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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Picking up mates ~ Steve Smith criticised; days when India was dominated by !!!

Statistics can often be misleading !  ~ yet they are always interesting !!

On the day when India plays Australia at Bangalore, BCCI informs that   Dr M.V. Sridhar, General Manager - Cricket Operations, has decided to move on with effect from 30th  September 2017.  New Zealand have done it once before. So have England. Pakistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka have each done it twice. South Africa have done it five times and Australia six. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have never managed it. And, perhaps surprisingly, neither have India. What is "it", though? A winning stretch of at least 10 consecutive one-day internationals.   India has now won their past nine ODIs on the trot. 
In Bengaluru, today, in what will be their 926th  one-day international, they have the chance to accomplish a 10-game winning streak for the first time in their history of playing the format. An extra reason, perhaps, not to fall victim to dead-rubber syndrome.

India have not lost an ODI since they succumbed to West Indies by 11 runs in Antigua in July; Australia have not won a one-day international since January 26, when they beat Pakistan in Adelaide on Australia Day.   

Sure there would be many criticizing Aussie performance and among that crowd would be some veteran players … Perhaps leading the band is one who is a motivational speaker now – was the scourge for England in his debut series – he was  asthmatic, so  was limited to pretty short spells throughout the series.  He though  best form of attack was to run in as fast as he could every ball, bowled many overs but in short spells, spelling trouble for England in that Series….

Do you remember that England tour of 1982 and the first Test India played in June 1982 … Sunil Gavaskar was the Captain; Ghulam Parkar was preferred to Krish Srikkanth and alongside Alan Lamb and Derek Pringle made their debuts. 

The man is former Australia fast bowler Rodney Hogg who has accused skipper Steve Smith of favouritism in team selection, and also ripped apart the selectors for the run of losses in the ongoing ODI series against India.  “They’re picking their mates. Smith shouldn’t be a selector. (Ashton) Agar’s been pushed through and Cartwright’s still there. We saw (Nic) Maddinson get selected (he’s) a mate, he’s one of Steve Smith’s mates. You can’t pick bloody mates,” Hogg was quoted as saying. “We’ve got to get fair dinkum. We’re really off the ball a bit here ... I think the captain’s getting his own way.”

He said a serious review of Australia’s selection panel and their decision making process was needed if the Aussies are to improve. “All the way down, there’s got to be question marks. All the way across Cricket Australia,” he said. Hogg also questioned Cricket Australia’s decision to call upon Steve O’Keefe to partner Nathan Lyon for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh. Hogg felt Jon Holland should have been picked ahead of O’Keefe. “Holland has proven he can bowl people out, left-arm orthodox is a really hard gig. He’s proven it and we aren’t seeing him,” said Hogg.

In case you don’t know or remember -  Rodney Hogg played 38 Tests took 123 wickets and in 71 ODIs took 85 wickets.  Blond, blue-eyed – he was menacingly fast, as he took 41 wickets in the series against 1978-79 as he got the chance when the side was depleted due to Kerry Packer.  He troubled Geoff Boycott more and kept beating regularly in that series.  Shortly thereafter, he was to tour Australia (rebel tour) as  South Africa was outside bounds due to their  policy of apartheid.  At that politically sensitive time, Ali Bacher imported this team from Australia  to "keep the game alive" in South Africa. The Australian squad that turned up in November of 1985 was: Terry Alderman, John Dyson, Peter Faulkner, Michael Haysman, Tom Hogan, Rodney Hogg, Trevor Hohns, Kim Hughes (c), John Maguire, Rod McCurdy, Carl Rackemann, Steve Rixon, Greg Shipperd, Steve Smith, Michael Taylor and Graham Yallop. -  all bar Faulkner, Shipperd, Haysman, Taylor and Hohns (who went on to play seven Tests in 1989) had played for Australia.  The then  Prime minister Bob Hawke called them "traitors".

Rodney Hogg later  sparked a controversy when he said Don Bradman, considered the greatest batsman to have played cricket, would not have been as successful now as he was in his playing days. Hogg said Bradman wouldn't have averaged his famous 99.94 if he was playing today.

Getting back to the olden days, in June 1982 at Headingley, Leeds  - Sunil Gavaskar’s side had Ghulam Parkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Sandip Patil, Ravi Shastri,  Suru Nayak  (6/11) – besides Viswanath, Yashpal, Kapil, Kirmani & Madanlal.  In  Oct 1996, when India played South Africa at home, Sujith Somasundar walked with Sachin Tendulkar and that team had – Somasundar, Rahul Dravid, J Srinath, Sunil Joshi, Anil Kumble and Venkatesh Prasad from Karnataka  (6 in playing X1) . 

With regards – S.Sampathkumar

28th Sept. 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pak fake picture ~ India shows real image at UN General Assembly

In optics, a real image is an image which is located in the plane of convergence for the light rays that originate from a given object. If a screen is placed in the plane of a real image the image will generally become visible on the screen. A real image occurs where rays converge, whereas a virtual image occurs where rays only appear to converge. In modern World as in old times, pictures do depict a lot ~ the phrase ‘may not depict the true picture’ could mean that the original occurrence could often be much wilder or bigger in impact -  Pakistan tried adding a new meaning to the lexicon – by showing ‘fake picture’ in an all important meeting of the United Nations, exhibiting their evil designs.

