Double for Karthik Tharani as VW Ventos dominate Indian National Car Racing Championship

Piloting the turbo-charged VW Vento, Karthik Tharani authored a dream script for Volkswagen Motorsport with a grand double in the premium ITC category as the second round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship concluded at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Sunday.
Also scoring a double were Hyderabad’s Jeet Jhabak in the VW Ameo Class and Bengaluru schoolboy Sohil Shah (M Sport) in the Formula LGB 1300 category as he took the top honours in Race 1 and 3 while Nellore’s Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) won Race 2. 
RP Rajarajan (Performance Racing) won a close Super Stock race that went down to the wire.
For the factory-supported VW Motorsport team, making their debut in the Indian Touring Cars category, it was a highly-successful weekend as they won all the three races. Incidentally, races in all categories, except VW Ameo Class, today were run on wet tyres in view of forecast of rains which, however, stayed away.
The two ITC races highlighted Sunday’s proceedings with extremely close contests and incidents in Race 3 bringing out the Safety Car. Having finished second behind team-mate, Kolhapur’s Dhruv Shivaji Mohite, in the first of the ITC triple-header yesterday, Chennai-based Tharani led a 1-2-3 finish for VW Motorsport in Race 2 and followed it up with a thrilling win in Race 3 in the afternoon, ahead of Mohite and Arjun Balu (Race Concepts).
In both the races today, Mohite finished second while team-mate Ishaan Dodhiwala took the third spot in Race 2, but spun off in the next outing that led to a Safety Car period, and where Balu came in a creditable third, his second of the weekend.
While the podium finishers hogged the limelight, it was 77-year old D Vidyaprakash who stole the hearts with stirring drives that saw him finish fourth in both the races today. His defending the third spot in Race-2 until late in the last lap against Dodhiwala, 29, before letting the youngster pass, earned him high praise for clean racing. “I just can’t believe that someone at his age can drive like that. I couldn’t pass him until the last lap when he didn’t stop me from overtaking after I put the nose on the inside line,” gushed Dodhiwala after his third place finish.
The Championship moves to the MMRT track, Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, where Round 3 will be held from July 19 to 21.
The results (Provisional, all 10 laps unless mentioned):
Indian Touring Cars (Race 2): 1. Karthik Tharani (VW Motorsports) (11mins, 55.229secs); 2. Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (VW Motorsports) (11:55.572); 3. Ishaan Dodhiwala (VW Motorsports) (12:06.826). Race 3: 1. Karthik Tharani (VW Motorsports) (15:31.576); 2. Dhruv Shivaji Mohite (VW Motorsports) (15:31.717); 3. Arjun Balu (Race Concepts) (15:32.087).
Volkswagen Ameo Class (Race 2): Overall – 1. Avik Anwar (Bangladesh) (11:58.554); 2. Aiman Sadat (Bangladesh) (11:58.841); 3. Anmol Singh Sahil (Delhi) (11:59.304). Pro: 1. Anwar; 2. Sahil; 3. Siddharth Mehdiratta (Lucknow) (12:00.233). Junior: 1. Sadat; 2. Viraj Jairaj Jhala (Nashik) (12:05.775); 3. Chetan Surineni (Bengaluru) (12:24.817). Race 3 (Overall and Pro): 1. Jeet Jhabakh (Hyderabad) (11:58.422); 2. Anmol Singh Sahil (Delhi) (12:00.219); 3. Pratik Sonawane (Pune) (12:02.872). Junior: 1. Aiman Sadat (Bangladesh) (12:09.235); 2. Kaushik Mohan Raja (12:10.360); Viraj Jairaj Jhala (Nashik) (12:18.809).
Super Stock (Race 2): 1. RP Rajarajan (Performance Racing) (13:05.322); 2. R Rajashekar (Race Concepts) (13:05.926); 3. Prateek Benya (Race Concepts) (13:06.209). 

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59 entrants in fray in National Car Racing Championship

The much-awaited MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship resumes at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Friday,  in a new avatar following a rejig of regulations designed to make racing even more competitive and exciting than ever before. 
The weekend card will see 59 entrants, from across India, competing in 11 races.
In a significant development, the Volkswagen Ameo Cup has received the status of National Championship and rechristened as the Ameo Class. 
The eventual winners (Pro and Rookie categories), after four rounds and 10 races spread across four race weekends, will be declared national champions. 
Volkswagen Motorsport India had launched their one-make series in 2010 through the Polo Cup before progressing to the Vento and now the Ameo.
Apart from the Ameo Class races, the weekend will witness competitions in the popular and premium Indian Touring Cars (ITC), the Super Stock and the entry-level Formula LGB 1300 which has attracted the most number of entries of 19 young aspirants.
MMSC Vice-President and Chairman of the Meet Vicky Chandhok said: “At the outset, MMSC would like to acknowledge and appreciate MRF’s unstinted commitment and active involvement in the National Championship, be it two-wheeler or four-wheeler races.
"In fact, MRF have been the backbone of motorsport in India due to the support they have extended and continue to do so, for all formats of the sport. With MRF’s support, MMSC has been able to take racing a notch higher with every season. 
"This year, we welcome Volkswagen Motorsport into our National Championship by way of the Ameo Class which we expect to be as competitive as before when it was called the Ameo Cup.”
For the Super Stock and the Formula LGB 1300 categories, this weekend’s outing will be Round 2 after the season-opener in February at the MMRT, Chennai, when they were run on the same card as the MRF Challenge international series, while the other classes join the National Championship.
There will be three races each for the ITC, Ameo Class and the Formula LGB categories, and two in the Super Stock class.
The weekend action commences on Friday which is entirely devoted to Free Practice sessions, while qualifying and five races are scheduled for Saturday, followed by six more races on Sunday

