January, 2011

Collectors present Chief Minister`s medal

Hoisting of tri-colour followed by Police March past and cultural programmes by school children formed part of the Republic Day celebrations held at the District Collectorate, Kancheepuram. Collector, Hanish Chabra unfurled the national flag. He presented the Chief Ministers medal to 31 policemen and honoured freedom fighters. Colourful cultural programmes were presented by students of 8 different educational institutions in the districts. Tiruvallur Collector, Ashish Chatterjee hoisted the tri-colour and presented the Chief Ministers medal to 25 policemen.

Maruti’s domestic sales up

Maruti Suzuki has achieved net sales of ` 92,767 million during the third quarter of 2010-11, a growth of 26.5 per cent over the same period last year. (Oct-Dec. 2009). The net sales in second quarter (July-Sept 2010) was ` 89,371 millions. Net profit during the third quarter of this fiscal stood at a ` 5,652 million. In Q3 last fiscal (2009-10), the not profit was ` 6,875 million. Net profit in second quarter of the current fiscal (July-Sept. 2010) was ` 5,982 million.

Karnataka drawing water from Mettur Dam’s area

Call it tit-for tot of any thing, Karnataka is laying another pipeline silently to carry out a plan to draw water from the Mettur Dam’s water spread area. The neighbouring state is in the conclusion stage of laying the pipeline from Ponkan Gundu. Hardly 20 km in the backyard of the Mettur Dam, the public works department officials here got a whiff of the matter only on Jan. 29 and went on a fact finding mission to Ponkan Gundu.

Artificial Petrol

British scientists say that they have developed a low-cost and environment-friendly “artificial petrol” which may cost around Rs.14 a litre and could be available in as early as three years. With hydrogen at its heat rather than carbon, the new fuel will not produce any harmful emissions when burnt.

ADB announces

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announces in its headquarters in Manila, Philippines that it will extend an aid of $7.4 billion to India for developing its infrastructure for a three-year period.

Port Project in Odisa

31 : The Ministry of Environment and Forests grants conditional clearance to Posco’s $12-billion steel mill-cum-captive port project in Odisa; while doing so, the Ministry lays down 60 more conditions on the project.

‘Indian Cops may soon use light utility aircraft’

India will see a market for non-conventional use of multi-purpose light utility aircraft and helicopters opening up in the coming years, according to Ashok Nayak, Chairman Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd., Bangalore. Nayak said apart from the defence, coast Guards and the BSF, many civil departments involved in non-security related work would also start to use Aircraft and helicopters for highway patrol, survivillance, search and rescue, and observation and communication. Pointing out that the New York Police use light utility aircraft, he said apart from the 10 ready for deployment, the HAL was making 40  more. HAL is currently manufacturing and exporting nearly 200 Dhruv advanced light helicopters a year.

Eight women scientists honoured awards

The much-awaited Chennai Science Festival was inaugurated by K. Ganesan, Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department. During the event, eight women scientists and students from 17 state schools received awards for their innovative scientific models. The fourth edition of the science festival saw the participation of 120 institutions and a display of live birds and animals.

2011 annual meeting of WEF

The 2011 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), known also as the Davos Summit, concludes in Davos, Switzerland; at the summit, the world leaders discuss many important topics, including the economic recovery  and a possible food crisis.

South Sudan separate nation

The results of the referendum on South Sudan’s secession from the parent state are announced; in the vote, South Sudan overwhelmingly endorses its demand for a separate nation, with over 99 percent inhabitants of the region voting in favour of secession

Wheat increased in the previous fiscal

30 : The Centre announces that the area under wheat in 2010-11 has increased to 29.1 million hectares, compared to 28.2 million in the previous fiscal.

Kalaimamani Awards

Actors Tamanna, Anushka, Malavika, Arya and Karunas are among those who have been selected for the Kalaimamani awards for 2008, 2009 and 2010. Along with this, he will also present small screen Awards announced recently and Bharathi award, M.S. Subbulakshmi award and Balasaraswathi award. The awards will be presented to them by Chief Minister at a function scheduled for Feb. 13.

Tamil Nadu diluting power of Panchayats, diverting funds

The power of panchayats is being slowly diluted and to funds diverted to other welfare scheme like Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam, opened the Tamil Nadu Federation of Women Panchayat President, said that around 15 years had passed since local governance has came into existence in conformity with 73rd constitutional Amendment in Tamil Nadu. However, not even a notification had been issued an functions and the devolution of powers.

