March, 2012

Laptops open new gateway for students

For all those who kept wondering why the State Govt. spend so much money on providing students with laptops, Mayor Saidai Duraiswamy, while interacting with students, on recently, had an answer. It was to fulfil a vision that the Chief Minister had for the state. And he found an unusual way to prove his point standing amid students at P.T. Lee Chengalvaraya Naickar Polytechnic College, he asked them questions on a variety of topics ranging from Kudankulam and the Mullaperiyar dam to problems faced by different countries and who Chenalvaraya Naicken was.

Steep Power Tariff hike for domestic consumers

Domestic consumers are among those whose electricity tariff will goup, steeply from April. The hike in the tariff ranges between 75 per cent and 110 per cent and there is not much change in the tariff revision, ordered by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) compared to the proposal mooted by the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO). According to the order issued by the TNERC, subsidy to domestic consumers who consumer 501 units and alone in two months has been removed totally.

US President approves new sanctions against Iran

US President Mr. Barack Obama approves new sanctions against Iran, saying that there is sufficient oil in the world market to allow countries to cut Iranian crude imports.

First solar power plant in Rajasthan

The country`s first solar power plant, which is of 40 MW capacity, is inaugurated in Dhudsar village of Jaisalmer district, Rajasthan.

Laptop scheme for VAOs launched

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa launched the distribution of laptops to Village Administrative Officers at a cost of  22.49 crore. The VAOs would also be given printers and user guide – books. In the initial phase, 7,787 VAOs would be covered. At a function at the Secretariate, the Chief Minister also handed over order to seven persons, appointing them as VAOs. The Public Services Commission had chosen 3,318 persons for the post, according to an official release.

More green relief for Chennai soon

Landscope development of 100 parks in added areas of Chennai Corporation is on the anvil. The massive exercise that is proposed to be taken up at an estimated cost of  30 crore in eight newly added zones of Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi and Sholinganallur is likely to transform many residential neighbourhoods. The new parks with innovative land scape, herbal garden and playground would came up on pieces of land, some of which are as big as 96 grounds in Elango Nagar of Ambattur. The new facilities would be in addition to the 260 such parks in the seven zones of the old city limits. The eight zones in the newly added areas have as many as 265 pieces of land that are suitable for development of parks.

Developing a micro-robot named Cyberplasm

Scientists announce that they are in the final stages of developing a micro-robot that can function like a living creature to detect diseases in humans. The international team, led by Newcastle University, UK, says that the micro-robot, named “Cyberplasm”, combine advanced microelectronics with latest research in biomimicry, a technology inspired by nature. It has an electronic nervous system, “eye” and “nose” sensors derived from mammalian cells, as well as artificial muscles that use glucose as an energy source to peopel it.

Miss Femina – Miss World 2012

Ms. Vanya Mishra, a 19-year-old from Chandigarh, wins the covered Pantaloons Femina Miss India World 2012 (PFMI) title at the grand finale held in Mumbai. Ms. Prachi Mishra from Allahabad walks away with the PFMI Earth 2012 title while Ms. Rochelle Maria Rao from Chennai is adjudged PFMI International 2012.

South Africa beat India

Hosts South Africa beat India by 11 runs (D/L, method) in the rain-curtailed one-off T2- International in Johannesburg. The match was organised to commemorate 150 years of the settlement of Indians in South Africa.

Taliban – announces that it is suspending formal peace negotiations

Peace efforts in Afghanistan suffer another setback when the Hezb-i-Isalmi militant faction _ the one that has squared off against both the US-led coalition and the Taliban _ announces that it is suspending formal peace negotiations with the Afghan government.

India inks three loan agreements with ADB

India inks three loan agreements worth $826 million with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to shore up the country`s power transmission system for efficient transfer of electricity from surplus regions to the deficit region.

Audio guides to pep up visits Mamallapuram

As children, many students get the opportunity to visit Mamallapuram and marvel at the stone carvings. But beyond the very basic stories told by accompanying teachers or guides, they dont learn much. Similarly, when families visit this ancient town down East Coast Road, adults and children often wander around listlessly, ignorant of how Narasimha Pallava-II built the shore temples at Mamallapuram. For many, the Tiger cave and Mamallapuram are just part of the Circuit where you can spend an entire day when relatives or friends are visiting. However, it is possible that youre clueless for most part of the trip.

Fourth summit BRICS nations talks in New Delhi

The fourth summit of the leaders of BRICS nations is held in New Delhi. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Mr. Hu Jintao, Russian President Mr. Dmitry Medvedev, Brazil`s President Ms. Dilma Rousseff and South African President Mr. Jacob Zuma represent their respective countries at the summit. At the talks, the leaders focus on economic and development issues, which include beginning the process for setting up a bank and signing two agreements to facilitate trade among the BRICS nation.

