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    Cancer specialist US Vishal Rao of Bengaluru has been honoured with the 2017 Judy Wilkenfeld Award for International Tobacco Control Excellence, for his role in combating tobacco use in the country. Dr. Rao was presented the award on Wednesday at an event organized by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington D.C.

    Dr. Rao’s efforts led to a ban on gutka, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes in Karnataka. However, the State government recently overturned the ban on chewing tobacco. Dr. Rao is a member of the High-powered Committee on Tobacco Control instituted by he Government of Karnataka. He is also the inventor of a Rs. 50 voice box prosthetic for throat cancer patients whose larynx has been removed.

    “With strong government commitment and advocates willing to champion the cause, we can greatly reduce the burden of tobacco use in India,” he added.

    “The committee gave the award in recognition of the steps taken towards implementing the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition) Act, and how Karnataka led the way in this,” said Dr. Rao, speaking over telephone from Washigton. “Another was the implementation of the ban on gutka and chewing tobacco by the Government of Karnataka,” he added.

    Dr. Rao said that the battle continued with the recent order from the Food Safety Commissionerate reversing the ban on chewing tobacco. “We have written to the State government that the order contravenes its commitment made to the Supreme Court to ban chewing tobacco and gutka,” said Dr. Rao.

    The Wilkenfeld Award was established in honour of Judy Wilkenfeld, the founder of Tobacco-Free Kids’ international program. Dr. Rao is the second Indian to receive the award, the first being Pankaj Chaturvedi of Tata Memorial Hospital in 2013.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Staff Reporter , Cinthya Anand / Bengaluru – May 12th, 2017

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    May 7th, 2017adminAmazing Feats, Education, Records, All

     

    Narayana Nayak briefing students about scholarships and other facilities that they are entitled to, at Balmatta First Grade College for Women in Mangaluru |Rajesh Shetty Ballalbagh

    Narayana Nayak briefing students about scholarships and other facilities that they are entitled to, at Balmatta First Grade College for Women in Mangaluru |Rajesh Shetty Ballalbagh

    Mangaluru :

    The clock strikes 8 at Karpe house in Bantwal taluk and sprightly 75-year-old K Narayana Naik is already at the gate, ready to begin his day. Clad in a pant and shirt and a cotton bag on his shoulder, his appearance is unassuming but Naik is the reason countless students have achieved higher education.

    Naik’s routine has remained the same since his retirement as school inspector in 2001. He starts his day by travelling to government-run schools and colleges in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts, paying all the travel expenses from his pockets.

    At these schools and colleges, he helps deserving students avail scholarships.Naik says that there are several scholarships available for students. “But there is lack of awareness among students.”

    Nisham, a BCom student at Balmatta First Grade College, told Express, “Our ‘scholarship master’ (as Naik is known to students) not only creates awareness about new scholarships launched by government and private entities, but also helps students in completing the application and submitting it.” He even takes the trouble of hand delivering cheques to students who have passed out from college, she says.
    Nisham is just one of the hundreds of students who Naik has helped. In 2016, Naik had visited 130 government schools and colleges to help students, especially children of daily wage labourers, avail scholarships. “Many workers are aware of the schemes available for their children. I encourage workers to register with the labour welfare department to make them eligible for the benefits,” says Naik.

    Naik himself battled all odds to complete his Master’s degree in Kannada and Hindi and therefore believes he should help poor students have a fair chance at a better future.
    His efforts to help students does not stop at finding the best scholarships for those who deserve it. He has even encouraged others to support students’ education.

    When a student from Neerumarga in Mangaluru’s outskirts told Naik that she and her sisters would be forced to discontinue their studies owing to financial problems, he immediately approached a couple. The husband and wife were teachers and did not have children of their own. Naik encouraged them to support the three childen.
    Naik lives on a pension of `25,000 but he has generously spent at least 90 per cent of it paying fees. “Some students return the money, some don’t,” he says. He adds with a smile, “Being in the midst of students and teachers, I have never experienced post-retirement blues.”

    Corpus fund at school
    Apart from helping students, his efforts have permeated to helping educational institutions as well. He has helped set up a corpus fund of `26,000 in Koila school in Bantwal. His efforts have earned government colleges in Balmatta and Car Street receive scholarship aid worth `50 lakh to 60 lakh annually.

