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    The Dhenupureeswarar temple at Patteeswaram, about 10 km from Kumbakonam, is a significant vestige of the period dating to 7th century AD. But the way its tank was maintained all these years showed no signs of respect for heritage.

    Till recently, the supply channel to the tank remained in disuse with silt occupying most space. Whenever the need for filling the tank arose, water was drawn from a nearby borewell. Virtually, everyone became oblivious of the existence of the supply channel. Thanks to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the supply channel has now got a fresh lease of life.

    Identified under the category of rejuvenation of traditional water bodies, the channel restoration work saw the utilisation of manual labour for removal of silt from the channel, which is known as Pampapadiyur channel.

    Measuring 2.6 km long, the channel, used to get its supply from the Thirumalairajan river, cuts across houses in the village. So, when the district authorities began tracing the alignment of the channel, they found it a daunting task. The renovation of the channel involved dovetailing Panchayat funds with the MGNREGS. Launched in early December, the entire work was carried out in 45 days. Now, the temple tank gets water through the channel, says K. Baskaran, District Collector, with a sense of fulfilment.

    To give an account of the social profile of the composition of the MGNREGS workforce at Patteeswaram, Scheduled Castes account for a little over 50 per cent of around 1,240 persons, to whom job cards have been issued.

    source: / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by G. Srinivasan / Thanjavur, January 30th, 2013

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    January 31st, 2013adminBusiness & Economy, Science & Technologies

            Wayne Robbins

    Circor Flow Technologies India Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Circor International, has opened a manufacturing facility in Coimbatore with an investment of Rs.23 crore.

    Wayne Robbins, Chief Executive Officer of Circor International, and Sriram Natarajan, Country Manager of Circor India, told presspersons here on Wednesday that the company started operations in India in 2009. In June 2010, it acquired the valve business of Mazda in Ahmedabad. The facility was closed in December last year.

    In Coimbatore, the company had set up a 60,000 sq. ft. facility, and had space for expansion. It would produce valves mainly for the power and oil and gas sectors. About 40 per cent of the company’s production in India in 2012 was exported, and this year it was expected to be 60 per cent.

    To expand the portfolio of products

    The company proposed to expand the portfolio of products made in Coimbatore by including more varieties of valves. “We see growth in India in manufacturing, the market, and exports and also the services we provide,” Mr. Natarajan added. The company provided employment to nearly 150 engineers here and had fabrication, machining, assembly and testing facilities here.

    Circor had manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, Brazil and China and now in India.

    source: / Home> Business> Companies / by Special Correspondent / Coimbatore, January 31st, 2013

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       old memory:       Doctors of the Twin Medicos 1959 batch at a reunion in the city recently.

    Fifty-four years ago, 70 students were admitted as the first batch of the Thanjavur Medical College. But with the new campus being under construction, they joined the fifth batch of the Madurai Medical College (comprising 100 students), earning the sobriquet ‘Twin Medicos’ that stuck on and got renewed at every reunion.

    The two-day reunion of the ‘Twin Medicos 1959 batch’ was an informal meeting of old friends who specialise in various fields from paediatrics to geriatrics. Of the original 170, 64 made it to the 13{+t}{+h}get-together. The reunion saw the maximum participation in recent years, said Mohamed Farook, orthopaedic surgeon and member, organising committee.

    The meet included a sightseeing trip to the historic Grand Anicut (Kallanai) and a group photo was taken on location.

    Among the most illustrious of the classmates was V.S.Natarajan, pioneer in geriatric medicine in India, and recipient of the Padma Shri and B.C. Roy Award. He was felicitated along with recipients of the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University’s Lifetime Achievement Award and doctors who had won recognition from various medical bodies. Surgeon Dr. Zawahir presided over the meet.

    Close to 10 medicos flew from America, Europe and Australia to attend the event with their families, said the organising committee members.

    The medicos took home a souvenir with photographs and an update on each of their classmates. Featured among the pages were sepia tinted photographs of sharing food in the hostel mess, cultural programmes and medical college life in the 1960’s- a handy trip down memory lane.

    source: /Home> National> Tamil Nadu /by Staff Reporter / Tiruchi, January 30th, 2013

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    January 30th, 2013adminBusiness & Economy

    Chennai :

    The Rs 100 crore cement manufacturing facility of Tamil Nadu Newsprint Papers Ltd  (TNPL) was formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa  here today.

    She inaugurated the plant by video conferencing. The plant is the first to be set up at Kagithapuram in Karur district by TNPL using dry ash  and limestone as raw material, an official release here said.

    With a capacity of producing 600 metric tonnes per day, the plant would initially recruit 300 persons, it said.

