September, 2012

‘Madurai Malli’ likely to get GI mark

The popular traditional Jasmine flower ‘Madurai Malli’ is likely to be the first flower in the country to be given Geographical Indications (GI) mark by Jan. 2013. After accepting an application from Madurai Malli Farmers Association for registration, the Chennai office of the Geographial Indication Registry recently has sought  objections from the public by publishing the Association’s application in its journal. The Registry invites objections, if any, from the public within four month. We will pass our order on the application after the period of registration matures around Jan. 10, 2013.”

Tamil Nadu Speaker Jayakumar resigns

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker D. Jayakumar resigned from the post on Sept. 29. The development comes exactly a month before the diamond jubilee celebration of the Assembly. Mr. Jayakumar, a four time MLA from the Royapuram constituency in Chennai, became speaker after the AIADMK govt. assumed office in May 2011.

Airtel Delhi half-marathon

Edwin Kipyego of Kenya wins the title at the Airtel Delhi half-marathon in New Delhi; Yimer Wude of Ethiopia wins the women’s title.

US military death in Afghan war

In a stark reminder of the human cost of the 11-year-old conflict, the number of US military deaths in the Afghan war reaches 2,000.

BSF-BGB joint task force

The Border Security Force (BSF) and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) propose the setting up of a joint task force to tackle the menace of counterfeit Indian currency being smuggled from across the India-Bangladesh border.

MAC charities announces awards

MAC charities recently announced its annual awards for Tamil language and literature, for excellence in fine arts and for excellence in first-generation entrepreneurship for 2012. The Dr. Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar Award for outstanding contribution to Tamil language and literature would be awarded to Tamil scholar Vice Chancellor Sasivalli, for excellence in fine arts to Art Director Padmashri Thotta Tharani and Dr. A.C. Muthiah Award for excellence in first-generation entreprenurship to Y.J. Shabbir, Managing Director, Polyhouse group of companies.

Fee for passport related service increased

The Central Govt. has revised the passport and related services fee affective Oct. 1. The fee for those applying under normal category, which is now   1,000, has been increased to   1,500. For those opting for Tatkal mode, the current charge is   2,500, which has been increased to   3,500. In 1993, the passport fee was at   300 and it was revised in 2002 to   1,000.

Conference to discuss Tamil computing for mobiles, tablets

Tamil computing for mobiles and tablets will be the theme of the 11th Tamil Internet International Conference (TIC) to be held in December, according to M. Ramanathan, Vice-Chancellor, Annamalai University. The INFITT had been hosting TIC’s for over a decade to coordinate research on Tamil Computing and Internet among International researchers and to spread latest software and usage of Tamil on Computers among Tamil users.

Metro rail running down city’s green cover

The City’s trees are giving way to metro rail as about 385 trees will be felled for the, on-going construction 78 trees from the stretch between Washermenpet station and Chennai Airport and 307 from the Chennai Fort to St. Thomas Mount are being felled. But the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. (CMRL) claims to have planted over 15,000 saplings and trees last year.

Chevalier dans – France highest honour

Mr. Ebrahim Alkazi, the grand old man of Indian theatre, is conferred the Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Letters, France’s highest cultural honour, for his contributions in nurturing and presenting modern theatre in India.

Geeta Phogat win bronze medal

Geeta Phogat wins the Bronze in women’s 55 kg wrestling at the World Championship in Edmonton, Canada.


India’s advanced communication satellite, GSAT-10, was successfully launched on board Ariane-5 rocket from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana in South America on September 29, 2012. At 3,400 kg, GSAT-10 is the heaviest satellite built by Bangalore-headequartered Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). With a design life of 15 years and to be operational in a month, the satellite will augment telecommunication, Direct-To-Home and radio navigation services. GSAT-10 will be positioned at 83 deg East orbital location along with INSAT-4A and GSAT-12. It has 30 communication trans-ponders (12 in Ku-band, 12 in C-band and six in extended C-band). It is the second satellite in INSAT/GSAT constellation with GAGAN (GPS-aided Geo Augmented Navigation) payload after GSAT-8, launched on May 21, 2011. GSAT-10 project cost India    750 crore that included the cost of satellite, launch services by the European space consortium, Arianespace and insurance. This is ISRO’s 101st space mission.

39th Chief Justice sworn

Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir is sworn in as the 39th Chief Justice of India; he succeeds Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia.

