October, 2014

Fibre optic cable

A new type of fibre optic cable is developed by researchers in the US and Netherlands that smashes data transfer records, managing to squeeze 255 terabits of information per second down a single strand of glass fibre.

Japan’s Niigata International Food Award

India’s Dr. C.I. Laxmipathi Gowda is honoured with the 2014 Sano Touzaburo Special prize by the Japan’s Niigata International Food Award Foundation, for his contribution in improving the livelihoods of small holder farmers in the dryland areas of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Fadnavis sworn in CM of Maharashtra

Mr. Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis (44) is sworn in as the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

First Rashtriya Ekta Divas

First Rashtriya Ekta Divas is observed to commemorate the 139th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Stem cells – gastric diseases

Scientists, based in Cincinnati, grow miniature human stomachs from stem cells as a way of studying gastric diseases such as ulcers and stomach cancer and in the future creating tissue to repair patients’ stomachs, according to a report published in “Nature”.

Pankaj Advani clinches World Billiards Championship (time format) title

India’s sports legend Pankaj Advani clinches the “World Billiards Championship (time format) title to bag a record 12th world crown and also completes a rare ‘Grand Double’ post his third win in both the long and short formats in the same year.

Sweden officially recognises the State of Palestine

Sweden officially recognises the state of Palestine, becoming the first western European Union member to do so, in a move the Palestinians hailed as “historic” and Israel denounced as “deplorable”.

10% cut in the Centre’s non-plan expenditure

The Finance Ministry issues austerity measures to promote fiscal discipline and orders, with immediate effect, a mandatory 10-percent cut in the Centre’s non-plan expenditure for the year 2014-15.

China launches a spacecraft robotic lunar sample return

China launches a spacecraft that will act as a precursor for a robotic lunar sample return mission and perhaps also help prepare for subsequent manned exploration of the Moon.

World’s Children’s Prize

Nobel Prize-winner Pakistani teenage activist, Ms. Malala Yousafzai wins the World’s Children’s Prize, after a global vote involving millions of children.

JSW-PSA and JSW-WSA Challenger squash title

Harinder Pal Sandhu and Dipika Pallikal of India win the fourth and final leg of the JSW-PSA men’s Challenger and the JSW-WSA women’s events, respectively in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Zambia’s President dies

Zambia’s President Mr. Micahel Sata (77) dies while undergoing treatment in a London hospital. Vice-President Mr. Gary Scott is all set to take over as the acting President, making him the first white head of an African State in decades.

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility

An unmanned cargo rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station explodes seconds after lift-off from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.

627 Indians holding black money abroad

The Union Govt. submits, in a sealed cover, a list of 627 Indians holding black money abroad. The Supreme Court empowers special investigation team (SIT) to launch a probe into black money accounts in accordance with law.

Global Gender Gap Index 2014

The Nordic nations and Nicaragua, Rwanda and the Philippines make it to the top 10 in the Global Gender Gap Index 2014 released by World Economic Forum (WEF). India ranks at 114 out of 142 countries.

India-Vietnam sign agreement

During the visit of Vietnam’s Prime Minister to India, the two countries ink several agreements, including a memorandum of understanding for exploration by ONGC Videsh Limited in two blocks in the South China Sea. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi gives commitment to modernise Vietnam’s defence and security forces.

The anti-oxidants ‘flavanols’

The anti-oxidants ‘flavanols’ inside Cocoa are found to reverse age-related memory loss and give people in their sixties the memory of a “typical-30-year-old” according to the scientists.

South Africa win the series against New Zealand

South Africa win the series 2-0 against the hosts New Zealand, after the third ODI is abandoned due to rain.

Ms. Dilma Rousseff wins the re-election to a second term

Brazil’s Leftist President Ms. Dilma Rousseff wins the re-election to a second term with 51.64 percent of the votes. She is the first woman President of the world’s seventh largest economy.

Vietnam’s PM visit in India

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung arrives in India for a two-day visit to bolster the bilateral ties between the two countries.

Serena win title of BNP Paribas WTA Finals

Serena Williams of the US defeats Simona Halep of Romania 6-3, 6-0 to win the Singles title of BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore 2014.