    Naik, an inspiration
    Naik’s motto to help others in any manner possible seems to have inspired others too. Five to six construction workers who received help from Naik are now building a house for  a widow  at a cost of  K7 lakh.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Karnataka / by Express News Service / May 07th, 2017

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    Bengaluru:

    Looking at the accused, the judge thundered: These five men are guilty of being ‘enemy agents’ and have to be hanged by the neck till they are dead. The five subsequently vanished off the face of the earth; there were no records to show where they were killed and buried. This was in 1943.

    Cut to 2017: The five men have been resurrected as unsung heroes of the Indian Independence movement in the book titled Unsung Freedom Struggle, brought out by the Karnataka State Archives in Bengaluru on Tuesday. The book is based on the judgment delivered by special judge E E Mack (the then district judge in Ballari) on April 1, 1943 under the Enemy Agents Ordinance (Madras) against the five: V Mohammed Abdul Khadir, S A Anand alias Thanu Pillay, S C Bardhan, Boniface B Pereira and Fouja Singh.

    These five men, along with 14 others, had been charged on two counts — for conspiring against the British empire by colluding with the Japanese government and for entering India as enemy agents of the Japanese government.

    Historian Ko Chennabasappa, who has written the foreword, stated: “This case has been a well-guarded secret; it is not known to historians or the outside world. It is for the first time that this sacrifice for the country’s freedom is coming to light.”
    The 19 accused were working in Malaya and Singapore when they were picked up by the Japanese army (following the fall of Singapore on February 15, 1942) to go to India and spy on the British. They were enrolled into the Malaya’s Swaraj Institute, a front for espionage training, where the Japanese tried to generate patriotic feelings in these men.

    However, the British Empire was of the view that the Japanese adopted an insidious policy of preferential treatment towards Indians in order to capitalize and exploit the latter’s nationalist feelings for expansion of their military domination under the cover of a new order in East Asia. The Japanese employed Indians working in Malaya as Fifth Columnists.

    The 19 men landed in India in three groups: While one group got off a Japanese submarine and arrived in two rubber boats at Tanur on the Malabar coast on the night of September 27,1942, another group comprising three men arrived in two rubber boats at Okhamadi village on the Kathiawar coast two days later. The rest entered India by land. However, some of the members were picked up the British military following suspicion and, subsequently, the cover was blown away.

    While the five were convicted as they maintained they had arrived in India to gain independence, the rest were acquitted as they claimed they came to escape from the Japanese. The five martyrs included a muslim, a christian, two hindus and a sikh.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / TNN / May 03rd, 2017

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    IME’s Instrument Gallery, with collections from renowned musicians and music connoisseurs, will soon open its doors to the public

    There are over 300 instruments native to India and more than 120 regional forms of music. Such nuggets of information will soon be available on touchscreen and computer-based interactive installations in the three-storey Centre for Indian Music Experience (IME). Spread over 50,000 sq. ft, the IME is expected to be ready later this year. It is located on a 2-acre property within the Brigade Millennium Enclave in J.P. Nagar.

    “The Instrument Gallery will house items donated by renowned musicians and their families, and connoisseurs. Their generosity is touching,” said Manasi Prasad, project director, IME. The gallery will house 250 instruments, of which 108 will be part of the permanent collection.

    Music as a shared experience

    In September 2014, the family of Ustad Bismillah Khan donated one of his shehnais to the IME. Although giving away the family’s treasure was a heart-breaking moment, the maestro’s son Zamin Hussain is happy that it would become a “national treasure” once it becomes a part of the ‘Bharath Ratna Memorabilia’.

    Later, the IME received Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s silver paan box.

    “Vocalist Sudha Raghunathan donated one of her antique tamburas, as she felt IME will help people re-discover Indian genres of music, both traditional and contemporary,” said Suma Sudhindra, director, Outreach, IME.

    Chitraveena Ravikiran donated one of his gottuvadhyas so that people can see, feel and understand the instrument. “I have seen my father making this instrument at home. The Instrument Gallery will also be a tribute to the makers. Gottuvadhya’s history goes back a few centuries. It is mentioned in Bharata’s Natya Shastra by the name Maha Nataka Veena with 21 strings,” said Mr. Ravikiran.

    Other valuable contributions include Bickram Ghosh’s tabla, B. Rajashekar’s three morsings, B.R. Ravikumar’s ghata and Palanivel’s nagaswara.

