Chennai First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Chennai, Tamilians and all the People of TamilNadu – here at Home and Overseas
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    October 5th, 2015adminRecords, All, Science & Technologies
    The Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital has performed 100 cochlear transplant surgeries in the last two years, becoming the first government hospital to reach this number.

    The Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital has performed 100 cochlear transplant surgeries in the last two years, becoming the first government hospital to reach this number.

    Coimbatore :

    The Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) has performed 100 cochlear transplant surgeries in the last two years, becoming the first government hospital to reach this number.

    All the surgeries had been performed under the chief minister’s comprehensive health insurance scheme, said doctors.

    The CMCH is the only other government hospital, besides Madras Medical College, approved to perform cochlear transplants under the Tamil Nadu Health Systems Project.

    Doctors said they performed their first cochlear transplant surgery on August 10, 2013 and performed the 100th surgery on October 1 this year.

    “All the surgeries were successful and all the children operated have recovered and are doing extremely well,” said professor and head of the ENT department Dr V Aravindhan.

    The insurance scheme makes cochlear transplant surgeries free for children between 0 to 6 years of age.

    “Cochlear transplants are usually done on stone deaf children or those who are severely hard of hearing,” said ENT professor Dr Ali Sultana.

    “But since the implant is something that stimulates an auditory nerve in the brain, and later fills the auditory cortex with sounds and information, children learn to use it and benefit better,” he said. “Thus they can speak on the phone and have face to face like conversations like normal people.”

    Earlier cochlear transplants were being done only at private hospitals because of the implant was expensive—Rs 5.1 lakh even for the basic low-end one. Now since the scheme allots Rs 7 lakh for the surgery, government hospitals have now begun performing the surgery.

    “This includes pre-surgery screenings tests, the surgery, implants, post-surgery complications and a one-year rehabilitation program for the children,” said Dr Aravindhan.

    The CMCH has tied up a private institute called “Hearing Aid Centre” to provide the one-year rehabilitation post-surgery.

    “They with a team of audiologists and speech therapists provide audio verbal therapy to children, who will start filling their memory cortex with sounds and noises, and slowly start repeating them as part of speech processing. Within the first three months, they start speaking simple words,” said Dr Sultana. `

    While cochlear implant surgeries are being done under the state comprehensive health insurance scheme in private hospitals too, other screening and post-surgery costs start piling up, say patients.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Chennai / by Pratiksha Ramkumar, TNN / October 05th, 2015

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    Tourists from England at the Government Botanical Garden in Udhagamandalam.— Photo: M.Sathyamoorthy

    Tourists from England at the Government Botanical Garden in Udhagamandalam.— Photo: M.Sathyamoorthy

    Twenty two visitors from England have come all the way to Udhagamandalam not for a holiday but to trace the roots of their grand parents who lived and worked here.

    But they were nevertheless delighted to see places such as Botanical garden and Charing Cross which reminded them of places back home. Such as the Adam foundation at Charing Cross which is there in London as well.

    Many Britishers continued to live in Udhagamandalam after India’s Independence. A lot of them have been laid to rest at the cemeteries at Stephens and Thomas Church.

    Locals say that not a year passes by without a tourist from England coming to the hill station looking for memories. Many of them recognise the places as they have heard about them from their grandparents who lived and worked here. The 22-member group included Freddy Shaw who came to see the places where his father worked and lived. The 22-member team is on a 16-day tour of South India and they reached the hill station on Saturday.

    Freddy said that his father worked with the Army from 1944-46 at Duley camp of 22 Madras Unit.

