Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jagathy Sreekumar shifted out of ICU

Sunday, April 01, 2012: Veteran Malayalam film actor Jagathy Sreekumar, who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital for the serious injuries sustained in a car accident on March 10, was shifted to a special room, hospital sources said.
“Jagathy Sreekumar is showing definite and steady signs of improvement day by day and he is responding to physiotherapy very well’, they said. Sreekumar has started interacting with his close relatives,they said. A three-member doctors’ team from CMC Hospital, Vellore had assessed the condition of the veteran actor on Thursday.
The team had also expressed satisfaction in his overall improvement and they have also accepted transfer of the patient to CMC hospital for further treatment. Sreekumar, was injured seriously when the car in which he was travelling hit a road divider at nearby Tenhipalam.
Sreekumar was on his way to Kodagu in Karnataka state for the shooting of a Malayalam film ‘Idavapathy’ directed by Lenin Rajendran. Sreekumar was admitted into the Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) hospital in a serious condition along with the car driver.
The actor also underwent three surgeries on his right arm, thigh and hip for correcting the fractures he had suffered.

Petrol price likely to be hiked today

Sunday, April 1, 2012: Petrol prices are likely to be hiked in today. With crude oil prices soaring over $120 in the international markets, the petroleum companies have put pressure on the government to allow them to hike prices.
It is reliably learnt that the government has already conceded to their demand and the prices can be hiked anytime. An increase of Rs. 3 per litre for petrol, 2 for Diesel and Rs. 20 for LPG cylinder are expected.

Palm Sunday observed with fervour

Sunday, April 01, 2012: Palm Sunday, which marks the final Sunday of Lent and the commencement of the ‘holy week’ leading to Easter, was observed by Christians on April 1.
Palm Sunday symbolises the triumphant arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem for the festival of Passover when crowds greeted him waving palm fronds.The faithful after gathering at churches on Sunday morning, collected palm fronds blessed by the priest and went in a procession led by the chief celebrant of the holy mass of the respective churches.
They believe that keeping the palm leaves they received from the church at their home, work place or business places till the next Palm Sunday will bring them good luck in the year ahead. Hundreds of persons participated in processions. The Holy Week observation ends with believers celebrating the resurrection of Christ on Easter day.

M Vijayakumar may be CPM candidate in Neyyatinkara: Reports

Neyyatinkara: It is estimated that former minister M Vijayakumar might be CPM candidate in Nayyatinkara by polls. On Friday Vijayakumar was in the constituency and visited many places. He said he was there to attend a party programme. 
He met noted Gandhian K Gopinathan Nair and sister Mythili. CPM is planning to strong campaigns in Neyyatinkara to win back constituency after Selvarajs resignation. Assembly opposition deputy leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan met Neyyatinkara diocese Bishop Dr Vincent Samuel last day.

Driving Test to be videographed from April 1

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a move to prevent foul play in issuing driving licences, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has decided to videograph the practical tests for candidates.
 Transport Commissioner A Hemachandran told ‘Express’ that the decision would come into effect on April 1. ‘’The ‘H’ test and ‘8’ test for those appearing for four-wheel and two-wheel driving tests respectively will be video recorded. It will ensure that only eligible candidates pass the test,’’ he said. The Transport Commissioner also said that the move would put an end to the complaints of MVD officials helping candidates to clear the test.
 ‘’Several studies, including those carried out by the Department, had pointed out that around 70 per cent of road accidents occur due to the inexperience or negligence on the part of the drivers. The only remedy is to ensure the capability of candidates,’’ Hemachandran, who also holds the charge of Road Safety Commissioner, said.
 The videos will be transferred to CDs on a daily basis and kept at the Regional Transport Offices concerned. Random checking of the CDs has also been planned, the Commissioner said. The Department also plans to hold four wheeler and three wheeler tests on alternate days at sub-RTOs having a single vehicle inspector.  
 The MVD had recently made it strict for the candidates to take the ‘H’ and ‘8’ tests in running without letting the engine to go off. The decision had sparked off widespread criticism from candidates and driving schools.
 The pass percentage too witnessed a steep fall after the new decision was implemented on March 12. On an average, only 50 per cent of the candidates now get through the test everyday. The driving schools had alleged that the move would only help the neighbouring states where driving tests are far more easy. Refuting the criticisms, the Transport Commissioner said that the fall in pass percentage was not a cause for worry. ‘’When compared to several foreign countries, driving test is less tedious here. The alarming increase in accident rate should be the actual cause of concern. What the department wants is the safety of drivers, travellers and pedestrians,’’ he said.

NH 47 Bypass work: A long wait ends

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Putting an end to the two-decade old impasse, the statutory gazette notification on land acquisition for the construction of the Kazhakkoottam-Kaliyikkavila NH 47 Bypass was published the other day.
 The 43-km portion of the NH 47  Thiruvananthapuram Bypass between Kazhakkoottam and Karode (Kaliyikkavila) has been a long-pending major road project in Thiruvananthapuram district. The project has significant implications for smoothening the flow of road traffic from the southern districts of the State to important destinations such as Kanyakumari across the border in Tamil Nadu.
 The total cost of the project, under BOT, is expected to be around ` 750 crore, including land acquisition formalities, which are expected to be completed within one year.
 The 43-km stretch is part of the larger 212- km NH 47 Bypass project of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in the State from Thuravoor which was started in 1974.
After completing acquisition of land sufficient for a 27-km four-lane road between Kazhakkoottam and Kottukal (end of Vizhinjam village), a two-lane stretch of 22 km between Kazhakkoottam and Kovalam Junction was completed about 15 years ago. Thereafter, the work came to a standstill.
 Shashi Tharoor MP, in a press release issued here, stated that with the publication of the notification, the final statutory step for starting the crucial land acquisition process has been crossed and all necessary action by the NHAI to start work on the project, which is expected to transform the entire south-western stretch of Thiruvananthapuram district, would commence soon.
 The publication of the notification will bring to an end the suffering of hundreds of land owners who were unable to dispose of their land due to the interminable impasse over the project for almost two decades.
 Shashi Tharoor had brought the issue to the notice of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C P Joshi. The MP said that the continuous pressure had finally paid off.

‘Face-a-book’ challenge for KV students

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Facebook-bitten Gen X has been posed a challenge: ‘face-a-book.’ The book is real and not fake, like many of the profiles in the social networking sites. The idea is to bring kids back to libraries and books and, in short, to the information source.
 It is the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pattom, that has come up with the innovative concept as part of its infolit India project ( which is a pilot project on information literacy for new generation learners to enable them to make effective use of information available to them.
 ‘’It is an effort to make students return to books and libraries to learn how to effectively use them for sourcing information. It is to teach the students to compare the various media before them, from newspapers and channels to internet and be sensible enough to develop mastery over them. The aim is to develop skills in information, media and library, which have been named the 21st century literacy skills,’’ said S L Faisal, librarian at KV Pattom, who is also a member of the Library Evaluation Committee instituted by KV Sangathan.
 Under the project, a basic curriculum for information literacy would be developed by KV Pattom which would be tried out in 50 to 100 students from class 1 to 12.
 This would be done for the next one year, for which various competitions would also be held. Face-a-book is one main component of the infolit programme, through which students would be made aware of the resources and services available in the library. ‘’It is also to develop reading habit among a generation which is glued to computers and in front of social networking sites that the project is aimed at,’’ Faisal said.
 The UNESCO has been focusing on media and information literacy with the intention of ‘’providing people with skills and abilities for critical reception, assessment and use of information and media in their professional and personal lives,’’ courtesy the UNESCO website (UNESCO Information Literacy portal). It is toeing the line of the UNESCO concept that the KV Pattom has initiated the programme, which is claimed to be the first in the country.

