When Anjum Khan received her PhD on Monday, it meant more than it does to most doctoral candidates-the 27-year-old lost her vision at the age of five after an attack of measles and has studied entirely in Braille.
Anjum is an assistant professor of English at Avinashilingam University. Her family moved from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh to Coimbatore in 1993 for her treatment but doctors said she would never regain her vision.
“While my parents were thinking what next, the doctors told us about Avinashilingam school for girls,” says Anjum. She began learning Braille and use audio technology to help her read, write and study.
Her father, Mehmood Khan got a job at a private cement company in Madukkarai, 27km from Coimbatore. If Anjum had to continue her studies, Avinashilingam was among the few options as it had facilities and faculty to help her.
“I decided I would live in hostel and study. It is then that I realised that to gain something, one has to sacrifice something,” Anjum says. She lived in the hostel for 12 years from Class 6 till she finished her postgraduate degree.
After finishing school, Anjum joined the Avinashilingam University for Women to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. “She finished her masters’ degree and applied for her doctoral studies in 2009,” says S Kalamani, Anjum’s guide and an associate professor in the department of English, Avinashilingam University. “Anjum had to leave thehostel after her MA, but, regularly visited me every Friday and told me how her research was progressing,” she says.
Anjum’s younger brother Abid Ali died in a road accident eight years ago while she was doing her masters’ degree. “My father had bought him a bike to make his commute between college and home easier,” says Anjum.
“It was a difficult time for the family. But, I have faced so much that I treat happiness and sorrow equally,” she says. Anjum has dedicated her PhD to her brother.
Anjum did her research on ‘Ethnic Silhouettes: An Interpretation Of The Community In Select Works Of M G Vassanji In The Light Of New Historicism’. She became an assistant professor in January 2013 in the university in which she studied.
Besides teaching at the university, Anjum also teaches blind children Braille and computer operations. “I consider teaching a means to reach people,” she says.’
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Coimbatore / by Adarsh Jain, TNN / October 14th, 2014
Legend has it that Pandya kings had major ‘Akkasalai’ (coin minting units) in Tirunelveli, where many artisans and goldsmiths worked. When the units were wound up, they migrated to Madurai. The king then provided them land at a place in the city which is now called as Akkasalai Pillayar Koil Theru.
Akkasalai Pillayar (Lord Ganesh) is worshipped by these artisans and goldsmiths. Akkasalai Pillayar temples also exist in Korkai and Sivaganga, where goldsmiths live.
Most of the residents in Akkasalai Pillyar Koil Theru and the adjacent Ezhuthanikara Theru are goldsmiths. Chinnakadai Theru, another street next to Akkasalai Pillyar Koil Theru, once had numerous shops selling tools for goldsmiths. Retired archaeologist C Santhalingam said Akkasalai means coin minting units and goldsmiths were involved in minting coins for Tamil kings ? Chola, Chera and Pandiya – in those days. Archaeologists have unearthed a bronze statue in Nagapattinam known as Akkasalai Nayagar, he said.
Nonagenarian M V Mani Chinnakadai Theru, adjacent to Akkasalai Pillayar Koil Theru, also confirms that Akkasalai means coin minting unit.
Akkasalai Pillyar Koil Theru is a narrow lane, predominantly a residential area, sandwiched between Vaikolkara Theru and Ezhuthanikara Theru in South Gate area. Along with houses, there are also a number of gold ornaments making workshops and a Lord Ganesh temple, situated at the entrance of the street.
The temple was renovated some two decades ago, says Venkata Subramanian, 49, who resides nearby the temple. Before the renovation of the temple, there was an ancient temple built of stones, he said.
“Renowned film personality M K Thiagaraja Bagavathar worshipped in this temple and also sang bhajans at times,” he recalled. Subramanian says the street has not seen much change for many decades and remained intact. “Most of residents are from goldsmiths of Viswakarma community and demographics of the street did not change much like other places in the city,” he said.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Madurai / by J. Ariockiaraj, TNN / September 09th, 2014
In 1986, when the world was just waking up to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Suniti Solomon, then a professor of microbiology at Madras Medical College, identified, for the first time in the country, six HIV-positive cases from 100 samples.
Since then, there has been no looking back for the doctor who has made great strides in the fields of HIV epidemiology, prevention, care, support, community education and research.
As she put it herself, “I’m a fighter.” Dr. Solomon was the recipient of the Dr. K.V. Thiruvengadam Award for healthcare, presented by the Rotary Club of Madras East and Kauvery Hospital at a function on Wednesday.
Speaking about the intense stigma people with HIV/AIDS continue to face, she said, “Today, it is easier to handle people with HIV/AIDS than those with diabetes. But it is the stigma that is killing people.”
Justice S. Mohan, former Supreme Court judge, who presented the award, said for the country to reach new heights, it needed fighters like Dr. Solomon.
Dr. K.V. Thiruvengadam expressed his concern with the mushrooming of medical colleges in the State.
President of the club, V.G.P. Ravidas, and executive director of Kauvery Hospital, Aravindan Selvaraj, were also present.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – October 16th, 2014
Distinguished scientist Sivathanu Pillai, chief controller, Defence Research and Development Organisation, received the lifetime award from Rotary Club of Madras.
