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    January 30th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy
    Minister for IT Palle Raghunath Reddy handing over a memorandum of understanding to a group of young entrepreneurs at the first bootcamp at the Sunrise Startup Village in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. -Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

    Minister for IT Palle Raghunath Reddy handing over a memorandum of understanding to a group of young entrepreneurs at the first bootcamp at the Sunrise Startup Village in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. -Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

    Sunrise Startup Village, first in Andhra Pradesh, was kicked off on Thursday with MobMe of Kochi Startup Village organising a bootcamp for hundreds of college students.

    As a first step, MobMe selected 50 startups for grooming. Memoranda of understanding were signed on the first day with five youngsters. The agreements were distributed by Minister for IT Palle Raghunatha Reddy at a function organised at the Incubation Tower built by APIIC at Rushikonda IT Special Economic Zone in the presence of Minister for HRD Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Vizag MP K. Haribabu, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Ajay Sawhney, IT Advisor J. Satyanarayana and Kochi Start-up Village CEO Pranav Kumar.

    Describing the launching of start-up village as a red letter day in the history of the State, Mr. Raghunatha Reddy said Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was credited with launching IT, Electronic and Innovation and Start-up Policy to encourage entrepreneurship and investors.

    He said they were doling out Rs.60,000 concession towards land cost for every job created, 25 per cent discount in power tariff to all and 50 per cent for SC, ST and women entrepreneurs. He said they would develop an IT Investment Region in Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Anantapur, 10 IT hubs and 20 Electronic Manufacturing Clusters.

    Stating that they had created 50,000 square ft. of space for incubators in Visakhapatnam, 25,000 at Kakinada and 10,000 at Tirupati, Mr. Reddy said “Hyderabad is capital of Telangana and Chandrababu Naidu has become the capital of AP as investors during his overseas trips have come forward with proposals to invest in the State.”

    Mr. Satyanarayana said 500 startups would start by December 2015 as the government had created seed capital of Rs.100 crore to fund the incubators.

    ITIR will be developed in Vizag, Tirupati and Anantapur, says IT Minister

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities / Special Correspondent / Visakhapatnam – January 30th, 2015

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    January 30th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Nature
    Fishermen casting their nets in the river; Tourist boat approaching the shore. Photo: K.R. Deepak

    Fishermen casting their nets in the river; Tourist boat approaching the shore. Photo: K.R. Deepak

    Papikondalu (Papi Hills) takes travellers through a canopy of greens covered by tropical and deciduous rain forests

    Silence whispers through the Eastern Ghats of Papikondalu (Papi Hills) as the boat wobbles along the riverbed. An oasis of enchanting beauty and tranquillity, Papikondalu takes travellers through a canopy of greens covered by tropical and deciduous rain forests. Here, one can forget all their worries and just sink in the peaceful arms of nature.

    Running through Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts, Papikondalu can be reached via the river way through Rajahmundry. Boats dock every day on the banks of the Godavari to ferry tourists to the Papi Hills.

    Navigating through the meandering river trails, through which the Godavari penetrates to find its way to the east after several twists and turns, one can spot colonies of migratory birds perched on the banks of the river. For tourists and birders, the best time to visit the place is between November and March. Here, it is the locals who double up as guides providing excellent information about the place, its significance and the flora and fauna. The locals and tribal communities have a way of life – simple, sorted and a rhythmic pattern. When there, do taste their local cuisine like bamboo chicken or a special fish curry with a flavour unique to the local communities living there.

    Fisherman fishing on waters. Photo: K.R. Deepak

    Fisherman fishing on waters. Photo: K.R. Deepak

    While there are many private tour operators, last year Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) started a new package with the Vizag – Papikondalu road-cum-river cruise that would take the tourists through a quick tour of the picturesque hills and temples along the river. The places covered include Gandipochamma temple, Devipatnam, Papikondalu, and Perantalapalli temple.

    During the monsoons, high water levels submerge half of the Papi Hills which makes it inaccessible for tourists.

