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    February 29th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy

    As many as 16 Bulk Milk Chilling (BMC) plants with a capacity of 5,000 litres and costing Rs 20 lakh each are being set up in Coimbatore District to ensure quality and flavour in the milk as part of the modernisation exercise, said C. Siraj, General Manager of Coimbatore District Milk Producers Union (CDCMPU).

    Talking to “The Hindu”, Mr.Siraj said that the installation works in respect of 11 plants were almost nearing completion and the rest would also be completed shortly. These plants are coming up in major villages catering to the needs of the dairy farmers in the nearby ten villages for each chilling plant. At present, CDCMPU has procurement facility and chilling plants at Sultanpet, Shanmugapuram, Annur and Tirupur. It takes nearly three hours for the milk to reach the chilling plant and by then the milk develops bacterial growth and it had to be once again children to regain the quality and flavour. Now, the milk would reach the BMCs within half-an-hour enabling the retention of quality and flavour of the milk avoiding bacterial growth.

    Mr.Siraj also said that CDCMPU which earns a profit of nearly Rs 2 crore per month is all set to embark on a massive modernisation and expansion plan at Rs 27.27 crores utilising its own funds. The exercise would take the existing milk handling capacity from 2 lakh litres to 5 lakh litres. At present, the union with a capacity of 2 lakh litres was handling closer to 2.34 lakh litres. It was registering an average sale of 1.53 lakh litres per day and it would soon go up to 1.74 lakh litres. There is enough procurement and marketing potential and the CDCMPU was just waiting for capacity augmentation and modernisation drive to be completed so as to tap the full potential. At present CDCMPU was meeting the shortfall in milk faced by Chennai City, Udhagamandalam, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.

    With regard to dairy farmers’ welfare, Mr.Siraj said that CDCMPU was at present giving 0.50 paise as incentive to the farmers for every litre of milk procured and had written to the Government for enhancing it to Rs 1. Similarly, efforts are on to get milch cows to 3,500 dairy farmers through loans from banks at 10 per cent interest and 25 per cent back ended assistance from NABARD.


    Parlours and by-products:

    CDCMPU is also planning to set up hi-tech parlours to provide milk and by products round the clock and these hi-tech parlours with buildings at Rs 15 lakhs and Rs 10 lakh of interiors and accessories would come up at the Pachapalayam Dairy Unit of CDCMPU and its marketing office at R.S. Puram besides one at Tirupur near Veerapandi Pirivu, Mr.Siraj said. In addition, the CDCMPU is also planning to open up outlets through franchisees in 20 places across the city.

    On market presence, Mr.Siraj said that the issue was not overn opening outlets or offering franchisees and CDCMPU was just waiting for modernisation and capacity augmentation so that the market needs could be met in full without hitches.

    Once modernisation drive is completed, the CDCMPU will focus on producing by products of milk such flavoured ice cream in candy and cups, paneer, badam milk and mixture, curd in cups. All these products are expected to hit the market very shortly.

    source: / News> Cities> Coimbatore / by V.S. Palaniappan / Coimbatore, February 29th, 2012

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    Adam’s Fountain at Charring Cross, a landmark in the Queen of Hills, has been spruced up before summer and its attendant tourist season hits Ooty.

    The Ooty municipality has handed over the maintenance of Adam’s Fountain to a Coimbatore-based private advertising company and work has been completed. The new look of the fountain under floodlights in the night is sure to be a tourist attraction. Built in 1886 as a memorial to Governor Adam of Madras Presidency, it remains a public display fountain. The Governor died in Ooty in 1881. The fountain was established at a cost of `13,000 then, from public subscriptions. Since maintaining the fountain is expensive, the municipal administration has invited private participation for several years now, rejecting councillors’ demands not to hand maintenance over to private companies.

    sources: / Home> States> TamilNadu / Express News Service / February 27th, 2012

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    February 28th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Leaders, Uncategorized


    Coimbatore got its first woman Deputy Mayor, S Leelavathi Unni, in a ‘hurry’ on Monday thanks to a classic case of slip between the cup and lip for the AIADMK’s originally intended nominee K B Balraj. The post of Deputy Mayor had fallen vacant following the resignation N Chinnadurai on December 30 last year.

