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Friday, September 30, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: 62 million people in India have diabetes: ICMR stu...

writingonblog uncensored: 62 million people in India have diabetes: ICMR stu...: Youngistan more at risk as study finds diabetes prevalent in 20-25 age group Chennai: There are 62 million diabetes cases across the cou...

62 million people in India have diabetes: ICMR study

Youngistan more at risk as study finds diabetes prevalent in 20-25 age group
Chennai:
There are 62 million diabetes cases across the country in one year and the prevalence of diabetes in the most productive age group of 20-25 is on the rise, according to a study conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research and Indian Diabetes.

Interestingly, Diabetes Atlas in 2009 has estimated that India has 50 million people with diabetes. But this study, which is more authentic than the previous ones as it covers rural and urban population and is largest in the world, has found that there has been 12 million more diabetes cases when compared to previous study last year.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Dr V Mohan, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and a principal investigator of the study, and Dr V Anjana, who is also a co-principal investigator, said the first phase of the results of the study after extrapolating the data of 16,000 samples collected in three states and a union territory has also found that there has been a prevalence of diabetes among the younger population in the age group of 20-25.

Interestingly, this national study is expected to have a sample size of 1.26 lakh once the third phase of the study is over which consists of 28 states and two union territories. “We are selecting 4,000 samples from each state,” said Dr Mohan.

The phase I of the study, which began last year, has now been completed and this included Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and union territory of Chandigarh. The study through extrapolation of data also highlighted that there are 77.2 million people who are pre-diabetic. This is worrisome as this implies a huge population at risk of developing diabetes in near future.

The study states that in 2011, Tamil Nadu has 4.8 million people with diabetes and 3.9 million with prediabetes while Maharashtra has six million with diabetes and 9.2 million with pre-diabetes. Interestingly, the prevalence of diabetes is low in Jharkhand. It has only 0.96 million with diabetes and 1.5 million with pre diabtes. In Chandigarh the figures were 0.12 million with diabetes and 0.13 million with pre-diabetes.

Dr Mohan said the study when completed would provide accurate data about diabetes. “To date there have been no nationwide study on diabetes. The study used height, weight, body mass index and waist circumference besides blood pressure, screening of diabetes and pre-diabetes in blood glucose and fasting venous sample for measurement of lipids.

The study is expected to be completed within two to three years, said Dr Mohan, adding that with greater urbanization, growth of middle class and ageing of population, there will be huge numbers of people with diabetes in the near future.

-- The study is the first national data on diabetes since ICMR study in 1971.
--- It focuses on rural and urban areas whereas the previous National Urban Diabetes Study focused on metros while Prevalence of Diabetes in India Study focused only on small towns and villages
--- This will be the first time in India a survey will include the north east states
--- There are 77.2 million individuals with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome
--- Diabetes has now become the young man’s disease with the younger population in the age group of 20-24 being affected
--- The prevalence of diabetes was higher than that of diabetes in all states except Tamil Nadu where periodic screening is done


Diabetes to become a poor man’s disease in India: expert


C Shivakumar
Chennai:
Diabetes will soon be no longer a rich man’s disease and poor in India will become vulnerable to it in the next 10 years, warned an expert.

Noted diabetologist Dr V Mohan, who is also one of the principal investigators in Indian Council of Medical Research and India Diabetes, told Express India is going through a transformation phase and in the next 10 years it will emulate the West where it has become a poor man’s disease.

The study by ICMR has highlighted that rural population too have diabetes. In Tamil Nadu, it is 7.8 per cent while Maharashtra has 6.5 per cent. Similarly in Jaharkhand, it is three per cent while in Chandigarh it is 8.3 per cent.

Citing an example in Chennai, where diabetes is prevalent in slums, he said after a decade poor will be vulnerable as the cost of cure will be quite high.

“While rich and the middle class can afford the cost of healthy food, the poor will have to live on junk food resulting in more obesity,” he observed.

He said a new startling fact has also emerged from the study conducted in Jharkhand where there is no prevalence of diabetes in some areas. He said this is due to the fact that people in the area are undernourished and have low body mass index

Thursday, September 29, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: State’s report to NHRC on resettlement draws activ...

writingonblog uncensored: State’s report to NHRC on resettlement draws activ...: C Shivakumar Chennai: The state government’s report to National Human Rights Commission has drawn the ire of rights activists wh...

State’s report to NHRC on resettlement draws activists ire





C Shivakumar



Chennai:



The state government’s report to National Human Rights Commission has drawn the ire of rights activists who claim the state has failed to address the vital issues of resettlement and rehabilitation of slum dwellers in Kannagi Nagar and Semencherry besides failing to provide adequate data on basic issues of food security and health related entitlements.







This comes in the wake of the state submitting the report to NHRC on September 5, 2011 after repeated reminders from NHRC following a complaint filed by M Perumal of Citizens Rights Forum on February 3, 2010.







Perumal in his complaint has alleged forced eviction during mid-academic year and during monsoon besides absence of basic amenties including public distribution system, primary health centre, Integrated Child Develeopment Schemes besides death of children, high dropout rate, lack of employment opportunities and unsafe habitation for women and children.







Interestingly, the state has failed to provide adequate responses on the basic amenties.



“One of the complaint was 15 ICDS in place of 150 ICDS centres, they have not even mentioned if any ICDS are there or how many are functioning in Kannagi Nagar. In Semenchery they have provided some numbers but in Kanagi Nagar they failed to provide any details,” says Vanessa of Citizen Rights Forum (CRF).







