July, 2012

300 sit in at Marina

Around 300 supporters of Anna Hazare’s campaign assembled behind the Gandhi statue at the Marina Beach in solidability, showing support to Anna’s protest against corruption. Since they had not received permission to sit near the Gandhi statue, they had chosen to sit on the beach behind the statue. “We were denied permission since it is disrespectful to hold the Indian flag under the statue. Three of our volunteers are asking the commissioner for permission to sit near the statue from tomorrow” said A. Sam Ponraj, a volunteer present at the Campaign.

Fundamental Physics Prize 2012

Indian physicist Ashoke Sen is awarded the inaugural Fundamental Physics Prize (FPP) in recognition of his pioneering work on string theory – a model that, if proven, could help reconcile the most fundamental forces of nature. The FPP was launched in 2012 by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and consists an annual prize of $27 million awarded to nine physicists.  Apart from Sen, seven of the physicists this year are American, while one in French.

Pact on cargo transit – US & Pak.

A formal pact for the transit of cargo to and from Afghanistan through Pakistan  is signed between the US and Pakistan.

An overburdened power transmission structure

An overburdened power trans-mission structure spread across the country’s northeast and northeast regions collapses, plunging half the country into darkness. By the number of people affected (about 600 million), it is the biggest-ever blackout in the world.

Gagan Narang wins the first medal for India

Ace shooter Gagan Narang wins the first medal for India (a Bronze) in 10m air rifle shooting event at the London Olympics 2012.

Romanian President escapes from office falls short

Romanian President Mr. Traian Basescu escapes impeachment as a referendum on his removal from office falls short of the required 50 percent turnout threshold.

Northern power grid crashes

The northern power grid crashes in one of the worst outages in more than a decade, affecting as many as eight States.

State’s contribution for silk park released

As part of the efforts to give a boost to the silk weaving industry, the state govt. has released a subsidy of  7.54 crore for the establishment of a handloom silk park in Kancheepuram district at a cost of   83.83 crore. The Union and State Govts. would extend 40 per cent and 9 per cent of the project cost respectively as subsidy. To come up on 75 acres at Keezhkathirpur, the Perarignar Anna Handloom Silk Park will be given a subsidy of 7.54 crore. With the cost of land being nearly  13.77 crore, the remaining   6.23 crore would be given to the park as an unsecuecred loan repayable in five years.

A place where many aspirations take shape

For almost two years now, a group comprising professionals, students and home makers has been frequenting the Anna Centenary Library. Many of them come at 8 a.m. and study till 9 p.m. in single – minded pursuit of a dream-cracking the civil services exam. When the results for the preliminary exam were announced, many of them who made it through had the same thing to say “thanks to the library. We could not have done it otherwise”.

Single person car – USA

Designers from San Diego, USA, unveil a car shaped like an egg, which will help people get around in over-crowded cities. The Eggasus is an electric-powered, fully-enclosed single-person car that can travel up to 40 kmph. When charged, it produces no CO2 emissions.

British racer Lewis Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix F1 championship

McLaren’s British racer Lewis Hamilton wins the Hungarian Grand Prix F1 championship in Budapest, Hungary.

Greece cuts pension and wage

Political leaders in Greece agree on most of the austerity measures demanded by the country’s creditors. Prime Minister Mr. Antonis Samaras says that his government is looking at pension and wage cuts to fund the final 1.5-billion euros of savings still needed.

BrahMos missile test-fired

India’s supersonic BrahMos cruise missile is successfully test-fired from a ground mobile launcher at Balasore, Odisha.

Chief Minister small tea growers Rs.6 crore boost

Chief Minister ordered the release of   6 crore to give “workable rates” to small tea growers, and another  5.46 crore as grant for modernising the machines in the Industrial Co-operative Tea factories for improving production. A govt. release stated that   6 crore would be utilised for giving   2 more per kg. of green tea to 22,000 small tea growers between July and December. Earlier, the Chief Minister had released Rs.6 crore to Industrial Co-operative Tea Factories to match the rate of  8 per kg. given by private tea companies up to March this year. The govt. said that when the price of green tea went down in the international market in 2001 Chief Minister arranged the procurement of 200 metric tonnes through INDCOSERVE and sold the same through Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation outlet as “Ooty Tea”.

Frame rules for school vehicles – HC

While emphasising that a permanent solution he found to save the lives of children travelling by school buses, the Madras Highcourt said it was high time the State Govt. came up with a rule fixing the criteria and the conditions for operating those vehicles. The High Court Bench said the Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicles Rules had no provision with regard to maintenance, fitness and conditions for playing school buses. A draft rule should be produced before the court in two weeks, it said. A special cell may created under the rule, empowering special officers to issue fitness certificates for school buses and imposing other stringout conditions, including penal provisions for violations, the court said.

