Posts Tagged ‘Thiruvananthapuram’
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 12 (IANS) MobME – an IT company launched six years ago here by a bunch of youngsters – is all set to script history by becoming the first ever software firm from Kerala to go public, an official said Wednesday.
Addressing reporters at the College of Engineering here from where it all began, the young entrepreneurs said they bunked classes, raised capital by selling mobile SIM cards and recharge coupons to friends and dreamt big by floating MobME – which develops mobile application software – from the campus.
Six years back when their classmates were filling up application forms for their examinations, these students were filling up documents to officially register a technology start-up with the registrar of companies and Technopark Incubator here.
“Today we are back at the same place from where it all began and wish to state that in the first half of the 2013, we will be launching our IPO (initial public offering). Due to SEBI guidelines, we can’t give out more details,” MobME co-founder and CEO Sanjay Vijayakumar told IANS.
“Stories of Silicon Valley technology start-ups from college campuses, starting in college dorms, small and humble and then growing to take on the mightiest were fresh in our minds and we wondered – is this just possible in America or will my state and country also provide an opportunity for common citizens like us,” recalled Vijayakumar.
They have appointed IDBI Capital Market Services Limited as the merchant banker for the planned IPO on an (small and medium enterprises) SME Exchange.
MobME, with 100-plus staff is headquartered at Kochi and has clients like Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel, Idea, Tata, BSNL and MTNL.
Media companies like NDTV, Network 18, AFP and Hay market as well as enterprises like Kerala Tourism, Axis Bank and HCL Technologies are also its clients.
MobME also works closely with the state governments of Kerala, Goa, Nagaland and central government departments like the department of science and technology.
MobME’s R&D (research and development) unit has successfully developed indigenous state of the art network technologies and solutions for the Indian telecommunications market, including several telecom operators.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 10 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s official website – www.keralacm.gov.in has grabbed the prestigious Web Ratna Gold Medal Award for promoting e-governance initiatives, an official said Monday.
Press Secretary P.T.Chacko and Jogie George Jacob, personal assistant to the chief minister, received the award from union Minister for Communication and IT Kapil Sibal at a function in Delhi. This is for the first time the award is coming to Kerala.
Entries were invited in the categories of citizen centric services, public participation initiatives, outstanding content and innovative use of technology, the official added.
The award secretariat consisting of a three tier screening committee observed that the Kerala chief minister’s website has succeeded in bringing better public participation in governance.
Soon after he assumed office for the second time in May last year, Chandy began a round-the-clock live webcast of chief minister’s chamber and office on his official website.
Among the other services that are offered are a 24×7 online grievance redressal cell for the public, the secretariat file tracking facility and vision 2030 idea box.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 10 (IANS) In probably the single largest initiative for setting up of sports infrastructure in the country, Kerala has set an example by giving the nod for 84 various sports projects across multiple educational institutions and resident associations in the state costing Rs.21 crore.
“This is the first time in the country that such an initiative is being done and the first of the multipurpose courts built at a cost of Rs.2.4 million will be opened today (Monday) at a government school on the city outskirts,” said state Sports Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar to reporters here.
The initiative is the brainchild of the film actor-turned-politician and the 47-year- old has promised that each of the projects of varying size will be ready in the second half of 2013.
The projects has been named as SMILE (Sports Minister’s Infrastructural Leap to Excellence).
Included in the multi-purpose facility is a four-lane 100-metre synthetic track, a long jump and high jump pit with synthetic runway, 25-metre swimming pool, an acrylic outdoor badminton court, a synthetic surface football and kabaddi court besides a gallery that can seat 300 people.
The various projects also comprise 39 multipurpose courts of different sizes, five swimming pools, 15 long jump pits with synthetic run-up, a futsal court (five-a-side football), a football surface made out of synthetic grass costing Rs.4.80 crore, two four-lane synthetic tracks, two Kabaddi courts, 16 badminton courts and a pre-fabricated community activity hall.
“The suppliers of these equipment have given a seven-year guarantee and a committee — comprising the local legislator, the local village council representatives and members drawn from the educational institution where the facility is set up — will be looking after the day-to-day administration of the facility. All coaching camps recognised by the state government will get the facility free of cost and the organisers can levy a fee if the facility is given out for rent for private tournaments,” said Kumar.