Contracts given for Metro Rail tunnels

The Metro Rail Ltd. has awarded contracts for three different sections of underground works and tunnels near the proposed Meenambakkam metro rail station, Deputy C.M. said. The construct for design and construction of underground stations at Washermenpet, Mannadi, High court, Central and Egmore and associated tunnels at a cost of ` 1566.81 crore and other tender was for underground stations at Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar, Anna Nagar Tower and Thirumangalam, at a combined cost of 1,030.99 crore. For underground stations at Nehru Park, Kilpauk Medical College, the contract was bagged by Metro Tunneling Chennai L & T SUGGJV for 705.75 crore.

HC shuts down Tirupur dyeing units

The Madras High Court ordered the immediate closure of all dyeing and bleaching units in Tirupur area that had common effluent treatment plants/individual effluent treatment plants. A direction to this effect was given by the First Bench comprising Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam to the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). While passing interim orders on two contempt applications from the Noyyal River Ayocutdars (farmers) protection Association seeking to punish the authorities concerned for not obeying the court’s earlier orders dated Dec. 22, 2006 and April 28,2003.

Japan wins Asian Cup football championship

Japan win the Asian Cup football championship, beating Australia in the final in Doha, Qatar.

Kim Clijsters wins Australian Open Tennis champion

Kim Clijsters of Belgium clinches the women’s singles title of the 2011 Australian Open tennis championship, beating Li Na of China in the final in Melbourne; American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan take the men’s doubles title, Mahesh Bhupathi in the fina

US & Egypt president meet

World leaders, including US President Mr. Barack Obama, urge Egypt’s embattled President Mr. Hosni Mubarak to deliver on his promise of “better democracy and greater economic opportunity”.

Telecom ministry delink with spectrum

29 : The Telecom Ministry delinks spectrum from licence, with Communications and IT Minister Mr. Kapil Sibal saying that scarce spectrum will not be offered free of cost, and that all operators will have to obtain radio waves through a market-driven process

Elektro signs pact with Kasa for automation solutions

Elektro Analgen Pvt. Ltd. leading providers of industrial electricals and automation solutions, has entered into a business venture with US-based Kasa companies inc. A global leader in the control panel industry Elektro Analgen’s manufacturing base at Thirumudivalkam in Chennai presently has an annual production capacity of 1,800 panel verticals per year. Recently, the company set up a manufacturing unit in Bhilai, Chattisgarh, to cater to the central and northern Indian markets.

Airtel unveils 3G services in Chennai & Kovai

More than 29 lakh subscribers of Airtel in Chennai will now have an opportunity to tune in into its 3G network with the launch of the services on Jan 27. Brand Ambassador of Airtel, actor Karthik became the first customer in Chennai to avail himself of the service, which was also simultaneously launched in Coimbatore. While mobile users could avail themselves of the services through existing sim cards, laptop users can get it through 3G dongles. Interestingly, the telecom major is planning to launch the services in 40 cities by March 2011 and by 2012 March, more than 1500 cities will have access to 3G.

Reliance retail plans 20 Hamlays stores

UK-based toy maker Hamlays Group Ltd., which enjoys a tie-up with Reliance Retail a India, is planning to open 20 more, stores over a period of seven years, all with  an investment of ` 125 crore. The toy major, which has two stores one in Mumbai and another in Chennai-will open stores across 14 cities in the country.

Tuticorin Port renamed after V.O. Chidambaram

The Union Govt. on Jan. 27 renamed the Tuticorin Port Trust after V.O. Chidambaranar, noted freedom fighter who ran an indigenous Indian shipping service between Thoothukudi and Colombo in 1906 against the British rule. This decision comes ahead of assembly elections in Tamil Nadu this year. Prime Minister approved the proposal to rename the Tuticorin Port Trust as V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust”. Ports in India are generally named after the city or town where they are situated. However, the govt, in special cases, after due consideration have renamed ports after great leaders in the past.”

Bench upholds night duty for women

A division bench of the Madras High Court has upheld an order dated Dec. 12, 2002 of a single judge striking down a provision of the Factories Act, which prevented employers from engaging women between 7 pm and 6 am Originally while passing orders on a writ petition from V. Rajeswari, a worker in Viswabharathi Textiles Limited in Vadamadurai.

Tsunami alert gauges don’t work

A fallback mechanism to ensure a foolproof tsunami early warning system in the Indian Ocean region has gone dysfunctional due  to lack of maintanance. A majority of tide gauges, a set of devices set up by the survey of India and the National Institute of Ocean Technology to detect tsunamis and storm surges in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, have been out of order and are not transmiting any data, according to information sourced from the official website of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Sciences (INCOIS).

Russia new START treaty with the US

Russian President Mr. Dmitry Medvedev signs into law the New START treaty, a landmark nuclear arms cut pact with the US.

