August, 2012

Indian Economy Q-1 (Apr-June)

Growth of the Indian Economy Growth in per cent at 2004-05 prices.

– at factor cost  2011-8.0 ; 2012-5.5

                                                                                   2011-12    2012-13

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing                                 3.7           2.9
Mining & Quarrying                                                  –0.2            0.1
Manufacturing                                                             7.3            0.2
Electricity, Gas & Water supply                                8.0            6.3
Construction                                                               3.5          10.9
Trade, Hotels, Transport & Communication      13.8            4.0
Financing, Insurance, Real Estate &
Business Services                                                    9.4          10.8
Community, Social & Personal Services               3.2           7.9
[KBK Infographics]

Double decker daily train likely to Bangalore

The Chennai-Bangalore Double Decker AC train announced in the Railway Budget is likely to rollout by December – January touting several additional safety features and passanger amenities. However through you will have more people for company on board this new train, the Shatabdi Express will continue to be your best choice to reach Bangalore faster while the running time between the two cities is about six hours for the double decker, the Shatabdi’s races across the 362 km. in just under five hours. The Chennai-Bangalore section would be 17 coaches that include a 13 car rake and four spare and two Brake van-cum-luggage-cum power cars. This Express will have a seating capacity of 120 persons per coach that is partitioned into upper deck 50, lower deck 48 and normal 22 sections.

16th Summit of NAM

The 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) concludes in Tehran, Iran. Leaders from 120 nations, including 24 Presidents, three Kings, eight Prime Ministers and 50 Foreign Ministers participate in the summit. Such issues as human rights, nuclear disarmament, Syria’s civil unrest, etc., top the agenda at the summit.

New Chief of Naval Staff

Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi takes charge as the Chief of the Naval Staff, succeeding Admiral Nirmal Kumar Varma.

CSO releases the data on India’s GDP

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) releases the data on India’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter (April-June) of the 2012-13 financial year. The data puts the GDP growth during the quarter under consideration at 5.5 percent, marking a show of persistent sluggishness from a robust 8 percent expansion during the same period in the previous (2011-12) financial year.

Adopt system cut effluent temperature

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has laid down a condition that the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project should adopt a suitable system to reduce the temperature of the trade effluent at the final discharge point so that the resultant rise in the temperature of the sea does not exceed seven degrees celsius above the ambient temperature. The board stipulated the condition in its fresh consant order to operate the plant, a copy of which was submitted to the Madras High-Court.

Stormwater project for new zones

The Chennai Corporation is likely to construct a stormwater drain network, totalling nearly 1,055 kms in the eight added zones as part of the measures to prevent water-logging. The network, which will be constructed at an estimated cost of   3000 crore, will cover four basins of Kosasthalaiyar, Adyar, Coovam  and Kovalam. Kosasthalaiyar basin will be devided into watersheds covering zones such as Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram and parts of Ambattur. Adyar basin will cover zones of Valasarawakkam and Alandur. Stormwater drain network in watersheds of cooum basin will prevent water logging in parts of Ambattur zone and Valasaravakkam. New stormwater drain proposals in Kovalaum basin will benefit Sholinganallur and Perungudi zones.

City cops get FB-ing with brand new page

The city police recently launched their official Facebook page – Kaval Thurai (Police department) – in order to spread awareness about various kinds of fraud including cyber crime, online bank fauds, job rarckets and other white-collar crimes Netizens using the page can post alerts on frauds, which will then be probed by police. In the aftermath of an Chennai Traffic Police, the Chennai city police opened its own page. While there are 25 subscribers as of now, the numbers are expected to escalate.

Addl. Solicitor – General take charge

Two new Additional Solicitors-General for the High Courts in South India took charge. G. Masilamani, a former Advocate-General of Tamil Nadu and P. Wilson, a former Additional Advocate-General, have been appointed by the Union Govt. to succeed M. Ravindran, whose term of office had ended. This is the first time that two ASGs were appointed for South India after the post was created in 1997. Mr. Masilamani had held the post in 1997-98. Mr. Wilson, a senior counsel, has held various positions including Standing Counsel for Chennai Corporation and Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Asst. Solicitor-General of India and Senior Legal Advisor, Chennai Port Trust.

16th NAM summit

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh meets with Pakistan President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the 16th NAM Summit in Tehran, Iran, Dr. Singh conveys to Mr. Zardari India’s decision to allow Pakistan to cross-examine three 26/11 witnesses.

Prize money for villages against untouchability hiked

The prize money given under the award scheme for villages that have decisively acted against untouchability has been increased from   2 lakh to   10 lakh, for order to this effect has been issued by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, according to an official release. One village in each district would be chosen under the scheme, 0which would cover all districts but Chennai. In each district, a committee, headed by the respective collector, had been set up to identify such a village.