China wins the first Gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics

Yi Siling of China wins the first Gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, emerging winner in women’s 10m air rifle.

Arms trade deal proves futile

A UN attempt to cobble up an arms trade deal proves futile, as countries participating in a month-long conference at the UN headquarters fail to reach an agreement on the issue.

PM announces a 300 crore Central assistance to Assam to help

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announces a   300 crore Central assistance to Assam to help the State deal with the recent sectarian violence that killed scores of people.


The London Olympics 2012, the 30th edition of the quadrennial Games, are inaugurated in London amid great fanfare. The Games feature 302 events across 26 sports disciplines. The total number of athletes stands at about 10,500, representing 204 countries.
The 2012 London Olympics Games, the 30th edition of the sporting extravaganza, got off to a spectacular start on July 27, 2012. The opening ceremony was an innovative, breathtaking portrayal of 250 years of British achievements in propelling civilisation forward. London is the first city in the world to stage the Olympic Games thrice, after the 1908 and 1948 Summer Olympics. Entitled Isles of Wonder,  the opening ceremony was crafted by Oscar Award-winning British director Daniel Boyle with music directors Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of the electronic music duo Underworld.
The London Games 2012 features 302 events across 26 sports disciplines with a total of 10,500 athletes representing 204 countries from across the world. India has sent an 81-strong contingent to the Games making it the country’s largest-ever representation to date at the quadrennial sporting event. Chinese shooter Yi Siling bagged the first Gold Medal of the London Games at the women’s 10m Air Rifle shooting. India’s exploits at the Games have been commendable with shooter Vijay Kumar clinching a Silver Medal in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event, ace marksman Gagan Narang winning a Bronze in the men’s 10m Air Rifle event and Saina Nehwal winning a Bronze in the women’s singles in Badmingon. At the time of going to press, boxer MC Mary Kom is set to win a medal.
American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with his record 22 Olympic Medals, bade adieu to his exceptional swimming career in a befitting style by winning his fourth consecutive Gold at the London Olympics on August 4, 2012. Phelps’ totals in four Olympics are a record 22 Medals (18 Golds, 2 Silvers and 2 Bronzes), 51 races and 9,900 meters of swimming.

Centre’s total public debt.

Official figures reveal that the Centre’s total public debt, excluding liabilities, increased by 4.9 percent to 37,52,576 crore at the end of the first quarter (April-June) of the 2012-13 fiscal.

Banks told to evolve schemes for people in remote areas

Banks should evolve schemes to help people in remote areas improve their standard of living Chief Minister said at Kodanad, a remote area in the Nilgiris. They should extend loans to them at concessional rate of interest with long period of repayment. They should also help the govt. in establishing an inclusive society through its welfare schemes. The Chief Minister was declaring open an offsite ATM of the Bank of India and also the bank’s renovated premises at Eloda in Kodanad on a piece of land belonging to the Kodanad estate Advertising to the role of banks in helping the country progress and in the uplift of people by extending various types of loans Chief Minister commended the performance of Bank of India.

Bus pass woes continue for school students

Even as school students are still awaiting the free bus posses, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation Ltd. (MTC) has sent a circular to various schools in the city asking them to have the students ready for taking photographs. Meanwhiles many student are even restoring to bunking classes on day when their parents do not or are unable to give them money for bus fare. Officials claim that the carelessness on the part of school staff in filling up forms is also a cause for the delay “when the contract photographers went to the schools to take  photographs of students, they were told some students were absent. Some schools and parents have filled the application forms carelessly with same errors. If it is old cards, we could have made the corrections on it. But as laminated cards are being issued this year, it takes time to make corrections”.

Conservancy operations to go private in all zones

The Chennai Corporation Council approved the proposal for gradual privatisation of conservancy operations in all zones of the city. Conservancy operations in zones such as Teynampet, Kodambakkam, Adyar and parts of Ambattur have already been privatised. As part of the efforts of the Chennai Corporation to shortlist suitable technology for remediation and scientific closure of the Perungudi and Kodungaiyur dump yards, the civic body also sought privatisation of conservancy operations in all the 15 zones. The action was initiated a few months ago in the wake of the National Green Tribunal setting aside the environmental clearance granted by the Tamil Nadu Govt. to the integrated solid waste management facility at Perungudi.

