August, 2011

CAB estimates higher cotton production

The Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) estimates cotton production in 2011-12 (Oct-Sep) to be 355 lakh bales. The provisional estimate of cotton production in 2010-11 is 325 lakh bales. Consumption by the domestic industry is expected to be 253 lakh bales this year and 281 lakh bales next year and exports to be 70 lake bales (2010-11) and 2011-12 .

N.S. Krishnan’s death anniversary observed

Short film screening villupattu and a one-act play performance marked the observation of the death anniversary of ‘Kalaivanar’ N.S. Krishnan on Aug. 30 at Chennai. Presenting the villipattu programme, Subbu Arumugam, noted Villupattu artist, recalled his association with the comedian, who often highlighted social themes. Kalaivanar’s Characters in the movies not only made the people laugh, but also made them think, Mr. Arumugam said ‘Kakka’ Radhakrishnan, actor, Deva, presided Tamil Nadu Isai Nataka Mandram, actor P.S. Sachu, member-secretary of the Mandram, were among those who participated.

Mayors to be elected directly

Moving the bill “Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2011, K.P. Munuswamy, Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development, said direct elections would facilitate better administration of corporations and municipalities resulting in more efficient and quick delivery of civic services to the people.

Copies of registered documents on Net soon

The state govt. has decided to implement a project of web-based integrated solution for the issue of copies of registered land/property documents, encumbrance certificates, Registration and Commercial Taxes Minister S.S. Krishnamoorthy told the Assembly. Once executed, the project would enable people to get the copies through internet. An amount of  30 lakh has been set apart for the selection of consultant to prepare software, define parameters for its use and assess the likely expenditure for the project, the Minister said, concluding the debate on the demands for grants to his department.

450 crore plan to spruce up tourist centres

The state govt. will implement a  450 crore special tourism development project for the beautification of tourist centres and improvement of basic facilities along the east coast carridor and southern tourist circuit, Tourism Minister Gokula Indira told the Assembly. Of the project cost, the Asian Development Bank would contribute  315 crore and the state govt.,   135 crore. The east coast circuit extended from Chennai to Point Calimere,  laterally extending upto Thanjavur for the inclusion of “Navagraha temples”, Thanjavur Palace and other sites. As part of the southern circuit, the quadrangle of Madurai – Rameswaram-Tirunelveli-Madurai will be covered.

Fewer takers for third language

Many students take up an additional language such as French, German, Hindi and other regional languages as a value-addition or to learn their mother tongue when not tought in schools. Learning a new languages gives, students a wider prospective about a new culture, say experts, but there are not many takers. Some teachers, parents and students feel learning new language is a burden because it is still not seen as part of the main curriculum.

Arasu cable to launch operations from Sept. 2

The state-owned Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation will launch its operations throughout the State, barring Chennai, from September 2, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly. The Corporation would telecast 90 channels. “It will begin with free Channels and steps are being taken to get the pay channels. Soon, customers will get the channels.” The cable TV operators, who have joined the Arasu Cable TV Corporation will collect a monthly subscription of   70 from the customers and pay   20 to the Corporation.

ED orders attachment of properties in 2G case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has ordered the freezing of Bank accounts and attachment of the immovable property of five companies in connection with the alleged payment of a bribe of about   200 crore to Kalaignar TV in the 2G spectrum  allocation scam. The action is being initiated against Dynamix Realty, Conwood Constructions, Eversmile constructions, Nihar constructions and DB Realty, official sources said. The CBI charge sheet in 2G spectrum scam alleged that   200 crore was channelled from Shahid Usman Balwa’s DB Realty to the DMK-run Kalaignar TV through a “circuitous route” via Cinayug Films and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. for grant of licence to Shahid Balwa’s Swan Telecom. The money was allegedly ploughed back to buy real estate. ED sources said that the Directorate identified the properties of Kalaignar TV worth  215 crore, located in different parts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai.

Russia wins women’s 20-km walk title

Olympic champion Olga Kaniskina of Russia powers to an unprecedented third consecutive World women’s 20-km walk title at the World Athletics Championship in Daegu, South Korea.

New Pension System

 The Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance recommends that subscribers to the New Pension System (NPS) should get an assured return on their investments, that is, at least equal to the interest rate given by the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme.  

1900 crore for widening and improvement of roads

The state govt. will undertake widening and improvement of roads at a cost of    1,900 crore under the Comprehensive Road Infrastructure Development Programme (CRIDP) in the current year, Highways Minister Edapadi E. Palaniswamy told the Assembly. Replying to the discussion on the demands for grants for his department, the Minister said roads for a total distance of 1,667 km. Would be widened, while a total stretch of 3675 km stretch would be improved. A total of 244 bridges would be constructed, besides ensuring safety measures.

