Category Archives: Amazing Feats

Pattiseema Project sets another record

Hyderabad :

Pattiseema project has added another feather to its hat. Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL), which set a record in the execution of the Pattiseema project, has set another record by diverting 100 TMC of water from River Godavari to River Krishna through a lift system in 148 days.

Pattiseema project is a prestigious project of the AP government that has linked both Krishna and Godavari. The project was taken up to divert 80 TMC of water from Godavari and Krishna in 110 days. In this year, the project has diverted 100 TMC of water in 148 days. This is an increase of 20% over the intended usage of the project.

Official sources said Pattiseema is the only project in India to divert 100 TMC of water in one season. In this year, 98% of the acreage under river Krishna has been brought under cultivation.

“Normally, in any lift irrigation project, the pumps and motors are put to use only for three months or less every year. In Pattiseema project, all the 24 motors have been functional for the last 4 months. The 24 motors, one lakh twenty thousand hours, 159 TMC of diverted water,” a senior official of AP Irrigation department said.

Interestingly, the project was completed before time by the project contractor MEIL and subsequently entered into the Limca Book of Records for diverting 100 TMC of water this year from River Godavari to Krishna Delta. The works began on March 30, 2015 and completed the works by March 20, 2016.

Officials said Pattiseema is the first project in India to be completed on time without any budgetary enhancements. In spite of many challenges and setbacks, the government planned diligently and employed a workforce of 2,000 to complete the project. The first pump was made functional in 173 days (on 18th September 2015) and water was released.

According to a release, the pump house which is spread across an area of 7476 sq. m. is the largest in Asia. The project pumps 240 cusecs of water through 24 pumps. After the completion of the project, the pumps have been operational for 1.2 lakh hours till now. This means that each pump has been operational for 5000 hours without any hurdles. The pumps were successful in diverting 4 TMC of water in 93 days in the first year (2015), 55.6 TMC of water in 137 days in 2016, and 148 TMC of water till now in 2017.

Irrigation officials said this year, the farmers of Krishna Delta received water to their farmlands in the beginning of July. This has never happened in the past.

These farmers sowed their paddy crops in the months of October and November every year due to water scarcity. They incurred heavy losses when their crops were inundated during the monsoons and other calamities. After the completion of the Pattisam project, the farmers have started receiving water on time. As a result, they are reaping the benefits of a good harvest without any obstacles. The officials from irrigation and water resources department are able to ascertain the actual reason behind such abundant harvests.

source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> City News> Hyderabad News> Civic News / by Koridi Mahesh / TNN / November 16th, 2017

IIT Hyderabad develops novel skin patch for constant drug release

Optimum “The drug gets released quickly when the pore size of the nanofabric is 100 microns,” says Mudrika Khandelwal (second from right).

The amount of drug in the patch can be modified so that it is released at desired rate

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad have developed a novel drug-delivery system that releases a commonly used pain killer (diclofenac sodium) at the target site in a controlled fashion such that there is constant release of the drug for as long as 12 hours. The drug has low half-life of one–two hours and so constant release for up to 12 hours becomes particularly significant.

In normal circumstances, the drug gets metabolised very quickly, thereby requiring frequent dosing to maintain the desired therapeutic levels. The fluctuation of the drug plasma level is one reason why the medicine cases adverse effects.

To prevent burst or quick release of the drug, a team led by Mudrika Khandelwal from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad fabricated a transdermal patch containing the drug and made the patch highly hydrophobic (water repelling). The high hydrophobicity of the patch ensures that the highly water-soluble drug is released in a slow and sustained fashion. The results were published in the journal Applied Surface Science.

Tuning the patch

What makes the transdermal patch particularly significant is the freedom to increase the amount of drug present in the patch so that the drug is constantly released at a therapeutically desirable dosage for a longer duration.

The patch was prepared by mixing the drug with cellulose acetate bio-polymer and electrospun in the form of a nanofabric. Ordinary nylon mesh with different pore sizes (50, 100 and 200 microns) was used at the site of the collector and this allowed the nanofibres to get deposited with micron-sized gaps in between.

“The non-wetting capillary action of the air pockets pushes the water away and this changes the water contact angle from about 30 degrees to 138 degrees and makes the nanofabric hydrophobic.

There is higher non- wetting capillary action of the air pockets when the air gaps are smaller in size,” says Prof. Chandra Shekhar Sharma from the Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and one of the authors of the paper. “Since the drug is released through a diffusion process, the increased water repelling nature (hydrophobicity) of the fabric reduces the effective area in contact resulting in reduced diffusion rate, which also reduces the drug release.”