Surprisingly, the report filed by the state hails the rehabilitation and resettlement scheme by previous regimes and states that the resettled slum people were having better housing facility with better living conditions when compared to their earlier households.







“How could the government sing a different tune when they have been pitching vigorously in the elections against the rehabilitation and resettlement scheme,” wonders Balasundar, another CRF activist.







Supreme Court appointed Food Security Advisor of Tamil Nadu V Suresh told Express that Semenchery and Kannagi Nagar slum resettlement is a big example of mass disaster and betrayal of poor on the part of policy makers and government.







“Resettling all the urban poor 20 km away from the city in tenement resembling chicken coop in condition of living worse than animals is hardly doing the duty to the constitutional vision of preserving the dignity of people,” Suresh said.







But the state claims in its report that there is no vacant land available within the city limits in rehabilitation and resettlement scheme. “The schemes of Kannagi nagar and Semenchery are almost nearer to the corporation limits and on the prestigious Old Mahabalipuram Road and this area will soon be included in the corporation limits. And hence it is not a violation of human rights,” the report said.











“The tragedy is that the misery of Semenchery and Kannagi Nagar is being touted by Tamil Nadu government and with support of World Bank and Planning commission as the perfect solution for getting rid of poor in urban India who are described as eyesores and a disgrace for a developed economic powerhouse with nine per cent GDP,” Suresh added.





The state is blind to issues like children dying because of no hospital facilities, children dropping out of schools and various other issues and are they not human rights issues, wonders Vanessa.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: Flower trade withers as flesh trade thrives in Koy...

writingonblog uncensored: Flower trade withers as flesh trade thrives in Koy...: C Shivakumar Chennai: The flower market in Asia’s largest perishable goods market is slowly dying a painful death and is being converted i...

Flower trade withers as flesh trade thrives in Koyambedu market

C Shivakumar
Chennai:
The flower market in Asia’s largest perishable goods market is slowly dying a painful death and is being converted into a den of prostitution by anti-social elements due to lopsided government policies, lack of proper infrastructure and basic amenities.

The flower traders who left their shops in Parrys Badrain Street after the government directive in 1996 to move to Koyambedu Wholesale Market now are cursing themselves for adhering to the orders. “How we wish we did not adhere to the directives, our business would have thrived in Parry’s like those who did not leave their business,” says Koyambedu Wholesale Flower Market Association Secretary Mookiah.

Interestingly, despite court directives asking flower traders from Parry’s to be moved to the wholesale market, no action has been taken, says Mookaaiah.

The dwindling fortunes of the traders could be surmised with the shops in upper floor of the market remaining closed and is used by flesh traders. When Express contacted the Chief Administrative Officer of Market Management Committee P Senthil Kumar he confirmed that he had received complaints about flesh trade in the top floor of flower market. “I have informed the member secretary of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority and we are building a ramp to use it for business purposes so that such activities won’t prevail. We have even asked the police to keep a vigil in this regard,” he says.

Now with the Pooja season set to start, the traders are worried that their business will dip as the E road which leads to the flower market entrance is closed due to ongoing Metro Rail works. During rains, the flower market area is flooded and women traversing through a narrow road fall into the water,” says another trader and adding that many have fallen into the water. “If they can work out at a narrow 10-feet way, it would be a blessing in disguise for us,” says Mookiah.

The business during the pooja season is about 10-fold the size of daily business. If a shop sells anywhere between 100 kg to 500 kg a day, during Pooja season it will be selling anywhere between 1,000 kg to 5,000 kg a day, says Mookiah raising concern over the lack of connectivity to flower market. The lack of connectivity is slowly forcing the flower exporters and businessmen to choose Parrys over Koyambedu market. “The flowers in Parrys may be costly, but I don’t have a choice,” says Kannan of Kannan Floral Exports.

MMC officials say that the traders have now been accorded permission to build their own road in Gate number 19. The road in gate number 19 is a kutcha road with a huge mound of garbage dumped behind the flower market, “We want the waste not to be dumped here,” says Mookiah, whose association does not have a single representative in the MMC. But the chief administrative officer said that the dumping of waste behind the flower market is a temporary one. “Till the court case is over, we have no other alternative but to dump the waste here. However, we have asked Ramky Enviro Engineers to clear the garbage during the daytime. If they haven’t done then we will impose fine on them,” he added

writingonblog uncensored: Taps of Asia’s largest perishable market is runnin...

writingonblog uncensored: Taps of Asia’s largest perishable market is runnin...: C Shivakumar Chennai: Taps in Asia’s largest perishable goods wholesale market has gone dry for more than a decade and traders are surviv...

Taps of Asia’s largest perishable market is running dry for more than a decade


C Shivakumar
Chennai:
Taps in Asia’s largest perishable goods wholesale market has gone dry for more than a decade and traders are surviving by using the borewell.

The wholesale market which has 2,108 shops does not have water supply for nearly a decade. Initially in the beginning we did get water but then the water connection was cut, said traders

When Express contacted Metro Water  officials, they said that the traders did not pay water tax worth Rs two crore so the connections were disconnected.

“If the traders give in writing that they will pay the arrears then water connections will be restored,” says a Metro Water official.

Traders said if the Market Management Committee provides us with the water cards then we can pay the tax and there won’t be arrears.

