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    September 18th, 2014adminRecords, All, Science & Technologies

    Exclusive research in cardiac care is the need of the hour, said K.M. Cherian, chairman and CEO of Frontier Lifeline Hospital, on Friday.

    He was speaking at the 20th anniversary celebration of Sri Ramachandra University’s (SRU) Cardiac Care Centre. He was conferred with visiting professorship at SRU.

    In his address, Dr. Cherian traced the growth of cardiac surgery from ‘a scratch made at Perambur Railway Hospital’, three decades ago, to modern-day, high-tech cardio thoracic surgeries carried out in the city.

    While conferring the visiting professorship on Dr. Cherian, V.R. Venkataachalam, chancellor of SRU, said Dr. Cherian had performed nearly 41,000 surgeries, many of them firsts in the country.

    Doctors present on the occasion said the cardiac care centre would focus on sophisticated, minimally-invasive neonatal and heart transplant surgeries.   Plans are on to start a fund for the benefit of children who cannot afford expensive surgeries, said a press release.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai> Health / by Staff Reporter / Chennai – September 06th, 2014

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    M.S. Subbulakshmi and her husband, T. Sadasivam (third from left), are greeted by the Duke of Edinburgh at the International Music Festival. / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    M.S. Subbulakshmi and her husband, T. Sadasivam (third from left), are greeted by the Duke of Edinburgh at the International Music Festival. / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    In 1963, M.S. Subbulakshmi enthralled audiences at the International Music Festival in Edinburgh

    M.S. Subbulakshmi, the ‘queen of song’ would have turned 98 on September 16. While she continues to be celebrated as a legend of Indian classical music around the globe, not many are aware that up until 1963, the Western world knew little of her or her music.

    It was only with the International Music Festival held in Edinburgh in September that year that things changed. The West finally discovered Carnatic music as it were, and the voice that rendered it best.

    The Carnatic musician and her husband, T. Sadasivam, received Lord Harewood, the president of the festival, at their home in Madras. / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    The Carnatic musician and her husband, T. Sadasivam, received Lord Harewood, the president of the festival, at their home in Madras. / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    Lord Harewood, the president of the festival and a cousin of Queen Elizabeth, however, had the good fortune of hearing M.S. five years prior to his fellow countrymen. It was in October 1958, in Delhi, that Lord Harewood and his Countess found themselves enthralled by one of M.S.’ many national broadcasts.

    T. Sadasivam, the icon’s husband, writes in M.S: The Queen of Song (1987): “Evidently they were taken up by her music and later gave us the pleasure of receiving them in our home in Madras. They invited us to Edinburgh in order that Subbulakshmi could participate in the International Music Festival.”

    The show, conceived as an opportunity to initiate Western audiences to the riches of India’s performing arts, also featured sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, violinist Yehudi Menuhin and dancer Balasaraswati, among others.

    For M.S., this was a first on many accounts. Not only was it her first overseas performance, but also her very first trip abroad.

    On August 21, she left Madras by train to Bombay, from where she flew to London four days later. During her two-hour-long recitals on August 30 and September 2, she was accompanied by R.S. Gopalakrishnan on the violin, T.K. Murthy on the mridangam, and Alangudi Ramachandran on the ghatam.

    Narayana Menon, secretary of the Sangeet Natak Academy, also educated the unfamiliar audience in the history, dynamics and nuances of the Carnatic music system, with special reference to the songs being performed.

    M.S.’ concerts ran to packed houses in the Freemason Hall. A jubilant headline on the front page of The Hindu on September 4 read ‘M.S In Top Form at Edinburgh’.

    The artist exhilarated crowds with her performance of compositions by Thyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar, Swathi Thirunal, Papanasam Sivan, Panchanadeeswarar Aiyar and Tagore. It was Hari tuma haro, a favourite of Mahatma Gandhi, with which she chose to conclude.

    Soon after, M.S. was invited to Europe and then America to perform.

    This was the landmark which enabled Carnatic music to be unveiled to the West and find a truly international audience. For that, and much more, we have M.S. Subbulakshmi to thank.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by Nitya Menon / Chennai – September 18th, 2014

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    Chennai :

    Academics and jurists are waiting with bated breath, even as Madras high court is busy finalizing the list of trustees to run the 140 year old P T Lee Chengalvaraya Naicker Trust, which has institutions and properties valued at more than Rs 1,000 crore in Chennai and Kancheepuram districts. To this day, the HSBC Bank is sending dividend amount ranging from Rs 51 lakh to Rs 1.1 crore to the trust every year. Such was the vision of the man.

