Nipah virus scare spread over, says Kerala Health Minister

The deadly Nipah virus that struck this Kerala district last month and claimed 16 lives in the state has been finally contained and the last of the two positive cases have fully recovered, said Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Sunday.
The virus struck at Kozhikode which saw 13 people dying, while three deaths were reported from nearby Malappuram district, and more than 2,000 patients with fever was kept under close observation.
After presiding over a review meeting, she told mediapersons that the virus scare is finally over.
"We visited the two Nipah positive patients who have been completely cured and according to many, this is something rare. The scare of this getting spread is finally over, as no more patients have tested positive, but a caution has to be there for those who are under observation, as they have to take complete rest," said Shailaja.
The district authorities, following the scare, had asked to wait for schools to reopen in the new academic year and now schools all set to open from Tuesday onwards while the ban of public functions also has been lifted.
The Kozhikode Medical College hospital, where a special Nipah ward was opened, is now seeing patients returning home, said an official.
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Nipah toll in Kerala now 16, Health Minister warns of new outbreak

Medical staff wearing protective suit to avoid contacting Nipah virus that has claimed 16 lives in Kerala till now, in Kozhikode on May 25, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Medical staff wearing protective suit to avoid contacting Nipah virus that has claimed 16 lives in Kerala till now, in Kozhikode on May 25, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
With two more deaths in the past two days in this Kerala district, the death toll from Nipah virus has risen to 16 as state Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Friday warned of a possible second outbreak.
Noting that all those in contact with the affected are still in the incubating period of the virus and hence utmost caution has to be maintained, Shailaja, in the statement, underlined that even though there need be no fear or panic, as a matter of caution, all possible precautionary steps should be taken.
"We had indicated at the outset itself, there could be a possible second outbreak and the vulnerable are those who would have in come in contact with the affected. All such people have to be closely watched... tests will reveal only at the appropriate time when the symptoms of Nipah virus surface, so all those who have come in direct contact with the earlier affected have to see they get in touch with the special control room set up in Kozhikode," she said.
Shailaja said till now out of the 18 who tested positive for Nipah, 16 have died but the remaining two however are recovering.
The new direction came after two fresh deaths were reported on Thursday. Both were undergoing treatment at the state-run hospital at Balussery near here.
On Friday, all six doctors and other medical professionals at the hospital were asked to take leave and rest.
State Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran, who hails from this district, said the need of the hour is for people to be very cautious as even when things are under control, people have to cooperate.
Nipah virus is transmitted to humans through infected fruit bats, pigs or other Nipah-infected persons.
Perambara, a suburban town near here, has been the worst-affected as the first case was reported from here and four people of a family died. To find out the source of the virus, a number of samples from a particular variety of bats were taken, but they turned out to be negative.
A second set of samples from fruit bats is currently being tested at High Security Animal Diseases Laboratory in Bhopal and the results are now awaited.
Meanwhile, taking into account the gravity of the situation, the Public Service Commission on Friday has postponed all its examinations till June 16. And while the new academic year began on Friday in all schools in the state, schools in Kozhikode will open only on June 5.
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Kerala: Another Nipah virus death in Kozhikode, toll now 13

Even as the incidence of fresh cases of Nipah virus has come down, a woman, under treatment at the Kozhikode Medical College hospital, passed away on Saturday, taking the disease toll in Kerala to 13, officials said.
Kalayani, 62, had been admitted to the hospital on May 16.
A majority of the deaths have been reported from Kozhikode, while the others are in the nearby Malappuram district.
Close to 200 patients in these two districts are being treated in hospitals, with 26 under observation and three who have tested positive under intensive treatment.
Meanwhile, five medical professionals are being sent to Delhi for an intensive course at the Safdarjung Hospital there to learn the treatment protocols to be followed in such cases.
Nipah virus is transmitted to humans through infected fruit bats, pigs or other Nipah-infected persons.
With test results showing that a particular variety of bats, found in and around Kozhikode and mostly at the worst-affected Perambara town near here, is not carrying the virus, a special team from Pune is arriving to see how best they can take samples from other varieties of bats also found in this district.
In a related development, a police probe, initiated to find out the travel itinerary of the virus' first victim Sabith, found out that he never visited Malaysia but had been in the United Arab Emirates, from where he had returned in October last year.
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Two suspected Nipah cases in Hyderabad, people asked to avoid Kerala

