Monday, July 27, 2009

India launches nuclear sub

Launched on July 26, 2009 INS Arihant is India's lead ship of the Arihant class of nuclear-powered Fleet submarines. The 6000-tonne vessel was built under the top-secret ATV (advanced technology vessel) project at the Ship Building Centre in Vishakapatnam at a cost of USD 2.9 billion. The project to indigenously develop a nuclear-powered submarine was conceived during Indira Gandhi's reign as Prime Minister in 1970 but really got going only in the mid-1980s. However, until early 2009 Indian Navy Chiefs officially denied the existence of such a project.
Arihant (Sanskrit for 'destroyer of enemies'; from Ari, Sanskrit for Enemy and Hant, Sanskrit for Hunt or Kill) is the first nuclear-powered submarine to be built by India. The launch of the INS Arihant makes India one of six countries in the world that can design, build and operate its' own nuclear submarines (the others being the United States, Russia, France, UK, and China). The launch of INS Arihant strengthen's India's endeavor to build a credible nuclear triad — the capability to fire nuclear weapons from air, land and sea.
Courtesy: HT

Sania Wins ITF Lexington Challenger Tournament

Printed from

Sania wins ITF Lexington Challenger tourney

TIMESOFINDIA.COM 27 July 2009, 10:31am IST
NEW DELHI: India's ace tennis player Sania Mirza, seeded second, continued her good show as she upset top-seed Frenchwoman Julie Coin 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to clinch the $50,000 ITF Lexington Challenger title. With this win, the 22-year-old rose three places to 80th in the latest WTA singles rankings.

However, she dropped 10 places to 49th in the WTA doubles list. Sania kept her cool in the scintillating final in front of sizeable Indian community as she sealed the first set via tie-breaker after squandering a 5-2 lead and facing 5-all.

Mirza had a great start as she broke Julie Coin in the very first game of the match, and also consolidated the break to take an early 2-0 lead. Coin, however, got herself back in the groove by clinching the third game and then went on to break Mirza's serve to level the proceedings at two games apiece. Both of them held their serve till the eighth game of the opening set when Coin broke Sania to gain 5-3 lead.

Mirza was in no mood to surrender as she fought her way back by holding on to two under-pressure service games to force the opening set into a tie-break. Coin gained a crucial 5-2 lead in the tie-breaker but it was Sania's day as she came back hard to win four points in a row to seal the first set 7-5 in her favour. Top-seed Coin fought hard as she took an early break to go ahead 2-1 in the second set which was as exciting as the first but Sania levelled the scores to break straight back. Sania broke Coin for a 5-3 lead and served for the match, but was broken back by Julie.

However Sania broke the Coin serve in a marathon tenth game to register an impressive win. Interestingly, this was only the second ITF $50,000 event that Sania had participated in, the first being way back in 2003 when she was still making a name for herself on the pro tour.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dr. Abdul Kalam - Where is the Apology from Continental?

They want to look like they are doing something about security, perhaps? Are they really? Do the bad guys still get away with it?

And, excuse me, but this illustrious individual of Indian soil has to deal with who? Not the President of Contintental, who should be on his hands and knees or atleast making an effort to be apologetic, right????? But the public relations officer? Who should lose her job, right? Aparna, how are you feeling this morning? I mean, does this man mean anything to you, personally in terms of greatness? Or do you just sleep your way through life on auto pilot?

This is a person that all schoolkids in India hold with the highest esteem. He is their role model.

I just have to think what, if any, kind of improper treatment similar illustrious people from North American or Europe would face? You just have to wonder and you just have to ask the question.

Kalam yet to receive apology from Continental Airlines
PTI 23 July 2009, 12:01pm IST
KOCHI/NEW DELHI: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam is "yet" to receive the apology from America's Continental Airlines for breaching the protocol norms by frisking him at Delhi's international airport.

"I have not yet received it," said Kalam when asked about the apology sent by the airline.

On Wednesday, Continental Airlines had apologised to Kalam following a political uproar in the country over the frisking of the former President at Delhi's international airport before he was to board a Newark-bound flight on April 21.

Asked whether he had felt insulted when he was subjected to the security check, Kalam, who is in Kochi, declined to comment, saying the issue has been discussed in Parliament.

When contacted, the airline today said it had sent the apology letter to Kalam's Delhi office as directed by his official staff and since the former President was travelling, his staff may not have been able to communicate to him about the letter.

"We are waiting for him to return to Delhi so that we can apologise to the former president in person," Aparna Srivastava, public relations officer of the airline, said. "It is true that such a thing (frisking) has taken place," Kalam told reporters in Kochi.

