August, 2014

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.