Giant chess board for children planned at Marina

The Marina Beach is in for another makeover this time, the space surrounding the statues, the children’s play area and the bus terminus is being spruced up. The Chennai Corporation Council, which met on July 25, approved an estimate of Rs.4.84 crore for the works that include installation of high most lamps and police watch towers. Mayor Saidai S. Duraisamy said that in the next stage, tenders would be floated after which it would be a matter of a month or so for work to commerce. “The space around each of the statues will be developed based on a particular characteristics. There would be a short description in granite about the personality so that beach goers also gain some knowledge,” he said. The design has been proposed by architect K. Raghuraman. The children’s play area will be the subject of special focus. Among other things, it would have a giant chess board where you can play and an ‘interactive’ fountain where the water will gush up when you clap your hands.

Ramon Magsaysay Award 2012

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation announces the six winners of the 2012 Ramon Magsaysay Award. The awardees are Ms. Shu-Chu of Taiwan, Mr. Romulo Davide of the Philippines, Mr. Kulandei Francis of India, Ms. Syeda Rizwana Hasan of Bangladesh, Mr. Yang Saing Koma of Cambodia and Mr. Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto of Indonesia. The award, Asia’s highest honour, is given every year to Asian individuals or organisations that display selfless service.

Heavy shall fire at Syria

Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s two main cities, come under heavy shell fire as troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad step up efforts to crush rebels threatening the regime.

Ashok Leyland Q1 net dips

Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group, has reported a lower net profit of    67 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, down from   86 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. However, it has announced a 19.7 per cent increase in turnover to   3,007 crore (  2,513 crore) during the quarter under review.

Ooty lake one of the dirtiest in Tamil Nadu

The lake in Udhagamandalam, popularly known as Ooty, is, according to a study by the Tamil Nadu Population Control Board (TNPCB), one of the most polluted water bodies in the state. Its water quality, the study says, unsuitable for potable purposes. A major tourist attraction in the popular hill station, the lake now emits a foul odour, thanks to untreated sewage being let out into it. The study also found that the total and feed coliform contamination levels stood at 5,353 (most probable number in 100 millimeters) and 10,322 MPN/100 ml. respectively, which is more than double the permissible limit.

Animal birth control in city gets a fillip

The Chennai Corporation is likely to permit yet another NGO international Trust of Peace, to take part in the Animal Birth Control programme (ABC) in added areas of the city. Society of the Prevention of cruelty to Animals, Blue Cross of India and People for Animals are currently shouldering the responsibility of tackling challenges pertaining to animal birth control programme in the city. After the expansion of the city limits, the number of calls made to the helpline for stray dog control is on the rise. The number of animals has touched 1,900 every month. The civic body has just a few vans to catch dogs and only same are put to use. In the post three years, the civic body has caught around 55,000 dogs of which over 51,000 have been sterilised.

Iran and Russia strong support under-fire Syrian regime

Iran and Russia express strong support for the under-fire Syrian regime.

Sagittarius B2 at the heart of the Milky Way

A long-term research reveals that the centre of our galaxy tastes like raspberries and smells  like rum. Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud named  Sagittarius B2 at the heart of the Milky Way come to the conclusion that it contains the chemical ethyl formate, which gives raspberries their flavour and rum its signature smell.

Indian Bank Q.I. net rises 14%

Indian Bank has posted a 13.5 per cent increase in net profit in the first quarter-of 2012-13, at   462 crore as against   407 crore in the year-ago period. Sequentially, the growth was 33.7 per cent as the bank had posted a net profit of   345 crore in the last quarter of 2011-12. The rise is not profit was possible due to the ‘good amount of recovery and, in general, the interest income has also been good”, Chairman and M.D., T.M. Bhasin said in Chennai.

Mentally challenged girl gets a lifetime

The district administration has provided the much-needed relief to a 14 year-old mentally challenged girl, and her mother who earlier was forced to seek enthanasia as the could not bear to see her daughter suffer. Mathumitha, afflicted with cerabral palsy, has been admitted to the day care centre being run under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) project at Kollampalayam. Special teachers and physiotherapists at the centre will take care of the girl and provide therapy to her, besides helping her learn a few things in her own way.

Madras varisty to continue scheme for poor students

The University of Madras will implement its free education scheme for poor students for the third successive year. Launched in 2009-10, the scheme provides free educations for one students each in the 70 departments of the university and five students each in many of its affiliated colleges. In the first two years, 600 students from 80 affiliated colleges have been admitted through the scheme. Poor meritorious students whose parents income is below   2 lakh per annum and who do not own a land or house in the districts of Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur are eligible to apply for the scheme, and the schools should recommend them for higher students.

