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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ganesh Shenoi bags Mr. Ribco, Anand as Mr Hangyo

Sugra Multi Gym organized a state level body building competition in NH17 opposite to TFC in which Ganesh Shenoi of Mangalore bagged the Mr Ribco 2007 award and Most Muscular 2007 award went to Anand of Udupi. Other than this, in 60 kgs competition the winner was Satish Karnad of Mangalore; in 65 kgs the winner was Narendra R Naik of Karwar; in 70 kgs the winner was Chetan Tahsildar of Belgaum; in 75 kgs the winner was Anand of Padukeri (Udupi) and in above 75 kgs the winner was Ganesh Shenoi of Mangalore. The competition was very interesting; every competitor presented his body beautifully. In the competition 75 competitors participated from the entire Karnataka. The local public also viewed this with great fervor. English music was played during the display of the body building. The public encouraged the body builders with claps and whistles.

The programme began with the recitation of Quran by the founder of Sughra Multi Gym Mr Abdul Azeez Ruknaddin. Kannada Teacher of Shams School Raza Manvi presented the translation. Abdullah Damudi welcomed and introduced the guests, the Chief Guest Mr N N Shenoi, President of Karnataka Body Builders Association. In his speech, he stated that in this country cricket has been given lots of importance due to which other sports are losing its place in the country. He congratulated the Sugra Multi Gym for holding this programme continuously for the fourth time. He added that this is a big responsibility to hold this type of show and by organizing these type of shows body building can be preserved.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ganapath Govt HS turns 120

KOZHIKODE: ‘Small opportunities are often the beginning of the great enterprises.’

When Greek orator Demosthenes said so, he might not have thought that a high school teacher in Kozhikode would go by it later in the 19th century.

One can easily sum up the growth of Chalappuram Government Ganapath Boys High School, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary on Monday, with that famous quote of Demosthenes.

It was in 1886, Ganapath Rao, a teacher of Zamorin’s High School, started a school on his own compound. In contrast to the prevailing system when a section of the society was denied the right to have formal education, the school was open to all sections of the society.

This bold step contributed immensely in revolutionising the education sector in the state and the school played an important role in contributing many prominent personalities to the nation. It was alma mater to eminent statesman V K Krishna Menon, noted writers Sanjayan, S K Pottekkatt, Thayattu Sankaran and N P Mohammed.

After Ganapath Rao decided to renounce materialistic life, his son Sarvotham Rao took over. Following the demise of Ganapath Rao, Sarvotham named the school after his father. Under Sarvotham Rao, the Malabar Educational Society was formed and Ganapath high schools were started at Kallayi and Feroke.

Besides, the society took over the charge of Devdhar High School in Tanur and Sarvajana High School in Wayanad. The school kept its door open for girls in 1932.

The school was taken over by the Government in 1957 and a special school for girls was established in 1961. Though it has completed 120 years, there are still many a task to be completed and the government is blamed for depriving the school of the basic facilities and not taking any steps to renovate the age-old buildings.

Speaker K.Radhakrishnan will lay the foundation stone for the new building of the school and inaugurate the 120th anniversary celebration. Mayor M.Bhaskar-an, MLAs P.M.A.Salam and A.Pradeep-kumar will attend the function.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Intel India co-develops teraflops research chip

The Intel India Development Centre (IIDC) has co-developed the world's first teraflops research chip for building the next generation of high-end computers and servers to deliver supercomputer-like performance.

The 80-core chip, which is less than a fingernail in size, has a powerful programmable processor that can undertake trillions of calculations per second - teraflops consuming only 62 watts of power.

'The multi-core chip with greater computing horse power can be used for diverse research applications such as scientific experiments, weather forecasting, astronomical calculations, oil exploration, financial services, entertainment and personal media services involving huge data processing and number-crunching,' Intel India research centre director Vittal Kini said Thursday at a preview of the product here.

Collaborating with Intel's technology group's circuit research lab at Oregon in the US, the 20-member Indian research team headed by engineering manager Vasantha Erraguntla played a central role in developing the teraflops research chip in a record 20 months.

The engineering team of IIDC contributed about 50 percent of the work consisting of logic, circuit and physical design, while the Oregon centre undertook integration and fabrication of the chip at the company's fab in Ireland.

'By advancing into the era of tera, we have demonstrated the power of global collaboration and the capabilities of the Indian engineering talent. Tera-scale performance and the ability to move terabytes of data will play a pivotal role in future computers with ubiquitous access to the Internet by powering new applications for education and collaboration,' Erraguntla said.

Intel hopes the next generation of computers and servers in the coming years will be able to make use of the 80-core processor for a variety of applications once thought to be in the realm of science fiction such as 'Star Trek' shows.

'The potential of the multi-core chip is immense, for it throws up a host of opportunities to use it in artificial intelligence, instant video communications, photo-realistic games, multimedia data mining and real-time speech recognition,' Kini pointed out.