Two persons, including one who visited Kerala recently, were admitted to hospitals here with suspected Nipah virus infection even as the Telangana health authorities have advised people to avoid visiting Kerala.
The Health Department officials are conducting a campaign to caution people against visiting Kerala, at least till the dreaded Nipah virus comes under control.
K. Shankar, director, Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM) said on Friday that people should postpone their plans to visit Kerala in view of the situation there. He said people should avoid visiting affected areas.
Officials of Medical and Health Department also said that they were advising people not to visit Kerala at least till the situation comes under control.
The authorities are conducting campaigns in residential colonies to create awareness among people about Nipah virus and also to advise them against visiting Kerala.
They were also screening people at airport, railway and bus stations for suspected symptoms of the dreaded virus.
Telangana Director of Medical Education K. Ramesh Reddy said samples of two persons were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune. One of them returned from Kerala with suspected symptoms and he has been isolated at IPM.
Though the 25-year-old man did not visit the area which is affected by the virus, the authorities did not take any chances and sent his samples along that of another man, who is admitted to Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) with encephalitis.
The official said the test reports were expected in a day or two. He said there was no need for panic as the state had not recorded any confirmed case of Nipah virus.
The authorities have advised people to take all precautions. Ramesh Reddy said people should avoid eating cut fruits. The fruits and vegetables should be washed properly before using them. People were also advised to avoid pork as pigs are also suspected to be carriers of the virus.
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Nipah virus under control, assures Kerala Minister

Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Friday said that things were under control vis-a-vis the containment of Nipah virus and that the WHO had stepped in to help the coastal state.
"There need be no fear or panic as just one patient tested positive out of 22 samples sent for testing in the past two days. All other cases reported negative. Things are under control," Shailaja told the media here.
She said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had helped procure medicines from Australia to treat Nipah virus patients. 
"The first batch of 50 doses of medicines have already arrived and will be given to patients undergoing treatment," the Minister said.
"All arrangements are in place to take care of medical professionals engaged in treating the patients. WHO officials have complimented the Health Department for being able to identify Nipah virus cases very quickly," Shailaja added.
The Nipah virus affected Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, where around 200 patients suffering from fever have been kept under observation.
Nipah virus is transmitted to humans through infected fruit bats, pigs or other Nipah-infected persons.
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Kerala govt. says travel to state is safe, but four districts could be avoided

The Kerala Government has issued an advisory saying that the few cases of infection by Nipah virus reported from Kozhikode district remained highly localised and that travel to any part of the state is safe.
Ten persons are reported to have died of the infection  in Kozhikode district.
"Travelling to any part of Kerala is safe," the advisory from Mr. Rajeev Sadanandan, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, said. 
However, if travellers wish to be extra cautious, they may avoid the districts of Kozhikode, Malappuram, Wayanad and Kannur, he said.
The advisory said all the cases were linked to one family. It said surveillance by the Government is being conducted in the four districts.
"The Health Department is taking effective steps for management of reported cases and surveillance through tracing of the contract of these persons. The situation remains under control," it added.
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Nipah fever under control in Kerala, no cause for panic: Nadda

Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare JP Nadda today said the Nipah fever at Perambra, Kerala, appears to be a localised occurrence and urged the people not to believe in rumours posted on social media and spread panic.
Mr Nadda is closely monitoring the situation arising out of reported cases and deaths due to Nipah Virus in Kerala. He reviewed the situation with Secretary (HFW) Preeti Sudan and DG (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava and has directed for all support to be extended to Kerala in its prevention and management, an official press release said.
Following directions of the Minister, a multi-disciplinary Central team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is at present in Kerala constantly reviewing the situation. The Central team includes Dr Sujeet K Singh, Director, NCDC; Dr S K Jain, Head Epidemiology, NCDC; Dr P Ravindran, Director, Emergency Medical Relief (EMR); Dr Naveen Gupta, Head Zoonosis, NCDC; Dr Ashutosh Biswas, Prof Internal Medicine, AIIMS; Dr Deepak Bhattacharya, Pulmonologist, Safdarjung Hospital, along with two clinicians and one expert from Ministry of Animal Husbandry.
The NCDC team visited the house in Perambra from where the initial death was reported.  The team found many bats housed in the well from where the family was drawing water.  Some bats have been caught and have been sent for lab examination to confirm whether they are the cause of the disease.
Some 60 different samples have been collected from the spot and sent for examination. There are two confirmed cases with history of contact with the index case. They were admitted in the Calicut Medical College Hospital and died due to fever caused by the Nipah virus.
The Ministry has mobilized a public health team from NCDC Branch Kozhikode to assess the extent of problem, for risk assessment and risk management.  They are assisting the State Level Team already deployed at the epicentre.  So far, seven patients have been admitted in Baby Memorial Hospital and in the Government Medical College at Kozhikode and at the Amrutha Medical College, Ernakulum.
The field team has advised hospitals to follow intracranial pressure (ICP) guidelines, use personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and sample collection; assist in enhancing active fever surveillance in the community; strengthen contact tracing in close contacts of cases, relatives, health care workers; ensure isolation facilities, ventilator support and hospital infection control practices; and coordinate with animal sector and enhance surveillance for unusual illness and deaths in animals.
The Ministry has ensured availability of diagnostic kits, personal protective equipment and risk communication materials. High quality personal protection equipment has been provided to health care personnel.
A total of nine individuals are currently under treatment. Isolation wards have been opened in many hospitals in Kozhikode. Hospitals in public and private sector have been provided with personal protective equipment. Appropriate steps to contain this virus have been taken among domestic animals such as pigs.
"Since all the contacts are under observation and steps to avoid exposure through animal vectors have been taken there is no reason for people to panic. This appears to be a localised occurrence," the release said.
With early and efficient containment measures undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and Government of Kerala, the outbreak is unlikely to spread. The Virus Research Diagnostic Laboratory at Manipal Hospital and the National Institute of Virology, a premier institute for research in virology, are geared up to meet any diagnostic challenges that may arise, the release added.
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Nipah virus claims 10 lives in Kerala, two serious