Corporation to intensity mass cleaning programme

Civic body officials at the zonal level have been asked to intensify the housefly control programme in the city. Teams of civic body officials in association with other agencies such as metrowater will start monitoring water contamination at the street-level. Officials will also intensify action against unauthorised entries selling unhygenic food. Concerned about the increasing number in many localities, the civic body formed a group of 600 personnel which has been found to be incidequate to cope with housefly menace in the city.

City, suburbs to get 16 new bus depots

In the coming months, one can expect an improvement in maintenance of buses plying across the city. Metropolitan Transport Corporation Ltd. (MTC) will get 16 bus depots in various parts of the city including a few in the suburbs in the next six months. The additional depots will enable better maintenance as there will be more space to park buses “Each depot has a different capacity. For example, now over 200 buses are parked in depot which can handle 100 buses. Due to this many vehicles are left on the road or in a terminus nearly. Besides the workers cannot regularly maintain so many buses”.

Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers

Four India-American scientists, Ms. Sridevi Vedula Sarma, Mr. Pawan Sinha, Mr. Parag A. Pathak and Mr. Biju Parekkadan, are named among 96 researchers that would be honoured with the prestigious Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. The awards are the highest honour given by the US Government to science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Budget deficit on oil export fees

South Sudan offers Sudan a $3.2 billion compensation package to help plug the latter’s gaping budget deficit and higher oil export fees.

SC bans on tourism tiger reserves

The protect tigers, the Supreme Court bans tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves.

Chief Minister announces measures to boost sports facilities in state

Chief Minister announced a slew of measures to improve sports facilities in the state. An official release stated that   1.56 crore would be spent towards installing four high-most lamps at the Nehru Stadium, Coimbatore, for competitions at night and two 75 KVA diesel generators. For this work, 50 per cent of the amount would be given by the govt. as subsidy while the rest would be met from the funds of the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu. A sum of   10 lakh has been allocated for the Chief Minister’s cup for badminton. Further added that 80 posts of coach would be created to encourage sportspersons to compete in national and international level events. This would be in addition to 139 existing posts. They would be given a monthly salary of   8,000 on contract basis. The additional expenditure to this would be   76.80 lakh. Chief Minister also allocated   1 crore each for swimming pools in Namakkal and Thiruvallur.

Advanced radiotherapy machine for cancer treatment

The MIOT hospitals marked the inauguration of the MIOT Institute of Cancer Cure and the Varian True Beam – an advanced radiotherapy machine – along with other advanced equipment for cancer treatment at an event in the city. The Varian True Beam offers image-guided radio therapy with sub-millimetre accuracy which increases the chances of a cure for cancer patients. The machine uses radiation to treat cancer without affecting the surrounding healthy tissue at the tumour site and can perform procedures in a shorter period of time compared to devices such as the cyberknife.

Hope concerns over varsity merger

The restoration of Anna University’s status as an affiliating university and merging of the regional Anna Universities of Technology (AUTs) with it are expected to bring back the name and quality associated with the premier institution, But the more has given rise to same apprehensions, too. There is no doubt that colleges and students will benefit. The university has a premier reputation and will definitely increase the value of the students degree”, says the principal of a self-financing college. The merger means that as many as 535 engineering colleges will come under Anna University’s fold. The govt. has argued that bringing all technical institutions under one umbrella would noise standards and provide for a common syllabus, and that the world famous university would regain its glory.

Pranab the President

Mr. Pranab Kumar Mukharjee, 76, was declared elected the 13th President on July, 22 2012. The UPA nominee defeated the former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma, by 3,97,776 value votes. While Mr. Mukherjee polled 3,095 votes, value (7,13,763) Mr. Sangma got 1,483 votes (3,15,987). Mr. Mukherjee, who will be sworn in by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia in New Delhi on July, 25, secured 68.12 per cent of the total 10,47,971 value votes cast by 4659 members of the State/Territorial Assemblies and Parliament. Humbly accepting the victory, Mr. Mukherejee, the first Bengali to occupy the Raisina Hill, expressed his “deep gratitude (to the people) for electing me president”. He received much more than he had given (to the country), and he would try to justify the people’s trust in him, he said.

Fukuoka Prize 2012

Veteran environmental philosopher and activist Ms. Vandana Shiva is chosen for the Fukuoka Prize 2012. The prestigious award is bestowed by Fukuoka city government in Japan on people who contribute to academia, arts and culture in Asia.

