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    April 30th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment
    Rajendra Hosamani. | Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

    Rajendra Hosamani. | Photo Credit: ARUN KULKARNI

    Seven years of practice and zeal to learn has enabled 28-year-old Rajendra Hosamani to see some success in the field of music. This self-trained guitar player brought laurels to the district by winning State-level cultural event held at Mysuru recently and also participated in national-level event at Haryana. He is also invited by colleges to perform during cultural events.

    Mr. Hosamani, hailing from Kalaburagi city, is pursuing his Master of Science from Reshmi College in the city. His father is a retired government employee and mother works in Cooperative Dairy Federation. Though his family is in no way associated with music, he chose it.

    Speaking to The Hindu, he said that he started learning guitar through Internet in 2010 and gradually started attempting to play song. He would spend hours trying to get the sound right. “Though I didn’t get any support from my parents towards my hobby, I dedicated 8-10 hours every day to learn the guitar. Today, I can play same song in different styles including free-hand, tapping, rumba style, flamenco and so on,” he said.

    Rajendra is an ardent admirer of Spanish Guitarist Daniel Munoz and had a greater inclination towards his style. The rendition of Munoz’s Malita Mala and Madonna’s La Isla Bonita and Enrique Bailamos series by Mr. Hosamani have gone viral on the Internet.

    Rajendra spends most of his time for learning new techniques adapted by guitar legends across the world. Mr. Hosamani prefers to master the basics. “One needs formal training in music theory to compose own music. But, being self-taught helps artist stand out and set new trends.”

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Staff Correspondent Kalaburagi / April 30th, 2017

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    Soliga tribal community at MM Hills have been trained to use the invasive Lantana species to make furniture.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

    Soliga tribal community at MM Hills have been trained to use the invasive Lantana species to make furniture. | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

    Members of the Soliga tribal community on M.M. Hills use the plant to earn a livelihood by making furniture from them

    Behind the innocuous, little, bright flowers that pepper much of the country’s landscape, lies a sinister tale that threatens to tip the fragile balance of the eco-sensitive forests.

    The near-omnipresent Lantana Camara, originally from South America but introduced in the country during the British Raj, has invaded much of the country’s habitats. The “lantana problem” has forest officials stretched to contain the “invasion” that is blamed for increasing forest fires and choking out native grass and tree species which provide fodder for herbivores.

    For the unassuming Mahadeva, 34, however, the “toxic” weed is now a resource to fuel his livelihood. For seven days in a month, he and around 16 others from the Soliga tribal community set off into the forests of M.M. Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in south Karnataka in search of lantana. The plant is uprooted, and the sticks collected in neat bundles weighing more than 30 kg each. The bundles are then boiled and the bark peeled off. In the next few weeks, the sticks are fashioned, bent, nailed, tied and glued on to form furniture — stools, sofas, beds, bookshelves and more — before the process is repeated.

    “It not only resembles cane furniture, but matches it in durability and quality,” Mr. Mahadeva says.

    His tryst with lantana started a decade ago when the concept of lantana furniture first entered the undulating forests of M.M. Hills — a key part of the contiguous forests that now host among the densest tiger populations in the world. Envisioned by researchers at Asoka Trust for Research into Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, over 50 villagers were trained since 2004 to use lantana and develop market linkages for the furniture.

    “At the time we started, the tribal community had lost their livelihood as the Forest Department had prohibited the extraction of bamboo. We taught them how to use lantana instead and helped form a society to market the products. Now, nearly 80% of their livelihood comes out of lantana itself,” says Harisha R.P. from ATREE who is coordinating the project.

    For 30-year-old Madu, who has been working with lantana for over a decade, furniture-making has seen him settle down in his village rather than move around in an uncertain search for daily wage labour. “As demand rises, fewer people are going out to find work. Before, we would be affected when drought hits the farmlands. Now, we have work throughout the year,” he says.

    The centres are set to expand, as workers are now struggling to complete an order to make 50 large elephant statues with lantana. “We are guaranteed ₹500 per day, and are even taking labourers for ₹300 a day. This sort of earning is unheard of in our tribal village,” says Narayana, who has taken charge of processing orders.

