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    September 30th, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Have a yearning for rice or dishes prepared from rice? The ongoing Chettinad Food Festival at The Gateway Hotel is the right place for you.

    One can have spicy rasam as a starter, move on to coriander rice, boiled rice, idiappam (string hoppers) and rice pancakes. The meal can be ended with another sweet rice preparation (boiled dried rice) and yoghurt.

    “A complete Chettinad meal would have some sweetness, spiciness and sourness. Chettinad food uses coconut oil sparingly and is comparatively less spicy compared to typical south Indian food. The cuisine also uses sun-dried and salted vegetables, seeds and fruits to enhance their flavour,” according to executive chef Saratchandra Banerji.

    Although the Chettiars are well-known for their delicious vegetarian preparations, their recipes also include fish and meats. Rice, more specifically par boiled rice, is the basic accompaniment to most Chettinad dishes. Apart from being cooked, it is also ground and made into idlis and dosa, small bits of fermented rice ‘panniyarams’ and appam (rice pancakes).

    Another Chettiar speciality is the iddiappam (string hoppers) which is made from extruded from ground rice like noodles to make a nest shape. Authentic Chettinad food includes ingredients from South East Asia that the Chettiar men brought home to India with them such as star anise, a typical Chinese spice and red rice from Burma. Other fragrant spices include: coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper, fenugreek and cinnamon.

    Eating off a banana leaf adds to the authenticity of Chettinad food. Rice is served with dal and a bit of ghee, then come the condiments like sambar, puli kulambu, rasam, thairu and lastly the sweet payasam.

    The hotel has roped in the services of Saraswathi and Kali Muthu from Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu for the festival. The festival, which is on at GAD restaurant, is available for buffet dinner from 7.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. till October 7.

    source: / Home> National> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Visakhapatnam, September 29th, 2012

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    PFMI International 2012 Rochelle Maria Rao visited an NGO to talk about the evils of child labour

    Beauty queen titles and social work go hand in hand, and PFMI International 2012 Rochelle Maria Rao is one of those who takes her societal commitments very seriously. As the goodwill ambassador of Smile Foundation’s vow against child labour, Rao visited one of the NGO’s project centres in Mumbai recently. There, she met the teachers and social workers and spoke to them about why no child should be left out of school.

    To welcome her, children from the centre performed a special dance and she joined them in the performance. Later, she said, “I am motivated by their dedication towards empowering children with the help of education. The work they do to bring hope and happiness in the lives of these underprivileged children is commendable. This has inspired me immensely to do good work and spread more smiles.”

    Commenting on the association, Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder and Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation, said, “Rochelle Rao is a worthy winner of this title and we are extremely glad that she is supporting one of our core areas — of sending every child to school.”

    source: / Home> Miss India> News / TNN, September 29th, 2012

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    To mark the World Wildlife Week celebrations, a month-long photo exhibition and series of events titled ‘The Western Ghats: Hidden Treasures’ will be held at Siruthuli’s Noyyal Life Centre on the Valankulam – Sungam Bypass Road from October 1.

    According to Siruthuli, an NGO involved in conservation of water bodies and ecology, the Green NGOs of Coimbatore are taking steps to create awareness about the rich bio-diversity of Western Ghats as part of World Wildlife Week celebrations.

    Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) from Valparai, a non-profit organisation involved in science-based and socially responsible conservation of India’s wildlife and natural eco-systems, is joining hands with the Green NGOs of Coimbatore to celebrate the green wealth of Western Ghats through the exhibition.

    The objective of the expo is to make people realise that they are on a green terrain with around 5,000 species of lowers, 500 species of birds, 130 species of mammals and 170 species of amphibians. It unveils the best vista of a life-time and is a sure soul-soothe, Siruthuli said in a release. The majestic Western Ghats that abuts Coimbatore is a home to this rich bio-diversity, which contains more than 30 per cent of all species found in India. But, urbanisation and human influence is putting a check on this treasure.