Greentech Safety Award

Lanco Amarkantak Power Limited, a subsidiary of Lanco Infratech Limited, is honoured with the Greentech Safety Award, given by the Greentech Foundation.

Salem, Madurai to get exclusive 500-bed

For the first time in the state, exclusive 500-bed hospitals for rural children and women will come up at Salem and Madurai at a cost of  80 crore each. Under the National Rural Health Mission, the State Health Society has been sanctioned   160 crore for establishing the state-of-art hospitals at Salem and Madurai. Children below the age of 12 and women from rural areas will be provided treatment in the hospital that has both outpatient and impatient wards. The new hospital at Salem is to come up on the campus of the Govt. Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital. The construction area has been identified and work is expected to be taken up in three months and completed by 2013 end.

54 crore fire buying sewing machines

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa ordered the release of   54,000 modern sewing machine to be distributed to members of women toiloring industrial co-operative societies. She also ordered an annual increase of five per cent in the wages of the co-operative societies. The revision would come into effect from 2013-14.

Scientists unveil an artifical jellyfish created using cells from rat

Scientists unveil an artificial jellyfish  created using cells from rat hearts and a seer polymer film. The new invention could one day save patients with heart diseases. The exploit marks a significant advance in so-called biomimicry, in which a natural phenomenon inspires innovations in the laboratory. Dubbed “Medusoid”, the laboratory-made jellyfish has a body of an ultra-thin silicone polymer with eight limb-like appendages.

England wins Tour de France Cycling championship

Bradley Wiggins of England wins the Tour de France cycling championship in Paris, France.

Fernando Alonso wins the Germany Grand Prix F1 title

Ferrari’s Spanish racer Fernando Alonso wins the German Grand Prix F1 title in Hockenhelm, Germany.

Report on Tax Justice Network

A report released by the Tax Justice Network reveals that the amount of black money deposited by the global super-rich elite in offshore accounts is as much as $20 trillion – equivalent of the combined GDPs of the US and Japan.

Former Finance Minister elected India’s 13th President

Former Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee is elected India’s 13th President, after he resoundingly wins the polls. The UPA nominee defeats former Lok Sabha Speaker Mr. P.A. Sangma by 3,97,776 value votes. Mr. Mukherjee polls 3,095 votes (value 7,13,763), while Mr. Sangma garners 1,483 votes (value 3,15,987).

Retirement age of V.Cs raised

The govt. has raised the retirement age of Vice-Chancellors of nine State Universities from 65 years to 70 through an ordinance. As the Assembly is not in session, the Governor has promulgated an ordinance to amend Tamil Nadu Universities Laws with effect from July 14. The state govt. has decided to amend the Acts to raise the retirement age to 70 years on per with the Central Universities Act 2009, “to utilise the knowledge gained by the academics for the enrichment of education in the State”, stated a note.

Aadhar card to be collected by March

We are setting March as a deadline to finish collecting biometric data across the state for issuing Aadhar numbers, said S. Gopalakrishnan, Director of census at the Madras Institute of Development Studies. He said that the first round of camps for collecting data had been conducted in two districts, i.e. Perambalur and Ariyalur and work is currently in progress in 11 districts. We will hold a second round of camps in the two districts between November and December he said. Around 50 lakh people are being covered in the 13 districts, and work will begin in four more districts by August.

Eurozone nations seal $122 million deal to provide rescue loans

The Eurozone nations seal a $122-million deal to provide rescue loans to Spain’s ailing banks amid speculations that the debt-laden Spanish government may also eventually seek a ball-out.

High-level working group recommends increasing loan amount

A high-level working group recommends tightening the provisioning norms for banks by increasing the amount of capital to be set aside by them from 2 percent to 5 percent of the loan amount.

Court reassured on storage of spent fuel from reactors

Adequate technology and experience are available with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) for transporting spent fuel from one location to another by rail and road in a safe manner without any public hazard. The note, filed through NPCIL counsel Krishna Srinivasan, stated that at Kudankulam spent fuel from the reactors would be stored in the spent fuel pool designed for the storage of spent fuel assembly. The pool capacity had been designed for storing spent fuel assemblies for eight years and unloading of the total reactor core at any movement of the nuclear power plant operation.

August deadline for noon meal recruitment

The state govt. has directed District Collectors to complete the recruitment of about 28,500 staff members for nutritious meal and children development programmes across the state by the middle of August. Pointing that the collectors have been made the appointing authority, a senior official in Chennai says the process of recruitment varies from district to district. The govt’s decision to raise the age ceiling for differently-abled from 40 to 43 years has made several districts reschedule their plans for interview.

