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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

TN X (SSLC) results announced ~ SYMA boys do well 2018

Old timers will recall that the First Public Examination for the students used to be at Class XI – those who passed would join PUC in College and those days, the State First used to secure a little over 400 out of 500 -  a time when securing more than 80% was considered the ultimate !! ..  recall that in 1977, MK Raman of our school (The Hindu High School, Big Street, Triplicane)  secured 407/500 and was State 4th – photo of him with a beaming smile appeared in newspapers .. .. Those were the times when Newspapers would roll out special editions containing the Roll No. of those Candidates who passed the Examination.  It was ‘all numbers’ and those Special Supplements would sell like hot cakes…….. students, parents, near and dear would be elated to see their Registration No. appearing on the newspaper – it was a time to celebrate and so they would buy toffees and distribute ! – simple life …

            The Tamil Nadu Secondary School Leaving Certificate (SSLC) or Class 10th exam results were declared today, May 23, 2018. The pass percentage of this year is 94.5 %.  A total of 10,01,140 students appeared for the exam this year which is a drop from last year's 10.25 lakh students who took up the exam last year. Sivaganga, Erode and Virudhunagar districts have topped with pass % of 98.5; 98.38 & 98.29 respectively.  It is reported that 96.4 per cent girls qualified the exam; while it was 92.5 per cent boys passing out. 

I have been posting about our full-time tuition centre SYMA Growth providing quality tuition free to under-privileged children.    SYMA Growth students hand-picked from lower strata of society  have done well.  In Engligh  Medium 22 students passed - out of 24 ;  3 of them secured more than 400 marks. B.Manikandan 450 is our centre first. 13 students got above 300.  In    Tamil medium 18 students passed of 20. 300 to 400 - 9 students.

As you may know now, there is no State level ranking !!! -  State-level ranks will not be released this year as well to ensure that students don’t get disheartened by an unhealthy competition. “We have done away with the ranking system as even one mark will cause serious distress,” said School Education Minster KA Sengottaiyan. Students, who have not done well in the exams, should not get too stressed, Sengottaiyan said, adding that those in need of counselling or help can use the 14417 helpline. He said that parents, who notice unusual behaviour or sadness in their wards, should use the helpline immediately.  But is that not a disincentive to those who perform well .. .. .. because DD / KX1 / MI / RCB failed to qualify should we not speak of champions CSK ? 

At our SYMA Growth, a couple of years – all   21 students of Tamil medium passed; in English medium 29 out of 31 passed; unfortunately the two who failed – failed in Tamil language.  Growth topper secured 490 – toppers of NKT Boys High School and National Girls High School were from our Growth ~ that way, there is lot of scope for improvement.

We rededicate ourselves and would start functioning in the 11th year of operations of SYMA Growth ~ the quality tuition centre for poor and downtrodden. Applications have already been issued and the last date for returning the completed forms is drawing to a close in a couple of days.  We will scrutinize the applications, conduct a private interview and select the deserving candidates. Welcome you all to visit our Educational centre and provide us suggestions and support.  

No words can describe our gratitude to the management of NKT Boys Higher School.  We thank the NKT Management for providing us the infrastructure and all the support.  We thank  the Head master of the School Mr S Venkatadri.  We pray to Almighty for continued success of this project and look forward to continued support of you all.  The success is due to the blessings of Lord Parthasarathi who guides us in all our steps.  We must place on record our thanks and gratitude to those teachers who taught these students with great dedication, commitment and devotion.  Our Coordinator Mrs Thara and the team who assisted her also deserve special appreciation. .  A Big Thank you to all of you  who have been supporting us in all our endeavours.

Together We will strive to make the society better place for all of us. ~ and very very special thanks to M/s  Manpower Inc for their sponsorship.  Gratitude is due to  Mr PV Venkatesan of Manpower.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd May 2018

Faf innings .. and how did CSK win ???

They kept saying in IPL T20, no target is safe ! ~ yet at Wankhede seemingly small target was daunting – best of CSK fans would have thought of switching off and going to bed ~ yet the result was to their liking. 

In IPL, no side had   lost a wicket off the very first ball of a playoff match before today. Sunrisers Hyderabad provided the first such instance with Shikhar Dhawan getting dismissed by Deepak Chahar.  ~ and Harbhajan Singh bowled none  in the match – only the second time he did not bowl a single over even though the opposition innings lasted for full 20 overs. The  other such instance for him came while playing for Mumbai Indians against Rajasthan Royals in 2010 when he got injured while batting and was thus unable to bowl.

