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Alladi Ramakrishnan, 85, Scientist, Passes Away


Our beloved TAA member, Karamjeet Arya, passed away on March 28, 2008. An article recalling fond memories of Karamjeet has appeared in The Spartan Daily, San Jose, CA, USA.

TIFR alumni -- Dr Mukul Sinha and Dr L N Rajaram help unite families after the Tsunami disaster in Nagapattinam.

"Software works wonders in uniting families" By R.K. Radhakrishnan, CHENNAI, JAN. 12, 2005

It is a strange piece of equipment in the midst of earthmovers and heavy lift machinery: a team walks around, armed with a laptop computer with wireless connectivity. Amid the rubble in the coastal areas of Nagapattinam they make their way with one aim: uniting families.

In each hamlet, a volunteer operates the computer to display fresh pictures of those who have been declared missing or found dead. Fishermen patiently watch each picture, even as the administration carries on with the painful task of tracing the missing and trying to unite families.

It is this equipment that hardly fits a landscape cluttered by shovels, spades and earthmovers that ensured four siblings, Maheswari, Kalaiselvi, Manikandan and Mahendran, found their maternal aunt 48 hours after the December 26 tsunami strike.

"The mother of the four children was washed away. The children miraculously escaped," says the Collector, J. Radhakrishnan.

Hours later, as the children sat wondering about their fate in a school at Nambiar Nagar, their pictures were loaded on to the site. Their aunt, Avvaiya, came to claim them the next day. "As many as 110 people have been united, thanks to the software," says the Collector.

Central to the operation is the software named `Milan' (means `to unite' in Hindi), developed by the Delhi-based Expert Software Consultants. It was successfully used at large religious gatherings such as the Ujjain Kumbh Mela and the Ganga Sagar Mela last year, in which many people got separated from their families or groups they were travelling with. At the Kumbh Mela, for instance, the software helped to reunite 3,000 people with family and friends, according to Mukul Kumar Sinha, who started the company, along with a colleague from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).

After Anna University got in touch, the system was hurriedly set up to help the tsunami survivors in Nagapattinam, says Dr. Sinha. A 14-member team of Anna University, led by C.N. Krishnan, reached the worst-hit areas and set up the system within 24 hours.

Equipped with a laptop linked to the Internet by a Reliance mobile, the team went around the camps, collecting details from those who wished to find relatives. The police also made available information about the missing and deceased from their files.

All this information can be accessed over the Internet (www.helpmilan.info) . Just sex and approximate age are suffice to run a search, though other details such as height, name, father's name and location are recorded. The result usually includes the photograph of each person so that identification becomes easier.

The Nagapattinam police are also in the forefront of `Operation reunion.' They have set up www.tsunami.nagapattinampolice.info and linked it up with the Milan site. Besides, they have displayed the pictures of those missing in the Nagapattinam and Velankanni police stations. "One of the first things the police did was to go around the camps and photograph the survivors. This ensured that we had a good chance of uniting the families at an early date," says Dr. Radhakrishnan.

Copyright: 1995 - 2005 The Hindu

Source: The Hindu

January 5th, 2005

Prof. P. Ganguli, has been appointed as "Scientific Consultant on an Honorary Basis in the matters related to Innovation and IPR in the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt. of India", in the following order issued on January 4th 2005 by the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser, Govt of India.

The GOI order is as follows: "It has been decided to engage Professor Prabuddha Ganguli, Advisor, "VISION-IPR" and Adjunct Professor, School of Humanities, IIT Bombay as Scientific Consultant on Honorary Basis in matters related to Innovation and IPR in the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to GOI."

Prof. P. Ganguli is an alumnus of TIFR, an elected member of the Executive Committee of TIFR Alumni Association (TAA), and was the First President of TAA.

He can be contacted at ramugang@vsnl.com

Editorial in Hindustan Times (November 13, 2001) on Basmati.:

The Economic Times Mumbai (SUNDAY 21 JULY, 2002.) Cancer-Fighting tomatoes:Cashing in on the ability of a pigment, Lycopene, found naturally in tomatoes to act as cancer fighting agent, scientists in the US have developed tomatoes that have three times more of this pigment. The research by the scientists of the Purdue university and the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agriculture Research Service was aimed at developing higher quality tomatoes that would ripen late in view of food processing needs. In the process scientists discovered that the new tomatoes also had more of the antioxidant Lycopene than their conventional counterparts, according to a US embassy release. The research published in Nature Biotechnology involved inserting a gene along with another gene (promoter), derived from yeast, into tomato plants, the release said.

(Two investigators are Prof. Avtar K. Handa, Purdue University and Dr. Autar Mattoo, USDA.Dr. Handa is an alumnus of TIFR. Dr. Mattoo visited the Molecular Biology department of TIFR for a couple of summers when he was a faculty member at MSU, Baroda.)

Additional information at Purdue University and BBC news

Copyright : TIFR ; Author : Dsouza Margaret ; Created on 2005-11-08 ; Last modified on 2009-05-04.