Monthly Archives: January 2014

3-Day Flower show at Balyatri Estate near Madikeri from tomorrow


Madikeri :

 An eye-catching flower show has been organised from Jan. 26 to Jan. 28 from 10 am to 5 pm at the Yousuf Ali Khan memorial flower garden at the premises of Balyatri Coffee Estate near Boikeri on Madikeri-Suntikoppa Road in Kodagu.

The estate belongs to former Rajya Sabha member F.M. Khan. Briefing the press on the annual flower show, Khan said that “over 90 varieties of flowers and fruits have been grown in the garden which is the only private flower garden in the country. The garden took shape about 50 years ago and for the last 15 years the flower show is being organised annually for the public. The garden houses Philia, Lorsper, Khel, kelen chus, cactus, dahlia, daisy, roses, pinks, kupia and other exotic varieties including bonsais.

He said that horticulture was bifurcated from agriculture when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister to boost the growth of horticulture which has not happened to the desired level yet. Continuing, he opined that Congress needed young leaders like Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka.

However he felt that Rahul should address more public rallies instead of closed-door meetings to reach the masses.

source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / January 25th, 2014

Writer Kamala Surayiya receives Ezhuthachan prize

Thiruvananthapuram :

Celebrated writer Kamala Surayiya, whose selection to Kerala’s highest literary award came under fire from pro-Sangh cultural outfits, on Wednesday said it was time to stop “hurling stones” at her.

“I am grateful to my critics, for they make me realise my shortcomings. But is it not time to stop hurling stones at me?” asked Surayiya.

The well-known writer was apparrently referring to the outcry by the pro-Sangh cultural outfits for her selection for the Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, in her acceptance speech here.

Surayiya received the Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, carrying Rs 1 Lakh, from Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony at a functuion at the Durbar Hall in the government secretariat.

The pro-Sangh cultural forum Thapasya had criticised the choice of Surayiya for the prize instituted after Ezhuthachan, revered as the ‘father of Malayalam literature’, holding that Surayiya represented a value system different from the one for which Ezhuthachan stood.

Her critics, however, had said their opposition was not for her convertion to Islam.

“Abuses are not new to me. They are quite common in Kerala. Once I was considered for the Nobel prize. A poet from Kerala dashed off a letter to the Nobel authorities with 150 signatures appended to it. They held that considering me for the honour was like kicking the Nobel,” she said.

“I do read criticism. But I don’t dare open letters mailed to me these days. Most of them have abusive contents.

“What wrong did I do. Maybe I embraced a minority religion. For me religion is just a means to realise God. I stand for unity of all religions,” Surayiya said.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Thiruvananthapuram> Kerala / PTI / January 01st, 2003

Gouhar fashions Indian win

Hyderabad :

Sri Lankan captain Shashikala Siriwardena’s ploy to bat first and pile up a big total which could put the Indians under pressure backfired terribly as her batswomen failed to contend with the guile of left-arm spinner Gouhar Sultana.

The Hyderabad spinner, who bowled in two spells and finished with astounding figures of 8-4-4-4, spun a web of deceit from which the Sri Lankans failed to extricate themselves and were bowled out for a paltry 76.

The hosts then rode on skipper Mithai Raj’s unbeaten 34 romped to a seven-wicket win with 105 balls to spare to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series at the Dr YSR ACA-VDCA Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

Siriwardena, on the eve of the match, had said that they would like to post a 200 plus score if they batted first. The Lankan skipper won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. But there after it turned out to be nightmare for the Lankan batswomen as they were unable to negotiate the Indian bowling.

Indian pacer and former skipper Jhulan Goswami struck the first blow when she bowled Chamari Atapattu (6) with 13 on the board. Five runs later, Goswami sent back Deepika Rasangika (4) and the Lankans never really recovered from those early blows.

Opener Yasoda Mendis and Siriwardena tried to stem the rot with a 14-run stand for the third wicket – the highest of the Lankan innings – but mediumpacer Niranjana Natarajan trapped Mendis leg before. Mendis, who made 17 off 43 balls (2×4) was the only batswoman to reach double figures.

Gouhar then ran through the middle order. The 25-year-old spinner scalped four wickets to reduce Lankans to 51 for seven. Gouhar, who has played 49 ODIs thus far, recorded her career best figures.

Debutants left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gaikwad (2/11) and offie Sneh Rana (1/7) then ended the Lankan innings.

India, in reply, lost openers Smriti Mandhana (13) and Karuna Jain (6) with 25 on the board. However, Anagha Deshpande and Mithali added 43 for the third wicket to ensure a smooth victory for their side.