Medical fees: Talks remain inconclusive

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The talks between the State Government and Kerala Private Medical College Management Association on Friday remained inconclusive, with the former not committing to the fee pattern put forward by the Management Association.
The Association has agreed to a fees of Rs 3.5 lakh in government quota and Rs 7.5 lakh in management quota. This is in fact, double the fees at which admissions were given last year.
 “We have put forward our stand, the government is non-committal. Talks will be resumed next week,” said a representative of the Association.
The government had intended to make the Association agree to a uniform fees structure as it had done with the medical colleges under the Inter-Church Council, for Education. The Inter-Church Council which had kept away from an agreement with the government last year, had come around agreeing to a uniform fee of Rs 3.45 lakh. It had even agreed to set up a scholarship fund of Rs 40 lakh to cater to BPL students.

Areekkal Asokan murder case: Four get life term

THALASSERY: Four of the accused in the sensational murder case of CPM activist Areekkal Asokan of Panur were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Additional Sessions Court (Fast-track II) here on Friday.
The court had found them guilty in the case on Thursday under Sections 302, 449, 148 and 143 of the IPC. All the four convicts - Mottammal Shaji alias Kakka Shaji, 39,  Karolathil Sajith alias Asa Sajith, 39, Kunnummal Uthaman, 38 and Mudentevida Rijesh, 33 - are BJP-RSS workers.
 In addition to life imprisonment, they have to pay `1 lakh each as fine. The court also stated in the judgment that the amount of `3 lakh collected as fine from the convicts should be handed over to the wife of Asokan.
The total number of accused in the case was 27, but the court released all othersexcept the four.
The case against accused number five will be considered by a Juvenile Court later.
It was on December 5, 2000 that Areekkal Asokan was stabbed to death as he was sleeping with his four-year-old son at the house of his brother.
The murder was a sequel to a series of political clashes that took place in the Thalassery region.
Elaborate security arrangements were made by the police in and around the court complex in view of the sensitive nature of the case.

Chandy pulls up cops for Shukoor murder

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has squarely blamed the police for the murder of Muslim Students Front leader Abdul Shukoor. “Shukoor was murdered by a gang in a two-hour-long operation. Even then the police failed to prevent it. Such lapses should not occur,” he said at a conference of senior police officers here.
   He praised police efforts in nabbing the accused.
Urging the police to be alert against extremism, he said: “Although Kerala has been a target of extremist organisations over the past many years, the state has so far prevented them from  establishing a base here. The police should continue to be alert against extremism and communal tensions.”  He directed the police to take strict action against quotation gangs, crime against women and financial fraud cases.
The meeting also decided to start an exclusive Facebook account to help trace missing persons.

Near impossible for anybody to reach Sachin's landmark: Gilchrist

KOLKATA: Former Australian wicketkeeper and explosive opener Adam Gilchrist feels there is a big gulf between Sachin Tendulkar and the rest of the top batsmen, something that makes it almost impossible for anyone to get anywhere near the legend’s landmark of 100 international centuries.

Giving the example of Ricky Ponting, who has recently retired from the ODI format, Gilchrist said 29 centuries separate Tendulkar from his former skipper.

“That speaks about Tendulkar’s greatness - the gap between him and the rest. He is way ahead. I really doubt that anybody would ever break this record,” Gilchirst told reporters in Mohali. “If you look at the records, Ponting is the world’s best batsmen next to Tendulkar. But his combined tally (of Test and one—day centuries) is 71 (41—30),” he said.

Tendulkar’s critics could argue that he has played more matches against countries like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, he said, adding even if 10 centuries were added to Ponting’s, he would still be 19 centuries away.

Jagathy undergoing regular physiotherapy sessions

Saturday, March 31, 2012: Veteran film actor Jagathy Sreekumar, who is undergoing treatment for serious injuries suffered in a road accident on March 10, is presently undergoing regular physiotherapy sessions, doctors attending on him said.
Jagathy has made considerable progress on the path to recovery and will be airlifted to the Christian Medical College (CMC) at Vellore in Tamil Nadu next week for a planned rehabilitation programme.
A three-member medical team from Christian Medical College hospital, Vellore, on Friday examined him .The team expressed satisfaction over the recovery the actor has made, sources at Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences said.

Sudhakar Reddy replaces Bardhan as CPI gen secretary

Saturday, March 31, 2012: S Sudhakar Reddy was on Saturday elected unopposed as new general secretary of CPI, replacing AB Bardhan who held the post since 1997.
CPI spokesman Kumar Atul Anjaan told a news agency that the national council of the party met here at and elected unopposed S Sudhakar Reddy as its national general secretary.
Reddy would replace AB Bardhan who held the post since 1997.
The national council also elected eight others as members of central secretariat of the party, Anjaan said.
They are AB Bardhan, Gurudas Gupta, D Raja, Amarjit Kaur, Atul Anjan, Shamim Faizi, Pannian Raveendran and Ramendra Kumar.
Reddy who hails from Andhra Pradesh was member of Lok Sabha twice from Andhra Pradesh.

Kashmir recruitment case accused presented before Court

Saturday, March 31, 2012: Sainuddin, an accused in the Kashmir terrorist recruitment case, was produced before the Malappuram first class judicial magistrate Court on Saturday in connection with another case amidst tight security.
Sainuddin was produced before the Court in connection with the seizure of a pipe bomb near Vengara in 1995. Sainuddin is a key operative of the suspected terrorist network having links with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). According to the NIA chargesheet, Sainuddin played a key role in recruiting youth in the state for arms training from the LeT in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had chargesheeted as many as 24 accused in the Kashmir recruitment case on charges of waging a war against the nation. The accused include Wali alias Abu Rehan, a Pakistani national, and T. Nazeer, Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) operative.
Five youths from the State had been sent to Jammu and Kashmir for training for jihad by the LeT. Four of them were killed in an encounter with the Indian security forces on the border.

Woman dies of self-immolation in Kasargod

Saturday, March 31, 2012: A 28-year-old woman was found dead after she allegedly set herself on fire at her residence near Trikaripur here on Saturday morning.
Police identified the deceased as Shanmukhathai, hailing from Tirunalveli. According to sources the woman set herself on fire when her husband Kanakaraj and her two children had gone out for drinking tea at a nearby shop.
The neighbours who noticed the smoke emanating from house, immediately informed the matter to the fire station. Even though the fire force personnel reached the spot, doused the flames and shifted her to the hospital she was declared dead on arrival.

Siblings drown in pond near Kumali

Saturday, March 31, 2012: A nine-year-old boy and his six-year-old brother drowned in a pond near Kumali here on Saturday evening. The deceased identified as Anandu and Akshay had gone missing from Friday.
Their bodies were fished out by the locals after hours of searching. According to the police the children might had accidentally slipped and fallen into the pond.

Nurses’ stir in Thrissur Metropolitan hospital to continue

Saturday, March 31, 2012: Talks between the management and the striking nurses at Thrissur Metropolitan hospital failed to reach consensus on Saturday.
The Labour officer has convened a meeting today to discuss the strike.
The nurses have launched a strike demanding better wages on Thursday morning.
A rise in the minimum wage, removal of bonded labour and introduction of working in shifts, reappointment of dismissed nurses are some of the demands raised by the striking nurses.