Chennai Super Kings grabbed a win by 2 wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a nail-biting finish in Mumbai on Tuesday and made their way into the finals. Chasing a target of 140 in 20 overs, CSK were in complete trouble  after being reduced to 62/6 in the 13th  over but senior pro Faf du Plessis anchored his side to their seventh final in the Indian premier league. CSK  needed 23 runs in the last two overs,  Shardul Thakur who came in at number 10 dominated Siddarth Kaul. Kaul gave away 17 runs in this over while Thakur struck 15* eventually. That makes CSK’s 7th entry into IPL final. No other side has reached the final more than four times.

Faf du Plessis, playing only his fifth match of the season, repaid his captain's faith by playing an innings MS Dhoni himself will be proud of. Chasing 140 CSK were in all sorts of troubles due to  excellent bowling, but du Plessis took the game deep, induced a few errors from the opposition captain, and capitalised on small mistakes here and there. Carlos Brathwaite bowled the 18th  over, with 43 to get, ahead of Sandeep Sharma and Shakib Al Hasan. Du Plessis hit that over for four, six and four to give an excellent match its final momentum shift.

Earlier, CSK bowled to plan and pinned Sunrisers down to 139. Incidentally, it was Brathwaite whose hitting in the final few overs - 43 off 29 - gave Sunrisers something to bowl at.  Du Plessis faced just six balls in the Powerplay. He looked inconspicuous during the collapse. Even as Bravo and Jadeja and Chahar fell to make it 92 for 7 after 15 overs, du Plessis kept knocking it around. In between, he hit Shakib for a four and a six in the 14th  over to stay in touch with the game.

Questions had been  raised when Chennai Super Kings used their right-to-match card on Faf du Plessis and let go of a gun death bowler in Andrew Tye. And then, du Plessis played only four games before Tuesday. Come the playoffs,  MS Dhoni needed more experience and turned to the South Africa captain. And du Plessis answered all the questions with a vintage 67* that had most of the traits of a Dhoni special: manoeuvring the middle overs, taking the match deep even as wickets tumbled at the other end, and sealing it with a six.

In the first eight overs of CSK's chase of 140, du Plessis faced just nine balls for five runs. He watched fellow opener Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni fall around him in that period. After Siddarth Kaul had removed Raina and Rayudu off successive balls, Rashid Khan stormed through the gate of Dhoni with a ripping wrong'un. Rashid proceeded to have Dwayne Bravo nicking behind with a sharp legbreak. When Deepak Chahar joined du Plessis, CSK were 92 for 7 with the asking rate reading 9.60. By then, du Plessis had moved to 38 off 31 balls. Rashid and Bhuvneshwar had one over each left, while Kaul had two. Williamson was left to choose among Shakib Al Hasan, Sandeep Sharma and Carlos Brathwaite for the other over.

Du Plessis survived an lbw call off Rashid after a successful review and helped bring down the equation to 43 off 18 balls. Williamson took a punt on Brathwaite and du Plessis launched a calculated assault on him, hitting him for four boundaries in the 18th  over. He anticipated slower balls from Brathwaite, maintained a stable base, and unleashed smooth swings. Du Plessis hit 27 off 11 balls from Brathwaite at a strike-rate of 245.45. After Shardul Thakur squirted a brace of edged boundaries and loft off Kaul in the 19th over, CSK needed six off the last. Du Plessis was up against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, one of the best death bowlers in the IPL. He read the slower ball from Bhuvneshwar and nailed it over his head to lead CSK into their seventh IPL final with five balls and two wickets to spare.

After steering Chennai Super Kings into their seventh IPL final with an unbeaten 67 off 42 balls, Faf du Plessis said the key to his innings was seeing off Rashid Khan's spell.  "It's nice to contribute since I haven't played much," du Plessis said at the post-match presentation. "Yesterday, I was just reflecting on my past games, and took some confidence from that mentally. I just entered the changing room now, and asked the boys, 'how did we win this, guys?'

~ and that is the Q most would be asking !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd May 2018.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Nadal comes back to win at Rome ~ temperament of Pliskova

There were days when Triplicanites could easily identify every league Cricketer playing at Marina ground ! ~ and tell history of them too .. .. those days we were fascinated to see a Singh playing at Marina – and my neighbour coolly added – it was Satwender Singh whose brothers Kripal Singh & Milkha too played at a higher level and their Ram Singh was one of the leading all rounders of his time, playing 2 unofficial tests !!!

Tennis followers might well know the twins Bob & Mike Ryan – and the attractive Pliskova sisters -  Karolina Pliskova and her  identical twin sister Kristyna.  For easy identification,  we have the tattoos,” Karolina said.  Karolina sports two tattoos – on her left thigh and left arm – while her sister has one. “She is a lefty and I am right-handed, and we have different hair.  Karolina was in news for wrong reasons !!

