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    Having won his eighth world title, ace cueist Pankaj Advani  opens up to Chennai Times on his sport, love and life.

    You have won a record eight world titles now. How do you motivate yourself to better this achievement?
    In each phase of a sportsperson’s life, the aims, goals and the purpose of playing the sport changes. For me, initially, when I started out, I just wanted to enjoy playing the sport and improve my rankings. Later, when I started winning the titles, the challenge was to retain my position. And, now, I want to push myself further and perform consistently and play as perfectly as possible.

    With this title, you are already being talked about as a serious contender for the Greatest Of All Time tag. How do you view this?
    Of course, being talked about in such a manner is definitely a huge morale booster. But such statistics and comparisons can wait till I retire or can rise towards the end of my career. Also, these talks can give you a false sense of confidence and I don’t want to be carried away.

    Who is your inspiration?
    It’s my coach Arvind Savur. He agreed to coach me without charging and penny and his knowledge of the game is incredible. But more than a coach, he is my friend, philosopher and guide. I also get inspired watching  Roger Federer  play. He is definitely the greatest sportsperson of all time. To play so gracefully and successfully all these years is just fantastic. I haven’t met him yet but I would like to. I would also love to watch him play live.

    So what’s your idea of an ideal break?
    I spend time with my friends and family. And, sometimes, I go to Goa and spend some time by the seaside. It is very relaxing. As a professional player, I get very few days to unwind and so, I try to get adequate sleep and rest. And, yes, I do like to walk the ramp, if only to relax. (Laughs)

    What do you think of sportspersons taking an interest in films of late?
    Well, people perceive a sportsperson in only one light. They don’t generally see you beyond your game. So, unless your priorities have changed, you should stick with your career. But once you have decided, you have to be yourself as you don’t want to make a fool of yourself in public. Even I got a couple of acting offers and a filmmaker was interested in my life story, but every time I decided to give it a thought, some important tournament would come up and I put it on the back burner.

    You are considered one of the most eligible bachelors in India…
    Actually, it feels great to be in this category. But I would like to stay an eligible bachelor for some more years. And, no, I don’t have a special someone yet. I have been traveling between India and England for the past six years and with the amount of travelling, it’s wise to stay out of a relationship. But, then, you don’t plan to fall or not to fall in love. If the moment and the person arrive, there’s nothing you can do.

    Do sportspersons need to be socially active?
    I think it is important that sportspersons involve themselves in social causes in any little way possible. There are so many issues that need to be addressed and each sportsperson or celebrity who has an appeal can go out there and do something for the society. Aamir Khan’s Satyameva Jayate was an excellent concept. Yes, it had a lot of drama and emotions but it brought out a lot of issues that need to be addressed today.

    How has 2012 been for you and what plans for 2013?
    2012 has been the best year in my career so far. Of course, it involved lots of struggle and was the toughest yet but it was also the most productive and fulfilling. I’ll be concentrating on my fitness in the coming year as health is very, very important when you play at the global level. I would also like to relax and stay mentally fresh.

    source: / Home> Sports> More Sports / by M Suganth, TNN / December 31st,  2012

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    December 31st, 2012adminScience & Technology

    Pushpavathi might not have a professional degree, but this has not stopped her from becoming a successful entrepreneur. Ms. Pushpavathi, who has studied only till SSLC, now offers coaching to highly educated people on entrepreneurship.

    What is interesting is that products made from nutritious minor millets such as ragi have given a new economic and social status to Ms. Pushpavathi, who hails from Jigani, near Anekal. Ms. Pushpavathi underwent training in the Bakery Training Unit and Value Addition Centre of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, on production and marketing of these products, apart from attending a course on marketing in the Canara Bank Training Institute.