Though Intel has no immediate plans to bring the chip designed with floating point cores to the market, it intends to demonstrate the product to its partners in the industry for offering insights in new silicon design methodologies, high bandwidth inter-connects and energy management approaches.

The 65-nanometre chip is embedded with 100 million transistors and features an innovative tile design in which 80 smaller cores are replicated as tiles. Going forward, Intel plans to use the 45-nanometre silicon wafer for making the teraflops chip with multi-core processors containing billions of transistors.

The teraflops chip also features a mesh-like network-on-a-chip architecture for super-high performance between the cores and moving terabits of data per second inside the chip.

'The Intel tera-scale computing research programme has over 100 projects on hand to explore other architectural, software and system design challenges,' Kini added.

Incidentally, the 80-core teraflop chip is a big leap in frontier technology as against the first teraflops performance achieved over a decade ago on the ASCI Red Supercomputer built by Intel for the Sandia national laboratory in the US.

'That computer took up more than 2,000 square feet, was powered by 10,000 Pentium pro-processors and consumed over 500 kilowatts of power,' Erraguntala recalled.

JNNURM’s City Development Plan

By Dr. Bhamy V. Shenoy, Mysore Grahakara Parishat

MGP has organised a discussion meeting on February 27 at 6 pm in association with Rotary Mysore. The objective is to take a look at CDP and form a set of expert groups to suggest improvements to CDP, to interact with MCC, monitor the progress, and develop a system to get continuous feedback from the public etc. If citizens do not get involved, the funds available under JNNURM (about Rs. 300 crore to Rs. 350 crore per year) will be spent unwisely or wasted in the form of bribe or call it excess payment. Those interested in participation are requested to contact Shankar Sharma on 2462502.

A City Development Plan (CDP) for Mysore is a must to secure grants under much talked about Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Such a CDP was prepared by Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) (iDeCK) few months back. It has been reviewed and approved by the Chief Minister. CDP is supposedly done in consultation with public groups, elected representatives and government officials. But most people are not even aware that such a plan exists. So it is difficult to believe that it was done with public consultation. Still all is not lost. The CDP is considered an evolving document. Thus the public can still play a role in revising it as it is being implemented.

CDP ‘consultation’ has resulted in attaching the highest priority to water supply followed by roads and transport, beautification (conservation of 277 parks), slum improvement, tourism and heritage, developing satellite towns to reduce congestion, and land for industries.

The least priority was assigned to handle garbage, renovation of Devaraja Market, and development of an Auto Nagar. CDP has performed a perfunctory SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis to develop different strategies.

Vision statement emerging out of the CDP consultation was “Enhancing the glory of Mysore, and enabling it to forge ahead as the Cultural, Tourism, Educational, Information Technology, Information Technology enabled Services and Wellness Hub”.


CDP has estimated the population to be 8.9 lakhs for 2006 with a literacy rate of 83%. Depending upon which scena-rio one believes in, the projected population for Mysore in 2031 can be as low as 17 lakhs (growing at the historic rate of 2.5%) or as high as 30 lakhs (growing at the rate of 2.5%).

One of the most disturbing data is concerning parks and open spaces. The coverage is expected to reduce from 13.7% in 2001 to 7.5% by 2011 based on MUDA’s plan. There are a total of declared slums of 49 (and undeclared 31) with a population of 0.8 lakhs in Mysore.

Around 19% of families are estimated to be below BPL. CDP allocates a total sum of Rs. 201 crore to help the slum dwellers to improve sanitation, housing, water supply and waste collection. This works out to be a per capita spending of Rs. 2,500.

Highest rank

It may come as a surprise to Mysoreans that a study done by Directorate of Municipal Administration to assess the services offered by municipal bodies in Karnataka gives MCC one of the highest ranks. This was based on assessing 10 different services like water supply, waste handling, public health etc. Our score out of possible 100 was 64! It is estimated that 85% of the residents are connected to water supply with daily supply of water for 3 hours at the rate of 135 litres per day. 85% are metered.

Can we believe this? For a proposed expenditure of Rs. 306 crore, water supply system is expected to be improved with daily water supply for 6 hours and 100% metering. Rs. 228 crore will be spent for improving sewerage system which will give a coverage of 75% by 2012 which is an improvement from the current 57%.

Garbage clearance

CDP envisages of spending Rs. 42 crores to improve the collection and handling of solid waste from the current level of 75% to 100%. It is proposed to segregate the garbage with the help of citizens at the residential places. Wet garbage will be converted into manure through composting. Privatisation of solid waste handling is proposed. It does not look like that the CDP has a well thought out strategy to prevent Mysore from becoming a garbage city.

Roads and related infrastructure need an investment of Rs. 329 crores which will be spent on systemic maintenance of roads, completion of outer ring road and radial roads. In addition Rs. 482 crores are allocated for providing low cost transport, construction of bus and truck terminals, improving air connectivity to the city.