    A photographer’s delight, the place today faces the threat of submersion once the irrigation project Polavaram is implemented. Locals and tour operators fear that once the dam is ready, Papikondalu may be reduced to a beautiful memory.

    The best way to reach Papikondalu is to get to Rajahmundry and hire boat to reach the Papi Hills. There are AC and non-AC boats and the boat ride can take anywhere between four to six hours.

    Tribals in their traditional gear regaling tourists in the backdrop of the picturesque Papikondalu Hills. Photo: K.R. Deepak

    Tribals in their traditional gear regaling tourists in the backdrop of the picturesque Papikondalu Hills. Photo: K.R. Deepak

    For stay options, you can explore the tented accommodations which the locals give on hire to tourists. Tents are available on the flat bed of sand as well as on the elevated hilly side overlooking the river. While the stay arrangements are basic, the beauty of the place surrounded by Eastern Ghats and the pristine tribal life are sure to caress away the fatigue of the busy urban life.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Features> MetroPlus / by Nivedita Ganguly /January 30th, 2015

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    January 27th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment

    Srikakulam :

    With one more day left for the renowned Ratha Sapthami celebrations, the Endowments department and temple officials at Arasavilli Sri Suryanarayana Swami temple are making all out efforts to ensure that adequate facilities are made available to the devotees. The devotees won’t face the difficulties they had undergone last year, the officials promised.

    The celebrations will begin after 12 am on Monday with Suprabhata seva, early morning puja and Mahabhishekam (consecrated bathing of the Deity) with milk. The abhishekams with milk  would continue from 1 am till daybreak. The Nijarupa darshan of the deity would start from daybreak and end at 4 pm. The devotees will have darshan of the Deity decorated with flowers after that. All through the day there would be mega pujas, Dwadasa harathi and mega food offerings to the deity. Everything is of mega size for the Sun God on that day. The celebrations would conclude with Ekanta seva at 9 pm.

    It is believed that having darshan of the Sun deity on the Ratha Sapthami day would free the devotees from illness, sorrows and poverty.

    According to the Puranas, there would not be another birth for the devotee who has darshan of the Sun deity on that day.

    Large barricades have been placed around the temple as well as Indra temple tank. Separate queue lines have also been also arranged for special darshan, normal darshan and Abhisekham. Strict bandobust will be there at the tonsure centre and holy bathing tank.

    Executive officer Pushpanadam said that the Abhisekham ticket had been priced at Rs 216 and special darshan ticket at Rs 100 which would be sold only from 11 pm on Sunday. No other tickets would be on sale, the EO clarified. Temple Prasadam can be obtained from the Endowments counters.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Express News Service / January 25th, 2015

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    January 27th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy


    Mayor looks for support from NGOs, NRIs for city’s growth

    In the past two decades, Nellore has witnessed vibrant industrial growth, thanks to the establishment of several special economic zones, a deep-water port and thermal power stations in the district.

    Though the city has grown by leaps and bounds, financial constraints have been a constant concern.

    The municipal corporation is now a cash-strapped body and is looking for means to take up development projects.

    Interestingly, the ‘smart ward’ concept has come as a boon for the corporation. Mayor Sk. Abdul Aziz has seized the opportunity by seeking support from various sections for developing the city with their active participation.

    He is keen to take help from big industrialists from the city who have settled elsewhere. He has also proposed to rope them in for development of facilities through adoption of various wards.

    Making a difference

    “We are keen to take the support of a cross-section of society in this endeavour. NRIs and non-governmental organisations should also play an active role in this. With their help, we are sure of making a difference here,” Mr. Aziz said. During his visit to Hyderabad recently, Mr. Aziz had taken up the matter with the TDP leadership.

    The possibility of taking wider support from various stake holders rather than simply relying on Janmabhoomi committees for ushering in development under the smart ward concept also came up for discussion then.