Adolescents to get sanitary napkins free

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa launched a scheme for providing sanitary napkins free to adolescents in the age group of 10 years to 19 years; seven lakh young mothers; 700 women prisoners and 500 women patients of hospitals of mental health will be covered. The scheme envisages provision of 18 bags a year to every adolescent, three bags every two months. Each bag will have six napkins. The bags will be given to adolescent students of govt. schools through their teachers and to other adolescents through anganwadi staff of the Integrated Child Development Services scheme and nurses in villages. Seven bags of six napkins will be given to mothers at govt. hospitals primary health centres and village sub-centres, adding that women prisoners will get three bags of six napkins once in two months. Health diaries will be given to all women.

Pollutants in Chennai air dangerously exceed WHO limits

Findings of a recent study have shown that suspended particulate matter (SPM) levels in the city for exceed national standards and those set by the WHO. While the national annual ambient average for particulate matter is 60 microgram per cubic metre, the WHO standard is 20 microgram per cubic metre.

The planetary system consists of the star HIP 11952 and two planets

Astronomets at the Max Planck Institute in Germany announce that they have discovered an ancient planetary system which is likely to be a survivor from one of the earliest cosmic eras, which was 13 billion years ago. The planetary system consists of the star HIP11952 and two planets, which has orbital periods of 290 days and seven days, respectively. The astronomers say that the newly discovered system promises to shed light on planet formation in the early universe _ under conditions quite different from those of later planetary systems, such as our own.

NATO attack on Pakistani Army outposts

The military leaderships of the US and Pakistan hold an important meeting in Islamabad, Pakistan. This is their first engagement since the November 2011 NATO attack on Pakistani Army outposts on the Afghanistan border.

Trade Ministers of that BRICS nations talks

The Trade Ministers of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations hold talks in New Delhi. It is decided that they are not obliged to abide by the nuclear sanctions imposed on Iran by USA and the EU. Also, they refuse to sever their trade relations with Iran as urged by the West.

3000 more buses to mitigate travel woes

The govt. will purchase 3,000 more buses to state-run transport utilities at a cost of  548 crore to maintain and improve the present level of operations and augment services on the basis of need. It had accorded sanction for purchasing 3,000 buses last fiscal for the State Transport Undertakings (STUs) which were still in need of substantial support, despite the revision in fares, which has improved the financial position to some extant.

CIPET to be declared centre of national importance

Steps will be taken to declare the Central Institute of Plastics Enggineering and Technology (CIPET) as a centre of national importance, Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers M.K. Alagiri said. He said that over the years the institute had grown into one of the best institutions in Asia by providing training in plastics engineering technology and had trained over 89,430 students. As those passing out of CIPET are getting greater prominance and turning into entre-preneurs, it was decided to announce it as a centre of national importance.

Part of ECR to became tourism corridor

One of Chennai`s signature hangout destinations, the East Coast Road, is soon set to be further improved. ECR, as it is popularly known, is frequented by locals, tourists and even mere passers by making it ideal for long car drives in the evening or bike rides on a cloudy morning. The 120 km long tourism corridor stretching from Muttukadu to Puducherry. At present, most people who drive down ECR for a fun weakend at a water park or a beach house or for a peek at heritage monuments, usually stop at the shore Temple.

State will train youth in soft skills

Acknowledging that teachnically qualified youth in the State often failed to land jobs in the private sector due to lack of soft and vocational skills, the State has decided to address issue by involving the private sector in the ongoing Tamil Nadu Skill Development Mission (TNSDM). Panneerselvam said that an analysis of the skill-need gap of Tamil Nadu for the next 15 years showed that about two crore people needed to be skilled a fresh or re-skilled.

Highest allocation for school education

The State Budget gives a major boost to school education, with the govt. earmarking a record sum of  14,553 crore for it – the highest ever allocation made to any department in Tamil Nadu. The school education department will also focus on increasing enrolments and arresting drop-out rates, Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam told. This year`s Budget gives a thrust to the implementation of initiatives as part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), in addition to implementation of the Right to Education Act.

Storage structure proposed in Tiruvallur District

To cater to the increasing drinking-water needs of an expanded Chennai, the govt. is to set up a new storage strucutre in Thirukandalam, Tiruvallur district. The project worth  40 crore, is expected to be completed in nine months. According to sources in the Water Resources Department (WAD), a riverine reservoir which stores water that otherwise drains into the sea would be built on the Kosasthalaiyar river. Every year, a minimum of one thousand million cubic feet of water, which translates to a months supply of drinking water, is wasted when surplus water is released into the river from the Poondi reservoir, one of Chennais major water supply bodies.

