Category Archives: Records, All

City to catch the eye of the world yet again

IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao, Yvonne Chiu, Chairman of WITSA, James (Jim) Poisant, secretary general of WITSA, and R. Chandrashekhar, Nasscom president, addressing the media in the city on Thursday.

WCIT and Nasscom India Leadership Forum to be hosted here

The Telangana government and the National Association of Software and Services Companies are in discussion for establishing a Centre of Excellence on Artificial Intelligence and Data Sciences in the State.

The facility would create awareness on the emerging technologies, help start-ups and map capabilities in the areas as well as prescribe standards in their use. “We are in discussion with the State,” Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar said, adding that the CoE would be in tune with the State government’s focus on AI and data sciences.

Along with Telangana IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao, he was addressing the media on the upcoming World Congress on Information Technology and Nasscom India Leadership Forum-2018.

Nasscom, with which the Karnataka government had set up such a CoE in Bengaluru, proposes to have a few such facilities to aid in absorption of the technologies in different domains such as financial sector, healthcare, agriculture and manufacturing across the country. The CoE would build a repository of capabilities in the field.

“This is like Olympics of IT,” he said describing the WCIT to be held in India for the first time. The leadership forum is also being held in Hyderabad for the first time. The three-day event begins on February 19. Nasscom has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate. Mr. Rama Rao said thought leaders and those from the industry and government would be participating in the event comprising 22 power-packed sessions and 24 different forums. For Hyderabad, the WCIT comes close on the heels of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit that it hosted, in which Mr. Modi and U.S. President’s Advisor Ivanka Trump participated.

“Hyderabad will get visibility across the world once more,” the Minister said. Major announcements could be expected from the State government in the context of its discussions with Nasscom and the focus being on AI, robotics and cyber security, he said.

Discussions on AI, blockchain, experience age, innovation, future of work, sports and technology, policy dialogues, new tech deep dives, CIO sessions and boardroom CEO sessions would form part of the event.

Citizen robot

Among the participants would be Sophia, the first citizen robot. Leading names from the industry scheduled to attend the WCIT are Honeywell Chairman David M. Cote, CEO of Adobe Shantanu Narayen, Coursera founder Andrew Ng and founder and CEO of InMobi Naveen Tiwari. Figuring in the list of speakers are Sadhguru of Isha Foundation and Soumitra Dutta, dean, Cornell SC Johnson School of Business. Over 2,500 delegates are expected at WCIT-NILF-2018, with nearly 500 of them from over 30 countries.

Secretary General of World Information Technology and Services Alliance James H. Poisant said from being a biennial conference, WCIT since 2017 has been converted into an annual event in the backdrop of the rapid changes in the technology space.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – January 12th, 2018

Telugu man in top Army post

Appointment Lt Gen YVK Mohan

Lt. Gen. Yenduru Venkata Krishna Mohan, senior most serving Lieutenant General amongst three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) from both Telugu states, has been appointed him as General Officer Commanding 9 Corps.

Presently, he is serving as the Assistant Chief Integrated Defence Staff (Joint Operations) at HQ Integrated Defence Staff, New Delhi.

Conferred with the Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal, He is an alumnus of Korukonda Sainik School, Andhra Pradesh National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune and was commissioned into 7th Battalion of 11th Gorkha Rifles in 1981 and had served in varied terrains like Siachen Glacier and Indo-China border at Sikkim, a press release said.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – January 10th, 2018

His voice, a capsule of tribal histories

Ramachandraiah is probably the last such singer left in A.P. and Telangana

Sakine Ramachandraiah could easily have been awarded honorary doctorate by any university. An unlettered man from Koonavaram village of Manuguru mandal of Bhadradri Kothagudem district, Ramachandraiah has oral histories of the Koya tribe on the tip of his tongue.

One only has to mention the story to have it cascade effortlessly from his vocal chambers, in Telugu as well as Koya language.

Belonging to the ‘Doli’ sub-division of the Koya tribe, which has been traditionally ordained with the duty of reciting the tribe’s clan histories, Ramachandraiah is probably the last such singer left in the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

“Some times, I cross the State border to perform in Chhattisgarh, where people want the songs in Koya language,” Ramachandraiah says.

He sings at marriages, at funerals, and he always sings at the biennial Medaram Jathara also known as the ‘Sammakka Saralamma Jathara’, which is touted as the world’s largest repeat congregation of tribal communities. The Medaram Jathara is to be held from January 31 to February 3 this year, at Eturunagaram of Jayashankar Bhupalpally district.

