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    NASA had received about 3,000 entries from 193 countries

    Two students from Shree Vidhya Mandhir, Pushpathur, Dindigul district won the NASA’s 2018 Commercial Crew Program Calendar Art Contest.

    The artworks of students Kaviya B.J. and K. Selva Sreejith of Class VI were among the 12 selected from about 3,000 entries submitted by children in the age group of 4-12 years from 193 countries. Their work will be printed in the 2018 calendar of NASA will be sent to the International Space Station.

    While Kaviya drew an organic space garden, Sreejit’s artwork was titled ‘What would you take from home’, where he drew an astronaut who brought along his daughter, dog and all his favourite possessions to the space shuttle. The winning students will receive a gift package from NASA. The students were able to participate in the contest because of a tie-up between the school and Imageminds, a digital media training centre.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – January 17th, 2018

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    January 9th, 2018adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Education


    Exhibition, discussions held as part of Portfolio18

    Deft handwork, good imagination and perfect pictorial finish were the highlights of Portfolio18, an architectural workshop organised at the Lalit Kala Akademi in the city. The exhibition of the works of students pursuing architecture was organised by the Chennai Architecture Foundation.

    The three-day event, which was inaugurated on Friday, showcased the works of students from 11 architecture colleges from across the State. The displays, some of which were thesis works by students, included representations of the topography of villages, architectural works of real estate layouts in 2D formats and printed T-shirts. Hundreds of enthusiastic visitors took a keen interest in the displays.

    A spokesperson of CAF said the exhibition, which was not a competition, would be an annual event. Apart from the exhibition, the event also had open house discussions where speakers talked about architecture and architectural education, the ground reality in academic institutions and the nature of work produced, and experiments undertaken in academic studios across the State.

    In the open house session, students spoke on the theme ‘If I were to learn design, how would I learn?’.

    Another segment was ‘College in Focus’, where representatives of institutions shared their ideas and approaches to education.

    The event had a variety of events of value to students of architecture, as well as aspiring students and their parents.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – January 09th, 2018

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    January 4th, 2018adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Education

    The city will host an architecture exhibition called ‘Portfolio 18’ to showcase the work of students and to create a platform for various stakeholders to discuss about architecture education.

    The first edition organised by the Chennai Architecture Foundation would be held at Lalit Kala Akademi from January 5 to 7. While the main focus of the three-day event is the architecture exhibition called ‘Pin Up,’ which will display the academic works of 11 prominent colleges in the State, there is also ‘College in Focus,’ where ideas about architecture could be shared. A panel discussion will be held among students and faculties.

    Works from the CARE School of Architecture, Hindustan University, Rajalakshmi School of Architecture and VIT University would be on display.

    A spokesperson of CAF said the idea to launch ‘Portfolio 18’, an annual exhibition, is to give an opportunity for students, faculty and institutions to share their experiences and thoughts and to remove certain misgivings of architecture education.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – January 02nd, 2018

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    Madurai :

    Poet N S Sundararaman of Dharumai Aadheena mutt has said that the names of many renowned Shiva temples, revered in Thevaram (garland of divine songs praising Lord Shiva), were sanskritised in the past and the same fate should not befall Pannisai (ancient Tamil music and a predecessor of Carnatic music).

    He further urged the Tamil Isai Sangam to undertake research in Pannisai. He was speaking at the Tamil Isai Sangam’s silver jubilee anniversary celebrations on Monday. The Sangam honoured its octogenarian trustee S Mohangandhi, also a former income tax officer on the occasion. Mohangandhi was a student of the first batch of Thevaram class and was praised for his untiring efforts to promote it for 25 years.

    Since 1992, the Tamil Isai Sangam, functioning at the Raja Muthiah Mandram, has been conducting free music class on Thevaram on its premises and more than 2,000 people have studied there so far.

    Sundararaman said that learning of Thirumurai (Shaiva literary works, twelve in number) will help one in many ways. “Thirumurai will uplift humans. It will change the thinking of chicanery and will help one to attain self-realisation. People belonging to Nagarathaar clan have contributed much to spreading Tamil Isai. The Tamil Isai Sangam needs to do research in Pannisai,” Sundararaman said.