Anagha (23; 54b, 2×4) fell at 68 but vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur (1 no) helped Mithali get the required runs without much ado. Mithali remained unbeaten on 34 off 59 balls with six hits to the fence as India reached 80 for three.

“It was a good win today. I am very happy with the performance of the girls. To begin my stint as a coach with a win is an auspicious beginning,” coach Purnima Rau said.

“Gouhar bowled beautifully and I am thrilled that she recorded her career best performance,” she added.


Sri Lanka: C Atapattu b Goswami 6, Y Mendis lbw Niranjana 17, D Rasangika c Jain b Goswami 4, S Siriwardene c Goswami b Sultana 1, C Polgampola c Kaur b Sultana 1, E Lokusuriyage c Mithali b Sultana 9, D Manodara c Niranjana b Sultana 4, O Ranasinghe lbw Rana 6, S Weerakkody c Rana b Gayakwad 8, U Prabodhani (not out) 3, C Gunaratne c Jain b Gayakwad 6. Extras: (B2, LB1, W7, NB1) 11.

Total: (in 39.3 overs) 76.

Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-18, 3-32, 4-34, 5-41, 6-46, 7-51, 8-65, 9-65.

Bowling: J Goswami 8-3-16-2, N Niranajana 10-0-35-1, G Sultana 8-4-4-4, RS Gayakwad 7.3-3-11-2, S Rana 6-4-7-1.

India: K Jain c Weerakkody b Gunaratne 6, S Mandhana c Weerakkody b Siriwardene 13, A Deshpande st Surangika b Ranasinghe 23, M Raj (not out) 34, H Kaur (not out) 1. Extras: (B1, W2) 3.

Total: (for 3 wickets, 32.3 overs) 80.

Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-25, 3-68.

Bowling: U Prabodhani 2-0-7-0, C Gunaratne 10-6-16-1, S Siriwardene 10-3-20-1, C Polgampola 4.3-2-10-0, O Ranasinghe 4-1-15-1, D Rasangika 2-0-11-0.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Hyderabad> Jhulan Goswami / by Solomon S Kumar, TNN / January 20th, 2014

Kalam inaugurates centenary celebrations of Pamban bridge

ENGINEERING MARVEL: The special train carrying former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at Pamban railway bridge./  Photo: L. Balachander / The Hindu
ENGINEERING MARVEL: The special train carrying former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at Pamban railway bridge./ Photo: L. Balachander / The Hindu

India’s first cantilever bridge connects Rameswaram with mainland

A long-time resident of Rameswaram and former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam inaugurated the centenary celebrations of the Pamban railway bridge — India’s first cantilever bridge, connecting the pilgrim-island of Rameswaram with the mainland. He turned nostalgic as a two-coach special train took him from Mandapam across the bridge. “Pamban bridge is part of my life,” Mr. Kalam said. As a young boy, he had travelled hundreds of times on the bridge to take newspapers to the island for distribution.

Mr. Kalam unveiled a plaque and released a book Marvels of South Indian Railway, marking the inauguration of the nearly month-long celebrations.

Southern Railway General Manager Rakesh Misra said the bridge was an engineering marvel that had withstood corrosion and a violent sea for over a century. The 65.23-metre-long rolling central lift span (the bridge is 2.06 km long), named after Scherzer, German engineer who designed and built the span, has been given a fresh coat of paint and decorated with lights. It opens up like a pair of scissors to allow vessels to pass through under the bridge.

Mr. Kalam had played a vital role in preserving the bridge. After the Railways announced its uni-gauge policy in 2006, and almost gave up gauge conversion at the bridge, he brought in IIT-Madras expertise to thrash out an engineering solution.

The bridge was put to test for the first time in December 1964, when a severe cyclonic storm hit this part of the area. All girders, both RCC and steel, were washed away. Two of the 141 piers were also damaged. But, Scherzer’s span withstood nature’s fury.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National / by Walter Scott / Pamban – January 29th, 2014

The man who knows the carriage by heart

Feast for the eyes:Mohd. Aqib worked for days to get the carriage (right) used by President Pranab Mukherjee at Beating Retreat ceremony ready.—  / Photos: S. Subramanium & Sandeep Saxena / The Hindu
Feast for the eyes:Mohd. Aqib worked for days to get the carriage (right) used by President Pranab Mukherjee at Beating Retreat ceremony ready.— / Photos: S. Subramanium & Sandeep Saxena / The Hindu

Aqib has spent decades looking after President’s buggy

The coach will head outside Rashtrapati Bhavan for the first time in two decades on Wednesday

On Wednesday, when President Pranab Mukherjee rode out to witness the Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk in the horse-drawn carriage, known as the President’s Coach, one man intently observed every turn of the wheel.

