Friday, September 30, 2011

സമര മാര്‍ഗങ്ങള്‍ നാടിനെ ബാധിക്കുമ്പോള്‍

കാര്‍ട്ടൂണ്‍: അര്‍ജുന്‍ എം സി

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lecture series on Human Rights

Lecture series on Human Rights

Department of Law University of Kerala is organising  lectures on Human Rights, on September 27. Justice J. B. Koshi, Chairman, State Human Rights Commisson will inaugurate the function to be held at Fourth Estate Hall, Press Club.
            M.P.Joseph , who is presently heading the UN’s International Labour Organisation in Combodia, will deliver  lectures on  ‘Human Resourse: The wealth of Modern Nations’ and ‘Education and child labour’ as Human Rights issue. Dr. G.Gopakumar Dean faculty of Social Sciences will be the Chairman of the session.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A home sweet home for animals

A home sweet home for animals
Hridhya Menon M K

            “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing... Yet he is the lord of all the animals”. – George Orwell, Animal Farm.

            Do we think that we are the one and only owners of the earth? Do we have the notion that only we have the right to live? Then we are wrong. Open your eyes and look at the animals, our fellow creatures. We are dependent on them for many things as they are on us. They too own this earth as we do.
“We are a family...”

            With this in mind, People for Animals (PFA), a group of animal lovers work together to provide shelter and comfort to animals which are wounded and in need of a helping hand. It was Maneka Gandhi who came up with the idea of such a group in 1994. And now it has more than 150 units in the country. PFA have setup shelters for the hapless animals; the only such shelter in our state is at Valyarathala in Thiruvananthapuram.
            The shelter is situated in an area of about one and a half acres and its inmates include dogs and cats of various breeds and an ox. Some were born stray and some were deserted by their owners. “The one who were ill-treated are given special care at this place and they now lead a life together, happily”, says Sulochana, one of the care takers at the Thiruvananthapuram PFA shelter. The canines never quarrel with one another. There is love and peace among them and they stand as a family.

            The Thiruvananthapuram shelter of PFA is now ‘home sweet home’ for hundreds of animals. They have shelter, food, medicine and complete freedom. They are no more orphans; there is someone to take care of them. Adoption programs are also conducted by the organisers so that special care can be given to some.

            Never forget, we are also part of the animal kingdom, the only difference between is that the animals don’t know how to cheat but a man knows.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

He disseminates art with a heart

He disseminates art with a heart
An interview with Soorya Krishnamurthy by Karthika C

He is a man who made ‘Dissemination of Art with a Heart’ the mission of his life. Krishnamurthy, the doyen of art and culture in Kerala initiated the 365 day long Soorya festival three decades ago.  Art lovers in Kerala fondly called him Soorya Krishnamurthy and the name stuck.  Recently, Murthy took office as the Chairman of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy.  In a short chat with us this altruistic personality defines culture as “the concern for others”.

In your concept what is art?

Soorya Krishnamurthy
            Art is a blessing of God. It should be used to wipe the tears of others, not to make money or fame. In my concept, culture is the concern for others. The lullaby of a mother, whether she is of a royal musical family or an aborigine, has the power to put her little one to sleep. Her sincerity and love towards the tot is reflected in her singing.  Hence it is the most divine form of art in the world. It embodies the selflessness of art.

What is your opinion on commercialization of art?

            When art becomes business, the person who performs it can never be called an artist. Social welfare should be the ultimate end of every art form.  The real artist is the one who performs for the integrity of the society like a ‘Theyyam’ performer. Think about his pain and suffering. What remuneration does he get for his suffering? But unfortunately our society and media give undue importance to film stars and cricket players who play only for money, not for the sake of art or sports. If a performer can make at least one person think, he will be truly successful as an artist.

How do you judge yourself as a writer?

            My guru is M.T. Vasudevan Nair. I have not read any writer other than M.T. or Vaikom Mohammod Basheer. I write in the light of my experiences. And my experiences define me.

