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    November 12th, 2017adminEducation, Records, All
    Recognition:Mini Shaji Thomas, Director, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, receiving the award from Anil Sahasrabuddhe, Chairman, AICTE, in New Delhi.HANDOUT_E_MAIL

    Recognition:Mini Shaji Thomas, Director, National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, receiving the award from Anil Sahasrabuddhe, Chairman, AICTE, in New Delhi.HANDOUT_E_MAIL

    Achieves hat trick by winning third year in a row at FICCI Educations awards

    National Institute of Technology-Tiruchi (NIT-T) has bagged University of the Year award at FICCI Higher Education Summit held in New Delhi on Thursday.

    Mini Shaji Thomas, Director, NIT-T, received the award presented by Anil Sahasrabuddhe, Chairman, All India Council of Technical Education, in the presence of M. M Sharma, Professor Emeritus, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. A NIT-T press release said that it had achieved a hat trick at the FICCI Educations awards. In 2015, the institute was recognised for excellence in social responsibility category. In 2016, it won two awards for excellence in employability and visionary idea.

    According to the release, FICCI adopts an elaborate two-stage screening process in selecting top institutes for the awards. Consulting firm Ernst & Young is the knowledge partner for FICCI. The first stage consists of online application which leads to short-listing based on merits of the institute, followed by a final jury evaluation which is based on face-to-face presentation before a high-powered jury chaired by R.A. Mashelkar, an eminent scientist.

    The institute scored high on many of the yardsticks set for the University of Year award, having undertaken a major academic transformation a couple of years back and figuring almost on top of the list in terms of research publications.

    NITT was ranked 11th amongst all technical institutions, including the older IITs and 1st amongst all NITs in the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s National Institutional Ranking Framework during 2017.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Tamil Nadu / by Special Correspondent / Tiruchi – November 11th, 2017

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    M Nannan

    M Nannan

    Chennai :

    M Nannan, who kindled an interest among people to learn Tamil through his famous ‘Tamil Karpom’ programme on Doordarshan in the 1980s and 1990s, died at his residence in Chennai on Tuesday due to aged-related illnesses. He was 94.

    Nannan, who was a Tamil professor at Presidency College in Chennai, had written several Tamil textbooks. He was the recipient of Tamil Nadu government’s Periyar, Thiru Vika and Anna awards.

    Born in 1924 in Cuddalore district, he started following Periyar and later joined the DMK. He participated in the anti-Hindi protests in 1965.

    Political party leaders condoled the death of Nannan. “Nannan’s death is a great loss for the Dravidian movement. Apart from being a Tamil teacher, he was also involved in propagating Periyar’s teachings,” said DMK working president M K Stalin in a statement.

    Stalin said DMK chief M Karunanidhi had entrusted him the responsibility of propagating the Tamil language and Periyar’s teachings in the party.

    PMK chief S Ramadoss said, “Nannan was a famous Tamil professor and a good friend of mine. He started his career as a primary teacher and later he became the chief of Tamil department in college. He also created a separate type of teaching called Nannan Murai.”

    AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran tweeted: “We have lost a Tamil expert in the death of Prof Nannan. His death cannot be replaced.”

    source: / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Chennai News / by Abdullah Nurullah / TNN / November 07th, 2017

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    The East Indians, as Anglo Indians were known till 1911, were well served by schools and churches in almost every locality where they were in numbers. In New Town and Vepery areas, near where they served in the General Hospital and Gun Factory, the German missionaries representing the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge had done their bit. In Royapuram, the railway and harbour employees were well served by St Kevin’s and St Peter’s. And in Perambur, the railway hub, there was the Railways School and the Lourdes Shrine, all serving Protestants and Catholics. But where the poorest East Indians lived, in the Narasingapuram, Chintadripet, Pudupet and Royapettah areas there was nothing between St Mary’s in the Fort and St George’s Cathedral for those who worked in stables like Waller’s, coach-builders like Simpson’s, as printers in Addison’s, and sales-clerks in Spencer’s and Higginbotham’s. That was till the Rev Henry Taylor arrived in 1842 and was temporarily posted to sahibdom’s St George’s.

    Struck by the poorer East Indians’ conditions in the Round Tana area, Taylor rented a room there in July 1842 and commenced worship and primary classes. That will on November 26, be celebrated as the 175th anniversary of Christ Church, Mount Road, and its school. Growth followed thanks to Thomas Parker Waller who owned a large stable and coach rental here. When a building and compound he offered the new institution was deemed too small, he negotiated exchange of a part of his estate for an adjacent property and gifted in perpetuity the latter, then worth ₹ 12,000, to the new church. Here, Taylor’s successor, Rev Robert Carver (Miscellany, February 6) established in 1843 two schools called the Mount Road Male and Female Schools, to be duly called the Christ Church School. Another building in this property was used for worship. Work on the church began in 1850 to John Law’s design and Christ Church, Mount Road, was consecrated in 1852. The Church, including furniture from Deschamps, then a leading furniture maker, cost ₹ 37,000.

