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    April 18th, 2015adminScience & Technology

    Bengaluru :

    Defence scientists have developed a device that can identify snipers, providing a boost to security agencies. “This new-age device can detect passive or active optical threats like telescopes, binoculars or the telescopic sight of a sniper rifle, and has proven EFFECTIVE for VIP security,” a source said.

    Not surp risingly, Delhi police, who protect the most NUMBER of the country’s VVIPs and VIPs, will be the first to equip itself with this new-age device. Called the Optical Target Locater (OTL), it has been developed by defence scientists at Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC), primarily for the armed forces.

    Sources in LAST EC, a DRDO lab, said: “It is a laser-based portable surveillance device which functions on the cat’s eye effect,” adding that the device releases a laser beam which scans a designated area and as soon as it hits any of the targets (anything optical) some bac k-scattered energy is RECEIVED and the target is detected.

    “This retro-reflected energy helps in locating optical targets against a static background. Any surveillance device with front-end optics and a sensor at the focal plane, whether biological, like eye, or passive sensors like binoculars, day sight or night vision device (NVD), or electronic sensors as in Laser RANGE Finders (LRFs) can be detected by this approach,” he explained.

    The threat could be in terms of a sniper equipped with a day sight or a NVD, or any other optical/electro optical surveillance device, like binoculars, surveillance cameras, LRF, designators, etc.

    Confirming to TOI on Delhi police’s interest in the device, special commissioner (security) SBK Singh, said: “There is CERTAINLY a requirement for this and we’ve raised it.”

    TWO variants

    Sources in LASTEC said Delhi police are looking at procuring OTL 300. “It will have a range of 300 metres, which they will buy,” a source said. It is effective in scanning and monitoring of specific areas, VIP security and detection of pointed optics. Another long-range device, OTL 1500, is undergoing test and optimization process, and will be used by the Indian Army, National Security Guards and other agencies.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Bengaluru / by Chethan Kumar, TNN / April 14th, 2015

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    Even as Bengaluru is still thinking of heritage conservation, smaller towns seem to have jumped into ACTION.

    The Anekal Planning Authority (APA), which oversees development of Sarjapura, Anekal, Attibele and Jigani, has specific provisions in its master PLAN. The APA Master Plan 2031, which was approved by Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority in September 2014, says any development around “heritage structures, precincts of historic, aesthetic, architectural, cultural or environmental significance and natural features and sites of scenic beauty” should be approved by a special heritage committee.

    Though the region does not have any declared monument, Lakshmipathi, Deputy Director of the APA, said the rule could be APPLIED if approvals are sought close to the 17th century Sri Thimmaraaya Swamy temple, among other “old structures”.

    PWD has no clue about restoration

    For the Public Works Department, there is little difference between a two-century building and a recently built government office. This lack of distinction was highlighted during the restoration of the 150-year-old office of the superintendent of Lalbagh Gardens in Bengaluru. Conservation experts claimed the PWD used “modern, improper MATERIALS” to restore the limestone and mortar building.

    Officials admit that there are no rules regarding restoration or protection of “heritage BUILDINGS”. “The tender process is the same, except for the High Court and the Vidhana Soudha. There are no restrictions on materials used or type of construction,” said a senior official.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Bengaluru – April 18th, 2015

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    The renovated building of Oriental Research Institute, which was inaugurated by Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India, New Delhi on Mar. 31, 2015.

    The renovated building of Oriental Research Institute, which was inaugurated by Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India, New Delhi on Mar. 31, 2015.

    On reading the article of Nahush Bhat, who is currently working with the University library in the US, helping them catalogue over a hundred thousand books of all shapes and sizes, some dating back almost 60 years, I was reminded of Rudrapatna Shamasastry (1868-1944), a Sanskrit scholar and librarian at the Oriental Research Institute (ORI), Mysore.