Vigilance conducts raid at Palakkad cooperative bank

Saturday, March 31, 2012: The Vigilance Special Cell on Saturday morning conducted surprise raids at the Palakkad service cooperative bank and seized several documents, sources said.
The raids were conducted based on several complaints received to the Vigilance department regarding the ongoing corruption. The raid which began today morning is expected to continue till evening.

Fifth cabinet berth: FM holds talks with Kunhalikutty

 Saturday, March 31, 2012: Industries Minister PK Kunhalikutty and Finance Minister, KM Mani, held discussions at the guest house here reportedly on the IUML demand for fifth ministerial post in the Oommen Chandy cabinet.
Mani later told reporters that Kerala congress (Mani), a constituent of UDF, had no objection in IUML getting a fifth ministerial berth.However, Congress has to take a decision in this regard, he said. Kunhalikutty, also senior IUML leader, refused to comment on the meeting.
IUML, the second largest partner in Congress-led UDF, has been pressing for one more berth in the Oommen Chandy cabinet apart from four slots the party already holds.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Oommen Chandy declined to comment on IUML’s demand for a fifth ministerial berth in the ruling Congress led UDF government. “The last UDF meeting had discussed the issue and UDF Convenor, PP Thankachan had briefed the media about it. I do not have anything more to add,” Chandy told reporters here when asked about the IUML statement on swearing-in of the fifth minister.
Chandy said as already stated, he and KPCC president Ramesh chennithala would discuss the issue with Congress high command.

Pension age: Yuva Morcha march turns violent

Saturday, March 31, 2012: The march taken out by the Yuva Morcha activists to Secretariat against the state government’s move to raise the pension age to 56 years, turned violent here on Saturday
A scuffle broke out between the activists and the police when the activists tried to make a forced entry into the secretariat campus. The whole area resembled a battlefield with the marchers fleeing from the police and throwing stones at the police.
The police then resorted to lathicharge and used water cannons to disperse the agitated mob.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Petrol Price likely to be hiked by April 1

Saturday, March 31, 2012: Petrol prices are likely to be hiked in April. With crude oil prices soaring over $120 in the international markets, the petroleum companies have put pressure on the government to allow them to hike prices.
It is reliably learnt that the government has already conceded to their demand and the prices can be hiked anytime. An increase of Rs. 3 per litre for petrol, 2 for Diesel and Rs. 20 for LPG cylinder are expected.

Prsanth Bhusan meets V S Achuthanandan

Saturday, March 31, 2012: Team Anna member and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Saturday met opposition leader V. S Achuthanandan.
The meeting was held at the contournement house in Thiruvananthapuram.
Talking to newspersons after the meeting, Bhusan said that the corruptions cases in the defence department should be hand over to independent agencies.

Nayantara back to films!

After taking a break from work for nine long months, Nayantara formally started her second innings on Wednesday, by shooting for a Telugu film, which has Rana Daggubati in the lead role.
The movie directed by Krish (of ‘Vaanam’ fame) was kick-started in Hyderabad on Wednesday. After Nayantara completed her first shot, unit members greeted her, wishing all the best with the fresh innings.
Besides this project, Nayan has signed a Tamil flick to be directed by Boopathi Pandian. It will have Tollywood’s top hero Gopichand (the villain of ‘Jayam’) as the protagonist and the film will soon go on floors.
Buzz is also that the ‘Ayya’ and ‘Vallavan’ actress will be sharing the screen space with Ajith in a flick to be helmed by Vishnuvardhan. Some sources also say she will feature in the Love Anthem being made by STR.

Scholarship for OBC students to be bettered

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Friday that the scholarship meant for Other Backward Class (OBC) students would be bettered next year with the help from the centre. He was talking after inaugurating the state-level distribution of OBC Pre-metric Scholarship Scheme here.

Internet around the world may shut down on Saturday

NEW DELHI: Come Saturday and there is a strong possibility that you won't be able to indulge in your favourite internet activities like shopping and surfing due to a hacking group - Anonymous - which has threatened to shut down the net.

"Operation Global Blackout 2012 looks to shut down the internet for a whole day tomorrow (Saturday) by disabling its core DNS servers, making websites inaccessible," said Interpol's Secretary General, Ronald K. Noble.

Noble was speaking at the thirteenth DP Kohli memorial lecture on "Multijurisdictional Investigation: Operation Unmask" in the capital.

According to Noble, "Anonymous" is protesting against several reasons including the crash of Wall Street and irresponsible leaders.

"Investigations have already been launched by Colombia, Chile and Spain as their private and public websites have been attacked by the group," he added.

Meanwhile, Interpol has launched Operation Unmask to deal with the group and arrested 31 alleged members in two different phases in February and March, 2012.

However, Anonymous vowed vengeance and retaliated through a global wave of cyber-attacks on Interpol Feb 28.

"At its peak, the wave reached 400,000 attacks per minute. My parents' home address and phone number were published on websites," said Noble.

According to Noble, there are around 2.3 billion internet users in the world and more than one million of them are affected by cybercrime every year while $388 billion dollars is the global cost of such crimes.

Jagathy Sreekumar to be shifted to CMC, Vellore

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Well-known Malayalam film actor Jagathy Sreekumar, who was seriously injured in a road accident in Malappuram district of Kerala on March 10, has made considerable progress on the path to recovery and will be airlifted to the Christian Medical College (CMC) at Vellore in Tamil Nadu next week for a planned rehabilitation programme.

A spokesman for the Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences (MIMS) at Kozhikode, where he has been undergoing treatment, said that the 62-year-old actor was stable at present.

"He is conscious and recognizing relatives. He is also obeying simple commands. He is slowly regaining his neurological functions and he is responding well to physiotherapy," he said.

Doctors attending on the actor, popularly known as Jagathy, said what he needed now was a well-planned rehabilitation programme which might take a few weeks.

The MIMS had contacted CMC in this regard because its Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department is said to be amongst the best in the country.

A neurology and rehabilitation team from CMC had visited MIMS Thursday and assessed Sreekumar.
"They expressed satisfaction about the overall improvement of the patient and they have accepted transfer of the patient to Vellore for further care," the spokesman said.

"We are in the process of arranging for a shift of the patient for Vellore next week. He is currently fit for shifting there. The same is being arranged in coordination with CMC, Vellore," he added.

The mishap occurred at Thenhipalam in Malappuram district when the actor was on his way to Coorg in Karnataka, the location of director Lenin Rajendran's latest film, Edavapathi.

Since admission to the hospital on that day, Jagathy has undergone a series of surgeries, first to stop internal bleeding and then to treat the bone fractures he had suffered in his hip, a knee and his right forearm.

Jagathy had suffered multiple fractures and injuries in the neck, abdomen and chest in the mishap. His lungs had also been impacted.

Sources said the Toyota Innova car, in which he was travelling, crashed into the median on National Highway 17 while negotiating a sharp curve. The driver of the car, Anil Kumar, also suffered injuries and is undergoing treatment in the same hospital.

Jagathy, who has performed in an amazing variety of roles in more than 1100 films, has particularly excelled in comedy and has won the State Government's award in different categories four times.

