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    December 18th, 2017adminUncategorized
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    December 17th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All
    Treasure trove: Pitchuka Varun Kumar at the Kalamkari Museum at Pedana in Krishna district. | Photo Credit: T_APPALANAIDU

    Treasure trove: Pitchuka Varun Kumar at the Kalamkari Museum at Pedana in Krishna district. | Photo Credit: T_APPALANAIDU

    Varun Kumar of A.P. showcases the rich but dying art form in all its splendour

    In the early 20th Century, the houses of Kalamkari craftsmen in Masulipatam lay silent with piles of unused wooden blocks covered in dust and cobwebs, as observed by Nelly Sethna, a scholar and authority on Kalamkari.

    A century later, craftsmen’s houses look much the same, leaving the Indian textile art to die a slow death, owing to flourishing screen printing with chemical dyes which have replaced wooden blocks and natural dyes.

    Finding no way to rescue the art form, 24-year-old Pitchuka Varun Kumar, grandson of Pitchuka Veera Subbaiah, has established a museum for Kalamkari art.

    Mr. Subbaiah was one of the founders of Machilipatnam Kalamkari in Pedana (1970s) but it is now struggling for survival. Ironically, the art had gone into oblivion in Machilipatnam, from where it originated. In 2013, Machilipatnam Kalamkari got the Geographical Indication Registry tag.

    The museum is a treasure trove of Kalamkari art. It has a collection of old wooden blocks with Persian, Dutch (Chintz), Mughal, traditional Indian and Buddhist motifs, fabrics, rare photographs and details of the process of natural dyeing, wooden block making, printing and washing in river Krishna. Tree of Life, a wall-hanger created with 212 wooden blocks by his team of artists, is also displayed at the museum.

    “Hailing from a Kalamkari art family, I want our museum to offer a glimpse of the true art form and procedures involved in it to visitors and textile art lovers,” Mr. Kumar told The Hindu.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by T. Appala Naidu / Pedana – December 13th, 2017

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    December 16th, 2017adminUncategorized
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    December 16th, 2017adminUncategorized
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    Rare collection: A file photo of a staff member showing the palm leaf manuscripts in the library. | Photo Credit: C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

    Rare collection: A file photo of a staff member showing the palm leaf manuscripts in the library. | Photo Credit: C.V.SUBRAHMANYAM

    Digitalisation drive launched at iconic Gowthami library

    As part of protecting and safeguarding old books and manuscripts, the digitalisation of Sri Gowthami Regional Library has just taken off. Foundation was laid for new buildings for renovation and restoration was also done recently.

    At present the library has 1.03 lakh books — 71,130 Telugu, 21,974 English, 7,967 Hindi, 372 Urdu , 667 others, 411 palm leaf manuscripts, six copper plates, and 40 unpublished manuscripts.

    Of the 40,000 books that have been partially or completely damaged, digitalisation of 30,000 is being taken up with the support of a team of computer operators monitored by the project in charge Aripirala Narayana Rao, former reader in Sri YN College, Narsapur.

    Prof. Narayana Rao said that about 30 lakh pages have to be digitalised. Five computers and two high-end scanners brought from Bengaluru each are being used for the purpose.

    Akula’s initiative

    The project was initiated by city MLA Dr. Akula Satyanarayana and the total cost of the project is ₹10 lakh for the first year. “It will take at least two years to accomplish the task,” said Prof. Narayana Rao. The State Bank of India has sponsored computers, printer and air- conditioners worth ₹4.5 lakh. The books that are being digitalised include Sanskrit Bible, the first published copy of the Britannica Encyclopedia, silver-coated stylus for writing on palm leaves, copper plates and palm leaf manuscripts, and 15,000 rare books.

    “Viveka Vardhini magazines which were edited by Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu, Hitha Suchini published in the year 1845 and popular Swami Seva penned by Muddu Narasimha Naidu in 1862 are also being digitalised,” Prof. Narayana Rao said. The Manasu Foundation of Bangalore has acceded to their request to digitalise some valuable books.

    Gowthami library is the biggest one in the region after the Thanjavur library in Tamil Nadu. It was set up by Nalam Krishna Rao in 1898 and christened Sri Veeresalingam Panthulu Library. Addanki Satyanarayana Sarma, a noted scholar, started another one — Vasuraya Library.

    Following the advice of the elite in the city, the two libraries were merged and named as Gowthami Grandhalayam and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1920. Vavilala Gopalakrishnaiah and AB Nageswara Rao were instrumental in getting regional status to the library. In 1979, the government took over the library.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by B.V.S. Bhaskar /  Rajamahendravarman – December 09th, 2017

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    December 13th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All

    Rotary Club of Vijayawadawill confer the lifetime achievement award on K. Viswanath, film director and recipient of Dada Saheb Phalke award, at Sriram Function Hall on December 17, according to M.C. Das, chairman, lifetime achievement award committee.