Amendment gives planning law more teeth

An ordinance aimed at controlling and regulating unauthorised development throughout the state has been pramulgated to amend the Town and Country Planning Act. This was a logical conclusion of the process initiated with the formation of a committee, headed by former Supreme Court Judge S. Mohan, according to a senior official. A notification was issued on 16th July. Early June, while hearing a batch of writ petitions on illegal construction of buildings, the Madras High Court gave six works to the govt. to amend the law. Through a revised Schedule to the Act, the govt. also revised the amount of penalty for various offences. An amount of   5000 had been fixed for failure to apply for permission and get permission. A sum of   10,000 was fixed for three types of offences-erection of building a change in use of land without permission.

136 year old reservoir gets upgrade

The project to strengthen Red Hills reservoir, the city’s major drinking water source, has taken off after several decades. The work gains significance as some of this work is being carried out for the first time since the reservoir was built in 1876. Up until now the WRD has only taken up maintenance work worth   5 lakh every year on the reservoir. The water Resources Department (WRD) has initiated the project at a cost of   10.56 crore. Work is already progressing to plug holes in the two masonry weirs of the reservoir.

Worksheet to help students enhance skills in English

Though students studying in Tamil-medium schools study English, many often find it difficult to have a conversation or even write a letter in the language. In an attempt to help these students bridge the divide, a worksheet will soon be introduced as a reinforcement exercise to help students improve their Communicative English, according to a Sarva Siksha Abhiyan official. Students of classes VI, VII and VIII in the targeted govt. schools across the state will be the beneficiaries. The worksheet will cover speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through simple exercises and will be prepared based on the English lessons in the textbook, with each chapter having an exercise sheet.

Property tax devices to be put to alternative use

The Chennai Corporation is planning to use its existing hand-held devices for alternative use, after the ‘walk-in’ mode for payment of property tax becomes popular. Now hand-held devices are one of the most popular modes of property tax payment in the city. Mayor inaugurated the walk-in mode of payment in 146 branches of banks. Over ten lakh assesses will be able to pay their counters of I.O.B., Karur Vysya Bank and City Union Bank. The branches are accepting money, Cheques or demand draft for property tax payment.

Seema Antil wins the women’s discuss event

India’s Seema Antil wins the women’s discus event at the British Athletics League meet in London.

American cuts military aid to Pak.

The US House of Representatives votes unanimously to cut American military aid to Pakistan by $650 million.

RBI announces that foreign banks branches in India

The RBI announces that foreign banks having 20 or more branches in India will be brought on a par with domestic banks for priority sector lending targets.

New DRM of Southern Railway

Pradeep Kumar Mishra has assumed office as Divisional Railway Manager, Southern Railway, Chennai. An officer of the 1980 batch of the Indian Railway Engineering Service (IRSE) and M.Tech from IIT-Madras, he was Chief Engineer, construction, and held the posts of Chief Planning and Design Engineer and Chief Track Engineer of Southern Railway. He had undergone training in Sweden and other European countries for concrete sleeper layouts and was deputed for the  construction of bridges across the Brahmaputra, Ganges and Cauvery.

Sangma thanks Jayalalithaa

P.A. Sangma, the presidential candidate of the opposition parties said that she support of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa lent great strength to his campaign. Mr. Sangma told reporters that the not only offered her party’s support to him but also mobilised the support of a number of parties across the country. ‘It is a great strength’. The Chief Electoral Ofifcer stated in a press release that in addition to the MLAs, 10 members of the Lok Sabha and five members of the Rajya Sabha would cast their votes in Chennai.

China provide $20 billion in credit to African countries

China announces that it will provide $20 billion in credit to African countries over the next three years.

PM’s office announces speed up clearances for infrastructure and energy projects

The Prime Minister’s Office announces the setting up of a Project Clearance Board to speed up clearances for infrastructure and energy projects.

UST Global in pact with Centro Fox of Mexico

UST Global, a California-based provides of IT (information technology)  services and solutions with significant presence in India, has linked an exclusive partnership pact with Centro Fox, headed by former President of Mexico Vicente Fox Centro Fox, the state-of-the-art presidential library and learning centre dedicated to leadership development throughout Mexico and Latin America, is a non-profit organisation. The partnership will result in the expansion of UST Global’s innovative IT services and solutions to support the Latin American operations of global enterprises, as well as local organisations based within the regine.

New organic light-emitting diode

A team of American physicists announce that a new organic light-emitting diode has been developed. The new invention is brighter, cheaper and more ecologically friendly than the ones currently being used in the electronic devices. Known popularly as the spin-polarised organic LED or Spin OLED, the device stores information in the electron’s spin and the elctrical charges.

