



The Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) was created in 1865 and Arthur Crawford Arthur Crawfordwas appointed the first municipal commissioner of Bombay for five years.

Within a year, the Corporation had run up a debt of Rs. 140,000. This lack of financial responsibility continued, until, in 1871, the net deficit stood at Rs. 3,770,000. Concerned citizens, led by Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, drafted and supported aSir Pherozeshah Mehta Municipal Act, which was passed in 1872.

The Act provided for a Municipal Corporation and a Town Council. Half the members of the BMC and three quarters of the members of the Council were to be elected by the people. The rest were to be government appointees.

The BMC was instrumental in the development of Mahim in 1913, the expansion of the capacity of the Tansa lake in 1916 and 1921, as well as the acquiring of agricultural land around the Vihar lake in 1923 as a sanitary safeguard.

During the freedom movement, the BMC was infiltrated by nationalists who took a consistently anti-government stand. In 1933 the City Improvement Trust was merged with the BMC.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mumbai Tour

The sparkling city of Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, is known as the largest metropolis and cosmopolitan in the country. The glamour city is much known for its tantalizing film world giving it a sobriquet of Indian Hollywood or Bollywood. It is also the financial headquarter of the country; thus the financial, commercial or industrial capital of India. Tourists and residents from all over the country and world swarm in the city to witness the efficient system within the city.

Carved out of seven islands of Colaba, Mumbai, Mazagaon, Old Woman's island, Wadala, Mahim, Parel and Matunga Sion; Mumbai was inhabited by the Koli fishing community. In the British era, it became an important trading center and port city. This archipelago was named ‘Bombay’ by the Portuguese, which means ‘good bay’ in Portuguese. It was renamed as Mumbai after the name of the goddess Mumbadevi of the Kolis.

The Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai is one of the best museums in the country with a rare collection of art, sculpture, old firearms, rare coins and a priceless collection of miniature paintings. The Gateway of India, built in 1911 appears fabulous with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into the yellow basalt stone. Marine Drive or the ‘Queens Necklace’ offers a spectacular view of the skyscrapers of Mumbai on one side and the vast sea on the other. The Juhu and Chowpatty Beaches are ideal for beach activities like camel and pony rides, acrobats etc. together with a breathtaking view of the coast.

Mani Bhawan is the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi in Mumbai, which now has a reference library with over 2000 books, and other belongings of Mahatma Gandhi. The Tower of Silence, an open ground where the Parsis leave the dead bodies of the deceased to be eaten by vultures, is also a major tourist attraction. The Hanging Gardens or Ferozeshah Mehta Garden and Kamla Nehru Park provide astonishing views of the dusk over the Arabian Sea. The Jain temple depicting various events in the lives of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras is also a must visit. If you love traveling then Mumbai offers some of the best excursion sites like Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Bassein Fort, Matheran, Lonavala, Khandala, the Elephanta Caves, Karla Caves, Kanheri Caves and Mahabaleshwar located nearby Mumbai.

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Mumbai City Information

Ancient yet modern, fabulously rich yet achingly poor, Mumbai is India in microcosm. Once a sultry tropical archipelago of seven islands, and the Raj's brightest jewel, Mumbai was the dowry of Portuguese Princess Infanta Catherine de Braganza who married Charles II of England in 1661. Today it's a teeming metropolis, commercial hub of an old civilization seeking to find its place in the New World Order.

Forty percent of India's taxes come from this city alone, and half of India's international trade passes through its splendid natural harbour. In fact Mumbai is the very soul of human enterprise. At the city's Stock Exchange, millionaires and paupers are made overnight, and the sidewalks are crowded with vendors hawking everything from ballpoint pens to second hand mixies. Everyday, half of Mumbai's population commutes from far-flung suburbs to downtown offices, banks, factories and mills for a living.

Nearly thirteen million people live here - wealthy industrialists, flashy film stars, internationally acclaimed artists, workers, teachers and clerks - all existing cheek by jowl in soaring skyscrapers and sprawling slums. They come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and speak over a dozen tongues adding colour, flavour and texture to the Great Mumbai Melting Pot.

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