Continued impetus to Mega City plan

The development of basic civic infrastructure such as roads, bridges, stormwater drains, sewer network, street lights, perking lots and buildings in the city will continue to gain momentum in 2012-2013. Announcing  500 crore for the Mega City Development Mission in the Assembly. Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam said the 2011-2012 Budget too had made on allocation of  500 crore of which Chennai Corporation had taken up works at a cost of  333.27 crore. The balance amount, he said was being utilised for augmenting water supply.

Thrust on development in Welfare Budget

The AIADMK Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam, said the Budget estimates had been designed to further improve the State govts. financial position. The state would have a sizable revenue surplus of  2376.07 crore in the coming financial year. He said the economic growth of the state was projected around 9.39 per cent this year. As growth in the primary sector and in the secondary sector in 2011-12 in the State is projected only at 2.63 per cent and 7.12 per cent respectively.

Syrian President accept UN special envoy

Beleaguered Syrian President Mr. Bashar al-Assad accepts UN special envoy Mr. Kofi Annan`s peace plan, which puts emphasis on a national dialogue.

Centre raise borrowing

The Centre announces that it will borrow  3.79 lakh crore from the market in the first half of the 2012-13 fiscal, which will be over 65 percent of the total amount that it wants to raise from borrowings during the entire fiscal.

Computer-based education project for schools

A computer based education project will be implemented in 1,880 higher secondary schools and 461 high schools over the next five years. As part of the project which will be implemented on Build-own-operate-Transfer-basis the govt. has allocated </span><a id="lnkPreview" style="color: #000000;"></a><img id="imgPreview" src="" alt="" width="7" height="10" data-cke-saved-src="" /><span style="color: #282828;">31.21 crore as the first instalment. The project would be a continuation of the IT literacy programme in schools, where computers would be supplied to high school students, according to an official. The govt. has also ordered release of  </span><a id="lnkPreview" style="color: #000000;"></a><img id="imgPreview" src="" alt="" width="7" height="10" data-cke-saved-src="" /><span style="color: #282828;">26.70 lakh as the first instalment towards startingsmart schools` to five govt. higher secondary schools in the state.

2,200 year old Tamil-Brahmi inscription found

A Tamil-Brahmi inscription that pushes back the association of Samanamalai (Jaina Hill), 15 km. from Madurai, with Jainism to 2,200 years, has been discovered on the hill. Although scholars in Jainism in Tamil Nadu the existence of tirthankaras and Tamil Vattellutu inscriptions on the Samanamalai, both datable to 9th-10th century CE, what has surprised than is the recent discovery of the Tamil-Brahmi script on a boulder on the hill terrace. The script is engraved on the boulder in which a dripe-ledge has been cut and beds excavated on the rock floor for the Jaina monks to rest.

Mettur Power station unit to be synchronised

The additional 1×600 MW fifth unit of the Mettuer Thermal Power Station (MTPs) is likely to be synchronised shortly. The unit, which should have been commissioned in September last, is in addition to the existing 4×210 MW units of MTPS. The unit commissioned under stage III works of MTPS has been built at a cost of about  3,550 crore. BGR Energy Systems Ltd., Chennai undertook the project with scheduled date of commissioning on June 23, Last Year.

Subsidy up for generator sets manufacturers

The state govt has increased the subsidy for the purchase of generator sets manufactured by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The capacity of the generator sets could be up to 320 KVA. Till now, the subsidy was meant only for 125 KVA generator sets. She also said that the benefits of the scheme would be made available with retrospective effect from Nov. 11, 2008. Those who had not yet applied under the scheme could do so in three months.

Early intervention centres for visually challenged

In a gesture aimed at improving the lot of differently abled persons in the state, Chief Minister unveiled a number of schemes including the launch of early intervention centre for visually challenged and interest – free loans for self-employment. A govt. press release said the intervention centres would come up in districts including Chennai, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Theni, Tiruchi, Kanayakumari, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Karur, Kanchipuram and Nagapattinam.

ODI seires ties between Australia and West Indies

Australia beat hosts West Indies by 30 runs in the fifth and final ODI in Gros Islet. The five-match series ends 2-2.

Iran and North Korea nuclear ambitious

America announces that it would further cut its nuclear arsenal, urging Iran and North Korea at the same time to cut down on their nuclear ambitions.

Nuclear Power Plants

India joins a select band of nations, with the Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) successfully manufacturing critical tubes required for steam generators of nuclear power plants.