The former President said, "The issue has been discussed in both Houses of Parliament. It is before Parliament now. How can I comment?" To a question if he was hurt by the incident, he quipped, "I am smiling."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eclipse will help India

B R Srikanth, Hindustan Times
Bangalore, July 21, 2009
First Published: 01:04 IST(21/7/2009)
Last Updated: 01:39 IST(21/7/2009)
Eclipse will help India’s satellite study the sun

The celestial event of the century on Wednesday will be special for Indian astronomers as it will spur the making of a new satellite that will help study the sun and try to figure out its impact on Earth’s weather.

The satellite Aditya (meaning sun in Sanskrit) will take shape on the basis of scientific data gathered during the solar eclipse on July 22. The studies will focus on the sun’s corona — the turbulent and blazing outer shell — which impacts weather on Earth. It will also help understand the impact of solar flares on the atmosphere.

Aditya, with an expected lifespan of 10 years, will be hurled into space in 2012, and placed in an orbit about 400 km from the Earth.

Aditya is billed as the most advanced satellite after SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory), put into space in 1995 by the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency.

It will be designed and rolled out jointly by scientists of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bangalore.

“We will attempt to build a holistic picture of the sun-earth system and the inter-planetary medium (through the studies),” Prof Siraj Hasan, director, IIA, told the Hindustan Times on Monday.

From 2012-18, Aditya will be the only and most sophisticated spacecraft studying the sun. Another NASA satellite will follow suit in 2018.
© Copyright 2009 Hindustan Times

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sanskrit Newspaper Turns 40

Sanskrit newspaper turns 40
Express News Service
First Published : 20 Jul 2009 07:55:10 AM IST
Last Updated : 20 Jul 2009 09:50:13 AM IST
MYSORE: Sudharma, the world's only Sanskrit daily, published from Mysore celebrated its 40th year on Sunday.
A special anniversary issue was brought out to mark the occasion.
The newspaper's readership comprises mainly of Sanskrit scholars and students.

Sudharma has a daily circulation of about 2,000 copies and is mostly circulated through post. The paper, which strives to revive Sanskrit as a spoken language, has subscribers in countries like Japan and USA. "According to popular perception, Sanskrit, like Latin, is not spoken outside academia," said Ramchandra, a resident of Mysore," This is not true." The newspaper was launched by Kalale Nadadur Varadaraja Iyengar, a Sankrit scholar, in 1970. The purpose of the paper was to revive the Sanskrit language.

On its launch, many believed that the endeavour would fail. However, it did not. KV, Sampath Kumar, son of Varadaraja Iyengar, is the current editor of the paper.
Former chief justice of India MN Venkatachaliah, released the special edition.

In his address, Venkatachallaiah called for increased efforts to revive the language and aid its growth on par with the progress of science and technology. He said that the promotion
of Sanskri would help protect Indian culture and tradition.

"Science and technology is constantly evolving. The Indian culture and tradition is under threat by the growth of Information technology and biotechnology.

There is an urgent need to protect our culture and tradition for posterity and learning the Sankrit language would help," he said.

Shahid Kapoor Gets Rajiv Gandhi Award

Rajiv Gandhi award to Shahid Kapoor
By Team(20 July 2009 3:25 pm)

MUMBAI: The 12th Rajiv Gandhi Awards in the Best Actor category will be presented to Shahid Kapoor. Said Kapoor, "I could't believe my ears when I got the news about me being chosen for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi award. I think it's early in my career of getting this prestigious award. I am indeed humbled and honoured to have been chosen for the award."

The earlier recipients for this award have been Sunita Williams, Sachin Tendulkar, Mukesh Ambani and Amitabh Bachchan among others. The award function will be held in the second week of August.

Mary Kom gets Khel Ratna Award

Printed from
Mary Kom set to get Khel Ratna awardPTI 20 July 2009, 08:30pm IST

NEW DELHI: Four-time world champion woman boxer MC Mary Kom is all set to get the country's highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, after getting the award selection committee's unanimous vote. "The committee has unanimously voted for Mary Kom and the recommendation has been sent to the Sports Ministry which will ratify it soon," a top official said.

The official said the name of Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Vijender Singh was also discussed but the committee ultimately decided on Mary Kom. "Vijender and wrestling's Olympic bronze medallist Sushil Kumar did come up for discussion but Mary Kom got the vote ultimately," the official revealed.

The 25-year-old mother of two from Manipur has won medals at all the five world championships held so far, including an unprecedented fourth successive gold in the event's last edition in China last year.

