Chennai First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Chennai, Tamilians and all the People of TamilNadu – here at Home and Overseas
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    Innovative:  Using trash for cash.

    So you have a load of unwanted stuff cluttering up your room. Here’s something you can do with them…

    To teach is a pleasure and when it’s the fun kind of teaching, it’s even more pleasurable. Three schools where handpicked by the students of the Department of Communication, Madras Christian College, Chennai, for their Public Relation campaign ‘Cut the Crap’, which was based on recycling.

    Newspapers became beautiful files, bottles pen stands, cardboard became photo frames and bits of cloth transformed into surukkupais. There is no such thing as ‘waste’ and the material in our homes can be made into something extraordinary with very little investment.

    An exhibition ‘Recycled Creativity’ was set up in Madras Christian College, of a home which has its interiors made out of newspapers, cardboard, tins, bottles, cloth and everything we see as ‘crap’, to show how our rooms can be re-worked with just a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of trash.

    The campaign went on for five days. On three days children from Balar Kalvi Nilayam, Vepery, Clarke School for the Deaf, Mylapore and Presidency Girls Higher Secondary School, Egmore participated.

    About 250 children from these schools loved what they did and the schools are also planning to teach their school mates.


    DEVAKAR R., VIII, Balar Kalvi Nilayam, Chennai

    I made a pen stand and the idea was very new to me. I never thought waste could be turned into something as good and useful as this. I felt happy and I learnt so much, I felt loved and that encouraged me a lot. My friends have asked me to teach them.

    PAVITHRA J., VII, Presidency GHSS, Chennai

    We have never done anything like this before; it was a lot of fun and I really liked it. I want to teach everyone what I have learnt beginning with my little sister and my friends from other schools. I learnt how to make a plaited file and will use this to put all my papers in it. If I make more, I’m going to sell it at Rs. 50/- each.

    SIDDHANTHA DAMALA, VIII, The Clarke School for the Deaf

    I enjoyed this very much. Found it very interesting as well. I will teach my friends and family.

    As told to Divya Thiagarajan and Nirmal Joseph Sebastian

    Photos (Quotes): Prashanth Gurunathan, Divya Thiagarajan and Nirmal Joseph Sebastian


    Make a pen stand


    1. Tear old newspaper into rectangular shapes and keep the size according to the water bottle you have cut. You may need around 30 to 35 of these.

    2. Roll the rectangular sheets of paper and stick the end as you finish it.

    3. Now glue the rolls to your water bottle

    4. Cut the extras on the top of your pen stand in any pattern you like.

    5. Decorate with paint, sequence or you could just leave it plain.

    6. Once you let it dry, your pen stand is ready!

    Photos: Prashanth Gurunathan

    source: / Home> Life & Style> Kids / by Divya Thiagarajan /  October 29th, 2012

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    October 30th, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Education


    The next time Union minister P Chidambaram recites Tirukkural couplets in Parliament, elected members from Punjab need not feel left out. The Tirukkural, a Sangam period collection of more than 1,000 rhyming couplets, will soon find its place in Punjabi book shelves too.

    A retired principal of the government college of Faridkot in Punjab, Dr Tarlochan Singh Bedi has translated the ancient classic into Punjabi. It will soon be released by the Chennai-based Central Institute of Classical Tamil (CICT), an autonomous body of the Union ministry of human resources development. The centre, established in 2007 in Chennai to promote classical Tamil, is working to bring out translated versions of 41 Tamil classics, including the Tirukkural.

    Bedi said there were similarities between the ideas of Guru Nanak and those in the Tirukkural. “The focal point of the Tirukkural is feelings of love for human beings, which is what Guru Nanak preached too,” he told TOI over phone. Bedi has written many articles on the cultural and linguistic similarities between Tamil and Punjabi. His son is Tamil Nadu agriculture secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi, who is well known in Cuddalore for his tsunami rehabilitation work in 2004 when he was district collector.

    “I heartily welcome the translation of the Tirukkural into as many languages as possible, for it is a unique contribution of the early Tamil civilization and culture. It is a universal treatise,” said former IGNOU vice-chancellor V C Kulandaisamy. The professor, who is also the former chief of the Tamil Language Promotion Board, said the Tirukkural was relevant even today, given its secular outlook.

