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    June 30th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Education

    It may not be the most preferred location, but Chennai is definitely catching up and the figures are proof of the fact. The number of students from foreign countries applying to city colleges that had increased by almost 20 per cent over the last three years has hit a new high this time.

    “We are getting a hostel built at a cost of Rs. 18 crore for international students in Taramani. It will have a support centre and all facilities to make them feel at ease here,” said Madras University Vice-Chancellor G. Thiruvasagam.

    Foreign students at the university mainly study specific subjects in Music, Anthropology and Public Administration. “The city is not often the first choice, especially for graduation. For most of us back there it is only Delhi or Kolkata. But I wanted to pursue my M. Phil in Medical Pathology, so I am here,” said Rosario Kevin, from Denmark. Besides a steady flow from Thailand, Mauritius, Italy, Kenya and Bhutan, the university this year has recorded an increase in the number of students from Sri Lanka, the U.K and France for research.

    “This time, we have quite a good number of students from China and Korea,” says Prince Annadurai, admissions in charge, Madras Christian College. “Education in English is what these Chinese students are looking for and so they are willing to take up any of the popular courses,” he adds.

    The online admission process initiated this year by some colleges and their high position on most all-India lists of best colleges are some of the factors that attracted students. Oscar C. Nigli, former director of Foreign Desk, Loyola College, points out that “the city is intellectually vibrant, safe and has a lower cost of living.”

    B. Com with an IMS – (Information Management Systems), biological sciences, computer science and electronics are some of the more popular courses.

    “They look for computer training in every course which is not available back home. Students come with an assurance from the respective governments that they will get placements as lecturer or bank official after finishing studies. The Indian degree is considered so high there that a few students get senior posts in universities there,” says K.E.N. Nalla Mohammed, academic director, Mohammed Sathak College of Arts and Science.

    The college is one of the most preferred destinations in the city for foreign students, especially for those from Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Arab countries, who come because of the low cost of education.

    “A student has to spend just about Rs 50,000 a year which includes lodging, food and tuition fee, way less than what they would have to pay in their countries, which have fewer colleges and almost no postgraduate courses,” Mr. Mohammed says.

    source: / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Vasudha VenuGopal / Chennai, June 30th, 2012

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    After winning accolades in an American film festival, it is now destination Germany for ‘3’, the maiden directorial venture of Aishwarya Dhanush, which has her husband, Dhanush, and Shruti Haasan, in the lead role.

    The movie will be screened at the ninth Indian Film Festival to be held on July 18 at Stuttgart, Germany. Aishwarya will be present at the festival representing the film.

    “Aishwarya is happy that her first venture itself has managed to win laurels from various quarters,” sources say, adding:  “Only last weekend, she and Dhanush were honured at SIMAA in Dubai.”

    Meanwhile, the elder daughter of Superstar Rajinikanth is also gearing up to start her second directorial venture. Besides, she is also supervising her home production, which has Siva Karthikeyan in the lead.

    source: / Thursday, June 28th, 2012

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    Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras will conduct a nation-wide quiz on science and technology for school students as part of its annual technical festival, Shaastra.The preliminary round of the Shaastra Junior Quiz will be held at St. Thomas Central School, Thiruvananthapuram, on July 13 and Silver Hills Public School, Kozhikode, on July 14.

    State toppers

    The State toppers will qualify for the main round to be held on IIT Madras campus in January next year.

    Objective test

    The preliminary round will have a written objective test followed by an elimination round.

    High school and higher secondary school students could register for the event by sending their details to, C.S. Abhijit, student coordinator of the event, has said. The organisers could also be contacted at 09809677798.

    source: / News> National> Kerala / by Staff Reporter / Malappuram, June 29th, 2012

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    June 26th, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    There’s nothing like a healthy dose of good ol’ songs from Tamil movies to get Chennaiites into the mood for grooving.

