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    Traces of the past: A World War II pill box resurfaces in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK;K_R_DEEPAK -

    Traces of the past: A World War II pill box resurfaces in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK;K_R_DEEPAK –

    They should be restored and turned into museums, say historians

    A silent reminder of a significant chapter of Visakhapatnam’s maritime history, the World War – II pill boxes or bunkers dotting the shores of the coast, resurfaces every year during monsoon when the eroded sands uncover these concrete structures hidden beneath for decades.

    Lack of any effort to restore and conserve these historical concrete fortifications, vagaries of nature over the years and public apathy have left these pill boxes in a state of utter neglect, serving as a painful reminder of an earlier time, slowly crumbling back into the sea.

    Maritime history

    At a time when the Tourism Department in association with the district administration is making efforts to create a maritime museum circuit along the beach road, these vintage pill boxes cry for attention. According to historians and retired naval personnel, these pill boxes are a significant link to the maritime history of the region, which should be restored and included in the maritime historical circuit at the Beach Road where the latest addition is the upcoming museum project of the decommissioned TU 142 fighter aircraft.

    Speaking to The Hindu, (Retd.) Cdr B.L.N. Rao, secretary of Navy Foundation – Visakhapatnam Chapter, said: “There are four such pill boxes spotted along the Vizag coast. The one at R.K. Beach is still in good shape and can easily be retrieved. Once it resurfaces from the sand, iron sheets can be kept all around it, the remaining sand can be dug till the base of the structure and with the help of hydraulic jack it can be lifted and shifted.”

    Last year, Cdr. Rao had initiated efforts in the restoration of these critical historical pill boxes by taking the VUDA officials around the locations where they are seen. “Nothing much has been done after that,” he said.

    The pill box at the R.K. Beach is about 20 to 30 feet wide and 10 feet high. “Similar dimensions of pill boxes exist near Kotaveedhi and Lavender Canal. However, the one near the fishing colony of Jalaripeta is nearly four times the size of the others and is beyond repair. That one was used as the command control centre by the British,” he added.

    As conflict in the World War II ramped up, these pill boxes were used to fortify the shores by the British to resist invasion by Japan. According to researchers, most of them were constructed around 1938-1941.

    Old timers recollect the presence of another pill box opposite the Naval Coastal Battery which they say was “mercilessly razed to the ground” in the 1960s when the road was being built. “These defence constructions were considered to be highly confidential during WW-II. Hence, there is no proper documentation of the number of bunkers present along the Vizag coast,” said historian Edward Paul.

    But recently these secret bunkers have piqued the interest of historians, war veterans and enthusiasts alike – and more people are attempting to discover their locations.

    “Proper signage at the locations of the pill boxes can go a long way in showcasing the maritime history of the region,” Mr. Paul added. While efforts to restore a similar British-era bunker discovered inside the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai are being taken, in other parts of the world – the most recent one being in Denmark’s western coast, World War II bunkers have been transformed into museums.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States > Andhra Pradesh / by Nivedita Ganguly / July 24th, 2017

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    City girl Sharanya Mudundi was crowned the ‘Little Miss Grand Sea Intercontinental’ at Grand Sea Universe-2017 held in Sofia, Bulgaria, recently. Adding feathers to her cap, she also won the titles ‘Little Miss Grand Sea Asia-2017’, ‘Miss Popularity’ and ‘Best Interview’ at the fashion pageant .

    Nine-year-old Sharanya represented India and competed with children from 30 countries. She also won the title ‘Little Model Earth India-2017’ and ‘Grand Prix Winner Model-2017’ at an international children’s pageant ‘Little Model Earth’ held at Johannesburg, South Africa, in March this year.

    Speaking to TOI, Sharanya said, “I was on cloud nine after I won the titles at Sofia. Although it was a challenging task, bagging these has boosted my confidence. The theme being ‘Beauty for a purpose’, there were different rounds during the contest including interview round, national costume round, talent round and evening gown round. I also showcased our rich Indian culture and traditions. I performed yoga in the talent round and it was one of my memorable experience at the global fashion stage.”

    Daughter of MSN Raju and M Swati, Sharanya is a Class-V student in Delhi Public School. Balancing both academics and fashion shows, she said that it is the support of her parents coupled with time management that helps her to focus on both.

