July 22, 2019 will remain an important day for many many years to come. At 2:43 pm on Monday, the Chandrayaan 2 launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Station, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh to create history.
Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) heavy lift rocket called the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle- Mark 2, nicknamed Bahubali is 43.4 metre tall and weighs 640 tons. Bahubali carried the 3,850 Kg Chandrayan-2 spacecraft.
After the success of its first space mission to the moon, Chandrayan-1, through which the discovery of water on the moon was made, Chandrayan-2 looks forward to carrying out experiments on the moon. These experiments include tests conducted to comprehend the extent of water distribution along with examining the satellite’s outer atmosphere.
The main aim of the mission is to land the rover on the moon, putting India on the map and making her the fourth country to do so. This project is considered as India’s most ambitious and complex space project till date.
It may be noted that Chandrayaan-2 was originally scheduled to leave earth one week before July 22. A technical glitch forced ISRO to call off the launch on July 15.
After the launch of Chandrayaan-2, ISRO stated, “Chandrayaan 2 attempts to foster a new age of discovery, increase our understanding of space, stimulate the advancement of technology, promote global alliances, and inspire a future generation of explorers and scientists.”
Dignitaries like the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of India Ramnath Kovind and Home Minister Amit Shah shared their heartfelt joy at the launch. Akshay Kumar, Sadhguru, Mahesh Babu, Virat Kohli and Anand Mahindra were among the other celebs who shared pride and joy on the momentous occasion.
With the Chandrayaan-2 launch, India has now taken yet another step forward to fulfill her giant space dreams.
Professor PVGD Prasad Reddy, a senior faculty of the Department of Computer Science and System Engineering at Andhra University, Vizag, has been given the additional charge of Vice-Chancellor of the varsity. Interacting with the media, Professor Reddy expressed his gratitude towards Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy, and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament PV Vijayasai Reddy, for giving him this opportunity. Professor Reddy, who officially took charge on 17 July, 2019, also shared his future plans for the University.
Professor Reddy, the newly appointed Andhra University Vice Chancellor, aims to bring a change in the education system at Andhra University. He plans to focus on providing quality education and also work towards developing the infrastructure. He also assures the students with better job opportunities after the completion of their respective courses. Professor Reddy also includes the students of all the affiliated colleges, of Andhra University, stating that these plans aim for them as well. Especially, the aim of providing employment opportunities.
He conveys to AU students that there is no need for the protest to take place. All the students are free to either approach him directly, or write to him, regarding any unsolved issues. These will be addressed to as per the AU’s rules and regulations. Professor Reddy, Andhra University Vice Chancellor, Vizag also mentions that the examination results will be announced within a month of the actual exam and reevaluation processes will also be made faster.
Additionally, the other aspect Professor Reddy touched upon is providing quality food for the students in the university’s mess. Moreover, Andhra University’s Registrar, Mr. T. Byragi Reddy, with a team of professors inspected the food available. He then requested the wardens to regularly inspect the quality of the food being provided and ensure that disciplinary action be taken in case of any negligence towards the same.
The third season of Bigg Boss Telugu premiered on 21 July. Hosted by Akkineni Nagarjuna, the Telugu version of Bigg Boss 3 has 15 contestants, ranging from actors to YouTube personalities. With all the contestants being given a warm reception into the house on Sunday, here’s what you need to know about them.
Telugu Bigg Boss 3 Contestants Information:
#1 Shiva Jyothi
Shiva Jyothi, aka ‘Teenmaar’ Savitri, is known for her show Teenmaar on channel V6. The news presenter is famous for her Telangana dialect and humorous stints with co-host Bithiri Sathi.
#2 Ravi Krishna
Growing popular with his roles in serials like Bavamaradallu, That is Mahalakshmi and Sundarakanda Baba, Ravi Krishna is a renowned TV actor in Telugu.
#3 Ashu Reddy
Famous for her lip-sync videos on the internet, Ashu Reddy has a following amongst youngsters. Also known as ‘Junior Samantha’ for her resemblance with the actress, Reddy is one of the internet celebs to make it to Telugu Bigg Boss 3.