    Direct marketing

    “I make ragi products such as malt, hurihittu, composite flour, energy food, papad and plain ragi flour with the help of six people in my house in Jigani,” says Ms. Pushpavathi. She does direct marketing of these products as it helps her make more profit. She also supplies a small quantity of these products to the nearby shops. “I make a turnover of about Rs. 2 lakh a month, resulting in a profit of about Rs. 40,000. I want to scale up this home production into a big factory by employing an additional 10 persons in the near future,” she says.

    Wide range of products

    She is not the only woman entrepreneur who is depending on minor millets for a living. Vijayalakshmi of Anandnagar, near Hebbal, underwent two training programmes offered by the UAS-B’s bakery centre, before turning into an entrepreneur. A science graduate, Ms. Vijayalakshmi has been preparing and marketing products made from ragi and navane (foxtail millet), including ragi malt, millet barfi, ready-to-cook food products and food for diabetics under the brand name Millet House. She manages her 18-month-old production house with the help of two persons.

    Her products have started finding place in stores in her neighbourhood. She sells about 500 kg of various products a month and makes a turnover of about Rs. 30,000–Rs. 40,000. She has chalked out an ambitious plan to touch a turnover of Rs. 5 lakh a month.

    Another person in this league is Jyothi Mahipal, who has already shot to fame with her millet brand Vaathsalya. “I learnt about these products from the UAS-B’s bakery centre, basically to cook new and healthy food for my family. But after coming to know about their importance in terms of nutrients, I decided to take a plunge into this as an entrepreneur,” she says. She prepares a wide range of products from all minor millets.

    The hallmark of the products being made by these three women entrepreneurs is quality of nutrients and neat packaging. The food products are being made scientifically like any other branded company, by setting up all the required machinery right from the processing level.

    Usha Ravindra, associate professor of the UAS-B’s Department of Food Science and Nutrition who is one of the faculty members helping women to become entrepreneurs by providing them professional training, notes that nearly 25 women have made it big in the millet sector after undergoing the university’s training.

    ‘Covers all aspects’

    “Our training covers all aspects, right from procurement of raw materials to processing, quality testing, economies of production, book-keeping, packing and advertisements besides helping them to get market linkages,” she said.

    According to her, awareness about the nutritional aspects of minor millets was slowly growing among health-conscious urban people, resulting in an increase in demand for these products.

    source: / Home> News> States / by B. S. Satish Kumar / Bangalore, December 31st, 2012

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    Cannon used by Tippu Sultan’s forces at the battle of Seringapatam 1799 – Wikimedia commons


    Saluting the vision of the father of  modern missile technology, Tipu Sultan, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to set up India’s first  archaeological rocket centre at his rocket court in Srirangapatna from where he fired the world’s first war rocket during the Anglo-Mysore battle.

    DRDO Chief Controller (R&D), Dr W. Selvamurthy, who visited the rocket court on Friday  with other top defence scientists, was shocked  to see its condition. A portion of the front wall has collapsed and illegal constructions have cropped up on all sides.

    Dr Selvamurthy said, “It’s really sad and appalling. The matter is of a great concern. The place which gave birth to the basics of rocket technology can’t be treated this way.  I will immediately write to the state Chief Secretary, the Archa­eo­logical Survey of India and the  state Dep­a­rtment of Arch­a­eology and Mus­e­u­ms  to restore and convert the mon­ument into an archaeological centre of great importance.”

    He said that in the 16th century, the country’s core competence in rocket and missile technology was superior to rest of the world. The DRDO proposes to use the space to showcase India’s technological advancements. The wea­p­onry of  Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan was formidable and quite ahead of its time, he noted.

    “We could have a life-size prototype of BrahMos, and models of a wide-range of missiles that India has developed like Prithvi, Agni and ballistic missiles, besides an original piece of Tipu’s rocket at the archaeological rocket centre we are proposing,” he added.