    He said the lifetime achievement was given to people who made a mark for themselves and act as trendsetters in society.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Andhra Pradesh / by Special Correspondent / Vijayawada – December 13th, 2017

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    December 12th, 2017adminRecords, All, Sports

    Satyanarayana representing Krishna district bagged the gold medal in the 55-year-old category for the 110-metre hurdles.

    With his outstanding performance, AP Masters Athletics Association has been selected Mendu Satyanarayana for National Championship. (Photo: DC)

    With his outstanding performance, AP Masters Athletics Association has been selected Mendu Satyanarayana for National Championship. (Photo: DC)

    Vijayawada:

    Mendu Satyanarayana, physical director (PD) of Zilla Parishad High School (ZPHS) at Nunna near Vijayawada, recently won two medals at the Andhra Pradesh Masters Athletics Championship held at Bapatla in Guntur district. Satyanarayana representing Krishna district bagged the gold medal in the 55-year-old category for the 110-metre hurdles.

    He also won a silver medal in 400-metre hurdles. With his outstanding performance, AP Masters Athletics Association has been selected Mendu Satyanarayana for National Championship. In connection to this, Nunna ZPHS head master V. Bhoopal Reddy and other teachers felicitated Satyanarayana for winning the medals and bringing accolades to the school.

    source: http://www.deccanchronicle.com / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Nation> Current Affairs / Deccan Chronicle / December 12th, 2017

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    December 12th, 2017adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Records, All
    Bhagavatula Seetharama Sharma

    Bhagavatula Seetharama Sharma

    He had mastered all the three aspects of sangeetham

    Noted singer and nattuvangam exponent Bhagavatula Seetharama Sharma died on Sunday. He was 81, and is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

    The artiste was tuning his shruthi in preparation for an arangetram in Bengaluru, when he was said to have suffered a heart attack.

    “He suffered a heart attack and died on his way to hospital. His body would be brought to Chennai and the cremation would be held on Tuesday,” said Deepa Ganesh, one of his disciples.

    Born in Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh, Seetharama Sharma developed a profound knowledge in all the three aspects of sangeetham — geetamvadyamand nrityam. Noted carnatic vocalist T.M. Krishna is among his disciples.

    He served in Kalakshetra, dedicated himself to the institution and became an integral part of the majority of Rukmini Devi’s Naatya productions.

    His first public recognition came from the Dhananjayans Bharatakalanjali, Chennai, way back in the 1970s, and he was awarded the title ‘Sangeetagna’.

    Last year, Bharat Kalachar honoured him with a special commemorative and lifetime achievement award. He was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for ‘Naatya’.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Tamil Nadu / by Special Correspondent / Chennai – December 11th, 2017

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    Lalita Vaswani, vice-president of World Birdstrike Association (South Asia), and Raman Emani, Director of BirdGard India Pvt Limited, briefing the media in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

    Lalita Vaswani, vice-president of World Birdstrike Association (South Asia), and Raman Emani, Director of BirdGard India Pvt Limited, briefing the media in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

    The first regional South Asian conference of the World Birdstrike Association (WBA) will be held in Visakhapatnam from Dec 11 to 13.

    The conference, supported by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, will deliberate on the problem of birds and wild animals posing a threat to aircrafts, particularly during landing and take-off of flights, Lalita Vaswani, Vice President of WBA-South Asia and WBA Member Raman Emani told the media here on Wednesday.

    They underlined the importance of creating awareness on the issue of bird strike among all stakeholders including farmers, town planners, organisations for the protection of nature and environment, apart from civil aviation authorities, military, aircraft and aerodrome operators at the regional, national and global levels.

    The stakeholders or their representatives from various countries would participate in the conference and deliberate on the issue and the measures being taken in their respective countries to tackle the problem. The meeting would provide a platform for exchange of ideas and practices being adopted at various airports across the globe to eliminate or minimise the risks.

    Ms. Lalita said that the deliberations made at the conference would be sent to the authorities concerned for implementation. The WBA conference in Mexico in 2014 had decided to strengthen regional cooperation with all stakeholders within a global framework in close cooperation with the national authorities. The Bird Strike Committees of Australia, Central and South America, Europe and North America were already cooperating on a regional level.

    Replying to queries, Mr. Raman said that the measures to reduce bird hits include: passive measures like prevention of dumping of wastes in the proximity of airports, not to allow tress close to the airport as they attract birds and keeping the grass low. The active measures include: bird repellents and lasers.

    “The water bodies, marshes and trees, close to the airport, provide the perfect setting for birds and other animal species to feed and rest,” he said.

