Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Ford showroom in Bidar

Source: the Hindu

Karnataka’s fourth Ford automobile showroom started functioning in Bidar on Wednesday. It is also the eighth centre in south India. S.G. Patil, former principal of National College, inaugurated it.

Balaji Narasimhan, general manager, sales, Ford India, said the company would continue its customer-centric sales and service initiatives in this district.

Hariprasad Toshniwal and Anand Toshniwal of Vijay Bharat Motors were present.


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KMF milk bar in library

Source: The Hindu :

The Karnataka Milk Federation inaugurated a milk parlour at the district central library on Janawada Road in Bidar on Wednesday.

Bidar-Gulbarga-Yadgir milk union members Maruti Kashempur, Mallikarjun Biradar, managing director S. Lakshminarasappa, franchisee Mustan Ahmed, and others were present.


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Govt. to release crop loss arrears

Source: The Hindu :-  

The State government will release crop loss relief arrears to Bidar farmers. Chief Minister Siddharamaiah has assured a delegation, led by district in-charge Minister Umashree, of carrying out a fresh survey of crop loss, if necessary.

Farmers had also staged a dharna seeking the release of Rs. 18 crore crop loss relief arrears from the State government that was pending for over a year.

They withdrew the protest after N. Dharam Singh, former MP, assured them of taking up the matter with the Chief Minister.

Ms. Umashree led a delegation of six MLAs and MP Bhagwant Khuba in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Eshwar Khandre, MLA, said that the Chief Minister had agreed to most of the demands of the farmers, including release of complete crop loss arrears.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

MoD confirms sky party by SKAT; IAF’s aerobatic team set to return

Bengaluru, Sept 12: Aviation aficionados can raise a toast now with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) officially announcing the return of Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT), the famous sky party wing of the Indian Air Force (IAF). MoD Spokesperson Sitanshu Kar dropped enough hints with the release of the first-ever photos of the Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT) Hawks painted in the popular colours donned by the SKAT, who operated the Hindustan Jet Trainer (HJT-16) Kiran-Mk-IIs till 2011.

As reported by OneIndia during the Aero India 2015, it is now confirmed that the new-look aerobatic team of the IAF will fly for the first time during the Air Force Day celebrations at Hindon on October 8. "After over 4 years, IAF's new Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team, with 4 AJT Hawks, to perform at AF Day Parade on 08 Oct," tweeted Kar.

Sources told OneIndia that the team would perform some limited maneuvers at the AF Day Parade. "The show will be limited to a few display items only. By next year, we will be ready with a full-fledged plan. The entire team is excited as we waited more than expected to hit the skies, officially. The team will retain the same name as SKATs," an IAF official said.

Return of SKATs to inspire youngsters 
One of the top aviation brains and a former IAF top gun Air Vice Marshal Ajit Lamba (Retd) welcomed the news of the return of the SKATs. "It was on expected lines and there was something amiss during the last four years. It will be a treat to watch them donning the same colours, but flying different machines. 

I am delighted that the ‘Ambassadors of IAF' are back," AVM Lamba (Retd) told OneIndia. Interestingly, AVM Lamba said that he was among the founder members of ‘The Battle Axes,' the nine Hunter aircraft aerobatic team of the IAF, formed in 1961. 

The team flying the Hunter Mk 56As had their first aerobatic display on January 6, 1962 to mark the 20th anniversary of the No 7 Squadron. Speaking to OneIndia, Wg Cdr C D Upadhyay (Retd), former Chief Executive Officer of HATSOFF (a helicopter training facility in Bengaluru), and former Chief Test Pilot of HAL, welcomed the return of the SKAT. 

"SKATs have a special place in the hearts of aviators and general public world over. Their return means more fun in the air. I am sure that the SKATs will inspire many youngsters to join the IAF," says Wg Cdr Upadhyay (Retd).

