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    SriramCF17nov2017

    A software engineer is offering guidance to anyone seeking to set up a low-cost rainwater harvesting system

    Sriram Vasudevan, a software engineer, uses his free time for work involving hardware. Not the hardware you associate with computers. He’s working with PVC pipes, L-joints and valves and other material necessary to build rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems. Having set up a self-designed, cost-effective RWH structure at his house in Ramapuram, he is helping others install such structures at theirs.

    He had been researching intensely on how to install cost-effective RWH structures before devising such a model himself. He says this work is motivated by a desire to solve water-related problems in the city. Sometime ago, he posted an announcement on Facebook, expressing his desire to guide anyone who wants to install such an RWH structure. “My friend Balaji set up an RWH structure at his house recently and I was greatly inspired by it. I believe a good RWH structure in each house will help solve many water-related problems in the city,” he says. Here’s how this model works.

    “The rainwater that gets collected in someone’s terrace should be directed to their borewell, well or sump,” he explains. In regular RWH systems, the collected rainwater is directed to a rainwater harvesting pit dug near the house. This pit has a layer of coarse pebbles to help filter impurities and channel the water underground directly. In a variation of this model, Sriram suggests that a valve be placed in the RWH pipes.

    This valve is capable of clearing out the impurities, thereby helping bypass the need for a rainwater harvesting pit.

    Sriram says channeling the collected rainwater directly to the borewell will help improve water quality.

    “There will be a evident change in water quality and taste, post-monsoon,” he says.

    He points out that in case of any overflow in the collection system, an extra tank can always be set up to store excess water.

    Sriram has already helped two residents set up RWH structures at their houses.

    Sriram can be reached at 9944888755

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Anjana Shekar / November 17th, 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: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Chennai News / by Abdullah Nurullah / TNN / November 07th, 2017

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    John Pennycuick’s grave in England.

    John Pennycuick’s grave in England.

    Film-maker traces British engineer’s roots in the country

    The famed British civil engineer John Pennycuick, who built the Mullaperiyar dam, may be extremely popular in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu for building the dam and his life may have inspired actor Rajinikanth’s Lingaa, but he is reportedly practically unknown in England.

    Having grown up listening to stories about John Pennycuick in Uthamapalayam in Theni district, Santhana Beeroli, a documentary filmmaker, wants to change it by making a film about the illustrious British engineer who constructed what is generally called an engineering marvel.

    “In my home town, Pennycuick is a massive hero. Ever since I was a kid, I grew up listening to his story and was interested in knowing more about him. This is one of the reasons why I came to the U.K. to study. My wish is that Mullaiperiyar dam should become a famous tourist spot in his memory,” he says.

    Despite John Pennycuick’s popularity in Tamil Nadu, finding Pennycuick’s family roots proved to be difficult, confesses Santhana Beeroli, who currently lives in Croydon, London.

    After failing to find any leads, Mr. Beeroli says that he had to approach a professor at the History Department, University of Chester, where the film-maker was pursuing his Masters in Business Administration.

    “I only knew that he died in Camberly, where he had his family home, which he reportedly sold to fund the dam. The professor recommended that I look for leads in the British Library in Euston. Luckily, I found valuable information about the Mullaiperiyar dam, the designs, financial aspects [balance sheets], his own appointment letter, which gave me an idea about the kind of engineering marvel that it is,” said Mr. Beeroli.

    He adds, “Over nine years’ time, during which he built the dam, he didn’t take a single day’s leave so as to ensure that people who worked on the dam were not going off track. It was a complex engineering feat – to divert a westward flowing river towards the east to irrigate the plains. Apart from these information, I also documented the oral history about how the dam was built by speaking to people whose grandfathers and fathers worked to build the dam.”

    While the library had documented important information, Mr. Beeroli says that it proved almost impossible to trace his family members. “The British lifestyle values privacy and since almost 100 years had passed, it was very difficult to find his family. But through a website that helps find family trees, I was able to gather that he had at least four daughters and a son. I was able to figure out that his great grandson was John Hope.”

    Asked about how Pennycuick’s descendants reacted, Mr. Beeroli said that most of them were surprised and inspired by the story of their illustrious ancestor.

    “The people in the church where he was laid to rest didn’t realise how important and revered Pennycuick is in Tamil Nadu. My wish is to take his family to the dam. The film is 70% complete already and soon will be ready,” he says.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by Udhav Naig / Chennai – November 02nd, 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: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / Pushpa Narayan / TNN / November 01st, 2017

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    DrShanmugamCF21oct2017

    Since 1967, a doctor in Perambur has been making medical care affordable for the economically underprivileged residents of the locality

    In 1967, Dr. D. Shanmugam opened Dr. Shanmugam Child Health Clinic on Patel Road in Perambur. The same year, an unexpected patient came knocking on his clinic.