    Noting that TNPL reported profits of Rs 108.94 crore for the period 2011-12, it said the dividend amount of Rs 12.22 crore was presented to Jayalalithaa by Industries Minister S P Velumani on the occasion.

    source: / Home> News> News By Industry> Int’g Goods/Svs / January 30th, 2013

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    January 30th, 2013adminSports

    The Indian F1 driver is in talks with a number of teams to land a position in the American single-seater racing.

    The only Indian F1 driver Narian Karthikeyan is understood to have set his sights on IndyCar for the 2013 season, following the demise of the HRT racing team.

    The Spanish-based HRT announced last month that the team was up for sale and was looking for a new buyer.

    However, the racing team could not find any takers and eventually failed to cough up the entry fees for the 2013 season by the said deadline.

    Veteran racer Pedro de la Rosa and Indian Narain Karthikeyan  were HRT’s drivers last season, but both finished in the bottom two of the drivers’ standings.

    So, now with F1 plans on hold, the 36-year old Narian Karthikeyan is having preliminary talks with a  number of teams, including Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport to land a position in the American single-seater racing for the 2013 season.

    “Up until now, the focus has been on F1, but now is the time to look seriously at alternatives. I want to continue to race single-seaters and, outside of F1, IndyCar is the best option,” Karthikeyan said.

    The racing driver has a partial budget to bring from longtime sponsor Tata Motors and said he could strike a deal with an IndyCar team if there’s an opportunity that would provide sufficient preparation.

    “Getting a test would be a good first step and a chance to adapt to the car and see where we are. I know there aren’t dozens of paid IndyCar drives, but it’s a big series and it’s growing, so there’s the chance to race professionally after the first year. We’re still just talking for now,” Karthikeyan further added.

    Outside of F1, Karthikeyan has previously raced in NASCAR Trucks in 2012, where he made a total of nine appearance and a 11th position at the Texas Texa Motor Speedway went down as his best result.

    Though there is big difference in NASCAR and IndyCar, the fastest Indian drives hopes the oval racing experience he has under his belt will do him good.

    source:  / Home / Monday, January 28th, 2013

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     “I don’t comprehend the language but the exquisite expressions and graceful movements of the Bhara­tanatyam dancers have captivated me,” says Alan Smith, a visitor from USA.

    Like him, over 300 foreigners join a number of locals in flocking to watch a performance at the Mahab­ali­puram Shore Temple, venue of the Indian classical dance festival. A plea from various quarters for a running commentary in English for the benefit of international audience has not materialised this year too. Tamil Nadu Tourism Develop­ment Corporation have still managed to come up with a rewarding experience for foreigners.

    “This time we honoured with a shawl foreigners who attend the festival all days. We encourage them to give away certificates to the artistes,” a senior TTDC official said.

    Marina Arkell from London has been a regular visitor to this month-long festival, which draws to a close on Sunday. Moved by her attachment to Bharatnatyam and Tamil Nadu folk arts, TTDC’s managing director Hemant Kumar Sinha honoured her with a shawl and memento. Like her, Leomie Sechk­elaar and Marjoe Roze from Holland have also been watching the events daily. “It is the great culture and tradition of Tamil Nadu that has been attracting me to this festival since the last two decades,” Dalach from Israel.

    “The annual dance festival is attracting foreigners and domestic tourists alike, in large numbers, and we have received many repeat visitors from London, Holland, Russia and France,” an  official said. About 1,500-2,000 persons flock to the venue in weekends and sit enthr­alled watching the intricate footwork and elaborate abhinaya of dance.  The festival has been attracting top dancers who have won the coveted Padma Kalai­mamani awards. About 8,000 foreigners were said to have patronised the festival last year as opposed to 7,800 in 2011.

    source: / Home> News> Current Affairs / DC, J.V. Siva Prasanna Kumar / January 25th, 2013

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    January 25th, 2013adminScience & Technologies

    Madurai :

    A three-dimensional model of the Vaigai river , measuring 100m is being readied capturing the river from its origin to confluence. Once the model is ready, one need not travel the entire length of the river that originates from Periyar lake and travels through numerous villages in five districts in the state and empties into the Palk Strait in Ramanathapuram, to witness its beauty.

    The 3D model is to be constructed as a part of ‘Maamadurai Potruvom’, a three-day festival planned from February 8 to 10, to celebrate the rich heritage and tradition of the temple city. Celebrating the contribution of Vaigai is one of the three key aspects of the festival.

    The model of the river would be constructed similar to the models of jallikattu, elephants and west gate of the Madurai fort that are being unveiled in the city. Talking about the preparation for the construction, S Chandran, associate professor, civil engineering department of Thiagarajar College of Engineering (TCE), who is one of the experts roped in for the project, said the model would be built with inputs from architectural experts.