But officials claim that such a measure can’t be taken as it will prove a headache to Metro water on how to tackle those who don’t pay the arrears.

A Metro Water official said the water can be restored if they give in writing that they will pay back the arrears.

Official sources in MMC suggested a new set of rules like taking away the licence of the shop if the shopowners fail to pay water tax. But while officials debate a way, the lack of water adds to the infrastructure woes of so called Asia’s largest perishable wholesale market

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: Malaysia timber merchants target south India for e...

writingonblog uncensored: Malaysia timber merchants target south India for e...: Chennai: Malaysian timber traders are looking south for business opportunities as huge infrastructur...

Malaysia timber merchants target south India for exports



Chennai:
Malaysian timber traders are looking south for business opportunities as huge infrastructure projects are lined up in southern India.

Speaking at a meeting of Malaysian Furniture and Timber Trade Mission to India with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Individual Business Meeting with Indian Buyers on Tuesday, chairman of Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) Datuk Madius Tangau said thast this is the maiden visit of the tiber trade industry and we are exploring Indian market which is growing at a rapid spree.

The delegation’s mission objective is to increase sales of Malaysian furniture and timber products to the Indian market besides trying to foster and increase business networking between Malaysian exporters and Indian importers, he said.

The delegation which began its visit to Chennai on Tuesday will also visit Bangalore and Mumbai.

Malaysia’s furniture industry is highly export oriented with over 90 per cent of its production exported. It ranks as the ninth largest exporter of furniture in the world and third in Asia after China and Vietnam.

Tangau said export of timber and timber products to India has been on an rising trend and exports rose to 13 per cent in 2010. He said logs have been the main export to India.

P Murari, advisor to FICCI president  said that Malaysia should focus on the market in south with major infrastructure projects coming up. As the demand of timber will be high due to Environment ministry clamp on cutting of trees due to depleting forest cover, Malaysian timber industry could target these states, he added

Monday, September 26, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: CMDA takes up the role of traffic policeman by loc...

writingonblog uncensored: CMDA takes up the role of traffic policeman by loc...: ‘No Parking’ boards nowhere to be seen C Shivakumar Chennai: Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has now allegedly taken up the role...

CMDA takes up the role of traffic policeman by locking vehicles, imposing fine in CMBT


‘No Parking’ boards nowhere to be seen
C Shivakumar
Chennai:
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority has now allegedly taken up the role of traffic policeman by imposing fine and locking up vehicles for parking in allegedly ‘No Parking Zone’ in Koyambedu bus terminus.
Unsuspecting visitors to CMBT were in for a surprise on Monday when they found their vehicles chained and a demand to pay Rs 20 as fine for parking their vehicles in alleged ‘No Parking Zone.’
“The ‘No Parking’ board is nowhere to be seen and workers manning the parking lot are demanding Rs 20 as fine,” said a visitor who has come to collect his relative from the bus terminus
When questioned about the legality of such a measure by the parking lot workers, CMDA’s superintendent engineer Om Narayanan said, “We have issued an order not to lock the vehicles in the morning. The measure was taken up as people were not parking their vehicles in the parking lot,” he said.
But when questioned that this is the role of traffic police and not CMDA to levy fine and locking vechicles, he said the traffic policemen are not doing their duty so they have decided to initiate action by levying fine and locking up the vehicle.
“He did concede that CMDA did collect the fine in the first three days after taking over the parking lot from private contractors. “This was just to instil fear. Now we have stopped collecting the fine,” he said. But then vistors alleged that the officials are still collecting the fine of Rs 20 to remove the lock. “We will look into the matter,” a senior CMDA official said.
Area engineer Joel, who visited the site was groping for answers when pointed out how could unsuspecting visitors to CMBT know it is a ‘No Parking Zone’. “We will soon put flexiboards to make people aware it is a ‘No Parking Zone’, he said, adding that the flexiboards got damaged when the trees were cut.
Even the workers in the parking lot were too rude and refused Express to take pictures despite telling them that they have the required permission from CMDA. Interestingly, the vehicles were again locked despite the assurances given by Narayanan that they will not be carrying out such exercise.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: Koyambedu market to have 82 more shops

writingonblog uncensored: Koyambedu market to have 82 more shops: CMRL project hit 27 shops to be relocated in new five-acre site Chennai: Eighty-two new shops, including 27 shops that will be hit by Che...

Koyambedu market to have 82 more shops

CMRL project hit 27 shops to be relocated in new five-acre site

Chennai:
Eighty-two new shops, including 27 shops that will be hit by Chennai Metro Rail acquisition of market land, will be built in five acres of land in Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex at a cost of Rs 5.61 crore, according to CMDA sources. 

Sources told Express on Friday that a five-acre vacant land in the market has been identified for this purpose and tenders have been called for building the shops. “Besides constructing the shops and godown, the proposal also includes civil, water supply and sanitary and electrical works,” the sources said

Interestingly, the site will also house 27 shops that will be relocated to make way for the depot of Chennai Metro Rail.

The land was lying vacant following a court case and it has now been allocated for this purpose,” said a MMC source.

But there have been murmurs among a section of traders who feel this move by the government to build additional shops will congest the market.

“There is no parking place for two-wheelers or other vehicles in the market. We are using the site earmarked for wholesale grain market. Once the work starts there then there will be no parking space left,” said a trader on condition of anonymity.

