May, 2011

AUS of refill booking well received

The Automated Unified System (AUS) for refill booking of Indane gas cylinders has been welcomed by a large section of users, as the process can now be completed with ease any  time and in a short time, according to an Indian Oil Corporation official. According to him, close to eight lakh customers have registered for the AUS out of the targeted customer base of 18 lakh in Chennai. The numbers were increasing by 1 to 1.5 per cent per day representing about 20,000 users.

Post Offices to get ATMs soon

The Department of Posts will soon set up automated teller machines (ATM) in Chennai GPO and eight head post offices in the city and surrounding areas for its savings bank customers. Officials of the postal department said that steps are being taken earmark sites measuring 80 sq.ft. at the post offices. The eight HPOs are : Anna Road, T. Nagar, Mylapore, St. Thomas Mount, Park Town, Ambattur, Avadi Camp and Tambaram. The Civil work for establishing the ATMs would begin in about two months. Nearly 10 lakh account holders in the post offices are expected to benefit from the 24 hour ATM facilities. Once the facility is in place, customers need not spend time working at the counters to withdraw cash.

Jawaharlal Nehru Award

Visiting German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel is honoured with the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding for 2009, by Hon’ble President Ms. Pratibha Patil in New Delhi.

2011 BCCI Awards

The 2011 BCCI Awards are given away in Mumbai. The prominent awardees are : Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar (Polly Umrigar Award for Cricketer of the Year); former India player Salim Durrani (C.K. Nayudu Award for Lifetime Achievement), etc., among others.


Jacob Zuma visits Libya

South African President Mr. Jacob Zuma visits trouble-torn Libya with a view to reviving an Afrian “road map” for ending the ongoing conflict there. However, during his talks with the Libyan leadership, besieged leader Muammar Gaddafi emphatically tells him that he will not leave Libya. Following this, the prospects for a negotiated end to the conflict become dim.

India-German sign agreement

31 : German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel visits India and holds discussions with the Indian leadership in New Delhi. The two sides sign agreements in vocational training, science and technology and research between some institutions to encourage greater exchanges in areas such as biotechnology, nano-technology and material sciences. Also, the “Year of Germany in India” is launched.

More fishing harbours likely in Nagapattinam

More fishing harbours along the districts coastline are on the anvil. This includes harbours in Poompuhar and Nagapattinam, a fishing jetty in Nagore, and a modernisation proposal for the existing harbour in Pazhayar. Minister for Fisheries K.A. Jayapal, alongwith O.S. Manian, M.P., Mayiladuthurai, inspected project sites. A fishing harbour would be set up in Poompuhar, as promised by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the election manifesto. A fishing harbour proposed for Nagapattinam near the Keechankuppam area in estimated to cost ` 35.65 crore. It envisages deepening of channels. The Minister disbursed compensation, increased from ` 1000 to ` 2000 for the 45-day fishing moratorium period, to the beneficiaries at the collectorate.

Integrated turmeric complex will came up soon

Agriculture Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan has promised that an integrated turmeric complex would come up at Karumandichellipalayam in Erode district soon. The minister said that the project would benefit a large number of formers in Erode, which was one of the largest turmeric producing districts in the country. Currently a godown and a few other facilities were being constructed at a cost of ` 6.5 crore at the site.

25,000 tourists attend fruit show

The two day 53rd fruit show, organised by the Department of Horticulture, concluded at the Simi’s Park in Coonoor. About 25,000 tourists from various parts of the country and some foreigners witnessed the show. District Revenue Officer S. Kuppusamy said that for the first time, 10 districts had participated in the show. The conclusion of the Fruit show marked the and of the summer festival in the Nilgiris. Five rolling cups and 40 other prizes apart from cash awards were given away. The rolling cup for the best collection of sub-tropical and temperate fruits was won by S. Gopi of Coonoor.

New Additional AG for State in Supreme Court

The Tamil Nadu Govt. has appointed advocate S. Gurukrishnakumar (43) as Additional Advocate General for the State in the Supreme Court. He will succeed Adish Aggarwala, who resigned after the change of govt. The order is to come into force from the date of assumption of office by Mr. Krishnakumar. He will represent Tamil Nadu in all matters pertaining to the state in the Supreme court.

