TAMIL NADU

Briefly

Scholarship increased

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Educational Trust has decided to hike the scholarship amount for college students, besides increasing the number of beneficiaries from the current academic year. The Trust, with Governor Surjit Singh Barnala as its president, decided at its managing committee meeting on Tuesday that the scholarship for graduate courses would be increased from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,000, for the postgraduate courses from Rs. 3,000 to 3,500 and for professional courses from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 4,000. The increase will be applicable to those who are already receiving the scholarship, a Trust release said.

Against the erstwhile practice of selecting 200 students for award of scholarship every year, the benefit will be extended to 50 more students from this year.

Meena Muthiah, S.V. Chittibabu and Sarojini Varadappan attended the meeting. Students who have passed the qualifying examination in the first class and the annual income of whose parents or guardians does not exceed Rs. 50,000 are eligible to submit applications for scholarship to the Honorary Secretary, TNET, Raja Annamalai Building Annex, 18/3 Rukmini Lakshmipathy Road, Egmore, Chennai-600 008 till October 31. — Special Correspondent

Chosen for Periyar award

CHENNAI: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam property protection committee member, Tiruthuraipoondi T.S. Kalyanasundaram, has been chosen for the Periyar award, instituted by the DMK Trust. The party president, M. Karunanidhi, will present the award in Tirunelveli on September 17, along with three other awards. All the awards carry a citation and Rs. 25,000 in cash.

The Anna award will be given to R.V. Janakiraman, organiser, Pondicherry DMK. The Pavendhar Barathidasan award will be given to M.P. Balasubramaniam, patron, DMK literary wing, and the Kalaignar award to Gangaikondan A. Karuppaiah, former MLA and senior party member. — Special Correspondent

Narcotics seized

NAGERCOIL: The Railway Protection Force here has seized an abandoned suitcase and four bags containing 48 kg of narcotic items in the Howrah Express.

According to police sources, the Railway Protection Force personnel who were in the train, noticed a suitcase and four bags chained together. They tried in vain to apprehend the culprits, but seized the bags and the suitcase. — Staff Reporter

Children taken ill

DINDIGUL: About 350 children of a Panchayat Union Middle School at Kozhinjipatti in Nilakottai union were treated at the Dindigul Government Hospital for vomiting and giddiness on Thursday evening. The school staff said a few students vomited after taking lunch. When more students complained of vomiting, emergency treatment was given to the affected students at the Government Hospital at Ammayanaickanur.

All other students, who had taken the noon-meal served at the school, were immediately sent to Government Hospital here for check up. Many children were treated as out-patients and only four were admitted. The condition of the admitted children was stable, doctors said. Chief Educational Officer Rama. Pandurangan visited the hospital.

The Superintendent of Police, M. Kandasamy, and revenue officials held an inquiry with the school authorities. Parents alleged that the children found a dead lizard in the food and the staff reportedly removed a portion of the contaminated rice and served the rest of it to the children. — Staff Reporter

Farmers' meet put off

NAGAPATTINAM: The Nagapattinam district farmers grievances meeting which was scheduled to be held on Thursday has been postponed to August 25. The meeting will be held at the Collectorate here at 11 a.m. on that day, according to an official release. — Staff Reporter

Thanjavur

The farmers grievance day scheduled to be held on August 19 has been postponed to August 25, according to a press release issued here by the Collector, M. Veera Shanmugha Moni.

Farmers can participate in the meeting and air their grievances, if any, and get them redressed. — Special Correspondent

Free medical camp

Thanjavur: A total of 1200 persons, including 500 students, were screened at a free medical camp organised jointly by the Shankara Arogya Seva Trust, Mannargudi, Rotary club of Muthupettai and Chandrasekara Rural Development Society at Muthupettai in Tiruvarur district on Thursday. Dr. M. Akila, Deputy Director, Public Health, inaugurated the camp.

Dr. R. Anantharaj, Joint Director, Public Health presided over the camp. According to S. Ranganathan of Shankara Arogya Seva Trust, specialists in tuberculosis, diabetes, dental and gynaecology rendered their services in the camp.

