It’s a portable washing machine, or rather, a washing drum. It needs no electricity, running on power generated by operating a pedal. It uses just 50 litres of water and detergent to wash 5kg of dry clothes, and best of all, can be ridden to the water source.
This invention by a team of three scientists -Amaresh Chakrabarti, Manish Kumar and Pulin M Raje -from the Centre for Product Design and Manufacturing (CPDM) of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) – prom ises to be a boon to rural areas, where electricity is scarce and piped water is still a pipe dream. The CPMD is largely perceived to lack such innovations or inventions for the common man.
Conceived in 2008, the washing drum has gone through many processes and is patented. The Society for Innovation and Development (SID), within the IISc campus, is now liaisoning with industry to take it to the market.
A senior SID official told TOI: “The primary objective of IISc is research. We also have such products and technologies and the SID and incubation centre try to push them.”
He, however, conceded there is no aggressive marketing. “There are many companies that come scout ing for talent and ideas, we showcase these things to them. Otherwise, there is no advertising or media publicity for these inventions,” he said.
Amaresh Chakrabarti said: “I ideally wanted to find a startup partner, with students involved in the project. A patent has been granted, but the students left for other jobs. I’m seeking an appropriate person to in cubate the startup, as part of the MHRD-funded programme called Design Innovation Centre (or DIC) that was approved by the Sam Pitroda committee of the National Innovation Council. We hope to start incubation in the coming year.”
“Our invention is a substantial improvement over hand washing, which requires about 200 litres of water and takes two hours, while conventional machines also need 200 litres of water and take 65 minutes,” say the scientists, and claim that hand washing using similar brushes leads to greater damage to clothes.
11 inventions wait for funds
Eleven other inventions from IISc are ready and waiting for incubation. It’s a pointer to the fact that the institute is working to get its collective intellectual property to benefit the common man. Among the inventions is a mechanized harvest device specially suited for tea and herbs, which require meticulous selection of the shoot. Scientists claim this enhances productivity three-fold.
The list also has a device that enables visually challenged individuals to accurately construct geometric figures, like circular arcs and straight line segments, in a manner that can be equally understood by able individuals.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> City> Bengaluru / by Chethan Kumar, TNN / July 31st, 2015
Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM), a city-based development organisation engaged in building a civil society through its grassroots to policy-level action in health, education and community development sectors, was adjudged as India’s Best NGO at an event organised by ‘The Resource Alliance’ and sponsored by the EdelGive Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation to honour NGOs.
SVYM was chosen from among 300 NGOs across India. The award was given to SVYM for adhering to highest standards of resource mobilisation, accountability and transparency in day-to-day functioning, thus setting an example worth emulating for other non-governmental and non-profit organisations.
On July 23, Dr. R. Balasubramaniam, Founder & President, SVYM, had given a presentation before the final jury round.
On July 24, the Indian NGO award was presented to SVYM, which was received by Dr. M.R. Seetharam, Vice-President, SVYM.
source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / Saturday – July 25th, 2015
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), Mysuru, in collaboration with Regional Museum of Natural History (RMNH), is organising a two-day National Seminar on ‘Museum Movement in South India’ on July 27 and 28 at RMNH premises in Siddarthanagar here.
The seminar will be inaugurated by Prof. Sarith Kumar Chauduri, Director, IGRMS Bhopal.
Prof. P.K. Misra, President, Anthropological Association, Mysuru, will be the chief guest.
The seminar will emphasise on: Museum and Sustainable Society; Curatorial experience linked with exhibition making or making of new museums; Collection and display of objects linking with a conceptual/ideological frame; Museum and vernacular art and architecture; Museum and the emerging social reality; Museum, State and Communities in the digital age.