North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho  had a rare press conference outside the United Nations in New York. And it’s not great. The diplomat declared that the US has declared war on North Korea. And he stressed that he hopes the world remembers in the future that it was the US who declared war first. “As you already know, for the last few days, the United Nations sincerely wished that the war of words between the DPRK and the United States did not turn into real actions,” he began, according to his translator. President Trump declared in a speech at the UN last week that the US stands ready to “totally destroy” the country if necessary, in response to North Korea’s persistent nuclear weapons tests and overt threats to US territory Guam. His tweets about leader Kim Jong-un, who he calls “Rocket Man,” have also worsened tensions between the US and North Korea.

Established in 1945 under the Charter of the United Nations, the General Assembly occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Comprising all 193 Members of the United Nations, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter. It also plays a significant role in the process of standard-setting and the codification of international law. The 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) is now on at  Headquarters. 

India went one-up with another  photograph (a real one at that)  to show the United Nations General Assembly on Monday -- that of Ummer Fayaz, the young army officer who had been dragged out of a wedding party and gunned down by terrorists in Kashmir in May this year. Paulomi Tripathi, the diplomat who was representing India, said it was the reality which Pakistan was trying to "obfuscate" by pushing "fake" photographs of Gaza as images from Kashmir.

The photo in question was one brandished on Saturday by Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative to UN. Ms Lodhi claimed the girl, whose face bore multiple bruises, was a victim of pellet guns in Kashmir and cited it as proof of what she called "Indian brutality". But the photo turned out to be of Rawya Abu Joma, a resident of Palestine, which was clicked by award winning photographer Heidi Levine in 2014. The girl, who was 17 years old at the time, had been injured in an Israeli airstrike.

Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's permanent representative showed a fake  photo and has been criticized widely by Global media.   This, however, wasn't Lodhi's first brush with controversy. According to The Times of India, in February, Lodhi had deleted a congratulatory tweet about Oscar winner Muslim actor Mahershala Ali after being criticised for promoting an Ahmadi, considered to be non-Muslims in Pakistan. The 43-year-old actor had won the Oscar for his portrayal of a drug dealer in coming-of-age drama "Moonlight", becoming the first Muslim actor ever to win the prestigious award.

Responding to this naked lie Ms Tripathi said - "The Permanent Representative of Pakistan misled this assembly by displaying this picture to spread falsehoods about India. A fake picture to push a completely false narrative." Paulomi Tripathi, secretary with India's permanent mission to the UN, held up together 2 photographs - one showing the army officer and the other of Pakistan's permanent representative to UN Maleeha Lodhi brandishing the picture of a Palestinian woman whom she had described as a Kashmiri - and declared, "True face of Pakistan is not hidden from anyone''. The army officer shown in the picture was Lieutenant Umar Faiyaz who was abducted and killed by terrorists in J&K's Shopian district. A 2007 batch IFS officer, Tripathi, who took on Pakistan's most experienced diplomat at the UN, is the junior-most Indian diplomat at India's permanent mission to the UN in New York which is headed by Syed Akbaruddin.

In view of the "cynical and misleading attempt" by Pakistan, India, she said, was constrained to  show the "real picture of pain inflicted by the nefarious designs of Pakistan". Ummer Fayaz, a Kashmiri, had gone to his cousin's wedding in south Kashmir's Kulgam. But amid the festivities, he was dragged out on by three terrorists, tortured and killed. His bullet-ridden body was found the next day.  The murder, meant to deter young Kashmiris from integrating with the mainsteam, had evoked outrage across the nation. After India's response today, the foreign ministry tweeted:A tale of 2 narratives @UN

Pakistan seems to have refused to accept the mistake. According to India Today, when Pakistan defence expert Qamar Cheema was questioned about the fraudulent incident, he said that even Israelis haven't been as brutal as Indians have been to Kashmiris. Earlier on Saturday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had ripped apart Pakistan during her address at the UN General Assembly, emphasising how the neighbouring country had become the breeding ground of terror. In signs that her speech had ruffled feathers in Pakistan's "all weather friend", state-run Chinese media termed it as "bigotry". Terming as "arrogant" External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's scathing attack on Islamabad at the UN for being the 'pre-eminent factory for terror', a state- run Chinese daily today in a grudging admission said "there is indeed terrorism in Pakistan".

Their picture eventually portrayed their nefarious designs and evil mind.

With regards – S Sampathkumar

26th Sept. 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pak diplomat brandishes lie at UN ~ shows fake photo - responding to articulation of Ms Sushma Swaraj

Pakistan received criticism from all quarters on Sunday after the country's envoy to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi’s riposte to the speech of Sushma Swaraj.  

The Gaza Strip or simply Gaza, is a small self-governing Palestinian territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, bordering  Egypt and Israel. Gaza, together with the West Bank, constitute the Palestinian territories claimed by the Palestinians as the State of Palestine.  The territory is 41 kilometers (25 mi) long, and from 6 to 12 kilometers (3.7 to 7.5 mi) wide, with a total area of 365 square kilometers (141 sq mi).. this place gets extensive coverage by the Western media.