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    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Visakhapatnam / December 07th, 2017

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    December 10th, 2017adminAmazing Feats, Records, All, World Opinion
    A file photo of INS Sindhukirti, seventh Sindhughosh-class submarine of Indian Navy, being towed in the channel for undertaking sea trials in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: arranged

    A file photo of INS Sindhukirti, seventh Sindhughosh-class submarine of Indian Navy, being towed in the channel for undertaking sea trials in Visakhapatnam. | Photo Credit: arranged

    On December 8, 1967, when Commander K.S. Subramanian read out the commissioning warrant in freezing -15 degree Celsius at Vladivostok, submarine base in Russia then USSR, little did he know that he was heralding a force that would one day be a nuclear force and will complete the nuclear triad for the country. Cdr Subramanian commanded the first submarine of the Indian Navy INS Kalvari.

    The submarine arm or the silent arm of the Indian Navy is celebrating its golden jubilee this year, and in the last five decades it has grown from a couple of Foxtrot class submarines to possess the Arihant class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) to the state-of-the-art Scorpene-class submarines.

    The proposal to form a submarine arm was first envisaged in 1959 and a draft plan to acquire four submarines from UK at a cost of ₹16 crore with a recurring annual cost of ₹ 2 crore was moved. But it did not materialise, and it was again moved in 1962 and the government approved the proposal. A nine- member team led by Captain B.K. Dang was sent to UK to undergo training at HMS Dolphin. But the purchase proposal did not again materialise, as India wanted to buy the Porpoise or Oberon class and the British government offered the old ‘T’ class.

    It was only in 1964 that the Soviet government agreed for transfer by purchase for four ‘F’ class or Foxtrot-class submarines.

    About 16 officers and over 100 sailors received training at Vladivostok and a beginning was made when Cdr. K.S. Subramanian sailed into the Visakhapatnam harbour, braving 16,000 km of rough sea from Riga to Visakhapatnam, on June 6, 1968.

    The submarine arm of the Indian Navy came into operation at Visakhapatnam with the then Chief of Naval Staff Admiral A.K. Chatterjee laying the foundation stone for the submarine base.

    The silent arm grew with the induction of four more Foxtrot-class submarines such as INS Khanderi, Karanj and Kursura. All the four constituted the 8th Submarine Squadron and have played a key role during the 1970-71 Indo-Pak war. Today, all have been decommissioned and INS Kursura is transformed into a submarine museum and stands on Visakhapatnam beach.

    The first full-fledged submarine base had come into existence in the shape of INS Virbahu on May 19, 1971 at Visakhapatnam.

    The force grew with the acquisition of four more Foxtrot-class submarines from the then Soviet Union. INS Vela, Vagir, Vagli and Vaghsheer formed the formidable 9th Squadron with the base at Bombay now Mumbai.

    From the Foxtrot class, the navy graduated to procure and produce the German-based HDW 1500 class or also called as the SSKs attack submarines, in mid 1980s. Referred to as the Shishumar class, four of them Shishumar, Shankush, Shalki and Shankul formed the 10th Squadron of the arm, based in Mumbai.

    Keeping the tempo up, India negotiated with Russia to procure the Kilo-class or the Sindhughosh-class attack submarines. Equipped with the 3M-54 Klub (SS-N-27) anti-ship cruise missiles with a range of 220 km, for the first time India was on the offensive side of submarine warfare.

    While Sindhughosh, Sindhudhvaj, Sindhuraj, Sindhuvir , Sindhuratna and Sindhurakshak (exploded and sank in Mumbai harbour on14 August 2013) were based in Mumbai to form the 12th Squadron. Sindhukesari, Sindhukriti, Sindhuvijay and Sindhurashtra were based in Visakhapatnam to form the 11th Squadron.

    Nuclear era

    The submarine arm entering the nuclear era began with the leasing of INS Chakra an Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) from Russia in 1988 and it was based in Visakhapatnam.

    Sources in the navy said Chakra was taken on lease to train officers and men with the futuristic idea to build its own nuclear fleet. After the lease of INS Chakra expired, a second Akula Class nuclear submarine INS Chakra II was taken on lease from Russia in 2012.

    India built its first nuclear submarine INS Arihant under the Advanced Technology Vessel project at the Ship Building Centre in Visakhapatnam.

    INS Arihant the first of the expected five in the Arihant-class is indigenously built with Akula-class technology.

    Completing a full 50 years cycle, the Scorpène-class submarine is now being built for the Indian Navy at Mazagon Dock in Mumbai with French design, and they are named after the Kalvari class. The subs will be named after the first batch that served the navy such as Kalvari, Khanderi and Karanj.

    President to present colours

    As part of the celebrations, President Ram Nath Kovind will be awarding Presidential Colours to the Submarine Arm of the Indian Navy at a Colour Presentation ceremony to be held in Visakhapatnam on December 8.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Visakhapatnam / by Sumit Bhattacharjee / Visakhapatnam – December 07th, 2017

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