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    A.Preethi created a record of sorts when the drove the first Metro service. Photo: K.V.Srinivasan

    A.Preethi created a record of sorts when the drove the first Metro service. Photo: K.V.Srinivasan

    For Preethi, from the time she aspired to serve as a loco pilot in the Railways to driving the first train in Chennai Metro, it has been one exciting ride.

    As A. Preethi was about to ease the train out of the station during the maiden run of Chennai Metro Rail from Alandur to Koyambedu, she saw her mother and niece standing on the platform, eagerly watching the proceedings.

    A surprised Preethi immediately beckoned the two to get inside the train. But, her mother asked her to stay put and gestured that she would take the next train.

    “I am so proud of her,” Preethi’s mother said, even as her voice choked and her eyes welled up. “Initially, I did not want her to take this job. But now, I m so happy that she’s driving this train,” she said.

    For Preethi, from the time she aspired to serve as a loco pilot in the Railways to driving the first train in Chennai Metro, it has been one exciting ride. “I was absolutely thrilled. Beginning now, my concern is to drive carefully and keep passengers safe,” she added.

    While she is more than happy driving along this elevated stretch, Preethi is eager to drive through the tunnels of the Metro when the underground stretches become operational.

    After Preethi, it was Jayashree’s turn on the second train. Both of them bagged diplomas in electronics and communication before taking up jobs as train operators. Soon, five more women operators will join the team.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Sunitha Sekar  & T.K. Rohit / June 30th, 2015

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    June 30th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Leaders

    Activist R. Desikan, who spearheaded the consumer movement in the State, passed away on Saturday evening at his home at Vettuvankeni. He was 83.

    Born in Srirangam in 1933 to Raghavachari, who ran an automobile business and Ranganayaki, Desikan, Chairman Emeritus of Consumers Association of India, studied in Madras Christian College and later moved to Mumbai where he worked in Reader’s Digest as an advertisement manager.

    “It was in Bombay at the Reader’s Digest that we met and got married. We moved to Chennai in 1972 and printed our own magazines. He then ran the South Madras News, a tabloid from 1974 to 1983 after which he got full-time into the consumer movement,” recalls Nirmala Desikan, his wife, who is Chairman and Managing Trustee of CAI. “He lived his life for the consumer, thinking about how he could improve their life. Though he came across a lot of hurdles, he still ensured that the consumer’s view point was taken to the policy makers,” she adds. The couple has two daughters. His last rites were held on Sunday evening.

    S. Saroja of the Citizen consumer and civic Action Group, who has been associated with Desikan for several years now, recalls he would remember small things about people. “He would make you feel special. He was quite active till the end and even on Saturday, he was conducting discussions on how the movement should be taken forward. We were to participate in a programme next week.”

    The veteran activist began working full-time with the consumer movement in the State in 1983

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Special Correspondent / Chennai – June 29th, 2015

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    June 29th, 2015adminEducation, Records, All, World Opinion
     Bridge and foundation course in English being inaugurated at Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College in Tiruchi; C.K. Vishnu Narayanan of National College in Tiruchi.

    Bridge and foundation course in English being inaugurated at Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College in Tiruchi; C.K. Vishnu Narayanan of National College in Tiruchi.

    C.K. Vishnu Narayanan, a second year B.Sc. (Physical Education and Sports Sciences) student of National College has been selected to participate in the BRICS Youth Summit to be held in Russia from July 1 to 7. He is a part of the 60-member Indian delegation of Department Youth Affairs (International Cooperation Cell) of the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. He has bagged a national award in yoga in 2013. He has participated in the 2014 Republic Day parade in New Delhi as a National Service Scheme volunteer. He learnt the basics of yoga practices during his childhood under his guru Kalari S.D. Benny in Thrissur. Since then, he had been performing on regional and national platforms. Earlier, he had secured Best Volunteer Award from the National Service Scheme in Kerala for 2013 and 2014.


