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Tamil Nadu

Paes targets one more Grand Slam title, Olympic doubles medal

Tennis player Leander Paes addressing a press conference on the eve of ATP World Tour Chennai Open, in Chennai on January 1, 2012. UNI PHOTO
Tennis player Leander Paes addressing a press conference on the eve of ATP World Tour Chennai Open, in Chennai on January 1, 2012. UNI PHOTO
Former world No 1 and current world no 8 doubles player Leander Paes has his targets firmly set on winning an Olympics doubles medal at London in the latter half of the season and before that another Grand Slam doubles title.
 
"I go into the season in two phases. The season is quite long. The first part is the ATP tour which is very long. The players, in fact, need a longer off season," the affable star of Indian tennis said at a press conference ahead of the 2012 Chennai Open which kicks off here tomorrow.
 
Paes, who will be partnering the singles top seed Janko Tipsarevic in the doubles main draw for the first time as the number three seed, said, "I could not get my partner (Roddick) Stepanik. He was away in Brisbane, but Tipsarevic is a formidable player in doubles too."
 
"Tipsarevic has won a doubles title in Chennai. I am playing with him for the first time. Hope I can get some rhythm with him soon," Paes said.
 
Paes observed that last year he did not win a Grand Slam and therefore he was hoping to win one this season.
 
"It would be fantastic to win a doubles medal in Olympics, having come close to it three times, after I won a medal in the singles at Sydney," he hoped.
 
"The second season on the tour is the summer when you get to play the French Open, the Wimbledon and then the US Open. This time we have the Olympic Games," he said.
 
"You have to be really injury-free to be going through the tour. Fortunately, I have never had a major injury so far in 20 years of my career," Leander, who has 47 ATP Tour doubles titles under his belt, observed.
 
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President condoles loss of lives in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry due to cyclone Thane

President Pratibha Patil has condoled the loss of lives in the coastal areas of north Tamil Nadu and Pudcherry caused by cyclone "Thane" which hit the area on Friday morning.
 
In a message to Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, Patil expressed her grief over the loss of lives and damage to poverty in the coastal districts of the state.
 
Patil, who is camping in Hyderabad, sent a separate message in this regard to Puducherry Lt Governor Iqbal Singh.
 
Patil conveyed her condolences to the members of the bereaved families and wished speedy recovery to the injured persons.
 
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Four killed as mini-van knocks down motorcylists in Tamil Nadu

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Four people, travelling on two motorbikes, were killed after being hit by a mini-van near Natham Koot Road on the Sadurangapattinam-Tirukazhukundram State Highway in this district of Tamil Nadu today.
 
Police said the dawn of the New Year turned out to be tragic for the victims, hailing from Nallur village and Natham village near Sadurangapattinam, who were proceeding to Tirukazhukundram when the accident occurred.
 
The driver of the mini-van, which was proceeding to Sadurangapattinam from Tirukazhukundram, had allegedly dozed off resulting in the mishap.
 
Krishnamurthy (49) and his friend Meganathan (30), hailing from Nallur village were travelling on one two-wheeler, while Sundararajan (28) and Boopoathy (50) from Natham village were travelling on another motorcyle, when they were hit by the van.
 
All the four were thrown off from their vehicles and died on the spot.
 
Kancheepuram District Superintendent of Police S Manoharan rushed to the spot. The bodies were taken to Chengalpattu Government Hospital for autopsy.
 
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Jayalalithaa announces new 600 MW thermal power plant at Ennore

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today announced a new 600 MW thermal power plant at Ennore at a cost of Rs 3,600 crore.
 
An official release said here that the new plant, to come up in a 90 acre area, would become operational by 2015. 
 
It would replace the existing 5 x 90 MW Ennore thermal plant, which could not generate power to its capacity as the equipment had become dysfunctional due to several years of operation.
 
The new 600 MW plant was aimed at replacing the existing one, the release added.
 
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Death toll due to cyclone "Thane" in TN, Puducherry rises to 43

The death toll in the wake of the severe cyclone "Thane", which ripped through north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Friday morning and left behind a trail of destruction, has risen to 43.

A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm
A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
The death toll in the wake of the severe cyclone "Thane", which ripped through north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry yesterday morning and left behind a trail of destruction, has risen to 43.
 
Of these, 35 deaths were reported from Tamil Nadu while the Union Territory of Puducherry accounted for eight.
 
In Tamil Nadu, Cuddalore district was the worst-hit, with 26 deaths, followed by three in Kancheepuram, two each in Villupram and Tiruvallur districts and one each in Chennai and Theni.
 
Normal life was thrown out of gear in the affected areas and the administration in both states was trying to restore normalcy at the earliest.
 
The cyclone caused extensive losses by uprooting trees, telephone and electricity poles and damaging roads.
 
The cyclone, which had yesterday weakened into a depression, has since turned into a well-marked low pressure area over north Kerala and its neighbourhood, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said this morning.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy falls at isolated places, would occur over Kerala during the next 24 hours.
 
Rainfall at many places, with isolated heavy rainfall, may occur over south interior Karnataka and north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 12 hours, the IMD said, adding the system was under constant watch.
 
The situation in Cuddalore was grim even as the authorities took up relief measures on a war-footing.
 
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
A day after the cyclone hit the coast between Cuddalore and neighbouring Puducherry between 0630 and 0730 hours yesterday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced a solatium of Rs 1 lakh
each to the families and directed the District Administrations to
take up the relief operatins on a fast track.
 
Both Cuddalore and Puducherry faced the herculean task of restoring normalcy as almost all electric posts and mobile towers crashed, cutting off power supply and snapping communication links.
 
"Major roads are being cleared of uprooted trees and traffic is being resumed. People are returning to their homes or going to the homes of their relatives from relief camps. Life is coming back to normalcy," Cuddalore Deputy Superintendent of Police S Vanitha said.
 
Reports spoke of shortages of drinking water, milk and vegetables and high prices for these items.
 
"This cyclone is unprecedented, I have not seen such a havoc in my life time," Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy said.
 
The cyclonic storm also destroyed crops in Cuddalore and other coastal districts. Hundreds of acres of paddy, ready for harvest next month, remained submerged in water.
 
Banking operations in the district have also been affected in the
absence of power. ATMs stopped functioning and mobile phones fell silent.
 
Glass panes in many buildings were shattered and DTH (direct-to-home) antennas were blown away by the wind.
 
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Meanwhile, faced with the herculean task of restoring normalcy in the devastated areas, the Cuddalore district administration was involved in full strength in carrying out relief works in the aftermath of the cyclone, that left hundreds homeless.
 