    At the Times Chennai Festival 2012, held at at Elliot’s Beach on a beautiful Sunday evening, singer Karthik  got the audience on its feet with his energetic rendition of some popular Kollywood numbers.

    His medley of songs by Isaignani Ilayaraja and the Mozart of Madras, AR Rahman, received thunderous applause from those assembled and requests for an encore.

    The attendees had a lump in their throats when the singer rendered a song in tribute to ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan, who departed recently.

    Things soon got peppy as Hasili Fisili, Usuraey Pogudhey and Girlfriend were unleashed on the public. The co-host for the event is Sheraton Park Hotel & Towers.

    source: / Home> Entertainment> Regional> Tamil / TNN / January 26th, 2012

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    More than four years after it was shut down for failing to comply with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards, the government’s vaccine manufacturing unit-Pasteur Institute of India (PII), Coonoor, is all set to roll out its first batch of vaccine doses for Dipetheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT) from Tuesday.
    The Public Sector Unit (PSU) will supply about 15 lakh of DPT doses for the country’s Universal Immunisation Progr-amme (UIP). The institute proposes to release about 30 million doses of DPT for the year 2012-2013. “This will be the first time after four years that the PSU will start rolling our vaccines again,” said a senior official in the health ministry.
    The vaccines have been validated and underwent a quality control testing CDL Kasauli in March 2012.
    The manufacturing process had started in 2010 after Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad ordered the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to partially revoke the suspension of licence of the PSU in order to enable domestic use of the vaccines.
    PII and two other PSUs— Central Research Institute (CRI), Kasauli and Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) Vaccine Laboratory, Guindy were closed down in 2008 by the then Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on the grounds that they were not GMP compliant.

    source: / Home> Channels> NATION> North / by Correspondent / New Delhi / June 26th, 2012

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    June 24th, 2012adminScience & Technologies, Uncategorized

     A privilege: Dr. Shanta and Vijay Viswanathan, MD, M.V. Centre for Diabetes, handing over the Senior Citizen Outpatient Privilege Card to 99-year-old Ramasamy (left).  Photo: K.V. Srinivasan / The Hindu


    “Lack of exercise, consumption of fast-food, obesity and sedentary lifestyle can lead to diabetes,” said V. Shantha, Chairperson, Cancer Institute.

    Speaking at the launch of M.V. Centre for Diabetes, Senior Citizen Outpatient Privilege Card at M.V. Hospital for Diabetes, Royapuram, on June 16, she said that the number of people with diabetes in India was high when compared to other countries.

    “The medical fraternity has moved from cure to control. Prevention should be given more importance in non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular diseases.

    “There is lack of medical care and medical insurance in non-communicable diseases. Care, cure and control should be the focus in non-communicable disease than treatment and management,” she said.

    “Diabetes is more of a lifestyle disorder that can be attributed to modifiable risk factors such as lack of physical exercise, obesity and eating junk food.

    Awareness and education on diabetes must be done on a large-scale, which should be a continuing programme,” Shanta pointed.

    Adequate diabetic control and participation of family and physician is important in diabetic care and preventing health complications, she noted.

    M.V. Hospital for Diabetes Managing Director, Dr. Vijay Vishwanathan, said that 4.6 million people died around the world in 2011 due to diabetes, of which 50 per cent of people were below the age of 60.

    “India spends 31 billion on diabetic care. Around 60 million people in India are estimated to have diabetes. In India, diabetes patients have to spend money from their own pocket whereas in the United States of America, patients can avail themselves of health insurance policies,” he said.

    The hospital launched the Privilege Card for senior citizens aged 80 and above in M.V. Centre for Diabetes, Mylapore and Perungudi, where it would provide a concession of 50 per cent.

    The cynosure of all eyes was 99-year-old P.V. Ramasamy of Sivaganga district, who has been suffering from diabetes for the past 25 years. He said that diet control, daily exercise and regular intake of medicines have helped him to live a longer life. More than 20 people, who are 80 years and above and surviving with diabetes, were honoured on the occasion.

    source: / Home> Health / by T. S. Swaminathan / Chennai, June 24th, 2012

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    Stuart Dunn’s work will be a major attraction at the Travel Photographer of the Year show this summer, says Michael Kerr.