It is not clear how CDP plans to provide low cost transportation. There is not a single out of the box strategy recommended in CDP excepting the introduction of electric trolley buses to reduce pollution!

The table shows the allocation for different areas. Public should start discussing the rationale for this allocation. Equally important is the ability to manage the expenditure on the part of MCC especially since it is not capable of managing even the current expenditure of Rs. 25 to 30 crores per year. JNNURM proposes annual spending of about Rs 300 to 350 crores. Let us not forget the inefficient and corrupt spending of ADB loan.

Allocation of JNNURM funds 2007-12

crores %

Heritage and tourism 312 16%

Water Supply & Sewerage 534 27%

Solid waste 42 2%

Urban Poor 201 10%

Roads 329 17%

Transport related 482 24%

Urban Spaces 68 3%

Total 1968 100%


JNNURM- Central 1466 74%

State 183 9%

MCC 168 9%

Needed funds 151 8%

When MCC has to still pay off the huge ADB loan, how will MCC be able to generate a surplus of Rs. 168 crore during this period? It is surprising that CDP assumes that there is a four-fold increase in revenues from water supply whereas there is only a marginal increase in property taxes. But for measly allocation for garbage handling, percentage of allocation for different projects appears to be appropriate.


In conclusion, the citizens of Mysore have a huge responsibility to ensure the proper implementation of JNNURM activities by involving from the beginning. We should not be cynical by assuming we cannot influence the bureaucracy. In a democracy, citizens are the rulers. JNNURM can in deed make a difference in shaping the future of our city.

Though expenditure of Rs. 200 crore for about one lakh of poor looks small, if spent creatively and wisely can make a big difference in improving our slums. The same is the case regarding water supply, tourism and transportation. Mysore is fortunate that we got selected as one of the 63 cities under JNNURM. Let us make the best use of this additional funding by getting ourselves involved.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Medical study hub on cards

The Tatas are learnt to have expressed willingness to join hands with Manipal University to open a medical college in Jharkhand.

Ajay Kumar Singh, national vice-president of Indian Medical Association, said: “During a recent meeting, Tata Steel managing director B. Muthuraman expressed his desire to set up a medical college here, for which he sought help of the Indian Medical Association (IMA).”

Last year, the Arjun Munda government had initiated the process to establish a branch of the medical college of Manipal University. The proposal did not materialise.

“Last year, when then chief minister Arjun Munda had expressed his willingness in this regard, I had met Manipal University chairman Ramdas Pai, who had agreed to the project. But somehow the process was derailed after the change in government,” said Singh.

Manipal University chairman Ramdas Pai said they had tried to get the project moving earlier. Pai said: “With the Tatas in the picture, we are ready to open the medical college anytime. We had tried to initiate the process earlier, but it had to be deferred because of a recognition issue. There was no problem from the Tatas’ side.”

Though there has not been any communication from the Tatas, he said, they would start as soon as the notification arrives. “We would definitely like to have a presence in Jamshedpur,” he added.

To open a medical college, according to the norms of the Medical Council of India, the institute must be attached to a hospital with 360 beds and 80 per cent occupancy. The Tatas have Tata Main Hospital, with 800 beds and full occupancy, which fulfils the medical council’s criteria.

If the medical college is established, it would be the fourth one in the state. Despite medical colleges in Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad, several students from Jharkhand are forced to go to Sikkim, Mangalore and Nepal for medical education. The combined intake capacity for MBBS courses in the three medical colleges here is 190.

Kamath among six on London city`s advisory panel

ICICI Bank CEO K V Kamath and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani are among the six top corporate leaders from the country who will advise the city of London in developing economic ties with India.

Ambani and Kamath along with Tata sons executive director Alan Rosling, HSBC CEO Naina Lal Kidwai, HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, Development Credit Bank chairman Nasser Munjee and Zia Mody, senior partner of Azb & Partners, have been appointed by city of London as members of its Advisory Council for India.

The council, which met for the first time here today, will guide the activities of London's soon-to-be-established Liasion office in the country.

"I am delighted that business leaders with such a wealth of experience and knowledge have agreed to be the city's advisory council. The overall aim of the city of London's engagement with India is to strengthen trading and investment links in both directions through the provision of world class financial services and products," city of London's policy chairman Michael Snyder said.

P J Nayak reappointed UTI Bank chief

The sentiment was of overwhelming joy at the corporate office and branches of UTI Bank after its board of directors reappointed P J Nayak to lead the new generation private bank. The board has recommended to retain Nayak as the chairman and MD until July 31, 2009. His term was to end on July 31, 2007.

"We are very happy. Such leadership is rare. Employees across the country are distributing sweets," a UTI Bank executive said.

The appointment is subject to approval by the Administrator of the Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI), and Reserve Bank and subject to confirmation by the bank's shareholders at the next general meeting.