CPI (M) urges govt. to regulate school fees in State

The State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) urged the govt. to regulate school fees and enforce the recommendations of the Justice Govindarajan Committee as there was no new recommendation yet on the fee structure for the current academic year from the committee presently headed by Justice Raviraja Pandian.

Santosh Trophy football

Bengal retain the title of the Santosh Trophy football championship, beating Manipur 2-1 in the final in Guwahati, Assam.

Nuclear reactors shut down by 2022

Germany’s ruling coalition, led by Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, announces that all nuclear reactors in the country will be shut down by 2022.

India and Pakistan begin talks

30 : India and Pakistan begin talks aimed at demilitarising the Siachen Glacier.

TNERC gears up to promote solar energy

As part of its efforts to promote solar energy, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission has proposed a minimum quantum of solar renewable purchase obligation (RPO) in the overall renewable purchase obligation of the state. According to the draft notification published on the Commission’s Website, the share of solar energy has been mentioned as 0.15 per cent of the total RPO in terms of energy in kilowatt per hour (KWH) for the year 2011-12. For the next two years, it will be 0.25 per cent.

Japan sees Tamil Nadu as most preferred investment destination

Tamil Nadu is now the most prefered investment destination in India for Japan, said the Director, Japan External Trade Organisation, Chennai Osamu Hisaki. He was inaugurating a two day national conference on ‘Renewable energy for process heat applications in industry’, with special focus on the tea industry, organised by  the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA). Pointingout  that Asian markets account for nearly 40 per cent of the operating profits of the Japanese Companies, he said that this had led to an increase in Japanese investments in Asia, especially India. There were 725 Japanese companies in India and Tamil Nadu headed the list with 240.

Hogenakkal project will be fast-tracked

The Hogenakkal Drinking water and Fluorosis Mitigation Project will be implemented as quickly as possible, said K.P. Munusamy, Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development Krishnagiri.

Chairman of Tamil Nadu Bar Council

D. Selvam was elected Chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil nadu and Puducherry – P.S. Amalraj was elected Vice-Chairman and S. Prabakaran, Member, Bar Council of India. They will hold office for five years. Later Mr. Prabakaran told reported that he would request Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to increase the Welfare fund for advocates from ` 2 lakh to ` 5 lakh irrespective of the number of years of practice and allot housing plots for advocates in the scheme being implemented for Supreme Court advocates at Noida. A request would be made to the State govt. for payment of stipend to young advocates.


Entrance Test for MBA, MCA courses

As many as 63,000 candidate seeking admission for MBA and MCA courses took the Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test (TANCET) at 87 centres across the State on May 28. As many as 41,000 candidates took the test for MBA, 22,000 for MCA. Anna University, which conducted the test, said that there was an increase in the number of candidates who took the test this year.

14th Mahaveer awards

Voluntary Health Services, Chennai has been chosen for the 14th Mahaveer awards, which are given by Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation. A release issued by N. Sugalchand Jain, the Foundation’s managing trustee, said that the VHS won chosen in the category of excellence in medicine. The Indian Planetary Society,  Mumbai, for excellence in education; Snehalaya Social Charitable Trust, Maharashtra, for social service, and Dayananda Swami in Bangalore for his contribution towards non violence and vegetarianism. The recipient would receive a cash prize of ` 10 lakh each. The foundation has given 35 such awards so for, according to the release. 

China wins Sudirman Cup

China win the Sudirman Cup badminton championship, beating Denmark in the final in Qingdao, China.

2011 – Champion League Football

Spanish giants FC Barcelona emerge winners at the 2011 Champions League football tournament, beating England’s Manchester United 3-1 in the final in London, England.


Monaco Grand Prix Formula one

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany wins the title at the Monaco Grand Prix Formula One championship in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Nepal extend assembly term

Nepal’s major political parties amend the nation’s interim constitution and extend the term of the Constituent Assembly by three months.

State Election Commissioner

29 : S. Ayyar, a former officer of the IPS has been appointed State Election Commissioner. His appointment follows the resignation of Syed Munir Hoda early this weeks. The new State Election Commissioner would he in the post for two years with effect from May 27, according to a govt. notification.

Chennai Super Kings Growned again

29 : Chennai Super Kings defended its IPL title, over-powering Royal Challengers Bangalore in May 28th final in front of an adoring home crowd at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. After scoring 205 for five in 20 overs thanks to a marvellous partnership of 159 between Murali Vijay (95) and Michael Hussay (63) on IPL record for the first wicket – Chennai restricted Bangalore to 147 for eight.