At a function held recently, S.N. Srikanth, president of the club, presented him with the award.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Pillai said the indigenous missile development programme was among the great scientific accomplishments of the country.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Special Correspondent / Chennai – October 17th, 2014
“Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan’s tough monetary medicine combatted the storm ravaging the deficit-ridden economy in the recent emerging market crisis. Now, he is battling vested interests to arouse a sleepy financial system for over one billion people,” Euromoney said while announcing the award.
Rajan took charge of the country’s central bank in early September last year, just a few days after the rupee plunged to its historic low, hitting 68.83 against the dollar on August 28, 2013.
“As he confronted capital outflows, the rupee at record lows, and over-blown but palpable, fears India was marching towards an Asia-crisis style abyss, Rajan duly administered tough monetary medicine to ailing bond and currency markets,” said Euromoney.
Rajan took several steps to attract capital flows which helped the rupee strengthen. It is now trading in the narrow range of 60-62 per dollar.
“Remarkably, the internationally-renowned economist, who earned acclaim for his warnings in 2005 of an upcoming global crisis of sorts, has, for the past year, been true to his word.”
After tackling the currency crisis, Rajan’s next task was to tame inflation, which stayed close to the double-digit mark for more than three years. He resolved to bring down inflation – evident from three rate hikes between September 2013 and January 2014, accompanied with a hawkish stance that has helped CPI-based inflation register its slowest growth in September, since the series was launched in January 2012.
source: http://www.business-standard.com / Business Standard / Home> Finance> News / BS Reporter / Mumbai – October 16th, 2014
A team of scientists in the city, along with experts in Andhra Pradesh and Japan, has found that a citric acid-based disinfectant can destroy the chikungunya virus. The chemically synthesised citric acid developed in Japan, has earlier proved effective in killing the human influenza virus.
The team from the department of virology at Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati; Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Chennai and scientists in Japan have tested the disinfectant in the form of granules on chikungunya virus. The team first collected more than 1,000 samples of chikungunya virus and developed and maintained in both human and mosquito cell line. The disinfectant was then tested on these viruses when it showed it can destroy the virus.
Scientists said the application could be on skin or fumigation to bring down the probability of infection even if bitten by a carrier mosquito. D V R Saigopal, professor of virology, SV University, said that the disinfectant, which is an ingredient in several food additives, was developed in Japan 10 years ago. “The disinfectants we get in India are detergent, phenol, foam or alcohol-based and have high toxicity and side effect. This disinfectant is solvent based and our tests showed it has low level of toxicity. It is not only safer but also cheaper,” the professor explained.
Scientists said that the disinfectant is at present approved as a mouth gargle and rinse in Japan and also used by the Japanese railways department as spray in their train coaches during flu seasons. It is also sold with a brand name ‘Clinister’ by a Japanese multinational company.
Encouraged by the positive result, the scientists have decided to approach the Union government with their research work looking for avenues to try it on other viruses. “It can kill the virus in the environment and in the mosquito as well as on the surface of the human skin where there is mosquito bite. It can be used in detergents, fumigant, mosquito repellent and hand wash,” the professor said.
Scientists have also decided to use the same methodology to test it on other viruses like foot and mouth disease virus and dengue virus.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / by U. Tejonmayam, TNN / October 14th, 2014
Could India develop a hyperplane? Yes, says India’s noted scientist Sivathanu Pillai, who is working on the hyperplane project, which will use hydrogen-based fuel and is 25 times faster than sound.
Speaking on the sidelines of being conferred with Lifetime Achievement Award by Rotary Club of Madras, Pillai said the success of hyperplane lies in mastering the scramjet technology, a type of very fast jet engine. Although the US and China have successfully developed the scramjet engine, they are yet to design materials that can withstand the heat generated by an object travelling at such high speed.
Usually in a high speed aircraft, air friction causes extreme heating of the leading edge where the temperature could be very high (Mach 5 generates 1,000 degree Celsius).
Currently, there is no technology that can withstand the heat, said Pillai, adding that the Indian Space Research Organisation, DRDO and other organisations are working to develop hyperplane.
source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service / October 15th, 2014
Renovation work at the Srirangam temple seems to have become an excavation of treasures. While clearing sand from the Venugopalaswamy temple, workers have found elaborate stone sculptures. And HR&CE department has decided that the Srirangam temple premises will be excavated thoroughly and sand will be removed.
Three days ago, the temple authorities found that the Venugopalaswamy temple had been buried in the sand. They are now proceeding with great caution as several sculptures have been found. A few days back, the 100-pillared mandapam was freed of sand deposits and workers found that more than half of the hall had been buried in the sand. HR&CE officials now believe there must be more such mandapams within the temple premises and have decided to excavate them all.
The Venugopalaswamy temple is located in front of the Andal temple situated at the entrance of the Ranganathaswamy temple premises. Several sculptures of deities in various positions have been found during the excavation.
