April, 2011

“Incorporate 49(O) option in EVMs”

With a view to avoiding controversy over exercising the 49(O) option by the voters and protecting secracy of voting, this provision should be incorporated in the Electronic Voting Machine itself. The present practice of entering the names of the voters who opted for 49(O) in the registers had created problems to the authorities as well as the voters.

Raja Ravi Varma birth anniversary

Art is a creative force, an expression from within and it stands as a testimony for man’s development, said Governor S.S. Barnala. Speaking at the 163rd birth anniversary of Raja Ravi Varma, Mr.Barnala said even to this day his works were in great demand in India, London and Paris, Ravi Verma tired to bring his art to the home of both the rich and the poor.

Relief for car parking at central stations

There is some relief for car owners who use the parking lot at Chennai Central Railway station. The parking attendants use hand-held ticketing machines and issue parking fee receipts giving details of the time at which the vehicle entered the parking lot. It also mentions the fee for various duration of parking.

Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Director K. Balachandar, one of the influential filmmakers and trendsetters in Indian Cinema, will receive the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2010. the information and Broadcasting Ministry announced. “Director has been my passion and continues to be so. Yes, this is very happy movement”, said the veteran director. Mr. Balachandar’s story is as fascinating as the ones he has told on screen.

India wins Asian snooker championship

Passakorn Suwannawat of Thailand beats Aditya Mehta of India to win the title in the Asian snooker championship in Indore.

China announces railway line connecting a Myanmar border

China announces that it will build a railway line connecting a Myanmar border town to the planned deep-sea port it is building at Kyaukphyu, which will help secure access to energy resources.

Arunachal Pradesh CM missing

A Pawan Hans A350-B3 helicopter, carrying Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Dorjee Khandu and four others from Tawang and Itanagar, goes missing, triggering an intense search operation.

K.V. Kamath appointed Chairman of Infosys

30 : Former ICICI Chairman Mr. K.V. Kamath is appointed Chairman of software major Infosys; he assumes office following the retirement of the legendary Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy.

Vandalur Zoo witnesses rise in reverse and visitors

The Vandalur zoo has recorded on all time high both in member of visitors as well as revenue during the last financial year. Gautam Dey, Chief Wildlife Warden, told that during the financial year from April 2010 to March 2011 a total 18.10 lakh persons, including children visited zoo. During the same period in the previous year the visitor total was only about 16 lakh, Similarly, the revenue was Rs.4.02 crore during the financial year 2009-10, which reached Rs.4.69 crore in the last financial year, he said.

National Finance Corporation for educational loans likely

The Union Ministry for Human Resources Development is considering setting up National education finance corporation for improving access to education loans. The NEFC will refinance student education loans and offer institutional loans at concessional rates with longer repayment tenure.

Matric schools not to buy ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ textbooks

Unhapphy with the syllabus of ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ and the delay in getting the textbook the Association of Matriculation Higher Secondary Schools and their Managements in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have decided to not buy the books for the coming academic year. Members of the association said that they are not against ‘Samacheer Kalvi’ but are unhappy as the syllabus is not up to the required standard that matriculation schools have been following “we want the new government to form a committee and revise the syllabus”, said S.K. Venkattassalla Pandia, General Secretary of the association.

Royal memorabilia on display

An interesting collection of medallians, coins and mugs is on display at the British Council Library, as part of an exhibition of ‘Royal Memorabilia’ 185- 2011 inaugurated. The exhibition, organised by the British council and the Association of British scholars, features the collection of Pradipta K. Mohapatra, who has been passionately collecting and preserving the items for years. It was put up in celebration of the royal wedding of prince William with Catharine Middleton to be held.

Court nod for Metro Rail headquarters

Allowing Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) to locate its headquarters at Nandanam on a nine acre plot of land, the Madras High Court imposed a set of conditions, including that CMRL should pay Rs.50 crore as compensation for the relocation of a poulting research institution to an alternative site. The first bench comprising Chief Justice dismissed three writ petitions that challenged the acquisition of land, which belonged to the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and houses the Institute of Poultry Production and Management.

Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2010

Director Mr. K. Balachander, one of the most influential filmmakers and trendsetters in Indian cinema, is chosen for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2010.