#4 Jaffar Babu
A popular face on TV, Jaffar Babu is known for his show ‘Mukha Mukhi’ on Telugu news channel TV9. Never too far away from controversies, Jaffar marked one of the more anticipated entries into the Bigg Boss house on Sunday.
#5 Punarnavi Bhupalam
Punarnavi Bhupalam turned into a familiar face with her role in the film Uyyala Jampala. A student of Psychology and Journalism, Bhupalam made a striking entry into the show with an impressive dance performance.
#6 Mahesh Vitta
An actor who shot to fame with his YouTube videos, Mahesh Vitta is known for his Rayalaseema dialect. The comedian also made appearances in films like Nene Raju Nene Mantri, Padi Padi Leche Manasu, and Krishnarajuna Yuddham among others.
A seasoned actress in Telugu films, Hema is one of the more popular contestants taking part in Telugu Bigg Boss 3. Notably, she also forayed into politics recently.
#8 Ali Reza
Called as small screen’s Mahesh Babu, Ali Reza is known for his roles in Pasupa Kumkuma and Maate Mantramu. The actor also played a role in Ram Charan’s Dhruva.
#9 Baba Bhaskar
Keeping the audience hooked with his dance moves, Baba Bhaskar is a popular choreographer in South Indian film industry. He is also remembered for his appearance on dance reality show Dhee.
Known for her show-hosting prowess, Sreemukhi became popular with shows like Pataas and Sa re ga ma pa. She even acted in a few films and is expected to be one of the popular contestants with the viewers.
Himaja is a popular face among the viewers of Telugu TV serials, thanks to her roles in Koncham Istam Koncham Kastam and Swayamvaram. She also made appearances in films like Nenu Shailaja and Shatamanam Bhavati.
#12 Rohini Noni
Yet another TV actress who grew popular with a few striking characters, Rohini Noni is a native of Visakhapatnam. She is known for her performance in the TV show Inspector Kiran.
#13 Rahul Sipligunj
The voice behind the popular track ‘Ranga Ranga Ragasthalana’ from Ram Charan starrer Rangasthalam, Rahul is the only singer to feature on the show this year.
#14 Varun Sandesh
Garnering fame with movies like Happy Days and Kotha Bangaru Lokam, Varun Sandesh is one of the notable contestants to take part in Telugu Big Boss 3.
#15 Vithika Sheru
Throwing up a surprise, the organisers of Bigg Boss decide to host a couple this year. Actress Vithika Sheru has joined her husband Varun Sandesh on the show to mark the celeb couple on Telugu Bigg Boss 3.
In what came as yet another instance that shed light on the lack of amenities in rural areas, a pregnant woman had to be carried to a hospital in a ‘doli’. The woman was made to rest in the stretcher made from a cloth tied to a log and was carried along a muddy path by her family members. The incident took place in Kothavalasa village, Madugula mandal in Vizag district.
Owing to the improper roads and poor connectivity to the village, no ambulance was able to attend to the medical emergency leaving the locals with no other option. The woman was taken to KJ Puram hospital in Vizag, where she gave birth to a child. Reportedly, the mother and the baby are in stable condition.
#WATCH A pregnant woman carried for more than 6 kms to KJ Puram hospital from Kothavalsa village on a makeshift stretcher made from a cloth tied to a wooden log, due to lack of road connectivity. The woman & the child are in stable condition. #Visakhapatnampic.twitter.com/Wn9VtS0IHI
The villagers in Visakhapatnam have been demanding the government officials to lay proper roads in their village and set up a health care centre. With the video going viral on social media, several individuals too highlighted the need for ensuring basic amenities in rural areas across the country.
The World Bank, after dropping the $300 million worth financial aid to Amaravati, has issued a statement on its ongoing partnership with Andhra Pradesh. In the statement, the World Bank stated that on 15 July, the Government of India (GoI) withdrew its request to the World Bank for financing the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Infrastructure and Institutional Development Project.
“The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has been informed that the proposed project is no longer under preparation following the government’s decision,” the statement read. The World Bank, however, noted that it continues to extend support to Andhra Pradesh in areas of health, agriculture, energy and disaster management among others.