Antony should quit: Achuthanandan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Leader of opposition and veteran CPI-M leader V.S. Achuthanandan Friday said Defence Minister A.K. Antony should resign in the wake of "the biggest ever scams" that have taken place under him.

Speaking to reporters here Friday, the veteran politician said: "Antony has no moral right to continue as minister because his tenure has seen scams like Adarsh flat, purchase of defence equipment from Israel and the latest one that has surfaced."

The two Kerala politicians do not have the best of the relations ever since Antony attacked Achuthanandan in the recent Piravom by-election campaign and also in last year's assembly campaign.

With another by-election to take place for the Neyyattinkara assembly seat, Achuthanandan has decided to attack Antony.

"The defence department is in utter shambles and it is now clear that all the corruption that has taken place in his department was to accumulate funds for the Congress party, and it is a shame that Antony is a party to these scams," said Achuthanandan.

Army chief confirms bribe offer to CBI, gives no details

NEW DELHI: Army chief General V K Singh on Friday replied to CBI confirming his allegation that he was offered a bribe by a lobbyist to clear the supply of a tranche of "sub-standard vehicle" for the force.

Singh, who had made the allegation in a media interview that forced the defence minister to order a CBI inquiry, told the agency in a letter today that there was a bribe offer from a lobbyist but did not give details of the amount or the name of the person who made the offer, CBI sources said.

In his letter to the CBI, Gen Singh who returned to the capital after two days said he would give further details soon, they said.

The agency was waiting for a formal complaint from the Army chief regarding details of alleged bribe offer to initiate a formal probe into the matter referred to it by the ministry of defence. CBI officers had met him on Monday evening once.

The agency had asked the defence ministry to make available a complaint from Singh besides other details such as list of witnesses and supporting documents after which it would initiate its probe in the case, they said.

They said they have received a "reference" from the defence ministry to probe the matter and it has been processed as per the laid down procedure.

A preliminary enquiry or an FIR could be registered soon after completion of the procedural requirements.

The Army chief had claimed in media interviews that an equipment lobbyist had offered him a bribe of Rs 14 crore, a matter which he had reported to defence minister A K Antony.

The ministry had then recommended a CBI probe into the allegation made by the Army chief.

Air India employees call off strike threat

Friday, March 30, 2012: The strike threat by a major chunk of Air India’s over 28,000 employees from Monday was called off on Friday with the ailing national carrier promising to clear all their salary and other dues by June.
“We received their (strike) notice today. We have given them a payment schedule under, which we will clear all the dues by June. The strike has been called off,” Air India CMD Rohit Nandan told reporters after a meeting with union representatives.
The notice for ‘no pay, no work’ agitation had been given by eight major unions of the airline, representing pilots, engineers and cabin crew among others, to protest the delay in payment of their salaries, productivity-linked incentive (PLI) and other allowances by over three months.
The union leaders and the management had held a marathon day-long meeting on Thursday, which had failed to yield any result. Both sides had decided to meet again on Friday.
The unions had earlier sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to resolve the crisis, failing which they had threatened to go on agitation from April 2.

Meera jasmine not in Sathyan Anthikad Movies

There were reports that Sathyan Anthikkad’s new Mohanlal starrer will be a comeback for Meera Jasmine. But the latest reports say that the director has cast a new face for the film. The last film by the team ‘Innathe Chinthavishayam’ was not a good memory for Sathyan and Mohanlal.
Meera who was apparently arrogant at that time was regularly irregular in the sets. Even the senior actor like Mohanlal had to wait for a long time for the actress. This made the director furious and it is learned that Satyan Anthikkad had decided that he would not cast Meera in any of his future films.
If Meera who is toiling hard for a comeback to the industry could win the role in Sathyan-Mohanlal flick, it would be really a lottery for her.

BJP demands AK Antony’s resignation

Friday, March 30, 2012: BJP on Friday demanded Defence Minister AK Antony’s resignation, upping the ante against government over the controversy surrounding Army chief’s allegation that he was offered bribe for clearance of Tatra truck contracts.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Prakash
Javadekar (BJP) questioned whether the minister was patronising corruption as no action has been taken against anybody though a probe was ordered two years back.
He rejected Antony’s contention that he did not act on the Army chief’s information on bribe offer in absence of any written complaint and claimed that a written complaint did exist.
“If the probe in Tatra trucks is continuing from 2009 to 2011, if it is not completed in two years, then this government and this defence minister are trying to cover up corruption. If you are patronising corruption, you have no right to remain in power. The defence minister should resign,” Javadekar said.

Doctor held for misbehaving with woman in Kozhikode

 Friday, March 30, 2012: Haridas, a gynecology doctor of Mukkam community health centre, has been taken into police custody for allegedly misbehaving with a woman on Friday morning.
The incident occurred when the woman reached the hospital for medical examination. The doctors has been booked under charges Indian Penal Code (IPC) 354 and 509.
When the incident came to light, several DYFI activists stormed the doctor’s room and gheraoed him and demanded immediate action against the doctor. After talks, the Mukkam police agreed to register case against the doctor.

No more failures till Class VIII in Kerala

Friday, March 30, 2012: Students can now study up to VIII std without being detained. An order was issued not to detain students till class VIII.
The State public education department has issued the circular as per the central Right to Education Act.
According to the education guidelines, Std 1 to stad VIII will come under one department, 1X and X under another section and X1 and X11 into a third section.
Education minister Abdu Rabb had informed on Thursday that the govt is deciding to make Std VIII and 1X as higher secondary and stop VHSC course.

CM warns firm action against quotations gangs

Friday, March 30, 2012: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today informed that the state government would take stern action against criminals and quotation gangs.
Addressing the mediapersons here on Friday, Chandy added that the police had failed miserably since they had taken nearly two hours to reach the spot where Muslim Youth League activist Abdul Shukkur (23) was murdered after a “trial” in public in Kannur on February 20.
The murder occurred in the outbreak of tension at Ariyil that day after CPI(M) leaders including Jayarajan and T.V. Rajesh were assaulted by alleged IUML workers in the morning.
The murder case has brought a black mark to the whole police force, CM said. Chandy further stated that some terrorist organizations have made Kerala their base camps. The criminals indulging in anti-social actions would be punished through Fast track system, he told.

High Court annuls Alex C Joseph’s preventive custody

Friday, March 30, 2012: The Kerala High Court on Friday cancelled the preventive detention order issued against Alex C Joseph, the accused in the case of duty evasion in the import of luxury cars worth around Rs 500 crore via various ports in the country.
Alex C Joseph, who allegedly evaded tax amounting to Rs 500 crore while smuggling luxury cars, was arrested by the police when he alighted at an airport in Andhra Pradesh in November last year and was later handed over to the Kerala police.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had earlier issued a lookout notice. Alex, a native of Thiruvalla in Pathanamthita district, had imported around 450 luxury cars under different names from various ports, including Kochi, from 1997, disguising them as used cars.
The cars imported are priced between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 1.25 crore.
Toyota Lexus, Mercedes Benz, Toyota Land Cruiser, Rolls Royce, BMW and Mitsubishi Pajero were some of the cars imported. Apart from those in Kerala, Alex is known to have sold cars to customers in Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi.
Alex faked documents to import cars in the name of Keralites working as domestic helps in the Gulf. The fraud came to light when revenue intelligence checked the background of the people who imported these cars, and found that none of them could afford such luxury.
An import duty of 300 per cent makes buying brand-new cars from foreign countries a very expensive affair. Alex faked documents to show that these cars were used overseas for more than a year.
Alex has been evading arrest for the past 11 years, after the DRI issued a detention order against him in 2000 under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange And Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act.
According to DRI officials, Joseph fled to the UAE immediately after the order was issued. He had, however, continued his smuggling with Sharjah as his base.

