January, 2013

New terminals opened but function only next month

The new domestic and international terminals at the Chennai airport will become operational within a month after the Airports Authority of India sorts out certain issues with airlines and other user agencies. The Chairman V.P. Agarwal said that the AAI had already raised the issues with the airlines. “As and when things are ready, the terminals will become operational in a phased manner”. The projects original cost was estimated to be   1,808 crore through it was finally completed    2,015 crore.

Karunanidhi’s dream building begins functioning as hospital

It was supposed to be erstwhile chief minister and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi dream building. Built with the expertise of a German architectural firm and incorporating elements of the Dravidian style, the new Assembly complex came up where the heritage Admiralty House and CB-CID (home to the governor during British rules) once stood, on the Omandurar Govt. Estate.

Need to renew milk card? Now, go online

Aavin consumers who want to renew their milk cards now have it easy-they can do it online. Aavin, the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Milk Producers Federation, has extended the facility of online renewal and registration of smart cards to all consumers in the city. Even those who want new consumer cards for Aavin milk can apply online on the website www.aavindmilk.com. Aavin had received around 3,000 applications for smart cards and after verification 2,000 cards have been cleared payment can be made through debit and credit cards. On the 15th of each month, consumers must take a printout the online acknowledgement and produce it at their local Aavin depot along with the previous month’s card.

The Hindu tops English dailies in all-India

The Hindu has recorded the highest growth among all English dailies in the country, adding an impressive 50,000 readers nationally over the previous quarter, according to the latest findings of the Indian Readership Survey, IRS 2012 Q3. The Hindu’s current national Average Issue Readership (AIR) is 22.58 lakh; this make an increase of 4.1 per cent over the corresponding period in 2011, IRS 2011 Q3, with this, it has achieved a 2.3 per cent increase over the previous quarter, IRS 2012 Q3. The Hindu continues to dominate the South Indian market, where its current AIR figure in 18.99 lakh. Again The Hindu has shown a growth of 3.8 per cent over the same quarter last year, and a 2.9 per cent increase over the previous quarter.

India beat WI in their opening match of ICC :

India beat West Indies in their opening match of the ICC Women’s World Cup in Mumbai.

UN’s first report on the broad policy of Israeli settlements

The UN’s first report on the broad policy of Israeli settlements concludes that Israel’s practice of “creeping annexations” clearly violates the human rights of Palestinians. The report calls for Israel to immediately stop the practice.

GDP growth to 6.2% for fiscal year 2011-12

The Central Government announces a downward revision in GDP growth to 6.2 percent for the fiscal year 2011-12 from the earlier provisional estimate of 6.5 percent. Alongside, however, the GDP growth for the 2010-11 financial year stands revised upwards to 9.3 percent from 8.4 percent (second revised estimates)

2.36 crore for constructing firework institute building

Chief Minister Jayalalihaa sanctioned   2.36 crore for constructing a building for the institute set up for providing training to firework employees in safety aspects and handling chemicals. The institute is temporarily functioning from Kaleeswari Govt. Arts College in Sivakasi. The amount sanctioned will be used for new building and for creation of eight posts.

Kattupalli port to be inaugurated today

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is all set to inaugurate Larson and Toubro’s minor port at Kattupalli, about 30 km. from Chennai through video-conferencing. Though the project was ready for long, it could not be inaugurated due to Chief Minister’s busy schedule. The company officials were able to get her nod for the inauguration of the 3,800 crore project. The project is located adjacent to the Ennore Port. The project was floated jointly by L & T in association with the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation for developing a shipyard-cum-minor port, in which the latter holds three per cent stake.

Mumbai win Behar Trophy

Maharashtra defeat Mumbai in the final to win the Cooch Behar Trophy under-19 cricket championship in Pune, Maharashtra.

South Korea launches its first space rocket

South Korea launches its first space rocket, carrying a science satellite into space. With the launch, the country announces its presence in the global space race, becoming the latest entrant into the exclusive league of space-faring nations. The 140-tonne Korea Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-I) blasts off from the Naro Space Centre on the country’s south coast. It successfully goes through the stage separation process before reaching its target altitude nine minutes after the launch and deploying its payload satellite.

Centre announces 10% equity in OIL

The Centre announces its decision to offload its 10 percent equity in Oil India Limited (OIL).