New exhibit at Egmore museum

Visitors to the main building of the Govt. museum, Egmore, were greeted with a new exhibit on Aug. 29. A bronze sculpture of Karaikal Ammaiyar, A Tamil saint, from the archaeology section’s collections was displayed as the exhibits of the  week. Information about the sculpture, which dates back to the 11th century A.D. and belongs to Chola period, was also provided. Sources at the Museum said the rare idol of the Saint with symbols in hands was found in Thiruindalur, Nagapattinam district. Pictures of Karaikkal Ammaiyar sculptures from Tiruvarur and museum in Kanas city have also been displayed. Most of the artists made sculptures emaciated figure of the saint. A rare image of Karaikal Ammaiyar in her youth from Puducherry has also been put up, sources said.

Regulation of tourist guide licences

Guidelines on regulation and issuing of licences to tourist guides will be released in a month’s time, Devesh Chaturvedi, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, said. “The guidelines have been drawn up, they are with the competant authority and will be released in four weeks”, Mr. Chaturvedi said. Stating that regional tourist guides played a very important and a crucial role in the industry, the senior official said that there was a need for both “vertical and horizontal progression” among the guides. Guides should not only possess in-depth knowledge of the sites in which they worked, but also about lesser-known places of interest around their site. He also said the guides should take up e-learning to enrich themselves.

Film festival showcases fresh perspective on French Cinema

The Cliche’ surrounding French Cinema is that it is boring and intellectual, said Nicolas Beaumont, Managing Director, Michelin Tyres. This is similar to what people think about Indian Cinema that there are the intellectual Satyajit Ray films while everything else is Bollywood, “he added. At the inaugural function of a French film festival in Alliance Froncise of Madras, Mr. Beaumount said film festivals like this would change the whole perspective of what French Cinema is about. The festival which would showcase six films till Aug. 31 is being jointly organised by the Embassy of France, Judo Cine Appreciation Foundation (ICAF) and Alliance Francaise of Madras.

New PM of Japan

Mr. Yoshihiko Noda becomes the Prime Minister of Japan succeeding Mr. Naoto Kan.

India’s GDP growth slipped during first quarter

Data made available by the Centre reveals that India’s GDP growth during the first quarter (April-June) of the current (2011-12) fiscal slipped to 7.7 percent from 8.8 percent in the same quarter of 2010-11. It is the lowest rate of growth in the last six quarters.  

National Sports Awards 2010-11

The National Sports Awards 2010-11 are presented in New Delhi. Star shooter Gagan Narang is honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The Arjuna Awardees are : Rahul Banerjee (archery); Preeja Sreedharan, Vikas Gowda (athletics); Jwala Gutta (badminton); Suranjoy Singh (boxing); Zaheer Khan (cricket); Sunil Chhetri (football); Ashish Kumar (gymnastics); Rajpal Singh (hockey); Rakesh Kumar, Tejeswini Bai (Kabaddi); Tejaswini Sawant (shooting); Veerdhawal Khade (swimming); Somdev Devvarman (tennis); Sanjay Kumar (volleyball); Ravinder Singh (wrestling); K. Ravi Kumar (weighlifting); W. Sandhyarani Devi (wushu); and Prasanta Karmakar (swimming-paralympics). The Dronacharya awardees are : I. Venkateswara Rao (boxing); Devendra Kumar Rathore (gymnastics); Ramphal (wrestling); Dr. Kuntal Roy (athletics); and Rajinder Singh (hockey). Former footballer Shabbir Ali, swimmer Sushil Kohli and wrestler Raj Kumar win the Dhayan Chand Award. Reena Kaushal, Mamta Sodha, Dilip Donde, and Balwant Singh Sandhu (posthumous) are presented the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award. The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board is presented the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar.

India wins world cadet wrestling championship

Indian wrestlers win nine medals, including one Gold, at the World Cadet wrestling championship held in Szombathely, Hungary.


Iran announces no longer negotiate nuclear fuel

In a crucial development, Iran announces that it will no longer negotiate nuclear fuel swap with some of the world powers and that it will carry on with its controversial enrichment programme.

India-SA CEO Forum held in New Delhi

The India-South Africa CEO Forum is held in New Delhi; at the forum, the two sides announce that they hope to achieve the $15-billion bilateral trade target much before the 2014 deadline.

Variety moots incubators to process farm produce

The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has submitted a proposal to the Union Planning Commission for setting up food processing business incubators in every district of Tamil Nadu. The total budget outlay of  150 crore at 5 crore per incubator can be included in the 12th five year plan, P. Murugesa Boopathi, Vice Chancellor, said while addressing a workshop on “Nano film for enhancing shalf life of fruits’, at the University. He said that the incubators could be utilised by farmers to process their produce. This would prevent wastage of fruits and augment their income. “Though India is the second largest producer of fruits,  very high post-harvest losses are reported under Indian conditions Approximately, 25 to 30 per cent fruits are last during transport and storage. It is estimated that nearly   40,000 crore worth of fruits and vegetables are wasted annually.”

Artistic creativity takes myriad forms at expo

If art is all about expressing the simplest of emotions in multiple ways, the exhibits at the 53rd National Exhibition of Art tried to do so, conforming to every possible interpretation of aesthetics and often, challenging than as well. The annual event, last held in the city in 1993, was organised by Lalit Kala Akademi to felicitate the National Academy award winners of this year. Over 117 exhibits selected from about 3,000 different works were displayed, including the award-winning works of ten artists. Arvind Patel, an artist from Gujarat, was awarded the first prize for his outstanding  painting. ‘Knife and Chilli’ Mr. Patel said “Art for me is about exploring the mundane objects in life and being creative with them, making them my subject”.