    The Tirukkural has been translated into English, Latin, German, French, Dutch, Finish, Polish, Russian, Fiji and Malay languages. CICT is on the verge of completing translations into Telugu, Kannada, Manipuri and Nepali with the help of experts from Mysore, Chennai, Madurai and Delhi. Expert committees have been set up to evaluate the quality of the translations.

    Meanwhile, Tamil scholars alleged that CICT has been slow to produce major works, including definitive editions of ancient Tamil classics, which were planned years ago. “CICT should have been a powerful academic body by this time,” said former University of Madras vice-chancellor Pon Kothandaraman, better known as Portko. He said his critical edition on Tolkappiam, an ancient literary classic, which was submitted to the institute years ago, has not yet been published. CICT officials said the projects are in various stages of progress.

    source: / Home> City> Chennai / by Julie Mariappan, TNN / October 29th, 2012

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                                                               Dr. Angela Asirvatham
     DALLAS, Penn., United States
    • Misericordia University recently honored Dr. Angela Asirvatham for excellence in scholarship, teaching and service to the campus and community.  Asirvatham, an associate professor of biology, was presented the Judge Max and Tillie Rosenn Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to student learning and development.
    • According to the Dallas News, the award is given annually to an outstanding faculty member elected by a vote of the students.Asirvatham joined the Misericordia faculty in 2003 as an assistant professor.
    • The Indian American holds a doctorate in physiology from the Department of Biological Sciences at Kent State University and a master of science degree in reproductive physiology from the Department of Animal Sciences, University of Wyoming.She also holds a bachelor of veterinary science, the equivalent to a doctorate of veterinary medicine, from the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University in Chennai.
    • source: / Home> News> US Indian> News Dispatches / October 29th, 2012
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    Chennai, OCT 30:

    The Voltech group of Chennai and the US-based NanoPV have joined hands to put up a 100 MW solar module manufacturing plant near Chennai and a solar park near Tuticorin.

    Voltech is a medium-sized group that is into the manufacture of transformers.

    Setting up a cell and module manufacturing plant may appear foolhardy at a time when global majors are being toppled by the Chinese companies’ onslaught and the slowdown in the European economy. But NanoPV’s President and CTO, Dr Anna Selvan John, says that the company has unique and patented technology that enables it to be competitive even in this market.

    “NanoPV has unique technology based on amorphous and nano-crystalline silicon and proprietary light-trapping and ‘transparent conductive light-trapping oxide’ technologies,” says the company’s Web site. Because of this, compared with conventional solar cells, NanoPV’s cell manufacturing involves one-third the process and takes one-third the cost, and “300 times less amount of material consumption.”

    Voltech’s Managing Director, M. Umapathi, said that the group has near Chennai a factory building where it once produced textiles. NanoPV intends to bring in plant and machinery from the US and set up a production line here.

    The initial capacity would be 10 MW and would gradually be ramped up. Umapathi estimates the cost of the project to be Rs 100 crore.

    Solar farm near Tuticorin

    Another joint venture of Voltech and NanoPV is putting up a 100 MW solar farm near Tuticorin. The project will be implemented in phases, and work has begun on the first 10 MW.

    In this venture, a UAE-based company called Arab Gulf Pearl Trading is also participating. It has taken 50 per cent of the equity. This project too would cost Rs 100 crore.

    Work has commenced on the first 2 MW, which will be completed by March 2013. The other 8 MW will be ready to produce power by the end of 2013, Umapathi said.

    NanoPV says that its modules can generate 1.8 million units of electricity per MW each year.

    The joint venture intends to enter into power purchase agreements with industrial consumers in the state, forming a ‘group-captive’ structure.

    source: / Home> Companies / by M Ramesh / Chennai, October 30th, 2012

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     French IT major Capgemini on Wednesday  announced commissioning of a 300-seat BPO facility in  Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu.

    Photo: Reuters

    Spread across an area of 18,000 sq ft, the new facility would increase Capgemini’s BPO strength in India where more than 6,500 full time staff are now employed.

    Capgemini pioneered a hub-and-spoke delivery network model in India when it opened a spoke location in Salem in 2008 and based on its success, the company has now expanded its delivery network with the opening of the Tiruchirappalli centre that will serve as another spoke location for the hubs in Bangalore and Chennai, a company release said here.