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Deepak Ravikumar upstages strong field in Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship

Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) and Sankar Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) survived a day of drama and crashes to post deserved wins in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc and Pro-Stock 165cc categories, respectively, as the first round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship  sparked to life at the Kari Motor Speedway here on Saturday.
Starting sixth, Ravikumar, nursing injuries he suffered during last week’s testing, overcame pain and discomfort to score a merited win in the premium Pro-Stock 301-400cc race after pole-sitter Prabhu Arunagiri (Team Alisha Abdullah) and Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) came together in the second of the 10-lap race. 
While Arunagiri retired, Jagan Kumar, who had started second on the grid, got up and continued to finish eighth.
In second place behind Ravikumar was TVS Racing’s KY Ahamed, followed by Gusto Racing’s Satyanarayana Raju who was nursing a collar-bone fracture.
Earlier, the two outstanding riders in the Pro-Stock 165cc race were the eventual winner Sarath Kumar and third-placed Jagan Kumar. Sarath, 26, overcame a poor start that pushed him to sixth before he climbed his way to the front for a comfortable win by over five seconds.
Behind him, seven-times Super Sport National champion Jagan, starting from the pit-lane after the chain snapped during the formation lap, requiring quick repairs, rode like the wind as he cut through the field to finish third behind team-mate KY Ahamed who also did extremely well after starting eighth on the grid following this morning’s qualifying session.
Reflecting on his first win in three years, Sarath said: “It feels great to win a race after I think three years. I did not have a good start and was running sixth going into Turn-1, but I was confident of making up and by the second lap, I was ahead. Thereafter, it was fairly comfortable.
“It has been a frustrating three years during which I was part of the development programme. I also put on weight during that time, going up to 76 Kgs which is far too heavy for a 165cc bike. So, I reduced my weight to 66 Kgs, but still concede about 12 Kgs to Jagan. I had a strategy today, but unfortunately, he had a technical issue, so, I didn’t need to employ that strategy. Tomorrow, I know, he will be with me, but I am confident.”
Jagan, who was chaired to the garage after the post-race weigh-in by his team members, said: “The chain snapped and so I had to start from the pitlane after repairs. Otherwise, it was a good race and am happy to finish third considering the circumstances. Hopefully, I will have a better race tomorrow.”
The day started with Sparks Racing’s Vijay S taking the honours in the Stock 165cc (Novice) race that was red-flagged after just two laps following crashes.
Varoon (Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup, CBR 150), Anish Samson (TVS 200 RR, Novice), Lani Zena Fernandez (TVS 200 RR Girls) and Anand R (TVS 310RR Open) were the other winners of the day.
The results (Provisional):
National Championship – Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race 1, 10 laps): 1. Deepak Ravi Kumar (TVS Racing) (11 mins, 40.315 secs); 2. KY Ahemed (TVS Racing) (11:41.960); 3. Satyanarayana Raju (Gusto Racing) (11:58.709).
Pro-Stock 165cc (Race 1, 10 laps): 1. Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:23.441); 2. Ahamed KY (TVS Racing) (12:26.672); 3. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (12:27.061).
Stock 165cc (Race 1, 7 laps): 1. Vijay S (Sparks Racing) (09:29.877); 2. Manoj Y (Pvt) (09:31.371); 3. Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) (09:36.358).
One-Make Championship – Idemitsu Honda Talent Cup (CBR 150) Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Varoon (13:31.952); 2. Lalrinuala Tlau (13:51.910); 3. Charan T (14:11.186).
TVS (Open, RR 310) Race 1 (10 laps): 1. Anand R (12:17.045); 2. Aravind Ganesh (12:18.822); 3. Soorya PM (12:18.865).
Novice (RR 200) Race 1 (4 laps): 1. Anish Samson (05:34.808); 2. Manoj Y (05:34.860); 3. Ullas Santruptnanda (05:36.011).
Girls (RR 200): 1. Lani Zena Fernandez (04:19.084); 2. Nivetha Jessica (04:19.766); 3. Shifa Shabir Ahmed (04:35.568).

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AIADMK MLA R Kanagaraj dies after suffering heart attack

AIADMK legislator R. Kanagaraj, representing the Sulur constituency in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, died of heart attack on Thursday morning, said police.
Kanagaraj, 64, was at his residence when he passed away. He is survived by his wife, a son and daughter. Sulur is part of Coimbatore district.
With Kanagaraj's death, the number of vacant Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu goes up to 22 and the number of AIADMK legislators in the assembly comes down to 114,  including the Speaker.
The Election Commission has announced bye-elections for 18 Assembly constituencies on April 18 along with the Lok Sabha polls.

