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Briefly

Certificate attestation

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 28 . The certificate attestation centre in Thiruvananthapuram will not function on polling day on May 10. K. Satish Nambuduripad, chief executive, ROOTS NRK Development Initiative, said today that those who had been asked to come on May 10, could have their certificates attested between May 11 and 13. Those who had been issued tokens one to 50 should report on May 11, 51 to 100 on May 12 and 101 to 150 on May 13.

Strike to be called off

The strike since March 10 in the Karunagapally unit of the Kerafed demanding the regularisation of casual workers is to be withdrawn. An understanding to this effect was reached at talks held under the chairmanship of the Labour Commissioner, S. Sreenivasan, in Kollam. It may be recalled that a decision to place the demand before the board of the Kerafed was taken at talks held by the Labour Commissioner on March 29. The board, which met on April 21, empowered the Managing Director, M. Kesavan Nair, to take steps for the purpose subject to the Government's approval. It is in this context that the strike is being withdrawn. Some 128 workers will benefit from the decision. The meeting resolved to provide maximum work to the workers during the coming two months as the season had begun. The District Labour Officer would convene a meeting to fix the number of the loading and unloading workers. The situation would be reviewed after three months. The workers and the management undertook to cooperate fully for the progress and development of the company.

Stamp popularity poll

Some 101 contestants correctly identified the most popular stamp issued in the year 2002 in the stamp popularity poll 2003 conducted by the Postal Department. From the 101 contestants, Soly Stephen of Palakkad was selected for the first prize in the national-level draw of lots. The first prize consists of Rs. 5,000. The remaining winners will get Rs. 400 each. As many as 65 of the winners are from the Kerala Postal Circle. The Circle also stood first in collecting the maximum number of entries for the contest.

BIS warning

The Bureau of Indian Standards has asked the people not to be misled by the advertisements issued by some non-licensee jewellers of Kerala claiming that they are Hallmarked Jewellers. In an official press note today it said that only 90 jewellers of the State had taken BIS license for Hallmarking.

Merger rally

The Kerala Thandan Maha Sabha took out a merger rally in Thiruvananthapuram today. The convention held at the end of it was inaugurated by A. Neelalohithadasan Nadar, MLA. The president of the Sabha, K. Achuthan, handed over the organisation's charter of demands, which included welfare fund and pension for tree-climbing workers, to M. Murali, MLA, to be handed over to the Chief Minister. He said that the Sabha would contest the next Assembly election.

Award for C. Radhakrishnan

The Muttathu Varkey literary award, instituted by the Muttathu Varkey Foundation, has been awarded to the noted novelist, C. Radhakrishnan, for his novel, `Munbe parakkunna pakshikal'. Announcing this at a press conference here today, the general convener of the Muttathu Varkey Foundation, Sreekumaran Thampi, said the award was decided by selecting the top ranked works on the basis of an opinion survey of readers in the State. He added that the novel was one among the best works, which had been published over the past two decades. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs. 33,333, citation and a statuette designed by the artist, P.R.C. Nair. The award for the best student storywriter has been given to Dhanya Raj of Punalur for her short story `New Woman Beauty Centre'. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs.2,500 and a citation. The awards would be distributed at a function to be held at the Tirur Thunchan Parambu in connection with the 15th death anniversary of Muttathu Varkey. The managing trustee of the foundation, T.M. Sebastian, its secretary, Mathew Muttathu, and the committee member, Thomas Umminithottam, also attended the press conference.

22,410 EVMs to be used

As many as 22,410 electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be used for the election from 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the State and the byelection from the Wadakkancherry Assembly constituency. The EVMs would be used in all the 20,333 polling booths in the State. Besides one machine per booth, 2,077 EVMs are being kept ready as reserve, an official release said.

Devan convicted

The film star and a candidate in the Wadakkancherry Assembly constituency, Devan, was sentenced to a total of nine months simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 24 lakhs in four separate cheque bouncing cases. The sentence was handed down by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, B. Muraleedharan. The court also ordered that the amount due to the complainant be given from the fine amount. The Judge , however, suspended the sentence and granted him bail to enable him to file an appeal against the order. C. Krishna Menon, a film producer, had filed the cases. Mr. Devan had given four cheques of Rs.5.5 lakhs each to Mr. Menon in 1999 in connection with a film production. When he presented the cheques in the bank, they bounced. Hence the four cases.

