Chennai ● Tuesday ● 8 February 2011

Unemployment is increasing in the state: MLA Ramasamy. V. Sivapunniyam: Cong will suffer for its inaction in protecting TN fishermen.

Mayor to inaugurate testing laboratory for electrical equipments.


Photo IDs a must on trains


Victorian buildings show red flag to Metro

◗ Monday’s protest has also triggered anxiety among heritage-lovers about the safety of centuries-old public institutions on Poonamallee high road. ◗ According to the protesters, CMRL plans to take 3.194 acres of land belonging to the college to construct a metro rail station inside the college premises. nai,” said Mr Prakasam, AUT chairman. Mr P. Arulmozhichelvan, joint secretary of the association, pointed out that there were several acres of vacant land and government land on both sides of the proposed line for CMRL use. “Already, 6,000 students study in our college and the small place would not be able to accommodate the rail passenger rush.” Monday’s protest has also triggered anxiety among heritage-lovers about the safety of centuries-old public institutions on Poonamallee high road. Buildings like Southern Railway headquarters, Memorial Hall, Victoria Public Hall and Ripon Buildings adorn the stretch, all of which are likely to get affected once the CMRL path is laid. As per CMRL sources, there are plans to build access ways on the lawns of Ripon Buildings and in front of Victoria Public Hall. CMRL officials were unavailable for comment.

MU to change exam pattern

Feb. 7: The ministry of railways has decided to reintroduce the need for carrying identity proof in original during a train journey in tatkal scheme in view of the complaints received in recent past regarding alleged irregularities. According to a press release from Southern Railway this provision will come into effect from February 11, 2011. Passengers are supposed to produce one of the following eight identity proofs in original during the course of journey. Voter photo identity card, passport, PAN card, driving licence, photo identity card issued by central/state government, student identity card with photograph issued by recognised school/college for students, nationalised bank passbook with photograph, credit cards issued by banks with laminated photograph The following special trains will be run in order to clear the extra rush of passengers. Howrah – Chennai Central Weekly Special will leave Howrah at 4.10 pm on Wednesdays from Feb. 9 to June 29 and arrive at Chennai Central at 7.50 pm the next day. Chennai Central – Howrah Weekly Special will leave Chennai Central at 2.35 pm on Fridays from Feb. 11 to July 7 and arrive Howrah at 7.05 pm the next day.

Feb. 7: Chennai Metro Rail, propounded as the ‘saviour’ for the traffic-congested city, has started receiving the ire of some Chennaiites who believe that the project is planned in a manner that will threaten the decadesold public and private institutions in its path. On Monday, members of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) staged a protest to highlight the damage Chennai Metro Rail Project (CMRL) will cause to Pachaiyappa’s College on Poonamallee high road, one of the premier institutions of the country. According to the protesters, CMRL plans to take 3.194 acres of land belonging to the college to construct a metro rail station inside the college premises. “We are not against CMRL constructing an underground path or even an elevated path through the college premises as we welcome the idea of a station near the college. But constructing a station inside the premises can only be achieved by cutting down at least 500 trees, which are 40 to 50 years old. The proposed site is also where students sit for relaxed study and we cannot just stand and watch the whole serenity of the college being ruined. There is enough scope for CMRL to review the project and relocate the station and save the green space for the student community of Chen-

Members of the Association of University Teachers stage a protest against the —DC construction of metro rail on the Pachaiyappa’s College premises.

on fast track
Heritage Buildings likely to get affected by Chennai Metro Rail on the Poonamallee High Road

◗ Memorial Hall ◗ Madras Medical College ◗ Southern Railway Headquarters ◗ Chennai Central ◗ Victoria Public Hall ◗ Ripon Buildings

As per CMRL sources, there are plans to build access ways on the lawns of Ripon Buildings and in front of Victoria Public Hall

Feb. 7: The 153-year-old University of Madras will be revamping its question paper pattern for undergraduate and postgraduate courses with 50 per cent marks for objective-type questions and the remaining for subjective questions. According to university vice-chancellor, Prof G. Thiruvasagam, this move will help eliminate learning by rote among students, besides increasing the possibility of a student passing the university examination. With the new system, students of all arts and science colleges affiliated to Madras University need to study their subject books fully to score more marks in the objective-type questions. “At present, we have only descriptive-type questions asked in the examination for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We are of the opinion that this move will make students study their subjects in detail and read their book fully as without that they will not be able to answer objectivetype questions,” said Prof Thiruvasagam. The vice-chancellor also said the university would be introducing new courses apart from revamping the existing ones. “We are planning to convene a

Prof G. Thiruvasagam

“At present, we have only descriptive-type questions asked in the examination for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. We are of the opinion that this move will make students study their subjects in detail”
meeting of student representatives from affiliated colleges, industry leaders and chairman of board of studies in the university which design curriculum for students, during the third week of February to revamp our syllabi according to the needs of industry and students,” he said.

Koyambedu parking lot overflowing Census chief cautions against giving false info

Feb. 7: The two-storied basement parking space at Koyambedu mofussil bus terminus (CMBT), inaugurated by deputy chief minister in December 2010, is already cramped. Vehicleowners complain that they find it difficult to park their vehicles during weekends and on festival days. “It is not even 50 days since the new facility was opened but there is already a space crunch in the parking lot. Due to congestion, vehicles often get damaged during parking and retrieval,” says S. Kamalakkannan, a

Two-wheelers parked at the underground parking lot —DC at the Koyambedu bus stand.

resident of Anna Nagar, working in a company in Sriperumbudur. Parking has

become tough even on normal days, he elaborated. S.V. Radhakrishnan from

Ayanavaram said, “During Pongal festival, I came here to park my vehicle. Since there were double the number of vehicles than on normal days, I parked my vehicle on the ramp.” Agreeing that there is a space crunch, a senior official of CMDA said the facility was developed at a cost of `17 crore and the roof has been developed as a garden. The parking lot was planned in 2008, but vehicle flow has increased manifold since then. It can now accommodate 2,000 vehicles and an additional 500 vehicles can be squeezed in, he added. Stating that there is not

much space for car parking, A. Balakannan of Chromepet pointed out that more space should be allotted for car parking also. The official said, “It is designed in such a manner that an additional two floors could be constructed in future by removing the roof garden. But we have to get permission from the housing department.” “Besides, we have been asking the government to allot the 10 acre land of Chennai Metro Water Board, located near CMBT, and we have to wait till the metro rail project’s completion to decide about providing additional space.”