Prince William’s wedding

29 : Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, weds long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton in London.

Samsung launches Nexus S handset

Samsung Electronics, a leading mobile phone provider, announced the launch of Nexus S smartphone in the Indian market. Developed in partnership with Google, Nexus S is powered by Gingerbread. Ranjid Yadav, Country head, Samsung Mobile and IT, said this was the first handset from Samsung with a four-inch super clear curved LCD screen and near field communication from nearby tags that were embedded with NFC chips.

Polaris set to acquire Iden Trust of U.S.

Polaris Software Lab is all set to acquire U.S. based Iden Trust, a global leader in trusted identify solutions. The Chennaibased company had already signed a definitive agreement to pickup 85.3 per cent stake in Iden Trust. Polaris has also committed to infusing primary investment into the American Company. The total investment will be around $20 million, it is learnt. The deals funded through internal accruals, is expected to be closed in a day or two.

Kanimozhi in charge sheet

Expressing surprise over the inclusion of the party’s Rajya Sabha Member Kanimozhi in the suplementory charge sheet in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the DMK’s high level committee declared on April 27, that it would face the situation legally. It was surprising to note that the names of Kanimozhi’s, a stakeholder in Kalaignar TV, and Sharad Kumar, director in the television company, figured in the charge sheet, even though the channel had explained that it had only taken loan of Rs.200 crore from another company and that it has rapid the amount with interest and submitted the relevant details to the Income Tax Department.

First picture sent by Resourcesat-2

The first pictures sent by the Resourcesat-2, covering 3,000 km of Indian territory from Joshimutt in Uttarakhand to Kannur in Kerala, are received and processed at the National Remote-Sensing Centre (NRSC) ground station at Shadnagar, near Hyderabad. The NRSC says that the images are of good quality.

PAC submits draft report on 2G scam

28 : The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) submits its draft report on the 2G scam at a meeting in New Delhi. Eleven of its 21 members record their “vote” to “reject” the draft report.

Billroth gets new Cancer treatment machine :

A Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy device, used to deliver precise doses of radiation to tumours, restricting the damage to healthy tissue, was inaugurated at Billroth Hospitals, RapidArc, the device, has a rotating arm which goes around the patient reclining on a table, and delivers the dosa with as much precision as possible. It also reduces the treatment time drostically, with the patient spending as little as two minutes on the table.

Corporation may have MoU with TANUVAS on rabies prevention

Chennai Corporation and Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University are likely to enter into a memorandum of understanding for prevention and control of rabies. Representaiton from the Corporation and TANUVAS underlined the need to adopt stringent measures to control rabies and spread awareness about prevention of the desease at a meeting held on 26th April to commemorate world Veterinary Day at Madras Veterinary College


Call for more micro vascular surgery centres

Doctors from the plasta and Reconstruction Surgical team of Apollo Hospitals called for setting up more micro vascular tissue transfer centres to meet the increasing need for reconstructions surgeries. The doctors said that the hospitals had successfully operated on over 1,000 patients in the part 12 years Shivram Bharathwaj, senior consultant plastic and reconstruction surgery, said that with surgeries becoming the main modality of treatment to cover up post-traumatic defects, micro vascular surgeries that involve filling up the part that has been surgically removed with healthy tissue harvested from other parts of the body provided patients a decent quality of life.

Schools report on RTE and letter

The Director of School Education will seek a report from school managements, that have sent a letter seeking to mobilise parents against the implementation of certain clauses of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act. Sources in the School Education Department said the managements would lie asked to explain the context and rationals of the letter.

New World record for beam intensity

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Switzerland, sets a new world record for beam intensity, colliding beams with a luminosity of 4.67×1032 cm–2S–1, exceeding the previous world record of 4.024×1032 cm–2S–1

Not to charge Assange for releasing US secret document

27 : eA 24-nation poll finds that most people believe WikiLeaks co-founder Mr.Julian Assange is not a criminal and should not be charged by the US government for releasing thousands of US secret documents.

Indian Cricket team Coacher –Duncan, Zimbabwe

Duncan Fletcher of Zimbabwe is appointed coach of the Indian cricket team. Fletcher, who formerly coached England, succeeds Gary Kirsten.