Dial ‘routes’ for the right directions

Taking the road less travelled comes easily to young entrepreneurs Bharat Somani and Ashwin Kumar of Chennai-based start-up vTel Details. It isn’t surprising, coming from the brilliant minds responsible for the creation of ‘routes’ a unique venture to provide local travel information to people in the city, free of cost. Help is literally, just a call away. Information on routes in the city has numbers and local train timings, details of fares, and timings of inter-city buses, trains and domestic flights – are available at your fingertips, thanks to the helpline 8695959595.

Sale of flats to fund TNHB quarters

The Tamil Nadu Housing Board will soon take up work to re-construct govt. rental quarters at Foreshore Estate and Thirumangalam. The lands belong to the state govt. Nearly 2,385 new dwellings will be constructed on the 25.50 acres of land at Foreshore estate were 1,269 apartments stood. This is the result of optimum use of floor-space index. Already 992 units have been demolished. These quarters are rented out to state govt. employees at a nominal rate and the rent is deducted from their salaries.

More car rental options for city soon

Transport in the city just got a leg up in terms of options available. A fleet of 500 cars is being introduced for inter-city and self-drive serivces by car-zonrent, a car rental/hire company. This is in addition to its existing fleet of 500 cars in the city. The cabs will be up for rent in a couple of months. The company is also collaborating with international car rental partner to introduce a service for people who-travel from India to any of 45 countries around the world. People will be able to rent a cab service from India prior to their departure on their website. The self drive option and the international car rental service will be operational in a month’s time.

Fresh forces at CMRl, with students on board post course at IIT-Madras

A team of young engineers – who spent a year at IIT-Madras learning about metro rail technology and management are now part of the Metro Rail contingent that is executing the mega project in the city. On complation of the post-graduate diploma course offered by IIT-Madras in association with Chennai Metro Rail Ltd., the first batch of students who pursued the course has been placed across different departments of CMRL, including construction, signalling and telecom-munication and systems divisions.

Single train trip equal to other vehicles

By 2015, when the city’s metro rail network is up and running users will have access to trains every 45 minutes in peak hours and every 15 minutes during lean hours. The  trains will halt for about 30 seconds in each station. The four-car trains will have a capacity to carry 1,276 people and six-car trains will be able to hold 1,580 people. However, only four-car trains will be rolled out initialy and later, depending on the need. A single four-car train trip will be able to take the place of 16 buses, 300 cars and 600 two wheelers.

Transport woes hassle Ennore employees

Hundreds of the employees of the infrastructure sector in and around Ennore and Kattupalli, are now demanding better transport systems from the area to Chennai Central, Ennore is home to two sea ports, the North Chennai Thermal  Power Station, two petroleum majors and one automobile firm that have invested close to   15,000 cr. in the area. As the units are located about 45 km. from Chennai Central, people commuting from the city to work in Ennore, prefer to travel by train as it is safer and faster.  Official sources in Southern Railway said they had been receiving complaints from commuters on the Gummidipoondi and Arakkonam lines about delay in train services. Presently problems in the Arakkonam times are being looked into.

Higher FSI likely for buidlings around Metro

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authorities has indentified a consultant for a detailed study on densification of the Chennai Metro Rail Corridors. The study was expected to start in June but was delayed by the Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure  Financial Services Ltd., which was only now identified a consultant. The study will now be completed in six months. Buildings within 500 metres on either side of the metro rail corridor will be permitted a higher Floor Space Index (FSI) based on the study. The decision on the FSI limit will be crucial for optimum use of the metro rail, as buildings surrounding it will be able to accommodate more people, potentially leading to an increased use of the trains.

Britain scientists with sprays for human aiding

Scientists at the Newcastle University, Britain, come up with a range of sprays that can help repair body parts, protect teeth enamel and even prevent post-surgery complications. Based on a plastic called polyethylene glycol, the thick liquid is sprayed onto the wound and it sets within five minutes. When the plastic sets, it pulls the edges of the wound together, aiding healing.


Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award : Vijay Kumar (Shooting), Yogeshwar Dutt (Wrestling)
Arjuna Award
 : Deepika Kumari (Archery), Laishram Bombayla Devi (Archery), Sudha Singh (Athletics), Kavita Ramdas Raut (Athletics), Ashwini Ponnappa (Badminton), Parupalli Kashyap (Badminton), Aditya S. Mehta (Billiards & Snooker), Vikas Krishan (Boxing), Yuvraj Singh (Cricket), Sardar Singh (Hockey). Yashpal Solanki (Judo), Anup Kumar (Kabaddi), Samir Suhag (Polo), Annu Raj Singh (Shooting), Omkar Singh (Shooting), Joydeep Karmakar (Shooting), Deepika Pallikal (Squash), Sandeep Sejwal (Swimming), Ng Sonia Chanu (Weightlifting), Narsingh Yadav (Wrestling)P, Rajinder Kumar (Wrestling), Geeta Phogat (Wrestling), M. Bimoljit Singh (Wushu), Deepa Mallick (Athletics, Paralympics), Ramkaran Singh (Athletics, Paralympics)

