The Kerala Cabinet on Thursday decided to appoint new collectors for eight of the 14 districts in the State. K.N. Satheesh will be appointed as collector of Kasaragod and Anand Singh as collector of Kannur. P.M. Francis will be the new collector of Malappuram and P.T. Thomas of Thrissur. Sheik Pareed is named the new collector of Ernakulam and M.C. Mohandas that of Idukki. Dr. Raveendran and S. Lalithambika will be appointed as collectors of Pathanamthitta and Kollam respectively.

The Cabinet approved the memorandum and articles of association of academy in information and communication technology to be set up by the Institute of Human Resources Development in Electronics (IHRDE).

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the academy would be registered as a society. The IHRDE would be given one acre of land at Malampuzha to set up a college in applied sciences.

Mr. Achuthanandan said that the Cabinet had decided to increase the maternity leave of women employees of public sector undertakings, governed by Kerala Service Rules, to 180 days. A decision had also been decided to extend leave for gynae surgeries to clear the backlog in appointments of disabled persons to government service, 126 Class II posts, 798 Class III posts and 264 Class IV posts would be set apart for special recruitment. The PSC would be requested to prepare the rank list and give advice for appointment of the disabled to those posts.

The Chief Minister also announced that the 2851 settlers on 1325 acres transferred to the Revenue Department under the ‘Grow More Food Programme’ in the Pamba Valley area of Ranni taluk would be given titles free of cost.

The Cabinet had also decided to set up 25 new Homeo dispensaries and create 100 posts for the same. About 700 posts would be created under the State Beverages Corporation including that of 260 assistants, 252 clerks and 113 helpers.

The family of tribal girl Thilakamani of Ooonukuzhi Ooru at Sholayur in Attappady, who had been killed following sexual assault, would be granted Rs. 3 lakh.

Scheduled Caste student K.K. Vidya of Mundoor in Palakkad district, who won gold medals in 3000 metre and 1500 metre races in the National School Games, would be given an assistance of Rs. 3 lakh for building a house.