CMC medical team examines Jagathy Sreekumar

KOZHIKODE: A three-member medical team from Christian Medical College hospital, Vellore, Friday examined veteran Malayalam film actor Jagathy Sreekumar, being treated at a private hospital here after his March 10 accident.

The team expressed satisfaction over the recovery the actor has made, sources at Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences said.
Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan, who had also visited the hospital recently, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had intervened to ensure a medical team from CMC to examine the actor at MIMS.

Sreekumar was seriously injured when the car in which he was travelling to Kodagu in Karnataka for shooting a Malayalam film Edavapathy slammed into a road divider at nearby Tenhippalam in Malappuram on March 10.
He was operated upon for injuries on his abdomen and had three surgeries done on his right hand forearm, right thigh and hip.

Murder of Jabbar: Life imprisonment for seven CPM activists

KOCHI: The court has sentenced seven CPM activists to life imprisonment for hacking to death youth congress leader Abdul Jabbar (24) in Kasargod. The CBI court had directed not to relax their sentence while undergoing imprisonment.

K Sudhakar Master, Abdulla Kunhi, Moideen Kunhi Badiyadka, Abdul Basheer Badoor, Ravi Pacchambala, Mahesh Meenja, and Yashwant Kumar Paivalike are the accused in the case.

Shabbir Perla, Kittu Yane Radhakrishna Paivalike, Baliga Abdul Aziz Paivalike, Rajgopal Paivalike, Farouq Munnur Permude were acquitted by the court innocent. Ashraf Adyanadka and Razak Katukukke were acquitted due to lack of evidence.

Abdul Basheer alias Abdul Jabbar (24), son of Hasainar from Nalka Kudkoly was hacked to death at Banuttadka near Perla by unknown assailants on the night of November 3, 2009.

Child death at Welfare Centre: SHRC takes up suo moto case

 Friday, March 30, 2012: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of an incident in Thiruvananthapuram district where a one and a half year old girl child died at the State Child Welfare Committee due to negligence on the part of the authorities.
The child, Ananya, died after she fell into a bucket filled with water. The incident happened around 12.30 pm.

We’re confident on fifth cabinet berth, says Kunhalikutty

MALAPPURAM: The Muslim League is confident on the fifth ministerial post, said Minister P K Kunhalikutty. Talking to reporters here after the unofficial meet convened to discuss the issue, Kunhalikutty said at present we are not announcing whether the fifth minister would be sworn in along with Anoop Jacob.

Muslim League chief Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal had yesterday stated that the fifth minister would be sworn in along with Anoop Jacob.

Forest department issues ID cards for tamed elephants

Friday, March 30, 2012 : Officials from the Conservator of Forests and Wildlife in Kerala have issued identity cards for domesticated elephants.
These cards depict the pachyderms’ photographs and information about physical appearances alongside details of their mahouts and owners, including the temples.
With this programme, Kerala has become the first state in India to have authentic and official identification for elephants.
Henceforth, the mahout or the owner of the elephant would be required to carry these identity cards whenever they take the elephants out for temple festivals, transportation of timber logs in jungles and allied jobs.

Court nod for further probe into Kaviyoor case

Friday, March 30, 2012: The Thiruvananthapuram CBI Court on Friday ordered further probe into sensational Kaviyoor case.
The CBI court had earlier observed that as there are no evidences against the so-called ‘VIP’ in the charge sheet filed in the case.
The charge sheet had never mentioned about the involvement of any VIP and there are no witness statements too. Also there is no scientific evidence to prove Anakha was sexually harassed by her father Narayanan Namboodiri.
‘The local police had destroyed evidences including Anakha’s dress. So it can’t be scientifically proved if she was molested or not. CBI had not investigated about manipulation of evidences’, Court said.

CPM former MLA S Damodaran passes away

Friday, March 30, 2012: Former CPM MLA S Damodaran passed away at a private hospital in Alapuzha on Friday morning . He was 88.
He was former MLA of Maararikulam and was also the leader of Punnapra Vayalar revolt.

Child dies at Child Welfare Committee

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A one and a half year old girl child died on Thursday at State Child Welfare Committee due to negligence on the part of the authorities. The child, Ananya, died after she fell into a bucket filled with water. The incident happened around 12.30 pm. The Chief Minister’s Office has suspended there employees, namely Arunima, Archana and Ambikadevi.

Permission not obtained for prosecuting Thachankary, says vigilance

THRISSUR: The vigilance informed the Thrissur Vigilance Court that permission from the state government has not been obtained to prosecute IG Tomin Thachankary for amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income.

A letter has been sent to the government seeking permission for the prosecution. Vigilance DySP K R Venugopal told the court that as soon as permission is obtained, a charge sheet will be filed. A plea of social activist P D Joseph against the delay in filing charge sheet is under the consideration of the court. The case will be considered again on April 30.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thrissur Metropolitan hospital nurses’ strike continues

Friday, March 30, 2012: The indefinite strike by the nurses’ union at the Thrissur Metropolitan Hospital entered its second day on Friday.
The nurses have launched a strike demanding better wages on Thursday morning.
A rise in the minimum wage, removal of bonded labour and introduction of working in shifts, reappointment of dismissed nurses are some of the demands raised by the striking nurses.

Three of family found dead in Kadalundi

Thursday, March 30, 2012: Three of a family were found dead in Kadalundi in Kozhikode district on Friday.
The dead were identified as Shanmughan, his wife Sharadha and son Subhish. Police have started a preliminary investigation.

Govt to restrict load-shedding to evening hours

Friday, March 29, 2012: The Government has decided to restrict the cyclical 30-minute load-shedding from Monday to only evening hours from 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. This represents a change from the original schedule that had proposed a morning cycle of the same duration.
The change in schedule was being affected to accommodate public convenience. The decision was taken at a meeting of members of the board late last night.
The meeting further decided to impose a restriction on the use of power by high-tension and extra high-tension consumers.

Bangalore: Malayalee student dies in ragging

 Friday, March 30, 2012: An engineering student who has been hospitalized with 60 per cent burns following repeated ragging in the College hostel died yesterday night .
While it has been established that he was ragged by his seniors, how the 18-year-old got the burn injuries, continues to be a mystery, because of the boy’s conflicting versions.
Police were probing whether the first year aeronautical engineering student, Ajmal, tried to commit suicide or was he doused with kerosene by someone else.
Ajmal, who hails from Kannur in Kerala, had initially told the police that he wanted to end his life because he was fed up with constant ragging by his seniors in the Chikkaballapur Engineering College. Later, he gave another version that he was pushed into a toilet in the hostel and somebody poured kerosene on him before setting him afire.