Tamil writers chosen for award

Tamil writers Vikraman and Ponneelan have been chosen for awards instituted by Tamil Daily, Daily Thanthi. Vikraman will be given the award under the category of Senior Tamil Scholar and Ponneelan for his noval “Marupakkam”. The awards will be presented at a function on today to mark the 108th birth anniversary of the newspaper founder.

TNPSC gets own building

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa inaugurated a swanky new buildings for the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. Giving details about the new facility, R. Nataraj, Chairman, said that till now, the organisation was functioning from, rented premises. The new office building is located on 23 grounds, with a carpet area of 1.25 lakh sq.ft. The six floor building was constructed in a year’s time at a cost of    19.86 crore. The ground floor will have a grievance cell and provide counselling for applicants, the first floor will have an application processing centre and room for members of the media, the second floor, an examination-related strong room where important documents could be stored and the third floor will have rooms for members and another strong room. The fourth floor is dedicated to members, and various sections of the TNPSC will function in the fifth floor. The Sixth floor will house the Chairman’s office and a conference hall that can accommodate nearly 200 people.

For better bus maintenance, MTC increases night shift staff at depots

The city’s buses will now be maintained better, with the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) changing its technical staff’s work shift patterns. Sources said that earlier, there were more staff on the day shift in depots, and fewer are equal numbers on both shifts. Earlier, nearly 70 per cent of the technical staff worked in day shifts and 30 per ent were on night shifts. Because of this, the workers were finding it difficult to maintain the buses properly, and sometimes the same staff had to stay in late and burn the midnight oil”, said a source. This however, has now changed. “Now, 50 per cent of the personnel are on day shifts and the other 50 per cent on nights. This way, the workers will not be under any stress and there will enough personnel available to maintain the vehicles”, said the source. This shifts will be rotated once in a week.

Geological evidence of water in Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover finds geological evidence of water in Mars, which once ran across the planet. There is earlier evidence of the presence of water on the Red Planet, but the latest images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravel are the first-of-a-kind.

Koneru Humpy win bronze

Indian woman Grandmaster Koneru Humpy wins the final leg of the FIDE Grand Prix in Ankara, Turkey.

Babita Kumar bronze medla win World champion wrestler

Babita Kumari becomes only the second Indian woman wrestler to win a medal at the World Championship, clinching a Bronze at the 51 kg event in Edmonton, Canada. The first medal, a Bronze, was won by Alka Tomar in 2006 in China.

Growth rate of Industries 2.1%

Reports released by the Ministry of Commerce reveal that in a further confirmation of the continued sluggishness in the economy, the growth rate of the eight core sector industries declerated to 2.1 percent in August 2012 from 3.8 percent in the same month of 2011.

Meenakshi temple begins replacing damaged pillars

The Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple, Madurai began replacing the over 400 years old pillars that developed cracks in the South and East corridors surrounding its Golden Lotus Tank Under a   3.50 crore initiative that includes assistance from the Central Govt. In the initial phase, the temple ten pillars on the south corrider. Another set of ten pillars in the  corrider would also be replaced within the next six months. The entire project involves replacing 72 pillars in the two corridors and is expeted to take around a couple of years.

10 bed leprosy hospital to come up in Madambakkam

The Chennai Corporation will set up a leprosy hospital in a portion of a 33-acre piece of land in Madampakkam, near Tambaram. The Chennai Corporation Council passed a resolution to request the govt. for construction of the hospital and appoint employees for the hospital. The 10-bed hospital will be constructed at a cost of   2 crore. The employees for the hospital, including medical officers, will be recruited through the Employment office. Some employees will also be hired on a contract basis. The civic body, a few years ago, proposed to construct a 600-bed hospital on the land in Madambakkam. The facility was earlier planned with 200 beds for communicable diseases, a hospital for woman and children and a general hospital. The civic body also planned to set up a medical college on the land. The earlier project estimated to cost between    25 and 30 crore. A philanthropist, R.M. Alagappa Chettiar, had donated the land to the Corporation in 1946 on the Condition that only a hospital should be built on it.

Education fairs

The U.S. Commercial Service and ELS International Education Pathways will launch a series of education fairs in October. The five-city tour by 13 large and high-ranking public and private U.S. Universities will showcase international educational opportunities to students intending to study in the U.S. The fair will arrive in the city on October 2. The ELS Education fair is open to students, parents and faculty, and encourages walk-in visitors.

