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    September 30th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Leaders
    Former President Abdul Kalam says that true nation building is not made by political rhetoric alone but should be backed “by the power of sacrifice, toil and virtue”. File photo: K. Ramesh Babu / The Hindu

    Former President Abdul Kalam says that true nation building is not made by political rhetoric alone but should be backed “by the power of sacrifice, toil and virtue”. File photo: K. Ramesh Babu / The Hindu

    For former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, becoming a fighter pilot was a “dearest dream” but he failed to realise it by a whisker as he bagged the ninth position when only eight slots were available in the IAF.

    In his new book “My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions”, published by Rupa, Mr. Kalam, who specialised in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology, says he was desperate to pursue a career in flying.

    “Over the years I had nurtured the hope to be able to fly to handle a machine as it rose higher and higher in the stratosphere was my dearest dream,” he writes.

    Out of the two interview calls Mr. Kalam got, one was from the Indian Air Force in Dehradun and the other from the Directorate of Technical Development and Production (DTDP) at the Ministry of Defence in Delhi.

    While the interview at DTDP was “easy” he recounted that for the Air Force Selection Board, he realised that along with qualifications and engineering knowledge, they were also looking for a certain kind of “smartness” in the candidate.

    Mr. Kalam bagged the ninth position out of 25 candidates and was not recruited as only eight slots were available.

    “I had failed to realise my dream of becoming an air force pilot,” he writes.

    He says he “walked around for a while till I reached the edge of a cliff” before deciding to go to Rishikesh and “seek a new way forward.”

    “It is only when we are faced with failure do we realise that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives,” says Mr. Kalam who went on to put his “heart and soul” at his job as the senior scientific assistant at DTDP.

    The book is filled with stories of “innumerable challenges and learning” in his years as the scientific adviser when India conducted its second nuclear test, his retirement and dedication to teaching thereafter and his years as President.

    Mr. Kalam has compiled life’s learnings, anecdotes and profiles of key moments and people who inspired him profoundly in the book, which will hits the stands on August 20.

    He recounts “staring into the pit of despair” when he failed to make it as an IAF pilot and how he pulled himself up and rose to become the man who headed India’s missile programme and occupy highest office in the country.

    While the 82-year-old, popularly known as the Missile Man for his contribution to the development of ballistic missile technology, had in 1999 brought out his autobiography “Wings of Fire” and followed it with “Turning Points”, a journey through challenges” in 2012 that details his political career and challenges, the latest book talks about the people who left a deep impression on him as he was growing up.

    In the 147-page book, Mr. Kalam writes about his experience of watching his father build a boat, his early working life as a newspaper boy at the age of eight and even his first-hand experience of the way in their religious elders settled a religious matter in his school.

    In a chapter “A brush with fire”, Mr. Kalam recounts the 1999 January 11 incident involving two aircraft which took off from Bangalore towards the Arakkonam-Chennai coastline and crashed, killing 8 men on board.

    While Mr. Kalam immediately flew to Bangalore from Delhi and met the bereaved families, he says the grief of the devastated parents and the wailing of the infants remained with him even after years of the incident even after he moved from his office at South Block to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

    The former President says that true nation building is not made by political rhetoric alone but should be backed “by the power of sacrifice, toil and virtue”.

    “When grand plans for scientific and defence technologies are made, do the people in power think about the sacrifices the people in the laboratories and fields have to make?” he writes.

    The book also contains a chapter detailing Mr. Kalam’s favourite books “which have always been close companions” who “were like friends” guiding him through life. Lilian Eishler Watson’s “Light from Many Lamps,” the “Thirukural”, Nobel Laureate Alex Carrel’s “Man the Unknown” have been listed.

    Poetry says Mr. Kalam has been “one of his first loves” and poems by T.S. Elliot, Lewis Carroll and William Butler Yeats has “played out in my over and over again”.

    In conclusion, Mr. Kalam writes his life can be summed up as “Love poured to the child… struggle… more struggle… bitter tears… then sweet tears… and finally a life as beautiful and fulfilling as seeing the birth of the full moon.

