August, 2014

‘Patta’ issue to go online soon in Chennai

The concept of ‘patta’ – a legal paper attesting to the actual owner of a plot of land – may not have been so popular in big cities, but landholders in Chennai can soon get ‘patta’ online under a new government initative aimed at curbing bogus transactions. As the run-up to the exercise, 3.76 lakh land records in Chennai district have been computerised. The National Informatics Centre is developing a software. Once it is ready, computer-generated ‘patta’ documents can be issued, say officials.

Badminton World Championships

China’s Chen Long and Spain’s Carolina Marin clinch the men’s and women’s singles titles of the Badminton World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

China’s Parliament slams door on full Hong Kong democracy

China’s Parliament slams door on full Hong Kong democracy by saying that it will control nomination of candidates for landmark 2017 polls.

Myanmar agrees to take back its Rohingya nationals

In a major breakthrough in the decades-old humanitarian crisis, Myanmar agrees to take back its Rohingya nationals, living the refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district.

Slow progress in renewable enrgy capacity addition

Renewable energy sector in the country still appears to be riding in the slow growth tragectory as the new capacity addition during the current fiscal has been lower when compared with the corresponding period of the previous year. The sector has added 722 MW of new capacity during the first four months of this fiscal against 835 MW added during the sams period in the previous fiscal. The industry missed the capacity addition target for the second consecutive year in 2013-14. For the present fiscal, annual capacity target has been lowered to 3,770 MW from 4,325 MW set for the previous year.

Nokia’s HERE ties up with Samsung

Nokia-owned digital maps company HERE has tied up with Samsung. This will see the launch of the app on Android platform. And, it will remain exclusive for Samsung Galaxy smartphones for the time being. HERE will also be available on smart devices powered by Samsung’s own operating system Tizen, including the Samsung Gear S smartwatch, which was unveiled Aug. 28. HERE is a free app, and features maps for almost 200 countries with 100 of them featuring turn-by-turn walking or driving navigation. Traffic information is available for over 40 countries, and public transport info is available for over 750 urban areas worldwide. For the Samsung Gear S, HERE is developing an app called navigator which offers turn-by-turn walk navigation and public transit routing.

Checkdams to be built across rivers

To recharge groundwater and save floodwater draining into the sea, the water resources department (WRD) plans to build checkdams across waterways in Kancheepuram district. One of the checkdams, being built across Kiliyar river, a tributary of Palar river,  will be ready to harness rainwater by September. Two more proposed across other waterways will be completed next year. Every year, Palar river, an important waterway running through the district, receives floodwater from areas upstream and tributaries, like Cheyyar river and Kiliyar river.

World’s first Natural World Heritage Centre

Foundation stone of the world’s first Natural World Heritage Centre was laid at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in Dehradun.

Historian Bipan Chandra dies

Noted historian Bipan Chandra dies at his Gurgaon residence in Haryana, at the age of 86. Chandra had mapped  the ebb and flow of India’s freedom struggle and chronicled communalism.

Chennai Port Trust makes changes to outer harbour project

In a bid to make two of its major infrastructure projects attractive, the Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) has altered some of the key parameters and has forwarded the proposals to the Shipping Ministry. The alteration has been proposed as ChPT could not find a partner on this front for the last one year, even as its competitors in the East Coast made substantial progress. On Thursday, the Board of Trustees of ChPT passed resolutions pertaining to the ` 5,100-crore outer harbour project, and converting the existing Jawahar Dock into a multi-cargo terminal at an investment of ` 460 crore.

Doctors honoured

Director of medical education, S. Geethalakshmi, has received the ‘Best Teacher’ award, constituted by the Tamil Nadu Medical Council. The award was presented at a ceremony organised at Raj Bhavan on Aug. 27, and was given by governor K. Rosaiah. The Council has constituted five categories of awards – for best teacher, best non-teaching doctor, best doctor in rural and semi-rural service, and best doctor in specialty service. This year however, six doctors received the awards as the ‘best teacher’ award went to both Dr. Geethalakshmi and T. Chelliah, retired professor of medicine from Madurai Medical College.

WHO warns India against e-cigerettes

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warns India against the growing market for e-cigerettes in the country, underlining that the use of the device is no less harmful than the regular cigarettes.

P.V. Sindhu becomes the first Indian to win two World Championship medals

P.V. Sindhu becomes the first Indian to win two World Championship medals by defeating All-England champ  Shixian Wang to enter the semifinals of Badminton World  Championships in Denmark, which ensures her at least a second consecutive Bronze.