    V. Stalin who is a tour manager and guide took the visitors to the Botanical garden, Dodabetta and Stone house (the present Govt Arts College) which was the first building in Udhagamandalam built by the Britishers. They also visited Toda tribal hamlets and St Stevens church. A train ride on the NMR and a trip to the tea estates are also on the cards.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Tamil Nadu / by V. S. Palaniappan / Udhagamandalam – October 04th, 2015

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    Chennai may have proliferating waste, sewer rats, mosquitoes and bad traffic but it is an intellectual city, which does not fake. Its people are real


    I would like to invite the new graduates and post-graduates [of Madras University], to journey with me, briefly, on a survey of life around us, of the scene here, in our very own city of Chennai and in our beloved state of Tamil Nadu. You belong, as I do, to Chennai, most of you, and to Tamil Nadu. So what I describe is what you and I are witness to, complicit in, and part of.

    Let me start with three things that are good and great about Chennai, famous for having the largest number of temples, medical shops and posters to a street.

    First, it is a real city. Its people are real. Their problems are real, their poverty, their misery is real. As are their joys and their sense of fun. Their creativity, their improvisations are real too. Chennai does not fake, does not pretend. And above all, Chennai handles real life, in a real way, making of that reality what it can. You could say India is like that and so it is but, in being true to itself, Chennai can be said to be India’s teacher.

    Second, Chennai is a metropolis with a mind of its own. It can, alongside Kolkata, be described as an intellectual metro. ‘Metro,’ incidentally, comes from ‘mother’. A metropolis is ‘Mother City’. This intellectual mother city has corner shops and stalls that sell every variety of newspaper, superb journals, well-brought out magazines — including, I must say a lot of rubbish — with unflagging speed. If you see in a Chennai newspaper the list of that day’s happenings, you will see meetings being organised by study circles ranging from Gandhi to Ambedkar, Periyar to J. Krishnamurti, Marx to Einstein. No wonder a person like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, born to a Telugu-speaking mother, chose this mother city as his home.

    Third, Chennai is a city with the most extraordinary cultural resources. No other place in the world has as many music halls that double up as meeting halls, small or big, five star or zero star, as Chennai does. ‘All Are Welcome’ is surely a Chennai phrase, signifying the bandwidth of the city’s cultural life. No wonder Tanjore Balasaraswati and Madurai Subbulakshmi became so comfortable in Madras, as the city was then called.

    We can be proud to be Chennaivasi.

    But pride becomes conceit if it is unaccompanied by honesty. So, let me now turn to three things that are not so good or great and are, in fact, positively wrong about our city and therefore about us.

    Ours is a city where unknown and unnamed diseases incubate in uncountable measure because we are callous, short-sighted and downright irresponsible—Photo: M. Karunakaran

    Ours is a city where unknown and unnamed diseases incubate in uncountable measure because we are callous, short-sighted and downright irresponsible—Photo: M. Karunakaran

    First, our civic sense. Chennai’s civic sense is an affront to the senses. Of what self-purifying or uplifting use, what earthly or heavenly use, can the temple-at-every possible step be if the Chennai male spits and urinates at every possible corner, crevice and culvert? It is utterly hypocritical on our part to blame the civic authorities, our Corporation, of not keeping the city streets clean, if we maltreat our surroundings 24×7 as we do. The conservancy staff that clears the mounds upon mounds of garbage we generate deserves not just our gratitude but our apology for doing its work without our help. Believe me, they are more important and more deserving of respect than the temple chariots that block our paths every so often in futile repetitiveness.

    Ours may be the city where Tiruvalluvar is believed many centuries ago to have lived, where Mudarignar Rajaji, Thanthai Periyar, Perunthalaivar Kamaraj, Arignar Anna and Sangita Kalanidhi M.S. Subbulakshmi lived, but the fact is that ours is also the city where sewage rats proliferate in their millions, mosquitoes breed in their billions and unknown and unnamed diseases incubate in uncountable measure not because the so-called ‘authorities’ are neglectful but because we are callous, short-sighted and downright irresponsible. Make no mistake, dengue and chikunguniya today and — who knows — plague and rabies tomorrow will not be caused by an inefficient administration but by our own cynical lifestyles.