Gazette

The Doli community is described as ‘professional beggars’ among Koyas by the Godavari District Gazette of 1896. Though their duties are priest-like and along with ‘Oddis’— the superior priest class — they can be classified as the ‘literate’ in the tribe, their status is still considered ‘inferior’.

Doli men sing oral histories based on the ‘Padige’s or pictorial scrolls inherited by various communities over centuries.

“Earlier, Doli families used to live in a hamlet called ‘Soppala’.

Now, nobody lives there. Few are left who can recite oral histories as accurately as Ramachandraiah,” says Jayadhir Tirumala Rao, academic and researcher of tribal communities.

Prof. Tirumala Rao is spearheading a project to document the oral history of ‘Sammakka-Saralamma’ as told by Ramachandraiah, and he vouches that the story, if fleshed out from the myth it is enmeshed in, could substantially aid historical research.

“Sammakka-Saralamma story is about the war waged against the Kakatiya dynasty by tribal women who challenged king Prataparudra when he had levied tax on them for the tanks he had got constructed in their forests. The Koya tribe had then lived on hunting-gathering, and never cultivated any land.

So, the king sought to send outsiders into the forest for cultivation, which was the last straw on the camel’s back. This story comes out very clearly from the song recited by Ramachandraiah,” Prof. Tirumala Rao says.

Apart from ‘Sammakka-Saralamma’, the balladeer sings the stories of tribal warriors such as Gari Kamaraju, Pagididda Raju, Irama Raju, Gaadi Raju, Bapanamma, Musalamma, Nagulamma, Sadalamma and others. He also knows and recites the stories behind the endogamous tribal sub-divisions and their surnames. “Now, nobody wants to sing the stories. Even my own son refuses to follow the tradition,” Ramachandraiah laments.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Swathi Vadlamudi / January 10th, 2018

First Adivasi SI in Adilabad district

Adilabad SP Vishnu S. Warrier with SI Mesram Chandrabhan (left) in Adilabad on Saturday. | Photo Credit: ByArrangement

He is a survivor of Naxalite ambush

Mesram Chandrabhan, a 53-year-old assistant sub inspector of Police working in Adilabad district, became the first Adivasi Sub Inspector in this district when he was given posting as SI Special Branch. Superintendent of Police Vishnu S. Warrier pinned the stars on his shoulder signifying the elevation to the post.

Chandrabhan belongs to the 1985 batch of constables and is winner of the Mukhya Mantri Shourya pathakam in 1987 for escaping with his life in an ambush by naxalites in the forest of Allampalli in Kadem mandal., now in Nirmal district, in which 10 policemen had died including two SIs.

The Pardhan Adivasi constable, who was injured in the ambush of a 25 strong police combing party in Allampalli on August 18, 1987, had played dead when the extremists came to ascertain if all the injured were dead. The deadly attack on policemen had jolted even the conscience of the then Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao who initiated certain measures for uplift of the Adivasis and also announced the gallantry award.

Chandrabhan was promoted as ASI in 2011 and had undergone training for SI post last year. The posting of the Adivasi officer gets significant in the face of the ongoing Adivasi-Lambada tiff.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Special Correspondent / Adilabad – January 06th, 2018

IICT scientist receives NASI award

CSIR-IICT’s Debendra Kumar Mohapatra, Principal Scientist of Natural Products Chemistry Division, has been received the NASI-Reliance Industrial Platinum Jubilee Award 2017 for Application Oriented Innovations in the area of Physical Sciences from Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao at the 87th Annual Session of NASI held at Pune University, last month.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent Hyderabad / January 06th, 2018

Around the world in 26 years

Bitten by travel bug Indranil Chowdhuri

Hyderabad-based Indranil Chowdhuri combines his passion for travel and sports and has visited 107 countries so far
North Korea: Check

Greenland: Check

Cuba: Check

No, this isn’t a list of all countries difficult to get a visa but a few places among the 107 nations that Indranil Chowdhuri, 56, visited in the past 26 years. While travelling was integral to his job early on, later it became an all-consuming passion.

Sharing details about his journeys, Indranil says, “My first trip abroad was when I went to Myanmar in 1992 for work. Then I travelled a lot as I was into exports. When I casually counted one day, I realised that I went to 40 countries. That was when I wanted to reach the three figure mark and stepped up on visiting newer countries. The critical mass of my visits has been in the last 12 years, and though after I hit a century, I lost the urge for numbers, I still am passionate about exploring new places.”