Dronacharya Award – Virender Poonia (Athletics), Sunio Dabas (Kabaddi – Women), Yashvir Singh (Wrestling), Harendra Singh (Hockey), Dr. Satyapal Singh (Athletics, Para Sports), B.I. Fernandez (Boxing), J.S. Bhatia (Athletics – Lifetime Achievement), Bhawani Mukherjee (Table Tennis – Lifetime Achievement).
Dhayan Chand Award – Jagraj Singh Mann (Athletics), Gundeep Kumar (Hockey), Vinod Kumar (Wrestling), Sukhbir Singh Tokas (Para Sports)

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award 2011 :
 Col. Anand Swarup, SM (Land Adventure) Subedar Rajendra Singh Jalal (Land Adventure), Bhakti Sharma (Water Adventure), Mandip Singh Soin (Lifetime Achievement).


The Hon’ble President, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Sports Awards 2012 at a glittering function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on August 29, 2012. The awards recognise and reward excellence in sports. London Olympics 2012 Silver medallist Vijay Kumar and Bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt were conferred the country’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for the year 2012. Besides, 25 sportspersons were presented with the Arjuna Award, the second highest sports award in the country. In addition, a host of other sporting honours were also conferred. Mr. Ajay Maken, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Youth Affairs and Sports was among the dignitaries present on the occasion.

IAEA announces special Iran Task Force of nuclear weapons experts

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announces that it has created a special Iran Task Force of nuclear weapons experts, intelligence analysts and other specialists focussed on probing allegations that Iran has been secretly working on developing nuclear arms.

Kasab’s death sentence uphold

The Supreme Court upholds the death sentence awarded to the prime 26/11 accused, Ajmal Kasab.

New TTD trustee promises pilgrim – friendly Tirupati

Mr. Kanniah, the Thiruppathi Tirumala Devastana Board Trustee has promised to press the case for improved facilities for the lakhs of pilgrims visiting the hill-shrine in Andhra Pradesh. He would work  for the immediate implementation of pilgrim-friendly measures such as distribution of refreshments for devotees at the foothills as well as during the climb. He will ensure that long-term plans, including shelters and chaultries were in place within a year. The SRMU leader, who was nominated a trustee of the famed temple by the A.P. Governor, will hold office for a period of two years as a representative of the states of Tamil Nadu,  Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Starlite Copper wins award

Starlite Copper has bagged the prestigious  Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Water Award under Industrial Water Efficiency Category. The award was in recognition to the company’s excellence in reduction of specific water consumption, waste water treatment system, zero discharge and awareness on water conservation among employees.

NABARD fund for creating infrastructure in schools

NABARD has sanctioned a financial support of   129.82 crore to the state under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund. Lalitha Venkatesan, CGM, NABARD, Tamil Nadu Regional Office, said, in a statement, that the amount has been sanctioned for creation of additional infrastructure in 131 govt. higher secondary schools spread over 31 districts. The funds would be used for construction of 1,508 classrooms, 112 labs, staff rooms, hostel blocks, drinking water and toilet blocks expected to benefit 1.07 lakh students.

An account soon, of every drop of drinking water

To increase accountability in water supply  management, Chennai Metrowater will soon implement a system where the entire process, from sourcing to distribution of drinking water to residents, will be monitored through a centralised online network. The water agency floated a tender recently to implement the project using real-time data acquisition and a matrix display system. According to sources in Metrowater, the centralised city water supply network will help the agency monitor the status of supply daily.

Hepatitis screening at GH picks up pace, 448 and counting

A total of 443 people have been tested for Hepatitis B and C so far, at the Rajiv Gandhi Govt. General Hospital as part of its follow up of a free screening camp conducted on July 28 to mark World Hepatitis Day. The hospital is expecting another 100 people from Vellore district to arrive for testing, apart from twenty patients who tested positive at the camp who will come in for treatment.

Better approach roads to OMR soon

The Highways Department will develop road grids on major roads such as Rajiv Gandhi Salai and Outer Ring Road. A study of the existing conditions in areas around the stretches is underway and a consultant will be appointed shortly for preparation of a detailed project report. Rajiv Gandhi Salai has over 300 approach roads that cry for better civic amenities and development. “The worldclass standards stop with the main roads. We want the smaller roads that lead to the main road to be developed and widened. We are looking to widen many of these roads into four-lane facilities so that land owners further down the line would also be well-connected”.

Protest against temple takeover holds up ASI hearing

Tension prevailed for sometime near the Sthalasayana Perumal temple at Mamallapuram as a group of people raised slogans against the “Exercise of verifying and recording the objections” undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), with respect to the proposal to bring this temple into the ASI fold.