John Deere introduces 60 hp tractor

John Deere India Pvt. Ltd. the whollyowned subsidiary of John Deere, and a leader in tractor manufacturing, introduced a new 60 hp tractor, 5060E, in Chennai. Mr. Nair said the company was focussing on providing total agricultural solution. It had recently established a plant at Vadodara in Gujarat to manufacture micro irrigation systems. On the exports front, Mr. Nair said the company was exporting tractors of all categories to more than 70 countries.

Resourcesat-2 to transmit pictures from April 28

The three camaras on board Resouresat- 2 will be switched on when the satellite passes over 3,000 km, of the Indian landmass from Joshimutt in Uttarkhand to Kannur in Kerala on April 28 and they will transmit pictures to earth.

Chartered accountants in project monitoring :

Chartered accountants have a greater role to play in project monitoring in the years to come when significant infrastructure development will take place, said S. Viji, Chairman, Sundaram Finance Ltd. Inaugurating the diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Southern India Regional Council of the Institute of C.As of India. he dia, said the International Financial Reporting Standards was ahead and it would be a challenge to restate and adopt that in the Indian context.

India must overcome challenge of educational deprivation :

India needs to overcomes its many forms of mass deprivations especially the big challenge of educational deprivation, to fulfil its aspirations of a rising country said  N.Ram, Editor-in-Chief of the Hindu said. In the fifth Bishop Rajakumar Memorial Teaching Popularisation Awards 2011 instituted by St. John’ s International Residential School.

Squads demolish 122 illegal dyeing units

Officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Central Board (TNPCB) and Revenue Department demolished 122 dyeing units that were functioning illegally at Pallipalayam and Kumarapalyam. They were located two to five km from the Cauvery in Tiruchengode taluk.

Italy wins Shotgun World Cup

Jessica Rossi of Italy wins the Gold in the women’s trap event at the shotgun World Cup in Beijing, China.

Russia Tighten safety standard in Nuclear Power Plant

Russian President Mr. Dmitry Medvedev proposes a plan to tighten the safety standards in nuclear power plants across the world. The proposal includes greater responsibility of nations using nuclear energy, additional safety measures for reactors, a ban on the construction of reactors in quake-prone zones and expanded powers of international watchdogs to enforce the safety rules.

Jaitapur nuclear projects

26 : A meeting convened by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh gives the green signal to the first phase of the controversial Jaitapur nuclear project.

Service to man is service to God, says Chief Minister

Sri Sathya Sai Baba, who passed away on 24th April had a large following in Tamil Nadu, mainly devotees who booked upto him for spiritual guidance, but his service to society earned him an unlikely admiror four years ago. M.Karunanidhi and Governors to felicitate Sai Baba on Jan. 21, 2007, for his role in helping augment water supply to Chennai. The spiritual leader had got his charitable trust, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, to build a concrete lining along a large stretch of the Kandaleru- Poondi canal that brings water from the Krishna river to Chennai, The work, meant to check seepage, cost Rs.200 crore. Although he himself is an atheist, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had wholesome praise for Sai Baba’s service mankind and his gesture to the residents of Chennai by helping a project aimed to quench their thirst.

Corporation’s world class roads plan

The Chennai Corporation has chalked out an ambitious plan for upgrading roads on 50 bus routes to international standards. According to officials of the civic body, the 50 roads would be grouped in such a way that they from corridors that connects impliment localities across the city. Some of the roads likely to be part of the corridors are Sardar Patel Road, Durgabai Deshmukh Road, Santhome High Road, Kamarajar Salai, Cathedral Road and Nungambakkam High Road.

NATO warplanes attack on Libyan dictator

25 : NATO warplanes carry out attacks on Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s compound, in an attempt on the longruling despot’s life

Embargo on expansion of coal fields

The embargo an expansion in coal fields lying in critically polluted areas and lack of transport linkages for faster distribution of coal could hamper the growth of coal and thereby generation of power, said N.C. Jha, Chairman and M.D. of Coal India Ltd.