Centre’s total public debt both internal and external went up by 4%

28 : An official report shows that the Centre’s total public debt, both internal and external, went up by 4 percent to Rs.28.63 lakh crore in the third quarter (October-December) of the current (2010-11) fiscal from Rs. 27.53 lakh crore in the previous quarter (July-September).

CCTVs to track crime in stations

Two years after the Chennai Central Railway Station was brought under the blanket cover of Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV), authorities are now planning to extend the system to suburban railway stations for real time surveillance. It is being alone with a view to controlling crime and regulating the crowd travelling by Elective Multiple unit (EMU) in southern parts of the city”, a senior official with Govt. Railway Police (GRP) told.

GPRS Meters for better power management soon

In a significant step towards conservation of power, the state electrical inspectorate will soon launch a pilot project in which GPRS enabled electricity meters will be installed in three tribal hamlets of Coimbatore district to help ensure efficient power management.  Sources said this innovation is the first of its kind in the country. The meters will be installed at three feeders that supply power to Vadakkalur, Kodanur and Kallukadu in Veerapandi Panchayat. The Project is aimed at evaluating the benefits of GPRS technology in electricity metering to help improve power management. Based on the outcome of the project, it will be implemented to heavy consumers like high tension and commercial category.
The introduction of GPRS in electricity meters will enable real time monitoring of power consumption in target locations, arrest pilferage, theft and line loss. The process of finalising bids for the supply of web-based GPRS meters was nearing completion. At a time when the line loss by TANGEDCO was assessed at just 18 per cent out of 70 billion units consumed in the state, this technology could go a long way in improving efficiency.
LED lighting : As a part of energy conservation efforts, under the project, Incandescent bulbs in 205 huts of the three districts will be replaced 15 watt LED lamps

C.M. Honours heroes

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi presented the Anna Medal and Ameer Award during the Republic Day celebrations hero on Jan. 26. R. Vivekanandan (Madurai), J. Ravi (Coimbatore), S. Rajagopal (Kanyakumari) and T. Rajeshkumar (Cuddalore) received Anna Medal for Gallantry while M.E. Jamaludeen (Tiruvannamalai Dist.) received Kottai Ameer award for communal harmony. P. Saravanan, (ASP, Dharmapuri), R. Ghajandrakumar (ACP, Chennai Suburban) and C. Srinivasan (Inspector, Dharmapuri district) received Gandhi Adigal Police Medal.

AP model makeover likely for Ambattur, Guindy

In a bid to provide a new lease of life to Ambattur and Guindy industrial estates, the state govt. is contamplating introducing the revenue model of industrial township system prevailed in Andhra Pradesh, more than a decade since the Industrial Township Act was passed, the govt. was struggling to thrashout an amicable solution for granting industrial township status to Guindy and Ambattur Industrial estates following opposition from the Chennai Corporation and Ambattur Municipality. However the govt. is now studying the Andhra Pradesh model whereby 70 per cent of revenue goes to the municipality of industrial estates and 30 percent to the corporations sources at the department of industries and commerce said.

India reveals that the IMR

Data made available by the Registrar-General of India reveals that the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in India came down to 50 (deaths per 1,000 live births) in 2009 from 53 in 2008, showing a reduction of three points.

Efficiency certificates on energy consumption

27 : The Centre launches India’s own emission reducing mechanism – named Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) – which is similar to the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism. Under this, companies consuming less energy will get efficiency certificates, which could be traded with or sold to companies that consume excess energy

Largest computer Expo-2011

World’s leading brands participated in one of the largest computer expo-2011 at Valluvarkottam. The four day expo began from Jan.20 and ended on Jan.24. In this expo more than 18 brands and 250 models are put up for sale. Desktop start prices ranged between  9999 AND 89,990 while laptop were priced from 12,999 to 1,24,999 free gifts are available for expo customers. Many visitors who attended the expo said that a wide range of computers and its accessories available for affordable prices.

City COP gets top honour

Asst. Commissioner of Police K.N.Murali has been awarded the Presidents Police medal for Meritorious service, 2011. A B.Com graduate from Voorhees college in Vellore, ACP Murali joined the state police department in 1979 as sub-inspector. The top honour comes for Asst. Commissioner of Police Murali in recognition of 31 years of service in the state police department.

President’s medal for Jangid

Three senior IPS officers of the State have been selected for Republic Day President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service, 2011. Besides, 19 police officers have been honoured with the Police Medal for Meritorious service. S.R. Jangid, ADGP / Suburban Commissioner of Police, Chennai; J.K. Tripathy, ADGP and S.M. Mohd. Iqbal, DSP, V & AC, Chennai city have been awarded the Presidents Police medal.