    Just hours before the Coimbatore Corporation Council was to meet to elect the new Deputy Mayor on Monday, it became apparent that Balraj would be the ruling party nominee for the post. Immediately, senior AIADMK functionary M Manimaran sought to preempt Balraj. He pointed out that since the latter had got a contract to operate a Corporation abattoir in Uppilipalayam, electing him would lead to conflict on interest in civic administration.

    Balraj had recently written to the Corporation seeking to annul his contract with an eye on bagging the post. His request to surrender his contract was on the agendas for Monday’s council meeting.

    With Manimaran and a few other councillors objecting to Balraj’s candidature confusion prevailed

    Amid the drama, Corporation Commissioner consulted Mayor S M Velusamy and adjourned the council meeting by an hour. Subsequently, after backroom confabulations with Chennai, first time councillor Leelavathi Unni was asked to file her nominations.

    A brief while later the Commissioner declared that she was unanimously elected Deputy Mayor.

    source: http://www/ /  Express News Service / Tamilnadu / February 28th,2012

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    February 28th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Uncategorized


    Sinclairs Hotels Limited on Tuesday announced the grand reopening of Sinclairs Retreat Ooty – the 72-room 7-suite hill resort located 2240m above sea level in the panoramic Nilgiri Hills.

    The resort, close to the Coimbatore airport, has been extensively refur-bished and has opened in time to leverage the peak summer season which typically sees a spike in tourist arrivals in the region.

    Apart from Ooty, Sinclairs’ properties in Siliguri, Darjeeling, Dooars and Port Blair recorded strong year-on-year performance with a 10% increase in topline and 5% increase in profit from the previous year.

    Sinclairs’ portfolio will stand enhanced to around 600 keys across 9 desti-nations following completion of three new projects including a luxury hill resort in Kalimpong, a tourist resort with a hotel, club and banquet com-plex in Burdwan, near Kolkata and a 106 room premier business hotel in Kolkata.

    It may be mentioned the group recently acquired majority ownership of Savannah Sarovar Premiere – a 104 room upscale operational hotel in Whitefield, the IT hub of Bengaluru. With this acquisition, Sinclairs is firmly positioned to cultivate the traditionally strong business and leisure segments in Bengaluru and its adjoining metropolitan region.

    source: / Home> News> News by Industry> Services / by Anuradha Himatsingka, ET Bureau / February 28th,2012

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    February 27th, 2012adminSports

    It’s been over a decade since 64-year-old Leslie Fernandes wielded a hockey stick. The former goalkeeper, part of the Indian team that won the World Cup in 1975, was playing it again in his mind when he recently watched 12 Anglo-Indian teams from across the country battle it out at a tournament in Chennai.

    The ‘Toast to Hockey 2′ tournament, held every two years (this time between February 17-18), is a celebration of the community’s contribution to the national game, and many hope it might just bring the prodigal sons of Indian hockey back to the game. “Most players in the pre-World War II teams, which won three Olympic gold medals, were Anglo-Indians and they made India famous the world over,” says Harry MacLure, editor of Anglos In The Wind’, an international magazine for Anglo Indians.

    MacLure, coming from a 500-year-old community with a strong music-sports tradition, had the idea of a hockey tournament for his people in July 2009 to revive interest in it among youngsters. The first tournament was held in Chennai in 2010 with teams from Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam, Trichy, Bangalore and Chennai.

    “It was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that hockey was introduced in British military cantonments. It was popularized by Irish Christian brothers running educational institutions in Mussoorie, Kolkata and Dehra Dun,” says Richard O’Connor, one of the organizers. “Anglo-Indians took to the game and it flourished in the railway colonies.”