Feb. 7: Public who submit fake details to queries raised by census officials will be subjected to legal action, warned S. Gopalakrishnan, director of census operations, Tamil Nadu. Addressing a press conference, the top official said that the census details will be maintained confidential and noncooperation with officials would attract punishment. A total of 1.5 lakh personnel will be involved in the

census exercise, starting on February 9 and the municipalities and local bodies across the state are in the enumeration process. The census officials will seek 29 details including name, age, sex and physical disability of the members in a particular family will be sought. The exercise will go on till February 28 and enumeration of the homeless and those residing on road-sides will be done after that, he said seeking the public co operation to make the cen-

sus a success. In Chennai, the public who were let without any enumeration can contact the corporation helpline 1913, corporation commissioner D. Karthickeyan said. A toll free helpline number 18003450111 has been introduced to receive public grievances and to ensure early completion of the census enumeration operation within two years certain new features including intelligent character recognition has been introduced, sources said.

flying high


Indians cold shoulder ‘cold fusion’

Hundreds of students in the city thronged the UK Education roadshow on Monday. A group of students getting their doubts clarified with one of the rep—DC resentatives from Loughborough University, UK.

More in UK take biotech after Venky gets Nobel

Feb. 7: After India-born scientist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan was awarded the Nobel prize, the number of Indian students joining biotech courses in United Kingdom has gone up from 12 to 18 per cent this year. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle on Monday on the sidelines of the education roadshow organised by

Education UK, Mr L. Dhanasekaran, head, Education UK (South India) said with Dr Venkatraman Ramakrishnan being awarded Nobel prize several students applied to join biotechnology course in various universities in United Kingdom. “Last year about 12 per cent of the total number of students who applied, joined biotech but this year the number went upto 18 per

cent which shows that Indians are interested in pursuing applied science courses in UK,” he said. Pointing out that the number of students going to UK for studying higher education had also increased considerably, Mr Dhanasekaran said that last year about 40,000 students flew to UK and this year about 51,000 students enrolled in various higher education institutions in the country.

Feb. 7: Top Indian scientists have cast doubts on the possibility of low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) popularly known as ‘cold fusion,’ despite the decades long research work behind it. Three scientists including one from India have claimed that it is possible to design LENR devices capable of producing cheap and green energy. But the mainstream scientific establishment seems to be sceptical. Mr Sreekumar Banerjee, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, failed to turn up for the inaugural ceremony of the International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science which began here on Monday. India is hosting this meet for the first time and more than 60 eminent scientists from countries such as the US, UK, Russia, Italy, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Israel, have assembled in Chennai to share their experience, findings and knowledge. The conference is being held in the backdrop of a path breaking research paper authored and published by Prof Yogendra Srivastava, (University of Perugia, Italy), Allan Widom (North Eastern University, Boston)

Differently-abled but a star scientist

The delegates interact at the International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. — DC

and Lewis Larsen (President and CEO, Lattice Energy LLC, Chicago) explaining the science behind the generation of abnormal heat at room temperature. It has been established by several scientists that one does not require big reactors costing billions of rupees and highly dangerous radioactive materials to generate power. But orthodox scientists refuse to believe the possibility of such a technology. “The attitude of our scientific establishments reminds me of the sufferings of Galileo Galilei, the founder of modern science,” said Prof Bikash Sinha, Homi Bhabha Professor, VECC, Kolkata, who delivered the keynote address. “India

must work vigorously in this field.” He added that India was spending millions of rupees for research on hot fusion which was still far away. “We should give equal priority to cold fusion also,” said Prof Sinha. Mr Mustansir Barma, director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) who inaugurated the conference opted not to mention anything about the country's research programmes in LENR. “This could be the reason behind Mr Banerjee's pulling out in the last minute,” said one of the participants. “He does not want to antagonise people in higher places who have an aversion for LENR.”

Feb. 7: What will happen to a person born a paraplegic and is not able to coordinate body movements? In normal circumstances, the person will end up in a school for special children if he is economically better off. Fulvio Frisone (45) from Italy, a theoretical physicist attending the International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, being held in Chennai, is a miracle man. Confined to a wheelchair and speaking through translators with the help of specially-made computer software, this Sicilian has already become a legend in his field of work, thanks to Lucia Colletta, his octogenarian mother who pushes his wheelchair. “Fulvio was born with tetraparesi spastica, a medical disorder which makes coordination of body movements impossible,” said Ms Colletta. She brought him up like any other boy. “He went to a public school with other children. I did not give him any special considerations. Fulvio was good in

Fulvio Frisone with his mother. — DC

his studies,” said mama Lucia. “Theoretical physics was his favourite subject. He learnt everything by himself,” she said. In 1992, he was awarded a Ph.D. in physics by the University of Catania for his research in theoretical physics. “A specially designed helmet helps him work on his computer though he is handicapped because of weak body movements. Now that he is into full-fledged research, a team of five persons is always in attendance on him,” she said.

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