Centre for women’s studies to come up at Periyar University

University Grants Commission (UGC) has approved the establishment of centre at Periyar University under the 9th Plan scheme Vice-Chancellor K. Muthuchelian said that from the sanctioned fund of Rs.25 lakh the UGC had forwarded Rs. 5 lakh as a part of the grant amount for 2011-12 We said that Salem, Namakkal, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri are the four districts, which come under the jurisdiction of the Periyar University and the students hailing from these districts are invariably first generation learners.

Indian boxers in International

Indian boxers Paramjeet Samota (91 kg+) and Shiv Thapa (56 kg) win Gold medals at the Winner International boxing tournament in Belgrade, Serbia.

Sathya Sai Baba passes away

24 : Noted spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba passes away in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh.

UN youth envoy Vikram to plant 1 lakh saplings in a year

Newly appointed youth enjoy of the United Nations Habitat, Tamil actor Vikram, said he would work towards planting at least one lakh sapling at least in a year through his new initiative to save the earth, Pachai Puratchi. He also outlined his plan to bring together different celebrities from tinsel town to shool a song on the theme of establishing a greener Indian.

Modern Mahabharata for Management Gurus

The book Management and Mahabharata written by Swami Bodhanandha the spiritual founder and director of eleven organisations and ashrams under the umbrella of the Sambath Foundation and S. Narayanan, former head of Software Quality Assurance at Vikram Sarabhai space centre, was launched by Ex-Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswamy, Swami Bodhananda stressed the need for management to focus on public good along with profit of “A who brings together public good and private gain is a successful manager” he said and added that Indians lacked communication skills as they rever spoke their mind.

Unmanned Predator drones

23 : In a fresh sign of growing rift cover the CIA-operated strikes, Pakistan stops US forces from using an airbase in Balochistan from where unmanned Predator drones were operating.

India has to overcome hurdles to capitalised

India has to overcome the challenges of infrastructure deficit, governance and social inequities to fulfil its aspirations on the world stage, as the mere presence of post-meltdown an opportunities cannot guarantee success. Addressing the 52nd Institute Day celebrations of the IIT-Madras, Mr. Muthuraman said the economic rebalancing that the world was undergoing after the global meltdown presented India with tremendous opportunities India also had a demographic advantage in its considerable proportions of youth and many of its companies, especially in IT and manufacturing were doing well.

Skill upgrade programmes for doctors

The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University is launching several programmes aimed at mid-level doctors and those who work in rural areas and in the private sector. The courses will not only help upgrade their skills and enable them to earn a degree while in practice but also provide the respect that they feel is denied as they are not specialists. The University has proposed to start a diploma course in family medicine which will be offered through distance mode. “The course will benefit doctor who have long regretted not having any extra qualification and feel that despite their experience they are not on a par with specialists” V.C. of the University Mayil Vahanan Natarajan told.

Well or ill – it depends on healthy liver

Living well has a lot to do with the health of your liver. As the largest internal organ of the human body heaves with all its complex metabolism tasks, remember, you are not making it any easier if gay abandon leads you into a life of excesses.  Liver Day is celebrated every April 19, just to serve as a reminder of this grave fact. How you live your life has a huge say in deciding how healthy your liver is, experts say.

World of books hardly lags behind

It is not just the classics or the popular works in contemporary literature that are drawing readers. What is commonly perceived as serious literature is increasingly seeing more takers, according to those in the field of publishing and writing. Serious literature, including non-fiction writing covering areas such as environment, health, dalit, feminist of leftist literature, is finding its way to the book shelves of many readers.

Air India introduces ‘data range’ forces

National Carrier Air India introduced ‘data range’ forces for a economical air travel during the holiday season. “The initiative is aimed at increasing air travel on our flights during summer holidays and improving the seat factor in the coming months”. The special fares are available on select 141 sectors on the domestic network. Passengers can book their tickets three to five days prior to data of departure.

M.Tech in Solar Energy at SRM University

The SRM University, Chennai, will introduce a multitude of new courses this academic year, including, MS and M M.Tech, in Solar energy MD courses in Medicine and Health Sciences and BS in discipline like Computer Science, Bioinformatics and Bio Technology. Vice Chancellar announced that admission of students into various disciplines like B.Tech, M.Tech, MBA and MCA programmes will be based on the entrance examinations, which will be conducted in about 190 centres in 115 cities across the country on 23rd April.