Koneru Humpy beats Nino Khurtsidze in Chess

India’s Koneru Humpy beats Nino Khurtsidze of Georgia in a crucial match of the FIDE women’s Grand Prix chess tournament in Jermuk, Armenia.

Russia join the WTO member

Russia’s Upper House of Parliament (Duma) ratifies the pact to join the World Trade Organisation despite widespread opposition in the country.

SEBI issues guidelines allowing overseas individual investors

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issues guidelines allowing overseas individual investors to invest up to $1 billion in corporate bonds and debt schemes of mutual funds without any lock-in period.

Music Academy announces awards

Vocalist Thrissur V. Ramachandran, a torch-bearer of the much celebrated GNB style of singing will receive the Sangita Kalanidhi title at the Music Academy’s 86th annual conference this year. The award will be presented to him on Jan. 1, 2013. He is know for his robust voice and vibrant presentation, a trade mark of his guru G.N. Balasubramaniam’s singing. Vocalist Tiruchi J. Venkataraah and violinist T. Rukmani will receive the “Sangita Kala Acharya’ awards, while T.T.K. awards will be presented to mridangam vidwan Mullapudi Sriramamurthy and musician-cum-recording expert K.S. Ragunathan, Dr. Ritta Rajan will receive the musicologist award and violinist Lalitha Raghavan will receive the Pappa Venkatramaniah award for violin. The Natya Kala Acharya Award for Dance, instituted last year, will be presented to eminent Bharatanatyam exponent Sudhamani Raghupathi, at the inaugural ceremony of the dance festival on Jan 3, 2013.

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik’s wins two gold medals

Odisha based sand artist Mr. Sudarsan Pattnaik’s sculpture of Hindu God Ganesha wins two Gold Medals at the Solo International Sand Art Contest held in Marbella, Spain. Mr. Pattnaik’s 3.5 metre sand sculpture bearing the message – ‘Save The Sea Life’ wins in ‘People’s Choice’ and ‘Best Positive’ sculpture categories.

India wins World junior men’s team squash championship

India make history at the World junior men’s team squash championship in Doha, Qatar, winning a medal (Bronze) for the first time.

India’s first satellite dedicated to astronomy launched in 2013

ISRO announces that the Astrosat – India’s first satellite dedicated to astronomy – will be launched in 2013. The satellite will gaze out at the universe in X-ray, ultraviolet and visible light bands. The data its instruments supply will help scientists to have a better understanding of the ways of the cosmos.

TANGEDCO modifies purchase policy

Tamil Nadu Electricity Generation and Distribution Corporation has affected procedural changes in its purchase policy recently for the benefit of micro, small and medium entreprises (MSMEs). Till now, equipment suppliers were paying two deposits with one being a security deposit and the other being a performance guarantee. Small units found these to be a complicated procedure and with 10 per cent of the bill amount always being away with the bank a deposit or bank guarantee. Now, Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association (TANSTIA) vice president told, the power authorities have done away with two-deposit norm and have called for only one deposit of 5 per cent of the bill value. This has come in handy to hundreds of small units as this will certainly improve not only their cash flow but also the profitability to a certain extent as they would make savings from the bank charges and guarantee fees.

West Indies wins ODI series against New Zealand

Hosts West Indies clinch the ODI series against New Zealand 4-1, winning the fifth and final match in Basseterre by 20 runs.

12th Five-Year Plan allocation

The Centre announces that the Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) for the textile sector will be continued in the 12th Five-Year Plan with an allocation of ` 15,886 crore.

Chennai’s quality, infrastructure aid its rise to prominence

Tamil Nadu has always valued education and has a long history of welcoming visiting scholars. Hiuen Tsang, the buddhist traveller, spent years in Kancheepuram learning Buddhist Philosophy under a benign Pallava regime in the seventh century. Not far from the ancient town are Chennai city and its sprawling that draw students from for and wide. Chennai may lag in terms of numbers, but private universities are now wooing more and more foreign students, citing quality and infrastructure advantages. The relative safety that the city and its neighbouring districts offer is another key factor.

English language teachers’ meet

International delegates to the English language Teachers Association of India will meet in Chennai next week to debate on the reforms and approaches to empower teachers and learners in English by discussing the paradigm shift needed in methods and approaches in the English classroom. The seventh international and 43rd national English language Teachers conference will be held in Chennai from July 19 to 21, with English Classroom : Experiances and Experiments” as it theme. About 500 papers have been received by the Association for acceptance and a special edition of conference proceedings with 50 select papers will be released, according to a press release from the association.