A dozen Padmas bloom in Tamil Nadu

It has been a bountiful year for Tamil Nadu in the Padma awards gallery, with 12 eminent achievers from various fields winning the honour. Three Padma Bhushans and nine Padma Shri awards have been bagged by personalities from the states the most prominent names that feature in the list include that of playback singer S.P. Balasubramanian Tamil and Malayalam actor Jayaram, Carnatic vocalist S.R. Janakiraman and Bharata Natyam, exponent C.V. Chandrasekhar.

Chennai Open International Chess

Martyn Kravtsiv of Ukraine wins the title of the Chennai Open international chess tournament held in Chennai.

BJP’s stormy Ekta Yatra

26 : BJP’s stormy Ekta Yatra, launched with the aim of hoisting the Tricolour at  Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Republic Day, ends with the hoisting of the Tricolour in Kathua in the Jammu division, as the State government denies permission to do so at that place.

Novak Djokovic win Australia Open Tennis champion

Novak Djokovic of Serbia wins the men’s singles title of the 2011 Australian Open, beating UK’s Andy Murray in the final in Melbourne.

Inter-caste child can get ST status

In a marriage between a tribal woman and a forward caste man, the offspring will set tribul status if the child is brought up in the mother`s environment and will be entitled to reservation, the Supreme Court has held. Though earlier judgement of this court said that “in the intercaste marriage between a tribal woman and a non-tribal, the woman must in all cases take her caste from the husband”, these were not binding precedents, said a Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjuna Desai.

Dubai-based investor of coal & oil group Energen

Coastal Energen Pvt. Ltd. the power generating flagship company of the Coal and Oil Group, is planning to buy back 15 per cent equity stake from Abdul Nahab Rustomani, on outside investor. When a coal and oil group floated a sepcial purpose vehicle (SPV) – Coastal Energen Pvt. Ltd. – seven years ago to set up a 1,200 MW Mutiara thermal power plant in Tuticorin, Dubai-based Al-Rustormani Group had pumped in 120 crore to buy 15 per cent equity.

1450 christians surrender voter identity cards

As many as 1450 Christians surrendered their voter identity cards to the District Collector on demanding inclusion in the schedule castes category. The Indian Dalit Christian’s Welfare Association staged a demonstration at Jawahar grounds, Palayamkottai, stressing the cancellation of orders issued in 1950. They said that the oder not only snatched the religious freedom of Dalits, but also prevented then from making political representation. They vowed to stage a protest at the headquarters of other districts and states. 

‘INO lab will aid other collaborative researches’

The Neutrino observatory which is to come up in Pattipuram will facilitate other non-neutrino projects as well, said K. Mandal, chief spokesperson of the INO. He said that the laboratory would help other basic projects like neutrino-less double beta decay research as well as dark matter research. He also said that the project has been given both Environmental and Forest clearance and would be sent for the statutory clearance from the cabinet after the  meeting to be held in February. The environmental clearance report will be published on the website shortly.

Saarang to get ISO certification

IIT – Chennai’s much – awaited cultural fest Saarang, kickstarting, is looking forward to an ISO certification this time. M. Govardhan, Dean (students), said a ten member internal audit students team ensured that all the bench mark were met. The ISO team that will be present for the five day event following which it would certify. “We have come up with 250 feedback forms in various departments to rate over performance of executing this mega event”, said Nishant, the cultural affairs secretary.

No faith in Govts., fishers want guns

Sending out a strong ‘message’ to the state, central and Sri Lanka govts., several Tamil Nadu fisherman’s associations have decided to seek firearms  licences to protect themselves at sea. For recent mid-sea killings allegedly by the Lankan Navy have forced lakhs of fisherman in the 13 coastal districts to think about this safety, as the state and central govts. have failed to avoid such conflicts on the Indo-Lankan maritime boundary.

Padma Awards 2011

The Padma Awards 2011 are announced; Planning Commission Dy. Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, former National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra, Wipro Chief Azim Premji, Telugu celebrity A. Nageswara Rao, Art historian Kapila Vatsyayan, India’s first woman news photographer Homai Vyarawalla and the former Attorney-General K. Parasaran are among the 13 Padma Vibhushan awardees. In all, 128 persons are chosen for the prestigious awards this year, including 31 for Padma Bhushan and 84 for Padma Shri.

Asian Games Discuss thrower bronze medal goes to Indian player

Qatar’s Silver-winning discuss thrower at the Guangzhou Asian Games, Ahmed Mohamed Dheeb, tests positive for a banned drug, and is subsequently disqualified by the Olympic Council of Asia. It will mean that India’s Vikas Gowda, who finished fourth at the event in the November 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, gets the Bronze medal.