As the chairman of the Sangeetha Nataka Academy, what are the new projects you intend to implement?

            I have quite a few things in mind. Firstly, the Sangeetha Nataka Academy will be divided into three zones. The north zone will be named after K.T. Mohammad, the renowned theatre artist, the south zone after yester year film music director Baburaj and the central zone after G. Sankarapillai, another famous theatre artist and the former Director of the School of Drama, Trichur. This will help the academy to become active in northern and southern parts of the Kerala as well. 

            Secondly, for the first time in Indian cultural history, insurance and medi-claim have been introduced for drama artists. Money for this comes from one thousand sponsors.  Drama artists who suffer from temporary disabilities will be given Rs.500 each for a hundred weeks.  For the first time in India, drama artists and their families have been brought under the E.S.I. scheme. Quite a number of other projects for the welfare of artists are also under consideration.

How do you perceive women?

            A woman has the real power of judgment. She is blessed with mental strength. There is an unwritten rule in Soorya that every woman should be treated with reverence.

Your comment on the excess exposure given to cinema and cricket in our social order?

            I am very much unhappy about the excessive importance given to film and cricket. A cricket player will bargain to play for his motherland. Then where is his patriotism? Same is the case with film stars.
            It has been sixty five years since India won independence. In all these years has any theatre artist from Kerala other than Kavalam Narayanappanikar received a Padma award? But we proudly give Padmasree to Kajol and Saif Ali Khan. This is disgraceful.

How do you perceive yourself?

            I am a director, I am a creator and I strongly believe that I am an artist. I believe whoever is creating or directing is the real artist.

What is the reason behind your dedication to art?

            Everybody is born for some mission. When I realised that I am born for the nurturing of art, I resigned my job (he was a scientist and engineer with ISRO). The purpose of my life is the welfare of society through art. Once you realize what your mission is, you should be willing to do all you can for it.

This year twelve plays directed by you are staged in the theatre festival of Soorya. Tell us about it.

            As part of the theatre festival, twelve plays directed by me will be staged over seven days. Pulari, Parinayam, Basheer’s Premalekhanam( part 1 and 2), Tagore’s Sookshma Charcha (part 1 and 2), Thaskaran, and N.N. Pillai’s Shudha Maddalam and Goodnight are the plays. Of these Pulari and Parinayam will be performed on an open stage. Plays by other directors will also be staged.

What is your mission of Soorya’s future?

            My dream is to make Soorya a cultural movement in which by a lot more people would participate.

Soorya festival is the longest event in the world and you are the person behind this venture.What was the inspiration?

            It is only because of the grace of God. God chose me for this. Somewhere in Soorya there is the signature of the Almighty.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bus bays a.k.a. parking lots

Bus bays a.k.a. parking lots
Visakh M

Trivandrum: The saying ‘laws are meant to be followed’ have fallen into deaf ears of Trivandrumites. The traffic violations in the city are increasing at an alarming rate and so is the death toll.

            The ‘no parking’ boards have become mere scarecrows. The traffic violators have not spared the bus bays too. Bus bays are frequently ignored by the commuters and bus drivers. The much busier LMS- Palayam stretch is mostly occupied by cars and autorikshaws . Same is the case with SMV school road.

            People are often confused about the boarding point of the buses. Sometimes cases they have to run a long distance to board the bus, says Sunitha, a home maker.

            Violators should be strictly fined by the authorities; that are the only way to tackle this menace, says Soorya, a techie from Kazhakoottam.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wish you a Happy Harthal !

Wish you a Happy Harthal !
Annu Mathew
With an unprecendented record of two harthals in three days, the official machinery of Thiruvananthapuram was slowed down quite a bit this week. As work is gradually put back on track towards the second half of the week, some Keralites pondered about the reality that stared them in the face. Many of us have already expressed our dissatisfaction to being subjected to the whims and fancies of different political parties.