“It would have been better if the land was allocated for the project-hit shops and a parking lot,” said another trader, adding that the Rs 7 crore truck terminal built to park the trucks is now lying vacant for the last four months.

A section of traders also slammed the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority of building a truck bay when the monsoon has started. The work is part of the Rs 33 crore infrastructure project to spruce up the market. “On one hand the rains have started and on the other hand they are digging up the roads in and around the market. This will cause not only loss to the exchequer but also problems to us,” they said.

Meanwhile, the truck bay lies in a puddle of water after recent rains. Even the market stinks. Despite assurances given by CMDA and market authorities garbage still rots in the open. But officials alone can’t be blamed as the traders do have a share of responsibility in keeping their surroundings clean.

writingonblog uncensored: Fear of slowdown in IT sector to hit demand for of...

writingonblog uncensored: Fear of slowdown in IT sector to hit demand for of...: C Shivakumar Chennai: The demand for office space in Chennai is expected to dip with an expected slowdown in North America and European...

Fear of slowdown in IT sector to hit demand for office space in Chennai


C Shivakumar
Chennai:
The demand for office space in Chennai is expected to dip with an expected slowdown in North America and European countries affecting the information technology sector, according to a report by Real Estate Intelligence Service of Jones Lang LaSalle India.

“With Chennai being a major IT and Industrial hub, nearly 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the demand for office space in Chennai is contributed by the IT and ITES and manufacturing sectors. But  this will be hit during the second half of this year and also next year following an expected slowdown in the North American and European countries, whose economies are key to IT sector’s growth,” the report ‘Chennai Real Estate a Closer Look’ said.

However, on a long term, Chennai office market is expected to absorb nearly 4 million square feet of office space annually till 2015, the study stated.

The report also stated that 2011 has ushered in renewed interest in Non IT office space in Chennai - especially from firms wishing to relocate their offices to better grade buildings. The expected fresh supply of Non IT office space should witness active absorption at the right rentals.

There will be greater demand for investment grade office spaces within the city, since there is a severe dearth of high quality office buildings in the central areas, the report said.

The Chennai office market has witnessed remarkable growth which is due to the offices built for the IT industry (as IT Parks or IT Special Economic Zones), which constitute 86 per cent of the operational office stock in Chennai.

“With 17 million sq ft of supply expected during third quarter of 2011 to fourth quarter of 2015, Chennai will continue to add more office space, and attain the current size of office stock of Mumbai during 2015,” the report said.

Adequate volumes of office supply will keep hitting the markets
every quarter, keeping the segment interesting for occupiers as well as investors, it added.

Chennai’s high streets continue to remain as a favourite location for retailers as conversion rates in high streets are higher compared with those in malls. The neighbourhood of premium residential catchments, ample space for a hassle-free car park and proximity to the city centre are the key drivers of demand for high-end high streets. The high streets of Khadar Nawaz
Khan Road (KNK Road) and Wallace Garden Road have emerged as important retail destinations for global luxury, fashion and premium brands, the report added.

The suburban area of Chennai is also witnessing significant residential activity, with nearly 71,000 residential units under construction and likely to enter the market in the next three to four years.

“This indicates the potential of Chennai’s suburbs to emerge as an attractive retail destination. Bigger residential catchments in the suburban areas combined with more reasonable rentals compared to those in the prime city are expected to act as key driving forces for retailers to increase their presence in the suburban precinct of Chennai in the long term,” the report added.

The additional mall supply is likely to be launched with high occupancy levels resulting in overall stability in the mall vacancy rate in the city. With more mall completions anticipated over the next three years, the city’s mall footprint is expected to rise annually from 2011 onwards. This trend is supported by the entry of malls by a few renowned developers such as Prestige Group, Phoenix Market City, PS Srijan and Marg Constructions, the report said.

Retail Mall                 Location     Year of comp   Developer
Forum, Chennai             Vadapalani      2012                 Prestige Group
Market City, Chennai      Velachery       2014                 Kshitij and Phoenix Mills
Marg Junction Mall         OMR               2012                 Marg Constructions
The Grande                   Velachery       2013                 PS Group and Srijan

Communication gap resulted in failure to allay fears on Koodankulam nuke plant: Expert

Scientists are poor communicators and communication gap resulted in failure to allay people’s apprehensions about the Koodankulam nuclear plant, according to a nuclear expert.

Addressing a meeting organized by Chemical industries Association to discuss the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Issues here on Saturday, former director projects Nuclear power Corporation of India and former vice-chairman of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board G R Srinivasan said people have genuine concerns and it is the duty of technical experts, government and policy makers to explain in a way they can understand.

Talking about the safety features in Koodankulam nuclear plant, he said the Russian reactors are safe and we have a Generation 3 plus design, which has a passive cooling system for 72 hours during an emergency.

