July, 2013

Chief Minister assurance to HPF staff

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told employees of the ailing Hindustan Photo Films (HPF) at Indunagar, Udhagamandalam that efforts would be made to find a lasting solution to their problem. As her convey was passing through Indunagar enroute to the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, she stopped it on seeking hundreds of employees of the company waiting for her  accepting a petition from the office – bearers of the save HPF committee, she promised them that on her return to Chennai efforts would be initiated to find a losting solution.

Sri Lanka win the series against SA

Sri lanka defeated South Africa by 128 runs in the fifth and final one-day to wrap up the one-day series 4-1 in Colombo on July 31, 2013.

Advanced laser system successfully

An advanced laser system offering incredibly faster data speeds to link with spacecraft  beyond the Earth has successfully passed a crucial ground test, scientists said. It will  communicate with a NASA Moon orbiter later this year.

Australia most powerful Super Computer

Australia’s most powerful super computer, Raijin, has 57,000 processing cores which is something like 15,000 ordinary personal computers. It is said to be the 27th most powerful computer in the world.

Highest average income in Haryana state

Haryana recorded the highest average rural household monthly expenditure on education at   372 between 2004-05 and 2009-10, a study by the ASSOCHAM revealed.

Commissions for Social Justice & Empowerment

The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is all set to seek the Cabinet’s approval for implementation of the recommendations that were made by the Balkrishna Renke Commission in 2008 and by the National Advisory commission (NAC) in 2011.

Geographical indication registry

The juicy Nagpur orange, the famous tribal Warli art, Dharmavaram saris and Kerala’s Kaipad rice cleared for inclusion in Geographical Indication is registry in the country. The logo for Leather Toys of Indore (already a GI product) was also approved.

India win the U-16 SAFF championship

India beat Nepal 1-0 in the final to win the Under-16 South Asian Football Federation championship in Kathmandu.

India’s first private DNA forensics laboratory

Global biotechnology company Life Technologies launched India’s first private  DNA forensics laboratory in Gurgaon.

Pakistant new president elected

Pakistan elected businessman mamnoon Hussain as its 12th President to replace Asif Ali Zardari, whose five-year term expires in September.

Bimal Gunung resigned as CE of the Gorkhaland Territorial Admin.

Bimal gurung, president of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, resigned as chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration even as the 72-hour strike called by his party in support of a separate Gorkhaland entered its second day.

Historical and Political rights

Three Naga underground outfits – the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the GPRN/NSCN (Khole-Kitovi) and the NNC/FGN (Singnya-Vero) – agreed to strengthen the “reconciliation process,” which seeks to unite Nagas for the purpose of achieving their “historical and political rights”.

Indian’s 29th state Telangana

Telangana, one of the three regions of Andhra Pradesh, will be carved out as India’s 29th state, the IT hub of Hyderabad will be a common capital for the next 10 years, the Congress said.

Hopeful city looks to a new era of auto fares

For a city that does not remember the days when autorickshaw meters were in use, the Supreme Court directive to the state govt. to fix rates in four weeks seems to have thrown open a whole lot of possibilities. Commuters such as A.S. Motilal, a senior citizen from Mogappair, are looking forward to a more economical way of travelling.

More trouble at maritime varsity over recruitments

After the vice-chancellor and registrar of Indian Mritime University resigned in quick succession, following allegations of mal practices in recruitment of 30 new teachers, a senior independent member of the executive council of the University quit last week, citing problems with the institute.

A traditional honour in tune with the times

Vocalist Sudha Ragunathan, a student of the late M.L. Vasanthakumari (MLV), who was evolved a mellifluous singing style of  her own, has been chosen for the Sangitha Kalanidhi award of the Music Academy for 2013. Among the first in her generation to get the prestigious award. Ms. Ragunathan was the unanimous choice of the executive committee of the Music Academy. “The award to her represents the transition from musicians from yeaster year to next generation”.

India won the Youth Chess Olympiad

India won the Youth Chess Olympiad at Chongqing, China.

India warns G-33 proposal

Pinning hopes on the Bali Ministerial meet in December for further progress of the WTO Doha round trade negotiations, India warned that if no progress was made on the G-33 proposal of developing countries like India to deal with food security issues, the Trade Facilitation Agreement progress could also stand stalled.