Asian women`s boxing championship

Indias star boxers, M.C. Mary Kom and Sarita Devi win Gold medals at the Asian womens boxing championship that concludes in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Five-time world champion Mary Kom emerges victorious in the 51 kg category. Sarita punches her way to the Gold in the 60 kg. category.

Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One Championship

Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso of Spain clinches the title at the Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One championship in Sepang, Malaysia.

Sub standard vehicles purchase by Indian Army

In a shocking revelation, Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh alleges that he was offered a bribe of  14 crore, which he reported to Defence Minister Mr. A.K. Antony. He reveals that the bribe was for having a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles of a particular make cleared for purchase by the Indian Army.

Engg. College to come up at Bodi

In a move that will cater to the needs of students hailing from southern districts, Chief Minister announced that an engineering college will come up at Bodi in Theni district. A sum of  93.64 crore has been earmarked for the construction of buildings and procurement of equipment for the college.

New posts announced in Police Department

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced a Slew of measures for the Police Department with a Chunk of the new posts and vehicles going to the Chennai Police. Besides 87 patrol vehicles worth 5.55 crore, the Chennai Police got 119 new posts, including that of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, two Assistant Commissioners of Police, nine Inspectors, sanctioned for the Central Crime Branch (CCB). Also she announced setting up of a Scientific Division for the Crime Branch CID that would come with the posts of Scienctific Offices and Scientific Asst. As part of the ongoing e-governance initiations in the department, 1000 computers work 5 crore were sanctioned to police establishments across the state.

Metrowater plans more sewage plants

Chennai Metrowater has proposed the construction of three sewage treatment plants in and around the city in anticipation of additional sewage flow from newly merged areas of the Chennai Corporation. At present there are plants at five locations in the city with the capacity to treat 486 million litres a day (mld). The new plants will be in Villivakkam, Porur and Sholinganallur. The water agency has estimated that construction of treatment plants for extended areas will cost nearly 500 crore. It has sought funds from the state govt. to implement the project during 12th Five Year Plan.

Chennai all set to turn brighter

The Chennai Corporation will kick-start a massive programme next week to improve lighting in the city, with the focus on replacement of around 60,000 street lights. It will install 25,000 solar – powered street lights in eight new zones. The first part of the tender to replace old tubelights in added areas will be released next week. The initiative is expected to bring down the level of energy consumption by 25 per cent and save 36 lakh units in the coming year.

Agfhanistan qualify in World T20 cricket

Ireland defeat Afghanistan by five wickets in the final of the World T20 qualifying tournament in Dubai. Both the finalists qualify for the World Cup.

Hisotric presidential polls in Egypt

Mr. Amr Moussa, a former Secretary-General of the Arab League, becomes the first independent candidate to submit the required number of recommendations to authorities, which will allow him to contest the coming historic presidential polls in Egypt.

Tamil-Brahmi inscription is found on Jaina Hills

A 2,200-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscription is found on Jaina Hills near Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The new-found inscription proves that the association of the famous Jaina Hills with Jainism is over two-millennia old.

Appointment of Additional Judge

M. Vijayaraghavan, a retired Principal District Judge, who has been appointed as an additional Judge of Madras High Court, will be sworn on March 26, with his appointment, the strength of the High Court will increase to 54, against the sanctioned strength of 60. Hailing from Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar Districts Mr. Vijayaraghavan is a graduate in Science. He studied Law in the Madras Law College. He started practice in the District Court, Madurai. He retired as the Principal District Judge, Tirunelveli on Nov. 30, 2011.

Australia win T20 series against India

Australia wrap up the five-match women`s T20 series against hosts India 4-1, even as the hosts win the fifth match in Visakhapatnam by two wickets.

Condemnatory resolution against Sri Lanka by the UN

A day after the passage of a condemnatory resolution against Sri Lanka by the UN, the US urges the island nation to implement the constructive recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and take the necessary measures to address accountability issues. The resolution had castigated Sri Lanka on its dismal progress on a host of issues arising out of its war with the LTTE.

PUCC memorandum demands revocation of ban order

People`s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) _ Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has sant a memorandum to Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi demanding resumption of essential supplies, permission for free movement of citizens and withdrawal of police force in Idinthakarai and Kudankulam villages, to bring back normality.

Status paper on SC/ST Act sought

The State Govt. should came out with a status paper during the budget session of the Assembly on the implementation of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act over the past decade. This demand was put forward by the jury, which comprised advocates, activisits and artists, after hearing the victims in 36 cases from 11 districts of the State, narrating the atrocities on them by various sections of the society at the people`s public hearing held last week. Of the victims who deposed before the jury, 23 cases were from the Schedule Tribes. In 17 per cent of the cases, women were the victims.