He also admitted the cost of importing reactors is very high but at the same time added it is necessary to buy these reactors to master them before indigenously producing them which are cheaper. “India of 2011 is different from that of 1980 when we have to depend on foreign technology. Take the case of pressurized heavy water reactor, we imported it at a very high cost and now one can build a PWHR for just Rs 7 crore,” he said.
He also said Indian have to shed the inferiority complex. “We will be a major power in the nuclear sector and the world will source their nuclear components from us. But we always question our technology,” Srinivasan said.
B S Raghavan, former chief secretary of Tripura, said that fears about koodankulam are genuine and slammed arguments put forth by the nuclear establishment. “Nuclear industry should take into account the fear of people instead of dismissing it as motive. How could they can justify the reactorby claiming that they have spent billions of rupees. Is human life inferior to it,” he questioned.
“While they claim their safety is guaranteed, their own former AERB chairman questions the safety parameters,” he added.
Dr V Venugopal, former director radiochemistry and isotope group, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Mumbai, said people should go in for authenticated information while adding that information flow never reaches the public. He said the nuclear energy is key for economic growth and strategic deterrence

writingonblog uncensored: Coomunication gap resulted in failure to allay fea...

writingonblog uncensored: Coomunication gap resulted in failure to allay fea...: Express News Service Chennai: Scientists are poor communicators and communication gap resulted in failure to allay people’s apprehensions...

Communication gap resulted in failure to allay fears on Koodankulam nuke plant: Expert


Express News Service
Chennai:
Scientists are poor communicators and communication gap resulted in failure to allay people’s apprehensions about the Koodankulam nuclear plant, according to a nuclear expert.

Addressing a meeting organized by Chemical industries Association to discuss the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant Issues here on Saturday, former director projects Nuclear power Corporation of India and former vice-chairman of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board G R Srinivasan said people have genuine concerns and it is the duty of technical experts, government and policy makers to explain in a way they can understand.

Talking about the safety features in Koodankulam nuclear plant, he said the Russian reactors are safe and we have a Generation 3 plus design, which has a passive cooling system for 72 hours during an emergency.

He also admitted the cost of importing reactors is very high but at the same time added it is necessary to buy these reactors to master them before indigenously producing them which are cheaper. “India of 2011 is different from that of 1980 when we have to depend on foreign technology. Take the case of pressurized heavy water reactor, we imported it at a very high cost and now one can build a PWHR for just Rs 7 crore,” he said.
He also said Indian have to shed the inferiority complex. “We will be a major power in the nuclear sector and the world will source their nuclear components from us. But we always question our technology,” Srinivasan said.
B S Raghavan, former chief secretary of Tripura, said that fears about koodankulam are genuine and slammed arguments put forth by the nuclear establishment. “Nuclear industry should take into account the fear of people instead of dismissing it as motive. How could they can justify the reactorby claiming that they have spent billions of rupees. Is human life inferior to it,” he questioned.
“While they claim their safety is guaranteed, their own former AERB chairman questions the safety parameters,” he added.
Dr V Venugopal, former director radiochemistry and isotope group, Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) Mumbai, said people should go in for authenticated information while adding that information flow never reaches the public. He said the nuclear energy is key for economic growth and strategic deterrence

Friday, September 23, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: Income alone should not be criteria to fix BPL: ex...

writingonblog uncensored: Income alone should not be criteria to fix BPL: ex...: Chennai: Income alone should not be the lone criteria and the government should include social vulnerability, gender, access to basic am...

Income alone should not be criteria to fix BPL: experts



Chennai:

Income alone should not be the lone criteria and the government should include social vulnerability, gender, access to basic amenities like clean water and good environment as indicators of poverty, according to experts.



Slamming the UPA government for coming out with figures like spending more than Rs 32 per day and Rs 26 per day in urban and rural areas respectively doesn’t entitle anyone to come under the government’s social security of below poverty line, Supreme Court advisor on Food Security V Suresh alleged it is a calculated move by the United Progressive Alliance government to deny the reality of poverty in India and come out with artificial figures.



“They tried the same thing three months ago by fixing Rs 15 per day in rural areas and Rs 20 per day in urban areas as the poverty line. Now they have repeated it. It is a cruel joke and robs the poor of dignity and is violation of directive principles,” he said.



Ossie Fernandes, Director, The Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation (HRF) and Balasundar of Citizen Rights Forum said that Income is not lone a criteria to determine poverty.



“The government should include social vulnerability, gender, access to basic amenities like clean water and good environment as indicators of poverty,” they conclude.



Suresh says that the government is slowly trying to do away with the social security scheme by dismantling public distribution system and giving cash credit which is an agenda of World Bank.



He said the figures arrived by planning commission is “fit enough for pigs to live.”



“The Suresh Tendulkar Committee report has identified 38 per cent of the population as poor, The current figures by planning commission underestimates M C Saxena report and Arjun Sen Gupta report which the UPA government never wants to acknowledge. This is a cruel joke by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and deputy chairman of planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia,” he said.



“Such measures will reduce the young population, which is the asset of the country to be stunted and wasted besides blowing a big hole in the economy by spending on medical bills,” Suresh added

Thursday, September 22, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: TN seeks Japan investment to boost infrastructure

writingonblog uncensored: TN seeks Japan investment to boost infrastructure: Chennai: Tamil Nadu government on Thursday wooed Japanese investors to invest in manufacturing, infrastructure, water treatment, renewab...

writingonblog uncensored: Rs 32 per day is enough to use the toilet!

writingonblog uncensored: Rs 32 per day is enough to use the toilet!: C Shivakumar Chennai: The buns are stale but the hunger drives little children to 40-year-old Vatsala who sits in one corner of a road s...

Rs 32 per day is enough to use the toilet!


C Shivakumar
Chennai:

The buns are stale but the hunger drives little children to 40-year-old Vatsala who sits in one corner of a road slicing it up and mixing it with jam and butter.