    National Director of India Valentina Mishra, who hails from the city, said, “She is the only Indian girl child to represent India on the global map and to win at an international pageant twice this year.” Valentina was awarded the winner of best director of the year by MMSEA BG, an international agency.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / TNN / July 08th, 2017

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    June 18th, 2017adminRecords, All, Sports, World Opinion



    1. Srikanth looked in the zone as he easily downed world no 47 Sakai in straight games 21-11, 21-19

    2. The Indonesian Open is Srikanth’s second Super Series Premier title after he won the 2014 China Open Super Series Premier

    3. Srikanth had finished runner-up at Singapore Open after losing to compatriot B Sai Praneeth in the summit clash last month


    Jakarta :

    Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth clinched his third Super Series title, lifting the Indonesia Open men’s singles trophy with a straight-game victory over Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai in the final on Sunday.

    World No.22 Srikanth, who had reached the finals at Singapore Open in April, outclassed Sakai, ranked 47th, 21-11 21-19 in just 37 minutes to take home a cheque of $75,000.

    “He was playing well, especially in the second game and I think for me coming back from 6-11 down and make it 13-13 was the turning point,” said Srikanth, who had clinched the 2014 China Super Series Premier and 2015 India Super Series.

    “My coach will have a special place in my heart as after he came, I reached the finals at Singapore and to win this tournament, which is considered the biggest tournament. I want to thank all the fans who have been rooting for me all this week,” he added.

    Srikanth played a patient game and didn’t allow his opponent to engage in any fast-paced rally. He dictated the pace with his precise angled returns and unleashed his smashes at perfect intervals to down his rival.

    Playing in tricky conditions, Srikanth took time to gauge the conditions as his initial returns went wide and out.

    But his rival also suffered because of similar unforced errors and the Indian led 6-4 early on. He consolidated his lead to reach 11-8 at the break.

    After the interval, Srikanth continued to dominate the proceedings. His net dribbles were better than Sakai and with Sakai struggling with precision, the Indian zoomed to a 19-11 lead and sealed it with two lucky net chord points.

    After the change of sides, Sakai was more aggressive in his approach and produced an improved net game to dominate the rallies.
    Soon, the Japanese was leading 7-3 as he entered the break with an 11-6 lead with the help of a backhand return near the net.

    After the interval, Srikanth’s aggressive game gave him the desired results. He turned the tables and caught up with the Japanese at 13-13 with an on-rushing smash at the net.
    The duo moved neck and neck after that till 19-19 before Srikanth produced two fantastic smashes to seal the deal.

    source: / The Times of India / News> Sports> Badminton / PTI / June 18th, 2017

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    June 7th, 2017adminSports, World Opinion
    D. Jyothika Sri

    D. Jyothika Sri

    City girl and Intermediate student D. Jyothika Sri has been selected for the 400m event at the World Youth Athletic Championship, which will be held in Kenya from July 12 to 18. Earlier, she participated in the Asian Youth Athletic Championship held in Thailand in which she finished a credible fourth.

    The budding athlete is training at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) National Sports Talent Center (NSTC) at the Siddhartha Public School under the watchful eyes of SAI coach D.N.V. Vinayak Prasad.

    Jyothika Sri will be leaving for Sonypath in New Delhi, where she will be attending the Indian camp from June 10. “She belongs to a poor family and she is much interested in athletics. She has the promise to make it big in the world of track and field. We are eagerly waiting for sponsorship which will help her prepare for bigger challenges in a proper way,” says Vinayak Prasad. CBR Academy chairman CBR Prasad has increased scholarship to Jyothika Sri from ₹3, 000 to ₹10, 000 per month. Siddhartha Mahila Kalasala convener Lalith Prasad presented spikes to her.

    The Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh, which identified her, has announced that it will support her. Jyothika Sri said that she aimed for an Olympic medal and exuded confidence of performing well at the Kenya meet.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Vijayawada / by Special Correspondent / Vijayawada – June 07th, 2017

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    Visakhapatnam :

    At just 26 years of age, Vizagite Durugadda Harsha Vardhan has won the Rio Tinto Sculpture Award at the ‘Sculpture by the Sea-2017’ contest recently held in Australia. His work ‘Column of Sound’ has emerged as winner among works by 78 international sculptors and is now being showcased in Perth.

