TAMIL NADU

`Know the unknown'

An interactive programme, `know the unknown,' organised by a student of the Department of Social Work, Bishop Heber College, at the Rehabilitation Centre for Blind Women at Mannarapuram on Sunday, made students belonging to several other city colleges realise their responsibilities.

Though the primary purpose of the community awareness programme, according to S. Rama Sahana, the organiser, was to provide pre-marital counselling and enhance the confidence of students, the tete-a-tete provided them an opportunity to know the life and family background of their disabled counterparts.

D. Balasubramaniam, neuro psychiatrist, spoke.

T. R. Raju, Professor and Head, Department of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, delivered the 34th Fr. Balam Memorial lecture on `Brain stimulation and neuronal plasticity' organised by the Department of Botany, St. Joseph's College, Tiruchi.

Dr. Raju said brain stimulation was possible and it has been proved by extension studies. The network of nerves in the brain is 10 million metres long and the entire system was working on neuron network. The network is so perfect in its evolution that it works in perfect harmony without any master control.

Neuronal plasticity refers to unique property of nervous system to undergo structural, functional and chemical changes. Scientists at the NIMHANS were able to elicit this property in the hippocampus of rats following intra cranial self-stimulation and exposure to enriched environment in the cognitive functions related to learning and memory. Brain stimulation induced plasticity was able to ameliorate the adverse changes in the structure of neurons and memory functions. Studies have proved that brain stimulation could give very satisfactory results.

The Principal, A. G. Leonard, presided.

About 100 National Service Scheme women volunteers of the Jamal Mohamed College and students of Environmental Studies underwent tourism awareness programme last week.

They doubled up their trekking expedition along the banks of the Iyaru by carrying out environment friendly activities such as planting saplings in quite a few villages. Tourism department officials and environmentalists provided an impetus to the students. The students earned the appreciation of villagers, said S. Sheik Ismail, Programme Officer. They also visited Thiruvellarai, Alanthurai and the ancient granary near Thirunavalur en route.

The Youth Red Cross wing of the Bharathidasan University got its training manual released by S. Aruchamy, member, Vice-Chancellor's committee, in the presence of the State YRC Coordinator, V. Ayothi, last week during the inaugural of a two-day training programme for YRC programme officers of arts and science, and engineering colleges of the university zone.

The manual was edited and compiled by S. Karuppaiyan, YRC zonal coordinator, Bharathidasan University.

A total of 56 programme officers representing 51 colleges in Tiruchi, Karur, Perambalur, Pudukkottai, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam districts participated in the programme. Topics on Red Cross history, principles, emblem, first aid, structure of Red Cross, AIDS and environmental awareness, blood donation, road safety and disaster management were covered by experts in the respective fields.

Girls of the School of Engineering and Technology, Bharathidasan University, celebrated their Hostel Day recently.

Their effort to enable their hostel mate, Glorinda, a student hailing from Nazareth, suffering from Evans syndrome, receive quality treatment, a couple of months ago, was recalled on the occasion.

Guided by the Director, Vivekanandan, and the warden, Manimegalai, they fanned out throughout the city and prevailed upon philanthropists to contribute for a humble cause. They pledged their jewels and succeeded in mobilising Rs. 4 lakhs to meet the treatment expenses of the poor student at the Christian Medical College in Vellore.

Another reason for their happiness was their role in making a `kitchen garden' spring up on the hostel premises.

For the benefit of students aspiring to become an Indian Administrative Service officer, an IAS Study Circle was inaugurated at the H.H. The Rajah's College in Pudukottai by its principal, K. Mani, recently.

Over 50 students from the college and those from the Government Arts College for Women in Pudukottai have enrolled themselves as members of the circle. The circle plans to organise weekly seminars and lectures by experts in various fields.

During the brief function, the students were exhorted to develop self-confidence and work with a definite plan in achieving the goal.

A workshop on `Genomics and proteomics,' under the auspices of the Department of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics of the Dhanalakshmi Srinivasan College of Arts and Science for Women in Perambalur was organised recently. In all 32 delegates from seven colleges from Tamil Nadu participated in the workshop.

A. Krishnamachari, professor, Bioinformatics Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, presided. He explained the importance of the application of genomics and proteomics in various fields.

D. Velmurugan from the Department of Crystallography and Biophysics of the University of Madras delivered the keynote address.

The principal, R. M. Meenakshi, delivered the valedictory address.

K. Varadharajan, Chairman, Thanthai Roever Educational and Social Welfare Institutions, inaugurated the `Alumni Chapter' of the Thanthai Hans Roever College in Perambalur recently. He said the chapter would link the former students, the college and the community. An Alumni Charity has also been constituted as part of the Chapter to assist the poor.

About 150 former students of the college were present. They assured to donate so that the funds could be used as scholarship for the students.

Balamurugan, scientist, Praveen, Saravanan, Senthil Anand, software experts, and Prabhu, business associate, were among the old students who spoke. The coordinator of the chapter, G.Ravi, spoke.

(Contributed by Syed Muthahar, R. Krishnamoorthy,

R. Rajaram and

M. Balaganessin in Tiruchi)