Mohd. Aqib, a master craftsman who has spent decades looking after the six-horse carriage, worked relentlessly for days to get the carriage ready for the President.

Familiar with every part, he knows how to clean and maintain the handcrafted leather seats and how to add shine to the gold inlay work on the wheels. The red velvet of the mounting steps has to be just right and the canopy has to open with a single tug of the hooks.

“Just as doctors read the pulse, I can feel the veins of this wood and metal carriage. For years now I have been maintaining this coach… ,” he said.

There is a team of skilled workers to help the octogenarian, but Mohd. Aqib will not trust anyone. He oversees the work with hawkish vigil and, from the repository of his memory, recalls the tiniest of detail.


Armyman to the core

“I retired from the Army in 2001, but my association with it continues and I get to work on the carriages at Rashtrapati Bhavan. I am still an obedient solider of the Army and whenever they need me I will be present. My children sometimes worry for me, but I tell them, a soldier never says no,” he laughed.

When not working on the carriages at the President’s Estate, Mohd. Aquib’s skills take him across the country to places where carriages once owned by the Maharajas await repair and restoration. “I am responsible for looking after the buggies of several royal families, including that of Vasundhara Raje, some of these carriages have been presented to the Army.”

Having worked his magic on some of the oldest and decrepit carriages, Mohd. Aqib can build a gleaming new coach in as little as three months. “My first restoration work was the carriage of the Nawab of Aligarh. He wanted me to restore the wagon so that it could be presented to the Army; he was particular that it should not be disrespected after he was gone.”

“The Maharajas and even the British officers were very particular about their carriages. They would not hesitate to spend large sums of money. The Maharaja of Patiala got a carriage made with 10 kg of silver in Paris and presented it to his daughter who was married into the Kapurthala royal clan. The coach used by the President was made from raw material procured from London and great attention was paid to ensure that it was not just beautiful, but comfortable as well. It is a rare coach with low steps for allowing women to climb in without having to raise their feet too high,” he said.

Buggy-making and maintenance is a dying art he says. Even though he is among the very few who have mastered the skill, Mohd. Aqib feels awkward negotiating a fee.

“I do it out of a sense of love and duty. It is not a trade….” The President’s Coach left Rashtrapati Bhavan for the first time in two decades on Wednesday.

Owing to security concerns, the carriage is limited to use only at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> New Delhi / by Smriti Kak Ramachandran / New Delhi – January 30th, 2014

Zesty Zareen lands gold in Serbia

Hyderabad :

After Mary Kom’s fabulous effort in London Olympics, yet another woman boxer from India did the country proud.

Nikhat Zareen, the 17-year-old Andhra Pradesh pugilist, won a gold medal in the third Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament in Novi Sad, Serbia.

She defeated Paltceva Ekaterina of Russia 3-0 in the 51kg final to follow up on her success in the Youth World Boxing Championship in Bulgaria in September, when she had finished runner-up.

(Nikhat Zareen defeated…)
(Nikhat Zareen defeated…)

Such was Nikhat’s mastery that none of her opponents logged a point against the Indian in the knockout rounds. Nikhat blanked Abdi Malika of Algeria 3-0 in the quarterfinals and Ballentine of the Netherlands 5-0 in the semifinals.

The pre-quarterfinals was no different as she defeated a Russian 3-0. “I’m happy,” was Nikhat’s first reaction when she called her parents to confirm the good news.

“It was an easy bout but the achievement is yet to sink in,” Nikhat told her sister.

It was Nikhat’s father, Jameel Ahmed, a real estate businessman in Nizamabad, who noticed the spark in her and enlisted her in athletics when she was 12.

During her brief stint as an athlete, she caught the eye of Dronacharya boxing coach I Venkateswara Rao of Visakhapatnam.

She joined Rao at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre in Visakhapatnam. And the rest, as they say, is history. Within a year, she was declared the `golden best boxer’ at the Erode Nationals in 2010.

She went on to clinch gold in the flyweight division at the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Championship in Turkey in 2011.

The bright young talent from the state is now targeting a gold at the Youth Olympics to be held in China. “My goal is to win gold at the Youth Olympics and qualify for the 2016 Olympics,” she told TOI.