    Harsha’s creation ‘Column of Sound’ consists of two mild steel hemispheres and slices of marble (8 ft by 4 ft dimension) stacked in between. It is based on the visual dynamics of an audio wave where sound translates to tangible and eternal, rendering a paradigm shift of sensory experience. In Harsha’s words, “It’s a translation of sound into a visual form, in the same way we store images as memories, it’s actually my memory of a sound.”

    He was a student of St Francis School and Bullaya College in Vizag following which Harsha completed his B.Sc from Hyderabad and Masters in Visual Communication from Delhi. He also completed a course in arts and aesthetics from JNU. Eventually, he took up sculpting which has also been the profession of his father and grandfather.

    Harsha plans to participate in the next ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ contest to be held at Bondi in Sydney in October. Speaking about his next sculpture, he said, “Made with corten steel, it would be called ‘Fish Love’. This structure will showcase misinterpretation of love. Though, love is always talked about in great terms, it’s often self-gratification rather than a selfless emotion. True love should be always giving without thinking about the self.”

    “Vizag is blessed with the sea, which is a soother and contests and exhibitions by the sea can be held just like in Australia. But we need to create that environment and not ruin art by politicising the events. We need an organising committee for it with encouragement from well-to-do private patrons just like it’s in Australia. Vizag needs more galleries and more events as well as private patrons,” Harsha said.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Visakhapatnam News / by Sulogna Mehta / TNN / May 11th, 2017

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    Mind over matter Wheelchair basketball players at the ‘2017 Women’s Development’ camp in Thailand.

    Mind over matter Wheelchair basketball players at the ‘2017 Women’s Development’ camp in Thailand.

    They set sights on gold medals at international events

    Binding to a wheelchair does not dampen their spirits to aim high. They feel even sky is not the limit for them. It is the inspiring tale of two women from Andhra Pradesh — 30-year-old B. Hima Kalyani and 29-year-old Pandranki Satyavathi — afflicted with polio at the age of five.

    After attending the ‘2017 Women’s Development’ camp organised by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) – Asia Oceania Zone in Thailand, they not only attained great skills in wheelchair basketball but also wanted to train women suffering from a similar impairment.

    Their association with the basketball made them realise that the sport would help instil great self-confidence and zest for life in such women.

    Presently employed with Thomson Reuters’, Bengaluru, as a content analyst in finance and risk wing, Nidadavolu-based Hima Kalyani says she was unaware of the game until she attended a wheelchair basketball camp in Hyderabad last June.

    “When we came to know about the camp through Global-AID, an NGO working for development of persons with disabilities, we wanted to give it a shot. The camp introduced us to a new world, making us realise that life is more beautiful than what we assumed it to be,” narrates Ms. Satyavathi, who is working in the Global AID, Gajapathinagaram mandal, Vizianagaram district, as teacher and hostel warden.

    Five months later, the duo participated in the third National Wheelchair Basketball Championship, Chennai.

    “The maiden event, organised jointly by the Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India (WBFI) and the International Committee of the Red Cross, made me win a bronze medal,” states Ms. Hima Kalyani.

    ‘Not an easy task’

    Ms. Satyavathi was able to reach up to the semi-final round in the tournament and she along with Hima Kalyani and a few other players got selected for further intensive coaching organised by the IWBF in Thailand.

    “We forgot our physical impediment for a while and competed with international players with ease.

    “Playing basketball on wheels is not an easy task but the vigorous coaching exposed us to different techniques of the sport, manoeuvring special wheelchairs,” they say.

    The players’ next target is to grab gold medals in international events.

    “In addition to this, we also want to train wheelchair-bound women in the sport,” the players say.

    According to founder-president of Global AID Sai Padma, the NGO plans to provide specialised coaching to the physically challenged persons in wheelchair basketball through the Andhra Pradesh Wheelchair Basketball Association.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Rani Devalla / Visakhapatnam – May 03rd, 2017

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    The Andhra Pradesh government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.” Photo: | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam.

    The Andhra Pradesh government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.” Photo: | Photo Credit: C.V. Subrahmanyam.

    Banganapalle mangoes have been grown for over 100 years in Andhra Pradesh.