    The expo will be open at the Noyyal Life Centre from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all working days and more than 5,000 people are expected to visit the expo.

    It will be inaugurated by S. Balaji, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Director of Tamil Nadu Forest Academy, in the presence of wildlife photographer and film maker Kalyan Varma. District Forest Officer V. Thirunavukkarasu will honour the forest heroes who had done exemplary service in protecting bio-diversity.

    source: / Home> News> Cities> Coimbatore / by Special Correspondent / September 29th, 2012

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    September 30th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Science & Technologies

    Coonoor (Tamil Nadu):

    The Tea Research Foundation (TRF) Saturday released for commercial production a new tea clone, which is superior in quality, has more leaves and can be harvested mechanically.

    “The new clone, termed TRF-5, has high yield potential, can survive a dry spell and is suitable for mechanised harvesting,” TRF director P. Mohan Kumar told IANS here.

    Developed after extensive trials and field testing in select estates, the TRF-5 is a hybrid product of biclonal progenies.

    “TRF-5 is suited to replace the aged or diseased seeding populations and for the re-plantation scheme of the Tea Board under the special purpose tea fund (SPTF),” Kumar said after releasing the variety at the planters’ annual conference here.

    As the research arm of the United Planters’ Association of South India (Upasi), the foundation has identified six compatible graft partners to develop new bushes from the TRF-5 clones.

    “Of the five clones we have developed in the past two decades, the TRF-5 has the second highest average yield – 6,126 kg per hectare as against 7,797 kg by TRF-1, which was released in 2000 for commercial production,” Kumar asserted.

    The foundation has started distributing the new clone cuttings to estates in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to raise the plants for plucking as Orthodox or CTC (crush, tear and curl) leaves.

    “We are registering TRF-5 with the Tea Board as an accepted clone for new planting or re-planting by small growers as well as large estates,” Kumar pointed out.

    The foundation plans to first sell about 500-1,000 cuttings of TRF-5 to each tea garden in the three southern states and ship them to north-east estates after a couple of years.

    According to the Tea Board estimates, about 50 percent of the 120,181 hectares across south India will be undergoing re-plantation during the next 5-10 years once the old plants (bushes) cross 50 years.

    “TRF-5 will be one of the many clones we have developed over the years for re-plantation and rejuvenation of old gardens. In the first cycle of three years, the new clone will yield 2,455 kg per hectare (ha), 4,535 kg/ha in fourth year and 7,225 kg/ha in fifth year,” TRF assistant director R. Victor Ilango said.

    To protect the new clone’s intellectual property (IP), the foundation will soon file for patenting it with the regulatory authorities.

    “We are waiting for the government to extend the Protection of Plant Varieties Act and Farmers Right Act to plantation crops so that we can file for registering the new clone,” Kumar observed.

    The protection will also enable the foundation and nurseries to earn royalty on each cutting of TRF-5 clone.

    source: / Home> India News / September 29th, 2012

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    September 30th, 2012adminSports

    The second and final day of the CM’s trophy state level athletic meet belonged to established stars.

    The gulf in class between experienced performers and newcomers from districts was clear, as the likes of Surendhar, Suresh, Prem Kumar, Gayathry, Saradha Narayanan, Saraswathy, Pappathi and Surya faced little competition. There were no surprises in the 15 finals conducted at the Nehru Stadium on Saturday.

    V. Praveen Muthu Kumaran claimed the 100m gold comfortably. The Madurai boy, who is doing his graduation at Coimbatore’s PSG College, marked his first senior meet with a storming run.

    Never once did he appear to be overawed by the presence of experienced campaigners in other lanes.

    He had built up enough lead that the result was a foregone conclusion by the 80m mark. It was even easier for Saradha in the women’s short sprint. The Southern Railway runner strolled to the finish line as there was no one to push her.

    Praveen said his confidence was sky high before and during the race. “I had a fine start. Then I found my rhythm to finish the job.

