Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Chennai


Pancha is five in Samskritam, Amritam is nectar

Poornima / Kali Yugaabda 5113 / Kara Margazhi 23 (January 8, 2012)


For the 58-year old V. Velusamy, president of Dasanaickenpatti village panchayat near Salem (Tamilnadu, Bharat), it is a routine working in his tea stall and attending to the president's works. This, he has been doing since 2006 as he got elected for a second term as president for the Village Panchayat. He is the `parotta' master for his tiny tea shop on a 400 sq.ft. premises in his village. His wife, a former village president (during 1996-2001), assists him. But after 11 a.m., this `parotta' master assumes another avatar – meeting villagers, sorting out knotty local issues and monitoring the development works. "The job gives me immense satisfaction since I mingle with my fellow villagers. For them I am a tea stall owner first and a village president next, since I am running the stall for long. God has been very cordial to me. Our hard work fetches a decent income. That is enough for two of us, myself and my wife, since both my two sons and one daughter have already been settled," Velusamy points out. As the village is located nearer to Salem city, where the real estate boom is rocking, he, as a president, is facing a few problems. "A few accused me of issuing no objection certificates to real estate people. But I have nothing to hide," he claims. The `parotta' master loves to contest for the third term, which looks remote since in all probability the village would be brought under reservation. From THE HINDU, January 1, 2012. Idea: Shri N. Sadagapan.


Visually-challenged will now get a peek into the Ramayana, thanks to a 17-year-old student who has made the epic available in Braille. Pranav Raghav Sood, a grade XI Bangalore (Karnataka, Bharat) student, chose the great epic as it was not available to the visually challenged. "I had visited the 'Abilities' school for blind when I was 12. I had accompanied my grandmother, who used to read out stuff to visually challenged kids. When we first went to the NGO, a visually challenged woman actually announced my grand-mother's arrival even before she stepped into the room. She had apparently figured out things by hearing her footsteps. I realized that day that the visually challenged had a different understanding of the world and with a little help they could actually do wonders in everyday live," Pranav said. After encouragement from hisfamily, this young boy took 120 days to type out C Rajagopalachari's Ramayana in English in MS Word format. Any text in this format can be directly programmed into Braille and this does not require anyfurther editing. Kalyan Nagar-based Abilities, which assisted Pranav, said: ''The Ramayana is the most popular work and each one of us have to know about this great epic. We are so happy that this work will be now available to the visually challenged." Pranav's mother, Sood, said: "My son wanted to help the visually challeng children in writing exams. But as it did not work, he took up the project of making the Ramayana available to them in Braille. I hope his efforts will be emulated by other children." A report in THE TIMES OF INDIA, Bengaluru, December 30, 2011.


The MA in Social Entrepreneurship course at the Tata Institute of Social Studies (TISS), Mumbai (Maharashtra, Bharat), which was launched four years ago, has decided to put an end to placements starting this year to encourage its students to take up entrepreneurship. Here is a business school which has decided to withdraw the safety net of placements for its graduates so that they are pushed to start their own ventures. The philosophy of the programme is to come up with innovative solutions to social problems, so simply handing over jobs to students was defeating the purpose of the programme," saya TISS faculty member. Students of the 2011-12 batch were intimated of the change in the placement process at the time of admissions itself."A few students from every batch started setting up their own startups. Many of these were making noteworthy contribution to the society. For instance, helping farmers in coastal Andhra Pradesh increase their productivity, or providing low-cost to free dental care in Haryana, etc. Since such notable ventures were anyway being created, it made sense to do away with placements totally" added the faculty. Based on a report by Smt Tanuja Jaishree posted in www.rediff.com on Decenber 23, 2011.


It was a wedding that made a difference. The details: Swadeshi Jagaran Manch activist Shri K. Gurumoorthi married off his daughter Sowbhagyavati Aishwarya to Chiranjivi Ram Kumar of Chennai on December 14, 2011 at Srirangam, the ancient Vaishnavaite pilgrim centre in Tiruchy district (Tamilnadu, Bharat). The wedding reception highlight was a book release function. The Tamil book that was released had been penned by columnist and all Bharat co convener of SJM, Shri S. Gurumurthy, co authored by Shri Sekar Swamy. It dealt with the negative fall out of `FDI in retail trade'. Shri Sreeganesan, all Bharat secretary of Bharatiya Kisan Snagh released the book and Shri Chella Kumar, Tiruchy Jilla Sanghchalak of RSS, received the first copy. SJM's Tamilnadu state organizing secretary Shri Nambi Narayanan gave details of the contents of the book. Shri Krishna Jagannathan, a social worker, delivered a speech on `family values' on the occasion. Each guest was given a copy of the book kept inside the bag of `Thamboolam' while taking leave. From Tamil monthly SWADESHI SEIDHI of SJM, Tamilnadu, January 2012.


Delhi University is planning to add another academic year to its existing three-year undergraduate course starting 2013. The BA, BCom and BSc courses are likely to be structured in a way that even if a student opts out before completing four years, either a diploma or a lesser degree will be awarded. Students will also get to study a wider range of subjects in the first year before having to lock in a specialization. As per vice-chancellor Dinesh Singh's plans, the four-year degree will have a core curriculum comprising general studies in the first year and students will be allowed to opt for courses across streams. The VC said during his interactions in colleges he had found students themselves wanted a larger range of subjects to choose from. "The students continue to surprise us. Sanskrit students want to study French and German simultaneously, mathematics students want to study history. In fact, this shows their maturity. There is a great demand for Sanskrit teachers and academics in Germany. We need to explore many more such opportunities and innovation and empower our students," said Singh. Based on a report in THE TIMES OF INDIA,  January 3, 2012. Idea: Dr. M. Jayaraman.