Kerala proposes scrapping of high school system

Friday, March 30, 2012: Education Minister PK Abdu Rabb had on Thursday proposed abolition of the well-established and time-tested high school and vocational higher secondary school systems, triggering instant protests from various quarters in the state.
Addressing a conference of the higher secondary school principals here, he said that abolition of the high schools was necessary as per the federal government’s Right to Education Act, which the state has decided to implement.
Under the Act, class 5 will have to be brought under lower primary system and class 8 under the upper primary system. This will leave class 9 and 10 isolated. He said that the government was of the firm opinion that they should be brought under the higher secondary system.
The Minister said that the government was planning to effect the changes by the year 2013, when it will implement the Right to Education Act.
As regards the vocational higher secondary system, Abdu Rabb said the government was planning the measure to make vocational education more accessible to students. He said that the present vocational higher secondary courses would be brought under the higher secondary schools as optional subjects.
The minister said that the government would help the schools to set up infrastructure in all higher secondary schools for imparting vocational courses.
Students and teachers organisations have expressed dismay over the minister’s announcement. Students and teachers bodies belonging to the Left parties said that the minister should have discussed 
the matter with them before 
going public.
The Youth Congress and Kerala Students Union (KSU), the youth and student wing of the ruling Congress, have also taken strong exception to the development. 
The leaders of the two organisations pointed out that the changes will have far reaching repercussions on the teachers and the 
students alike.
Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president Ramesh Chennithala said that he was not sure whether a decision to effect the changes was taken by the education department or not.
“The matter was not discussed in the ruling United Democratic Front. I will talk to the minister and find out the actual position”, he added.

Modification in Higher Secondary level

Thiruvananthapuram: Education minister P K Abdu Rabb said that timely modification would be introduced in the Higher Secondary structure in the state. IX and X standards would be upgraded into Higher Secondary. He also added that the govt is considering to put a full stop to VHSC. Higher secondary and Vocational HS will be brought under one umbrella. Efforts would be made to include vocational HS subjects in Higher Secondary level, he added.

Police report sought on alleged return of sham gold by Muthoot

New Delhi: A Delhi court has sought a probe report from the police on a complaint accusing Muthoot Fincorp, a non-banking financial firm giving loans against gold, of returning sham gold in place of genuine metal to one olf its customers after clearance of his loan. 'Let a report in this regard be called from the station house officer of the Desh Bansdhu Gupta Road police station,'
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav said. The court called for a police report on a complaint against the firm and its Chief Managing Director Thomas John Muthoot, Director Thomas George Muthoot, its branch manager, sales executive, vice president (Vigilance) and Vice President (Operation) at the relevant time. 

The police had earlier registered an FIR under sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of IPC on a complaint by West Delhi resident Sachin Gupta. Gupta told the court that the 'police is not investigating the matter properly and that the persons named in the FIR are not being arrested.' He has, in his complaint, said he pledged a total of 252 gm of gold in form of its several coins of varying weight for a loan and after its repayment, he was handed over his coins by a company's sales executive in a sealed pack. 

He said later in October 2011, when he wanted to sellthose coins, the proposed purchaser gave him the rude shock telling him that all his coins were sham, made up of iron with mere gold polish. He alleged on a double check, a bank in Faridabad confirmed his worst fears and said the coins he was handed over by Muthoot Fincorp were fake. As Gupta approached the Muthoot Fincorp branch manager, he allegedly shunned all responsibility. Gupta told the court that till date, he has not recovered his genuine gold items he had pledged for the loan. Gupta also said the police is not taking any legal action
against the company officials on the pretext that they are not liable in the case and added that all persons named in his complaint are liable to be prosecuted as all dealings took place under their control.

Green Awards 2011 announced

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Shyam P S of Kidangara, Alappuzha, and Shyam Kumar N of Thenkurissi, Palakkad, have shared the ‘Green Individual Award’ for 2011, instituted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced the Greed Awards 2011 here on Wednesday. The Tropical Institute of Ecological Science, Velloor, Kottayam, has won the Green Institution Award.
Green School Award - Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Lakkidi, Wayanad, and, SVG Vocational Higher Secondary School, Kidanganoor, Pathanamthitta.
Green College Award - Nehru Arts and Science College, Kanhangad, and Christ College, Irinjalakkuda.
Green Electronic Media Person - Sreekala M S and T R Ratheesh, Indiavision, Kochi
Green Journalist - R Samban, chief reporter, Deshabhimani, Thiruvananthapuram.

Teleclassrooms revolutionising education

KOCHI: Technology is changing the face of education drastically in our country. The traditional style of teaching is giving way to teleclassrooms which enable the learner to keep pace with the advances in knowledge and skills.
The lack of expertise in teaching, which afflicts our educational institutions, is sought to be solved through teleclassrooms.  Specialised education imparted from different parts of the country and abroad  by experts will reach students  by networking through a dedicated path.   
Edyounet Technologies, a platform which connects the studio and classroom, is set to launch more teleclassrooms in the state. “We plan to set up at least two teleclassrooms in each district. About 30 private colleges have expressed interest. Studios will be set up in acclaimed institutes in India and abroad from where experts in different fields will impart classes,” said Ram Mohan, CEO, of the Kochi-based firm.
Edyounet offers advanced classes in banking, shareholding, CA, graduation and  medical and engineering entrance. The initial cost of setting up a classroom is about `1.50 lakh with a rent of `20,000 per month.

‘Study of Indian numerals’ history needed’

BANGALORE: “With the origin of the Brahmi script being a mystery and its similarity  with the Indus script, there is a necessity for more studies on numerical inscriptions in the Indian context,” observed Dr B V Subbarayappa, eminent historian and former president of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science.
Delivering the Foundation Day lecture of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) on ‘Indian Inscriptions - Their Record of Numerals and Eclipses’ on Tuesday, he said, “The number of inscriptions in several Indian languages is nearly one lakh, but only about 20,000 have been published. The history of numbers and numerals in the Indian context is of great relevance.”
While Kharosthi and Brahmi scripts (Circa 5 to 6 AD) were known to contain numerals of the decimal-additive-multiplication systems, he said that many questions remained unanswered in the quest for more clarity on how numeric inscriptions in India developed. “Is the Indus (Harappa) script that of one language? This civilisation was spread across 1.30 million sq km. Was there only one language throughout this civilisation? These questions need to be answered with the help of more studies,” said Dr Subbarayappa. He suggested ICHR that there was a need to catalogue numeral forms and the manner of their presentation in the early inscription up to 5 to 6 AD. “I request the ICHR to undertake such studies,” he said.

KPCC to discuss fifth ministerial post, says Chennithala

KANNUR: The KPCC meet to be convened on April 3 will discuss about the fifth ministerial post to be given to the Muslim League, said KPCC chief Ramesh Chennithala. Problems on the issue will be solved without tarnishing the image of the UDF, he said.

The final decision will be taken by the high command, Chennithala told reporters here. The demand of Kerala Congress (B) leader R Balakrishna Pillai to remove his son K B Ganesh Kumar from the cabinet will be solved through talks, he said.

Meantime, Muslim League leader P K Kunhalikutty had yesterday said the fifth minister will be sworn in along with Anoop Jacob.   Chennithala said Kunhalikutty had never said like that.

Kerala high court orders release of Italian ship

KOCHI: The Kerala high court Thursday ordered release of Italian ship Enrica Lexie, detained off Kochi port for over a month in connection with the gunning down of two Indian fishermen allegedly by marines aboard the vessel.

Allowing the plea of ship owners Dolphin Tankers, Justice P S Gopinathan directed the state government and police to release the ship, subject to the owners executing a Rs 3 crore bond before the deputy conservator of Cochin Port Trust.

The court also directed the shipping company to give an undertaking that the vessel, its master and crew would appear as and when called upon by competent authorities with three weeks' prior notice.