    Second, our road sense, by which I mean the way we negotiate our movement on roads, is scandalous. And the biggest offender, I might even say ‘culprit,’ is the motorcyclist. No one is above the law except the motorcyclist. I take it that many if not most of you graduating students of MU are motorcyclists. So please take this as addressed to you. The poor pedestrian is the biggest victim of the motorcyclist’s dizzying hurry.

    There is another hurry around us. The hurry to build, which is accompanied by the hurry to destroy. The sharp-toothed bulldozers of destruction which can reduce a building to pulp in a matter of hours and the large cones of cement which can build on the destroyed site within days, are about hurry as well, a hurry to reap in profits as quickly as possible. And the result? Roadsides that are permanently dug-up, footpaths with heaps of sand and cement bags on them.

    This brings me to the third wrong, our sense of right and wrong. Chennai is overlooking some human tragedies being enacted right under its gaze. Simply put, this is the huge and widening divide between the very rich and the destitute in our city. If the number of cars and motorcycles has risen dizzyingly, the number of vagrants is also rising at an alarming rate. And they symbolise the great divide.

    It is utterly wrong that sky-scraping buildings should rise in our city, both for residential and professional purposes that will pull out ground water in profligate quantities, when thousands of people in the city have to pump up water physically from derelict, broken down hand-pumps at street corners.

    Let us not again blame the authorities for giving permissions, clearances. Who asks for them? Who facilitates them? Is there any clearance without an applicant?You, products of Madras University, can choose to be part of the greatness of Chennai or part of its problems. I hope you will choose right.

    Tamil Nadu’s tradition

    We are rightly proud to belong to this State. Speaking for myself, being a resident of Tamil Nadu, and descended from Tamil ancestors is an identity I cherish. Let me quickly enumerate three things that make our State great.

    The first is its breaking the back of caste discrimination. The battle is not over yet but it has achieved phenomenal success. For this we have no one more to thank than Thanthai Periyar and the self-respect movement that he started. We cannot also forget the pioneering role played by the Congress prior to independence against untouchability.

    The second is its tradition of religious accord. There is a dangerous wave of religious intolerance that is being set afloat. Tamil Nadu can be sure to rebuff, stoutly and spontaneously, any attempts to introduce religious and communal majoritarianism on the wings of electoral majorities.

    The third is the remarkable improvement in the status of its women, be it in the matter of the age of marriage, health or education. The curse of dowry is still with us and in pockets, child marriages still take place, but the woman in Tamil Nadu is no longer the undernourished, under-educated and abused woman of some decades ago.

    But let me now list three factors or three characteristics of ours as a people that should cause us to worry.

    The first is our proneness to glorify success, success in politics, in commerce, in any field. It is not unconnected to our devotionalism. The glorification of success leads to worship of the successful and the powerful who are, by definition, successful. It is one thing to admire, to support and even to adore. It is quite another to make of anyone we admire, a cult.

    The second is our preoccupation with our regional, linguistic and cultural identity. This is self-depriving. We are looked upon — let us be aware of it — as a people who are wrapped up in our own self-importance. This is a very unfortunate image to have for our tradition is far from being that. Take the number of Tamils or residents of Tamil Nadu who have become Bharat Ratnas — Rajaji, Sir C.V. Raman, Radhakrishnan, V.V. Giri, Perunthalaivar Kamaraj, MGR, the author of the green revolution C. Subramaniam, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Sangita Kalanidhi M.S. Subbulakshmi. They were national personalities and I take this opportunity to say that it is a thousand pities that Periyar and Arignar Anna were not awarded the Bharat Ratna in their lifetimes.

    The third is our relationship with money. It is the most passionate. But in the case of the vast majority of us, the passion is also honest. But it is a fact that we are too easily dazzled by wealth, be it the wealth of persons, corporates, or of temples. Money is blinding us. We may want to earn big, we should not let that desire blind us.

    Remember what has made us great and that which keeps our great heritage from rising higher.

