Monthly Archives: October 2017

Cartoon show on Kerala opens today

Kannirukki Kalam, a package of 60 cartoons drawn by cartoonist Unnikrishnan on the art, literature, society, environment, lifestyle and polity of Kerala over the past 60 years of its existence, will be on show at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery from November 1, the Kerala formation day, till November 3.

Artist T. Kaladharan’s Orthic Creative Centre is organising the show, with concurrent exhibitions of the same being held at 9 centres across the country.

Civil Supplies MD A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish will inaugurate the show. Noted cartoonist Yesudasan will preside over the event.

The exhibition will be open to the public between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / Kochi – October 31st, 2017

Kerala historians question move to give ‘Paika Bidroha’ first war of independence tag

Paika Bidroha celebrations in Bhubaneswar on October 21, 2017. | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

They argue that the ‘Attingal Revolt’ of 1721 was India’s first freedom struggle

A section of historians in Kerala on Tuesday disputed the Centre’s move to announce Odisha’s 1817 Paika Rebellion as the “First War of Independence”, saying various uprisings against foreign powers had occurred in the southern State much before it, but never got due recognition.

They said the coastal State had witnessed a number of minor and major struggles against foreign powers even before the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, which has so far been regarded as the first war of Indian Independence.

A few among the historians wanted the tag of first war of independence for “Attingal Revolt”, an agitation by locals in the then princely State of Venad against the English East India Company in 1721 over the latter’s arrogant approach and unjust measures that they tried to implement in the land.

As many as 133 English East India Company soldiers were killed during the revolt which according to State historians, was the first organised uprising against the foreign powers in the country.

The struggles led by legendary king of Malabar, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja who locked horns with the British during the period 1795-1805, the strike by Nair Brigade in Travancore in 1804 and the agitation led by Travancore diwan (prime minister) Veluthambi Dalawa in 1809 were some of the uprisings against foreign powers witnessed by the State, they said.

The fight of 16th century naval captain Kunjali Marakkar against the Portuguese forces was also prominent among them, they added.

History Protection Council, a State-based outfit, is planning to submit a memorandum to the State government to press the Centre to declare the “Attingal Revolt” as the first freedom struggle of the country instead of Paika Bidroha.

Eminent historian and former chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), M.G.S Narayanan said facts should be examined before including Odisha’s “Paika Bidroha as the first war of independence” in school textbooks.

“The matter should be examined thoroughly before taking a decision to include so in school textbooks,” he told PTI.

Noted historian K.N Ganesh questioned the government’s right to decide the prominence and value of historical movements and struggles.

“I am not questioning the significance of Paika rebellion.. But how can a government decide the merit and significance of revolts, struggles and agitations in history?” he asked.

“It should be decided by the academicians and the bodies like history research council and so on.. No minister can simply say that Paika rebellion is the first war of independence in the country without due consultation with historians and academicians concerned,” he said.

Historian and academician P.M Rajan Gurukkal, said many local struggles happened in this part of the country including the historic Colachel War did not get deserved recognition.

“It is true that many local uprisings had gone unnoticed in the history.. One of the most significant among them is the Colachel War between Travancore king Marthanda Varma and Dutch East India Company in the year 1741.

“It was the first ever victory of a princely State against a European power in Asia.. But, it did not get deserved recognition,” he told PTI.

A debate on the first war of independence was triggered after union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar’s recent announcement that Paika Bidroha of 1817 would find a place in the history books as ‘the First War of Independence’ from the next academic session.

The announcement was made at a function marking the bicentenary of the historic rebellion.

According to historians, Paikas, the peasant militia under the Gajapati rulers of Odisha who rendered military service to the king during the times of war, had rebelled against the British rule under the leadership of Baxi Jagandhu Bidyadhara as early as 1817.