NLC posts good show in Q3

Neyveli Lignite Corporation has registered 8.95 per cent growth in lignite production in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012, at 56.01 lakh tonnes against 51,408 tonne during the corresponding period of the previous year. Power generation registered a growth of 13.12 per cent to 4,575.75 million units (MU) from 4045.10 MU during the corresponding period of the previous year. During the third quarter of 2012-13 sales turnover stood at  1,255.70 crore as compared to 1,045.99 crore in the year ago period, registering a growth of 20 per cent. The corporation is also spreading its wings in new projects with fuels other than lignite.

Sundaram Finance deposit base crosses 1,400 crore

Sundaram Finance has announced that it has crossed the   1,400 crore mark in respect of deposits to reach 1,412 crore on Dec. 31, 2012. The company has reported a 25 per cent rise in its net profit in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012 to   113.65 crore from    91.14 crore registered in the same period in the previous year. Income from operations stood at   443.47 crore in the year-ago period.

Puppy power at city zoo with 5 new births

A 10 year old Dhola, gave birth to five pups at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur on 28th Jan. This is the third time in five years the Asiatic wild dog has given birth. Pups come after a gap of two years, her last ones being delivered in January 2011. The pups, three female and two male, weigh around 80 gms each and one being special care, with the zoo’s vets making periodic checks on them.

New pumping station, to alleviate sewage problems

Residents of areas in and around Nungambakkam Lake Area who have encountered sewage-related problems for several years now may soon have respite. A sewage pumping station will be constructed near Valluvar Kottam to callect the sewage from localities, including Kamarajapuram, Pushpa Nagar, Vaigundapuram and Lake area, and transfer to an other sewage pumping station on Greams Road.

Madras want new terminal named after Kamaraj

Several members of the Nadar Community staged a protest outside the Chennai Airport, demanding that the new domestic terminal be named after former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj. The Nadar group would continue to protest till their demand was filfilled. They also planned on meeting civil aviation ministry officials soon on Jan. 18 Chief Minister Jayalalithaa wrote a letter to the Union Minister of Civil aviation Ajit Singh, which stated. “It would be most fitting if the new domestic terminal II in the Chennai Airport is named after Dr. MGR who was one of the most illustrious, charismatic and popular Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu”.

Tiger Woods wins the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open Golf tournament

American golfer Tiger Woods wins the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament in La Jolla, USA.

China construction of three new hydropower dams on Brahmaputra river

China announces that it has given the go-ahead for the construction of three new hydropower dams on the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra river, ending a two-year halt in approving new projects on the river amid concerns from India and environmental groups.

RBI cuts the indicative policy rate

For the first time in nine months, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cuts the indicative policy rate (repo rate) by 25 percentage points, from 8 percent to 7.75 percent. It also cuts the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 25 percentage points, from 4.25 percent to 4 percent.

Fish processing units soon

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa ordered creation of fish processing units in 13 coastal areas and ordered release  37 crore for implementing pilot projects in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts under the mode of public-private partnership. “The creation of fish processing units will facilitate export of fish and will earn foreign exchange” the state govt. said.

To construct court buildings, quarters

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa sanctioned    21.64 crore for the construction of new combined court buildings and quarters for judicial officers in Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri districts. She had already ordered the construction of combined court building and quarters for judicial officers at the cost of  17.31 crore in Tindivanam. At present in Nagapattinam dist., the courts of Mayiladuthurai had been functioning in a building which was in poor state causing hardship to litigants and lawyers. Considering the situation, the Chief Minister ordered the construction of a combined court building at the cost of     8 crore and also quarters for judicial officers at the cost of     2.1 crore. Similarly a combined court buidlings and quarters will come up for officers in Thoothukudi in Cuddalore, Mudukalathur in Ramanathapuram and Krishnagiri.

Work on diversion canal to begin

After four years of project formulation, the long pending work to construct a diversion channel from Virugambakkam – Arumbakkam cannel to Coovum will begin so on. Residents of surrounding areas, including Chinmaya Nagar and Virugambakkam, who live in constant fear of flooding after every spell of rain may have spell of rain may have a respite once the project under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) is completed. The Water Resources Department (WRD), which recently got its revised JNNURM detailed proejct report approved by centre, is expected to start work in a couple of weeks.