Serious economic setbacks

29 : Experts warn the wood-based industries and agro-forestry sector of stricter forest and environmental certification requirements in the future in the international market, saying that if adequate steps are not taken on time to comply with such requirements and meet the global standards, many industries based on farm forestry and agro-forestry in India may face serious economic setbacks.

City Union Bank net up 41% at ` 215 crore

City Union Bank has achieved a milestone with its net work crossing the ` 1,006 crore in the year ended March 31, 2011, against ` 826 crore in the previous year, a growth of 22 per cent. Announcing the banks performance at a press conference, the CEO said the net profit for the whole year had improval by 41 per cent to ` 215.05 crore from ` 152.76 crore.

NLC profit up at ` 1,298 crore

Neyveli Lignite Corporation has reported a marginal growth in net profit in the year ended March 31, 2011, and chalked out a ten year corporate plan to grow further, according to A.R. Ansari, Chairman and Managing Director. He said the Corporation made a profit, after taxation, too improved by 4.08 per cent, to ` 1,298.33 crore from ` 1,247.46 crore. Sales turnover dropped to ` 3,949.08 crore from ` 4,121.02 crore.

Rajinikanth leaves for Singapore

Actor Rajinikanth, who was admitted to Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre on May 13, was discharged late on May 27 evening. Later he boarded a flight to Singapore. The actor had shown acute symptoms of breathlessness and fever, with background history of initial treatment by his family physicians from March.

Tenders for Neyveli New Thermal Powers Project

Briefing reporters at NLC’s annual conference, NLC chairman A.R. Ansari said that they planned to add 1,750 MW since 2009, but BHEL was not able to keep up with delivery schedule due to capacity constraint. NLC Planning and projects Director, R. Kandasamy told that is the next 10 to 15 day’s time, they would be floating a tender for 2×500 MW lignite-fired Neyveli New Thermal Power Project in Neyveli town. The Contract would be awarded in the next five to six months and the project commissioned in 48 months.

Water release from four reservoirs ordered

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa ordered the release of water from four reservoirs in Kanyakumari district. With effort from June 1, the release will begin from Pechiparai, Perunchani, Chittar-I and Chittar-II reservoirs. This will go on till February 28 next year. The move will benefit 79,000 acres in Thovalai. Agastheeswaram, Kalkulam and Vilavancode taluks of the district.

CSK wins again IPL champion

Holders Chennai Super Kings retain their IPL title, beating Royal Challengers Bengaluru by 58 runs in the final in Chennai. Batting first, CSK score 205 riding on M. Vijay’s 52-ball 95 and Mike Hussey’s 45-ball 63. In reply, RCB are dismissed for 147. CSK offie R. Ashwin claims a three-wickets haul. M. Vijay of CSK is named the Man of the Final and Chris Gayle of RCB is adjudged the Man of the Tournament. Gayle also emerges as the tournament’s highest scorer (608 runs in 12 matches), while Mumbai Indian’s Lasith Malinga become the highest wicket-taker (28 wickets in 16matches). 

Egypt’s foreign policy impact

The exit of former President Hosni Mubarak has its first tangible impact on Egypt’s foreign policy towards Palestinians, as the new interim government lifts most corss-border restrictions on the movement of Gaza residents into Egypt that had been imposed for the last four years.

Russia–US signs

Russia signs a deal with the US for the supply of 21 helicopters to Afghanistan. The pact is signed between Russian arms export corporation Rosoboronexport and the US Army Forces Command.

Palestinian people’s struggle

28 : India affirms a “continuing commitment to Palestine” and voices support for the “Palestinian people’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine”.

Private power generators are in a fix

The Tamil Nadu Power Producers Association, representing private power generators in the state, has expressed serious concern over maintaining the production of electricity in view of lower  realisation of power sales and increasing input cost. In a statement issued, V. Krishnan, Secretary of the Association, said that if the power sales realisation remained low, the generators in the State may be forced to suspend their production to avoid financial losses.

CRZ nod given for mega container terminal

The Appraisal Committee of Union Ministry of Environment and Forest gave the coastal Regulation Zone and environmental clearance for the Mega Container Terminal. It is subject to adherence of strict compliance of conditions by the project proponent, according to Chennai Port Trust officials. As presented by the project proponent, the proposal involves development of mega container terminal at a cost ` 3,686 crore. It will cater to the container traffic for the next 30 years. It will will have a capacity of four millions 20-foot equivalent units annually.