            The KSRTC alone suffered a loss of 5.5 crores as a result of the two harthals. It is quite apparent that vote bank politics is also playing behind these so-called measures to better our democracy. But what about the common man caught up in these issues? What about the huge losses incurred by the state as a result of suspending work for two whole days in the city of Anantha.

            The student community also has its woes. “One does get a surprise holiday during strikes. Sometimes it feels good to take a day’s break from studies but in the long run it is quite harmful to our academic pursuits” says Nandu Gopakumar, a 1st year student of PCA at Government College, Karyavattom. The many harthals and strikes that take place every year make it hard for the teachers to complete their syllabus and ultimately it is the students who suffer.

            “Western countries did not progress by conducting harthals” is the fervent opinion of Nimisha P.J. a student at the University Engineering College, Karyavattom. “I do not think that harthals provide a real solution to any problem. It is merely a farce to hoodwink the public.” On being asked if she knows the reason for the latest harthal, Nimisha stops to think for a while and finally answers that it is the petrol price hike. In fact, there are too many harthals every year that most people don’t bother to keep track of the reasons behind it.

            Meanwhile Arun V. Ananthan who aspires to clear the UGC-NET examination points out some practical difficulties, “Each time a political party decides to call a strike or harthal, students like me are affected. I struggle to pay for my coaching classes and hence can not afford to miss them due to some political gimmicks. Unfortunately I have also witnessed people suffering on harthal days because of medical emergencies and the like.”

            Around the globe oil prices will continue to climb in the coming months. This appears inevitable. But since the commoner already has to put up with this problem, why harass him with harthals, bandhs and strikes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Foray into Lives & Colours

Foray into Lives & Colours
 Hridhya Menon M K

‘Lives & colours’, a photo exhibition by Aneesh Koshy Zachariah was inaugurated on the 20th of this month by S. Devadas, secretary of the Photographic Society of Kerala. This is the first solo exhibition by Aneesh. Fifty eight frames of nature and life constitute this collection which has been exhibited in the Museum auditorium. This two day exhibition attempts to unfold the beauty of nature through lenses and also has beautiful freezes of events like Nehru Trophy and Aranmula boat race. 

            Currently working as an L.D. clerk at Koyippuram Grama Panchayath, Aneesh considers his Nikon D40X as his greatest companion in his journeys across various places like Silent Valley and Kanyakumari. He has also traversed Kabani and Bhavani, two of the three east-flowing rivers of Kerala.

            Snaps of the famous Durga festival of West Bengal and shots of Himachal Pradesh with the Himalayas as its background are also part of his collection.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tagore Theatre renovation: controversies baseless

Tagore Theatre renovation: controversies baseless
Farsana Jaleel A

The controversy regarding the decision to renovate the Tagore Theatre in Trivandrum is baseless , said Subhamani , Deputyt Director, Public Relations Department.

            ‘A cultural hub at a cost of Rs.10 crores will be built . There is no move whatsoever to divert funds by any as alleged by some .Those who are unaware of the facts are behind the propaganda’,said News editor ,Santhosh Kumar.

            He further explained that there is no plan to build a shopping complex in the Tagore Theatre now.It is true that such a move was made 10 years ago. There will be only one mini-theatre as against four theatres as being demanded by some in film industry.This venture being cultural in nature will not serve its purpose if four theatres are built  and also that would result in commercialization of available space.

            The construction of the proposed cultural hub in three stages will start within nine months.Work on first two stages will cover construction of a state -of-the-art-stage ,exhibition hall,air-conditioning system, a modern green room ,two guest rooms,lift  facilities,digital sound system and a mini theatre.

             The third phase of the project includes Shantivanam , gardening and parking.The renovated theatre will be renamed Rabindra Bhavan.As the nation celebrates Tagore‘s  150th birth anniversary , the government also has plans to build a Tagore Memorial and museum.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Learn cinema through practice: Dr. J. Prabash

Learn cinema through practice: Dr. J. Prabash

Film making could not be learned through books, said Dr. J. Prabash, Pro Vice Chancellor of Kerala University. It is only through production that one learns the art and craft of cinema, he said while inaugurating the renovated preview theatre of the Department of Communication and Journalism, in Karyavattom Campus. 18 video documentaries produced by the second semester students were previewed at the new theatre.