    “The new facility is part of Capgemini India’s ongoing expansion strategy for its BPO services,” B L Narayan, Head of BPO Capgemini, said. All operations at the new centre, like most of
    Capgemini’s BPO services in India, will be non-voice based, the statement said.


    source: / Home> Firstpost> Fwire / PTI / Photo: Reuters  / October 25th, 2012

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    October 24th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy, Science & Technologies

    Though the Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Welfare Association has expressed concern over the health of the citizens in the wake of the Centre’s submission on adulterated milk, the state government owned Aavin has asserted that it is providing 100 per cent hygienic and pure pasteurised milk to consumers.

    “The milk and all our products are clean and there is no scope for adulteration at any stage as the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federa­tion Ltd (familiarly known as Aavin) procures milk in a scientific way,” a senior Aavin official said.

    Apart from educating the milk producers’ societies on rearing cows, Aavin strictly conducts 19 types of tests to ascertain the quality of the milk.

    Milk obtained from the societies, if found substandard, face rejection. “Since we strive to live up to our motto: No profit, no loss, Aavin does not compromise on quality.

    Even the pricing is within the reach of common man,” the official maintains.

    However, the Tamil Nadu Milk Dealers Welfare Asso­c­iation has called upon the state government to immediately constitute an expert committee at state level and tighten the noose on “ad­u­lterators.”

    “Next to me­dicine, milk is considered as life saving food and this precious commodity should be supplied in a wholesome manner,” says S.A. Ponnusamy, state pre­sident of the association, citing the Centre’s submission before the Supreme Court.

    Although, the private producers do not permit public to view their dairy activities, Aavin conducts educative trips to its dairies for the benefit of school and college students.

    source: / Home> Channels> Cities> Chennai / by J. V. Siva Prasanna Kumar, DC, Chennai / October 23rd, 2012

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    October 23rd, 2012adminEducation, Science & Technologies

    An effort to transform future of surface transport

    Will ‘foldable, transformable’ vehicles revolutionise the road surface transport scene for passengers in the years to come?

    The answers seems ‘Yes’, going by three young Engineering students teams from across the country stealing the show at the just concluded ‘India Inventor Student Design Competition’ at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras here.Varad Patil and Ameya Ganapatye of the Fr C Rodrigues Institute of Technology, Vashi, Navi Mumbai, walked away with the first prize for innovatively designing a ‘foldable bicycle’, amid global concerns to go green by reduction of carbon monoxide (a greenhouse gas) releases into the atmosphere.

    A digitalized 3-D model of a ‘foldable three wheeler’ by three students of PSG College of Technology Coimbatore, – Messrs L P A Shanmuganathan, T Manojkumar and B Aravind-, grabbed the second prize in the All-India competition.Not to be left behind was a two-member students team from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar,- Messrs.

    Shashank Agarwal and Dhwanil Shukla-,  who were adjudged the third prize for their innovative design of a ‘transformable car’, namely a four-wheeler that can be made into a two-wheeler.

    The competition was organized by IIT-Madras and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in association with engineering design software maker Autodesk, B Nagarajan, Deputy Registrar, IIT-Madras said.


    While over 1100 teams from various Engineering colleges in India registered for the competition, more than 400 designs were received for the meet, he said.

    The participating ‘student teams’ this year “digitally designed a futuristic or innovative foldable / transformable vehicle using Autodesk products.”

    A renowned five-member Jury comprising industry and academic experts evaluated the new designs submitted by the student teams, from among whom the top 12 teams were short-listed in an intensely creative competition.

    The three top winners were chosen from that list, pointed out Nagarajan.


    The objective of this All-India competition was to “sensitize young minds to India’s Design requirements and engaged them in developing innovative solutions. In doing so, we hope to nurture budding talent in our country with a focus on the design needs of the Nation,” said Prof M Ramanathan, Department of Engineering Design, IIT-Madras.

    While the selected National finalists will take part in a four-day ‘boot camp’ to be held at Singapore from Nov 5, the winners will compete for ‘World Skills India In Mechanical Engineering Design (CAD – Computer Aided Designing)’ at the forthcoming ‘World Skills Competition (WSC)’ the largest skills competition, to be held in Germany in July 2013, Nagarajan said.

    source: / Home> National / Chennai, DHNS / October 23rd, 2012

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    A farmer in Dindigul says he has achieved a bumper harvest by reaping an additional tonne of maize per acre, by adopting the drip irrigation system.

    Chinnasamy, of Semmadaipatti in Reddiyarchathiram is a happy man as he has made a profit even after investing a lesser amount. Chinnasamy’s farm lies in a dry and drought-prone region and he feels that drip irrigation is the answer to their problems. “Most of us here have been using drip irrigation for various horticultural crops, like gooseberry and pomegranate, but I was the first to try it on corn in Reddiyarchathiram union,” he says.