The toll due to the Nipah virus, presently identified in Kerala's Kozhikode and Malappuram, rose to 10 on Tuesday even as the Central and state governments scrambled to contain its outbreak.
State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja, who is now based at Kozhikode and shuttling to Malappuram, told the media that till Tuesday, 18 samples have been sent for investigation.
"Of these, 12 have been identified - of which 10 sufferers have died and two are serious. The medical professionals are doing their best, even as two patients with this virus passed away today (Tuesday) morning," said Shailaja and added that 11 in Kozhikode are under observation.
The virus first claimed the lives of two brothers and their aunt in Perambara near here.
Even though Nipah virus, spread by direct contact with infected fruit bats, pigs or from other infected persons, infects both animals and humans, Central Animal Husbandary Commissioner S.P. Suresh, who is part of the Central team here, said that after their examination of animals in the affected areas, no incidence of virus in animals has been identified and instead it is the humans that have been affected.
"No domesticated animals so far have been affected. Other aspects should be now probed as this has been now found in only human beings," he said.
National Centre for Disease Control Director Sujeet K.Singh, who is also part of the Central team, told the media that all technical assistance and support is being extended by to the state.
"With regards to the financial assistance, that is not decided by me. The second team of ours is reaching here tomorrow (on Wednesday) and things are well under control," he said. A team of medical professionals from AIIMS Delhi is expected to arrive here on Wednesday.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that he welcomed all those medical professionals who are willing to come to the state to take part in controlling this virus.
"There was a request from one doctor - Kafeel Khan from Uttar Pradesh - that he wish to serve the people who are suffering in Kozhikode. I wish to state that all professionals with a mind to serve the sufferings are more than welcome and they can get in touch with the Health Department here who will make the necessary arrangements," he said.
Meanwhile, the tourism industry represented by the Confederation of Kerala Tourism Industry (CKTI) led by E.M.Najeeb, in a statement issued here, said they wish to convey to all that the concern now projected was larger than the reality.
"All the tourist locations and the state in general are safe as usual for holiday activities. Tourism industry partners in the state are more vigilant and equipped to provide a hassle-free holiday to the visiting travellers. The airports, railway stations, hotels and places of visit all are following the right protocols and are free of problems as usual," he said.
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Northern Kerala being promoted as major tourist attraction