    Meanwhile, the ASI and the state archaeological department continue to pass the buck on  the conditon of the rocket court. While  ASI representative, Satish Kumar says the department is responsible for the upkeep of the moument,  Mr. Gopal, director of the state department, contends it is the ASI’s job to restore it.

    source:  / Home> News> Current Affairs / by S. v. Krishna Chaitanya / December 29th, 2012

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    Models of missiles and related information will be on display

    Chief controller of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) W Selvamurthy said that appropriate measures will be taken to convert the rocket court (Garrison Ball Alley) of Tipu Sultan reign in Srirangapatna, Mandya district into a museum.

    Speaking to press persons during his visit to unit, which is said to be world’s first rocket court, he observed that the unit has become dilapidated, while the surrounding area has been encroached. Houses have been built illegally on the way to the monument.

    Elaborating on the project, he said that DRDO will acquire the houses and convert the space into road and will be used for other necessary purposes.

    He mentioned that the important monument had been subjected to negligence as there has been a confusion between State archaeology department and
    Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) about who has to take care of the court.

    Noting that a letter of correspondence will be done with both the departments and even chief secretary of Karnataka government, he said, appropriate measures will be taken immediately to conserve the place.

    Selvamurthy said, models of all missiles developed in the country will be on display including the original one of Tipu reign.

    Information regarding development of missile will also be made available for public.

    Many do not know that India was the country which introduced missile to the world. The museum will stress on such facts and which will stress on further researches.
    Prior to this, Selvamurthy visited Daria Doulat.

    Director of Defence Food Research Laboratory Harsha Vardhan Batra, additional director Radha Krishna, Satish Kumar and others were present.

    source: / Home> District / Srirangapatna (Mandya Dist.), DHNS / December 28th, 2012

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    December 28th, 2012adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Mysore, Dec. 23 :

    The scholar of Mysore Traditional Painting M. Ramanarasaiah (91), who retired as a Palace artist, passed away at Vidyaranya Hospital in Chamundipuram here in the wee hours of today after a prolonged illness.

    He leaves behind his wife Jayamma, two sons and six daughters. Among his children, Subba Narasimha, Chandrika Padmanabha and State awardee Sudha Venkatesh too have followed the footsteps of their father in Mysore Traditional Painting.

    One of Ramanarasaiah’s daughters-in-law Suma Krishna is also an artist of Mysore Traditional Painting. A large number of artists, well-wishers and relatives paid their last respects to the departed soul at his residence in Vijayanagar 2nd Stage today. Last rites were performed at the foot of Chamundi Hill this noon.

    A profile

    Born in 1922, Ramanarasaiah is the son of Venkatanarasaiah, chamberlain and middle echelon revenue and administrative officer in the erstwhile princely State of Mysore. His mother was a housewife and named him after her father who had been a rich landowner.

    Ramanarasaiah completed his SSLC in the then famous English medium high school in Mysore run by a Methodist Mission. At the time his favourite subject was science. Venkatanarasaiah wanted his son to become a doctor or a scientist. But the environment of his upbringing had cast on him a strong spell. While at school, he had kept up his study of painting. So with the conviction that no other pursuit would suit him, he decided to continue his education in a school of painting.

    The Chamarajendra Technical Institute in Mysore was also famous as an art institute and was established in 1869 as a part of the Dept. of Handicrafts and Technology. In 1932, owing to the then Prince of Mysore and other distinguished persons of the day, a fine arts school was started as part of this Institute. Liked by his teachers and adored by his friends, Ramanarasaiah was shaped into a fine artist and by deeply ingraining in himself all about the world of art, a highly proficient Ramanarasaiah graduated with a first class in 1947. He then created a 5ft. high oil painting of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar.

    During the days of royal patronage, he completed numerous oil paintings. The Maharaja presented these works to different royal families and notable persons. His paintings of kings and renowned persons are exhibited not only in Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery (28 paintings) but also in Mysore’s elite families and Mutts.

    Among his finest creations is the 7’x12′ likeness in oil of the Maharaja’s last Durbar on display at Jaganmohan Art School. It gained a high status as an example of historical art.