NATO asks Russia to halt its illegal military action in Ukraine

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) asks Russia to halt its ‘illegal’ military action in Ukraine after the West accuses Moscow of direct involvement in the conflict.

Grenade shells unearthed

Empty shells of hand grenades and materials that could be used for making landmines and grenades were unearthed from the Pachapalamalai Reserve Forest in the Mettuer taluk of Salem District. The Mettur Forest Division stumbled upon them while planting 8,500 saplings in the area near Kumbarapatti under the Kolathur town panchayat. After digging three feet the earthmover owner and driver, R. Samidurai, 28, found a drum containing iron materials and alerted the police. Superintendent of Police R. Sakthivel, along with a bomb detection and disposal squad,  checked the materials and found grenade shells, iron materials and pipes used for making landmines. They were found wrapped in plastic bags.

British guest house at Pachamalai Hills

A guest house constructed during the British period atop the scenic Pachamalai hills in the district is being given a facelift to accommodate tourists. The Forest Department is renovating the unused guest house atop Sengattupatti village at a cost of ` 2.3 crore from the funds provided by the State government under the Pachamalai eco-tourism project. Forest officials say a false ceiling would be provided inside the guest house. Power connection has been obtained. The Pachamalai is the only hilly terrain in Tiruchi district endowed with valleys, ridges, forest areas and waterfalls besides being a home for various species of birds, insects and animals. Among other works taken up at Pachamalai under the eco-tourism project are improvements to Koraiyar and Periyapakkalam Falls and construction of a dormitory.

Kush Kumar and Lakshya Ragavendra retain the under-19 titles

India’s Kush Kumar and Lakshya Ragavendran retain the boys’ and girls’ under-19 titles in contrasting styles on the final day of Indian Junior Open at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai, T.N.

Quota of 12 cylinders at any time of the year

The Union Cabinet lifts the restriction of one LPG cylinder per month to a domestic consumer. Now, consumers can avail themselves of the quota of 12 cylinders at any time of the year.

` 1,000 cr. package for Tirunelveli, Tuticorin

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa unveiled a ` 1,000-crore package for the cities of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin. An official release said the government would spend ` 230 crore on a scheme for augmenting the drinking water supply and distribution network in the Tirunelveli Corporation. The tenders would be floated soon. An underground drainage system would be implemented, in phases, at a cost of ` 490 crore to prevent sewage from the uncovered areas in the corporation from polluting the Tamiraparani. Besides, roads to a length of 61 km would be re-laid at a cost of ` 35 crore. Modernisation of the bus terminus and a multi-parking facility were also on the cards.

Greater flamingos extend stay in Pulicat

The extended stay by greater flamingos at Pulicat Lake has surprised naturalists and bird lovers. The migratory birds usually stay between September and March in the part of the lake that falls within Andhra Pradesh limits. But their stay for four additional months in the lake falling within Tamil Nadu has surprised naturalists, who are unable to figure out why it has happened. A big colony of greater flamingos numbering nearly 1,500 is being seen in Annamalaicherry village on Pulicat lake. This village is located on the southern side of the lake. K.V.R.K. Thirunaranan of The Nature Trust said that over the last few years, greater flamingos have been extending their stay at the sanctuary. Normally, one can see the greater flamingos on the northern part of the lake, which falls under the Andhra Pradesh side and the colony occupies the lake until March. Once the water level increases, they move to the southern part of the take, in Tamil Nadu, he said.

Atul Verma wins India’s first Olympic archery medal

Atul Verma wins India’s first Olympic archery medal – a Bronze – at the Youth Olympic Games at Nanjing, China.

Celebrations erupt in Gaza

Celebrations erupt in Gaza as a long-term ceasefire agred by Israel and the Palestinians comes into effect, ending 50 days of the deadliest violence in the decade.

New Governors appointed

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee appoints Mr. Kalyan Singh, Mr. Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, Mr. C. Vidyasagar Rao andMs. Mridula Sinha as Governors of Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, respectively.