    Remember too that Tamil Nadu has as much to offer to India today and tomorrow as it did in the decades gone by. You have as yet reputations to make, none to lose. Make them with not just your minds but your consciences wide awake.

    (Excerpts from Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s address delivered at Madras University’s 158th annual convocation on Monday. Former Governor of West Bengal, Mr. Gandhi is Distinguished Professor of History and Politics, Ashoka University.)

    Click here to read the full text of Mr. Gandhi’s speech

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> TamilNadu / by Gopalkrishna Gandhi / September 29th, 2015

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    Sundar Pichai, the toast of the technology world, learnt his engineering 110km from Calcutta two decades ago.

    In the records of IIT Kharagpur, P. Sundararajan was the topper in metallurgy and material science in the Class of 1993. Outside the classroom, he was known as the ” chhupa rustam” who had wooed and won his life partner from the chemical engineering class without any of his hostel mates getting a whiff of it.

    Metro spoke to some of the new Google CEO’s old friends and teachers to get an insight into the man that holds that brilliant mind.

    Sourav Mukherji, dean of academic programmes at IIM Bangalore; studied civil engineering at IIT-K and shared the Nehru Hall with Pichai

    The world may be hailing Sundar Pichai but to us in Kharagpur, he was Sundi. And he would sing ” Anjali Anjali, pyari Anjali ” all the time.


    We would often hear Sundi hum the lines from the title song of a popular film of our time: Anjali (1990). He loved music and we all thought he sang the song because he liked it. It was much later, after we left Kharagpur, that we realised why he loved this particular song.

    It was probably meant for Anjali, the girl from chemical engineering who would become his wife. We all knew Anjali and Sundi knew each other but we never came to know of their relationship in our four years on the campus. It was ‘surprise-surprise’ when we came to know that Sundi and Anjali were seeing each other.

    He was a brilliant guy. In fact, a lot of people in the IITs are brilliant. But Sundi was absolutely brilliant. He was the topper in most exams when we were students at IIT. But nobody would call him bookish.

    I feel that this (Pichai’s elevation at Google) is a moment of great joy and pride for us as Indians because two of the world’s most powerful IT companies now have Indians as their CEOs (Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft). These gentlemen have truly been able to break the so-called glass ceiling. Twenty years ago, who would have thought that Indians would head powerful American companies, especially companies at the forefront of technology?


    We checked our records but couldn’t trace anyone by that name. Later, the journalist gave us a clue: that he had been a recipient of a silver medal. That helped us track P. Sundararajan. Later, we contacted our alumni office in the US to check whether P. Sundararajan and Sundar Pichai were the same person and finally it was they who confirmed it.

    I had taught him in all the four years he studied metallurgy and material science here. I found him exceptionally bright.

    The IIT selected him for its Distinguished Alumni award this year and he was supposed to receive the honour at the annual convocation that was held recently. He couldn’t attend the event this time but he has promised to visit the institute when he comes to India next.

    Phani Bhushan, co-founder of Anant Computing and Pichai’s batchmate and co-boarder at Nehru Hall, where he had stayed at “CTM” (that’s section C, top floor, middle wing)

    Sundararajan was a shy person who was more comfortable in small groups, and now he is making speeches and heading a global conglomerate like Google. It is like he has had a personality U-turn.

    We are super excited that our batchmate and hall mate has achieved such a feat, although it isn’t as surprising as the news that he married a fellow KGPian, Anjali!

    We hall mates and batch mates tend to spend a lot of time together and we thought he was shy about talking to girls. But he turned out to be a chhupa rustam! We wonder how he managed to have a girlfriend without us knowing about it.

    Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, director, IIT-KGP

    We are all delighted that a student from Kharagpur has achieved this. Sundar Pichai was always a very quiet and studious person. I never taught him but have interacted with him several times. He recently did a video chat with an auditorium full of students who talked to him about everything from life to technology and leadership.