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India committed to peace but will use might to protect sovereignty: Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind at the Presentation of Colours to Air Force Station, Hakimpet and 5 Base Repair Depot, at the Air Force Station, Sulur, in Tamil Nadu on March 4, 2019.
President Ram Nath Kovind at the Presentation of Colours to Air Force Station, Hakimpet and 5 Base Repair Depot, at the Air Force Station, Sulur, in Tamil Nadu on March 4, 2019.
President Ram Nath Kovind today said India remained firmly committed to peace but, “if the need arises, we will use all our might to protect the nation’s sovereignty.”
Presenting Colours to Air Force Station, Hakimpet and 5 Base Repair Depot at the Air Force Station at Sulur, the President said India’s growing stature in the comity of nations was consistent with the strength and capabilities of its armed forces. 
“Our Armed Forces, exemplified by our air warriors reflect our firm resolve to defend our nation. Their valour and professionalism were on display very recently, as the Indian Air Force carried out pre-emptive strikes on a known terrorist camp,” he added.
Besides safeguarding the sovereign skies of the nation, the Indian Air Force has also been at the forefront of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations. “The resilience and tenacity displayed by our valiant air warriors is a great source of pride for the nation,” he added.
Referring to Air Force Station Hakimpet and 5 Base Repair Depot, he said both these stations with a rich history of professional excellence, have served the nation with honour and distinction in peace and during hostilities. 
“The nation honours them today with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for their selfless devotion, professionalism and courage in the face of adversity,” he added.
“Keeping our aircraft airworthy is a crucial task. In this regard, 5 Base Repair Depot has been repairing and overhauling the Kiran, Avro and Dornier aircraft, many of which are maintained airworthy even after 30 years,” Mr Kovind said.  
Numerous unique indigenisation measures adopted by this Base Repair Depot to promote self-reliance have effectively contributed towards enhancing the organisational potential. 5 Base Repair Depot has truly epitomised its motto ‘Kaya Kalpa’ with continuous rejuvenation through the infusion of new ideas, innovations and technological developments. 
The Base Repair Depot’s efforts to promote indigenous design and development of defence equipment for achieving substantive self-reliance under the ‘Make in India’ initiative are praiseworthy, he added.
Air Force Station Hakimpet has served the nation with distinction. The station has been imparting quality training to pilots of the Indian Air Force. The strong foundation gained by the pilots facilitated their successful further graduation to higher performance aircraft, he said.
During the wars of 1965 and 1971, the flying instructors and technical personnel of the station joined the operational unit and served with remarkable courage and professionalism, he said.
“It is also to the credit of Air Force Station Hakimpet for having commenced flying training for women pilots in helicopter stream in 1995 and on fighter stream in 2016. The station personnel have also been involved in various Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations” he added.

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Chennai bus operators, theatres cancel services on Wednesday

Private bus operators have decided to stop their services to and from Chennai till Wednesday evening as large numbers of passengers have cancelled their tickets and also as a precautionary measure, said an office-bearer of All Omni Bus Operators Association.
"About 75-85 per cent of the passengers decided to cancel their tickets on Wednesday. As a result, the bus operators have decided to cancel the services to and from Chennai till 6 p.m tomorrow (Thursday)," A. Anbalagan, general secretary, All Omni Bus Operators Association told IANS.
According to him, about 1,000 private buses are operated out of Chennai to other parts of Tamil Nadu.
About 10,000 passengers use the private buses to and from Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore, he said.
Theatre owners have cancelled shows starting tonight and said ticket rates would be refunded.
Following Karunanidhi's death, several shops in different parts of the state downed their shutters.
Former Chief Minister and DMK President M.Karunanidhi breathed his last here at Kauvery Hospital where he was admitted on July 28.

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Student dies during disaster management training exercise in Coimbatore

A 19-year-old student was killed during a disaster management training session at a college in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district, police said on Friday.
In a video that has gone viral, the victim, N. Logeshwari, is seen seated on the sunshade just below the second floor of the college building with a trainer standing next to her asking her to jump on Thursday evening.
A group of students were on the ground holding a net. 
In the video, the trainer can be seen pushing a reluctant Logeshwari. As she jumped, her head hit a sunshade and she suffered serious injuries, the police said.
She succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital.
The police have arrested the trainer, identified as Arumugham.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Friday condoled the death and ordered the police to take severe action against the organisers.
Palaniswami announced a compensation of Rs 500,000 to Logeshwari's family.
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Chennai ready to pour cold water on Minerva's title challenge