    He was appointed at the Jayachamarajendra School of Painting and worked hard for the school’s overall development from 1961 to 1978.

    Ramanarasaiah’s works have been exhibited in Tirupati, many cities in India and abroad. He has been honoured with many titles like ‘Varna Chitra Kala Chatura’ by Vyasaraja Mutt. He was feted during the 1981 and 1993 Dasara; in 1993 Karnataka Lalithakala Academy honoured him.

    He is the recipient of M.T.V. Acharya award for his contribution to art.

    He mastered the Mysore & Tanjore traditional styles and trained about a thousand students, in the process becoming a scholar-artist, who dedicated himself for the phenomenal growth of Mysore traditional style.

    source: / Home> General News / December 23rd, 2012

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    December 27th, 2012adminBusiness & Economy

    On one hand, he parties hard, on the other, he is a man of business. A 27-year-old Bharat is a dual-faceted Gemini, heading the operations at Leo Motors. With his immense enthusiasm and dynamic persona, Bharat has become quite a success in what he does– selling Maruti Suzuki cars.

    Hardly six months into business, Leo Motors has chalked out an impressive number by selling over 100 cars a month. “Our vision is to offer our customers the ultimate vehicle buying experience by providing the right motoring advice and support. Our focus is simple: To strive for 100% customer service. We provide information, advice and assistance customised to each individual client, whether they are purchasing their first car or upgrading to a bigger car,” he says. With a qualified team of sales and service executives, backed with state-of-the-art facilities and comprehensive stocks of cars, workshops and on-site spare parts warehouses, Leo Motors offers customers an ideal car owner experience.

    This success, however, comes with a lot of learning and hardships. Despite hailing from a family of businessmen, selling cars has remained an unexplored territory. “We started off with granite business, and slowly we got into car sales and it’s a whole new ballgame. We made mistakes and we are still learning,” says Bharat, who, unlike many young entrepreneurs, have celebrities as their role models. “My dad is my role model. I have seen him struggle. The troubles and traumas he had to undergo in running a business is the best lesson I have learnt. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. I had to learn things the hard way,” he admits.

    Despite being a thorough businessman, the young car dealer knows how to mix work and play.“While I don’t get much time for hobbies, I ensure that, at least on Saturdays, I am out with friends. I frequent City Bar and Sky Bar at UB City and dance to my heart’s content. I am also actively involved in bike rides and bike races and go on long rides with my friends,” says Bharat.

    Although not an avid reader, Bharat does keep himself abreast of the new trends in the auto industry. “My employees are well-versed with the car industry. They share their observations and ideas with me. I think our dealership is a success only because of our employees,” he says. Highlighting the most interesting trend, Bharat says that people are no longer looking for high-end models. “Customers look for simple, affordable cars that can be used for the entire family. The focus today is more on entry and mid-level cars,” he says.

    Ask him about his dream car and Bharat says: “I cannot wish for a car that can fly or that can be driven under the sea. But any day, I would love to own a Ferrari. I also love the cars in the James Bond and The Dark Knight series. Batman is my all-time favourite superhero. I wish I could get to drive the Batmobile,” laughs Bharat.

    source: / Daily News & Analysis / Home> Money> Report / by Caroline Diana, Place: Bangalore, Agency:DNA / Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

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    December 27th, 2012adminEducation, Science & Technology

    Hubli :

    Students of BVB College of Engineering & Technology (BVB-CET) are learning the techniques of manufacturing an aircraft, helicopters and other safety measures to be incorporated in an aircraft.

    The robotics and automation department of BVB College’s initiative has formed the Aeromodelling Club to provide a platform for engineering students to learn how to make aircraft models.

    Students will not only get first hand information on how to make an aircraft, but will also be given a chance to create their own aircraft or helicopter by utilizing the available resources in the club and make it fly in their leisure time.