    According to Mr. Aziz, Janmabhoomi committees will certainly be there, but they will be more effective if industrialists and NRIs are roped in and their active support taken for the process.

    Nellore, a vibrant city located close to the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border, has come to be the fifth largest city in the State after Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Guntur and Tirupati.

    According to the 2011 Census, the population of the city was 5 lakh. With the merger of surrounding village panchayats, it crossed 6 lakh.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Andhra Pradesh / by G. Ravikiran / Nellore – January 26th, 2015

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    Krishna District Revenue Officer A. Prabhavathi hoisting the national flag at Machilipatnam on Monday.— photo: by arrangement

    Krishna District Revenue Officer A. Prabhavathi hoisting the national flag at Machilipatnam on Monday.— photo: by arrangement

    Krishna District Revenue Officer A. Prabhavathi became the first woman officer from the State services to hoist the national flag since Independence in the history of Krishna district. Ms. Prabhavathi got the rare opportunity to hoist the tri-colour national flag at the 66th Republic Day celebrations in the absence of Krishna district Magistrate and Collector Babu.A, who accompanied Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan in Vijayawada.

    “I cherish the memory of participating in the 66th Republic Day celebrations. This is the proudest moment in my twenty-years of service in the State revenue department,” Ms. Prabhavathi told The Hindu . “Each aspect of the celebrations including receiving guard of honour by police and delivering Republic Day speech are memorable,” she added.

    Addressing the gathering at the Police Parade Grounds here, Ms. Prabhavathi announced that everything was in place for construction of bio-toilets as a pilot project in Krishna district, using the bio-digester concept of the Defence Research and Development Organisation. On K.L. Rao Sagar project at Pulichintala on Krishna river, she assured of releasing irrigation water by June in order to meet irrigation needs in the kharif season. She also promised to place stringent measures to curb infant mortality rate and school drop-out rate in Krishna district. Accompanied by senior police personnel, she interacted with women and differently challenged persons on their issues and livelihood options. Above 450 persons belonging to government departments, NGOs and others fields were presented with ‘Best Performance’ awards, following cultural performances by the students.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> National> Andhra Pradesh / by T. Appala Naidu / Machilipatnam – January 27th, 2015

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    STILL AS STONE: Akshintha La Se Shu Babu has already entered the Limca Book of Records

    STILL AS STONE: Akshintha La Se Shu Babu has already entered the Limca Book of Records

    Madurai :

    On Monday, people attending the Republic Day celebrations at NMSS Vellaichamy Nadar College were surprised to find what was, at first glance, a brand new statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Till Sunday evening, no such statue had been spotted on the premises, and many believed that an Aluminium structure had been mounted for the special occasion.

    In fact, the Gandhi ‘statue’ was Akshinthala Seshu Babu, a 44-year-old man from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, who is attempting to set a new record by standing still for at least 36 hours at a stretch. Dressing in Bapu’s attire, Seshu Babu began his stillness feat at 10.30 am on Monday here, and is aiming to continue in the pose till 10.30 pm on Tuesday.

    Sesha Babu, who began standing still in public in 1993, when he stood motionless for four hours at a function in Vijayawada, has already entered the Limca Book of Records and has won several competitions. With the latest stunt, he is hoping to break his own record of 35 hours which again, he performed dressed as the Mahatma.

    According to Sesha Babu, standing still is not as easy task. It requires painful preparation, and being a regular yoga practitioner has helped him a lot, he said. Moreover, he tried to keep his physique fit by running and cycling, he said.

    He had been fascinated by Gandhi since childhood, Babu added, and the objective of his performance was to demonstrate the principles of Gandhi to the nation’s youth, which he hoped might influence them to fight the evils in the society in a non-violent way.

    “Most people know about Gandhi but remain ignorant of the principles he stood for. Since there is a lot of violence in the world today, I want to create this record and spread the message of living in harmony,” he said.