"SUUTI has reappointed P J Nayak as he's been doing a good job. We thought we must give him an extension as the bank needed continuity before we can find a suitable successor," said S B Mathur, administrator, SUUTI. The major shareholders in the bank are SUUTI with 27.47% and LIC of India which holds 10.39%.

In 2004, Nayak had offered to exit the bank as the board had decided to split the post of the chairman and MD. It was a major spat between the bank's top brass and promoter-shareholder SUUTI.

Sources said the then SUUTI chief, M Damodaran cherished the dream of a mega merger of UTI Bank with IDBI and IDBI Bank which would never fructify with Nayak at the helm

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Strictly South Indian...

A lethal concoction of Tamil style ‘mixture’ doused with some spicy, hot sambhar. Back home at Jayalalitha’s state, it’s called Chov Chav ut, at CafĂ© Madras—a 1939 South Indian restaurant at King’s Circle, Matunga —you can order for it as Madras Misal.

The owners, surprisingly Kamaths from Karnataka, insist on the menu being strictly South Indian. As Jagdish Kamath, 63, explains,” When we bought this eatery in 1950 from its first owner, one Mr Subramaniam,it came along with a lot of goodwill.

So while the old bamboo chairs did make way for polished surfaces and utility furniture to accommodate the growing crowd, the menu, from the basic Idli-Wada-Sambhar expanded, but only to include dishes from the neighbouring Karnataka, the tangy Bisibele rice, the robust Tuppa dosa made of urad dal and flour bathed in pure ghee, the nutritious Raagi Dosa, the niche Cucumber dosa and, of course, the Kamath’s pride: Mysore Sada Dosa, brushed with green chutney instead of the regular garlic red chilli mix.

Kadi wada and Rasam wada are most popular with the Gujarati families who account for 70 per cent of the cafe’s clientele; the late Dhirubhai Ambani’s driver would pick up idlis for him at 6.30 am. Filmmaker Raj Kapoor often turned up here for a cuppa.

Pongal with Avial and Payasam make Sunday appearances to much attention and no one certainly forgets the Mulga Poodi. “A very senior member of the Birla family member, who is a regular, once got his wife here. She walked in and looking at the plain interiors with no air-conditioning refused to eat here. He suggested that she wait in the car till he finished eating. When the wife finally relented, he said to her, ‘A South Indian joint is where the vessels make the maximum noise, the air smells of coffee and people are always running. Your air conditioned rooms can never beat that.’ I truly felt humbled at that point,” says Kamath.

He’s obviously taking the compliment seriously as he personally supervises the coffee that’s made every day. He says, “That’s usually the last thing people order and its taste lingers on. I can’t let it go wrong.”

Aged couple undergo heart surgeries almost at same time

Coimbatore, Feb 13. (PTI): A couple, aged over 60 years, underwent cardiac-related surgeries almost at the same time, at a city hospital.

The 66-year old B C Mondal and his wife Mayavati Mondal (62) from Kolkata, who completed 50 years of their marriage in December last, developed chest pain and breathing trouble soon and were admitted to a hospital there.

The doctors said the woman had a valve defect and needed replacement and the husband who had 90 per cent Left Main coronary disease, needed an early coronary bypass surgery.

According to Dr G Bakthavathsalam, Chairman of K G Hospital here, the couple, having heard about the hospital during a health awareness programme, travelled to Coimbatore in January and met Dr T Jayarama Pai, chief cardiac surgeon.

To avoid a sudden death due to left main coronary disease, Pai performed a five-hour marathon surgery on the man 15 days back, to create multiple bypass grafts, a release from the hospital said on Monday.

After three days, when the husband was about to be shifted from the ICU, the wife underwent valve replacement, which needed stoppage of heart, removal of the diseased valve and replacement with 'St.Judge Valve' costing Rs.50,000, Bakthavathsalam said.

Claiming that the operative procedure, even though risky, went on without any complication, he said the couple were recovering and would be discharged from the hospital soon.

According to Bhakthavathsalam, operating on husband and wife within a gap of three days was not a usual practice. Usually, one among the couple will be operated first and only after complete recovery, a surgery will be conducted on the spouse, he observed.

Pai said, the couple have recovered well and are now ready to travel back to Kolkata.

"I had to take into consideration the emotional feelings of the couple during the surgeries, apart from the surgical risks involved. It was therefore, a 'must win' situation for me", Pai said.

`Shed differences over Konkani script'

MANGALORE: At a time when Konkani-speaking communities are involved in a game of one-upmanship on the script to be used for Konkani, dignitaries here on Saturday hailed the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy for bringing out English-Konkani dictionary in Kannada script.

The occasion was the official release of the dictionary compiled by Stephen Quadros Permude, here. R.V. Deshpande, former Minister and a donor for the project, who released the dictionary, urged all concerned to shed differences over the use of either Kannada or Devanagari script to promote Konkani. Such differences would affect the growth and future prospects of the language, he said, and asked all stakeholders to work in unison for the betterment of the language.