How  to explain what transpired in the third set of Rafa’s 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 win over Alexander Zverev in Rome on Sunday?   With Rafa down 1-3 in the third set and seemingly out of answers against Zverev, a storm conveniently swept across the Foro Italico, forcing a prolonged delay in play. When that delay was over, Nadal had answers again. He charged through the last five games for his eighth title in Rome, and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking in the process.  Zverev had a real chance at victory, up an early break in the third set, before rain threw a curveball into the match, allowing Nadal to reset and win the final five games. It was a high-quality final, with several long, grueling rallies bringing the Italian crowd to their feet in appreciation of the effort and impressive shot-making of both players. There were 24 rallies that went at least double digits (10 shots), totaling 313 shots in the court by both players.  Perhaps what made Rafa win was his temperament and firm belief that he could win though he was almost out of the match ~ and he remained cool !

Rafael Nadal may have stumbled in his bid to sweep all four “Big Titles” on clay, a feat he accomplished in 2010 when he won the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Mutua Madrid Open, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and Roland Garros. Nadal fell to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid quarter-finals earlier this month. But the 31-year-old Spaniard has still added two more Big Titles – a combination of Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Nitto ATP Finals crowns – to his haul as the European clay-court season enters its final three weeks.  Nadal came out on top in a matchup of this year's top two clay-court players Sunday, beating defending champion Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 Sunday to win a record-extending eighth Italian Open title. Coming a week after a loss in the Madrid Open quarterfinals to Dominic Thiem, Nadal has his confidence back entering the year's second Grand Slam in Paris, which starts next Sunday.

"It's been an amazing week," Nadal said. "It was tough losing in Madrid so to come back and win the trophy here is great." Perhaps the question heading into next week's French Open should be: "Who can take a set off Rafael Nadal?" instead of "Who can beat Nadal?'" The Spaniard, dubbed the "King of Clay," is the white-hot favorite to land a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros. Take this stunning statistic: Nadal owns a 79-2 win-loss record at the French Open, where the best-of-five set format makes the 31-year-old even harder to defeat. He's only lost to Sweden's Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinal in 2015.

But if there is to be a monumental upset at the French Open, who might be on the other side of the net?  There could be a sudden blackhorse, which doesn't include the absent Roger Federer.  As great athletes age, the first thing we look for is evidence of physical decline. The cliche is to talk about the “half-step” that has been lost, rather than inquiring about their psychological state. Yet even sporting legends can be worn down mentally by the accretion of small failures over the years, and the fear that certain opportunities may never come around again. Grey matter is as susceptible to the march of time as muscle fibre.

 “It is not a question of tennis,” Nadal said once after his  defeat by his compatriot Fernando Verdasco in Miami. “The thing is the question of being relaxed enough to play well.  Recently, World No 5 Karolina Pliskova lost her cool over a line call and bashed a hole into the umpire’s chair with her racket after suffering a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 defeat by Maria Sakkari in the Italian Open second round.

Pliskova had argued heatedly with umpire Marta Mrozinska after her smash was called out when serving at 30-30 and 5-5 in the final set, and her Greek opponent won the game before serving out the match.  The Czech exchanged a brief word with Sakkari at the net before approaching Mrozinska with an outstretched hand before withdrawing it and repeatedly smashing the chair with her racket.

Pliskova’s twin sister Kristyna, who also ranks in the world’s top 100, slammed Mrozinska on social media. “The worst i have ever seen @wta and i hope this lady Marta Mrozinska will never ever judge any match of me or Karolina again #blacklistforever,” the 26-year-old wrote on Twitter.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd May 2018.

Monday, May 21, 2018

commemorating 150 years of aboriginal tour ~ Pataudi lecture controversy !!!

In the last league match of IPL 2018, that solid defence stroke on 18.5 may be a talking point.  CSK required 23 off 12 – and they had the most unconventional batting line-up yesterday.  Suresh Raina not exactly middling the ball, tore Andrew Tye for 22 runs and the last ball, played a forward defence ! ~ then Mohit Sharma tried bouncer, only to see it vanishing into the crowds at long leg – MS Dhoni as emotionless as ever !!! .. .. 

Cricinfo reports of a Q in a recent promotional event, MS Dhoni was asked: "[Erwin] Rommel, the legendary German general, said no plan survives contact. How do you relate that to cricket?" "After the first ball is bowled, it's only chaos," Dhoni replied. "What you are trying to do is you're trying to manage the chaos. It's not like a script that happens. My coach Stephen Fleming often comes and does that. He says 'mate, Lungi [Ngidi] can bowl the first over, then somebody else second' and so on. Yes, I know who are the bowlers and they will bowl at some point of time. But it does not work like that. It's about adaptability."  T20 cricket is all about managing chaos.