Encroachments spark a fresh row on sacred hill

Home to one  of the oldest Shiva temples in the south at the foot of a ‘holy hill’, which itself is reversed as the deity stretching up as a column of fire, the abode of Lord Arunachaleswara is red with a new controversy, far from any iron ore mining licence. It is not even anything about the mystical aura of the hill that gave Arunachala a new meaning and purpose with the advent of a Ramana Maharishi. The row is over a more profane issue of countless encroachments on the hill that threatens to ruin its contemplative setting. Music Maestro Ilayaraja is a pious devotee of Lord Arunachalesswarar, who periodically circumbulates the hill through what is known as the 14-km ‘Girivalam path’. Recently, he flagged the issue of indiscriminate encroachments along the slopes.

Dharmar Theertham comes to the force after 60 years

The Vivekananda Kendra’s relentless efforts over a month helped to dismantle a huge sand dune built by strong winds, bringing out ‘Dharmar Theertham’, one of the venerated waterbodies on the historic island, after more than 60 years. The Kendra, which renovates the ‘Theerthams’ as part of its ‘Green Rameswaram’ project launched in January, had discovered the waterbody named after one of the five Pandavas, to the delight of scores of pilgrims, who thronged the island to offer worship at the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple after taking bath in the ‘Theerthams’.

State relaxes norms for Monorail tech providers

In an oattempt to kick start the bidding process for the proposed Poonamallee-Kathipara corridor of the Chennai Monorail Project, the State government has decided to relax the norm regarding technology providers. To be taken up initially at an estimated cost of ` 3,267 crore, the corridor will also have a link from Porur to Vadapalani, covering a distance of 20.68 km. This phase of the project will be carried out on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer basis. As for the norms for technology providers, no firm could, till now, supply its technology to more than one participant. This condition has been found impractical in the context of monorail as, even globally, there is only a handful of technology providers, says an official.

City yet to nurture biotech startups

While Chennai offers the perfect climate for an idea to be conceived, nurtured and commercialised, it is yet to match cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad, in terms of being a hub of biotechnology start-ups. According to N. Mathivanan, associate professor, department of botany, University of Madras, funding lack of knowledge of policies and the long gestation period act as deterents. “Often, academicians with the potential to develop products that can be patented stop with just publications,” he says.

Big gap in enrolment of young voters in TN

Tamil Nadu has a big gap in the enrolment of voters in the age groups of 18-19 and 20-29, though the overall elector population ratio is satisfactory, says an official report. The report, published by the office of Chief electoral Officer (CEO) this month, says 60.92 per cent of the population in the age group of 18-19 was registered as electors. The rate of enrolment in the age group of 20-29 was 82.11 percent. However, the figures exeeded even 100 per cent for the other age groups. The State’s overall enrolment rate was 102.46 per cent. The report has compared the data of registered electors with those of the projected census population on the basis of the electoral rolls (as on April 5, 2014) prepared for the Lok Sabha polls.

“wonder herb or modern-day sanjeevani”

Researchers at Leh-based Defence Institute of High Altitude Research report the discovery of a “wonder herb or modern-day sanjeevani’ Rhodiola that can regulate the immune system and even protect from radioactivity.

Ricciardo wins Belgian Grand Prix

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo wins Belgian Grand Prix, driving for Red Bull team.

Birthday for Chennai’s 375

The initiative (www.friendsofchennai.com) was launched as a gift to Madras that is now Chennai on her 375th birthday. It is a non-commercial venture aimed at making an impact in ways that involve the people of the city.

Discover an 8th Century inscription

Archaeologists from the University of Calcutta discover an 8th-Century inscription in a village in West Bengal’s Purulia district.

Largest volcanic system

A major explosion at the Bardarbunga volcano propels Iceland to raise alert over the nation’s largest volcanic system, banning all air traffic in the area.

INS Kamorta

Indigenously built stealth anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kamorta is commissioned into theNavy Eastern Fleet.

Unprovoked firing

Two civilians are killed and six injured in the Jammu sector after Pakistani troops resort to ‘unprovoked firing’ on Indian security posts.

Cockfight is banned under PCA Act’

The Madras High Court Bench has ruled that courts cannot direct the police to permit cockfights because a fight between birds and animals was prohibited under the Prevention of Cruely to Animals Act, 1960. The judges agreed with S. Suresh, counsel for the Animal Welfare Board of India, that the cockfight was on the list of acts prohibited under Section 11(1)(n) of the PCA Act and, therefore, the court should not entertain petitions for permission to organise such events. The Section states it is a punishable offence to organise, keep or use any place either for animal fighting or for the purpose of baiting an animal. It also imposes a specific ban on offering a place for such purposes and collecting an entry fee for watching the fight.