Are Kovalam and backwaters the first things that come to mind when thinking of Kerala? All that's set to change as more places will soon be added to the bucket list from 'God's Own Country' -- at an outlay of Rs 500 crore.
The Kerala Tourism Department is taking new initiatives and expanding its horizons, not just in the southern belt but also the northern zone with new "must visit" destinations.
"Kerala has seen a strong tourism sector since two decades and we have been doing well domestically and internationally. 
"We are starting new destinations in different geographical areas. We are widening our canvas and including new destinations," P. Bala Kiran, Director, Kerala Tourism told IANS.
He added that the northern parts of the state like Wayanad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Thissur, Malapuram and Palakad are on the list of new tourism destinations.
"This will be a separate circuit which will be complementing the existing tourism circuit in south Kerala," Kiran stated.
While the peak season for visiting the state is mainly November to February, the Tourism Department is also chalking out plans to attract tourists round the year.
And for that, the department has pumped in almost Rs 500 crore in the area for tourism and infrastructure development.
"We are also planning out new ventures like introducing river cruise facility in Malabar, making a Kameshwari heritage project, Jatayu Earth Centre which will feature world's largest bird sculpture and offering plethora of adventure and rejuvenating activities and others," Bala noted.
The department is also focusing on alluring young tourists by offering multiple adventure activities -- water-based sports like river rafting and kayaking as also trekking, paragliding.
Recently, Kerala also bagged 'Best destination for families' award through an online poll which was conducted by Lonely Planet magazine.
Bala added in the past one year, Kerala has witnessed tremendous growth in tourist arrivals -- both domestic and internatinal.
"In 2017 we had 1.09 million international tourists and 14.6 million domestic tourists which is roughly translating into a growth of 11 per cent in the last year," he added.
Asked about the major challenges being faced by the Tourism Department, Bala pointed out that ensuring safety and security of tourists were the first priority followed by providing world class amenities to the visitors and streamlining the waste management system.
"Kerala government is setting up a Tourism Regulatory Authority which will be a statutory body with full legal powers to intervene and execute orders whenever there are complaints on tourist-related activities," Bala noted.
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All arrangements in place to tackle Nipah virus: Kerala Minister

After three confirmed deaths due to the Nipah virus (NiV), and reports on eight other patients awaited, Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Monday said things are under control and there is no need to panic.
"All the periphery hospitals of the Kozhikode Medical College hospital are fully equipped to tackle the fever. All those who have fever need not rush to the medical college itself.
"At the moment, eight patients are currently in treatment. Their samples have been sent to Pune and results are awaited," said Shailaja.
Nipah virus (NiV), spread by fruit bats that infects both animals and humans, has claimed the lives of two brothers and their aunt in Perambara within a few weeks, and now eight more people are under close observation. 
Transmission of NiV takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from other NiV-infected people.
"The health officials visited the house of Sabith and his brother, who passed away due to Nipah virus, and found there was a well in their house that was unused but had lots of bats. 
"The authorities have sealed the top of the well to ensure that the remaining bats do not come out," said Shailaja.
She also added that people were being educated to ensure that they do not eat any fruits that fall down from trees.
"Awareness programmes have already begun and more and more medical teams from the Centre, the Indian Medical Association and private hospitals are being readied.
"The first Central team has already arrived and another one is arriving tomorrow (Tuesday)," said Shailaja and added that all patients coming down with fever must not panic.
The state government has sanctioned an emergency fund of Rs 20 lakh to the Kozhikode Medical College to tackle the present fever outbreak.
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Cause of deaths in Kozhikode family yet to be ascertained: Minister

Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Sunday said the cause of death of three members of a family here remains to be ascertained and urged people not to spread false news about a rare virus being responsible.
She also termed as baseless and unconfirmed the messages on social media that the deaths of two brothers and their aunt in Perambara within a few weeks was due to the Nipah virus (NiV), spread by the fruit virus and causing severe disease in both animals and humans.
"The samples were first sent to a laboratory in Manipal and it suggested that it was a rare virus... after that for detailed tests, the samples have been sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune and the results are awaited. Health officials are doing their job," Shailaja told media at Kochi.
The three seemed to be suffering from what seemed to be common fever but it aggravated quickly, leading to their deaths. Two other members of the same family are now being treated at the Medical College hospital at Kozhikode, while six people from the same village who exhibited similar symptoms are now under medical observation.
Transmission of Nipah virus takes place through direct contact with infected bats, pigs, or from other NiV-infected people and people have been also cautioned that they should not consume fruits that have fallen on to the ground.
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Kerala CPI-M leader's brother, arrested in cheating case, sent to judicial custody

The brother of a senior CPI-M leader in Kerala on Saturday was remanded to judicial custody for two weeks, a day after after he was arrested following complaints of cheating against him, officials said.
P. Sateeshan, brother of P. Sasi, former political secretary to the late three-time Chief Minister E.K. Nayanar, was arrested on Friday on charges of cheating, after two women approached the Casaba police station in Kozhikode to file a complaint. 
The women also staged a protest and demanded a case of cheating be registered against him.
Following the complaint, a few other cases of duping others with promises of providing jobs at a state government organisation and the upcoming Kannur international airport surfaced.
On Saturday, he was presented at a court which remanded him to two weeks' judicial custody, officials said.
According to the women, Sateeshan used to impress people by pretending to talk on his mobile phone with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other top party leaders. Through this modus operandi, he is believed to have cheated several people.
Sasi, however, has denied any relation with his brother for the past over two decades, and washed his hands off the matter.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Kerala secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said Sateeshan is not a CPI-M member and hence, they do not have any responsibility.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told the media that Vijayan's name is being used by his party people to cheat people.
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Football: Kerala confident of denting East Bengal's title hope