High Court Nod to Merger

The Madras High Court granted its approval to the scheme of amalgamation of Essar Telecommunication Holdings Private Limited with India Securities Ltd. Originally, the Board of Directors of both companies, at a meeting held on June 4 last year, approved and adopted the scheme of amalgamation subject to confirmation by the High Court, Meanwhile Vodafone, which had acquired 67 per cent stack from Hutchinson,the joint venture between Hitchinson and Essar during 2007, raised objective to the scheme.

Mobilise resources at Japan’s effected areas

Japan decides to cut its Official Development Assistance (ODA) during the current financial year, in an effort mobilise resources for the massive reconstruction of areas devastated by the recent earthquake and tsunami.

Dhoni’s rank in the influential people in the world

22 : Time magazine ranks ‘India’s World Cup winning captain M.S. Dhoni at the 52nd rank among the most influential people in the world for 2010.

Research papers on power shotlisted

The department of Electronics and Electrical Engg. of Eswari Engg. College is conducting a two day national conference on Technology Advancements in Power systems and Power Electrical Engg. Fifty-four research papers on various topics, including technological advancements in smart grid, smart metering, artifical intelligence, applications in power systems and power electricity, power semiconductor drive and several others would be presented at the six sessions of the two-day conference. Researchers, students and professors from institutions across India are participating in the conference

Ripon building’s annexe to be ready by Sept.

The construction of the  22 crore annexe for Ripan Building, which would house all the departments of the historic Chennai Corporation on its completion, has been put on top gear and the new jewel in civic body’s crown is expected to be completed by September. The building would have a basement floor, a ground floor and five more floors with a total floor area of 12,600 sq. metres. The basement of the building would be used as a parking place for all vehicles visiting the complex.

Dena Bank pact with UTI

Dena Bank has entered into an agreement with United India Insurance (UII) for marketing the general insurance policies through its branches. The MoU was signed by M.K. Sharma, G.M.. Dena Bank and B. Krishnamoorthy, G.M., United India Insurance at Chennai.

Tainted Lawyers go on appeal

The six advocates who had been elected as members of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry are preparing to appeal against the orders of a single judge who had restrained them from functioning as members. The bench granted the prayer. In his order, Justice Ramasubramanian had strongly condemned the behaviour of the six members, who had indulged in corrupt practices during the elections held on March 4 last. He noted that money had played a major role in the council elections. The judge directed the Election Tribunal attached to the Bar Council to hold enquiries into the complaints, which levelled various other serious allegations against all the six.

Hunt on for next IIT-M Director

Hunt has begun for Prof. M.S. Ananth’s successor at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, with Ministry of Human Resource Development inviting applications for the post of the next Director of this premier institutes Anand has recently said that though his extended term will end only in June 2012, he will be leaving one year ahead of schedule. Serving his second term as director, he is the first director to resign before the end of his term. Applicant for the post of the Director of IIT-M should preferably be not more than 60 years of age and is expected to have proven administrative, teaching and research background with leadership qualities.

Global Mentorship Programme in US

Singer and entrepreneur Chinmayi Sripada is the first representative from Tamil Nadu to be nominated to attend the Fortune / US State depar tment Global women’s Mentoring Partnership to be held between May 2 and 25 this year. As part of the par tnership, Chinmayi will be paired with two mentors holding senior positions with American Express, who will share their experiences and discuss future leadership opportunities with her only 35 representatives from across the world were chosen for this mentorship programme in which every one of them would get to be mentored during the internship period by one of the Fortune’s Most Powerful Woman Leaders, said Anand Krishna, Information Officer, Public Affairs Section of the American Consulate.

Prime IIT land ends up in Tata Kitty

The T.N. govt. did exactly that in 1993 by arbitrorily laking over 40 acres of land registered in the name of IIT-Madras in Taramani and later alloting the institution around 11 acres in 2007 for building a research park after IIT made a series of pleas over a period of six years. In fact even the IIT was not aware that the 40 acres adjecent to the institutes eastern perimeter belonged to it when it first wrote to the govt in 2001, seeking 10 acres for setting up an R & D park in the immediate vicinity of its campus in Guindy. The land that was lying vacant had then been taken over for setting up the MGR Film City’ which became operational in 1994. But then, a good position of the rest of the land 25.27 acre – of which IIT is the owner, has been given on a 97year old lease to Tata Realty and Infrastructures Ltd. for constructing the Ramanujan IT SEZ, which will have `a high-end residential enclave with walk-to-work conveniance (150 apartments), a retail mall 12.5 lakh sq.feet, 100 service apartments and a 1,500 seat international convention centre’.