    “The place for the construction has been identified at Albert Victor Bridge near Goripalayam. Work will commence from Saturday. We hope that the construction would be completed in a week’s time. At present, cleaning of the place is being carried out,” he said.

    Besides Chandran, G Balaji, head, department of architecture, TCE and C P Mohan Kumar, assistant engineer, public works department are also part of the team. “More experts and students of architecture from TCE would be roped in for the construction,” said a district administration official.

    “In addition to the 3D model of the river covering the entire 298-km in 100m, rare photographs of the river would be on display for the public. Digital banners consisting information about the river and messages to preserve it would also be displayed,” the official said.

    It is also planned to allow the students from government and government-aided schools to visit the model on the first day of the three-day programme. While the second day would be allotted to students from other private schools, it would be open for the public on the third day. If the situation demands, it would be kept open for three more days for the public, he added.

    source: / Home> City> Madurai / by V. Devanathan, TNN / January 25th, 2013

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         FACETS OF THE PHOENIX The exterior of the mall / Photo: R. Shivaji Rao / The Hindu

    Of the million sq. ft. Phoenix Market City that marks the convergence of shopping, dining, entertainment, art, architecture and design

    Ah the whiff of fresh paint…the delightful smell of all things new. The two-day old Phoenix Market City in Velachery is like a gift that’s just been unwrapped. It’s shining, sparkling clean and while some of the store owners are still busy setting up shop, the mall rats have already begun discovering their latest haunt.

    Spread over a million sq. ft. Phoenix Market City houses 300-plus stores, with four-and-a-half levels of shopping area and a food court, a basement as well as a multi-level car park, a 30-room boutique hotel, an apartment complex, an amphitheatre and a club.

    A joint venture of Phoenix Mills and Sharyans Resources, this is the fourth in the series of Phoenix malls after Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. “This mall is a convergence of shopping, dining, entertainment, art, architecture and design. It’s about presenting a destination to the city. Malls are becoming the nerve centres of cities. This is a mall where people of Chennai would like to congregate. It’s where a day can be well spent,” says Vijay Choraria, managing director, Sharyans Resources.

    So, what’s exciting about the mall? It brings to Chennai some of the biggest brands from across the country and the globe. The list includes…hold your breath…Mango, Manchester United, Steve Madden, Promod, Superdry, Brooks Brothers, Esbeda and many others in addition to the already existing Lifestyle, Pantaloons, AND, Global Desi, Charles & Keith, Aldo, MAC, Globus, Indian apparel outlets such as Begum etc. There are electronic stores such as Access, Poorvika, home décor outlets, stores for new born babies and lots more. “We’ve ensured there is a good mix of shops for every age group in this inclusive mall,” says Choraria.

    Also, Chennai’s wait for its own Hard Rock Café can now end. The popular chain is scheduled to open in the next of couple of months. Spaghetti Kitchen, Nando’s, California Pizza Kitchen too will set up shop at this mall with a host of other fine dining options as well.

    The food court has 11 counters set up by Moti Mahal Express, ID, KFC, Domino’s, Wow Momo, Nala’s Aappakadai, China Wall, Arabian Hut, Kailash Parbat, Fruit Punch and Kwality Walls.

    This mall has been designed by Benoy, a Hong-Kong based company. “Not just shopping and dining, Phoenix Market City is also about promoting art. We have sculptures by artists from all over India. The installations on display will keep changing every few months,” Choraria adds.

    As of now the installation ‘Apocalyptron’ made of plastic cans by Thukral and Tagra, resembling a Transformer is the centre of attention with enthusiastic mall goers taking photographs with it. A large sculpture of a woman’s face made by Ravindra Reddy too gets quite a few flashbulbs.

    Sathyam Cinemas will launch their next theatre here. Titled Luxe, this theatre spells opulence. It will also house Chennai’s first IMAX theatre. The lobby looks straight out of a glitzy night club in Paris. With black and white tiles, glittery wall panels, high ceiling, velvet drapes and 11 screens to choose from this sure is a theatre to lookout for.

    The team is certain that the mall will do well here. “Chennai is a great market. This city is still very traditional, yet modern. It is true representation of modern India,” says Choraria.

    Asked about competition, Choraria adds, “Express Avenue Mall is the best location-wise. It’s a great mall. But I am sure this city can do with two great malls. These are at two ends of the city. Velachery is the extension of the new Mount Road.”

    As of now only 130 stores are open. By March the mall should be fully functional and will also organise quite a few events.

    Children can keep themselves amused at Fun City or at the Scary House where skeletons among other spooky things can make them giggle, shriek or cry.