    “I hope these stories will help all my readers understand their dreams and compel them to work on these dreams that keep them awake,” he writes.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Books> Authors / PTI / New Delhi – August 18th, 2013

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    The news that the Schmidt Memorial on Elliot’s Beach was being restored and the area around it landscaped is welcome indeed. But while this memorial has kept alive for several decades memories of the courage of a young Danish mercantile executive (Miscellany, September 23, 2013), there have been at least two other persons with Danish connections in the city’s past who deserve commemoration for significant contributions they made to Madras — and even to India.

    John Goldingham was of Danish descent but was more British than Dane. He was the first official head of the oldest modern observatory in the country and of the oldest modern technical school in Asia, both surviving to this day. But better remembered is what was considered his patron Lord Edward Clive’s folly — or entertainment space. Built by Goldingham to host the Governor’s Council, thisAssembly Hall became better known as Banqueting Hall (and should I say ‘Ballroom’?) but today languishes as Rajaji Hall. Making me wonder how this splendid building can be revived and given new life.

    Goldingham’s contributions may be remembered by a few, but very, very few outside the scientific community are likely to remember a German who made Denmark his home and later contributed significantly to India. Dr. Johann Gerhard König was a Danish-trained physician who served the Madras Government in the late 18th Century but became better known as ‘The Father of Indian Botany’, with scientific botany in India emerging through his efforts.

    Born in what is now Latvia, König moved to Denmark in 1748 to study and became a private pupil of Linnaeus at Uppsala University from 1757. He lived and worked in Denmark till he came out to Tranquebar in 1768 to serve the Danish Halle Mission as its medical officer. Simultaneously, he worked with the Nawab of Arcot as his Naturalist and travelled throughout his domain (virtually what became the Madras Presidency) and Ceylon. In 1778, he was appointed the East India Company’s first Natural Historian /Naturalist/ Botanist and served in that capacity till his death near Vizagapatam in 1785. Amongst those who benefitted from his training them as naturalists were the Rev. Christoph John and Rev. Johann Rottler in Tranquebar and William Roxburgh in Madras. It was Roxburgh who treated him during his last days in what is now Andhra Pradesh when dysentery was felling him. J. König, a name to reckon with in Indian botanical terminology, was responsible for South India being the earliest centre for botanical and zoological research in the country.

    Until König came along, plants found in India by the ‘greens’ were sent to Europe to be classified and described by scientists like Linnaeus and others. König introduced the Linnaean rules in India and was soon followed by others. Many of these students of Indian vegetation in the Peninsula and Ceylon, like James Anderson, Francis Hamilton-Buchanan, Roxburgh, Rottler, and John and a few others formed a society to promote botanical studies, exchanged specimens and information on new species collected, and, acting in concert as a society, named them. But as they became more confident of their botanical knowledge, some of them began naming their finds themselves without consultation. All this information was sent by them to European botanists who published the information under the names sent to them or under names they had changed the originals to. Later authors of botanical information, like Edward Balfour and Robert Wight, tended to use the names in general use at the time, but also offered the synonyms that had been earlier used. One of the names listed is Murraya Königii, a species of curry leaves.

    Footnote: Searching for material for this column constantly throws up new leads to follow. And while writing today’s piece I came across the name of Dr. Francis Appavoo. Here was an Indian who, as early as the 1860s, was in charge of the Conservator of Forests’ office in Madras. I wonder if anyone can tell me more about him.

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    A commitment to restoration

    I had met Father Vijay Kiran many years ago in the Archbishopric’s archives and had been very pleased to meet someone who was more than an administrator, who was, in fact, a person who valued the riches he was in charge of. When I heard he had been transferred, I was rather dismayed because it would have been difficult to find someone who would have appreciated as much as him the history of the archdiocese. I was therefore delighted when I met him the other day to find that his interest in the past had led him to becoming a committed conservationist, now calling on his fellow Roman Catholic clergymen to maintain, and restore where necessary, their churches.