    The succulent Banganapalle mango has received a Geographical Indication (GI) tag, making Andhra Pradesh the proprietor of the variety known for its sweetness.

    The Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, O.P. Gupta has accorded the registration following an application from the Horticulture Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh.

    The Andhra Pradesh government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as “the king of fruits.”

    A GI tag indicates that the product comes from a specific region.

    Banganapalle mangoes have been grown for over 100 years in the State. It also known as Beneshan, Baneshan, Benishan, Chappatai and Safeda.

    Besides, they are also called Banaganapalli, Banginapalli, Banaganapalle.

    The fruits can retain their quality under cold storage even up to three months, Andhra Pradesh government said in documents seeking GI.

    “The prominent characteristic of Banganapalle mangoes is that their skin has very light spots, stone is oblong in shape and has very thin seed with sparse and soft fibre all over,” it said.

    The primary centre of origin of the fruit is Kurnool district comprising Banaganapalle, Paanyam and Nandyal mandals, according to the Andhra Pradesh government which mentioned Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra as secondary centres of origin.

    The government has also listed Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak and Adilabad districts in Telangana as secondary centres of origin.

    Submitting documents for proof of origin, it also cited historical records like a “war fund seal (Banganapally-State Madras War Fund Seal).”

    A logo too is in place — featuring a bright yellow fruit around which the tagline says “Banganappalle Mangoes of Andhra Pradesh,” with images of a man and a woman appearing to be farmers.

    According to an affidavit furnished in 2011 by the then Andhra Pradesh Commissioner of Horticulture, I. Rani Kumudini, nearly 7.68 lakh families were involved in the production of Banaganapalle mangoes.

    About 5,500 tonnes of Banganappalle mangoes were being exported annually to countries like the U.S. and U.K.

    While the annual turnover of Banaganapalle mangoes was approximately ₹461 crore, exports were to the tune of ₹20.68 crore, she had said.

    GI is covered under the Intellectual Property Rights and the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights.

    A GI tag certifies the origin of a product or produce from a particular region as the quality or other features of the product is attributable only to the place of its origin.

    The tag helps farmers or manufacturers, as the case may be, to get a better price in the market.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Agriculture / PTI / Chennai – May 04th, 2017

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    February 26th, 2017adminSports, World Opinion
    Narra Mahesh receiving a trophy from a Ghanaian cricket official at Accra.

    Narra Mahesh receiving a trophy from a Ghanaian cricket official at Accra.

    Narra Mahesh literally eats, breathes and sleeps cricket and his irrefutable passion for the game brings him from Ghana to Vijayawada to play in the annual Power League organised by Krishna District Cricket Association.

    In fact his club – Everest Cricket Club –won the Power League for three consecutive years and it is his club which introduced professionalism into city cricket by inducting Ranji Trophy players in their team for a price. In a low-scoring final, Everest CC defeated Royal in the final recently at Mulapadu.

    Mr. Mahesh, who runs an import and export enterprise – MKNG Traders – at Accra, capital city of Ghana, is also busy developing cricket there by actively participating in local tournaments.

    His club – Everest CC – won a couple of major leagues and tournaments in Ghana and it is backed by sponsors like Golden Dragon Casinos and Agarwal Eye Hospitals. “Three Ghanaian national players — David Ankara, Simon Ateeq and Vincent Ateeq — are in our team,” says Mahesh.

    He says his club comprised players of Andhra Pradesh settled in Accra for several years. “The local leagues are fiercely competed there. Other communities such as Patels and Malayalis also have their own teams.” Many cricket buffs and administrators feel that the innovative step taken by Everest CC saw many other clubs packing their playing eleven with professional players.

    Gets competitive

    “Vijayawada’s Power League is no longer a run-off-the-mill competition. Following our footsteps other clubs are spending money to make their outfits competitive with quality players. For youngsters playing and against the experienced players it is a learning curve,” says Girish Varadharajan, who manages Everest Cricket Club at Accra.

    Mr. Girish says the professionalism attracted the sponsors to the league. “Hotel Midcity, Chandana Brothers, Twills, Ramyam Intel and MKN Ventures have pitched in enthusiastically. We gave star hotel accommodation to all players and took care of all their travel needs.”