    S. Vijayalakshmi, a resident of Perambur, was suffering from severe abdominal pain. With tablets proving futile in controlling the pain, she turned to Dr. Shanmugam. As he was running a clinic for children, the young and tall doctor was reluctant to treat her. He however broke the rule and treated her.

    Through this intervention, Dr. Shanmugam gained not only a new patient, but also received his life partner. Impressed with what he had done for their daughter, Vijayalakshmi’s parents were only too glad to give her in marriage to him the same year.

    Now 84 years old, Dr. Shanmugam completes 50 years of service in the neighbourhood this year.

    Born to M. Dharman and D. Nagammal, who worked at the Kolar Gold Mine Fields (KGF) in Karnataka, Shanmugam pursued his schooling in Kolar before coming to Chennai, where he was enrolled at Pachaiyappa’s Higher Secondary School. Later, in 1957, he pursued MBBS at the Government Stanley Medical College.

    With a meagre income, his family struggled to send him his monthly allowance of ₹15, let alone afford the education fee. Scholarships saw him through school and college.

    For a decade he studied medicine and later worked in a Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Karunkalagudi village in Madurai and also spent a few years at the paediatric section of Madras Medical College (MMC) in Park Town.

    After serving at the PHC in Madurai for a few years, he was posted in various districts as government medical officer for child care.

    His longest stint was at the state-run Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Egmore, where he served the as Regional Medical Officer for 22 years.

    The clinic, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary on October 15 with a free health camp, has maintained a ‘no-charge policy’ with its patients, many of whom are economically underprivileged. If the treatment went beyond consultation and basic treatment, he would refer the patient to government hospitals.

    Over the years, Dr. Shanmugam’s son Dr. S. Nagaderan, a pedestrian, has assisted his father at the clinic.

    “I was keen on having my own clinic as doing so would help residents receive timely treatment.

    “For nearly four decades, I had my clinic on Patel Road before shifting it to my house on Anandavelu Mudali Street in Perambur as the building on Patel Road was demolished,” he says.

    Patients from as far as Ambur, Vellore, Walajabhad, Tirupathi, Sulurpet near Gummudipoondi, Thiruvannamalai and Kancheepuram have come here to consult Dr. Shanmugam.

    For patients who can afford a fee, Dr. Shanmugam charges ₹200 for a consultation, while for those who cannot afford a fee, he offers free consultation and treatment.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News>Cities> Chennai / by D. Madhavan / October 19th, 2017

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    What do you know about Campbellabad, I was asked the other day. Thinking I still knew the Political Geography I had once specialised in, “It’s a town in Pakistan,” I casually answered. Only to be told it’s a 300-year-old village in Tuticorin District. When my caller wanted to know whether what the locals had told him, that it was named after a Madras Governor, was correct, I was a little more careful. “I think Governor Campbell was some time later but let me check,” I hesitantly answered.

    So achecking I went. And found Sir Archibald Campbell was Governor from 1786 to 1789, not quite 300 years ago. But I also found that there was another Archibald Campbell, a Madras Civilian from 1896 to 1937. He has been involved with the raising of the Mettur Dam (1925-934), retired as Chief Secretary and had served on the Boards of Revenue and Irrigation. He was more likely to have had something to do with land settlement for which the Muslim settlers could have named their new village after him. But that was just 100 years ago.

    CampbellCF31jul2017

    Later that day, who should I bump into but Civilian Campbell — or at least a bust of him in the 1901 banqueting hall of the Freemasons of Madras. He had been an ardent Freemason and started the Sir Arthur Campbell Lodge in Madras in 1930. This was the first Lodge where both Europeans and Indians could be members, on condition each spent at least six months a year in the others’ country (Miscellany, March 11, 2013).

    While the bust and I looked each other in the eye, the voices swirling around us talked of the August celebration of 300 years of English Freemasonry with the consecration of the first Grand Lodge of the English Order in London. There was that number again, but this time the records showed the date was indeed 1717. Thirty-five years later, the Grand Lodge of Madras was consecrated. From then on, till the British left India, virtually every British official who was anyone in Madras was a Freemason, it would seem.