Tardy mansoon : Water table rises only marginally

The shortfall in rains this season has begun to have an impact on groundwater in the city. The water level has witnessed only a marginal rise this July compared to last year, according to a study of Chennai Metrowater. For the past few years, the water level across the city had risen by a minimum of 0.50 metre annually. However, this year, there has been a rise of only up to 0.15 metre in areas, including those newly merged with the city.

Job skills primer for BE students

Training the trainer might not just be enough ; after all, it is the student who is evaluated on differed fronts. The ICT Academy of Tamil Nadu, which has trained 6,000 teachers in over 380 enginering colleges in three years, will enter campuses and impart employability skills to students. The Academy an initiative by the Central and state governments, is also funded by several IT companies. Nearly 65 of the 500 colleges, whose student will be trained, are in Chennai and Outskirts.

Norman Borlaug Award

New Delhi-based social scientist Ms. Aditi Mukherji becomes the first Indian winner of the prestigious $10,000 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application given by the World Food Prize Foundation. Ms. Mukherji, a researcher at the International Water Management Institute in New Delhi, is chosen for her work on groundwater resources in agriculture, leading to policy changes benefiting farmers in West Bengal.

Nehru Cup football

Nepal and India play out a goalless draw in their group match at the Nehru Cup football championship in New Delhi.

China test-fired a new generation ICBM

China announces that it has test-fired a new generation inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). The new ICBM, with a range of 14,000 km, can carry multiple warheads. The name of the ICBM is Dongfeng-41, and it can carry as many as 10 nuclear warheads.

Union Cabinet approves ban on employment

The Union Cabinet approves the ban on employment of children aged upto 14 in any form of industry.

Slew of measures to boost animal husbandry sector

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced a slew of measures to give a fillip to the development of animal husbandry sector. The Chief Minister has ordered to set up 50 sub centre hospitals a new so as to extend the veterinary medical facilities to remote villages and about   1.06 crore had been allocated for it. With the assistance of National Dairy Development Corporation, a modern milk powder plant was being set up in Ammapalayam, Tiruvannamali district, with a capacity to process 2,00,000 litres of milk per day and eventually product 20 tonnes of dry powder per day. The plant would start its production by next July. In addition to the already released amount of   45.74 crore, an amount of   11.51 crore would be given.

Courtrallam gets state’s biggest eco-park

The State’s biggest eco-park has come up in a picturesque spot at Courtallam, a popular destination of tourists, down South. Established over an extent of 37.23 acres in Tirunelveli District at a cost of   5.73 crore, the park, adjacent to the famous ‘Five Falls’, is awaiting a formal inauguration. The farm belonging to the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Development Agency has been converted to accommodate the park. Some of the allocative features of the park are adventure-play area, sunkan garden, fern garden, royal drive, bamboo avenue, rock garden children play area, murals, butterfly garden, ecopond and stream walk. The Agency is also setting up two gardens at Yercaud, a botanical garden and Kurinji genetic heritage Garden, besides Paalai genetic heritage garden at Achadipirambu in Ramanthapuram district on an investment of about   24 crore. TANHODA maintains seven parks and gardens in the state and 49 farms are under its control.

China wins FIBA Asia u-18 boys basketball championship

China emerge winners at the 22nd FIBA Asia u-18 boys’ basketball championship in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, beating South Korea in the final.

Graft case against Pak P.M.

Pakistan Prime Minister Mr. Raja Parvez Ashraf survives his first date in court, with the Supreme Court accepting his plea for more time and adjourning the long-drawn out case over asking Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Mr. Asif Alif Zardari.

Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 cleared

The Centre informs the Supreme Court that the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and Their Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 has been cleared.

New micro plan for garbage clearance in North Chennai

The Chennai Corporation will prepare a modified micro plan of action for improving garbage clearance in old city limits of North Chennai, where conservancy operations are not privatised. The plan will be implemented in zones of Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar and Anna Nagar. The measures will help the civic body cope with the challenges to garbage clearance in the congested areas till the proposal for gradual privatisation of conservancy operations is implemented.

Interior roads to be repaired

The Chennai Corporation will commence re-laying work on 204 km. of interior roads. Relaying of over 450 damaged roads will be completed before the onset of the northeast monsoon. Tenders for 40 of the 44 packages of the   108 crore work have been finalised. Over 959 roads have been covered under these packages worth   95.28 crore. The retender for the remaining four packages in areas such as Tiruvottiyur will be done shortly. Re-laying of interior  roads in all zones except Anna Nagar will be taken up under the project.

India win U-19 Cricket World Cup

India win the ICC under-19 cricket World Cup, beating hosts Australia by six wickets in the final in Townsville.

16th NAM summit

The 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit opens in Tehran, Iran.

China moves mutual investment with India

China calls for a move to boost mutual investments with India as a measure to strengthen bilateral ties.

Neil Armstrong passes away

Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, passes away at the age of 82.