About 25 delegates and museum professionals will present their papers during the meet. Those who are interested to participate in this seminar may contact Sh. V. Ashok Vardhan, Museum Associate on Mob: 09036373618 or Ph: 0821-2448131.
source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> General News / Saturday – July 25th, 2015
July 31st, 2015Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Eloor, the 27-year-old city library, continues to ward-off competition from e-portals with a satisfied reader base of 17,000 members
Sixty three-year-old Meera Khanna comes to Bengaluru from her farm in Nandi Valley, Sultanpet Village in Andhra Pradesh once every two weeks — “to pick up a few books from Eloor Libraries” on the ground floor of Blue Cross Chambers on Infantry Road. In this world swamped by ebooks, online libraries and new-age libraries like JustBooks, “Eloor” as it’s known by everyone in Bangalore boasts of 17,000 members. This was the place where once you would find Girish Karnad or Ramachandran Guha standing with titled heads, reading quietly by the book shelves — Eloor has no reading room. There’s just a “private room” where “old books” are stored.
Khanna was introduced to Eloor by her son, who now lives in the US. “He became a member of the library when he was a teenager.” And why she crosses borders to borrow books? “There’s no better feeling than picking an old book with yellowed-pages.” And also Eloor has any book that she wants and “a very good layout”.
Eloor was first established in 1979 by Luiz John in Ernakulam, Kerala. According to their website it was because “the government libraries had not been able to satisfy the hunger for books; plenty of new titles were getting published, but there were only very few readers who could buy the books they wanted. Readers truly needed a library like Eloor”. The Bangalore branch was opened 1988. Its shelves stack rows of English books across various genres such as fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, biographies, thrillers, business and children books. In Bengaluru alone they have a collection of about 1.5 lakh books. They also have outlets in Chennai and New Delhi, and their most recent store was opened in Kolkata in 1994. The one-time refundable deposit of Rs 800 (and you can borrow books/magazines worth Rs.1200.The library charges its members a tenth of the price of the book as reading charges.) Of course they have a few “regular and faithful members” who borrow 30/40 books at a time. “We lend it to them based on trust,” says the N Gopal Rao, the library manager. Ideally, the book has to be returned in a span of two weeks, “but we don’t really insist because some people might take much longer to complete a book. They can simply call and extend the return-date,” says the genial Rao.
Priya Mohanraj (52) is intently flipping through the pages of Sufi by Idris Shah in the religious section at the Library. The books she has borrowed – Shamans Mystics and Doctors by Sudhir Kakar and Sufi – were suggested Rao who has worked at Eloor for the past 15 years. “The people here know the taste of every reader (member) and suggest books accordingly. This really spoils you. But it saves you a lot of time too. I like reading about religion, philosophy and psychology and they just seem to pick the right books for me,” says Mohanraj, a former economics professor and emotional counsellor for adolescents.
Rao himself was a voracious reader who enjoyed library hopping, when he signed on to be a librarian at Eloor in 2000. At the time, they had about 100-120 members coming in on a daily basis and the numbers would double during weekends. Today, however, the numbers have dwindled at about 40-60 people on weekdays and increases by 10-15 by weekend. Eloor had its hey days in the 90s when they saw a surge in membership. In 2000 they had 12,000 members. Between then and now they have only 5000 new members. Still, 27 years since its inception in Bengaluru, the library remains a hub for serious readers and continues to cater to different generations of its 17,000-odd members. “For someone who likes reading, there’s no better feeling than holding the book, feeling its weight and enjoying that ‘old book smell.’ Something e-commerce giants like Amazon or Flipkart cannot match,” says Rao (36).
Books have inspired serious competition here, he recounts. When the fifth book in the Harry Potter series – The Order of the Phoenix – released in 2003, there was about 100m long queue outside Eloor even before they had opened the store at 10am. The store had bought 20 copies from distributors and those on the waiting list were called when the book became available. But of course there is no such rush in the recent times, what with pre-ordering available on many online stores. “Members let us know much in advance what book they are looking to read and we place orders accordingly with the five distributors we have,” says Rao. Eloor adds books to their shelf every month when the distributors send the latest releases and Rao hand picks books based on their readers’ liking.
Krishna Murthy, at 83, is the oldest member here. The octogenarian loves reading thrillers, “and whenever he visits I ensure I give me the latest arrivals in that genre. Usually members tend to stick to the authors they like and don’t explore others so I recommend something is worth a read and is of their liking,” says Rao. The youngest include a bunch of six-year-olds who come in to borrow Marvel comics and superhero gen-next books. In fact, there are a few parents, mostly in their 30s, who bring their kids, as young as three, to read out children’s books to them. “They just want the kids to feel the library, you know,” says Rao with a smile.