    Remembered in the Church with a memorial tablet and in the name of a primary school opened in 1986 is TP Waller. Another tablet, one in the porch, remembers his son, a veterinarian, who died in 1830. Connected or not, another Waller name figures in the School’s history; Bishop Edward Waller (1922-41) helped the school considerably with Diocesan funding.

    Funds were till the 20th Century a constant problem for the School. Typically, an 1854 note showed expenses being ₹90 a month and school fees only about ₹30 from around 120 students! It was a poor school with poorer children. This lack of funds was to over the years affect the character of the school, which kept shuttling between being a middle school and a lower school.

    The history of this period is too depressing, not to mention full of upheavals, to record. But what seemed like a closed chapter became a new chapter with Waller’s infusion of funds and support from St George’s Cathedral, St Mary’s in the Fort and St Matthias, Vepery.

    This made possible a new block in 1928 at a cost of ₹40,000 and recognition as a High School in 1947. In 1949, when St George’s Cathedral School closed, Christ Church welcomed its students, as numbers meant viability. Today, with over 2,000 students it is a co-educational higher secondary school from 1905 with good results and many a university entrant, a far cry from 1930 when it reported “After years of barren results, it is refreshing to find one passing in the Middle School examination”! That was a School that changed from 1936 after the previous 25 years had recorded “hardly one per cent in passes”. Since then it has been recording 90-100 % passes and students joining India’s most prestigious services and institutions. Among them is Dr John Varghese, principal of St Stephen’s College, Delhi.

    The mystery of the missing award

    My mention on August 27th of the Jagirdar of Arni’s Gold Medal for Physics/ Chemistry not having been awarded for years, has brought intriguing information. In letters to the Arni family in 2005, Presidency College categorically stated their records showed no such awards. Yet, in 1992, plaques were seen in the College’s Central Hall listing Arni Award winners in Physics and Chemistry.

    Still more intriguing is that the CVs of many leading Indian scientists mention them as having received the award. These include Dr CV Raman in 1905, Dr Govind Rao (‘Father of Chemical Engineering in India’) in 1921, and Dr S Chandrasekhar in 1930. Later winners found include in 1956 (Physics) Dr TR Viswanathan, a Director of Texas Instruments after stints at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford and Berkeley, in 1974 (Chemistry) Dr N Pattabhiraman, Professor of Oncology, Lombardi Cancer Centre, Washington DC, Dr N Gopalaswamy (1977, Physics) who was with NASA, and Dr S Moorthy Babu, Anna University.

    With so many winners, listed as late as 1986 (Dr Babu), how could an award vanish into thin air? Be that as it may, would the College like to start all over again with the help of the Arni family?

    The chronicler of Madras that is Chennai tells stories of people, places, and events from the years gone by, and sometimes from today

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Society> History & Culture> Madras Miscellany / by S Muthiah / November 07th, 2017

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    Dr Krishnamoorthy Srinivas

    Dr Krishnamoorthy Srinivas

    Chennai :

    More than 50 years ago when many doctors were leaving India in search of green pastures, Dr Krishnamoorthy Srinivas returned home. The clinical neurologist, who had ensured free or subsidised but quality care for all his patients since then, breathed his last in a private hospital at Mylapore at 6.10am on Wednesday. He was 84.

    “He went into coma on Sunday and never woke up,” said his son Dr Ennapadam S Krishnamoorthy, a neuropsychiatrist.

    Senior doctors, patients, industrialists and several eminent people paid their last respects to Dr Srinivas who had always looked into his patients’ eyes and listened to them.

    After landing in Chennai with three FRCPs and intensive training in Canada, Dr Srinivas worked in Voluntary Health Services, a hospital founded Dr K S Sanjeevi, and in the Public Health Centre at West Mambalam.

    “I started my training in July 1959 at Montreal, Canada. Fifty-six years have passed since I entered neurology. Essentially, I am a clinical neurologist with interests in the welfare of patients, especially in patient care, in clinical diagnosis and teaching. I follow Sir William Osler’s obiter dictum—placing research after the above are done,” he wrote for a commentary in Neurology India journal in 2015.

    Dr Srinivas belonged to the rare breed of doctors who encouraged patients to speak more in his consultation room.