Yuva Puraskar 2014

The Sahitya Academy announces its annual Yuva Puraskar 2014. Thirteen books of poetry, three novels, four books of short stories and one of essays are among the winners.

Russia drives mammoth aid

Ukraine accuses Moscow of invading it as Russia unilaterally drives a mammoth aid convoy across war-torn east Ukraine and warns against any attacks on the trucks.

CPCL’s new projects

Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL) has posted a profit after tax (PAT) of  ` 510 crore for the first quarter of the current year. It resulted in enhancing the company’s net worth, said the Chairman B.Ashok. During 2012-13 CPCL posted net loss of ` 1,766.84 crore and ` 303.85 crore for 2013-14. These had resulted in eroding more than 50 percent of its peak net worth from ` 3,793 crore in 2011-12 to ` 1,722 crore in 2013-14. This called for ‘reporting’ the matter to the BIFR. The company skipped payment of dividend for the second consecutive year.

TV rolls out Scooty Zest

TVS Motor Company, on Aug. 20, launched Scooty Zest, and aimed to increase its market share in the segment to 18 per cent from 15 per cent. The launch of 110-cc Scooty Zest comes in line with the company’s plan of introducing a new product every quarter. Within the domestic two-wheeler category, scooters have been the fast growing segment, accounting for 26 per cent. TVS Motor has outperformed in the scooter segment with a growth 54 percent, mainly due to new launches such as Jupiter and Wego. The company claims that Scooty Zest would offer 62 km a litre. It is available at ` 42,300 (ex-showroom New Delhi), and is targeted to modern woman in the 18-25 age group.

RKPP 2014

Delhi-based wrestling academy Guru Hanuman Akhara, is chosen for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar (RKPP) 2014.

India win its first medal in second Youth Olympic Games

India win its first medal in the second Youth Olympic Games at Nanjing, China after R.V. Rahul lifts a Silver medal in 77 kg. weightlifting.

Junta ruled out fresh election

Thailand’s junta-picked National Assembly names coup leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha as Prime Minister. The junta has ruled out holding fresh elections before October 2015.

Rising fanaticism in Araba world

Speaking at the First India-League of Arab States Media Symposium in New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Ms. Sushma Swaraj expresses India’s concerns on rising fanaticism in the Araba world.

Sub-panel to monitor Periyar dam

A sub-committee of the Supervisory Committee will monitor the Mullaperiyar Dam regularly. This decision was taken at a meeting on Aug. 19 of the high-power panel set up under the Supreme Court order to oversee the raising of the water level and other related issues. The sub-committee, to start functioning from September 1, will monitor the water level in the Periyar dam on a daily basis and submit a report to the Supervisory Committee every week, M.V. Nathan, Chief engineer, Dam Safety Organisation, Central Water Commission (CWC), told reporters.

Parking woes hit MRTS commuters in Velachery

The Velachery MRTS station receives commuters in droves every day but many of them find it difficult to park their vehicles as there is a parking yard on only one side of the facility. Commuters from southern outskirts such as Medavakkam and Sithalapakkam find it tough to go all the way to the parking yard located on the northern side of the railway station. With the Chief Minister announcing that the government would develop a commercial complex above the railway station, the situation is only bound to get worse.

CMRL plans multi-level parking facilities

Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has planned to create multi-level parking lots at a few stations. Initially, the stations will have only surface-level parking facilities on the elevated stretch. Once, the entire phase-I becomes operational by August-2016, multi-level car parking lots may be created, according to CMRL officials. Stations including Koyambedu, CMBT, Arumbakkam, Vadapalani, Ashok Nagar, SIDCO and Alandur, on the first 10-km stretch from Koyambedu to Alandur would have ground-level parking lots initially, the officials said. The underground stations – Chennai Central, Shenoy Nagar and Egmore – may have multi-level parking facilities, the official said. In some stations, there may be 3-5 levels, while in others there could be just one, he added.

Tamil Nadu win the overall team championships

Siddhant Thingalaya and M.R. Poovamma are adjudged the ‘best athlete’ in the male and female categories, respectively at the 18th Federation Cup athletics championships in Patiala, Punjab. Tamil Nadu win the overall team championships ahead of Kerala.

New genetic basis for sex determination

Scientists based in the US find new genetic basis for sex determination. They find that a subset of very small genes encoding short RNA molecules, called micro RNAs, also play a key role in differentiating male and female tissues in the fruit fly.