    Bridge course will help students turn their aspirations into realities, said G. Balakrishnan, former vice-principal, St. Joseph’s College, while inaugurating the bridge and foundation course in English at Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College. He observed that the course bridges the gap between the school and college education, sharpens the intellect and helps orient the skills of the students. Good knowledge of English language could take students to greater heights. Students hailing from rural and Tamil medium could excel through rigorous practice and thirst for learning. During the interaction session, he helped students practice speaking simple and error free sentences. M. Jayanthi, Principal, and K. Renukadevi, Associate Professor and Head, Department of English, spoke.



    Importance of learning English with proper pronunciation was emphasised by V. Sujatha, Principal, Cauvery College for Women, in her inaugural address at the Foundation English Course for the first year students organised by the Aurora Club of the Department of English Cauvery College for Women. R. Murugan, president, college executive committee, motivated the students to shed their inhibition and gain confidence by mastering the language. K.S. Dhanam, Associate Professor, Department of English, Periyar E.V.R. College, who was the resource person, explained how to overcome the hesitation to speak in English. R. Gobinathan, treasurer, college governing council, and Hilda M. Thenmoli, Head, Department of English, were present.


    Leo Club and National Service Scheme of Tiruchi Engineering College conducted an awareness programme on use of helmets.

    P. Gopalachandran, Inspector of Police, Siruganur, spoke on the importance of wearing helmets. S. Subramaniam, secretary, Sujatha Subramaniam, chairperson, and R.M. Ramachandran, Principal, were present.

    Compiled by G. Prasad

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Tamil Nadu / June 29th, 2015

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    June 29th, 2015adminRecords, All, Science & Technologies

    Chennai :

    More than 50% of lower leg amputations are estimated to be linked to diabetes. A therapeutic open footwear developed by scientists at Central Leather Research Institute now promises to reduce foot complications in diabetic patients by reducing abnormal distribution of foot pressure.

    The footwear, which scientists say is a vast improvement on the existing MCR and MCP footwear prescribed for diabetics, is made after estimating the risk category of a patient through a specially designed computer software. CLRI developed the footwear in collaboration with MV Hospital for Diabetes and Diabetes Research Centre and Novo Nordisk Education Foundation.

    The footwear, which scientists say is a vast improvement on the existing MCR and MCP footwear prescribed for diabetics, is made after estimating the risk category of a patient through a specially designed computer software. (Representative Image)

    The footwear, which scientists say is a vast improvement on the existing MCR and MCP footwear prescribed for diabetics, is made after estimating the risk category of a patient through a specially designed computer software. (Representative Image)

    MV Hospital for Diabetes head Dr Vijay Viswanathan said the footwear is for diabetics with either mild or moderate neuropathy, a dysfunction in peripheral nerves that can cause numbness or weakness. The CLRI labs have worked on features like rigid counter stiffener that can support the back of the feet and limit joint mobility and prevent shear stresses as well as fasteners that can be adjustable according to the foot volume. Such comfort factor was not there in the MCR and MCP footwear that have been available in the market for many years.

    “MCR and MCP footwear were not designed the perfect way,” said Dr Viswanathan. “They are more like rubber chappals with a toe grip. A person with neuropathy will not have any sensation or muscle power to hold to that grip. So, when more pressure is applied, the toes may bend,” he explained.

    The sole is made of polyurethane, with extra depth to provide a larger area for more effective pressure distribution, an outsole with special tread for better grip and traction, and an insole bed with layers of foam to provide added comfort and shock absorption for the wearer.

    Scientists at the shoe design and development centre (SDDC) in CLRI said in addition they have provided a specially derived angle of slant in the sole to give the ‘rocker’ effect which is essential to offload pressure from the sole of the feet. Based on clinical examination and replies to a questionnaire, the software computes the ‘diabetic risk threshold score’ which would indicate to the diabetologist the exact risk category to which the patient belonged. “There are 10 clinical parameters including sensitivity, vibration threshold and sugar levels that measure the diabetes risk threshold score,” the scientist said.

    CLRI director SR Wate said that anyone with foot problems could use the footwear. Head of business process division at CLRI K Srinivasan said that the research institute is now looking for more manufacturers to take up license and develop the footwear.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> Science / by U. Tejonmayam, TNN / June 28th, 2015

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    June 28th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Chennai :

    As dusk falls on Saturday, the tinkling of anklets will fill the air at the Kapaleeswarar temple as well-known danseuse Dr Ranjani Ganesan Ramesh performs along with her disciples. And the performance is all the more special as it also marks the worldwide launch of an app that will help eager students across the world learn Bharatanatyam.