    This title is special because it is my first at the senior level,” said Praveen, who had won gold in last week’s national junior inter-zone meet at Pune.

    Saradha said there was no competition for her. “I knew it would be easy for me because most of the competitors were my juniors. I hope there would be stiffer challenges next year,” the articulate athlete said.

    Suresh of Madurai made it two-in-a-row at the Nehru Stadium by winning the 110m hurdles in 14 seconds flat. Earlier this month, he had won the national open athletic championship.

    G. Gayathri, on a comeback trail, nailed the women’s hurdles in 14.2 seconds.

    J. Surendhar is a National Games gold medallist in the 110m but he proved his mettle in the triple jump. The versatile Chennai star, coached by M.V. Rajasekhar, finished on top with an effort of 16.01m.

    “Even though I had trained for the triple jump only for a couple of days, I was able to cross 16 metres,” Surendhar, a Loyola student, said.

    L. Suriya, a gold medallist in the 5,000m and the 10,000m at the open nationals, cantered to the 3,000m title. A. Pappathi, another national level achiever, scooped the 400m crown. Ace long jumper K. Prem Kumar, who had set a new national junior mark (7.96m) last Saturday, was in a class of his own as he added the CM’s trophy to his kitty with an effort of 7.61m.


    Men: 100m: 1. V. Praveen Muthu Kumaran (Madurai) 10.5s, 2. N. Vijayakumar (Chennai) 10.7, 3. M. Al Ameen (Ramanathapuram) 10.9. Long jump: 1. K. Prem Kumar (Thanjavur) 7.61m, 2. Wayne Peppin (Chennai) 7.34, 3. A. Rositto Sax (Tirunelveli) 7.17. 800m: 1. P. Francis Sahayaraj (Namakkal) 1:52.5s, 2. P. Karthik (Coimbatore) 1:54, 3. N. Padmanabhan (Kancheepuram) 1:56.6. Javelin: 1. G. Sathish (Kancheepuram) 60.47m, 2. H. Michael Justin (Tirunelveli) 60.05, 3. T. Suthish (Theni) 58.56. 110m hurdles: 1. A. Suresh (Madurai) 14s, 2. T. Balamurugan (Chennai) 14.1, 3. K. Premkumar (Cuddalore) 14.3. Shot put: 1. N. Shankar (Kancheepuram) 14.79m, 2. Santhosh Kumar (Tiruchy) 14.67, 3. Chidambaram (Thoothukudi) 13.76. Triple jump: 1. J. Surendhar (Chennai) 16.01m, 2. S. Mohammed Salahuddin (Coimbatore) 15.57, 3. D. Arivuselvan (Theni) 15.32.

    Women: 100m: 1. Saradha Narayanan (Chennai) 11.8s, 2. S. Archana (TV Malai) 12.1, 3. R. Kowsalya (Coimbatore) 12.4. Javelin: 1. S. Saraswathy (Coimbatore) 46.92m, 2. R. Jothimani (Kancheepuram) 39.48, 3. P. Madhupriya (Karur) 39.20. 3,000m: 1. L. Suriya (Pudukottai) 9:48.3s, 2. S. Padmavathy (Coimbatore) 10:34.3, 3. A. Kaleeshwari (Namakkal) 11:01.2. 400m: 1. A. Pappathi (Tiruchy) 55.8s, 2. T. Renuka (Karur) 56.7, 3. T.S. Kavitha (Kancheepuram) 57.9. Long jump: 1. Delphin Rani (Thanjavur) 6.13m, 2. G. Karthika (Nagapattinam) 5.83, 3. Surekha Renjith (Chennai) 5.50. 100m hurdles: 1. G. Gayathry (Kancheepuram) 14.2s, 2. V. Hani (Chennai) 14.6, 3. Hema Sree (Coimbatore) 14.7. High jump: 1. G. Mary Shalini (Kancheepuram) 1.60m, 2. S. Shibani (Coimbatore) 1.55m, 3. M. Arockia Elizabeth Rose (TV Malai) 1.55. Discus: 1. U. Vasumathy (Kanyakumari) 41.72m, 2. E. Hema Priya (Thanjavur) 37.38, 3. V. Chitra (Tirunelveli) 36.32.