Former England batsman James Taylor has shown an unflattering light on sharing a dressing room with Kevin Pietersen, saying he has "no respect" for England's fifth all-time leading run scorer, calling him "embarrassing". Pietersen has long been one of the most divisive figures in England cricket, his undoubted talent and ability often clouded by personality conflicts that have been dotted throughout his career. However, back 2012, Taylor, who stands just 170cm tall, recalls how the 193cm Pietersen took immediate issue with diminutive batsman being around the England team.

Down under the  commemorations to celebrate the 150th  anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that toured the UK continue, with Australia Post releasing  a special stamp to mark the event. The stamp is the latest in a series of events to honour the milestone tour, with men's and women's Aboriginal XI squads to travel to England in June to mark the anniversary of the first international tour by an Australian team in any sport. The First Cricket Tour: 150 Years stamp released on May 1  features 10 Aboriginal members of the original 1868 playing squad, as well as captain Charles Lawrence, an English professional who coached and mentored the Aboriginal players, and team manager W Shepherd. The stamp design, by Phil Ellett of Creative Ethos, incorporates player portraits from one of the few remaining photos of the Aboriginal XI taken while on tour in 1868, from the collection of the National Library of Australia.

Cricket Australia has announced the squads, schedule, community activities and uniform for an historic tour of the UK for the nation’s best Indigenous players including a match against the MCC.  Women’s and men’s squads will tour the UK for the first two weeks of June, with both to play under the banner of the ‘2018 Aboriginal XI.’ The event will commemorate 150 years since an Aboriginal cricket team became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally.  The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), Exeter is lending Aboriginal artefacts, newly identified from the 1868 cricket tour to the UK, for display at Lord’s throughout the 2018 season.

Speaking on the squads, Cricket Australia National Talent Manager Greg Chappell said: “We have assembled two strong squads for this tour that include four players who currently or have previously represented Australia – Christian, Gardner, D’Arcy Short and Scott Boland - and a further six players on WBBL, BBL or State contracts last season.  To recall some history, in 1868, a cricket team composed of Australian Aborigines toured England between May and October of that year, thus becoming the first organised group of Australian sportspeople to travel overseas. It would be another ten years before an Australian cricket team classed as representative would leave the country.

The concept of an Aboriginal cricket team can be traced to cattle stations in the Western District of Victoria, where, in the mid-1860s, European pastoralists introduced Aboriginal station hands to the sport. An Aboriginal XI was created with the assistance of Tom Wills—captain of the Victoria cricket team and founder of Australian rules football—who acted as the side's captain-coach in the lead-up to and during an 1866–67 tour of Victoria and New South Wales. Several members of this team joined what would become the Aboriginal XI that toured England under the captaincy of Englishman Charles Lawrence. International sporting contact was rare in this era. Previously, only three cricket teams had travelled abroad, all English: to the United States and Canada in 1859, and to Australia in 1861–62 and 1863–64.

Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner has been named captain of the women’s 2018 Aboriginal XI that will compete in an historic tour of the United Kingdom. Gardner, who is one of Australia’s most promising young cricketers having already played 26 matches for her country, will lead a squad of 13. The squad is a relatively inexperienced one, with Gardner the only member with international experience. “I think all the girls are really excited to (represent their culture), she said. It will be the second time Gardner captains an Indigenous XI, as she was tasked with leading the inaugural women’s Indigenous team which toured India in 2016. The team will play four matches, with a marquee match against Surrey to be played at The Kia Oval, one of the venues where the 1868 team played.

Both the female and male squads will also wear uniforms designed for them by Aunty Fiona Clarke, who is the great-great grand-daughter of Grongarrong (Mosquito), one of the stars of the 1868 team. The design is based off the commemorative artwork titled ‘Walkabout Wickets’ which tells the story of the 1866 Boxing Day match and the 1868 tour.

Back home,  BCCI members and the CoA are once again at loggerheads, this time over the latter's decision to pick Kevin Pietersen as the speaker for the Pataudi Memorial Lecture, to be held in Bengaluru next month.  After acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary questioned the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators’ decision to pick Kumar Sangakkara as the choice to speak in this year’s Pataudi Memorial Lecture, CoA chief Vinod Rai had said that the Board should look at Chaudhary’s suggestions of getting a former India player (who played alongside Pataudi) if Sangakkara wasn’t available for the lecture. But now the CoA has gone ahead and picked Kevin Pietersen for the occasion after Sangakkara made his unavailability known and Chaudhary is not happy at the turn of events.