Sania Mirza-Cara Black claim Martina Navratilova Trophy

Sania Mirza of India and Cara Black of Zimbabwe claim the Martina Navratilova Trophy after they defeat defending champions, Taiwan-China duo, Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai in WTA Doubles Finals in Singapore.

British forces handover formal control

British forces hand over formal control of their last base, Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan to Afghan troops, ending combat operations in the country after 13 years which cost hundreds of lives.

First-ever BJP government in the Haryana State

Former RSS pracharak, Mr. Manohar Lal Khattar, is sworn in as the 10th Chief Minister of Haryana at the Tau Devi Stadium in Panchkula. He leads the first-ever BJP government in the state.

Space X’s unmanned Dragon spacecraft return

Space X’s unmanned Dragon spacecraft returns to the Earth loaded with laboratory results. The experiment results and other materials in the cargo could help develop more efficient solar cells and semiconductor-based electronics.

10m air pistol events in the World cup

In men’s and women’s 10m air pistorl events in the World Cup Final in Gabala, Azerbaijan, Sergey Chervyakovskiy of Russia and Alejandra Zavala of Mexico finish first, respectively.

Non-stop summer time highly unpopular

Russia turns back its clock to winter time permanently in a move backed by President Mr. Vladimir Putin, reversing a three-year experiment with non-stop summer time that proved highly unpopular.

Australian surgeons report successful transplanting of ‘dead’ hearts

Australian surgeons report successful transplanting of ‘dead’ hearts into three patients. The doctors developed a technique to resuscitate and transplant a heart which had been still for 20 minutes.
The State government has decided to conduct a six-week course on conservation and restoration of monuments for the present set of engineers, who lack the requisite skills. Need for such a course was felt as a large number of restoration and conservation projects had been undertaken by various government departments, especially the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments. Based on the recommendations of the 13th Finance Commission, ` 90 crore has been set apart for the renovation of over 200 temples without tempering their heritage value. In the last three years 183 temples were provided with ` 67.50 crore as part of the Finance Commission’s grant. This year, the government has sanctioned ` 22.5 crore for 46 temples. Aslo, using the government’s grant and funds, a number of temples had been covered under renovation and restoration. In all, restoration and renovation works are over in respect of 5,400 temples so far.

Wildscreen Panda Award

Ms. Ashwika Kapur becomes the first Indian woman to win the prestigious Wildscreen Panda Award at Bristol, UK. The award is also known as the Green Oscar of the natural history and wildlife film industry.

Advani clinch Billiards Championship

Pankaj Advani of India outplays former champion Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the 150-up points former World Billiards Championship final and pockets his 11th world title in Leeds, UK.

China leads 21 Asian nations

China leads 21 Asian nations, including India, in forming a multilateral financial front in the form of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), being seen as a challenger to the US-backed Bretton Wonds institutions.

IPRs policy

The Commerce and Industry Ministry constitutes a six-member think tank, chaired by retired Justice Ms. Prabha Sridevan, to draft the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) policy.

J & K flood-ravaged – PM announces a s. 745 crore package

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi visits Jammu & Kashmir and interacts with Army men at a base camp in Siachen on the occasion of Diwali. He announces a ` 745-crore package for the re-construction of flood-ravaged houses and hospitals in the State.

25th Fusion Energy Conference

Scientists from 43 countries, including India, attend the 25th Fusion Energy Conference at St. Petersburg, Russia to compare notes on feasibility of fusion energy.

Canada’s Parliament comes under attack with a barrage of gunshots fired

Canada’s Parliament comes under attack with a barrage of gunshots fired at three different locations in the vicinity, including those inside the building in which one soldier is fatally wounded.

Sukhoi-30 check after both the pilot seats in one of the aircraft

Indian Air Force grounds its entire Sukhoi-30 feet for a thorough technical check after both the pilot seats in one of the aircraft ejected without command.

New device similar to a simple pregnancy home-test

France’s Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) announces that they have developed a new device similar to a simple pregnancy home-test that could allow doctors to diagnose a patient with suspected Ebola in less than 15 minutes.

