Category Archives: Education

Kozhikode’s golden reign continues

Thrissur, 10/01/2018, Calicut Team Win Overall Gold Cup in Kerala School Art Festival in Thrissur on Wednesday_Photo_K_K_Najeeb

Pips Palakkad by 2 points to emerge champion for the 12th consecutive year, Malappuram comes third

Kozhikode completed a golden dozen on Sunday. The district lifted its 12th successive Gold Cup at the State School Arts Festival. No mean feat that.

It is truly remarkable that the young artistes from Kozhikode have never let their grip go of the cup that is given to the district scoring the highest number of points at the State festival after they won it at Kannur in 2007. But, Palakkad gave it a very stiff fight here before settling for the runner-up spot.

Kozhikode finished with 895 points, just two more than Palakkad. Malappuram was third with 875, while host Thrissur took the fourth place with 865.

Top school

Palakkad, however, had the consolation that a school from the district, BSS Gurkukulam, Alathur, emerged as the best both in the Higher Secondary and High School categories, overcoming strong challenges from the likes of Silver Hills HSS, Kozhikode, St. Teresa’s, Kannur, and MKNMHS, Kumaramangalam (Idukki).

In the Sanskrit Festival too, Kozhikode emerged champion, with 95 points. Kannur and Palakkad, with 91 points each, finished second and third respectively.

In the Arabic Festival, Malappuram finished on top with 95 points.

Kasaragod and Thrissur, with 93 points apiece, were placed second and third respectively.

The prizes were distributed at the main venue of Thekkinkadu Maidan in front of a packed house. Speaking at the function, Education Minister C. Ravindranath said the State School Arts Festival should evolve into a cultural festival.

Revised manual

“This edition of the festival was held with a revised manual,” he said.

“The process of revision will continue for the next three years. We welcome suggestions from the public about the changes made in the festival, such as the discontinuation of giving the prizes to the top three,” he said.

Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, actor and MP Innocent were among those who attended.

Alappuzha next host

The next edition of the festival will be held at Alappuzha. “It is the home district of our Opposition Leader and it has enough venues to conduct the festival,” Mr. Ravindranath said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by P.K. Ajith Kumar – Thrissur / January 10th, 2018

A professor becomes a successful caregiver for cancer patients


Prof. Ramani Tharayil has been able to empathize with the pain of the patients ever since she was the principal of Kottayam BCM College.

When she retired from service 17 years ago, she told her husband Dr. K. C. Joseph that she wanted to do something to help cancer patients during her retirement life. He did not raise any objection and she began her service.

Prof. Ramani created beautiful craftworks using the waste pieces of clothes from tailoring shops and sold them to her acquaintances.

Knowing her intention of charity, her friends and relatives accepted her idea with open heart. People flowed to her house at Kaniyamkudil near BCM  College, asking for the creative pieces she made. After 3 years her husband died, which turned her complete attention to tailoring.

More of her creations are useful for household purposes, like beautiful kitchen towels or fridge handle cover. The money collected from sales is handed over to the cancer palliative care units every month. All the craftworks are made of eco-friendly materials.

Prof. Ramani said that the sales have increased, since she started trying new designs and crafts from internet. “I feel the same happiness I used to feel as a principal, when my students win or maybe a lot more,” said Prof. Ramani.

Her daughter Priya Mohan, who is a computer science graduate from Calicut Regional Engineering College, offers full support for her mother’s endeavour..

Priya’s husband Mohan Thomas, who is an engineer, also support her activities.

source: / Mathrubhumi / Home> News / December 12th, 2017

Diving school named after war veteran

Chiman Singh interacting with naval divers at the Naval Base on Friday.

It will be known as Chiman Singh Block

A newly-constructed modern dive training facility at the Diving School of the Southern Naval Command, christened as Chiman Singh Block, was jointly inaugurated by Chief of Staff of the Command Rear Admiral R.J. Nadkarni and former Petty Officer Clearance Diver and Maha Vir Chakra holder Chiman Singh at an event held at the Naval Base on Friday.