    source: / Home> Channels> Sports> Others / by T.N. Raghu, DC, Chennai / September 30th, 2012

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    The ‘Green Dream T.Nagar’ project launched by Exnora to reduce pollution in the area. / The Hindu / by Special Arrangement

    T. Nagar Exnora Women’s Club (TEXWOC), Sharma Park Walkers’ Exnora and Sarathy Street Padmanaba Street Civic Exnora jointly launched ‘Green Dream T. Nagar’ project for reducing pollution in the area through a mega tree planting.

    The campaign, which is supported by the State Forest department and Chennai Corporation, was inaugurated by S. Sakthi, Zone Chairman, Zone 9, Chennai Corporation, and Shanthi, Councillor, Division 113.

    The project aims at planting at least 1,000 trees in T. Nagar and the neighbouring areas.

    As part of this project, Exnora launched a mega tree planting event at Padmanaba Street, T.Nagar. More than 50 trees were planted at Sivasailam Street, Sarathy Street, Sharma Park, Habibullah Road, Padmanaba Street (East) and Periyar Road.

    The unique part of this programme is the ‘One tree one family’ motto, in which each tree will be adopted by a family. The objective is to ensure that the trees are well maintained and protected. Exnora will follow up the initiative after a year and the growth and health of the trees will be evaluated. Children of the family, whose trees are the best maintained, will get a certificate of appreciation and a ‘Tree Guardian’ citation from Exnora International.

    Radhika Anand, president TEXWOC, shared her experience in successfully implementing a roof-top garden campaign in T. Nagar. “Pollution level in the city is increasing day-by-day, resulting in respiratory diseases. The only permanent solution to this problem is to substantially increase greenery. Along with tree planting, roof-top gardens should be promoted to achieve the necessary green cover.”

    Mr. Anand Laxman, Senator, Exnora International, said, “In T. Nagar, the particulate matter and dust particle levels are the highest, making it the most polluted area in the city. The problem is exacerbated during festival seasons. Added to this, T. Nagar has lost more than 60 per cent of its green cover due to various construction projects, including the three flyovers.” The only solution to the pollution problem is to substantially increase greenery, he added.

    R. Govindaraj, joint general secretary, Exnora International, said that global warming has become an imminent danger to our environment. In order to increase the rate of tree planting, people must go in for tree adoption.

    Appreciating the efforts of TEXWOC, Sakthi said, “We have planned to initiate several such mega tree planting projects in T. Nagar and Teynampet along with Exnora.” Office-bearers of Civic Exnora units and members of resident welfare associations participated in the event.

    source: / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / September 29th, 2012

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    September 28th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Nature, World Opinion

    Finnish premium brand, VEEN Waters, known for its smooth spring water with an exceptionally low mineral composition and it’s award winning packaging, has announced it’s agreement with Blue Mountain Springs Pvt. Ltd. to gain exclusivity into another exceptionally low mineral composition spring water source in India, through which the brand will enter the Indian market.

    The second spring water source is located in the Nilgiri mountains of Tamil Nadu in one of the oldest hill stations of India, Kotagiri.  At 1980mts, nestled amongst  dense Shola forests and splendid green lush of tea estates, the highlands of Kotagiri have been referred to as the “Switzerland of India” by the British collector of Coimbatore, John Sullivan when he first discovered the region in 1819.

    “We have been looking into India for a while now, but what attracted us to this source was the almost identical characteristics of the water to our source in Lapland” says Mikko Nikkila, director of VEEN Waters Finland Oy.

