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    November 10th, 2016adminLeaders, Nri's / Pio's, World Opinion

    She is a frequent visitor to the city as her parents stay here

    It was a day of celebration for a proud couple in the city as their daughter, who left for the U.S. at the age of 16 to pursue her education, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after she won the Washington State Senate seat.

    Pramila Jayapal, a candidate endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders, ran from the seventh Congressional District of Washington State, including Seattle, and won. Pramila, who hails from Kerala, is a frequent visitor to the city as her parents stay here.

    Her mother, Maya Jayapal (76), is a well-known writer and counsellor, who is the author ofBangalore:Roots and Beyond

    A teacher and columnist, who has a deep love for the city, Ms. Maya Jayapal has authored another book on the city as well.

    She and her husband have been in Bengaluru since 1993. Speaking about her daughter’s entry into the U.S. legislature, she said, “We were a little surprised by her decision to contest, but we always had faith in her dedication. When I heard the news of her win, I was over the moon,” the proud mother said.

    Speaking about her childhood, her mother said that both Pramila and elder sister Suseela had studied at the Jakarta International school when they were posted there.

    “We stayed in Bengaluru for 10 years after my marriage and then moved to Jakarta and then Singapore where we stayed for 24 years before returning here,” Ms. Maya Jayapal, who is a graduate of Mount Carmel College in the city, said.

    Suseela, who by training is a lawyer, currently lives in Portland, Oregon, but does not practise law actively. “It was a first for us as no one from our family has been in politics,” she said. “Her favourite place is Karavalli restaurant where she loves the appam and stew,” her mother said.

    The family is looking forward to a reunion soon after the initial rush of the elections subsides.

    “I did not get to speak to her for long on Wednesday; she had to give her victory speech. She sounded happy. I look forward to catching up with her soon,” she said.

    When I heard the news of her win, I was over the moon. Maya Jayapal – Pramila Jayapal’s mother

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / Avinash Bhat / Bengaluru – November 10th, 2016

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    Thondebhavi (Chikkaballapur District) :

    The last time Thondebhavi came under the spotlight was almost a year ago when a cloud of ash from a nearby cement plant enveloped it. Now, this nondescript village is grabbing headlines for becoming the first in the country to have a self-repairing road.

    Thondebhavi, 65km from Bengaluru and with a population of about 1,200 people, has a 700-metre road with a crack healing capability. This road is the brainchild of Prof Nemkumar Banthia of the civil engineering department at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

    This will be a game-changer in road-building, especially in a country where roads are dotted with cracks and potholes. M Suresh of the National Institute of Engineering-Mysuru, who coordinated with Thondebhavi village authorities and University of British Columbia, said: “This road has been built with high strength concrete supplemented with fibres which have a hydrophilic nano-coating. This coating absorbs water. Since most road cracks develop because of unhydrated cement, the hydrophilic coating produces silicates that closes the cracks.”

    The lifespan of these roads is 15-20 years. The road, about 100 mm thick and comparatively less than the usual cement road, would go a long way in reducing road-laying cost. Since fly ash is used for these roads, the carbon output is low.

    The 700-metre stretch, which connects the village with the road to nearby Gauribidanur town, has enthused residents. Kantharaj, a resident and also president of Kolar Chikkaballapur Districts Co-operative Milk Union Ltd (KOMUL), said: “Earlier, people used to have a tough time on the slushy road. This stretch has come as a boon to villagers and they can transport their agricultural commodities to various places without any hassles.”

    Jyothi Reddy, president, Thondebhavi gram panchayat, said the road has been of great help to people of the village. She said she’ll convince nearby cement factory authorities to take up many more roads in the village panchayat. Aswathachar, manager, Pragathi Krishna Gramina Bank, Thondebavi branch said the quality and finish of the road is fine and it’s expected to last longer compared to the normal cement one.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City News> Bangalore / TNN / October 18th, 2016

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    Bengaluru :

    Teachers taking lessons out in the open, owing to dilapidated conditions of government school buildings, coupled with the constant fear of the fragile roof collapsing over their head, was a common sight across Karnataka and Maharashtra for a bunch of IT and other professionals, based in the US, seeking to improve the education system in India.

    One School At A Time (OSAAT), set out on a mission to improve schools in the country, where infrastructure translates to decaying walls, absent toilets, crumbling celing and lack of basic amenities. The organisation has been spearheading projects in the two states for more than a decade.