Clash with Anti-government protesters and police in Cairo

Thousands of anti-government protesters clash with police in Cairo, Egypt, in a violent demonstration demanding the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s nearly 30 years in Power.

India and Indonesia sign agreement

India and Indonesia sign a slew of agreements, numbering nearly 30, including an extradition treaty and a legal assistance treaty; the pacts are signed during the visit of Indonesian President Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

RBI hikes repo and reverse repo rate

25 : The Reserve Bank of India hikes its short-term indicative policy rates by 25 basis points to tame inflation and inflationary pressure; the repo rate is raised to 6.5 percent and the reverse repo to 5.5 percent.

New air cargo customs house inaugurated

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the new air cargo customs house at Chennai. Speaking on the occasion, Mukerjee said that the revenue through Cargo has increased by 278 per cent, Value of imports increased from `4,666 cr. to 52,003 cr. in the period 1997-98 to 2009-10. “The volume of business has also increased, from 4,300 bills in 1997-98 to 2.61 lakh bills in 2009-10. Export and Import have gone up. But there is an imbalance between import and export. If this trade gap widens, it will reflect in the current account balance, he said. 

Poet Bharathi’s rights violated, claims scion

Usage of the writings of legandary poet Bharathiyar by others for publicity purposes is an infringement of moral rights, says Mira T. Sundara Rajan, the poet’s great-granddaughter, in her forthcoming book on Moral principles. “My great-grandfather Subramania Bharathi’s writings are being used for publicity by many without any attribution. It’s a clear case of moral right violation,” she said.

Radar safer running

The Chennai Airport is all set to commission a surface movement radar that will help controllers monitor and central aircraft on ground in a more efficient way, thus reducing the rick of accidents. Regional Executive Director of Southern Region D. Devaraj said that the flight acceptance test for implenting the new system was complete. “Trial operations will commence in ten days and the new system will be in vogue in February”, using the Advanced Surface Movement Guidance And Control System (ASMGCS), all aircraft on ground at the city airport can now be tracked from a controller’s console.

TN tops in immoral traffic, copyright violations cases

Tamil Nadu, which figures sixth in the nationwide rank of criminally, registered the highest number of cases under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act in the country in 2009. However, there was a decline in such cases in India by 7 per cent when compared to 2008, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. Chennai’s rank of criminality is only 32, although 10,905 cases were registered under the IPC in various police stations during 2009, according to the NCRB’s crime in India-2009, report released recently.

Centre assures TN of strict action

At last, the centre seems to have woke up to the series of killings of Tamil Nadu fisherman by Sri Lankan Navy Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who called on Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at his residence and held talks with him for 20-odd minutes, told media-persons later that the UPA govt. would take up the issue with Columbo. Karunanidhi and leaders of several other leaders from the state have been insisting the centre to find a definite solution to the continuing issue that has claimed the lives of at least 4000 fisherman over the past few decades. Successive union governments have as several occassions taken up the issue with Colombo, whose Navy has, but only continued with its attacks on Tamil Nadu fisherman.

Anjali Bhagwat champion in National Shooting

Ace shooter Anjali Bhagwat is crowned Champion of Champions at the National shooting championship that concludes in Tughlakabad, Delhi.

Sucide bomber strikes in Moscow Airport

Suicide bomber strikes at an airport in Moscow, Russia, killing 35 and injuring scores.

Supreme Court issues a notice to the Centre

24 : The Supreme Court issues a notice to the Centre on a writ petition for a direction to the Centre to release all the 5,800 tapes of Niira Radia, the corporate lobbyist implicated in the 2G telecom scam, tapped by government agencies.

Wage pact signed

A find settlement has reached between the various State Transport undertakings management and its staff on Jan. 22 on all outstanding issues, including the continuous wage revision on a par with the state govt. employees. An agreement to the effect was signed in the presence of Transport Minister K.N. Nehru. Though the state govt. had earlier promised to set aside a sum of ` 521.45 crore to finance the settlement, he announced that the amount has been increased to ` 552 crore. About 1.5 lakh transport corporation employes will receive the wage arrears on Feb. 1, he added.

C.M. inaugurates Adyar Poonga

Overcoming the Union Environment Ministry’s non clearance roadblock, C.M. inaugurated the dream project of the State govt., the Adyar Poonga and renamed it at “Tholkappiar Poonga” after the celebrated Tamil Grammar guru Tholkappiar. After nearly three years of ecological restoration efforts, the first phase of the park that was inaugurated boosts of a regenerated 58 acre-creek area that is now home to ambitious like the green frog, the soft shell turtle-both endangered species-the Brahminy Skink, birds including white breasted kingfishers, plovers and the shikra besides crustaceans like the mud crab.