Constant release

“The drug, which is embedded in the transdermal patch, is released at a constant rate for up to 12 hours, when the pore size of the nanofabric is 50 microns. We achieved constant release for only three hours when the pore size was 100 microns. The drug without any micropatterning was released in just one hour,” says Dr. Khandelwal who is the corresponding author of the paper.

“We tested transdermal release using a membrane that mimics the skin. The membrane separates the drug-loaded nanofabric from a solution that in turn mimics the body fluids,” says Dr. Khandelwal. “Different drugs can be loaded in the nanofibres to achieve constant release for a long time.”

“We embedded ciprofloxacin antibiotic in the patch and achieved similar results. The transdermal patch loaded with the pain killer [diclofenac sodium] can be used for treating local muscular pain. It may not be possible to treat deep-seated pain using this patch,” says Shivakalyani Adepu from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad and the first author of the paper.

The researchers plan to develop transdermal patch prototypes and test them on animals.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Science / by R. Prasad / November 11th, 2017

ICC Women’s World Cup 2017: Mithali Raj Shatters Record, Becomes Highest Run-Getter In Women’s ODIs

She became the leading run scorer in women’s ODI cricket
. / © AFP[/

Mithali Raj achieved the feat against Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 match at Bristol.

India captain Mithali Raj created history on Wednesday when she became the leading run-scorer in women’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. She achieved the feat against Australia in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 match at Bristol. The India skipper’s remarkable performance has caught the attention of the entire nation and on Wednesday she added this feather to her cap. Before the start of the match against the Aussie women, Mithali was 33 runs short of England cricketer Charlotte Edwards’ 5992 runs in 191 matches.

Not only did Mithali go past the Englishwoman’s world record but she also became the first ever woman cricketer to touch the 6,000 ODI runs mark.

Earlier, she achieved the feat of scoring seven consecutive fifties in ODIs after she played a terrific knock against England in the World Cup last Saturday. Apart from this, Mithali has also notched the maximum number of ODI half-centuries (49) by any woman cricketer.

The 34-year-old, who made her debut at the age of 16, has often been called the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian women’s cricket. However, being compared to male cricketers is not something the Indian skipper is overly fond of.

Mithali had shut down a reporter for asking her a question during a press conference ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. The Indian skipper was asked to name her favourite male cricketer. “Do you ask the same question to a male cricketer?,” she had replied.

She also grabbed headlines when fans spotted her indulging in a rather interesting activity before she came out to bat against England. Mithali was seen reading a book before going out in the middle. Fans couldn’t stop talking about it on social media.

source: http://www.sports.ndtv.com / NDTV Sports / Home> ICC Women’s World Cup> News> Cricket / by Abhishek Mahajan / July 12th, 2017

IIT-H develops biodegradable nano-particles to treat cancer

Some of the members of the IIT-H team working to make cancer treatment better, on the institute’s campus in Hyderabad. | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif;Mohd Arif

Team working on finding alternative to chemotherapy

The Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT-H) has developed biodegradable non-particles that could be instrumental in treating cancer.

A team led by assistant professor Aravind Kumar Rengan has been working on finding alternative ways to chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer treatment to minimise side-effects caused by these therapies. He designed a novel nano system which kills the cancer cells by photothermal therapy.

The group is currently working on making more cost-effective nano particles for photothermal therapy, integrating these particles with cancer specific drugs to have an enhanced effect in killing cancer.

The team members involved in the research are Tejaswini Appidi, Syed Basseruddin, Deepak Bharadwaj, Anil Jogdand, Sushma, Anula — all Ph.D. scholars; junior research fellow Rama Singh, and postdoctoral fellow Surya Prakash Singh.

Photo thermal therapy is a treatment procedure where light (photo) energy is supplied by means of an external laser to nano particles which absorbs this energy and converts it to heat (thermal) energy. This heat generated by irradiation of laser would increase temperature within the tumour and result in the death of cancer cells.

No side-effects

The important aspects of the research is that the treatment procedure has no side-effects, since the nano particles would be accumulated in the tumour region, and also the irradiation is specific to particles, which means the heat is generated only within the tumour and not elsewhere in the body.

Also, the laser used to provide light energy would not harm the healthy cells around the tumour region as these healthy cells would not absorb this light energy as they remain transparent to this irradiation.