Earlier, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had, in a letter to the Centre, urged that it should recognise ‘Paika Bidroha’ as the first war of independence against the British rule as it took place four decades before the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, which has so far been regarded as the first war of Indian Independence.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / by PTI / Thiruvananthapuram – October 31st, 2017

Kerala start-up makes it to top 10

Infopark-based Inntot Technologies chosen for Industrial Innovation Awards 2017 instituted by CII

Thiruvananthapuram :

Inntot Technologies, a media entertainment start-up incubated at the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Promising Start-ups of India for the Industrial Innovation Awards 2017 instituted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Inntot has also bagged the CII Industrial Innovation Award for the best service start-up.

Based at Infopark, Kochi, Inntot Technologies specialises in providing cost-effective radio digital solutions and offers software solutions and services in consumer electronics, Internet of Things, and the mobile sector.

The company was founded by Rajith Nair and Prasanth Thankappan at Kakkanad in 2014. It was shifted to Infopark this year.

Inntot is also working on other technologies including a communication facility that enables safe and comfortable vehicular traffic. It participated in the 26th edition of the IT Week held in Japan recently.

Infosys co-founder and CII Startup Council chairman S. Gopalakrishnan was the chairman of the jury.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States / by Special Correspondent / October 29th, 2017

Cries that do not let one sleep

Deft sketches: Artist V. Mohanan with his works at the Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery in Kozhikode.

‘Urangatha Nilavilikal’ by V. Mohanan, is a reflection of feelings of despair

Kozhikode :

Those cries reverberating in the back of his mind have resulted in several sleepless nights for artist V. Mohanan. The cries of little girls who were raped by their near and dear ones; cries of farmers who lost everything to nature; cries of the elderly who were abandoned by their children; cries of families who lost their loved ones to the faulty system…. The cries never sleep.

‘Urangatha Nilavilikal’, an exhibition of paintings by V. Mohanan that began at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery in Kozhikode on October 25, is a reflection of feelings of despair and helplessness faced by the artist at various stages of life as he came across griefs.

There are around 100 paintings that look colourful but with an underlying layer of darkness. “Despite the despair, there is always hope for a better tomorrow, and that is exactly what I intend to show,” said the artist.

It is hard to call Mr. Mohanan’s works paintings. They are mostly graphic art with a touch of the brush above the canvass. “There is no point in spending a lot of time and energy on these images when I can present the basic idea through graphic. Then I find something missing in the graphic, and I add it,” he said, adding that graphic was equally satisfying.

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of programmes including a music concert, discussions on topics like ‘art and politics’ and ‘art in the 70s’ and documentary screenings. The exhibition will conclude on Sunday.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> City> Kozhikode / Staff Reporter / October 28th, 2017

Tracing a musical journey

K.P. Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro

A Delicate Wave to be screened in city today

Kochi :

The Cochin Film Society and the Orthic Creative Centre are joining hands to felicitate award-winning documentary filmmakers K.P. Jayasankar and Anjali Monteiro at the Children’s Park Theatre on Park Avenue Road at 5.30 p.m. on Saturday.

A galaxy of eminent personalities, including oncologist V.P. Gangadharan, former civil servant K.R. Viswambharan, filmmaker Dilish Pothen, critic I. Shanmughadas, and artist T. Kaladharan will take part in the event.

The programme will be followed by a screening of A Delicate Wave directed by the duo, faculty members at the School of Media and Cultural Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Set in Kutch, Gujarat, A Delicate Wave, the latest in their Kutch trilogy, traces four different musical journeys, all converging in the ways they affirm religious diversity, syncretism, and love of the other.

Poetic legacy

Drawing on the poetic and musical traditions of Kabir and Shah Bhitai, as well as the folk traditions of the region, these remarkable musicians and singers bear testimony to how the oral traditions of compassion are being passed down from one generation to the next.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kochi / by Special Correspondent / October 28th, 2017

Punathil Kunjabdulla, a man who tread a different path

‘Punathil’s writings appealed to the intellectual as well as the layman’

Punathil Kunjabdulla was a maverick. Both as a writer and as a man.

He is often bracketed among the writers of modernism in Malayalam. But, his writing isn’t exactly modern.

I think he rather followed in the footsteps of masters such as Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai and S.K. Pottekkatt. His writing appealed not just to the intellectuals, but to the lay reader as well. He had exceptional craft as a writer.