Jet Airways won a conditional nod to sell 24%

Jet Airways won a conditional nod to sell 24 per cent stake to Etihad Airways for   2,058-crore after the Abu Dhabi-based carrier made significant concessions, diluting its control.

Overall housing shortfall

As the government gears up to meet the overall housing shortfall of nearly 18.7 million in the urban areas, a statistical compendium of households with basic amenities, including water, electricity and sanitation, better building materials, more rooms and assets, showed an overall improvement.

B.E. in Tamil loses flavour

In spite of efforts by the state to promote Tamil in higher education, there are not many takers for the language-medium engineering courses. Barely 50 per cent of seats of Tamil medium engineering courses. Barely 50 per cent of seats of Tamil Medium courses offered by engineering colleges have been filled, leaving more than 700 seats out of 1,380 vacant. When it came to Tamil medium engineering seats, 385 of the 720 seats in mechanical engieering went vacant and 273 of the 660 seats in civil engg. were unfilled.

India’s second aircraft carrier

India’s second aircraft carrier, the 45,000 – tonne INS Vikramaditya – a retrofitted Russian carrier formerly named Admiral Gorshkov dating back to the 1980s – successfully completed sea trial of achieving top speed of 32 knots.

Cambodia Election

The ruling party of Cambodian Premier Hun Sen claimed victory in elections which were marred by allegations of widespread irregularities, but it faced rare competition from a resurgent opposition.

Kuwait Parlimentary Election

Kuwait’s Shia minority lost more than half of their seats and liberals made slight gains in the Gulf state’s second polls in eight months, in a major blow to radicals. The final results by judicial authorities showed Shia candidates winning just eight seats in the 50-member Parliament.

China received natural gas from Myanmar

China started receiving natural gas from Myanmar through an 800 km-long pipeline project.

Kolaikaranpettai be renamed after Chief Minister

The Chennai Corporation Council passed a resolution requesting the State Govt. to name Kolaikaranpettai after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. This is likely to end two decades of struggle by residents to have the name of their neighbourhood changed. Mayor announced the neighbourhood would be named “Jayalalithaa Nagar”. The Corporation council also passed a resolution to rename Halls Road as Tamil Salai.

Wildlife research centre : Work begins

Wildlife enthusiasts in the city have reason to cheer as the public works department (PWD) has started preliminary design work for the advanced research centre for wild animals at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park in Vandalur. The   27.13 crore project was announced by the state govt. in January and will come up at the 120 hectare – Rescue and Rehabilitation centre of the zoo. The wild Animals Research Centre, as it will be called, will have eight research laboratories. The construction work for the project will be completed by PWD by mid-2014 while the rest of the work including selection of experts and decision an species to be studied will be done by zoo officials in a phased manner.

Pedestrian plazas soon at Luz Church Road, Pondy Bazaar

The Chennai Corporation will construct pedestrian plazas at Luz Church Road and Pondy Bazar. Mayor informed the Corporation Council that disabled friendly structures will be in place in all new pedestrian facilities including the plaza. “The pedestrian plaza will facilitate access to commercial neighbourhoods for a large number of people,” he said. New footpaths will be designed to facilitate unhindered pedestrian moment from one end of a road to the other. Roads that have space will get cycle tracks.

60th anniversary – Korean War

North Korea mounted its largest ever military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War, displaying its long-range missiles at a ceremony presided over by leader Kim Jong-Un.

Egyptian president block a stretegic bridge

A heavy burst of overnight violence involving the police and diehard supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy, who were trying to block a strategic bridge – the lifeline of Cairo – left scores of people dead and further diminished chances of national reconciliation.

Broadway parking lot plan shelved

A multi-level parking lot, which was earlier planned at Broadway, will not materialise as the Chennai Corporation had decided to drop the plan. The council is likely to pass a resolution in this regard. The work order for construction of the parking lot in ward 59 had been issued to a private company. However, the project did not take off on account of Metro Rail work. Over 176 sq.m. of land at the Broadway his terminus and 888 sq.m. of land underground has been taken over for Metro Rail work. The Corporation has decided to come up with an alternative design for the multi-level parking lot after the completion of the High Court Metro Station.