Last public show during Aero India 2011

Raised in 1996, the elsewhere SKATs enthralled plane devotees for nearly 15 years until the IAF decided to take them off sky-party duties in 2011. This followed shortage of trainer aircraft for ‘ab initio' pilots at Air Force Academy in Dundigal, near Hyderabad. On February 13, 2011, the SKATs performed with the HJT-16s for one last time during Aero India, striking an emotional chord with many. The team members had then headed for the Staff College in Wellington. 

During the subsequent two air shows in 2013 and 2015, the organizers had to rope in aerobatic teams from abroad to enthrall the visitors. The Kirans were later grounded following safety concerns and soon the IAF inducted Pilatus PC 7 BTAs. 

The SKATs are based out of Bidar in Karnataka and the Hawks are manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) under license in Bengaluru. OneIndia News

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History lives, unwatched, in these — Bidar homes

Bidar, a fort city situated on the Deccan Plateau in the northernmost reaches of Karnataka, has multiple layers of history built into its streets, walls and its very bricks. It's not just the recognized historical monuments in Bidar that speak of its past -the city's vast network of homes, in both its royal and public enclosures, bear testimony to the city's unique, syncretic architecture. A decision by the district administration to identify and restore these homes with the help of the Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN) could bring back a measure of the city's lost grandeur, but Bidar has a unique feature -it is a living, breathing city where the homes and streets are lived in, and any attempts at restoration must take into account the impact on residents' eve ryday lives.

But first, the history. Bidar was once, in the 3rd century BC, part of the Mauryan Empire. Later, the Satavahanas, Kadambas and Chalukyas of Badami and Rashtrakutas reigned over Bidar. The Delhi rulers, first headed by Alauddin Khilji and later Muhammed-bin-Tughluq, took control of the entire Deccan, including Bidar. Around the middle of the 14th century , the officers of the Sultan rebelled, resulting in the re-establishment of the Bahmani Dynasty. In 1429 AD, the Bahmanis shifted their capital from Gulburga to Bidar, which was strategically stronger, and had better water resources. In 1430, Ahmed Shah Wali Bahmani took steps to develop Bidar City , and its fort was rebuilt. On the conquest of the Deccan by Aurangzeb in mid-17th century, Bidar became a part of the Mughal Empire. Later, it became a part of Hyderabad state and stayed that way till 1948.

"The remains at Bidar fort stand testimony to its layered history as we can clearly identify some of the layers even today. Historic buildings in Bidar have a combination of Indian and Islamic architecture. It's a melting pot of several styles," says V Govindankutty, assistant professor at the Government College, Chittur (Kerala), and one of the experts at the IHCN, a non-profit organization supported by UNESCO and the Indian Ministry of Urban Development.

In 2012, Govindankutty was surveying the public enclosure of Bidar Fort, and discovered more than 300 houses of heritage value. The basic purpose of the survey was the identification of walking route s." The heritage walk takes one through the microcosm of historic Bidar, covering not just the shortlisted houses but impor tant monuments. These walks help one understand how the community lives and how the city e vo l v e d t h r o u g h time," says the professor.

These homes, many of which are 400 years old (the most recent houses are 200 years old), are within the fortified public enclosure, and claim certain common distinguishable aspects. They are cour tyard houses, lack a setback, and are accessed from the street itself. Houses are grouped to form a cluster and open spaces between the cluster are used as community spaces.Almost every building is acc e s s e d by a n arched entranceway -this is the most distinguishing aspect of Bidar's vernacular architecture, and a telling trait of Bahmani building style.

The doorway is usually framed by a teakwood plinth with a wooden thresh old below. Many buildings also have bay windows, sometimes entirely made of wood, which pro ject into the street and are supported by brackets. Professor Govindankutty explains that most heritage buildings in Bidar are constructed in laterite masonry , very rarely basalt. Timber and lime are extensively used, too. " At present most of these heritage homes are a in dilapidated condition. The present owners may not be able to restore them on their own -for several reasons. One is that most masons and builders lack the ex pertise to recreate the materials used or restore the intricate wood carvings.

