Monthly Archives: February 2017

City boy conquers ‘Ultraman Florida’

Sweet victory: Manmadh Rebba at the finish line of Ultraman Florida

Solace for Telugus in the US

Even as Telugus are worried over safety issues in the United States, a young architect from the State has brought some cheer finishing the Ultraman Florida — an athletic endeavour that covers 321.6 miles (517.5 kilometers) including swimming, biking and marathon in three-days in the USA.

Manmadh Rebba, an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNAFAU) is one of the few who completed the race considered one of the toughest in the world where the participants complete a 6.2 mile (10 Km) open water swim, a 263 mile (423 Km) bike ride, and a 52.4 mile (84 Km) ultra-marathon run.

Testing limits

“It tests the athlete’s mental and physical limits. The three day schedule is strenuous,” says Manmadh, who is one of the five participants from India and the only one from South India. The first day consists of a 6.2 mile swim and 92 mile bike, while second day consists of a 171 mile bike, and the last day is a 52.4 mile run. The event saw participation from 44 athletes from 21 countries.

Manmadh’s third day double marathon timing of 10 hours 2 minutes holds the fastest double marathon and he finished the race with a three-day aggregate time of 31 hours 43 minutes. It wasn’t easy as he had to face several personal challenges even before the race started. His cottage was burgled a day before the race.

Tutoring kids

“Luckily, my bike was in the car when I went to the race briefing and that saved my race. I got only two hours of sleep but was determined to finish the race,” says Manmadh, who is also one of the designers of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad.

Manmadh has several achievements to his credit and one of which is the prestigious Presidential award in the US in 2016. He was honoured with this award for tutoring homeless kids since 2011. “I enjoyed every minute of my time spent with all the amazing and extremely potential kids. Receiving this award with the appreciation letter from the President Barack Obama during his last year in office is definitely very special to me,” says the Architect, who is now working in the San Diego Airport.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by R Ravikanth Reddy / Hyderabad – February 27th, 2017

Mission Kakatiya awards for 2016 announced

The Hindu Warangal Reporter wins second prize in print media category

The State Government on Monday announced the Mission Kakatiya media awards for 2016 with G. Krishna of Namasthe Telangana, a Telugu daily newspaper, selected for the first prize in print media category that includes Rs.1,00,000 cash and a memento.

The committee headed by Press Academy Chairman Allam Narayana and comprising Resident Editor of The Hindu Chintala Prashanth Reddy and Editor of Namasthe Telangana Katta Shekhar Reddy completed the process selecting mediapersons for awards after examining the entries received in various categories.

The theme for entries this year was impact of Mission Kakatiya on different sections of society, particularly those depending on community-based vocations.

Other winners include Gollapudi Srinivas Rao of The Hindu for second prize and E. Ganganna of Andhra Jyoti for third prize in the print media category comprising the case prizes of Rs.75,000 and Rs.50,000, respectively.

In the electronic media category, G. Buchhanna of V6, M. Mainkeshwar of Etv and B. Shiva Kumar of T News were selected for the first three prizes. Special category awards comprising Rs.1,00,000 cash prize each were given to K. Ramachandra Reddy and T. Anjaiah.

Jury special awards comprising Rs.25,000 cash prize each were given to D. Suryakumar and S. Bhatla Narasiah, both of Telangana magazine, S. Rajasekhara Reddy of Sakshi and B. Rajender of Eenadu in the print category and D. Ramesh of TV9 and B. Narender of TV5 in the electronic media category.

Special category (consolation) award comprising Rs.10,000 cash prize was given to Tejaswini, a student of RGUKT at Basar.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – February 27th, 2017

Former Union Minister P Shivshankar passes away in Hyderabad

From polishing shoes to becoming a minister in Indira Gandhi’s government, Shivshankar had come a long way.

Shivshankar died Monday morning due to old age-related health issues, said his son Vinay Kumar.