Dr. J. Prabash Inagurating the renovated preview theatre
             The meeting also felicitated three alumni-  Dr. Babu Gopalakrishnan , who became the new Director of C-Dit, Biju Mathew of All India Radio , who won an award for a radio script from a UN organisation and Ms. K.A. Beena of Doordharsan,  who won a National award for radio scripting. Faculty members , K.Subash, M.Vijayakumar and V.S. Sasi Bhooshanan Nair also spoke on the occasion.
PVC adressing the audience, Biju Mathew and K.A. Beena are on the dais


Friday, September 9, 2011

VC runs down memory lane

VC runs down memory lane

      Born in a small village of Mannarkadu in Palakkad district, Dr.Jayakrishnan,Vice Chancellor of the University of Kerala has nostalgic memories of  Onam. As a little boy he waited impatiently for the closure of his school for the onam vacation, because he could  play football with his fellow mates, from dawn to dusk.He recollects how they had to manage with a little rubber ball since they could not afford to buy a football.

            The banana chips and all the Onam delicacies were very precious to him as it was available only during the festive season. He also recollected how he used to offer prayers to Thrikkakara Appan during Onam days. The V C mentioned that the present day Onam is becomig more consumerised. This year he will be celebrating Onam with his daughter in Bangalore.

DCJ admits Russian student

DCJ admits Russian student
Kavita Mohan

Kariavattom: The journalism department has admitted a foreigner to do the MCJ programme this year. The student Ms. Elizaveta Sergeevna Pagodina, a native of Moscow has been working as an event manager for the last few years in her country. She is a graduate in veterinary sciences and has studied English at the Higher Secondary classes. Her study in India is funded by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

            Ms. Elizaveta is the second child of two musicians. She is a pianist and loves to learn an Indian musical instrument. Liza loves India very much because of its great diversity of plants and animals. She is a yoga trainer too. She fell in love with Indian culture right from her first visit which was in 2008.

            An Iranian student has applied for admission to the PhD Programme in the Department. His application will be scrutinised soon.

            A Fulbright professor from USA will offer two courses in the Department-Narrative Journalism and Radio Journalism from October. He is expected to be here for six months.

Ananthapuri illuminated

Ananthapuri illuminated
Arun V Gopal
Nithinraj R

Onam celebration 2011 in Thiruvananthapuram took off at Kanakakunnu Palace yesterday evening. It was inaugurated by A P  Anilkumar,Minister for Tourism. He arrived at Kanakakunnu Palace at 6.45 pm ,hoisted the Onapathaka and declared open the Onam celebrations. Vattiyoorkavu MLA   K. Muralidharan was also present.The Minister along with the MLA moved to Sooryakanthi open auditorium and inaugrated the Bhakshyamela. There were food stalls by hotels and various communities from Kerala.The Minister and MLA had the food from various stalls and interacted with the stall members. At 7.10pm the decorative lights put up in the city were switched on by the Minister.
           The light illuminations starts from Vellayambalam and ends at Statue.It is organized by PWD by giving tenders. Current supply for the entire illumination is taken from generators. Various public and private buildings participate in light illuminations.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Luxury car sales up in Trivandrum

Luxury car sales up in Trivandrum
Anju V Padma
Meera Jasmine S

Trivandrum: The motor car market in the capital city of Kerala is on the increase during this Onam season.  Passat, New Beetle, Honda city, Accords, Skoda Laura and other luxury cars crowd Trivandrum’s narrow and guttered roads, displaying a new era of sensation in their lifestyle. Sales of luxury vehicles, priced over Rs 10 lakh, are on the rise in Kerala as Malayalees discover new ways of moving around. Exhibition of wealth is a unique character trait of the Malayalees.