The entire work of the projects is being carried out by the National Games secretariat headed by former director general of police Jacob Punnoose.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 10 (IANS) The first signs that Christmas is around the corner in Kerala comes in early December, when the mercury dips slightly. That’s when the morning stroll becomes a pleasant experience.
Churches and Christian homes begin to put up the traditional Christmas stars, in varying sizes and shapes. Cribs are put up in the second week of December. Now-a-days, these are often ready-made.
Nearly 22 percent of the state’s population is Christian, an estimated 32 million people.
“Times have changed, so have customs. Gone are the days when the entire family used to get together to make wine, pickles and other food items. These days, who has the time; and then, where are the people to do those things,” asks 75-year-old Santhamma Joseph, a grandmother in Kottayam.
The districts of central Kerala, like Kottayam, are home to a large number of Christians.
“These days, the youth get set to conduct the traditional carol singing. Members of the church choirs go to the homes of parishoners to sing Christmas carols, and the families usually offer these groups a little money once the singing is done. This year, we are targeting a net of Rs. two lakh from the carol service. The money collected will be used as a reserve fund for the youth activities,” said Anish Jacob, an IT professional and convenor of the church choir of his church in Thiruvananthapuram.
Catholics are the dominant group, comprising 50 percent of the state’s Christians. Orthodox Christians are the second-largest denomination in the state, with a population of around 2.5 million. Members of the Jacobite, Mar Thoma, Church of South India and Pentecostal churches make up the rest.
At Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s official residence in the capital city, a 10-foot-tall Christmas tree has been put up, and the Christmas crib is ready too. The 70-year-old mansion is all decked up for the festival, perhaps the first time it has seen such decoration.
The only other Christian chief minister the state has had, A.K. Antony, who also lived in this home as chief minister, was renowned for parsimony and spartan in his Christmas celebrations.
Kerala State Beverages Corporation, the sole wholesalers of liquor and beer in the state, are busy making special preparations for Christmas. All 383 retail outlets of the corporation will be stocked to capacity, in anticipation of Christmas.
Bursting of crackers on Christmas eve is a recent practice, limited to the central districts of the state. In other parts, the festival is marked by more subdued festivities, with traditional cuisine and the popular Christmas cake.
“We have started baking cakes on a limited scale, and work will peak by the end of next week. Last year we could not meet the demand. This year, we are better prepared,” says the owner of a popular bakery in Thiruvalla city, which is thickly populated with Christians.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 9 (IANS) Malayalam superstar Suresh Gopi is filled with joy and confidence as he prepares to host the second season of his TV game show “Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran”.
“Ningalkkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran” (“You Can Be A Crorepati Too”) is the Malayalam version of UK’s game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. The Hindi version is titled “Kaun Banega Crorepati” and is hosted by megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
Gopi is delighted with the way his career is shaping up.
“Didn’t I tell you way back in 2010 that my best is yet to come, and see, it has started to work as my TV game show ‘Ningelukum Akam Kodieshweran’ is entering into the second round, starting next month and they have asked me for a third round as well,” Gopi told IANS.
The first season of the TV show took Gopi’s popularity to new heights.
“The second round starts in Chennai and I am booked for eight months and as per the contract I will be unable to do any Malayalam films during that period. But I have been roped in to do two Tamil films and one Hindi film,” said Gopi.
The 53-year-old actor is leaving for Chennai Sunday to begin shooting for the first of his two Tamil films. Directed by Tamil director Shankar, the film is titled “I”.
“Honestly, when my astrological predictions was made in 2010, it said I will have a better year, every year from then on. I believed it but with not that much of confidence,” he said.
“And now see, it has started to work. Next year and 2014 will also be very good and my time will get better every year,” said Gopi speaking with a lot of fire in his eyes.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 8 (IANS) If the Kerala government hands over to Malayalam filmstar Mohanlal the camera with which his first shot was taken, it will set a bad precedent and invite more pleas seeking release of state memorabilia, politicians and film veterans said Saturday.
The controversy began at a function Friday after Mohanlal, speaking out of turn, urged Chief Minister Oommen Chandy to give him the old camera in lieu of a new one.
Also present was the actor’s friend and Minister for Cinema K.B. Ganesh Kumar.