    Though away from retailers for now, the demand — placed through direct orders only — is soaring, and production is only constricted by the logistics of transporting furniture from forests. At the three centres in M.M. Hills, over 50 types of products are made that eventually make their way to offices and resorts in urban centres.

    Controlling lantana

    While there have been no scientific studies on the ecological benefit of this work, anecdotal evidence suggests that lantana spread may have been contained locally.

    There are now three centres at M.M. Hills itself, and Mr. Harisha estimates that more than three tonnes of lantana is extracted yearly. “Once uprooted, it takes lantana at least three years to come again. This window may give a chance for native species to thrive again,” he says.

    In many patches of M.M. Hills, this “window” is evident. Ravi, a worker at Anehola centre, says during the early years, lantana could be extracted almost at their doorstep. “Now, we have to go 3 km into the forests to find usable lantana,” he says.

    The expensive alternative would be to mechanically uproot the plant, which has become a threat second only to poachers in deciduous forests.

    During the summer, the weed becomes brittle, turning forests into tinderboxes where fires spread with alarming rapidity. The fast-growing, near-drought-resistant lantana dominates the landscape, gradually outcompeting native plants that are crucial cogs in the forest biodiversity. To top off the seeming villainy of the plant, lantana is toxic to grazers and is actively avoided by elephants. The Forest Department states that in Bandipur Tiger Reserve — which is home to over 100 tigers and thousands of elephants, sambars, gaurs and deer — lantana is found in 80% of its nearly expanse. The cost of uprooting lantana in just 5 has been estimated to be ₹1.8 crore — or, if one were to extrapolate for the entire reserve, more than ₹250 crore for what is still a temporary solution. It is easy to understand why ATREE pushes for this low-cost innovation that deals with two socio-ecological problems in forests: livelihood and containing lantana. So, why not profit through this proliferation?

    Spreading the innovation

    The success of the M.M. Hills experiment has seen the concept spread among other tribal hamlets. Over the years, ATREE as well as Soliga tribals are called to forests of south India to train others in making furniture. In 2009, The Shola Trust helped set up two lantana furniture centres in Mudumalai Forests — where lantana is found in more than 200 of forests. Lantana furniture is being made in the forests on the foothills of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand; while, a little more than a year ago, 70 persons from four tribal hamlets in forests of Siruvani Hills near Coimbatore were trained by Amrita University.

    “This is just in the training phase now, but there has been considerable success. Just through exhibitions, we have sold ₹1.7 lakh worth of furniture already. We just can’t keep up with the demand,” said Maya Mahajan, Associate Professor, Centre for Sustainable Future at Amrita University. The university plans to expand this to other hamlets in the region, hoping to capitalise on the increasing demand from tourists.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Mohit M Rao / M.M Hills (South Karnataka) – April 29th, 2017

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    April 30th, 2017adminAgriculture, Business & Economy


    Named Sresta Karnataka and Siri Karnataka, they aim to cater to the growing demand for millets

    In a first of its kind, Karnataka has launched its own organic and millets brands to cater to the growing demand for millets. Sresta Karnataka (for organic produce) and Siri Karnataka (for millets) were launched by the government along with various organic federations in the State during the National Organic and Millets Trade Fair 2017 here on Saturday.

    The brand names can be used only by those farmers who are certified or under the certification process for their products, Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda said during the launch. “While many farmers have already shifted to organic, they will be watched for three years so that there is no chemical residue found in their soil, and their products are organic as per regulation norms and global standards,” he said. Only after three years (IC 1, IC 2, IC 3) are they certified fully organic, as Karnataka has “the most stringent certification norms” compared to other States, he added.

    Siri Karnataka was selected keeping in mind the richness of millets to human health and wellness.

    The organic brand created for the regional federations is Sresta Karnataka. The brand-name was selected keeping in mind the importance of organic farming practices to nature, the environment, and ecology. Indicating that the move will facilitate organised marketing of these quality food items, the Minister said farmer groups will be trained on grading, packing, and quality aspects.

