Friday, July 26, 2013

Japan beckons Coimbatore industrialists

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Just as a business delegation from the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has returned from a trip to Japan, a delegation from the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (Codissia) is now preparing to visit the Land of the Rising Sun.

Apart from underscoring the importance of Japanese investment in India, what is significant is that at the centre of both visits is the SME sector. While ICCI wants the potential opportunities in Coimbatore to be known to the SMEs of Japan, Codissia is largely a representative body of the MSMEs.

Speaking to Business Line today, R. R. Balasundharam, President, ICCI, said the main aim of the visit to Japan was to make the Japanese companies aware of the immense potential in the SME sector.

During their visit, the delegation members addressed seminars in the three key cities of Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo.

Japanese SMEs appeared to be interested in five areas. These were semiconductors, biomass for power generation, water and waste water management, instruments and sensors and Information Technology (IT).

He said Japanese SMEs in Coimbatore could be offered incubation facility.

The Japanese participants evinced interest in visiting Coimbatore later this year. R. Ramachandran, President, Codissia, is leading a delegation of 30 members to Japan, during which they would visit companies such as Isuzu Motors, Yamazaki Mazak and Toshiba Carrier Corporation.

He believes the visit will offer an insight into the best practices followed by the Japanese companies and this will help “enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs in the international market.”

He said the Codissia team has planned a visit to the Renewable Energy &amp; PV Japan 2013, Tokyo. This has assumed importance in the context of the efforts taken by the Tamil Nadu Government to tap solar energy for power generation. </div>

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Coimbatore lad ranked third in science Olympiad

For K M S Rohit, a class 10 student of Lisieux Matriculation Higher Secondary School in the city, securing a third rank in the National Science Olympiad was literally a walk in the park. To put it in Rohit's own words, if he is passionate about something in life then it is science, his favourite subject.

"Science has always been my favourite subject. I also spend a lot of time reading scientific books and articles on the internet. I always ensure that I know a little bit more than what is included in my academic syllabus," says Rohit.

Rohit had cleared the preliminary stage of the Science Olympiad examination held a few months back and then appeared for the second level and emerged as the third rank scorer.

As per the norms of the National Science Olympiad conducted by the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF), Rohit's will be officially called international third rank holder as children from CBSE and ICSE schools abroad also appear for the examination.

The National Science Olympiad is being held for the last 16 years in the country. The British Council and BBC knowledge is also involved with Science Olympiad Foundation for conducting the Olympiad.

"The exam is conducted in multiple choice objective answer format. It was not very difficult and I gave my best for it," Rohit adds.

Rohit says his parents, G Madhusudhanan, a city-based businessman, and his mother Sheela Madhu, an assistant engineer with TANGEDCO, always support him and constantly motivate him in his studies. "My teachers at school guide me and make it a point to patiently solve my doubts even if I ask questions repeatedly," Rohit adds.

A cash award of Rs 10,000 has also been announced for Rohit, which was to be presented at the award ceremony in New Delhi on June 16. Rohit could not attend the function due to some emergency at home. Former chief justice of India, RC Lahoti was the chief guest at the function.
Though science is his passion, Rohit is not the stereotypical book worm and participates in sports and cultural activities.

He also says that his ambition in life as of now is to become an IITian. "I play football for my school team and participate in inter-school tournaments. I am part of my team's defence," Rohit says.

Project to generate power from waste in Coimbatore city likely

Coimbatore Corporation is going to replicate a Singapore power project that utilises domestic waste to generate electricity.

Mayor S.M. Velusamy told journalists here on Thursday that half the 800 tonnes of waste generated every day in the city was disposed of through landfills at Vellalore, and the rest could be used to generate electricity.

Official visit

A three-member team from the civic body comprising Mr. Velusamy, Corporation Commissioner G. Latha and S. Baskar, Coordinator of IC Centre for Governance — the anchor non-governmental organisation that oversaw Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) projects — undertook an official visit to Singapore from May 26 to 31 as part of a delegation comprising representatives from 11 cities across India.

The trip was undertaken after an invitation from the Government of Singapore.

Officials from various departments explained to the Indian delegates how the infrastructure was developed in Singapore and the execution of different projects.

The Mayor said that the visit proved useful in studying the reasons that powered the extraordinary growth of Singapore from a colony of the erstwhile British emprise to a global economic power house.

Another initiative that would be adopted here was increasing the number of trees as Singapore had nearly 40 per cent green cover.

In the first phase, saplings would be planted at ideal locations on Avinashi Road and Tiruchi Road.

Mr. Velusamy said that in order to make the city completely free from garbage, non-governmental organisations would be given the task of creating awareness among the public on proper waste disposal.


The civic body was also contemplating the launch of a survey with feedback forms distributed to the residents of the city on the ongoing projects and ascertain future requirements.

A plan was also afoot to completely revamp VOC Park and add more recreational facilities. Non-governmental organisations would be given the task of maintaining other parks, he added.

Science Express train to visit Coimbatore on August 20

The Science Express – Bio-Diversity Special (SEBS) is finally coming to Coimbatore on August 20 and will be halting at Coimbatore Junction till August 23.

In the recent times, only two thematic expo trains visited Coimbatore, one was the Red Ribbon Express (to generate awareness relating to AIDS) and the second was Mother Theresa Express.


Coimbatore never found a place in the schedule of Swami Vivekananda Express and after repeated representations by the Ramakrishna Mission it was routed via Coimbatore with a halt for two days on July 21 and 22 in 2012.

Last year, when the schedule of SEBS was announced, Coimbatore was missing in the route map in the fifth phase of its journey. Coimbatore Struggle Committee fighting for improvements in rail infrastructure for Coimbatore region, took up the issue with Railway Board, Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

Sixth phase

After all such efforts, now in the sixth phase, Coimbatore has been included in the tour.

Coimbatore region has the Nilgiris Bio Sphere Reserve (NBR) and it also hosts institutes such like Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Tamil Nadu Forest Academy – which is celebrating its centenary year, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON).

These institutions have a significant role in forestry and bio-diversity related studies and research.

Interestingly, only recently, western ghats that runs through this part of the country was declared a World Heritage Sight and now the train which has a special pavilion for Nilgiris Bio-Sphere Reserve is visiting Coimbatore.

The exhibition also showcases aspects of climate change, water, energy conservation, environment and the legacy of the Science Express.

The expo-on-wheels, a collaborative initiative of the Department of Science and Technology and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests is an innovative and unique mobile exhibition mounted on a specially-designed 16-coach AC train travelling across India. The train gains significance as the decade 2011-2020 has been declared by the United Nations as the “Decade on Biodiversity” and by the United Nations as the “Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification”.


The exhibition aims to showcase the wide array of biodiversity in the country and the conservation measures adopted. The exhibition is open for all.