Tracing the origin of the region’s earliest mint

Hitherto undiscovered remarks from the historic port town of Alamparai are now in public view. The unearthed artefacts are on display at the Tamil Nadu Department of Archaeology. R. Vasanthi, Commissioner in-charge, state department of archaeology, said through it was a limited exevation, the focus was on confirming the existence of a mint which, in early literature, was referred to as ‘akkasalai’ or a state mint. The most crucial findings were the coin moulds and crucibles dated between 17 CE and 18 CE, through we were not able to find any coins itself. The porcelain, canon balls, necked bottles of the British period, smoking pipes and amulets, all belonging to the 17 and 18 CE were found.

Sandeep Patil appointed of the BCCI Selection committee

Sandeep Patil, a former Team India all-rounder, is appointed Chairman of the senior BCCI selection committee.

Sudan – South Sudan sign an agreement

Sudan and South Sudan sign an agreement to put in place a demilitarised zone, paving the way for resumption of oil exports. Sudanese President Mr. Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and his South Sudanese counterpart Mr. Salva Kiir Mayardit sign the pact at a summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

GoM approval pharma pricing policy

The Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Pawar, gives its approval to the final pharma pricing policy, bringing 348 essential drugs under the government’s price  control regime.

2G Presidential Reference awaited

The Supreme Court comes out with its eagerly-awaited “2G Presidential Reference” matter. It says that auction is not the only  route for allocation of natural resources. The court opines that although auction is the more preferable method, it cannot be held to be a constitutional requirement for alienation/allotment of all natural resources.

Nuclear society’s awards

T.S. Subramanian, Associate Editor, Frontline, Chennai, and R.K. Singh, Head, Media Relations and Public Awareness Section, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, have been selected for the Indian Nuclear Society’s INS Outstanding Service Award for 2011 for Science Communication. They were selected for their work in popularising science and technology, particularly in nuclear-related areas, among teachers, students and the public. The award carries a cash prize of   1 lakh each and a citation.

Centre advises Karnataka to implement CRA ruling

The Union govt. has advised the Karnataka govt. to implement the ruling given by Prime Minister and Chairperson of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) Manmohan Singh, at the 7th meeting of the Authority last week. As per the ruling, Karnataka should release 9,000 cubic feet per second (cusecs) of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from Sept. 20 to Oct. 15.

Petition seeks withdrawal of job advertisement

The Madras High Court has ordered notice on a writ petition seeking a direction to the authorities to withdraw an advertisement, dated September 5, for recruitment of 13 Assistant Engineers in the Tamil Nadu Adi Dravidar Housing Development Corporation, as it was against the principle of equal opportunity in public appointments. The Corpn. is to recruit 13 AEs, three each from the S.C., M.B.C. and the General Category and four from the Backward classes. The educational qualification for the post was B.E. (Civil) / B.Tech (Civil) and the candidates belonging to S.C. should have secured first class, with a minimum of 65 per cent marks in aggregate. All other candidates, should have passed in the first class with a minimum of 70 percent.

Focus on poor performers school heads told

School heads have been asked to improve continuous and comprehensive  evolution and focus on children with reading and writing difficulties. The schools were asked to find ways to increase student intake in govt. schools where enrolment is poor. The officials were also instructed to counsel wards and their parents on govt schemes and improve hygiene and cleanlines among students. The schools were told to ensure distribution of free books, notebooks and school uniforms before the semester began.

Viswanathan Anand 5th Champian in Chess

World champion Viswanathan Anand of India and Levon Aronian of Armenia play out a draw in a crucial league tie of the fifth Final Masters chess championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Double taxtation avoidance agreement

The Central Government mandates that from April 1, 2013, all foreign investors desirous of claiming benefits under double taxtation avoidance agreements (DTAAs) will have to produce tax residency certificates of their base countries in which they are located.

G4 countries decide to provide greater political ballast

The G4 countries (India, Brazil, Germany and Japan – pushing for permanent seats for themselves in the UN Security Council), decide to provide greater political ballast to their efforts. The decision is reached at a meeting on the sidelines of the 67th UN General Assembly session in New York, USA.

Ford to add 1200 people in its facilities

US car manufacturing company Ford is planning to add 1200 people in the next one year in its facilities in Chennai and Coimbatore, according to its top officials. Ford Motor Company, Asia Pacific and Africa president Joe Hinricks and Ford India’s President and M.D. Michael Baneham and Ford Business Service, Executive Director, Joginder Singh, called on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to convey their information.