Inspecting the renovation works, the Hindu Charitable and Endowments Commissioner P Dhanapal said that the excavation that is being carried out as part of the renovation has led to several findings. He added that the cleaning works will be carried out in a thorough and phased manner. The painting work of the gopurams has also begun for which artists from various parts of the state have been brought in. The painters will first clean and wash the idols before painting the idols.
“The priests in the temple are helping in carrying out the renovation activities and the public are also coordinating well. The renovation works are expected to be finished by the middle of next year and Kumbhishekam will be held as planned,” said P Dhanapal.
Totally, 243 works are being carried out across the temple premises. Much of the work is on 14 gopurams of the temple. Cleaning and washing has begun on the gopurams and will continue for another six to eight months.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Trichy / Harish Murali, TNN / September 26th, 2014
Four of Tamil Nadu’s companies have been judged as potential ‘Billion Dollar’ concerns by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Chennai. Not one of these four potential ‘big billion’ firms though, are from the state’s manufacturing sector.
Seeking to showcase Tamil Nadu’s success stories and their potential to become truly big players in the global industry, TiE Chennai’s ‘Billion Dollar Baby’ program announced four winners on Monday – Cross platform, global digital magazine store Magzter, Financial services major Financial Software Systems, water processing giant VA Tech Wabag and technology services company Congruent Solutions.
With the four companies showcasing the strength of the Services sector, manufacturing was conspicuously absent on the list. When asked, CEO and MD of ICICI Securities Anup Bagchi, one of the two jurors who selected the companies, said the spectrum of entrepreneurship was very broad in the state and that the absence of a manufacturing firm in the top four was only a coincidence. “I was quite happy with the spectrum of entrepreneurship in the city. But we did not see it through any particular lens when judging the companies. It is only a coincidence that there aren’t any manufacturing firms,” he said.
Chairman of the program committee of TiECon Chennai 2014 R Narayanan did admit that of the 12 companies that were shortlisted from the 50 nominations they received, only four were from the manufacturing
sector. “The conditions of the last few years have made it hard for manufacturing concerns to grow at the pace that the services sector has grown. This could be where the economy is headed,” he admitted. The four companies will be showcased at the TiECon Chennai 2014 conference which will begin from November 1.
source: http://ww.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Tamil Nadu / by Express News Service / October 14th, 2014
For a long time, Ajay Jayaram was known for losing out on an Olympic berth to Parupalli Kashyap during the 2012 India Open. It seemed as if Jayaram had all but sealed the spot with some good performances round the year, but Kashyap pipped him courtesy a lucky break as the then World No. 4 Chen Jin gave the latter a walkover in the quarter-finals that eventually proved decisive.
Jayaram was crestfallen and since then has been trying hard to bounce back. He enjoyed a decent run but not as much he would have liked. To add to his woes, a shoulder injury during the Hong Kong Open in January this year put him out of action for more than six months.
Jayaram underwent a surgery and did the necessary rehabilitation. But at only his fourth tournament back, the Mumbai shuttler won the biggest event of his career when he clinched the Dutch Open Grand Prix on Sunday.
“Definitely it has surprised me. I played some good attacking badminton. I need to maintain this level of focus and discipline in the coming tournaments. That will be the key to getting good results,” Jayaram told MAIL TODAY.
“I am elated. It has been a tough few months. Even after I resumed playing, it wasn’t easy to find my rhythm. It took me a while to get back the match temperament and touch. But I am happy I managed to dig deep and get the muchneeded win which also happens to be my first Grand Prix title. I couldn’t have asked for a better comeback,” he said.
The manner of his win, coming against a tough field, should give Jayaram immense confidence. Beating the likes of third seed Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (World No. 26) of Indonesia and top seed Rajiv Ouseph (World No. 29) of England would do him a world of good.
“With higher-ranked players like Ouseph and Rumbaka in my half, it wasn’t going to be easy. I secured convincing wins against both. The final was against an upcoming Indonesian (Ihsan Maulana Mustofa). It was a hard fought five-game battle which swung both ways. I had to dig deep and bring all my focus into play in the fifth game where I was 1-5 down. But I played well and was positive when it mattered.”
Coming back from the shoulder injury was never going to be easy and Jayaram admitted that he was often frustrated. “The first few tournaments were quite hard to adapt to. But I knew it was a matter of perseverance. There were trying moments when frustration set in. But I had to keep my chin up and keep working.” Now Jayaram has got a feel of the new scoring system that is being introduced at the Grand Prix level on an experimental basis. The 11-points best-of-five games scoring format has been criticised by many top players. “Although the game gets shorter, most of the match is played under more pressure which requires more focus. Hard to say if it is the way to go for badminton, but I’m glad I was able to adjust to it and do well.” Jayaram, who was ranked as high as 21st in early 2013, has now fallen to 66th, and with many Indian players going past him, he was not part of the Asian Games squad. Getting back to the national team is his priority.
“If I am able to maintain the same positive tempo, I’m sure I will regain my place in the core group,” he said.
source: http://www.indiatoday.intoday.in / IndiaToday.in / Home> Sports / by Avishek Roy / New Delhi – October 14th, 2014