    A participant in a BBC expedition dangles in front of the Kaieteur Falls in Guyana Photo: Stuart Dunn

    “There are times,” says Stuart Dunn, “when you just have to go for it.” He certainly did to secure the picture above, winner of the Wild Moments category in the 2011 Travel Photographer of the Year competition held in association with the Royal Geographical Society. Images from the competition – one of the world’s most respected showcases for travel work – went on display yesterday at the RGS in London.

    Dunn’s picture shows a participant in a BBC expedition dangling in front of the Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, which drops 746ft to its first break and is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. The photographer himself was attached to a harness on the cliff face opposite. “I managed to squeeze off just a few frames,” he says, “some of them showing the edge of the cliff. But this one was the best: the perfectly straight rope, the power of the falls and the tiny figure.”

    Travelling to extremes has been part of Dunn’s life since he gained a masters degree in cinematography from the Northern Media School in 2003. One of his friends on the course was from Sri Lanka, and deeply disturbed by the way civilians were suffering in the civil war. He was determined to head for the Tamil Tiger-controlled north of that country – where journalists had recently been killed – and to document the plight of the 500,000 refugees who had been displaced by the fighting. Dunn went with him. “I didn’t know huge amount about the politics or the country,” he says. “But I was young and foolish and I said, ‘Let’s do it’. Jobs like that got my career in travel documentary started.”

    That career, in which he combines photography and cinematography, has embraced programmes as disparate as Country File and Panorama, and taken him everywhere from New Zealand to Brazil. More recently, he has been documenting the travels to inhospitable spots of the adventurers Ben Fogle and James Cracknell and working on the BBC series Coast.

    Having won the Wild Moments category of the RGS competition, he was sent to Valparai, in southern India, one of several places where a British charity, Elephant Family, is working to save the Asian elephant from extinction. Elephants survive there in corridors of jungle between tea plantations (see image below), but loss of habitat is increasingly bringing them into conflict with local people. Elephant Family is attempting to make the area safer for both humans and elephants, with educational programmes and early warnings to villagers of the animals’ presence that include both red lights and text messages.

    The human side of the story was easy enough to tell. Capturing the elephants in pictures proved trickier. “We had 10 days,” says Dunn, “and from four in the morning till eight at night, we were hunting them every day – following their tracks, watching out for dung, treading warily. It was all quite scary.

    “It wasn’t until the last day that I got some decent images of them, and I was very grateful. Not getting elephants in the frame would have been pretty bad form.”

    Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition

    The Travel Photographer of the Year show is at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR, until August 19; 9.30am-5pm Mon to Sat 10am-4pm Sun. Entrance is free. For details, see

    On sale at the show will be a Travel Photographer of the Year portfolio book, Journey Four (£25), containing the winning images from both the 2011 and the 2010 competitions.

    Click here to see more of the best images from the exhibition

    For more of Stuart Dunn’s photography, see

    source: / Home> Travel> Festivals and Events / by Michael Kerr / June 20th, 2012

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    The IIT Madras delegation consisting of two-member team led by Director, Dr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Dr. Ram Nagarajan, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and the Faculty Advisor, Office of Alumni Affairs will be visiting Houston on June 18 and 19, 2012.

      Dr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Dr. Ram Nagarajan

    The Team will be meeting with IIT Madras Alumni of North America (IITMAANA) and IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH) members on June 18 evening to communicate “IITM Vision and Plans” to the alumni and solicit their input and support. This meeting will begin at 6:30 PM on Monday, June 18, at Mayuri Restaurant, 5857 Westheimer.

    On June 19, at the luncheon meeting in collaboration with the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston, Dr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi plans to address the business and entrepreneur community about the recent successes of IIT Madras innovation and incubation initiatives.

