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Good morning, Bengaluru!

🌧 Today’s weather: Cloudy with chances of thunderstorms developing in the afternoon.

🧐 Did you know? Most streets in the Langford town area are named after British officers. For example, Eagle Street is named after Henry Eagles, the financial comptroller to the king of Mysore. While it’s still a residential area, only a few of the original bungalows still remain.


🚦 Google to the rescue

Can Google help solve Bengaluru’s traffic problems?

Story so far: Bengaluru is notorious for its traffic congestion. Given the number of vehicles, it’s become increasingly difficult for the police to manage things. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited in June, he set a deadline of 40 months for the government to tackle the traffic issues. Now, it looks like Google will help.

  • The Bengaluru traffic police have partnered with Google to help in traffic management. It’s a first in the country. A pilot project is underway to optimise the configuration of traffic lights. It’s apparently already reduced the waiting time at signals. 
  • Google will use AI to track driving trends and recommend a daily plan for the police. Data from the tech giant has shown some improvement in a 20% reduction in wait time of commuters. Most of the traffic signals in the city will be optimised with Google’s help. 

There’s more: Google will also show real-time road closures for commuters and speed limits on Google Maps. Overall, the changes are expected to impact at least one crore vehicles across the city.


♿ Refuge for specially-abled students

Bangalore University will provide free food and accommodation for specially-abled students.

Story so far: Across various departments in the university, there are 11 differently-abled post-graduate students. Per the PwD Act of 2016, there are to be reservations for such students in every department. However, not many have been admitted. 

  • The university is trying to be more inclusive. Their latest effort is providing free food and accommodation for differently-abled students at the Jnanabharati campus. The cost for this will be borne by the university, not the government.
  • The university is one of the few that have a dedicated empowerment cell for students with disabilities. In fact, only two universities in the state have it.

Inclusivity: Another way the university is trying to be more inclusive is through its Braille Resource Centre and audio-based study material. The university library will also get disabled-friendly software soon.


🎤 Protests interfering with learning

Frequent protests at Freedom Park have hindered Maharani Cluster University.

What’s been happening: For students and teachers at the Maharani Cluster University, frequent protests at Freedom Park have become a pain. The university consists of three colleges around Freedom Park. Teachers say they’ve been mentally harassed for the last couple of years.

  • Protestors park their vehicles in front of the university gate and sometimes walk inside the premises. For staff, it sometimes takes them 40 minutes to get out of the campus. In the mornings, there are traffic jams due to rallies.
  • The protestors use high-volume mikes and shout slogans that disturb classes. Teachers aren’t able to conduct classes, and students aren’t able to concentrate. Now, the university wants to file a police complaint.

Court rules: Recently, the high court directed the state government to restrict protests at Freedom Park since it affects the movement of traffic in the area.


🏞️ Visitor space at Visvesvaraya Towers

(Image credits: Amol.Gaitonde, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Visitors of Visvesvaraya Towers will soon have a space to relax. 

Story so far: At the Visvesvaraya Towers, there was no dedicated space for visitors on the premises. That changed once the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) took up the project and assigned the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited to build and spruce up the space for ₹75.30 lakh. Only some electrical work is pending.

  • The space will have benches and elevated platforms. For senior citizens who visit the Department of Empowerment of the Differently Abled and Senior Citizens, it’s a perfect place for them to relax. It’ll also have plenty of greenery.
  • People are eager to have this space opened to the public. Previously, there wasn’t a space to sit and relax. Now, even employees can use the space. There’s also a cycle track close by. It could be used by cyclists to take a break.

Cleanliness: The concern is, of course, that the space has to remain clean and well maintained. This will require the support of both public officials and the people.


✨ Things to do…

Here are some fun and interesting things to do in the city over the weekend!

  • If you’re a fan of Indian classical music, head over to the MLR Convention Centre in JP Nagar where musicians celebrate birds and birdsong.
  • Enjoy some standup comedy by Karunesh Talwar at Phoenix Marketcity. Book tickets here.
  • Want to explore your artistic side? There’s a Paint & Sip Party with drinks, snacks, and a tutorial on how to paint at K-OS The GameBar.
  • Nikhil Vai pays tribute to Coldplay and Ed Sheeran at the Hard Rock Cafe.
  • Head over to Artkhoj in JP Nagar for OpenMArt – Flea Market and Open Mic with live performances. Book tickets here.

🛋️ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll Results:

  • I have gotten my flu shot: 0%
  • I have not gotten my flu shot: 100% 🏆

That’s it for today. Have a great weekend!

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