Free school uniform to be distributed soon

‘The govt. will take efforts to distribute free uniform, procured at a cost of Rs.50 crore, to students of class I to VIII as soon as possible. Chairing a review meeting, Handlooms and Textiles Minister B.V. Ramanaa said that high-level committee to restructure the sector would be constituted after obtaining the C.M’s nods.


Projects in the zoo to be expedited

Forest Minister K.T. Pachamal visited Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. Talking to the reporters, Mr. Pachamal said he would hold discussions with the zoo. authorities later and steps would be taken to expedite various ongoing development projects in the zoo. The Minister said that a public relations officer (PRO) would soon be appointed to share information with the media. To a query on re-introduction of bus terminus inside the zoo premises, Mr. Pachamal said that at present beautification works were on at the zoo entrance. Once they are completed, efforts would be made to relocate the terminus inside.


G8 leaders meeting in Deauville

At their summit held in Deauville, France, the G8 leaders promise tens of billions of dollars in aid to Tunisia and Egypt to help these new democracies emerging from recent popular uprisings.

Liberalise the direct investment

27 : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decides to further liberalise the regulations relating to overseas direct investment by Indian corporates; now, only 50 percent of the amount of the performance guarantees may be reckoned for the purpose of computing financial commitment to its joint venture (JV) or wholly-owned subsidiary (WOS) overseas, within the 400 percent of the net worth of the Indian party on the date of the last audited balance sheet.

Open more Pharmacies : Minister

Co-operation Minister Sellur K. Raju has advised officials of his department to open more pharamcies in the State. At present 62 pharmacies are being run by the department, of which 18 are operated by Cooperative marketing societies. He said that as drugs were being sold through such pharmacies to people at 12 per cent discount, their sales had gone up.

Move on Samacheer Kalvi may hit future generations

The AIADMK govt’s decision to defer the implementation of equitable standard education (Samacheer Kalvi) may harm future generations, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi said. Mr. Karunanidhi recalled how the system of equitable standard education was introduced. It was designed after several studies, consultations with political leaders and the approval of eminent academics. 

DMK Legislature party leader

Former Deputy Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) treasurer M.K. Stalin was elected leader of DMK legislative party. Former Law Minister Durai Murugan was elected the deputy leader and Chakrapani the party whip. Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) founder Vijayakant is the leader of his legislature party. He is likely to be recognised as the Leader of Opposition.

India wins Asian Grand Prix

India’s Ghamanda Ram (men’s 800-m) and Seema Antil (women’s discus) win a Silver and a Bronze, respectively, in the second leg of the Asian Grand Prix in Kunshan, China.

Youngest person ever climbed the highest mountains Mt. Everest

George Atkinson, a 16-year-old British schoolboy, becomes the youngest person ever to have climbed the highest mountains of all the seven continents after ascending Mt. Everest, the tallest peak in the world at 8,850 metres.

Gen. Ratko arrested in Serbia

Infamous long-on-the-run war criminal Gen. Ratko Mladic, who commanded Bosnian Serb troops during the 1991-95 Balkan Wars that tore apart the former Yugoslavia, is arrested in Serbia. He is wanted for his role in the massacre of upto 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica.


Food inflation surged to 8.55%

26 : Reports released by the Centre show that food inflation surged to 8.55 percent for the week ended May 14, 2011 from 7.47 percent in the previous week, owing mainly to spiralling prices of milk and fruits.


IOC’s Ennore Liquefied Natural gas terminal

Indian Oil Corporation is going ahead with its Liquefied Natural Gas terminal at Ennore, even as it is scouting for a strategic partner, who can bring in resources and technical expertise, its chairman R.S. Butola said. He said that the project work had started and was on track. He expressed the hope that it would he completed on time.


Hike in pension ordered

The govt. has ordered an increase in pension amount from ` 500 to ` 1,000 a month for eight categories of beneficiaries. Briefing officials on the implementation of pension scheme.


Advocate General of Tamil Nadu

A. Navaneethakrishnan, defence lawyer for Chief Minister in the ongoing cases against her, has been appointed the Advocate General of Tamil Nadu V. Sethuraman, S. Gomathinayagam and K. Chellapandian have been appointed Additional Advocates – General.