It has been tough, he admits, surviving the onslaught of online stores. “The youngsters like to read on their Kindles, phones and rarely have the time to come visit a library.” But he is optimistic. “The advent of newer libraries such as Just Books and Easy books have not really dented our business, mainly because of the collection we have,” he adds. However, Eloor too will have to keep up with the times. “We will start an online portal soon where readers can select the books they want and we can home deliver them,” Rao says.
source: http://www.bangaloremirror.com / Bangalore Mirror / Home> Bangalore> Others / by Nandini Kumar, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / July 30th, 2015
Sadashiva is man Friday for the villagers of Honna Kiranagi and neighbouring villages. He is looked upon as saviour by the landless farm labourers who find it difficult to get employment, as agricultural operations have come to a standstill owing to the failure of rains.
Mr. Sadashiva, who is in his twenties, has enrolled himself as ‘Kayaka Bandhu’ in Honna Kiranagi Gram Panchayat. He was instrumental in persuading the officials of the panchayat to use Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act funds to take up large-scale planting of the saplings of trees along the boundary of the 1,600-odd acres acquired for the proposed supercritical thermal power plant.
The gram panchayat has completed planting nearly 10,000 saplings with these funds. While planting along 50 per cent of the boundary was completed last year, the villagers have now taken up planting of 10,000 saplings along the remaining 50 per cent of the boundary, stretching more than 10 km.
Chief Executive Officer Anirudh Sravan said of Mr. Sadashiva, “I have rarely come across such an enthusiastic person who has taken such an initiative to help so many people who badly required employment.”
When this correspondent visited the site, more than 550 workers, a majority of them women, were digging trenches for planting saplings and for tapping rainwater. Mr. Sadashiva, who was a farm labourer, told The Hindu that he knew the difficulties faced by people to get work and that was what inspired his initiative.
He also helps those who do not have bank accounts to open savings accounts in a bank in the village by filling applications with introductions. He also helps people get Aadhaar cards and runs a night school for landless agricultural labourers in the village. Now, nearly 50 landless agricultural labourers who were unlettered can write their names and affix their signatures.
Sadashiva is looked upon as saviour by landless farm labourers of Honna Kiranagi and neighbouring villages in Kalaburagi district
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by T.V. Sivanandan /Kalaburgi – July 30th, 2015
July 30th, 2015Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Business & Economy, Inspiration/ Positive News and Features
Want to wake up to the birds of Munnar or watch the beauty of New Zealand’s glaciers without leaving your seat? With their second album ‘Nature and Places’, the father-son duo ‘Instrumental Conversations’ takes listeners through a global musical tour. But what’s unique is that an untrained IT professional became a recording artiste, and the family worked tirelessly to turn dreams into reality.
Multi-instrumentalist Ravi CA started the band with his son Rahul. His journey started in his school days, when he taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica. As a teenager, his first exposure to rock music was ‘Sultans of Swing’ by ‘Dire Straits’. He spent hours mimicking Mark Knopfler’s rhythmic solos. Since he was self-taught, he was not limited by terms such as ‘Western’ and ‘Indian’ music. He began playing publicly while at Christ University.
He loved music, but in the 1980s music was a limited career option. So, as he transitioned into the corporate world and got married, music remained a hobby. As years passed, he realised that he was ready to make music a full-time endeavour. “I don’t measure success by money or titles. If you have a roof over your head and fulfill your responsibilities, you can pursue your passion,” he says.
But he had real responsibilities towards his wife and two children. “They were supportive, but guarded. Your family has to be comfortable with your plan,” he says. Ravi worked for four more years, saving every extra rupee. “The key to following your dream is planning and management,” he adds.
In 2008, Ravi left his job, giving himself a one-year deadline for success or failure. While his ultimate dream was to record music, he and his wife first started the ‘RaGa School of Music’, partly as an income-generator, partly to share music with others. They started the ‘Music Gear’ shop a few years later, where he indulges his love for carpentry by repairing broken instruments. After the year passed, Ravi knew there was no looking back.