After humbling Mohun Bagan in Kolkata, debutants Gokulam Kerala FC are gearing up for another major humdinger in Hero I-League 2017-18 as they are slated to host Kingfisher East Bengal at the EMS Corporation Stadium in Kozhikode tomorrow afternoon.
Coming back from a major win, that too in an away fixture, coach Bino George said, “We have five matches left, we will try our best to do well.”
Meanwhile, it was the Kerala outfit's second win on the road while the first one came against Indian Arrows, the youngest side of the league.
Bino George lauded their newly recruited Bahrainian midfielder Alajmi for his humongous effort of late.
"Alajmi was a replacement to Francis Ambane and he made the right impact on the team," he said.
Meanwhile, Kingfisher East Bengal have got the better of league leaders Minerva Punjab FC in their last outing which opened up the title race wide open.
Bino George righty pointed that the Kolkata outfit will surely go out all guns blazing to garner a win tomorrow. On the other hand, Gokulam will also need to focus on nothing less than three points tomorrow.
“For East Bengal, winning this match is important for them, the same way it is more important for us also win this particular match.”
Khalid Jamil, on the other hand, sees this match as a 'very vital one' as their opponents are coming from a hard-earned win.
"This match is very vital one for us and they're playing very good football now. We have to be very cautious on the field and eventually, we need a win to stay alive in the title race."
Kingfisher East Bengal have defeated Minerva Punjab FC in their last outing, and, incidentally, this was the Punjab-outfit's first defeat at home this season.
Meanwhile, Khalid Jamil has his entire squad at his disposal and everyone is available for the selection. 
The gaffer, as usual, prefers to take one match at a time and he is only focusing on tomorrow's match now.
"We always prefer to take one match at a time and we won't deviate from our strategy tomorrow. We have to be strong and we need a positive result," Jamil confirmed.
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Bishop Zacharias Mar Theophilus of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church passes away

Zacharias Mar Theophilus
Zacharias Mar Theophilus
Bishop Zacharias Mar Theophilus, the Metropolitan of the Malabar Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, passed away here today, the church announced today.
He was 65.
The bishop had been undergoing treatment for cancer at the MVR Cancer Centre here, and breathed his last at around 3.40 pm, the announcement said. He had also undergone treatment at the Tata Memorial Cancer Institute in Mumbai and at a hospital in Bengaluru.
His mortal remains will be interred at the Thadakam Kristhusishya Ashramam, Coimbatore, on Thursday.
Bishop Zacharias was born on August 17, 1952 as M.C. Cherian, the second of the three children of  M.P. Chandapillai and Achamma of Chengaroor, Mallappally, Pathanamthitta. 
After completing his college education, he joined the Old Seminary in Kottayam. He was made a Ramban in 2004 and named Zacharias. In 2005, he was made a Metropolitan with the name Zacharias Mar Theophilus.

Kerala: Four men missing after their boat capsizes in Banasura Sagar Dam reservoir

Four men were reported missing when their country boat capsized in the reservoir of the Banasura Sagar Dam near Kalpetta in Wayanad district of Kerala late last night, official sources said.
There were seven men in all in the boat, but three of them managed to swim to safety, Wayanad District Collector S. Suhas told NetIndian over the telephone.
Local people and district authorities launched rescue efforts but were yet to trace the missing persons as of this evening, he added..
The four missing were identified as Sachin (20), Binu (42), Melvin (34), all of Kozhikode, about 70 km away, and Wilson, a local, the sources said. The three men who swam to safety were also from Kozhikode, they said.
Banasura Sagar dam is the largest earth dam in India and the second largest of its kind in Asia. It is located at the foot of the Banasura hill, 21 km from Kalpetta in Wayanad district in the Western Ghats, and is a major tourist attraction.