Steps were being taken to repair several roads which were badly damaged, and remove the electric poles that lay uprooted in many parts of the district, reports said.
 
Trees in more than 1000 places were uprooted due to gusty winds, which accompanied the cyclone. Power supply which was cut off as a precautionary measure was being restored.
 
More than 2,700 people were housed in relief centres and steps were being taken to rehabilitate them as their hutments were damaged due to cyclonic storm, the reports said.
 
Meanwhile, life came back to normal in Chennai city as rains abated significantly, bringing cheer to New Year shoppers.
 
Though several areas in the suburbs still remained under water, it was business as usual in the city with the sun shining brightly after three days.
 
In Puducherry, the authorities were trying to restore normalcy after the cyclone uprooted thousands of trees and electric poles. Several houses had collapsed and many roads damaged. Traffic signal poles and mobile telephone towers were also affected.
 
Power supply was restored in some areas today, but several areas were still without power.
 
Vehicular traffic was almost restored by clearing the uprooted trees.
 
A large number of fishermen who lost their dwellings were accommodated in government schools, marriage halls and community centres. Food was being supplied to them from a central kitchen opened in the town.
 
It would take another couple of days to restore normalcy in the Union Territory, official sources added.
 
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Cyclone "Thane" claims 34 lives in TN, Puducherry; weakens into low pressure area

As many as 34 people were left dead by the cyclone "Thane" which ripped through north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on Friday and left a trail of destruction behind.

A satellite image of cyclone
A satellite image of cyclone "Thane" taken by Kalpana-I at 0630 hours on December 30, 2011. Photo: Courtesy IMD website.

As many as 34 people were left dead by the cyclone "Thane" which ripped through north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry yesterday and left a trail of destruction behind.

The cyclone, which had weakened into a depression, has since turned into a well-marked low pressure area over north Kerala and its neighbourhood, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said this morning.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy falls at isolated places, would occur over Kerala during the next 24 hours.
 
Rainfall at many places, with isolated heavy rainfall, may occur over south interior Karnataka and north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 12 hours, the IMD said, adding the system was under constant watch.
 
Of the 34 deaths, 26 were reported from Tamil Nadu and eight from Puducherry.
 
The worst-hit in Tamil Nadu was Cuddalore district, which accounted for 21 of the deaths. Two deaths each were reported from Villupuram and Tiruvallur districts. One person died in Chennai.
 
The situation in Cuddalore was grim even as the authorities took up relief measures on a war-footing.
 
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said that, of the 21 deaths in Cuddalore, 13 people had died in incidents of wall collapse while eight had died due to the cyclonic storm.
 
Jayalalithaa announced a solatium of Rs 2 lakhs each to the families of the 26 people killed in the cyclone and expressed her heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
 
A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm
A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
 
Meanwhile, faced with the herculean task of restoring normalcy in the devastated areas, the Cuddalore district administration was involved in full strength in carrying out relief works in the aftermath of the cyclone, that left hundreds homeless.
 
Steps were being taken to repair several roads which were badly damaged, and remove the electric poles that lay uprooted in many parts of the district, reports said.
 
Trees in more than 1000 places were uprooted due to gusty winds, which accompanied the cyclone. Power supply which was cut off as a precautionary measure was being restored.
 
More than 2,700 people were housed in relief centres and steps were being taken to rehabilitate them as their hutments were damaged due to cyclonic storm, the reports said.
 
Meanwhile, life came back to normal in Chennai city as rains abated significantly, bringing cheer to New Year shoppers.
 
Though several areas in the suburbs still remained under water, it was business as usual in the city with the sun shining brightly after three days.
 
In Puducherry, the authorities were trying to restore normalcy after the cyclone uprooted thousands of trees and electric poles. Several houses had collapsed and many roads damaged. Traffic signal poles and mobile telephone towers were also affected.
 
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Power supply was restored in some areas today, but several areas were still without power.
 
Vehicular traffic was almost restored by clearing the uprooted trees.
 
A large number of fishermen who lost their dwellings were accommodated in government schools, marriage halls and community centres. Food was being supplied to them from a central kitchen opened in the town.
 
It would take another couple of days to restore normalcy in the Union Territory, official sources added.
 
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Cyclone "Thane" hits north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry; claims 25 lives

As many as 25 people were killed as the severe cyclonic storm "Thane" hit the north Tamil Nadu coast and Puducherry on Friday morning and left behind a trail of devastation.

A satellite image of cyclone
A satellite image of cyclone "Thane" taken by Kalpana-I at 0630 hours on December 30, 2011. Photo: Courtesy IMD website.

As many as 25 people were killed as the severe cyclonic storm "Thane" hit the north Tamil Nadu coast and Puducherry this morning and left behind a trail of devastation.

The cyclone crossed the coast between Puducherry and Tamil Nadu's Cuddalore district between 0630 and 0730 hours today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The IMD said the cyclone had first weakened into a deep depression and then moved west-southwestward and weakened into a depression.
 
At 1730 hours today, it lay centered over north Tamil Nadu, close to Salem. The system is likely to move westwards and weaken further into a low pressure area during next 12 hours.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places, would occur over north Tamil Nadu during the next 12 hours.
 
Rainfall at many places with isolated heavy rainfall may occur over Rayalaseema during next 12 hours and over north Kerala and coastal and south interior Karnataka during the next 24 hours, an IMD bulletin issued at 1900 hours said.
 
A UNI report from Chennai said as many as 13 people were killed in Cuddalore district, which bore the brunt of the cyclone's fury, due to wall collapses, electrocution and falling of trees.
 
Ten other deaths were reported from other coastal districts in Tamil Nadu, including three from Villupuram. Two people died in Puducherry.
 
A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm
A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
 
According to the report, the gale winds, accompanied by heavy rains uprooted more than 1,000 trees and threw normal life out of gear in Cuddalore district.
 
The high tidal waves inundated a number of coastal hamlets along the 57 km long coastline in the district. Though the district administration advised people to move out to safer places, many stayed back in their houses and got marooned.
 
''The extent of damages in the district is being assessed and priority has been accorded to restoring power supply and other infrastructural facilities,'' Cuddalore District Collector P Amuthavalli told UNI.
 
Besides uprooting trees, ''Thane'' felled electric poles and mobile phone towers, disrupting power supply and communication links in the entire district.
 
Though ''Thane'' spared Chennai, the impact of the furious cyclonic storm was strongly felt as heavy rains, accompanied by gusty winds, lashed the city and its suburbs, forcing the people to remain indoors.
 
A report from Puducherry said ''Thane'' created havoc when the Union Territory was asleep last night. Gusty winds with speed ranging from 125 to 140 kms per hour, lashed theterritory, throwing normal life out of gear.
 