    ‘Learning Bharatanatyam from Dr Ranjani Ganesan Ramesh’ is the brainchild of software professional Srinivasa Gopal. “I felt that an increasing number of people were learning things online and with the help of apps, whether it is maths, science or music. And I felt that even Bharatanatyam could be learnt with the help of an app,” says Gopal, who then contacted his friend Ranjani, who lives in Mumbai.

    For the Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi exponent, it was an idea that immediately appealed. “Since 2008-09, I had been teaching dance to students all over the world through Skype and online classes,” says Ranjani, who currently lives in Mumbai.

    Her mother, dancer Savithri Ganesan, had established the Ponnambalam Golden Temple of Fine Arts in Bengaluru in the late 1980s. Ranjani began teaching as her assistant and by the early 1990s, the academy grew, with centres in Mumbai and even Arizona in the US.

    “Though I began using Skype to teach them, it had its own problems – connectivity was an issue and we also had to juggle time zones,” she says. “So I was also looking for something which would help make it easier.”

    Ranjani and Gopal began working on the app in June 2014. The free app, which can be downloaded only onto Android smartphones, provides various levels of tutorials — the beginner level, where Ranjani discusses theory and some hand gestures and head movements; intermediate level, and advanced level. “It is similar to what a student will experience in a classroom,” says Ranjani.

    According to Gopal, it will help eager students who may not be able to go to a dance class. “It saves the trouble of commuting and is also very user friendly,” he says. “We have also put up 25 videos that you can download.”

    You can search for the app in the Google playstore apps section with the search terms ‘Indian Classical Dance’; ‘Learn Bharathanatyam’. The app, which has been online for the last 50 days, has had more than 1,000 downloads. “It will be formally launched worldwide on Saturday but we are encouraged by the response we have got so far,” says Ranjani. “Even people who have learnt dance find it interesting and want to learn further items through it.”

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / by Priya Menon, TNN / June 27th, 2015

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    Vellore : 
    A two-day conference titled ‘Higher Level of Siddha Medicines’ is being organised in Vellore on July 11 and 12 by the Tamil Nadu Parambarya Siddha Vaidya Maha Sangam for the benefit of traditional healers and siddha practitioners.

    Vaidyar K P Arjunan, president of the Sangam and a member of the National Institute of Siddha, speaking to Express, said this was the first time an effort was being made in the country to impart siddha-medicine knowledge and practical experience at the higher level, to young siddha-vaidyars.

    Out of 4,448 diseases classified and documented in the siddha literature, the world has witnessed only around 2,601 so far, said Arjunan. “This is where the use of higher level medicines come in,” he said.

    The meet will have around 30 experts and senior siddha-vaidyars from various parts of the country to talk and demonstrate the preparation of higher-level medicines, the purpose of which is to ensure that vaidyars can preserve them for posterity, Arjunan said.

    The technique of preparing higher-level medicines has never been discussed in public and “we want to dedicate this treasure of knowledge and the ancient wisdom for the betterment of the community,” Arjunan further said.

    Arjunan explained that young siddha-vaidyars dispense lower level of medicines on a routine basis with each containing up to 20 herbs in the form of ‘kashayam’ (shelf life-24 hours), ‘chornam’(shelf life-three months) and ‘lehyam’(shelf life-six months).

    While most siddha-vaidyars in the country dispense lower level siddha-medicines, they are not exposed to higher-level medicines, which are prepared and preserved in the form of ‘kattu’, ‘kalangal’, ‘muppu’ and ‘guru’.

    Each of these categories  comprise over 2,000 herbs in various forms.

    While ‘kattu’ is a collection of herbs in solid form, ‘kalangu’ is in liquid form (like wax), ‘muppu’ and ‘guru’ are in powdered form.

    Around 500 practitioners from the southern States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Puducherry are expected to take part in the meet.