Telecom staff form association

An All India BSNL Executives' Association (AIBSNLEA) has been formed with personnel from the telecom engineering service, the finance wing and general civil service. After Group B officers in DoT were absorbed into the BSNL, 10 recognised all-India trade unions have merged to form a new service organisation. The new organisation will formally come into existence on May 1 with respective branches all over the country. The decision to form the association was taken at a convention held in Kolkata last month. The Telecom Engineering Services Association (India), All India P&T Accounts and Finance Service Officers Association (India), All India Junior Telecom Officers Association, All India P&T Civil Engineers Association, P&T Electrical Engineer Association, All India Junior Engineers Association, All India P&T Architectural Association, All India Telecom Stenographer's Association Akhil Bharatheeya Door Sanchar Rajabhasha Association and BSNL Executives Association (Calcutta Telephones) are the organisations that have merged to form the AIBSNLEA.

AG happy over verdict

The Advocate General, M. Ratna Singh, said that all the arguments advanced by him on behalf of the State Government had been accepted by the Division Bench of the Kerala High Court. Reacting to the verdict in the online lottery case, he said that the judiciary had saved him. He also dismissed as baseless the allegations levelled by the Director of Lotteries.

Vacation camp

KOLLAM APRIL 28. Venal Vedi 2004, a summer vacation camp for students organised by the Saint Joseph's International Academy at Kumbalam near here, will be held on April 30 at the campus. The noted poet, Madhusoodhanan Nair, will address the camp at 10 a.m. on that day, it was informed by the managing director of the Academy, Joseph D. Fernandez.

Inauguration

The Kottarakara branch of the Thiruvananthapuram based Gandheeya Navashakthi Sangam will be inaugurated at the Kottarakara College Road on April 30 by the Nazrani Orthodox Missionary Bishop, Mar George Theckedath. In addition to promoting human values, the branch would also strive for the overall development of Kottarakara, it was informed.

Congress rally

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM APRIL 28. The Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, will reach Thiruvananthapuram on May 5. She will address an election rally at the Central Stadium at 10-30 a.m. The concluding programme of the Chief Minister, A. K. Antony's Navodhana Yatra on May 4 has been changed. As per the revised schedule, Mr. Antony would address public meetings at Balaramapuram, Kanjiramkulam, Parassala and Neyyatinkara on May 4. The yatra will tour Thiruvananthapuram East, West and North on May 7, a UDF election committee release said.

Workshop

The film and television workshop for children organised by the National Film Academy will begin at the Kesari Memorial Hall at 4 p.m. on Thursday. As many as 25 students will attend the workshop, which will conclude on May 9, an academy release said.

Campaign

The UDF candidate in Thiruvananthapuram, V. S. Sivakumar, will campaign at Perumgadavila, Perumpazhuthoor, Athiyanoor and Neyyatinkara town on Thursday. The campaigning will start from Aruvipuram at 8-30 a.m. and conclude at Amaravila Bank Junction at 9-10 p.m.

Observers

Mobile phones have been provided to election observers for the Thiruvananthapuram and Chirayinkeezhu Lok Sabha constituencies. The following are the numbers of the observers for Thiruvananthapuram: Surinder Siddhu - 98472-14235, P. Rajiv Kumar - 98472-10905, and M. D. Lehamkar - 98472- 08415. The following are the numbers of the observers for Chirayinkeezhu: Pradeep Bhatnagar - 98472-04867, G. N. Phani Kumar - 98472-05752 and Rathan Singh - 98472-08396.

Six held

THRISSUR APRIL 28. Six members of a gang suspected to be involved in inter-State spirit smuggling were arrested by the Puthukkad police at Amballur, near here, this morning. The arrested are Benoy of Pattikkad, Manikantan of Kalakkallu, Aji Joseph alias Dakini, Mathew and Madhu of Peechi, and Shine of Cheeyaram. According to the deputy superintendent of police, Christy Bastan, the gang was searching for the member of a rival group, Sheeja Kumar alias Babu.

Demand

KOZHIKODE APRIL 28. The SM Street unit of the Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi has demanded that dharna and protest marches be banned on the SM Street. In a statement here today, the unit president, C.P. Abdul Rehman, said a meeting of the unit held recently had made the demand.

Course

The Indian Institute of Tourism and Management (IITM), under the supervision of the Public Sector Unit, KITCO, has invited applications for its various hotel management courses. For more details contact telephone, 0495-2374934.

Buddha

Buddha Poornima will be observed under the joint auspices of the Chavara Cultural Centre and C. Krishnan Memorial Committee at the Chavara Hall on May 4. Madhavan Ayyappath, K.N.N. Ilayath, and R.N. Pillai will speak on the occasion.

Programme

KANNUR APRIL 28. The Kerala Orthopaedic Association (KOA) will hold a continuing medical education (CME) programme on paediatric trauma here on May 2. The KOA office-bearers told a press conference here today that experts in the field of paediatric orthopaedics would conduct classes at the Malabar Residency here.

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