Chennai City and Minerva Punjab will both want nothing less than a win when they meet at the JLN Stadium on Friday in a massive clash that will have an effect on both ends of the Hero I-League table.
As V. Soundararajan and his men prepare for their final league game, they face the daunting task of bringing the relentless Minerva Punjab side to a halt in their title race in order to better their own chances of escaping relegation.
“It is a challenge again for us. Tomorrow, it is our last match on our home ground. Only if we win, we can improve our reputation. We will go all out, regardless of the opponent. We have got nothing to lose,” said the Chennai City head coach.
Minerva Punjab are top of the league table with 32 points from 16 games. With two games left, the Hero I-League title is theirs to lose as Neroca FC (31 points from 17 games), East Bengal (29 points from 16) and Mohun Bagan (27 points from 16) wait to pounce on any dropped points by the title favourites.
The position of their opponents in the standings has no bearing on how Minerva Punjab are preparing for the game, according to head coach Khogen Singh.
“We never underestimate the opponents. They had very good support at home in their last game. They are a good side. 90% of the football is about the mental strength. If you are mentally fit, you think ‘I can do that’. We are strengthing the players mentally," he said.
Chennai City are in a spot of bother at the other end of the table. Since Gokulam Kerala and Indian Arrows are free of relegation worries, Churchill Brothers are the team for the Southerners to better. Although superior head to head results give Chennai City an advantage, Soundararajan’s boys must win their last game and hope that Churchill Brothers go winless in their remaining two fixtures.
A disastrous run of eight winless games was brought to an end by Chennai City as they won 3-1 against their struggling rivals Churchill Brothers a few weeks ago. But East Bengal put Chennai to the sword and ran riot in a 7-1 thrashing in their last game to dent the confidence in the Coimbatore camp.
“The last match against East Bengal was a challenge for us. Tomorrow, it is a prestige issue. Minerva are in a better position than East Bengal,” said head coach of Chennai City Soundararajan. “Initially we started well, After that, I don’t know what happened to the team. It is a bad defeat for our team. The players also agreed with me.”
Jean-Joachim Junior needs to turn up once again, just like he did at the start of the season, to fire Chennai into a hopeful lead against Minerva. Chennai City have always tried to play an attacking game of football and it should continue against Khogen Singh’s side, against whom they will hope to score early in the game to pile up the pressure.
Defeats to giant-killers Gokulam Kerala and title rivals East Bengal caused an opening for the title race, reducing Minerva Punjab’s lead at the top. Akash Sangwan and Armand Bazie scored to help the Punjab-based side to register a strong comeback win against Aizawl in their previous game and that should act as a huge morale-booster.
Minerva Punjab’s ability to project a united front has helped them mount a serious title challenge this season. Add Bhutanese superstar Chencho Gyeltshen to the mix and they boast a talented first team lineup. “There is no difference between Indian and foreign players at Minerva Punjab. We are working and playing as a team. Chencho Gyeltshen is a talented boy. We used him in the right position. ”
An early goal for Chennai City could pave way for a shock result but Minerva Punjab will be confident of a commanding performance over ninety minutes to put one hand on the much sought out Hero I-League trophy.
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Technical Cooperation Non-Cash Grant for Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar and Kochi for urban transport

Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Bhubaneswar in  Odisha and Kochi in Kerala will receive Technical Cooperation Non-Cash Grant for Urban Transport Activities.
An Implementation Agreement on Sustainable Urban Transport project between Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the German development agency GIZ was signed here yesterday in the presence of Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and German Ambassador Dr Martin Ney.
The agreement was signed by Mr. Mukund Kumar Sinha, OSD & ex officio Joint Secretary, Housing & Urban Affairs and GIZ Country Director Wolfgang Hanning.
Under the agreement, an amount of euro four million (approximately Rs. 29 crore) will be given to the three cities for urban transport activities through GIZ over a period of three years. The main objective is to improve planning and implementation of sustainable urban transport, an official press release said.
The Annual Negotiations and Consultations between India and Germany in 2015, had listed Technical Cooperation by Germany for Urban Mobility in India as one of measures to be taken. It was later formalised with a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The project will give the desired impetus in three major interventions proposed under Smart City Mission of the Ministry -- ITS based transport solutions, Non-motorised vehicles and Last mile connectivity, the release added.

SBI says cash seized by EC officials in TN belongs to it

State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, yesterday clarified that the Rs. 570 crores seized by Election Commission (EC) officials at Tirupur in poll-bound Tamil Nadu belonged to it and was being transported to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh with full authorisation.
A statement from the bank late last night said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had, as per its currency management policy, authorised the transfer of Rs. 570 crore from the currency chest at SBI Coimbatore Main Branch to SBI Special Currency Administration Branch at Visakhapatnam to address a temporary cash shortage in Andhra Pradesh.
"As per RBI instructions our Coimbatore Main branch released the treasure  to the authorised SBI personnel duly escorted by a team of  police personnel from AP. The convoy carrying the treasure was stopped enroute and brought to Tiruppur Collectorate for further scrutiny," it said.
"SBI authorities at Chennai, Coimbatore and and Tirupur are providing all support and clarifications to the authorities and are hopeful of quick resolution and release of treasure.
"We reiterate once again this movement of currency is duly authorised by Reserve Bank of India and has all necessary approvals. The movement is in line with RBI's Currency Management policy of moving cash from one currency chest to other where cash is needed," the statement added.
Earlier in the day yesterday, news that a surveillance team of EC officials had seized three vehicles carrying Rs. 570 crore in cash had caused quite a stir two days ahead of the May 16 polling in the elections to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.
EC officials had already made huge seizures of cash in the preceding weeks during the election campaign.