South Africa keen on consulate in Chennai

South Africa is keen to setup a consul office in Chennai to raise its visibility as a trade and investment destination among the business community in South India, Elizebeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry for South Africa, said. Addressing a press conference, Ms. Thabethe, who is leading a 45-members multi-trade delegation to Chennai, said that South Africa saw immense potential in partnership with States such as Tamil Nadu, which constituted significantly to India`s GDP and had a legacy of manufacturing and technology adoption. South Africa currently has a consul office in Mumbai, besides its embassy is New Delhi.

Steep drop in footfalls at industrial fair

For the first time in recent years, the 38th India Tourist and Industrial Fair 2012 recorded a steep fall in the number of people visiting Island Grounds. At the end of 71-day expo that started on Jan. 8, the Fair received 10.60 lakh visitors against 17 lakh people for the corresponding period last year. There was also a steep decline in the number of school children from 4.80 lakh to two lakhs.

Emphatic win for AIADMK in Sankarankoil

The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam pulled off an emphatic victory in the Sankarankoil Assembly by-election, recording a margin of victory over 68,000 votes. In winning the reserved seat for the fifth time in a row, the AIADMK crashed all the opponents forcing them to lose their deposit. This is the second by-election victory for the ruling party since it came to power in May 2011. It won the Tiruchi (West) Assembly by election last year.

Saraswati Samman 2011

Tamil writer Mr. A.A. Manavalan is chosen for the 2011 Saraswati Samman for his book on Ramayana.

Pakistan win Asia Cup Cricket

Pakistan win the Asia Cup cricket tournament, beating hosts Bangladesh by two runs in the nail-bitting final in Dhaka.

New Railway Minister

New Railway Minister Mr. Mukul Roy rolls back the railway fare hike, except for three high-end classes of travel, which his predecessor Mr. Dinesh Trivedi had proposed.

India votes for a UN-sponsored resolution

India votes for a UN-sponsored resolution at UN`s top human rights body censuring Sri Lanka for its alleged human rights violations during the war against the LTTE.

Across Palk Strait in 14 hours

Noted adventure swimmer S.P. Muraleedharan of Kerala on March 20 successfully swan across Palk Strait from Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Arichamunai (Eroding Point) at Danushkodi in India. This was his second attempt. The time clock, in possession of M. Vijayakumar observer of the expedition, showed that Muraleedharan took 14.28 hours to cross 19 nautical miles which is about 35 km.


For Power connections, you can have own meters

Applicants seeking electricity connections can purchase meters on their own and ask the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation to accept them for effecting their connections. An order issued by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission (TNERC) five days ago directed the TANGEDCO to accept the meters purchased by consumers and effect service connections. The Corporation had to provide a list of makes and models of meters to enable consumers to buy any one of those meters for this purpose. The TANGEDCO would notify at least four makes of meters, keeping in view the make and type of meters being purchased by them. The TANGEDCO would have to put in place a system of quality assurance and testing of meters.

TNPSC releases first-ever calendar of recruitment

Releasing the first ever annual calendar of recruitment by Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, its chairman R. Natraj said that technology would be leveraged to ensure transparency in the selection process. The annual planner details the process from notification of vacancies to the examination dates and sets a deadline for publication of results. In the period covered by amused planner-April 1 to March 2013, the Commission would conduct recruitment for an estimated 8,500 vacancies from Village Administrative Officers to Group-I services posts. In the same period, a backlog of about 7,000 vacancies would be filled, be added.

KKNPP Operation reserves

For the first time after nearly five and a half months, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project received its optimum strength of around 950 technical and non-technical personnal and 100 Russian technocrats on March 20 morning when operations were revived following the state cabinet resolution on early commissioning of the plant on March 19. However, the final touches to the first of the two 1,000 MWe reactors of the KKNPP and completion of work in the second unit can be carried out only after contract labourers, mostly from north India, return. They had threatened to leave Kudankulam and the neighbouring villages for good after the anti-KKNPP struggle started.

Renal transplants at Govt. Hospital

The Rajiv Gandhi Govt. General Hospital performed the 1,000th renal transplant. This makes it the first govt. run hospital in the country to achieve such a distinction, said Dean V. Kanakasabai, for hospital authorities and nephrologist M.A. Muthusethupathi who did the first transplant surgery 25 years ago on July 10, 1987 at the hospital, it is time to retrospect. It is almost 25 years (since the programme was started) and 1,000 is a good number.


In a technological innovation, scientists at the Virginia Tech University, USA, claim that they have created a hydrogen powered robot which can move through water just like a jellyfish does. The robot, named “Robojelly”, could eventually be used for underwater rescue operations.

Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Veteran actor Mr. Soumitra Chatterjee is chosen for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

Abel Prize 2012

Hungarian mathematician Endre Szemeredi is chosen for the prestigious Abel Prize of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters for the year 2012. He is honoured for his contributions to the field of discrete mathematics. The award, often compared to the Nobel Prize, carries a cash benefit of $1 million.

Report released Bird Life International ranks

A report released by BirdLife International ranks India 9th in the global list of bird wealth. As per the report, India has the presence of 1,168 species of birds, with land birds (1,094 species) forming the majority of it.

Tirupattur Govt. Hospital achieves distinction

For the first time at taluk-level, doctors at the Speical Neonatal Care Unit (SNCU) of Govt. Hospital, Tirupattur, have performed the exchange blood-transfusion procedure on two newborn babies. The babies who suffered from severe jaundice due to Rh. incompatibility at the hospital`s SNCU underwent exchange blood transfusion “Such procedures are conducted at govt. medical college hospitals. At the taluk-level, the Tirupattur G.H. is the first hospital to perform the procedure in the district Blood was supplied from the hospitals blood bank. Both the babies are doing well,” he said”.

Chennai Port Trust comes up with 20 project proposals

At a time when port users have been complaining about the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT)s alleged lack of interest in providing improved facilities to the trade the port has come up with proposals for 20 projects for facilities on its premises and in the common area. ChPT chairman Atulya Misra said, "We are having several ongoing projects at the port and these 20 projects seem to have came up in one stroke. These proposals have been mooted by the two member expert committee of Capt. P.C.K. Mohan, Chairman, who asked to suggest ways to improve Ch. PT. right now, we cant say how many of them will be implemented”.

Corporation reluctant to give marshland for restoration

The Forest Department ambitious project for integrated management of Pallikaranai marshland and efforts towards declaring it a Ramsar site hangs in balance as the Chennai Corporation is planning to start remediation of the required land where garbage is being dumped. The Forest Department made the preliminary more last year to get the Pallikaranai marshland declared as a Ramsar site by submitting a compliance report to the Ramsar convention on Wetlands. The declaration of the marshland area as a Ramsar site would be a recognition of the unique eco-system that is present in the area and the need for conserving it. However, the Chennai Corporation, in a recent meeting, expressed its inability to accept the request of the Forest Department, as over 200 acres of the 550 acre piece of marshland on the northern side of the Inner Ring Road is being used for dumping of waste.

Motorists have to pay congestion tax

If the consultancy firm appointed to prepare a detailed project report to upgrade Anna Salai, Poonamallee High Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Salai has its way, Chennaiities driving along these arterial roads could have to pay congestion tax in a year or two. In an effort to reduce congestion on these roads, the contractor is looking at options including congestion pricing, electronic road pricing and ramp metering. Dynamic message boards informing motorists about traffic blocks or slow traffic a few kilometers ahead are among others proposals.

Supreme Court rejects its plea for a review

In a big setback to the Union Government, the Supreme Court rejects its plea for a review of the court`s January 2012 ruling that the Income Tax Department did not have the jurisdiction to impose  11,000 crore in tax on the overseas deal between Vodafone International Holdings and Hutchison Group.

Kudankulam plant can be made gasoline-based

If India`s gross domestic product growth could reach 7.5 per cent from 3.5 per cent over the years without further addition of nuclear energy, the years without further addition of nuclear energy, the country can achieve similar growth in 100 years without nuclear power, said former Naval Chief Vice-Admiral (Retired) L. Ramdas. He was part of a team of writers, artists and intellectuals who visited Kudankulam on March 15 and 16, told reporters that nuclear plants contributed to only 2.5 per cent of power requirements, while the rest came from non-nuclear plants. “Of late, the U.S. has not built any single nuclear power plant and converted them into gasoline-based plants. Moreover, solar concentration technology can be used to generate 1500 celsius to run the turbines in these power plants” he said.

New NLC unit gives a ray of hope

The power situation in Tamil Nadu is likely to ease a bit by mid April as Neyveli Lignite Corporation, a Navaratna Public sector enterprises, has commissioned one of the two units of the newly set up Thermal Power Station (TPS)-II Expansion at Neyveli. Of the two units of 250 MW – capacity each, the first unit became operational last week and it has been generating 150 MW of electricity for the past three days. The unit is likely to attain its full load capacity of 250 MW in a month. The Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. which had fabricated and mounted the unit, was testing its functioning. After the unit reaches its full capacity, the BHEL would hand it over to the NLC to facilitate the commercial operation.

Sulabh Sanitation Award

Ms. Anita Bai Narre of Betul district, Madhya Pradesh, is presented with the Sulabh Sanitation Award, comprising a cheque of  5 lakh.