    The Indian source will bottle Veen products to cater to the Indian market and also for export within the subcontinent, whereas the Lapland source will continue to bottle for existing markets of Europe, UAE, Qatar, Singapore, China, Russia and the USA.

    VEEN waters currently produces premium spring water products, Veen velvet and Veen effervescent in high quality glass packaging, which is sold in the culinary environment, exclusively to fine hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.  This will be replicated for the Indian market.

    “We are very pleased to collaborate with an exciting brand such as VEEN and thrilled that our unique water from the Nilgiris will be showcased for its distinctive properties”, added Arvind Rathnam, director of Blue Mountain Springs Pvt. Ltd.

    More info:

    source: / September 28th, 2012

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    September 23rd, 2012adminSports

    New Delhi:

    India’s  Narain Karthikeyan managed to out-qualify his much experienced teammate Pedro De La Rosa for the second race in a row at the Singapore Grand Prix. HRT after intense work in the garage and analysis of data gathered on Friday, improved the performance of its cars substantially along with the sensations of its drivers De la Rosa and Karthikeyan.

    Karthikeyan proved to be consistent and safe once again throughout the day, which culminated in a good qualifying session where he finished in 23rd, whilst his teammate De la Rosa, who went out with a new gearbox on Saturday which led to a penalty for not completing the obligatory five Grands Prix, finished in 24th.

    “I’m happy because in qualifying I completed an almost perfect lap. I’m pushing very hard and I think that right now I’m driving very well. I’m very comfortable within the team, they help me a lot and make me feel at home, and when the atmosphere is that good it’s easy to perform well,” Karthikeyan said after the qualifying session on Saturday.

    “I’ve done two good consecutive qualifying sessions and I hope to keep that momentum. Tomorrow’s race will be tough physically and mentally but we will fight to achieve the best possible result,” the Chennai driver added.

    The Spanish team’s technical director Toni Cuquerella was also satisfied with Karthikeyan’s performance in the qualifying session. “Narain completed a good qualifying session, in the same line as his last Grands Prix where he has been more secure and consistent. It’s a shame that Pedro was unable to complete a clean lap this time. Tomorrow will be a tough race because, in terms of time, it is the longest in the season. But it will also be tough because of the high temperatures that the engine and the brakes reach, but also because of the thermal degradation of the rear tyres. It all leads to a two or three-stop strategy,” he said.

    The tough conditions which the drivers will face in Sunday’s 61-lap race will be decisive in the outcome of the race. But also the high probability of the safety car coming out and the degradation of the tyres will play a vital role in the strategy, which is anticipated to be between two and three stops.

    “Overall my sensations are positive because the car has improved but we didn’t complete a good qualifying session. We were using a new set of tyres and they were blocking a lot so we were unable to complete a clean lap,” De La Rosa said.

    “Although I already knew that tomorrow I would be starting last because of the penalty, I tried to complete a quick lap, but it wasn’t to be. I take with me the fact that the car has improved quite a bit and that is important ahead of tomorrow because it will be a tough race. It will be tough for everyone but we have to race intelligently to not overwork the brakes and manage the tyres well. As always, we will give it everything to do the best we can,” the former McLaren driver added.

    source: / Home> Sports> Racing / by Devadyuti Das, TNN / September 22nd, 2012

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    September 23rd, 2012adminLeaders, Sports

     PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE: G. Kasturi (centre), the dynamic Editor of The Hindu who was an all-round sportsman, seen with the legendary Dhyan Chand and S.K. Gurunathan (right), the Sports Editor of newspaper, when the hockey wizard visited the newspaper’s office in 1955. / The Hindu Photo Archives

    It is difficult to relate in words the interest and enthusiasm that G. Kasturi showed for sports as Editor of The Hindu.

    To say it bordered on passion, which remained undiminished till life ebbed out of him on Friday, is no exaggeration.

    We, in the Sports Department, were always in awe of his range of interests and knowledge. He also had an abiding concern for accuracy and advocated simple prose as the means to convey an idea or the mood of a sporting moment to the readers.