    “This is a big step towards taking products from farmers to consumers for direct linkages,” he said. Brands — Siri Karnataka and Sresta Karnataka— were launched by 14 farmer federations representatives along with industry leaders Varun Berry, MD, Britannia Industries, Sanjay Malpani, VP, Future Foods, Hemanth Mallik, CEO- Foods, ITC, Sheshukumar, Big Basket, and Varun Gupta,CEO, Pro Nature. Next gen food startups, big organised and progressive retailers can get in touch with the organic cell that is running this programme, who will facilitate the transaction.

    The fair is organised by the Department of Agriculture, Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC), State agricultural universities, and the Jaivik Krishik Society.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Special Correspondent / April 30th, 2017

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    Food for thought: Cooks of Kondrahalli in Kolar are in demand in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, besides Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    Food for thought: Cooks of Kondrahalli in Kolar are in demand in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, besides Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

    Faced with odds like unemployment, drought and parched lands, households of Kondrahalli village have made this an alternative source of income

    On a hot afternoon in March in a sleepy village in Malur taluk of Kolar district, 40-year-old Sathish Kumar discusses his family ‘business’. “I have studied up to SSLC, and now I work as a cook at auspicious functions,” he says. “My younger brother Rajesh, who like me studied up to the class 10, is a cook. My older brother Nagaraj, who is 46-year-old, is also cook,” he keeps on explaining.

    Sathish and his brothers are not the only family of cooks in their village. There are 60 households that call Kondrahalli village home, and all but one have taken up cooking to eke out a living. The oldest member of the 60th family that has yet to pick up spatulas, is a retired government school teacher.

    There are villages that nurture at least one wrestler in every household. Others take pride in ensuring that one member is a teacher or a government employee.

    But this is the story of an entire village whose residents, when faced with unemployment, drought and parched lands, turned to cooking as an alternative source of income.

    In Karnataka, Kondrahalli village goes by the moniker ‘Banasigara grama’ (cooks’ village). A majority of the people here are landless and many worked on fields owned by farmers in surrounding villages. But with every passing generation, finding agricultural work and sustaining a livelihood from it was becoming increasingly difficult.

    Career change

    The struggles of two generations of families served as a catalyst for this career change. “Instead of depending on others and blaming nature, we opted to take up cooking,” says Nagaraj, who holds Bachelor’s degree, but prefers working as cook.

    “We are happy with our profession as it feeds our families. It gives us pleasure to feed other people and get paid for his,” Sathish adds.

    Most villagers, like Sathish and his brothers, are second-generation cooks having learned the tools of the trade from their fathers.

    Only the men cook, and their profession for the most part takes them to Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Be it marriages, house warming ceremonies, political functions or birthdays, the cooks of Kondrahalli are in demand.

    Not all 60 families cook for one event. “An order comes in, and depending on the size of the event, a team of 15 to 20 male cooks will go to the venue,” says a villager, adding that on an average they charge ₹40,000 to ₹60,000, which is then divided up among the cooks. The leader of the team — the person who brings in the order — usually gets takes home ₹4,000-₹5,000; for big assignments he can earn as much as ₹10,000.

    “We have experience cooking for even 40,000 people particularly during functions organised by politicians,” says Sathish.

    The cooks of Kondrahalli are adept at different cuisines, but their holiges are in great demand, they say. (Holiges, like puran polis, are sweet flat breads with delicious stuffings made from sugar and peanuts to coconuts and tur dal, cooked on a hot girdle with liberal helpings of ghee.) Mysore Paak is another speciality.

    Regular contracts

    Their fame guarantees them regular contracts from tour operators across north and south India. “None of us have any formal training. Practice makes us good cooks,” says villager Basavaraj, who is of course, a cook. During peak marriage and grihapravesha seasons, the men leave the village to go on “cooking missions”.

    “The men folk will be away for months on end working in far-off places like Kuppam, Punganur and Ramasandra in Andhra Pradesh and Alangai, Kaveripatna, Karimangala, Ambur and Baragur in Tamil Nadu,” says Sathish’s sister-in-law, Saritha.