China wins Shotgun World Cup

Wei Ning of China wins the Gold in the women’s skeet event at the shotgun World Cup in Beijing, China.

Haiti’s president

Mr. Michel Martelly is declared winner of Haiti’s presidential elections.

Infastructure project approval

21 : The Union Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approves the roll-out of the e-district mission mode project in all 640 districts of the country. It is aimed at making all government services available to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets, at affordable costs.

Sheltered workshop for special children

The Guild of Service (Central) Bala Vihar Special School will soon start a sheltered workshop to prepare its students for working in a professional environment. Dr.Lalitha Natraj, honorar y joint secretary of the school said, that the workshop would also impact vocational training to the students. The school has 160 students of whom those less than five years of age are covered by an early intervention programme, while the older children are provided special education which includes speech, yoga and occupational theropy, said the school headmistress Ramani Nandakumar.

Pilots see red over extra fuel order

The Indian commercial Pilots Association has now objected to the office order issued last week wherein all flights to Mumbai have to carry 1.5 tonnes extra fuel. “The circular states that 1.5 tonnes of extra fuel should be carried as a constant figure for all Airbus 319/320/331/330 which have different fuel consumptions. The company on one hand is trying to promote cost cutting by fuel saving which is one of the major expenditures. To achieve this, the company has spent hundreds of crores of rupees for zero fuel weight flight plan which on implementation will result in optimum fuel consumption and cost cutting.

Waste of a conveyor belt

Finnish firm ZenRobotics announces that it has designed and built a robot that can sort through construction waste off a conveyor belt and pluck out recyclable material and then deposit it in an approrpiate bin.

Nuclear steel shield

Governments from around the world pledge $785 million to seal the stricken nuclear reactor at Chernobyl within a 20,000-tonne steel shield. The huge arch is designed to prevent any further radiation from escaping for 100 years.


20 : The PSLV-C16, launched from Sriharikota, places three satellites – India’s Resourcesat-2, the Indo-Russian Youthsat and the X-sat of Singapore – in orbit. It is PSLV’s consecutive 17th successful mission.

Metro eyes Veggie market slice

Asia’s largest market for fruits, flowers and vegetables is expected to shrink as negotiations are on to acquire market land for construction of Metro Rail depot. Negotiations between Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Chennai Metro Rail Ltd., and Market Management committee were on to acquire market land for the Metro Rail depot after the initial plan where more than 100 shops would be hit was rejected, sources told. A meeting was held on April 5 when held over a second plan where in the link road near the depot would be taken over by the Metro Rail. Because of both side demand 25 shops will affect. However, negotiation is an to reduce the damage by asking the Metro Rail to reduce the width of the acquisition.

2011 Pulitzer Prize

Indian-American physician Siddhartha Mukherjee’s acclaimed book on cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies; A Biography of Cancer, wins the prestigious 2011 Pulitzer Prize in the general non-fiction category. Other notable winners are: A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Fiction); Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris (Drama); The Fiery Trial; Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner (History); Washington : A Life by Ron Chernow (Biography); The Best of It : New and Selected Poems By Kay Ryan (Poetry); Madame White Snake by Zhou Long (Music)

India wins Dubai Open Chess championship

Abhijeet Gupta of India wins the Dubai Open chess championship, beating compatriot Parimarjan Negi in the final round in Dubai.

Pak. missile Hatf IX

Pakistan test-fires a newly-developed short-range surface-to-surface missile named Hatf  IX – which has a range of 60 km – capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Illegal – Khap Panchayats

19 : In a significant judgement, the Supreme Court declares as illegal the “khap panchayats”, dreaded caste-based bodies that are often in the limelight for committing atrocities against girls and boys of different castes and religions who wish to get married or have married.