    The ORI, set up in 1891, housed thousands of Sanskrit palm-leaf manuscripts. Shamasastry examined these fragile manuscripts daily, to determine their contents and catalogue them. In 1905, he discovered the Arthashastra, an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy among a heap of manuscripts. He transcribed, edited and published the Sanskrit edition in 1909 and also proceeded to translate it into English, publishing it in 1915.

    This discovery, “an epoch-making event in the history of the study of ancient Indian polity,” brought fame to the Institute some 100 years ago. Until it was identified from a manuscript by Shamashastry, Chanakya’s opus was known only from references. Will our engineering graduate-cum-librarian-in-the-making bring fame to his alma mater and to Namma Mysuru?


    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> Feature Articles / Friday – April 10th, 2015

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    Mysuru :

    Sparsha Shenoy, a disciple of Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy, has been selected to participate in Bharathanatyam competition to be held on 11th and 12th April, 2015 at Cleveland, USA during 38th Thyagaraja Aradhana Utsava. She started learning Bharathanatyam from Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy from the age of 5.

    She has passed Vidwat exam and also holds MA from KSOU. In music, she has passed Karnatak junior music exam. Presently she is doing M.Sc. in Speech and Hearing at JSS, Mysuru.

    Being CCRTI scholar for the past 14 years, she has participated in “Unity In Diversity” festival held in Delhi-2006 and again in Shillong-2011.

    She has won prizes at Bala Prathibe and Kishore Prathibe competitions held by Department of Kannada and Culture. Recognising her talent, she was chosen by Bal Bhavan to participate in cultural events held at Hyderbad in 2005 and in Bangalore in 2007.

    She was conferred with the title ‘Natya Sanmohini’ at the age of 19 years by Gurudeva academy of fine arts, Mandya.

    As an artist, she has participated in various programmes like Chigurusanje, Pallovostava, Dasara Mahotsava, Aryabhatha Yuva Sangeetha Dance festival, Sai dance festival, Yuva dance festival, Yuva Sourabha conducted by Kannada and Culture Department. She is a B grade artiste of Doordarshan.

    Along with Guru Dr. Vasundhara Doraswamy, she has participated in various festivals like Hampi Utsava, Bramostava conducted by ISCKON (Bangalore), Parva Utsava at Panji, Brahmakumari Utsava at Mt. Abu, Lokrang Utsav at Bhopal.

    She has also learnt Sugama Sangeetha from H.R. Leelavathi initially and at present she is pursuing light music from Sunitha Chandrakumar. She has learnt classical music from Lakshmi.

    As a singer, she has participated in ‘Confident Star Singer’ programme of Suvarna channel and has been a star singer for city doctors’ ‘Geeth Gaatha Chal’ programme for past several years.

    Daughter of well-known pediatrician Dr. U.G. Shenoy and Mamatha Shenoy, she is teaching dance at SPARSHA Dance Academy, Saraswathipuram.

    source: / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / Friday – April 10th, 2015

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    Dinaker Kenjur and Sabita Gundmi got married in Udupi on Tuesday.

    Dinaker Kenjur and Sabita Gundmi got married in Udupi on Tuesday.

    Both – Dinaker Kenjur (32) and Sabita Gundmi (29) – have firsts to their credit in the most backward Koraga community, a Scheduled Tribe, and both entered the wedlock in a simple ceremony on the Ambedkar Jayanti here on Tuesday.

    The main occupation of the community is basket weaving and collection of minor forest produce. The population of this community in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada, and Kasaragod district of Kerala taken together is about 17,000.

    While Ms. Gundmi is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology in Mangalore University for last one-and-a-half years, Mr. Kenjur is guest lecturer in the Department of Commerce in the same university since 2009.

    Both Ms. Gundmi and Mr. Kenjur overcame heavy odds to make a mark in their community. While Ms. Gundmi is the first person from the community to pass National Entrance Test (NET) for lectureship conducted by the University Grants Commission in 2010, Mr. Kenjur is the first in the community to have done M.Com.