“I have made this request before too to previous governments that I wish to take possession of the camera which took my first shot in cinema 35 years ago. That camera is with Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC). I want the government to allow me to take that and in return I will give a brand new camera,” Mohanlal told Chandy.
Chandy responded favourably to the plea during his speech and said he respected Mohanlal’s attachment to the camera.
“I’ll discuss this with Ganesh Kumar and if KSFDC is going to get a new camera out this, it’s not a bad idea,” he said.
Interestingly, “Thiranottam”, the film for which Mohanlal’s first shot was taken with that camera, was never released.
On hearing about the plea, M.A. Baby, a CPI-M leader and former state culture minister, said Saturday that no such request had come to him from Mohanlal when he was in office.
“This (to give away the camera) is for the state government to decide and I do not want to comment. Moreover, this particular camera that Mohanlal is asking for might have filmed others too. What will happen if they also come forward with this request?” he told IANS.
Renji Panicker, a veteran filmmaker, writer and editor of a Malayalam daily, told IANS that it would be better if the camera remained in public domain, giving millions of Mohanlal fans the chance to see it.
“If this is going to stay in the showcase of Mohanlal, it will become a showpiece for a few. Hence it is best if the camera is put up for the public. It will be a greater tribute to the great actor,” said Panicker, who wrote and produced Mohanlal’s blockbuster film “Praja”.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 8 (IANS) An e-toilet manufacturer from Kerala will install four sewage treatment plants in Jammu and Kashmir and two customised toilets – one at 4,000 feeet at the Affarwat Peak and the other at the Dal Lake, the company said Saturday.
Eram Scientific Solutions, based here, has customised the toilets according to Kashmir’s geography and sub-zero climate.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will Monday flag-off the vehicle loaded with the e-toilets and treatment plants’ equipment.
Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism director had earlier this year asked Eram to design customised e-toilets which can function in the state’s extremely cold climate.
The modified features of the toilets include insulation of the mechanical structure with high density thermocol and polyform insulated water tanks to prevent freezing.
They also have anti-freeze solution mixed water for flushing and floor washing, temperature-controlled water heater in plumbing line of faucet to provide mild hot water, temperature controlled room heater besides aero-tape insulations in all plumbing lines.
The e-toilet is a convergence of web and mobile and electronics technologies and has automated door opening, power flushing, automatic closet washing and sterilisation, and automatic platform cleaning mechanism, all backed by SMS alerts to inform the control room about the status of water tank and biogas plant in the event of errors.
Eram, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has already installed around 400 e-toilets across the country.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 7 (IANS) Kerala Finance Minister K.M.Mani Friday said that there has been a staggering increase of over Rs.17,000 crore in NRI deposits in the state’s banks in the past one year.
“In 2011 the total NRI deposits in Kerala banks was Rs.38,556 crores and a year later in June this year, it has touched Rs.55,663 crores. One in 10 Keralites are abroad and the much-talked about Kerala model of growth was made possible by the Kerala diaspora,” said Mani at an event in UAE, according to a statement released by his office here.
“Our government deeply values the yeoman service of the Kerala diaspora over the years and we will certainly look them up in high esteem. We are working out schemes both for the diaspora and for those who have returned for good,” he said.
“We are working out a health scheme for the diaspora who have returned for good. Moreover recently there have been reports that in the state, the land and properties owned by the diaspora here are coming under duress from several quarters. We are soon floating very strong laws to see that this does not happen,” assured Mani.
He noted that a good number of students from the state were going abroad for higher studies and if the state was able to retain them once they finish their studies, it would be a major boost for Kerala.
He added as per the latest statistics on the Kerala diaspora, UAE leads from the front with the largest Kerala population (8.83 lakh).
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 7 (IANS) The 17th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala got off to a colourful start Friday night.
Inaugurating the event, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said cinema is always seen as the favourite pasttime of the common man.
“We will soon announce of a long-standing dream of many of an exclusive complex for cinema and a permanent venue for this event,” said Chandy.
More than 7,000 delegates will be attending the festival, which will screen 197 films from various parts of the globe. The festival ends Dec 14.
Fourteen films from Asia, Africa and Latin American countries will vie for the coveted “Suvarna Chakoram” (Golden Crow Pheasant) award.
In the world cinema section, 78 films will be screened.