    One of his students, senior neurologist Dr AV Srinivasan recalled how he would tell his postgraduates. “Hurry, hurry, listen to the patient, he is giving us the diagnosis.”

    He sent them for tests and prescribed medicines only if was convinced that they were necessary. “It is not that he did not believe in scans or other diagnostic tests. He used technology only to enhance his clinical skills,” Dr A V Srinivasan.

    Though research came last, he has authored several papers in peer reviewed journals. He loved teaching and worked as an honorary professor at the Madras Medical College and in several other medical colleges.
    He set up the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the VHS and brought eminent scholars in neurology to speak on fascinating topics such of the brain and mind that would interest not just doctors, but members of the public as well.

    On Wednesday, as he bid adieu, one of his patients, 74-year-old R Venkatraman, said, “His work is done. He may now rest forever.”

    The last rites will be held in the Mylapore crematorium at 5pm.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / Pushpa Narayan / TNN / November 01st, 2017

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    Vipulananda Adigalar

    Vipulananda Adigalar

    Film throws light on unknown facets of Vipulananda Adigalar’s life

    Tracing the unknown aspects of a prominent personality in the world of Tamil literature is quite a challenging task and Mu. Elangovan, a faculty in the Kanchi Mamunivar Centre for Post Graduate Studies, Puducherry, has travelled across the sea to do exactly that.

    After a year of research, documentation and interviews, Mr. Elangovan has brought out a 50-minute documentary to depict the life of Vipulananda Adigalar, who wrote the famous Yazh Nool (a book of stringed musical instruments), a principal research treatise on Isai Tamil.

    “I wanted to know more about his life. While I began collecting his books, manuscripts, photographs and letters, many unknown facts about him attracted my attention. I felt that a documentary film would be the proper medium to bring these facts before the public. SivamVeluppillai, who works in a private firm in Canada and Kasupathi Nataraja, an elderly person in Sri Lanka helped me complete this work,” said Mr.Elangovan.

    Taught in T.N.

    The famed Tamil scholar and educationist, who was born in Karaitivu near Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, in 1892, edited several magazines, translated works and played an instrumental role in establishing several academic institutions in Sri Lanka. On the invitation of Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar, the founder of the Annamalai University, Vipulananda Adigalar even served there from 1931 to 1933 as Tamil Professor.

    While teaching in Annamalai University, he translated Vivekanandar’s Gnana deepamKarma YogamRaja yogam, Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutram. He was a pioneer in teaching and propagating Bharathiar’s Poems in the academic circle during the British rule. “He was the first scholar to recognise and appreciate Bharathiar’s poetic genius. He protested the visit of the English Governor to Annamalai University by hoisting black flag at his residence,” he added.

    Vipulananda had his early education at his native place Karaitivu, Kalmunai, Batticaloa, and later he studied Technical Education at Colombo, got his B.Sc Degree by passing the Cambridge University Examinations, and also ‘Pandithar’ title of the Madurai Tamil Sangam at the age of 24; served as a teacher at Colombo, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, received Mahatma Gandhi when he visited Jaffna and also hosted Maraimalai Adigal at Jaffna.

    Mr. Elangovan travelled to Sri Lanka and Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Chennai, Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Mayavathi (the Himalayan foot) for making the documentary.

    “This documentary will remind the future generations about the excellence of Vipulananda Adigalar. It has interviews of those who have been his co-workers, friends and relatives, and addition to his writings, photographs. This film will be released first in Sri Lanka.”

    In Sri Lanka, he visited Colombo Tamil Sangam, Sri Lanka Ramakrishna Mutt Branches, Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies at Eastern University as well as his relatives and many other places including Karaithivu, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Mandur, Thetratthivu, Colombo, Rosalla, Kandy, where evidences of his life and works are available.

    The documentary also depicts Vipulananda’s association with Ramakrishna Math and his visit to Chennai where he had his ascetic training from 1922 to 1924. His Brahmachariya name was Prabodha Saithanyer and got his spiritual initiation from Swamy Sivananda in 1924 and later he was called Vipulananda Adigalar. Vipulanandar established and superintended various schools in Sri Lanka from 1925 to 1931. He founded Sivananda Vidyalayam in memory of his Guru who initiated him in the spiritual order and thereby paved way for several thousand poor pupils to receive education.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Puducherry / by S. Senthalir / Puducherry – October 30th, 2017

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    October 30th, 2017adminEducation, Records, All, Science & Technologies


    • The students fabricated 45 robots to clean simultaneously for over 15 minutes.
    • A major aim of the initiative was to sustain, spread and strengthen the concept of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
    The robots cleaned an area of 750 square feet simultaneously

    The robots cleaned an area of 750 square feet simultaneously

    Chennai :

    IIT-Madras students have set the Asia and India records for operating the largest number of robots to clean an area.