Job given to women who sacrificed tongue to fulfil vow

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has given a job to a poor women, who sacrificed her tongue to fulfil her vow that she would chop off her tongue if Ms. Jayalalitha became Chief Minister again, K. Saritha of Thondi in Ramanthapuram fulfilled her promise at Gowriamman Temple on May 13. Considering her condition Mr. Jayalalithaa handed over the appointement order as noon meal assistant with a renumeration of  2,077 per month. The expenses of ` 36,195 on her surgery, financial assistance of ` 1 lakh. A rented house has been identified for Saritha and the rent  would be paid by Dr. MGR Charitable Trust.

State Election Commissioner resigns

State Election Commissioner Syed Munir Hoda tandered his resignation, citing personal reasons. The letter of resignation has been accepted by the Governor. The 1976 batch IAS officer, who was due to retire in July 2010, was appointed to the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission as its top executive by Tamil Nadu Governor S.S. Barnala in May 2010 for a period.

Students can register online with employment exchange at schools

The govt. has came out with a scheme of enabling higher secondary students to register themselves online with employment exchanges at their respective schools. In the next 15 days, the students can cary out online registration and get identity cards. The school Education and Labour and Employment Departments along with the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu is executing the scheme. Tamil Nadu is the first state to implement such a scheme, Ms. Jayalalithaa told a press conference at  the secretariat.

Student wins first prize his research at ISEF

Ragavendra Ramachandran, a 16 year old-student of St. John’s International Residential School, Chennai who won the first prize for his research in drug synthesis at the Intel International Science and Engineering, Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles recently. His prize winning project “Drug synthesis, braving legendary challenges”, could help in developing drugs to fight cancer, bacteria and fungus, he says. Besides the $9,000 prize money, Raghavendra, like other winners in the fair will be honoured by having an asteroid named after him.

G.D. Birla Award

Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri of IIT-Mumbai is chosen for the prestigious G.D. Birrla Award for Scientific Research for his contribution in the area of electronic communication.

IMF’s Managing Director post announces

BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) openly revolt against the prospect of the IMF’s Managing Director post – lying vacant in the wake of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s resignation following sexual assault allegations – going again to a European, as French Finance Minister Ms. Christine Lagarde announces her candidature for the post.

Singapore’s X-SAT satellite

25 : A report reveals that Singapore’s first locally-built satellite X-SAT, which was put in precise orbit by India’s PSLV-C16 on April  20, 2011, has started transmitting images back.

Collaborations sought in health care sector

Collaborations between nations in the health care sector to bring about world class innovative suggestions that will benefit the community at large must be encouraged, Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner in Southern India, has The health care sector is advanced in South India, with modern and innovative approaches adopted by professionals in the area, Health care in part of Index is leading the way, not only with high volumes, but also high quality, Mr. Nithavrianakis said.

Learning computers must for SIs

Basic computer training for more than 1,000 trainee new women Sub Inspectors  began on May 23. The training programme is being conducted at B.S. Abdur Rahman University, Vandalur. Those attending it are 779 trainee SIs, including 227 women from Tamil Nadu Police Academy in Umananchery and also 286 trainees, including 83 women from Police Training College in Ashok Nagar in the city.

Land acquisition soon for widening of road

Land acquisition for widening the 5 km long Tiruvottiyur High Road, the lifeline of north Chennai, from Tollgate to Ernavur Bridge, is expected to be take up  soon. According to sources, the Highways Department has already released around  15 crore to the Revenue Department. Revenue officials will now verify documents of land owners and award the many to them. The compensation will be paid based on guideline value. Most of the land to be acquired is private property, while one portion belongs to a temple, sources said.

Minister dies in accident; Probe ordered

State Environment Minister Mariyam Pichai was killed in an accident on the Trichy-Chennai national highway at Thiruvalankurichi in Perambalur Dist on 23rd May. Just hour before he was to attend the ooth-taking ceremony of newly elected MLAs in Chennai.

Fact-finding mission

The International Atomic Energy Agency begins a fact-finding mission to unravel the cause of Japan’s radiation crisis that was triggered by the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station.

Cabinet Secretary

24 : Mr. Ajit Kumar Seth, 1974-batch IAS officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, in appointed the next Cabinet Secretary, he succeeds Mr. K.M. Chandrasekar.