IIM Kozhikode to incubate 12 start-ups under its IIMK Live Business Incubator

IIMK LIVE, a business incubator launched by Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIMK) in early 2016, has offered admission to 12 start-ups in its first job creation programme.
IIMK LIVE (Laboratory for Innovation, Venturing and Entrepreneurship) is a business incubator and entrepreneurship development centre established by IIM Kozhikode with the support of Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. 
Responding positively to the proposal submitted by IIMK in early 2016, DST sanctioned a grant of Rs. 3 crore to set-up the business incubator, a press release from the institute said.
IIMK has made available required space and facilities on campus and is developing a series of programmes and products that would ensure long-term sustainability of LIVE. As a government recognized on-campus incubator, DST would continue supporting it in various ways including it acting as an important element of its Seed Support System, the release said.
"Over last two decades, IIM Kozhikode has always taken initiatives that contribute to national development goals and LIVE is in response to the prime minister’s call - ‘Startup India, Standup India’. LIVE seeks to emerge as national center of excellence in promoting innovation, new business venturing and entreprenuership among student community on campus as well as greater community," Prof. Kulbhooshan Balooni, Director In-charge of IIMK, said.
“LIVE would gain immensely from the faculty members, knowledge base, students, alumni, international linkages and other institutional networks of IIM Kozhikode and is in turn expected to contribute to the institute’s various programmes and activities,” he added. 
Of the 12 start-ups offered admission to LIVE in first round that concluded recently, five are founded by IIMK alumni. The selected ventures in this group are across a range of sectors but many are based on digital technology. 
LIVE registered under Indian Societies Act in June 2016, hopes to support start-ups not just founded by IIMK’s own students/ alumni but also any idea owner with innovation that is believed to have commercial potential.
“While we have some thrust areas to focus in mind, in the beginning we are sector agnostic. Also, while we want more and more of our own students taking to entreprenuership, we do not limit supporting only them," Dr. Keyoor Purani, Executive Director, IIMK LIVE and professor of marketing at IIMK, said.
Justifying such an approach, he said, "The start-up environment in India is fast evolving and our
startegy with regard to the sectoral and other focus areas would evolve over a period of time.” 
“IIMs and other B-schools have job placements deeply entrentched in many of their programmes as traditionally that has been the sole career track MBAs looked for. Over the years, newer models would evolve that would facilitate entreprenuerial risk taking by MBA students despite burden of educational loans. We are working towards that but as of now I am happy with the response," he added.
The 12 start-ups were selected from about 100 applications received for the year-long incubation in the first round of admission. Applications for the programme are invited round the year and enrolments are expected to take place every six months or so. Under the incubation programme, start-ups ready with the proof of concept will work with mentors to develop go-to- market startegy, build team and prepare itself for funding. 
Apart from mentorship, training, professional services and a collaborative work space, LIVE hopes to help many of the incubatee companies with seed support funds to help translate innovative idea into a commecial venture, the release added.

Ace athlete P T Usha all set to start Athletics Academy in Kerala

Noted athlete P T Usha called on Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Vijay Goel here today to invite him to the opening ceremony of Usha School of Athletics set up by her at Kozhikode in Kerala on June 15.
The academy to train budding athletes, spread across 30 acres, is constructed at a cost of Rs. 8.5 crore sanctioned by the Centre. 
The key feature of the academy will be an 8-lane synthetic track. Other features include a mud track, a 40-bed hostel and a gymnasium. The academy will have a team of trained coaches, physiotherapists and other key officials to assist the athletes.
Mr. Goel promised all possible support to Usha so that the academy finds the best talent to represent India at the world stage, an official press release said.

Major fire breaks out in shops in Kozhikode's Mithayi Theruvu area

15 shops gutted as fire breaks out at SM street market in Kozhikode
A major fire broke out in a textile shop in the Mithayi Theruvu (Sweetmeat Street) area, one of the city's most prominent commercial centres, here this morning.
The three-storeyed shop, Modern Textiles, located near Radha Theatre, was gutted in the blaze, which also spread to some nearby shops, on either side of the building as well as in its rear portion, which is a maze of shops selling textiles, footwear, plastic products and such items.
The fire broke out around 11.30 am and scores of local people immediately began efforts to douse the flames even as several fire tenders and police reached the scene.
The narrow streets in the area and the thick smoke from the fire made the task of the fire brigade that much more difficult.
While goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in the fire, no one was reported injured, the sources said.
In a heroic effort, fraught with risks, fire brigade personnel used a ladder and removed five gas cylinders stored on the upper floor of one of the shops even as the fire raged.
The fire was finally brought under control by mid-afternoon.
Employees and customers in the shops managed to come out before the fire spread, sources said. All shops in the area were shut down as soon as the fire broke out.