In another mail to Rai, in possession with CricketNext, the secretary has written: “The expression of happiness on it (General Manager Saba Karim’s mail that Kevin Pietersen has agreed to address the lecture) had left me wondering whether the Memorial Lecture was indeed MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture or Sir Len Hutton Lecture or for that matter Sir Frank Woolley lecture. Board members feel that former Indian cricketers who played alongside the man famously called Tiger Pataudi would bring more value to the occasion and feel someone among Nari Contractor, Chandu Borde, Erapalli Prasanna and Abbas Ali Baig should be invited as the speaker.

GM cricket operation Saba Karim had sent the mail to the CoA and the BCCI members asking them for the suggestion as the lecture is set to be held on June 12 in Bengaluru before the Afghanistan Test. The names of the speakers suggested by Saba were Sourav Ganguly, Kumar Sangakara, Kevin Peterson and Nasser Hussain.The topics were: A) Peace and sustainability through Cricket - Relevent since Afghanistan is a wonderful story. B) Behaviour and conduct of international players in the modern age - Players perspective. C) Cricket as an Olympic Sport - Way forward.

Diana Edulji was the one who suggested Sangakkara’s name and Rai seconded it and asked Saba to speak to the former Sri Lanka cricketer. The Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi Memorial Lecture was started by the BCCI on February 6, 2013. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Sunil Gavaskar in 2013. But what remains etched in everyone’s memory is the beautiful fun-filled lecture from Farokh Engineer in Mar 2017.

So on a day when there is no IPL ~ you have a lot on Cricket to read !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st May 2018.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

SYMA Growth 2018-19 - issuance of Applications

SYMA in Social service since 1977, has been passionately  involved in educational service too. We live by the axiom that ‘Education is the only tool which can uplift the Society and empower the lower echelons of the Society’. The foremost responsibility of a Social Service Organisation is to improve the society and help the underprivileged.  This is better done by providing the children good education.   A fullfledged tuition centre that began in 2008 ,  our  cherished  initiative in educating the economically poor children, uplifting their standards and making them responsible citizens is now a decade old. At SYMA Growth, we have  X Std Tamil Medium; X Std English Medium; +2 Commerce Group and +2 Science Group.

In this period of ten years, we have strived to change the lives of at least 1000 + children providing quality tuition thereby making them responsible citizens of the society.  Many people have helped us in rendering this service.  The success is due to the blessings of Lord Parthasarathi who guides us in all our steps.  Our sincere thanks are due to all teachers, our coordinator Smt. Thara, all old students of Growth, NKT school management and principal, our main sponsor "Manpower".

Today 20th May 2018 is a significant day as we progress into 11th year of our Tuition Centre SYMA Growth.  

There are queues and milling crowds everywhere ! ~ a couple of decades ago, people would stand long hours to get a cinema ticket. They had to wait patiently in long queues for booking train tickets before computerization changed lives.  For IPL matches, people would not mind standing in long winding queues, even when the price is too high.  In most places, getting a ticket, getting admission is ‘on a first-come, first-served basis’ – for those in queue this could be frustrating as one will have wait long unsure of whether one would get admitted .. .. .. there have been occasions where parents come the previous night (just as crowds gather infront of US embassy !) and wait for hours for getting application forms of elementary schools.  To many of them, if the school is delivering success, it is worth waiting.  The school authorities on record would say that they did not want the parents to queue up and the serpentine line shocked them (inside enjoying their popularity)

SYMA always want to treat people with utmost dignity – in our interviews aimed at instilling discipline and making students and parents understand that ‘SYMA Growth’ is not simply a free tuition service, but one aimed at transforming the lives of under-privileged children through quality education, we talk to them in a secluded atmosphere thereby providing them confidence and ensuring that no embarrassment is caused when they explain their family conditions. Last year there were crowds waiting outside SYMA medical centre for hours and some had to return disappointed as SYMA is constrained to have only 30 seats per class.

There are various constraints – class rooms cannot accommodate more than 30 – 35; teachers may not give that private attention, if the numbers were to be high; we do not have resources and teachers to have more than 1 class – and every Organisation / Educational institution that way would have constraint of numbers. This time, we discussed this well in advance and kept notice board intimating that applications for  SYMA Growth tuition centre for the ensuing Academic Year 2018-19 will be issued   @ 9.30 am on Sunday, the 20th May 2018 at NKT National Boys High School. 

We made it abundant clearly that all those who stand in the queue @ the appointed hour till 10 am would be given applications, but getting application does not guarantee a seat.  The selection is primarily on economic criteria. Those with parental income of Rs.20000/- and above are not considered.   It would be of interest to you to know that the selection weighing some more parameters : physically challenged, students of schools of lower fee structure,  parents illiterate, parental occupation being manual labour / coolie and the like, orphans, children of destitute / single mother – all accorded some additional mark enabling that we select students who otherwise do not have access to quality tuition by paying fees.