Sharapova wins WTA Finals

Maria Sharapova of Russia suffers a 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-2 loss to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Hong Kong talks with pro-democracy protest leaders

Hong Kong’s government holds its first talks with pro-democracy protest leaders, but no breakthrough is made in their bid to end three weeks of disruptive mass rallies which have posed a major challenge to Beijing.

India win Asia-Pacific Council

India receives the most number of votes in the Asia-Pacific group of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR), winning a second consecutive two-year term at the world body.

Prioritise river link, State tells Centre

Attach as much importance to river-linking as to the National Mission for Clean Ganga. This was the message that Tamil Nadu delivered to the Centre at the inaugural meeting of the special committee for interlinking of rivers held in New Delhi. The committee, constituted a month ago and headed by Union Minister for Water Resource, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharati, comprises 11 States, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil nadu and Maharashtra.

New diagnostic device

A team of researchers at IISc create a new diagnostic device which takes as little as 30 minutes to diagnose malaria. The device is still in experimental phase.

WHO officially declares the Africa’s most populous nation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declares the Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria Ebola-free. The announcement came soon after Senegal was declared free of deadly epidermic.

Indonesia’s first leader from outside the political

Mr. Joko Widodo, Indonesia’s first leader from outisde the political and military elite, is sworn in as the President of the country.

Auctions for mines

The Government allows private companies in power, cement and steel sectors to get their own coal mines through e-auctions, thus clearing the logjam created by the Supreme Court order annualling all allocation of captive mines since 1993.

Red Planet

Mars Orbiter Mission of India and NASA’s three Mars orbiters witness a rare spectacle when comet C/2013 A1, the size of a small mountain, whizzes past Mars, making its closest encounter with the Red Planet.

Vakil Raj Dindor wins recurve men’s individual title

Vakil Raj Dindor wins the recurve men’s individual title on the concluding day of the National archery championship in New Delhi.

India successfully defent is Sultan of Johor Cup U-21 hockey title

India successfully defend its Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 hockey title, beating Great Britain 2-1 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Saketh Myneni beat Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan

Saketh Myneni of India beats the top-seeded Aleksandr Nedovyesov of Kazakhstan in the finals of $50,000 Challenger tennis tournament at the Indore Club courts in M.P.

Nepal closes a section of popular Himalayan trekking route

Nepal closes a section of popular Himalayan trekking route after rescuers had to save new hikers who set out after the blizzards on the same deadly trails. Last week’s snowstorm had killed at least 39 people.

BJP sweeps the polls in Maharashtra and Haryana

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sweeps the polls in Maharashtra and Haryana. It gains a clear majority in Haryana with 47 seats while in Maharashtra, it emerges as the single largest party bagging 122 of 288 seats.

India’s participation in Chahbahar port project in Iran

The Union Cabinet gives its approval to India’s participation in the Chahbahar port project in Iran. The move could offer significant geo-strategic advantage to India by way of smooth access to Afghanistan.

Ugandan rebels killed women and children

Twenty-two people, most of them children and women, are hacked and clubbed to death by Ugandan rebels in the troubled east of the Demoncratic Republic of Congo (DRC) just days after a similar massacre.

Biggest wave of economic reforms

In the biggest wave of economic reforms since coming to power, the NDA Government deregulates the price of diesel and announces that the domestically produced natural gas will be priced at $5.61 per mm Bru from November 1, 2014

Sivathanu Pillai wins Rotary award

Distinguished scientist Sivathanu Pillai, chief controller, Defence Research and Development Organisation, received the lifetime award from Rotary Club of Madras. At a function held recently, S.N. Srikanth, president of the club, presented him with the award. In his acceptance speech, Dr. Pillai said the indigenous missile development programme was among the great scientific accomplishments of the country.

ISRO notches another success with PSLV-C26

On October 15, 1994, India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-D2) for the first time successfully placed an Indian Remote-sensing Satellite into orbit. Twenty years later, on October 16, 2014, the PSLV-C26 lobbed the 1,425 kg Indian Regional navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1C) satellite into its precise orbit. On Oct. 16 mission was ISRO’s twenty-seventh consequtively successful PSLV flight. ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan said, “The PSLV has done it again. IRNSS-1C is up in orbit.” After a flight of 20 minutes and 18 seconds, the satellite was injected into an elliptical orbit. The IRNSS-1C is the third among seven navigation satelites, with a wide range of applications from helping truck drivers to submarines, missiles and battle tanks locate their positions.