Mumbai win the Ranji Trophy

Mumbai win the Ranji Trophy, beating Saurashtra by an innings and 125 runs in the final in Mumbai. This is Mumbai’s 40th Ranji crown.

Iran announces that it has successfully sent a monkey into space

Iran announces that it has successfully sent a monkey into space, describing the launch as an important milestone towards its goal of a manned space flight. During the launch, the rocket named Pishgam (Farsi for ‘pioneer’) reaches a height of 120 km.

India and Bangladesh sign a liberalised visa

India and Bangladesh sign liberalised visa agreement and a landmark extradition treaty. The pacts are inked in Dhaka by Home Minister Mr. Sushilkumar Shinde and his Bangladesh counterpart Mr. Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir.

Farmer gets award for cultivation feat

At a time when paddy cultivation is no longer considered lucrative and farm lands are being converted into housing plots, P. Solaimalai, a farmer from Madurai, has achieved a rare feat by producing 8,272 kg. paddy per acre against the normal production of about 3,800 kg. per acre. He achieved it by using the system of Rice Intensification (SRI) for cultivation. Mr. Solaimalai received a special award from the Agriculture Department on the occasion of Republic Day for setting the highest yield under SRI. He is the first farmer to receive the award, which carries    5 lakh and a gold medal worth of    3,500.

Multi-level parking lot in T. Nagar

Years after the idea was mooted, the civic body’s proposal for a multi-level parking lot in T. Nagar awaits administrative sanction from the govt. As per the suggestions of the consultant, the parking lot that will come up adjacent to Panagal Park will have eight floors, four under ground and four above and will provide space for 500 four wheelers and 900 two wheelers at a time. The entire system would be automated and the vehicles would be taken up or down by elevators and than transferred to the appropriate parking slot. The system would take two minutes to retrive one car. It had suggested that such facilities be created for around 2,500 cars and that parking lots be created at four places in the busy commercial locality.

Third water plant in the works

In a few years, the expanded city can hope for improved water supply tanks to yet another desalination plant, Chennai Metrowater has initiated process to set up the third desalination plant in the city. The water agency recently appointed a consultancy firm to prepare a detailed project report for the proposed plant at Pattipulam along the East Coast Road. The plant will have the capacity to treat 200 million litres a day of seawater. This is twice the capacity of the dasalination plants at Minjur and Nemmeli.

Discovery of new gene

Cornell University researchers say that they have discovered a new gene, called Scarecrow, that can lead to new varieties of staple crops with 50% higher yields, which could quell hunger in many countries. The gene is the first discovered to control a special leaf structure, known as Kranz anatomy.

Indian wins ODI series against England

Hosts India win the ODI series against England 3-2, even as England beat India in the fifth and final ODI in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh by seven wickets. Suresh Raina of India is adjudged the Man of the Series.

Fire guts down a nightclub in Brazil – killing over 230 people

A devastating fire guts down a nightclub in southern Brazil, killing over 230 people and leaving over 200 injured.

NABARD scheme of funding corporate warehouseing

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), whose scheme of funding corporate warehousing projects on terms softer than those offered to poor farmers was widely criticised, withdraws the controversial scheme.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN TENNIS 2013

Victoria Azarenka, Novak Djokovic champion
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus wins the women’s singles title at the 2013 Australian Open tennis championship, beating Li Na of China 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final in Melbourne. American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan win the men’s doubles title, their-record 13th Grand Slam, defeating Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands in the final Italian pair Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci clinch the women’s doubles title, beating the Australian duo of Ashleight Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the final. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia wins men’s singles title, beating Britain’s Andy Murray 6-7(2), 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 in the final in Melbourne. This is Djokovic’s sixth Grand Slam crown. He becomes the first player since 1968 to win the Australian Open title thrice in a row. The Australian pair of Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden win the mixed doubles title, beating the Czech Republic pair of Lucie Hradecka and Frantisek Cermak.

China successfully flight-test

China successfully flight-tests an indigenously built huge-sized freight plane. The cargo jet is capable of air-lifting tanks and combat troops to difficult and inaccessible terrains like its Tibet border with India. The transporter, named Y-20, puts China in the exclusive club of countries having large air-lifters like the US’s C-17 and Russia’s II-76.

India-Pakistan water talks

A round of India-Pakistan water talks, where the Tulbul navigation project. Wullar Barrage issue was to be discussed, is put off in the wake of persisting tensions over ceasefire vilations along the LoC by Pakistani troops.