    When I met Fr. Kiran a couple of weeks ago, it was at a viva for his second doctorate. His thesis this time was Conservation of Church Architecture (Buildings) and Their Artifacts in Tamil Nadu, and it was an excellent presentation that he made of it, ending with an appeal to parish priests to ensure regular maintenance of their churches and restoration of them if they were heritage buildings. Towards this end, he urged the support of the archdioceses.

    After the presentation, I was rather surprised when an elderly, rather well-spoken man, who I got the impression was a retired priest, wondered whether it was really necessary to restore old churches when it was so much less expensive to build new ones to suit the congregations of today. He had me wondering whether, with his obviously cultured background, he really appreciated the cinematic elements that have been creeping into representations in many churches, whether all new churches had to sport St. Peter’s domes, and whether, if heritage was not particularly important, the leaders of faiths for hundreds of years should be forsaken for new messiahs.

    St. Anthony’s Church, Pudupet. Photo: M.Vedhan / The Hindu

    St. Anthony’s Church, Pudupet. Photo: M.Vedhan / The Hindu

    Be that as it may, what was particularly pleasing was to hear that Fr. Kiran had during his three-year parish priesthood at St. Anthony’s, Pudupet, collected over Rs. 25 lakh to restore that 80-plus-year-old church using the best possible conservation practices that he had read about and heard of from a few conservationists. With this knowledge he had supervised the entire work — and now it only needed regular maintenance to retain its attention-drawing appearance.

    There is a tradition that the French Capuchins had ministered to the needs of the rather impoverished Roman Catholics of Pudupet before it became the parish of Pudupet in 1873, a part of the then Archdiocese of Mylapore. Fr. Y. Arulappa was appointed parish priest in 1909 and was to hold the post for the next 20 years. It was during his tenure that the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, the church restored by Fr. Kiran, was built, being consecrated in September 1927. Starting a collection drive in October 1920, Fr. Arulappa had funds enough by the end of the year to have the confidence to invite a papal dignitary to lay the foundation in January 1921. But collecting the funds to finish the work was a slow process.

    Priests who succeeded Fr. Arulappa embellished the church over the years that followed — a pale wooden altar was replaced by a gleaming ebony one, the interior was painted and improved with paintings, and other elements of beauty were added. All those and the building itself have now been restored — an example for the nearly 1,200 Catholic churches in Tamil Nadu, about 375 of which date to before 1947 and considered by Fr. Kiran, who visited and listed all of them for his thesis, as heritage churches. He hopes his lead will be followed in other States and by other denominations. For me, it was great to find a fellow-enthusiast for heritage.

    ******

    When the postman knocked…

    * Does John Pereira’s Garden still exist and, if so, where, wonders reader Raymond Pereira. I don’t know whether my correspondent is a descendant of John Pereira, but I can only disappoint him. To the best of my knowledge, the garden, once a small coconut thope at the southwest extremity of Peddanaickenpet, in the vicinity of where the General Hospital was developed, no longer exists, being completely built over. It belonged originally to Joao Pereira de Faria (John Pereira), a prosperous merchant of Negapatam (Nagapattinam), who fled the Dutch occupation and re-settled in Madras in 1660 with a house in White Town (Fort St. George). The Fort had 118 houses within it at the time, 79 of them belonging to Portuguese merchants and employees of the East India Company. Pereira’s daughter Escolastica married Cosmo Lourenco Madera (or Madeiros) who built the Descanco Church on St. Mary’s Road, Mylapore. Their son, the merchant-seafarer Luis Madera, was the owner of the garden house that his widow Antonia Madeiros sold to Governor Saunders and which became the nucleus ofGovernment House, so rudely pulled down not so long ago to build a new legislature that has now been transformed into a hospital.