Modi to visit Kerala, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a day's visit to Kerala and Tamil Nadu tomorrow.
In Kerala, Mr. Modi will address the Third Global Ayurveda Festival in Kozhikode, an official press release said.
In Tamil Nadu, he will inaugurate the building of the ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Coimbatore, and hand it over to the State Government, it added.

Cochin Port, CONCOR sign MoU for container train service from Coimbatore to Kochi

Cochin Port Trust and Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the running of a weekly container train service from Irugur inland container depot (ICD), Coimbatore to the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam, Cochin Port. 
An official press release said the inaugural trip of the weekly container train service from Irugur to Vallarpadam would be flagged off tomorrow by Mr. G.Senthilvel, Deputy Chairman, Cochin Port Trust. 
The train from Irugur will start on all Saturdays and the return from Cochin on all Thursdays. The trains are scheduled to connect with the direct shipping services to Far East, China, Europe and Middle East. 
CONCOR will provide storage space at very attractive terms and conditions to shipping lines who desire to stack the empty containers at Coimbatore. This MoU between CONCOR and Cochin Port will result in great advantage for the export-import community in and around Coimbatore. 

Top Kerala Maoist couple arrested by AP police from Coimbatore

Police arrest top Kerala Maoist couple, three others in Coimbatore
A top Maoist couple from Kerala, Roopesh and his wife Shyna, who had evaded arrest for more than ten years, were arrested along with three others by the Andhra Pradesh police from a bakery near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu late last night, official sources said.
Roopesh, a law graduate who is wanted in 20 criminal cases, his wife and the others were tracked down to a bakery at a village near Coimbatore, where they were having coffee when the police surrounded them, the sources said.
They were arrested in a joint operation by the police of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Confirming the arrests, Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told journalists here that it was a major breakthrough in the anti-Maoist operations in the Southern states.
He said the police forces of the four states had been working diligently on the cases for many years.
He said the arrested persons were making efforts to create chaos and confusion in the Southern states.
Mr Chennithala said the Kerala government would try to get the arrested people to the state because most of the cases against them were registered in Kerala. "The law will take its own course. They will be produced in court. After that, we will try to get them," he said.
The sources said Roopesh's wife is a former employee of the Kerala High Court. The other three persons held have been identified as Anoop from Kerala, Veeramani from Karnataka and Kannan from Tamil Nadu.

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India-born wireless pioneer Arogyaswami Paulraj gets Marconi Society Prize