Massive victory in its patent case against South Korean technology

In a massive victory in its patent case against South Korean  technology major Samsung, the US-based Apple wins more than one billion dollars after a court holds that the South Korean firm violated a series of Apple’s patents pertaining to software and designs of mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

Prithvi-II missile test-fires successfully

The Strategic Forces Command of the Army successfully test-fires the surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile.

Cotton production, exports estimate up

India’s cotton production and exports in the 2011-12 season (Oct-Sept) is expected to be the highest ever in the last 10 years. According the Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) which met in Mumbai on 23rd Aug. the provisional production estimate for 2011-12 is 353 lakh bales and export is 127 lakh bales. At a meeting held in April this year, the board estimated production to the 347 lakh bales and exports to be 115 lakh bales. Usually cotton arrivals in the market end in July. This year, about 340 lakh bales have already came to the market with close to 10,000 bales arriving every day. Hence, production estimates were revised upwards, say textile industry representative.

Deputy Secretary to Governor

K. Vivekanandan, sub-collector, Kallakurichi, Villupuram district, has been transferred and posted as Deputy Secretary to Governor (Universities). According to a release, the govt. accorded sanction for such a post for one year with effect from the date of appointment or till the need for it ceases, whichever is earlier.

Status quo ordered on eligibility marks for SC/ST candidates

The Madras High Court has ordered that status quo be maintained with regard to the minimum eligibility marks for reserved category, particularly SC/ST candidates, for admission to first year BE/B.Tech courses. The single judge dismissed a writ petition challanging the minimum of 40 marks prescribed by the All India Council of Technical Education on July 4 last year in the qualifying examinations for all reserved category candidates, including those belonging to SC and ST categories for admission to engineering courses. In the appeal, preferred by the Additional Chief Secretary to Govt. Higher Education Department, it was submitted that State norms were not in conservance with the AICTE’s latest norms only in respect of SC/ST(A) and ST categories where as a minimum of 40 per cent in the related subjects was required as per the AICTE  norms, the state had fixed 35 per cent as the minimum.

Less-Polluting silencer bags first place in competition

The final round of the ‘Veetukku Oru Vignani’ competition was held  at Dos Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, in Chennai on Aug. 22. This was exhibition of the 66 junior and senior-level science projects that ranked first in the preliminary round of competitions held in Puducherry and across Tamil Nadu. In the competition for the seniors, K. Sanjay and S. Yogesh of Geetanjali All India Senior Secondary School, Erode, were awarded first place, for their project, a less polluting silencer. In the junior category, Alagumeena of Sri Nehru Vidyalaya, from Coimbatore district, stood first with her project, a paper honeycomb.

Indo-German mela begins today

The dizzyingly symmetric and iridescent pavilions designed by German installation artist Markers Heinsdorff, for the 10-day urban mela “Germany and India 2011-12. Infinite opportunities’ resemble shades of precious metals such as gold, silver and copper from the outside, and carry relevant messages on issues of mobility, education, energy and sustainable urban development from the inside.

PSPB wins 4 titles in Table Tennis

Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) stamp their class winning all the four team titles on offer – men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ – at the 42nd inter-institutional table tennis championship in Kolkata.

Myanmar President reveals a report that Buddhist monks

Myanmar’s President Mr. Thein Sein reveals in a report that Buddhist monks, politicians and other ethnic leaders are kindling hatred towards Muslim Rohingyas in the country currently plagued by anti-Muslim violence.

NAC sets universal health coverage

The National Advisory Council (NAC) sets up a high-level working group to assess the state of universal health coverage in India.

Engine Factory clocks 25 years

The Indian Army’s battle tanks – Ajeya, Bhishma and Sarath may differ in their speed, agility and fire power, but share a common umbilical cord. The engines that power these armoured vehicle variants hail from the Engine Factory, Avadi (EFA), which celebrates its silver jubilee. Uniquely placed as the sole supplier of diesel engines for various battle tank versions in the Army, the EFA is now embarking on a major plan to double to installed capacity and scale up its technical workforce in tune with the expanding needs of the country’s defence establishment. “We hope to double capacity to 750 engines annually by 2014”, said Saurabh Kumar, EFA General Manager.

Draft rules for school buses finalised

The Tamil Nadu govt. submitted before the Madras High Court that the draft rules for school buses have been finalised and they will be placed before the cabinet in a couple of days. The govt. made the submission when the matter relating to the tragedy at Mudichur on July 25 in which a Standard II student S. Sruthi of Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School fell through a hele in a school bus and was run over, came up before the first bench consisting of the Chief Justice M.Y. Eqbal and Justice A. Arumuga Swamy for further hearing. At the last hearing on Aug. 10, the Bench directed the State to produce the draft rules. When the matter came up, Govt. Pleader S. Venkatesh sought time for placing the rules before the court.