    Former Income Tax commissioner of Madurai S Sankaralingam who presided over the function said “One who wishes to see progress in life needs to learn Thevaram and read Thirumurai.” Trustee Thu. Meikandaan said “Thevaram music will help better functioning of brain.” Tamil Isai Sangam secretary P R Chockalingam and treasurer R M Somasundaram offered felicitations. V S Janaranjani welcomed the gathering. A G Sankar proposed a vote of thanks. A women’s troupe also sang Thevaram at the function.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Madurai News / TNN / December 26th, 2017

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    December 29th, 2017adminEducation, Leaders, Records, All

    Former BJP State president, freedom fighter and educationist K. Narayan Rao, 88, passed away at his residence in west Tambaram on Wednesday.

    Narayan Rao became a member of the RSS during his college days and when the BJP took shape, he was persuaded by leaders to become the State unit’s first president.

    He also established ‘Kalaniketan’ in 1958 to produce movies.

    In June 1978, he took charge as secretary of JG National School.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – December 28th, 2017

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    Shivansh Joshi wanted to become a soldier as he believes this is the best way to serve nation

    Shivansh Joshi

    Shivansh Joshi

    Shunning a future of hefty salary packages and a comfortable life, this 17-year-old has taken up a more challenging career in order to serve the country. Shivansh Joshi, who has topped the NDA exam, has decided to quit the engineering course at NIT Tiruchirappalli and join the Indian Army. The results of the NDA exam were released last week.

    Shivansh hails from Ramnagar in Uttarakhand. His father Sanjeev Joshi works with LIC India while mother Tanuja Joshi is a government primary school teacher.

    Shivansh scored 96.8 per cent in class 12 exams and cracked the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) in the first attempt. “I always wanted to join the Indian Army as the kind of pride, respect, honour, discipline and adventure associated with it is not offered in any other profession. Joining defence forces is the best way you can serve your nation,” he said.

    It was at his father’s insistence that Joshi appeared for JEE and aced it without joining any coaching centre. He was preparing for his board exams, JEE and NDA — all at the same time.

    “The syllabus for class 12 exams and JEE is quite similar. NDA picks more generic topics. But I ensured three hours of preparation for the exams and two hours of football and other physical activities,” said Joshi.

    How did he manage a perfect balance between sports and studies? “I stayed away from social media. Though I am fond of smartphones, I purchased it after clearing all my exams,” added Joshi. He feels sports and patriotism are in the blood of people from Uttarakhand.

    While he does not have a defence background, he was inspired by stories on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, national security advisor Ajit Kumar Doval and General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Army staff. He also draws motivation from books like Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.

    source: / The Indian Express / Home> Education / by Neeti Nigam / New Delhi / November 29th, 2017

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    Giving back: Indra Nooyi, chairperson & CEO, PepsiCo, with students and staff at the Madras Christian College.

    Giving back: Indra Nooyi, chairperson & CEO, PepsiCo, with students and staff at the Madras Christian College.

    Dedicates modern lounge for women on campus

    Indra K. Nooyi, chairperson & CEO of PepsiCo, and an alumna of Madras Christian College, dedicated a modern women’s lounge on the college campus on Monday.

    Ms. Nooyi, who did B.Sc. Chemistry (1971 to 1974) visited the college on Monday. She funded the renovation and modernisation of the Macnicol Lounge for Women.

    Addressing the students, she said: “I have benefited enormously from my education. My husband and I are now in ‘giving back’ mode to the institutions that made us what we are today. I had all my education in Christian institutions and we are planning to give back as much as we can. I am privileged to be back at the MCC and I wish I was young again to study here.” She said that the future of the country is in the hands of women and that they should be exposed to modern ambience.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Special Correspondent / Chennai – December 19th, 2017

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    Remembered at commemorations in Madras recently were two contrasting Gandhians. One, a man whose family I knew better than him, the other, I confess with regret, I had not even heard of. Of both I learnt so much subsequently, that two items in a column seem pitifully inadequate. If you hear about them again from me it will be because there are so many stories to tell about Dr Chandran Devanesen and Mahakavi Bala Bharathi Sankagiri Duraisamy Subramania Yogiar.