Chinese President crucial visit to US

Chinese President Mr. Hu Jintao wraps up his crucial four-day visit to the US.  During his high-level visit, the two sides agree to build a China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual benefit and respect, with the aim of significantly boosting bilateral ties in near future.

Govt. Draft Rules for the RTI

22 : The Department of Personnel and Training (D
OPT) rejects most of the changes suggested in the government’s Draft Rules for the Right to Information Act by the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC).

Stalin for sectoral growth of industries

Deputy C.M. M.K. Stalin, who chaired the meeting of the State Manufacturing Competitiveness Council, held at Chennai, said that the Govt. would lend all types of support for the sector development of industries, including auto and clean energy, all with the framing of a policy framework for each and every industry in the state, based on the inputs and viewpoints from the corporate and business leaders across the spectrum.

Hyundai to invest ` 1500 cr. in diesel unit

Hyundai Motor confirmed additional investment of  1,500 crore for a diesel plant near Chennai, setting at rest speculation over whether it would set up a plant outside Tamil Nadu. An MoU in this regard is expected to be signed soon.

Manufacturers lobby for Endosulfan

Pesticide manufacturers have defended the use of  endosulfan, a plant protection chemical used by farmers for more than 55 years to control pests, and blamed the European union for pushing India and the global community to ban it without full scientific data. The president of PFAAI, defended endosulfan and said the chemical was not only effective in controlling pests but also helped in improving the productivity of crops without being harsh on the environment. 

City Parks for healthy workouts

The Chennai Corporation kickstarted free yoga training programmes for those visiting parks maintained by it. Inaugurating the scheme Mayor said that the city Corporation had selected 26 popular parks for implementing the scheme. The free yoga training to the school students and civic body drivers in the last two years has yielded positive results, he said. The Corporation will provide a monthly incentive of 1500 to the private firm (or person) that imparts yoga to the Public visiting the identified 26 parks. According to a release, Thiru Vi Ka Park, Natesan Park, Nageswara Park, Mylady’s Park, Bogain Villa Park, Jeeva Park, Independence Day Park, Haddows Road Park, Secretariat Park, Nehru Park, Gill Nagar Park, Sivan Park are some of the parks identified for free yoga training.

300 ATC vacancies filled up

Almost 330 vacancies in the Air Traffic Control have been filled up against the existing vacancy of almost 700 positions said dinesh Kumar, E.D. of Airport Authority of India. Highlighting that there were almost 700 vacancies until last year, he said that they were slowly being filled up with adequate number of people being trained. “We are also undertaking training of another 300 people this year to fill all the gaps”, he added.

Govt. to fill 500 posts in Animal Husbandry dept.

The state govt. has decided cadre in the Animal Husbandry Department soar, according to Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry Minister Pongalur N. Palanisamy speaking after inaugurating a series of buildings worth 4,77 crore to mark the pongal week celebrations at the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University here, the minister said the state govt. was also planning to set up 100 new veterinary health centres and these were plans to upgrade 200 health centres to vetrinary hospitals.

Russia agrees to expand its military and economic assistance to Afghan

Russia agrees to expand its military and economic assistance to Afghanistan in an effort to play a larger role in the region. Russian President Mr. Dmitry Medvedev announces that his country will step up its presence in Afghanistan and increase defence aid, including the training of greater numbers of Afghan military personnel in Russia.

Foreign banks owned subsidiaries

21 : The RBI comes out with a discussion paper suggesting that foreign banks should be incentivised to operate in India as wholly-owned subsidiaries, as against the current system of having presence through branch network.

Project to manufacture cement from TNPL solid waste

Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed to provide structural aid to 17 projects since 2006 and under this scheme, the Tamil Nadu govt. had attached investments to the tune of `50,613 cr. covering 43 new industrial projects, said M.K. Stalin – Participating in the inauguration of the 1,000 cr. paper manufacturing facility at Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Paper Ltd. which was commissioned by the C.M. through video conferencing from Chennai, he said after launching a scheme to plant 50,000 saplings, the foundation for the TNPL Project was laid 15 months back. An outlay of 67 cr. had been set apart to manufacture cement from the plant’s solid waste. This will enable manufacture of 600 tonnes cement per day.

Modernisation of city fishing harbour soon

The long standing demand of modernising the Chennai Fishing Harbour located at Kasimedu would be taken up soon, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said. While the main Chennai Port was gearing for multi-crore modernisation including a mega container terminal worth Rs.3,686 crore, a meagre around of about 120 crore could be allocated by the port management for the modernisation of fishing harbour which lacks many facilities that needed for a best fishing harbour along the east coast”.