With all this in place too, people had started assembling at around 8 am and by 9 am there were queues in front of the NKT National Boys High School,.  To ensure that there was no chaos or disappointment, all those standing in the queue were taken inside and made to sit in comfort as our volunteers took the names, registered and issued applications.  For +2 Commerce Group alone, we have today issued around 65 applications.  Taking cue from the way TN Engineering Counselling is done, this year we will  scrutinize the filled-up forms, and if the qualifying marks are still the same – have them in seriatum and select based on random number assigned by Computer.  We are keen on ensuring transparency and propriety in all our actions aimed at helping those students who otherwise would have no access to such quality education.

Today, we met those good 7 students who had performed well in exams conducted in Mar 2018.  All those who had obtained more than 7 had been invited and we counselled them on their career path and also made an online application to another Company which provides scholarships.  This was done by SYMA as a goodwill gesture aimed at getting some financial support to those toppers.  All of them   are from lower strata of society, mostly first generation students, odds are pitted against them in terms of infrastructure, parental support and general level of education. 

We thank Manpower once again for having changed the lives of these children - with the active support of great organizations like Manpower – other philanthropic entities and individuals who have been supporting SYMA over the years,  we will strive to change the way these students from lower-echoleons of society study, which will eventually help them in doing well in their education and naturally blossom in their career.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th May 2018.

Doodle on Abraham Ortelius ~ famous Atlas 'Theatrum Orbis Terrarum'

Even at the height of IPL fever, we look to Cricket news elsewhere ~ and there is lot happening downunder ! ~ i.e., cricketing news from Australia New Zealand as we see them on the bottom part of any map. 

Australia's Test and ODI captain Tim Paine says there was a point in his career when struggled so badly to come to terms with his rotten run of injuries that the mere sight of his Baggy Green cap "pissed me off".   Paine, who was appointed Test captain amid the fallout from the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, only returned to the Test side last summer after a hiatus of more than seven years – a period in which he was plagued by endless finger problems and ultimately a severe loss of form with the bat.

When a similar map was shown to a group of Executives – almost all of them instantly remarked ‘wrong map’; ‘computer error’; ‘display error’; ‘upside down’. .. .. for we have all along been used to seeing maps with North up.  For those who don’t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top!  There can always be other ways of looking at the globe Putting Australia at the top half of a map, as was done in McArthur's Universal Corrective Map (1979), may seem like the work of some prankster in the Outback, but in fact, there is no intrinsic reason to put the Southern Hemisphere at the bottom. Nor is there a universal mandate that requires the "Prime Meridian" to pass through Greenwich, England. Instead, these are choices based on mapmakers' objectives and biases. Like other choices in mapping, they show how individuals in a particular time and place perceived their world.

Today there is interesting doodle on a man who began his life as  a map-engraver, in 1547,  entered the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke as an illuminator of maps. He supplemented his income trading in books, prints, and maps, and his journeys included yearly visits to the Frankfurt book and print fair where he met Gerardus Mercator in 1554.  In 1560, however, when travelling with Mercator to Trier, Lorraine, and Poitiers, he was  attracted, largely by Mercator’s influence, towards the career of a scientific geographer.  Today  Google Doodle is celebrating Abraham Ortelius, the legendary cartographer who published the very first modern atlas.

Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World) is considered to be the first true modern atlas. Written by Abraham Ortelius,  originally printed on May 20, 1570, in Antwerp,  it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets and sustaining text bound to form a book for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved.
Abraham Ortelius was born in Antwerp, modern-day Belgium, in 1527, and was raised by his uncle following his father's death.  Ortelius travelled widely across Europe, including with the  renowned cartographer Gerardus Mercator, who is thought to have first inspired his passion for map-making. After publishing his first map in 1564, he went on to become one of his era's foremost cartographers, acknowledged as one of the founders of the celebrated Netherlands school of cartography.  On May 20, 1570, Ortelius published the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum – Theatre of the World – the first modern atlas. Coming a year after Mercator released his legendary world map, it consisted of 53 decorative maps, occasionally adorned with sea monsters, a fascination of the time.

Earlier, in  1564 he published his first map, Typus Orbis Terrarum, an eight-leaved wall map of the world, on which he identified the Regio Patalis with Locach as a northward extension of the Terra Australis, reaching as far as New Guinea. This map subsequently appeared in reduced form in the Terrarum (the only extant copy is in now at Basel University Library.  The man celebrated today - Abraham Ortelius (1527 –1598) was a Flemish cartographer and geographer, conventionally recognized as the creator of the first modern atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.  The publication of his atlas in 1570 is often considered as the official beginning of the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography. He is also believed to be the first person to imagine that the continents were joined together before drifting to their present positions.