Novelist Mr. Jeet Thayil wins DSC Prize

Novelist Mr. Jeet Thayil wins the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature at the Jaipur Literature Festival for his first novel ‘Narcopolis’.

PADMA AWARDS 2013

The prestigious Padma Awards for 2013 are announced. Four distinguished personalities are conferred the second highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan : Mr. Raghunath Mohapatra, Mr. S. Haider Raza (both art), Prof. Yash Pal and Prof. Roddam Narasimha (both science & engineering). 24 get the Padma Bhushan. The list of the Padma Shri awardees includes 80 famous persons. The President approves 108 awards in all, including 24 women among the awardees and 11 in the category of Foreigners/Non-Resident Indian (NRIs)/Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)/Posthumous.

New Zealand clinch the ODI series against South Africa

New Zealand clinch the ODI series against hosts South Africa by a 2-1 margin, even as the hosts win the third and final match by one wicket in Potchefstroom.

Bilateral territorial disputes

China’s President-elect Mr. Xi Jinping holds talks with Mr. Natsuo Yamaguchi, the chief of Japan’s New Komeito Party which is part of the country’s ruling coalition, in Beijing. At their meeting, they seek to calm the tensions arising out of bilateral territorial disputes.

Indian tea production

Data released by the Union Commerce Ministry reveals that propelled by small tea growers, the Indian tea industry has breached the one-billion-kg mark in production.

CNR Rao gets Chinese Science award

Mr. CNR Rao, head of the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, is conferred a top Chinese science award by the Chinese Academy of Sciences for his for his contribution to scientific cooperation between the two countries.

Headilay prisoned for 35 years

Pakistani-American David Coleman Headlley, accused of masterminding and coordinating the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, is sentenced by a US court to 35 years in prison.

Jayamkondan Project

Chennai is the tale of a 20 year-old power sector project which, if implemented, would not only have provided a major relief to the powr-starved Tamil Nadu but also helped transform one of the industrially and economically backward regions of the state. But, the project – Jayamkondan integrated lignite mining and power generation is steeped in complexities of policy administrative and legal tangies.

Israle’s General Election

Israle’s right-wing bloc, led by incumbent Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, earns a slender victory in the country’s hard-fought general elections. The results show that the right block and centre-left bloc (including Arab parties) are evenly tied at 60 seats each in the 120-seat Israeli Parliament (Knesset).

Justice Verma Committee crimes against women, comes up with its much awaited recommendations

The Justice Verma Committee, formed to look into crimes against women, comes up with its much awaited recommendations. Despite widespread public demand, the Committee rules against death sentence even in the “rarest of rare” rape cases. Also, if does not agree to lowering the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16 years. The other suggestions are (i) the minimum sentence for a rapist should be enhanced from 7 years to 10 years; (ii) life imprisonment must always mean jail for “the entire natural life of the convict”; (iii) stricter punishment for trafficking and stalking; (iv) no chemical castration; (v) relooking at reforms in the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), etc.

Design for knowledge park clinched

The state govt. has finalised the deisgn for  the proposed Integrated Knowledge Park, which will come up on the 15-acre campus of the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI) in Nungambakkam. Of the five short-listed design, the evaluation committee found the proposal submitted by STUP consultants private limited – project delivery consultancy company with offices in Mumbai, Chennai and other cities in the world – most suitable. Officials said the recently approved design retains the existing heritage buildings on the premises and is built around them.

Muslim Organisation seek ban on film

Various Muslim organisations and political parties met the city police commissioner and saught a ban on Kamal Hassan-starrer ‘Vishwaroopam’, alleging that the film had portrayed Muslims and Islam in bad light. “There is a danger that the public may view any Muslim with a beard as a terrorist waiting for an opportunity to plant a bomb” said a senior leader of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam and MLA of the Manithaneyam Makkal Katchi.

Hike in property tax for IT buildings

The Chennai Corporation Council passed a resolution to increase the property tax for buildings housing tax for buildings housing IT companies. The increase in the tax rates range from 50 to 200 per cent. The civic body has identified 344 IT companies in ten zones in the western and southern parts of the city. The zones of Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet and Thiru.Vi.Ka.Nagar do not have any IT Companies.