The nano particulate system is very unique in its own way. The particles, after generating the heat required to kill the cancer cells, will degrade inside the body and further breakdown into much smaller particles which will be excreted from the body.

“This procedure had very good results in experiments carried out in mice, and is expected to show the same in humans too. This treatment is now under clinical trials and once the trials are completed, this would be available as an alternative treatment procedure to cancer,” Dr. Rengan told The Hindu.

Dr. Rengan was recently awarded the prestigious INSA award in the young scientist category for his outstanding research in treatment of cancer by photothermal therapy using biodegradable particles.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by R. Avadhani / May 19th, 2017

Ancient Gond wells yield water all year

Perennially full: The kantam well of Kanchanpalli in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. S. Harpal Singh

In arid Asifabad, a ‘kui’ dug over a century ago still fills the needs of the tribals of Kanchanpalli

The water shortage in what was undivided Adilabad district is of comparatively recent origin, if one looks at the evidence of a few surviving open wells, which are over a century old. It makes it clear that the residents of the area, mainly people of tribal origin, like the Raj Gonds, who live between the Penganga and the Godavari, had a close connect with natural resources.

These wells, known locally as ‘kui,’ yield water through the year, even in high altitude areas. One example is the well called kantam (perennially full), in Kanchanpalli village, in the Lingapur mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. It serves the needs of 80 families and over 100 heads of cattle. “It never dries up,” says Athram Bheem Rao, the 62-year-old inheritor of the Gond Raja title.

The sides of the rectangular kui are lined with teak logs, and at the top, thinner logs provide a secure place for the person drawing water to stand. A boom at the side, rather like those one would see at a railway crossing, lowers a pot or bucket attached to a rope into the well.

The water drawn is poured into a hollowed-out log, which pipes it into another hollow log. This collection method ensures that any silt that comes up settles at the bottom. After taking the water, the locals leave the lower log full for animals to drink.

The Gond people say that the water level in this well increases whenever there is rainfall in the catchment areas of the Kadem, a stream about 15 kilometres away. This indicates that an underground stream connects the two; the Gonds call this subterranean stream the Satganga.

Only a handful of such kuis still remain functional. One other can be found on the road between Chinna Dhoba and Seetagondi village, Sirpur mandal.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by S Harpal Singh / Adilabad – May 08th, 2017

A tribute to Hyderabad braves

Lastng legacyTeen Murti memorial in New Delhi, The Second Lancers WW-I memorial in the cityVV Krishnan, KVS GiriV_V_Krishnan

A relook at the legacy of the Teen Murti Memorial in Delhi which has a Hyderabad connect

The Teen Murti Memorial in New Delhi is set to be renamed again. What was Imperial Cavalry Brigade Memorial and became Teen Murti Memorial after Independence, is to be renamed Teen Murti Haifa Chowk timed with the first ever visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Israel. The tinkering with the name of a war memorial will not change the glorious memory and the gallantry of Indian soldiers.

Hyderabad House is a well known landmark in New Delhi and is a venue for the reception of foreign dignitaries. The Teen Murti memorial’s link to Hyderabad is less well known. But as the roundabout with three lancers wearing pugrees and khaki shorts grabs the nation’s attention due to yet another renaming row, it is time to remember the legacy of the memorial and its Hyderabad connect.

Just outside the Jamali Kunta darwaza of Golconda in Hyderabad is the area known as Second Lancers. Dotted with low squat houses painted white — some with extensions and some in the same state they were constructed — it has a few houses that still bear the names of the original allotees. While most of the men with Jamadar, Dafadar honorofics are no longer alive, the houses currently occupied by their children and grandchildren still carry their nameplates. These were some of the soldiers who saw action in France and later in Egypt and what was Palestine. The lancers from Hyderabad were the first to sail and were part of the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade along with lancers drawn from Jodhpur and Mysore princely states. The Teen Murti celebrates the bravery of soldiers from these three princely states.

To call them brave would be an understatement. The great war’s first mechanised weapon was the machine gun that shot out hundreds of bullets in an arc. The lancers from Hyderabad and the other princely states armed with just lances and light weapons were no match for the rat-rat-rat of the machine gun that mowed down anything that moved. But these men stood up, fought and won. One of the most impressive victory was at Haifa on September 23, 1918 and for this the residents of the city still celebrate Haifa Day organised by Indian embassy.