His teaching style is built on his own experience with music. He teaches “the instrument, not a style”.
While he never doubted his purpose, there were many strenuous moments. The family overcame financial struggles, personnel issues and the stress of running two businesses. But finally, Ravi and Rahul were able to start ‘Instrumental Conversations’. Inspiration for the album ‘Nature and Places’ came to him one early morning in Munnar, when he recorded bird calls and decided to build a song around the sound. Every track on the album has authentic sounds from different locations.
“I want to recreate places close to me, and places that others find special,” he says. Ravi uses gentle guitar solos, sound effects and ambient keyboard melodies to mimic the atmosphere of each area. The songs also weave in reflections on life, like his tribute to Bengaluru, which reflects his concern over the City’s changes. Although Ravi has many other plans for the future, including writing and teaching, he plans to focus on music for now. At the very least, he hopes to leave a legacy that convinces others to not waste their potential.
“People today rush to achieve goals, but they don’t know what those goals are. I want to help people understand a balanced view of life and success. I see life as a journey where I keep going and keep learning,” he says.
source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Supplements> MetroLife / by Lisa Pauline Matackal, Bengaluru / DHNS – July 30th, 2015
July 30th, 2015Sports
Errol Fernandes (standing at the back), a Ideal Jawa Rotary High School (IJRHS), KRS Road, Mysuru, won Gold medal in U-14 Karate 55kg category in the 2nd Students Olympic State Games-2015 held at Lions Club Indoor Hall in Davanagere recently.
He is seen with K. Jagadeesh (Physical Education Teacher), Beena Singh (Principal) and S.P. Shobha (Co-ordinator).
source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / July 24th, 2015
With numerous research centres and educational institutes, Bengaluru was never far in the calendar of late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
With numerous research centres and educational institutes, Bengaluru was never far in the calendar of the former President late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Whether it was the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) or the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the city was the home for Dr. Kalam when he started his career in the 1960s.
Eventually, he did leave a mark in a small part of the city. In an unassuming apartment complex for Central government employees besides the Airport Road in Yelahanka, the Bharat Ratna winner owned one of the 603 flats.
Roja, Dr. Kalam’s grandniece who lives in the complex, left for Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, soon after learning about his demise on Monday night.
“It [Dr. Kalam’s death] is yet to register in my mind. The whole family is in shock. He was an active man, and since he stayed constantly in touch with me, I’m sure he had no ill health until the heart attack,” she told The Hindu over the phone.
Even after he became the President, his association with the city did not confine to just ribbon cuttings and inauguration speeches. In November 2005, Dr. Kalam addressed the joint sitting of the State legislature and urged the members to protect the greenery of Bengaluru and focus on metro railway (which was then only a proposal) to decongest the city.
On June 13 this year, he spoke at several events here, including at the inauguration of the National Oncology Conference, and Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge India Design Contest 2015.
Meeting with budding trekkers
Shankar Bennur writes from Mysuru:
It was an unbelievable experience for over a dozen speech, hearing and visually impaired students and children from tribal communities in from Karnataka when Dr. Kalam spent over one-and-a-half hours interacting with them at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2006.
These students went to meet the ‘missile man of India’ before going on their maiden expedition to the Himalayas, which was called ‘Hope’.
It was one of the ambitious expeditions of the International Academy of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (IAMAS), Mysuru, and the organisers were keen to meet the eminent visionary since he was a great source of inspiration, especially to the youth. “Being the President of India, he spent his time inspiring the budding trekkers. Indeed, it was an unforgettable experience,” adventure enthusiast D.S.D. Solanki, founder-member of the IAMAS, who was part of the expedition, said on Tuesday.
On the occasion, Dr. Kalam spoke on ‘dreams, courage and vision’ and quoted a few lines from the English translation of an Assamese poem to encourage the special needs students, he recalled.
Dr. Kalam signed his autograph on the caps of the entire team — students and IAMAS volunteers, who wore them until they reached Yankar Pass, the summit.
Citing an instance of how Dr. Kalam read the young trekkers’ minds, Mr. Solanki said the participants were longing to take a group photo with the President but their cameras were not allowed inside the bhavan. “Sensing our feelings, Dr. Kalam asked his office photographer to take photographs. His office later shared the photographs on our request,” he recalled.