The World Bank continues to support the state of Andhra Pradesh with over $1 billion program that covers the health, agriculture, energy and disaster management sectors. This includes a new $328 million support to the state’s health sector signed with the Government of Andhra Pradesh on June 27, 2019.
The World Bank has had a long and productive partnership with the state of Andhra Pradesh. The state has pioneered some remarkable development innovations, such as the women’s self-help group movement, that other countries have learned from. The World Bank is proud to have collaborated on these programs, and to have helped carry these examples to the rest of the world.
As the new government sets its development priorities, we stand ready to provide whatever support the state and the Government of India might request,” the statement by World Bank added.
On 18 July, the World Bank website had shown the status of the financial aid to Amaravati as “dropped”. This led to a blame game between the ruling YSRCP, led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, and the opposition TDP, led by former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Two buildings of the 1900s are now being restored to their former glory. Join Jaya Siva Murty, as she takes you to what was, is and can be the potential future of Town Hall and Visakhapatnam Municipality.
Few cities have a past to boast about. Even fewer have structures that speak volumes about that glorious past. Visakhapatnam is blessed to have ticked the boxes on both those counts. Our bay city is home to many architecture and heritage marvels that date back to the early 1900s. As they hold within them centuries of history, it is our duty as the citizens of Visakhapatnam, to ensure that those stories aren’t forgotten with time.
The Town Hall
The Town Hall, located in the once-upscale neighbourhood of the One Town Area was constructed in 1904. Spread over 5000 sq yards, this was a gift from the Maharaja of Bobbili to the public. Commemorating the golden jubilee celebrations of the British Queen Victoria, this Gothic structure was called the ‘Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town Hall’. A legendary example of Victorian architecture, it represented a time when congenial relations existed between the two nations. Impressive stone masonry, a grand portico, lavish wooden flooring, large staircases, a huge tiled-roof, false turrets and circular rooms were a few of its key highlights. Also, to bring in the best, tiles for this building came from Mangalore and beams all the way from Scotland.
The structure’s importance grew during the independence movement, as it became the hub for impassioned freedom speeches, agendas and even for the salt satyagraha. Discussions and important meetings to work towards the freedom movement took place here too. After independence, the Town Hall continued to enjoy its glorious stature. Many great stalwarts even performed here, remembering the environment as surreal. But slowly over time, as other parts of the city started coming up, this glorious structure was forgotten. Surrounded by filth, sections of it broken and overgrown with weeds and covered in dust, it soon fell into disrepair.
The Visakhapatnam Municipality
The pages of yesteryears also saw the Visakhapatnam Municipality, which was set up in 1858. Known as Vizagapatam back then, the municipality was formed to fulfil the basic infrastructural requirements of people here. The role of the municipality expanded, and by the late 1920s, a larger area for operation became important. The building was then constructed in 1931 at Fort Ward, One Town. There are many striking aspects of the Old Municipal office building. For one, this is the first Municipal office building to be constructed during the British Regime. Close inspection also shows a striking resemblance with the Maharanipeta Collectors office building, and it was this body that was converted into Municipal Corporation in 1979. With the passage of time, newer constructions came up in the city, and the Municipal building fell into disrepair and was quickly forgotten.
A Promising Future
Today, a group of conscientious citizens have managed to revive the interest of a larger part of the city towards this cause. Bringing it to the attention of the authorities, heritage narrator Jayshree Hatangadi and the team of INTACH members are making a difference. As a result, the scenario of the Town Hall and the Visakhapatnam Municipality looks hopeful, as efforts to restore the structures to their former glory are in full swing. Three crores have been allocated for town hall for restoration purposes while a matching amount has been allocated for the Municipal building as well. The project is being initiated by GVMC, as it gets the personal attention of GVMC Commissioner Hari Narayan, who has a background in architecture. The restoration work is being undertaken by M/s Savani Heritage Conservation Pvt. Ltd, which is bringing both its expertise and 23 years of experience on to these projects. This organization specializes in the restoration of stone and working with lime, and its portfolio boasts of having worked with the Council Hall Pune and the Taj Hotel Bombay, among other projects.