    OSAAT-USA was established in 2003 in San Jose bay area, when a group of like-minded IT professionals seeking to build a safe and healthy learning environment in India came together. Its India arm, OSAAT-India was incorporated in 2012, and is headquartered out of Bengaluru. The venture began when OSAAT’s management trustee, Vadiraj Bhatt visited his hometown, Bajagoli village in Karkala, Udupi on a vacation from the USA, around the same time when he and other IT professionals were looking for a specific area to invest their efforts.

    “My teacher informed me about a school where students were being taught under a tree. After that, we realised that there are many schools without a proper building. The idea was to embark on something that few or no one had touched in education,” said Bhatt.

    Upon returning to Bengaluru for good in 2005, he formed a team of nine equally passionate volunteers of mostly IT and retired professionals. In the space of a decade, OSAAT has rebuilt or completely renovated fifteen schools in Karnataka and rural Maharashtra.

    Bhatt pointed out that funds raised by OSAAT-USA account for nearly 90% of the finances for the project. “In India, we have partnered with organisations such as Rotary in Bengaluru, Mysuru and Bhadravathi and POWER in Bijapur, who have helped us get manpower and intelligent engineers, who ensure that the reconstruction of schools is achieved without loopholes,” he added.

    Monika Venkateshmurthy, who is championing the cause in the US, said that fund-raising for OSAAT projects in India had turned into an inclusive effort. A hardware engineer by profession, Monika said, “There are people in the city who want to donate but don’t have enough knowledge on how to go about it. When they asked, ‘Why should I spend money for a school 10,000 miles away,’ I explained the value of a single dollar in India.”

    Vadiraj’s elder brother, GK Bhatt, who retired as an assistant general manager at Vijaya Bank three years ago, joined his brother and is putting his experience as a banker to use as OSAAT-India’s treasurer, although he also enjoys working with volunteers in the field.

    “We have no clue about so many things, unless we see it for ourselves. In one of the schools we worked on recently in Yeshwanthpur, Malur, there was a cow shed adjacent to the school building. The children were exposed to the filth and mosquitoes, due to the poor maintenance of the cow shed,” GK Bhatt said.

    Speaking on the road ahead for OSAAT, he added, “We want to take it to the next level by partnering with corporates, who would want to take up such projects under their CSR initiatives. They could donate funds for the purpose and also participate actively in the process, while we rebuild a school.”

    ‘We want to create a template for the future’
    “We want to propose a model – the concept of working on a cluster of schools, like we did in Malur taluk with three schools – to the government. We are aiming at creating a template of work, based on our association with the revenue department, block education officers and panchayat, showing the authorities that this is how work must be taken up in the future. We want to create a blueprint for quality education by emphasising on the need for proper infrastructure.”
    – Vadiraj Bhatt | Management Trustee, OSAAT-India

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / Deepika Burli / TNN / August 07th, 2016

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    Vishal Vasmate, a student of aerospace programme at University of Southern California, in Bidar. —Photo: Gopichand T.

    Vishal Vasmate, a student of aerospace programme at University of Southern California, in Bidar. —Photo: Gopichand T.

    It is easy to tell whether Vishal Vasmate is in town. His motorcycle will be parked outside the madrasa of Mahamud Gawan and he will be sitting quietly on a model of the solar system carved atop the 15th century university.

    He sits for hours contemplating on the medieval era institution of higher learning that attracted international students and keeps dreaming of jumping to the sky in a rocket.

    “It is a matter of pride and unbelievable amazement that my home town had such an academic centre,” he says with a smile. “What is more, the teachers taught astronomy from a classroom on the ceiling, open to the air. They used as teaching aids, models of stars and planets made of lime mortar. The effort behind this is so inspiring that it makes my dream of travelling in space commonplace and doable,” he said. The student of the aerospace program at University of Southern California has come to Bidar to visit his parents.

    His fascination with space started with a chapter on Kalpana Chawla in his school textbook. A visit to a planetarium made him addicted to novels and books about space. “I began idealising space walkers like Rakesh Sharma,” Vishal says.

    His physics professor Jithesh Babu recognised his interest in physics and mathematics and nurtured him. Participation in a workshop for astronomy and astrophysics where he interacted with scientists from the Indian Institute of Science and the mission head of Indian Space Research Organisations’ Chandrayaan programme. “They gave me a firsthand account of the mission and the issues concerning space navigation,” he said.

    Vishal went to the U.S. after a computer science degree from RV College, Bengaluru. He cleared the graduate record examination and chose USC. “I was attracted by its star alumnus Neil Armstrong and teachers like Mike Gruntman and Gerald Hintz, whose publications on design, spacecraft systems, and flight operations have led the way in space explorations,” he said.