381 more trades to come under licence system

The Corporation Council passed a resolution permitting the issue of trade licence in the added areas. The council also took a major step towards streamlining of the system for issuing trade licenses in the city. The new proposal is expected to cover 575 trades. The trades such as electrical goods, tyre shop, furniture, plastic works, automobile parts, fruit stall, pickles, DTP centre, tea, stall and bakery were among those included in the original list of the old corporation limits. The erstwhile local bodies in the newly added areas had a list of 295 trades under the trade licence net. There included flower shops, book binding, animal skin processing and hair processing.

Number of jobless people globally – ILO report

The International Labour Organisation (ILO), in a report, says that the number of jobless people globally will hit a record high of 202 million by 2013-end. The UN agency’s revised figures show that global unemployment has risen by 28 million since 2007.

Shimla agreement

India seeks to bury the ghost of third party intervention in J&K by suggesting that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (Unmogip) be wound up as it has been “overtaken” by the Shimla Agreement of 1972 under the Shimla Agreement, the two countries resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations.

100 cr. allocated to augment water resources

Chief Minister ordered allocation of nearly   100 cr. to strengthen water resources across the state which include construction of a check dam at the cost of    35 crore across the Kosasthaliyar for storing the Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh for meeting Chennai’s water requirements.

BSNL sheds voice for data in new scheme

For the first time since its inception state-owned BSNL will go without a voice call feature in a new scheme. The ‘Broadband only’ scheme being launched in select suburban and rural pockets around Chennai has been conceived by Chennai Telephones to cota to the demand for DataOne services in ‘shadow’ areas which have been ruled as technically non-feasible spots to lay underground copper cables. Under the new ‘broadband only’ scheme, Chennai Telephones will install Digital subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) equipment at the nearest Bast Station Transceiver (BTS) in the GSM network and loop a few metres of copper cable to the customer premises to offer uninterrupted  broadband in these areas.

Al-Qaeda linked Islamist rebels

French and Malian troops recapture the key towns, of Diabaly and Douentza in Mali, giving a major boost to international efforts to oust al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels holding Mali’s vast arid north.

Centre hikes the import duty on gold and platinum

The Centre hikes the import duty on gold and platinum from 4 percent to 6 per cent with immediate affect. The move is aimed at curbing imports of the precious metals, thereby containing the widening current account deficit (CAD).

Parants of girl who died in school demand safety measures

The govt should come out with comprehensive safety measures to ensure the safety of children in schools, said V. Pavithra, mother of V. Malathy, an LKG student who died after falling into a septic tank at Christ Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Uthangarai. The father of the child, alleged that the school management failed to save the child, despite other children informing teachers that the girl fell into the septic tank. They demanded Chief Minister Jayalalithaa intervention in the matter and wanted action to be taken against those responsible for the death of the child.

“Mill of the year award” for TNPL

Tamil Nadu Newsprint Limited (TNPL) has bagged ‘Mill of the year award’ for 2011-12 from Indian Paper Manufacturers Association in its XII annual general meeting. TNPL has received the award for the third time in the last five occasions.

AP agrees to complete canal work early

Sharing T.N’s concern over the poor realisation of water through the 152 km long Kandaleru-Poondi canal, Andhra Pradesh agreed to take immediate steps for early completion of repair work on the canal. A decision to this effect was taken at the 42nd meeting of the inter-state Liaison committee at Fort St. George, Chennai. A breach of the canal in Uppalamadagu near Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh had led to the sharp reduction in the inflow. Even though 600 cubic feet of water is being released from the Kandaleru dam.

Vibrating steering wheel

Researchers reveal, for the first time, that they have designed a vibrating steering wheel that tells drivers where to steer when undipped headlights and other visual impediments leave them temporarily blinded. The system relies on car sensors like Global Positioning System (GPS) and lanekeeping cameras to map the road ahead and work out where the vehicle is.

58th Filmfare Awards

The 58th Filmfare Awards are presented in Mumbai. Prominent winners are: Best Film : Barfil; Best Director : Sujoy Ghosh – Kahaani ;  Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) : Ranbir Kapoor – Barfil : Best Actor In A Leading (Female) : Vidya Balan – Kahaani; Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) : Annu Kapoor – Vicky Donor, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female) : Anushka Sharma – Jab Tak Hai Jaan; Best Music Director : Pritam – Barfil; Lifetime Achievement Award : Yash Chopra.