The Flemish or Flemings are a Germanic ethnic group native to Flanders, in modern Belgium, who speak Dutch, especially any of its dialects spoken in historical Flanders, known collectively as Flemish Dutch.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
20th May 2018.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

MACT ~ appeals - and the result that an Insurer faced !!!

As we travel on roads, we see hundreds of motor vehicles of various hues – and sadly there are accidents too .. .. .. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the major causes of death and injuries in India. By some statistics citing Ministry of Road & Transport, around 1.5 lakh people die every year in five lakh road accidents in the country.  The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 is to undergo changes as proposed in  the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2016 in Lok Sabha.

Motor Vehicles Act provides for compensation to those victims of road accidents and insurance of vehicles against TP risks is compulsory. Motor Accident Claims Tribunals have been constituted and the procedure for claiming compensation has been made easy.  Petitions are filed by the victims or their legal heirs, and Court pass orders for compensation against the driver, Owner – paid by the Insurance Companies by virtue of contract of Insurance. 

There is provision for agitating the judgments by the aggrieved parties – the petitioners or the respondents can go on appeal to Higher courts.  Section 173 in The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 deals with Appeals : -

(1)     Subject to the provisions of sub-section (2) any person aggrieved by an award of a Claims Tribunal may, within ninety days from the date of the award, prefer an appeal to the High Court: Provided that no appeal by the person who is required to pay any amount in terms of such award shall be entertained by the High Court unless he has deposited with it twenty-five thousand rupees or fifty per cent of the amount so awarded, whichever is less, in the manner directed by the High Court: Provided further that the High Court may entertain the appeal after the expiry of the said period of ninety days, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal in time.

(2)     No appeal shall lie against any award of a Claims Tribunal if the amount in dispute in the appeal is less than ten thousand rupees.

There have been occasions when the Insurers feel that a substantial point of law has been overlooked, some conditions of non-compliance had not been properly dealt with or when they feel the award is much higher – the intention is either to have the liability negated or have the quantum reduced.  Here is an interesting case of a Private Insurer going on appeal – it was an   filed under Section 173 of the Motor Vehicles Act, against  an award given in July 2011 by MACt /   Fast Track Court No.II,   Tirunelveli.

The cause of action for the original petition was a fatal road accident, which is not disputed.  The Insurer filed appeal on the quantum and so did the legal heirs – appeal on quantum.  The learned counsel appearing for the appellant / Insurance Companysubmitted that as the deceased was a bachelor, the Tribunal, instead ofdeducting 50% of the income for personal expenses, has deduced only 1/3rd amount for personal expenses. The learned counsel appearing for the respondents 1 to 3 contended that the Tribunal has taken into account meagre salary of Rs.4,000/-,though the deceased was earning a sum of Rs.25,000/-.  He added that the Tribunal, instead of taking the age of the deceased, had erroneouslyfixed the age of the mother of the deceased and passed the award and that thefuture prospects have also not been added while calculating the loss ofincome.

It was observed that the claimants had stated the deceased to have been earning   a sum of Rs.25,000/- as a JCB Operator but Tribunal reckoned only Rs.4,000/- as monthly salary.  The accident occurred in 2010.  The court held that consideringthe age of the deceased and also considering the fact that the salary of theJCB operator definitely would have been more than the amount fixed by theTribunal, the appellate  Courtexpressed inclination to take Rs.6,500/- as notional income.  Asper Sarala Varma case, if 40% of the amount is added for future prospects,the monthly income of the deceased would come to Rs.9,100/- p.m..

The Court further held that the appellant Insurers were right in stating that the deceased being a bachelor, 50% of salary should be deducted for personal expenses and thus   income per month comes to Rs.4,550/- -  annual income comes to Rs.54,600/-.  Further, the law is well settled that though the deceased was a bachelor, the age of the mother should not be taken into account and that the age of the deceased alone should be taken into account.  As the deceased was aged 28 – the multiplier was taken as 18 – but as the Insurers vehemently disputed the age and claimants too had not produced clinching documentary evidence, multiplier of 27 was taken. 