            In the past four wheeler was considered a dream to a middle class man. But now the times have changed and they buy the latest and the best.The car dealers in Trivandrum target the professionals and upper middle class because they are status conscious people.

            Maruti Popular, Peninsular Honda, Volkswagen Das Auto, Kulathunkal Motors, Deedi Motors, Nippon Toyota, Hilton Hyundai are  the most prominent motor car dealers in Trivandrum city providing good assistance to the customers. According to these motor dealers, the peak times of sales is in March and the Onam season. 40 cars were sold by Peninsular Honda car dealers in the last two weeks and 104 cars by Volkswagen. Nippon Toyota Motor dealers claimed that about 200 vehicles were sold by them during last month. “There is an increase of 17.5% in the sales of cars during Onam than the last festive season,” said Naveen, the Assistant Sales Manager of Nippon Toyota. Most of these dealers are targeting   the higher segments of the population.

            One of the main reasons for the jump in sales of such vehicles is the presence of large number of returnees from Gulf and the professionals working in Techno Parks and Infosys in Trivandrum. During this festive season, the Motor dealers provide some attractive offers for those who exchange their old cars. In Trivandrum, more than 70% of people prefer buying new cars rather than exchanging the old ones. Honda City, Jazz, Innova, Corolla ALTIS, Polo Diesel and Vento Diesel are the cars preferred by most of them. These car dealers have tie ups with some second hand motor dealers to help the customers. 70% of people buy cars with bank loans, but  30% make cash payment. Some of the motor dealers offer free servicing facilities up to 3 years.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Download UNIVVOICE Onam Special Issue

Download UNIVVOICE Onam Special Issue by clicking here...

Onam celebrations enliven the campus

Onam celebrations enliven the campus
Anila Backer A P
Lekshmi A Vijayan

Kariavattom: Onam is celebrated in the Kariavattom campus with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm. The five-day pre-onam programmes organised jointly by the Departments’ union and Researchers’ union ended yesterday evening with a ‘tug of war.’

            The festival brought together the students of all 41 teaching departments.

”This confluence, this great mingling help in building cameraderie”, said the Departments’ Union General Secretary Sumith Kumar.

            The Athapookalams and the girls clad in traditional mundu and neryathu recreated a Mavelinadu in the campus.

            The celebrations began with a three-day sports meet on 2 September. The last two days were devoted to literature, arts and entertainment. The Department Union’s magazine titled ‘For Sale’ was released by Shri. Muhammed Perambra on 5 September.

            The sports meet for men had only two teams- Men’s Hostel and Researchers’ Hostel. The Department of Sociology also participated in the cricket competition. The Researchers’ hostel won the trophies for football, cricket and badminton doubles. The Men’s hostel bagged the cricket trophy. The entertainment activities on the next day like musical chair, lemon and spoon race and breaking the pot witnessed equal participation from both men and women. The day was also gifted with a special Onam music feast by the students of the Dept. of Music.

            The Dept. of Aquatic Biology won the prize for floral decoration, the most beautiful and exclusive event of Onam. After a concert by the troup ‘Heart beats’, Trivandrum on the last day of the Onam celebrations, a highly spirited and entertaining ‘tug of war’ was held. The Researchers’ hostel and Dept. of Sociology won the prizes in the male and female categories respectively in the ‘tug of war’.

            Union General Secretary Sumith said that there were no conflicts during the celebrations.  It is conducted in a friendly atmosphere. The cooperation and participation of the teachers and staff enriched the celebrations, he added.
The teachers of many departments accompanied the students to the venue of various events. The HOD of Chemistry, Dr.Anirudhan said the festival is most delightful. ’It brings back my childhood memories’, he added.
The security staff, Mr. Suresh Kumar has good words about the organisation of the festival .He enjoyed his participation in the tug of war.