Prof Arogyaswami Paulraj
Prof Arogyaswami Paulraj
India-born scientist Arogyaswami Joseph Paulraj, Emeritus Profssor at Stanford University, has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Marconi Society Prize for his invention and advancement of MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology.
The award, which carries a $ 100,000 (Rs 62 lakh) prize, is the top global accolade for pioneers of information technology.
MIMO technology is a key enabler of wireless broadband services that benefit billions of people worldwide and is at the heart of the current WiFi and 4G mobile systems.
“Paulraj’s contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefit to mankind, are indisputable. Every WiFi router and 4G phone today uses MIMO technology pioneered by him,” Prof Sir David Payne, Chairman of the Marconi Society, said.
"His idea for using multiple antennas at both the transmitting and receiving stations - which is at the heart of the current high speed WiFi and 4G mobile systems – has revolutionized high speed wireless delivery of multimedia services for billions of people," a press release from the society said.
“Paul (as he is commonly known) has made profound contributions to wireless technology, and the resulting benefit to mankind is indisputable. Every wifi router and 4G phone today uses MIMO technology pioneered by him,” Prof Payne said.
Coimbatore-born Prof Paulraj finished high school at 15 and joined the Indian Navy and opted for the electrical engineering branch, where his training focused on practical skills for maintaining weapons systems. He taught himself subjects like control theory, information theory and signal processing. 
Impressed by his talent, the Navy sent him in 1969 to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi for its M.Tech. programe. Prof P V Indiresan of the institute persuaded the Navy to allow him to enroll in the Ph.D. programme.
That opportunity changed Prof Paulraj's life. In 1970, Stanford Prof. Thomas Kailath, an influential systems theorist, visited IIT Delhi to lecture on non-linear estimation. 
Inspired by Prof Kailath’s lectures, Prof Paulraj went on to make fundamental advances in non-linear estimation of signals using advanced tools from Ito calculus and stochastic diffusion theory. The Navy also got a big payoff, with Prof Paulraj leading a project to redesign the sonar adding many new signal processing concepts. Three years later, in the early 1970s, the new technology was widely deployed in the fleet.
After a brief fellowship at Loughborough University U.K., the Navy assigned him to lead a much more ambitious project to design an advanced technology sonar not available to India because of military export restrictions. His team developed a world-class sonar system (APSOH) that was inducted into fleet service in 1983, a stunning achievement in military electronics for India. APSOH to this day ranks among the best sonars in the world. 
Retired Admiral R. H. Tahiliani, former Chief of the Naval Staff, recalling APSOH says, “The Navy is enormously proud of Paul's many achievements and will remain always indebted for his landmark development of the APSOH sonar.”
Following APSOH work, Prof Paulraj was given a two-year sabbatical leave to explore new areas, and his scientific supervisor suggested he should try to work at Stanford University. He wrote to Prof. Kailath, who despite initial scepticism, finally agreed to allow him to join his research group. 
At Stanford, Prof Paulraj worked on a multiple signals Directions of Arrival (DOA) estimation problem that had a long history of improvements using a spectrum approach. He proposed a totally new method called ESPRIT (Estimation of Signal Parameters via Rotational Invariance Techniques).This led to a mini-revolution spawning more than 1000 papers and over 50 doctoral dissertations; its applications now go far beyond array signal processing to spectral estimation and to system identification.
Paul returned to India in 1986 and served as the founding director for three major labs in India - CAIR (Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics), CDAC (Center for Development of Advanced Computing) and CRL (Central Research Labs of Bharat Electronics). 
He returned to the US in 1991. At Stanford, while awaiting a faculty appointment, he worked on signal separation experiments for airborne reconnaissance. He noticed something surprising: in presence of scattering, co-channel wireless signals from closely spaced transmit sources were often separable by an adaptive receiver antenna array. A few days later, sitting in a barber shop, he had an idea for increasing throughput in wireless systems using multiple transmit and receive antennas (MIMO - Multiple Input, Multiple Output). 
Prof Paulraj applied for a U.S, patent titled “Distributed Transmit – Directional Receive DTDR” (with his then supervisor Prof. Kailath as co-inventor) in February 1992 and the patent was granted in September 1994. 
Spatial Multiplexing, as this is now known, boosts spectral efficiency by creating “parallel spatial data streams” within the same frequency channel. 
However, his attempts to attract interest from the mobile technology companies and funding agencies were met with deep skepticism. His claim that a 1,000,000-QAM system could be built using MIMO when the state-of-art was then 4-QAM engendered disbelief. Now, 20 years later, the MIMO-based 802.11ac WiFi supports 16,000,000-QAM.
Undaunted by the skepticism about MIMO’s practical feasibility, he took leave from Stanford in 1998 to found Iospan Wireless Inc. (initially known as Gigabit Wireless) and built a MIMO based commercial system. Venture firms finally paid attention after he demonstrated a 3x3 MIMO radio he built with his personal funds. While CDMA access technology was still the mainstay of the wireless industry, Paul pushed for OFDMA as the best access technology for incorporating MIMO. Iospan developed a MIMO-OFDMA based fixed wireless system to offer 4096-QAM with 2 spatial streams. By 2001, Iospan had firmly established that MIMO offers good value in typical cellular applications. Intel Corp. acquired Iospan’s technology in 2003, and Paul worked with Intel to develop the WiMAX mobile standards.
In 2004, Paul co-founded Beceem Communications to develop semiconductor solutions and the company emerged as a world leader in WIMAX semiconductors with more than 65% market share. It was acquired by Broadcom Corp. In 2006 and the 3GPP standards group also adopted Iospan’s MIMO-OFDMA as the core technology for the 4G mobile standards.
Stanford colleague and Marconi Fellow Prof. John Cioffi, the inventor of DSL technology, calls Paul’s technical capability “almost unparalleled in the world. But what impresses me most is how Paul endured the tremendous, pressure, turmoil and stress of people saying his ideas weren’t going to work, and persevered until he found success. Such people are pretty rare.”
"The potential of MIMO to multiply the capacity of wireless spectrum is seemingly limitless. Use of milli-metric band frequencies can soon enable much larger numbers of MIMO antennas and the corresponding boost in wireless capacity, Prof Paulraj said.
The Marconi Prize comes just three years after Prof Paulraj was honoured with the other major telecom technology award – the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal for his work on theoretical foundations of MIMO.  
He is the only India-born scientist to receive both the Marconi Prize and the Bell Medal - the two top global IT technology awards.  After Sir J.C. Bose’s demonstration of the millimeter wave radio in 1895, Paulraj’s invention of MIMO in 1992 is the next major innovation in IT from an Indian born scientist.
The Government of India had honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 2010
In winning the prestigious award, Prof Paulraj has joined a very select group of top information technology (IT) pioneers such as Tim Berners-Lee (World Wide Web), Vint Cerf (Internet), Larry Page (Google Search), Marty Hellman (Public Key Cryptography) and Martin Cooper (Cell Phone).
The Marconi Society was established in 1974 through an endowment set up by Gioia Marconi Braga, daughter of Guglielmo Marconi, the Nobel laureate who invented radio (wireless telegraphy). It is best known for the Marconi Prize.