Former Union Minister P Shivshankar, an influential Congress leader during the governments of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, passed away on Monday in Hyderabad. He was 90.

He died Monday morning due to old age-related health issues, said his son Vinay Kumar.

Shivshankar served as a judge in the then Andhra Pradesh High Court, but resigned from his job and practised law in the High Court and Supreme Court, he said. He successfully handled cases, especially those related to the Emergency, on the request of Indira Gandhi and won as an MP from Secunderabad in 1978 and 1980.

He served as Union Law Minister in 1980 and also as Minister for Energy (Petroleum). Indira Gandhi used to wait for Shivshankar’s arrival for important meetings, Kumar claimed.

The senior leader played an important role in Congress affairs as well. After the assassination of Indira Gandhi, amid doubts expressed by some, Shivshankar felt that Rajiv Gandhi could become the Prime Minister.

He lost narrowly from Medak Lok Sabha constituency, which was earlier represented by Indira Gandhi. He was, however, elected to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat and held important portfolios like the External Affairs, HRD, Commerce and Planning in Union Cabinet.

He served as Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha and also as Leader of Opposition in the Upper House. In 1998, he was elected to Lok Sabha from Tenali in Coastal Andhra.

He also served as Governor of Sikkim and Kerala. He joined the Praja Rajyam Party of actor turned politician Chiranjeevi which subsequently merged with Congress.

Born in Hyderabad as one among 11 children, Shivshankar ran away from home as he could not continue studies and reached Amritsar, Kumar said.

He did odd jobs like shoe-polishing in Amritsar, but educated himself. He returned to Hyderabad and joined as PA to then Mayor of the city before becoming a judge in the High Court, he added.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, state Congress president N Uttam Kumar Reddy and several other leaders have condoled the death of Shivshankar.

source: / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Nation> In Other News / by PTI / February 27th, 2017

Hyderabad firm opens store for purified vegetables

25 more stores to be opened in one year

YentraTech Controls Pvt Ltd has opened the first in a chain of stores that will retail vegetables, fruits, meat and pulses purified using a technology developed by the company.

Addressing presspersons at Purin Foods store at Jubilee Hills, Chairman Prasad Yerramsetty said the company planned to open 25 stores in one year in the city. The estimated investment on them would be around ₹10 crore. In the next phase, Purin Foods outlets would be expanded to Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – February 25th, 2017

Tollywood producer K C Shekhar Babu passes away

K C Shekhar Babu

Hyderabad :

Well-known producer K C Shekhar Babu passed away here on Saturday. He was 69. He died of a heart attack at his residence at Journalists Colony.

Among the films that Shekhar Babu made include ‘Mutha Mestri’ in which Chiranjeevi played lead role. Beginning with “Mamatha” for which he penned the story and produced, Shekhar Babu who hailed from Krishna district made several films.

He was also active in the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce and Telugu Film Producers Council. Shekhar Babu’s father was a film distributor.

The films that Shekhar Babu made include ‘Gopalaraogaru Ammayi’, ‘Samsara Bandham’, ‘Sardar’ and ‘Subbaraogari Kutumbam.’ The Telugu film industry condoled the death of Shekhar Babu.

TDP MP and former president of Movie Artistes Association M Murali Mohan while condoling the death of Shekhar Babu recalled his 40year-long association with him. “I have been associated with Shekhar Babu from the beginning of my career. We shared a good bond,” actor Chiranjeevi said.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Hyderabad News / TNN / February 26th, 2017

RICH to bridge gap between innovation and implementation

Hyderabad :

There are more than 50 small and world-class research institutes in Hyderabad and the number of intellectual minds is countless. For all these years, most of these scientists have limited their discoveries and knowledge-base to the labs, said IT minister KT Rama Rao on Friday, adding that things were going to change.

The Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH), KTR’s brainchild aims to create a synergy of research institutions, academic institutions and industries, was inaugurated at – Indian Institute of Chemical Technology Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (IICT: CSIR).