    Two winners of honours

    Two residents of Madras many decades ago whom I met recently were on quick visits to the city. To me the link between them were the honours they’d won, rather more distinguished and national in the case of one, rather more local in the case of the other. But both were greeted with the same warmth and enthusiasm by their former colleagues on the occasion of the 150th year celebrations of their respective affiliations.

    It was while visiting his old school, Lawrence of

    Lovedale, as a distinguished guest that Paul Sabapathy from Birmingham heard that he had been honoured for the third time by the Queen of England. An OBE in 1995 for urban regeneration, a CBE in 2004 for his contribution to business and higher education was being followed by a CVO (Companion of the Royal Victorian Order) for his services as Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.

    LtSabapathyCF31jul20176

    As Lord Lieutenant, he was the Queen’s personal representative in the area from 2007 to 2015. It could well have been a knighthood if an email of his had not been leaked. In it, after a visit to the Pakistan consulate in the city, he was critical of the Pakistani community of Birmingham. Apologising, then stepping down was not enough.

    Sabapathy, who went to Birmingham 53 years ago, soon after graduating from Madras Christian College, had a rather remarkable record in Britain. He was the first non-white to be a Lord Lieutenant (a 550-year-old institution), chairman of a British University (Birmingham City U), and a President of the Walsall Chamber of Commerce.

    Unlike Sabapathy, Demitrius Sarandis was no public figure except in the small world of rowing in India. And in the even smaller world of the Madras Boat Club (MBC) he was welcomed for all he had achieved when he was a member (1958-1962).

    SarandisCF31jul2017

     

    Sarandis, from Greece, came out as a 22-year-old to Madras in 1957 to monitor the machinery that his company in the UK had supplied to the South India Flour Mills. While first living in that legendary chummery Chesney Hall, and then closer to the Club, he established an enviable record becoming the MBC’s Captain of Boats within three years. He’d never rowed in his life till a fellow resident at the chummery made him a member of the Boat Club. There, some thought him too small, others, seeing his scanty hair and luxuriant moustache, thought him more aged than he was and too old (35) to row successfully. But taught by the boat boys, he rowed competitively for the first time in 1959. Beating KR Ramachandran, reckoned till then the best Club sculler, Sarandis went on to team with him and win the Pairs too. In three years, his trophy cupboard was full. But then, faced with visa problems, he had to go back — and greater honours were not to be his.

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

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Madras Miscellany> Society / by S. Muthiah / July 31st, 2017

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    Chennai :

    The achievement of  Tamil Nadu’s power utility, providing connections in a single day, seems to have become a big hit, with may discoms keen on replicating the scheme in their states.

    The 16,000 connections, including domestic, provided by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company Ltd (Tangedco) so far figured prominently at the recent conference of chairmen of discoms in New Delhi.

    Under the scheme, consumers seeking a connection can apply and pay the required charges online and receive the new connection within 24 hours. Residents of Chennai region, which includes parts of Kancheepuram  and Tiruvallur districts, have benefited the most, receiving 8,036 connections.

    Only those consumers who are not part of any special or multi-storey buildings falling under the ‘mere service connection category’ are allowed to apply under the scheme. “The applicants of the LT domestic and commercial service connections can apply either through Tangedco’s web portal (www.tangedco.gov.in) or in person at the section office concerned. In online mode, the applicant has to fill all the details in the application and upload the scanned copies of the supporting documents,” a senior official told TOI.

    The applicants have to ensure that valid documents being uploaded are in complete shape before making online payments. They can pay the charges at the time of registering the application either online or in person at the office concerned.

    “We briefed the chairmen [of various discoms] about the scheme and immediately the Centre wanted states to implement it depending on their resources and availabilty of power,” said the official.

    At the meeting held on Saturday last in New Delhi, the financial turnaround that Tangedco had acheieved came up for discussion, with almost all the participating delegates expressing awe at the acheievement. The steps the discom had put in place to make itself financially viable even before it joined the Ujwal Discom Rejuvenation Yojana (Uday) scheme of the central government came in for praise.

    “A new domestic connection before the introduction of the scheme used to take 30 days and 60 days for new low tension industrial connection as it involved extension of the transformers or setting up new ones.

    But the delay has now been avoided with the introduction of new schemes in both the sectors,” said the official.

    All chief engineers of Tangedco have been asked to take necessary action to ensure that meters and other service connection material are available in the stores for effecting service connections without any delay.