The owners are also financially constrained.

Without appropriate support from NGOs and government agencies, these house cannot be restored," says Govindankutty .

Are the residents themselves aware of the unique history and architectural splendour of their homes, and do they make efforts to sustain this? Yes, says the professor.

"But they need sup port to restore these old homes. The people are keen to preserve them, as well. If these houses are restored and part of them converted to home-stays, then there will be enough revenue available with individual households to maintain them." But the changing fabric of Bidar city is a matter of concern. Lack of planning regulations to control organic and unplanned development means the distinct architectural character and identity of the city is slowly being lost as modern buildings come up in a haphazard manner. It is up to the city and district administration to regulate new development, so that its beauty can be preserved. With inputs from Sonnad Mouneshwar in Bidar 


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Islamic research scholar pens book on Jain iconography

Source: The HINDU :--  

Religion is irrelevant to the study of these structures and heritage, says Abdul Aziz Rajput Bijapuri, a researcher from Vijayapura.— Photo: Gopichand T.

It is not often that one comes across a book on Jain iconography written by a scholar of Islamic art. Abdul Aziz Rajput Bijapuri, a researcher from Vijayapura, has just completed the book on Jain icons and sculptures of the Deccan, with special reference to Vijayapura, Kalaburagi and Bidar.

He is planning another book on the monuments relating to the Jain period in Karnataka. In Bidar to study Sri Parshwanatha temple at Kamthana village, he spoke to The Hindu on how Jain iconography fascinated him.

“The Kamthana temple was built by the Rattarasa kings in the 10th century. It served as a gurukul or school for several hundred years. However, it fell into disuse till it was renovated in 1987,” Mr. Bijapuri explains.

He has travelled extensively in the Deccan and visited every Jain historical place “at least twice in the last 10 years”. He has compiled history, architecture and present condition of the monuments, along with the statues, art plates and stucco and other craft in the buildings.

He has also documented Hindu temples in the Deccan and written treatises about their art and architecture. He has written 12 books, on monuments and religious places of Hinduism, Islam and Jainism.

“Religion is irrelevant to the study of these structures and heritage,” he said. He recalled how scholar late M.M. Kalburgi praised him during a seminar in Dharwad for focusing on his area of research, without bothering about criticism from some quarters about his religious affiliation. “Kalburgi had told me we need more people who study the heritage of religions other than their own,” he recalled.

Mr. Bijapuri has translated books between Arabic, Persian, Urdu, English, Kannada, Marathi and Hindi. He has also set up an NGO, Deccan Studies and Historical Research, that organises seminars, heritage walks and publishes books and brochures in Vijayapura.

Abdul Aziz Rajput Bijapuri has travelled extensively in the Deccan and visited every Jain historical place ‘at least twice in the last 10 years’


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Bidar artistes honoured

Source: The Hindu:

Danseuse Usha Prabhakar at a felicitation programme by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat in Bidar on Sunday.— Photo: Gopichand T.

Kannada Sahitya Parishat felicitated artists and dancers from Bidar, who performed in the recent Navika third world Kannada summit in Raleigh, USA, in Bidar on Sunday.

Folk artiste and team leader Shambhuling Waldoddi, Kanteppa Pujar, danseuse Usha Prabhakar, director of the Nupur Bharata Natya academy, and her students Poornachandra, Jyotika and Priya were felicitated.

They have just come back from the U.S. after presenting cultural programmes before a crowd of 3,000, Revanasiddappa Jalade, convenor, Vikas Academy, said.

Mr. Waldoddi lauded the ordinary American workers’ virtues of hard work and punctuality. They seem to be following Basaveshwara’s ideas of Kayaka and Dasoha, he said.

Ms Prabhakar spoke about the types of dances her team performed and the reception she got. Sidramappa Masimade, KSP district unit president,

K. Gurumurthy, Nagashetty Dharampur, Umakanth Meese and other office bearers were present.


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