Sitting to mark Assembly’s diamond jubilee

Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly will hold a special sitting on Oct. 29 to mark the diamond jubilee of the legislature. The event would be followed by a session of the House on Oct. 30, Governor K. Rosaiah announced. The present House is the 14th on March 1, 1952, the First Assembly of the erstwhile Madras State was constituted after the general elections.

SC to examine validity of 69% quota law

The Supreme Court, while deciding to examine the constitutions validity of the Tamil Nadu law providing for 69 per cent quota in employment and educational institutions, directed the state govt. to create additional seats to admit meritorious students in the first year MBBS, who were affected by the quota law.

China commissions its first aircraft carrier

China commissions its first aircraft carrier. The 300-metre-long Liaoning is a refurbished and upgraded version of the erstwhile Soviet carrier Varyag, which China purchased from Ukraine.

Emmy Awards

The Emmy Awards, the American television awards considered equivalent to the Oscars, are announced. The prominent winners are : Modern Family (Best Comedy); Homeland (Best Drama); The Daily Show (Best Variety Show); Claire Danes (Best Actress for Homeland); Damian Lewis (Best Actor for Homeland) etc., among others.

Rest of India win Irani Cup cricket

The Rest of India win the Irani Cup Cricket title, crushing Ranji champions Rajasthan by an innings and 75 runs in Bengaluru.

Sudan-South Sundan peace talks

The Sudan – South Sudan peace talks conclude in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Even after week-long negotiations, a final solution to their hostility continues to elude the two neighbouring countries.

Growth forecast of Poor’s

Rating agency Standard & Poor’s lowers the growth forecast for India to 5.5 percent in the current fiscal (2012-13), citing global volatility.

CCEA approves 1.90 lakh crore debt

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approves a   1.90 lakh crore debt restructuring package for the State Electricity Boards to facilitate a turnaround of the State distribution companies (discoms).

TNPL spreads CSR net wider to cover villages

The public sector paper major Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited (TNPL) will extend all possible assistance to villages surrounding its Kagithapuram facility in the district for undertaking infrastructure development and community assistance under its corporate social responsibility activities. Accordingly the TNPL was disbursing fund and assistance to the people in the panchayats around Kagithapuram. Pointing out that micro irrigation technique would be of great use to farmers in the pollution – affected neighbourhood villages, Mr. Thangamani observed that the state, through its agencies, would extend all possible help to establish the system for those willing to have that in their fields. He also promised help from the TNPL for such activities.

CM hikes aid for ITI students to 500

In a gesture that will bring cheer to students belonging to the Denotified communities Adi-Dravida Community, Scheduled Tribes and Burma / Sri Lanka/Vietnam the repatriates studying in govt ITIs, the state govt. has hiked financial assistance for them to  500 from academic year 2012-13 without any ceiling limit on parent’s income. Accordingly,  140,  150 and   175 were being given to students belonging to Denotified Communities. Adi-Dravida Community and ST and Burma/Sri Lanka and Vietnam repatriates. Another   100 was given to them if their parents’ income did not exceed    50,000 per annum. In view of this and to encourage students to join ITIs, C.M. Jayalalithaa has ordered that the financial assistance be raised to    500 uniformly. She has ordered an additional allocation of   12.94 crore for the purpose.

Illegal shops mushroom along Marina

The Chennai Corpn’s task just got  tougher with a flurry of unauthorised vendors scrambling to get up shops on the Marina. The Corporation made a public annoucement a few months ago asking vendors to remove all illegal structures, in order to facilitate the restoration of the beach. But the vendors have not removed the shops so far, according to civic body officials. As the tendering process for new strcutures is under way, the Corporation, officials plan to remove the illegal structure with police support  shortly. The civic body proposes to design a new arrangement of aesthatic structures for shops on the 3.1 km. long beach.

Glasgow/Maastricht Foot Model

Scientists at the Maastricht University, the Netherlands, announce the development of an advanced virtual model of the human foot. The “Glasgow/Maastricht Foot Model” is a 3D model that depicts bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons in an unprecedented level of detail.

Archery World Cup

India’s star archer Deepika Kumari wins the Silver in the women’s individual recurve event at the archery World Cup finals in Tokyo, Japan.

Singapore Grand Prix Formula One Championship

Team Red Bull racer Sebastian Vettel of Germany wins the Singapore Grand Prix Formula One Championship in Singapore.

MGNREGS for suitable people

Taking up the cause of persons with mental illness, their families and care-givers, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare directs State governments to explore the possibility of identifying employment opportunities under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) that are particularly suitable for such people.