Hundreds of avenue trees, lamp posts and cellphone towers fell victims to ''Thane'', the report said. Normal life came to a standstill as power supply was completely cut off.
 
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
The cyclonic storm claimed two lives in Puducherry, though unconfirmed reports said four people have died due to wall collapse and electrocution, the report said.
 
The cyclone also caused extensive damage to standing paddy crops in hundreds of acres in the coastal districts of Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts.
 
In Villupuram district, a farmer was electrocuted at Alathur village while another died in a wall collapse in Kattakuppam village. In Tiruvallur, one person died of electrocution when he came into contact with a livewire at Pattabiram.
 
The cyclone also caused extensive damage to huts and houses in the coastal districts and to standing crops.
 
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who reviewed the situation with her cabinet colleagues and senior officials, directed them to take up relief measures on a war footing.
 
In Puducherry, Chief Minister N Rangasamy described Thane as the severest cyclone to hit the Union Territory after 1975. He said it had claimed two lives and caused extensive damage to property.
 
Government schools, community centres and marriage halls in coastal areas were used to provide shelter to those evacuated from low-lying areas. Food was being supplied to them from central kitchens opened in the town, he said.
 
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Cyclone "Thane" hits north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry; claims 17 lives

The severe cyclonic storm "Thane", which crossed the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddaore and Puducherry on Friday morning, has claimed at least 17 lives, including two in Puducherry, and left behind a trail of destruction.

A satellite image of cyclone
A satellite image of cyclone "Thane" taken by Kalpana-I at 0630 hours on December 30, 2011. Photo: Courtesy IMD website.
The severe cyclonic storm "Thane", which crossed the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry this morning, has claimed at least 17 lives, including two in Puducherry, and left behind a trail of destruction.
 
A UNI report from Chennai said 12 people were killed, mainly due to wall collapses, in Cuddalore, which bore the brunt of the cyclone's fury.
 
Two deaths were reported in neighbouring Villupuram district and one from Tiruvallur, it said.
 
According to the report, the gale winds, accompanied by heavy rains uprooted more than 1,000 trees and threw normal life out of gear in Cuddalore district.
 
The high tidal waves inundated a number of coastal hamlets along the 57 km long coastline in the district. Though the district administration advised people to move out to safer places, many stayed back in their houses and got marooned.
 
District Collector P Amuthavalli told UNI over phone that 12 people have died in a wall collapse and other isolated incidents caused by the cyclone, which crossed the coast between 0630 and 0730 hours.
 
''The extent of damages in the district is being assessed and priority has been accorded to restoring power supply and other infrastructural facilities,'' she said.
 
Besides uprooting trees, ''Thane'' felled electric poles and mobile phone towers, disrupting power supply and communication links in the entire district.
 
A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm
A cargo ship stranded near Chennai Port due to cyclonic storm "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Though ''Thane'' spared Chennai, the impact of the furious cyclonic storm was strongly felt as heavy rains, accompanied by gusty winds, lashed the city and its suburbs, forcing the people to remain indoors.
 
A report from Puducherry said ''Thane'' created havoc when the Union Territory was asleep last night. Gusty winds with speed ranging from 125 to 140 kms per hour, lashed the territory, throwing normal life out of gear.
 
Hundreds of avenue trees, lamp posts and cellphone towers fell victims to ''Thane'', the report said. Normal life came to a standstill as power supply was completely cut off.
 
The cyclonic storm claimed two lives in Puducherry, though unconfirmed reports said four people have died due to wall collapse and electrocution, the report said.
 
The cyclone also caused extensive damage to standing paddy crops in hundreds of acres in the coastal districts of Cuddalore, Villupuram, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts.
 
In Villupuram district, a farmer was electrocuted at Alathur village while another died in a wall collapse in Kattakuppam village. In Tiruvallur, one person died of electrocution when he came into contact with a livewire at Pattabiram.
 
The cyclone also caused extensive damage to huts and houses in the coastal districts and to standing crops.
 
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who reviewed the situation with her cabinet colleagues and senior officials, directed them to take up relief measures on a war footing.
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone
A view of Marina beach in Chennai after sea water left puddles in the sand following high waves due to cyclone "Thane" on December 30, 2011. UNI PHOTO
 
In Puducherry, Chief Minister N Rangasamy described Thane as the severest cyclone to hit the Union Territory after 1975. He said it had claimed two lives and caused extensive damage to property.
 
Government schools, community centres and marriage halls in coastal areas were used to provide shelter to those evacuated from low-lying areas. Food was being supplied to them from central kitchens opened in the town, he said.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the cyclone had moved further westward and weakened rapidly into a deep depression. At 1130 hours, it lay centred near latitude 11.8 North and longitude 79 East, about 100 km west of Cuddalore. The system is likely to move westwards and weaken further, it said.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places, would occur over north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 24 hours.
 
The IMD bulletin said rainfall at many places with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours and over Rayalseema, north Kerala and south Karnataka during next 24 hours.
 
Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph are likely over north Tamil Nadu during next 3 hours and then decrease gradually.
 
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Cyclone "Thane" hits north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry; claims 10 lives

The severe cyclonic storm "Thane", which crossed the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddaore and Puducherry on Friday morning, has claimed at least 10 lives, including two in Puducherry, and left behind a trail of destruction.

A satellite image of cyclone
A satellite image of cyclone "Thane" taken by Kalpana-I at 0630 hours on December 30, 2011. Photo: Courtesy IMD website.
The severe cyclonic storm "Thane", which crossed the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry this morning, has claimed at least 10 lives, including two in Puducherry, and left behind a trail of destruction.
 
A UNI report said five people were filled in Cuddalore district, two deaths were reported in neighbouring Villupuram and one in Tiruvallur district.
 
In Villupuram district, a farmer was electrocuted at Alathur vilalge while another died in a wall collapse in Kattakuppam village.
 
In Tiruvallur, one person died of electrocution when he came into contact with a livewire at Pattabiram.
 
The cyclone also caused extensive damage to huts and houses in the coastal districts and to standing crops.
 
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who reviewed the situation with her cabinet colleagues and senior officials, directed them to take up relief measures on a war footing.
 
In Puducherry, Chief Minister N Rangasamy described Thane as the severest cyclone to hit the Union Territory after 1975. He said it had claimed two lives and caused extensive damage to property.
 