India’s star archer Deepika Kumari wins gold

India’s star archer Deepika Kumari wins the junior recurve individual women’s Gold at the championship held in Legnica, Poland. 

New PM of Nepal

Dr. Baburam Bhattarai of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) is elected Prime Minister of Nepal.

Hazare ends his much-published fast in Ramlila Maidan

Mr. Anna Hazare ends his much published fast in Ramilila Maidan by accepting coconut water and honey offered by two little girls amid boisterous sloganeering by his cheering supporters. It comes after the Parliament cedes considerable ground by adopting a resolution on the three sticking points – (i) Citizen’s charter, (ii) Bringing lower bureaucracy under the Lokpal, and (iii) Lokayukta in each State.

Rising interest rates affecting commercial segment

The rising interest rate has resulted in the customers taking more time to decide before purchasing a property. The import of the increase, however, is evident more on the commercial than the residential segment, said Chiefr General Manager, SBI. Stating that in the prevailing market candidations, it is much riskier lending money than it was three years ago. He said the bank therefore is adopting a very sanctioning loans whether to developers or to those seeking home loans.

World Athletics Championship begins in Daegu

The World Athletics Championship begins in Daegu, South Korea; Kenyan women distance runners light up the opening day, winning all the medals on offer at the 10,000m and marathon events.

Endgame approaches for absconding Libyan President

The endgame approaches for absconding Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, with the rebel forces tightening their grip on the nation’s capital Tripoli.

Three key ideas resolution adopted

In a historic gesture, after a comprehensive debate, both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha unanimously resolve to endorse the three key ideas insisted on by veteran Gandhian Mr. Anna Hazare to be included in the Jan Lokpal Bill. The “sense of the House” resolution adopted by the Parliament represents a stunning victory for the anti-corruption crusader who had, just 12 days ago, been arrested and jailed by the government.

Rejection of mercy pleas of Rajiv Killers

The Union Home Ministry has communicated to the Tamil Nadu govt. the rejection of the clemency petitions of Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan convicts given the death penalty in the Rajiv Gandhi assasination case, by the President, thereby paving the way for their execution, highly placed police sources said on Aug. 25th night. Hours after the messenger was received. ‘Jail authorities began preparing for the execution. Steps have been taken to deploy commands in the Vellore Central Prison, where the three condemned prisoner are lodged.

Cable TV Operators outside Chennai seek to enrol with Arasu

About 94 per cent of the local cable TV operators (LCOs) and Multi-System Operator (MOSs) outside Chennai have applied for enrolment with the State-run Arasu Cable TV Corporation Ltd. (ACTCL). Moving the demands for grants for Information Technology, following the govt’s decision to revive the institution, which became dysfunctional soon after its incorporation, ACTCL had advertised for enrolment of cable operators in the state except Chennai.

Free mixie, grinder scheme to cover rural areas initially

Rural areas will be covered initially under the state govt’s scheme of free distribution of electronic fans, mixies and wet grinders. The distribution of Town Panchayats, Municipalities and Municipal Corporations would be taken up subsequently, initiating the debate on the demands for grants to the department. The scheme would be applicable to nearly 1.85 crore women households with rice drawing family cards (as on June 30). This year 25 lakh households would be covered. For this purpose, a sum of   1,250 crore had been earmarked.

Planet made of precious rock

A team of scientists from Australia, Italy, Germany, Britain and the US claim to have found a planet entirely made of diamonds. They find that a once-massive star in the Milky Way has been transformed into a small planet made of the precious rock.

Star Argentine Messi wins Best Player of Europe award for 2010–11

Star Argentine footballer Lionel Messi, who plays for Spanish giants Barcelona, wins the inaugural UEFA Best Player in Europe award for 2010-11.

Rosaiah is appointed as TN Governor

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. K. Rosaiah is appointed Tamil Nadu Governor, Jharkhand Governor Mr. M.O.H. Farook is transferred to Kerala for the remainder of his term and is replaced by Mr. Syed Ahmed, a former Maharashtra Minister, in Jharkhand, Maharashtra Governor Mr. K. Sankaranarayanan is given the additional charge of Goa; former U.P. Chief Minister Mr. Ram Naresh Yadav is appointed Madhya Pradesh Governor; and former Kerala Assembly Speaker Mr. Vakkom Purushothaman is named the Governor of  Mizoram.

Newly developed areas can recover from disasters

A study conducted by the Chennai Corporation in association with Kyoto University, Japan and the University of Madras has found that recently developed areas on the city fringes would return to normality faster after a disaster than localities developed, several decades ago. Chindadripet and South Kodambakkam, two densely populated wards of the Corporation, were selected for the study to prepare a Claimate and Disaster Resiliance Index at the local level. Chindadripet developed several decades ago near the core of the city while South Kodambakkam came up on the urban fringe much later. The report provided guidelines about which awarness would be created through the ‘Safer Chennai Campaign’, which was also launched at the same time. The objective of the workshop was to come out with a strategy for implementing the measures recommended for enhancing the residence of both the old and newly developed parts of the city.              