Step to infiltration at Assam’s borders

Civil society groups urge the Centre to completely seal Assam’s borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan to put a stop to infiltration and terrorist activities and to seize all illegal arms and ammunition possessed by various groups in the region.

Afghanistan bans all Pak. news-papers

In a significant development, Afghanistan bans all Pakistani newspapers from entering the country to stop the Taliban from influencing public opinion.


The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL) begins loading enriched uranium fuel rods in the first reactor of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu following a green signal from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).

Agni-III missile

The Agni-III missile, which has a strike range of over 3,000 km, is test-fired from the Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast.

First comprehensive map of the human brain

Researchers at the Allen Institute of Brain Science in Seattle, USA, come up with the first comprehensive map of the human brain. The map reveals the activity of genes across the entire organ. The map will help understand, among other things, the factors that underline neurological and psychiatric conditions.

Aung San Suu Kyi is conferred the US Gold Medal

Myanmar’s celebrated democracy compaigner Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi is conferred the US’s Congressional Gold Medal in Washington.

US-EU-Arab League – high-level meeting

A coalition, including the US, the European Union and the Arab League, holds a high-level meeting in Scheveningen, the Netherlands, to plot new ways of isolating the regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

New report released by Save the Children reveals

A new report released by Save the children reveals that India is at the bottom of the world’s nutrition scale. The report finds that almost half of India’s children are under-fed and stunted.

Protest for FDI in retail

Unfazed by Opposition protests, the UPA Government notifies the guidelines for foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, civil aviation and broadcasting.

Green nod for capture jetty of Cheyyur power plant

After three years, the Ministry of Environment a Forests (MoEF) has granted environmental and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Clearance for the establishment of a capture jetty for the 4,000 MW Ultra Mega Thermal Power Project at Cheyyur in Kancheepuram district. The EAC had considered the project at an earlier meeting on July 9 and 10. After the project proponant, the Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Ltd., provided the information, the committee discussed it again in its next meeting in August. The EAC, which fact took up the EC and CRZ clearance for the power project in Dec. 2009, has recommended both clearances with the conditions.

Saraswati Samman-2011

The Saraswati Samman – 2011 is conferred on Tamil writer Dr. A.A. Manavalan for his book on Ramayana.

Political road map

Ending uncertainty about the political road map, Nepal’s major political parties agree to go in for fresh elections for a Constituent Assembly.

UHM free medicines for all scheme

India makes the first move towards providing free medicines for all, with the Union Health Ministry clearing a 1,300 crore corpus for the States to support their purchase of medicines.

Agni-IV successfully test fired

The Agni-IV is successfully test-fired from the Odisha coast for its full range of 4,000 km. It is the second consecutive success of the 20-metre-long, 17-tonne nuclear-capable missile.

Slum board to shift 3,500 of its flats

The Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board has decided to shift around 3,500 tenants from its Perumbakkam site to other sites that are caming up around the city. According to sources, this is being done as the Board is concerned about the concentration of slum tenements in one location, and wants to reduce this. The step was taken as a contionary measure. A total of 23,863 dwelling units had been planned at the site, which would also have a Middle Income Group (MIG) component to cross subsidise economically weaker section (EWS) units. The project to construct 20,376 units at a cost of   1,200 crore, is being undertaken under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission scheme and already 6,000 units have been constructed.

Hotels procuring unstamped meat products to lose licence

The Chennai Corporation has issued notice to all hotels directing them to stop procurring unstamped meat products from unauthorised buchers. As many as 2,700 hotels in the city have been identified in the 15 zones for issuing the  notice, said a Corporation official. The license of hotels issued by the Corporation under the provisions of Section 279 of the CCMC Act will be cancelled if such business units violate the contravening conditions of the Act. According to the official, butchers who have not obtained licence under section 309 of the CCMC Act for setting up of meat shops will not be permitted to supply meat products in the city.

Syrian crisis takes off in Cairo

Regional diplomacy to resolve the Syrian crisis takes off in Egypt’s capital Cairo, with the Foreign Ministers of Iran, Egypt and Turkey holding exploratory talks on taking the dialogue process forward.

Parts to start operations

It is good news for the export-import trade, as two more ports namely Krishnapatnam Port container Terminal (KPCT) and Larsen and Tourbo’s (L & T) Kattupalli Port are expected to start handling container services soon. Described as all weather port with no tidal restriction, KPCT is located about 190 km. of Chennai and closer to Nellore, while Kattupalli Port is about 30 km. from Chennai Port. We are happy as we got two more ports. But at the same time, it is important to widen the two-lane North Chennai Thermal Power  Station road as it serves as a crucial link to Ennore and Kattupalli. The failure to do so would result in traffic congestion and might not give any relief.” said a port user.