    He hasn’t made any public statement as yet. That’s the kind of person he is. He likes to do his work. Sundar has proved that technological leadership can lead to global leadership and has given aspiration to a new generation of IITKgpians that you can achieve global leadership through technological leadership.

    He is a quiet worker, a technical wizard, a great thinker and visionary who is also an extremely humble person, quite in sync with his alma mater IIT Kharagpur. He is an Indian who is a global leader and epitomises future generations of Indians.

    source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Front Page> Calcutta> Story / Wednesday – August 12th, 2015

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    The Chrome Leather Factory gave rise to an entire colony — Chromepet. / The Hindu

    The Chrome Leather Factory gave rise to an entire colony — Chromepet. / The Hindu

    Travelling in the U.S., I was asked by Rayan Krishnan if I had read Sam Kean’s book, The Disappearing Spoon. A bestseller, it deals with the history of the world as seen from the elements of the Periodic Table. I found the work unputdownable and while reading it, pondered on the chemical elements that had an impact on our city, Madras.

    The first were undoubtedly gold (Au) and silver (Ag), brought in large quantities by the East India Company to purchase the cloth, for which the region was so famous. Most of the company officers were corrupt and lined their pockets with the same metals, retiring to England with enormous fortunes. At least one, Governor Thomas Pitt, battened on the sale of a large diamond (just C, if you look at it from the chemistry angle).

    That fortune was enough to fund the political ambitions of his descendants William Pitt the Elder and the Younger, both of whom became Prime Ministers of England.

    Living in Madras meant a whole host of medical problems for the British, thanks to their unhealthy living. Excessive indulgence in food and drink was a common problem and that resulted in digestive disorders. A common treatment for this involved antimony (Sb) pills. As to what these did to the intestines is a bit of a mystery, but they were considered the best laxatives. ‘Antimony pearls’ were used in the treatment of eye disorders too.

    Far more widespread was the use of the dreaded mercury (Hg). The Company officers and those of the army were largely single during their tenure here, which meant that many contracted venereal diseases. Mercury was the only known cure for these. Teeth and hair fell out, a symptom that came to be associated with the disease and not the cure, and yet for years, mercury remained in use, as internal medicine and as an ointment when mixed with iodine (I). Writing in the Madras Quarterly Journal of 1866, Thomas Lowe railed against the modern tendency of being wary of mercury. He recommended it for a host of other fevers as well. Another chemical used for medicinal purposes was Arsenic (As). An accidental overdose, caused by an error while compounding in 1693, led to the death of a Mr Wheeler, thereby necessitating the first post-mortem in Indian history, performed by Dr. Edward Bulkley, in Madras.

    The early 20 century saw two elements coming to the fore. Sir Alfred Chatterton, Principal of the College of Engineering, pioneered the usage of aluminium (Al) for utensils of daily use. Later, as the first Director of Industries, Government of Madras, he set up the Indian Aluminium Company, now known as Indal, and with that, the aluminium wok became ubiquitous in our homes. It was also Chatterton who perfected the chrome tanning process for leather that involved the usage of Chromium (Cr) salts. The Chrome Leather Factory that came up consequently may be closed today, but it gave rise to an entire colony — Chromepet.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Society / by Sriram V / Chennai – September 11th, 2015

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    September 11th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All
    Mallika Badrinath with her copy of Hindu Pakasastra. / Photo: M. Moorthy / The Hindu

    Mallika Badrinath with her copy of Hindu Pakasastra. / Photo: M. Moorthy / The Hindu

    Geeta Padmanabhan finds, what she is convinced, is the oldest Tamil cookbook ever published

    In early 2004, S. Muthiah featured a book in his Miscellany column. He wrote: “First published in Madras in January 1891, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra and Dravida Hindu Pakasastra is a ‘treatise on Hindu vegetarian cookery in Tamil’ by T.K. Ramachandra Rau.” He referred to an enlarged version, the ‘third and Coronation edition’, marking the 1912 Coronation of ‘King Emperor George V & Queen-Empress Mary’. The preface of this book said the 2000 copies printed in 1891 were sold out. A second edition came out in 1900.