Work at both the buildings is now on to bring them to their former glory. Sravani, part of M/s Savani Heritage Conservation talked about the Town Hall and reflected that while the ground floor rooms had been neatly maintained by the club members, the wooden flooring on the second floor had been damaged due to improper use and poor maintenance. Alternations such as adding additional bathrooms started causing structural damage, with issues like water leakage leading to corrosion of steel. The sloping roof of the structure has been dismantled, and the same tiles have been utilized for reconstructing the roof. A membrane sheet has been added to make the structure waterproof. With the work aimed to retain the site as a public-oriented design, conservation keeps in mind the humid weather conditions of the city.
Speaking about the Old Municipal building, she shares that the work involved dismantling damaged walls, treating surface cracks, laying a new slab and most importantly working with lime treatments on the walls. All these efforts have been put in place to make the building structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing and as close to its original fabric as possible.
As you pass by these buildings, a pleasant sight greets the eyes. People are striving so that the landmark history that was created in this city once upon age isn’t forgotten with the passage of time. As a crucial element of our glorious past is being revived, the future of these efforts and these structures lies in our hands. As Jayshree points out, while restoration ensures that a major job is done, it is also our responsibility to ensure that these buildings are put to apt use post conservation. Whatever activities that are undertaken here, should uphold their worth and value. It is, after all, the city’s heritage that lends it a unique character, and we must ensure that these heirlooms of our city stand tall, for our future generations and tell their stories for many more visitors in the future as well.
Aruna Katragadda’s School Radio initiative in Visakhapatnam creates space for the 5-25-year-olds to express themselves.
With radio being pushed into the background and technology bringing visual media to many homes, Aruna was quick to see the gamut of opportunity this medium still had. Started on 13 February 2015 in Visakhapatnam, a day that marks World Radio Day, the concept of School Radio was both simple and powerful. It would target school going children via programmes created by peers of their age groups.
Deciding to go online, owing to low cost and wider reach through the Internet, this was planned to be unlike community radio at the outset. With the cost of online radio not requiring high licensing costs, the Internet was the way to go. However shaping the concept of School Radio into reality, was a different ball game altogether. Also for Aruna, who was new to the line, mastering the intricacies, was a learning process.
With awareness on the radio being low, a lot of time and energy also had to be expended in convincing people of its feasibility and importance. But the end truly justified the means, feels Aruna, who elaborates on her measures of success. “We knew we were on the right track when we saw the happy expressions of the children, as we played their content to them on the radio,” she shares, her face reflecting enthusiasm. After a successful pilot project in ten schools, the three-day programme was polished further and taken to other schools. “Till date, 3000 students and 250 teachers have been trained, not just in Andhra Pradesh, but in Telangana and Maharashtra as well. In fact, students pursuing graduation and post-graduation courses are also part of School Radio.”
Recharging a medium considered obsolete, today the School Radio is doing many things. It has a 3-day training module, where school students are trained on the content building, editing, production, and broadcasting. Teachers are trained in moderating the content and aspects for students to work on. Being a student-driven initiative, it is these students who choose the language of content, the RJ, scriptwriters and even the anchors. Taking charge of the entire process, the created content is also edited by the students.
The team of School Radio offers technical support, shares Aruna. “They send recordings to us every month, and our six-member team does the final edits, before putting it up on School Radio. The benefits of this initiative have been many”, Aruna shares. “Not only do the children learn the entire process of creating a radio show, but they also shed their fears, become more confident, improve their language, learn to research, master negotiations and get motivated and learn to work as a team.” A novel concept on many fronts, School Radio also opens young minds to the new age opportunities in media and broadcasting.
The Visakhapatnam Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has been requesting the Andhra Pradesh State Government to establish a geopark in the city. This will be the first of its kind in India. To take this cause further, they have organised a rally which will take place on Sunday 21 July 2019. Also known as a “heritage walk”, it will take place on Beach Road, starting from the Kali Temple, at 7 AM, and finishing at YMCA. The heritage walk will be flagged off by MVV Satyanarayana, Member of Parliament, Visakhapatnam and Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, Chairman, Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA).