India's suave  foreign minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj,  on 23rd Sept 2017  had told the UN that Islamabad had given the world "terrorists" while India was producing top-notch doctors and engineers.  "Why is it today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror?" Sushma Swaraj told the General Assembly. "We produced scholars, doctors, engineers. What have you produced? You have produced terrorists."    "We set up IITs, IIMs, AIIMS and ISRO. What did Pakistan make? They set up Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Haqqani Network, Hizbul Mujahiddeen," said Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, who addressed the gathering of leaders from 193 countries for the second consecutive year.  Naming the Pakistan PM twice in her 21-minute speech, Ms Swaraj told the UN meet where reproaches of other leaders are generally less personal, that a country that has been the world's greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity had become a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity from this podium. The jibe was aimed at Pakistan Prime Minister, who had devoted much of his first address to accusing India of, what he called, was terror against Islamabad and "war crimes" in Kashmir.

Maleeha Lodhi, is a Pakistani diplomat, military strategist, academician and political scientist who serves as Pakistan's Representative to the United Nations, the first woman to hold the position. Previously, she served as Pakistan's envoy to the Court of St James's and twice as its ambassador to the United States.   According to the Daily Times Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after extensive consultations with his close aide Sartaj Aziz, decided to appoint Lodhi in the UN. She succeeded Masood Khan in February 2015. Lodhi  in her  debut address at the United Nations called for 'addressing the underlying factors responsible for terrorism so as to formulate an effective and comprehensive response' and said  - : It took my country 67 years to send a woman to the United Nations, it takes a while, but eventually we get there.

Now in her speech at UN, responding to Ms Sushma,  has put Pakistan on the turmoil.  In her response to the allegations of terrorism levelled against Pakistan by India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her address at the UN General Assembly session in New York, Lodhi said India is using terrorism as a state policy. Exercising the right of reply to an earlier speech, Lodhi accused Swaraj of “indulging in an orgy of slander against Pakistan.”

 “Her comments towards my country betray the hostility that the Indian leadership has towards Pakistan —the hostility we have endured for 70 years,” Ambassador Lodhi told the 72nd  UNGA ~  and in her attempt to malign   India for alleged atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir  dropped to the extent of showing  a fake image of a "pellet gun victim" !!  She tried telling UN that  India had deliberately skirted the "core issue" of Kashmir in the UNGA yesterday. In the midst of her 'right to reply', Lodhi brandished a photo of a woman whose face was peppered with wounds and said, "This is the face of Indian democracy."

Alas, the evil designs were exposed too soon – it emerged   that the so-called "pellet gun victim" was a 17-year-old Gazan woman named Rawya abu Jom, who had been injured by shrapnel during an airstrike by Israeli forces. The picture was taken by photojournalist Heidi Levine in July 2014 when she was covering the Gaza war.  She had no connection with Kashmir and media has revealed her like by showing screenshot of photojournalist Heidi Levine's website shows the image of 17-year-old Rawya abu Jom,  injured during the Gaza War.

This barefaced lie notwithstanding, Lodhi went on to call India the "mother of terrorism" in South Asia and accused it of sponsoring terrorism in various parts  ! what do you call this lie !!

Goof-ups are not new !!    In Feb 2011  ~ the venue was United Nations Security Council and it was the  debate on security and development.  India's then external affairs minister SM Krishna read out the wrong speech for about three minutes before being corrected by India's envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri.  Reports stated that Krishna read Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado's speech, without realising his mistake, apparently because the first portion related to general issues pertaining to the UN, development and security. The Portuguese minister had already spoken before India. 

But this lie of Pakistan is of a different dimension altogether… .. what else do you expect from a Terror State.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Sept. 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Booking train tickets ~ the way IRCTC revolutionised booking concept

Travelling by train is enjoyable ~ booking a ticket even in this e-age may not be – perhaps we are spoilt by aplenty of choices – for my recent travel – I had 2 unconfirmed higher class tickets, then booked a ticket by Suvidha train and later travelled in ‘tatkal’ ticket – in my return journey, the train scheduled to depart at 23.45 hrs was rescheduled to leave after 5 hours, and I was forced to cancel the ticket and travel by sleeper bus !

Those of us above 40 would know – the travails of booking tickets earlier, standing in serpentine queues – then came the Computerised booking, where in Central Station counter, one can stand  ‘any queue and book ticket for any destination from any origin’ – that was revolutionary, we thought in  1990s – then came the IRCTC and other computerized reservation, which we do now from our desktops, laptops and mobile phone apps.   Simple is life one should be telling na !!

The present Computerised Reservation Complex in front of Suburban Railway station adjacent to  Madras Central Railway station was earlier known as ‘Moore market complex,   originally built to house the hawkers in the Broadway area of Madras. Its foundation stone was laid by Sir George Moore, president of the Madras Corporation in 1898.  Indian Railways, needing land to expand the congested Chennai Central station, tried unsuccessfully to take over the market.  In May  1985, the market building was destroyed due to a fire whose cause remains a mystery. The government later built a new commercial complex named "Lily Pond Complex" to rehabilitate the traders of Moore Market. 