    At the time of his death, philanthropist Chengalvaraya Naicker was barely 45 years old. But he had bequeathed all his wealth with an intention to establish educational institutions and orphanages. As on date, the trust runs at least a dozen institutions and has properties on Anna Salai, Vepery, Royapettah, Choolai and Kancheepuram district.

    A division bench of Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice K Ravichandrabaabu is slated to pass orders in the matter in a day or two.

    Though more than five teams of trustees have had their full tenures in the past, the quality and volume of activities at the trust-run institutions have been steadily declining, say academics. “This year only a handful of students have joined our engineering college near Kancheepuram though we do not collect any capitation and we have good facilities,” he said, blaming the trustees’ misplaced priorities for the poor condition of the institutions. A former chairman suggested that the trust donate Rs 51 lakh to a city temple, while another wanted to sell a trust property at Mint street for a throwaway price, he rued. Another chairman appropriated all powers of all trustees, resulting in an internal revolt, while a chairman diverted all fixed deposit funds of the trust to a bank and branch of his personal choice.

    “Malgovernance, rampant corruption and favouritism, besides discrimination of non-Vanniar staff members and employees at the trust and the trust-run institutions are causes of concern,” a jurist associated with the trust proceedings for a long time told The Times of India. Though the decree nowhere states that the retired HC judge who would head the team of trustees should be only from Vanniar community, for the past few terms only such candidates are being considered, resulting in the contraction of choices, he said.

    Precious pieces of land such as the one in Royapettah are under illegal encroachment, and the trustees have not taken steps to get back Rs 2 crore from Pachaiyappa’s trust, a lawyer said, adding that the engineering college is deliberately being pushed into oblivion.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / by A. Subramani,  TNN / September 18th, 2014

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    Chennai :

    When Oriental Telephone Company Ltd of England started telephone services in a few Indian cities at the turn of the last century, only a few privileged citizens of Madras had a telephone. One of them continues to ring, at the Indian Commerce and Industries Co Pvt Ltd in Broadway.

    The building where the company is located.

    The building where the company is located.

    The Beehive Foundry, established in 1907 as the flagship company of the Beehive Kowtha Group, received the connection in 1915.

    Indian Commerce and Industries took over Beehive Foundry in 1924 and acquired the historic line with the purchase. Indian Commerce and Industries director Ramesh C Kumar, the fourth generation head of the company, retains the connection and intends to keep it in the family.

    “Our first and currently working telephone line completed 99 years on July 11, 2014 and has entered the 100th year of service. It is a proud moment for us as a company and as a family,” said Ramesh, who BSNL felicitated on Wednesday as the owner of the oldest existing telephone line in Chennai.

    The telephone number has changed so many times over the decades that it’s uncertain what it was to start out with, apart from the fact that it was a three digit number — and that the address of the connection remains Beehive Building, No 57 (Old No 29), Prakasam Road, Broadway, Chennai – 600 108.

    “We first had a three-digit number, which changed to 2020 in 1952. It later changed to 21071,” Ramesh said. “With the introduction of Kalmandapam Telephone Exchange, our line shifted to the new exchange and it allotted us the number 555021. When the Harbour Telephone Exchange opened, the line shifted again and the number changed to 512221.”

    When telephone subscribers had to adopt seven digit numbers, it changed to 5231477. Finally, when BSNL allotted eight digit numbers in metros in 2002, it became 25231477 and has remained the same till today.

    Oriental Telephone — which was set up on January 25, 1881 under an agreement between Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Oriental Bell Telephone Company of New York and the Anglo-Indian Telephone Company Ltd — installed the telephone line on July 11, 1915.

    “Our line was under Madras Telephones Company, which took over Oriental Telephone in 1923,” Ramesh said. “We had the billing address changed to include the name of our parent company only in the early 1990s.”

    For Ramesh, the telephone line is a piece of history. “This is probably the oldest telephone line in the country,” he said. “It is an heirloom.”

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Chennai / by Daniel George, TNN / September 18th, 2014

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    September 15th, 2014adminLeaders, Records, All

    Veteran Dravidian leader and former Chief Minister C N Annadurai was remembered in the state on the occasion of his 106th birth anniversary.

    DMK President M Karunanidhi, accompanied by senior leaders including M K Stalin, paid floral tributes to the portrait of Annadurai, fondly addressed as Anna by his followers.

    AIADMK leaders also paid tributes to the leader under party’s Presidium Chairman E Madhusudhanan.

    MDMK leader Vaiko and DMDK founder Vijayakanth also paid floral tributes to Annadurai. In Delhi, Principal Resident Commissioner of Tamil Nadu House, Jasbir Singh Bajaj, garlanded a statue of Anna.