“The objective of RICH is to initiate, innovate and implement where great minds from diverse backgrounds will work together while creating a social impact. While the Telangana government will initially provide funding, stakeholders from various industries will be brought in soon,” said Ajit Rangnekar, former dean of Indian School of Business (ISB), now director general of RICH. A team called ‘RICH associates’ led by Rangenekar will move to Parishram Bhavan, in Bashergbagh and begin with cataloging the research work done across institutions in the city.

“We will then look at ways in which these institutions can work together, including corporates with an agenda to solve societal problems. While institutions like the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology(CCMB), IICT, LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO), the founding members of RICH will provide the knowledge and the minds, institutions like NALSAR University of Law will look at Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and ISB will help with the entrepreneurial development,” explained Rangnekar.

Talking about the operational aspects of RICH, which will begin fully in the next 100 days, BV Papa Rao, advisor to TS government for policy and institutional development said: “There will be one non-profit company and a for-profit one to ensure that scientists also get monetary benefits. We also have the support of the Defence ministry which will be open for ideas, commercialisation and civilian use, with those that can be dealt with openly.” KT Rama Rao also expressed delight over the new project.
Union minister for science and tech optmistic

“We have human intellect but there is a lack of enterprises and RICH is aimed to change that. Funding is the biggest challenge and to meet that we are looking at convergence of industries,” he said. Stating that he has been encouraging state governments to take up such collaborative initiatives, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, YS Chowdary said that he was happy that the Telangana government had launched RICH.

“Now, venture capitalists and lenders will have a major role to play. Once the matrix is fixed, it will be easy to lay the path and I am sure RICH is going to have a nation-wide impact. RICH will help address issues of rural India,” he said.

Representatives of research institutes said that RICH will help them create an industry for innovation and research for scientists.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> States> Telangana / by Express News Service / February 25th, 2017

Crowdfunding helps budding badminton player

Full of talent: Vamsi Krishna’s target will be to bag a spot in the top eight under-15 singles category this year.

Netizens donate ₹2 lakh for 14-year-old Vamsi Krishna’s training, equipment

He took up the role of a coach even before he was a professional player. A year into serious training, he burst into the national scene and won several awards. All of just 14 years, Vamsi Krishna, along with his partner, defeated the defending champions — Vishnu Pullela, son of the established badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, was part of the defending team.

Yet, the budding badminton star from the city faced a handicap in the form of poverty. Govardhan Reddy, the coach of Mr. Krishna, made an appeal on crowd-funding website ‘Milaap’ for financial assistance a few days ago.

Seeing the plight of Mr. Krishna, whose father is a bus driver, netizens showed their generous side by helping him get better coaching and equipment, donating ₹2 lakh in eight days — ₹40,000 more than the set target of ₹1.6 lakh.

“I saw him two years ago at a badminton academy when he was substituting for his father, who is also a badminton coach, on the court. I recognised his potential and immediately spoke to his father. I convinced him to let Mr. Krishna stay at my academy and get trained,” said Mr. Reddy, who runs three badminton coaching centres in the city.

“I have been training and taking care of him since his father cannot afford to spend much. We decided to get his expenses crowd-funded as we wanted to make sure that he gets the best training.”

The 14-year-old’s target would be to bag a spot in the top eight under-15 singles category by the end of the year. “I am surprised with the response online and we have already started acquiring the best equipment from Mr. Krishna,” he said.

Donations poured in from across the globe, especially from Hyderabad and Bengaluru, according to Anoj Viswanathan, co-founder, “The success of Mr. Krishna’s campaign reflects the people’s endeavour and wish to support young athletes who are struggling to fulfil their dreams due to lack of funds,” he said.

Techie who extols benefits of organic milk

Maintaining purity The organic farm set up by Kotesh Mukkamala. | Photo Credit: Arranged

Techie sets up farm not just to supply milk, but also to breed the best bovines

Just like his love for IT profession, his passion for organic milk is unadulterated. He doesn’t want to milk profits from his supply, but purely believes in maintaining the purity of nature’s gift to mankind.