    Ms. Gundmi lost her father, when she was five while her mother died in an accident when she was studying SSLC. She had to discontinue her studies for two years after SSLC due to financial problems.

    But she persevered and completed M.A. in Sociology standing second in Mangalore University in 2010. She cleared the NET in the first attempt.

    She also cleared the State-level Eligibility Test (SLET) for lectureship conducted by the University of Mysore. She is pursuing Ph.D. for the last two years.

    Mr. Kenjur too was born in a poor family. He suffered a polio attack when he was young and it affected his leg. He too had to struggle to complete his education. He has also completed third semester in MBA course from Karnataka State Open University. He is trying to clear the NET.

    Both are childhood friends. They had both decided to marry nine years ago. Both have no superstition and decided to marry on Ambedkar Jayanti here.

    “I told my well-wishers that I was born on a Tuesday. I joined work on a Tuesday. It would make no difference to me to marry on a Tuesday [which is considered inauspicious]. I have been deeply influenced by Dr. Ambedkar’s philosophy. Hence I and Dinaker decided to get married on Ambedkar Jayanti,” he said.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Karnataka / by Ganesh Prabhu / Udupi – April 15th, 2015

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    April 15th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Family time

    The New Year is a special day for everyone and the City has been bustling with activities as different communities celebrated festivities with their families this week. Bengalureans are prepared to bring in the New Year on ‘Vishu’ and ‘Bihu’, which fall today, with both communities excited about the year ahead.

    While the young are excited about the family gatherings and shopping, the adults are excited about the festivities. On ‘Vishu’, the ‘Vishukanni’ plays a major role, says Sindhu Padmakumar. She details, “The ‘Vishukanni’ comprises different elements like fruits, cucumber, pulses, cereals, gold, coins and the ‘kannikonna’ flower. A ‘vaalkanadi’ inside a ‘kindi’ is also placed along with ‘mundu’ as a part of the ‘kanni’.” Sindhu says that all these items are placed around Lord Krishna’s idol, which is the first thing one sees on the day.

    “The woman of the family prepares the ‘kanni’ the night before, and brings the other family members one by one to see this sight, early next morning. This sight is believed to bring blessings in all the fields throughout the year,” says Sindhu.

    Anjali, an engineering student, says that she awaits the day with excitement. “And at the end of the day, I wish that it wouldn’t end. A grand feast and loads of family time is what Vishu is all about,” she says. She says that new clothes and ‘kaineetam’ are the most exciting parts of the day. “Also, the ‘kanni’ itself is something we wait for. Even if I’m awake, I wait patiently for my mother to come and take me to it. There is also the anxiety of seeing whether the ‘kanni’ is better than the last time,” she says with a smile.

    Giving ‘kaineetam’ is another big part of Vishu. Hemalatha Prakash says that it is an essential part of the day and symbolically means that one’s life will be blessed with wealth and prosperity. “The elders of the family give ‘kaineetam’ (which means giving money) to the younger lot, so as to give them monetary blessings. Words like ‘kai nirachu kittate’ (meaning may you blessed with more) are uttered during this. Usually my grandmother, who stays with us, gives everyone the ‘kaineetam’,” she says. Hemalatha adds that earlier silver coins used to be given away but nowadays it has advanced to rupee notes.

    The festivities remain the same and a grand feast is cooked for the day. “Traditionally, the ‘Vishu Kanji’ is made on this day. The festivities include an elaborate ‘Vishu sadya’ like Onam, where different dishes are prepared like rice, ‘sambhar’, ‘achar’, ‘injipulli’, ‘avial’, ‘thoran’, ‘erusheri’ and ‘pacchadi’. Nowadays, it is more about what can be made, so anything that can be prepared becomes a part of the feast,” says Sangeetha Vipin. She adds that the festival also includes bursting fireworks traditionally, but many don’t do that in Bengaluru.