    Both were sons of scholars. Chandran Devanesen was the first professor at Madras Christian College who was the son of an earlier academic there, David William Devanesen, a Professor of Biology who later retired as Assistant Director of Fisheries. Devanesan Senior wrote prolificly on subjects ranging from oysters to Vedanayagam Sastriar, the evangelist poet of Tanjore.

    Yogiar’s father Duraisamy, fluent in Hindi, Persian and Urdu, lectured on the Holy Koran in English. Both imbued their sons with a yearning for knowledge and sharing it.


    The institution builder

    As the first Indian Principal of MCC, Chandran Devanesen is known for successfully transforming an institution influenced by Scots to one more Indian. But that exercise is not my focus. What is, is the little remembered founding of the North-Eastern Hill University in 1973. Starting from scratch in territory he knew little about, Devanesen developed in Shillong an institution to serve Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and, for a while, Arunachal Pradesh. He spent a year boning up on the Northeast before heading to it as Vice-Chancellor, but what he remembered best of that time was meeting this Central University’s Chancellor, Indira Gandhi, before leaving for his new home. The Prime Minister told him she trusted his vision and leadership on academic development, but “I can advise you on the tribal dynamics of the Northeast and its diversity.” He learnt more about the area in that one hour with her than in the year spent in libraries, he was to later recall.

    The first Chair he established there was the Mahatma Gandhi Visiting Professorship, the second the Dr Verrier Elwin Chair, remembering that expert on the tribes of much of India. From early in life Devanesen was interested in Gandhi. His doctoral thesis, titled ‘The Making of the Mahatma’, focussed on the first 40 years of Gandhi’s life. The thesis was dedicated to two ardent disciples of Gandhi, Devanesen’s uncles, J(oseph) C and (Benjamin) Bharathan Kumarappa, from the Cornelius family of Tanjore.

    Another significant Devanesen creation was the Estuarine Biological Laboratory by Pulicat Lake he helped Dr Sanjeeva Raj to set up. Devanesen did not live to see it come to naught in the new Millennium when Lake and surroundings, including environmentally sensitive islands, were despoiled by modern development. When he was alive he’d visit the Lab regularly with his family on weekends and return to Tambaram with a basketful of mud-crabs to distribute to faculty families. He considered the crabs, which Pulicat Lake has the highest yield of, the “greatest delicacy” on his menu. His Sinhalese wife Savitri’s Ceylon crab curry was always the “top” non-veg dish at dinners he hosted. Today, these mud-crabs are a ‘top’ export.

    The national poet

    Fair, 6-foot tall, chain-smoking Yogiar was a Gandhian who dressed in silk jibbas and white mull vaishtis and “sang in the voice of Kali”. Devoted to the Devi, he’d compose poetry almost on request but would always say, “The voice is mine/The singer is Kali”. His cornucopia of poetry and prose has been nationalised by Government, but what it’s done with the collection I have no idea.


    Yogiar was a polymath, described as a “scholar in English (which he spoke impeccably and accentlessly), writer in Tamil, one-time film director, sometime editor and all-time poet.” He was also a freedom fighter who spent nearly two years in gaol. In prison, Yogiar, author of Mudal Devi, wrote, inspired by a Malayalam writer’s work, his own version of Mary Magdalene. He also translated in Tamil Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat and in English a part of Kambar’s Ramayanam, titling it Seetha Kalyanam.

    As Editor-in-Chief with India Book House’s publishing division Pearl in the late 1950s, till his untimely death in 1963, he was prolific in translating Tamil and Malayalam classics into English.

    A regular reviewer for The Hindu of Tamil and English books, Yogiar would also analyse Gandhi’s and Periyar’s speeches for various publications, often critically. Several of his contrary views helped Periyar re-think his own. As Editor of Pudumai Pithan and other journals — the restless Yogiar kept changing jobs, from journal to journal, business establishment to establishment — he was known for his critiques of films and literature. But as Kannadasan said, Yogiar’s reviews hurt no one nor were they abusive; they only politely pointed out the faults.