    Celebrity cook Mallika Badrinath has the fifth edition of Hindu Pakasastra. It belonged to a K. Janaki in 1936, but was gifted to Mallika in 2002 by a Mrs. Radha Ramnath Dore. “Ms. Dore believed I would appreciate the book,” said a beaming Mallika, adding, “Please handle it carefully.” Her concern was about the discoloured pages, but the book is well-bound and the paper looks strong. Published by C Kumarasamy Naidu Sons in 1935 at the Caxton Press, this large 348-page recipe book cost Rs. 2 and 4 annas. What is that in today’s rupee value?

    The book is priceless, particularly for its data on ingredients, cooking systems and recipes. For Rayar (Rau), cooking is a sacred art and science, and a cookbook, more than a simple collection of recipes. So you have a comprehensive textbook dealing with all aspects of Pakasastram: you learn of body types, appetite, tastes, health, nutrition, names/nutritive values of ingredients, cooking tools, fuels, weights/measures and meal plans before you reach the recipes. Rayar even talks of the kind of water you need to cook with! He meant this to be a beginners’ manual: ‘Training the Cook’ is a separate chapter. You master the book, and can walk into the kitchen with confidence to “feed — on all occasions — persons varying in number from 5 to 1000”.

    “You are what you eat,” argues Rayar, linking food to satva, rajas, tamas and their combinations. He enlightens you on dietetic fibre, the six tastes and choosing a diet to suit your metabolism. (Prone to queasiness and heartburn? You run on ‘pitha’ metabolism. Stay away from cigarettes, alcohol, cluster beans, peerkangai, peanuts, green gram, til). He teaches you how to separate butter and make ghee, and tells you which veggies can be grilled on an open fire. He lists cooking methods with examples. Pictures of cooking implements enliven the pages. And ah, the recipes. Who said “Saadam” is rice or daliya? Try corn or one of the millet varieties (bajra, sorghum). Have you heard of, tasted or tried, kamir roti, chameli kushka (jasmine-scented rice), wheat and almond roti, gomati anar rice, vegetable doria, arbi (seppankizhangu) combos, tamarind-jaggery rasam, gooseberry payasam, onion sweet-dish, wheat-channa dal jilebi and red pumpkin/banana poli? These are among varieties of curries, koottus, raitas, chutneys, sweets and savouries that fill pages. It is a tremendous collection — a pot you can keep dipping into. The style is simple, as is the cooking. Recipes call for very few spices; the emphasis is on bringing out the taste of the vegetables. Onions and garlic are sparingly used.

    You get a description of tea/coffee/cocoa before reading how to prepare drinks out of them. He uses a picture of a plantain leaf to tutor you on where the dishes are placed. Tables estimate measures and costs of provisions for different clusters of guests.

    Pakasastram is more than a record of our rich culinary tradition; it is a peep into our political/social/economic history. Rayar refers to the growing trend of men going abroad to earn, and acknowledges Queen Victoria’s efforts to open schools for girls.

    It is, in its attempt to answer the question, “why should you learn cooking?” that this remarkable tome makes me squirm. The book is a lecture addressed to two young girls, so Rayar’s message is for women. “Proficiency in cooking is of foremost importance to carry out your duties of looking after the husband, children and others,” he writes. Ahem.

    Hindu Pakasastra may well be the first published cookery book in Tamil. I am willing to bet on it till new information is unearthed.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus> Food / by Geeta Padmanabhan / Chennai – September 11th, 2015

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    Anirudh Kathirvel, a nine-year-old Indian-origin boy is Australia’s new spelling champion after he won the 50,000 dollars ‘The Great Australian Spelling Bee’ competition.