    The students fabricated 45 robots to clean simultaneously for over 15 minutes.

    A total of 270 students from various disciplines participated in the CFI Workshop at IIT-Madras on Sunday where the robots cleaned an area of 750 square feet.

    Each robot had a high RPM motor at its centre, with two rotating scrub pads that directed the dust into the central suction mechanism, which was collected by a filter in the vacuum tunnel.

    The robots were controlled over Bluetooth via an Android-based application.

    Representatives of the Asia Book of Records and the India Book of Records adjudicated the event, which took place at Students Activities Centre on the campus.

    A provisional certificate was awarded after the successful completion of the exercise.

    The final certification would follow after validation and assessment of the record evidences.

    Another major aim of this initiative was to sustain, spread and strengthen the concept of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, said the institute.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / by Vinayashree J / TNN / October 30th, 2017

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    “The functionalisation process avoids the use of organic solvents. This makes it safe and eco-friendly,” says Pradeep (second from right).

    “The functionalisation process avoids the use of organic solvents. This makes it safe and eco-friendly,” says Pradeep (second from right).

    The material can be coated on a variety of surfaces including glass and paper

    Nanocellulose-based liquid dispersion that renders the coated surface extremely water repellent — superhydrophobic with water contact angle more than 160 degrees — has been developed by a team of researchers led by Prof. T. Pradeep from the Department of Chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.

    The material can be coated on a variety of surfaces including glass and paper. It has several distinct properties such as high mechanical durability and chemical stability. Like other superhydrophobic materials, the dispersion-coated surface exhibits microbial resistance thus preventing biofouling.

    The researchers used cellulose nanofibres (5-20 nm wide and more than 500 nm in length) and functionalised them with flurosilane in water over six-seven hours at room temperature. The linkage of fluorosilane with cellulose happens through the hydroxyl groups present on cellulose.

    The functionalisation makes the long fibres of cellulose, resembling bamboo poles of molecular dimensions, to be covered with fluoroalkyl groups. This reduces the surface energy of cellulose fibres. Low surface energy together with enhanced surface roughness at nanoscale renders the coated surface highly water-repellent. Tiny water droplets dropped from a height bounced off the coated surface attesting the extreme water-repellence. Other tests too confirmed superhydrophobicity.

    “The functionalisation process avoids the use of organic solvents. This makes it safe and eco-friendly. This science helps expand the use of sustainable materials. And similar to water, the dispersion is not sticky thus making it easy to coat or spray paint on any surface,” says Prof. Pradeep.

    Superior durability

    The coating exhibited superior mechanical durability even when subjected to a variety of abrasion tests — scratches using a knife, peel-off test and sand paper abrasion. “There was negligible reduction in water repellence even when subjected to wear and tear. The covalent linkages between the cellulose fibres provide superior mechanical stability to the coating,” Prof. Pradeep says. The coating also strongly adheres to the surface.

    Even when exposed to organic solvents such as hexane and ethanol, the coating exhibited chemical stability and retained its extreme water-repelling property. “The coating absorbs organic solvents. Once the coating dries, which happens very quickly, the water-repelling property returns,” says Avijit Baidya from the Department of Chemistry, IIT Madras and the first author of the paper published in the journal ACS Nano.

    “The coating remained stable even when subjected to extreme temperatures of 200 degree and –80 degree and exposed to direct sunlight,” says Baidya. “The longevity was also tested for two years under laboratory conditions.”

    Despite the extreme water repelling property, coated paper absorbs organic components. “Since ink has organic components, the coating allows the ink to diffuse. Unlike normal paper where the ink washes off when exposed to water, the ink on the coated paper remained intact even when in contact with water,” says Baidya.

    Though the coating strongly adheres to glass and exhibits all the desirable properties, light transmission gets compromised as the coating turns the glass white. “This material is truly not for glass. Better applications will be in paints and for coating the paper used for printing currency,” says Baidya.

    The team is already working to address the issue of light transmission by using a starting material other than cellulose. “We have nearly developed a superhydrophobic material that remains transparent once coated,” says Prof. Pradeep, who is the corresponding author.

    “We are willing to commercialise the product either through a start-up or by licensing it. We have already filed for a patent,” He says.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Science / by R Prasad / October 28th, 2017

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    File photo shows the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge. | Photo Credit: AP

    File photo shows the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge. | Photo Credit: AP

    The setting up of a Chair for Tamil will immensely contribute to Indology and also research on Tamil literature and culture, says Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

    In a fillip to a proposal to set up a Chair for Tamil studies at the prestigious Harvard University, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday announced a sum of ₹10 crore towards the plan mooted by two United States-based Tamil enthusiasts.