    Celebrated by the Assamese diaspora, ‘Bihu’, which falls on the same day has its own festivities to it. This ‘Bihu’ is called ‘Rongali Bihu’, which comprises colours, dance and festivities. “The festivities include ‘Goru Bihu’ on April 14, where cows are washed and fed properly in the villages. ‘Manuh Bihu’ will be celebrated on April 15, where we wear new clothes and also gift new clothes to our relatives. It can be the ‘gamocha’, which is a valued gift, and also the ‘chadar’,” says Manjula Gogoi, a young professional.

    She adds that the day is about unlimited food. “Of the mouth-watering food cooked for the day, the specialities includes ‘fish fry’ and ‘duck curry’ and an authentic drink made from rice,” she says. Priyam Bortamuli, brand manager with Fortis Hospitals, says, “The final day of the Bihu celebrations is today. We celebrate it in grand style with meeting families and gatherings. Back home, there are lots of public events which are held on the day. My in-laws are in town, and thus it will be a fun family affair.”

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Tini Sara Anien / DHNS – April 15th, 2015

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    Bengaluru :

    A 19-year-old Bengaluru boy is all set to take part in the G200 youth forum 2015 in Germany. Shailesh Singhal, studying in St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, has been chosen as the India head in the summit. Shailesh, a first-year BSc (Economics) student, will represent India as its Head of State at the G20 Youth Summit beginning on April 29. He will lead the Indian delegation and share his and his country’s views on global issues during the summit. Shailesh will join the Global Market Challenges Committee of the forum.

    After a detailed application was sent, he was shortlisted for an interview through Skype and chosen. He received a confirmation letter in February from G8 and G20 alumni association headquartered in Geneva.

    G200 Youth Forum will be the largest international event organized for young leaders in 2015, and about 500 young leaders, parliamentarians, students and academicians, representatives of the business world, governments and international organizations will be participating in it. The forum will take place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany from April 29-May 3. The youth forum serves as a unique opportunity for participants to gather together in an exchange of ideas and best practices and encourage stronger persona and professional relationships.

    Speaking to TOI, Dr Fr Praveen Martis, principal of St Joseph’s College, said that the initiative was completely Shailesh’s and the college was supportive. “It is a matter of pride to have our student take part in an international summit. I wish him all the best. He is a bright student,” he said.

    However, Shailesh is all excited that he will be able to spend his summer holidays differently. “All I wanted was to make good use of my two months’ vacation. I searched about taking part in international summits and got to know about G200 youth forum. I applied and got through. Currently I am reading more about global market and international relationships,” says Shailesh who wants to pursue higher studies in Economics. Though he’s from a business family, Shailesh is certain he won’t join it.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Bengaluru / TNN / April 15th, 2015

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    April 15th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    An informal seating around a lychee tree and a gallery creates an atmosphere where art meets conversation, says Leena

    An informal seating around a lychee tree and a gallery creates an atmosphere where art meets conversation, says Leena

     Basavanagudi  :

    Art has been a passion for Leena Chethan for as far back as she can remember and over the years, it has solidified in two projects that offer artists, collectors and curious collectors, an opportunity to grow closer.

    The portal Tangerine Art Space ( promotes Indian contemporary art in the virtual realm and  Leanin’  Tree Art Café, serves European and Tex-Mex treats and the works of  young artists in a physical space designed around, yes, a tree!


    Laughs Leena, “Yes, the café is built around a 100 year old fruit bearing lychee tree and that was the primary reason why I chose this space. The seating is on the tree deck and gives you a feeling of being seated on a machaan. Of course there are attendant problems. The tree is home to a wide range of birds, squirrels, ants etc and I’d like to keep it intact for them and not go trigger happy with a disinfectant or disturb the delicate ecological balance. Also, to keep the feel of the tree deck, we have to let go of any type of roofing.”