    He was a multifaceted genius. An all-round sportsman — who shone in tennis, cricket and in cue sports in his youth — GK, as we respectfully referred to him, was versatile to the point of being flawless in judgment.

    If the sports pages of The Hindu today has a measure of variety and vivacity, it is largely because of the foundations he laid in1947.

    His love for sport prompted the birth of the Sport & Pastime in 1947. For the sports fraternity of the country, thirsting for recognition in the post-independent era, S & P was a God-sent vehicle. It also grew into a ‘Bible for sport’.

    He literally planned and polished every page, both in the choice of articles and pictures, to embellish the life and times of sportsmen and women. He was instrumental in starting the annual S & P Trophy limited-over tournament, and even captained the S & P team in the inaugural year.


    Always ahead in thinking and planning, GK kept himself informed of the happenings in every discipline. Even as recently as two months ago, he discussed in detail with this writer the raging controversy in Indian hockey. He recalled with a touch of nostalgia of how The Hindu came forward to donate the Rangaswamy Cup, for the National hockey championship, in 1951.

    GK’s in-depth knowledge of cricket was phenomenal. He dissected, with impeccable logic, the technique of every batsman and bowler. In a recent discussion he debated why Indian spin dominates on local pitches. His two cricketing heroes were Wally Hammond and Lala Amarnath.

    During a meeting connected with the layout for The Sportstar in the late 1970s, GK pulled out a picture showing Hammond in full flow while playing an off-drive and asked, “Will any of your batsmen play this shot with such elegance and class?” For a moment, he fixed his eyes on the picture, immersed in the beauty of it. Such was his boyish enthusiasm.

    GK’s recurring theme during interactions with reporters and sub editors was on inculcating the spirit of innovation. He believed in the adage that change is the essential part of existence.

    “Put on your thinking cap and imagine what the readers would think of the sports page tomorrow morning,” he said times without number. He advised the desk to unfailingly come up with something new to capture the attention of the reader.

    Abreast with the latest development in the world of sports, GK followed interesting matches on radio and TV. He watched with the members of the sports staff the famous last ball six by Javed Miandad against India at Sharjah in 1986.


    GK consistently advocated that the sports pages were meant for the youth, more so for the growing-up children, to see their achievements recorded and photographed. In a recent discussion, he lamented over the fact that newspapers of today were devoting less and less space for activities in colleges and schools.

    For a brief period in 1963-64, GK headed the State tennis association. He strongly pleaded for spreading the sport to district centres and make the game less expensive for the underprivileged children.

    GK, Sir, you are incomparable. Simply because the mould in which the Almighty created you does not exist. He has destroyed it.

    With tears in our eyes, emotions welling up in our hearts, and prayers on our lips, we bow in reverence to your departed soul. Your memory, we will ever cherish.

    source: / Home> Sports> Other Sports / by S. Thyagarajan / Chennai, September 21st, 2012

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    September 23rd, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

         Rochelle Maria Rao

    Weddings today are the most extravagant occasion in India and this time Aamby Valley India Bridal Week presented a mix of traditional and contemporary bridal designs.

    Pantaloons Femina Miss India International 2012, Rochelle Maria Rao looked stunning as she walked the ramp for designers Meera and Muzaffar Ali in a traditional bridal ensemble.

    When contacted, Rochelle said, “Day 3 of the Bridal Week was pretty relaxing for me as I only walked for one show, Meera and Muzaffar Ali which was a lot of fun. I felt quite the blushing bride in my red and green suit. The accessories, music and anklets on my bare feet took me back to my Telegu roots. The Mughal style clothes made me truly feel like a Hydrebadi princess on her wedding night.”

    Country’s top designers presented their signature collections at the Aamby Valley India Bridal Fashion Week and is considered as one of the top bridal fashion weeks.

    source: / Home> Miss India> News / September 22nd, 2012

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