“I get these from the airport authorities near Meenambakkam who sell these leftovers from the airlines. I sell the bun laced with butter for Rs 5. I earn anywhere between Rs 200 per day,” says the middle-aged woman who is among the millions of the underprivileged who don’t have a shelter.

And if going by the planning commission’s new definition of poverty line, she along with millions of others may drop out of the social security system.

Interestingly, with the double-digit inflation and the spiraling cost of food products figures like Rs 32 per day has resulted in anger among activists as well the homeless. “We spend more than Rs 32 in using the public bathroom,” says Renuka who lives in a tent near the Memorial Hall. “I spend Rs 2 every time I use a bathroom besides Rs 7 for taking bath which itself cost me Rs 32,” she says wondering how the planning commission has reached such figure.

Surprisingly, most of the homeless don’t cook food during the daytime and rely on hotel food. “This saves fuel and our time. A meal in hotel costs not less than Rs 30 besides the consumption of tea which is Rs 5 per cup,” says Renuka, another homeless in the city as her daughter Gomathi munches the bun.

The dislike of cooking in home among the homeless is due to the fear that the food or utensils will be stolen while they are away at work and lack of refrigerator. “We don’t buy milk and the food cooked can be eaten only once,” says Rani whose husband pedals a rickshaw on rent.

“It is only during the night we cook food and that alone costs us nearly Rs 100,” she says adding that the subsidized food being given in the public distribution system is difficult to consume.

For 70-year-old Lalitha, who sells flowers, it is a hand to mouth existence from the measly sum of Rs 150-Rs 200 a day. “It all depends on the business. Sometimes we are not able to sell the flowers at all. Then we have to go without food or rely on some other means,” she says.

Surprisingly, people like Lalitha would not have figured as those below poverty line and would have not availed the social security schemes if the new figures of planning commission was to be taken into account. “The people who frame such policies should be given Rs 32 a day in a city like Chennai and ask them to survive on it for a month,” says Renuka. 

TN seeks Japan investment to boost infrastructure



Chennai:
Tamil Nadu government on Thursday wooed Japanese investors to invest in manufacturing, infrastructure, water treatment, renewable energy and minor port sectors.

Addressing a seminar on ‘Doing business with Tamil Nadu for the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) delegation from Japan’, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Japan Chamber of commerce and Industry (JCCI), Industry secretary Dr N Sundaradevan said Tamil Nadu was the most attractive investment destination for Japanese companies because of its inherent strengths like favourable investment climate, infrastructure facilities and supportive government policies.

He said the state is opening investment areas for the Japanese companies, especially the small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and the state government and Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) have agreed on the promotion of new industrial parks in the State.

The investment areas include the exclusive Japanese industrial cluster planned to be set up near Chennai, the industrial township near Ennore Port, logistics park at Ennore and Sriperumbudur, the petrochemical and petroleum investment region between Cuddalore and Nagapattinam, the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor of excellence, desalination and waste water treatment and the setting up of 23 minor ports, the Industry secretary said.

Assuring Japanese investors that the bottlenecks in accessing Ennore Port area would be cleared at the earliest, Sundaradevan said state government wanted to make Tamil Nadu one of the five global automobile clusters in the world and aimed at becoming the number one. 

T T Ashok, chairman, CII Southern Region stressed on the need to focus investments on automobile and auto-components, IT and ITEs and biotechnology.  Ashok said Japan could consider investment in wind and solar power, and aerospace.

Tadashi Okamura, chairman, JCCI, said that JCCI and the state government would sign a memorandum of understanding to boost investment in SMEs.

Masanori Nakano, Consul-General, Consulate General of Japan in Chennai, said SMEs played a key role in the economic and industrial development of Japan and hoped JCCI delegation would facilitate relationship between SMEs of both Japan and India.

He said the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the governments of Japan and India, which came into force in August 2011, would boost Indo-Japan ties

writingonblog uncensored: Chinese use graphic novels to express themselves

writingonblog uncensored: Chinese use graphic novels to express themselves: A new breed of Chinese graphic novel artists are emerging who are more expressive and don't hesitate to put forth their view "Picture...

Chinese use graphic novels to express themselves

A new breed of Chinese graphic novel artists are emerging who are more expressive and don't hesitate to put forth their view
 