New bus services on existing routes

Nearly 200 buses are set to be inducted into various State Transport Undertakings this week, including 36 deluxe buses in the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC). The buses would be used to augment services along existing routes. The govt. order to introduce a total of 3,000 new buses in the seven STUs in the current financial year would be issued soon. Estimated to cost   125 crore, the fleet augmentation programme is expected to reserve the maximum number of buses for MTC.

87 more patrol vehicles for city

Eighty-seven more patrol vehicles will be deplayed by the city police to act on calls received at its modern control room. “Keeping in mind the growing population and to provide additional security to the public, the government has decided to increase the number of patrol vehicles”, Chief Minister informed the State Assembly.

Lifting of wartime emergency

Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa announces the lifting of harsh wartime emergency laws that had been continuously in force since 2005. The regulations were first put in place in 1971, when a Marxist insurgency erupted in the island nation. These laws had been in force off and on since then.  

Technology entrepreneur CEO Steve jobs resign

Technology entrepreneur Mr. Steve Jobs – the brain behind brands like Macintosh and iPad computers, iPod music players and iPhone mobiles – resigns as the CEO of Apple Inc.

INS Karuva

Coastal patrolling anti-pirate, anti-smuggling, and search and rescue operations by the Indian Navy get a boost with the commissioning of water jet fast attack raft (WJFAC)INS Karuva at the naval base in Visakhapatnam.     

BC, MBC students hostels will be renovated shortly

All hostels housing students of Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes will be renovated in one-and-a half years, Chief Minister told the Assembly. Intervening in a debate on the demands for grants to the BC, MBCs and Minorities Welfare Department, she said that those hostels, which were functioning from rented premises, would move to govt-owned buildings within the specified period.

Justice Baskaran Committee dissolved

The state govt. has dissolved the committee headed by Justice Baskaran, former Judge of the Madras High Court, to make recommendations to bring in a new Hindu Religions and Charitable Endowments Act to suit the present-day requirements without changing the basic structure of the enacted in 1959. The committee was asked to give its recommendation on 14 subjects, including measures for prevention of encroachments on temple property and regulation of hereditary trustees and inclusion of recommendation of the Justice A.K. Rajan Committee in the new Act. Justice Rajan submitted a report on training aspects and qualifications required for ‘archakas’ from all communities.

New Channel launch today

The New Generation Media Corporation will launch its 24-hour Tamil News Channel ‘Puthiya Thalaimurai’ on Aug. 24. On the Philosophy of the Channel, R.P. Sathyanarayanan, Managing Director, ‘Puthiya Thalaimurai’, says “Our Channel will operate as an unbiased news channel, primarily for the budding, young generation. Truth will be our Motto”. The channel, which uses High Definition technology, will be available across the country in all platforms – cable and satellite. 

Nearly 28,000 plus-two students to set free laptops

Nearly 28,000 plus-two students of 152 schools in the city will receive free laptops in the first phase of distribution this academic year. The beneficiaries in Chennai would include those from 32 Chennai Schools, 97 govt. aided schools and 23 govt. schools. Plus-one students of these schools would receive laptops only in the second phase. First and third year students of six govt. arts and science collages and 14 govt. aided colleges in the city would be covered in the first phase. Second and fourth year students of three govt. engg. colleges in the city are eligible to receive the free laptops under the first phase of distribution. Nearly 3,500 engg. students of the Colleges of Engg. Guindy, AC Tech and school of Architecture and Planning would benefit from the scheme in the city in the first phase. First and third year students of 14 polytechnics in the city have also been identified for the first phase of distribution in 2011-12.

Tamil New year in Chithirai

The Tamil New Year will be celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai, and not on the first of Thai. As per the Tamil Calendar, Chithirai was the first mouth and it was based on the movement of the Sun. “Chithirai covers the Sun’s transit through Mesha. It is said our ancestors selected Chithirai as the first month since the year should begin with spring. It is based on astronomy and the wheel of seasons. One of the ancient Tamil epics, ‘Seevaka Chinthamani’, refers to this period as the first season of the year”. Many scholars had expressed their opinion in favour of celebrating Tamil New Year in Chithirai. 

Netherland top the FIFA world ranking

The Netherlands top the FIFA football world rankings for the first ever time.

Russian PM meets Korean leader

During his talks with Russian President Mr. Dmitry Medvedev, visiting North Korean leader Mr. Kim Jong-il announces that his country is ready to resume the stalled Six-Party Talks for the denuclarisation of the Korean peninsula. Russia and North Korea also sign a crucial gas pipeline deal.

Govt. to appoint 14,377 teachers at all levels

The State govt. would appoint 14,377 teachers at all levels to improve access to higher education and ensure success of students in public examinations. C.Ve Shanmugam, Minister for School Education has said. Moving the demands for grants for his department the minister announced that 2,682 postgraduate teachers, 5,790 graduate teachers, 4,342 secondary teachers, 1538 special educators and 25 farm trainers would be appointed. As many as 1,353 librarian posts would also be filled. About 8.31 post of headmaster would be created in middle schools this academic year.