Malaysian open badminton

World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia wins the men’s crown at the Malaysian Open badminton championship, beating Indonesia’s Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the final in Kuala Lumpur. Tai Tzu Ying of Taipei takes the women’s crown, beating Yao Xue of China in the final.

Mumbai Marathon – Uganda wins men’s title, Kenya wins women’s title

Jackson Kiprop of Uganda wins the men’s title at the Mumbai Marathon, setting a course record at 2:09:32 hours. The women’s Gold is clinched by Valentine Kipketer of Kenya, clocking 2:24:33 hours.

US President Barack Obama was sworn in second term in office

US President Mr. Barack Obama takes the official oath for his second term at a small ceremony in Washington. He is administered the oath of office by US Chief Justice John Roberts.

Indian Divers National record

The Indian Navy announces that its divers have achieved a new feet bettering their own national record by diving to a depth of 257 metres some 35 nautical miles off Kochi.

Norms on child adoption

The Social Welfare Department has outlined conditions to be fulfilled for adopting children. The Department said the Society for Rural Development promotion services at Tirupatur was a govt. licensed adoption agency functioning through the department in Vellore district. As per adoption laws, a number of conditions have been stipulated. The conditions are birth certificate (the combined age of mother and father should not exceed 90 years) educational qualification certificate, of both parents, income certificate, medical certificate, certificate regarding immovable property, conduct certificate, a pledge certificate from family members, no objection certificate from Police Department, Photocopy of voter’s identity card or family ration card and a joint photograph of the couple.

Consider converts to Islam as BC

The Madras High Court Bench passed an order directing Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) to consider those who had converted to Islam as BC (Muslim) in so far as their appointment to offices under the state was concerned. A Division Bench of Justices petition filed by an individual who claimed that converts to Islam were being considered under the “Other castes” category and denied reservations in employment and education.

Name domestic terminal after MGR : Jayalalithaa

Chief Minister wants the centre to name Domestic Terminal II of the Chennai Airport after the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder and farmer Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran. Ms. Jayalalithaa stated that it will be most fitting if the new domestic terminal is named after “MGR, who was one of the most illustrious, charismotic and popular Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu”.

Now G.M. for Southern Railway

Rakesh Mishra has taken over as General Manager, Southern Railway. S.R. stated that Mr. Mishra was selected to the Railways when he was 18. After completion of training at the Indian Railway Institute of Mechanical Engg., Jamalpur, he joined Central Railway. In his 36 years in the Railways, he was worked as Executive Director in Railwasy Research, Chief Design Engineer of ICF and Divisional Manager of Eastern Railway.

Surge in sale of Tamil Primer on China

Even as one million books are jostling for space at the 36th book fair in Chennai, a Tamil primer on China has attacked the attention of the book lovers, curious to know about India’s neighbour “Many people visited on stalls to buy the book, Seenavil Inbaula, permed by Zhao Jiang, the director of the government-run China Radio International (CRI), Tamil station,” said G. Chandrasekaran of the Gowtham Pathipagam. We sold 35 copies today and we are planning to print around 2,000 books initially”, he said. Ms. Jiany approached Gowtham Pathipagam  for publishing her book in China.

Use and emission of health – hazardous mercury

Delegations from 140 countries agree to adopt a ground-breaking treaty to limit the use and emission of health-hazardous mercury. The world’s first legally binding agreement on mercury is reached after a week of talks held in Geneva, Switzerland. The treaty aims to reduce global emission levels of the toxic heavy metal, also known as quicksilver, which poses risks to human health and the environment.

UGC new chairman appointed

Mr. Ved Prakash is appointed Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC)

European Space Agency found water across mars

The European Space Agency reveals remnants of a 1,500 km long and 7 km-wide river, called Reull Vallis, that once used to run across Mars 3.5 billion years ago. Reull Vallis is believed to have formed which running water flowed in the distant Martian past, cutting a steep-sided channel through the Promethei Terra Highlands before flowing towards the floor of the vast Hellas basin.

President Rule in Jharkhand

President’s Rule is imposed in Jharkhand following its approval by the Union Cabinet.