The interface that changed the face of Railway ticket, making life less complicated for those who were in the habit of searching for their train ticket,  pioneered internet-based rail ticket booking through its website, as well as from the mobile phones.    It is IRCTC -  Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation,  a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the Indian railways.

IRCTC, which provides online train ticket booking facility, has come up with new facilities to pay for trains tickets. These facilities have been extended to Tatkal ticket bookings. Tatkal reservation facility was initially introduced in 1997 in around 110 trains to provide reservation to passengers who have to undertake a train journey at short notice. Today, IRCTC processes about 1,30,000 Tatkal transactions daily  and bulk of these Tatkal tickets are booked within minutes of the quota opening. Booking for Tatkal tickets of AC classes open at 10:00 am and for non-AC classes at 11:00 am, one day in advance of actual date of journey, excluding date of journey. No concession is allowed in Tatkal booking. IRCTC has introduced new facilities for payment of e-tickets, including Tatkal tickets: ePaylater (powered by Arthashastra Fintech Pvt Ltd) and Pay-On-Delivery (Powered by Anduril Technologies.

In the newly available ePayLater option, you get the payment link through email and SMS on making your booking. If you are availing the ePayLater option, it asks you to register first ~ and a Registered user can effect payment later ! ~ a credit facility !!.

Meantime, Divisional Railway Manager,  has declared Visakhapatnam railway station as 100 % Digital Payment Enabled (Digi Pay) station and launched the services at the station to promote cashless transaction. The launch of Digi Pay stations would encourage cashless transactions, the vision of Union government of ‘Digital India-Digital Railways’. Passengers can make transactions in the stations through Point of Sale (PoS) machines arranged at railway counters and e-wallets at all the stalls at the railway station.  Vizag  Railway Station is a major railway station in East Coast Railway (ECoR), which handles 118 trains and receives over 60,000 footfalls a day, and more than 80,000 a day during festive seasons, generating revenue of more than Rs. 30 lakh a day.

Did you read this news in media ??  ~  a  squabble between banks and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) over fees has resulted in the latter disallowing a number of lenders from using its payment gateway for debit cards. Bankers FE spoke to explained that IRCTC had stopped them from operating on the website because they were unwilling to share a portion of the convenience fees earned on customer transactions.

Currently, the IRCTC website allows card-based payments only for cardholders of Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank, United Bank of India, Indian Bank, Central Bank of India, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. Earlier this year, IRCTC had asked banks to share with it half the convenience fee that lenders recover from card transactions on the website. The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is understood to have been discussing the issue with IRCTC and the Indian Railways with a view to resolving the matter. Post-demonetisation, IRCTC had waived the convenience fee of Rs 20 it was charging customers. “Every day we are losing 50,000 transactions,” a senior executive with State Bank of India (SBI) said on condition of anonymity. ”

This however, turned out to be false news.  IRCTC in its website clarifies that there has been no such move. It states that revised Bank transaction charges for customers using any Debit cards at ICICI, AXIS Payment gateway , Paytm or Payu (Multiple Service Provider):- 0.25% for transactions upto Rs.1000/-, 0.5% for transactions above Rs.1000 and upto 2000/- and 1.0% for above 2000 value transactions. Debit/Credit cards of all banks are accepted on any payment gateway. No truth in news of having blocked any card of any bank.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Sept. 2017.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Google doodle honours Indian woman for her Chemical Science contributions !

On a hectic Navrathri day, just about the time to retire, saw this Google doodle and I felt missed out since morning ! ~ a doodle celebrating what would have been 100th birthday of an Indian lady ! ~ sad, the Nation (certainly me and at least the Nation Southwards) do not know much about this achiever.

Vinca alkaloids are a set of anti-mitotic and anti-microtubule alkaloid agents originally derived from the periwinkle plant Catharanthus roseus(basionym Vinca rosea) and other vinca plants.

India’s most prestigious science award, the annual Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, was first given in 1958, but it was only in 1960 that its ‘chemical sciences’ category was introduced.  It  just took one year for the prize to go to its first female recipient,  for her achievements in phytomedicine – the study of plant extracts for therapy. It was a long wait, about 14 years, before another woman would be awarded the same prize, and an astounding 48 years before a woman would win it for the ‘chemical sciences’ category again !

The design of the Google Doodle is striking. It’s been transformed into a skeletal formula, a series of hexagons with single and double bond lines between them, commonly used to represent carbon and hydrogen atoms in organic chemistry. The woman  herself is represented as a modest, bespectacled woman with green leaves for hair, a nod to her work in Indian medicinal plants.

It is Asima Chatterjee,  born on September 23, 1917, in Calcutta. She earned her undergraduate degree from Scottish Church College, and later her master’s and doctorate of science from University of Calcutta, all in chemistry.  Organic chemist Asima Chatterjee paved the way for Indian women in science and improved the odds of survival for patients with cancer, epilepsy, and malaria.