    Taking advantage of the club, some students have already created 15-20 different aircraft models. Over 50 students have enrolled with the club and spend their weekends poring over aircraft models and plans.

    Speaking to TOI, Chandrakant Narayan Shet, coordinator of Aeromodelling Club, said: “we set up the club with the intention of providing real time experience of making aircraft models to college students, club. Balsa wood, circuits, controller, transmitters, receiver and servo motors and other things are used to design the model aircraft.”

    There is no fee to be a member of the club. “We are also planning to train students in making quarter copter which can be used to take aerial photographs or video graph,”Shet added. “Right now the training is for our students. We are ready to guide other college students,” he added.

    Mahantesh Bali, 3rd semester student of robotics and automation department, BVB College said: “We get real experience while making of aero models. Recently, I designed a boomerang copter model with the help of the resources available in the club.”

    source: / Home> City> Hubli / by Srinivas Reddy, TNN / December 27th, 2012

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    Martin Wuethrich, GM, Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway was awarded as the General Manager of the Year-2012, upscale business hotel category at The Hotelier India Awards in Gurgaon, New Delhi. The Hotelier India Awards is a celebration of excellence; that recognizes individuals who have made a remarkable difference in the field of hospitality.

    On receiving the award, Martin Wuethrich, GM, Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway said “Winning an award is always a very nice feeling. It is always good to know that your effort has been recognized. Our objective at Sheraton is to delight customers; this award re-iterates that we are working towards our strategic objectives.”

    Representatives of 100 + hotels participated in the awards ceremony and the winners were chosen according to their contribution to the Hotels performance above and beyond their call of duty.  The judges reviewed stories of integrity, innovation, customer focus, responsibility, accountability and respect when selecting the winner for each category.

    source: / Home / Monday, December 24th, 2012

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    Bidar :

    Scientists at the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS), Raichur, have developed a unique IT-enabled handheld device that will provide information to farmers  in real time on pest-related problems.

    The device, Electronic Solutions Against Agricultaral Pests  (e-SAP), has a web-based application system which facilitates flow of information from the farmer to the farm scientist and back. “The idea behind creating e-SAP  was to help the extension worker, who is not an expert, to collect specimens right from the farmer’s field and send it to the scientists and experts in real time,” Prabhuraj A Associate Professor of Entomology at the College of Agriculture, UAS Raichur told PTI.

    e-SAP will make the work of the extension service worker easy, enhance their efficiency and at the same time provide the farmers with solutions right in his field in real time, Prabhuraj, who has this technology, he added. “This technology targets one of the critical requirements of a crop cycle, pest management. e-Sap has features that can bring the farmer, extension worker, scientist and policy maker on the same plane, thereby, helping to find solutions that are more practical and in lesser time,” he said

    e-SAP is currently being run on a pilot basis in Raichur district in Karnataka covering 4,000 farmers and about 10,000 hectares in 5 taluks since last year. “The technology is not very costly. We developed about 15 such tablets and the software for Rs 59 lakh. The costs of a single tablet is Rs 25,000, which can come down if it is produced on a mass scale,” Prabhuraj said.

    e-SAP is unique in the sense that it has a voice-based application system, which guides the farmer and the extension worker in the local language about how to collect the data and the specimens, he added. That apart, it also allows the extension worker and the farmer to do a survey of the pest attack or related problems right in the field, which is then automatically synthesised in the form of graphs and tables along with the decision support intelligence.

    Another highlight of e-SAP is the image-based model, that captures high quality images of pests and their symptoms and then guides the user in identifying the pest. This coupled with audio assistance makes it very easy to handle.