    Traditional vaidyars belonging to adivasi communities from the hill-regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have also been invited to share their experiences in the meet.

    The proceedings will be video documented and handed over to the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India for their records and for further promotional activities, Arjunan said.

    Dr R S Ramaswamy, director of Central Council for Research in Siddha, under the Department of Ayush in Chennai and his colleague Dr R Kumaravel, president of Scientific Advisory Board will chair the sessions.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by V. NarayanaMurthi / June 26th, 2015

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    June 28th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment


    K.N. Ramaswamy, director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai Kendra, was awarded the ‘Honour for Veteran Secretary Office Bearer of City Sabha’ by The Mylapore Academy at its 46th Annual Award function held recently. R.K. Raghavan, former director, CBI, presented the award.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> DownTown / June 28th, 2015

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    This library is located in the midst of auto spares shops, but that does not deter women from flocking to it. D. MADHAVAN reports

    Around 15 people can be accommodated at the two-room facility.Photo: M. Vedhan

    Around 15 people can be accommodated at the two-room facility.Photo: M. Vedhan

    At this branch library for women, eight women seem to be supernaturally focussed as they study for their competitive examinations. They ignore the sounds that pierce the air. This library, tucked inside the auto spare parts market at Adithanar Salai in Pudupet, draws many women from the neighbourhood, for the exclusive space its offers than for its collection of books.

    The library, Pengal Noolagam, is one of the two state-run libraries that is operated exclusively for women readers at “rent-free” premises. The other library for women is located on Bells Road in Chepauk.

    The library has readers from various localities, including Egmore, Vepery, Pudupet, Chetpet, Zambazzar, Royapettah and Nungambakkam every day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. “Every year, we add 1,000 books to the collection in the library. At present, we have 40,428 books, mostly Tamil, with around 400 members,” said Elango Chandra Kumar, Chennai District Library Officer, in-charge of 158 government libraries.

    Opened in December 1962, the library has a diverse collection of books including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, academic, magazines and newspapers. Around 15 people can be accommodated at the two-room facility.

    “After school hours, we come to the library as a group and spend at least an hour browsing novels, books on Tamil literature and newspapers,” said V. Kavitha, a class XII student from Egmore.            According to officials of the Directorate of Public Libraries, government libraries were started after Independence to encourage women to step out of their houses for education including higher studies. Opening of such exclusive public libraries for women was one of the steps taken by the state government to give more space for women.

    Of 158 public libraries in the city, 92 libraries have own buildings and 54 libraries including women libraries at Pudupet and Chepauk are accommodated in rent-free buildings.

    “Every year, we add 1,000 books to the library. At present, we have 40,428 books.”

    source: / The Hindu /Home> Features> Down Town / June 28th, 2015

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    June 28th, 2015adminEducation, Sports
    Akash and Harish Balaji

    Akash and Harish Balaji

    Chennai :

    Siblings Akash Balaji and Harish Balaji of Sindhi Model Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chetpet, recently won the first place in water polo and 100-metre breast stroke respectively at the State-level Aquatic Competition held in Chennai.

    Both winners will take part in the national-level competition in mid July.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Express News Service / June 27th, 2015

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    June 28th, 2015adminScience & Technologies

    Chennai :

    A chronic diabetic, smoker and an alcoholic, 47-year-old Gowthi was recently admitted to Stanley Hospital with difficulty in moving his limbs.

    “For the past three months, his movement was slow and his speech was slurred. We assumed it was a stroke but a quick scan revealed that the blood vessels to his head and neck had a 100% blockage,” said Dr N Sridharan, head of vascular surgery.

    The patient was referred to the department as doctors suspected that the blood supply to his brain was low.

    Dr Sridharan explained that Gowthi had managed with supply from vessels responsible for blood flow to upper limbs.

    Doctors had to perform an open surgery to re-vascularise vessels that supplied blood to head and neck.

    “We wanted to ensure that we did not upset the blood flow to the brain. Further, we also placed a graft to ensure smooth blood flow to the head and neck,” said the surgeon. He added that the patient recovered well without any episode of cerebral stroke.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / TNN / June 23rd, 2015

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