She grew up in a relatively comfortable middle-class family in Calcutta, where she was encouraged to pursue an education -- although it's unlikely that anyone expected her to pursue it as far as she did.  Asima  completed a Masters degree in organic chemistry at the University of Calcutta in 1938, and six years later she became the first woman in India to earn a doctorate in science. Around that time, she founded the Department of Chemistry at Lady Brabourne College, a women's college affiliated with the University of Calcutta.

Throughout her long and prolific career, Chatterjee's research focused on chemical compounds produced by plants native to the Indian subcontinent. Her work on a group of chemical compounds from the Madagascar periwinkle plant, called vinca alkaloids, contributed to the development of drugs used in chemotherapy to slow the growth of some types of cancer by preventing cells from dividing. Other research led to an anti-convulsive drug called Ayush-56, which helped treat epilepsy, and several anti-malarial drugs. She published around 400 papers and several volumes on Indian medicinal plants and their chemistry.

According to the Indian Academy of Sciences, Chatterjee “successfully developed anti-epileptic drug, Ayush-56 from Marsilia minuta and the anti-malarial drug from Alstonia scholaris, Swrrtia chirata, Picrorphiza kurroa and Ceasalpinna crista.” Chatterjee was also the first female scientist to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress, in 1975.

Chatterjee died on November 22, 2006. Today marks her  100th birthday.

There’s also another Google Doodle appearing above the search bar today, seen in other parts of the globe,  this one celebrating Saudi Arabia National Day, the anniversary of the country’s unification in 1932.  23rd  of September is celebrated in Saudi Arabia as National Day, commemorating the country’s unification by King Abdul Aziz Al Saud in 1932.  Today’s Doodle showcases the kingdom’s rich cultural heritage through the lens of national dress. The white ‘thobe’ and black ‘abaya’ symbolize everyday Saudi life.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

23rd Sept 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

all about Hat-tricks ~ Kuldeep Yadav's feat at Kolkatta

Do you know, who was the 1st bowler to take a hat-trick in ODI and in Tests ?

At Eden Gardens, India defended an ordinary total with ease to go up 2-0.  The score card reads : India 252 (Kohli 92, Rahane 55, Coulter-Nile 3-51, Richardson 3-55) beat Australia 202 (Stoinis 62*, Smith 59, Bhuvneshwar 3-9, Kuldeep 3-54) by 50 runs

High drama unfolded ~ the target of 253 looked ordinary – Aussies lost 2 early wickets to Bhuvneshwar – Steve Smith was milking runs;  Glenn Maxwell took on the  wristspinner, Kuldeep Yadav, out of the attack with two sixes in one over.  Chahal struck again, drawing Maxwell out of his crease, beating him with dip, and having him stumped beautifully by the effervescentl MS Dhoni off his back leg. When the fifth bowler, Hardik Pandya, removed Smith with an accurate, cross-seam bouncer, Australia were 138 for 5. 

Kuldeep had bowled rather ordinarily as his figures of 7-0-39-0 suggested – Kohli persisted with him, bringing him back twice and .. .. he changed the match with a hat-trick.  Yes, Kuldeep Yadav picked up a hat-trick in the second One-Day International to sink Australia  becoming  third Indian to take a hat-trick in ODIs for India after Chetan Sharma and Kapil Dev. He also became the second wrist spinner to achieve the feat after Wanidu Hasaranga.

Almost 30 years ago, in Oct  1987, Chetan Sharma became the first bowler in World Cup history to take a hat-trick.   He was the first Indian bowler to do so.  The venue was Nagpur, for the 24th  match of the Reliance World Cup, where India faced New Zealand. Bowling his nippy cutters and seamers, Sharma castled Ken Rutherford, Ian Smith and Ewen Chatfield with the last three balls of his sixth over - the 42nd  of New Zealand's innings - to help set up a nine-wicket win for the defending champions. All 3 batsmen were bowled. 

Four years later in 1991, in Asia Cup at Kolkata – Kapil Dev had Roshan Mahanama caught behind by Kiran More, trapped Rumesh Rathnayake in front and had Sanath Jayasuriya caught by Sanjay Manjrekar to take the next hattrick.   

                   Statistically, the  only bowler to have taken three career hat-tricks is Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka, while three other bowlers (Wasim Akram, Saqlain Mushtaqand Chaminda Vaas) have taken two hat-tricks.

The 1st ever hattrick in an ODI was on Sept. 20, 1982 when JalaludDin had Rodney Marsh, Bruce Yardley and Geoff Lawson. 

All of us do well remember that brilliant hattrick by Harbhajan Singh in what is otherwise known as VVS Laxman special Test – 2nd Test at Kolkatta in Mar 2011, when India, following on bounced back, thanks to that great innings by Laxman.  Aussies on a winning spree lost the test and the Series.  Bhaji’s victims were Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne.  Warne was caught by Saagopan Ramesh.  At Karachi, in Jan 2006, Irfan Pathan removed Salman Butt, Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf -  have seen all the hattricks by Indian bowlers live !! (on TV of course!) The first ever hattrick in a Test was performed way back  in Jan 1879 by Fred Spofforth for Australia against England at Melbourne.