    Luxury gets a new address as the Phoenix rises in Chennai.

    source: / Home> Life & Style> Leisure / by Priyadarshini Paitandy / Chennai, January 25th, 2013

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    Chennai :

    The traditional south Indian filter coffee , it appears, has gone instant. And the elderly Chennai mami too tired to decoct for one, the working couple who love their filter coffee but are to busy to brew and the family from north India unable to crack the bean blend that will produce the perfect cuppa, are gulping it down.

    In the last one and a half years, Chennai has seen a number of entrants into the readymade decoction market — a plantation owner, a mom of two, and a former milk delivery boy. And there’s another from Udumalpet waiting in the wings.

    All you need to do is add hot milk, sugar to taste and you’re ready to go, says Geetha Saravanan, a mother of two, who launched her brand Bean Boy, last year. Made at a central kitchen in Perungudi, the decoction — her grandmother’s recipe — is bottled and delivered to customers’ homes at 5 am. “My family and friends  love my filter coffee. They always tell me they never get it right. So I thought, why not market it,” says Saravanan, who began with 1.5 lakh borrowed from her husband.

    Delivering an average of 400 bottles a day, Bean Boy  generates revenue of Rs 1.5 lakh a month for Saravanan, who even gives her customers a value-add — a workshop on how to make filter coffee.

    Then there is the coffee plantation hand-turned-milk delivery boy-turned-entrepreneur V Balaji, 26, who began delivering his Sri Balaji Coffee  decoction in 2010. “The idea for my business came to me when I delivered milk to a north Indian family, who invited me in for coffee. They offered me a cup of instant coffee , and I told them I would make something better,” says Balaji, who returned to their house the next day with his home-brewed decoction. Soon, he began getting orders by word of mouth, which he turned into a business that is now earning him 5,000 a day.

    Homemaker Priya Srinivasan, one of Balaji’s loyal customers, says the true test of his decoction is that her mother-in-law likes it. “She used to prefer tea because there was no filter coffee in the house. Making it the regular way takes long. With this instant decoction, I can see she is happy,” says Srinivasan .

    ‘Coffee market growing at 6% per year in India’

    For coffee plantation owner Anush Narayanan, who has been selling his own brand of coffee powder since the 1990s, creating a readymade decoction seemed a logical extension of his business. “The filter coffee market is growing and so is the market for readymade decoction. We sell 12,000 pouches a month,” says Narayanan, who retails his Kaaveri decoction out of 75 stores in Chennai and is planning to go nation-wide this year.

    As per sources in the  Coffee Board of India , over 30,000 metric  tonnes of coffee are consumed per annum in Tamil Nadu — with filter coffee staking its claim to 54% of the market and 46% going to instant coffee. Pan India, where over one lakh metric tonnes of coffee are consumed per annum, instant coffee has a larger market share  of 57%. The pan-Indian coffee market is growing at the rate of 5% to 6% per annum.Narayanan says he plans to cash in on the growing Indian market. “We are taking our kaapi decoction toBangalore,Mumbai and Kolkata,”he says.

    Meanwhile, G Samyraj from Udumalaipettai, has just trademarked his brand ‘Only Coffee Kumbakonam Degree Filter Coffee’, which has outlets on the national and state highways in TN. He plans to supply his decoction at departmental stores across the state.

    source: / Home> City> Chennai / by Kamini Mathai, TNN / January 25th, 2013

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    January 23rd, 2013adminEducation, Science & Technologies

    Coimbatore :

    They were at last happy to see their robot go back and forth without interruptions winning the first prize and getting a chance to go to the National Robotics Competition (NRC) to be held at IIT Karagpur in a few months. Muhammed Shafeeq, and his team members, all second year electrical engineering students were participating in the two-day workshop and competition held on Tuesday at the Park College of Engineering and Technology. Engineering students from various city colleges had participated in the event which was conducted to train and select a team for the national-level event.

    “It was a challenge to put to task what we had read as theories but it was an interesting experience,” said Shafeeq. Twenty five teams of five students each took part in the two-day workshop and the competition, which were held at the end of the second day. They were trained to make the hardware of the robots as well as to programme the machines.

    At the same time their trainers said that the students were given simpler training as they were not used to doing projects.

    A Himanshu, who was one of the resource persons for the event from ARK Technosolutions said that the students who were from various engineering branches were not quite familiar with doing application-based projects. “Knowing the theories is one thing and applying them as well as tackling the difficulties, which arise as the task continues is another. Even the fourth year students found it hard to execute the tasks,” he said. At the same time the pace with which the students learnt could help them to stand in good stead with the competitors, he said.

    The application of robotics is growing in several of the industrial units. This has created a growing interest among students to pursue more about the subject. Experts say that the field involves topics from several engineering streams including electronics, and electrical to computer programming.

    source: / Home> City> Coimbatore / TNN / January 23rd, 2013

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