    * My reference the other day to the statue of Rev. G.U. Pope on the Marina (Miscellany, September 8), had K.V. Iyer asking me whether I knew that Pope owed his Tamil scholarship to Ramanuja Kavirayar. Not only did I not know that, but I must confess that I had not heard of Pope’s guru. I did, however, go a-digging and found that this Ramanathapuram-born scholar was in his thirties when he come to Madras in 1820 and began bringing out in print for the first time the Tamil classics with commentaries. But simultaneously he began gaining a reputation as an outstanding teacher of Tamil. Among his pupils were Pope (who acknowledged him as “my first teacher of Tamil”), the Rev. Myron Winslow, the Rev. W.H. Drew and the Rev. C.T. Rhenius. He helped Winslow with his English-Tamil dictionary and Drew with his translation of the Thirukkural into English. The other two missionaries also owed much to his advice for the literary works they produced. But from all accounts, despite his contribution to Tamil literature, Ramanuja Kavirayar was best known as an outstanding scholar and teacher.

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    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by S. Muthiah / September 28th, 2014

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    Nagapattinam :

    Ever tried traditional rice, the one that looks brownish-red? It may taste a bit different but it has immense health benefits. In fact, the biggest consumers of traditional rice breeds are private super specialty hospitals across major cities, which cater to dietary needs of patients, predominantly diabetics.

    Besides health benefits, the breeds – Maapillai Samba, Kavuni, Garudan Samba, Thanga Samba and Samba Mosanam – are said to be drought-resistant and can also survive excessive rainfall. That works like an insurance cover, isn’t it?

    To cater to the growing demand, farmers here this year have expanded the acreage under traditional rice by about 600 acres. While the last season witnessed about 1,200 acres of traditional rice cultivation in Nagapattinam district, the figure would go up to 1,800 acres this Samba season.

    Farmers say traditional paddy breeds do not seek high amounts of water, as they utilise moisture content in the air for growth.

    According to Jayaraman, State coordinator of Save Our Rice campaign, “Thalainayar, Valivalam and Thirukuvazhai localities of Nagapattinam district have witnessed farmers opting for traditional paddy varieties. Since there is good demand for traditional rice such as Maapilai Samba, farmers are comfortable cultivating them.” About 20 kg of seeds are required per acre for traditional paddy cultivation for harvesting as much as 1,500 kg. Traditional rice fetches a market price of over Rs 62 per kg, which is decidedly more that the conventional rice you normally consume at home. It is the higher value for effort that draws farmers towards its cultivation.

    Just as Maapilai Samba faces a huge demand from diabetics, the ‘Kavuni’ breed is supposed to fortify the immune system. “Super specialty hospitals at Chennai and Tiruchy are procuring traditional rice varieties from us. It is the hefty procurement prices that encourages other farmers to take up traditional paddy cultivation,” Jayaraman adds.

    While cultivation cost for traditional paddy per acre is around Rs 6,000, it is about Rs 15,000 per acre for conventional paddy such as CR-1009 and other ADT paddy varieties. Traditional crops also keep weeds in check, as they grow taller than weeds, thus depriving them of sunlight.

    As many as 63 traditional varieties, including Poonkar, Maapillai Samba, Kavuni and Thengapoo Samba are cultivated in the delta districts. Farmers say they get seeds for traditional paddy through links with their counterparts across the delta districts.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by S Deepak Karthik / September 29th, 2014

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    Chennai :

    The story goes that the original recipe for sambar – a dish which is so intrinsic to Tamil Nadu cuisine – can actually be traced to Maratha ruler Shivaji’s son.

    Legend has it that Shivaji’s son Sambhaji, who was one of the Maratha rulers, attempted to make dal for himself when his head chef was away.

    Legend has it that Shivaji’s son Sambhaji, who was one of the Maratha rulers, attempted to make dal for himself when his head chef was away.

    Legend has it that Shivaji’s son Sambhaji, who was one of the Maratha rulers, attempted to make dal for himself when his head chef was away. “He added a little tamarind to the dal that he made and no one in the royal kitchen dared to correct him on the fact that tamarind was not used in dal,” says S Suresh, Tamil Nadu state convener of Intach, who gave a lecture on Tanjore Maratha history earlier this week. “He loved his own concoction, which was then referred to as sambar,” says Suresh, who adds that the other culinary contribution of the Marathas – now very popular in Tamil Nadu – is ‘poli’ (sweet roti).

