KERALA

Briefly

Child run

over by jeep

PATHANAMTHITTA NOV. 29. A four-year old boy, Ebin, of Ranni Cherukulanji Kochumeppuram, was run over by a speeding jeep at Konnappara, near Konni, this afternoon. According to the police, the boy was waiting on the roadside along with his parents. The Konni police have registered a case in connection with the incident.

AIDS Day observance

KOLLAM Nov.29. The HIV-positive siblings, Benson and Bensy, will deliver the AIDS Day message in Kollam on December 1 at a function organised by the district administration. A rally, public meeting, poster exhibition, seminar and a kathprasangam have been organised in connection with the event. An AIDS awareness rally will be flagged off by the District Collector, B. Sreenivas. A public meeting will be held at the District Hospital complex. The District Panchayat president, Aisha Potti, will inaugurate the meeting and Mr. Sreenivas will preside.

Welfare fund

for dhobies

Under the Chief Minister's 100-day action plan, a welfare fund for dhobies has been constituted. The fund will be formally inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, at a function to be held here on December 4. The inaugural function will be presided over by the Labour Minister, Babu Divakaran.

Quiz winners

Shiffin S and Prem G of the Kottarakara Government HSS and Akhil C.S and Aravind Mohan Kartha of the Patharam Shanthi Niketan HSS won the first and second place in schools category of the "Intel-teen'' quiz competition conducted by the Chithra Social Circle of the State Bank of Travancore. In the college students category, Joby G. Vaidyan and Vimal Raj of DB College Sasthamcotta and Anwar K.S and Thrideep Chandran of TKM Arts College, Kollam, won the first and second places respectively.

Education tour

The District Collector, B. Sreenivas, will flag off a science education tour for students of the Vallikeezhu Government High School on December 30. The tour to the Cochin University of Science and Technology is being organised jointly by the P.N. Panikkar Manava Vikas Kendra and the Jan Shikshan Sansthan as part of a scientific awareness programme.

Santhigiri Expo

Kottayam Nov. 29. The month-long celebrations that will culminate in dedication of the ancestral house of former President K.R. Narayanan to the Santhigiri Ashram will begin here on Wednesday.

The celebrations will start with the opening of Santhigiri Expo-2004 on health, peace and spirituality at the Municipal Grounds, Nagambadom.

Varsity staff union meet begins

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM NOV. 29. The two-day 42nd annual conference of the Kerala University Employees Union got under way with a colourful rally in Thiruvananthapuram today. The president of the union, K. Sunil Kumar, laid a wreath at the Martyrs Column and hoisted the flag. The south zone secretary of the All India University Employees Federation, M.B.Sajjan, addressed the participants of the rally. The annual general body meeting, which followed, discussed the annual report and the accounts. The conference is expected to discuss the problems of various sections, including university employees, and take decisions on them. It will also elect the new office-bearers.

Revival of PSUs: panel formed

A Cabinet sub-committee has been constituted to draw up an approach different from that of the Enterprises Reforms Committee for the revivial of the public sector. The Ministers for industries, Finance, Agriculture, Power and Labour are the members of the sub- committee.

Plea for more flights

The Tourism Minister, K.C. Venugopal, today urged the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, to take the initiative as the Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance to improve air services between Kerala and other foreign countries. In a memorandum to Ms. Gandhi, Mr. Venugopal sought her intervention in getting new flights to the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and the U.S. He also sought increase in the number of flights between Sri Lanka and Male. The memorandum also sought her intervention in getting budget flights between Kerala and other important cities in the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Goa. He demanded steps to reduce handling charges at airports. He said a large number of tourists were arriving from European destinations. Owing to the absence of direct flights from these destinations, Kerala's tourism sector was the real loser. The higher rates for domestic flights were also affecting the tourism sector, he added.

Jayamohan is new CEI

S. Jayamohan, Additional Chief Electrical Inspector, will take over as the Chief Electrical Inspector of Kerala on Decemebr 1. He belongs to the 1972 batch of the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram. He began his career in the Electricity Board. He joined the Electrical Inspectorate later and has worked in several key positions in the establishment during the last 28 years. He has also functioned as Executive Engineer in the Finance Inspection Wing (Technical) and as Secretary of the Kerala State Electricity Licensing Board.

Rail electrification project

The Railway plans to commission the electrified section between Ernakulam and Kollam by the end of March next, and the section up to Thiruvananthapuram by 2005-'06. This was announced after C.R. Kalsi, general manager of the Allahabad-based Central Organisation for Railway Electrification, reviewed the progress of the electrification work with senior officials here today. With the completion of the work on the Ernakulam-Thiruvananthapuram section, nearly 50 per cent of the route kilometres in the State would become electrified. It would then become possible to haul any train between Thiruvananthapuram and New Delhi without changing locomotives in between.

IUML will not quit UDF: Basheer

KOCHI NOV. 29. The Education Minister, E.T. Mohammed Basheer, today said that there was no need for the IUML to quit the UDF, demanding implementation of the Justice Narendran Commission Report.

Talking to mediapersons here, Mr. Basheer said the IUML had no need to resort to such a step. On the demand for removal of the Industries Minister, P.K. Kunhalikutty, from the Cabinet, Mr. Basheer said the party had already discussed every possible aspect of the question. There was no need for Mr. Kunhalikkutty to resign, he reiterated. He said Mr. Kunhalikkutty had not been found guilty by any court of law so far.

Balamaniamma award

Poet Sugathakumari will get the first Balamaniamma Award for her lifetime contribution to literature. The award has been instituted by the International Book Festival committee. This was announced here by critic M. Achutan, Nalapatt Sulochana and the committee general convener, E.N. Nandakumar. Ms. Sugathakumari was selected by a panel comprising the literary critic Prof. Achutan, poets K.G. Sankara Pillai and P. Narayana Kurup.

The award for best publishing house will be given to DC Books for its series called `Nattarivukal' (Indigenous Knowledge), published between 2003 and 2004. The series was selected by a panel consisting of K.M. Roy, M.V. Benny and Sasi K. Warrier. Critic and orator Sukumar Azhikode will present the awards on December 9 at a commemorative meeting on Balamaniamma, to be held along with the International Book Festival.

Security to be tightened

THRISSUR NOV. 29. The Government has taken measures to tighten security at Kerala Kalamandalam in view of the recent thefts there. According to an official release today, this was stated by the Cultural Affairs Minister, A.P. Anil Kumar, after visiting the Kalamandalam.

The Minister had announced that four posts of security staff had been sanctioned for Kalamandalam. He said the Kalamandalam High School has been granted aided school stature. A sum of Rs. 1 crore had been earmarked by the Cultural Department for construction of hostels.

CD packages incorporating the tradition of classic arts, history of Kalamandalam and teaching practices have been prepared in collaboration with the C-Dit.

The construction of the curio shop building is also almost complete.

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