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Former Indian Bank official given three years of imprisonment in fraud cases


The Special Judge for CBI Cases, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu has convicted T. Kandasamy, former rural development officer of the public sector Indian Bank and sentenced him to undergo three years' imprisonment in five connected cases of bank fraud with a total fine of Rs 100,000.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said the agency had registered a case against Kandasamy, who was rural development officer of Indian Bank, Udumalpet branch, Coimbatore based on the allegations that, during the years 1995 to 2002, he had abused his official position and got sanctioned agricultural crop loans in the names of fictitious persons by creating forged and fabricated loan documents in the names of the fictitious loanees.
Further, he encashed the loan proceeds of such fraudulent loans by opening fictitious accounts in the names of the non-existing loanees and operated them by forging their signatures, the CBI said.
After the investigation of the case, CBI filed a charge sheet before the Special Judge for CBI Cases, Coimbatore on January7 against T. Kandasamy in five connected cases covering 15 fictitious crop loans raised by him, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act, for for causing a total loss of Rs. 3.32 lakh to Indian Bank, te release said.
The trial court found the accused guilty and convicted him, the release added.

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President’s Standards awarded to IAF’s 25 Squadron and 33 Squadron

President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Presidential Standard-2012 to 33 Squadron, at Air Force Station, Sulur in Tamil Nadu on December 18, 2012.
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Presidential Standard-2012 to 33 Squadron, at Air Force Station, Sulur in Tamil Nadu on December 18, 2012.

President Pranab Mukherjee today presented the prestigious Presidential Standards to two squadrons of the Indian Air Force (IAF) -- the 25 Squadron and the 33 Squadron -- at a ceremonial parade at the Air Force Station at Sulur in Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal A K Gogoi, Air Office Commanding-in-Chief South Western Air Command (SWAC), Air Marshal R K Jolly, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Air Command (SAC), Air Commodore B S Yadav, Commodore Commandant, 25 Squadron and Air Commodore J V Paul, Commodore Commandant, 33 Squadron and Mrs Rama Pilot, wife of late Squadron Leader (Retd) Rajesh Pilot were present on the occasion besides a host of other serving and retired officers of the two Squadrons and civil dignitaries. 
Located in the South Western Sector, 25 Squadron, called The Himalayan Eagles, was formed on March 1, 1963 at Chandigarh. With the motto, Satvadhina Hi Siddhaya (Excellence through Diligence), it has been the lifeline of troops stationed in the Northern region for over five decades, in peace as well as in war. During the 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistan conflicts and Kargil Operations, the squadron played a vital role, an official press release said.
The 33 Squadron was formed on January 9, 1963 with two Caribou aircraft. With the motto Shramo Dadati Siddim (Through hard work comes glory), the squadron participated in operations in both 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pakistan conflicts. It also has the distinction of spearheading the largest ever formation in the history of the IAF during the Tangail operations in 1971. 
In 1986, the squadron was reequipped with AN-32, which has over the years proven to be the workhorse of the IAF. The squadron flew extensively during the IAF’s tsunami rescue and relief operations. Based at Sulur, the squadron maintains an effective air bridge to the far flung island territories of Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. 
The standards are awarded to operational units while colours are awarded to non flying formations. 
IAF Operational Squadrons become eligible for award of Presidential Standards after completion of 18 years, the release added.

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Tube Investments to acquire 44.1 stake in Shanthi Gears


Tube Investments of India Ltd., (TII), the flagship of the Murugappa Group, today said it would acquire the promoter shareholding of 44.1 per cent in Shanthi Gears Limited, a Coimbatore-based manufacturer of industrial power transmission products.

Consequently, TII will be making an open offer to the extent of 26%, a press release from the company said here today.
The total cost of the acquisition, including the public offer is expected to be Rs. 464 crore, assuming full response to the proposed open offer pursuant to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulation, it said.
The Murugappa Group has multiple businesses ranging from diversified auto-ancillary products, bicycle retailing to financial services and insurance.

CBI arrests Tamil Nadu IGP from Delhi in alleged corruption case


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Tamil Nadu Inspector General of Police (Armed Police) P Pramod Kumar from here in connection with its ongoing investigation to two cases of cheating and corruption, related to the alleged Paazee Forex Trading Company scam.

A press release from the CBI said the two cases were registered by the agency on the directions of the Madras High Court. These cases were earlier registered by CBCID, Tamil Nadu on June 15, 2011.
The first case is a cheating case against the three directors of the private investment company relating to defrauding depositors to the tune of approximately Rs.829 crores, including the promised interest as well as dividends.

CBI books BEML chief V R S Natarajan, others in tender process case


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today said it had registered a case against V R S Natarajan, chairman and managing director of public sector BEML Limited, a defence public sector undertaking, and others in conection with the tender process for hiring a private consultancy firm during the period 2004-09.

Sources said Natarajan and the others, including C S Srivatsan, Director of Coimbatore-based Astral Consultants, were accused of offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
A press release from the agency said the accused persons were parties to a criminal conspiracy entered amongst themselves at Bangalore and other places during 2004-09 to cheat BEML in the matter of award of different works relating to the implementation of Enterprises Resource Planning Project in BEML, causing wrongful loss to the PSU and wrongful gain to others.