IUML President and former Union Minister E. Ahamed passes away

E. Ahamed
E. Ahamed
Former Minister of State for External Affairs and Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) national president E. Ahamed passed away at the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital here in the early hours of today after suffering a cardiac arrest in Parliament yesterday.
He was 78. He is survived by two sons and a daughter. His wife Zuhara Ahamed had predeceased him.
His funeral will be held at Kannur in Kerala tomorrow. His body will be kept at his residence here till noon today for people to pay their last respects after which it will be flown to Kozhikode this afternoon. The body will be taken to the Haj House at Karipur and then the League House in Kozhikode, sources close to his family said.
Born on April 29, 1938, Mr. Ahamed obtained a B.A. degree from the Government Brennen College at Telicherry and later took a degree in law from the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram.
He was elected to the Kerala Legislative Assembly for five terms between 1967 and 1991. He served as the Chairman of the Municipal Council of Kannur in 1981-83 and as the Minister for Industry in Kerala from 1982-87.
Mr. Ahamed was elected to the 10th Lok Sabha in 1991 and was re-elected in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014.
He served as General Secretary of the IUML from 1995 onwards. He was appointed Union Minister of State for External Affairs in May 2004. He was elected National President of the IUML on September 14, 2008.
Between 2009 and 2011, Mr. Ahamed served as Minister of State for Railways and later as the Minister of State for External Affairs. He also served as the Minister of State for Human Resource Development between July 2011 and October 2012. He was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in May 2014 for his seventh term in the House.
He has authored books such as One Foreign Journey and Numerous Memories;  A Story of Renaissance of Indian Muslims (in Malayalam);  The Leaders I know (in Malayalam); andIndia`s Voice at United Nations.
He was the executive director of the Chandrika daily newspaper and weekly in Kerala and also contributed articles to various journals. He was associated with several educational, cultural and social institutions.

Mukherjee to visit Kerala from February 26-27

President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a two-day visit to Kerala from February 26-27, an official press release said here today.
On February 26, he will inaugurate the 200th anniversary of CMS College at Kottayam. On the same day, he will also inaugurate the valedictory function of celebrations of the 155th anniversary of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 at Kochi organized by the Directorate of Prosecution, Government of Kerala. 
On February 27, the President will inaugurate the Muziris Heritage Project at Kodungalloor implemented by the State Government with the support of the Central Government (Muziris was a large port of the ancient times on west coast of Kerala). 
Before returning to New Delhi, he will also launch various schemes of Government of Kerala at a function at Kozhikode. 
These include dedication of Kerala as Digital State, launch of a Digital Empowerment Campaign, opening of the UL Cyber Park, the first Cyber Park established by a labour cooperative; inauguration of a Gender Park and launch of the ‘Kanivu’ (Compassion) Scheme. 

Modi to visit Kerala, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a day's visit to Kerala and Tamil Nadu tomorrow.
In Kerala, Mr. Modi will address the Third Global Ayurveda Festival in Kozhikode, an official press release said.
In Tamil Nadu, he will inaugurate the building of the ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Coimbatore, and hand it over to the State Government, it added.

Kerala govt. awards Light Metro Projects consultancy to DMRC

The Kerala government has decided to appoint Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) as the consultant of the light metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.  
A letter has been sent to the Central Government seeking in principle approval and partnership of the Centre. The letter also includes the details of the project, an official press release said.
The project cost for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode are Rs 4219 crores and Rs 2509 crores, respectively. Both the projects will be implemented in the Kochi Metro Rail Project model, it said.
The release said the final report of the comprehensive transportation sketch of Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram will be submitted to the Government by National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) set up by the state government within two weeks.
In the studies conducted by NATPAC in connection with the preparation of comprehensive transportation sketch, it has been found that Elevated Mass Rapid Transport System is necessary in the two cities.
On the basis of the detailed study report that has been sanctioned, it is proposed to implement the two projects with Centre- State partnership. 
The release said 20% of the project cost will come from the Centre, 20% from the state and the remaining 60% will be taken as a loan.
For the smooth conduct of the project a special propose vehicle under the name Kerala Rapid Transit Corporation Limited has been formed. 
"Finding necessary land for the project, fund collection, coordination of preliminary works, help for project implementation and taking up the project once it is completed will rest with the corporation," it said.
The Cabinet that met on September 9 had given sanction for the two light metro projects and also gave administrative sanction to implement them, the release added.