    Annadurai, founder of DMK, ushered in the first non-Congress government in Tamil Nadu. His party had unseated the Congress government in 1967 and he became the Chief Minister.

    A veteran Dravidian leader, he is respected across party lines.

    source: http://www.outlookindia.com / Outlook / Home> News> Chennai / September 15th, 2014

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    Madurai :

    The 143rd birth anniversary of freedom fighter V O Chidambaram Pillai, popularly known as VOC, was observed here on Friday.

    Leaders of political parties and organizations garlanded VOC’s statue at Simmakkal. Those who garlanded the statue include Tamil Nadu co-operative minister and the AIADMK’s Madurai district secretary K Sellur Raju, Madurai South MLA R Annadurai (CPM), Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president B S Gnanadesikan, DMK leader Jayaraman and representatives of VOC Peravai and Hindu Ilaignar Peravai.

    Hindu Ilaignar Peravai activists raised slogans asking people to support indigenous products and avoid foreign goods.

    VOC was born in Tuticorin district on September 5, 1872. A disciple of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, he launched the first indigenous Indian shipping service between Tuticorin and Colombo. He died on November 18, 1936.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Madurai  /  byL. Srinivasan, TNN / September 05th, 2014

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    September 14th, 2014adminEducation, Records, All, Science & Technologies

    Trichy :

    The death of a close relative in a road accident has prompted a 13-year-old student in the Nilgiris to invent a device he claims can alert drowsy drivers and help avert accidents.

    The ‘Eye Blink Infrared Sensor’, the result of a year’s efforts by M Gokul, provided the class 8 student of the municipal middle school at RK Puram in Ooty, a chance to participate in the state-level exhibition for INSPIRE Award conducted by the Union government’s department of science and technology, Tamil Nadu science and technology centre and Shivani College of Engineering and Technology, Trichy on Saturday.

    The device is aimed at preventing accidents due to the drowsiness of the drivers of all vehicles, including two-wheelers. The infrared sensor is designed to sense the blinking of the eyelids. If the lids remain idle for a few seconds, the sensor will pass a signal through a pic micro controller to the vibrator under the driver’s seat. The activated vibrator will shake the seat, jolting the driver awake.

    “It was the death of my uncle P Kumar, a government bus driver, which kindled my innovation to design a device to avoid accidents. He met with the accident as he slept while driving the bus. The accident forced me to think that no one should die due to the drowsiness of the driver,” Gokul told ToI. He said he had been working on the device after class hours.

    The signal will also stop the engine and make the vehicle come to halt gradually. L Sundaram, the science teacher who supported Gokul in his project, said they were making efforts to test the device in vehicles with the government’s help. “It is not costly and can be used in all vehicles. We need support from the government to take it to the next level,” he said.

    Gokul’s father A Mani, a tea agent, is proud of his younger son. “When he expressed his thoughts to invent a device, I wholeheartedly supported him.

    His continuous efforts have helped him create such a device. I will encourage him to go on in his career,” said Mani, whose elder son also won a competition at the INSPIRE programme in Chennai.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Trichy / by Gokul Rajendran, TNN / September 07th, 2014

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    "I'm deeply moved to receive an honorary doctorate from such a distinguished school which has contributed so much to the world of music," said Rahman.

    “I’m deeply moved to receive an honorary doctorate from such a distinguished school which has contributed so much to the world of music,” said Rahman.

    In recognition of his two-decades-long musical legacy, the prestigious Berklee College of Music is all set to honour Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman with an honorary doctorate.

    The honour will be conferred on Rahman, 47, best known globally for the original scores and songs in ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘127 Hours’, ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ and ‘Million Dollar Arm’, at an event at the Berklee College of Music on October 24, a media statement said.

    “I’m deeply moved to receive an honorary doctorate from such a distinguished school which has contributed so much to the world of music,” said Rahman.

    “I’m especially proud and honoured the college is graciously establishing a scholarship in my name for future generations of musicians to follow their dreams,” he added.

    Berklee College of Music president Roger H Brown said, “A friend from India described A R Rahman to me as John Williams and Sting rolled into one – a leading film composer and a wildly popular, brilliant songwriter and performer.

    “We welcome him to Berklee, where the college and our students look forward to paying our respects.”

    At a concert celebrating his career on October 24, 2014 in Boston, students and faculty will perform songs paying tribute to his distinguished work with Rahman performing alongside them for select pieces.

    In addition to the performance, Rahman will conduct a master class at the Berklee Performance Center, the college said in a statement.