            In addition to Dept. Union’s celebration, most of the departments organized their onam celebrations with feast and other various cultural programmes. Jeeja Jayakrishnan and her friends of 2 MSC Botany claimed that their dept’s Onam had many unique features. Mr. Sreejith A.S of MSC Chemistry stated that this year’s celebrations were not very enthusiastic when compared to last year’s. It is due to the delayed admission of juniors, he added. But Vidya V. and Jerin Paul are very much excited about the festivities. They however said that the participation is limited to the hostel students. Rechitha and her friends of MSW complained about the lesser coordination of the events.

                The general mood in the campus in the last five days reflected gaiety, enthusiasm and happiness.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kariavattom campus to become eco-friendly soon

Kariavattom campus to become eco-friendly soon
Remya Nair
Litty Simon 

Dileep Ramakrishnan with Univ Voice team
Kariavattom: Many environment friendly development projects will be introduced in the 356-acre Kariavattom Campus soon. The projects include medicinal botanical garden, biogas plants, rainwater harvesting, solar lamps and e-toilets. The researchers in the campus are initiating new actions that will change the face of the campus.

            Major portion of the campus is covered with the acacia trees which are found to be harmful to the environment. It absorbs a large quantity of water leading to the desertification of the land and it also emits a small amount of potassium cyanide into the atmosphere. With the introduction of the Oushadhi project the acacia trees will be replaced with medicinal plants to make the campus more eco-friendly. A central government agency is expected to fund the project.

                A committee will be formed to monitor the project. Whole hearted participation and support is expected from the students, the teachers and the campus organizations, said Mr.R. Dilip, Assistant Registrar in the University. The project has been presented to the syndicate and it is expected to be implemented in 2011-12 financial year.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

‘Uthradapachil’ begins

‘Uthradapachil’ begins
Sreelekshmy P S
Amritha Sreekumar
 Thiruvananthapuram city is in a festive mood. The people are getting ready to welcome Onam. Streets are filled with onam markets and stalls. Chalai bazaar is the busy trading area for all cosumer items- vegetables, furniture, electronics, plastics, clothes, flowers, grains, grocery, hardware, jewellery etc are available here.
            Chalai bazaar is special for the whole sale and the Connemara in Palayam is a retail centre. The athapookkalam, being the main attraction during Onam. There is great demand for flowers. Though the rates are higher compared to last year, there is a heavy rush in the flower shops in Chalai. “Now people from schools, colleges and offices buy flowers,” says a flower shop owner.

        A visit to Chalai bazaar would be more rewarding as the prices are comparatively low, even though nobody could move here comfortably due to mad rush. The vegetable market in Chalai is not very busy as the prices are too high and that people would prefer instant items like pickles and chips from shopping centres.

       Street vendors too are doing good business. “Poor people buy from us because we can sell the items without taxing them”, says a street seller.

Kerala University introduces school system – V C

Kerala University introduces school system – V C

Shilpa S R
Elizaveta Pogodina

Trivandrum: Kerala University will soon introduce the school system in the teaching departments .This umbrella system will help in the sharing of resources and provides a platform for interdisciplinary studies and research, said Vice Chancellor Dr.A.Jayakrishnan.

            According to Dr.Jayakrishnan the new system will create a synergy between the scattered departments and the human resources can be used to the maximum. It is a better approach for enhancing the academic standards. He said that although there had been oppositions, the senate has approved the proposal and it is sent to the Governor for final approval. He added that there won’t be any additional financial support from the UGC for the introduction of schools, but we are more likely to get grants once these schools become active. Due to the infrastructural shortage no new innovative courses will be introduced in the school system soon. ‘Our priority is to strengthen the present academic programmes’, Dr.Jayakrishnan said.

            The proposed schools will be headed by a Director or a Dean, appointed by the University. The different departments under the school can continue to function separately, but there will be a single administrative unit. The facilities too have to be shared among the departments. The new system will facilitate collaborative research projects, Dr. Jayakrishnan hoped.