No wonder this IT professional with a comfortable job in the United States has set up an organic farm not just for supplying healthy and unadulterated milk but also to breed the best bovine in the country. “To maintain purity we grow fodder on the 9 acres farm on the outskirts of the city for the 150 animals consisting of 70 cows and 80 buffaloes,” says Kotesh Mukkamala, an IT professional in the USA.

On the eight acres of the 9 acres land, he cultivates green fodder recommended by NG Ranga University to feed the animals year round. The remaining acre is used for housing cattle, staff and other infrastructure. As the grass grown in the cities is produced in the drainage segregation area and is infested with synthetics and human waste here only ground and rain water is used. Cultivation is pesticide and chemical fertiliser-free. Diet of the animals is balanced with the right quantities of protein and fodder.

His passion is also driven by the growing craze for organic milk in cities. Kotesh’s Organics Dairy currently services about 300 plus customers supplying 500 plus litres a day. Importantly, milk is delivered within two hours of milking and it never undergoes any processing.

Interestingly, lot of IT and data is used in enhancing the milking capacity of the animals and maintaining quality. “We have established data points and capture mechanisms at various levels like recording milk production patterns during different months, patterns of cattle coming in to heat during different seasons, onset of diseases and they are effectively tackled.

Mr. Kotesh says he has Murrah breed buffaloes procured from several villages in Haryana, the Jaffrabadi breed buffaloes from areas around Bhavnagar in Gujarat. The Holstein cows are from the Kolar area apart from the Ongole cows, Kankrejs, Holsteins, Girs, Ratis, Punganoors, Jerseys, Khillaris and Shahiwals.

After his success with milk, Kotesh wants to get into the breeding domain and supply the best quality semen from the top bulls breed with proper data collection and proven records. “The goal is to supply quality semen doses at optimal pricing to the farmers and help improve the average yield of animals across the country by at least 20% in the next 5 years. This would help make quality milk affordable and available to the poorest of the poor. The plan would encompass training the farmers on the best practices.”

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Telangana / by R Ravikanth Reddy / Hyderabad – February 23rd, 2017

When I moved to Hyderabad, I was just a palleturu abbai who knew nothing about art…

At 75, Thota Vaikuntam is as bright and vibrant as his muses on display at the ongoing retrospective show at the State Gallery of Art. He is quick to smile, happy to accommodate and more than glad to guide. “Apatti gnyapakaalanni vasthunaay” (“All those memories are rushing back to me”), he says when asked to share his thoughts about being amidst a collection of his art works dating back over four decades.

Evidently under the spell of nostalgia, Vaikuntam takes a trip down the memory lane going back to the time when he first landed in Hyderabad in the late sixties to pursue his dream of becoming an artist. How a simple village boy Burugupalli, Karimnagar, ended up becoming one of the one of the most revered artists of Telangana sure makes for an inspiring story. Excerpt from a heart-to-heart with the master painter…

I did sketch, but I did not know that it was called ‘sketching’

Of course, there were questions raised about my choice of going into art. My nangaaru was a businessman, and he did not quite understand my decision to not continue doing something that was profitable. Kaani, nenu Hyderabad ravadaniki art karanam. I wanted to spend my life doing art and nothing else and I was sure of that. When I landed in Hyderabad, however, I did not even know what art meant. Nenu okka palleturu abbai, art antey ento telavadu naaku. I did sketch, but I did not know that it was called sketching (laughs).

I remember the minute I landed here, nenu hostel lo digina. Then I met seniors, including the likes of Laxma (Goud) and (Surya) Prakash, at the College of Fine Arts were so knowledgeable. I was so fascinated listening to people discuss all these “isms” and schools of thoughts that inspired art movements around the world. There was something about those discussions that made me feel proud that a human being could transcend personal limitations and have so many different perspectives in life.