Civic body to widen net on property tax

The Chennai Corporation will conduct a study on buildings including courts, police stations and police quarters yet to be covered under the property tax as part of the effort to improve tax collections. The revenue department of Chennai Corporation has intensified efforts to increase property tax collection. The civic body plans to issue notices to buildings that have failed to pay property tax. The civic body will ask Metrowater to disconnect water supply to buildings that have not paid property tax. The civic body has set a target of setting up 2,000 bank counters in the city for walk-in payment of property tax to improve tax collection.

Construction awards given

Builders and construction giants were honoured at the construction Industry Awards 2012 to held at Music Academy. Governor of Tamil Nadu Dr. K. Rosaiah gave away the awards. “Safety of construction workers is an area we have to focus on. Also those in the construction industry should enhance their quality and technology on a par with international standards”, he said. T. Chitti Babu, secretary of CREDAI, said in India, the  construction industry employed around 55 million people and contributed to about eight percent of the GDP. Sandeep Mehta, president of CREDAI and Mu. Mohan, state chairman, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Builders Association of India, were among the guests of honour.

Pulicat lake turns fishing ground for 1.5 tonnes of waste

Asia’s second largest brackish water lagoon, the Pulicat lake, is turning into a garbage dump with residents, fisherfolk, shopkeepers and visitors using the water body to discard wastes. On 15th, a large group of volunteers, including school and college students, cleared the lake and collected 1.5 tonnes of wastes. The clean-up was organised by the Aarde Foundation, Ocean conservancy, USA and Indian Maritime Foundation as part of the activities on International Coastal cleanup Day. Empty liquor bottles, water sachats, plastic bags, oil cans and bottle lids formed 97 per cent of the garbage found in the seven km. long stretch from Kottaikuppam to Lighthouse Kuppam beach. Last year, nearly 450 kg. of waste were removed from the lake.

Ten years on, National Art Gallery waits to be restored

While whizzing post the flyover on Pantheon Road, on one side are overgrown pale white buildings and well-dressed mannequins dominating the skyline, while on the other side, sits an ornate structure that looks happily incongruent to the times, gorging on sunshine and coming alive in a pink flourish. But, it has been close to a decade since enamoured passers-by have been allowed venture in. Surreal on the surface and rooted deep in the Govt. Museum’s history, the Victoria Memorial Hall building, which houses the National Art Gallery at the museum in Egmore has been closed to public since 2002, and is still awaiting funds from the centre to take up restoration work.

City straddles potential tinderbox

More than 6,000 buildings in the city have seriously breached fire safety norms, putting lives of their occupants and users in danger. Even after a year since the Tamil Nadu Fire Rescue Services (TNFRS) served notices on them, they are yet to comply with safety rules and continue to function with impurity. A recent survey by the TNFRS of special and multi-storeyed buildings in select streets of Kodambakkam has shown that conditions have not improved. Officials say they are not in a position to prosecute the building owners because they are not empowered to do so, and all they can do is impose a fine of   500 and hope no total fire accidents occur.

Sunita Williams takes over command of the ISS

Indian-American astronaut Ms. Sunita Williams takes over command of the International Space Station (ISS). It is yet another feather in her cap of glory as she already holds three records for women space travellers, including a new record for spacewalk time by a woman astronaut.

Pak. successfully test-fired Hatf-VII

Pakistan announces that it has successfully test-fired an indigenously developed multi-tube cruise missile. The Babur (Hatf-VII) can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads over a range of 700 km.

RBI retains indicating policy

The Reserve Bank of India retains the indicative policy rates at the current level while cutting the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by 25 basis points to 4.50 percent, injecting a liquidity of around   17,000 crore into the banking system.

Axe falls on Tamil Thaatha’s house

Thyagaraja Vilas, the house of the ground old man of Tamil literature (Tamil Thaatha), U.V. Swaminatha Iyer, and one of the city’s landmarks, will soon disappear. The descendents of Iyer have reportedly sold the property at Thiruvatteeswaranpet and the buyer is demolishing the house. The inner walls have been brought down. Nameboards bearing the titles ‘Thyagaraja Vilas’ and ‘U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer Illam’ have been removed. It is really sad because it is from this house he edited and published many ancient literacy works such as Silapathikaram, Pathupaatu and Ettuthogai after collecting palmleaf manuscripts from every nook and corner of the country. When Rabindranath visited Chennai in 1926, he called on Iyer at this house and even pennad  poem in priase of Iyer’s contribution. Iyer came is this house as a tenant in 1904 following his appointment as a Tamil teacher of the monthly rent was   20. The government should intervene and secure the house of Swaminatha Iyer as it did in the case of the house where Subramania Bharathi resident.