Government schools, community centres and marriage halls in coastal areas were used to provide shelter to those evacuated from low-lying areas. Food was being supplied to them from central kitchens opened in the town, he said.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the cyclone moved further westward and weakened rapidly into a deep depression.
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm  Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
At 1130 hours, it lay centred near latitude 11.8 North and longitude 79 East, about 100 km west of Cuddalore. The system is likely to move westwards and weaken further, it said.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places, would occur over north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 24 hours. 
 
The IMD bulletin said rainfall at many places with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours and over Rayalseema, north Kerala and south Karnataka during next 24 hours.
 
Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph are likely over north
Tamil Nadu during next 3 hours and then decrease gradually.
 
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Cyclone "Thane" crosses north Tamil Nadu coast

The "very severe" cyclonic storm "Thane" over southwest Bay of Bengal crossed the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry on Friday morning, the India Meteorological Department said.

A satellite image of cyclone
A satellite image of cyclone "Thane" taken by Kalpana-I at 0630 hours on December 30, 2011. Photo: Courtesy IMD website.
The "very severe" cyclonic storm "Thane" over southwest Bay of Bengal crossed the north Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Puducherry this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
According to a bulletin issued by the IMD, the cyclone crossed the coast between 0630 and 0730 hours today.
 
It then continued to move westwards and weakened into a severe cyclonic storm and lay centred at 0830 hours near latitude 11.80 North and longitude 79.50 East, about 30 km west of Cuddalore and 35 km southwest of Puducherry.
 
The system is likely to move westwards and weaken further, the bulletin said.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places, would occur over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours and over north interior Tamil Nadu during the next 24 hours.
 
Rainfall at many places, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, would occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh during the next 12 hours and over Rayalseema, north Kerala and south Karnataka during next 24 hours, the bulletin said.
 
Gale winds speed reaching 90-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph, is likely along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts and adjoining areas of north interior Tamil Nadu during the next three hours and then decrease gradually, the bulletin issued at 0930 hours said.
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm  Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
Sea condition is very high along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts.
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during the next 12 hours.
 
The maximum gale wind speed of 120-140 kmph has been reported over Puducherry and Cuddalore.
 
The cyclone is expected to cause extensive damage to thatched roof and huts and minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees. Flooding of escape routes is likely and the storm could also damage the standing rice, groundnut and maize in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and rice and groundnut in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
 
The IMD has suggested total suspension of fishing operations in the area and shifting of coastal hutment dwellers to safer places. People in the affected areas have been advised to remain indoors and cooperate with the disaster management authorities.
 
UNI adds from Chennai:
 
Heavy rains lashed the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu since early this morning, disrupting normal life.
 
Schools and educational institutions were closed for the day in all the 13 coastal districts of the State in view of the heavy rains forecast.
 
In Chennai and suburbs, people woke up to blustery wind conditions and a steady flow of rain.
 
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The rains, which were accompanied by squally winds, led to waterlogging in several areas, forcing people to remain indoors.
 
The sea water rose to a height of more than two ft and had invaded the land off Marina.
 
Police were maintaining surveillance along the entire stretch of Marina and public were barred from entering the beach, where boats and barricades were tossed up in air due to gusty winds.
 
Patrol police were advising people and morning walkers, who were very few in numbers, not to enter the beach.
 
Sea water had entered the service road on the Marina, which was located about 500 m from the shore. In the adjoining Foreshore Estate, people living on the shores, spent sleepless nights as the sea water inundated their huts and houses. Several people were evacuated to safer places.
 
Traffic was disrupted in several parts of the city as squally winds uprooted trees.
 
The cyclone also impacted train and air services as a few international flights coming to Chennai were cancelled.
 
Southern Railway announced that train services were also affected with the cancellation of a couple of trains.
 
As the rains were accompanied by strong winds, power supply was disconnected as a precautionary measure in some areas.
 
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Reports received here said normal life remained crippled in the coastal districts of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam which bore the brunt of the rain havoc as these two districts were located close to Puducherry, where the storm crossed the coast.
 
The district administration has taken all precautionary measures to tide over any emergency.
 
Traffic on the Villuppuram-Puducherry road was hit due to uprooting of trees under the impact of strong winds.
 
In Nagapattinam also normal life was hit as the sea waters rose phenomenally and people living near the coast were being shifted to safer places and relief centres.
 
A round-the-clock control room was set up in the coastal districts to monitor the situation.
 
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Cyclone "Thane" to cross north Tamil Nadu coast on Friday

A satellite image of cyclone
A satellite image of cyclone "Thane" taken by Kalpana-I at 0630 hours on December 30, 2011. Photo: Courtesy IMD website.
The "very severe" cyclonic storm "Thane" over southwest Bay of Bengal is likely to move westwards and cross the north Tamil Nadu coast, close to south of Puducherry, within a few hours and weaken gradually, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said this morning.
 
The cyclone had moved further westward and lay centered at 0530 hours today near latitude 11.80 North and longitude 79.9 East, very close to southeast of Puducherry, the IMD said in a bulletin issued at 0700 hours.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25cm or more), would occur over north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 24 hours, it said.
 
The bulletin said rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, would also occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema the same period.
 
Rainfall at many places, with isolated heavy rainfall, would occur over south Tamil Nadu, north Kerala and south Karnataka during the next 24 hours, it said.
 
Gale winds with speed reaching 120-130 kmph, gusting to 145 kmph, are likely along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts during the next three hours and then decrease gradually.
 
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm  Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
Storm surge of about 1.0-1.5 metre height above the astronomical tide would inundate the low lying areas of Puducherry and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Villupuram districts of north Tamil Nadu at the time of landfall.
 
Sea condition is phenomenal along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts.
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during next 24 hours.
 
The IMD said the maximum gale wind speed of 115-125 kmph had been reported at 0530 hrs along north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast, as Puducherry and Cuddalore observatories of IMD reported maximum sustained wind speed of 125 and 115 kmph, respectively.
 
The cyclone is expected to cause extensive damage to thatched roof and huts and minor damage to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees. Flooding of escape routes is likely and the storm could also damage the standing rice, groundnut and maize in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and rice and groundnut in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
 
The IMD has suggested total suspension of fishing operations in the area and shifting of coastal hutment dwellers to safer places. People in the affected areas have been advised to remain indoors and cooperate with the disaster management authorities.
 
Even after landfall the system is likely to maintain its intensity for 12 hours and weaken gradually. Under its influence, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy fall, is likely to continue over north Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry during the next 24 hours after landfall, causing inundation of low lying areas.
 
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Severe cyclonic storm Thane likely to hit north Tamil Nadu coast Friday morning

The "very severe" cyclonic storm Thane over south-west Bay of Bengal is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast, between Nagapattinam and Chennai close to Puducherry, in the early hours of Friday.