"Picturebooks! Oh yes, they were popular with youngsters in the 1980s. I used to like it when I was a child. They are read only by children below 12," says a Chinese embassy Press secretary quite shocked by a query on graphic novels.
Ignorant of the new wave of Chinese graphic novelists who are making their mark in the international arena, he added, "The little picture book Little Hero Yulai was very popular among kids in the 1980s. It tells about a little hero who fought against Japanes invaders bravely and cleverly."
According to publishing house Xiaopan's director Patrick Abry, these comments are simply a reflection of the government's attitude to manhua. "Most of the graphic novels in China are mainly produced for children below 12 and as all the publishing houses belong to State, no effort is made to promote manhuas."
The publishers too do not push the boundaries fearing the government's ire. Therefore, they avoid topics such as sex, politics or strong criticism of the government, as well as contentious subjects such as Taiwan or Tibet, he adds.
Though manhua is originally from China, due to greater degree of artistic freedom and closer international ties with Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan is from where manhua is mainly produced. Infact, publishing houses here also bring out Chinese translations of Korean manhwa and Japanese manga.
But the scene in China is slowly changing. With the worldwide circulation of Japanese comics or manga, many young Chinese artists grew up reading them. These artistes have today incorporated their styles and techniques but have made something distinctively Chinese by mixing old and new, East and West. 
Some of these artists challenge the system, are more expressive and don't hesitate to put forth their view. Therefore, they approach foreign publishing houses like Xiaopan to bring out their work, says Abry, whose publishing house is based in France.
Interestingly, China has a long history of graphic novels. "Some of the Chinese graphic novels such as Monkey King written by Wu Ch'eng-en in the 16th century have always been popular with the Chinese. It is about an allegorical rendition of the journey, mingled with Chinese fables, fairy tables, legends, superstitions, popular beliefs, monster stories and whatever the author could find in the Taoist and Buddhist religions," says Abry.
"Currently, there is a large variety of styles in the new generation of comics like McMug and Chinese Hero, the ones which started in early 90s," says Abry. According to Abry, graphic novels currently available in China can be grouped into four – the ones made by Chinese but with a style more or less resembling the manga's; ones focusing on humour; ones on ancient historical themes such as the Monkey King, All Men Are Brothers etc; and some European and American ones.
McMug comics focus more on serious social topics, including death, poverty, unskilled labour and single-parent families and its plotlines are known for covering cultural festivals, and celebrities, reflecting the deep roots of Chinese culture. Chinese Hero brought innovative, realistic drawings with details resembling real people. It was totally different from the earlier characters and topics that were too serious.
Currently, most of the Chinese graphic novels lack superheroes, says Abry. "Apart from Monkey King or Tezuka's Atom boy, there are no superheroes in Chinese comics," he says.
Among some of the emerging manhua creators are Gene Yang, whose American Born Chinese has been a big hit. The book is a wonderful, funny, heart-breaking and inspiring graphic novel that tells the story of Jin Wang, a Chinese boy who is one of two Asian kids in his class at an American school. The story is told through three interleaving narratives - the story of Jin's school life, and two others: one is a recounting of a Chinese legend about The Monkey King, who wants to be something he is not, and the other is a notional sitcom about an American kid named Danny whose racist stereotyped Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee, is ruining his social life. Other Chinese creators to make it to the world stage are Qian Yu, whose delicate designs update the lavish illustrative traditions from China's past.  
There are readers who are waiting for cutting-edge manhua. The interest is reflected in the underground groups such as Cult Youth and Special Comics in Beijing.




Emerging graphic novelists:
Nie Chongrui: Veteran innovator who began as an animation studio director in 1979 and became artistic director of the Peking publisher "Popular Fine Arts." His acclaimed graphic novels include the traditional Chinese tale "The Merchant's Son" and the period fantasy "Beautiful Woman of the Haunted Temple."

Zhang Xiaoyu: A master of action and fantasy comics, he created his first comics in 1995 while studying fine art. Among more than a dozen graphic novels, he won awards in two national competitions.(means?) He currently runs the science fiction magazine Fei and is developing a serial about The Crusades for the French magazine Shonen.

Qian Yu: A young rising star still in her 20s, she began by contributing stunning illustrations to the magazine Cartoon King. Her ongoing series of full-colour graphic novels is in the period crime genre and called "The Doctor Li Cases."

Benjamin: Since quitting advertising, he has devoted himself to his passion for comics. His almost entirely digital artwork and moody young romances have made him one of China's biggest cult comics' authors. He has also written novels and illustrated for movies. A new book of his illustrations and comics, FLASH, will soon be launched.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: Techie on flashback mode

writingonblog uncensored: Techie on flashback mode: The TCS Story … and Beyond captures history of IT software and services industry in India Chennai: Tech geeks are busy dabbling in sof...

Techie on flashback mode

The TCS Story … and Beyond captures history of IT software
and services industry in India

Chennai:
Tech geeks are busy dabbling in software and hardware language that they hardly carry out tales of their work but former chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Subramanium Ramadorai proved it otherwise with the launch of his book The TCS Story … and Beyond.

Speaking after the launch of the book by noted scientist Dr M S Swaminathan here at a function organized by Penguin Books and Taj Coromandel in association with Confederation of Indian Industry on Wednesday evening, the advisor to the Prime Minister in the National Skill Development Council said the book is about getting the story from a IT professional and it is a biggest challenge as their whole day is spent on dabbling with hardware and software.

“It was a challenging experience to put in my 40 years of experience in 300 pages and the biggest was to make the IT professionals recall a project to capture the finer nuances of the experiences.

“As such I mastered the art of asking the same question so that I could get what I am looking for,” disclosed Ramadorai while highlighting how he went about compiling his book.

The book happened in mad hustle and bustle of life and I hope the book is aesthetically pleasing story to make reader turn the next page, he said.

“We toiled with several titles and came with a simpler one which highlights that the journey doesn’t end,” he said.

To a 24X7 lifestyle of techies, the former CEO of Tata Consultancy Services said, “It is good to work at any place but based on my experience I advise the youngsters to take time off from work. I learnt it late.”

The TCS story is one of modern India’s great success stories and in the book Ramadorai, one of the country’s most respected business lesaders, recounts the steps to that extraordinary success from a $400 million company to a $ eight billion company and providing jobs to 200,000 people.

The inside story of one of India’s premier corporate institutions, this is also in part a history of the rapidly developing IT software and services industry in India told from the perspective of an industry leader.

M S Swaminathan hailed the book and said it is a timely release and provides hope that one should not get overwhelmed by problems. Also present was Confederation of Indian Industry chairman southern region T T Ashok.