    Memorabilia from Carnatic vocalist late M.S. Subbulakshmi, sitar maestro Ravi Shankar and singer Lata Mangeshkar are expected to reach IME soon.

    “String instruments from Rajasthan, percussion pieces from Kerala and veena varieties such as the Bobbili, Tanjore and Mysore are part of our collection,” said Ms. Sudhindra, who has donated her Mysore veena. Non-Indian instruments, such as the clarinet, saxophone and mandolin, which are now integral to Indian music, will also be showcased.

    The rare collection

    “We have 28 instruments in the classical section and nearly 80 in the folk section of our permanent exhibits,” said Ms. Sudhindra.

    Rare instruments include the Nagphani (wind instrument) from Bengal used in Garhwali folk; Gopi that preceded the Ektara used in Baul music; the deep resonators from Rajasthan Tarpi and Bankia; the stringed tribal folk Jogiya Sarangi; the stringed Surinda from Rajasthan; Timila from Kerala; Hudak from Bengal; Taus and the Mayur veena from Uttar Pradesh.

    Bengaluru’s percussionist Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma has donated four instruments, including a Thavil, Manipur Pung and a mridanga.

    Vikram Sampath, who has written books on music, said, “IME will definitely enter the tourism map of Bengaluru. Foreigners will be surprised to see the different existing forms of music outside of Bollywood.”

    First interactive music museum

    The IME is touted as South Asia’s first interactive music museum. It is a ₹50-crore initiative designed by Gallagher & Associates who also worked on the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, and are familiar with the Indian aural culture.

    IME will have 11 thematic spaces, including a sound garden, learning spaces, tribute to classical schools (some of them demonstrated by musicians Ranjani, Gayathri, and Ravikiran), folk traditions and several computer-based installations that allow visitors to experience the process of making music, including recording.

    The contemporary section will have an autorickshaw in which people can sit and listen to individual bands. Melting Pot will showcase an amalgam of Indian and foreign melodies on touchscreen, including military bands patronised by the maharajas, which had a great influence on the army; shaadi (marriage) and jazz bands.

    “The entire effort transcends the idea of IME being a mere artefact-driven museum,” said Ms. Prasad.

    Listening to lore

    Visitors are likely to enjoy the fascinating stories that accompany rare instruments. Take the case of the Surbahar whose predecessor is the Rudra Veena. Maestro Omrao Khan Beenkar is believed to have designed the Surbahar after being denied music lessons on the Rudra Veena. Over time, the Rudra Veena started to see a decline, as Dhrupad is said to have been easier on the Surbahar.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Ranjani Govind / Bengaluru – April 29th, 2017

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    Little-known episode in state’s history to figure in archive’s digitisation plan

    Termed the Jallianwala Bagh massacre of Karnataka, the execution of 9 of the 19 freedom fighters by the British government, which was never part of the state’s history, will now be available in book format.

    The book titled ‘The Unsung Freedom’ will be published shorty by the Karnataka State Archives Department as part of digitisation of historical documents, K A Dayananda, director, Archives Department, told reporters on Tuesday.

    The department has taken up digitisation of old documents pertaining to the state on a massive scale. The Archives Department has launched a web portal (http://archives.kannadasiri.co.in) for easy access to historical records of the state at the click of a mouse. Karnataka is the only state in the country to digitise historical documents to help research scholars, students and the public.

    Nonagenarian Konana Channabasappa recently shared the 50-page judgement copy of the Madras Court during the colonial period about the capital punishment given to 19 freedom fighters. The Britishers executed 9 of the 19 freedom fighters. They were working abroad drawing handsome salaries then. They returned to India responding to Subhas Chandra Bose’s call to fight for freedom and joined the East India Company on meagre wages. They worked secretely collecting information about the British government’s activities and fought against them. However, they were arrested once their secret mission was exposed and were awarded capital punishment.

    “The sacrifice of these freedom fighters was never a part of history. We know about Sangolli Rayanna’s execution as history refers to his heroic deeds. The sacrifice of nine freedom fighters is no less than that of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre victims. Hence, the department has decided to bring out the judgement copy which deals with activities of the 19 freedom fighters in a book form,” Dayananda said.