City college students code for Microsoft

Sathyanarayanan and R. Santhosh Kumar, third-year students of IT at Sri Venkateswara College of Engineering, Sriperumbudur, created a Guinness world record recently at the Window 8  App Fest. The event was held at the Karnataka Trade Promotion Organisation (KTPO) in Bangalore. Nearly 2567 app developers gathered and submitted 1500 applications. Out of this, 50 applications were shortlisted for certified use. The app. developed by Sathyanarayan and Santhosh was also accepted by Microsoft.

National awards for Chennai musicians

Three artists from Chennai home bagged Sangeet Natak Akademi’s ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar” award for 2011 in music. According to recent notifications regarding the award, cosmatic vocalist Abhishek Raghuram, Veena artiste Punya Srinivas and violinist H.N. Bhaskar are among those who will receive the national honour in the category of music. Bharatanatyam artiste, Meenakshi Srinivasan, also from Chennai, is among the dancers being hanoured with the title.

NIF to buy shares of PSUs

The Central Government authorises the National Investment Fund (NIF) to buy shares of public sector undertakings (PSUs), including insurance companies and public sector banks.

LPG cylinders to nine from six a year per household

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) raises the cap on supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to nine from six a year per household.

Memorial for Chola King Karikalan

A memorial for Karikalan the Chola King who built the Grand Anicut (Kallanai) across the Cauvery, will be set up to honour his selflife service, Chief Minister announced. She was inaugurating a memorial for Pennycuick, the British engineer who constructed the Periyar dam in Idukki district of Kerala. The Grand Anicut, which the Chola King built 2,000 years ago, is not only the oldest dam in the country but also an engineering marvel. The dam is beneficial to crores of people even today. Chief Minister also announced that the new central bus stand under construction in Theni would be named after Col. Pennycuick.

Reliance Communication contract enter to French telecom

French telecom equipment major Alcarel-Lucent announces that it has entered into an eight-year $1 billion contract with Reliance Communications. Under the deal, Alcatel-Lucent will manage Reliance’s telecom networks in eastern and southern India.

AP CM conferred the Lifetime Achievement for Peace Award

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Nabam Tuki is conferred the Lifetime Achievement for Peace Award by the UN-affiliated International Association of Educators of World Peace (IAEWP).

61st National Volleyball Championship

Kerala win the men’s title at the 61st National volleyball championship, beating Tamil Nadu in the final in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Railways take the women’s title, beating Kerala in the final.

Pakistan S.C. order to arrest Ashraf

Pakistan plunges into a fresh crisis with the Supreme Court ordering the arrest of Prime Minister Mr. Raja Parvez Ashraf, within hours of Pakistani-Canadian Cleric Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri calling for immediate dissolution of Parliament and assemblies and his supporters rallying to him in Islamabad.

Poor people under the BPL category annual income raises

In a good news for the poor people who do not fall under the BPL category, the Union Health Ministry raises the criterion of annual income (from   75,000 to   1,00,000) for these people to avail themselves of the Health Minister’s Discretionary Grant (HMDG).

Identifical oldest star

Astronomers make it public that they have identified a star, known as HD 140283, to be the oldest yet seen in the universe. The star is at least 13.2 billion years old and is just 186 light years away from Earth. The Bigh Bang is calculated by scientists to have taken place about 13.77 billion years ago.

South Africa sweep test series against New Zealand

Hosts South Africa beat New Zealand by an innings and 97 runs in the second and final Test in Port Elizabeth. With this win, the hosts sweep the series 2-0.

Postponement of implementation of the controversial GAAR

Seeking to allay fears of investors, the Centre announces the postponement of implementation of the controversial GAAR (General Anti Avoidance Rules) by two years to April 1, 2016.

One more year of nil case and it will be “Goodbye Polio”

It is two years since India had a polio case. One more, and the country can say “Goodbye, Polio”. The battle against the wild polio virus is poised interestingly in the nation that, not long ago, in 2009, accounted for nearly half the world’s polio cases. Three years of absence of polio cases, caused by the wild polio virus (WPV), coupled with intense surveillance, is essential before India can be declared polio-free, in 2014.

20 bronze icons, 30 artefacts unearthed

About 20 miniature bronze icons of various deities and over 30 artefacts were unearthed from the site where a govt. Yatri Nivas is being construted on the banks of the Colaro on at Srirangam. The icons and artefacts were found inside a copper pot that was unearthed while earthmovers were engaged in digging pits for raising the foundation of the Yatri Nivas. Among the icons were those of Vishnu Rama, Sita, Bhoodevi, Lakshmi Narasimhar, dancing Krishna, Ramarpatham and Azhvars. The pot also contained various artefacts such as ornamental ‘tiruvasi’s (arches), tripools, small artefects and a “Kuthuvilakku”.