Techie goes on flashback mode

Book captures history of IT software
and services industry in India

Chennai:
Tech geeks are busy dabbling in software and hardware language that they hardly carry out tales of their work but former chief executive officer of Tata Consultancy Subramanium Ramadorai proved it otherwise with the launch of his book The TCS Story … and Beyond.

Speaking after the launch of the book by noted scientist Dr M S Swaminathan here at a function organized by Penguin Books and Taj Coromandel in association with Confederation of Indian Industry on Wednesday evening, the advisor to the Prime Minister in the National Skill Development Council said the book is about getting the story from a IT professional and it is a biggest challenge as their whole day is spent on dabbling with hardware and software.

“It was a challenging experience to put in my 40 years of experience in 300 pages and the biggest was to make the IT professionals recall a project to capture the finer nuances of the experiences.

“As such I mastered the art of asking the same question so that I could get what I am looking for,” disclosed Ramadorai while highlighting how he went about compiling his book.

The book happened in mad hustle and bustle of life and I hope the book is aesthetically pleasing story to make reader turn the next page, he said.

“We toiled with several titles and came with a simpler one which highlights that the journey doesn’t end,” he said.

To a 24X7 lifestyle of techies, the former CEO of Tata Consultancy Services said, “It is good to work at any place but based on my experience I advise the youngsters to take time off from work. I learnt it late.”

The TCS story is one of modern India’s great success stories and in the book Ramadorai, one of the country’s most respected business lesaders, recounts the steps to that extraordinary success from a $400 million company to a $ eight billion company and providing jobs to 200,000 people.

The inside story of one of India’s premier corporate institutions, this is also in part a history of the rapidly developing IT software and services industry in India told from the perspective of an industry leader.

M S Swaminathan hailed the book and said it is a timely release and provides hope that one should not get overwhelmed by problems. Also present was Confederation of Indian Industry chairman southern region T T Ashok.

writingonblog uncensored: Nuke industry cautious

writingonblog uncensored: Nuke industry cautious: Chennai: Nuclear industry is cautiously watching the developments after protesters agreed to withdraw the fast following assurances from ...

Nuke industry cautious


Chennai:
Nuclear industry is cautiously watching the developments after protesters agreed to withdraw the fast following assurances from the state government to move a cabinet resolution on the issue.

Nuclear sources told Express on Wednesday that it is too early to comment on the situation as nothing is concrete now and the industry is awaiting official version from the government.

“Top priority will be given to people’s sentiments,” echoed a nuclear source.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

writingonblog uncensored: Experts chart roadmap to realize Jaya’s dream of V...

writingonblog uncensored: Experts chart roadmap to realize Jaya’s dream of V...: Chennai: In a bid to realize Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s dream of making Tamil Nadu the best state in the country, bureaucrats and I...

Experts chart roadmap to realize Jaya’s dream of Vision 2025



Chennai:

In a bid to realize Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s dream of making Tamil Nadu the best state in the country, bureaucrats and Industry began thrashing out roadmap for Vision 2025 document by holding consultative meeting here on Monday.



The meeting, which was inaugurated by Industry Minister S P Velumani, highlighted the need to develop infrastructure, build ports and shipyards, boost gas infrastructure by laying gas pipelines, developing city gas distribution in 25 cities besides setting up of rural business process outsourcing and setting up of a City Transportation Regulatory Authority on the lines State Energy Regulatory council.



Velumani said the state government’s prime focus will be to focus on creating job opportunities and giving a new lease of life to manufacturing sector besides laying special emphasis on biotech, nanotech and pharmaceuticals sector.



He said the consultative meeting would help chart a roadmap for Vision 2025 to make the state number one in the country.



Wooing the investors, the minister said that land acquisition for industries won’t be a problem as the government is planning to have a land bank for industries.



Additional Chief Secretary and chairperson and managing director of Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Susan Mathew said TIDCO is preparing a roadmap for energy, automative, heavy engineering, petroleum and petrochemicals, Information technology, Information Technology Enabled Services electronic hardware manufacturing and connectivity infrastructure.



Industry Secretary N Sundaradevan stressed on the need to boost the manufacturing sector and develop skills while Confederation of Indian Ichairman T T Ashok said that the state’s growth is below five per cent from the year 2005-2010 and there is need to compete with states like Haryana and Gujarat to regain the number one status.



He also highlighted the immense potential in healthcare, auto and automobile components, sunrise industries and aviation besides stressing on the need to boost infrastructure by improving the power scenario and laying out road network.



Prabhat Singh, director of Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), said that the state will be facing a shortage of 30 million cubic metres of gas per day in the next five years and the state and GAIL is working to bridge the shortfall. A M K Sinha, Indian Oil Corporation’s director of planning and business development said Rs 4,320 crore Ennore Liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project with TIDCO will be commissioned on 2016 and meet the shortfall of LNG.



Information Technology secretary Dr Santosh babu stressed on the need for rural business process outsourcing and making it a cottage industry besides the state having an electronic hardware manufacturing facility. Chennai Metro Rail managing director K Rajaraman stressed the need for a City Transportation Regulatory Authority on the lines State Energy Regulatory council. Union joint secretary for chemicals and petrochemicals Neel Kamal Darbari and director of Engineers India Limited G D Goyal highlighted how the mega hydrocarbon facility in Cuddalore will result in creation of jobs