The facility houses a state-of-the-art recompression chamber complex and a laboratory, besides modern stores. It will make dive training at the school comparable with the best in the world.

Chiman Singh, after whom the new facility is named, was awarded the second highest gallantry medal for his exploits as a Leading Seaman in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.

Unmatched valour

Deployed off the Bangladesh coast, he displayed unparalleled gallantry in the face of the enemy in rescuing several of his colleagues, despite being severely injured.

The sailor was eventually taken prisoner-of-war (POW) and released on culmination of the war.

This is the highest gallantry award ever received by a naval person. Bangladesh honoured him with the Friends of Bangladesh Liberation Award in 2013.

source: / The Hindu /  Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – December 16th, 2017

Guinness memory record for Keralite

Santhi Sathyan has been undergoing memory training for seven years

There is a misconception that memory is an innate skill whereas it is a result of years of training and perseverance, says Santhi Sathyan, who holds a Guinness world record for the longest sequence of objects memorised in a minute.

The 28-year-old from Kadakkal needs just 60 seconds to save 45-odd objects to her memory, and after reshuffling, she can arrange them back in the same precise order in 2 minutes 57 seconds.

The previous record was held by Arpan Sharma of Nepal, whose record of 43 objects was easily broken by Santhi.

“There are many scientific methods to enhance memory. One of the main tricks is to convert the objects into visuals, something that will last longer in your memory,” she said at a press meet here on Wednesday.

Santhi has been undergoing memory training for the past seven years and started preparations to break the Guinness record a couple of years ago.

Her husband, Anith Soorya, an IT professional-turned-counsellor, is her coach.

From school days

“I have been practising this from my school days though I have never entered any competitions. Two years ago, a friend encouraged me to make an attempt to break the current record that had remained unbroken for two years,” she says.

The postgraduate student in psychology entered the Guinness Book of World Records at a programme held on May 28 at the Kadakkal panchayat conference hall in front of a panel approved by the Guinness World Records officials.

“I am grateful to the Kadakkal panchayat authorities, whose immense support helped me achieve this feat,” she says.

Gearing up for more

Santhi next wants to win the World Memory Championship.

“Many of us are not aware of memory training and its benefits. I want more and more children to come to this field and I am willing to train them,” she says.

A wish

Santhi is currently waiting for her Guinness World Record certificate, which has been shipped to Kerala,  she says.

“Usually it’s handed over by a renowned personality and I wish I could receive it from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar,” she adds.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by Staff Reporter / Kollam – December 06th, 2017

College brings back its dramatic past

Students attend a lecture on theatre at University College.

Theatre group at University College

University College, the city’s iconic academic institution, is all set to revive its theatrical tradition of the 1980s with the formation of a theatre group.

On Thursday, actor Alancier, one of the members of the college’s 1980s theatre group, kicked off the revival initiative interacting with around 50 youngsters.

On Friday, it was the turn of the students to choose the areas in which they would work as the gathering got down to serious business.

In between, they were treated to lectures and demonstrations on the subtle nuances of theatre and its practices by Raja Warrier, Head, Centre for Performing and Visual Arts, University of Kerala, and Girish Sopanam, Creative Head, Sopanam Institute of Performing Arts, followed by selection of groups of students to handle different departments of the theatre group under the guidance of Satheesh G. Nair, Director, Campus Theatre.

What awaits the student group is a major production during the summer vacation and an inter-departmental theatre festival as early as next month, Krishna Kumar, faculty in charge of the theatre initiative told The Hindu.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Thiruvananthapuram / by A Correspondent / Thiruvananthapuram – October 21st, 2017

Expertise of engineering college to go virtual

Local libraries, reading rooms in Taliparamba constituency to be linked to GCEK’s virtual learning facility

The interactive virtual learning facility of Government Engineering College, Kannur, (GCEK), at Dharmasala here will be linked to the local library-cum-reading rooms in the Taliparamba Assembly constituency for the dissemination of e-contents of expertise useful for the public.