    The department has digitised around five lakh pages and hopes to complete the digitisation of over 1.5 crore pages in two years. The department is in touch with government agencies in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram to procure documents pertaining to Karnataka. The process of getting content running into 20,000 pages pertaining to Karnataka from England is also on, he said.

    Around 129 people used the Archives department’s documents in 2016, around 86 in 2015 and 85 in 2014.

    The department awarded Rs 10,000 scholarships to research students to make use of documents. The amount has been increased to Rs 20,000. Only 1% of the population knows about the department’s documents. Hence, the department conducted an exhibition in various parts of the state last year to create awareness about the importance of historical documents available for reference, he added.

    Content comprising around 55,000 pages is in running Kannada handwriting which only experts can read. The department has hired 15 scholars to read and translate them to modern Kannada, he said.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> State / DH News Service / Bengaluru – April 26th, 2017

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    Shamitha and Renita thought outside the box during 1995 and established Mother Teresa Memorial Education Trust

    Shamitha and Renita thought outside the box during 1995 and established Mother Teresa Memorial Education Trust

    Mangaluru :

    A school started with just 12 students on an open stage by these two young women two decades back, has grown from strength to strength and now imparts knowledge to around 1,167 students – that too exclusively from rural areas.

    This wouldn’t have been possible if Shamitha Rao and Renita Lobo, educated in Mangaluru city, had not set their priorities right – to educate the rural children.

    Being women, they thought outside the box during 1995 and in spite of struggles and humiliation, the duo were successful in establishing Mother Teresa Memorial Education Trust in Shankarnarayana, Udupi district. The education institution , which is 110 kms away from Mangaluru, empowers rural children with education.

    “It all began during 1995, after our graduation we were sent to a village named Siddapur in Kundapur Taluk to serve in a private school which had just started. That was for the first time we were exposed to rural environment – Rural school, rural people, and hardly any access to quality education. Being born and brought up in Mangaluru city, it was very hard for us to accept that life where little ones were so much deprived of basic quality education. We served in that school for two years after which our parents wanted us to come back to Mangaluru. One evening when we were packing up all our belongings, some parents came to us with gratitude and said they did not want us to go. Meanwhile, our house owner suggested us to open our own school. We both looked at each other’s face. That night we knelt and prayed to God and decided firmly to open a school which could be afforded by any section of the society. We wanted to educate the children of the uneducated parents unlike other schools who wanted to teach only the educated parents’ children,” recall Shamita and Renita.

    Shamitha and Renita, 40, graduated from St Agnes College, Mangaluru and pursued MA through distance education from University of Mysuru.

    Shankarnarayana amidst forest area is economically backward and nearby village areas are affected by Naxalites. “We were looking for a place which is small and backward. There was a call from within to start the school here as this was a very small village with small population of not more than 10,000 people. We started everything from scratch. We were very young to make a great plan with a big budget. We knew only thing that we wanted to teach the small children in the best way possible. This small beginning has a great ending.

    In 1998, we hired an open stage from village Panchayat on a nominal rent. In the hall we accommodated two classes (LKG & UKG) for 12 students. For the other expenses we used our little savings of two years. Today institution has grown till PUC II with good results,” said the duo sharing their tale.

    The institution is known to be one of the best in Udupi district. Every year more than 75% of the students come out with distinction. This year in district, the school is in the top most positions by QPI (quality Progressive Innings) in SSLC result. Even in PUC out of 5 years’ results, thrice they have secured cent percent.

    People, family mocked us:

    It was not a cake-walk for Shamita and Renita during their initial days. “People mocked us saying that we will close the institution after three or four years. Meanwhile, our families too did not support our ideas. Even government officials during school documentation works kept on pestering and harassing us because we were two young women with no prior experience. But the constant support from donors, especially Bishop of Mangalore Most Rev Aloysius Paul D’Souza kept us going to reach our goal,” they said.

    source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City> Bangalore / by Kevin Mendonsa / TNN / March 07th, 2017

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    ‘Pothole Raja’ claims to have filled over 200 potholes in less than a year.   | Photo Credit: E mail

    ‘Pothole Raja’ claims to have filled over 200 potholes in less than a year. | Photo Credit: E mail

    His special powers enable him to reduce a pothole to just a bad memory in less than five days

    If you spot a pothole and dread its impact on motorists using that road, what do you do?