BCCI appoints Ravi Shastri Director of Cricket in the Indian team

The BCCI appoints former Test all-rounder Ravi Shastri Director of Cricket in the Indian team for the five-match ODI series against England, beginning August 25.

Model of irrigation tanks

The Tamil Nadu model of providing primacy to the views of farmers in the management of irrigation tanks has been lauded by an official of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), who is heading a team to review tank projects in India. Conventionally, the tank management has been governed by the water engineering-centric approach. But, in Tamil Nadu, “the focus is on farmers, their needs. And, that’s the way it should move.” says Jim Hancock, Natural Resources and Livelihoods Officer at the Investment Centre, Asia Pacific Service of the FAO.

Cure of baldness

In a significant breakthrough, the US scientists report discovery of a cure for a form of baldness which may restore hair within five months. Researchers identified the immune cells responsible for destroying hair follicles in people with alopecia areata, a common autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

Sri Lanka sweep the series against Pakistan

Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 105 runs in the second and final Test to sweep the series 2-0. The match also brings retirement of Mahela Jayawardene from the Tests.

Roger Federer wins his 80th career ATP title

Swiss national Roger Federer wins his 80th career ATP title and sixth at the Cincinnati Masters beating Spaniard David Ferrer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. The women’s singles is won by American Serena Williams after she beats Serbian player Ana Ivanovic.

Tamil Internet meet

The 13th International Tamil Internet conference will be held at the Pondicherry University from September 19 to 21. It will be organised under the aegis of the International Forum for Information Technology and supported by the Puducherry government. More than 300 delegates from India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong would participate. The conference would have three components, research, exhibition and community programmes.

Mayanur an upcoming picnic spot

The picturesque newly constructed barrage across the Cauvery in the downstream of the Kattalai bed regulator at Mayanur near Krishnarayapuram has turned out to be a picnic spot for the entertainment-starved people of Karur and Tiruchi districts. The barrage constructed at a cost of ` 254 crore, measures 1,233 metres in length. It has 86 vents, in addition to 12 scour vents, which are capable of discharging a maximum of 4.63 lakh cusecs. Since it can store up to 1.05 TMC, it is expected that it will play an important rule in improving the groundwater level in the surrounding areas.

Open varsity doors for transgender students

After Delhi University’s move to introduce third-gender option, activists in Madurai are planning to approach educational institutions to open the doors for transgender students. Bharathi Kannamma, founder of Bharathi Kannamma Trust that works for transgender welfare, said  that she would soon approach the Madurai Kamaraj University to introduce the third gender option in its application forms. Annamalai University (AU) in Chidambaram was probably the only institution in Tamil Nadu which had the third gender option.

Tamilisai is new TN BJP Leader

Tamilisai Soundararajan, a fiery speaker and daughter of former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Kumari Ananthan, has been made the new president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Tamil Nadu unit, in what seems to be an ironic twist in the State’s politics. The BJP, though, will promote it as a sign of internal democracy in the saffron party. A workaholic and a vocal campaigner during the recent Lok Sabha polls. Ms. Tamilisai will also be the first-ever woman to steer the BJP in the State. The 53-year-old Ms. Tamilisai, a doctor by profession, rose through the ranks after starting off as a local medical wing secretary of the party. Significantly, she will also be the first BJP Tamil Nadu chief without a significant RSS background. Despite the BJP’s fluctuating political fortunes, Ms. Tamilisai stood her ground as a staunch party worker.

World’s largest robotic swarm

Harvard scientists create the world’s largest robotic swarm – 1,024 little bots standing on pin-like legs – that can assemble into predetermined shapes.

India lose test series against England

India lose third match in a row as hosts, England, beat them in the fifth and final Test with an innings and 244 runs. England win the 5-match Pataudi Trophy Test series by 3-1.

97 people killed in landslides and flooding

More than 97 people are killed in landslides and flooding due to torrential rains in Nepal.

Flood kills 28 people and affect 700 villages in UP

Incessant rain, raising the water level in the tributaries of Ganga and Brahmaputra, causes havoc in eastern and northern parts of the country. Flood kills over 28 people and affects about 700 villages in Uttar Pradesh alone.