Apart from Mary Kom, another woman Indian boxer from Manipur L Sarita Devi (52kg), who was a silver medallist at last year's World Championships has been picked for the Arjuna award for 2008, the official revealed. "Besides, assistant national boxing coach Jaidev Bisht, who accompanied the team to Beijing Olympics has been selected for the Dronacharya award," he said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) is learnt to have recommended the names of opener Gautam Gambhir and women's team captain Jhulan Goswmai for the Arjuna Award. Among the other sportspersons recommended for the Arjuna awards were Indian football team's defenders Mahesh Gawli and Deepak Mondal and midfielder Climax Lawrence.

Former women's Asian chess champion Tanya Sachdev and the prodigal Parimarjan Negi's names were also sent for the award. Double trap shooter Ranjan Sodhi, who missed the Olympic qualification despite a world record to his name, was among the three marksmen who were recommended for the Arjuna awards.

In athletics, discus thrower Krishna Poonia and 800m runner Sinimole Paulose were the names sent to the awards committee by their federation. The Khel Ratna, Arjuna awards and Dhyanchand awards committees are headed by former table tennis national champion Indu Puri, while the panel for Dronacharya awards is headed by G S Randhawa.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sanskrit in Texas UTD

Samskrita Bharathi instructor Murali Ram introduced students to Samskrita with a curriculum of basic phrases and conversation July 4 in the Engineering and Computer Science building.

Students say 'namaste' to Samskrita
Day-long class delves into ancient Indian language

By: Alex Ransom

Posted: 7/13/09

On July 4, some students said "namaste" for the first time in Sanskrita, the ancient classical language of India with UTD's new club Vivekananda Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtues and Action (YUVA.)

Sanskrit is the root of Hindi as Latin is the root of English, said Murali Ram, Sanskrit instructor from Samskrita Bharathi.

He taught the day-long, three-session conversation-oriented class on the language, also known as Sanskrit or Samskrit, which means perfected or polished.

Vivekananda Hindu YUVA plans to become an official UTD organization in the fall. Ramnath Kini, electrical engineering teaching assistant and group coordinator, created the organization with about seven other members to serve as an intellectual forum aimed at character building.The club has no hierarchy and everyone is considered a volunteer, Kini said. The name is derived from the influential Indian thinker, Swami Vivekananda, who helped popularize eastern thought in the western world, Kini said.

The language adheres to strict structural rules and is very systematic, which makes it useful for computer applications, Kini said. Rick Briggs, NASA researcher, wrote "Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence," which proposed that Sanskrit lends itself well as an artificial language that aids understanding natural language and issues with machine translation.

Today, few people speak the language. The Indian census states there were less than 50,000 fluent speakers in India in 1991. Kini said Germany has more Sanskrit scholars than some Indian states.The goal was to revive the old language as a spoken one, Ram said. Most of the students who came to learn Sanskrit spoke Hindi, which served as a helpful basis."It's hard for me as well (to learn)," said Hemal Thacker, business administration graduate student. "I can hear it and understand, but I don't know what to say back."

One of the starting phrases was "Mama nama" translates to "my name is" in English. By the end of the first session, participants were able to have basic conversation, introducing themselves, asking for the time and pointing things out.Laughter was encouraged at the interactive day camp as the class went through the fundamentals of the language. At one point, a student told another in Sanskrit that he was a book.Ram told the fable of "The Wise Crow" three times during each camp session to show how participants' comprehension increased, he said. In the final session, the class held skit presentations with several teams to illustrate the story of a clever, thirsty crow that dropped stones in a pot to raise the water level to take a drink.

Sanskrit is the original language of India's religious texts such as the Vedas, Sutra and Epics. The class did not focus on the "Shakespeare" level of Sanskrit present in those works, Ram said."(It's for) passion as a language, not the spiritual," Ram said. "We're seeing more demand for these classes."Students walked away with the tools to be able to learn the language themselves and enjoyed themselves doing it, Ram said.

Email Kini at for more information about Vivekananda Hindu YUVA or information about Sanskrit.
© Copyright 2009 The UTD Mercury

Friday, July 10, 2009

Are you Feeling Lost when Reading the Bhagavad Gita?

Look no further. Your troubles are at an end. The next time someone complains to you that they have trouble understanding the scriptures of Hindu philosophy (upanishads, chants, bhagavad gita), you can proudly say that you understand Sanskrit. Why? Because you attended Jahnavi 2009, a fun filled Sanskrit camp where you will feel the enjoyment of Sanskrit and no memorization of verbs and nouns (that's the best part).

Come feel the magic of Sanskrit in 3 days and become the expert you wanted to be.