    The setting up of such a Chair would immensely contribute to Indology and also research on Tamil literature and culture, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said in a statement.

    Cardiologist Dr. Vijay Janakiraman and oncologist Dr. S.T. Sambandam had floated the idea and had personally contributed funds towards it.

    Following their request, then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had in her party’s election manifesto in 2016 announced that her government would take steps for setting up a Tamil Chair in Harvard University.

    Efforts are also on to mobilise funds from interested parties through the social media for setting up the Chair.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by Dennis S. Jesudasan / Chennai – October 27th, 2017

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    October 23rd, 2017adminEducation, Sports


    India openers, Ranji Trophy veterans and most recently Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) talents — not many educational institutions in Chennai can boast of grooming a galaxy of star cricketers. But Guru Nanak College in Velachery has been doing just that for more nearly four decades.

    Though sports is promoted in many educational institutions, Guru Nanak College stands out because of its facilities, a dedicated sports quota and its exposure as a playground for national-level matches. The college, set up in 1971, encourages its students to take part in various sports. Over the years, they have produced some of the finest cricketers like India batsmen Sadagoppan Ramesh and S Badrinath and former Tamil Nadu opener S Vidyut.

    Most strikingly, 10 of its students are playing in TNPL and various domestic competitions. B Indrajith, S Kishan Kumar, S Abishek, Sathyanarayanan, S Lokeshwar, S Aravind, Silambarasan,

    B Aparajith, S Arun, R Rajan are some of the prominent names who have been playing in the Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Irani Cup and various other championships.

    The college is run by the Guru Nanak Educational Society — a not-for-profit organisation. According to Manjit Singh Nayar, general secretary of the trust, the motto of the institution is to promote sports for the overall development of students. ”Our trust is managed by people with an army background who have been sportsmen. Our goal is to encourage students to participate in a sport of their interest. We are one of the few educational institutions to allocate huge funds for sports development,” says Nayar.

    Former Tamil Nadu skipper Badrinath, who grew up in Velachery, fondly remembers his practice sessions at the ground. “There was not a single morning when I would not be at the ground. It was like my backyard. The best part was watching great players like Rahul Dravid and Javagal Srinath during Ranji Trophy games, which motivated young players like us. I benefitted a lot,” says Badrinath.

    Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy star Aparajith, who has been pursuing marketing management in the college, feels without its support he wouldn’t have become a professional cricketer. “It’s not like other institutions that promise a lot but fails to deliver. My college is an exception and it has been extremely supportive to its students who are seriously taking up sports,” says Aparajith.

    Its well-maintained cricket ground, has been hosting first-class cricket matches since 1978 and Ranji Trophy matches since 1996. The Women’s One Day International was also held there in 2002 and was one of the venues for hosting warm-up matches for the Women’s World Twenty20 last year.

    While cricket is the preferred sports among Guru Nanak students, the institution, along with Loyola College, A M Jain College, Pachaiyappas College and Vivekananda College, has been at the forefront in acting as a launchpad for aspiring sportspersons in the field of athletics, squash, volleyball and other disciplines. Abhay Singh, who won the junior world title earlier this year, is one of the prominent squash players from the Velachery college.

    source: / The Times of India / News>City News> Chennai News / TNN / October 23rd, 2017

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    Tirunelveli :

    As part of the World Space Week celebrations, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is organising a mega ‘Space Expo’ at S.T. Hindu College in Nagercoil from October 5 to 8.

    S.R. Vijayamohanakumar, chairman, Publicity Committee, ‘World Space Week 2017’, said the exhibition would showcase ISRO’s space research programmes from its humble beginning through display panels and exhibits. The exhibition would also cover applications of India’s space programmes for the benefit of common man.

    The pavilion would have models of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV), Reusable Launch Vehicle, GSLV MK III engine, liquid and cryogenic engines and Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE) recovered after the flight in December 2014.

    The expo was the first of its kind in Tamil Nadu in terms of size and contents, which would benefit the public, especially students, immensely, the organisers said. The free exhibition, to be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan in the presence of K. Sivan, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, would be open to public from 9.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. on all days.

    Mr. Vijayamohanakumar said a range of lectures on space science, ISRO’s feats, careers in ISRO, etc., would be delivered by experts as part of the expo. An open forum would be organised on the last day of the event, in which a panel of experts from various walks of life would participate.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by Special Correspondent / October 04th, 2017

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