    Besides, the performance would also demonstrate the importance of leading a healthy life, he said, without which such a feat would be impossible to achieve.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Madurai / TNN / January 27th, 2015

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    January 24th, 2015adminBusiness & Economy, World Opinion

    Hyderabad :

    Besides promising to open more retail outlets in Andhra Pradesh, retail major Walmart International, as per the state government’s claim, has come forward to promote and purchase ‘Made in Andhra’ products. It also expressed its willingness to give the local products ‘Made in AP’ tag.

    Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, during his second day participation in the annual summit of the World Economic Forum, held at Davos on Wednesday, met several CEOs of the top-notch business houses and tried to persuade them to invest in the truncated state.

    When Naidu met David Cheesewright, president and CEO of Walmart International, and discussed areas of collaboration with him, according to the AP government, the retail giant agreed to work with the AP government on five key areas: technology, retail sector, exporting of agricultural products, social projects and lending a helping hand to the DWCRA women.

    In the field of retail, Walmart is planning to open retail stores in AP to promote and purchase ‘Made in Andhra’ products. Apart from this, the retail major will help the AP government in exporting agricultural and horticulture products. The company identified 20 agricultural and horticultural products for this purpose. Organically grown products will be sourced from the farmers and exported to international markets. Some of the products identified for sourcing are cashew, peanuts, rice, coconut, maize, pulses, fruits, marine products, banana, mango, citrus, egg, dairy, coffee, papaya and potato.

    As for social projects, Walmart will promote products manufactured by DWCRA women. At least 100 products will be identified and promoted. The company will also help small farmers sell their agri produce. Cheesewright would visit AP in April.

    Visakhapatnam as Digital City

    Software giant Wipro expressed its willingness to develop Visakhapatnam as digital city on pilot basis. During his meeting at Davos,  Naidu interacted  with Wipro chairman Azim Premji and he the latter agreed to support the state by developing Vizag as a digital city.

    source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Express News Service / January 22nd, 2015

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    January 24th, 2015adminArts, Culture & Entertainment


    Actor and comedian M.S. Narayana, a veteran with over 750 films to his credit, passed away at a corporate hospital here on Friday morning. He was 63. He is survived by daughter Sasikiran and son Vikram.

    Doctors cited multi-organ failure as the cause of death. He was initially diagnosed with malaria at a hospital in Bhimavaram and brought to a corporate hospital here about four days ago. He then complained of chest pain and was put on ventilator for the last two days. When his kidneys did not function properly he was given dialysis too. He was declared dead at 9.40 a.m. on Friday.

    Born in Nidamarru near Bhimavaram in West Godavari District on April 16, 1951, Mylavarapu Surya Narayana dabbled in theatre while working as a lecturer and entered the film industry as a writer before being introduced as an actor.

    Among his latest films is ‘Manam’ (2014) in which three generations of the Akkineni family acted and the last in which thespian, late Akkineni Nageswara Rao acted. Other prominent films include ‘Badshah’ with NTR in 2013, ‘Cameraman Gangatho Rambabu’ with Pawan Kalyan and ‘Julayi’ with Allu Arjun in 2012 and Mahesh Babu’s runaway success ‘Dookudu’ in 2011, in which he appeared as Bokka Venkateswara Rao.

    He won Nandi awards of the AP Government as the best male comedian for the films ‘Maa Nanna ki Pelli,’ ‘Ramsakkanodu,’ ‘Sardukupodam Randi,’ ‘Sivamani’ and ‘Dookudu.’ He made his debut as a director in the film Koduku starring his son Vikram and directed another film ‘Bhajantrilu’.

    Condolences pour in

    Chief Ministers K. Chandrasekhar Rao (Telangana) and N. Chandrababu Naidu (AP) condoled the death of Narayana, saying the film industry has lost a good actor, as did YSR Congress president Y.S. Jagan, apart from actor-MP K. Chiranjeevi, actor Pawan Kalyan and several others.