    Kathirvel, born in Melbourne to a Tamilian couple won 50,000 dollars education scholarship along with an impressive 10,000 dollars worth goods for his school yesterday.

    Anirudh said he could not believe his luck after winning the scholarship and asked his fellow spellers to “pinch” him.

    “I need to rub my eyes and see if this is a dream,” he said adding “Nope.Nope.Nope.Real. I can’t describe it. It’s like the best day of my life.”

    Anirudh said his favourite word to spell was ‘euouae’ as he liked the structure of the word as it was the longest word with consecutive vowels.

    “Some of the other words I like to spell are feuilleton, cephalalgia, ombrophobous,” he said adding that he loves watching Indian movies.

    Anirudh, whose parents Prithiviraj and Sujatha also migrated to Australia from Tamil Nadu 16 years ago, said, “I started reading from the age of two and slowly my reading passion evolved into my love for words. My parents encouraged and helped me to build up on my spelling.”

    “My first spelling competition was when I was in grade 1. But my first year in the spelling competition was challenging.

    “Gradually my confidence increased and I was pushing my spelling abilities to its limits. That’s how my spelling journey has begun,” he added.

    He also can read, write and speak Tamil apart from English.

    For him spelling practice has been his everyday routine and he said that he try and learn at least 10 new words per day.

    “I research those words, find their meaning, their origin & the roots and their synonyms. I also practice my spelling on the different spelling apps,” Anirudh, who wants to be a neuroscientist, said.

    “I am fascinated with the human body. The working of the brain is so complex. This created a great interest and I want to learn more & more about the brain.

    “There are a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to brain diseases like Alzheimer’s or schizophrenia. I want to look for those answers and help those people who suffer from those conditions. I want to be a neuroscientist,” he said.

    Four Indian-origin children participated in the contest with another Indian-origin girl Harpita, 8, emerging in the top five finalists.

    A total of 50 finalists were picked from over 3,000 children across Australia who had applied to be part of the upcoming TV show of Channel Ten that kicked off last month

    source: / Outlook / Home> Magazine> News / by Natasha Chaku / Melbourne – September 05th, 2015

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    Coimbatore  :

    The Indian Rice Research Institute, Hyderabad, has awarded a farmer from Dharapuram for adopting drip irrigation system in rice cultivation, thereby reducing water consumption by 60%.

    Parthasarathy M, 69, received the Innovative Rice Farmer Award on August 29. In all, 30 farmers from sixteen states were nominated for this award.

    Parthasarathy bagged the award for largescale adoption of drip irrigation for rice cultivation in Amaravathy sub-basin in Tamil Nadu. The award was presented to his son during the Innovative Rice Farmers meet 2015 on August 29 at Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad, by the Union minister for labour and employment, Bandara Dattatreya.

    Parthsarathy has been cultivating rice for 50 years. “In 2013, I was in Coimbatore for an agri fair in Codissia Complex. There I was introduced to the drip irrigation technology. I immediately went to Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and was given a demo. I first adopted it for vegetables and then for growing maize. And, in 2014, I used the technology for rice,” he said.

    The farmer, who draws water from the Amaravathi Dam, had installed drip irrigation to water trees in his farm in the 1980s. “But, I came to know about the use of this technology in rice only in 2014,” he said.
    Parthasarathy said that he not only saved 60% water, but he also saw an increase in yield. “On an average, the yield was five tonnes per acre after I adopted drip irrigation, which was a 20% increase from the yield in 2013,” said Parthasarathy.

    What’s unique about Parthasarathy’s achievement is that he used drip irrigation and crop rotation together. He cultivated onion, maize and rice in rotation. “This has helped improve his yield and save water consumption,” said director of water technology department, B J Pandian.

    Tamil Nadu Agricultural University started research on the possibility of using drip irrigation for the cultivation of rice in 2010. “In 2012, we succeeded in cultivating rice through this technology. The state government also provides subsidy to farmers using drip irrigation,” he added.