    So if it is warm or noisy in the street outside or if it rains, you have to grin and bear it. Leena says, “This place is not for those who seek air-conditioned luxury. Those who understand the spirit of the space have become regulars.”

    For the longest time though, it was convenient to only run a virtual business. Leena says, “Our art-buyer base is mostly in Mumbai, Delhi and overseas and it suited me perfectly to function from a virtual space all these years. Basically, that meant MAKING MONEY without the overheads! I was a one-woman army handling sales, PR, logistics, packaging, client relations, exhibitions, enquiries, artist communication, curation and them some.”

    A certain pragmatism has always accompanied her creative decisions and she says, ‘‘I come from a management background. My decision to work with the contemporary art field stems from my understanding of art’s value in the present market and its potential for growth in future. Art market prices today are only the tip of the iceberg and I am convinced that Indian art will grow in leaps and bounds in the near future and the biggest beneficiaries of this bull run will be those who have invested in the right artists at the right time and at the right price.” She is astute enough to understand that,“In our times, art is not separated from commerce. Art has grown beyond the definitions of aesthetics.” It has, she says, now become an integral part of the economic structure of our society. “Those who INVEST in contemporary art with a clear judgment are going to be benefited in the long run. Art is not temporal, hence its value lives beyond ages,” she opines.

    To take art into the physical dimension of an art cafe was natural for her. Leena  explains, “I’ve been married to a coffee planter for a little less than 20 years and have lived on a plantation for a good decade, before moving to Bengaluru. I consider myself a coffee and an art evangelist and Leanin’ Tree Art Café is a coming together of these two things. I am passionate about what I do and this is my true calling. The objective is to provide a regular café goer with an experience beyond eating and drinking. Its primary aim is to promote art by providing a gallery experience in an environment that is more accessible and less intimidating than a regular art gallery.”

    Taking up a physical space was long overdue but the fact that galleries today are near empty throughout the day, bothered her. “With an art café, however, we’re able to bring in the footfalls and get to unleash the art on the unsuspecting guests! I consider my job done when I’m able to familiarise at least a fraction of our visitors with the names and works of a few artists,” she smiles.

    She would also like to host poetry/book reading sessions, art discussions, creative training and workshop sessions at the cafe. The space is slowly but surely acquiring a cult reputation with young couples, students, techies, architects and art lovers. Leena recalls, “A lady celebrated her seventieth birthday with her family here!”

    However to all those who come to her looking for investment ideas, she says, “Buy art that you love and can live with. While art can produce significant returns financially, the best returns are made when you buy with a passion for the art itself and not merely with the aim to INVEST.’’

    And what guides her own choices when she showcases artists? She answers, “Aesthetically speaking, all the artists presented in our exhibitions demonstrate original thoughts and styles. They are either young fledgling artists poised for fame or those who have already established themselves.” Art she says is not just for the aesthetes but those who enjoy looking at something that engages their eye, provokes a thought over a cup of a coffee with a fruit laden tree swishing in the breeze.

    For more details, please visit or mail, or call +91-98862-18518.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Bengaluru / by Reema Moudgil / April 15th, 2015

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    April 15th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy, Records, All, Travel
    View of Bike Ambulance First Response Unit (FRU) inaugurated by the Health Minister U.T. Khader in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P. / The Hindu

    View of Bike Ambulance First Response Unit (FRU) inaugurated by the Health Minister U.T. Khader in Bangalore on Tuesday. Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P. / The Hindu

    Two companies had evinced interest in taking up the air ambulance project in the State, the Minister said.

    The much-awaited two-wheeler ambulances will hit the streets in the State from Wednesday. Health Minister U.T. Khader, who launched 30 first responder bike ambulances in the city on Tuesday, said his department was working at introducing air ambulances in the State by this year end.

    Two companies had evinced interest in taking up the air ambulance project in the State, the Minister said.

    Terming the bike ambulance project as a “platinum ten minutes” trauma care initiative, Mr Khader said the bikes will be flagged off by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday.