Dadabhai Naoroji Award

The UK government announces the inaugural Dadabhai Naoroji Awards to honour individuals who have worked to strengthen the UK-India relationship over the years. The three recipients include Ms. Patricia Hewitt, Dame Asha Khemka and actor Mr. Madhav Sharma.

India win ODI series against WI

India win West Indies tour of India cricket series against West Indies, 2-1. The third and the fifth matches of the series were cancelled.

Virat Kohli fastest player to reach 20 ODI hundreds

Virat Kohli becomes the fastest player to reach 20 ODI hundreds, taking 64 innings less than his idol Sachin Tendulkar, when he smashed 127 against West Indies in the 4th ODI at Dharmashala, himachal Pradesh.

Nigeria’s govt reaches a deal with Islamic militant group Boko Haram

Nigeria’s government reaches a deal with Islamic militant group Boko Haram for a ceasefire and the release of around 200 girls kidnapped six months ago from a school in the town of Chibok.

India’s first long-range subsonic cruise-missile Nirbhay

India’s first indigenously designed and developed long-range subsonic cruise missile, Nirbhay, is successfully flight-tested in Balasore, Odisha.

U.K. firms have created 1 lakh jobs in Tamil Nadu

Companies from the United Kingdom have created one lakh jobs in Tamil Nadu, including 30,000 in Chennai. An official release said Vince Cable, British Secretary of State for Business, innovation and Skills, provided this information at his interaction with Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and senior officials of the government on Wednesday. Mr. Cable, who led a delegation, said the U.K.’s investments in India was higher than in the United States and Japan combined.

ISRO Third Navigation Satellite IRNSS 1C

India’s space agency, ISRO launches its third navigation satellite IRNSS 1C on board its PSLV rocket from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The satellite series will give the country its own navigation system on a par with the GPS of the US.

Young Achiever’s Award

Delhi University student Mr. Himadrish Suwan, a 17-year old RTI activist, is conferred the Young Achiever’s Award by the International Association of Educators for World Peace.

World Food Prize

Eminent Indian scientist Mr. Sanjaya Rajaram is awarded the World Food Prize in recognition of his significant contributions to the global wheat production.

Luis Suarez receives the European Golden Boot Award

Barcelona football club player Luis Suarez receives the European Golden Boot Award on October 16, 2014 as being the top scorer of Europe in 2013 season.

Abhishek Verma takes the individual men’s compound title

Abhishek Verma takes the individual men’s compound title in the National archery championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.

EU judges strike down anti-terrorism sanctions against the LTTE

The European Union (EU) judges strike down anti-terrorism sanctions against the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) that were imposed by the EU, but maintain that assets of the Sri Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being.

Elected as non-permanent members of the UNSC

Venezuela, Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain are elected as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

PM launching five schemes

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi unveils labour reforms, launching five schemes to boost transparency, create business-friendly environment and combining pro-worker promises with industry-friendly changes.

ICF to roll out more stainless steel coaches

All coaches that are rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) Chennai will be made of stainless steel by 2019. Last fiscal, 25 LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) stainless steel coaches were made. This year, 75 coaches will be rolled out, Ashok K. Agarwal, General Manager, ICF, told reporters on Tuesday. By 2015-16, it will be scaled upto 300 coaches and the next year, 600. While the conventional coaches have a life-span of 25 years, stainless steel coaches would increase the life-span by 10 years.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan receives Euromoney’s Central Bank Award

Reserve Bank of India Governor, Mr. Raghuram Rajan, receives the Euromoney’s Central Bank Governor of the Year Award 2014, in Washington.

Pakistan win Sultan of Johor Cup

Defending champions India thrash their arch-rivals Pakistan 6-0 in the U-21 Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium in Malaysia.

Findland-India signs 19 agreements

During his two-day visit to Finalnd, Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee signs nineteen agreements with his Finish counterpart Mr. Sauli Niinisto.