Panel to study quality of Samacheer Kalvi

The Cabinet’s decision to constitute an experts’ committee to look into the issue of improving the quality of school education, in the context of the implementation of Samacheer Kalvi, has come as surprise to many in academic circles. School Education Minister, C.Ve. Shanmugam said that while implementing Samacheer Kalvi was very important, sections of parents, educationalists and the media felt that the standard of the common syllabus evolved was not one that would improve the quality of education. The experts’ committee, he said would analyse the reports brought out by committees involved in the exercise earlier. “The committee will analyse the syllabus in detail. It will consult all the stakeholders and reflect on enhancing the overall quality of education itself, while making it equitable,” He added that the new textbooks world be made available by June 15, the new date of reopening for schools.

Karunanidhi to visit New Delhi

DMK President M. Karunanidhi said  he would visit New Delhi today to meet his daughter Kanimozhi, former Cabinet Minister A. Raja and Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar, all lodged in Tihar jail in connection with the 2G spectrum  scam. Talking to reporters in Chennai on 22nd May Mr. Karunanidhi said there might not be an opportunity to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi during his visit to Delhi. To a question on the status of his party’s ties with the Congress, Mr. Karunanidhi maintained that the relations were still cordial. “It is not what your wanted” he said, referring to the media. The DMK’s Parlimentary party leader T.R. Balu represented the party at the dinner hosted by Prime Minister on the second anniversary of the UPA regime, but its Ministers skipped the event.

Single laser largest transmission

A group of German, Swiss and British scientists set a new data speed record transmitting 26 terabits – equivalent to 700 DVDs – per second using a single laser. It is the largest transmission rate ever achieved using a single laser.

First leg of the Asian Grand Prix

India’s Ghamanda Ram (men’s 800-m) and Seema Antil (women’s discus) win a Silver and a Bronze, respectively, in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix in Jiaxing, China.

Rajiv Kumar takes over as Sec. General of FICCI

23 : Noted economist Mr. Rajiv Kumar takes over as Secretary-General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), succeeding Mr. Amit Mitra.

Tourists flock Doddabetta peak

No visitor to the Queen of Hill Stations can consider his or her trip complete without spending an hour experiencing an aerial view of  nature’s splendour from the Doddabetta peak. Long considered the diadem of the Queen Doddabetta big mountain is said to be the second tallest peak (8640 ft.) south of the Vindhyas. It overlooks Udhagamandalam town from the East. One can set a panoramic view of Udhagamandalam and its environs, Coonoor and Wellington. Even the Coimbatore plains can be seen. Walking up to the peak is also thrilling.

Medical varsity releases eligibility criteria for same courses

The basic minimum qualification for taking up a diploma or degree course in allied health sciences offered by Tamil Nadu Dr.MGR Medical University has been reduced to 10th standard pass, its Vice Chancellor Mayil Vahanan Natarajan has said. We have decided to reduce the minimum qualification to be more equitable in providing opportunities to students. Students may drop out of school after the 10th due to various reasons, including financial constraints. The revised qualification norm will come into effect for courses begining from the 2011-12 academic year.

Wet grinder units approach govt. for bulk orders

Wet grinder manufactures, Coimbatore plan to came together and establish a separate company with an eye on possible bulk orders from the state government for supply of mixers and grinders under a special programme. The AIADMK, in its manifesto, had promised free mixers and grinders to the people. Most of the companies were small-scale manufacturers and would not be able to procure large-scale orders. Hence, it was decided to form the company. The association proposed to help their units get bank loans for expansion and take up large-scale orders.

Experts urge them to the aware of emerging opportunities

A whopping 2.5 lakh students are expected to be recruited by Information Technology companies in the country this year, as against the 1.6 lakh last year. “Femiliarity with cloud computing, Green IT and Remote Infrastructure Management will enhance the industrial needs, but these are not taught in colleges. Therefore, it is the duty of students to keep their eyes and ears open to understand these requirements and equip themselves.”

Helmet rule to be enforced from May 28

The Chennai Traffic Police have announced that action will be initiated against motorcyclists found not wearing helmets. The directive comes into force with effect from May 28. According to police sources, a majority of fatal road accidents in the city involving two-wheelers were-due to the riders not wearing helmets. Action would also be taken against  owners of two-wheelers with irregular or fancy number plates.