    “There is an intuitively built pest specific survey to quantify the damage caused, which is based on images and also utilises the images captured by the extension worker from the affected field. This survey helps the expert is ascertaining the extent of damage and suggest remedies,” Prabhuraj said.

    e-SAP devices provide continuous feed to the handheld devices with latest  farm technologies , modifications and recommendations, he added.

    source: / Home> News> Technical> Hardware / PTI / December 25th, 2012

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    While a lake provides relief from the Mysore heat, temples at  Kere Thonnur  shed new light on Tipu Sultan’s legacy, shares, Arjun Kumar

    The inner sanctum of the Narayana temple was cloaked in inky darkness which my eyes could not penetrate. That did not deter the elderly priest from walking swiftly past me, his eyes either better accustomed to the dark or his soul more enlightened to see the Lord where I could not.

    A moment after he entered the Lord’s chamber, the darkness was broken by a tiny spot of light. The spot quickly increased in size and intensity in the process dispelling darkness from all but the corners of the inner sanctum. If I sound a shade philosophical, put that down to to the influence of Kere Thonnur. I go into a region mentally preparing myself to find traces of  Tipu Sultan , a man who spent more time at war than at peace, and a man who – as some historians say – was a religious fanatic.

    And then I tumble into Kere Thonnur. There is no trace of conflict here, no broken fortifications as there are in nearby Srirangapatnam and no tombs of warriors, old or new.

    Instead, I drive past a mix of well-built houses and mud huts, glance quickly at what looks like an old wall on my right and go on to the hill yonder. It is a very short drive up the hill. On the way I pass a group of people happily splashing around under a mini waterfall. I find myself wondering what the source of the cascading water could be.

    That question gets answered at the top of the hill for on the other side is a lake, an expanse of clear blue water. The water is clean, something quite remarkable in today’s age. On a weekend, there are a couple of dozen people milling about, enjoying the water and vista.

    The cool water invites me to jump in for a swim and as I look around I find half-a-dozen people who accepted similar invitations and taken the plunge.

    The water of the lake is deep in parts but there is no one to warn people to be careful. Instead, there is a partially submerged idol of  Nandi  – Shiva’s celestial bull – which looks ready to pray for your soul if you venture too far.

    This place is called the Thonnur Lake, also known as the Tirumala Lake. That it is not crowded is because it has not been discovered by the residents of Bangalore and Mysore.

    I go back to the village and this time, I drive slowly. And I stop at the place where I saw the old wall, leaving my vehicle to walk up for a closer look. I end up circumambulating the old wall on the track and find a huge gateway looming before me. It stands by itself at a distance from the wall, looking like part of a building block puzzle someone forgot to put in.

    On the left is a gap in the wall, which is the doorway to a temple. This is the Krishna Gopal Swamy temple, one of several in Kere Thonnur dedicated to the God  Vishnu  or his incarnations.

    Passing through that doorway, I find myself in a large courtyard at the centre of which is the main shrine. On my right is a pillared structure which looks like a shelter for devotees to gather. All around the inside of the old wall – which looms up to about 15 feet in height – runs a pillared corridor with small shrines at the corner. The most interesting feature of this temple is the set of drawings on the walls. These are outline drawings and not full paintings. Gods and goddesses, elephants and birds are all depicted here.

    Unfortunately, the flaking of plaster from the walls has severely damaged some drawings while in other places, blurring of the outlines has caused the image to become barely visible.

    Across the road from the Gopal Swamy temple is the Narayana temple. Like the former, this temple too has a high wall around it. The most striking feature of this temple is the solid stone pillar in front of it.

    About 40 ft in height, the pillar has iconography representing Vishnu on all four sides. Between the pillar and the temple entrance is a small stepped tank, used for cleansing.

    Of singular architectural importance in this temple is that the inner sanctum is protected by a wall at the back.

    The space between the wall and the shrine thus forms a  parikrama  where devotees can move around the shrine in ceremonial prayer . Within the sanctum, the place comes alive when the priest lights a small lamp. As the flame gradually increases and touches the far corners of the sanctum, I look around in wonder at the idols tucked away into alcoves all around, forming a protective army for the main idol of Vishnu.

    source: / Home> Life & Style> Travel / by Arjun Kumar, TNN / September 27th, 2012

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