Roger Federer wins Indian Wells Masters tennis

Roger Federer of Switzerland beats John Isner of USA in the final to win the men`s singles title at the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament in Indian Wells, USA.

UN aims to a establish stable govt. in Afghan

Russia comes out openly against the withdrawal of the international military forces from Afghanistan in 2014. It says that the NATO-led troops should not pull out until they fulfil a UN aim to establish a stable government and credible defence forces in Afghanistan.

Railway Minister resigns

Railway Minister Mr. Dinesh Trivedi resigns from office in the wake of a furore created by his party boss, Trinamool Congress chief Ms. Mamata Banerjce, over the passenger fare hike that he sought to implement in the 2012-13 rail budget. He is replaced by Mamata loyalist Mr. Mukul Roy.

Jenson Button clinches the title of Australian Grand Prix Formulan One championship

McLaren racer Jenson Button of England clinches the title at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix Formula One Championship in Melbourne.

Saina retains Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold Trophy

India`s star shuttler Saina Nehwal retains her Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold Trophy, beating Wang Shixian of China in the final in Basel, Switzerland.

CMAG suggests presidential elections

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) suggests presidential elections in the Maldives at the earliest. The current Maldivian government reacts to the suggestion in a lukewarm manner, while the party to which ousted President Mr. Mohamed Nasheed belongs, welcomes it.

Budget described excessively cautions

Two days after India unveils a budget described by many as excessively cautious, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Ms. Christine Lagarde urgest India to have the “appetite” and “courage” for pushing forward necessary reforms.

GATE commands more patronage

Patronage for GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) has apparently increases what with public sector undertakings, including Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, India Oil Corporation Ltd., and Powergrid, recruting candidates for positions of engineers trainee, graduate apprentice engineers and executive respectively, based on the score in All India Exmination.

Asif Ali makes history the first elected head of state

Pakistans President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari makes history, becoming the first elected head of state to address a joint sitting of Pakistans parliament for the fifth consecutive time.

Report on inmates in jails are under trials

The Bureau of Police Research and Development reveals that only 3.2 percent of the people arrested for various crimes are in prison, and that the rest (over 96 percent) are out on bail. The report also notes that 66.4 percent of inmates in jails are under-trials, and their women constitute only 4 percent of the total number of inmates.

Australia beat India ODI of the women`s cricket series

Australia beat India by five wickets in the third and final ODI of the women`s cricket series in Mumbai, sweeping the series 3-0.

Sachin Tendulkar scores the 100th international century

Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar scores the 100th international century of his glorious career, hitting 114 against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup match in Mirpur, Bangladesh. It takes his ODI century count to 49, and along with the 51 hundreds that he has scored in Tests, brings up the century of centuries mark.

Rocket mounted satellite

The US reacts angrily to reports of North Koreas plan to launch a rocket-mounted satellite. It says that North Koreas plan is in direct violation of its international obligations.

Union Budget – 2012-13

Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presents the Union Budget 2012-13. It projects a GDP growth target of 7.6 percent for 2012-13. The Budget fixeds the disinvestment target for 2012-13 at  30,000 crore, and pegs service tax rate at 12 percent, bringing more services into the net. Excise duty is raised to 12 percent. On the income tax front, the exemption limit is raised to 2 lakhs; the upper limit of 20 percent tax slab is raised to 10 lakh. Senior citizens without business income are exempted from paying advance tax.
Budget 2012-13 at a Glance

(Figures in                            2010-11                   2011-12                              2011-12                         2012-13
`000 crore)                        Actuals            Budget Estimates            Revised   Estimates       Budget  Estimates

Revenue Receipts                788.5                       789.9                                  767.0                               935.7

Capital Receipts                   408.9                       467.8                                  551.7                               555.2

Total Receipts                     1197.3                     1257.7                              1 318.7                             1490.9

Non-Plan Expend.                818.3                       816.2                                  892.1                               969.9

Plan Expenditure                  379.0                       441.5                                  426.6                                521.0

Total Expenditure                1197.3                     1257.7                               1318.7                             1490.9

Revenue Deficit                     252.3                       307.3                                  395.0                               350.4

Fiscal Deficit                          373.6                       412.8                                  522.0                               513.6

Primary Deficit                       139.6                       144.8                                  246.4                                193.8

AAI wins Jame`s Award

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has won the prestigious Janes Award for 2012, an international award given to recognise and reward excellence in the air traffic control industry. The AAI received the award for its upper Airspace Harmonisation initiative under theBest Operational Efficiency` category the upper airspace harmonisation programme involved redesigning of airspace to increase its capacity through operation of multiple air traffic control sectors. This was enabled by automation, networking of radars and VHF frequencies.