The plan, outlined as part of the entrepreneurship support initiative Samruddhi, launched in the constituency under the leadership of local MLA James Mathew, envisages provision of computers, LED display boards and printers to 164 library-cum-reading rooms in the constituency for linking them with the interactive virtual learning centre of the GCEK started under its Centre for Information, Communication and Educational Technology (CICET). Mr. Mathew had announced the other day that a workshop for five functionaries each of the libraries would be held at Taliparamba on October 20 to discuss activities to be carried out under the Samruddhi scheme using the libraries as centres.

“Once the libraries are connected to the interactive virtual learning facility of the college, the e-content stored in the college’s server can be accessed by them,” GCEK Principal C. Sreekumar said. Another feature is a programme being organised by one of the libraries can be streamed to rest of the others, he added.

The CICET includes a resource studio and a server that would used as a platform for interactive classroom programmes and contents involving the expertise of the colleges faculties in different disciplines.

The CICET was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last month. Under the Samruddhi scheme, this facility is being extended for the benefit of the public through libraries and schools. The e-contents will be created, stored and disseminated under the initiative.

As the Samruddhi scheme envisages dissemination of information on socially beneficial programmes of the government among their beneficiaries, including aspiring entrepreneurs, the facility would function as a common link between government departments and the public.

Mr. Mathew said the funds would be accessed if the clusters of entrepreneurs propose projects that cannot be established on their own. Water conservation, waste treatment and good agricultural practices are being given priority under the scheme, he said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by Mohamed Nazeer / Kannur – October 16th, 2017

Kochi gets a comic library

Kochi :

Deep within a by-lane on the Civil Line near Vazhakkala exists probably the only Xanadu for comic book fans in the city , Comic Collective , the city’s first comic book library , boasts of a selection of over 1,000 comic books .

Comic books, unlike novels, are hard to find and buy and almost unavailable in Kochi.

The two key people involved in putting together this large collection of comic books, Tony Davis and San Ramshankar, travelled to multiple book fairs and flea markets across the country in search of books for the library that opened in August.

“You will not find specific comic books that are popular in flea markets because nobody would want to sell them, so those we had to buy online,” said Tony , the library founder.

San, a software engineer who used to review comic books on his Facebook page, Kerala Comic Brotherhood, used to collect them to augment his personal collection.

Later he met Tony , who had been collecting comics to set up a library in the city , on Kerala Comic Brotherhood.

Currently , Comic Collective has stocked popular series from the major western comic book publishers such as Marvel, DC, Vertigo, Image and Dark Horse.

They also have a selection of Japanese comics (manga) apart from those brought out by Indian publishers, illustrators, and writers Bobby Creasman, an American who moved to Kochi for work and is now of member of Comic Collective, said: “I think it’s fantastic that there is a comic book library in Kochi. My kids had borrowed two Flash comics. I borrowed Ramayan 3392 AD, which is the story of Ramayan in a post-apocalyptic setting.”

The house, converted into a library , offers wide seating space. The walls are decorated with art works made by comic fans.

“Comic book fans always tend to artistically recreate what they see in comic books, where two forms of art -writing, and illustration -converge,” said San who is also an active cosplayer (someone who engages in comic book costume play). His cosplay work is also on display at the library .

The library is yet to catch the fancy of comic bo ok fans but Tony believes there is huge potential.

“Last year, we organized a Batman Day gathering and we expected around 50 people. But around 250 people showed up and they were all fans of either the cartoon, the movie or the comic.We even had a quiz and some people answered all the questions. So this year, we are planning to organize Batman Day at our premises on September 23. Hopefully , it will serve a launching pad for the library ,” said Tony , adding that it is difficult to get a sponsor to support comic book events as people consider them childish.