Sri City offers to create Korea cluster

Sri City, a multi-product-operational SEZ located 60 km from Chennai, has offered to create an exclusive cluster for Korean firms inside the special economic zone. The cluster approach is expected to give Sri City an edge in terms of locational advantage should Korean firms consider setting up manufacturing bases in South India. Sri City has already a cluster for Japanese firms. “There are about 25 different natinal flags in Sri City now, we want to see Korean flag too,” Ravindra Sannareddy, managing Director of Sri City, said. Though not many Korean companies have come to this part of the country, we intend to lure the firms that are waiting to come here. If Koreans come, our Golf Clubs project will also become reality. We have told them that we can offer land for developing the Korean cluster so that their companies can stay together,” he said.

S. Railway earnings go up by 10%

The earnings of Southern Railway during the first four months of the current fiscal has been ` 2,380 crore, a 10 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year, also  punctuality in the operation of trains was 94 per cent in respect of Mail and Express trains. Efforts were being made to augment coaches. As many as 584 special trains were operated in the first three months of the fiscal and 1,600 more coaches were attached to trains with higher wait-listed passengers General Manager, Rakesh Misra said. He said escort of women passengers in suburban trains at peak hours was taken up by a RPF women squad called ‘Sakthi padai’. This was besides the regular escorts operating between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The RPF formed quick response teams to attend to complaints from women passengers.

Kalpana Chawla Award

The Kalpana Chawla Award for courage and daring enterprises by women for 2014 was  given to Nigapattinam Superintendent of Police R. Ponni. Ms. Ponni received the award from Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at Fort St. George. The citation said she was chosen for exhibiting ‘courage and exceptional initiative in carrying on her duties” during 2010-11. The award carries ` 5 lakh, a medal and a certificate.

Set right eating habits

The intrinsic link between eating habits and diseases was the subject of much discussion at an open forum on ‘Eating habits and illness.’ organised by the Department of Surgical Gastroenterology of Madras Medical College. “Often, people do not realise how much one’s food habits are related to their illness. Across specialities, doctors are now beginning to find correlations betwen diseases and food styles including cancers and neuro-degenerative disorders, “head of the department S.M. Chandra Mohan said. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of people with diabetes and heart diseases. Understanding what to eat in order to prevent these diseases has become critical. For those who have already developed the diseases, controlling them through good is also possible, he added.

Spiced-up noon meal – TN

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that nutritionally spiced-up menu of variety meal (‘Kalavai satham’) with ‘masala’ egg would be extended to all noon-meal centres in the State-run and aided schools, besides in ‘anganwadis’ across the State, under the ‘Puratchi Thalaivar MGR Nutritious Meal Programme’. Launched on a pilot basis in March 2013, the meal along with ‘masala’ egg was being given at ‘anganwadi’ and noon-meal centres attached to three schools in one block of each district, benefitting 91,881 children so far. This scheme will now cover the entire spectrum of 54,439 ‘anganwadi’ centres and 42,619 noon-meal centres, covering about 68.3 lakh children and school students in the Staete.

World’s fastest camera

Researchers in Japan develop world’s fastest camera that can record 4.4 trillion frames in a single second, allowing scientists to capture new images of some of the nature’s most fascinating processes.

Indian women cricket team create history

Indian women cricket team create  history by recording back-to-back Test wins in England after the team, under the captaincy of Mithali Raj, beat hosts by six wickets.

Warship of India

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi commissions the largest indigenously built warship of India, INS Kolkata, into the Indian Navy in Mumbai.

Martyred officer gets Ashok Chakra

Major Varadarajan of Rastriya Rifles (22 Rajput) was leading an anti-terrorist search operation in Shopian, South Kashmir, when he was killed in an encounter with Hizbul Mujahideen militants in April. “It was an honour knowing him. He was such an honourable man and the way he dealt everyone, especially elders, is something I have never experienced”. This remark probably sums up everything Major Mukund Varadarajan stood for. The 32-year-old officer from Tambaram died while fighting militants in Shopian, Kashmir. He was posthumously bestowed with the A.C., the nation’s highest peacetime gallantry award. Vitin Clement, who made the observation about the martyred officer was his close friend, having studied with him at Madras Christian College.

68TH Independence Day

In his maiden address to the nation at the Red Fort, New Delhi on the country’s 68th Independence Day, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi announces the setting up of a new institution to replace the Planning Commission and make India a manufacturing hub.

Rajya Sabha approves NJAC Bill 2014

The Rajya Sabha approves the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill 2014.

