Outsiders – 14th November, 2009


Chennai court lifts ban on sale of kites

8 Nov 2009, Chennai:

Kite fliers have welcomed the ruling of the Madras High Court lifting the ban on sale of kites.

However, the court said the ban on sale of sharp kite threads, locally known as maanja, would continue. The court had had banned kite flying in 2007 after an eight-year-old boy sustained neck injuries from kite threads that are polished with broken glass, while riding pillion on his father’s scooter. Offenders were arrested but were eligible for bail. However the police made the offence non-bailable after a rise in the number of such accidents this year. Kite flying is a popular sport in Chennai and the maanja is used to cut the kite strings of competitors.


Exhibition on Darwin the man and his work

Nov 2009, Chennai:

It’s 150 years since Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was published but voices continue to be raised for and against his theory of evolution. India, which has so far been relatively insulated from the excitement of knowing Darwin, will be shown slides of the life and works of the English naturalist through a British Council organised exhibition “Darwin Now”. The exhibition, organized to mark the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, is on till November 28 at the BC library.

. The Madras Naturalists Society will be presenting a show on the biodiversity of Chennai and hold interactive sessions on related issues


IIT-M Research Park yet to see light of day

4 Nov 2009, Chennai:

IITM Research Park, an independent company run by IIT-M and its alumni, was envisioned in 1999 modelled on university and corporate ecosystems such as the ones in California-based Stanford University. With three 12-storey towers over 11.4 acres, for a total of 1.6 million sq. ft of office space, it is expected to be the first of its kind in terms of scale in India. But a decade after it was conceived, the gates haven’t opened amid delays in securing government land and loans, a decline in the line-up of prospective rental clients due to the economic downturn, and more recently a roadblock following an unforeseen demand for a defence clearance.

The first tower was planned to be inaugurated between January and March. That date was pushed to June, then October, and now to January. The reason for the most recent delay: the demand two months ago for a mandatory clearance from the defence department overlooked by some government authorities processing the IITMRP papers.

Unless all the government clearances come through, the lights will literally not go on. Water and power supply in the building will come through only after the defence clearance paves way for other paperwork.

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