WikiConference India 2011/City and Conference

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The City[edit]

Mumbai on Wikipedia: English, Afrikaans, عربي, মুম্বাই,Català, Česky, Deutsch, Ελληνικά, Esperanto, Español, فارسی, Français, हिन्दी, Hebrew, Italiano, Malayalam, Polski, Português, Русский, Tiếng Việt, 中文, Tamil, Telugu, Nepali, मराठी, Gujarati, Kannada, ଓଡ଼ିଆ, Sanskrit, Українською, Urdu


Mumbai (Hindi/Marathi: मुंबई, Mumbaī), formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, with a population of approximately 20.5 million. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. As of 2009, Mumbai was named an Alpha world city. Mumbai is also the richest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia.

The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands came under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Mumbai was reshaped by the British with large-scale civil engineering projects and emerged as a significant trading town.

Commercial Hub: Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, it is also one of the world's top 10 centres of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generates 5% of India's GDP, including 25% of India's industrial output, 70% of her maritime trade and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy.

Mumbai is home to important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It houses some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC, NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a potpourri of many communities and cultures.

Sightseeing: Mumbai's culture is a blend of traditional festivals, food, music and theatres. The city offers a cosmopolitan and diverse lifestyle with a variety of food, entertainment and night life, available in a form and abundance comparable to that in other world capitals. Mumbai's history as a major trading centre has led to a diverse range of cultures, religions and cuisines coexisting in the city. This unique blend of cultures is due to the migration of people from all over India since the British period.

Popular tourist attractions in the city are Nariman Point, Girgaum Chowpatti, Juhu Beach, and Marine Drive. Essel World is a theme park and amusement centre situated close to Gorai Beach, and includes Asia's largest theme water park, Water Kingdom. The Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC), established in 1995, formulates special regulations and by-laws to assist in the conservation of the city's heritage structures. Mumbai has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Elephanta Caves. The world's largest IMAX dome theatre is in the Wadala neighbourhood.

Contemporary art is featured in both government-funded art spaces and private commercial galleries. The government-funded institutions include the Jehangir Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Modern Art. Built in 1833, the Asiatic Society of Bombay is one of the oldest public libraries in the city. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly The Prince of Wales Museum) is a renowned museum in South Mumbai which houses rare ancient exhibits of Indian history.

Food: The metropolis has roadside fast food such as Vada pav, Dabeli, Panipuri, Bhelpuri, etc. Various High end and budget restaurants offer a variety of high quality national and international cuisines in the city. Other than Chinese and South Indian cuisines, Mughalai, Punjabi, Mālvani and Continental are also popular. Irani cafés are a part of Mumbai's cosmopolitan heritage.

Safety: The past two decades have seen an increase in violence in the hitherto largely peaceful city. Following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the city was rocked by the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1992–93 in which more than 1,000 people were killed. On 12 March 1993, a series of 13 coordinated bombings at several city landmarks by Islamic extremists and the Bombay underworld resulted in 257 deaths and over 700 injuries. In 2006, 209 people were killed and over 700 injured when seven bombs exploded on the city's commuter trains. In 2008, a series of ten coordinated attacks by armed terrorists for three days resulted in 173 deaths, 308 injuries, and severe damage to a couple of heritage landmarks and prestigious hotels. The blasts that occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar on 13th July 2011 were the latest in the series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Safety of participants is of paramount importance for the organisers. The venue is the well guarded University of Mumbai's landmark Fort Campus and the organisers have plans to arrange for an additional security blanket to negate any threats to the conference. The offices of the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai and Director General of Police, Maharashtra are both a stones throw away from the venue.

  • More about Mumbai on Wikipedia (from where parts of this summary have been adapted)

The Conference[edit]

The conference is to be for three days beginning at 0900 hrs on 18 November 2011 (Friday) and concluding in the afternoon on 20 November 2011 (Sunday).

The Venue[edit]

A shot of the Convocation Hall taken from the viewing gallery
The Convocation Hall
Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall Building, venue for the conference
A view of the lawns from the Convocation Hall Building
Seminar Room No. 28, where the second string will take place
Seminar Room No. 144, where the third string will take place
Fort Campus, with the sea in the background prior to reclamation, c.1905
Rajabai Clock Tower, overlooking Oval Maidan
Ambassador Hotel
Pizza by the Bay, corner opposite the sea along Marine Drive
A BEST double decker alongside black & yellow taxis at a traffic signal
A Mumbai suburban rail rake

The University of Mumbai (known earlier as University of Bombay) a premier University in India, one of the oldest. It was established in 1857 consequent upon "Wood's Education Dispatch", and it is one amongst the first three Universities in India. The Fort Campus is situated on M.G. Road in South Mumbai, near Churchgate Station.