Fishermen watching the high waves at Marina beach following authorities warning them not to venture into the sea due to cyclonic storm Thane, in Chennai on December 29, 2011. UNI PHOTO
Fishermen watching the high waves at Marina beach following authorities warning them not to venture into the sea due to cyclonic storm Thane, in Chennai on December 29, 2011. UNI PHOTO

The "very severe" cyclonic storm Thane over south-west Bay of Bengal is likely to move westwards and cross north Tamil Nadu coast, between Nagapattinam and Chennai close to Puducherry, in the early hours of tomorrow.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the cyclone had moved slightly westward and lay centred at 1430 hours today near latitude 12 degrees North and longitude 81.7 degrees East, about 180 km east of Puducherry, 180 km southeast of Chennai and 400 km north-northeast of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka.
 
A bulletin from IMD said that, under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25cm or more), would occur over north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 48 hours.
 
Rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, would also occur over south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema and isolated heavy rainfall would occur over south Tamil Nadu during the same period, it said.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 55-65 kmph, gusting to 75 kmph, is likely along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts.
 
The wind speed will increase gradually becoming 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph along and off north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coast from today night onwards.
 
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm  Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
A man coming out of a fisherman's hut inundated by the sea during high tide due to cyclonic storm Thane, in Chennai on December 29 2011. UNI PHOTO
Storm surge of about 1.0-1.5 metre height above the astronomical tide would inundate the low lying areas of Puducherry and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Villupuram districts of north Tamil Nadu at the time of landfall.
 
The bulletin said sea conditions were very rough and would gradually become very high to phenomenal along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts.
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea during next 48 hours.
 
The bulletin said the cyclone was likely to cause extensive damage to thatched roof and huts in north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh. It said minor damage was likely to power and communication lines due to uprooting of large avenue trees.
 
Flooding of escape routes was likely. The storm is expected to damage the standing rice, groundnut and maize in coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and rice and groundnut in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
 
The IMD has suggested total suspension of fishing operations. It said coastal hutment dwellers should be moved to safer places. People in affected areas have been advised to remain indoors. Farmers are advised to drain out excess water from the field to prevent crop damage. Taller crops like banana, leaves may be removed and extra physical support may be given, the bulletin added.
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UNI adds from Chennai:
 
Chennai and northern coastal districts of Tamil Nadu are bracing to meet any eventuality as the cyclone was fast approaching the coast.
 
The city, its suburbs and the northern coastal districts of the state received intermittent rains, accompanied by gusty winds, today.
 
District administrations of Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Nagapattinam have chalked out precautionary measures to meet any possible calamity. 
 
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been put on alert and the state Public Works Department (PWD) has also worked out contingency plans to meet any eventuality.
 
Chennai Corporation officials, headed by Mayor Saidai Duraisamy, along with Local Administration Minister K P Munusamy, visited various places in north Chennai, which were marooned after sea water entered the areas.
 
People living in fishing hamlets along the coast were advised to move out to cyclone relief centres and other buildings, arranged by the administration. The Government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges tomorrow.
 
As the sea became rough with high tidal waves rising to 10 meters high in some coastal areas, fishermen refrained from venturing into sea for fishing.
 
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Hundreds of mechanised boats and trawlers in several coastal areas like Kovalam and Neelankarai on East Coast Road (ECR) and at Kasimedu fishing harbour in north Chennai and Cuddalore and Nagapattinam remained on shore.
 
A senior PWD official said 20 special teams headed by Superintendent Engineers were formed to monitor the water levels in reservoirs and take necessary steps in the coastal districts of Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Cuddalore and Villuppuram.
 
Coastal District Administrations have drawn up precautionary measures to meet any eventuality. Personnel in Revenue, Police, Fire Service, Telecom and Electricity departments were kept in a state of readiness to take up relief and rescue operations.
 
Cyclone Relief Centres in these districts were kept open to accommodate people living in low lying areas in the event of their evacuation. Schools, temples and marriage halls are also being readied to accommodate the affected people.
 
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Severe cyclonic storm Thane heading for Tamil Nadu coast

The "very severe" cyclonic storm Thane over south-west Bay of Bengal is likely to move westwards, intensify further during the next 12 hours and cross the north Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai, close to Puducherry, around the morning of December 30.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the cyclone lay centred at 2030 hours today near latitude 12.50 degrees North and longitude 84 degrees East, about 400 km east-southeast of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, 520 km northeast of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka and 950 km west-northwest of Port Blair in Andaman & Nicobar Islans.
 
"The system is likely to move westwards, intensify further during next 12 hrs and cross north Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Chennai, close to Puducherry around morning of 30th December 2011. However, as the cyclonic storm will come further close to coast after 24 hours, there is probability of slight weakening before landfall," an IMD bulletin said.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy rainfall, is likely to commence over north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and south coastal Andhra Pradesh from tomorrow, it said.
 
The intensity of rainfall would increase, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (25cm or more), from tomorrow evening onwards and extend to Rayalseema and north interior Tamil Nadu, it said.
 
According to the bulletin, squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmphare  likely to commence along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts from tomorrow morning. 
 
The wind speed will increase gradually from tomorrow night, becoming 100-110 kmph, gusting to 125 kmph, along and off north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast at the time of landfall, it said.
 
The bulletin said storm surge of about 1 metre height above the astronomical tide was likely to inundate the low lying areas of Nellore district of south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Villupuram districts of north Tamil Nadu at the time of landfall.
 
Sea condition will be high to very high around the system centre. Sea condition will be rough to very rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts from tomorrow onwards, becoming high to very high from tomorrow night onwards.
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts have been advised not to venture into sea. Those who are out at sea have been advised to return to the coast, the bulletin said.
 
The cyclone is likely to cause extensive damage to thatched roof and huts. Minor damage to power and communication line due to uprooting of large avenue trees is also likely. There could be flooding of escape routes.
 
The IMD suggested that, in north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh, there should be total suspension of fishing operations. It said coastal hutment dwellers should be moved to safer places. People in affected areas should remain indoors, the bulletin added.
 
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High waves at Marina Beach

High waves at Marina beach in Chennai due to the cyclone "Thane" in the Bay of Bengal on December 28, 2011. UNI PHOTO

High waves at Marina beach in Chennai due to the cyclone
High waves at Marina beach in Chennai due to the cyclone "Thane" in the Bay of Bengal on December 28, 2011. UNI PHOTO

Cyclone Thane heading towards north Tamil Nadu, south Andhra Pradesh coast

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The cyclonic storm Thane over south-west and adjoining south-east Bay of Bengal has moved westwards and lay centred about 500 km east-south-east of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, 600 km north-east of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka and 800 km west-northwestwards of Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the cyclone lay centred at 1130 hours near latitude 12.50 degrees North and longitude 85 degrees East.
 