World’s largest optical and infrared telescope

The Master Partnership Agreement for the construction of the $1.5-billion Thirty Metre Telescope, what would be the world’s largest optical and infrared telescope, was signed by the five partner countries – Canada, China, India, Japan and the US – in Hawaii, the site for the proposed telescope.

Indian test fired INSAT-3D

India successfully launched its advanced meteorological spacecraft INSAT-3D by a European rocket from the spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana, enhancing the country’s capability in weather forecasting and disaster warning fields.

Bangladesh warns India on boundary issue

Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni warned India that not moving ahead on the land boundary issue and Teesta water agreement could influence the outcome of the upcoming polls in Bangladesh.

TN received over 18 crore tourists in 2012

Tamil Nadu occupied the second slot in the country in terms of domestic as well as foreign arrivals by attracting over 18.77 crore tourists during 2012, a 34 per cent jump over the previous year, when it played host to 14 crore people. Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh led the pack in domestic tourists with 20.68 crore arrivals but did not make it to the top 10 states in receiving foreign nationals, according to an official statement issued by the Union Tourism Department. Maharashtra was favourate among foreign tourists with 51 lakh arrivals, whereas it attracted 6.63 crore domestic visitors. Tamil Nadu role from the third rank in domestic arrivals in 2011 to second slat by replacing U.P., which has moved down from the first position to third with the arrival of 16.8 crore visitors.

CM sanctions 2,950 crore for road work across state

Over 2,400 works will be undertaken across the State at a cost of   2,950 crore as part of the integrated Road Development programme. Announcing this, a govt. release said Chief Minister ordered the allocation for the works that would improve connectivity, besides reducing fuel consumption and travel time. The allocation for this fiscal was higher   2,262 crore  was set aside last financial year. As part of the programme this year, road widening, upgradation, construction of bridges and provision of stormwater drains would be undertaken across the state.

Plea in HC to protect Royapuram station

The Royapuram Railway Station, a heritage building, is in the news again. A public interest litigation has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the state govt. and the heritage conservation committee against the removed of the structure from the list of heritage buildings. The railways had already approached the panel with a request to remove the building from the list to enable it to demolish the structures the petitioner said.

Pensioners wait on state for hike in welfare aid

Several state govt. pensioners are waiting for a hike in their pension for ever six years now. Pensioners in the city say there would be an increase of 25.40 per cent in their pension if the recommendations of the fourth pay commission one implemented. Till 2007, when the state govt. suspended provision of the hike citing want of funds only those who retired from govt. service on or before May 1988 received the increased pension. Nearly 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh pensioners across the state would benefit from the hike.

Youngest Women Fide Master

The 7-year-old girl, Divya Deshmukh, became the youngest Women Fide Master in India, also the youngest in world alongside Vietnam’s Vuong Quynh Anh and Ni Maggie of USA.

ICC T20 Ranking announted

India held on to their third spot after the annual update of the ICC Twenty20 Rankings was announced. Sri Lanka retained their position as the number one ranked team in the list.

WikiLeak contest Australian election

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange officially launched his political party to contest Australian elections this year. he said the WikiLeaks Party would field seven candidates for upper house Senate seats in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Vietnam president visits White House

Vietnam’s President began a rare US visit with talks on boosting trade between the former war foes. Truong Tan Sang is only the second Vietnamese President invited to the White House since the normalisation of ties.

Plea seeks statue for freedom fighter

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High court with a plea that a memorial and a statue for Ma.Va. Singaravelar, an advocate and freedom fighter, be erected on Kamarajar Salai, Chennai. Singaravelar lived between 1860 and 1946. He was an advocate practising in the High-Court, a freedom fighter, a thinker and philanthropist. He took part in the Non-Cooperation Movement.

Cargo and logistics awards

At the fifth South East Cargo and Logistics Awards 2013, Chennai and Ennore Ports of the year award, while MARG Chairman G.R.K. Reddy was announced as business leader and visionary of the year. Custom House Agent of the year award went to Indev Logistics. Custom House Agent – SME category was bagged by paramount shipping services. CFS multi cargo award went to A.S. Shipping streamer Agent’s of the year – bulk to unicorn, streamer Agents’ of the year – break bulk to as shipping and steavelor of the year to PSTS Logistics.