His writing, in fact, was magical, often. It is most evident in Smarakashilakal, which, to my mind, is undoubtedly one of the greatest novels ever in Malayalam.

But it wasn’t as celebrated as it ought to have been, especially at the time of its publication. I remember reading it with great admiration.

I had met him for the first time at a literary function in Kasaragod in 1974. I had only begun to write at that time, but he was already an established author. His speech there had created a controversy, I recall.

On his parents

He had said that he owed nothing to his parents; they had not even planned his birth, he had said. That speech was later published. But, I remember people close to him telling me that he might not have meant what he said and that he was fond of his parents.

We became good friends and travelled often together. He had a great sense of humour and reminded one of Vaikom Mohammad Basheer. Besides Smarakashilakal, I also admire his Marunnu and Kanyavanangal. Among his short stories my favourites include Joothanmarude Shmashanam and Malamukalile Abdulla. I was fascinated by his style, which sometimes reminded me of P. Padmarajan.

I admired him as a human being too. He was unpretentious. And he happily crossed the boundaries created by his religion and his family.

He celebrated life, the way very few people I know of have.

(As told to P.K. Ajith Kumar)

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Kerala / b y C.C.Balakrishnan / October 27th, 2017

Govt revises pension for 1,119 royal family members


As many as 1,119 pensioners belonging to Travancore and Kochi royal families will reap benefits as government has decided to revise the family and political pensions.

On Wednesday, cabinet decided to unify and increase the pension to Rs 3,000/month for all those members who have been drawing the pension as on July 1, 1949 (as per revenue department’s order on Aug 29, 1969) which is the criteria for granting pensions to royal family members.

Also, the government is battling a string of anomalies that are prevailing among pensioners belonging to royal families in the state. While Travancore and Kochi royal families draw pension from Kerala, members of former princely states of Malabar (part of British India) have been drawing pension from the Centre, titled Malikhan.

In 2012, the UDF government had enhanced the pension of Njavakkattu, Meenachil royal families to Rs 3,000 with retrospective effect from January 1, 2011.But others will be eligible for the increased pension from the date the government issues an order based on the latest cabinet decision. This is likely to be challenged legally in the court.

Also, the recipients of Malikhan, that includes Zamorins of Kozhikode, Chirakkal/Kolathiri family, Kadathanad/Kurumbranad family, have also taken up pension issues with the government. In 2013, the UDF government issued an order saying that since the members belonging to Zamorin family had wilfully handed over their properties worth crores to the government after the formation of the state, they will be granted family and political pensions, and on the basis of this, the government issued an order granting Rs 2,500 per month as pension to 826 family members. The order that came into effect from June 2013, granted pension to even a minor (four years old). Sources said that this was a grave mistake, and this financial assistance was originally intended to be titled as a grant or allowance that should not have been categorized as family and political pension.

With the decision, several representations have come to the government from all other branches of families receiving Malikhan saying that their central pensions are meagre and hence state should grant pensions just like the Zamorin families. The representations are now under the consideration of the government. “The worst part is that even those who are financially well-off are availing pensions. There is no system in the government whereby their actual financial position can be assessed and pensions are granted only on the basis of their economic condition,” sources said.

In addition, the government is also paying annual allowances to key members of Travancore and Kochi families, which are revised from time to time. Nine members of Travancore family were granted an annual allowance that was last revised in January 2010. The amount ranged from Rs 39,000 to Rs 4,91,000. Key members of Kochi royal family receive anything between Rs 9,000 and Rs 20,000 as monthly pension.

source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Thiruvananthapuram News / TNN / October 26th, 2017

Organic near-infrared filter developed by NIIST team

A. Ajayaghosh, right, and Samrat Ghosh. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Can be used in night vision glasses and night photography

An organic filter that allows only near-infrared (NIR) light to pass through has been developed by scientists at the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) based in Thiruvananthapuram.

The new NIR filter can be used for night vision glasses, night photography, and will have applications in security and forensics such as identifying blood stains on a dark fabric.

Currently available inorganic filters are expensive and brittle whereas organic filters are easy to process and flexible too.

