Detailed discussions on the interest rates, tenure of the loan and repayment conditions had to be held, said Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor.
KFW Development Bank, Germany, has offered a loan of Rs. 624 crore for developing a water transport network in the city and related works.
The terms and conditions of the financial aid have not been discussed yet. However, it is expected to be a soft loan. Detailed discussions on the interest rates, tenure of the loan and repayment conditions had to be held, said Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor.
Usha Rao, the urban transport specialist of the bank, expressed the willingness of the agency to fund the project in a discussion with Elias Joseph, Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) in New Delhi. Kochi Corporation and KMRL had earlier held discussions with the agency seeking support for the water transport project and development of the Unified Metro Transport Authority, Mr. Chammany said.
The loans from external agencies have to be routed through the State and the Central governments. The State government has to write to the authorities for availing the financial aid. If the formalities for the loan could be completed, the bank would extend the loan before March next, he said.
Incidentally, Cities Development Initiative Asia (CDIA), an international agency, had conducted a detailed study for developing a water transport network in the city.The task of preparing a pre-feasibility study on the project was assigned to a Manila-based agency. The Initiative had also proposed a Rs. 400-crore project for identifying new ferry routes, modernisation of boat jetties and for launching modern boats.
Special Purpose Vehicle
The local body had earlier decided to form a Special Purpose Vehicle for managing the water transport system after the Kochi Corporation council approves the pre-feasibility study.
The local body had also sought financial aid from the CDIA for the formation of the Special Purpose Vehicle. Kochi Corporation had also written to the CDIA in this regard, said Mr. Chammany.
Since the development of the water transport network would go a long way in improving the traffic scenario of Kochi city and adjoining areas, the governments should take the initiative for obtaining the loan for Kochi Corporation, Mr. Chammany said.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by K. S. Sudhi / Kochi – October 30th, 2014
The Heritage Walk members also spent time at the War Memorial, an edifice that stands in the middle of a busy junction. But very few people know what it signifies.
Every Sunday, the members of Heritage Walk — including students, government employees, scientists and IT professionals — turn archaeologists as they attempt to explore the city’s labyrinth of bylanes and unearth fascinating stories about the city’s rich past. This Sunday, they trekked through one of the busiest parts of the city in Palayam, from the CSI Christ Church to the University Stadium, stopping along the way at the church cemetery, the War Memorial, and the OTC Hanuman Temple.
Because there was a mass going on, the walkers were unable to investigate the inside of the church complex in detail. It is one of the oldest Anglican church structures in the city, said to have been formally consecrated in 1859.
The Heritage Walk members also spent time at the War Memorial, an edifice that stands in the middle of a busy junction. But very few people know what it signifies. The structure is in memory of the men who were recruited from the erstwhile Travancore and lost their lives, “in service of the Empire during The Great War, 1914 to 1921.”
Moving on from the memorial, the group headed to the OTC Hanuman temple when the abbreviated OTC was expanded for the first time to many. “OTC stands for Officers Training Corps and the temple is known as such because it was built right next to the OTC building, the remnants of which still stand,” said archaeologist Elizabeth Thomas Tharakan, the coordinator of Heritage Walk.
The group headed to the high stands of the University Stadium, from where it was evident that this spot was important a century ago as well considering the age of the buildings around — the State Central Library, the CSI church, and the heritage structures at PMG Junction.
Every time the group congregates, there are new members joining the walk, said Ms. Tharakan. An encouraging sign that there are people in the city with an avid interest in their past. It has been a year since the first walk was held.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Thiruvananthapuram / by Kavya Pradeep Kumar / Thiruvananthapuram – October 27th, 2014
Various programmes mark A. Ayyappan’s death anniversary
The Theatre Art Gallery here has organised a host of programmes to commemorate the fourth death anniversary of poet A. Ayyappan.
An exhibition of photographs of the poet as well as paintings and sculptures based on his works, exhibited at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery here from Wednesday, throws light into the various moods of the poet and the issues he dealt with.
The commemoration programme was inaugurated by poet Sebastian on the art gallery premises. A video by C. Sharathchandran based on Ayyappan’s poem Greeshme Sakhi was screened on the occasion.
A recitation of Ayyappan’s poems was the highlight of Thursday’s programmes.
A poetry evening will be held on Friday while plays will be staged on Saturday. Arangu Kozhikode will stage the play Njattuvela at 7 p.m.
The valedictory the commemoration programme will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Writer T.P. Rajeevan will inaugurate the programme.
A musical programme by Vinod Shankar and Harinarayanan at 7 p.m. and a documentary Ithrayum Yathabhagam by Sathyan Odessa will be the highlight of the evening.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kozhikode / by Staff Reporter / Kozhikode – October 24th, 2014
A Kerala girl has made it to the final 12 of Google’s Doodle 4 Google contest — A place in India I wish to visit — for students across India. Reba Philip, a sixth grade student of Pallikoodam School in Kottayam, chose to travel across Bay of Bengal and explore Andaman and Nicobar Islands, when most of her fellow competitors wanted to visit her home state.
This 11-year-old girl used colour pencils and a ball point pen to tell the world of her dream destination. The doodle is one among the 4 selected doodles in the Group 2 category.
When asked as to what was the concept behind her doodle Reba said, “I have always wanted to go to the Andmans. I love beaches. The photographs of the Andamans have always left me mesmerised. So I decided to create a doodle which represented the Andamans.”
How has Reba defined her doodle? Reba said that the doodle portrays the various elements of the islands. G stands for surfing, O is for Jarawa Tribe playing drum, G is the endemic bird called Andaman wood Pigeon, L is a rough map of the island and E is Dugong – a marine animal found nearby.
Reba’s doodle depicts various aspects of the Andamans. It took Reba an entire day to create the doodle. The doodle showcases everything from fun and frolic on the Island to its tribes and wildlife.
Reba has seen the other doodles in the fray and thinks “it is going to be a tough competition.”
Proud and excited about her daughter’s achievement, Reba’s mother Julie said, “We are very excited about the results. I was not even aware of what she had been up to, until she came up to get the drawing scanned and uploaded on the website.”
The doodle will be open for voting from October 27, 2014 to November 10, 2014.
The contest commenced on August 19, 2014 and was held in three categories. Group 1 consisted of those students studying from Grade 1 to Grade 3, while Group 2 includes those students studying from Grade 4 to Grade 6. Group 3 includes those studying from Grade 7 to Grade 10.
Each of the 12 finalists will be given a ChromeBook Laptop and a certificate. The winner of the contest would be awarded a holiday to any destination he or she would like to go for 3 nights and 4 days along with their parents.
source: http://www.english.manoramaonline.com / On Manorama / Home> News> Sci-Tech / by Gitanjali Diwakar, Assistant Content Producer / Monday – October 27th, 2014
The e-Jalakam programme of St Teresa’s College has been chosen for the chief ministers special awards for innovation in public service (2013).
E-Jalakam is a model e-governance literacy project that aims to enhance public access to various online government services. The award will be presented on Monday.
Principal coordinator of the project Nirmala Padmanabhan — who also heads the college’s economics department — said that the programme was a social initiative to educate girls/women on how to access government websites.
“Our aim was to educate people who didn’t know how to navigate government sites. So, students prepared a step-by-step handbook to guide them. The handbook helps a person track file movement in any department. Similarly, people can check birth, death and property details, even power and water bills too. The citizen’s handbook called ‘Vivara Nidhi’ and can be downloaded from the IT Mission website or the e-Jalakam website,” she said. Padmanabhan gives credit to her students whose meticulous efforts resulted in such a simple, easy-to-use guide. The group has managed to reach out to 12,000 families in 86 schools over the past one year.
“You can keep the book next to the computer and finish the entire process screen by screen. In the first two phases of the project, the e-Jalakam team trained 17 civic groups covering 2,000 persons,” she said, adding that a decision was taken in the third phase to train high students in government and aided schools where IT@school project was being implemented.
“Student feedback resulted in another handbook called e-Mithram which serves their interests like applying for entrance exams, checking results, application for driving/duplicate licence etc,” she said. The group plans to print these handbooks with their prize money that amounts to Rs 2 lakh. “Everywhere we go, people ask for a hard copy. We will be selling them at a nominal price to make printing a sustainable operation,” she said.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> City> Kochi / TNN / October 27th, 2014
Deepa, a veteran of the visual media, was baptised in the medium at a time when the communication space was opened up for private channels. Since joining Asianet in 1998, Deepa has worked before and behind the camera as reporter, producer and anchor. After leaving Asianet, this award-winning media person worked as an independent producer covering environmental and ecological issues and agriculture. Last year, she returned to take up an assignment with Asianet News. Producer of the recently launched ‘Sthree Dimension’, she has joined hands with her batch mate and friend, Vandana, to conceptualise a talk show for women and of women; a panel discussion that discusses mainstream issues and not gender-related issues alone. Deepa explains what it is all about…
The need for such a show
Women are so poorly represented in most discussions in the visual media. The mandatory women in such discussions are usually politicians. Moreover, women are generally invited to speak when the topic is related to gender or gender issues. Even then the women we see are the same talking heads in almost every channel. It is as if women, the ordinary women that we encounter every day, have no opinions at all on any mainstream issues. There are group discussions. However, the sheer number of participants prevent any serious discussion or analysis. It becomes a venue for arguments and counter arguments and there is hardly any in-depth analysis. We wanted to create a space where women could discuss events that were hogging the headlines. That is how the show was conceptualised. And there are just four guests on the show.
Vandana is an experienced media person who thinks on her feet and has a way with words. She has a sense of humour and is able to get the panellists to open up and express their opinion. We work as a team, choosing the topics and guests who appear on the programme. She does the research on the subject and, like any good anchor, ensures that each person gets the opportunity to talk and that the discussions do not deviate from the topic.
When we began, there were doubts if we could get enough women to speak on topics related to politics, economics, health and so on. In addition, we wanted to avoid the faces that we have always seen on various panels. To our pleasant surprise, we were able to get plenty of articulate women from different walks of life. For instance, there was a research scholar who was able to give a very different perspective on the Jayalalithaa issue. She argued persuasively that the former Chief Minister was a symbol of empowerment for many women and that she should not be relegated to the margins of politics because she has been found guilty of corruption. Similarly, there were many instances when the women panellists impressed us with their clarity of thought and interesting takes on different issues. Instead of assuming that women could only talk about certain subjects, we were giving them the opportunity to air their views on current events and they were making the most of the opportunity.
Issues taken up for discussion
The programme is just four weeks old. During the period we covered topics ranging from education, politics, health and lifestyle. While one of the episodes discussed the stand taken by V.M. Sudheeran, president of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee, another analysed the Congress decision on Sashi Tharoor. Then there was an episode on the Jayalalithaa phenomenon, and also on the state of our schools. One feature that stood out was the language that was used by the panellists. It never went beyond the realms of decorum and even tricky issues were handled with sensitivity and sensibility.
I feel it is too early to evaluate the programme. But the feedback from those who have seen it has been positive. Nowadays TRP ratings are important and I am optimistic that this show will make the mark.
‘Sthree Dinmension’ airs on Saturdays at 9.30 p.m. on Asianet News.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Features> Friday Review / by Saraswathy Nagarajan / Thiruvananthapuram – October 23rd, 2014
Six student entrepreneurs at the Startup Village here have earned global acclaim for their smartphone app designed to improve the skills of skateboarders. They have now been invited to Canada next month to interact with innovation experts, investors and mentors.
The startup Flip Technologies team’s product, “The Smart Riser” (Skateboard tracker), was ranked among the top five in the Next Big Idea Contest 2014 organised jointly by the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, the Government of Ontario, Canada, IBM Global and Ryerson Futures Inc.
The Smart Riser is designed for skateboarders to enhance their ability to perform and analyse tricks whether one is an amateur or professional.
The device is connected to the truck of the skateboard and it tracks the dynamics of the board and the data is sent to a smart phone app via bluetooth. The app can determine the trick performed and help the skateboarders to improve their skills and acts like a personalized trainer.
The Smart Riser has also been rated as one of the most interesting products by Intel, which will provide its latest Edison board to the students for prototyping and for development support.
Jibin Jose, Abimanyu Nair, Jishnu Vijayan, Balagovind Girish, Rohith Samuel and Abraham Alexander of Flip Technologies will attend a two-week programme in Toronto’s Discovery District – a hotbed of innovation responsible for more than $1 billion of R&D annually.
“We are really excited about our visit to Canada, where we will have an opportunity to interact with the top people in the industry. We are focused on developing cutting edge IOT (Internet of things) devices and tracking devices for adventure sports,” said Jose, co-founder of Flip.
Startup Village chairman Sanjay Vijayakumar said the student entrepreneurs were “proof that if you have the idea, the enthusiasm and the drive, there is a world of opportunity awaiting you.”
While Jose and Nair had passed out from the Toc-H Institute of Science and Technology (TIST) near here, the other four students are pursuing different courses at the same college.
source: http://www.english.manoramaonline.com / On Manorama / Home> Sci-Tech / by Agencies / Wednesday – October 29th, 2014
Taking a trip down the history lane of Christianity in Kerala can be a bit daunting. For, there can be no end to it.
From the legend of St.Thomas to the present period, it has travelled through a pattern of historical complexity, witnessing many ups and downs.
The Diocese of Kottapuram, located near the ancient port town of Muziris, felt that it’s an intricate journey, the significance of which should be conveyed to the masses. With that in mind the Diocese has come up with a docu-fiction – a brave attempt to encapsulate in five hours, the 3,000-year long history of Christianity right from the golden days of the Muziris to the present day.
“The initiative is in line with our long tradition of taking up technological innovations for mass communication. It was printing press in the 15th century and radio and television in the five centuries later. The attempt is to visualise many important aspects of our history that remain largely unknown, underrated and relatively uncelebrated,” said Fr. Rockey Roby, official spokesperson of the diocese.
Shooting of the docu-fiction to be directed by Mohanroop is set to begin next month. The voluminous script, which runs into over 40 pages, has been finalised by a monitoring committee comprising the diocese officials, historians and researchers.
Mr. Mohanroop said the project would be groundbreaking at many levels whether in its definition of spectacle or its dialogue with technology. “A lot of research has gone into identifying the cultural traits of periods being dealt with such as the attires and the language spoken and much more. The film will be shot by recreating the panoramic visuals of bygone centuries in all its splendour and magnitude,” he said.
Some of the key events that will form a part of the docu-fiction include the arrival of St.Thomas the Apostle, which is believed to have taken place in AD 62, the synod of Diamper in 1599 and the Coonan Cross Oath in 1653. Besides, the parishes of Maliankara, Sambaloor and Paravur will also find a place in it.
The final cut, which would also be a comprehensive history of the Church in Kerala, is scheduled for a release six months from the shooting.
source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Hiran Unnikrishnan / Kochi – October 20th, 2014