Ceiling for pledge loan to farmers raised

The ceiling for pledge loan released to the farmers against agricultural produce has been increased from   2 lakh to   3 lakh, co-operative Minister  Sellur K. Raja told the Assembly. Replying to a debate on the demands for grants for his department, the Minister said that primary agricultural co-operative societies would give pledge loan to the tune of   100 crore while another   85 crore would be released through Tamil Nadu agricultrual producers co-operative marketing societies for 2011-12.

Wide-ranging ideas reflected deep concern for city

The range of ideas and variety of proposals that poured in when The Hindu invited suggestions for putting to use the structure on Anna Salai that was meant to house the Secretariat and assembly show the readers were deeply concerned with what the city lacked, and with what it needed. For many, it was a top-grade medical education and research institution that the metropolis required; for others, it was a particular kind of library, museum or cultural institution. The question how best to use the new building at the Omandurar Govt. Estate has been answered by the State govt. by its decision to establish a super-speciality hospital and a medical college adjacent to it.

Public transport must justify expenditure

With the state govt. identifying four corridors to implement a 111 km. long monorail network at an estimated cost of   16,600 crore, the city’s committed  expenditure on elevated rail transit infrastructure, which includes the Metro crosses a whopping $5 billion. “The monorail is going to open up economic development and help in the dispersal of the population to a great extent. Unless a single authority is entrusted to collect all public transit revenues and ensure greater cooridnation, the monorail project’s success would be limited”.

Multi-level automated parking

The multi-level parking lot under-construction on Greams lane in the Thousand Lights area will be ready by Sept. next year, Mayor said.   30 crore facility being constructed by a consortium formed by Apollo Hospitals and MARG group, this would be Chennai’s first fully automated car park facility. “Korean technology is being used and it will take only two minutes each to park and retrieve a car”, he said. A total of 200 cars and 240 two-wheelers can be parked in the facility, which is being implemented on the Design, Build, Operate and Transfer mode. The Chennai Corpoation, which is the  concessionaire, would get   46 lakh every year for 20 year with an additional five per cent added annually. In the stilt plus seven floor structure, four floors would be used for commercial purposes. The charges are   5 per hour for two wheelers and   5 for every additional hour. And for cars it would be   20 for the first hour and   10 for every additional hour.

Normal light bulb

Physicists at Edinburgh University, Britain, announce that they have developed a technology which can send data through the same connection as a normal light bulb. Following this, it will be possible to switch wireless Internet connection by simply turning on a light bulb.

First woman climber on K2

Austrian climber Ms. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner becomes the first soman to conquer all fourteen 8,000-m summits without artificial oxygen, when she reaches the top of the 8,611-m K2.

Food Safety Act will hit small traders

The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that the Food Safety and Standards Act would adversely hit lakhs of small traders and food business operators owing to its stringent and “impracticable” provisions. Addressing a meeting on the Act held in Madurai by the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce & Industry, senior president said that the Food Safety Act, levied penalties in the range of  1 lakh to  10 lakh besides prescribing jail terms for some offences. Small traders such as the street vendors and stalls must register themselves mandatorily while major operators could not proceed without obtaining licences under this Act, which is being enforced from Aug.5 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Technology, to improve bio-safety of GM crops

A research group in the Madurai Kamarajar University has successfully developed a technology to improve the bio-safety of Genetically Modified (GM) crops. The novel technology was first developed/deployed in rice plants and it can be readily applied for all other crops also so that it would have ‘enormous impact’ in improving the bio-safety value. “The presence of an anti-biotic resistance gene was viewed as an important bio safety concern of GM crops”.

IT raids yield unaccounted stocks in excess of Rs.100 crore

At the end of a 40 hour search operation in 27 business and residential premises of the Saravana stores group of companies in Chennai, the Income Tax Departments unaccounted stocks, cash and jewellary totally worth about   105 crore, officials said. IT officials said, “We found unaccounted stocks in excess of  100 crore. We have seized cash of   1.50 crore and silver and gold jewellary worth ` 3 crore from residential premises, as the owners were not able to furnish valid documents.

Dalits should assert their rights

Instead of suppressing their identity, Dalits should openly reveal it and assert their rights so that they could transcend social barriers, said Ruth Manorama, convener of the National Federation Dalit Women (NFDW), Addressing a workshop on human rights for Dalit women lawyers here on Aug.20, Ms. Manorama, winner of the Right to Livelihood Award considered the ‘alternative Nobel Prize’, said though some advocates tended to hide their identity due to the hostile environment they were working in, it was not necessary. 