The filter was prepared by mixing a black dye (diketopyrrolopyrrole or DPP) having an amide group that helps the molecules to be in close contact with each other and interact, leading to changes in their optical properties.

“The amide group helps in binding and self-assembly of the molecule leading to the formation of a soft organogel,” says Ayyappanpillai Ajayaghosh, Director of NIIST, who led the team of researchers.

Organogel is key

The organogel-based filter has the ability to absorb both ultraviolet and visible light while allowing the near-infrared light alone to pass through. The nanofibres formed through the self-assembly of the DPP molecules are responsible for the broad light absorption of the material, making it appear dark.

The researchers developed the filter by mixing the organogel with a transparent polymer (polydimethylsiloxane). The addition of the dye turns the transparent polymer into a semi-transparent one and the filter appears black as it absorbs most of the ultraviolet-visible light.

“Only very little of the organogel has to be added to the polymer to make the filter. The material is present throughout the polymer matrix even though very little is added,” says Samrat Ghosh from the Chemical Sciences and Technology Division at NIIST and the first author of the paper published in the journal Advanced Materials.

The filter was found to absorb light from 300-850 nm (both ultraviolet, visible and a part of NIR light) and transmit NIR light from 850-1500 nm. The researchers tested it for night photography and found the filter responsive only to NIR light.

Dried blood stains on a black cloth that remained invisible to naked eyes became clearly visible and detectable when viewed through a camera with the NIR filter. Tampering of a cheque which was not discernible to naked eyes could be easily identified when viewed through a camera with the filter.

A potential application of the new material is in the design of hidden security codes on documents which can be viewed only through a NIR-readable camera.

source: / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Science / by R Prasad / October 24th, 2017

Crafts fair from December 21

The Sargaalaya Crafts Village in Iringal will host an international crafts fair from December 21.

More than 100 craftsmen are expected to take part in the event. Nearly two lakh visitors are expected.

The distribution of entry passes will begin on November 15.

Entry will be free for schoolchildren, organisers said.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kozhikode / by Staff Reporter / October 24th, 2017

India’s largest floating solar plant ready

The solar farm on 18 floating platforms in Banasura Sagar reservoir



  • The solar photo voltaic panels of the floating solar farm have been installed on 18 floating platforms made of ferrocement floaters with hollow insides.
  • KSEB sources said that they were waiting for the availability of chief minister to inaugurate the plant possibly by next month


Kozhikode :

The construction works of the largest floating solar plant in the country have been completed at the Banasura Sagar reservoir in Wayanad.

The 500 kWp (kilowatt peak) solar plant of the KSEB floats on 6,000 square metres of water surface of the reservoir. The outlay for the project is Rs 9.25 crore.

The solar photo voltaic panels of the floating solar farm have been installed on 18 floating platforms made of ferrocement floaters with hollow insides.

“The installation works of the floating solar panels is over and the plant will be ready for inauguration soon,” said Manoharan P, assistant executive engineer at the KSEB research and dam safety sub-division, Thariyode.

He said the 500 kWp project is the largest floating solar project to come up in the country. The work of the project had begun on March 2016.

KSEB sources said that they were waiting for the availability of chief minister to inaugurate the plant possibly by next month.

Officials of Thiruvananthapuram-based Adtech Systems Ltd, which set up the plant, said that the plant would be able to generate 7.5 lakh units of power annually which will be fed to the KSEB grid using underwater cables.

“We have used high efficiency solar panels for the project as per KSEB stipulations. Also, we have set up a floating substation on the reservoir to convert the output into 11kV considering economic and safety aspects,” said Raveendran T Nair, vice-president (projects) of Adtech Systems Ltd.

He said that the floating solar plants had higher efficiency compared to ground-mounted installations due to the moderating effect of water bodies on panel temperature.

“Also, when compared to ground based units, the floating panels will accumulate lower concentration of dust,” he said.

The 500kWp project is a scaled up version of the 10kW floating solar project which was commissioned in Banasura Sagar reservoir in January 2016.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City News> Kozhikode News / TNN / October 17th, 2017