    “It is wrong to say that space science is only for scientists who lock themselves up in high security laboratories. Astronautics is an intellectually challenging, economically important, and an exciting field. It has brought unthinkable changes in the way communicate. Some of the by products of space research like artificial legs have revolutionised healthcare. It has touched several facets of our lives,” he said.

    “Vishal was mad about astronautics. We tried it shake it off initially, but realised it was an obsession beyond control. We let him follow his heart,” says Chandrakant Vasmate, his father. Mr. Vasmate, a Bidar-based industrialist, supported his son’s studies, despite snares from neighbours and family friends whose children had joined well paying IT jobs.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by Rishikesh Bahadur Desai / Bidar – July 04th, 2016

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    Yoga Guru Dr. Raghavendra R. Pai, Founder, Sri Vedavyasa Yoga Pratishthana, Mysuru, seen receiving the award at the 2nd Om Yoga & Wellness Hub Festival, held at Vietnam recently.

    Yoga Guru Dr. Raghavendra R. Pai, Founder, Sri Vedavyasa Yoga Pratishthana, Mysuru, seen receiving the award at the 2nd Om Yoga & Wellness Hub Festival, held at Vietnam recently.

    Mysuru :

    In the culture barter expedition of global leaders around the world, Yoga from India has found itself a revered place across borders in an overwhelming acceptance.

    Standing up for the physical, mental and spiritual balance practice, Yoga traces its origin back to the diversely fit cultural land of India.

    Last year in his UN address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested to have June 21 of every year dedicated to celebrate this practice as International Yoga Day.

    “Let’s pledge to make Yoga an integral part of our daily lives,” he mentioned. June 21 (Summer Solstice), is also the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.

    As the entire world gears up for the 2nd International Yoga Day celebrations in June 2016, countries across the globe are leaving no stone unturned to make it a grand success. Vietnam, much ahead in its vision to promote Yoga, had organised an event to recognise the efforts of Yoga practitioners from India, who have worked hard to promote Yoga across the world.

    Vietnam’s Om Yoga & Wellness Hub, a centre for Yoga, Ayurveda and Wellness, along with Sri Vedavyasa Yoga Pratishthana, Mysuru, had jointly organised the 2nd Om Yoga & Wellness Hub Festival, in line with International Yoga Day celebrations, on May 14 and 15, 2016 at Om Yoga & Well- ness Hub by Master Santhosh Cheriyamane, Binh Duong, Vietnam.

    The event created two National Records — 81 yoga students and instructors performing 1008 Suryanamaskaras and a 24-hour Yoga marathon under the guidance of Yoga Guru Dr. Raghavendra R. Pai, Founder, Sri Vedavyasa Yoga Pratishthana, Mysuru and Master Santhoshkumar Cheriyamane Anand, Founder, Om Yoga and Wellness Hub, Vietnam.

    For their excellence in Yoga, Dr. Raghavendra Pai and Master Santoshkumar Cheriyamane were awarded the prestigious ‘Vietnam King’ title by the Vietnam Book of Records on May 24. The certificates were officially handed over to them by the President of ‘Vietnam Book of Records’ Dr. Nguyen Van Vien and Chief Spokesperson Le Tran Truong An.

    The other recipients of these title included Konanavar Somashekhara, Hebbasuru Siddappa Shivappa, Dombara Ganesh, Keri Suresh Kallappa, Annigeri Shivakumar, Yoga instructors from Karnataka and Perumal Selvakumar and Palanisamy Premkumar from Tamil Nadu.

    Santosh Kumar Cheriyamane Anand, a Yoga practitioner, originally, hailing from Kushalnagar in Kodagu and Nguyen Thi Thanh Van from Vietnam, co-founders of Om Yoga & Wellness Hub, have popularised Yoga in Vietnam and also successfully established centres across three more cities in Vietnam. At these Centres, 12 dedicated instructors from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are imparting knowledge on not just practising Yoga, but also on Ayurveda and its natural healing methods and processes to those interested in and around the region.

    The efforts of these Yoga practitioners in promoting Yoga across the globe is only the beginning of a much bigger dream envisioned by Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Siddha and Homeopathy) and the UN.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / May 30th, 2016

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    Mysuru :

    City’s 17-year-old Siddarth (in pic.) has become the first Indian to win an International Science Fair Grand Award at the 9th annual International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environment Project (I-SWEEEP) Olympiad held in Houston, Texas, USA recently in which 385 highly qualified projects from 62 countries participated.