Carbon Disclosure Report 2014

Five Indian companies – Wipro, Essar Oil, Tech Mahindra, Larsen & Toubro and Tata Consultancy Services are among the top global companies that did business in the most sustainable manner in 2013, according to the Carbon Disclosure Report 2014.

Australian author Mr. Richard Flanagan wins Man Booker Prize

Australian author Mr. Richard Flanagan wins the 50,000 Pounds, 2014 Man Booker Prize for his wartime novel “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”.

British House favour of recognising Palestine as a State

British House of Commons votes overwhelmingly in favour of recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel.

Norway-India sign thirteen agreements

Norway and India ink thirteen agreements on the second and concluding day of Hon’ble President Mr. Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to the Scandinavian nation.

Cotton production likely to be 400 lakh bales this year

“The cotton production last year was 398 lakh bales, and we are expecting a record crop this season,” said Southern India Mills’ Association Chairman T. Rajkumar, Cotton consumption by textile mills is expected to be 275 lakh bales, and this will be just five per cent more than the previous season. Last year, there was 12 per cent growth in consumption. With the government’s pro-active policy, the textile industry would be able to benefit from high production. Import is estimated to be seven lakh bales this year as against nearly 10 lakh bales last year, and exports are likely to be 90 lakh bales as against 117 lakh bales.

No need for attestation of certificates anymore

Taking the lead in carrying through a major promise of the Central government to ease citizen-government interface, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to do away with attestation of certificates by its officers. Instead, it will provide for self-attestation. Citizens should produce the originals at the time of interview for, or appointment, to any post, says an order from the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department. As the original documents must be submitted during the interview, attestation by gazetted officers does not solve any problem, it points out.

POTA case against Vaiko goes

MDMK general secretary Vaiko and six others got relief on 13th Oct. with the Madras High Court allowing the withdrawal of prosecution against them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (since repealed). The case is pending before a Special Court Chennai. The case pertained to a speech made at a public meeting at Tirumangalam in Madurai district in June 2002. On March 6, the Supreme Court permitted Mr. Vaiko and others to withdraw the appeal. It said they might file an appeal before the Madras High Court. In its order on Oct. 13, the Bench said the impugned order of the Special Court was unsustainable.

International Female Police Peacekeeper Award 2014

Ms. Shakti Devi, a cop from Jammu and Kashmir Police, is awarded the International Female Police Peacekeeper Award 2014 in Winnipeg, Canada for her role in UN assistance mission in Afghanistan.

FSS raises ` 350 cr. from Premiji Invest

The Chennai-based electronics payment processing firm, Financial Software and Systems (FSS), raised ` 350 crore from Premji Invest, the family investment office of Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Ltd. The Company said it would use the funds for fuelling innovations in digital payments for electronic and mobile commerce industry, financial inclusion and remittance businesses, besides expanding in global markets. The majority of the funding from Premji Invest came as primary funding and the rest involved purchase from existing investors. FSS, having clients such as ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank, is looking to clock revenue of about ` 850 crore this fiscal, a 38 per cent increase over revenue of ` 614 crore in the 2014 fiscal. The company aims to touch revenue of ` 2,200 crore by 2019 fiscal.

Mapping of sea turtle nesting sites on in Ramanathapuram

The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park has launched an ambitious project of mapping of the existing and potential sea turtle nesting sites on the 271-km-long coastline in Ramanathapuram district to focus on biodiversity and draw a conservation action plan to proejct the species. “The turtle nesting site map would be overlaid on the district map for an integrated action plan to be made with the district administration to project and manage the coastline for better conservation of marine biodiversity.” Four of the five species of Olive Ridley, Green Turtle, Leather Back Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle and Loggerhead Turtle were often seen in the Gulf of Mannar region.

A hero stone tells a tale from eighth century

A hero stone at Semmayagounden palayam in the district might not be known to the outside world, but it has tales to tell from as early as the eighth century. People in the vicinity have been offering pujas to the stone from time immemorial with a belief that arthritis and few other ailments related to the veins would be cured.