It said the system was likely to move west-northwestwards, intensify further during the next 24 hours and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Cuddalore and Nellore, close to south of Chennai around the morning of December 30, 2011.
 
However, as the cyclonic storm will come further close to the coast after 24 hours, there is probability of slight weakening before landfall.
 
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy rainfall, is likely to commence over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south coastal Andhra Pradesh from tomorrow, the bulletin said.
 
The intensity of rainfall would increase, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls ( 25cm or more) from December 29 onwards and extend to Rayalseema and north interior Tamil Nadu.
 
Squally winds, with speed reaching 45-55 kmph, were likely to commence along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts from tomorrow morning, it said.
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The wind speed will increase gradually from tomorrow night onwards, becoming 95-105 kmph gusting to 120 kmph, along and off north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coast at the time of landfall.
 
Storm surge of about 1 meter height above the astronomical tide was likely to inundate the low lying areas of Nellore district of south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Chennai, Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram and Villupuram districts of north Tamil Nadu at the time of landfall, the bulletin said.
 
It said sea condition will be high to very high around the system centre. Sea condition will be rough to very rough along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts from tomorrow onwards becoming high to very high from tomorrow night onwards.
 
Fishermen along north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts are advised not to venture into sea. Those who are out at sea are advised to return to the coast.
 
The cyclone is likely to cause extensive damage to thatched roof and huts. Minor damage to power and communication line due to uprooting of large avenue trees is also likely. There could be flooding of escape routes.
 
The IMD suggested that, in north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh, there should be total suspension of fishing operations. It said coastal hutment dwellers should be moved to safer places. People in affected areas should remain indoors, the bulletin added.
 
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Judges appointed to Chhattisgarh, Madras High Courts

The President has appointed Justice Nawal Kishore Agarwal, Additional Judge of the Chhattisgarh High Court to be a judge of that court.
 
An official press release said that the President had appointed Justice T Raja to be a Judge of the Madras High Court.
 
The appointments will be with effect from the date he assumed charge of their offices.
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Centre tracking security of Mullaperiyar Dam: PM tells Karunanidhi

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured DMK President M Karunanidhi that the Centre would consider taking over the security of the Mullaperiyar dam, which has triggered fresh tensions between Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
 
This assurance was given by the Prime Minister, who is on visit to the state, when a DMK delegation headed by Karunanidhi called on him at the Raj Bhavan here this morning and presented a memorandum seeking his intervention to put an end to attacks on Tamils in Kerala and ensure that Kerala complied with the 2006 Supreme Court order on the contentious Mullaperiyar dam issue.
 
After patiently hearing the DMK patriarch, whose party is a key ally of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre, the Prime Minister said the Centre would consider taking up the security of the dam.
 
He told Karunanidhi that he would certainly take all steps to ensure that long standing friendly relations between Tamil Nadu and Kerala were not affected over the contentious Mullaperiyar issue, which has become a bone of contention in the wake of Kerala's proposal to decommission the existing dam, saying it has become weak, and construct a new one in its place.
 
The Prime Minister also assured the delegation that steps would be taken to ensure that normal life was maintained in both the states.
 
During the meeting, Karunanidhi, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, also drew the Prime Minister's attention to the stand being taken by Kerala in not honouring the Supreme Court verdict, its effort to construct a new dam, reducing the storage level in the dam to 120 ft and the present case pending before the Supreme Court.
 
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In the memorandum, copies of which were released to the media here, the DMK said "as the matter was before the Supreme Court, any effort by Kerala to reduce the water level and attempt to construct a new dam has to be viewed as an attempt to subvert the judicial process and to deny justice to the people of Tamil Nadu".
 
He said provoked by the sustained misinformation campaign about the safety of the dam by the Kerala Government, certain sections of the local public in Kerala have resorted to violence, attacking vehicles going from Tamil Nadu and the Tamils living in Kerala, leading to tension in the bordering districts of the two states.
 
"We are very much concerned with the recent developments in both the states for it would cause irreparable damage to the cordial and friendly relationship traditionally maintained between the people of two states," the DMK said.
 
"Unless the present situation and the attacks on Tamil Nadu is contained, it will lead to permanent strain and cleavage between the people of the two States," he said.
 
The DMK delegation told the Prime Minister that the continued campaign against the safety of the dam by the Kerala Government has resulted in many undesirable incidents creating animosity between the people of the two States.
 
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PM says number of competent mathematicians in India "badly inadequate"

Declaring that the Government set great store by science, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday that December 22, the birthday of mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan, would be observed as National Mathematics Day and the year 2012, his 125th birth anniversary, as the National Mathematical Year.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations of noted mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan, in Chennai on December 26, 2011. Tamil Nadu Governor  K. Rosaiah and Union Ministers G.K. Vasan, V. Narayanasamy and Jayanthi Natarajan are also seen.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the 125th Birth Anniversary celebrations of noted mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan, in Chennai on December 26, 2011. Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah and Union Ministers G.K. Vasan, V. Narayanasamy and Jayanthi Natarajan are also seen.
Declaring that the Government set great store by science and has pursued a policy of encouraging scientific activities of diverse kinds, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that December 22, the birthday of mathematician Srinivas Ramanujan, would be observed as National Mathematics Day and the year 2012, which marks his 125th birth anniversary, as the National Mathematical Year.
 
"India has a long and glorious tradition of mathematics that we need to encourage and nurture. I hope these steps will help in providing the additional impetus to the study of mathematics in our country, apart from making our people more aware of the work of Ramanujan," he said at the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of the mathematical genius at Chennai.
 
"Given our traditions, we naturally attach special importance to mathematics. Since Ramanujan, a number of mathematicians from the country have distinguished themselves by performing at very high levels," he noted.
 
Dr Singh said that it was, however, a matter of concern that for a country of the size of India the number of competent mathematicians that it has is badly inadequate. 
 
"Over more than the last three decades many of our young men and women with a natural ability in mathematics have not pursued the discipline at advanced levels. This has also resulted in a decline in the quality of our mathematics teachers both at the school and college levels," he noted.
 
He said that there was a general perception in society that the pursuit of mathematics does not lead to attractive career opportunities.
 
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"This perception must change. This perception may have been valid some years ago but today there are many new career opportunities available to mathematicians, and the teaching profession itself has become much more attractive in recent years," he said.
 