Corporation to waive rent for community halls

Residents who use the community halls of Chennai Corporation for Social gatherings can soar save money. The Corporation has decided to procure utensils for all its 52 community hall and make the halls available free of cost. The Mayor, last year, announced that residents would be able to use the corporation’s community halls free of cost. The civic body’s plan to waive the rental charge will soon be implemented.

Platinum jubilee souvenir

Everyone who gathered at the All India Radio station had memories to share of their favourite medium of entertainment that calabrates its platinum jubilee year. Former Supreme Court Judge a Mohan who released the platinum jubilee souvenir recalled his younger days when radio was the only medium of communication and entertainment.

Pakistan win the series against WI

Pakistan defeated West Indies by four-wickets in the fifth and final one-day international to win the series 3-1 in St. Lucia.

World women’s chess champion

India’s K Jennitha Anto became the world chess champion for the disabled after winning the 13th IPCA World women’s individual championship in Velke Losiny, Czech Republic.

World most important crops

Scientists sequenced the genome (the complete set of genetic material of an organism) of the oil palm, one of the world’s most important crops.

“Clean India Campaign”

“Clean India Campaign” project was launched at Taj Mahal by Union tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi. Taj Mahal is the second heritage site to be covered under this project.

Guideline for food and drinks

The Union Government was given a 10-day deadline by the Delhi High Court to prepare guidelines for regulating the sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around school premises in the country.

Co-optex plans new designs

Encouraged by the results of a country-wide survey, co-optex is all set to pay more attention to showcasing its products and showrooms as trandy and modern. Among the areas of focus will be new designs, the addition of more colours to its range of saris and traditional motifs. The survey had indicated that atleast half the total number of respondents-both customers and non-customers associated the brand name with quality handloom. The Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers’ Co-operative Society, popularly known as Co-optex, has 203 outlets across the country including 173 in Tamil Nadu.

City’s fifth reservoir takes shape

A fifth reservoir will soon be created to store and supply drinking water to Chennai. Work to create by linking two water bodies in Kannankottai and Thervoy Kandigai in Gummidipoondi taluk is likely to begin in Mid-August. The water resources department plans to take up the much awaited   330 crore – project in the 894 acres of land available. Of the total 1,495 acres of land required for the project, nearly 633.67 acres are govt. poromboke land, 55 acres are reserve forest area and remaining is private land. The new reservoir, with a water spread area of 1,100 areas, would store Krishna water from A.P., apart from its catchment areas.

Contract for phase-II of Outer Ring Road soon

With work on phase-I of Chennai Outer Ring Road, from Vandalur to Nemilicherry, nearing completion, the State Govt. recently gave its nod for a cansortium of Ashoka Builcon and GVR Infra Projects to build phase-II, from Nemilichery to Minjur. On completion, the 61.65 km. long road will form a semi-circle around the city and help decongest Chennai’s roads. It will act as a major link and connect four national highways – NH4, NH5, NH45 and NH205. The cost of the project, being executed under a design, finance, build, operate and transfer basis, would be   985.44 crore, of which   197 crore will be provided by the State govt. as project support fund.

Neonatal ambulances save 2,000 new borns

Neonatal ambulance in the city have helped more than 2,000 new borns since their inception in 2011. Chennai has three exclusive ambulances for new borns (aged between one and 29 days of birth) at the Institute of Child Health (ICM), Egmore, Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital (KGH) for women and children, Triplicane, and Govt. Raja Sir Ramasamy Mudaliar (RSRM) Lying in Hospital, Royapuram. Till date, the ambulances have helped 2,301 new borns. While the K.H. Ambulance has reached out to 1083 newborns, those at KGH and RSRM account for 675 and 543 babies respectively.

Homeopathy meet held

The Directorate Indian Medicine and Homeopathy, Tamil Nadu Govt., and Dr. Koppikar’s Foundation for Homeopathy a non-govt. organisation, conducted a conclave – vistas of Homeopathy. Inaugurating the seminor health secretary J. Radhakrishnan spoke on the measures taken by the govt. to raise awareness on homeopathy. Over 200 homeopathy practitioner from across the country participated in the seminar.