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.

The original campus is in Fort (Mumbai precinct), in heart of the island city of Mumbai. It houses the administrative division of the university. It is built in the Gothic style of architecture. The Rajabai clock tower is located in the lawns of the campus. The Convocation Hall Building within the campus has been accorded Heritage Grade I status.

Freedom fighter and one of the founders of the Indian National Congress Sir Pherozeshah Mehta, former Prime Minister of India P. V. Narasimha Rao, Cricketer Sunil Gavaskar, beauty queen and Actress Aishwarya Rai, billionaire industrialist brothers Mukesh Ambani & Anil Ambani and member of the British House of Lords Baron Desai are amongst the universities distinguished alumni.

Above information adapted from the University of Mumbai website and the Wikipedia article on the same topic.

Plenary sessions[edit]

The Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall, venue for the plenary sessions looks almost feminine in comparison with its Neo-Gothic neighbours, the ponderous High Court and Secretariat. Pretty spiral staircases, ornate stone foliage and ochre Porbunder stone are the hallmark of the building funded by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir and designed by George Gilbert Scott, a prolific British architect of the 19th century.

With a nave and a rose window the Convocation Hall reminds people of the architectural style of a church. The practical aspects of the building is its Venetian Gothic open arcades and open spiral staircases which were constructed keeping the local weather in mind.

The second and third string will be held in Seminar Rooms in the building just behind the Convocation Hall.

Breakout area[edit]

The sprawling lawns of the University of Mumbai's Fort Campus will be used as breakout areas. The lawns are well manicured and can be divided into 3 or 4 different ares.

Lounge Space[edit]

First floor balconies on either side of the Convocation Hall building will serve as lounge areas.

Amenities[edit]

The Fort Campus is set in the middle of the commercial centre of the city. At the back of the Campus in Kala Ghoda and Colaba there are several well known restaurants such as Fountain Sizzlers, Khyber (North Indian), Bombay Blue (North Indian), Noodle Bar (Oriental), Cafe Royal (Restaurant and Bar), Indigo (Restaurant and Pub) and cafes such as Cafe West, Barista and Cafe Coffee Day. Metro BIG Cinema and Sterling Multiplex, single screen cinemas which were recently converted into multiplexes are both 15–20 minutes walking distance from the campus.

Across the Oval Maidan which lies in front of the campus you have Churchgate where you have a variety of food options right from budget options like Subway (International Sandwich Chain), Shiv Sagar (Fast Food), Stadium Restaurant (Irani Cafe) and Vihar (South Indian), Tea Centre (Cafe) to Relish (Mexican and Italian), Samrat (North Indian), Indian Summer (North Indian), Gaylord (Continental), Chopsticks (Chineese) and sea facing The Pizzeria (Italian). Among the high end, the historic Taj Mahal Palace & Tower situated at Apollo Bunder (Five Star with options such as Shamiana, Tanjor and Wasabi) is a 10 minute walk from the campus, at Churchgate you have Society (Continental) and Pearl of the Orient (Revolving restaurant) both at Hotel Ambassador (Four Star), buffet options at Bayview, Geoffries pub both at the Marine Plaza Hotel (Four Star) and the famous Oberoi Trident (Five Star with options such as Frangipani and Vetro) at the corner of Nariman Point.

Transportation[edit]

  • Public taxi/autorickshaw services:
    • Black and yellow metered taxis
    • Radio Taxis: Silver Green run by Meru and Yellow Red by Gold cabs and Black by Mega cabs.
    • Blue and silver airconditioned metered taxis known as Cool Cabs
    • Black and yellow metered Autorickshaws are not allowed in the Central area (between Colaba & Mahim in the West and Colaba and Sion in the East) of the city.
  • Walking:

The Fort Campus as well as the hotels chosen are within 15 minutes walking distance from each other and are located in the heart of Mumbai. Both Churchgate and Colaba neighbourhoods are highly walkable and lie on either side of the campus.

Wifi[edit]

Wifi will be provided at the venue at no extra cost to the attendees.

Maps[edit]

Google Maps

Registration[edit]

Registration: Click Here to Register

Scheduled Programme[edit]

Programme.