Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Chennai Line

Sometime ago I was trying to locate an address in Ayanavaram. After getting that task done, on a whim, much like searching for your own name on Google, I typed in ‘Ayanavaram’ and clicked on search. I landed here as a result and was pleasantly surprised to see that the site had considerable information on Chennai.

Chennailine, yet another one in the long line of Chennai based sites. The categories, area based useful numbers, dining, shopping, services addresses are done well. Take a look.

Judging Synapse or how I learned to stop worrying and love the kids

Synapse is a school-level competition organised by the Sornammal Education Trust at its school in Aynavaram. Last week, I was invited to judge the essay competition for sixth, seventh and eighth standard students. The topic that the students wrote on was “How would you change the school syllabus if you were the education minister of the state”.

Of Schools and Learning

I grew up in a school where sack-like uniforms of grey and white stripes were the norm. Shoes and socks must and were worn at all hours and all days of summer and winter – and perspiring like crazy, along with itchy socks is a predominant school-day memory.

Hari Shree Vidyalayam in Raja Annamalaipuram, under the management of the Chettinad Vidyashram group, presents a novel sight. Their children wear pavadai chattai (prescribed as such in the prospectus) and jibbas and pyjamas. And they’re mostly barefoot within the school. Something that’s possible because the school boasts polished Chettinad tiles and beautifully glazed work for the floors of its school rooms. I tell you, it’s a delight to simply remove your footwear and walk on them. Oh, and lest you forget, they have little raised platforms outside each classroom, where you can leave your shoes.

The reason for my presence there (and thus, the observation of little kiddies skipping about in colourful dresses) – was a book exhibition held in the school, as part of a Book Reading Week. I had quite a few hours to watch children as they picked and chose their way over a vast range of books by various publishers of children’s fiction.

Cross words in T Nagar

Tomorrow it will be officially open for business. But the business of books has already begun at Crossword, T Nagar. Situated on the first floor of the new Kuppu Arcade, Venkatnarayana Road (somewhat opposite Panagal Park), the first of the book chains to enter T Nagar has found a good spot.

The ambience is very inviting, plenty of seating to make oneself comfortable, a biro coffeeshop adjacent for refreshments and an absence of the hurry that characterizes the shopping district of Chennai.

The books are still being unpacked but a reasonable collection is on display already. Given the proximity of several IT companies, the Business and Management books section is well-stocked and occupies an entire wall. This branch is much bigger than the one in Shopper’s Stop and seems all set to become a stopper’s spot.

The Tree of Knowledge

Wednesdays end up being memorable, as far as I’m concerned. Out of all the seven days in the week, the fruitful meetings always take place, I find, on W-Day. Perhaps this is because I’m currently governed by Budhan, Great and Bountiful Lord of Numbers and Words. But I had the chance to take a look at the Vidya Vrikshah.

The Tree of Knowledge is in some ways a clich√©; it is used oftentimes to describe events and enterprises that don’t really deserve such a warm epithet. Or perhaps it’s just the wishful thinking of people who run said enterprises, hoping that it will someday prove to be exactly what the name says. Whatever. The Vidya Vrikshah I visited turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It’s a small apartment, really, ensconced within one of the numerous multi-storeyed buildings right next to the MGR-Janaki College. Easy to miss, unless you’re looking for it. I’ve whizzed past this road so many times (heck, everyday, as a matter of fact), without knowing the dedicated team that was working inside one of those little clusters.

15 year old Chandrasekaran pursuing M Tech at IIT, Madras

The latest issue of Ananda Vikatan carries a report on Mr Chandrasekaran, aged 15, pursuing M Tech at IIT, Madras. Chandrasekaran, hailing from Tirunelveli , has become the youngest person to pursue M Tech at IIT, Madras.Chandrasekaran had bagged the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certificate when he was just 10 and recieved a Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate an year later.He completed his schooling at the age of 12, did his BCA at Kalasalingam College of Engineering at Sri Villiputhur. He scored 99.32 % in the Aptitude Test for M Tech course and gained entry to IIT Madras.

(with inputs from Ananda Vikatan and web reports)

Bang, Bang, Head, Head


Yale University’s Madras (Chennai) connection

Tamil studies were introduced in one of America’s oldest – and leading – universities, Yale in Connecticut some time during 2004. And it was in Madras that Yale made his fortune, a small bit of which went towards having the university named after him. In about 1670 Elihu Yale, came to Madras with the East India Company as a ‘writer’ at 10 Pound Sterling a year. By the time he returned, twenty seven years later, he had amassed a fortune. In 1718 Rev. Cotton Mather of Boston wrote to him promoting the needs of Connecticut College, New Haven and suggested that a financial contribution might result in a change of the name to Yale College. Elihu’s bequest to the college was worth 1,162 Pound Sterling , the largest donation made to the college in its first 122 years. Yale’s gifts amounted to textiles from Madras that fetched 562 Pounds Sterling on sale and 449 books – many still in the Yale library – and a painting of George I which together were valued at about ¬£600.

IIT Madras – At the cutting-edge of research

I was going through the latest issue of the Outlook magazine and it ranks the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras at No. 4 in the country amongst all engineering colleges. But, IIT Madras ranks no.1 in Mechanical Engineering and No. 2 in Civil Engineering.

What is more interesting is the fact that only IIT Madras and no other IIT in the country attracts industry-sponsored research that matches the Government efforts. What it means is most of the IIT’s in the country are happy in getting Government funding and not doing enough to attract grants from the private sector through research.

MCC – Class of ’81 Reunion

Message from Murali, a passionate alumnus and organizer of the reunion

This year marks the Silver Jubilee of the graduating Class of 81 of the prestigious Madras Christian College. A ReUnion has been planned on the August 13th and 14th at Chennai and participation has been confirmed from around the globe. The theme would be “Celebrating 25 years of Nostalgia and Fellowship” and the two days would provide an opportunity for ’81 Alumni to get reacquainted with former classmates and families to reminisce on old times.

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