I would just sit and listen to all of them. Of course, there were times when I was mocked: “Neekemi artham avthundi ra?”. (laughs) But that did not stop me from being part of the discussions.

Discussions led to my evolution

I believe those discussions were very, very important in shaping who I am and my art. By the time I had lived six to eight months in the city, I had a fair amount of knowledge about the world of art. Back then art movements in Europe was like a yardstick. So I sat through discussions of Rembrant, Renoir, Cubism of Picasso and more.
Even today, I think that the atmosphere where discussions on art and life are very crucial for the evolution of a cultured society.

Back in the day, we would earn 50 rupees for a painting and that called for a celebration

Kaani appudu (late 1970s) market was very dry. There were times when we had exhibitions, that were held mostly by the government, where we would go and sell our paintings for as less as `100 to `50. Anything beyond that price would mean that noone would buy art.

But the day we sold one canvas, was a day of celebration. Ma santhoshaniki mithi undedi kaadu. All the friends would come together and enjoy so much, you know (laughs).

But it’s not like we looked forward to go buy things or watch movies, it was just like any other day, it was about art and conversations about art. But that one sale made us speak louder and delve deeper into art. The days were like that, back then, life was all about simple pleasures.

Evolution is a continuous process

Now when I look back, the starting point of my journey was curiosity, which led to learning and understanding. Only after that, comes the personal channeling of this understanding and expression. And through all these years, the one thing I know is that you need to keep at it. You need to continue working with your art. Even today when I wake up, the first thing I do is sketch something. If you see, all those artists who continued to work through the years are the ones who are recognised and respected today.

No one can escape economy, we just need to learn to live with it

Of course, the buzz words today are market and marketing. It wasn’t like that back then. Today the number of private art galleries have gone up, art collectors have increased, and so have the number of artists. Then there is this robust environment of promoters, critics, art writers and more. While that is good and even necessary for art and artists to flourish, there is a flipside to it. Art, much like everything else, has become an investment today. Everything is an investment today — gold, land, art, everything. That’s just the way it is.

Earlier, someone earned respect and repute over his/her mastery over an artform, be it music for the musicians, words for the writers and art for the artists. But today, the key seems to be ‘marketing’.

But don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I think the point is to live with it… this, the present. Noone can escape economy and live. The best thing to do is find the best way to live in and with all the conditions that we have today.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Hyderabad News / by Samyuktha K / February 22nd, 2017

Cake maker Monginis opens bakery in city

Popular cake maker and one of the country’s oldest bakery brands Monginis opened on Monday a manufacturing facility in Hyderabad and with it, announced a foray into south India.

Up next and as part of an expansion plan, Monginis Food Pvt Ltd, the company behind the well known bakery flavours from Mumbai, plans to set up a bakery each in Delhi and Patna by April. It had opened bakeries recently in Bhubaneswar and Raipur. In the southern region, other locations under consideration to establish a factory are Bengaluru and Andhra Pradesh.

Spread over 34,000 sq ft, the bakery opened at Bollarum here is the 16th factory of the company, Joint Managing Director Kumhail Khorakiwala said, adding there are plans to have 100 franchises shops in Telangana over the next five years.

Apart from a range of cakes, the company also made customised cakes, something it would continue to do in the State too. Other Monginis products such as pastries, puffs, burgers, pizza, breads, chocolates and cookies would also be marketed in Hyderabad and rest of Telangana, Mr. Khorakiwala said.

The company markets its products through over 1,500 distributors in 23 States. It also has 650 cake shops across the country.

The facility in the city was inaugurated by Member of Parliament M. Mallareddy. Speaking on the occasion, MLA G.Sayanna and Secunderabad Cantonment Board Ward Member Loknath urged the company to give preference to locals in jobs.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Hyderabad / by Special Correspondent / Hyderabad – February 21st, 2017