Dr Singh said the mathematical community had a duty to find out ways and means to address the shortage of top quality mathematicians in the country. It must reach out to the public particularly in the modern context where mathematics has tremendous influence on every kind of human behaviour, he said.
 
He said that, in many ways, mathematics can be regarded as the mother science. "The natural sciences have had a long symbiotic relationship with mathematics. Life sciences did not seem to have much use for mathematics till about a hundred years ago, but lately mathematical interventions have had a tremendous impact on biology," he said.
 
"Mathematics has also influenced the study of social sciences in a big way. The work of many of the Nobel Laureates in economics is highly mathematical. Students, parents and people at large need to be more aware of these facts so that the study of mathematics as an academic discipline gains popularity in our country. I am happy that the activities planned in the National Mathematical Year would focus on promotion of mathematics at all levels- from schools to cutting edge research," he said.
 
The Prime Minister said the Ramanujan story illustrated the inadequacy of the university evaluation system in the early decades of the last century while at the same time it showed that the system displayed enough flexibility to take care of mavericks like Ramanujan.
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"There have been many reforms since those days but there would still be talent which would elude proper evaluation. Our institutions of higher learning, therefore, must be sensitive to this problem. A genius like Ramanujan would shine bright even in the most adverse of circumstances, but we should be geared to encourage and nurture good talent which may not be of the same caliber as that of Ramanujan," he said.
 
Dr Singh spoke about the great strides made by India in mathematics in the early centuries of the Common Era. He said that intellectual activity receded into the background in the country for the next few centuries to revive only in the nineteenth century. 
 
"In the early part of the nineteenth century, most of our intellectual energies were given to humanities and it is towards the end of the century that India began taking an interest in the sciences. In the second decade of the 20th century, the country could once again stake a claim to producing world class mathematics, and that was because of the work of Srinivasa Ramanujan.
 
"Ramanujan came from an economically disadvantaged background and had but a minimal training in mathematics and yet his genius overcame formidable difficulties to reach the pinnacle of greatness. The whole of India is proud of Ramanujam and many an Indian has been inspired by his shining example. Tamil Nadu of course has a special claim on him for he was a Tamilian. Along with Sir C. V. Raman and Subramanyam Chandrashekhar, he is among the three great men of science and mathematics that Tamil Nadu and India have given to the world in modern times," he said.
 
Dr Singh referred to Cambridge mathematician G. H. Hardy, who was responsible for Ramanujan getting the recognition that was his legitimate due.
 
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"The parts that Hardy and Cambridge, which became Ramanujan's alma-mater, played in the great mathematician’s development represent the very best of the academic traditions of the West. The stories of the special relationship between G.H. Hardy and Ramanujan are a part of the folklore of mathematics.
 
"The fascinating and inspiring story of Ramanujan needs to be told to the world. I am, therefore, very happy that the organizers have chosen this occasion to honour Professor Robert Kanigel who has written an excellent biography of Ramanujan and I am very happy that he is present here among us today. I greet you sir, and I understand that yours is a book that has made Ramanujan well known to the public at large all over the world, capturing vividly the atmosphere of the early nineteenth century academic world in that part of the world as well as in Britain. I am also happy that on this occasion, a new edition of the Notebooks of Ramanujan is also being released.
 
"These are photographic reproductions of unpublished mathematical work of Ramanujan, written out in his own hand in a series of notebooks during the days he spent in the city of Chennai. The originals, I am told are in the University of Madras and I congratulate the University authority for preserving them in its archives," he said.
 
"Men and women of such dazzling brilliance and deep intellect are born but rarely. Indeed, Srinivas Ramanujan's genius was ranked by the English mathematician G. H. Hardy in the same class as giants like Euler, Gauss, Archimedes and Isaac Newton. While we rightly claim Ramanujan as one of our own, he equally belonged to all humanity like the other great men and women in any sphere of human thought," he added.
 
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PM arrives in TN on two-day visit: Jaya, Cabinet receive him

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here this evening on a two-day visit to Tamil Nadu.
 
He was received at the airport by Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her Cabinet colleagues and senior police and government officials.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa welcomed the Prime Minister, who arrived by a special aircraft, by presenting him a bouquet of flowers. He was accompanied by Union Ministers Kapil Sibal and V Narayanasamy. 
 
Apart from the Governor and the Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu Congress president B S Gnanadesikan, senior Congress leaders, DMK MPs Dayanidhi Maran, T K S Elangovan, DMK Parliamentary Party leader T R Baalu, Union Minister M K Azhagiri and others were present at the airport.
 
From the airport, the Prime Minister drove straight to the Raj Bhavan where Jayalalithaa met him and submitted a memorandum to him on various issues concerning the State, including the raging Mullaiperiyar Dam row with Kerala and the controversial Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project(KNPP).
 
This is Prime Minister's first visit to Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa assumed office as the Chief Minister.
 
DMK supremo M Karunanidhi will meet the Prime Minister and present a memorandum to him on behalf of the party on the Mullaperiyar issue at the Raj Bhavan tomorrow.
 
Tight security was put in place in view of Dr Singh's visit as political parties like the DMDK and the MDMK have announced "black flag" agitations to condemn the Centre's "inaction" on the Mullaperiyar issue.
 
About 6,000 police personnel were deployed on security duty in the city. 
 
During his visit, Dr Singh would participate in the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of renowned mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam at the Madras University Centenary auditorium tomorrow morning. 
 
From Chennai, he would visit Karaikudi in Sivaganaga, the Lok Sabha constituency of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, by a helicopter to inaugurate the Ramanujan Centre for Higher Mathematics at Alagappa University.
 
After attending a function at Managiri village in Karaikudi, he would leave for Tiruchirapalli by a chopper from where he would leave for New Delhi tomorrow evening. 
 
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Jayalalithaa announces subsidy for Jerusalem pilgrimage

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In a Christmas gift to the Christian community, the Tamil Nadu government today issued an order providing Rs 20,000 as subsidy to enable 500 Christians to undertake pilgrimage to Jerusalem during 2011-12.
 
A Government Order allotting Rs 1 crore for providing the subsidy of Rs 20,000 each to 500 pilgrims was issued here today.
 
In the order, copies of which were released to the media here, the government also announced launching of the Jerusalem pilgrimage scheme based on the recommendations of the Minorities Welfare Commission.
 
The new scheme would be advertised in newspapers calling for applications for the pilgrimage.
 
The Minorities Commission has been entrusted with the task of screening the applications and selecting the pilgrims for the pilgrimage.
 
This followed an assurance given by AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa during the Christmas celebrations earlier this week that her government would consider the request of the Christians seeking government subsidy for them to undertake the pilgrimage on the lines of Haj pilgrimage to Mecca.
 