On the argument of Advocate General K P Dandapani that other marines (on board the ship) could also be required as part of the investigation, the court said release of the vessel should not interfere with the probe.

The owners argued they could not take responsibility of the marines as they were not part of the ship's crew and they were deputed by the Italian navy for security. The two fishermen, Valentine Jalstine and Ajesh Pinki, were killed when the marines allegedly fired at their fishing boat off Kollam coast on February 15.

Marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Gironi have been arrested and charged with murder and lodged in the Central Prison in Thiruvananthapuram under judicial remand. Meanwhile, Italy's defence minister Giam Paolo di Paolo met chief minister Oommen Chandy in the state capital in connection with the case.

After their meeting, which lasted about 30 minutes, the Italian minister declined to make any statement to the media.

No Difference between the Cong and BJP: Karat

PATNA: CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat Wednesday said there was no difference between the Congress and the BJP as far as corruption was concerned.

"There is no difference between the Congress and the BJP as far as corruption is concerned. Both are the progenitors and advocates of neo-liberal policies," Karat alleged at the inaugural session of the 21st CPI congress here.

"If the Congress-led government cannot live down the infamy of the 2G spectrum scandal, the BJP cannot escape the responsibility for the loot of the mining resources under its government in Karnataka," he said, adding that the rampant corruption being experienced was spawned by a big business-politician-bureaucrat nexus.

He said that the deepening agrarian crisis, suicides by farmers, exploitation of the working class, exploitation of natural resources through corrupt methods, and levels of hunger and malnutrition should shame any civilised society.

Stating that situation was vastly different from the last congress of the CPI, he said that his party withdrew support to the UPA government on the issue of its strategic alliance with the US which centred on the nuclear deal.

"The UPA-II government which came into office after the last Lok Sabha election has been pursuing the same path of neo-liberal policies which we were opposed to during its earlier tenure too," he said.

Karat said that the Left parties took up movements against price rise, issues of the peasantry, for food security and a universal public distribution system and other people's issues.

Claiming that the 28th February general strike by all central trade unions and national federations drew a powerful nationwide protest, he said, "we cannot be satisfied. The movements and struggles that we have conducted are not commensurate to the need to fight and reverse the neo-liberal policies.

"Let this be a precursor to more widespread and intensified struggles against the policies of liberalisation and privatization."

Attacking the saffron party, he said "where the BJP is in power, like in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat, the minorities are under constant attack. The Left parties have to unitedly counter these forces and combat their influence in the social and cultural spheres."

He shared the dais with CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan, their CPI(ML) counterpart Dipankar Bhattacharya, All India Forward Bloc General Secretary Debabrata Biswas and RCP leader Abani Ray.

Bardhan said that the overall situation was favourable for launching movements by all sections of the people.

CPI(M) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said most non-Congress non-BJP governments were more interested in bargaining with the central government and bailing it out at critical junctures than offering any sustained opposition on the growing assault on democratic rights.

Facebook hires Allahabad engg student with Rs1.34 cr package

ALLAHABAD: Social networking giant Facebook has hired an engineering student in Allahabad for a fat annual pay package of Rs1.34 crore, one of the biggest offers made to alumnus of any technical institution of the country.

According to P Chakravarti, Director of the Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology (MNNIT), a B.Tech student from the institute, who has requested that his name be withheld for "security reasons", received a letter on March 27 from Facebook confirming his appointment and the annual pay package on offer was stated to be USD 262,500 (around Rs1.34 crore).

Interestingly, the MNNIT Director said the recruitment process began with a mail from Facebook "in October last year which was followed by nine rounds of telephonic interviews" before he was finally selected for the plush job which would require the student, who hails from Kanpur, to move to Menlo Park in California after finishing his software engineering course at the institute.

"Many students from our institute have bagged lucrative jobs. We have knowledge of at least 30 of our alumni getting selected with packages of more than Rs10 lakh from companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe etc", Chakravarti said.

"However, this one has been unprecedented and we are sure that no other student from any of the other institutions in the city or the more than two dozen National Institutes of Technology across the country has so far been offered such an awesome pay package", he added.

Minister promises additional power from Centre

 Thursday, March 29, 2012: Union Minister of State for Power KC Venugopal said that the Centre would allot 50 MW more power to Kerala from Sunday onwards taking into account the power shortage that is prevailing in the state.
He added that additional power to Kerala will be allotted from the other states’ quota. With additional quota of power, the state would get a total of 416 MW from the centre. Load shedding will be imposed in the state from Monday.
The Electricity Board had reiterated that the state would move towards acute power crisis if Centre did not allocate additional power.
The state’s daily consumption of power for the last week was 60 million units. Tuesday’s power consumption was 63 million units per day. And the state generates only one third of this. Inspite of the central allocation, the state will still be deprived of 20 million units of power daily. Presently, the state is overcoming the crisis buying power from Kayamkulam power station at Rs 11 per unit.
The water level in Idukki is decreasing. The Electricity Board is depending on the Kayamkulam power plant apart from the 20 million units of power from the hydroelectric plants and 25 million units from the central pool. There are limitations in drawing power from outside too.

KSEB raises pension age to 56

 Thursday, March 29, 2012: The KSEB has decided to raise the pension age to 56. The decision was taken in the board meeting held today.
Electricity Minister Aryadan Muhammad had earlier given direction to increase the pension age in KSEB to 56. Minister gave direction to issue the order, so that it should benefit those who are retiring on March 31 this year.

Hike on power tariff likely

Thursday, March 29, 2012: The Kerala State Electricity Board would approach the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) with a plea for a substantial hike in power tariff. The hike will come into effect if commission approves.
The board is expecting clearance for a hike of 35 paise per unit. Power tariff in the state was last increased by 43% in 2002 when A K Antony was the chief minister.

Load-shedding in Kerala from Monday

Thursday, March 29, 2012: The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) has decided to impose half an hour load shedding across Kerala from Monday in the view of the rising power demand and lack of sufficient rains is creating power crisis in the state.
Half an hour load shedding will be between 6.30 pm and 10.30 pm.

Minister KB Ganesh Kumar rules out resignation

Thursday, March 29, 2012: Minister KB Ganesh Kumar has said that the situation does not warrant his resignation as Minister.
In the UDF meet on Wednesday, R Balakrishnapillai had said that his party would change the minister and before the UDF meet Pillai had called a press meet and flayed Ganesh too.
When mediapersons asked Ganesh about this, Ganesh replied he would’nt resign now. When the media queried him about Pillai saying that the party had made a mistake in appointing Ganesh as an MLA, he said this should come from the people of Pathanapuram.

Padmapriya in ‘Trivandrum Lodge’

After the hugely successful Beautiful, director V K Prakash, scenarist and actor Anoop Menon and actor Jayasurya will come together again in Trivandrum Lodge. The shooting of the film will start in mid April.
Padmapriya will play the heroine in Trivandrum Lodge, which is being produced by Time Ads’ P A Sebastian.
Beautiful became some kind of a sensation, which virtually helped the careers of everyone involved in the film. Anoop Menon had announced a project with Traffic director Rajesh Pillai but it has now been postponed.
Jayasurya is currently shooting for Saji Surendran’s laugh riot Husbands in Goa.