Geoparks are nationally-protected areas with a number of Geo heritage sites. The latter refers to the sites, or areas of a geological feature, with significant scientific, educational, cultural or aesthetic value. There is a great threat to these important features due to urbanization, mining and other human activities. In order to conserve these geologic features the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has promoted an innovative approach, under its Geopark initiative, by establishing the Global Geopark Network (GGN) in 2004. The establishment of Geoparks also helps in the -economic development based on Geotourism and Geo products. Even though UNESCO has identified 147 Geoparks in 41 countries, there are none established in India whereas China has 39 in place.
A number of significant geological sites, in Visakhapatnam District, have a huge potential of becoming a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN). A prominent one is Erra Matti Dibbalu, which is one of the 34 national geo-heritage sites, recognized by the Government of India, for its vital geological features. Additional sites are the natural arch at Visakhapatnam Beach, the Borra Caves, with their bauxite deposits, and volcanic ash layer from Indonesia deposited in Araku Valley 75,000 years ago. Also, the archaeological sites such as Thotlakonda, Bavikonda and Bojjannakonda have also been added.
Priyam Tated, from Vizag, has represented India in the diverse discipline of Artistic Skating in World Roller Games 2019. The championship was held in Barcelona, Spain from 27 June to 14 July 2019. The 15-year-old has managed to secure fourth place and has missed the podium by a small margin. The youngster hopes to achieve several laurels in the next World Championship.
From skating being a mere hobby at the age of 3, it transformed into a passion and has won him several accolades and massive success. He has been continuously representing India since 2016 at various national and international events.
In the near past, Tated also achieved the National Child Award or the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Shakti Puraskar by the Ministry of Women and Child Development for exceptional achievement in sports. In total, the young skater has bagged 28 National medals in freestyle ice-skating and 6 International medals in inline freestyle roller skating thus far. Additionally, Priyam also participated in the Republic Day Parade where he met the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
About the World Roller Games:
The World Roller Games essentially has experienced the world’s largest event in Barcelona. As regulated by the World Skate international federation, the event comprised of all the world championship roller sports disciplines.
The World Roller Games, 2019 saw more than 4000 athletes. Overall, from the 4000 athletes coming from various parts of the world, the top eleven were crowned under diverse disciplines such as Alpine, Artistic, Roller, Freestyle, Downhill, Inline Freestyle, Inline Hockey, Rink Hockey, Roller Derby, Scooter, Speed, and Skateboarding.
The Vizag- based skater, Priyam Tated has yet again managed to make the people of the city very proud by his hard work and perseverance towards his passion, skating.
The third season of Telugu reality show Bigg Boss will be going on air on Sunday, 21 July. Set to be hosted by actor Nagarjuna Akkineni, the show comes after the success of its first two seasons, hosted by Jr NTR and Nani respectively. While it was Siva Balaji who won the title in 2017, Kausal Manda was declared as the winner in the previous season. Bigg Boss 3 Telugu will have 15 contestants battling it out in the house.
The upcoming season will be having a range of celebrities including actors, anchors, journalists, and other artists. Actors Varun Sandesh, Vithika Sheru, Hema, Ali Reza, Himaja, Punarnavi Bhupalam, Rohini, comedian Mahesh Vitta, TV hosts Sreemukhi, ‘Teenmaar’ Savitri, journalist Jaffar, singer Rahul Sipligunj, choreographer Baba Bhaskar, are likely to make their entry into the Bigg Boss house this season.
Premiere amidst sexual harassment row
Allegations of casting couch though have cast clouds over the show’s fate. Journalist Swetha Reddy and actor Gayatri Gupta filed police complaints against the show’s organisers alleging sexual harassment.
The complainants had alleged that they were cheated and misled by a few staffers of STAR MAA, who were in charge of selecting the contestants for Bigg Boss 3 Telugu. While Ms. Gupta claimed that her name was dropped from the list after she refused to give in to sexual favours, Ms. Reddy alleged that she was fat-shamed, apart from being asked to “impress” a certain person.
It may be noted that security was beefed up at the residence of Nagarjuna following a call for protests given by women’s and students’ groups.