    Usually, drip irrigation is successful in crops where the plants are spaced apart at a distance of five to 10 feet. In the case of maize, the plants are seen close to one another and Chinnasamy had approached the department of agriculture, seeking subsidy for setting up a drip irrigation system in his farm. His success in reaping a good harvest this year has set an example for others in the region.

    Chinnasamy says that he was able to use the water meant for irrigation in one acre in an additional one and a half acres using the drip irrigation system. According to agriculture officials, Chinnasamy has been able to reap four tonnes of maize this year against three tonnes last year. Joint director for agriculture, Dindigul N T Sampathkumar and other officers visited the farm on Friday and inspected it. Farmers in the area were also advised to add specific nutrients as some plants showed signs of needing additional iron supplements.

    source: / by Padmini Sivarajah, TNN / October 21st, 2012

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    A one megawatt scale grid-connected solar power plant commissioned by Swelect Energy Systems Limited under REC scheme at Kuppaepalayam near Coimbatore. The solar arrays are ground mounted with light sensing tracking systems for increasing output. / Photo: K. Ananthan / The Hindu

    The plant has been set up under REC

    Coimbatore district, which is known for the large number of wind mills, is getting into solar power plants. The district’s renewable energy initiatives now cover solar energy too. A one MW solar power plant has been set up in Coimbatore and the energy generated is supplied to the grid.

    Nearly 25 km away from Coimbatore city, at Kuppepalayam near Annur, rows of solar panels placed on a seven acre site are part of the solar energy plant established by Swelect Energy Systems, which was earlier known as Numeric Power Systems.

    The plant has both, fixed and tilting solar panels. Swelect has imported the technology from Spain and the panels tilt to capture maximum solar radiation and thus, have optimum energy generation. The company has also established a High Tension line to the nearest sub-station (3.5 km away) to supply the energy generated to the grid.

    It took about six months to install and the plant was commissioned in May this year. The plant has been set up under the REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) scheme and the total investment is about Rs. 10 crore.

    The plant functions from 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. and, on an average, 4,000 units of electricity are supplied to the grid every day. “The maximum generation is between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. There is generation even when there are rains,” says U. Arunachalam of Swelect.

    N. Ananthakrishnan, Superintending Engineer of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation, says this is the first large-scale solar power plant in Coimbatore region. Larger supply of solar energy to the grid will give voltage stabilisation.

    Mr. Arunachalam adds that solar plants can be established anywhere in the State. Smaller capacity plants on rooftops are also becoming popular.

    Swelect is in the process of setting up 1.5 kw solar systems for all the branches of a co-operative sector bank in the State, including the branches in Coimbatore and Erode districts.

    Managing Director of Swelect, R. Chellappan, told The Hindu the company has established another one MW solar plant in Sivaganga district. It is looking at setting up 10 MW of solar plants every year across the country.

    “We are also actively involved in rooftop installations and have completed more than 1,000 such installations in the country,” he says.

    These are mostly for educational institutions, industries and commercial establishments. Power cuts are higher in rural areas of the State. Houses in rural areas with Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems have potential for solar installations, he adds.

    source: / Home> News> Cities / by M. Soundariya Preetha / October 22nd, 2012

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    October 22nd, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Education

    NSN Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chitlapakkam, won an inter-school quiz competition held at Lakshmiammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chromepet. It was conducted by Srividya Madar Sangam, New Colony, Chrompet, on September 29. After the preliminary written test, top five schools qualified for the finals. A wide range of question related to current affairs, science and technology, art and literature, general knowledge, audio round and rapid fire round were posed by quiz masters Gopi, Sumathi and Savithiri.

    Radha Badrinath, Assistant Professor of Commerce, Ethiraj College for Women, presided and distributed the trophy and cash award to the winner NSN Matriculation School, Chitlapakkam, represented by Harshan Shyam, A. Muthusamy and R. Gowtham. SRDF Vivekananda Vidyalaya, Chrompet, represented by Navin Sridhar and Sai Prakash, were the runners-up. Vel’s Vidyashram, Pallavaram, secured the third spot.

    Vasantha Ramaswamy, president of the Madar Sangam, welcomed the students and guests.

    Gomathy Sugritham of the Sangam thanked the gathering.

    source: / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / October 20th, 2012

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