Considering the progress she’s made in quick time, and her steely determination, it will be no surprise if Nikhat gets more laurels to the country.

source: / The Times of India / Home> Sports> Boxing> London Olympiancs / by M. Ratnakar, TNN / January 13th, 2014

Abdul Kalam Motivates Teachers

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam delivering the convocation address at the 33rd convocation of OUAT in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. | EPS
Former President APJ Abdul Kalam delivering the convocation address at the 33rd convocation of OUAT in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. | EPS

Former President APJ Abdul Kalam said if trained teachers educate and motivate students in schools, absence of school infrastructure is immaterial.

Speaking at a special meeting of teachers organised by the School and Mass education (S & ME) Department here on Saturday, Kalam cited examples about the education system in Singapore and Finland.

He stated that the Governments there have prioritised primary education and are spending a lot of money on the primary school teachers. He administered an oath to the teachers at the end of his speech.

He asked them to encourage the students to develop a spirit of curiosity, to celebrate the success of the students and treat every student equally.

When asked by a teacher if internet based knowledge can replace teachers, he replied that nothing can. Only a teacher can radiate knowledge, which a machine can never, he said.

S&ME Department Secretary, Usha Padhee said that they will create digital video copies of Kalam’s speech and mail it to the teachers who could not attend the meet.

More than 200 teachers attended the meeting the Capital High School.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Odisha / by Express News Service – Bhubaneshwar / January 26th, 2014

Delayed passport kills ragpicker’s Brazil dream

Bangalore :

If things had gone according to the script, ragpicker Mohammed Khan, 47, would have been in Brazil on Wednesday to participate in an international conference on waste management.

But red-tapism and inefficient babus servants ensured that Khan can’t pick up some finer aspects his trade there because he couldn’t get his passport in time.

Khan, a resident of Tippu Nagar in Benhalli near Kogilu Cross, off Bellary Road and 30 km from the city centre, applied for a Tatkal passport on November 2. He should have got it by mid-November but there’s no sign of it yet despite three IAS officers giving their reference letters to endorse Khan’s application.

The only ragpicker from South India chosen for the conference, Khan said: “When I was chosen, my family and friends were thrilled. I never imagined I’d get to fly. Khuda ka marzi (God’s will), I thought. But because I couldn’t get a passport, I couldn’t travel abroad.”

Khan applied for a voter’s ID card in 2009. “Though I wrote 1965 was my year of birth, clerks erroneously entered it as 1966 in my card. I gave an application for rectification. But the corrected card never came,” he narrated.

That mistake was perpetuated in his Aadhaar card. When Khan went to apply for a passport, he was asked to get his transfer certificate from the school where his year of birth was mentioned as 1965. The mismatch was enough for authorities to raise queries.

Another hurdle came up in the handwritten date and reference number in the verification letter given by Salma K Fahim, IAS, additional commissioner, BBMP.

“The letter had its reference number and date mentioned in handwriting and was rejected by passport officials. The letter was reissued as per the directions of the passport authorities. But when the authorities sent a fax to BBMP to verify its contents, there was no response from the civic body as the fax machine in its office was not working,” explained Nalini Shekar from the NGO Hasiru Dala which is working with pourakarmikas.

“We have been told that police verification is going on,” said Krupa Rani, project co ordinator with Hasiru Dala, the NGO that chose him. But an acknowledgement by the regional passport office only says, “Police verification shall be carried out post issuance of passport.”

Recycling waste on bicycle

“I am the only educated person in my family. I could not pass SSLC as I had no textbooks. After that I followed in my father’s footsteps and took to ragpicking,” Mohammed Khan said.

Khan is out at 9 every morning looking for waste on the streets. “These days public don’t give away iron scrap. I earn not more than Rs 50-Rs 100 daily. It’s much lesser than what I used to earn a couple of years ago. I also work at the dry waste collection centre at Allalasandra. Five wastepickers have started it by depositing Rs 500 each in a bank,” said Khan.

Khan pedals for about 40 kms every day, looking for valuable and recyclable waste by the roadside.

According to Nalini Shekar of Hasiru Dala NGO, Khan was chosen for the Brazil trip because of his fluent Hindi, communicating skills and experience and knowledge on pattern of urban waste. “We won’t give up for his passport. Maybe he’ll get another opportunity to fly abroad for professional reasons,” she said.

He will get passport soon: Official

KJ Srinivas, regional passport officer, sought for details of Khan’s case and spoke to officials concerned immediately.