Demo against Rajapaksa Calander

More than 170 activists belonging to various political parties were arrested in nearby Tirupur District for staging a protest against a Sainik school distributing calendars to students featuring the photograph of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Handbook on total burn management released

A handbook on burn management for family physicians, politicians, burn surgeons and plastic surgeons, was released here at a function. Title “Total Management of the Burned Child”, this book would be a bible for those involved in burn management, said T. Ramasami, Secretary, Science and Technology department, who released the publication. The book has a collection of articles by 22 contributors covering various aspects of burn management like investigation, nutrition, Topical medication and nursing care.

Science no monster, its all about simple tasks

For all those who dread learning chemistry equations and physics theories, there is some good news finally. The Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, in partnership with Ecosience Research Foundation in Chennai, has broguht out a book, “Simple task’s,” Great concepts, that makes all these complex equations and concepts come alone in the classroom. This book has a bank of about 100 experiments mostly focused on life sciences, of which more than 90 can be conducted in an informal out-of-its  laboratory conditions

Chennai Book Fair sees 12 lakh visitors

This year book fair, which ended on 17th Jan. had about 12 lakh fortfalls, at least 71 percent more than last year, according to the organisers. While last year, nearly seven lakh people visited the Chennai Book Fair, this year the fair saw a substantial increase bringing smiles on the faces of the publishers and organisers. Of the 12 lakh visitors four lakh were students from schools and colleges across the state, said Rama Lakshmanan, Secretary of 34th Chennai Book Fair. This year, the publishers sold nearly 30 lakh books from 10 lakh titles whereas, the tally last year was nearly 21 lakh books. The 14 day fair had 646 stalls put up by 375 publishers this year. The first Madras Book Fair was organised in 1977 by the BAPASI.

2010 warmest year

The World Meteorological Organisation reveals that the year 2010 is tied for the warmest year on record with the years 2005 and 1998.

National Voters Day

20 : The Centre decides to observe, January 25 as “National Voters Day” from 2011 onwards as part of an exercise to get youth to participate in the electoral process in greater numbers.

Kovai Police go the e-way to help eves

College students in Coimbatore can now deal with eve-teasing and unwanted calls with just the click of a button. Thanks to the web portal launched by the city police on their website, www.coimbatorecitypolice.com victims who would have otherwise shied away from seeking justice, can now go online and register their grievance.

Second line ‘Art’ centre in City soon

Soon there will a new ART (anti, retroviral theropy) centre for second line HIV positive people in Chennai, said Health Secretary V.K. Suburaj on the sidelines of a  programme for the HIV positive children. Right now there are only two second line ART centres in Tamil Nadu, one at Salem and another at Tambaram TB Sanatorium. Second line treatment is needed by patients when resistance is developed towards first line medication.

CM to open ` 1000 crore TNPL plant at Pugalur

Chief Minister will be commissioning a world-class paper manufacturing facility of the Tamil Nadu Newsprints and Paper Limited (TNPL), established at a cost of ` 1000 crore, at Pugalur in Karur district. Already there are two machines at the Karur plant and the new machine will have a capacity to produce 573 metric tonne of paper per day and 1.55 lakh metric tonne of paper annually.

Kaavalan runs full house in Tamil areas of Lanka

Tamils Sri Lanka, including those living in the North and East, are flocking to see Kaavalan starring Vijay and Asin, despite a call from the Chennai based South Indian Film Chamber to boycott films starring the actress. The boycott was announced after Asin attend the Indian International Film Awards held in Colombo last year, violating the Chamber’s request for non participating as it was protesting the “massacre” of Tamil civilians by the Lankan armed forces in the final phase of the war against the LTTE in 2009. Kaavalan is running to “full houses” in the Tamil speeking districts.

Port Connectivity Project set to take off

Signalling the revival and proving  his zeal towards a permanent solution for traffic chaos and congestion of container trailers reacting Chennai Port in City’s northern parts Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan is all set to inaugurate the ` 267 crore Chennai Ennore Port connectivity project works. The project, which was conceptualised way back in 1998 and failed to take off several times earlier is finally taking off, thanks to Vasan, who took it as a personal challenge.

INFO director is new collector of Tiruvarur

The state govt. on 18th night transferred many IAS officers including Information Director K. Bhaskaran. He will take over as the new Collector of Chief Minister’s home district Tirruvarur replacing M. Chandrasekaran who has been appointed as the Director of Indian Medicines and Homeopathy.

Work on new terminals hits air pocket

The new domestic and international terminals that are to come up at the Chennai Airport by March this year are likely to get delayed by over nine months, if one were to go by the cold war between the contracting company CCCL and the Airport Authority of India (AAI). A war of words over unkept commitments and failure to provide approvals is now on between CCCL and IPM-Lahmayer International, the project management consultant appointed by the AAI.