In the category Malayalam Cinema Today, seven films will be shown. These includes “Indian Rupee” directed by Ranjith, “A Document of Separation” by Madhupal, “In Recent Times” by Arun Kumar Aravind, Manjo Kana’s “Chayilliam”, “Colour of Sky” by Dr. Biju, K. Gopinathan’s “Ithramathram” and “Friday” by Lijin Jose.
Ace superstar Mohanlal who was the chief guest of the inauguration said that for the next seven days it would be 24 frames per second as the festival gets into top gear.
“There won’t be a dull moment for the next one week in Thiruvananthapuram,” said southern superstar Mohanlal, the chief guest at the festival’s inauguration.
The films will be screened at 11 venues in Thiruvananthapuram.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 6 (IANS) Kerala Tourism has won the Conde Nast Traveller award for putting India on the global travel map.
The new award category introduced by the prestigious international travel magazine in its travel awards recognises the significant contribution by Kerala Tourism to the travel industry and its important efforts to put India on the global travel map.
Kerala Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar described the award as a “big recognition” of the state’s sustained global campaign pitching ‘God’s Own Country’ as a “must-see” destination in the world.
“With an abundant natural beauty, a pleasant weather and warm hospitality and services, Kerala has emerged as a world class tourist destination, representing the country well abroad,” he added.
Aimed at recognising and honouring the best in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, the Conde Nast Travel awards are decided by its global readers.
Kerala Tourism had won the CNBC Awaaz award for the ‘Best Travel and Tourism State’ last month.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 5 (IANS) Veteran CPI-M leader V.S. Achuthanandan, who has been arraigned in a land scam case, Wednesday blamed Chief Minister Oomen Chandy and the state’s industry minister for pursuing a political vendetta against him, a charge Chandy rejected.
“(Industries minister) P.K. Kunhalikutty is the mastermind. He is hell bent on implicating me because I have taken up the sex (scandal) case against him and other corruption cases. Chandy is being (used as) a tool. My tirade against corrupt will continue,” Achuthanandan told reporters here.
The state vigilance has already arraigned Achuthanandan as the prime accused in the land scam case involving his relative.
In June last year the Chandy government ordered a vigilance probe after examining all files related to the land transfer to T.K. Soman – a relative of Achuthanandan.
The cabinet also decided to cancel the land allotment at Kasargod district to Soman, a former defence official.
The alleged land transfer took place at the fag-end of Achuthanandan’s tenure as the chief minister in early 2011.
Rebutting the charges of the veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist leader, Chandy said: “We are not settling scores against anyone. The law will take its course and let me ask you one thing, please let me know, if it was Kunhalikutty who gave the land?”.
Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court has asked the state government to clarify why were the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials let off without being named as accused in the land scam.
A division bench of the high court Wednesday asked the state government to file its reply when the vigilance probe is completed. The case for a CBI probe will now come up again Dec 12 and by then the government is expected to secure more legal opinion on prosecuting Achuthanandan.
Replying to this advocate general K.P.Dandapani said the investigation is complete and will get back after concurring with the vigilance on when the charge sheet would be filed.
Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 5 (IANS) Political differences among parties should not prevent them from taking part in discussions on bills and issues, Kerala assembly Speaker G. Karthikeyan said Wednesday hoping that the session commencing Dec 10 will be productive.
Karthikeyan asked legislators and political parties to use this session in the best possible manner.
“Of the 10 days the assembly will be in session, six days are kept solely for legislation. Political parties send their legislators to see that they take effective part in legislation. Political parties do differ on issues but it should not prevent them from taking part in clause by clause discussions on bills,” said Karthikeyan.
Of late, the Kerala assembly has seen more of walk outs and disruptions and less of serious discussions, especially when it comes to bills.
Karthikeyan recalled that the Right to Service Bill was passed in the house without discussion. “All that happened was that I was reading it to be passed. This bill was of very important nature and it was passed like that.”
He also recalled the statement made by President Pranab Mukherjee when he addressed the Kerala assembly Oct 30 in connection with the celebrations to mark 125 years of the state legislative body.
The president had said that disruption should never be allowed to be used as an effective parliamentary intervention.
“It should be the endeavour of every legislator to ensure that the content and the quality of debates that take place in the chambers are of a high order befitting their status as people’s representatives,” the president had said.