Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hang out in Coimbatore city now with ease

Disappointed after a virtual search on the internet about hang outs in the city that did not yield the required information, two students of PSG Institute of Management (PSGIM) took it upon themselves to compile the details. They decided to print, publish and sell a ‘hang out’ magazine.

For students

Prince Mohamed Khan, second year MBA student, and S.R. Bharatt, a second year PGDM student, hit upon the idea of launching a monthly magazine to benefit students from other parts of the state and country who were studying in Coimbatore, and visitors / tourists staying in hotels.

Thus was born CHO — Coimbatore Hangouts, with digital expertise from Ignatius Anto Rex, a second year MBA student of PSGIM, and marketing expertise from B. Saravana Pandian, second year MBA student of Sri Krishna Institute of Management.

As the team awaits the ISBN registration to publish and sell it commercially, the formal online launch and release of a sample hard copy of the magazine were held on the institute premises on Monday.

The magazine contains information on verticals such as restaurants / cafes, shopping, cinema, fashion / beauty, and events.

It is not merely a directory listing out the places, but also has on offer the kind of food served, reviews of food, reviews of the movies playing in Coimbatore that month, fashion in vogue, places to visit, and so in addition to some general articles.

Releasing the first copy, director of PSGIM R. Nandagopal said the magazine was a student venture in terms of investment, operation and marketing.


“They have planned to operate it on a voluntary basis with editorial contributions from freelancers and a 10-member student team. After a trial period of three to six months, the voluntary venture will be converted into a company”, he said.

To be priced at Rs. 50, the 50-page magazine would hit the stands shortly with an initial print order of 3,000 copies a month.

It would eventually increase its readership, offer subscription, and accept advertisements.

Those interested can visit

Unique learning experience for Coimbatore Corporation special school students

The students of the Corporation school for special children here are all set to take a major leap forward with the adoption of a new learning methodology in which information technology will play a major part and reverse the traditional roles of students and teachers.

With the establishment of a ‘tab lab’ at the Corporation School for the Deaf at R.S. Puram here, students will now be able to prepare ahead of their classes by viewing the subject in tablets, which will be issued to all the students and teachers.

This initiative will be launched next week by the Corporation.

The tablets will have video files of the school teachers explaining the subject curriculum in sign language. After going through these files, the students will be asked to explain some of the lessons during the class, American India Foundation Director (Digital Equaliser programme) J. Sundarakrishnan told The Hindu on Thursday over phone from New Delhi.

The video files will be prepared by the AIF personnel who will shoot and edit them. Each video file will have a duration of three to five minutes. This new methodology was developed by AIF and Carveniche Technologies to focus on outcome-based approaches, he said.

Teachers will be training in technology pedagogy (science of teaching) and learn how to prepare for their classes using the tablets. They will divide the class hours and allocate time for showing videos, solving problems and students interaction.

Mr. Sundarakrishnan said that the ‘flipped classrooms’ will help teachers focus on weaker students focus. The Foundation, which was implementing educational projects in several States, was introducing this concept of ‘flipped classroom’ first at Coimbatore. Following this, it will be introduced at a Government school in Bangalore, he added.

S. Tamil Selvi, Headmistress of the R.S. Puram School, said that students can view the video files any number of times till they comprehend the lesson completely. Visual representations will also make it easier for the students to learn.

The teachers were also conducting research online on how to prepare these files, she added.

The project was part of the ‘Digital Equaliser’ Programme for which the civic body had inked a three-year MoU (2012-15) with the AIF. It covers all the 10 high schools, 16 higher secondary schools, and one special school of Coimbatore Corporation, which had provided 464 computers for the project.

Coimbatore passport office to withdraw walk-in facility from Nov. 1

 Passport Office, Coimbatore, has decided to withdraw the walk-in facility for all categories of applicants, except those seeking police clearance certificates and differently-abled.

Talking to The Hindu, Passport Officer S. Sasikumar said that from November 1, 2013 those seeking passports under tatkal or ordinary categories, re-issue of passports, and miscellaneous services will have to apply online and obtain an appointment.

When the Passport Seva Kendra was brought in, there were 14 categories of applications under the online appointment category and five under walk-in facility. Of the applications under the walk-in category, fresh passport applications under tatkal category, for infants below the age of three and senior citizens were now being brought under the category wherein an online appoint was a must.

Mr. Sasikumar said that tatkal applicants were hardly 10 per cent on any given day. From the earlier system of allotting 280 appointments per day, depending on the growing need, the number of appointments gradually increased. Till recently, the number of appointments was 438 per day and it was increased to 500 and taking into account the withdrawal of walk-in facility, the number of appointments was being increased to 525 per day with effect from November 1. Getting an appointment online was now made easy and appointments are available within the next five working days.

Applicants under tatkal category are cleared the same day (provided the application was intact and all documents were enclosed) and the applicant gets the passport very next day. Under ordinary category, passports are issued within 28 days and there were cases of passports reaching within one week to 10 days and it largely depended on the pace of police verification.

About 16 per cent of the applicants were found to be re-scheduling their appointments. Three re-schedules are permitted for an applicant. With the applicants paying the fee online, the time taken for each applicant at the counter while submission of application has considerably come down. This has resulted in the Kendra being able to handle more number of applicants.

With online verification of the genuineness of documents enclosed with applications, the number of cases wherein applicants enclosed forged documents had also come down drastically.

Considering the negligible number of applications received by the District Passport Cells (DPCs) and absence of biometric details recording facility at the cells, already the DPCs have been removed in the Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Tirupur and Erode.

With effect from November 1, the DPCs are being removed in Salem and Namakkal as well. Salem and Namakkal were handling only 11 and seven applications per day on an average respectively. In fact, absence of biometric details recording facility and also that the applications from DPCs were found to be having inaccuracies and inadequacies, a decision was taken to withdraw the same.

Mr. Sasikumar commenting on delay in issue of passports in certain cases, pointed out that the pace of police verification was one reason and the other major reason was that 12 per cent of the applications on an average are found to be having insufficient details or documents. Many of the applicants were found to be turning up for submission of applications without original documents. This caused delay at the counters and also in the delay of the passports, he added.