Remember watching Petherick bowling to Venkat Raghavan at Chepauk, he came with the reputation of having a taken a hattrick on debut against Pakistan – but went on to play just 6 tests !

In Nov 1988,  Courtney Walsh dismissed Tony Dodemaide to end Australia's first innings in the first Test in Brisbane, then ripped out Mike Veletta and Graeme Wood with his first two deliveries in the second innings to have a hattrick spread over 2 innings.  In the  next Test after Walsh's inaugural split-innings hat-trick, the big Merv Hughes came up with an even more complicated one, which was actually spread over three overs. At Perth, he  dismissed Curtly Ambrose with the last ball of his 36th  over, then (after another wicket had fallen at the other end) polished off the innings by removing Patrick Patterson with the first ball of his next over, to finish with 5 for 130. Then, with the first ball of West Indies' second innings, Hughes trapped Gordon Greenidge plumb in front, and went on to take 8 for 87.

Well bowled Yuz Chahal and his spinning partner Kuldeep Yadav – by the way, is it a conscious plan to keep more acclaimed Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja out ??

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

21st Sept. 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

dam (Gateshwar Panth Canal Project) collapses in Bihar

A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams contain flood waters and store water for usage for humans for irrigation,  consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability.


a dam (illustrative photo from seattle.com)

A destructive flash flood caused when a dam under construction unexpectedly burst open sent people in its wake running for their lives in the Laos province of Xieng Khouang.  Xaisomboun  is a mountainous province located in Central Laos, between Vientiane Province and Xiangkhouang Province. Video of the Sept. 11 disaster  now circulating in the net shows the raging waters growing more widespread as workers run for higher ground while some unsuccessfully attempt to drive vehicles out of harm's way.  After several people manage to escape on foot, two people are seen running towards their trucks so they can drive away.

In the early years of the Second World War, aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis is struggling to develop a means of attacking Germany's dams in the hope of crippling German heavy industry. Working for the Ministry of Aircraft Production, as well as doing his own job at Vickers, he works feverishly to make practical his theory of a bouncing bomb which would skip over the water to avoid protective torpedo nets. When it came into contact with the dam, it would sink before exploding, making it much more destructive. Wallis calculates that the aircraft will have to fly extremely low (150 feet (46 m)) to enable the bombs to skip over the water correctly, but when he takes his conclusions to the Ministry, he is told that lack of production capacity means they cannot go ahead with his proposals. Angry and frustrated, Wallis secures an interview with Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, the head of RAF Bomber Command, who at first is reluctant to take the idea seriously. Eventually, however, he is convinced and takes the idea to the Prime Minister, who authorises the project.   …. ..       

..The Dam Busters (1955) is a British Second World War war film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd.  The film was based on the books The Dam Busters (1951) by Paul Brickhill and Enemy Coast Ahead (1946) by Guy Gibson. A remake of this hit movie has been in development since 2008, but is  yet to be produced as of 2017.

Heard of ‘Kahalgaon’, a city in   Bhagalpur district in the state of Bihar.  It is located close to the Vikramashila, that was once a famous centre of Buddhist learning across the world, along with Nalanda during the Pala dynasty.  This place is in news for wrong reasons !!

On occasion of his 67th  birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river.  The ‘engineering miracle’ is expected to provide power, drinking water, and irrigation to 9,000 villages in three states - Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.  The project which has been the subject of much controversy for decades now is one of the largest dams in the world. Before making any comments ~ it is a project inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961.   The prime minister also struck the right chords by claiming that several quarters, including the World Bank, had stood against the project but yet the government went ahead to complete it. Modi also said that the temples of the state came forward with funds to ensure that the world's second largest concrete dam saw the daylight.  Sri Narendra  Modiji  presented a picture perfect*.   

Fast forward to September 19, a portion of a dam under the ambitious Gateshwar Panth Canal Project in Kahalgaon near Bhagalpur in Bihar collapsed on the eve of its inauguration by the state's chief minister, Nitish Kumar. The dam built at an estimated cost of Rs 389.31 crore is part of the ambitious Gateshwar Panth Canal Project which was planned to improve the poor land irrigation system in the region.

Several low-lying areas were flooded as water from the collapsed dam rushed into residential areas in Kahalgaon. The dam broke due to release of water in full capacity. The incident has not caused any damage to the newly constructed part of the project," State’s Minister of Water Resources, Lallan Singh said. CM Nitish Kumar, who was supposed to inaugurate the project today, had to cancel his visit.

The wall of the dam broke up after being forcefully hit by the Ganga river waters when the pump was switched on for a trial run on Tuesday at Bateshwarsthan in Bhagalpur district. The water gushed into Kahalgaon and inundated areas in NTPC township as well some civil areas including the residence of the Kahalgaon civil judge and the sub-judge.  Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav  was quick to blame  rampant corruption under CM Nitish Kumar for the fiasco.

The canal is a joint project of Bihar and Jharkhand, under which 18,620 hectares of land in Bhagalpur would get irrigation facility while 4038 hectares of areas in Godda district of Jharkhand would be irrigated, a government brochure on the project said. The Rs 389.31 crore project has a total irrigation capacity of 27603 hectares out of which 22816 is in Bihar and 4887 hectares in Jharkhand. The Planning Commission had originally approved the project in 1977 at an estimated cost of Rs 13.88 crore.