Ambedkar Award

The State Govt. has chosen communist Party of Index (CPI) State Secretary D. Pandian for its Annal Ambedkar award this year. Announcing the names of winners of the awards instituted in the name of Tamil scholars and national leaders, an official press release stated that Kalaimamani N. Murugan (Seyon) has been chosen for the Thiruvalluvar award. The other awardees, Thanthai Periyar Award – K. Samarasam;  Perunthalaivar Kamarajar Award – Singaravadivel, Mahakavi Bharathiar Award – Bharathi  Kavalar K. Ramamurthi; Paavendar Bharathidasan Award – S.N. Kandasamy; Thiru.Vi.Ka Award – Prema Nandakumar; K.Aa.Pe Viswanathan Award – N. Rajagopalan. This awards carry a cash component of    1 lakh, one sovereign gold medallion and certificate.

70th annual Golden Globe Awards

The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards are presented in California. Prominent recipients are : Best Motion Picture – Drama : Argo ; Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy; Les Miserables; Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Daniel Day Lewis – Lincoln; Best Pefformance by an Actress in a Motion Picture  – Drama : Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty ;  Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy : Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables; Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy : Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook ;  Best Director – Motion Picture; Ben Affleck – Argo, Best Screenplay – Motion Picture : Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained, etc. among others.

IREA launches the world’s first atlas on clean energy

The International Renewable Energy Agency launches the world’s first atlas on clean energy which will offer open-access information on all countries’ renewable energy potential.

Ballastless tracks to facilitate operation of high-speed trains

The Indian Railways will switch to bollastless tracks on seven routes, including the Chennai-Bangalore sector, identified for operating high-speed trains. Ballastless tracks that allow operation of high-speed trains and have the benefits of lower maintenance requirements and increased service life are the choice by default for these high-speed rail corridors, tunnelling proejct and tracks near platforms.

Chennai Port may go for fresh bidding

The Chennai Port Trust may have to go in for fresh bidding for its mega container terminal, if the Union Home Ministry accords security clearance for Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), a prospective bidder. At a recent board meeting Vadinar Terminal Ltd. (VOTL) emerged as lone successful bidder. In fact, APSEZ was the successful bidder in the first attempt.

Islands of South China

In the midst of simmering maritime tensions with several of its neighbours, China for the first time publishes maps of over 130 islands of South China Sea as well as the disputed islands with Japan, linking them in the maps with the Chinese mainland.

Pakistani soldiers killed two Indian Jawans

In the wake of the recent killing and mutilation of two Indian jawans by Pakistani soldiers, IAF chief Mr. N. Anil Kumar Browne says that India may have to look at “other options” to ensure the sancity of the LoC and put Pakistani in its place.

S.C. shows green light for Jallikattu

The Supreme Court permitted the Tamil Nadu Govt. to conduct Jallikattu from Jan. 15 in accordance with the law erected by it and rules framed for regulation of the event. A bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra in a brief order also made it clear that the event should be conducted strictly in teams of orders passed by the apex court from time to time. The 2009 Act passed by the state provides that no jallikattu event will be permitted or hold without the written permission of the District Collector. It should be sought and obtained at least a month prior to the event.

Ancient temple to be refurbished

A 400-year old temple that Maratha King Chathrapathi Shivaji once visited is getting a makeover to restore it to its original grandeur. The Sri Kalikambal temple located in George Town, will be renovated and restored by over 14 Sthapathis who have arrived from all over the state to work on it. The Raja gopuram is being painted, the smaller shrines inside the temple for the parivara devathas including those of Lord Komateswarar, Ganesha and Murugan too are being given a new look.

Water-vapour power generator

Scientists say that they have created a polymer film that can generate electricity from water vapour to power micro and nanoelectronic devices. The potential applications include large-scale water-vapour-powered generators, or smaller generators to power wearable electronics.

Census Medals for performance

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee presents the Census Medals for extraordinary performance. Dr. C. Chandramouli, Registrar-General and Census Commissioner of India, gets the Gold Medal.