    There was a steady stream of visitors to the AP Film Chamber of Commerce where the body was kept to enable people to pay their last respects. Comedians, including Vennela Kishore, Srinivas Reddy and others, could not hold back their tears. The late comedian virtually lived the role of an alcoholic in several films that he was asked several times if he really came ‘drunk’ to shootings.

    Comedians Ali and Babu Mohan shared their memories with Narayana on Youtube, while ‘Gabbar Singh’’ director Harish Shankar regretted that he never got to direct a great writer and comedian.” Popular comedian Brahmanandam visited Narayana while he was in hospital on Thursday itself.

    “Narayana was one of the few who could carry off an entire film single-handedly, with the comedy track and be a pillar for its success,” said Mamidi Harikrishna, Director of Culture (Telangana), also an avid film buff and critic.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Suresh Krishnamoorthy / Hyderabad – January 24th, 2015

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    January 21st, 2015adminBusiness & Economy

    Hyderabad , Jan 21:

    A rural business process outsourcing (BPO) centre created by Kakinada SEZ Pvt Ltd (KSEZ ), a GMR Group Company, was inaugurated today at Kotha Mulapeta Village in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

    The centre was conceived and built in collaboration with TATA Business Support Services Ltd (TBSSL), one of the largest domestic BPO services companies in India.

    Kakinada SEZ also announced the commencement of the first phase of development in sectors such as marine food processing and toys, expected to come up in the next 3-6 months, with an employment potential of 1,500-2,000 within a year.

    Priority would be given to persons from project displaced families as well as those families which have given land to the SEZ.

    About 20 local youth, who were trained at Kakinada SEZ, were issued appointment orders.

    Prasanna Challa, President, KSEZ, said, “Kakinada SEZ would provide general and technical infrastructure, including digital connectivity to the rural BPO. Youth from villages in and around Kakinada SEZ would be provided training by the GMR Varalakshmi Foundation, the CSR arm of GMR Group.”

    Srinivas Koppolu, Managing Director of TBSSL, said, “The centre has a capacity of about 200. Operations in the centre are expected to commence in February 2015. We hope that this centre would herald a long and beneficial collaboration between TBSSL and the GMR Group across rural locations in India.”

    source: / Business Line / Home> Companies / by V. Rishi Kumar / Hyderabad – January 21st, 2015

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    The famous ‘chekkudurayi’ building at Akkayyapalem in Visakhapatnam.— PHOTO: K.R. DEEPAK

    The famous ‘chekkudurayi’ building at Akkayyapalem in Visakhapatnam.— PHOTO: K.R. DEEPAK

    One of the famous landmarks of Nandagiri Nagar in Akkayyapalem is ‘chekkudurayi’ building. The first-of-its-kind stone-studded façade was built in 1978 by Boddeti Appa Rao (I), a former railway employee and trade union leader.

    The attractive building has now turned into a group house where 16 families reside.

    With its impressive architecture, the building, located adjacent to the Saibaba temple in the colony, exudes a pristine charm.

    “A lot of hard work had gone into the construction of the structure. From picking up similar stones to interior designing, care was taken in every aspect of the construction,” says B.S. Kanta, daughter of Mr. Appa Rao.

    When cyclone Hudhud had ravaged the city on October 12, the residents of ‘chekkudurayi’ building say that they did not face any inconvenience.

    “Quality construction techniques helped us stay intact in our homes. All we had to do was to shut the doors and windows and stay indoors for the entire day,” say the residents.

    Besides its rustic appeal, what appears to be unique about the building is its maintenance-free feature.

    “The building looks as new as it was three decades ago. It is one big advantage of the stone structure. Apart from feeling absolutely secured during calamities, the stone structure is hassle-free and gets cleaned every time it rains,” adds Ms. Kanta.

    Initially, the ‘chekkudurayi’ building had only one floor, apart from the ground floor. In 2007, another floor was added where a total of 16 families live together.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Visakhapatnam / by Rani Devalla / Visakhapatnam – January 14th, 2014

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