December, 2012

Solar power system must for all colleges by January 2014

With the State man-dating six per cent solar purchase obligation (SPO) for all colleges, the Higher Education Department on 6th Dec. kick-started a compaign on the need to install solar power system to fulfil the mandate by January 2014.  Since Tamil Nadu had the maximum number of universities and colleges with vast campuses and plenty of space for rooftop solar systems there should not be any problem in achieving the mandate. As higher education institutions functioned during day-time, solar energy derived could be directly used, reducing loss of energy. As the peak generation time was during working hours, direct use of solar power would reduce the dependence on batteries leading to lesser capital investment, the Minister said.

Argentina’s highest civilian award

Honorary Consul for Russian Federation (Hyderabad) Mr. Peter Toghrille Hassan, who is also Adviser, Strategy & Planning, FICCI, is chosen for the “Order de Mayo – Officer of the Order”, the highest civilian award of the Republic of Argentina.

UN climate talks in Doha come to an end

The annual UN climate talks, held in Doha, Qatar, come to an end. Funding to help poor countries deal with the fallout of global warming and convert to climate-friendlier energy sources remain key sticking points between negotiators from nearly 200 countries taking part in the talks.

AAI and IABF suspend

The Union Sports Ministry de-recognises the Archery Association of India (AAI), and suspends the Indian Amateus Boxing Federation (IABF) for violating provisions of the National Sports Code.

UPA Govt. succeeeds in Rajya Sabha against FDI

The UPA Government wins the Rajaya Sabha vote on the policy on FDI in multi-brand retail sector, with 123 members voting in favour and 102 against it. 19 MPs abstain from voting.

Court flays issuing of pattas to encroachers

Strongly criticising the issuing of pattas to encroachers of government poramboke lands, the Madras High court has said that G.O.s recognising such encroachers encouraged even land grabbers to occupy government lands and put up huts. The series of G.O.s offering pattas to encroachers contributed considerably for evolution of slum areas and colonies. “There is no second opinion that the State should take every effort to provide shelter to the poor people. Government has taken a policy decision earlier to distribute available lands to the poor and downtrodden. Instead of implementing that policy, another policy decision conferring ownership on encroachers was taken, resulting in large-scale encroachment of public property. The Slum Clearance Board virtually became a Slum Creation Board on account of this changed policy and resultant creation of slums.”

Muslims & Buddhist living with fear in Myanmar

In a statement, the United Nations humanitarian chief describes conditions of thousands of displaced Muslim Rohingyas in western Myanmar as “dire” and says that both Muslim and Buddhist communities there are living in fear.

Candidates selected for teaching posts

The Teacher Recruitment Board (TRB) on Tuesday announced that 9,664 candidates have been selected for the post of secondary-grade teachers, and 8,718 for the post of graduate assistants. The selections have been made based on the results of the Tamil Nadu Teacher Eligibility Test (TET). Over 6 lakh candidates from across the State appeared for the first TET in July, but the test had to be conducted a second time, due to the poor performance of candidates the first time around. TRB needed to fill around 7,500 vacancies of  secondary-grade teachers, and close to 20,500 vacancies of graduate assistants. The selected candidates will be the first set of teachers to be recruited in the State through the TET, which is mandated by the Right to Education Act, 2009. The individual results of candidates will be announced on Dec. 5.

Chennai no. 4 among 5 cities for quality of life

On a list of 221 global cities surveyed, Chennai has been ranked 150, for the quality of living it provides. The survey, conducted by Mercer, an international consultancy firm, studied five Indian cities and ranked Bangalore the best, followed by New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and finally, Kolkata. The annual survey ranks the living conditions in cities based on parameters such as the political and social environment as well as medical and educational facilities. This year, the survey also ranked the infrastructure, with regard to water, electricity, communication services, public transportation, and intra-city and international connectivity.

New kind of light bulb

Reports reveal that a US scientist named Professor David Caroll has invented a new kind of light bulb that uses plastic polymers and nano materials to generate light that is more energy-efficient than current fluorescent lights and is easier on the eye. The new plastic lighting uses the same amount of electricity as LED bulbs and half as much as fluorescent bulbs. The device is made of three layers of white-emitting polymer blended with a small amount of nano materials that glow when stimulated with electrical current, creating bright, perfectly white light similar to sunlight that the human eyes prefer.

Copa Brasil 2012 wrestling tournament

India finish with nine Gold and four Bronze medals at the Copa Brasil 2012 wrestling tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

UPA Govt. succeeds in Lok Sabha against FDI

The UPA Government succeeds in defeating the Opposition motion in Lok Sabha against foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail sector. The motion is rejected with 253 members voting against and 218 in favour, 43 MPs walk out.

2012 First Book Prize

The 2012 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize goes to Mr. Naresh Fernandes for Taj Mahal Foxtrot : The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age.

Air India wins Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournament

Air India win the title at the 23rd Lal Bahadur Shastri hockey tournament, beating Bharat Petroleum in the final in New Delhi.