It was not easy to rouse Hyderabad soldiers to fight someone else’s war after crossing the sea. Before the war, the Nizam Osman Ali Khan had to issue a firman informing his soldiers that it is okay for them to fight against fellow Muslims of the Ottoman empire. The port city of Haifa was the key entrepot for the Allied war machine. Years later, the British withdrew from the city leaving the Jews and Arabs to fight it out. The Jews, using a three-pronged attack, captured the city on April 24 in 1948 as the Arabs left their ancient homeland.

Interestingly, while the Teen Murti memorial is in the news, the actual war memorial built for the soldiers who fought for the British in the first World War remains neglected and unseen amidst bushes and brambles in the cantonment area near Second Lancers area in Hyderabad.

Memorable designs

Teen Murti House in New Delhi was designed by Edwin Lutyens, while the Teen Murti Memorial was designed by Leonard Jennings. The one accessible war memorial in Hyderabad, the EME War Memorial in Secunderabad,was designed by Eric Marrett.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> Metroplus / by Serish Nanisetti / May 08th, 2017

Rural innovator gets a stamp of appreciation

Self-taught: Kantale Pandu Ranga Rao mending a scooter tyre at Narayankhed in Sangareddy district. | Photo Credit: Mohd Arif;Mohd Arif

Pandu Ranga Rao invited to Rashtrapati Bhavan to receive Visitor’s Award

When your tyre goes flat in a remote area where it’s hard to find people, let alone repair shops, you have no option but to push your bicycle or motorcycle to a nearby town or wait till you get some help by someone passing by.

Kantale Pandu Ranga Rao, who was once stuck in a situation like that, had to face some difficulties before he got his tyre repaired. Not letting the matter slip, he decided to find a solution, a quick fix, to repair flat tyres in no time.

Liquid solution

For over a year, Pandu Ranga Rao, a native of Sukkal Teerth village in Kangti mandal in Narayanakhed constituency, experimented with over 30 different chemicals and came up with a liquid solution that quickly arrests air leak when rubbed onto the punctured spot.

His innovation was identified by Brig. P. Ganesham of Palle Srujana, a voluntary organisation promoting rural innovations. He is also associated with National Innovations Foundation (NIF), which promotes innovations at the national level. Brig. Ganesham helped Pandu Ranga Rao establish Airceil Tubes Private Limited to sell his product and also popularised his innovation at the national level.

Now, the liquid solution is being sold in small tubes in the local market, as well as Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Taking note of his innovation, Rashtrapati Bhavan has invited Pandu Ranga Rao to receive Visitor’s Award-2017. He would also attend dinner on March 6 at RBCC.

Expressing happiness over his selection for Visitor’s Award, he said he would be leaving for Delhi on Friday.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by R. Avadhani / Narayanakhed (Sangareddy Dist.) / March 02nd, 2017

When helping hands joined together

Against odds: Jamuna (seated) with the winners and runners-up in the AITA Talent Series tournament at ASCI in the city on Sunday. | Photo Credit: VVS

A sporting gesture to the needy! Well, this has been the motto of Sun-Jay Tennis Academy on the ASCI premises, almost every week when Sanjay Kumar organises tournaments at different levels and in different age groups.

And, so when he conducted the AITA Talent Series tournament for under-14 years at Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Sanjay Kumar made it a point to present a purse of about ₹40,000 to a physically challenged woman, Jamuna, whose nervous system crippled a few years ago — rendering her jobless and left to herself.

The money was pooled by the tennis coach, players’ parents and well-wishers and it was a touching gesture which may inspire some of the corporate groups to take up the much-publicised social responsibility in a big way.

“Jamuna, who came to know about our charity work, approached us through another person and when we heard about her plight, we decided to help her. I am really grateful to all those who responded so well to help her,” says Sanjay, one of the most dedicated tennis coaches in the city.

Ms. Jamuna is expected to undergo a major operation for which about ₹ 1 lakh is needed.

“In fact, my Academy players and parents have also been to Mantralayam when it was flood-affected and donated about ₹ 1.5 lakh worth material to the needy people. We always believe charity begins at home and we try our best to contribute in our own way back to the society,” says Sanjay.