Airport to get adviced landing system soon

Chennai Airport will soon get a new and advanced satellite-based precision approach and landing system, replacing the existing instrument landing system (ILS), a top Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said. The Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) is in the final stage of approval, said V. Somasundaram, Member Air Navigation Services, AAI. If the system was found successful, it would be extended to the airports in other matters such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Global tenders would soon as floated for procuring the GBAS instrument. It is a satellite-based precision approach and landing system. It is recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation as a replacement for current instrument landing system (ILS), which is currently used in most of the airports in the country. Just one GBAS station can guide upto 26 highly practice approach flight paths simultaneously.

Co-operative banks to help farmers

The All India Co-operative Federation (AICBEF) has urged the Union Govt. to set apart at least   1 lakh crore for direct financial assistance by the co-operative banks to farmers to meet their needs for farm production. At present the allocation in the Central Budget for direct agricultural finance through the co-operative banks and regional rural banks hardly ranged from 10,000 crore to  14,000 crore.

Corporation to hire part-time teachers

The Chennai Corporation in the process of inducting as many as 257 part-time instructors to impart art, work and physical education to students in classes VI, VII and VIII in some of its schools part of a Serva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) initiative the move seeks to expose middle school students to art education, work education and P.T., as its recommended by the National Curriculam Framework 2005. According to T.N. Venkatesh, Joint Commissioner (Education, Chennai Corporation, the teachers will visit the schools three days a week, handling three hour sessions either from 9 a.m. to noon or 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

End of the road for 33 pending civic projects

A number of populist budget announcements by the Chennai Corporation last year were not implemented on account of elections to the Assembly and the civic body. Even though a chunk of the 133 announcements in budget 2011-12 were implemented, some that created interest among the residents are yet to be implemented. As many as 33 of the proposals have been dropped. Inagurating of ITI for lift machines, refrigerator and air-conditioning mechanic courses, mobile dispensaries, sanitary inspectors course in CDH and crematorium for pets were also some of the other announcements that were not implemented.

Students from rural areas get a chance too

While many engineering colleges in and around the city are harping on bulk recruitment by software giants the Anna University, this year, has focussed on getting a large variety of employers to its campus. One outcome of this is that many students from rural backgrounds have landed enviable jobs – in well known PSUs, manufacturing firms and even in foreign locations. Over 154 companies have visited the campus in the last six months and 2,600 students have been placed.

PSU dump IIT for Anna University

Public Sector Undertakings, which are considering GATE scores for recruiting fresh Engineering graduates this year, have chosen to visit reputed govt. colleges rather than the alite ITTs to hunt for talent. Anna University saw a number of PSUs including NTPC, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Electronics, IDBI and Neyveli Lignite Corporation, recruiting nearly 70 students from three of its most reputed colleges.

GRP women personnal posted in suburban trains

As part of the initiatives to avert crime against women passengers on trains and railway premises, the Govt. Railway Police have deployed women police personnal in plain clothes to travel in suburban trains. “The objective is to prevent crimes against women such as eve-teasing, bag lifting, Chain snatching etc. The women police will also mingles with the crowd at magor railway stations. “This will be a permanent security measure”.

97,000 laptops ready for despatch

Nearly 97,000 laptops meant for distribution to school and college students under the state govt`s scheme have been received by the authorities. As soon as the laptops clear the process of verification by a third party, they will be despatched to colleges. Intially, they will be given to final year students of colleges. As per the scheme, 12th std. students of govt and govt-aided schools and students of govt. and govt. aided arts and science, engg. and polytechnic colleges would be provided laptops. As per the original plan, 9.12 lakh laptops were to be distributed to students. This has been revised to 9.07 lakhs.

Chennai consumers 55 lakh eggs every day

Each time the prices of vegetables or fish shoot up, eggs replace them in the Kitchens of Chennaiites. On an average, the city consumers around 50-55 lakh daily people prefer eggs as they are easily available, relatively cheaper than other non-vegetarian items and simple and quick to cook. In the city, several local markets sell eggs of country chicken in small numbers and those who have tasted them in the villages, seem to prefer them.

A Wellness card for the medical tourist

If you live abroad but want to come to India for treatment when you fall ill, then, all you need is an international Wellness card. It offers not just treatment but also assured the holder a reasonable deal in a hospital in Chennai. Prime India, a company specialising in medical tourism for the last 20 years, launched the concept “Now we are also looking as people who are healthy. We want to issue a membership card for a family of say, five. The card can be purchased for a two digit dollar figure and any family member who falls sick can benefit. We will do the handholding from airport to airport. If however, the card is not used in a year, bonus points would be added to the card when it is renewed.