State-AAI meeting to discuss Chennai airport expansion

Issues relating to expansion and modernisation of Chennai airport, and the delay in completing the first phase of the modernisation project, will be discussed at a high-level meeting aIt Chennai on 26th May. According to AAI sources in New Delhi, with a new govt. taking over in Tamil Nadu, the issue of airport expansion and modernisation have come to the force. The AAI will raise with the state govt. its additional land requirements for the ongoing works and discuss the possibility of acquiring land that has already been identified for constructing a parallel runway near the existing airport, according to the sources. 

Metro Rail agrees to cut number of stabling lines

Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. has agreed to have two stabling lines less at its depot-cum-workshop in Koyambedu. This is in response to an appeal by traders to reduce the land to be acquired in the Koyambedu vegetable market for the depot. The proposed reduction in the number of stabling lines is expected to minimise the number of shops that have to be demolished, according to sources in the CMDA. Two depots have been proposed in phase-1 of the project. The Koyambedu depot-cum-workshop will be the main one and located on the Chennai Central-St. Thomas Mount corridor.

Spanish Grand Prix Formula One

Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel of Germany wins the Spanish Grand Prix Formula One championship in Barcelona, Spain.

Obama risks fuelling anger in Pakistan

US President Mr. Barack Obama risks fuelling anger in Pakistan, saying that America will not hesitate to launch another unilateral military operation on Pakistani soil to flush out other al-Qaeda figures if it has information that they are hiding in there.

HP becomes the first state in the country to sign a pact with the WB

22 : Himachal Pradesh becomes the first State in the country to sign a pact with the World Bank for securing carbon credits for its “Clean Development Mechanism” project in 11 watershed divisions under the Mid-Himalayan Waterhead Development Project.

Makkal Kavignar Award

Speakers at a function to pay tributes to poet Pattukkottai Kalyana Sundaram said that poets like him draw admirers by highlighting social issues and calling for societal reforms. Pattukkottai Kalyana Sundaram, who died at the age of 29, left behind a legacy that is still recalled by many, said Rm. Veerappan. ‘It is his 81st anniversary we are celebrating today. I am his friend and was the one to introduce him to MGR. He was a good actor who remained apolitical and wrote songs to highlight social issues, Mr. Veerappan said.

2011 Commonwealth Writers prize

British-born Sierra Leonean novelist Ms. Aminatta Forna wins the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her novel The Memory of Love.

Indian Discuss thrower wins gold medal in men’s section

Indian discuss thrower Vikas Gowda wins the Gold in the men’s section at the Elite Throwers Clasic at Tuczon, USA.

Mad arms race

Russia warns of a “mad arms race” with the US if the latter goes ahead with its missile defence plans in Europe.

Powerfull communication satellite – GSAT-8

21 : Ariane-5, the 800-tonne launcher, blasts off from the Guiana Space Centre, Kourou, Guiana and places India’s GSAT-8 and Singapore-Taiwan co-production ST-2 in orbit. The GSAT-8 is a powerful communications satellite designed to augment television broadcasting as well as radio networking and other satellite-based services in India.

Leyland Profit zooms 49%

Ashok Leyland could report a significant improvement in its performance in the year ended 31, March 2011. The company registered a rise of 53.5 per cent in its sales turnover at ` 11,117.71 crore against ` 7,244.71 crore in the previous financial year. The net profit has risen by 49 per cent to ` 631.30 crore from ` 423.67 crore. The higher net profit was achieved despite an increase in financial expenses to ` 163.66 crore ( 81.13 crore) and in depreciation to ` 276.43 crore ( 204.11 crore).

National awards for Tamil film artists

It was a rich haul for the Tamil film industry with respect to the National Film Awards for 2010. Actor Dhanush won the Best Actor award, Vetrimaran who won the Best Director Award (Aadukalam), T.E. Kishore (Best Editing) and Dinesh Kumar (Best Choreography), Best Actress (Saranya Ponvannan) and Best Lyrics (Vairamuthu), Thambi Ramaiah who will receive the Best Support Actor award for his role in ‘Mynaa’.

Shooting World cup

Zhu Qinan of China clinches the Gold at the men’s free rifle 3-position event in the shooting World Cup in Fort Benning, USA.

Pease deel between Israel & Palestinian

Israeli Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu slams the United States’ assertion that acceptance of the pre-1967-war borders should be the starting point of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. He says that the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of Israel’s existence. 