    Aimed at reducing deaths due to road accidents, the platinum trauma care initiative is useful for negotiating heavy traffic in urban areas where it will be difficult for four-wheeler ambulances to reach the accident spot at the earliest.

    Of the 30, 21 will be stationed at strategic locations in the city and one each in the districts of Mysore, Mangaluru, Kalaburgi, Belagavi, Hubballi-Dharwad, Davangere, Tumkuru, Vijayapura and Shivamogga.

    The initiative will be implemented through GVK-EMRI, the organisation that is running the 108 Arogya Kavacha ambulance service. The bike ambulance rider will be a trained paramedic who has a driving licence. “The paramedic will reach the spot in ten minutes and give first aid and start resuscitation measures to save the victim till the four-wheeler ambulance arrives,” he said.

    Each bike ambulance will carry 40 medical items including stethoscope, pulse oxymeter, bandages and IV normal saline apart from 53 basic drugs. The government has spent nearly Rs 2 lakh on each of the bike ambulances.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Afshan Yasmeen /Bengaluru – April 14th, 2015

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    April 13th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Leaders


    This photograph was taken in 1984 when the renowned Kannada poet, Prof KS Nisar Ahmed, was the president of  Karnataka Sahitya Academy. A felicitation function had been arranged for Masthi Venkatesha Iyengar, the  Kannada writer who had bagged the prestigious ‘Jnanapeetha Award’ for that year. 

    It was a memorable  function in which many prominent writers  had participated. After the function, some of the close friends of Nisar Ahmed, including myself, gathered to congratulate him on arranging the function in a fitting manner. It was then that this photograph was taken.

    Nisar Ahmed had started writing poetry in Kannada when he was studying MSc in Geology at the Central College  in the fifties. His poetry had caught the attention of his teacher and Kannada scholar GP Rajarathnam. He happened to read and correct his poetry and got it printed in the magazine of the Kannada Sangha of Central College. Later, poetry became his forte and he brought out one poetry collection after another.

    He wrote prose too and translated two of Shakespeare’s plays. But he is recognised as a poet mainly as he has been writing poetry through all the literary movements of Kannada.Though his mother tongue is not Kannada, he has been writing in Kannada only.

    Nisar Ahmed had also told the literary critics that he does not need any concession just because his mother tongue is not Kannada. He is also known as ‘Nithyostava Poet because his lyrics appeared in the first cassette of modern Kannada poetry under the same title. Since then, Nisar Ahmed has been a household name as one of the most popular among contemporary Kannada poets.

    He was the president of the Karnataka Sahitya Academy between 1984 and 1987 and launched several programmes to take literature to the common people. In order to encourage young writers, many workshops were organised and lectures by eminent writers were arranged. He also organised a literary programme in every district and taluk head quarters and involved the local writers and the people  in creating awareness about the current literary trends. He started the English edition of the Academy’s quarterly journal ‘Aniketana’.

    It was devoted to the English translation of Kannada literary pieces. Thus, it enabled the non-Kannada readers also to get an understanding of Kannada literature through translations. I remember that he had organised a seminar as the president of the Academy in Kanakapura of Bangalore Rural District in 1986 on the last quarter century of modern Kannada poetry in which stalwarts of Kannada literary world including Prof M Gopala Krishna Adiga, Prof  LS Seshagiri Rao, Dr Ramachandra Sharma, Dr Kamala Hampana had participated.

    In the evening, there was a poets’ meet under the chairmanship of poet Dr Pu Thi Narasimhachar. It is worth mentioning that the seminar was attended by the people of Kanakapura in large numbers and actively participated in the interaction with the speakers of the seminar.

    This photograph assumes importance for another reason. Two writers of yesteryears, namely the late Prof VM Inamdar and Prof Venugopala Soraba, are present in it.

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Prof. M S Raghunath / DHNS – April 06th, 2015

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