    Hockey legend Trevor Vanderputt, who came from Australia, remembers playing hockey in the streets. “It was popular in Catholic boarding schools,” says the 80-year-old. As a 17-year-old, Vanderputt worked for a year in the UK, playing for the Indian High Commission in London. “It was entirely an Anglo-Indian team,” he says. In the 1970s, he came to India with a young hockey team from Australia, which included Ric Charlesworth, who went on to become coach of the teams that won the Champions Trophy in Auckland last year, and the Commonwealth Games in 2010 in New Delhi.

    The list of Anglo-Indian hockey greats is long. Leslie Claudius featured in the Guinness Book for winning the maximum number of Olympic medals – three gold, one silver – in hockey. He received the Padma Shri in 1971. The 1928 Olympic team had nine Anglo-Indians; the 1932 team eight, and the 1936 team six.

    Anglo-Indian women also reigned supreme. “They excelled in all sports and dominated hockey,” says MacLure. The provincial and national championships were swept by Anglo-Indian teams. “The women’s national hockey tournament in Bhopal in 1961 was an all-Anglo-Indian affair,” he says.

    But the game went into a decline after India won the Olympic gold in 1980. “Cricket gained popularity, especially after the 1983 World Cup win,” says O’Connor. Children began playing cricket and schools stopped promoting hockey. Many Anglo-Indians migrated to England, Australia and Canada after Independence. “We lost many talented players due to the mass exodus,” says Fernandes. After Partition, brothers Julian, Eric, Cec, Mel and Gordon Pearce migrated to Australia. All went on to become successful international players for their adopted country.

    Unemployment and financial insecurity are other factors that led to hockey’s decline. “Government organizations like Railways’ ICF used to offer jobs to players, but that has stopped,” says Adam Sinclair, who played in the 2004 Athens Olympics. “Our youngsters’ desire to make quick money led many of them to opt for call centre jobs, which they land easily as they have a good command over English.”

    Alloysius Edwards, who played in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, says nepotism at all levels of selection ruined the game. “This has been a problem with all Indian sports,” he says. The switch to astro turf, too, has hampered hockey’s growth in smaller cities which don’t have it. Then, hockey sticks have become expensive, acting as a deterrent, says Fernandes. But Anglo-Indian hockey clubs are trying to keep the game alive. Thomas Chouke, captain of Anglo Wanderers, a club in Chennai, says hockey is “the first love” in many Anglo-Indian households. “Every family has someone who played the game and we’re proud of our heritage,” he says.

    The present tournament finally culminated in true Anglo-Indian style. “After all the friction on the field, we get together to dine and dance and celebrate the spirit of the game,” says Chouke. Play on, hockey boys.

    With iputs from Krishna Kanta Chakraborty

    source: / Home> Sunday TOI> Special Report / by Priya Menon / TNN / February 19th, 2012

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    February 26th, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

     Bangalore, February 24, 2012

    Cobalt, a leading integrated marketing communications company headquartered in Bangalore, presents the first edition of the Music. Arts. Dance. (M.A.D.) Festival.

    Spread over three long days of summer; the festival is an annual cultural extravaganza that will promote India’s most fascinating destinations, and showcase an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary music, arts, dance and other performing arts; cutting across genres, from across and beyond the country. The festival will unfold at a different destination, every couple of years.

    The festival brings world class artistes from different genres of music, arts and dance, from India & around the globe to one exotic location. Be it kathak, electronica, heavy metal, rock, jazz, blues, folk, funk, fusion, flamenco, sufi, world, one can find most of it here. The festival will also feature performances by the 6 primary tribes of the Nilgiri, some of who are over a 1000 years old. Festival goers will also get the rare opportunity to interact with the tribes and learn about them, their skills, their music, art & dance forms. The festival is to take place at the historical Fernhill Palace in Ooty from the April 5-7, 2012.

    Some of the artistes/bands performing at The M.A.D Festival includes the likes of Indian Ocean, Raghu Dixit Project, Thermal and a Quarter, Soulmate, Skinny Alley, and other world class young & upcoming bands from India. The International bands playing at the festival are Franco-Morrocan singer Hindi Zarah, State Of Bengal Live from the UK who will be collaborating with Paban Das Baul, Indialucia from Poland, No Blues from Amsterdam, and other renowned live acts.

