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Library on wheels for slum children 28-Feb-2017
It is equipped with 4G internet facility to introduce digital tech to them Nine-year-old K. Sai, resident of Peda Jalaripeta, is a school dropout. Apart from helping his father in the fishing harbour, he dedicates three hours in a week to reading books in a colourful van. The van that arrives in his locality every week is the most awaited sight for Sai and many other children living in the fishing colony of Peda Jalaripeta. For, it is this bus that opens up a world of fantasy, scientific inventions and many magical historical chapters before them. Thanks to an initiative by WNS Cares Foundation (WCF), mobile library carrying more than 1,000 books, has been reaching out to children in slums in the city with an aim to bring about a transformation in the lives of the children from the underprivileged sections. This novel initiative was first started in Mumbai in 2014 and later expanded to cities such as Chennai, Pune, Visakhapatnam and Nasik. With a total fleet of eight vans across the cities, the mobile library has so far reached out to over 8000 children in underserved areas. In Visakhapatnam, the initiative that was launched four months ago has already covered areas like Madhurawada Kalanagar, Pedda Jalaripeta Ferry Road, Markavalasa, Port Area Jalirepeta, Madhurwada Wamway Colony and Jodigudapalem. A teacher travels with each mobile library to teach the basic academic concepts to children. WCF refurbishes old vans and converts them into ‘libraries on wheels’. In Vis...
 
Work on Bhogapuram airport to begin 28-Feb-2017
Centre keen on developing greenfield airports, says Ashok Gajapathi Raju. Union Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Monday announced that work on the Bhogapuram International Airport near here would be launched soon. Land acquisition was almost complete, he said. Work on the international airport, about 50 km from Visakhapatnam, would be taken up in a fast-track mode. Stating that the Centre was keen on improving regional connectivity by developing greenfield airports and augmenting facilities at the existing airports, he told the annual general meeting of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Visakhapatnam zone that the new airport at Bhogapuram would provide hassle-free connectivity to international passengers to and from Visakhapatnam. He said Vijayawada had witnessed an increase in air passengers by 71% followed by Visakhapatnam (65%). The Centre was spending Rs. 1,500 crore on runway expansion at Vijayawada, Tirupati and Rajamahendravaram. Asked whether the Visakhapatnam International Airport, which is under the control of Indian Navy, would be closed to passenger traffic once the Bhogapuram airport became operational, he told reporters later that it might happen in future. Mr. Raju said even after 70 years of Independence, the country had only 400 airports, of which 125 were under the Airport Authority of India. Of them, just 70 were active commercially. Rise in passenger traffic The Minister observed that though there was a ph...
 
Global studies on India’sairquality 28-Feb-2017
Bodies such as WHO used ‘arbitrary’ conversion factors to measure pollutants. The Central Pollution Control Board — an Environment Ministry organisation that sets guidelines for monitoring and controlling pollution — says international studies linking air quality in India to disease and death are flawed because “…the ethologic, personnel immunity (sic) and demography of India are incomparable with international practices.” Bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) used “arbitrary conversion factors [to measure the prevalence of different pollutants]” to rank cities for air quality, the CPCB alleged in an internal newsletter published in November 2016 but not made public. The publication, called Matter-Fine Particulate: An Environmental Challenge, is a guide to understanding the genesis, prevalence, sources and health effect of extremely small particles of dust that can result from a wide range of causes including road dust, domestic cooking and fossil fuel burning. The size of these particles determines the ease with which they can be lodged within the body. Those smaller than 2.5 micron (PM2.5) are generally implicated for respiratory and cardiovascular ailments. Reacting, last week, to reports that air pollution killed 1.1 million Indians in 2015, Environment Minister Anil Dave told a press conference, “We seem to be far more influenced by things out of India. We have several of our own organisations and experts…and I trust them as much as...
 