Muslim League confident of fifth cabinet berth

Thursday, March 29, 2012: IUML Kerala unit President Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal on Thursday said that Anoop Jacob and the fifth minister from IUML would take oath together.
‘If Congress completes the proceedings, including seeking permission of the High Command, the oath taking ceremony can be held very soon’ ,he said.
KPCC Chief Ramesh Chennithala earlier said that the KPCC meeting scheduled on April 3rd would discuss on the Muslim League’s demand for an additional berth in the Oommen Chandy cabinet.

One killed after being hit by train in T’puram

 Thursday, March 29, 2012: A middle-aged man was killed after being fatally knocked down by a train near Kaniyapuram in Thiruvananthapuram district on Thursday morning.
The deceased has been identified as Rajendran(50) from Kandal, police said.
The Kazhakootam police have begun investigation into the incident

Kasargod: 7 accused in Jabbar murder case found guilty

Thursday, March 29, 2012: The CBI special Court here has on Thursday found the seven accused guilty in a case relating to the gruesome murder of Abdul Jabbar, a Youth Congress leader near Kasaragod in November 2009.
Sudhakaran Master, Perla area secretary of CPM, has also been found guilty of the murder. The Court also acquitted five other persons, who were earlier named as accused in the case.
The CBI investigation had revealed that the team of assassins that had been hired for the purpose had been told to cut off Jabbar’s limbs, but because of severe bleeding caused in the attack, Jabbar had breathed his last.
A five-member gang had intercepted Jabbar’s car near Ukkinadka on November 3, 2009, and after dragging him out of his car, the gang members had indiscriminately hit him with sharp weapons, leaving him bleeding profusely.

Youth killed in road mishap in Palakkad

Thursday, March 29,2012:A youth was killed when two bikes collided with each other near Mannarkadu here on Thursday morning.
The deceased has been identified as Shihab from Kacheriparamb.

Brinda Karat lashes out at UPA Govt

Thursday, March 26, 2012: CPM Politburo member Brinda Karat today said that United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre is collaborated with the US imperialism and it had become a mute supporter of the US by endorsing its policies.
Talking at a meet ‘Fight against Imperialism,’ organised as part of the 20th party Congress beginning here on April 7, she said that the UPA government was withdrawing subsidies to fuel, fertilizers and others making life miserable for common man, including farmers, already hit hard by the skyrocketing prices of essentials in the country.

Youth falls off bus, dies in Kollam

Thursday, March 29, 2012: A 20-year-old youth, who was standing on the footboard of a bus, was killed after he accidentally slipped and fell from the vehicle at Kollam on Thursday morning.
Police identified the deceased as ArunKumar hailing from Kollam. Even though he was rushed to a nearby hospital he was declared dead on arrival.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Piracy websites: Desi Torrent, Malluvision and Movie Jockey,Cops prepare inventory

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an unprecedented move, the Anti-piracy Cell of the State police have made an inventory of websites that offer pirated versions of new films. The inventory of the sites which carry new releases in Malayalam was done by Thiruvananthapuram Taluk Additional Tahsildar T Jacob. The move was launched after Anti-piracy Cell SP Rajpal Meena handed over a request letter to the District Collector seeking the service of the Additional Tahsildar, who holds executive power.
 Anti-piracy Cell DySP S Rafeek said that the websites, Desi Torrent, Malluvision and Movie Jockey, were being closely monitored by the Department.
 ”After we intensified action against online piracy, several sites went inactive. Most of them removed the contents and our investigation could not make much inroads. But when we intensified our internet patrolling, it was found that three sites were still functional and were providing downloading options of new releases for the users. We have collected technical details and have also made an inventory of the contents with the help of the Tahsildar,” he said.
 Additional Tahsildar T Jacob, when contacted, confirmed that the inventory was made and the report submitted to the Department. ”I can’t recollect how many films were there in the sites. But they were all Malayalam films,” he said.
The move of the Anti-piracy Cell holds significance as the investigation has been partially paralysed with the arrest of a couple of people. ”They got wind of the intention of the cell and are absconding. So, the move is expected to break the deadlock,” the DySP said.
 Meanwhile, the higher officials in the Department are concerned over the delay in obtaining the IP addresses of those engaged in piracy. It was against this backdrop that the cell ventured into conducting an inventory which could prove vital in court during trial.

Karimadom: Twenty families barge into new flats

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The 20 families in Karimadom colony who have been engaged in a legal battle for the last many months to get inside houses that have been allotted to them under a slum development project of the City Corporation finally barged inside on Wednesday afternoon.
 Backed by a High Court order permitting conditional occupation and with the blessings of Mayor K Chandrika, the 20 families occupied the houses amidst protest from the petitioners who had moved the Court against them.
 The High Court had allowed the 20 families to occupy the houses, provided they obey the verdict of a writ petition that is still pending in the Court, when it is delivered. According to the Mayor, the Court had asked the police to give protection to the families and help them occupy their houses.
 ‘’The Secretary had given a letter in this respect to the City Police officials and we handed them the keys today. I learnt that there was a small tension there and the police had supported the petitioners and not the families. I don’t know why the police are not interested in carrying out the Court order. It is what had happened at Vilappilsala too,’’ said Chandrika.
 The problems had started when a group of people, some of them former residents of the colony who were allegedly not given any houses in the second phase of Basic Service to Urban Poor (BSUP), moved the Court saying the 20 families were not eligible for occupation. They alleged violations in beneficiary selection and said the Corporation had gone in for a lot system to pick them.
 The High Court had ordered a stay on the allotment, asking the Corporation to file an affidavit regarding the matter. However, soon after the flash floods that hit the city in January, the Corporation submitted before the Court that around 40 houses were getting ready in the colony which should be permitted for occupation so that the residents get a breather from the water-logging problems. To this, the Court agreed to a conditional occupation of the flats, saying the occupants can take up the houses permanently only after a final decision is arrived.
 Upon this, the Corporation had entered into a provincial arrangement with the occupants, allowing them to temporarily occupy the flats. However, the move by the families to enter the houses was blocked by the petitioners in the second week of January. The residents moved Court again, winning a favourable verdict once again.
 ‘’We have waited for two-and-a-half years. Why should we remain on the streets when we have houses allotted? Even the police are with them and not helping us when the Court has asked them to give us protection,’’ said a resident. The tension continued till late in the evening as the petitioners and the police remained at the site.

Mother, daughter found dead in well in Thrissur

Thursday, March 29, 2012: A 33-year-old woman and her one and a half year-old daughter were found dead in a well under mysterious circumstances near Puranattukara here on Thursday.
The dead have been identified as Stella and Monica, police told. The local residents found the dead bodies today morning and informed the police. The local police have begun investigation into the incident.

Jagathy Sreekumar recovering fast

Thursday, March 29, 2012: Veteran Malayalam film actor Jagathy Sreekumar, undergoing treatment for serious injuries suffered in a road accident, is well on his way to recovery, his spokesperson G Karthikeyan said here today.
In a brief talk with media persons after visiting the actor at Malabar Institute of Medical Sciences hospital here,he said Jagathy’s condition was improving and that he was being given the best of treatment by experts.
He said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy himself had taken steps to ensure that a specialist team from Christian Medical College hospital, Vellore visits the actor at the hospital.
Sreekumar was seriously injured when the car in which he was travelling to Kodagu in Karnataka for shooting a Malayalam film Idavapathy slammed a road divider at nearby Tenhippalam in Malappuram district on March 10 and had undergone various surgeries.