She also announced that steps would be taken to initially provide assistance to 500 pilgrims for the pilgrimage.
 
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Kerala boycotts panel inspecting Mullaperiyar Dam

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Officials of the Kerala Government today boycotted the Empowered Panel, which is inspecting the Mullaperiyar Dam, alleging that the panel was not hearing Kerala's grievances.
 
The officials alleged that the members of the Supreme Court-appointed panel, C D Thatte and D K Mehta, were supporting Tamil Nadu and not hearing Kerala's views on the controversial dam issue, sources said.
 
The panel members visited Idukki and Cheruthoni dams yesterday and they were assisted by technical experts from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
 
The Kerala officials boycotted the panel over differences with them on test locations.
 
The difference of opinion began with the locations marked for the non-destructive sonic test, sources added.
 
The panel members also gave instructions on various repair works and instructed that status quo should be maintained as directed by the court, Kerala officials alleged.
 
The Kerala officials also alleged that Tamil Nadu had conducted sonic testing at three locations only in a single block in the middle of the dam as against the direction to mark locations covering three different blocks "on either side of the dam and the middle".
 
A large media contingent from both the States was present at Mullaperiyar. The visit comes in the wake of widespread rumours expressed over the safety of the dam.
 
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MDMK also announces black flag demo against PM

 

Accusing the Centre of betraying the interests of Tamil Nadu on the Mullaperiyar Dam row with Kerala, the Marumlarchi DMK (MDMK) today announced a black flag agitation against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, when he visits the state on December 26. 
 
MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, in a statement here, said the black flag agitation would be held at Karaikudi on December 26 where the Prime Minister was expected to attend a function as part of his two-day visit to the state.
 
Vaiko said MDMK Deputy General Secretaries "Mallai" Sathya, Durai and Balakrishnan and Sivaganga District Secretary S Sevanthiappan would lead the agitation.
 
He also appealed to all the MDMK workers, farmers and those fighting to protect the rights of the state on the issue to participate in large numbers in this peaceful agitation.
 
Vaiko said the black flag agitation was to condemn the Congress-led UPA at the Centre for its failure to prevent Kerala's move to decommission the Mullaperiyar dam and for not insisting that Kerala to honour the Supreme Court verdict protecting the rights of Tamil Nadu by allowing increase in the storage level from 136 ft to 142 ft.
 
"The black flag agitation is to reflect the people's opposition and to condemn the Centre for its inaction on the issue," Vaiko said.
 
The MDMK is the second party to announce a black flag agitation after DMDK of actor-politician Vijayakanth announced a similar agitation in the city on the same day on the raging issue, which has escalated tension between the two states.
 
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Stalin says to work from pavement if deprived of office space

 

Condemning the Chennai Corporation's move to cancel the allottment of a building to house his constituency office, former Deputy Chief Minister and DMK MLA M K Stalin today said he would discharge his duties as the people's representative sitting on the pavement.
 
In a statement here, he condemned the resolution adopted at the Corporation Council meeting advising the Zonal Officer to reclaim the building allotted to him. 
 
"This only showed the narrow mindedness of the ruling AIADMK," he charged.
 
Stalin, who was elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly from Kolathur in the April 13 polls, warned that if his MLA's office was reclaimed, he would put chairs and tables on the pavement at a main place and continue to discharge his duty as the representative of the people of his constituency. 
 
Stalin's office was located at Jawahar Nagar in his constituency and he had inaugurated it in July. 
 
In June last, the DMK-dominated Corporation passed a resolution and allotted offices to Kolathur, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Royapuram and Virugambakam MLAs. 
 
However, after the recent civic polls which the ruling AIADMK won with a thumping majority, the government cancelled the allotment.
 
The allotment of MLA office to Stalin in the premises of a school in Kolathur invited criticism from the locals. The Jawahar Nagar Residents Welfare Association demanded that it should be shifted to another location as the building belonged to the Scouts movement. 
 
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DMDK functionary commits suicide over Mullaperiyar dam row

 

The ongoing Mullaperiyar Dam row between Tamil Nadu and Kerala claimed its first casualty with a functionary of actor-politician Vijayakanth's DMDK, committing suicide by consuming poison at Vridhachalam in this district of Tamil Nadu late last night. 
 
Police said the functionary was identified as T Sekar, who was the platform speaker of the party.
 
He was hailed as "Idi Muzhakkam" Sekar for his fiery speeches.
 
A native of Seelayanpatti village in the southern Theni district, he chose to end his life in Vridhachalam as it was the place which gave recognition to the party and Vijayakanth, who was first elected to the state Assembly in the 2006 Assembly polls.
 
He had come to Vridhachalam on December 20 and had asked the DMDK Municipal Secretary Sankar to arrange accommodation. After visiting some temples, he consumed poison at the lodge where he was staying.
 
DMDK workers rushed him to the Cuddalore Government Hospital, where he was declared dead.
 
Sekar had left behind a suicide note in which he condemned Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for being hell bent on demolishing the Mullaperiyar dam on the ground that it was weak and construct a new dam.
 
In the letter addressed to "Captain", as Vijayakanth is called by his partymen, Sekar said if the Kerala government demolished the dam, farmers in five districts, which are dependent on the dam for irrigation, would be forced to end their lives.
 
"I am ending my life in a bid to save the dam," he said in the letter, adding, "I am confident that Captain will definitely prevent the dam from being demolished by Kerala."
 
He said he had taken the extreme step on his own and no one was responsible for it. Sekar had also urged the partymen to donate his clothes, which he had brought from Theni, to a home for the mentally-retarded.
 
Hearing the news, DMDK legislators and workers thronged the hospital.    They received the body after autopsy and staged a protest demonstration with Sekar's body condemning the Kerala Chief Minister's adamant attitude to demolish the dam. They also shouted slogans denouncing Kerala on the issue.
 
After the demonstration, the body was taken to his native Theni district.
 
NNN
 

Tamil Nadu govt. says free rice scheme to stay

 

The Tamil Nadu Government has announced that it would not withdraw the free rice scheme, which was one of the electoral promises made by AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
 
This was announced in an official press release here last night in the wake of speculation that the Jayalalithaa government was contemplating to fix a price for the rice being distributed free to eligible ration card holders.
 
The government dismissed as misinformation reports that the scheme was being withdrawn and recalled that the Chief Minister had allotted Rs 4500 crore as subsidy to implement it.
 
The state government appealed to the people to not believe misinformation about the free rice scheme.
 
The state government said that, since June 1, 2011, when the implementation of the scheme began, 25 lakh metric tonnes of rice was distributed to family ration card holders.
 
NNN
 
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