Data teleportation reality soon

While teleportation of humans is a distant dream, scientists have stumbled upon invention of teleporting information without physical contact according to Nobel Laureate Prof. Anthony J. Legget, Prof. Legget, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics, told after delivering a lecture at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences that, teleporting information would no longer sound bizarre as earlier thought and very soon we will have information which will be teleported intant physical contact.

South Sudan’s long-standing demand for separate statehood

A landmark vote is held in Sudan to decide on South Sudan’s long-standing demand for separate statehood; preliminary results show that the people of South Sudan have voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession.

Minor expansion of Council of Ministers

19 : In a minor expansion of his Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh introduces three new faces, upgrades five Ministers and shuffles the rest of the pack. Salman Khursheed (Water Resources and Minority Affairs), Sriprakash Jaiswal (Coal) and Praful Patel (Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises) are elevated to the Cabinet, while Ministers of State Ajay Maken and K.V. Thomas are given independent charge. The three new faces are Beni Prasad Verma, now MoS with independent charge, Ashwini Kumar and K.C. Venugopal, both inducted as MoS.

Audi to top growing Indian market for luxury cars

With India emerging as the fastest growing market for luxury brand cars, Audi India aims to sell at least 4,500 cars this year as against 3,003 cars sold in the calendar year of 2010. Sharing the above information with the media at Chennai, Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India, said that the company had embarked on an aggressive expansion strategy in order to capitalise on opportunities in the growing Indian market for luxury cars with the launch of five to six new products, all for achieving 50 per cent growth in volumes in 2011.

Study on Mukkaiyur Harbour

A coastal based scientific study has been started to establish a harbour at Mukkaiyur, near Sayalkudi in Ramanthapuram, which will be completed within 15 days, said Suba Thangavelan, Minister of Slum clearance. The harbour a 60 year old demand of fishermen, was announced in the Assembly recently. The study on weather conditions would be taken before establishing the harbour. The report would be sent to State and Central governments within 15 days, he added.

Nursery, Primary schools await govt. nod

The future of nearly 25 lakh students  is at state as more than 700 new nursery and primary schools are awaiting the state govt’s approval and close to 3,000 nursery, primary and matriculation institutions in Tamil Nadu are yet to get their recognition renewed. Tamil Nadu Nursery and Primary Schools Management Association sources have urged the government to recognise the new schools and renew the approval of the schools concerned on a conditional basis. But  State Education Department sources said that after the Kumbakonam incident, the government has put in place rules and regulations for starting new schools and  approval would be given as per the resided rules

Tamil Nadu Govt. Awards

Renowned Tamil writer T. Jayakanthan, music maestro Ilayaraja and Bharatanatyam exponent Padma Subramaniam have been chosen for the awards instituted by the T.N. Govt’s Arts and Culture Department. While Jayakanthan will be honoured with the Bharathi Award, Ilayaraja and Padma Subramaniam will be presented with the M.S. Subbulakshmi award and Balasaraswathi award respectively. The awards carry a cash component of Rs. one lakh each, an official release of Chennai said.

China helps to Sri Lanka

18 : China announces that it will provide $1.52 million in emergency humanitarian relief to Sri Lanka to help it deal with an aggravating flood situation.

Non-superconductor with a strong burst of laser light

A century after superconductivity was first observed in 1911, a team of scientists from Britain, Germany and Japan observe conclusive signatures of the phenomenon after hitting a non-superconductor with a strong burst of laser light, in an experiment conducted at the Max Planck Department of Structural Dynamics, Hamburg, Germany.

Moortidevi Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith

The prestigious Moortidevi Award of Bharatiya Jnanpith for 2008 goes to Hindi writer Dr. Raghuvansh; the award for 2009 goes to Malayalam writer Akkitham Achyuthan Nambbodiri.

Golden Globe Awards

The 2011 Golden Globe Awards are presented in Washington, USA; the notable winners are: The Social Network (Best Film), Colin Firth for Best Actor (The King’s Speech), Natalie Portman for Best Actress (Black Swan), etc.

Youngest rated India chess player

Six-year-old M. Aditya (rating points 1492) becomes the youngest rated India chess player, as per the 2011 list released by FIDE.

Russian Navy Chief Admiral visit in India

17 : Visiting Russian Navy Chief Admiral Vladimir S. Vyostskiy holds an important meeting with Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma in New Delhi; they discuss the scope of further expanding professional relations, including bilateral exercises.

NASA unveils three concept designs

In what way become the face of modern aviation, NASA unveils three concept designs for more powerful, quiet, energy-efficient aircraft which the agency says could be ready for flight as early as 2025.