As an avid sports fan, Indranil combines travel with sporting events, be it Olympics, football world cups or major tennis events so that he can merge both his great loves. What research is a part of a frequent traveller’s routine? Indranil explains, “I start with Lonely Planet guides. I have a lot of them with me and then I read up extensively about the place. I make notes and do my own ticketing and reservations. I don’t engage the services of an agent or a tour company unless there is no option, as they have a pre-planned programme and I don’t like that at all. Travel should include the freedom to do my own thing my way.”

Confessing that travelling excites him as it gives him a chance to explore different countries, cultures and cuisines, Indranil says the challenge is to converse with local people in their language. He explains, “I do basic research and try to speak their language. When they see me try, they always speak English which makes it easy to blend in.

The intrepid traveller also has a thing for souvenirs and points out to rooms filled with trinkets in his apartment. Shot glasses, magnets, swords and daggers (exquisitely carved), busts of famous personalities, tees and baseball caps — there is no shortage of reminders for trips he has undertaken. Indranil says, “I never wanted a big collection, but somehow when you travel you pick up things. I have 3000 plus shot glasses of cities, celebrity houses and football games I’ve been to.”

For someone who has been to Peru and stayed with an Inca family, spent time with a nomadic tribe in a desert in Mongolia and swam in the rivers of Amazon (where he narrowly escaped an alligator), Indranil recounts his most unforgettable experience which nearly got him killed, “I ran into former President of USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, at a cemetery in Russia and raised my hand to greet him. He was surrounded with KGB agents who pounced on me as they thought I was about to shoot. Luckily they realised I was a tourist and since this was before the concept of selfie was introduced, I took a picture of myself with Gorbachev in the background surrounded by his guards.”

On his to-do list is Bahamas which he couldn’t visit so far due to visa issues and a trip to Russia next year during FIFA World cup.

Ask him about his plans for travel in India and he signs off saying that’s a post-retirement trip.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Society / by Mallik Thattipalli / January 04th, 2018

IICT scientists come across antibiotic-producing bacteria

Called RAB 12, it produces the chemical compounds RSP 01 and RSP 02

Scientists at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology have discovered in their backyard, a novel strain of bacterium that produces compounds with antibiotic properties.

They have isolated a strain of Streptomyces species from the Institute’s soil that produces two anti-biotic compounds.Actinomycin D, a drug on the list of WHO’s ‘List of Essential Medicines’, exhibits both antibiotic and anti-tumour activity. It is among the oldest drugs used for treatment of many types of cancers.

The team of researchers, led by Prakasham Reddy Shetty, described their findings in the journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. The novel strain, called RAB 12, produces the chemical compounds RSP 01 and RSP 02 that showed antimicrobial activity. Both these compounds have exhibited antibiotic activity ten times more potent than Actinomycin D.

“Antimicrobial activity profile revealed higher antimicrobial activity against bacterial strains Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Micrococcus luteus, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, and Bacillus subtilis and Candida albicans compared to standard Actinomycin D,” the researchers wrote in their research paper.

In their study, the researchers also described the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) for one of the compounds to be ten times smaller than that of Actinomycin D. “MIC and MBC for RSP 01 were observed to be 0.0039 and 0.0078 (mug/ml) against C. albicans, while for actinomycin D, it was found to be 0.031 and 0.62 (mug/ml), respectively indicating a tenfold higher potency,” the researchers said.

The IICT has put together a large repository of bacterial isolates from soils collected from various parts of the country.

Scientists are yet to analyse the antibiotic potential of many of those isolates. In the case of RAB 12, the study authors say the two compounds, RSP 01 and 02, are promising candidates for industrial and clinical applications.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Rohti P.S. / Hyderabad – January 02nd, 2018

Hyderabad welcomes ‘Robocop’ prototype

H-Bots Robotics founder Kisshhan PSV and his team present the robot in Hyderabad on Friday.

The ‘smart police robot’ has capabilities to identify suspects and record video clips

Hyderabad may soon get its first ‘robocop’, with the launch of a prototype in the city on Friday. Unlike its famous Hollywood counterpart, however, this five-foot-seven-inch tall ‘smart police robot’, weighing 43 kg, is not yet capable of chasing down criminals.

But according to its makers, it can take complaints, record audio and video clips, identify suspects, detect metals, and monitor temperature.

The policing robot has been made by H-BOTS, a Hyderabad-based artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning start-up. It was conceived at Makers Leeway, the start-up’s research lab, six months ago.

Multi-touch screen

The life size prototype was launched by Telangana Information Technology Secretary Jayesh Ranjan on Friday. Made of nylon plastic, said to be ten times stronger that regular plastic, the robot has a multi-touch screen. “It recognises voice and can interact in English. In the near future, it will recognise Telugu and Hindi as well,” said Kisshhan PSV, CEO of H-BOTS.