Tamil Nadu Salt production dips as pans slowly vanish

Salt production in the state has nose – dived due to acquisition of salt lands for industrial purposes, according to a study ‘working and living conditions of saltpan workers in Tamil Nadu’. Saltpans are slowly vanishing from the coastline and are replaced by power plants, special economic zones, harbours and various other industries. “The acquisition of saltpans for development projects, should be stopped or else it will affect the salt production besides the basic existence of an estimated 50,000 workers across the state”, says R. Geetha, coordinator of National Campaign for unorganised workers. The acquisition of saltpans for development projects has not only affected the produce acres of salt lands have been handed over to the state govt. for thermal power station and special economic zones resulting in loss of livelihoods of salt workers”, the study added.

Rajasthan’s Pearls Awarded

The Rajasthani Association of Tamil Nadu recognised the Philanthropic work of five Rajasthanis in Chennai by bestowing titles of Rajasthan Ratna and Rajasthan Shree on them. The awards were given away at an event at Music Academy for which Gulabchand Kataria, former home minister of Rajasthan, was the Chief guest while Justice V.Ramasubramanian was the gust of honour. Rajasthan Ratna was awarded to P.D. Maheswari and Kantilal Sanghvi while Rajasthan Shree titles were bestowed on former Suburban Police Commissioner S.R. Jangid, Pyarelal Pitalia and S.K. Todi, “There were nine nominations for Rajasthan Ratna and 13 for Rajasthan Shree. We evaluated the work done by each nominee before finalising the most deserving person”, a member of the awards committee said.

Stronger national based on graphite:

Scientists at the University of Technology Sciences, Sydney, Australia, announce that they have obtained remarkable results in developing a composite material based on graphite that is as thin as paper and ten times stronger than steel. The material has the potential to revolutionise the automotive, aviation, electrical and optical industries.

Kirti Chakra Awards

Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil confers two Kirti Chakras and 25 Shaurya Chakras on Armed Forces personnel at the Defence Investiture Ceremony in New Delhi. The President also confers 15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals (PVSM), two Uttam Yudh Seva Medals, one Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medal and 26 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals on officers of the Armed Forces for distinguished service.

Nigeria’s President wins second term

18 : Nigeria’s incumbent President Mr. Goodluck Jonathan wins a second term to the nation’s highest office.

Swayamvar for a cause

It was a swayamvar with a difference as about 300 physically challenged people gathered to select their life partners at a ceremony organised by the Tamil Nadu Differently Abled Welfare Association. Some as crutches, some accompanied by their parents and others with their friends entered the stage as they were introduced
by the president of the federation N. Ravi. Interestingly, the prospective brides and grooms came from different walks of life. Some of them were coolies, while some were bank managers, research scholars, teachers, shopkeepers and howers. This is the first time such an event is organised by the differently-abled to select their life partners. Earlier, it was either commercialised or organised by caste-based outfits. This one is purely for the disabled, by the disabled”, said Ravi.

5 new music courses in Madras University

With a view to Channelising its music courses, the University of Madras has planned to start five new music degree courses-UG and PG degrees in performing Arts and Muthamizh (Iyal, Isai, Nadagam) as well as a PG degree in Rhythmology. Vice Chancellor Thiruvasagam said, “The academic council of the University has given its nod for launching these new courses aimed at developing Tamil music and they would be launched from the next academic session”.

Doyens of Hindi Literature honoured

The Kamala Goenka Foundation and the Tamil Nadu Hindi Sahitya Academy felicitated three writers for their contribution to Hindi language. The function organised at Music Academy saw the trusts giving away literary honours to Balkishan Goenka, Dr. M.Seshan and Kerala Literary writer Dr. N.E. Vishwanath Iyer. The awards have been instituted by the Kamala Goenka Foundation. The Babulal Goenka Hindi Literature Award 2011 was bestowed on Dr. M. Seshan for his translation of Tamil Sangam literature to Hindi. The award carries a cash component of Rs. 21,000.

A Wall Street Journal report

A Wall Street Journal report reveals that scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, USA, have created the world’s first digital brain map that, they say, will help doctors better understand a range of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism and mental health disorders.

