Good morning, Chennai!
⛅ Today’s weather: Mostly sunny with some cloud cover.
🧐 Did you know? The Integral Coach Factory is reportedly the largest coach-making facility in the world. It employs about 10,000 people and rolls out over 4,000 coaches annually.
🕹️ Drone test centre
India’s first integrated Unmanned Aerial Systems drone testing centre will come up at Sriperumbudur.
What’s it about? The Tamil Nadu government announced the new centre will come up as part of the National Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS). The state government wants to make Tamil Nadu a hub for India’s aerospace and defence sector.
- The centre will be set up on 2.3 acres at the SIPCOT Industrial Park for ₹45 crore. The facility will also help in testing electromagnetic compatibility and other electronic warfare systems.
- The centre will be set up by the Tamilnadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited under the DTIS. TIDCO had floated a proposal to identify industrial partners for setting up the centre as a joint venture. Companies like Keltron and Sense Image Technologies were chosen.
Current limitations: There’s currently a non-availability of defence test centres outside public sector undertakings (PSUs). It’s a barrier to innovation in the sector. Testing unmanned drones is usually done component-wise at different sites, which is expensive.
🏎️ New street circuit
A new racing circuit in the city will host two racing championships this December.
What’s it about? The 3.5 km long Chennai Formula Racing Circuit was unveiled by Tamil Nadu’s Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin with an MoU with Racing Promotions Private Limited (RPPL). This will make it the first street circuit in India and South Asia and host the F4 Indian Championship and Indian Racing League.
- The circuit will be anti-clockwise with 19 corners. It has been designed by Driven International, who worked on the Hyderabad Street Circuit and the upcoming Nanoli Speedway.
- The circuit goes along Island Grounds, the Victory War Memorial, and the Napier Bridge. The pit and paddock area will be built on Island Grounds.
🚇 Metro’s last-mile connectivity plans
When phase 2 of the Chennai metro is operational, commuters will have several last-mile connectivity options.
Story so far: The first phase of the Chennai metro was hampered by and continues to face issues and complaints of a lack of last-mile connectivity options. With phase 2 work well underway, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) already has plans in place for several options to be ready on day one.
- The government has encouraged the metro to operate small e-buses and e-autos that require planning for procurement, routes, and operation. Experts said the CMRL can partner with private firms for electric vehicles.
- For example, once the Kilambakkam bus terminus opens, the metro can operate buses since the phase 2 services won’t be operational yet. Currently, there are buses and vans from several, but not all stations, to IT parks.
Previous attempts: During the pandemic, feeder services like share autos, share cabs, and e-bikes were launched but discontinued due to poor response. In smaller stations like LIC or Thousand Lights, passengers are forced to spend more on autorickshaws.
✅ IIT Madras panel’s recommendations
In light of student suicides at IIT Madras, a panel has submitted its recommendations.
Story so far: In April, a five-member committee was formed headed by retired DGP G Thilakavathi following the death of a student on campus. The panel investigated the circumstances surrounding the recent death and of others to find out why they happened and what can be done to prevent such cases in the future.
- The panel spoke to students, parents, and friends of all 16 IIT Madras students who died by suicide in the past six years. A 700-page long confidential report was submitted to the institute.
- Among its recommendations was to make counselling available to professors and students and to monitor them to ensure they aren’t stressed. Broadly, it called on the institute to ensure there’s a harmonious environment for students and scholars.
Hope for the future: The most recent case led to protests inside the campus, and students want the report’s details to be made public. Parents and students now expect IIT Madras to implement all the panel’s recommendations.
✨ Things to do…
Here are some fun and interesting things to do in the city over the weekend!
- Calling all foodies! For the first time in Chennai, the Swiggy Food Festival will take place this Sunday.
- The Souq Market will showcase a wide range of arts, crafts, and handlooms this weekend.
- The Mini Five Theatre Festival is a unique showcase of 5 minute-plays, happening this Saturday.
- Sarah Black Unplugged features a live performance by the Chennai-based singer this Sunday.
- Bangalore Comedians Do English Jokes features performances from three Bengaluru comedians this Saturday.
🛋️ Local Lounge
Yesterday’s Poll Results:
- I can read and write Tamil: 87.5% 🏆
- I can’t read and write Tamil: 12.5%
Answers to Yesterday’s Question:
What’s your favourite proverb?
Nirja: “எண்ணம் போல் வாழ்க்கை”
That’s it for today. Have a great weekend!