Student plans to set up libraries, wins award

While some children may have easy access to Tinkle comics and Harry Potter books, for many others, getting books that are not school – related is highly difficult, said P.S. Nandini, a class XII student of Sivaswamy Kalalaya Senior Secondary School. The idea to set up libraries for economically backward students in local schools won her the first place at the ‘Changemakers conference” organised by Bhavans Rajaji Vidyashram.

Anna University asks for monthly student data, colleges baulk

From this year, students at engg. colleges affiliated to Anna University will not only have to take their attendance seriously, but will also have to perform well in internal tests. In a circular sent to over 500 affiliated colleges, the University has instructed managements to upload monthly data of their students performances in internal tests as well as their attendance details. The decision has been taken, said Anna University officials, to make sure college managements did not temper with the attendance.

Power plants at northern states

The electronics Division of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. bagged turnkey orders valued at   132 crore from the National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. for commissioning two grid interactive solar power plants of 10 MW each. The plants will be commissioned at Unchahar in Uttar Pradesh and Talcher in Orissa.

Deepika Kumari wind gold and bronze medal

Powered by Deepika Kumari’s gold and bronze medal performances on the concluding day, India finished fourth in the Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Medellin, Colombia.

J&K Finance Minister elected Chairman of the GST

Jammu & Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather was elected as the new Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on GST.

Planning Commission estimation poverty ratio

Every eighth person living in urban areas is below the poverty line, while one in five rural residents is poor, the Planning Commission estimated. According to the new estimates, there has been a sharp reduction in both absolute numbers of poor, as well as the poverty ratio.

US Vice President arrived in New Delhi

United States Vice President Joe Biden arrived in New Delhi for talks with the Indian leadership.

EU foreign Ministers meeting

European Union Foreign Ministers meetig in Brussels put an end to months of wrangling by deciding to place the military wing of the Lebanese Hizbollah on list of terrorist organisations.

SPCA facilities at Vepery to be spreadup

Existing Kennels for pets at the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Chennai, will be modernised and additionally 14 new kennels would be constructed on its Vepery premises said Harish L. Metha, president of the organisation. Who asked about the poor and unhygenic conditions prevailing in front of the kennels, Mr. Metha said the entire place would be spread up before taking up construction of 14 new modernised kennels. The organisation is looking for land in Red Hills or Madhavaram area. The land would be fenced and it would function as a Shelter for cows and buffalos.

New age architecture college

Midas, a niche institution for architecture education addresses the global need for high quality architects by providing experiential and Integrating Learning Environment (ILE). Affiliated to Anna University, Chennai and approved by the Council of Architecture (CoA), New Delhi, MIDAS has been critically acclaimed by architects and industry experts alike, for its industry linked pedagogy. In 2013-14 MIDAS got an additional 40 seats approved. Admission for the additional seats is currently in progress. MIDAS is located off the scenic East Coast Road, midway between Chennai and Puducherry.

Promoting research and innovation

Alpha College of Engineering (ACE) has started a research centre located on its campus in Chennai to promote research – based activities among students. According to Dr. Grace George, Chairperson of the Alpha Group of Institutioins, the research  centre will “Motivated young minds to apply their engineering education and skills to bring out socially useful engineering products”. Training will be provided to home their skills and make them successful entrepreneurs besides making them ready to compete for jobs in the information technology industry.

Ennore Port enters into contract with Nissan Motors

Nissan Motors India Private Ltd. (NMIPL) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Ennore Port Ltd. (EPL) that would facilitate export of 60,000 cars per annum. The earlier MoU was signed in 2008 with three years validity. The new MoU signed by NMIL and CEO Kenichiro Yomura and EPL. As per the MoU, Nissan would enjoy concessions in the wharfage (a fee collected by the port for handling cargo) free parking for the first 15 days and priority in handling of automobile units in the port.