Monte Carlo Masters Tennis title

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain clinches his seventh straight Monte Carlo Masters tennis title, beating compatriot David Ferrer in the final of the 2011 edition in Monaco.

Radiation crisis in Japan

17 : A new road map, focussed on the challenges at the earthquake and tsunami-hit. Fukushima Daiichi atomic power plant, says that it will take six to nine months to bring about an optimal control of the radiation crisis in Japan.

Siemens launches new wind turbine

Siemans energy sector recently launched a new wind turbine for the Indian market at the wind power India International Conference and Exhibition 2011 hold at Chennai. The new product SWT 2.3-113 (Direct Drive) with leading tchnological edge targets low wind markets with focus on generation based customers. “With over 9,600 wind-turbine and a total capacity of more than 13,000 MW installed worldwide, Siemens offers highly efficient wind turbines with low life-cycle costs to project developers and independent power producers.

Turning India and China Immature – Shashi Tharoor

Turning the development path of India with China was immeture, said Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, addressing a gathering at KIT Thomas Memorial Lecture at Chennai on 14th, April “Chennai is not in the same race as we are. Hence there is not a difference of degree but of kind between the growth strategies of India and China”, he said. “China may emerge as the first and only country to strip US of the status of being the lone superpower in the world. A recent report by Goldman sachs said that by 2010, China is projected to have the world’s largest country,” he said.

Withdrawal of troops from Afghan

Pakistan and Afghanistan announce the setting up of a two-tier joint commission to facilitate the reconciliation process in anticipation of the withdrawal of foreign troops from war-ravaged Afghanistan.

India Kazakhstan nuclear deal

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh ends his maiden Kazakhstan visit; during his visit, India and Kazakhstan sign a civilian nuclear deal.

First meeting on Lokpal Bill

16 : At the first meeting of the Lokpal Bill joint drafting committee, held in New Delhi, the government nominees agree to take on board the latest version of the draft Jan Lokpal Bill tabled by Mr. Anna Hazare.

EC orders re-poll in seven booths

The Election Commission ordered re-poll in seven booths in Tamil Nadu on April 16.

Govt. asks Civil servants to reveal assets

Even as the issue of the disclosure of  assets of bureaurats in Tamil Nadu is locked in litigation in the Madras High Court, the centre in a circular issued earlier this month directed the state to submit details of the immovable property of All India service (AIS) officers to be placed in the public domain.

Nandita Das conferred French honour

Actor-Director Ms. Nandita Das is conferred the French honour Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for her contribution to the development of Indo-French cooperation in the field of cinema.

India wins Asian Billiards Championship

Alok Kumar of India beats Praput Chaithanasukan of Thailand in the final to clinch the title of the Asian Billiards Championship in Kish Island, Iran.

Russia deal with NATO to supply two dozen combat helicopters

15 : Russia finalises a deal with NATO to supply two dozen combat helicopters to Afghanistan and train local pilots.

TN sees close to highest voter turnout in 44 years

The voter turnout during the Assembly election has been pegged at 75 per cent to 80 per cent, according to chief Electoral officer Praveen Kumar, making it an election with the highest footfalls, beating the 1967 figure of 76.57 per cent. Inonically, that was the same year when the DMK came to power trumping the congress. Tentative figures indicated that Karur district registered the highest voting percentage of 86, Chennai city polled the lowest 66 per cent.

Miss India World 2011

Ms. Kanishtha Dhankhar from Mumbai is crowned Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2011 at the ceremony held in Mumbai. Ms. Hasleen Kaur of New Delhi and Ankita Shorey of Mumbai are adjudged Miss India Earth and Miss India International, respectively.

56th senior National womens’ hockey

Haryana beat Bombay in the final to win the 56th senior National women’s hockey championship in Bengaluru.

BRICS emerging economics

The world’s five major emerging economics – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICKS) – hold a leaders’ meeting in Sanya, China. They decide to set up a liaison group to intensity cooperation, besides pledging to oppose protectionism. The five nations also ink a pact to use their own currencies instead of the US dollar in issuing credit or grants among themselves.

Maharashtra approves 50% reservation for women

14 : The Maharashtra Assembly unanimously approves 50 percent reservation for women in local bodies like panchayat samitis, zilla parishads, municipal councils, etc.