ASCI Administrative Officer Mary Elliott, who gave away the prizes, lauded the efforts of Sanjay as a tennis coach but also providing the human touch to his efforts. “We are glad that such noble gestures are taking place on our premises,” she said amid applause from the small but caring gathering.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by V.V.Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – February 19th, 2017

Visionary of a different league

Hyderabad :

She looks closely into the mirror and applies her favourite kajal and tells us how she adores defining her eyes. She glides into the kitchen effortlessly to prepare masala puffed rice and asks us if we like it spicy or bland. All of these activities with a contagious smile on her face. What’s so different about her, you ask? Well, her personality can effortlessly make us realise, how disability is just in our head. Surbhi Mudgal, the free-spirited, independent girl, who lost her vision to brain fever in her middle school, is now a pioneering software developer and a blazing beauty pageant participant. Above all this vivacious girl who lives in Ameerpet is one who despises taking anyone’s help in her activities.

“I know there is someone sitting there, but I can’t figure out if it is guy or girl,” she says in the most unapologetic and unsympathetic tone, leaving us inspired within seconds of the meet.

Now, she is all set to inspire others too as she has been chosen to part of Mumbai photographer Somsubhro Sarkaar’s photo exhibition titled ‘My Identity My Pride where he is featuring 51 inspiring women achievers across the country. She shows off her one-minute video where she says how people with vision often fail to see the real world.

Surbhi was in eighth grade when the ruthless brain fever affected her optical nerves. She gradually lost her sight. “I am an independent girl now. My journey included depression, societal struggle and a lot more but I have battled them enough that they don’t bother me any more. Despite being challenged, I do everything and I am proud of it,” she smiles.

Her fashion quotient is impeccable. Ask her if she enjoys shopping, she jumps from the couch and says, “I love shopping at the malls. It is comfortable and I get assistance as well from the people there. I pick on their brain until they give what I want. I even write appreciation letters to them so that they will help me when I visit again. Sometimes I don’t get good assistance. They will just tell me it’s blue or pink, they don’t tell me it is indigo, turquoise or navy blue. I question them incessantly. If I like something and don’t buy, it haunts me badly. I immediately take an auto or cab and rush to buy it. There were some embarrassing situations when I picked up wrong ones, but after I got back home, my mother was proud of my choice. I prefer going alone for shopping,” she shares.

How does she commute? “I trust the cab or auto drivers. I have a good orientation about the places I frequent, since I didn’t have this challenge from the beginning. ,” she informs in a determined tone.

Doesn’t she have trust issues? Surabhi quips, “If I don’t trust, I should lock up myself within these four walls. I have no other option, but to trust them. In any case, who is safe? Are you safe? No one is. Even you are vulnerable,”Elaborating about her her job, “I am an app tester with a software company in Hyderabad. I test MS products using screen readers where the system reads out about the image. We work to make the apps friendly for people who have challenges. For example, it the screen reader says image, what will the challenged understand? So we navigate in a way that it is comprehensible. Instead of image, it will read out girl in the garden,” she explains.

“I have taken basic training on how to screen read from LV Prasad after being rejected 10 times. It was tough for me to prove my strength as people would ask me “You are blind, what will you work.” But I managed to get a placement from LV Prasad. The nature of job is on par with other jobs, it cannot be written off,” she narrates.

source: http://www.newindianexpress.com / The New Indian Express / Home> Cities> Hyderabad / by Purnima Sriram Iyer / Express News Service / February 17th, 2017

Padma awardee pledges Rs 50 lakh to Ibrahimpur

Dr. P Raghu Ram, Padma Shri awardee and Director of the KIMS – Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases, has pledged Rs. 50 lakh to Ibrahimpur in Siddpet mandal. The village was adopted by him and he participated in several programmes in the village.

Acting on an article in the media, which mentioned that although the Telangana government had launched the Grama Jyoti Project in 2015, only 30 per cent of villagers had been adopted so far, he decided to adopt the village. His parents — Dr Chalapathi Rao and Ushalakshmi — and wife, Dr. Vyjayanthi, were also involved in the initiative. The village has a population of around 1,000 people with 265 homes.

On Sunday, Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao inaugurated the school dining room and digital study room built at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh. Also, foundation stone was laid for the modern crematorium being built at a cost of Rs 10 lakh.

“I have also agreed to build and stock a modern library at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh in addition to fully funding solar power for 25 houses in the village at a cost of Rs 15 lakh. I have pledged Rs. 10 lakh towards building shelter over an acre of land for sheep and cattle on the outskirts of the village,” said Dr Raghu Ram.

A health centre manned by an ANM that would provide basic healthcare in the village and conduct health camps to detect cancer were being planned simultaneously. In addition, efforts would be made to find employment for skilled jobless youth of the village.

source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by Staff Reporter / Siddipet – February 12th, 2017