A packed schedule in Kolar in 2011
Vishwa Kundapura writes from Kolar:
Dr. Kalam had visited Kolar, Chickballapur and Malur to participate in programmes organised by educational institutions.
He inaugurated BGS Polytechnic at SJC Institute of Technology in Chickballapur on August 29, 2010. On December 28, 2011, the former President had a hectic schedule — he delivered the keynote address at the silver jubilee celebration of Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College at Tamaka, on the outskirts of Kolar town, inaugurated JSS Educational Institutions at Malur and participated in an interaction with students at C. Byregowda Institute of Technology at Toradevandahalli, near Kolar.
At all the programmes, he adhered to his favourite way of communication — interaction, during which he posed faith in the capacity of human beings. At the Malur programme, Dr. Kalam exhorted students to “set a goal and study hard”.
Lehanya, a class six student of Baldwin School in Kolar who interacted with Dr. Kalam a month and a half ago in Bengaluru, was upset on Tuesday. She was one of the students selected by Baldwin Group of Institutions to interact with the former President at an event in Bengaluru on June 12.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bangalore / by Mohit M. Rao / Bengaluru – July 29th, 2015
July 29th, 2015Arts, Culture & Entertainment, Green Initiatives / Environment, Nature, World Opinion
Namma Park in Vasanthnagar is an apt example of how citizens’ intervention can change the face of a public space.
Only months ago, the park spread over 4,000 sqft on 10th Cross was choking with plastic bottles, broken liquor bottles and garbage.Today, the place has undergone a sea change –greenery everywhere, walkways clearly laid out and residents relaxing on benches.
In early April, Friederike Fokuhl, a German teacher in Bengaluru, was appalled by the park’s condition.
Realizing that it hadn’t seen a broom for years, Friederike and her friend Reshma Nargund, a social worker, started cleaning the park every day from 7am to 9am.
“We got in touch with BBMP and learnt this park was categorized as `underdeveloped’ and, therefore, got no funds. That’s when we decided to clean it up,” said Nargund.
In a month, the Vasantnagar Residents’ Welfare Association (VRWA) also joined in. Soon, people descended on the park, armed with gloves, brooms and garbage cans. The park was tidied, gates were fixed and saplings planted.
However, more needs to be done. For instance, some benches are broken and a few pathways require repair; thanks to a garbage dump on the adjacent street, rats frequent the place.
Infrastructure upgradation, pest control and improvement of soil quality will perk up the green space further.
“We weren’t aware that citizens and corporates could adopt parks from BBMP. I urge fellow Bengalureans to come forward and look after their neighbourhood,” said Raj Kumar, secretary, VRWA.
Samantha King, a freelance architect, has come up with an aesthetic design for the park. “Even though it’s in a much better shape now, it’s not visually appealing.The design is viable, sustainable, easy to maintain and cost-effective; it’ll be an inclusive space for the entire community ,” she said.
Watson’s, a neighbourhood restaurant, has decided to host a fundraiser for Namma Park on August 2, 4pm. All patrons can contribute and the amount generated through the event will be used for uplifting the park.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Bengaluru / by Surya Harikrishnan, TNN / July 29th, 2015
July 27th, 2015Arts, Culture & Entertainment
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), with a mandate to protect and conserve cultural heritage, will be tasked with the work of restoring the original house of Jnanpith awardee and literary giant late Shivaram Karanth at Balavana, Puttur.
According to KA Dayanand, director, Department of Kannada and Culture, the department has sent request to Intach to this effect this month. The restoration would cost Rs 29 lakh.
Balavana is one of the most celebrated places of historical interest in Puttur. The litterateur’s house at the Dr Shivaram Karantha Balavana, Puttur, about 50 kms from here, has been converted into a museum and houses rare photos of Karanth and the prestigious Jnanpith award received by him for his novel ‘Mookajjiya Kanasugalu’. Karanth lived and created his works through observation, hard work and devotion which earned him the titles “Nadedaaduva Vishwakosha”, and “Kadalateerada Bhargava”.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Mangaluru / by Stanley Pinto, TNN / July 26th, 2015