Pedestrians control take these problems in their stride

Walking on a majority of the city’s footpaths is literally an obstacle race. Pedestrian are either vying with two-wheelers, which use  footpaths to cross through bottlenecks on the road, or howkers selling different kinds of wares. Adding to these obstacle are parked vehicles and utilities such as junction boxes and garbage bins. Shopkeepers in many places, to reserve the space outside their shops for their clients’ vehicles. However commercial shop owners  have no right to claim ownership of public space, say experts. In many places in T.Nagar and Anna Nagar while there are ‘No parking’ signs, enforcement remains poor.                                                                                                           

Automated parking meters and issues to be addressed

Dropping a coin, entering your vehicle number and taking the receipt – the easy-to-use automated parking meters installed in four places in the city may be one way of bringing about more discipline in parking. However, certain issues have to be addressed before the facility is replicated in more localities. Motorists who frequent Pandy Bazaar in T. Nagar, The Mada Streets in Mylapore, Taramani or Anna Nagar are likely to have spotted these blue – coloured, tall parking meters placed near the pavements. While some of the motorists have operated the metres themselves others have attendent helping them with the tokens, particularly in Pondy Bazaar.

England wins Test series

Hosts England beat India by an innings and eight runs in the fourth and final Test of the series in London; with this, the hosts sweep the series 4-0, becoming the World No. 1 in Tests. Stuart Broad of England and Rahul Dravid of India are jointly declared Man of the Series.

Using satellite image on rivers

Chinese scientists complete a first-of-its-kind study to pinpoint the sources of the Brahmaputra and the Indus rivers using satellite image; they find that the length and the drainage areas of both the rivers exceed earlier estimates.

SAIL invest to develop mines

SAIL announces that it will invest   10,264 crore to develop mines to ensure adequate availability of raw material.

Hogenakkal Water Project

Chief Minister will inaugurate the Hogenakkal Drinking Water and Fluorosis Mitigation project in December 2012, said Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister K.P. Munusamy. He inspected construction work of the 75.2 lakh litre common booster pumping stations at Moongilpatti in Dharmapuri district, built at a cost of   4.57 crore; 1 lakh litre water storage tank at Pikkanahalli in Kariamangalam Panchayat Union erected at a cost of   8.59 lakh; and the 35 lakh litre ground level water storage tank built at a cost of 1.12 crore. Later, he inspected the progress of construction of 30 lakh litre water storage tank in Ullukurikkai village of Kelamangalam Panchayat Union in Krishnagiri district and 10 lakh litre water storage tank at Jakkeri.

Unique initiative to restore green cover of a hillock

A picturesque hillock in a non-descript village, Kalpattu near Padavedu in Tiruvannamalai district, will get 50,000 saplings and assistance for their growth for three years from a corporate body as part of its voluntary commitment to neutralise the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.

Encroachments on Waterbody demolished

Tiruvallur district revenue officials demolished buildings constructed on a tank Porambake land at Maduravoyal. According to official sources, sufficient time and notice were given to the encroachers of the poramboke land measuring around two acres at Maduravoyal. The encroachment site on Chennai-Bangalore National Highway and carried out the demolition while permanent structures put upon 1.25 acres of poramboke land including 45 cents encroached upon by Dr. MGR Engg. College, were demolished using earthmovers, encroachers of remaining area, predominantly occupied by slum-dwellers and people living below the poverty line were directed to be prepared for eviction from the waterbody poramboke land. They were told that they should vacate the place once an alternative site is identified for relocation, sources said.

Ripon statue shifted for Metro Rail Work

The Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) started shifting statues on the Ripon Building premises for the project. The statue of George Frederick Samuel Marquess of Ripon (Viceroy of India 1880-84) after whom the building has been named, was the first to be shifted. The action follows approval from the Heritage conservation committee of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), said S. Krishnamoorthy, Chief General Manager (PR), CMRL. After shifting the first statue within a week, other statues would be shifted.

Five air quality monitoring stations planned

Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) proposes to establish five more ambient air quality monitoring stations in and around Chennai. Three of them are to be set up in suburban areas that would be merged with the Chennai Corporation as part of the city expansion project. These facilities ascertain the levels of responsible  suspended particulate mater, Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) and Sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the area, thereby creating a database for the authorities to initiate measures to contain air pollution. There are five such stations of TNPCB in the city – Vallalar Nagar, Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, T. Nagar and Adyar, Under the Chennai Ambient Air Quality Monitoring programme, the monitoring is being done on a manual basis on 104 days in a year in each station.

India wins World University Games

Harveen Strao of India wins the women’s individual Gold in the 10m air pistol event at the World University Games in Shenzhen, China; she also teams up with Juhi Talwar and Ruby Tomar to win the team Gold at the event for India.

Number one job creation in India

Reports released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry show that the Delhi-NCR continues to be number one in job creation in India.

Replace of family cards with biometric smart cards

The State govt. has proposed to issue biometric smart cards during 2012-13, by replacing the existing family cards, Chief Minister informed the Assembly. Intervening in the debate on the demands for grants to the co-operation, Food and consumer Protection Department, she told the house that the validity of the existing family cards was December 31, 2011. As family cards were now being issued without any unique mechanism to identify duplication of members in morre than one place, this eventually resulted in duplication of the registration of members as well as the issue of bogus ration cards. Further, bogus bills were being prepared in fair price shops for family cards that had not been brought there. To eliminate this, it was proposed to replace the existing family cards with biometric smart cards.