    The festival has two stages it’s going to be quite mad, because fans will be running from one stage to the other, to catch the fantastic performances. Having said that, festival-goers can still catch performances on both stages, since there is a 30 minute difference between the stages. The crossover between these two stages will be the MAD Bazaar consisting of 50 stalls brimming with unique, innovative, & quirky products made by creative individuals from all over India. The idea of the bazaar is to bring creative people together, promote them and give them a platform to showcase and sell their work. Hand illustrated helmets, shoes and posters, silver and brass jewellery, innovatively designed bags made with old clothes, silk screen printed cushion covers, organic cotton dresses and a plethora of products one would not normally find in big city shops will be available at the bazaar. The market will be rustic, keeping in mind the natural environment.

    The organizers have chosen Ooty as the destination, for three reasons; one being it’s a location straight out of a dream. The other reason is that it’s strategically located; its central to three states, and is only just a few hours away from Coimbatore, Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Coorg, Manipal, Calicut, and Thrissur. The airports closest to Ooty are in Coimbatore; which is 3 hours by road, and in Bangalore; which is 5 hours by road. And, while temperatures will be soaring in most parts of the country, the venue; the Fernhill Palace will remain cool and pleasant, is its located 6000 feet above sea level, with an altitude of 2300 meters, and its beautiful green landscapes will keep festival goers revived and refreshed all through. Ooty makes for an ideal getaway this summer.

    The festival is divided into 10 areas; “Two stages” that will see performances right through the day. A “jam zone” where folks can bring their own music instruments and jam together, meet new people and even learn from each other. A “Bar in the woods,” Two “Food courts” and a “coffee lounge” for teetotalers. They also have a “Paintball Zone” for paintball freaks, as the popularity of the game is growing rapidly. Kids will be taken care of too at a special “play area for kids” so parents can take time off, relax and enjoy the festival.

    That apart, a range of workshops will be facilitated over three days, by renowned artistes & field experts, during the course of ones stay at the festival. One has to register on the festival’s website to participate in workshops of music, dance, yoga, photography, and juggling, these workshops will equip a person with the necessary knowledge and secrets to get started, and promise to open doors to an exciting new world. These workshops will range right from the beginner level up to the senior level and is for people across all age groups.

    One of the many reasons that make this M.A.D Festival unique, is that it breaks away from the age old concept of headlining acts. The idea is to give folks a mad mix of great performances that they can enjoy right through the day. The security at the venue will be very tight, there are CCTV camera’s across the venue to ensure maximum security, sniffer dogs along with security personnel will ensure that the festival is a drug free, and clean affair. So folks, leave your paranoia behind, and go with music in your hearts.

    source: / Section: other Briefs> Category: Corporate / February 24th, 2012

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    February 25th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Science & Technologies

    Indo-Russian joint venture BrahMos Aerospace has tied up research with plans to take up collaborative research work with the National Institute of Technology (NIT) at Thiruchirapally in Tamil Nadu as part of its programme of participative research with educational institutions for development of hypersonic version of Brahmos missiles.

    BrahMos is initiating research collaboration with a number of academic and industrial institutions across the country for development of robotics, sensitive materials etc required for hypersonic missiles, its CEO and MD Dr Sivathanu Pillai said.

    He was addressing a gathering at the eighth edition of ‘Pragyan-2012’, the annual techno-management festival at the National Institute of Technology-Trichy.

    The Pragyan fest has, meanwhile, received the ISO 9001 (2008 edition) certification for conducting seven memorable editions, giving it the stature of an international festival, last year. Pragyan is now among the top five student technical festivals in the country.

    BrahMos is in the process of venturing into development, design and production of hypersonic missiles, which can travel at seven to eight times the speed of sound (7-8 Mach), Shivatanu Pillai said.