TNHB mulling projects on temple lands

The Tamil Nadu Housing Board and the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department are contemplating formulating housing projects on temple lands. As of now, two rounds of negotiations have taken place. Describing the status of talks a preliminary, sources say that the rationale behind the move is to put to productive  use of temple lands, which are vulnerable to encroachment or misuse. Housing Projects, when divised, will be implemented without compromising the sources assert. A pilot project will be drawn up before proceeding further. The HR & CE Dept. has made it clear to the housing board that no temple land would be offered at concessional rates.

Civic body netlinks stormwater project

The Chennai Corporation has revised the massive project for food mitigation in the city, involving construction of new drainage systems in four basins under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). A number of stretches have been dropped from the list of roads that were due to get new stormwater drains. According to the revised project report, the allocation for the Chennai Corporation has been reduced from 814.88 cr. to    747.64 crore. The total number of works in the revised project in the four basins will be 970. The Chennai Corporation and the P.W.D. bad came together and chalked out a comprehensive food-management plan under the JNNURM at an estimated cost of   1447.91 crore. The revised project after dropping many stratches will cost   1475.43 crore.

Philippines, developed a strain of rice that grows well in soils

Scientists at the International Rice Research Institute, the Philippines, announce that they have developed a strain of rice that grows well in soils lacking nutrient phosphorus, a feat that will boost crop yields for some farmers by as much as a fifth.

Pilotless target aircraft Lakshya-1

 Pilotless target aircraft Lakshya-1 is successfully test-flown.

Indigenous pollution control vessel

Samudra Paheredar, the indigenously built second pollution control vessel, specially designed to mitigate any marine oil spill, received a warm welcome from the Coast Guard fertinity on its arrival at Chennai Port. The vessel will add marine pollution response capabilities like contain, recover and dispose of 500 tonnes of oil which may be spilled into the seas by accidents or hazards. It also has infrared surveillance system which can detect any oil spill even of minor nature, and thereafter dissolve or disintegrate oil. The ship, 95 metres long and displacing 4,300 tonnes with a maximum speed of 20.5 knots in boost mode, has an endurance of 6500 nautical miles and can stay at sea for over 20 days.

Vallur Project to start power generation by October

The Vallur Thermal Power Project, a joint venture project of the erstwhile Tamil Nadu Electricity Board and the NTPC, should have supplied at least 375 megawatt of electricity to Tamil Nadu nearly two years ago, Oct-2010. The state should have got another 375 MW from the Project in April 2011 and 375 MW more in Oct. 2011. This was the schedule of the project made public three years ago. In two weeks, it is going to be five years since the formal inauguration of work on the project.

Rural libraries to be upgraded

Ninety-six rural libraries are to be upgraded as branch libraries and 160 part-time libraries as rural libraries. To man the 96 branch libraries, the post of as many number of level III librarians would be created with the pay scale of 5,200-20,000 combined with grade pay of    2000. Besides, to take care of the upgraded 160 rural libraries, there would be an equal number of rural librarians in the pay scale of   2,800-5,000 with grade pay of    500 as special grade.

Cooling gas supplies resume

Cooking gas supplies from the Ennore bottling plant of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) resumed, even as meetings to resolve the protest by workers – who load and unload the cylinders at the godowns of the distributors remained in conclusive. Distributors had expressed concern of an increase in the backlog, in the protest – for more wages by the workers – prolonged.

Suspend recognition to Jeppiar College

The district administration has suggested the suspension of recoginition to the Jeppiar Institute of Technology in Kumaran according to Hanish Chhabra the collector. The collector said that subsequent to the wall collapse incident on the college premises on August 6, a team of officials inspected the infrastructural facilites at the institution. The team in its report had pointed out several deviations in construction and also said that some other buildings were being raised on the campus without obtaining permission. Based on the report the administration suggested to the higher education Departments that the recognition to the college  be suspended.

Russia join WTO

After 18 years of negotiations Russia finally joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

China reveals its plan to launch several space projects

China reveals its plan to launch several space projects, including a hard X-ray telescope for black hole studies, between 2014 and 2016. The projects also include a dark matter particle explorer (DAMPE), aimed at helping detect high-energy electrons and gamma rays.

Part of initiatives to boost investment

As part of initiatives to boost investment, the Centre permits Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) as an eligible borrower for external commercial borrowings (ECBs) for on-lending to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMF) sector.

US developed a two-seater plane

A Daily Mail report reveals that scientists in the US have developed a foldable, two-seater plane which can cruise on land, sea and even snow. Named Lisa Akoya, the $350,000 plane comes with foldable wings, which allows it to be kept in a garage. It can travel up to 2,011 km on a single trip at speeds of upto 135 knots (155 miles per hour).

China team’s measurements of cosmic microwaves

US astronomer Charles L. Bennett, a professor of physics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, USA, receives the 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize in Beijing, China for his team’s measurements of cosmic  microwaves, which may prove invaluable in researching the Big Bang.