    Parthsarathy said that he spent 40,000/acre after receiving subsidy from the government. He received 73,000 per hectare as subsidy for installing drip irrigation.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Coimbatore / by Adarsh Jain, TNN / September 02nd, 2015

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    September 5th, 2015adminLeaders, Records, All

    September 3 is regarded as an important day in the history of the city. It was on this day in the year 1939 that legendary freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose visited the Madras Presidency for the first time.

    On invitation from Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar, the then leader of the All India Forward Bloc, to amass support for the party, Bose went to Madurai. He came to Madras en route. He reportedly stayed for three days at ‘Gandhi Peak’ on Bharathi Salai, Triplicane.

    A view of ‘Gandhi Peak’ on Bharathi Salai at Triplicane in Chennai.—Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

    A view of ‘Gandhi Peak’ on Bharathi Salai at Triplicane in Chennai.—Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

    “Bose arrived by train at Madras Central. He was received by his supporters, and lawyer and freedom fighter S. Srinivasa Iyengar and Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar. He was taken in an open jeep to the ‘Peak,’ the palatial house of civil engineer S.P. Aiyaswami Mudaliar, followed by a mammoth crowd of supporters,” S.P. Dhananjaya, the grandson of Mudaliar, said.

    Earlier, S. Satyamurti, eminent freedom fighter, had issued a directive to Congressmen to boycott Bose, as he had a difference of opinion with Mahatma Gandhi. Mudaliar agreed to accommodate Bose at his home at the request of zamindar of Puliyur, Janakiram Pillai. He stayed in a room on the third floor.

    In those days, the house was called as ‘Maniadikura Veedu’ (the house where the bell rings). The front portion of the house had a gong, which used to strike hourly for the benefit of residents around the ‘Peak.’ Once the hourly striking of the gong disturbed Bose’s meditation. He objected to this practice. Mudaliar refused to oblige Bose, saying the routine practices of the house could not be changed.

    On the evening of September 3, Bose addressed a public meeting on the Marina. The meeting drew a crowd of more than a thousand people. The news of the Second World War had reached Madras. Bose announced the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by U.K..

    On September 5, 1939, he left for Madurai. During his three-day stay, people thronged in large numbers to get a glimpse of the charismatic leader, and were jostling for space in front of the ‘Peak.’ Banners welcoming the ‘Lion of Bengal’ were put up on each floor of the home.

    The spacious home was illuminated like a palace, he noted. An autographed photograph of Bose dated September 5, 1939, a prized possession, remains with the family.


    The ‘Gandhi Peak’ saw yet another visit by Bose on January 10 and 11, 1940.

    The proof for this is recorded in an account notebook maintained by his grandmother Dhanammal, wife of Mudaliar.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Atul Swaminathan / Chennai – September 05th, 2015

  • scissors
    September 5th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All

    Chennai :

    Alumni, teachers and students of Kalakshetra Foundation marked the 100th birth anniversary of renowned scholar S Sarada at a programme on Tuesday. In a musical evening, artists recreated dance moves associated with S Sarada’s body of work. Friends too also shared their memories on stage.

    Recalling Sarada as an ‘erudite scholar of Sanskrit’, Kalakshetra chairman N Gopalaswami, in his welcome address, said the scholar “was a true guru and force behind the choreography of Rukmini Devi Arundale’s dance productions.”

    Calling her the ‘teacher of teachers’, G Sundari, who was Sarada’s friend, said: “She had no reservations while sharing her knowledge.” The audience was treated to the performances of veteran dancers Dr C V Chandrasekhar, V P Dhananjayan, C J Janardhanan and Balagopalan.

    A song written by Sarada, expressing her admiration for Rukmini Devi, was also performed. Snippets of a documentary, once aired by Doordarshan showing Sarada explain aspects of dance theory, was also screened.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Chennai / TNN / September 02nd, 2015

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