    However, Mr. Mahesh wants the announcement of the Power League two months in advance so that clubs can take up their preparation. “Of late there is uncertainty over the league. A prior schedule will be helpful especially for a club which operating away from India.”

    Mr. Mahesh came from Australia to Vijayawada, his native place, to hone his cricketing skills and graduate as a first class cricketer. His efforts paid off as gradually he went on play junior State teams and also in Butchi Babu Tournament. He was in the stand-bye in the Ranji Trophy team and unfortunately an injury brought an abrupt end to his fledging career.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Vijayawada / by J C Shridharan / Vijayawada – February 02nd, 2017

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    February 23rd, 2017adminEducation, Records, All, World Opinion
    Achievers: The students selected for Stanford University Innovation Fellow programme with their certificates in Rajamahendravaram on Wednesday.

    Achievers: The students selected for Stanford University Innovation Fellow programme with their certificates in Rajamahendravaram on Wednesday.

    They will leave for U.S. on March 6 for a six-week programme

    Three girls and a boy studying third year and second year engineering in the Godavari Institute of Engineering and Technology (GIET) have been selected for the Stanford University Innovation Fellows (UIF) programme. They are part of 224 students from 58 higher educational institutions from seven countries, who have been named University Innovation Fellows.

    Rachana Parupudi (III ECE), Grushaker Sahani (III CSE), Sundari Jahnavi (II CSE) and M.V.S Sidhartha (III ECE) have been selected under the UIF programme and they are bound to leave for the U.S. on March 6 for a six-week programme.

    Academic Dean Varaparasad said the programme empowers Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future.

    Prof. Varaprasad said during the training, Fellows learn how to analyse their campus innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems and understand the needs of stakeholders to uncover opportunities to enrich the educational opportunities for their peers.

    He said that they became change agents and also co-designers of the education experience as they create better educational environment for others.

    The the total training programme is 13 weeks and after completing first six weeks, the students will be called for one week and in last another six weeks training will be given to them.

    The faculty of computer science and electronics gave online training with the support of team from Stanford to the students with the support of Google and AP State Skill Development Corporation. After competing globally, GIET students stood second and were selected to the UIF programme.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Rajamahendravram / February 23rd, 2017

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    February 20th, 2017adminRecords, All, Sports, World Opinion
    M. Lalith Babu | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

    M. Lalith Babu | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

    Vijayawada  :

    City-based chess Grandmaster Musunuri Lalith Babu (2593) needs just seven points to enter the coveted 2,600-mark which will enable him to join the illustrious club consisting of players like Adhiban, Sasikiran, Sethuraman and Abhijit Gupta.

    To garner the elusive points, he will be travelling to Moscow to take part in the Aeroflot Grandmasters tournament from February 20 to March 3 which will feature the best of brains in the world of sixty-four squares.

    After the end of the classic round on March 2, he will take part in the Aeroflot blitz tournament which will contain 18 rounds in which the world top 10 players will feature.

    “This is one of the world’s strongest tournaments where a good number of Russian Grand Masters will take part along with top-notch players from Israel, China, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan,” said Lalith who is working as the Grade 1 Officer in the Indian Oil Corporation in Vijayawada.

    Last year, the Moscow sojourn was a forgettable one as he garnered just five points out of nine and finished 42nd in the final rating list. “The tourney assumes importance as the winner will qualify for the prestigious Dortmund Super Grandmaster tournament,” he added.

    He said he was playing in ‘Group A’ where players above 2,550 would clash. “I am placed 78th among the 80 entries in the fray.”

    He said he was not taking any online coaching this year as he could not afford the Bulgarian coach Vladimir Chuchelov who proved costly. “I am practising all alone.”

    He said the tournament was not one to try experimental moves especially with the openings as the rivals were proficient with all sorts of openings. “I do not want to try new things and I wish to play solid chess,” said Lalith who finished fifth in the Delhi International Open that concluded recently.

    He further said, “I wish to avoid complicating positions. I am also working out how not to fall in to the opening trap of the rival.”

    Lalith Babu is spending the best part of his time improving his fitness as he needed seven hours of playing daily. “One needs to have lot of energy as it is gruelling event,” he added.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> State> Andhra Pradesh / by J.R. Sridharan / February 18th, 2017

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