    The Grand Award was given to Siddarth Eswarachari, a resident of city who now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA and Sarah Carlson.

    Siddarth’s research project ‘Cleaner Water: Investigating Homogentisate Chemotaxis Receptors in Pseudomonas Putida F1 for Bio-remediation of Aromatic Hydrocarbons’ has won four International awards and two National awards. He is also the captain of his schools Robotics team and led his team to the International Robotics competition held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA where his team won the ‘Engineering Inspiration’ and ‘Excellence in Engineering’ awards.

    He will be attending the Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering, where he plans to major in Robotics and Biotechnology Engineering.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / May 21st, 2016

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    File photo Shreya Ganapathi

    File photo Shreya Ganapathi

    Kundapur :

    Who says you cannot master your mother tongue in a foreign land?

    A Class 10 student, who was born in Karnataka but did most of her early schooling outside the state, has proved that no formal training is needed when it comes to love for your mother tongue.

    Shreya, who is currently studying in Kundapur of Udupi District in Karnataka, has scored 99 out of 100 in Kannada in her board exams.

    This despite the fact that Kannada was not a part of her curriculum during most part of her school education.

    She has scored 600 out of 625 marks in the SSLC Class 10 exam.

    Starting her education at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s play school, Shreya has studied in Lagos (Nigeria), Tanzania, Uganda, Kundapur (Karnataka), Nairobi (Kenya), Hubli (Karnataka) and Druck (Bhutan).

    Shreya started her schooling from Mumbai’s St Xavier’s play school, then did her LKG in Lagos (Nigeria). She completed her UKG, 1st and 2nd standard in Tanzania, 3rd standard in Uganda.

    She returned to India for a year and did her 4th standard from Kundapur.

    She did the first term of her 5th standard in Nairobi, and second term in Hubli of Karnataka.

    For 6th and 7th standard she was in Tumkur and for 8th and 9th standard in Bhutan’s Druck.

    Finally, she returned to Kundapur for her SSLC.

    Delighted with her result, she credits her teachers and parents for helping in Kannada. Like her father, Shreya also wants to be a Chartered Accountant.

    (Content Courtesy: vijaykarnataka)

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / TNN / May 18th, 2016

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    Bengaluru :

    Meet the other Murthy from Jayanagar in Bengaluru -Arun Murthy. No relation of N R Narayana Murthy, also a Jayanagar resident. But the 35-year-old’s life, in some ways, is moving along the same extraordinary lines of the Infosys doyen.
    Arun Murthy is one of the founders of one of today’s hottest Silicon Valley startups – Hortonworks. Yes, named after the elephant in Dr Seuss’ ‘Horton hears a who!’ The company, founded in 2011, has become the fastest ever software venture to touch $100 million in revenue – in just 4 years. Salesforce did it in 5, Palo Alto Networks and Workday in 6, Informatica in 7 and Splunk in 8, according to Barclays Research.

    In 2014, when it went for an IPO, it touched a billion dollars in valuation. The valuation has dropped since then, but recent revenue numbers are again pushing the share price sharply up.

    Murthy’s one of the tech brains behind Hortonworks. He started coding when he was just 10. From an early age he was fascinated by Go – the 2,500-year-old game that’s exponentially more complex than chess; in March, a computer system, built by Google, for the first time beat a Go grandmaster. Murthy would play this abstract strategy board game for hours on end.

    He also had an entrepreneurial streak in him. When he was still in school, he read an article on Michael Dell in Readers’ Digest. He was inspired by that to assemble and sell computers. “I would go to Avenue Road (the hub for electronic items) and buy computer parts, assemble them and sell them to friends. By the time I was 16-17, I was making more money than my parents combined. I would also develop websites for doctors and lawyers,” Murthy told TOI on a visit last week to Bengaluru, where his mother still resides. Murthy went on to do engineering at RV College of Engineering, one of Bengaluru’s best private engineering colleges, and, on graduation, joined Yahoo’s R&D centre in the city. He was part of the small team at Yahoo that was then beginning to develop Hadoop, the open source software framework used to store and process vast quantities of data and which has become all the rage in enterprises today given the avalanche of data they have to deal with.

    While working on Hadoop, Murthy and his colleague Owen O’Malley took on the Sort Benchmark challenge of sorting 100 terabytes (TB) of data in a particular order. The first attempt set a new record and when someone else beat that record, they did it again in 2009 and that record stood for several years. The Sort Benchmark home page records Murthy and Owen’s accomplishment at 0.578 TB per minute. “It’s the most amount of fun I have had in my career,” said Murthy.