    Although Sambhaji’s sambhar is more lore than recipe, and there are more than 50 varieties of sambar today, chefs do admit that the Tanjore sambar is still something to be savoured. “While the Sambhaji influenced sambhar was more a tamarind soup, the Thanjavur brahmin sambar recipe is mostly followed today – where there is no onion and garlic, and the dish is not heavy on spice,” says K Natarajan, corporate chef at Gateway Hotels and Resorts.

    “But even today, the sambar of Tamil Nadu is very different from what you find in the state’s neighbour Karnataka,” says Vasanthan Sigamany, associate professor of food sociology and anthropology at the Welcom Group Graduate School of Hotel Management, Manipal. “In TN, dry powders are used, while in Karnataka they use wet pastes. In Tamil Nadu, in a traditional vegetarian meal, sambar is served first and then rasam, but it is the opposite in Karnataka,” he says.

    Sigamany adds that while in Tamil Nadu only local vegetables such as drumstick, radish or brinjal are used in the sambar, in other states like Kerala, ‘English’ vegetables – that became popular during the British rule in India – such as potato and carrot are used.

    Over the years, sambar has seen numerous variations. Chef Damu, who specializes in Tamil Nadu cuisine, for instance, says that apart from the 30 varieties of vegetarian sambar that he prepares, he has also flirted with the idea of seafood sambar and chicken sambar, which weren’t big hits in south India. “People are still not open to the concept of chicken in their sambar. But to be honest, it is delicious,” he says.

    But perhaps the most unusual of the sambars that evolved is the ‘milk sambar’, which food blogger and cooking instructor Roma Patil believes evolved in the 1930s, an unusual blend of Maratha and Jain traditions. “In Kolhapur, the Marathas ate a dish called Tambda Rassa, a kind of sambar made from lamb stock. The Rassa was so flavourful and aromatic that Jains there thought of adapting it for the Jain palate. They used milk instead of lamb stock and that was how milk sambar was made,” says Patil, who now lives in Belgaum.

    source: http://www.timeofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / by Kamini Mathai, TNN / September  26th, 2014

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    P.S.Karthikeyan seen with his tandem instructor at the record-setting event held in Spain. / The Hindu

    P.S.Karthikeyan seen with his tandem instructor at the record-setting event held in Spain. / The Hindu

    A Tiruchi-born techie working in Finland has become one of 89 Indians and the only Tamilian to have participated in a new world record setting tandem skydiving event in Spain recently.

    P. S. Karthikeyan, 36, who works for Microsoft Mobile in Helsinki, Finland, took part in the April 25 challenge to set a world record (confirmed by the Guinness and Limca Book of World Records) for the largest group of Indian civilians to perform a total of 35 tandem jumps in an hour. The earlier record was 28 jumps. The same team had to abandon a similar 10-hour tandem jump attempt due to adverse weather.

    The event, organised by the Maharashtra-based Phoenix Skydiving Academy, and sponsored by Indian businessman Manish Gupta, had a further Indian connection of being held at the Skydrive Empuriabrava centre in Girona, Spain, which was featured in the 2011 Bollywood hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

    In the adventure sport, a student skydiver is connected by a harness to a tandem instructor who guides him or her through the whole jump. “I came to know about this adventure, earlier this year through my friend Vaibhav Rane, who is the husband of Indian skydiving pioneer (and Phoenix Academy founder) Shital Mahajan,” Karthikeyan told The Hindu in an email.

    Despite hurting his feet on a rocky beach shortly before the event, Karthikeyan decided to go ahead with the skydive as it was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

    “As this was a special day, I had decided to wear the T-shirt given by my brother, with the words ‘Engal vaazhvum engal valamum mangatha thamizh endru sange muzhangu,’ during this historic event,” he wrote.