New Chief Air Staff appointed

Air Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne is appointed the new Chief of the Air Staff. He succeeds Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik.

PM dedicates Bina rifinery

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh dedicates the world-class, six-million-tonne per annum Bina refinery to the nation, in Bina, Madhya Pradesh.

Youngest Indian mountainer

20 : Arjun Vajpayee, the schoolboy from Noida, UP who is the youngest Indian to have scaled the Mt. Everest, achieves a rare double after scaling the 8,516-m Mt. Lhotse, the fourth highest peak in the world.

Notice to state on plea opposing shifting of Secretariat

The Madras High Court ordered notice to the State Govt. on a petition opposing the shifting of the Secretariate and Assembly from the new complex at Omandurar Govt. estate back to Fort St. George. The Petition has opposed the shifting contending that it was against public interest and that it would be a waste of money as a huge expenditure was incurred in building the next Assembly at the Omandurar estate.

Textbooks likely to drop portions on Karunanidhi

Portions in the text books of the State Board that have either been penned by former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi or have to do with the achievements of his literary or political personal are likely to be ommitted, according to sources in the School Education Department. The ‘Semmozhi Vaazhthu’ written by Mr. Karunanidhi in the context of the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore, sections on his efforts to obtain the ‘Classical Language’ status for Tamil and excepts of some of his writings are likely to be deleted from the syllabus the sources said.

Welfare scheme announcements may cost exchequer 2,116 cr.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s first day annoucement on various welfare measures are likely to have on additional financial commitment of approximately   2,116 crore for the exchequer. In a full financial year, the enhancement of monthly assistance for senior citizens and a host of other categories of persons from   500 to   1,000 will cost about  1,400 crore to the exchequer. The provision of free rice to beneficiaries under the public distribution system will entail an expenditure of   400 crore more. The restructured marriage assistance schemes for women an additional burden of   300 crore, and the hike in the relief amount to marina fisherman families during the 45 day long ban on fishing   16 crore.

Nod for wholesale foodgrain market

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has granted planning permission for the construction of a Wholesale Foodgrain Market in Koyambedu. The construction on an area of 15.5 acres earmarked by the CMDA near the proposed Koyambedu Metro Rail Station is likely to begin soon. The market would have 496 shops classified into three types. A total of 370 shops of Type-I would be constructed with a built-up area of 1,100 sq. ft. each. As many as 90 shops of Type-II would be 1,600 sq.ft. each and 36 shops of Type-III  would be constructed in an area of 1,400 sq.ft. each. The market would also have a modern godown spread over 1,800 square and 5,600 sq.m. of commercial area. A park would came up in OSR area of 3,660 sq.m.

Theni to house India-based Neutrino Observatory

Finally, the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO), a multi-institutional effort to build a world class underground laboratory, at a cost of   1,260 crore, to study neutrinos in the atmosphere, will find its home near Pottipuram village in West Bodi Hills of Theni district, 110 km west of Madurai. After years of negotiations with the State government, the Forest department and activities and the rejection of two sites, first at Singara in the Nilgiris and then near Suruli falls in Theni district, the INO’s full-fledged underground science laboratory will be created in West Bodi Hills.

University of Glasgow, successfully decoded brain signals related tovision

Scientists at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, say that they have successfully decoded brain signals related to vision. According to experts, following this breakthrough, a machine that could read the mind could soon be a reality.

58th National Film Awards

The 58th National Film Awards are announced. The prominent winners are : Malayalam movie Adaminte Makan Abu (Best Feature Film); Do Dooni Chaar (Best Hindi Feature Film);  Dabangg (Best Popular Film providing Wholesome Entertainment); Mr. Vetrimaran (Best Director for Tamil movie Aadukalam); Mr. Dhanush and Mr. Salim Kumar (joint Best Actors for Tamil film Aadukalam and Malayalam film Adaminte Makan Abu); Ms. Mitalee Jagtap Varadkar and Ms. Saranya Porvannan (joint Best Actresses for Marathi film Baboo Band Baaja and Tamil film Thenmerkku Paruvakkatru); Bengali movie Moner Manush (Best Feature Film on National Integration), etc., among others.

2011 Europa League football

FC Porto of Portugal clinch the title of the 2011 Europa League football championship, beating FC Braga, also of Portugal, in the final in Dublin, Ireland.