    In 2011, Murthy and seven others, most of them from Yahoo’s Hadoop team – five of them Indians – came together to found Hortonworks, a venture to further develop Hadoop and support it for clients who adopt it. They thought of `Horton’ because Ha doop bore the logo of an elephant. They convinced Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang that it may be the best way forward for them, and Yang was excited enough to get Yahoo to participate in the initial investment in Hortonworks.

    Among the other Indian founders, Suresh Srinivas was also in Bengaluru and had studied at NIT Karnataka. Devaraj Das studied at BITS Pilani and IISc Bengaluru, Mahadev Konar graduated from IIT Bombay. Sanjay Radia, who grew up in Uganda and Canada, is the oldest among them, having held senior positions at Sun Microsystems before moving to Yahoo to be an architect of a Hadoop project.

    In 2014, the year Hortonworks went for its IPO, Fortune Magazine ranked Murthy among its 20 Big Data All Stars – “20 extraordinary people who we think are the best at connecting the dots, digging deep, and discovering the information that will transform the way businesses operate.”

    Fortune noted Murthy at Yahoo had helped develop a sort of OS for Hadoop, called YARN, that lets users plug many applications into the system to store all sorts of data. “I have two kids at home.YARN is sort of my third,” Murthy told the magazine.

    He is also a Murthy and has a lot in common with legend NR Narayana Murthy: Tech entrepre neurial streak, a house in Jayana gar, and looking into the future.

    Arun Murthy, 35, is a product of RV Engineering College and a big-data star, write Shilpa Phadnis and Sujit John. He is a cofounder of Hortonworks, one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startups which was the first to clock $100 million in revenue in just four years. In 2014 when the company went for an IPO, it touched a billion dollars in valuation.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / Sujit John & Shilpa Phadnis / TNN / May 06th, 2016

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    Manipal :

    Dr Sampat Shivangi, a 1962 batch alumnus of Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Manipal is in the news once again as a street in the US state of Mississippi has been named after him for the services rendered to local community there. The Dr Sampat Shivangi Lane was formally named on Saturday in recognition of Shivangi, eminent Republican from the state. Dr Shivangi conveyed news of street being named after him Dr M Ramdas Pai, Chancellor, Manipal University.

    Dr Ramdas Pai as per a communique shared by Manipal University on Monday, in reply wrote: “I am glad to have your e-mail of 24th instant and to know that a street in Mississippi has been named after you. It is indeed a great recognition of your services to the community. My congratulations to you.” Dr Pai said, “It is indeed a joyous moment for Manipal University. All of Manipal (University) is proud of the great work Dr Shivangi is doing in the US”

    Phil Bryant, state governor reappointed him for second sever-year term to board of Mississippi’s department of Mental Health. In June 2014, he became first Asian-American to become chairman of the Board which has close to a billion dollar budget with staff strength of over 8500. From 2005-2008, Dr Shivangi served as adviser to US secretary of health and human services. He is the founding president of American Association of Physicians of Indian origin in Mississippi.

    He is also the past president and chair of the India Association of Mississippi.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Mangalore / by Jaideep Shenoy / TNN / April 25th, 2016

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    February 22nd, 2016adminEducation, Nri's / Pio's, Records, All, World Opinion
    Saanya Verma, 11, the youngest to get the maximum possible score of 162 in Mensa IQ test, with parents

    Saanya Verma, 11, the youngest to get the maximum possible score of 162 in Mensa IQ test, with parents


    When Saanya Verma took the Mensa IQ challenge, her aim was to win a bet of 10 pounds with her father. The 11-year-old from Bengaluru went on to crack the toughest test and bag the maximum score of 162.

     People of all age groups participate in this IQ competition; it can be taken by people over the age of 10 and half years.
    Her mother Sunita Verma said Saanya has always been eager to take part in competitive exams. She had challenged her father Sunil Verma of cracking the Mensa IQ test to get 10 pounds, she recalled.

    Saanya, who was born in Bengaluru, is a class VII student in London. Sunita, an HR professional, and Sunil, a banker, shifted to London a decade ago. “I want to participate in as many competitions as possible,” said an elated Saanya.

    “Saanya has won public speaking, robotics and many other competitions at the school level. She is gearing up for a regional-level French spelling competition in London. I think very few children have cracked the test in the world,” Sunita added.

    source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Bangalore / Pavan M V,  TNN / February 19th, 2016
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