8 killed as bus rams into petrol tanker in Tamil Nadu

Eight people, including two children and the bus driver, were charred to death and eight suffered serious burn injuries when the private bus in which they were travelling caught fire after ramming into a petrol tanker near Samathuvapuram at Sithtode in Erode district of Tamil Nadu this morning.
Police said the private luxury bus was on its way to Coimbatore from Bangalore when driver Sasikumar tried to overtake the petrol tanker carrying fuel to Sulur Air Force.
The bus hit the tanker and immediately caught fire which killed Sasikumar, Kiranbai of Mangalore, Jaya of Hosur, a two-year-old and a ten-year-old child on the spot while Kiranbai's husband Kevalchand and Jaya’s husband Muthusamy died at Erode Government Hospital.
Two persons, who suffered burn injuries, were admitted to the Ganga Hospital at Coimbatore where one of them who had 95 per cent burns died, Hospital Director, Dr S Raja Sabapathy, told UNI.
Another youngster, working as a software engineer in Wipro, suffered 25 per cent burn injuries. His lungs were affected due to inhaling of smoke, the doctor said.
Soon after the bus hit the tanker, people from nearby areas immediately rushed to the spot, broke open the windows and saved the passengers.
The petrol tanker driver, meanwhile, took the vehicle away from the mishap scene to avoid further casualties.
The bodies were sent to Government Hospital for post-mortem examination, police added.

5 charred to death as bus catches fire in Tamil Nadu


Five people, including a driver and two children were charred to death and ten others suffered burn injures when when a private bus caught fire after dashing against a tanker lorry transporting petrol at Sithtode in Erode district of Tamil Nadu early this morning.

Police said the private luxury bus was on its way to Coimbatore from Bangalore.
The mishap occurred when the driver Saikumar tried to overtake the tanker lorry which was carrying a petroleum product to Sulur Air Force station.
Two others among the four killed were identified as Kiranbai, wife of Kevalchand, hailing from Mangalore and Jaya. The two children, a 2- year-old and a 10-year-old child, could not be identified immediately, police added.
The ten passengers, who suffered serious burn injuries, were rushed to various government and private hospitals in Erode and nearby Coimbatore city for emergency medical treatment.
When the mishap occurred, the public nearby rushed to the spot. They broke open the glass windows of the bus and helped to rescue the other passengers.
On seeing the bus in flames, the driver of the tanker drove the tanker away from it. The bodies of the deceased were sent to the Government general hospital here for autopsy, police added.

6 killed as car collides with bus in Tamil Nadu

Six persons, including two women and a three-months-old male child, were killed when the car in which they were travelling collided with a state-owned bus between Dharapuram and Idayankinaru in Tirupur district today.

Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.


3 killed as car falls into well in Coimbatore

Three people were killed on the spot when the car in which they were travelling fell into a 200-feet deep well at Karadimadai village near Thondamuthur on the outskirts of the city this morning.

Police said Meena (27), wife of a city-based jewellery shop owner Dhivahar, her mother-in-law Vasanthamani (51), driver Shiva (36) and her two sons - Indrajith (4) and Bhavanjith (3) - were going to Dhivahar's shop.

Meena, who was learning car driving, was behind the wheels while driver Shiva was sitting on the front seat when the accident occurred.

While driving the car in reverse, Meena accidentally pressed accelerator without looking back. The car fell into the well which, however, had no water. After hearing the noise, people working in the nearby fields rushed to the spot and saved the children who miraculously escaped unhurt. But driver Siva, Meena and Vasanthamani were killed on the spot.

Fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot and fished out the bodies from the well. The bodies were sent to Coimbatore Medical College (CMC) Hospital for post-mortem, police added.


Man thrashed in full public glare dies in Coimbatore, 4 held

A 28-year-old man, who was beaten up in a drunken brawl by four persons in full public glare on July 10, succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

The attack was recorded on a surveillance camera at a traffic signal on the Mettuppalayam Road, leading to the arrest of the four culprits.

Santosh Kumar was thrashed by the four men near a traffic signal in Saibabha Colony at 1400 hrs, even as passers-by watched the incident, visuals released by police showed.

The man was admitted to the Coimbatore Medical College (CMC) Hospital and succumbed to his injuries yesterday, police said.

With the help of recordings of the camera, one of many set up at strategic locations, police arrested the four persons and produced them before a court which remanded them to judicial custody.

Santosh’s wife yesterday submitted a memorandum seeking compensation and a government job.

The images captured by a surveillance camera at a traffic signal on Mettuppalayam Road-ARC Junction helped the police arrest four persons in an assault case.

Coimbatore City Police Commissioner Amaresh Pujari said Santhosh Kumar was admitted to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital with serious head injuries on July 10.

Initially, the police were clueless about the culprits. But during a screening of footage captured by the camera, the police saw frames of thrashing taking place and the accused throwing a stone at Santhosh Kumar.

On the basis of this, the police arrested N Ramachandran (26), M Krishnan (28), R Murugan (21) and P Ganesan (31). It was stated that all the four consumed liquor at a TASMAC shop at Sai Baba Colony.

A war of words ensued among them and on coming out of the shop, the accused threw stone at Santhosh Kumar injuring him.

Mr Pujari congratulated the Inspector, Sai Baba Colony, R Srinivasulu for cracking the case using technology. He said that the police have planned to install 50 more secret cameras at various places in Coimbatore to help tackle crime.

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