9-day book fest at Kakinada

For the first time in the city, a book festival on a grand scale is to be held for nine days from March 8. Vijayawada Book Festival Society (VBFS), which is known for conducting a 10-day book festival every year uninterruptedly for the last 25 years, is making arrangements for conducting the festival opposite the JNTUK. Over 100 stalls consisting of about one lakh titles of Telugu, English, Hindi and Sanskrit will be arranged at the festival.

Secretary of the VBFS Ravikindi Ramaswamy, at a press conference , said besides conducting the annual book festival in Vijayawada, the society conducted festivals Machilipatnam, Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry.



Three-day Kakinada Beach Festival begins

Union Minster for Human Resource Development M.M. Pallam Raju and State Ministers inaugurating the Beach Festival in Kakinada on Saturday.—Photo: S. RambabuThe three-day Kakinada Beach Festival was opened on a grand scale at Vakalapudi on Saturday. The East Godavari district administration has been conducting the festival for the second consecutive year with an objective of promoting tourist attractions in the district.

Union Minister M.M. Pallam Raju, Minister for Tourism Vatti Vasanth Kumar, district in-charge Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy and Minister for Stamps and Registrations Tota Narasimham were among the dignitaries who participated in the grand gala opening ceremony.

As a prelude to the festival, a 5-km run was conducted by the district officials from the District Sports Authority Stadium to Bhanu Gudi Junction, in which Collector Neetu Prasad, Superintendent of Police N. Sivasankar Reddy, Commandant of the APSP Rajesh Kumar and other officials participated.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Mr. Pallam Raju congratulated the district administration for taking up the initiative to conduct the three-day festival.

He said that though there were many tourist attractions in the district, most of them were not in the limelight due to absence of publicity. He felt such festivals would help in promoting the tourist spots.

Cultural performances by the local artistes and renowned artistes were arranged at the Beach on all the three days.

Stalls of handicrafts, handlooms and traditional food items remained the major attraction at the festival. The police made elaborate security arrangements and promulgated traffic diversions keeping in view of the huge response to the last year’s festival.


  • As a prelude to the festival, a 5-km run was conducted
  • Cultural performances are arranged on all the three days of the festival


Visually challenged singers regale shoppers

Sravya, a visually challenged singer, performing at CMR Central on the occasion of Louis Braille's birth anniversary in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.—Photo: K.R. Deepak

Sravya, a visually challenged singer, performing at CMR Central on the occasion of Louis Braille’s birth anniversary in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.—Photo: K.R. Deepak

 Melodious notes greeted shoppers who were cashing in on the Pongal shopping frenzy at CMR Central on Saturday. Inquisitive visitors jostled through the crowd to catch a glimpse of the artist on stage and were surprised when they found that the beautiful voices belonged to visually challenged singers.

The event was organised at the atrium of the mall to celebrate the 205th birth anniversary of Louis Braille the inventor of the Braille system of reading and writing. Visually challenged singers were given a platform to showcase their musical talent and enthral shoppers who gathered around tapping their feet to the beat. The organisers also aimed to spread awareness about the disability and the way Louis Braille had changed the lives of so many people with his work.


After the performance, winners of a contest that was conducted on television for visually impaired singers were felicitated. Sravya from Hyderabad won the first prize that came with prize money of Rs. 1 lakh. S. Jyothi from Kakinada bagged the second spot and Yelamanda from Guntur came third. Balram from Visakhapatnam bagged the fourth place and Vikramswamy from Vijayawada stood fifth.


E-learning boon for slow learners

The Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada will introduce e-learning in the engineering colleges under its fold to improve the quality of technical education, according to its Director (Evaluation) Dr.Ch.Sai Babu.

Holding an awareness meet at the Prakasam Engineering College at Kandukur he said the syllabus being revised by involving experts in the fields of education and industry would be adopted for the first year students from the new academic year.

Explaining the salient features of e-learning, he said students would be provided with e-content and video clippings so that the slow learners could learn at their own pace, while others could access global links to get additional information.

Online evaluation of answer-sheets would be made from current academic year to ensure transparency. Students could get by email their evaluated answer-sheets to know where they had done mistakes, he explained.

He gave appreciation letters to Narayanamma who scored 99.56 per cent and Gitasruthi, who scored 96.9 in B.Tech first year exams.

PEC Correspondent and Secretary K.Ramaiah said online evaluation would go a long way in minimising evaluation-related problems. College Director K.Srikanth also spoke.


RTC operates 60 more specials

In view of the special drive against private bus operators by the Transport Department, the APSRTC on Tuesday started operating 60 special services at regular fares from Kukatpally Housing Board and Mahatma Gandhi Bus station to various destinations.

RTC Greater Hyderabad Zone Executive Director A. Koteswara Rao on said the special services would be operated to Vijayawada, Eluru, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Anantapur, Bangalore, Kurnool, Kadapa, Tirupati, Ongole, Nellore, Shiridi and Mumbai. Tickets will be issued in the buses, and advance reservation is not required, he added.

The services are operated in addition to the Sankranti special buses. The services will continue as long as the special drive is on. There is no dearth of drivers and buses as they are pooled from various districts, Mr. Rao said.

For details, call 99592-26126 / 99592-24910.


IGNOU admission last date extended

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has extended last date for admission to its January 2014 session from December 31 to January 15.

Applications are invited for masters, degree, postgraduate diploma, diploma, certificate and awareness programmes with late fees of Rs. 500. According to IGNOU Regional Director S. Raja Rao, admissions are open for Master’s programmes like M.Com, MSW and MA in rural development, tourism management, English, Hindi, philosophy, education and political science.

Common prospectus can be obtained from IGNOU regional centre in Ushodaya Junction, MVP Colony and study centres at Dr. L. Bullayya College, Visakhapatnam, Ideal College, Kakinada, DNR College, Bhimavaram or Maharajah’s Post Graduate College, Vizianagaram,


Now, ‘Dine on Board’ services

The APSRTC on Saturday launched ‘Dine on Board’ service on Garuda, Garuda Plus and Vennela buses.

Passengers can feat on delicacies such as biryani, roti-curry, sandwiches, and the like for dinner. The food items would be delivered to buses at the Mahatma Gandhi Bus station, 15 minutes before departure. Besides dinner, passengers can also order food from popular outlets like Karachi Bakery and Pulla Reddy Sweets. The service was launched in association with a private agency on a 6-month trial basis in 15 buses connecting the city to Bangalore, Pune, Shirdi, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Tirupati. Terms of the agreement stipulate that the private agency not charge more than 20 per cent of the MRP or cost of food items as notified by respective outlets.

To avail the facility, passengers should call 868-893-1666 and place their orders at least three to four hours before the journey. For details, log onto http://www.alongtheway.in