Varanavasi, a geologists’ dreamland

A field fossil museum, showcasing an area that was once the bottom of the sea, would soon come up at Varanavasi near Ariyalur, Situated about 55 km from Tiruchi, the museum will be spread over 50 hectares of badland topography, a type of dry terrain where soft sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water. Ravines, crevices and caverns make for a breath-taking panorama. Thousands of years ago, the sea had ingressed and egressed in the region. Geological studies indicate that the sea had transgressed more than 120,000,000 years ago. During this period, geologically known as the cretaceous, the sea abounded in a variety of marine animals. Animals and trees along the shore were buried after being carried by flooded streams of seawater and were petrified in course of time. This had made Ariyalur a geologists’ paradise.

Award for Vairamuthu

Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Clean Ganges’ campaign, Tamil poet and lyricist Vairamuthu on 12th Oct. suggested that religion be removed from the river in order to clean it. Mr. Vairamuthu, who received the Dr. M.A. Chidambaram Chettiar Award for his contribution to Tamil poetry and literature, said he welcomed the Clean India Campaign. The award carries Rs.2 lakh and a silver plaque.

BHEL bags Ennore supercritical power project

After a brief legal battle, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) has awarded the ` 7,800-crore contract for the 2×660-MW Ennore Supercritical Power Project to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). The contract, which BHEL has won against international competitive bidding is for setting up the coal-fired thermal power project in the Ennore SEZ on an engineering, procurement and construction basis. A consortium, with Central Southern China Electric Power Deisgn Institute as the lead partner, had challenged the Tangedco’s decision in the Madras High Court in July.

Asiad medallists from State

Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam has congratulated the 11 sportspersons from the State who won at the Asian Games. Incheon, South Korea. he also anbnounced cash incentives for them. Gold medallists Kush Kumar, Harinder Pal Singh and Saurav Ghoshal (squash), and Sreejesh Parattu Ravindran (hockey) will get ` 50 lakh each. Silver medallists Aparajitha Balamurugan, Anaka Alankamony, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallika (squash) will get ` 30 lakh each. Bronze medallists Varsha Gautham and Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan (sailing), and Rajiv Arokia (400 m race) will be given ` 20 lakh each.

Speed posts on Sundays too

City residents can soon start receiving letters and articles sent through speed post on Sundays too. The Department of Posts plans to start delivering speed posts on Sundays in select areas in commemoration of the postal week. Nearly 7 lakh speed posts are being delivered every month in the Chennai City region (CCR). As part of an effort to serve the growing customer base, the department plans to deliver speed posts during weekends in Anna Nagar, Virugambakkam and T. Nagar on a pilot basis.

Oxford scholar chosen for Ramnujan prize

The 2014 SASTRA Ramanujan Prize will be awarded to Dr. James Maynard (27) of the Oxford University. The prize will be awarded on Ramanujan’s birth anniversary that falls on December 22 and the SASTRA University in Kumbakonam. Dr. Maynard will receive the cash award of $10,000 along with a citation. He will deliver the Ramanujan Birthday Commemorative Lecture.

2 idols found at Srirangam temple

Two idols of Sri Chandrasekarar and Lord Ganapathy, along with five metallic plaques, were unearthed in the ‘prakaram’ of the Parthasarathy shrine at the Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangam on Oct. 7. The Chandrasekarar idol measures 25 inches in height and theGanapathy idol 17.5 inches. Both have four arms each, and are mounted on ‘peetams’ (pedestals). The Chandrasekarar idol is on a circular ‘peetam’ and Lord Ganapathy on a lotus-shaped ‘peetam’. They could have been used as processional deities as they have been fitted with rod-like structures for tying the ropes at the front and rear sides. A ‘mazhu’ (axe) is found in the upper right arm of Lord Chandrasekarar and a deer in the left upper arm. The lower right arm is in ‘abhayahastham’ posture. The Ganapathy has an elongated trunk, up to the left arm.

A narrow escape for Kalayarkoil temple tower

The 150-feet tall Rajagopuram of the ancient Kalayarkoil temple survived a major devastation when the thatched cover built around the tower for renovation, caught fire in the fireworks staged by AIADMK volunteers after news broke out that Jayalalithaa was granted conditional bail by the Karnataka HighCourt. After reports reached at 4 p.m. on Oct. 7 that Ms. Jayalalithaa was granted conditional bail, AIADMK volunteers burst crackers in front of the timple. Sparks flew and set the thatched cover on fire. The entire covering burnt down before the fire service units from Sivaganga, Devakottai and Thiruvadanai rushed to the spot, fire service sourcs said. The fire also spread to the nearby 40-foot tall Swamy Gopuram and destroyed the thatched cover around the tower.