    Inevitably filmdom beckoned. He worked on seven films. Writing story, dialogue and lyrics for the Ellis Dungan directed Iru Sagodharagal (Two Brothers) got him started in 1936. He then directed some of these, including his own Yogi Films’ Anandam (1941) for which he did everything but act or shoot. National poet Yogiar may have been, but his passion was Mother Tamil, which he once lauded: With the Comorin her lotus feet,/ Seven Hills as her golden crown,/ The bubbling Kaveri as her waistbelt,/ And the Three Seas paying obeisance,/ Holding the tall peaks of Vindhyas as Sceptre,/ Having Lanka as a blooming daughter,/ Our deity is Mother Goddess, / And our home is the land of Tamil, / The evergreen Maiden.

    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> Madras Miscellany> News> Cities> Chennai / by  S. Muthiah / December 11th, 2017

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    December 6th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, Education, World Opinion

    Flinto Learning Solutions plans to expand to other parts of country, southeast and middleeast Asia

    City-headquartered start-up firm Flinto Learning Solutions has received funding to the tune of ₹45 crore ($7 million) from Mumbai-based venture capital firm Lightbox.

    The start-up, which is popularly called Flintobox, plans to utilise the funds it obtained to capture the pre-school market in India, which is worth over $4.5 billion.

    Flinto is also gearing up for global expansion, starting with south-east and middle-east Asia.

    Arunprasad Durairaj, chief executive officer and co-founder, Flintobox, said, “In India, pre-school penetration is less than 10% when compared to the developed countries, where it is anywhere between 90-100%. Flinto deep dives to address this major concern.”

    The funds will be utilised to further strengthen the firm and expand to every nook and corner of India.

    Currently, the start-up has over 4 lakh parents as customers from over 700 cities and towns, including Port Blair and Diu and Daman.

    The firm is shipping more than 40,000 boxes per month.

    Mr. Arunprasad said, “Flinto is redefining early learning by changing classrooms into big co-operative fun activity spaces where every child explores things that interest them. Flinto is designed in a such a way as to ensure parents/teachers spend time with children in a productive way.”

    Lightbox partner Prashant Mehta says, “Flinto is addressing a massive need in early childhood development by delivering a subscription-based product to your doorstep every month.”

    Life lessons

    Flinto is the brainchild of three young entrepreneurs — Arunprasad Durairaj, Vijay Babu Gandhi and Shreenidhi Srirangam — who personally experienced the lack of quality early learning in India.

    These experiences led them to set out to create tools and products that would change the way children learn and play.

    In 2013, the founders pooled in ₹10 lakh from their personal savings to start this venture.

    The first round of funding was ₹15 lakh raised through GSF accelerator.

    They later got funding to the tune of ₹1.8 crore from Globevestor, a U.S.-based investment firm, with participation from Asian E-commerce Alliance (AECAL) and Mauj Mobile Pvt. Ltd.

    The third (₹2 crore) and fourth (₹6.2 crore) rounds of funding were led by Ashwin Chadha, an angel investor and globevestor, with participation from existing investors.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Sangeetha Kandavel / Chennai – December 06th, 2017

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    Souvenir released to mark golden jubilee of her concerts

    Musician and musicologist Premeela Gurumurthy has made immense contributions to the art of kathakalashebham, N. Murali, president of the Music Academy, said here on Sunday.

    “She has made a unique contribution to revive the art. She even brought out a book on kathakalashebham. She is a multi-faceted personality, who has given musical discourses in different languages, and also has a deep understanding and knowledge of Tamil,” he said. He also noted that musician Musiri Subramania Iyer was instrumental in persuading her and her family to shift base to Chennai as he saw talent in her very early.

    P. Duraisamy, vice-chancellor, University of Madras, said she played a key role in introducing new courses, including M.A. Bharatanatyam and M.A. Folk Music at the university when she was the dean.

    ‘Remarkable researcher’

    “She is not only a dedicated teacher but also a remarkable researcher. She has made an excellent contribution to research in the field of music,” he added. On the occasion of 50 years of her concert performances, a golden jubilee special souvenir was released.

    K.N. Ramaswamy, director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and V.V. Sundaram, co-founder and secretary of Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana Committee, United States, spoke.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – December 04th, 2017

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