SB account holders at other bank ATMs serivice reduce

The Reserve Bank of India reduces free transactions for savings-bank account holders at other-bank ATMs from five to three a month in six metros, i.e. Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

Parimarjan Negi reaches a historic high in the Chess Olympiad

Parimarjan Negi of India outplays Uzbek chess champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov and reaches a historic high in the Chess Olympiad by taking the Silver medal ahead of Russia and Norway. In highest percentage score, Padmini Rout wins Gold for India with a remarkable performance of 7.5 points from eight outings.

Eight years on, five municipal corporations lag in computerisation

Computerisation in five municipal corporations, which took place in 2005, remained incomplete, the Comptroller and Auditor-General has concluded. Presenting the findings of an audit of the information systems in the corporations of Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem, Tiruchi and Tirunelveli, the CAG’s report on local bodies, placed in the Assembly on 12th Aug., said the local bodies had suffered a revenue loss of ` 62.7 crore. For carrying out computerisation, ` 3.74 crore was spent during 2008-2013.

Kumbakonam temples to get facelift for Mahamaham

An Kumbakonam gets ready for the celebration of the next ‘Mahamaham’, between February 13 and 22, 2016 (the festival recurs once in 12 years), the Tamil Nadu government has decided to renovate 69 of the 86 temples in the town, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Aug. 12, 2014. Seventeen were in good condition, and the rest would be renovated at a cost of ` 12 crore, she said.

European champions UEFA Football Super Cup

European champions and Spanish giant Real Madrid football club lift the UEFA Football Super Cup, the first European trophy of the season.

Kush Kumar of India defeat George Parker

Kush Kumar of India defeats England’s George Parker in the quarterfinal of the WSF World Junior Individual Squash Championship at Windhock, Namibia. He becomes the first Indian player to reach the semi-final of the event.

Indian fishermen release

Sri Lankan President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa orders the release of all Indian fishermen in the country’s custody on the occasion of India’s Independence Day.

Lok Sabha passes the National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014

Seeking to scrap the collegiums system of appointing Supreme Court and High Court judges, the Lok Sabha passes the Nationial Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014, to regulate the procedure.

Regional centre for organ transplant

Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar told the Assembly that a reginal centre for organ transplant would be set up. The establishment of the centre follows a series of communications between the Union Health Ministry and the Tamil Nadu government. The centre was envisaged in amendment to the Transplantation of Human Organ Act made last year. The Central government decided to set up a computerised system of national registry of donors and recipients. The national registry would be accessible online through dedicated websites and regional and State-level data would be made available.

` 700 crore scheme for small, medium dyeing units

At a time when effluent discharges from dyeing units are posing a threat to environment, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced ` 700 crore scheme for rehabilitation of small and medium dyeing units and textile industries while keeping pollution at bay. As per the proposal, a cluster would be created to accommodate these small and medium dyeing units in Namakkal, Erode, Salem and Karur districts. The Chief Minister said ` 700 crore would be mobilised from various Ministries from the Central government and the rest would be contributed by the State government.

Parlimentarian Award

Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee confers the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award on Mr. Arun Jaitley, Dr. Karan Singh and Mr. Sharad Yadav.

Sania-Cara Black pair is ranked No.3

Sania Mirza of India and Cara Black of Zimbabwe pair is ranked No. 3 in the WTA team ratings.

PM Modi second visit in J & K

On his second visit to Jammu and Kashmir after taking over as the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi visits Leh and Kargil where he inaugurates the 45-MW Nimoo Bazgo power station in Leh and lays foundatioin stone of ` 1700-crore Leh-Srinagar transmission line.

13th century inscription unearthed near Pudukottai

An ancient inscription dating back to the 13th century was discovered at Nodiyur near Pudukottai. It pertains to toll fee collected in the village near Gandarvakottai in the district during the era of Kulothunga Chola.The inscription specifies goods that fall under the ambit of the cess fee or toll fee. The commodities include “puduvai” (sari), “payaru” (grains) “milagu” (pepper). The inscription measures about 3.5 feet in length and 1.75 feet in breadth. It contains Tamil letters, indicating the importance for the language.

Complicated cardiac surgery done at Stanley

A complex surgery was performed at Government Stanley Medical College Hospital recently, to treat a 37-year-old mother of two with cardiac failure. During the surgery, the release said, the patient had irregular heartbeat twice and, at one point, her blood pressure dropped, and she had to be ventilated for 24 hours. Dean A.I. Meenakshi Sundaram said the surgery was performed under the Chief Minister’s comprehensive health insurance scheme and could have cost ` 3 lakh at a private hospital.