    Karthikeyan recalled his days as a student of Bishop Heber Higher Secondary School, Puthur, and the Jamal Mohammed College, and being allowed to “get away with adventures” as the youngest son in the family of four siblings.

    source: http://www.thehindu.con / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Tiruchirapalli / by Nahla Nainar / Tiruchi – September 26th, 2014

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    Vellore :

    The century-old engineering workshop of Southern Railway at Arakkonam, which played a crucial role in building the country’s first sea bridge (Pamban Railway Bridge), is on the verge of closure due to shortage of manpower.

    Established in 1905, the workshop played a vital role in the construction of major railway bridges, including the railway bridges in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which come under the Southern Railway.

    Among the workshop’s main products are welded type girders, riveted type girders, steel channel sleepers, dip lorry, push trolley, points and crossings assemblies, passenger platform shelters and foot over-bridges. Ten years ago, around 4,000 employees worked at various units of the workshop. Today, the workforce has reduced to less than 800. About 80 per cent retired over the years.

    Sources said officials surrendered the vacant posts without filling them. One year ago, 30 were recruited through Railway Recruitment Board. But every year, at least 100 persons were retiring from service. “If this situation continues, the workforce will be reduced tremendously to less than 300 in the next three to four years,” an employee, who is also nearing retirement, said. In the next six to seven years, only 50 employees will be left, he added.

    Employees said vacant posts were not filled intentionally in a bid to shut down the workshop. The workshop has been manufacturing components to build bridges, tracks, signals, crossings, switches, trolley, inter-loading wagons, moulding and casting of wheels.

    Employees said the foundry shop of the workshop had already been closed and many other units were likely to be closed in the near future. The source said there were many employees in group-C category that comprises supervisors, while group-D category had fewer employees. Some employees, who were part of the labour unions, were not working properly, said a Railway staff.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by J. Shanmugha Sundaram / September 27th, 2014

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    September 26th, 2014adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Coimbatore :

    A man with a sharp eye for stones and a deep-rooted passion for his hobby has been collecting mineral stones, fossils and ambers for the past 20 years.

    While most of his collection is from Nasik and Shirdi, T R V Sundar also has stones from Hawaii, Uruguay and US. He always travels with a cutter. “I just cannot stop now. Where ever I go I look for rare minerals,” he says.

    He only looks for the rare minerals. “At Kangayam near Tirupur, I found an amethyst in the trash,” he said. He has collected more than 1,800 mineral stones and dreams of having a museum of his own one day.

    Sundar, now 42, started collecting rare minerals when he was 21 years old. A native of Salem, he has been living in Coimbatore for the past six years.

    “I completed my studies and got into the granite stone business. One day at a quarry, I saw a different stone and started reading about it,” he says.

    After that day he collected several such stones for two months only to realize that they were all quartsite.

    “I got hooked to the hobby of collecting rare stones and visited several geologists for more information,” he says. His collection has rocks dating back 1.2 billion years. “I travel at least 50 times a year to collect these minerals,” he said.

    His collection includes stones such as apophylite, cave coral, green heulandite, geode agate on rainbow chalcedony and amethyst. He has six fossils called ammonites which are fossils of sea creatures from 415 million years ago. He has a few ambers which are fossilised tree resin with mosquito fossils in them that are over 20 million years old.

    “It was only six months ago that I realised that these minerals and fossils can be sold. According to an article in an interior magazine, several interior designers incorporate these minerals as part of the design in the living room, bar counters and many other places. So I spoke to a few architects and have sold a mineral stone recently for Rs 7,000,” he said.

    There are several groups online that help you with information on these mineral stones. “I recently swapped two of my rare stones with a collector in Uruguay,” he said. He warns young mineral collectors to beware of imposters online.

    “I suggest one should go to the field and collect these stones as it is fun as well as informative.” There are several rules to be followed while collecting such rare mineral stones. “We should get prior permission from the geologist centre of a particular place before cutting from caves. Also several agents in such locations will guide us with the formalities,” he said.

    With his favourite mineral stone apophyllite in his hand, he says, “I don’t believe in wearing rare stones as jewellery. Frankly, I have so many rare stones but none have brought me any extra positivity or prosperity. All these are superstitions. But this is my favourite stone and is my pet too. Sometimes it talks to me and tells me to be calm.”