The glowing tole of Chennai’s light- houses

Obscured today by the glitter of city ligids Chennai’s lighthouses were for decades its defining landmarks. The first lighthouse was proposed in 1795 – the year in which a census of the city was taken. In 1975 the Madras Presidency encompassed much of South India and also Ceylon. As its capital Madras was the nerve centre of the sea trade controlled by the British East India Company. However, ships approaching Madras after night fall faced the risk of running a ground on the shoals of Covelong (Kovalam). In this month, the sandbanks of Armagon and Pulicot were a menace.

BPCL barred from operating three pipelines

The Chennai Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has directed Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. to stop operating three pipelines from the company’s Tondiarpet terminal, a move that may impact the supply of petrol and diesel in the city. The order issued also covers the pipeline from which a suspected leak had households near the terminal complaining of oil in their borewells recently.

World’s first mission to the South Pole

The world’s first mission to the South Pole of the Moon to install a permanent telescope on the lunar surface and to aid professional and amateur researchers was announced.

Politicians, film personalities pay homage to Vaali

Leaders of political parties and film personalities paid homage to lyricist Vaali, whose cremation took place in Chennai on July 19. Few lyricists could match the achievement made by Vaali and he could be the one who had penned maximum number of songs. He alone can claim to have walked along with Kannadasan.

EMRIP may miss December deadline

The Ennore-Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP) is hampered by last mile problems at both ends, tiggering concerns about its implementation by December. Conceived with an idea of decongesting traffic on the major roads leading to ports, the  600 crore project starts from Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) zero gate and ends at Ennore Port, spanning about 30 km. As of now, nearly 70 per cent of the work has been completed. Road widening and improvement works on the Manali Oil Refinery Road (MORR). Inner Ring Road and Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetti Road are on as per schedule. But visible changes are seen at both the ends of the project namely-1.6 km from ChPT zero gate and 7.6 km from Vallur junction to Ennore port.

Israel agreed to release Palestinian prisoners

Israel agreed to release Palestinian prisoners of resume peace talks, but will not yield to other demands the Palestinians say must be met, before they return to the negotiating table.

AP is the richest states with 90 languages

There are over 780 languages and 66 different scripts in India and Arunachal Pradesh is the richest among the States with 90 languages.

3-tier security for Ramanathaswamy temple

The district police, Tamil Nadu commando Force and temple authorities have worked out a authorities have worked out a three-tier high-security arrangement for Sri Ramanathaswamy temple in the island of Rameswaram, roping in the Coastal Security Group, Indian Coast Guard and Naval detachment. A commando force team conducted a security survey in the temple this week in the wake of the recent serial blasts in Bodh Gaya. It has been decided to enhance the existing security and make it proof to prevent terror attack.

IT searches in state yield taxable income of over 150 crore

The recent searches and surveys conducted by the Income Tax Investigation wing on well known institutions throughout the state in the last two months had netted a taxable income of over   150 crore.

This year govt. hospitals are richer than ever before

For the past year, govt hospitals in the city have been generating more money than they ever have before. One year after the Chief Minister’s comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) was introduced the once found-starved hospitals are delighted with the outcome, as through if, they have earned crores of rupees, which in turn has translated into better facilities and equipment.

Shane Warne was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

Australian spin wizard Shane Warne was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He became the 69th male member of the Hall of Fame.

World’s first clinical trial using stem cells

Japan’s government gave its seal of approval to the world’s first clinical trials using stem cells harvested from a patient’s own body.

Asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that would-be asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat will no longer be resettled in the country. They will instead be sent to Papua New Guinea (PNG) for “assessment”, under a new bilateral governmental agreement.

US envoy to UN on Samantha power

Venezuela said it has “ended” its rapproachment with the US following a statement by Samantha Power, nominated to become the US envoy to the UN.

Suspend coal-bed methane project

In a relief to agitating farmers of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa called for suspension of the proposed coal bed methane exploration and production project in the two districts. She also announced the constitution of a multi-disciplinary experts committee to study adverse impact of the project. Hailing the decision S. Ranganathan general secretary of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association, thanked the Chief Minister.

Kalas Mahal gets 14.5 crore

Eighteen months after the 18th century Kalas Mahal was gutted, the state govt. has sanctioned   14.5 crore for restoration of the heritage structure. An order to this effect was issued last week. The cost may seem to be on the higher side but it is the nature of work that is critical to the cost, an official of the P.W.D. said. The official experts good response to the tender as many restoration and concentration projects have been carried out in the state.