“Some people come asking whether we have Balarama and Tinkle but that’s not the type of comics we deal with. Comics are not just for kids, some of them have great stories, ideas and art.But explaining it is too hard, so we don’t. We’d rather have an organic growth rather than forcing it on people,” said San.

source: / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Kochi News / by Vikram Vinod, TNN / September 21st, 2017

Blind Football Academy to be opened today

Union Minister K.J. Alphonse at a function where membership of the Blind Football Academy was handed over to C.S. Falhan on Thursday.

First member receives membership

C.S. Falhan became the first member of the Blind Football Academy when he received the membership from Union Minister K.J. Alphons here on Thursday.

Sunil J. Mathew, Indian Blind Football Federation sporting director; Fr. Robin Kannanchira, director, Chavara Cultural Centre; and M.C. Roy, attended the event. The academy, which has been established by Indian Blind Football Federation, will be opened on Friday at Jogo Football arena near Bund Road at 4 p.m.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – September 14th, 2017

Mahatma Gandhi University’s faculty to lead expedition team to Arctic

Kottayam :

CT Aravindakumar, a faculty at Mahatma Gandhi University’s (MGU) School of Environmental Sciences, will lead an eight-member team of Indian scientists for an expedition in the Arctic region this month. National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) in Goa, the nodal agency that coordinates India’s polar research, will organize the expedition, which will last four to six weeks. MGU had recently signed a MoU with NCAOR on joint polar research.

Under this agreement, MGU researchers can take part in Artic expedition  every year. India conducts nearly 5 expeditions each year. The team will be studying atmospheric, biological, marine and earth sciences, glaciological and pollution issues. The main research programme is on pollution in the Arctic region which will have a long-term impact. It has already initiated a long-term programme with NCAOR on the study of air and water pollution, fate and transport of pollutants, aquatic organism etc.

India is one of the leading contributors in polar research and had started its Arctic expedition in 2007. India’s first Arctic research station, named Himadri, was inaugurated in 2008 at the International Arctic Research base, Ny-Alesund, located 2,000km north of Norway.

India is the 11th country to set up a permanent research station in the region. Himadri can host 8 scientists at a time under normal conditions. Members of the station are given weapon training to protect themselves from polar bears.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Kochi News> Schools & Colleges / TNN / July 14th, 2017

How Gundert saved Malayalam

Herman Gundert


Some of the rare books in Malayalam language would have been lost if Herman Gundert, the German missionary, had not taken the trouble to transport them to his home town Calw. The documents preserved by Gundert, who was also a scholar credited with the first Malayalam-English dictionary, included nearly 80 manuscripts and 150 printed works. Some of the available palm leaf manuscripts run into 42,000 pages. These books have been archived in the Gundert archive of Tubingen University which has also taken steps to digitise the documents. The Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, Tirur, established in 2012 to promote Malayalam language, has received access to the documents through an MoU signed with the Tubingen University.

Mr M. Sreenathan, professor of language at the university, told Deccan Chronicle that it all started with Dr Scaria Zacharia, a Malayalam professor who visited Germany in connection with the meeting of the World Malayali Council, visiting the archives of the university in 1986. He published books like Pazhassi Rekhakal, Payyanoor Pattu and Thalasserry Rekhakal from the university. Some of the other books that were discovered from Tubingen included Nalacharitham Manipravalam and Sheelavathy written by Mannan. The first version of the Mahabharatham Killipattu, Krishnagatha, Thulalkadha, Panchathantram and Ekadeshi were brought to the state from the archives. The copy of Meenakshi written by Chathu Nair and published in 1890 was also discovered from Tubingen, Mr Sreenathan said.

Another finding was Keralopakari, an illustrated weekly published in 1870. There has not been much reference about this weekly earlier. A copy of Krishi Pattu was also preserved at Tubingen. The specialty of the copy of Krishi Pattu, an agriculture verse popularly known as Krishi Geetha in the state, is that it was published from Kozhikode before the advent of Chandrakala in Malayalam. Another significant discovery was Kerala Natakam. This book republished by the university was released recently. Many people, including historian M.G.S. Narayanan, have said that they have seen the book. However, the book was not available anywhere in the state. It was also received from the archives of Gundert. Many literary historians, including Ulloor Parameswara Iyer, have mentioned about this work. There are differences among the historians about who wrote the book.

Some believed that this was written by Thunchath Ezhuthachan. However, Ezhuthachan had not written anything other than poetry. The book was published by Basel Mission. Ulloor had disagreed with the theory that it was written by Ezhuthachan. The book was in the handwriting of Gundert himself. The language of the book proved that it was not written by Ezhuthachan. However, it has many similarities with another work of the period named Keralolpathi. But there is one major change. This is in the chapter Kulakrama Vivaranam which in Keralolpathi was based on Sankaracharya’s Kulakrama Vivaranam. However, the Kulakrama Vivaranam chapter in Kerala Nadakam dealing with the origin of caste was more in the nature of folklore, Mr Sreenathan said.

The documents in the collection of Gundert can be classified into three: printed books; books that had been transcript by Gundert himself or using the service of a scribe; and books in Thaliyola. Many books related to subjects like Manthravatham and on Christianity, including Puthiyaniyamathile Lekhanangal and Sathyaveda Ethihasam, are at the archives. The university is the only one in Europe that teaches Malayalam as an optional. It has also set up a Gundert chair. “I visit Tubingen as a faculty of the university and Mr Scaria Zacharia goes there as an outside academic. The Malayalam and Tubingen universities also have student exchange programmes,” Mr Sreenathan said. He will visit Tubingen soon to identify the original version of the works of Ezhuthachan, including Adhyadhama Ramayanam. Mr Scaria Zacharia said that the access to Gundert archives had begun in 1986. Many books like Pazhassi Rekhakal, Payyanoor Pattu, Thacholli Pattu and Thalassery Rekhakal were published from the archives. However, it was only recently the efforts were noticed in the state, Mr Zacharia said.

Christian missionary turned linguist

Herman Gundert, who left Germany at the age of 23 for missionary work, had planned to go to Calcutta and gained working knowledge in Bengali, Hindustani and Telugu even while travelling by sea. However, he landed in Madras in 1836 instead of in Calcutta. Gundert learnt Tamil while working in Chittoor, Andhra, and Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. During his work in Mangalore, he had a chance trip to Thiruvananthapuram where he had an audience with Swathi Thirunal, the ruler of Travancore who himself was a scholar. Gundert was attracted to Malayalam and became a scholar in the language in a short span of time.

Born in 1814, Gundert is the grandfather of 20th century Nobel prize winning novelist Hermann Hesse. Gundert had studied theology and Sanskrit in Tübingen University before completing his doctorate in theology in 1835 and joining the Bassel Mission in which he worked in Thalassery from 1938. Apart from authoring the first Malayalam-English dictionary, he translated the New Testament into Malayalam. He left India in 1859 due to illness. Most of his Malayalam books, including his Malayalam-English dictionary and hymn book, were written when he was in the south western German town of Calw.

He worked primarily from Thalassery where he compiled a Malayalam grammar book, ‘Malayalabhaasha Vyakaranam,’ published in 1859. He lived at Illikkunnu near Thalassery for 20 years spreading the gospel among the natives and writing 13 books and a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew and New Testament from Greek. He attempted a systematic grammar of the language based on non-Sanskrit-based approaches to Indic grammar as he considered Malayalam as a branch of Proto-Tamil-Malayalam, or Proto-Dravidian. It was Gundert who used punctuation marks like full stop, comma, colon and semicolon for the first time in Malayalam. In recognition of his contribution to Malayalam, a statue of Gundert has been erected at Thalassery.

source: / Deccan Chronicle / Home> Nation, In other news / by Sabloo Thomas, Deccan Chronicle / July 05th, 2017