    In honour of Rahman’s new relationship with Berklee, the college will establish a scholarship in his name to help bring students from India to Berklee. All proceeds from the October 24 concert will go toward this scholarship fund, the statement said.

    source: http://www.indianexpress.com / The Indian Express / Home> Entertainment> Music / Press Trust of India, Washington / July 18th, 2014

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    The life of 'Kappalottiya Tamilan', V.O. Chidambaram Pillai (VOC), took a drastic turn after his release from prison / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    The life of ‘Kappalottiya Tamilan’, V.O. Chidambaram Pillai (VOC), took a drastic turn after his release from prison / by Special Arrangement / The Hindu

    He was a famous lawyer, a noted Tamil scholar, and a redoubtable freedom fighter.

    Cocking a snook at the mighty British Empire, he ran the Swadeshi Steam Navigation Company but eventually paid a heavy price for it.

    Kappalottiya Tamilan, as V.O. Chidambaram Pillai (VOC) came to be known, was arrested and put in Coimbatore jail — where he had to pull the oil press — for his revolutionary activities.

    Post prison, VOC’s life turned out to be more heart-rending. He had to eke out a living by running outlets that sold rice and ghee, in Mylapore, Chintadripet and Perambur.

    “He wrote about his pathetic condition in a small poem,” said V. Arasu, editor of the collected works of VOC.

    ‘I used to rain rewards on Tamil scholars, but my condition is now so wretched that I have to literally beg for survival,’ VOC said in the poem.

    After being imprisoned on charges of treason, VOC was released in 1912. He stayed in Coimbatore with C.K. Subramania Mudaliar, who published Periyapuranam.

    He even worked as a clerk in a bank for a while, but eventually came to Chennai in 1916 and remained here until 1932. He returned to Thootukudi to spend his final years.

    “It seemed everything had turned against him. He was a follower of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, but by the time he was released from jail, the Gandhians had the Congress firmly under their control. As the British government had cancelled his advocate’s licence, he could not practise law,” said Prof. Arasu.

    At one point, he wrote to the founder of Dravidar Kazhagam, E.V. Ramasamy Periyar, who was a Congress leader before his transformation, requesting him to help his son find a police job so his family could be sure of at least two square meals a day.

    “But poverty never killed VOC’s spirit. While in Chennai, he worked with Tamil scholar and trade unionist Thiru.Vi.Ka., and organised textile workers and postal department employees. He was the first person to organise a union for postal employees,” said Prof. Arasu.

    He also joined hands with Prof. Vaiyapuri Pillai and published Tholkappiyam with the notes of Ilampooranar in 1922. He also wrote commentary for the Arathupal part of Thirukkural.

    Once, he wrote an angry letter to Va.Ra., the great reformer and freedom fighter, wondering how he could afford to live in peace in Thirupazhanam, while the country was in bad shape. He persuaded him to take up the editorship of Colombo-based Veerakesari.

    VOC spent his final days in his home town, Thoothukudi. The British government had, at last, allowed him to practise law.

    He continued to write and publish Tamil literary works, besides giving lectures on Sivagnana Bodham, a treatise on Saiva Siddantha.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Chennai / by B. Kolappan / Chennai – August 18th, 2014

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    September 6th, 2014adminRecords, All, Sports, World Opinion
    Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa being felicitated by MCC President Ajit Kumbhat. Photo : M.Vedhan

    Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa being felicitated by MCC President Ajit Kumbhat. Photo : M.Vedhan

    Madras Cricket Club (MCC) on Saturday honoured two of its “own children” — Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal — for having won the squash doubles gold at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

    MCC president Ajit Kumbhat, hailed Joshna and Dipika as “role models for future generations.”

    Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association founder member Dr. Ravi Santosham described the duo as “world champions”. Also, Joshna’s comeback from a grave knee surgery a few years ago was the stuff of legends, he said.

    Former men’s National squash champion Ali Ispahani urged Joshna and Dipika “to stay out of the country for eight months (in a year)” if they wished to succeed. “If they stay out of India (and practice abroad) they can reach the top 5 (in the world),” he said. The day is not far off when the “girls from our club” will become world champions, he added.

    The Hindu Sports Editor Nirmal Shekar said the growth of squash had a lot do with “N. Ramachandran (World Squash Federation president) and clubs like MCC.” He added: “they (Joshna & Dipika) will be right on top (in world rankings) in the next few years.”

    Former World women’s champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald, now coach of Dipika, said both the players had “the ability to go higher.”

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Other Sports / by Special Correspondent / Chennai – August 31st, 2014

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