Taking the annual income arrived above applied with Multiplier No.17, the loss of income comes to Rs.9,28,200/- (Rs.54,600/- x 17).  Further, instead of compensation awarded on the other heads, the appellate court expressed inclination to award a sum of Rs.70,000/- towards conventional heads. Thus, the totalcompensation amount was worked at  Rs.9,98,200/-.   (Rs.6,500/- + 40% x 50% x 17 +   Rs.70,000/-)

The Hon’ble  High Court, thus on appeal, enhanced the award amount Rs.4,60,000/- to Rs.9,98,000/- and held that the rate of interest of 7.5% fixed by the Tribunal is in order.  The Court directed the Insurers  to deposit the entire award amount, less the amountalready deposited, with accrued interests and costs, within a period of eightweeks from the date of receipt of  copy of this judgment.  There was no order on costs and thus the Insurers ended up paying more than what was decreed by the Tribunal.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18th May 2018.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

handling failures ~ analysing TN +2 results 2018

Old timers will recall that the First Public Examination for the students used to be at Class XI – those who passed would join PUC in College and those days, the State First used to secure a little over 400 out of 500 -  a time when securing more than 80% was considered the ultimate !! ..  Those were the times when Newspapers would roll out special editions containing the Roll No. of those Candidates who passed the Examination.  It was ‘all numbers’ and those Special Supplements would sell like hot cakes…….. students, parents, near and dear would be elated to see their Registration No. appearing on the newspaper – it was a time to celebrate and so they would buy toffees and distribute ! – simple life … and the elite few who got 400 and above and got State ranks – their names would appear on the newspaper – the greatest of honours indeed…  do you know that the State no longer publishes the toppers and has infact banned displaying the marks and merit list !!!

TN + results were announced yesterday .. .. .. .. there are success stories - when she lost her father to a road accident in Chromepet last December, a few months ahead of her plus-two exams, M M Sri Pavitha Preethi and her family were left devastated. From dropping her to school, to coaching her and giving tips to prepare for the civil services, her father was Pavitha’s biggest support.  The exam results announced on Wednesday brought back happiness to the family as Pavitha, scoring 1176, was among the topmost performers from Saidapet Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School.  She had to walk long extra miles !!  - “I travelled for 1.5 hours from Pammal to my school every day. My day began at 5.30am and after finishing special classes in the evening I reached home at 7.30pm,” Pavitha said. “I want to get enrolled in Ethiraj College or Stella Maris for BCom and join UPSC coaching,” she said.

Away, 8 students, including six girls, allegedly committed suicide in five districts of the state after the results of the Class 10 and 12 Madhya Pradesh board examinations were declared on Monday, police said. While four students were from Class 10, an equal number were those who had appeared for the Class 12 exams, they said, adding that two girls, who attempted suicide, are undergoing medical treatment. While some of these students failed to clear their examinations, others took the extreme step as they had not fared as per their expectations, officials said.

A couple of years ago, we had organized a talk session for the students of SYMA Growth – and the Police Inspector of D3 Triplicane PS Mr R Dhalavoisamy  made a powerful speech.  It was simple and touched the nerves – failures are not to be feared.  Quoting personal examples he urged the students that a failure in Public exam or elsewhere would not push one out of the society.  While most people would advise the gathering on how to get top marks seeing it as the gateway of success, this Officer neatly narrated that one should never get disheartened by the failures.  I felt very impressed.

This year there  has been a drop in performance of science stream students in the state board Class XII exams, the results declared on Wednesday showed, prompting experts to predict a one mark dip in engineering cut-off scores for students whose marks range between 200 and 195. For those who score between 180 and 195, the cut-off or eligibility scores, calculated on marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics, would drop by 1.5 to 2 marks from last year, the experts reckoned.  Nearly 1,500 students scored 185 or more last year and shared the same cut-off. This year, only 900 students will share each cut-off score, said educational analyst.

In an interesting data TOI reveals that those who secured above 1150 in 2017 were 7527 now dropping to 1841 a whopping drop by 75.5% - similarly those who secured above 1000 dropped from 65489 to 46255 by 29.3% !!!! ~ now read this interesting news also from TOI. 

In an unusual gesture, a man from Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district threw a party for his son who had flunked his Class X board exams on Monday because he wanted to “motivate” the teenager to perform better. Earlier in the day, the MP board of secondary education had declared the results for the exams and within a few hours at least seven students had committed suicide. Civil contractor Surendra Vyas invited his relatives and friends for the surprise bash and only after reaching the venue did they realise that he had thrown the party for his son Ashu, who was wearing a garland.

‘I want to tell kids boards are not last exam’ “I love my father and promise to study hard in this academic session so that I pass with flying colours,” Ashu, a student of Saraswati Shishu Mandir, told TOI. Though most of the neighbours were taken aback, Kumar was unfazed. “This is how I want to motivate my son. After failing in exams, children go into depression and some of them even take the extreme step of ending their lives. I want to tell such children that boards are not the last exam. There is much more in life,” Kumar said. “My son can reappear in the exam again next year and with hard work can get better marks,” he added.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th May 2018.