Observing that there was a need for such a dictionary, Mr. Deshpande said Konkani was a rich and secular language. It was the duty of all concerned to keep it alive. The Konkani-speaking community must not leave this task to the Government alone, he added.

Aloysius Paul D'Souza, Bishop of Mangalore, termed the event historic for Konkanis. Dr. D'Souza said that the dictionary would help researchers.

Alwyn D'Sa, member of review committee of the dictionary project, gave a brief outline on the work done by Mr. Stephen Quadros and his team. Eric Ozario, president of the academy, presided over the function.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

'Treated in India' catching on in West

BANGALORE: A liver transplant in the United States costs around $450,000. In India it costs $40,000. If any explanation was required to describe why the Indian medical tourism industry is flourishing, this fact will nail it.

Today Indian medical tourism market is worth $700 million and the projection is that by the year 2010 it will swell to $1 billion.

The key is it is not just the south or west Asian population that is coming here for treatment — the UK/US crowd have also realised the value of coming to India. According to estimates, out of 1.5 lakh international patients who visited India, three-fourths came from US and UK.

There are two factors contributing to this. First, the international community is confident of the quality of Indian healthcare practitioners. It is said that one out of six doctors in the US is an Indian. Second, there are huge cost benefits.

Low-cost cardiac surgery in India costs $4,000-9,000 and in the US as high as $30,000-50,000. An orthopaedic surgery costs as low as $4,500 here with a corresponding surgery in US costing $18,000.

Besides, the cost of comprehensive health check-up for a US patient in India is around $80, which in the US costs $600.

The reasons for indulging in health tours also vary from country to country. Medical tourists from the US are seeking treatment at 1/4th or even 1/8th of the cost at home. From Canada, it is often people who are frustrated by long waiting periods.

The typical UK patient is one who is not able to wait for treatment by the National Health Service and in some cases cannot afford to see a physician in private practice.

And then there are patients coming from countries like Bangladesh, Kenya and Vietnam where it is difficult to get quality treatment.

Says Wockhardt Hospitals CEO Vishal Bali, "What started as a low-cost, low-value medical care destination is today turning into a superspeciality zone.

There is a "Treated in India"brand going around."International patients are coming to India for cardiac surgery, spine correction, hip replacement and other such high value treatments. "The market is growing by 30% a year,"says Bali.

"Another reason why people fly into India for treatment is our holistic approach,"says Apollo Hospitals CEO V P Kamath. "We weave in things like yoga, aromatherapy and ayurveda into our treatment. It's a unique basket."

The majority of the clinical population here speak English and Indian surgeons have world class skills and surgical exposure too.

Another aspect that is helping Indian medical tourism is the fact that there are 50 million uninsured US citizens.

"High insurance premiums have kept a lot of people away from taking health insurance policies in the US,"says Kamath.

The health insurance sector in India, however, does not even cover 10% of the population. "But it will eventually grow.

Already the Indian health insurance market is worth Rs 5,000 crore," says Bali. The growth in health cover would be crucial for the betterment of the domestic MT market.

Art of Living targets people infected with HIV

Little is known locally about the specific mental issues people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) face, but depression and isolation are reported to be among them. Now one local non-governmental organisation has embarked on a project to promote stress-free lives for infected individuals.

After presenting a successful project proposal to the Ministry of Health, the Art of Living Foundation, which was among 15 NGOs to receive World Bank funding, is introducing scientifically proven breathing techniques to persons living with the disease that will build their physiology and resistance to the virus by oxygenating body cells and increasing energy levels.

The foundation hopes to promote the use of yogic science of breath for healthier living to build physical and mental strength while infusing the spirit to fight back. Sudarshan Kriya, an ancient breathing technique, is an integral part of the course.

In a recent interview Vice-President of the foundation Rolinda Kirton said they are targeting 360 persons with the pilot project and are working with established HIV and AIDS NGOs to recruit them..

Kirton said Woodlands Hospital will be conducting psychological profiling, while the GUM clinic will work on pre- and post-testing of CD4 levels to gauge the impact of the practices being introduced, adding that this is important to the foundation.

She said they will use group processes to reduce feelings of fear, depression and loneliness, and increase feelings of joy, self-love and inner peace so that PLWHA can live fully and meaningfully. Additionally, she said, they will reinforce in youths and adults the values of caring, sharing and acceptance with a strong bias on self awareness and HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention.

What the Art of Living Foundation proposes has never been attempted in Guyana but Kirton is optimistic that there will be only success stories.

"The Sudarshan Kriya infuses the body with energy and harmonises the natural balance of the body, mind and emotions. Scientifically, the breathing floods the cells of a human body with oxygen and energy while making them feel a sense of harmony. If the Sudarshan Kriya is practiced regularly it helps an individual at being mentally and physically healthy," Kirton said.

She said they are working with highly skilled instructors who have been working in their respective fields for a number of years.