Plea against appointment of general category VAOs

Three Dalit aspirants to the post of village administrative officer have filed individual writ petitions before the Madras High Court Bench seeking a direction to the govt. to appoint 2,407 VAOs in the general category only after announcing the results of the examination conducted for filling 1,077 backlog vacancies meant for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates. The petitioners apprehend that the Dalit candidates might lose seniority in service if general category candidates were appointed before the declaration of results pertaining to the backlog vacancies.

Multi-Super speciality hospital for the poor

Against the backdrop of growing public demand that the abandoned Assembly – Secretariat complex be put to productive public use, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister announced that her government had decided to house a multi-super speciality hospital-cum-medical college in the complex on the Omandurar Govt. Estate, Chennai. She told the Assembly amid thumping of desks by members that facilities in the proposed hospital would be comparable to those at the a All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi. Conceive by the previous DMK regime, the Assembly – Secretariate complex project consisted of two blocks – Block A to accommodate the Assembly and offices of the Chief Minister and Ministers and six departments, and Block B for other departments.

Australia wins ODI series against Sri Lanka

Australia beat hosts Sri Lanka by five wickets in the fourth ODI of the series in Colombo to take an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Brazil wins FIFA under-20 football world cup

Brazil beat Portugal 3-2 in the final to clinch the FIFA under-20 football World Cup in Bogota, Colombia.

North Korean leader arrives in Russia

Reclusive North Korean leader Mr. Kim Jong-il arrives in Russia for talks with President Mr. Dmitry Medvedev; it is Mr. Kim’s first Russia visit in nine years.

India and Bangladesh sign joint border maps finalising

 At a meeting in Dhaka, India and Bangladesh sign joint border maps finalising the 4,156-km long frontier between the two neighbours, settling a long-standing border dispute.

2500 ideas for new secretariat building

Responding with great enthusiasm to The Hindu’s invitation for ideas on how the sprawling new building on Anna Salai could be saved  from falling into disuse, readers and concerned citizens from across the world have sent in more than 1,400 proposals till August 17, the last date for receiving proposals. The proposals were received mostly by e-mail, but also through letters and posts at the newspaper’s website. The proposals contain more than 2,500 ideas.

Financial aid for talented young artists

The Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram will now extend financial assistance to young, talented artists, trained to give concerts in bharatanatyam, vocal music, kathakalashepam and instrumental music, and supporting artists Sums ranging from   1,950 to   5,000 will be paid to the troupes depending on the nature of their music or dance, as renumeration for their performance. Music and dance artists should have completed 15 years of age, but not exceeded 30 years as on Aug. 16.

Centre standing in the way of Kundah Power Project

Accusing the centre of being a stumbling block to the 500 MW Kundah Pumped Storage Hydro Electric Project, Electricity Minister R. Viswanathan said that the Central Water Commission had denied permission for the  1200 crore project on the ground that it was an interstate issue. Replaying to  a debate on demands for grants for his department, Mr. Viswanathan said that other states were not in the picture as the Kundah river was a sub-tributary on the Cauvery’, originating and ending in Tamil Nadu.

Underground sewerage in all urban local bodies

The state govt. has decided to provide the facility of underground sewerage to all urban local bodies in five years, Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister K.P. Munusamy announced in the Assembly, Initially, those areas which remained uncovered in the existing underground sewerage schemes would be taken up. A detailed report for the uncovered areas in the Trichy Municipal Corporation such as Srirangam had been prepared. A project costing   328 crore would be taken up immediately.

State to seek ‘recess’ for Central employment guarantee scheme

The state govt. has decided to approach the Central govt. to declare “scheme recess” for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme during agricultural season, K.P. Munusamy, Rural Development and Municipal Administration Minister, told the Assembly. This was because of concerns expressed by the agriculture sector over the shortage of labour for its operations as a substantial rural workforce opted for MGNREGS works. The minister said the govt. proposed to conduct mass awareness compaigns and give wide publicity to enable all beneficiaries to get their full wage of work. New, on many occasions, the beneficiaries were given wages in the range of   80 to   90 as the pay was disbursed on the basis of output.

Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe in ODI

Bangladesh beat hosts Zimbabwe by six wickets in the fourth ODI of the five-match series in Bulawayo; with this, the series stands at 3-1.

Aung San meets new President

Myanmar’s democracy icon Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi holds a meeting with the country’s now President Mr. Thein Sein in Naypyitaw; it is Ms. Aung’s highest contact with the new, nominally civilian government.

Hazare leaves Tihar jail and continues his fast

Social activist Mr. Anna Hazare leaves Tihar jail and continues his fast demanding a strong Lokpal Bill, at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, the venue of the protest, which sees people participate in the protest in huge numbers.

Investment firms under police scanner

Even as the investigation the Paazee forex trading scam continues, new companies with similar fraudulant returns for investments by the public are coming up in the district. Interestingly, the companies are able to lure a large number of investments, as it happened in the case of Paazee, because most of the investors were not even bathering to check its authenticity. Superintendent of Polic V. Balakrishnan told The Hindu that a few companies were already under the police scanner.