    This gathering will take place at Narin’s Bombay Brasserie, 3115 West Loop South, Suite 110; (77027) on Tuesday June 19, from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

    Later in the afternoon, at the “Academic and Research Collaboration” session, the Team plans to communicate IITM academic collaboration initiatives with the Deans and Faculties of Rice University, University of Houston, University of Texas, and Texas A& M University and solicit their active participation.

    The IITMAANA, established in 1980, is a US based non-profit alumni organization that serves the needs of IIT Madras and her alumni in North America region. The Houston Chapter is actively pursuing Prof. S. Sampath Endowment Chair Fund Raising, the first of its kind “to honor the Professors who have made profound impact on the students during their days at IITM and beyond in a sustainable way”.

    The IITAGH, established in 2004, is a non-profit organization that was created to meet three goals: to promote professional growth of its members; to provide a social network for IIT alumni and their family members to swiftly assimilate into the Houston community, and to give back to the local community.

    The team’s visit is locally coordinated by Mallik Putcha, and Dr. Subba Viswanathan, Founding President and Director respectively of IITMAANA, and supported by Witty Bindra, President of IITAGH

    source: / India Herald

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    Collector S. Nagarajan flagging off the Gandhi peace expedition bus at Kanyakumari on Sunday.  Photo: A. Shaikmohideen / The Hindu

    Mahatma Gandhi wanted to empower the poor and wanted to remove egotism among people, recalled Collector S. Nagarajan at Kanyakumari on Sunday.

    He flagged off an inter-State ‘Gandhi peace bus youth expedition,’ under which places Gandhi visited in the south from Kanyakumari to Mangalore would be covered, from Gandhi Mandapam. The expedition is organised by Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi in association with the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, Government of India, and the Indian Council of Gandhian Studies, New Delhi.

    A special prayer was also organised inside Gandhi Mandapam on the occasion. A photo exhibition portraying the life of Gandhi and comments made by world leaders about him in appreciation of his selfless service for the uplift of the poor and downtrodden, particularly Dalits, was held.

    Later the Collector and Information and Public Relations Officer Hari Ram toured the mandapam to plan for more development to attract more visitors.

    Kerala Gandhi Smarak Nidhi chairman N. Radhakrishnan said that the main purpose of the expedition was to encourage the youth to follow the routes Gandhi travelled under a well-designed programme. Gandhi visited 394 places between Kanyakumari and Mangalore.

    The expedition began from Kanyakumari where Gandhi was denied temple entry at Bhagavathy Amman Temple on the grounds of his having gone abroad and violated Hindu ethics. However ‘samudram’ (sea) showered her blessing by sprinkling water on his body while he touched the shore, said P. Gobinathan Nair, president al India Gandhi Memorial Nidhi.

    source: / Home> News> States> TamilNadu / by Staff Reporter / Nagercoil, June 18th, 2012

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            Sam Kannappan

    AUSTIN, Texas, United States

    Governor Rick Perry recently appointed Sockalingam “Sam” Kannappan of Houston to the  Texas Board of Professional Engineers Texas Board of Processional Engineers  for a term to expire Sept. 26, 2017.

    The board licenses qualified engineers, enforces the Texas Engineering Practice Act and regulates the practice of professional engineering in Texas.

    Kannappan is a professional engineer and senior design engineer for SNC-Lavalin Hydrocarbons and Chemicals. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Gas Pipeline Safety Research Committee, a board member of the Society of Piping Engineers and Designers, and an advisory board member of the Asia Society of Texas.

    Born in Nattarasankottai in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu, Kannappan is a past member of the Texas On-Site Wastewater Treatment Research Council. He received his bachelor’s degree from Annamalai University in India and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas.

    Kannappan is a prominent local Indian American community leader and one of the co-founders of the Sri Meenakshi Temple in Houston.

    source: / Home> News> US Indian / by Staff  Reporter / June 15th, 2012

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