Qatar will host the 2015 world boxing championship

Qatar will host the 2015 world boxing championships, beating a bid from Bangkok.

Law enforcement on Tamil minority

Despite India’s efforts to persuade Sri Lanka to fully implement the 13th Amendment in the Island’s northern province, the Rajapaksa government appeared firm about not handling over some powers, including those related to police and law enforcement, to the Tamil minority.

Cradle of the American auto industry

Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, setting the stage for a costly court battle with creditors, and opening a new chapter in the long struggle to revive the city that was the cradle of the American auto industry.

Acid attacks – recording the addres and other details of buyer – S.C.

With a view to preventing acid attacks, the Supreme Court completely prohibited over-the-counter sale of the chemical unless the seller maintains a log/register recording the address and other details of the buyer, and the quantum.

New streams of revenue out of bounds

What seems to be inking music directors and lyricists alike is the lack of revenue as royalties from new streams such as mobile ring tones, online song downloads and the revenue turnover from online media such as You Tube. “I pay   45 a month to listen to may own songs as a ringtone”; says lyricist Thamarai. “It is a complete rip-off because everyone but the artists is making money out of this”.

Decision on quantum of shares yet to be made

A decision on the quantum of shares that will be diverted in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), for complying with the minimum public shareholding norms, is yet to be made. Sources privy to the discussions in Mumbai among officials of the state govt. and those of the centre and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said it was discussion that would be made by the Empowered Group of Ministers.

Court allows CMRL to take over property near central

Clearing a hurdle standing in the way of the Chennai Metro Rail project, the Madras High Court has set aside a single judge’s order of November last year, which had delayed the acquisition of a plot of land near Central Railway Station. The single judge had asked the govt. to first issue notices to those in possession of the property, which belonged to a trust. However, a Division Bench disagreed with the single judge’s observation that proper notices were not served to the parties concerned.

Ice free on the Arctic

The Arctic may become ice-free several months of the year, starting sometime during the years 2054 to 2058, a combined team of researchers from the US and China predicted.

Fresh demonstration restoring security

Egypt’s new caretaker cabinet got down to work faced with a raft of daunting challenges including restoring security, as the Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed Morsy vowed fresh demonstrations.

Mojaheed awarded death penalty

Mojaheed was awarded the death penalty by International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh for crimes against humanity during the country’s liberation war in 1971.

Army stepped against M23 rebels

The Congolese army stepped up an offensive against M23 rebels in the country’s volatile east, shelling positions north of the flashpoint city of Goma.

Judicial Commission for violation of human rights

Once again highlighting the rampant misuse of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA, a Supreme Court – appointed Judicial Commission noted that the Act has failed to tackle insurgency and that the armed forces were indulging in gross violation of human rights by operating under the shield of the controlversial law.

100 years of Indian Cinema in U.K.

Filmmaker K. Asif’s 1960s epic ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ was crowned the greatest Bollywood film of all time by a poll celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in the UK.

S.C. refused to reduce the age

The Supreme Court refused to reduce the age of juvenile from 18 to 16 and dismissed a plea that minors involved in heinous crimes not be protected under the law.

Kancheepuram civic body gets land for bus stand

The Kancheepuram Municipality’s initiative to secure around 50 acres of land at Sitherimedu near Kancheepuram on lease for setting up a modern bus stand has elicited favourable response. The civic body wrote a letter recently to the hereditary trustee of Kolla Singanna Chettiar Charitable Trust, Kancheepuram, Kolla Venkita Kannaiya Chettiar. The letter sought his consent to lease out 52.66 acres of land, abutting the Chennai-Bangalore National Highways and owned by the trust, to the construction of the bus stand.

Foot overbridges : a mountain to climb

Most pedestrians avoid taking the foot overbridges in the city. Shyamala is one of them. Subways are utilised more often because there are just 20 steps to climb down. In the case of the FOBs, there are 40 steps that one must climb up first and than, down. Also, one is exposed to the elements and to traffic below. However, there is not much difference in the cost of construction. Today a subway costs   3.5 crore and an FOB,   3 crore, explained an engineer with the highways department.