Milkha Singh captures his fourth European Tour title

India’s ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh captures his fourth European Tour title when he wins the Scottish Open golf championship in Castle Stuart, Scotland.

Japan recalls its envoy to China

Japan recalls its envoy to China amid a summering row between the two nations over a disputed territory in the South China Sea.

Lions, the pride of Vandalur zoo

Visitors to the lion safari at Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, can enjoy sighting three prides of lions. As the lions had formed groups according to their instincts and compatibility, authorities had opportioned two small areas within the existing safari area. Visitors can see one pride in the open forest  area and the other two in the newly created fenced yards. Facilities such as rest shed and water trough had been provided in the new area for the lions.

ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh

An ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia breaks up in acrimony due to disputes over the South China Sea. The summit ends without issuing the customary joint communique, which is a first in the bloc’s 45-year history.

State will set up 100 industrial clusters

During the 12th Plan period Tamil Nadu will set up 100 industrial clusters with common facilities centre (CFC) to enhance productivity competitiveness and capacity building of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES), said Rural Industries Minister M.C. Sampath. He said during the 11th plan period, 50 projects were identified by the State govt. of which seven had been completed and eight were under various stages of implementation. The centre had sanctioned a grant of 39.89 crore and the state, 5 crore. For the current year, 20 clusters would be taken up for implementation costing ` 136.07 crore.

Toronto ATP Masters tennis

Novak Djokovic of Serbia wins the title at the Toronto ATP Masters tennis tournament in Toronto, Canada, beating Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the final.

Cuba and Miami linked by cargo service

Ana Cecilia, a US cargo ship, carrying humanitarian aid from the US to Cuba, arrives in Havana. It is the first expedition of its kind in 50 years.

Successfully test-fires the Agni-I

The Strategic Forces Command of the Indian Army successfully test-fires the Agni-I from the Wheeler Islands off the Odisha coast.

Poland looking to expand footprint

Having proved its worth with the establishment in Dindigul, Poland is trying to expand its footprint in Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, according to Poland’s Ambassador to India, Piotr Klodkowski. He told that the Polish firm TZMO with Bella India was expanding its production capacity, while a Chennai based firm was in the process of acquiring a firm in the energy sector in Poland. “In India, we have about dozan firms and only one in Tamil Nadu. But, we are not satisfied. A polish delegation is coming to India during Jan. 2013 and we are planning to bring it to Tamil Nadu.

Narikurava youth makes it to Thanjavur Medical College

Narikurava youth of Valliammai Village in Krishnagiri district has got an MBBS seet in the Govt. Medical College, Thanjavur, through counselling held in Chennai, M. Rajapandi secured 1,167 marks out of 1,200 in the plus-two examination, and his score in the relevent subjects during counselling was 197.75. He was ranked 1014 under general category. Under the MBC category, he was in place 185 in the 2 rank list.

AC EMU rakes for city soon

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) will roll out five AC-powered EMU rakes for the Chennai suburban sector of Souther Railway by the end of the year, Abhay Khanna said. Also he said ICF Chennai bagging the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Eco-Innovation Award – 2012’. The five EMU rakes each having a carriage capacity of about 3,000 passengers, formed part of the 21 AC EMU rakes planned for the fiscal.

Indian junior women win the team title

The Indian junior women win the team title at the inaugural Golden Gloves of Vojvodina international boxing meet held in Novsad, Serbia.

Nuclear weapons programme

The US unleashes a fresh wave of sanctions against Iran, piling up pressure on the Islamic Republic to do something about Western concerns over its suspected nuclear weapons programme.

Hi-tech glove – Enable-Talk

Scientists say that they have developed a high-tech tool capable of converting sign language into speech. The tool, which is basically a glove, could improve the quality of life of millions around the world. The ‘super’ glove, created by a Ukrainian team of inventors, is fitted with a complex network of sensors that recognise hand movements and translate signs, which are then converted into spoken word by a smartphone app. The hi-tech glove is called ‘Enable-Talk’.

England win ODI series against Australia

Hosts England beat Australia by seven wickets in the fourth and final ODI in London, thus taking the series 4-0.

China close to completing the repaving of the Xinjiang-Tibet national highway

China announces that it is close to completing the repaving of the Xinjiang- Tibet national highway, which runs through the disputed Aksai China region, for the first time in 50 years.

Banks grew 1.2% in first quarter

Official data shows that banks’ credit grew 1.2 percent in the first quarter (April-June) of 2012-13, while deposits rose 1.9 percent.