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Coimbatore / by Komal Gautham, TNN / September 15th, 2014

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    September 26th, 2014adminScience & Technologies

    Chennai :

    Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa inaugurated the Lab for Tamil Computing and Software Incubation Centre at the Tamil Virtual Academy in Kotturpuram, in Chennai. The Lab is set up with 24 modular work stations with air-conditioning facility while the incubation centre has a library and 13 air-conditioned rooms.

    A conference hall with a capacity to accommodate 150 people and a studio to record study-related programmes and for online classes were also opened on September 22 by the Chief Minister through the video conferencing facility at the Secretariat. The total cost involved for setting up of these facilities is `82 lakh.

    The Chief Minister also commenced the distribution of appointment orders to 307 livestock inspectors (Grade II) to ensure extension of services like artificial insemination, first aid, deworming, castration, vaccination, etc., to livestock reared in villages. Of the 307 inspectors, seven received the appointment orders from the Chief Minister on September 22.

    Already 289 livestock inspectors (Grade II) were appointed in 2013 after they were trained. The government has been taking many steps towards creating a second White Revolution in the State. Free milch cows, goats have been provided to lakhs of poor in the rural areas.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service / September 26th, 2014

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    Udhagamandalam :

    The All India Tiger Census 2013-2014 held in the three divisions of the Nilgiri forests and the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR), brought together a varied group of people, many of them participating for the first time in the tiger census.

    A large section of the volunteers are members of different NGOs involved in wildlife activities and students of the forest college and wildlife zoology. A few of them had participated in the census previously and wanted to experience the thrill of it again. People from across the board participated including software engineers, fashion designers, business men and even journalists.

    The seven-day tiger census started with a training programme on December 16 in Ooty. The volunteers were transported to their respective allotted beats in the forest areas on the same evening.

    The breathtaking and exciting field survey started at 6.30 am on December 17 on the transect lines in all the beats in the three divisions of the Nilgiris forest as well in the MTR. The following five days included activities such as carnivore sign survey, ungulate encounter rate, vegetation and human interference and pellet counts of herbivores.

    S Sathesh Premnath, a senior software engineer from Coimbatore, who is attending the census for the first time, said, “It was a fascinating experience. I was completely bowled over by the sense of adventure in spotting indirect signs and direct sightings of animals like elephants and gaurs. The census made me more aware of my social responsibility.”

    For Karthick, a business man from Chennai, who is a wildlife enthusiast and has visited several forests and tiger reserves in India, the census was a great learning experience. “It is very exhilarating just wandering the forest searching for signs of carnivores and once in a while actually spotting a wild animal,” he said.

    R Parameshwari, a first year student of Wildlife Zoology in the Ooty Government Arts College said, “On the first day of survey I was actually afraid to enter the reserve forest. But the forest staff encouraged me and were very supportive. I soon forget about my fear and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, despite the rough terrain we had to cover”.

    Dr. K. Bharanidharan, assistant professor of the Wildlife Department in the Forestry College and Research Centre in Mettupalayam said, “Around 36 students from our college participated in the census in MTR. Though theoretically they are familiar with the wildlife subject, nothing can beat hands-on experience”.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Coimbatore / by Shantha Thiagarajan, TNN / December 23rd, 2013

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    September 25th, 2014adminEducation, Records, All

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    Chennai :

    The initiative by Lions Club International, District 324 A6 to honour the true heroes of the classroom brought recognition for Sapna Sankhla, principal of Narayana E-Techno School Arumbakkam.

    Her 18 years of exemplary contribution to the cause of education led to her selection for the Best Teacher Award 2014.

    Sapna was invited to attend the award ceremony on September 21 and was felicitated with a certificate and a citation by the chief guest, district governor PMJF Lion D Thulasingam, and guest of honour district chairperson MJF Lion S Balasekaran.

    The chief guest in his address emphasised the importance of teachers and said that the award was presented in appreciation and recognition of outstanding service to the student community with dedication and devotion as a teacher.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Education> Student / by Express News Service / September 25th, 2014

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