Kozhikode airport resumes operations after clash that left CISF man dead

One jawan dies in clash between CISF men, AAI staff at Kozhikode airport
Normal operations resumed at the Kozhikode airport in Kerala this morning after it was closed for several hours last night following the death of a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) head constable in a clash between CISF men and Airports Authority of India (AAI) staff.
Kerala Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told newspersons here that flight operations had resumed at the airport this morning.
The airport had been closed for several hours last night following the incident and flights had been diverted to Kochi airport, he said.
The resumption of operations followed long hours of conciliatory talks held by senior Kerala Police officials with the staff of the CISF and the AAI till early this morning. "The situation is under control," Mr Chennithala said.
According to various sources, the incident occurred around 9.30 pm after a tussle between AAI staff members, who objected to the frequent frisking by the CISF men before they entered the airport.
More men from the two sides joined the argument and, in the scuffle that followed, a CISF jawan, in his early 50s, died after being hit by a bullet fired from the weapon of one of his colleagues.
In the chaos that followed, state police forces had to be deployed to bring the situation under control, sources said.
Mr Chennithala said an inquiry had been ordered into the incident to establish the sequence of events and whether the firing was an accident.
In Delhi, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said the firearm belonging to a CISF man went off, killing the head constable. The official who was holding the firearm sustained burn injuries on the hand and has been hospitalised.
"The scuffle continued for some time and as a precaution five flights were diverted," a statement from the Ministry said.
Senior officers from the Ministry, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), AAI and Security Directorates have been rushed to the site to take full control of the situation, it said, adding that the matter was being looked into.
As many as five flights were diverted to Kochi between 2259 yesterday and 0302 hours today, the statement said.
According to it, normalcy was restored by 2.15 am today and flight operations commenced at 6.20 am.
The first diverted flight landed back at Kozhikode Airport at 0651 hrs. One enroute flight of Air India was also diverted which landed at 0801 hrs.

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Rahul Gandhi says Namo stands for "no action, maximum oratory"

Rahul Gandhi attacks Modi government on its first anniversary
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its first anniversary, saying that Namo, the initials of Mr Modi's name Namo had become an acronym for "no action, maximum oratory".
"The NDA government is celebrating its first birthday party today. On behalf of the Congress, I would like to wish this suit-boot government a happy birthday," he said at a public meeting in Kozhikode, Kerala on the first day of a two-day visit to the state.
Mr Gandhi said that, unfortunately, the celebration was limited to a few close and powerful friends of those in power, while the common man, the poor, the farmers and the labourers, had nothing to cheer about.
He said, during his travels around the country, many people had come to him and told him that the phrase "suit boot ki sarkar" best defined the Modi government.
Mr Gandhi said this was partly due to Mr Modi's fasctination for clothes, which led to many people now referring to him as a "fashion icon".
However, he said many people could not quite appreciate why the Prime Minister needed to change clothes so often or wear a Rs 10 lakh suit as he had done during United States President Barack Obama's visit to India in January this year.
He said that many people genuinely felt angry that at a time when farmers were committing sucide and people were working day and night to eke out a living on NREGA wages, the representative of the country was wearing a Rs 10 lakh suit.
"It shows a certain insensitivity towards the poor people of the country, the weak, who struggle for a living every day," he said.
Mr Gandhi said the Congress was extremely disturbed by the Mr Modi's approach towards the poor. "The Prime Minister does not seem to care for the poor people of the country, he does not believe in the poor people of the country," he said.
He said Mr Modi had travelled all over the world, to different countries, to the United States, Canada, Australia, China, England and Nepal, but had not bothered to visit the home of a poor Indian so far.
Mr Gandhi spoke about the hardships being faced by farmers due to unseasonal rain and hailstorms and said the government had not responded to the crisis as it should have. He also recalled how the Congress-led UPA government had, during its term, helped farmers in crisis by writing off loans worth Rs 70,000 crore and various other measures.
He said the tall promises made by Mr Modi during the election campaign, including remunerative prices to farmers, had been forgotten once he was elected into office.
Mr Gandhi also spoke at length about the Land Acquisition Bill and accused the BJP government of trying to rush through with changes in the 2013 law enacted by the UPA government to benefit rich industrialists.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and former Union Ministers AK Antony and Vayalar Ravi were among those present at the rally.

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Big aircraft operations at Calicut to be suspended; runway to be re-carpeted

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided, in the interest of safety, to suspend operations of bigger aircraft such as B-777, B-747 and A-330-200 at the Calicut airport in Kerala for six months with effect from May 1.
The AAI has already decided to re-carpet and strengthen the runway at the airport for safety reasons in view of its precarious surface condition after the last month. The work will be undertaken after this year's monson season in September, an official press release said.
The situation will be reviewed after assessing the progress of re-carpeting work of the runway, it said.
Out of 162 flights per week (41 domestic + 121 international), 26 flights per week of Saudia Airlines, Emirates and Air India will be affected due to suspension of operations of big aircraft.
However, airlines can operate aircraft such as B-757, B-767, B -737, A-310, A-320 or similar aircraft, the release said.
The AAI has also requested the Government of Kerala to provide 248 acres of land for extension of runway including Runway End Safety Area and Basic Strip of 150 metre on either side of the runway centerline. 

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