The robot is expected to be familiar with basic policing work, regulation of traffic, and details of the Indian Penal Code. “On subjects it is not familiar with, the robot will reply to queries by sourcing information from Wikipedia or Google,” Mr. Kisshhan said, adding that it has an AI unit inside.

If someone tries to tamper with it, the robot is programmed to blow a siren similar to that used by police vehicles. Though far from a complete ‘police person’, unlike a human cop, it can work round-the-clock and its AI-enhanced surveillance capabilities would be far superior.

Its makers say it can be showcased as an advance in policing technology and eventually be introduced to carry out basic police work such as registering cases. But a lot of new ground needs to be covered in the development AI, machine learning, and robotics before there is a realistic chance of robots replacing humans in policing.

In its present form, the smart police robot can assist people at malls, streets, airports and railway stations. After a few more months of fine-tuning the robot, the company plans to produce 700 units a year by 2020.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Marri Ramu / Hyderabad – December 29th, 2017

Hyderabad man engineers a new spin on Ravana, scripts his story

Hyderabad :

Ravana is not the villain that he is made out to be. There is his side of the story too. A city engineer has given Sri Lanka just the kind of account they would like to read about Ravana. Bala Sankuratri, who has authored the book ‘My Name is Ravana’, gets Ravana to tell his story from his perspective. Next on agenda is a translation of the entire Ramayana in a way that Ravana is understood in context.

To unveil the book, Isura Devapriya, chief minister of Western Province, Sri Lanka, flew down to Hyderabad on November 25.

It will soon be released in Sri Lanka. Telugu version is also in the pipeline.

“My name is Ravana. Yes, I am the Ravana. I was the one who abducted Sita. I was the one who set fire to Anjaneya’s tail and I was the one who fought with Rama. You may think I am mad. I don’t care. You may think, being me is bad. I still don’t care…Fact is, I am The Great and being me is next to impossible,” book begins with Ravana introducing himself.

“Every action of Ravana is justified. He has a reason for his behaviour. He allowed himself to be misunderstood and even for this there was a reason,” Sankuratri told TOI. To understand Ravana, Sankuratri read Valmiki’s Ramayana and other versions also.

He also got to understand the legends surrounding Ravana in Sri Lanka, of which he was the king. “I made three trips to Sri Lanka and found out from the people there what understanding they had of Ravana. The research took five years,” he said.

So why did Ravana detain Sita? Wasn’t that what brought him a bad name? “There cannot be any suspicion about the character of Ravana. He had no evil thoughts about Sita,” Sankuratri said.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Hyderabad News / by Ch. Sushil Rao / TNN / December 29th, 2017

Innovative teacher devises a new script

Srikanth Rangachari who invented a new language script using symbols of the world currencies. | Photo Credit: K_V_RAMANA

Srikanth Rangachari uses symbols of different currencies to denote each letter.

Much before the alphabet evolved and scripts were developed for the languages spoken around the world, symbols were used to denote letters in the rudimentary scripts of the ancient times and the Egyptian Hieroglyphic writing is the best example.

Perhaps taking inspiration from the past, Srikanth Rangachari, a teacher in a private school at Tanur mandal headquarters in Nirmal district, has devised a new script using the symbols of different currencies, which, he claims can be utilised for the tribal languages that have no scripts.

Interestingly, Mr. Rangachari has transliterated all the 702 stanzas in 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita and the national anthem into his new script, that has 51 letters. Working day and night for three months, he improvised the script which he has named the ‘Currency Script’.

Hailing from Sunket village of Morthad mandal in the district, the 24-year-old always wanted to be different since childhood and try new things. He had already etched his name in the Telugu Book of Records and Limca Book of Records — breaking the world record of Geetha Smith and Mathew Jackson — by reciting the English alphabet 37 times in a record low time of 1.420 seconds.

Mr. Rangachari used the symbol of US dollar for ‘Da’ in Telugu; the UK pound for ‘A’ and Nigerian nirasigin for ‘Na’ and so on. Slash [/], @ and * denoted ‘Aa’, ‘E’ and ‘Ee’ in Telugu respectively. “ People who do not have a script for their mother tongue can use it for writing their language,” he says.

The young teacher has also incorporated zero, diamond, laokip and symbols of Indian rupee, Japanese Yen and Korean wonsign and Judaism and Swastik of Hindusim. For his endeavour, he secured the recognition of Amazing Book of Indian World Records last month, winning the admiration of his colleagues and friends.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by P. Ram Mohan / Nizamabad – December 25th, 2017