    One option is to click a picture, ‘WhatsApp’ it to 814POTHOLE (the letters correspond with the numbers 7684653) and wait for ‘Pothole Raja’ to come to your rescue.

    The special powers of this new superhero are to make the pothole a thing of the past in less than five days.

    The initiative by Prathaap Bhimasena Rao has already drawn customers, including IT parks, large hospitals and some resident welfare associations (RWAs) who got tired of the multiple deadlines announced by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to rid the city of the menace.

    ‘Pothole Raja’ claims to have filled over 200 potholes in less than a year.

    The brain behind the project, Mr. Rao, is a former pilot who shifted to corporate life after a crash. He started his ‘social enterprise’ after a stint as the global vice-president of a multinational.

    Loss of lives

    “Close friends and relatives have been impacted directly due to potholes. A friend, who was a doctor, died on her way to Vellore from Bengaluru on the highway two years ago. A team member of mine lost his limbs, while riding his Bullet, in a pothole-related accident,” he said, recalling the trigger for ‘Pothole Raja.’

    He pointed out that Bengaluru’s poor road conditions and traffic issues were the topics of discussion everywhere he travelled. “The road infrastructure technology we use is at least 70 years old. I consulted engineering professors and did my own research to see what is being done in other countries. The hot asphalt that we are using is not cost effective for patchwork; it can be used only to lay roads,” he said.

    Cost factor

    This is when ‘Pothole Raja’ teamed up with a Bengaluru-based company to produce cold asphalt. According to Mr. Rao, the cold asphalt requires a person to fill the hole and run a car over it twice. “A 50 kg bag of this mix can be stored for 10 months,” he said.

    The cost: about ₹2,500 for filling one sq.mt. up to 50 mm depth.

    “In some cases, we put in our own money to fill potholes,” Mr. Rao said. He has no plans to work with the civic body.

    Effectiveness

    But some of the people who have tried the new technology are unconvinced.

    The member of an association of an IT park said, “Potholes are not a big problem within our campus, as we asphalt the roads every two years. We usually fill concrete if it is a small pothole. If it is a big one, we remove the concrete and asphalt the space. But we are not sure if the cold asphalt will take the wear and tear.”

    BBMP’s pothole app

    Even as private players have started pitching in to fill potholes, the BBMP is yet to open its pothole app to the public. BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said the app has been used by officials for a month.

    “A lot of civil works have already started and filling up of potholes is also in the works. Work orders for relaying roads have been given for almost the full city. We will review the progress after 15 days,” he said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Deepika K.C. / March 01st, 2017

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    AxiostatBF02mar2017

    Bengaluru :

    When Leo Mavely was in college, he saw a man bleeding profusely after a bike accident. People rushed in to help but there was no way to stem the loss of blood immediately.

    LeoBF02mar2017
    This left a lasting impression on his mind and led him to invent a product, Axiostat – the smart band, which is a hemostatic. Today, the band is being used by the general public and the Indian Armed Forces and the paramilitary. In 2014, the Axiostat band was used in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

    Its website features varied testimonials on its use — from dentists for tooth extraction and senior cardiologists for stopping arterial bleeding to a medical officers with Border Security Force for treating victims of IED blasts and gunshot wounds.
    Axiostat is a sponge-like biomaterial dressing that stops moderate to severe bleeding within minutes. This product is manufactured by the Bengaluru-based startup Axio Biosolutions, which is Leo’s brainchild and was established in 2008.
    The band is made using chitosan, a natural biomaterial. Biomaterials are engineered substances that interact with human systems to achieve a medical end. Chitosan, which is extracted from shellfish, is highly purified and processed to make this device.
    The band carries positively charged components, which when comes in contact with the negatively charged blood cells, form a binding seal.
    “The moment Axiostat is applied to an open wound, it reacts with the blood and becomes a very sticky substance that clots blood and stops the bleeding,” says Leo. “The band can be left on the wound for 48 hours. Once the patient has been taken to the Hospital and given medical attention, Axiotat can be removed by applying water on it. It absorbs the water to become a gel-like substance that can be peeled off.”
    Hospitals that use the band include Fortis, AIIMS, Manipal, Breach Candy and Columbia Asia.
    The smart band received European Union – CE approval in 2013 and Axiostat Biosolutions was named the best emerging startup by BioAsia in 2016. Axiostat, which opened in India, is now also in Middle East, Africa and Europe.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Brinda Das / Express News Service / March 02nd, 2017

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    Annamma with her new truck   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

    Annamma with her new truck | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

    Buys truck to increase volume with door-to-door collection to make up for decrease in price of plastic & paper waste

    She was a 10 years old when she started following her grandmother as she picked up waste from the city’s streets. Thirty years later, Annamma has established herself as an entrepreneur. She has become the first waste picker in the city to buy a truck for door-to-door collection of dry waste, and is already looking to purchase a second vehicle in the near future.