Disovery of a new star – NGC1624-2

Astronomers at the Royal Military College of  Canada announce the discovery of a new star that has a magnetic field 20,000 times stronger and a mass 35 times that of the Sun. The newly discovered star, NGC 1624-2, lies about 20,000 light years from the Earth in the constellation Perseus.

Ethiopia PM passes away new acting PM elected

Ethiopia’s ruling party, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front, names acting Prime Minister Mr. Haile Mariam Desalegn as its new chairman and leader, to fill the void left by the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in August 2012.

C.M’s Gallantry medal for Fire & Rescue unit

All the members of a Fire & Rescue Service Unit consisting of a Divisional Fire Officer, a Leading Fireman and three Fireman are among the 132 Uniformed Officers who have been awarded the “Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Medals’ this year as reward for their dedication to work. The Fire & Rescue unit was chosen for the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Gallentry Medal’ in recognition of its gallant act of rescuing 18 people from marooned houses Venkatachalapuram in Thuthukkudi. They will also receive a monthly medal allowance of  500 for the rest of their lives. The receipients of the above medal will also receive a lumpsum grant as per the Medal ranging from  4,000-10,000.

“Selection for posts subject to result of Petitions”

The Madras High Court said that any selection for the posts of Higher (Trainee) in Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) subsequent to an Aug. 29 notification would be subject to the result of writ petitions before the court in the matter. Justice K. Venkataraman passed the interim order on writ petitions by P. Venkatesan of Dharmapuri and R. Velu of Krishnagiri. The petitioners sought to quash a notification of Aug. 29 for the selection of 4000 Helpers (Trianees) and sought a consequent direction to the TANGEDCO to issue a fresh notification by fixing the upper age limit as 35 years for BC/MBC as followed by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation for the same category.

ICC Annual Awards

The ICC Annual Awards are presented in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The prominent recipients are : Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka (Test Cricketer of the Year & People’s Choice Award); Virat Kohli of India (ODI Cricketer of the Year); Richard Levi of South Africa (T20 International Performance of the Year); Daniel Vetrori of New Zealand (Spirit of Cricket Award); Sunil Narine of West Indies (Emerging Cricketer of the Year); Kumar Dharmasena of Sri Lanka (Umpire of the Year); Stafanie Taylor of West Indies (Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year); Sarah Taylor of England (Women’s T20 International Cricketer of the Year) etc.

PM approves the 12th Five-Year Plan

The full Planning Commission  chaired by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh approves the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) draft document. It endorses scaling down of the annual average economic growth target to 8.2 percent from the 9 percent envisaged earlier, keeping in view the fragile economic environment.

Panel looks to fix fees for all schools by next year

The Private Schools Fee Determination Committee, chaired by Justice S.R. Singaravelu, is inclined to determining the fee for all schools across the state before the commencement of the next academic year. On May 3, the Madras High Court had set aside the orders of the committee, than headed by Justice K. Raviraja Pandian, with respect to nearly 300 institutions and referred the matter back to the panel for fresh consideration. The committee was now giving priority to those cases, and aiming to determine their revised fee by December.

Metrowater’s latest green gambit

Central Metrowater will call in a consultant to validate its latest ecofriendly initiative-generation of electricity from methane captured at the three new sewage treatment plants at Perungudi, Nesapakkam and Koyambedu. The validation is a must to earn a carbon emission certificate which will enable Metrowater to trade its carbon credits internationally. Meanwhile, the agency’s attempts to get a similar certificate for its existing plants are in the final stages of completion.

Anti-US protests on mocks Islam film

Anti-US protests by crowds whipped into fury by a film that mocks Islam, erupt across the Muslim world, as violence explodes in Sudan, Lebanon, Yemen, etc., among many other Muslim countries.

FDI limit in Broadcosting sector

The UPA Government unleashes big-ticket reforms such as allowing 51 percent foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail, 100 percent in single-brand retail and 49 percent in civil aviation. It is also decided that 49 percent FDI will be allowed in two power exchanges and that the FDI limit in the broadcasting sector will be increased from the current 49 percent to 74 percent.