Nokia to suspend production at Chennai plant

Nokia said it would suspend handset manufacturing at its Chennai plant from November 1, citing termination of the services agreement with Microsoft. The Sriperumbudur facility was one of its biggest plants globally. The plant was not part of Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s handset business due to a tax dispute with the Union government. Nokia is also facing a commercial tax case with the Tamil nadu government. Nokia had earlier stated that the plant would continue to operate as a contract manufacturer for Microsoft. It also said it was now evaluating options to minimise the impact on existing employees at the Chennai manufacturing facility.

SunEdison develops new technology

SunEdison, a well-known name in solar technology space, has claimed that it has developed an advanced polysilicon technology. Consequently, it is on target to produce solar material at the lowest cost, says a company release. “This represents a step-change in technology, and will enable SunEdison to deliver a 400 watt peak solar panel at a cost of $0.40 per watt peak by 2016,” the release adds.

MFL plans modern logistics park

Madras Fertilizers Ltd. (MFL) is scouting for a joint venture partner to develop a portion of its vacant land into a ‘modern logistics park’. MLF has already appointed a consultant to study the feasibility of developing a modern logistics park at a cost of over Rs.280 crore. The company has about 130 acre of vacant land within its premises and four acres at Manali New Town. The company is located between Chennai Port and Kamarajar Port/L&T Kattupalli Port with road and rail connectivity. The Park will come up within the main premises. About 51 acre have been earmarked for the propose park that is expected to house a container freight station, inland container depot, scientific warehouses with cold storage, and auto carriage with all infrastructural facilities.

Amelio childcare facility in Chennai

Amelio, claimed to be the country’s first onsite childcare service provider, has opened its largest child care facility in Siruseri on OMR here. Located on a 12,000 sq.ft. area adjacent to SIPCOT, the child care centre will provide pre-school day care and after-school child management and development service to around 150 children including infants. Sridevi Raghavan, Co-Founder and CEO said, “the facility is expected to provide relief to working parents in the IT Hub, who are juggling between pressures at work place and the challenges of taking care of their children.

3 yards identified to build LNG ships

The Shipping Ministry has identified shipyards of Cochin, Kattupalli and Pipavav to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships. These tankers would be used by GAIL (India) Ltd. to transport gas from the U.S. The services are likely to begin by end of 2017. “We are looking at building the LNG ships in the next six years. Each ship would entail investment of around
` 1,500 crore,” Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi said after flagging off SCI Kamal, a direct container service from Chennai to Yangon in Myanmar, at the Chennai Port.

Clean campaign yet to take off in a big way in colleges

The ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ is yet to take off on college campuses in the State. Several college and university officials said the programme would take off when the college reopens after the puja holidays. Though the University Grants Commission had uploaded on its website a letter in this regard on September 26, several university and college officials said they had not received any official communication in this regard. The letter states that ahead of the launch of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, a weeklong awareness programme would be held. Secretary of Ministry of Human Resources Development Ashok Thakur, during his visit to the Indian Institute of Technology – Madras a fortnight ago had announced that the programme would be launched on Oct. 2. Under the programme, students under the National Social Service and National Cadet Corps would be roped in to clean the areas neighbouring their institution, he had said.

Postal dept. ties up with online retailers

Don’t be surprised if your neighbourhood postman delivers products you have ordered online, along with letters. The department of posts has recently tied up with various online shopping portals to offer delivery services. With e-commerce growing by leaps and bounds, the postal department, which has a widespread reach, particularly in rural areas, will bridge the gap in logistics. The department has tied up with major e-commerce players, including Amazon, Flipkart, Shopping Zone India and Naaptol, to help ramp up their delivery system. “We are also in the process of tying up with smaller on-line players. We are delivering more than 80 per cent of the products ordered online to customers across the State on behalf of some e-commerce firms,” said an official.