IOC suspends the IOA

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspends the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from its fold. The IOA is suspended for ignoring IOC’s warning against holding its elections under the National Sports Code. The suspension could lead to India’s complete isolation from international sports.

A friendly tricycle for the disabled

Of all vehicles, hand-powered tricycles are the worst affected by the rough, uneven roads of our cities. A team from the engineering design department of the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), is addressing this concern of persons with disabilities, many of whom depend on such tricycles. Most of the people who depend on these tricycles are daily wage workers who have to travel long distances every day. The regular tricycles have no suspension and the riders are prone to spinal injuries.

Metro Rail’s model coach trundles into city

The first model coach of Chennai Metro Rail that was manufactured in Brazil has arrived in the city. Soon, it will be taken to Sri City, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located near Tada in Andhra Pradesh, about 60 km north of Chennai. Manufacturer of the coach, transport infrastructure major Alstom, has a facility there. The model coach, or ‘mock-up’ as it is known in design portlance, is currently at the Chennai Port according to officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).  Each coach costs CMRL    9 crore. Chennai Metro Rail is expected to operate 42 trains in all, with four coaches each. The trains will have a total capacity of 1,276 persons. The seats will be by the windows on either side of the coach, with room for passengers to stand in between. In addition to this, space will be ear-marked for wheelchair-users officials said. Chennai Metro Rail is coming up at an estimated cost   14,600 crore.

TN to set up a Vocational University

With a view to meeting the increasing demand-supply gap of skilled workers in the State, the Confederation of Indian Industry – Tamil Nadu State Council (CII–TNSC) has urged the State government to set up a Vocational University to facilitate vertical mobility of students opting for vocational education. According to the study, the current formal education system in the State provided fewer options for vocational training, while vocational training systems had limited options involving mathematics and language learning. Hence, it was difficult for a candidate enrolled in the formal education system to get industry-relevant skills while his vocational stream counter-part was left with limited life skills.

Six month intensive training for newly recruited Civil Judges

An Interview training is being imparted to newly-recruited civil judges at the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy (TNSJA) to tone up judicial administration across the subordinate judiciary in the State. The two batches of civil judges, totalling about 170, are participating in the six-month-long programme, which was launched about a month ago. The judges have been directly recruited by the Madras High Court to various junior level posts in the sub-ordinate judiciary. While some of the recruits have some experience assisting senior advocates, there are others who are fresh from the law school campus.

South Africa test series wins against Australia

South Africa beat hosts Australia by 309 runs in the third and final Test in Perth, taking the three-match series 1-0.

India-China talk on boundary

The latest round of India-China boundary talks is held in Beijing. At the talks, Chinese State Councillor Mr. Dai Bingguo and India’s National Security Adviser Mr. Shivshankar Menon agree that the two countries should not let differences and problems stand in the way of taking their relationship forward.

Chennai late to join the digital bandwagon

With the Madras High Court on Thursday paving the way for the rollout of the digital addressable system (DAS) in Chennai, the city will be the third in country to join the digitisation scheme of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
According to industry sources, New Delhi and Mumbai proactively met the November 1 deadline to switch over completely from analog to digital signals whereas Chennai and Kolkata wereas Chennai and Kolkata were lagging behind.
“Chennai was a bit slow in the switchover whereas Kolkata had completely not started,” Sashi Arora, CEO of Airtel Digital TV told “The Hindu’ in an interview.
“Chennai subscribers are probably more aware of digital transmission as it has been one of the places to experience CAS (Conditional access system) that has digital transmission of paid-channels alone.”

Women’s World Chess championship

Anna Ushenina claims the title at the women’s World chess championship in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, defeating Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria in the final.

Tax-exemption whopping a lot

Official data reveals that the tax-exempted income of India’s 10 main political parties in the last five years (between 2007-08 and 2011-12) touched a whopping   2,490 crore, with the Congress and the BJP accounting for around 80 percent of the amount.

TNHB plans more rental housing projects

The Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) will soon commence construction of flats that it will let out on rent in Padikuppam and Thiruvanmiyur. A total of 318 apartments are to come up on 2.38 acres in Padikuppam and 136 apartments on 1.53 acres of land at Thiruvanmiyur. The cost of both the projects would be   78 crore with    55 crore allotted for the Padikuppam project.

Memorial Hall remains the tallest on the black

The first building to be rebuilt with the approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee on a heritage premises in Chennai will be inaugurated on December 3. After having rejected the proposal for an eight-storied building on the premises with two more heritage buildings, the committee of the Chennai Metropolitan Area had restricted the new building of Christian Literature Society (CLS) to ground-plus-two storey to preserve the heritage value of the premises. The other two buildings on the premises are the Memorial Hall and Bible Society.

Thailand wins Indian Open Golf

Pornanong Phatlum of Thailand wins the title at the Hero women’s Indian Open golf championship in Gurgaon, Haryana.

TN tops the national count of dengue deaths in 2012

With 60 deaths, Tamil Nadu tops the national count of dengue deaths in 2012.