Sad state of affairs indeed !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Sept. 2017.

celebrating #Ma Durga Puja ** at Kolkatta

The festival of “Navarathri” is about to begin in South India.  This comes at the ascendence of moon in the month of Purattasi.  This year, Mahalaya Amavasai  was on 19th Sept 2017.  At Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam,  Navarathri and Sri Vedavalli thayar purappadu will be from 21.9.2017  only.   

The 9 day Navratri festivities are to Goddesses Durga, Maha Lakshmi and Saraswathi.    It is customary in Southern States to keep a display known as ‘bommai Golu” (display of dolls) in most houses.  Understand that in some States, this spills to streets as people celebrate the festival vividly and so grandly.  It is famous in Kolkatta and adjacent places as ‘Ma Durga Pooja’.    Ever seen a 3D idol ? 


A street art in the form of 'Rangoli' has covered an entire 1.25-km stretch in South Kolkata, as part of Durga Puja decoration.  Quint (source for photo) reports that an estimated 350 students from Art College drew various colour designs along a 1.25 km stretch from Sarat Bose Road to Vivekananda Park near the Samaj Sebi Sangha puja pandal.  The initiative for the Rangoli was taken with support from a corporate house, it is stated. 

Autumn (Sharat) is regarded as one of the best seasons in India.  The sun is on his southward journey and, as his blazing rays begin to slant, the subcontinent feels freedom from the oppressive heat of summer months.  The monsoon has infused new life into trees, shrubs, creepers, herbs, grass, moss and lichen; and Gaia, the Earth Goddess, shows herself off in her richly embroidered green apparel of lush vegetation everywhere.  Here is something on the grand festival read in : /www.belurmath.org/

In the villages there is a look of plentitude and peace.  The granaries are aplenty with freshly garnered grain, the fields offer large open spaces with cattle grazing here and there, and along the borders of fields one can see rows of white and light pink kashphool(flowers of a kind of tall grass) tassels waving triumphantly in the breeze.  Overhead, the sky is deep blue with an occasional white cloud sailing across lazily to an unknown destination.  A kind of mystic silence pervades the air, broken only by the laughter of children playing here and there.  It is as if Nature has prepared herself for the advent of the Divine Mother.  Indeed, which other season can be a better one to welcome the Divine Mother than autumn? And Durga Puja is about the advent of the Divine Mother.

Worship of the Divine Mother is one of the oldest forms of worship known to humanity.  In prehistoric times, God was worshipped as the Divine Mother all over the world.  Though evidences exist of the  Mother Worship in  different places in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia; in our Maha Barath,  Mother worship is beyond the framework of a cult and became a full-fledged living religion supported by an advanced theology, scriptures, rites, customs and festivals which are followed by millions of people even in modern times.  And in Bengal, worship of God as Mother attained the highest form of a cultural refinement and ritual sophistication, and became the dominant faith and practice of the people.

The nine days from the first day after the new moon (known as Mahalaya) in the Indian month of Ashwin to the 9th day constitute the festival of Navaratri which is observed all over India.  During this period, the Divine Mother is worshipped in some form or other.  The majority of Hindus who cannot conduct such worship at home visit Mother's temple in their locality after taking bath and putting on new clothes.  The tenth day is known as Dassera. 

It is during this period of Navaratri that Durga Puja is celebrated in Bengal.  The celebration of Durga Puja is a unique feature of the socio-religious culture of Bengal.  In no other part of India does the worship of Durga affect the lives of the people so deeply as it does in Bengal.  Festivities begin from Mahalaya and go on for nearly a month.  During this period, people put on new clothes, worship the Divine Mother at any of the beautiful Durga pandals put up in different parts of the city or town, and enjoy feasts.  

The most striking aspect of Durga Puja is the image of the Divine Mother as Mahishasura-mardini.  Here the Divine Mother is seen as having ten arms, each wielding a weapon.  Once the image is consecrated, and the Deity is invoked in it, it undergoes a transfiguration.  It is no longer a clay image but the living Goddess, radiating power, knowledge, love and joy, the benign Mother of the Universe who has come to bless Her children and to assure them of Her love, help and protection.
a photo taken during an earlier visit to Calcutta nearer famous Kali Temple
not during Durga Puja but during normal days !

Another prominent feature of Durga Puja celebration is the gorgeous Pandal or Durga dalan in which the worship is conducted.  Durga Puja is meant for public worship, in which a large number of people participate. Its rituals and paraphernalia are quite expensive.  Formerly only kings and aristocratic families could afford to celebrate such public worship.  But in modern times Durga Puja is done through organized community effort.  People of a locality or street form a celebration committee, take collections and put up the imposing pandal.

~ and even in such celebrations some try to politicize and cash in … however, the recent controversial move of the WB Govt took a serious turn today .. Two days after Mamata Banerjee's reaction to the Calcutta High Court's observation on handling of religious festivals, the High court blasted the West Bengal government over its latest notification on Durga idol immersion. According to an ANI report, the high court asked the state not to divide communities on religious lines.