East Coast Railway does it again 28-Feb-2017
No halt for Antyodaya Express at Visakhapatnam The bypassing of the major A-1 grade station Visakhapatnam Junction by the 22877/22878 Ernakulam-Howrah Antyodaya Express (weekly) is drawing flak on Twitter. The train began its maiden run from Ernakulam on Monday. Duvvada Railway Users Association secretary K. Eswar had sent a representation to MP K. Haribabu and the latter forwarded the same to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu seeking consideration of a stoppage for Antyodaya Express at Visakhapatnam, before its launch by the Railways. Mr. Eswar says the stoppages are given by the Railways on the recommendations of the zonal authorities and East Coast Railway (ECoR) had conveniently ignored Visakhapatnam. Mr. Haribabu had also written to the Railway Minister in the past that a major station could not be skipped by a passing train just to reduce the running time. “A couple of weeks ago, I had to travel from Renigunta to Visakhapatnam by the Howrah-Mysuru superfast weekly express as I could not get accommodation in Tirumala or the special train, though I had tried for berths 15 days in advance,” says a passenger from Vizag, who travelled by that train. “Though I got a ‘waitlisted’ ticket, I was told that I would get accommodation and finally on the day of journey my berth was confirmed. But the problem is this train arrives around 10 a.m. at Renigunta and reaches Vizag around midnight”. “The whole day and night is wasted in this train as it is being unduly delay...
 
Call for revamping education system 28-Feb-2017
The education system in the country needs to be revamped at all levels for optimum use of the available human resources, as India is a young nation with an ancient civilisation, former Union HRD Minister M.M Pallamraju has said. He was delivering a lecture on the challenges and opportunities in the HR sector at a programme organised by the Centre for Policy Studies here on Monday. Centre for Policy Studies president A. Prasanna Kumar chaired. Mr Pallamraju expressed regret that before he could get down to his job as the Union HRD Minister, he was caught up in the political storm surrounding the bifurcation of the State. “However, I have studied the subject in depth and my ideas have become clearer during the past two years or more, when I am out of power,” he said. Daunting task He said it was a daunting task to manage the education system in the country, given its size and diversity, but not an impossible one. “Resource mobilisation is a huge challenge. Even if you get the resources, they have to be used judiciously,” he said. Earlier, he was felicitated by Andhra University Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao.
 
Casting a spell on the audience 24-Feb-2017
Women magicians steal the show at the event organised to mark World Magicians’ Day Magicians from across India gave some ‘magical moments’ to the jam-packed audience at Kalabharathi on Thursday evening. The organisers put up a ‘houseful’ board before the start of the show and many visitors, with invitations, were stopped at the gates as there was no space in the auditorium. The event was organised by the Indian Magic Academy, founded by magician B.S. Reddy, to mark the second anniversary of the academy and also the World Magicians Day.A total of eight woman magicians from all over India performed to the delight of the gathering, particularly children. Producing flowers and umbrellas out of thin air, converting playing cards into a hat, pouring coloured liquids into a vessel and pouring the liquid back into bottles with their original colours were some of the acts by ‘Divas of Magic’ (female magicians). Magicians Bhasha and Amarnadh enthralled the guests with their acts like tearing a newspaper into pieces and rejoining it in a split second and showing simple tricks that could be performed by enthusiasts with a little bit of practice. Their performances were used as a stopgap arrangement in between the items presented by the ‘Divas of Magic’. Guinness Record holder B.S. Reddy seemed to have literally cast a spell on the audience with his magic wand. The public moved to the edge of their seats and watched him in awe as he performed the ‘vanishing act’. A big glas...
 