    He said BrahMos is on the look out for new materials that could withstand high speed and heavy vibration in the development of hypersonic missiles.

    NIT-T, which has courses in disciplines like robotics, material management, metallurgy, was among the institutions being roped in for the collaboration, Pillai, who made a presentation at Pragyan, the annual Techno-Management festival of the institute, said.

    NIT- Trichy director Dr Srinivasan Sundararajan said discussions with BrahMos had already been initiated and the collaboration agreement would be finalized soon.

    source: / Defence> Arms & Munitions / February 25th, 2012

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    February 24th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy

    Rinac India ltd has launched a new energy efficient pressurised banana ripening chamber, known as the Bana Barn, at Trichy last weekend.

    The chamber uses rack type refrigeration that reduces energy use and eliminates wastage. The uniform cooling and ripening process will eliminate possible weight loss and the consequent financial loss to users, according to Mr R. Krishnan, CEO of Rinac.

    To raise awareness about the ripening process, challenges faced by farmers in Trichy and the solutions available, the company is also conducting a program called Rinac Connect.

    Source: / Publication date: 2/23/2012


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    February 24th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy

    About 1,000 primary weavers cooperative societies and four lakh handloom weavers in Tamil Nadu are likely to benefit from the new Centrally-sponsored scheme launched in association with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The move will directly impact the Indian handloom sector, the second largest employer in the country after agriculture.

    According to Lalitha Venkatesan, Chief General Manager, NABARD, Chennai region, the “Revival, Reform and Restructuring Package for Handloom Sector” will be implemented from the current financial year with a total outlay of Rs.3,884 crore.

    The scheme was mooted by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his 2011-12 Budget speech. To be implemented through NABARD, it is likely to benefit 15,000 cooperative societies and three lakh weavers across the country. Funds will be provided for repayment of 100 per cent of principal and 25 per cent interest as on date of loan becoming non-performing asset (NPA), which is overdue as on March 31, 2010 in respect of viable and potentially viable Primary Weavers’ Co-operative Societies and Apex Societies.

    Also covered are individual handloom weavers, master weavers, self-help groups and joint liability groups who have taken such loans for handloom weaving purposes, provided the banks agree for sanctioning fresh loans.

    There would be an overall ceiling of Rs.50,000 per individual beneficiary as far as funding under this scheme is concerned in respect of waiver of overdues of individual handloom weavers.

    The Government has further approved an interest subvention of three per cent for three years to be extended from the date of disbursal of the fresh loan extended by banks to the eligible handloom co-operative societies and individual handloom weavers covered under the scheme. Out of the total amount of Rs. 3,884 crore, the share of the Government of India will be Rs. 3,137 crore and that of the States Rs.747 crore.

    With specific reference to Tamil Nadu, she said 1,187 primary weavers cooperative societies were in existence in the State as on March 31, 2011. More than six lakh weavers were employed through 4.13 lakh handlooms in the State. Of that 2.28 lakh looms were under the cooperative fold. In total, the scheme would benefit about four lakh weavers in the State.

    source:  / News> States> TamilNadu / by G. SathyaMurthy / Chennai, February 24th, 2012

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    February 22nd, 2012adminLeaders, Records, All

    Caption: Dr. Kalam, Justice Hegde

    New Delhi, Feb.16:

    Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and former Lokayukta of Karnataka Justice N. Santosh Hegde have been selected by the Sitaram Jindal Foundation for S.R. Jindal Prize for their outstanding contributions in their respective fields.

    The prize amount carries a cash of Rs. 1 crore. Sitaram Jindal Foundation will felicitate 25 other achievers also at the award ceremony to be held on Feb. 23.

    S.R. Jindal Prizes will also be awarded for crusade against corruption, rural development and gallantry.

    Patron of the Foundation Sitaram Jindal said, Dr. Abdul Kalam has been selected for the award for his contributions in science and technology while Justice Santosh Hegde will be honoured for his extraordinary service in social development.

    source: / General News / February 16th, 2012

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