Immune system benefits

Professor Varadaraja Shenoy, Art of Living tutor and Professor/Director of Physical Education, Mangalore University, India who will be carrying out the first course in Guyana said that many problems people have are stress related. He said the chemistry of the body changes with breathing, adding that the programme benefits the immune system.

He said it relieves stress by reducing mental worry and physical strain and consequently improving the immune system.

Professor Shenoy said breathing is in sync with our emotions. He explained that an adult normally uses 30 percent of the lung's capacity to breathe, while children use 100. This, he said, is because adults worry more and feel more burdened. This explains why children are happier- they are stress free.

He said the Art of Living programme is geared towards helping adults build on the 30 percent. He said the programme is not only about breathing but also involves work on the mind and spirit, adding that many of the techniques are rather simple.

Professor Shenoy has worked with PLWHA in Suriname and in India. He has also worked with prisoners and according to him everyone he has encountered has praised the programme.

Over the ten years he has been involved in Art of Living, he has done around 150 courses in various countries, but this is his first time in Guyana.

Outlining the course, Kirton said there are four components, but there are plans to include a fifth and possibly a sixth. The first component is an eight-day programme for PLWHA and the second and third, two five-day workshops to spread awareness among youths and adults. The fourth will be a training session for trainers to leave enough skills to do follow-up classes with participants and members of the community including youths and adults.

She said that if the two other components are added they will focus on a Youth Leadership Training Programme which will channel the energies of youths into a positive direction, again with a strong HIV and AIDS awareness component and a Breath Water Sound (BWS) component to target very poor and disadvantaged communities. This will depend on the number of persons trained in the first six months of the programme.

Through collaboration with the media and the GUM clinic, health centres, clinics, hospitals and community workers Art of Living will identify persons who would need the first component of the course. Participants for component two and three will also be sourced through the media and by word of mouth from those who have already benefited from the courses.

Kirton said several studies have demonstrated that the practice of Sudarshan Kriya significantly reduces levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone. This, she said, is particularly valuable to those fighting HIV-1 infection given cortisol's effect on cytokine production, and more directly its promotion of increased replication of HIV-1.

"Prior to launching this project we have had such positive feedback from people which is why I am confident someone with a compromised immune system is likely to feel the benefits… in a huge way," Kirton added.

Art of Living was founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of India and is now in over 140 countries. Its techniques were medically found to reduce cortisol, benefit the immune system, reduce cholesterol, relieve anxiety and depression, increase antioxidant protection, enhance brain function and health, well-being and peace of mind.

Since its initiation, she said, the foundation has also worked with cancer patients.

Kirton stressed that Art of Living is not a religion since it embraces all faiths.

Founder’s Day observed

MANGALORE: City based Bharat Beedi Works Private Limited, promoters of the widely popular 30 mark beedis in both domestic and foreign markets, symbolically observed Founders Day at the company’s headquarters in Kadri on Thursday.

Bharat Beedi Works Private Limited Chairman and Managing Director B Ganapathy Pai lit the traditional lamp and offered floral tributes to the portrait of founder B Manjunath Pai.

Later addressing the invited guests, Ganapathy Pai said, the company, which has completed 76 years continuous to make rapid progress employing more than a lakh.

He solicited the co-operation of all concerned to help the company scale greater heights.

Bharat Beedi Works Private Limited Directors Ananth G Pai, Subraya M Pai, Anand G Pai, Nagendra D Pai, Sudheer M Pai, Venkatesh M Pai and senior officers Vasudev Pai, Satish Pai, Ramesh Shenoy, Narasimha Pai, Ramesh Pai and Satish Pai of Bharat Carriers were also present at the function.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Govt may grant Konkani third language status

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Sunday said the government is ready to introduce Konkani as the third language for students interested in learning it.

The chief minister was speaking at the annual day celebrations of the Federation of Konkani Catholic Associations here.

“The government understands the sentiments of the large Konkani-speaking population in the coastal areas,” he said, adding the proposal will be placed before the cabinet soon.

Syndicate Bank to raise Rs 240 cr

Syndicate Bank entered the bond market on Tuesday to mobilise up to Rs 240 crore, reports Our Bureau. The public sector bank is raising the funds by issuing upper-tier bonds with a 15-year maturity. It will, however, have the right to call back the bonds after 10 years.

If Syndicate Bank manages to raise Rs 240 crore, it will exhaust its headroom to raise tier-2 bonds this fiscal. The bank is, however, eligible to raise upto Rs 150 crore through hybrid perpetual bonds, which qualify for tier-1 capital.
The bank’s Rs 240 crore issue, however, includes a Rs 140-crore greenshoe option.

The bank has fixed the coupon at 9.3% for the first 10-year period. After the 10-year period, if the bank decides against exercising the call option, it will step up the coupon by another 50 basis points (bps).