City saw 962 fatal accidents this year

Addressing over 30 media persons gathered at the grivance hall of the commissionarate, Mr. Tripathy said the idols should be made only as per the rules stipulated by the Madras High Court and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. Speaking about the investigations into pending murder cases, including the  killing of two elderly women in West Mambalam, murder of a muse in Nesappakkam. Additional Commissioner of Police Sanjay Arora who was also present at the press meet urged the media to publish awareness material regarding helmetless riding. Till the end of Aug. 2012, we have recorded 962 fatalities from road accidents in the city. The accidents of two wheeler riders, of which 436 were riding without a helmet during the time of the accident’ Mr. Arora added.

10 more ‘108’ ambulances for city

GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI), the organisation that operates the 108 ambulances, just got a boost, with 170 ambulances being added to its existing fleet. Of these, 10 vehicles will be stationed in Chennai. The ambulances will be positioned in various part of the city and its outskirts, to enable transfering of accident victims to hospitals, faster.

Private schools too hold common exam

Students of classes X and XII, studying in schools following the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus wrote the first common quarterly exam, where a common question paper was provided by the School Education Department to all govt., govt-aided and private schools. The move, the department says, has been made to set uniform students across the state and to alleviate the students’ fear of exams. While common question papers are being provided by the Department, corrections will be carried out by the respective schools.

Subsidy for farmers increased

Some concessions have been announced for agriculturists to raise the long-term Samba crop in the Cauvery delta. Chief Minister said the subsidy per acre for farm work had been increased from  240 to  480. The extent of area would goup from one lakh acres to 2.5 lakh acres. In total the govt. earmarked 70.63 crore for the benefit of the delta farmers. In the last 10 days, farmers had taken steps for raising community nursaries over 2,754 acres. In the next 10 days, the extent would go up by 7,250 acres. As regards direct sowing, the operations had been completed on 47,000 acres. Besides, farmers had taken up the crop on 3,000 acres too, she added.

High Count grants interim injunction on appointing Madras Variety registrar:

The Madras High Court granted an interim injunction  restraining the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras from appointing the University registrar. However, the court made it clear that the interim order would not be an impediment to appoint the registrar by following the procedure in the University students.

Govt. hospitals to come under biometric scanner

Government hospitals in the city are gearing up for the installation of cameras and biometric systems that will record the photographs and thumb impressions of staff when they report to work. The move was initiated by Health Minister V.S. Vijay at a meeting on Aug. 30, with the heads of institutions and the Director of Medical Education (DME). The meeting followed an incident where an infant born at the Govt. Kasturba Gandhi Maternity Hospital died 12 days later at the hospital. The family found the baby’s face disfigured, and alleged that a rat had bitter her. The incident caused widespread furore about the conditions prevailing in govt. hospitals.

Feroze Gandhi Sadbhavna Award

Mr. Shiv Bhattia, Media Adviser to Haryana Chief Minister Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is honoured with the Feroze Gandhi Sadbhavna Award in New Delhi.

Carbon dioxide snowfalls on Mars

Scientists find the clearest evidence yet of carbon dioxide snowfalls on Mars, based on data provided by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This reveals the only known example of carbon dioxide snowfall anywhere in our solar system.

Overall expansion of Industrial production

Reports released by the Centre show that India’s industrial production in July 2012 witnessed a dismal overall expansion of 0.1 percent compared to 3.7 percent during the year-ago period.

Firms sky away from beautification project

With no corporate house evincing interest in beautifying and maintaining the space beneath six flyovers in the city, the Chennai Corporation, has called for retender for expression of interest from companies. The first tender call had not received bidders. According to the tender document, the flyovers at the junctions of Purasawalkam High Road-Perambur Barracks Road, Peters Road, Couron Smith Road, Peters Road – West Cost Road, T.T.K. Road – G.P. Ramasamy Iyer Road, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai – Royapettah High Road and Sardar Patel Road – L.B. Road are to be maintained for 10 years.

Syrian crisis commences with a high-level meeting

The latest regional initiative to resolve the Syrian crisis commences with a high-level meeting among Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran in Abu Dhabi.

Palestine quest non-members status in U.N.

India announces another tranche of aid to Palestine and promises to back the Palestine National Authority’s quest for non-member status at the UN. These decisions are reached at a meeting between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the visiting Palestine National Authority President Mr. Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi.