Monthly Archives: March 2016

Chalachitra Academy to digitize 3,000 films


Kerala State Chalachithra Academy will digitize more than 3,000 films in its collection so that it can be easily accessed by the general public.

The academy has invited proposals for digitizing the films and storing them in its server. The collection include films from 1910, sourced from various channels and are currently in DVD format.

Academy sources said that the digitized films can be viewed by the public at the academy’s library at Panavila in the capital, where 40 people can watch the films at a time in computers.

“Once an individual remits a membership fee and becomes a member, they can watch the films of their choice from the archives. The membership fee is yet to be decided,” sources said.

The academy has also submitted a proposal to the government for digitizing film publications that were once popular but are not published any more.

The academy has under its possession more than 1, 000 copies of publications like Chithra Karthika, which were once popular in the market.

“These magazines will also be digitized and they can be accessed through the website of the academy free of cost,” sources said.

In addition, the academy is also in the process of collecting rare film prints that are archived without much preservation in various film studios in Chennai in order to restore and preserve them.

Restoration of four films including M T Vasudevan Nair’s critically acclaimed film Nirmalyam is currently underway.

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kozhikode / TNN / March 30th, 2016

ICAR award for nutmeg farmer

He got the award for developing a devise to de-shell the nutmeg seeds

Sachidanandan Velliyath, a 65-year-old farmer from North Aduvassery, Ernakulam, won the prestigious Innovative Farmer Award of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

He received the award from Union Minister for Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh on March 21 at New Delhi during the National Agricultural Fair – Krishi Unnati (Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela), said a press release here.

Development of a nutmeg decorticator, a devise to de-shell the nutmeg seeds, made him eligible for the award.

Since manual nutmeg de-shelling is laborious, it was not economical to produce kernel though it fetched double the price. The issue could be solved with the introduction of the new machine. The capacity of the nutmeg decorticator, powered by a 0.5 HP electric motor, is 150 kg per hour and costs Rs.28,000.

More than 140 farmers in Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have purchased this machine.

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra – Ernakulam of CMFRI had selected Mr. Velliyath as the Best Innovator and was recommended for the prestigious award, the press release added.

source: / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – March 28th, 2016

Agasthyamala gets UNESCO status

The sustained campaign to include the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR) in UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves (BR) has eventually paid off.

The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve was included at the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere programme of UNESCO that concluded in Peru on March 19.

The ABR covers the Shendurney and Peppara wildlife sanctuaries and parts of the Neyyar sanctuary in Kerala and the Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu.

India has been campaigning for the inclusion of the reserve in the network for the past few years.


10 make it to the list

The Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve was the only site considered from the country by the International Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves during the Paris session held last year. That time, the ABR was listed in the category of “nominations recommended for approval, pending the submission of specific information.”

With the addition of the ABR, 10 of the 18 biosphere reserves in the country have made it to the list.

The others are Nilgiri, Gulf of Mannar, Sunderban, Nanda Devi, Nokrek, Pachmarh, Similipal, Achanakmar-Amarkantak and Great Nicobar.

The BRs are designated for inclusion in the network by the International Coordinating Council after evaluating the nominations forwarded by the State through National MAB Committees.

Scientific expertise

The ABR would benefit from the shared scientific expertise of all the other members of the world network. The State is expected to work for the conservation of nature at the reserve while it fosters the sustainable development of its population, said a UNESCO official.

The ABR is situated at the southern-most end of the Western Ghats and spread over Kerala and Tamil Nadu and covers an area of 3,500 sq km at an altitude ranging from 100 metres to 1,868 metres above the Mean Sea Level.


The area falls in the Malabar rainforests and is one of the noted hotspot areas because of its position in the Western Ghats, according to the management plan of the reserve. It is estimated that more than 2,250 species of dicotyledonous plants are in the area and 29 are endemic to the region. Many plants are considered endangered too.

Researchers have noted that about 400 Red Listed Plants have been recorded from ABR. About 125 species of orchids and rare, endemic and threatened plants have been recorded from the reserve.

There are 669 biosphere reserves in as many as 120 countries

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by K. S. Sudhi / Kochi – March 22nd, 2016