“We had treated this as a special case and had even given him an out -of-turn appointment. But because we didn’t get a confirmation from IAS officer Salma K Fahim on her reference letter, his application was considered treated as a regular one and sent for police verification. But we’ve contacted the officer on phone. Khan will be issued a passport at the earliest and the police verification will be done after that,” Srinivas said.

“I was contacted by passport authorities once again on Tuesday evening and I’ve given my confirmation. But it’s sad that Khan missed the chance to take part in an international conference,” said Salma.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Bangalore / by Sunitha Rao R, TNN / November 28th, 2012

Ali: Nizams built city, not Naidu

Mohd Ali ShabbirMPos25jan2014


The Nizams’ rule found place in the record books of both the Legislative Assembly and Council on Friday.

Congress MLC Mohd Ali Shabbir actually submitted a detailed note to Council chairman A. Chakrapani, stating that the Nizams, especially Nizam VII, had developed Hyderabad city and not Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Shabbir listed over 100 buildings, monuments, infrastructure projects, government departments, hospitals and others, including the present Assembly building, Jubilee Hall, Hussainsagar Lake, Railway network, Road Transport Corporation, Begumpet Airport, Osmania University, Osmania General Hospital etc. that had been constructed by the Nizams or during their reign.

“Pre-1956 Hyderabad was the largest and most prosperous of all princely states in India. It had its own army, airline, telecommunication system, railway network, postal system, currency and radio broadcasting,” he explained in the note which was part of the debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill.

“Hyderabad, the first planned city of India, was already a developed city centuries before it became part of Andhra Pradesh. The world’s first drinking water reservoir, Hussainsagar, was built in 1562,” he said.

Several MLAs and MLCs like Akbaruddin Owaisi, Mohd Shabbir Ali, Etela Rajender and others gave credit to the Nizams for the development of Hyderabad, while some Seemandhra MLAs like D. Narendra and others criticised their rule, which they said, had led to the Telangana armed rebellion and the notorious Razakaar movement.

“I wanted to put the record straight. The Nizams developed Hyderabad city and others contributed later. The claim of Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, is ridiculous that he got Hyderabad on the global map. The fact is, Naidu went on the global map and got recognition by reciting the name of Hyderabad repeatedly,” Shabbir Ali said in the note to the Legislative Council Chairman.

He challenged Seemandhra leaders for an open debate on Hyderabad. “In fact, Naidu tried to damage the culture and identity of Hyderabad. The historic Hussain Sagar Lake was shrunk during Naidu’s period and he tried to change the name of the city from Hyderabad to Cyberabad. Even NTR’s samadhi is built on encroached land which was originally Hussain Sagar,” he alleged.

source: / Deccan Chronicle / Home> News> Politics / DC / January 25th, 2014

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung played ‘key role’ in defusing AAP, Centre stalemate: Source

Representational Picture
Representational Picture

“The Lt Governor played a key role in defusing the situation,” said a government source. Jung made discreet inquiries at his end and reportedly found some damaging information against the police officials whom the Delhi government wanted penalized, the source added.

As to the withdrawing of the dharna, the source said that Jung had sought a commitment from Kejriwal that he would agree with the formula devised by him “to end the stalemate”.

Kejriwal’s two-day dharna outside Rail Bhavan in Delhi was on Tuesday withdrawn after the Lt Governor “partially agreed” to the government’s demand of action against five Delhi Police officers for alleged dereliction of duty.

As the proposal reached the government, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the members of AAP’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) held an hour-long closed door meeting at Press Club following which the CM announced his decision to call off the dharna.

Kejriwal, his cabinet and party colleagues and AAP supporters had gone on a dharna over their demand for the suspension of three SHOs and two ACPs in connection with three separate cases.

One of those involved the gang-rape of the Danish woman in the national capital while the second case deals with the alleged burning of a woman by her in-laws over dowry.

The third matter is related to an alleged prostitution and drug ring in Malviya Nagar and Khirki Extension and the refusal of police there to undertake a raid against those reportedly involved in the racket when Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti had sought their intervention for the same.

Under the compromise agreed by AAP, the SHO of Malviya Nagar and the PCR van in-charge at Paharganj, where the Danish woman was gangraped last week, have been sent on leave. Earlier in the day, with Kejriwal leading the dharna outside Rail Bhavan, senior AAP leader Yogendra Yadav met Jung over lunch to discuss the scope for ending the stalemate.

The Delhi Lt Governor is learnt to have made an appeal for the chief minister to agree with his proposal for a compromise between Delhi government and the Centre.


source: / Home> India News> General News / by Agencies / January 22nd, 2014