Central Electrical Testing Lab to be expanded

As the state govt. is preparing itself for distribution of free mixers, wet grinders and table fans, the Rural Industries Ministry has decided to expand the Central Electrical Testing Lab in Kakkalur in Tiruvallur district to test the quality of the models of the household equipments.

Presidents Medal for Divisional Fire Ofifcer

Divisional Fire Officer (Cuddalore) A. Kumarasamy (55) bagged the President’s Fire Service Medal this year in recognition of his meritorious services. Mr. Kumarasamy has already own several prizes and awards from the state govt.

Former Chief Secretary Malathi opts for voluntary retirement

Former Chief Secretary S. Malathi, who had three more years of service, look voluntary retirement from service. An officer of the 1977 batch of the IAS, Ms. Malathi became Chief Secretary in September last year when the DMK was in power. Hours after the AIADMK govt. assumed office on May 16, she was posted as Additional Chief Secretary/ Director of Economics and Statistics. Debendranath Sarangi succeeded her as Chief Seceretary.

Import of cement mooted to control price in open market

Tamil Nadu Cements Corporation Ltd. (TANCEM) is exploring the possibilities of importing around 5 lakh tonnes of cement to control the price in open market, said Industries Minister S.P. Velumani. To ensure that cement was available to the contractors of PWD, Highways, Housing, Slum Clearance Board and TWAD at an affordable prize, TANCEM was co-ordinating with private suppliers to supply cement at   235 per bag.

Ripon Building annexe to be ready by December

Work on the annexe for Ripon Building will be completed by December this year, according to Mayor M. Subramanian. Inspecting the construction work, he said the building will house all departments of the Corporation. It will have contemporary pattern and postmodern style with elements of regional  architecture. The building would have a basement floor, ground plus five floors with a total floor area of 12,540 sq. m. The basement floor would be exclusively for parking vehicles. A modern conference hall with banquet facility is part of the new structure, being constructed at a cost of   22.17 crore.

State to become global automobile hub in 5 years

The govt. will take efforts to make Chennai and other parts of the state a global hub for automobile and automobile component manufacturing industries in five years, C.M. told. At present, the state is topping the list of automobile component manufacturing industries in the country. In five years we will ensure it becomes a global hub”, she said while intervening in a debate on demands for grants for the Industries Department.

Krishna Water supply set to increase

Krishna water supply to the city, which had dwindled over the past few days, is set to increase as the discharge from the Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra Pradesh was stopped upon August 17 following a request from the Tamil Nadu Govt. Officials of the Water Resources Department here said the quantum received through the Kandaleru Poondi canal had dropped from as much as 700 cu secs. a web age to 100 cubic feet per second.

No more free plastic bags at supermarkets

Plastic bags now came at a price ranging from   1 to   7, depending on the size. If you did not know that, there is no point avoiding some retail chains that have started charging for the carry bag as many more are set to follow suit. This follows the plastic waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011 of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. It says plastic bags below 40 microns should not be used and shops should charge customers for carry bags above 40 microns. Following this retail chains such as More, Big Bazaar, Reliance Fresh and Westside have started levying a charge on customers and the ask for a carry bag. Some of them have pasted notices near the cash counter and make announcements informing the customers about the decision and on plastic waste management.

Four mono rail lines in Phase-I

A crisscrossing network of four monorail corridors, running to a total length of 111 km. is being planned by the state govt. The network includes a 54 km. link between Vandalur and Puzhal, which when completed would be the longest anywhere in the world. The corridors have been identified based on a feasibility study prepared by the Pallavan Transport Consultency Services Ltd. Bids have been invited to build a monorail network along the four corridors – Vandalur to Puzhal via Avadi; Vandalur to Velacherry via Tambaram East (23 km), Poonamallee to Kathipara via Porur (18 km) and Poonamallee to Vadapalani via Valasaravakkam (16 km). The four corrodors which constitute Phase-I of the Chennai Monorail project is expected to cost over   16,000 crore.

First neurosynaptic computing chip

IBM researchers, led by Indian-origin scientist Dharmendra Modha, unveil a computer chip that emulates the way the human brain processes information. It is the basic design of the first neurosynaptic computing chip that recreates the phenomena between spiking neurons and synapses in a biological system.

High-level Chinese delegation visits Nepal

A high-level Chinese delegation visits Nepal and proposes cooperation between the two nations in the fields of trade and investment, agriculture, transportation, information technology, infrastructure development, hydropower construction and poverty alleviation.

Rajya Sabha approves the impeachment against Sen

The Rajya Sabha approves the impeachment motion (Article 124) against Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court for corruption.

Fishermen observe fact against nuclear reactors

Nearly 7000 fishermen, including over 3,000 women from 11 coastal hamlets in the districts observed a fast at Idinthakarai, Turunelveli demanding the closure of nuclear reactors under construction at the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project. Speakers at the protest venue said the nuclear reactors, on attaining criticality, would shatter their livelihood and the fishermen would be forced to relocate in case of an emergency.