    At home, women help with preparatory work. “We prepare masalas on grinding stones when the power goes off,” Saritha adds. But when the men return to Kondrahalli from their missions, it is the women who prepare their food. Some gender roles are hard to break.

    source: / The Hindu  / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Vishwa Kundapura / Kolar – April 29th, 2017

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    April 28th, 2017adminUncategorized
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    April 28th, 2017adminUncategorized
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    April 28th, 2017adminUncategorized
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    April 26th, 2017adminEducation, Records, All
    Gold medallist Raghuveer M wants to take up research

    Gold medallist Raghuveer M wants to take up research

    Bengaluru :

    Coming from a family of farmers, Raghuveer M is no stranger to hard work. The youngster who lost his father at a tender age has been shouldering the responsibility of his underprivileged family and depending on scholarships for financial support. His efforts bore fruit on Monday when he bagged 11 gold medals at the University of Agricultural Science (UAS) convocation ceremony.

    “The love for every subject helped me achieve this success,” said Raghuveer, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in agriculture.

    “I took up agricultural sciences because my father was a farmer. I had seen him struggle in the fields and wanted to come to the aid of farmers. I want to be a scientist and conduct research on varieties of seeds and saplings,” added Raghuveer who’s preparing for a career in the Agricultural Research Services (ARS).
    Students from various degree programmes won 116 gold medals, including 35 university gold medals, three undergraduate and five postgraduate campus gold medals and 73 donor’s gold medals at the 51st convocation ceremony. Fifteen boys shared 38 gold medals and 33 girls won 78 medals. In all, 953 students were conferred degrees – 646 bachelor’s, 234 master’s and 73 doctoral.

    In PhD programmes, six girls and five boys were awarded 10 university merit gold medals and eight donor’s gold medals. In PG degree pro grammes, eight boys and 17 girls bagged 19 university merit gold medals and 36 donor’s medals. In UG programmes, 2 boys and 10 girls won 38 gold medals -6 university merit gold medals, 3 campus gold medals and 29 donor’s medals.
    “In 10 years, youngsters will lose interest in agriculture. How do we attract them?
    Empowering them is the only way to ensure sustained support for the field. They have to explore the area of entrepreneurship, which will give them far more returns than anything else. Youngsters should carry out research as well, which will make agriculture more successful as an occupation,” said T Mohapatra, secretary, department of agricultural research and education and director general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News> Schools & Colleges / by Rakshitha R / TNN / April 25th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> State / DH News Service / Bengaluru – April 26th, 2017

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    April 25th, 2017adminLeaders
    Anusha G.

    Anusha G.

    For Anusha G., a probationary police sub-inspector (PSI) attached to Kuvempunagar station in Mysuru, the results of the gazetted probationary exam held by the Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) have brought cheer and bolstered her resolve to bring laurels to the Police Department.

    Ms. Anusha, a Taekwondo black belt holder, has been given the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) after she ranked 12th in the exam. She is ranked first among the DySP postings.

    “I could have opted for the post of Assistant Commissioner in the Revenue Department as my first choice, but I wanted to remain in the Police Department, a childhood dream. Therefore, DySP was my first choice and AC (Revenue) my second option. My training at the Karnataka Police Academy in Mysuru and subsequent posting as PSI only strengthened my resolve to continue to serve the department,” she told The Hindu.

    Ms. Anusha, a native of Bengaluru, said her parents and brother have backed her decision. Her father Ganesh K.S. works with the Union government, while her mother Kusuma is a homemaker.

    Incidentally, Ms. Anusha had come first in PSI examination as well. She joined the department in October last year.

    The young officer said senior IPS officer Sonia Narang was her role model. “I once interacted with her. She influenced me so much,” she said.

    A topper in academics since her school days, Ms. Anusha held the first rank and got eight gold medals on graduating from Bishop Cotton Women’s College. She did her Masters in Public Administration.

    Her priorities

    Women’s safety and empowerment are among her top priorities. “The new posting will encourage me to implement initiatives for the safety of women and children. I am also keen to spread awareness [on this],” she said.

    Ms. Anusha encouraged more women to be mentally strong and join the force. She was a silver medallist in Taekwondo at the Guwahati National Games in 2007, and always makes time to interact with students.

    Mysuru Police Commissioner A. Subramanyeshwara Rao congratulated Ms. Anusha on her success.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Shankar Bennur / Mysuru – April 25th, 2017

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