When kids learnt traffic rules from police

The nine-storey structure in Vepery housing the Office of the Commissioner of police might be a source of pride for the city’s lawmen. But many might have forgotten that the swanky structure ate into the Children’s Traffic Park the sole source of practical trafic education for kids in the city. “It was an exciting and educative experience for primary school children then as they received first-hand experience of road rules by using miniature vehicles and interacting with traffic policemen stationed at mock signals in the park. It was a boon to children as it inculcated the importance of traffic rules and road safety at a young age,” recalled H.E. Wilkins of Doveton Group of Schools, referring to the days in the 80s and 90s when he took children to the park. Sources with the city police said that there is no plan to reopen the Children’s Traffic Park but some officials believe the cacility could be reconstructed at the old Commissionerate on Pantheon Road, Egmore.

Ashwin is ranked No. 1 Test all-rounder

India’s Ravichandran Ashwin is ranked No. 1 Test all-rounder in the latest ICC Test team rankings released. He is ranked at the top after his fine show with the bat in the fourth Test against England played in Manchester. Apart from this, India slips to fourth position behind South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in the Test team rankings.

Agreement between Russia and Ukraine

Russia confirms that it has reached an agreement with Ukraine on providing humanitarian aid to rebel-held cities in the country’s east.

121st Constitution Amendment bill

The National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill, 2014, and the 121st Constitution Amendment Bill are introduced in the Lok Sabha. The new Bill, which replaces the UPA’s Bill, lays down the procedure to be followed for appointment and transfer of the Supreme Court and High Court Judges.

First underground Metro Network by Dec. 2015

The first underground Metro Rail network from Egmore to Thirumangalam will be completed by Dec. 2015. The entire 45 km. network of the Chennai Metro Rail will be operational by Aug. 2016, according to officials of the Chennai Metro Rail Ltd., come Dec. the tunnelling work along this 9.5 km. stretch on Poonamallee High Road will be completed”. We plan to finish the tunnelling work in four months. After that, we need a year to build cross passages, lay tracks and complete overhead electrical work and trials. The work on remaining stretch will be done by August 2016”, a CMRL official said.

Rory Mcllroy hat-trick with his win PGA Championship

Rory Mcllroy of Northern Ireland completes a hat-trick with his win at the PGA Championship in the US, having emerged champion at the British Open and the Wrold Golf Championship. He becomes the fourth youngest man to win his fourth Major.

Turkish PM wins an outright victory

Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins an outright victory, 51.9 percent of the votes, in the first round of presidential election.

SEBI approves the SEBI (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014

In a major boost to the real estate and infrastructure sector, and creating avenues for inflow of over $20 billion investment into these stressed sectors, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approves the SEBI (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014 and SEBI (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014.

Kamarajar Port goes in for 16m. drought

Kamarajar Port Ltd. (KPL), formerly Ennore Port, has asked the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) to provide deeper draught at three coal berths to accomodate bigger vessels. As per the plan dredging work would begin soon and would be completed in six months. The draught capacity of Chettinad International Coal Terminal would be increased from 13.5 m to 16 m, whereas the draughts at coal berths. I and II would be deepened by one more metre each. It would cost about ` 50 crore. DCI had already deepend the approach channel and basin to the berth by 16 metres.

‘Amma Service Centres’ to speed up public services

The zonal offices of Corpus municipalities and town panchayats will hold ‘Amma Makkal Sevai Maiyam” (Amma Service Centres) every Wednesday to facilitate issue of birth and death certificates, trade licences, drinking water and sewage connections, permission for building and other services. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the assembly that the objective of the service centres was to help out those who could not meet officials on tour, and to avoid any delay in the delivery of services. The Assistant commissioners of the corps., the commissioners of the municpalities and the executive officers of the town panchayats would receive applications and take steps to issue certificates and licences within the period mentioned in the peoples’ charter.

Trade licence in a day

It will now be possible to get a trade licence in the Corporation limits in a single day. On the same-day of submitting applications, civic authorities say, the licence will be granted, provided all paperwork is done. Usually’ it can lake up to months. The civic body has roped in traders’ associations for simplifying the system for screening the traders before issuance of licence.

Discovery of fish species and rare tree

Spotlight on the rich, unexplored biodiversity of the Western Ghats of India is focussed again with a reported discovery of a new fish species and rediscovery of a rare tree.