The Mamata Banerjee-led government had issued a notification prohibiting Durga idol immersion between September 30 and October 1 on account of Muharram, observed by Muslims as a day of mourning. The immersion could continue on October 2, the order stated.  "Why can't two communities celebrate together? When you (state government) are firm there is communal harmony in the state, why are you creating communal distinction between the two? Let them live in harmony. Do not create a line between them. Let them live together," the court observed.

The Mamata Banerjee government had earlier asked Durga Puja organisers to complete the immersion ceremony by 6 pm on September 30, which was later extended to 10 pm. Some organisers immerse the idols on the day after Dashami. But the government said the next day was kept for Taazia procession. The West Bengal government cited law and order as the reason to keep the two rituals apart.  A  couple of Hindu organisations went to court and filed a public interest litigation claiming that the Mamata Banerjee government was trying to divide people on the basis of religion. Hearing the PIL, the Calcutta High Court had directed the Mamata government to explore if immersion of Durga idols on September 30 could go beyond midnight till 1.36 am to match the specified time of immersion in the lunar almanac (panchaang) according to Vishuddha Siddhanta.

So much so for the Government time and again caught on the wrong foot ! ~  3D printing involves the creation of a three-dimensional solid object from digital designs or models, in this case, created by sculpting apps. This gives an impression of depth and makes it look as if the figure is nearer and coming to you ..  here is a photo of Durga 3D image taken at Netaji Subash Chandra Bose airport.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Sept. 2017.

Monday, September 18, 2017

PM Narendra Modiji inaugurates Sardar Sarovar dam across Narmada

The Narmada, also called the Rewa, is the fifth longest river in the Indian subcontinent. It is the third longest river that flows entirely within India, after the Godavari, and the Krishna. It is also known as "Life Line of Madhya Pradesh" for its huge contribution to the state of Madhya Pradesh in many ways. It is one of only three major rivers in peninsular India that run from east to west (longest west flowing river), along with the Tapti River and the Mahi River.   Narmada' is a Sanskrit word meaning "the  Giver of Pleasure".

On occasion of his 67th  birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river.  The ‘engineering miracle’ is expected to provide power, drinking water, and irrigation to 9,000 villages in three states - Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.  The project which has been the subject of much controversy for decades now is one of the largest dams in the world. Before making any comments ~ do you know of the dams in Tamil Nadu and do you remember that in Chennai, river Adyaru overflowed on Saidapet bridge and in 2 years, the city is facing water crisis … and do you now who inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam project and when ?? 

                       Having a length of 1.2 kms and a depth of 163 metres, the dam is expected to be shared among the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.  It was April 5, 1961, when the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district's Kevadia. Fast forward 56 years, the dam was finally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 17, 2016, which was also his birthday.   The dam would help irrigate 8,00,000 hectares of land in the state and will provide drinking water to 131 urban centres and 9,633 villages (53 per cent of a total of 18,144 villages of Gujarat). Besides, the canal network will also irrigate parts of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.  

The Sardar Sarovar project was a vision of the first deputy prime minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The foundation stone of the project was laid out by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru after carrying out a study on the usage of the Narmada river water that flowed through the states of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and into the Arabian Sea. A project report prepared for the dam led to much dispute over the means of distributing the Narmada water among the three states- Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. As the negotiations bore no fruit, a Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) was created in 1969 to decide the fate of the project. 

Since that day in 1961, the  humongous project has seen numerous movements.  The project took form in 1979 as part of a development scheme to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity.   Of the 30 dams planned on river Narmada, Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) is the largest structure to be built. It is a part of the Narmada Valley Project, a large hydraulic engineering project involving the construction of a series of large irrigation and hydroelectric multi-purpose dams on the Narmada river. Following a number of controversial cases before the Supreme Court of India (1999, 2000, 2003), by 2014 the Narmada Control Authority had approved a series of changes in the final height – and the associated displacement caused by the increased reservoir, from the original 80 m (260 ft) to a final 163 m (535 ft) from foundation.

The dam's main power plant houses six 200 MW Francis pump-turbines to generate electricity and include a pumped-storage capability. Additionally, a power plant on the intake for the main canal contains five 50 MW Kaplan turbine-generators. The total installed capacity of the power facilities is 1,450 MW.

In Tamil Nadu, there are many minor and major dams – some of which are : Aathupalayam, Adavinainar, Aliyar, Bhavanisagar, Kalingarayan, Kallanai,  Krishnagiri, Lower Anaicut, Manjalar, Mukkudal,  Nallathangal, Orathuppalayam, Papanasam,  Pechiparai, Sathanur, Sothuparai, Vaigai, Varattupallam.  More than all these is the Mettur Dam, built  in 1934, also known  as  Stanley reservoir.   It was constructed at  where the Kaveri River enters the plains.  Maximum height and width of the Dam are 214 and 171 feet respectively. Maximum storage height is 120 feet. Mettur Dam receives the water from both Kabini Dam and Krishna Raja Sagara Dam located in Karnataka. There are 2 hydroelectric power stations in Mettur Dam, the first constructed during British rule and the second during the Indian Republic.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th Sept. 2017.