    For somebody who was picking waste from the streets as late as 2013, Annamma’s rise is nothing less than phenomenal. “When the civic body wanted waste pickers to start manning dry waste collection centres (DWCC), I was not confident about taking up the task. I lived in a hut with no electricity and had saved ₹50,000 to build a house. But I invested the money and started a DWCC. This centre has grown into a business today,” she says, beaming with pride.

    She has been running the DWCC for ward 101, Kamakshipalya for four years now. She now deals with nearly two tonnes of dry waste every day.

    She was able to avail a loan to build a three-bedroom house in Ullal Upanagar, where her hut once stood. “My daughters used to read sitting under a street light or read all night on the new moon day, as there was no electricity. Today, they have a study room,” says Annamma.

    Recently, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) gave the responsibility of door-step collection of dry waste twice a week to DWCCs, mostly run by former waste pickers in their respective wards. This entails expansion of DWCC operations and capital investment on vehicles and personnel.

    Annamma, who is one of the more successful entrepreneurs in the sector, acted decisively and purchased a truck to start door-step collection of waste. “I don’t know how to read or write. But I am good at math because of the business I run. These are tough times as the prices of plastic and paper waste have fallen. The only way to survive is to increase the volume, which is what I expect will happen with door-step collection,” Annamma explained her strategy.

    High price to pay

    Nalini Shekhar of the NGO Hasirudala, who has been working with Annamma for the past four years, said that it is a challenge for people like her to become entrepreneurs, as the waste sector is not considered an industry by banks.

    “The rate of interest on the loan availed by Annamma is 18%. We are looking for some other institution that will charge a lower rate of interest,” she said.

    Annamma is worried about the cost of expansion and the need to hire more people. “We need six men to run the show. But we have employed only four with my husband and me doing the jobs of the other two to reduce costs,” she said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by K.V. Aditya Bharadwaj / February 27th, 2017

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    February 26th, 2017adminAmazing Feats, Records, All, Science & Technology

    Belagavi :

    Safe drinking water is a mirage for most people in the country. While some urban areas may still have access to potable water, it’s not so in the hinterlands. Despite scientists trying to develop new technologies to provide clean water, they are yet to reach rural areas.

    But an engineering student has designed and developed a cost-effective, eco-friendly solution to make safe drinking water available to everyone.

    Niranjan Karagi, a final-year student of Angadi Institute of Technology and Management in Belagavi, has come up with a portable water purifier called ‘Nirnal’ that costs just Rs 20.

    Ask him how he came up with the idea and the 22-year-old explains, “There is a playground near my house where schoolchildren play daily. I often see them filling up their empty plastic bottles with dirty water from a tank nearby. The sight of children drinking unclean water motivated me to design the purifier.”

    He added, “After a few days of working on the product, I filtered some water and sent the sample to the Chief Food Divisional Office in Bengaluru and the results were good.”

    And then, there was no looking back for the young engineer. He decided to take the project to the next level and approached Leaders Accelerating Development (LEAD) programme of Deshpande Foundation in Hubballi and Sandbox Startup. Both the organisations partially funded the project and guided Niranjan on developing the filter unit. In July 2016, the product was launched.

    “As of now I have sold more than 8,000 units to schoolchildren, farmers and daily wage labourers,” says Niranjan. He also supplied the units to Army commandos who came for training at the base camp in Belagavi in January.

    He has also received bulk orders from countries in Africa, and Qatar. At present, he is working on a prototype of the purifier that can be fit into a bottle of any dimension, not just pet bottles. The newly-designed product will be launched in March.

    “It is in the final stages of completion. I am also planning to tie up with the Karnataka government so that I can reach more children across the state and distribute the purifier free of cost,” he says.

    source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Karnataka / by Payal Gangishetty / Express News Service / February 19th, 2017

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