The bond issue proceeds would help Syndicate Bank fund its business growth and augment long-term resources. “After the exercise, our capital adequacy ratio, which is at 11.34%, will be increased by 20-30 bps,” bank's general manager DC Pai. The issue is being managed by AK Capital Services, Citibank, Darashaw, HSBC, IDFC, Standard Chartered Bank and UTI Bank.

Syndicate Bank, with government holding of 66.5%, will also have the option of going public with a follow-on offer next year. It can offload government stake by another 14.5%. In case of public sector banks, government holding cannot go below 51%

Alumni meet on Feb 10

Vaikunta Baliga College of Law, which has been attracting students from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and even from African countries is organising an alumni meet as part of its golden jubilee celebrations on February 10.

Announcing this at a press meet, president of the Old Students Association U Damodar said the re-union will be a day-long programme, starting from 8 am.

Apart from the interactive session, there will be different competitions for old students. Vice-Chancellor of Kuvempu University Dr B S Sherigar will be the chief guest at the formal function. Registrar of Dr T M A Pai Foundation K K Pai will preside over the programme.

Dean of Faculty of Law at Mangalore University Prof P Ishwar Bhat will be the guest of honour. Secretary of the association Rohith Amin, Vice-President K C M Bhakta, Joint Secretary A Dinesh Kini and co-ordinator Krishnaprasad were present.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Liver Disease: Doctor De-Mystifies the Mysterious Liver

Most people have heard of cirrhosis of the liver, which usually results from alcohol abuse. But few people are aware of the other common problems that can affect the liver. A new website featuring a series of articles by Dr. Ratnakar Kini sheds some much needed light on this much misunderstood organ known as the liver.

San Antonio, TX , U.S.A -- The human liver is the second largest organ in the body, but if you ask most people what the liver does, they probably couldn't tell you.

However, a new website and a series of original articles by Dr.Ratnakar Kini reveal the many different functions of the liver--and the many dangers that can cause liver problems.

In fact, according to Dr. Kini, "The liver can be affected by a number of viruses, bacteria, drugs, and diseases--some of which can be life threatening.

Dr. Kini's articles, which can be found at, detail such liver problems as liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and fatty liver disease.

Dr. Kini's articles also give numerous tips for preventing liver problems and maintaining overall liver health. Dr.Kini is a Gastroenterology resident at the Department of Digestive Health and Diseases, Chennai, India (formerly known as "Madras"). He is a Graduate in Pediatrics from The Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Chennai.

The website also offers a blog that includes dozens of other articles, tips, and links to important resources related to the liver. Topics include liver detoxification, liver cleansing, liver cysts, and liver function tests. Furthermore, features links to recent news articles about many other issues regarding liver health.

For more information, go to The website is a service of Mastermind Learning Systems.

Post-restructuring HMT to work on profits

The Finance Minister, or FM, has announced a revival plan for the ailing HMT. The package includes infusion of cash and the sale of surplus land. AV Kamat, Chariman & Managing Director of HMT says after one year, the company might get back into the black and after two years, it might look for a joint-venture partner, as proposed by the FM.

Kamat discusses the FM's revival plan for the company, along with how the money will be deployed and also the formation of a joint venture for HMT for the company.

Q: What do you make of this statement from the FM, the fact that you may probably be asked to run as a joint venture company right now and identify your partner who you may link up with?

A: We had approached the government for assistance of Rs 825 crore and today our case has come in for discussion. We are waiting for the information from our DHI. We understand that our case has been taken up and is being favourably considered.

Q: The package will come in as the FM has confirmed, but he is talking about a formation of a JV with other equity or strategic partner for HMT. Have you had any discussions of such a possibility at the management level?

A: The proposal is to have a joint working partner after two to three years. Since the networth issue has not been addressed yet, we had requested the government that we will be scouting for the joint working partner and within two-three years, we will be able to form the JV after the financials have been addressed and the company comes out of the red. This is what we have proposed and we are waiting for the details from the ministry.

Q: Are you saying a JV partner in HMT, if at all, will come in the next two to three years?

A: That is what we had proposed, as it may not be immediately possible to get a JV partner since the financials of the company have not been addressed and the company is still in red.

Q: Even at this preliminary stage, have you had any conversations with any organization?

A: Not yet.

Q: How do you intend to use this Rs 720 crore, which is coming through as a revival package? By when do you think you can use these proceeds to get back firmly?

A: Out of the Rs 720 crore, which the FM seems to have cleared, Rs 180 crore would be spend for investment in the company in terms of the new machines, refurbishing of the machines, training and technology acquisition.

We would like to do technology acquisition for state-of-art machines, which are required for the strategic factor. This Rs 180 crore will be spent for investment in the company.

The other Rs 443 crore will be spend towards writing off of the old loans, which we have borrowed from the financial institutions and also clearing the old debts. Rs 100 crore will be spent in the form of waivers and other interest waivers.

Q: Any details on how this money is going to come in? Will it come in as a lump sum?