Water supply plan ready for summer 23-Feb-2017
GVMC to arrange water through tankers. With repairs carried out to the Yeleru Canal closing it for a month from March 1, the carrying capacity will increase to about 350 cusecs. A supply of 45 MGD is being made to the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant to ensure that it had storage for about 50 to 55 days and it will be continued till February 28, Collector Praveen Kumar has said. Though the Visakhapatnam Industrial Water Supply Company (VIWSCO) had been planning to close the canal for two years, it could not be done. Owing to leakages, silting, pilferage and evaporation etc the realisation after release from the Yeleru reservoir was only up to 55%, he told after a review of the plans for summer with Municipal Commissioner and VISCOW CMD M. Hari Narayanan and VSP Director (Operations) D.N. Rao on Wednesday. After the opening of the canal pumping from Yeleru reservoir would be taken up by VISCOW as the levels in the reservoir were presently 72 m. While 200 cusecs would be pumped from Yeleru reservoir and 150 cusecs would be taken from the lift scheme at Kateru near Rajahmundry on the Godavari to ensure industrial and domestic supply, Mr. Praveen Kumar, who is the Special Officer of GVMC, told reporters. Besides, GVMC has drawn up a plan costing ₹3.75 crore to supply water by tankers, take up repairs to bore-wells and sink new ones. Against total requirement of 67 MGD, the present supply is 45 MGD.
 
3-k run conducted to promote FIFA 23-Feb-2017
3-k run conducted to promote FIFA U-17 World Cup: A large number of students participate in the event In a bid to encourage children to play football and as promotion for the FIFA U-17 World Cup being held in India, a 3-k run and a seminar was conducted in the city on Wednesday as part of the Mission XI Million, the biggest school sports outreach programme of the Union Sports Ministry. As many as 900 footballs were distributed to the registered schools with two each for a school. The Andhra Pradesh Football Association and the District Football Association jointly conducted the events, sparking interest in the participants for football. The starting point for 3-k run was Kali Matha temple, which drew a good number of students from various schools. The organisers also distributed T-shirts, certificates to the participants. Later, a workshop was conducted at Ambedkar Hall in Andhra University by the head of MXIM Joy Bhattacharya. A demonstration session was also held at AU where Vice-Chancellor G Nageswara Rao attended as chief guest. Collector Praveen Kumar, AP Football Association president Kosaraju Gopala Krishna, and L.V Subramanyam, special chief secretary Youth Affair and Sports, participated in the event.
 
A rare tale of rescue and survival 23-Feb-2017
A rare tale of rescue and survival of a sacred baboon. Soft toy playing the part of the infant baboon’s mother The 15-day-old sacred baboon looks expectantly at a soft toy of a teddy bear double its size. A few seconds later, it tugs itself into the arms of the teddy bear and closes its eyes. From the past 10 days, the soft toy has been playing the part of this rare infant baboon’s mother in the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. The zoo officials are not complaining. For, it is this make-belief world the little one has created which is helping it to survive after the mother turned hostile five days after its birth. The birth of the sacred baboon on February 9 had brought in good cheer among the zoo staff because of the rare occurrence. However, five days later it was rescued from the enclosure when its mother was found holding it with the tail and banging it against the wall. “The first five days, the mother was taking utmost care of the little one. But what happened in one night we do not know. The next day, the animal keeper found the mother turning hostile and trying to kill it and alerted the zoo officials,” said K.K. Pavane, junior doctor at the zoo.
 
Fire at shopping complex 23-Feb-2017
None injured in the accident A fire broke out at a shopping complex opposite Jagadamaba theatre in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday. The fire damaged several clothing stores and other shops and hotels in the complex, including the famous Khadi Bhandar. But fortunately nobody was injured in the accident. Upon receiving the news, four fire engines were rushed to the spot and fire personnel were seen trying to douse the flames, till late in the evening. The neighbourhood shopping complexes and houses, including a hotel, were filled with smoke. Being one of the busiest areas in the city, the accident brought the traffic to a standstill. As per fire officials, a short-circuit in a watch showroom in the shopping complex was said to be the main reason for the fire. After the shop caught fire, other shop owners and the attendants of the shops came out of the building. Police have started an investigation into the reasons of the fire accident.
 
 
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