Impeach the Romania President

Romania’s Constitutional Court rules that a referendum held to impeach the country’s President Mr. Traian Basescu was invalid. The ruling paves the way for the President, who was impeached, to return to office and see out the rest of his term.

Chief Minister seeks commitment from canteen power allocation

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa sought a commitment from the centre over the allocation of entire power to be generated from the first 1000 MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project to the state. In a fresh letter to P.M., she drew his attention to her earlier letters dated March 31 and April 25, wherein she had sought his assistance for the allocation of the entire power to the state.

Ecuador’s proposal to grant WikiLeaks founder

Britain comes under pressure after several South American nations back Ecuador’s proposal to grant WikiLeaks founder Mr. Julian Assange political asylum in the country.

Myanmar ends direct media censorship in the country

Myanmar ends direct media censorship in the country. It is the most dramatic move yet towards allowing freedom of expression in the long-repressed military-ruled nation.

TMB strengthens pact with United India

Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank (TMB) has deepened its alliance with United India Insurance Co. by launching a co-branded health care policy for the bank’s customers. At a launch function of the product “TMB-UNI Family Health Care Policy, G. Srinivasan, Chairman and M.D., United India Insurance Company, said only 15 per cent of the total population in India was covered under various health insurance products. On the performance of the bank, Mr. Nagendra Murthy said the total business as on June 30, 2012, stood at   32,202 crore with deposits registering a rise of 27.9 percent to   17,649 crore and advances by 37.1 per cent to   14,553 crore as compared to the same period in the previous year.

Project to address livelihood issues in coastal areas

A programme that integrates the roles of researchers, farmers and policy-makers to develop a framework for water and agriculture sectors in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh was launched in Chennai. The programme titled as “ClimaAdopt – and marine areas” focuses on improving the livelihood of those in the coastal area sby sustainable fishing practices. The project in funded by the Norwegian Govt. and will be implemented for a period of four years at a cost of   25 crore. The project will be implemented in Erode and Tiruchi districts in Tamil Nadu and Nalgonda and Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh.

GIS tax mapping of Ponneri to boost revenue

The govt. is going in for tax mapping of Ponneri Town panchayat on a pilot basis using Geographical Information System (GIS) to improve revenue from property tax. The govt. has agreed to grant  36 lakh based on a project proposal by the Director of Town Panchayats for the introduction of GIS in Ponneri, a fast expanding town adjoining the Chennai Corporation limits. This would help in plugging loss of revenue to the town panchayat by bringing un-assessed properties under the tax net. Tax mapping through GIS will generate more revenue to the govt.  

Proposal to ban gutkha submitted

The public health directorate of Tamil Nadu has sent a proposal to the state govt. for banning gutkha and other cancer-including tobacco products, and the govt. is taking steps to implement it.  This has been conveyed to former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss by the Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. He had written to the govt. seeking a ban on tobacco products first on May 31 and again on July 16. Subsequently, a demonstration in support of the demand was held in Chennai on Aug. 2, Mr. Anbumani said he had received a letter from the director informing him about the proposal to ban these products. As Chennai is emerging as a capital of oral cancer, the state govt. should immediately give effect to the ban”, he said.

Parents urge swimming classes optional

Even as confusion prevailed outside the premises of Padma Sashadri Bala Bhawan in K.K. Nagar, over a parent-teacher-meeting, many said they had come  hoping that the school would tell than exactly what transpired. Several parents voiced concerns about the swimming session. While some parents said they had been keen that their children learn swimming, until the accident involving M. Ranjan, many others said they had voiced concerns about the class right from the start. Students are initiated into swimming at the end of Class II, and it as compulsory until class VII, parents said students were exempted from swimming only on medical grounds. The module should be made optional, many parents said.

Squash titles

Malaysian squash superstar Nicol David wins the women’s title at the Australian Open squash championship in Canberra, Australia. The men’s title is won by star Egyptian player Ramy Ashour.

New Zealand withdraw its troops from Afghanistan

New Zealand Prime Minister Mr. John Key announces that the country will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan earlier in 2013 than planned.

Will Southern States receive power from Northern grid

The Union Power Ministry announces its decision to integrate the southern grid with the national grid in January 2014. The move will help southern States receive power from the northern grid and other States.

Dish TV to focus on semi-urban areas

Even as the governments effort to digitative the cable industry is dogged by delays due to assorted reasons, direct-to-home service provides Dish TV is now looking beyond the metros for its next wave of growth. The company, which recently bit the price-hike bullet to raise the average revenue per user (ARPU), accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the country’s 42 million strong direct-to-home (DTH) subscriber base “Basically, the four major metros are the present market which, as digitisation becomes a must, will become a replacement market, our thrust will, therefore, be in semi-urban areas and move onto a phase-II, phase-III and phase-IV towns. To strengthen our brand, we will be investing   120 crore above the line.