A: The money will come in installments. Rs 443 crore has to come in the form of preferential shares.

Q: Once you have done all this and your interest cost comes down, by when do you think you can get back into the black firmly?

A: During 2007-08, we will be into the black. So that's after one year.

Q: By how much will your interest costs come down once you have done this balance sheet restructuring?

A: Interest costs will come down by around Rs 70 crore per year.

Manipal group plans foray into stem cell banking

Adding one more dimension to its initiatives in stem cell research, the Manipal group is foraying into stem cell banking. It is looking at a joint venture with a US group and would have a system in place in the next six months, said Ranjan Pai, CEO, Manipal Education and Medical Group.

“We are charting out plans to start stem cell banking in the next six months and are in talks for a JV with a US group. We are looking at both private (where you pay for banking your stem cells) and public banking (which is free banking and you pay to use stem cells). We may also look at a combination of both, with private banking for cities and public banking for the rural areas,” Mr Pai said.

The Manipal group’s stem cell research arm Stemputics is involved in the developmentof human stem cell technology in the field of regenerative medicine. It is conducting research on stem cell therapies for spinal cord injuries, optic nerve injury, cardiac diseases, diabetes and related diseases like diabetic foot. “We have seen very good results and have started clinical trials this year,” Mr Pai said.

The group has also set up the Manipal Institute of Regenerative Medicine that will offer post graduate and doctoral level programmes in stem cell technology. “The biggest constraint in this field is that there is not enough trained manpower. We hope to cater to that shortage with this post graduate course,” Mr Pai said.

K'taka to introduce Konkani in schools

The Karnataka government is planning to include Konkani as an optional third languages in schools in the state. Many view this as Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's gift to Konkanis as his government completes one year.

This is reaffirmed by many students who say that though Hindi is their third language in school, they would like to learn Konkani instead.

Though many view this move as a populist measure aimed at appeasing the Konkani community, which constitutes about 5 per cent of the state's population, Kumaraswamy disagrees.

"This is not a populist measure. This is a long pending demand of the Konkani speaking people and I have told the Education Minister to work out a plan. Something positive will come out of it," says he.

The Konkani community has of course welcomed the move. However, many foresee problems in implementing the plan.

Says ex-member of the Konkani Sahitya Academy, Lata U Pai, "This won't work out. It is hard to implement such a move since Konakani doesn't have a script or a dialect."

Adds Headmaster of the Government School in Chamrajpet, Kondappa, "We have to find someone who can teach the language, because we don't any have idea about the language."

The Chief Minister is denying the proposal as a populist measure but considering that the JD(S) has joined hands with the BJP for the first time, many feel that this is a ploy of the coalition government to garner votes.

New English-Konkani dictionary ready

BANGALORE: Konkani, which is widely spoken in that part of the west coast of the country known as the Konkan coast, now has another binding factor.

A comprehensive English-Konkani dictionary has been compiled and this is expected to help Konkanis keep abreast of the changing cultural milieu.

The dictionary, published by the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, Mangalore, provides the exact meaning of English words in Konkani, and this should be of help to the younger generation of Konkanis.

Dialect dictionary

The academy brought out a Konkani Dialect Dictionary in 2001 with around 7,000 words.

Bishop Aloysius Paul D'Souza will release the new dictionary on February 10 at St. Aloysius College, Mangalore.

The first Konkani-Portuguese dictionary was brought in 1868 in Goa during Portuguese rule.

Though the first English-Konkani dictionary was brought out in 1883 by Fr. Angelo F.X. Maffei of Mangalore, it has a limited number words and meanings. With Konkani-speaking people having multi-dialect, multi-racial backgrounds and numbering over one crore across the globe, it is a big challenge for a lexicographer to bring out an English-Konkani dictionary.

The new dictionary makes an earnest attempt to record the richness of the language and contribute to its enrichment, says Stephen Quadros Permude, senior lecturer in history in the Government First Grade College in Kaup of Udupi district, who has compiled the 1,112-page dictionary with 26,000 words.

The academy is bringing out the dictionary with the support of the former Minister R.V. Deshpande, MLA.

Says Mr. Permude, "When we compare this dictionary with previous dictionaries of the Konkani language we can safely say that there has been a whole lot of progress both in terms of quality and quantity. There have been other dictionaries, but most of them contain limited terms and meanings. This dictionary presents many alternative terms and meanings, which will be useful to a native speaker as well as a foreign learner."

Some words from Tulu and Kannada that have found their way into Konkani have also been incorporated.

Konkani is written in a number of scripts. The dominant ones are Kannada, Malayalam, Devanagari and Roman. Out of the 60 lakh Konkanis in India, more than 45 per cent reside in Karnataka.

Therefore, there is a huge volume of Konkani literature written in Kannada. The first known book printed in Konkani was written by an English Jesuit priest, Thomas Stephens, and titled "Doutrina Cristao" (The Doctrine of Christ) in 1622.