    “Once an application for a new LT connection is received, the officials are expected to monitor the progress in providing the connection. Superintending engineers will be taken to task if there is any delay in providing the connection,” he said.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News> Civic News / by Sivakumar / July 28th, 2017

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    Left Manoj Kumar, director, Department of Technical Training & Education (DTTE), center Harsha Prabakaran, right Sumir Kumar Jha

    Left Manoj Kumar, director, Department of Technical Training & Education (DTTE), center Harsha Prabakaran, right Sumir Kumar Jha

    Chennai :

    Chennai-based student Harsha Prabakaran has got an opportunity to represent India in the electronics category at Worldskills 2017, more popularly known as “Skill Olympics .”

    Worldskills 2017 will take place in Abu Dhabi in October. It will see participation from over 77 countries across the globe in 50 different skills.

    The runner-up in the selection is Sumir Kumar Jha from Delhi.

    Prabakaran is an electronics engineer from the Chennai Institute Of Technology.

    The four-day pre-selection for the championship was organised by Electronics Sector Skill Council of India (ESSCI), Emtech Foundation and Delhi Technological University, New Delhi.

    The two contenders had to prove their mettle over a 17-hour task, which included schematic design, PCB design, embedded system programming, fault finding, repair and measurement.

    The ceremony for felicitating the winners saw participation of Manoj Kumar, director, Department of Technical Training & Education (DTTE) , S K Garg, pro-vice Chancellor, DTU, N K Mohapatra, CEO-ESSCI, Yogender Pal Singh, electronics expert and Naveen Kumar, technical consultant, ESSCI.

    Before the final event, Prabhakaran will undergo training at international electronics manufacturing firms to meet Skill Olympics’ standards

    Prabhakaran will meet PM Narendera Modi on July 15 before the final event.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City News> Chennai News / by Rachel Chitra / TNN / July 04th, 2017

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    Tuticorin  :

    The 106th death anniversary of freedom fighter R Vanchinathan was observed at several places, including Vanchi Maniyachchi Maniyachchi Junction railway station and Kovilpatti in Tuticorin  district, on Saturday.

    The participants demanded the government to set up a memorial for Vanchinathan at Vanchi railway junction and also urged the rail department to erect Vanchi’s statue at the junction. It was at Vanchi Maniyachi junction where Vanchinathan shot dead the British government – appointed – Tirunelveli collector Robert William D’ Escourt Ashe dead, before killing himself on June 17, 1911.

    Tuticorin collector N Venkatesh garlanded the photo of Vanchinathan at the railway station and paid homages to it. In his speech, the collector recalled the history of the freedom fighter Vanchi. Vanchi was born to forest officer Regupathi Iyer and Rukmaniammal at Sengottai in Tirunelveli. He joined the freedom movement after hearing public speeches of veteran freedom fighters V O Chidambaram and Subramania Siva, said the collector, while asking students to involve themselves in public life.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / June 18th, 2017

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    Dharshana (PTI Photo)

    Dharshana (PTI Photo)

    Krishnagiri :

    The nation was busy celebrating toppers who scored over 99 per cent in the CBSE Class XII exams, and Dharshana’s journey to scoring 96.6 per cent got less attention than it deserved. But her story is worth telling, for she overcame a different set of challenges on her way to success.

    A student of Nalanda International Public Sc­­h­o­ol in Krishnagiri, Dharshana, who has only parti­al vision, came third in the persons-with-disabilities cate­g­ory of CBSE exams, scoring 483 marks out of 500. Dharshana has no vision in her left eye and partial v­ision in the right. “She worked really hard right, but we did not ex­pect her to grab the third position,” says her father R Mohan, a businessman. “Her hard work to­ok her to this position. Dhars­h­ana wrote the exam herself, wi­th additional time of one ho­ur.”

    Parents of children with disabilities should spend more time with them, says Mohan. His wife Vijayalaskhmi is a stay-at-home mother and Dharshana is the second of their two daughters. “They expect this because they do not have many friends. So parents have to step up and spend time with them, be their friends, their guide… and they definitely will achieve their goals.”

    “I want to become an entrepreneur,” says Dharshana, thanking her parents, friends and teachers who were happy to hear about her achievement. “I want to study BCom. My father is a businessman and so I naturally like business,” she says.

    How the students fared
    Overall Pass Percentage
    2016: 83.05%
    2017: 82.02%

    Region-wise pass percentage
    95.62% Trivandrum
    92.6% Chennai
    88.37% Delhi

    Gender-wise pass percentage
    87.5% -Girls

    78% – Boys

    63,247 students scored above 90%
    10,091 students scored above 95%

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by M. Sabari / Express News Service / May 29th, 2017

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