Court restrains TNPSC from publishing Gr. IV exam results

The Madras High Court granted interim stay until further order restaining the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) from publishing the results of the Gr. IV services examination which was conduted on July 7 this year. In the petition, filed through counsel K. Babu, the petitioners said when they appeared for the examination they were shocked and surprised to find that the question  paper booklet was improper. They prayed the court to quash the notification of April 27 this year calling for application for Gr. IV services and the examination and consequentity direct the authorities to conduct a fresh examination by providing a proper question paper booklet.

Multi-level parking on NSC Bose Road

The Chennai Corporation will construct a multi-level parking facility, exclusively for two-wheelers, on NSC Bose Road. Bidding for the   4 crore facility will begin after the Corporation Council passes a resolution next week. The proposal parking lot will be constructed on the Western side of Flower Bazaar police station. The four storied structure will be able to accomodate 672 two-wheelers. Special sanction will be obtained from Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to construct the facility as the identified piece of land near Flower Bazeer Police station is classified under institutional land use. The construction will be completed in nine months after the work order is issued.

Miss World 2012

China’s Ms. Wen Xia Yu is named Miss World 2012 at the Pageant held in Ordos, China. Ms. Sophie Moulds of Wales and Ms. Jessica Kahawaty of Australia emerge first and second runners-up, respectively. India’s contender Ms. Vanya Mishra bags the titles of ‘Miss Social Media” and “Beauty with a Purpose”.

V.V.S. Laxman retires from International Cricket

Legendary middle-order batsman V.V.S. Laxman retires from international cricket.

Russia launches a new initiative to end the conflict in Syria

Russia launches a new initiative to end the conflict in Syria, calling for a time-bound ceasefire that should be guaranteed by the main outside powers.

Interest rates cut to encourage consumer durables

Union Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram asks banks to cut interest rates and keep equated monthly instalments (EMIs) at affordable levels to encourage the sale of consumer durables.

Insurance cover for ryots

Beneficiaries of the CN’s Farmers’ security scheme will be covered under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Insurance Scheme. Chief Minister sanctioned about    261 crore towards installation of new components in cobalt therapy equipment at cancer wards of govt. hospitals in Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli. At the proposed super speciality branch for cancer at the Royapettah hospital, Chennai, a sum of around   993 crore had been set apart towards the purchase of equipment and recruitment of 83 medical and non-medical staff. The branch would be housed in a building, whose construction at a cost of   17 crore was nearing completion.

Plant near completion

The city will soon get another source to meet its drinking water demand. The upcoming desalination plant at Nemmeli, about 35 km. south of Chennai along the East Coast Road, will be operational in two or three months. The second desalination plant in the city, it will have a capacity to treat 100 million litres of water (mld.) a day. Sources said that nearly 92 per cent of the work had been completed. The project will be completed by Sept. end. The first desalination plant is located at Minjur and can treat about 100 mld. of water. At present Metrowater supplies about 830 million litres a day to the city through pipelines and tankers. Water from Nemmali plant would help balance the less of supply from Veeranam tank for want of sufficient storage.

Madras week, bigger and better

What began eight years ago as a four-hour-long celebration of the city has today transformed into an elaborate fortnight-long celebration. Madras week, which is growing bigger each year, will begin on August 19 and go on up to August 26. Thus year, the  celebration is not just reaching out to a new demographic, but also actively trying to involve young entrepreneurs. The ‘catalysts of the festival’ as they refer to themselves, said that Madras Day was not just about senior people discussing history. The focus was on drawing a younger crowd to both participate and conduct programmes during the course of the festival. “What started as Madras Day would soon became “Medows Mouth”, said Historian S. Muthiah.

Conference to discuss carried cancer treatment

On 18th Aug. a conference in the city will discuss use of simple methods for detecting and treating cervical cancer. The need for such a conference was felt as, in 2010, approximately 33,400 women-mostly in rural areas in the country-died from cervical cancer. The death occurred in families with low levels of literacy and the women were in the prime of their  life. Experts from across the country are expected to participate in the conference which will be led by R. Sankaranarayanan, the head of Screening at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France. He is credited with conducting the world’s first large-scale trials of low-tech screening methods for carvical cancer in India.

Dipika the first Indian player to enter the semifinals of a Gold Series squash event

Squash star dipika Pallikal creates history by becoming the first Indian player to enter the semifinals of a Gold Series squash event, registering this feat at the Australian Open squash championship in Canberra, Australia.

20 more such IIT in the country

The Union Cabinet clears a bill which seeks to give Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IITs) administrative autonomy and enables setting up of 20 more such institutes in the country by partnering with the public sector undertakings.

Pussy Riot

In a trial that has garnered global attention, a Russian court sentences to two years in prison three members of the female punk band “Pussy Riot” for performing a song against Russia’s long-sering leader Mr. Vladimir Putin.

Coal block allocations

The scam-ridden UPA Government suffers yet another jolt with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) holding it responsible for causing a loss of   1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer by not ensuring transparency in coal block allocations during 2004-09.