Drugs donated by Direct Relief International, USA to Shankara Arogya Seva Trust were given to the persons treated in the camp by team of doctors who inculded P. Ilavazhagan, T. Gurumurthi, C. Prem Mohan, R. Chandrasekaran, M.G. Radhakrishnan, R. Indira and D. Vedarajan. — Special Correspondent

Mettur level

Tiruchi: The water level in the Mettur dam stood at 117.13 feet today.

The inflow was 59,582 cusecs and the discharge, 15,000 cusecs. — Staff Reporter

Girl student commits suicide

ERODE: A girl student, studying in engineering college near Chitode, committed suicide by hanging herself.

According to police, Nithiya, 18, a native of Cheyyaru in Tiruvannamalai district, was studying second year engineering and staying in the college hostel along with other girl students.

On Wednesday morning she remained in the hostel room while others left for college. In the evening they returned to find the room locked from inside and repeated knocks failed to get any response. When they broke it open they found Nithiya hanging inside. Chitode police have registered a case of suicide. After postmortem the body was handed over to the parents. It is alleged that Nithiya committed suicide after having failed in the exam. - Staff Reporter

Fire in cycle stand

ERODE: More than 50 cycles, ten motorcycles and three cars were damaged in a fire at Kavindapady cycle stand near bus stand on Wednesday morning.

According to police, a sudden fire broke out in the stand and spread fast, destroyed the cycles, motorcycles and cars. The loss is estimated at Rs 4 lakhs. - Staff Reporter

Water level

MADURAI: The water level in the Periyar dam stood at 133.40 feet with an inflow of 771 cusecs and a discharge of 1870 cusecs.

The Vaigai dam's level was 52.66 feet with an inflow of 1439 cusecs and a discharge of 741 cusecs.

The combined Periyar credit stood at 7336 mcft.

Rainfall was recorded in the following places (in mm): Periyar 5, Tekkadi 2 and Thaniamangalam 2.5. — Staff Reporter

Panther skin seized: one held

Ramanathapuram: Customs officials on Thursday arrested a person and seized panther skin from him.

Sources said acting on tip off customs officials surrounded Palpandi (22), son of Muniandi of Dhanushkodi. He was possessing panther skin worth of Rs.1.5 lakhs. The panther skin might have been smuggled from Sri Lanka. — Staff Reporter

NAAC team to visit college

Sivaganga: The peer team of National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) will visit the Arumugam Pillai Seethai Ammal College, Tirupattur in Sivaganga district.

Dr. S. Srinivasan, Principal said the team, headed by Dr. Naresh Chandra, Principal, Birla College, Kalyan, Maharastra, would assess the infrastructure and other facilities at the college on 2nd and 3rd September. — Staff Reporter

MKU examination to commence on Nov. 3

Madurai: The November 2005 semester examinations for undergraduate courses of Madurai Kamaraj University will commence on November 3.

According to a release, the examinations for postgraduate courses will begin on November 10.

While the last date for receipt of examination application forms from private candidates without penalty is August 25, with a penalty of Rs.15 it is August 31 and with a penalty of Rs.60 the last date is September 8.

Distribution of ration cards reviewed

Sivaganga: The Commissioner for Food and Consumer Protection, Mr. Kolappan, on Thursday reviewed the distribution of ration cards here.

The discussion held at the Collectorate, where officials of cooperative and civil supplies departments participated.

He directed the officials to ensure distribution of essential commodities to the cardholders.

He asked officials to conduct surprise raid to ensure proper distribution.

He issued order to monitor the functioning of noon meal centres.

Later, he checked the functioning of NGO cooperative fair price shop, Amudham fair price shop and a noon meal centre at Mannar Higher Secondary School, Sivaganga.

The District Revenue Officer, Palanisamy, and the District Supply Officer, Velusamy, accompanied him. — Staff Reporter

Power shutdown tomorrow

THENI: There will be no power supply between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday in the following areas owing to maintenance work to be carried out at the Uthamapalayam sub- station: Uthamapalayam, Chinnamanur, Kombai, Cumbum, Pudhupatti, Pannaipuram, Margaiyankottai, Erasakkanaickanur, Royappanpatti, and nearby villages. — Staff Reporter.