Don't write Congress off, says Antony

Don't write Congress off, says AntonyThiruvananthapuram, March 29 : Defence Minister A. K. Antony Saturday contended that the electoral prospects for the Congress-led UPA have brightened and a third stint in power is a possibility for the combine.

"Please don't write us off.... people's line of thought is there for us and there's every possibility for a third UPA government as the graph of the Congress now has risen.

Indian spice exports increase

Indian spice exports increaseKochi, March 27 : Boosted by the significant export of mint, chilli and seeds, the Indian spice industry has achieved a growth of 41 percent during the period of April-December 2013.

This period witnessed a total export of 571,680 tonnes of spices and spice products valued at Rs. 9,433 crore as against 449,926 tonnes valued at Rs. 6,696 crore ($1,232 million) during April-December 2012.

Why Tharoor not booked over wife's death: Achuthanandan

V-S-AchuthanandanThiruvananthapuram, March 19 : Congress leaders should answer why no complaint has been registered against union minister Shashi Tharoor in connection with his wife Sunanda Pushkar's mysterious death, CPI-M leader V. S. Achutanandan said Wednesday.

"It's time that Defence Minister A. K. Antony and other senior leaders in the Congress break their silence on the mysterious death of Tharoor's wife," Achutanandan said in a written statement issued here.

Kerala branch of women's bank to open on Monday

Bharatiya-Mahila-BankThiruvananthapuram, March 8 : The Bharatiya Mahila Bank's Kerala branch would open here Monday, an official said Saturday.

M. C. Maya, the banks' deputy general manager, said currently there are 12 such branches in the country and this would go up to 25 by the end of this fiscal on March 31. Each state will have branch.

The women's bank is 100 percent owned by the central government with a capital of Rs. 1,000 crore. It has been formed for the economic empowerment of women.

India's spices exports rise by 32 percent

India's spices exports rise by 32 percentKochi, Jan 27 : India's spices exports jumped by 32 percent to $1.39 billion in the April-November period of the current financial year, according to data released by the Spices Board of India.

In terms of US dollar value spices exports rose by 32 percent in the first eight months of the current fiscal while in rupee term the jump was 46 percent. This was due to a sharp depreciation in the value of rupee.

Volume of spices exports rose by 28 percent in April-November period year-on-year.

Kerala Tourism wins UN award

Kerala-Tourism-wins-UN-awardThiruvananthapuram, Jan 23 : Kerala Tourism has been awarded by the United Nations for creating innovative initiatives for sustainable tourism.  This is the first time such an award has been given for a tourism initiative in India.

Kerala Tourism walked away with the top honours at the annual United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism presented Jan 22 in Madrid, Spain's capital, where the UNWTO headquarters is located.

This comes as the biggest international recognition Kerala Tourism has received to date.

Congress's Chennithala to be sworn in as Kerala minister

Ramesh-ChennithalaThiruvananthapuram, Dec 31 : Ramesh Chennithala, president of the Kerala unit of the Congress, will Wednesday be sworn into the cabinet of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, party sources said Tuesday.

The 57-year-old Chennithala, a three-time legislator and a four-time Lok Sabha member, will be administered the oath of office by Governor Nikhil Kumar.

"I abide by the decision of the party high command. It was they who asked me to join the cabinet and I have decided to join," Chennithala told reporters at his home district of Alappuzha Tuesday.

Hilton Worldwide enters Kerala

Hilton-WorldwideThiruvananthapuram, Dec 19 : Hilton Worldwide Thursday announced the opening of its holiday garden inn brand in Kerala's capital city.

"This is the third holiday garden inn brand in the country and with it, this becomes the 12th property of ours. In the coming months we are expanding our portfolio to Bangalore, Agra and Jaipur," said Guy Hutchinson, vice president operations, India, Hilton Worldwide here.

The Rs. 85 crore, 134-room hotel will be located in the heart of the city and owned by the Muthoot Hotels and Infrastructure Ventures Private Limited and is classified in the mid-category business hotel.

Next generation male condoms coming soon

Next-generation-condomsThiruvananthapuram, Dec 12 : Scientists at HLL Life Care here are working on the next generation of male condoms -- a super-thin, ultra-sensitive contraceptive with a thickness of less than 0.04 mm, made by blending latex with graphene.

The new condom has received accolades from far and wide, including from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the company said in a statement Thursday.

"Our scientist Lakshminarayanan Regupathy and his team are already into the task. Our philosophy is to fuse innovation with social commitment," said HLL chairman and managing director M. Ayyappan.

Sreesanth ties knot with Jaipur royal family girl

Sreesanth ties knot with Jaipur royal family girlGuruvayoor (Kerala) Dec 12 : Controversial former India pace bowler S. Sreesanth early Thursday morning tied the knot with his long standing girlfriend Bhuvaneshwari Kumari at the famed Guruvayoor Sree Krishna temple in this Kerala town.

The marriage ceremony lasted for 15 minutes and was attended by close family members of the couple.

After the wedding, the newly-married couple headed to Sreesanth's home in Kochi where the reception will be held in the evening.

Tendulkar is the best I have seen: Jayasurya

Sanath-JayasuryaThiruvananthapuram, Nov 30 : Former Sri Lankan explosive batsman Sanath Jayasurya said Saturday that Sachin Tendulkar is the best player he has seen.

"Everyone knows what Sachin has done for cricket and for India. He is one player who is dedicated, committed and played with passion. I had played along with him for three years in Mumbai Indians and found him to be a very simple man and easy to approach," Jayasurya said.

The former Sri Lanka captain is here as the chief guest of a cricket tournament organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club.

Dhoni inaugurates Tendulkar Pavilion at Kochi stadium

Mahendra-Singh-DhoniKochi, Nov 20 : India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Wednesday inaugurated the Sachin Tendulkar Pavilion at the Jawaharlal Nehru SDtadium here.

This dedication is a joint venture between the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) and the Greater Cochin Development Corporation (GCDC), who own the stadium.

Dhoni inaugurated the pavilion, earlier the VIP box, and went around the 1000 sq. ft. area of space which has numerous pictures of the cricketing legend who retired last week.

L&T wins Kannur airport runway tender

larsen-and-toubroThiruvananthapuram, Nov 5 : Larson and Tubro Mumbai has won the tender for constructing the runway at the proposed Kannur airport, a minister said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters here, state Minister for Excise K. Babu, who also looks into the aviation sector, said the work will start this month itself.

"L&T was selected after their bid was the lowest at Rs. 694 crore among the four companies which came into the last round," Babu said.

The airport is coming up in an area of around 2000 acres of land and is expected to cost Rs. 1700 crore.

Actress Shweta Menon withdraws molestation complaint against Congress MP

Shweta MenonThiruvananthapuram, Nov 4  : Malayalam actress Shweta Menon has withdrawn her molestation complaint against Congress MP Peethambara Kurup.

The actress insists that she was not pressured by anyone to do so.

"There is no pressure whatsoever behind this move. I have taken this decision after consultation with my guruji, my father and my husband. I am withdrawing all legal and other actions against him," Menon said.

Menon had filed a police complaint alleging that Kurup had molested her at the President's Trophy boat race three days ago. (ANI)

National Bank of Abu Dhabi gets Indian IT solution

national-bank-abu-dhabiThiruvananthapuram, Oct 8 : The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), one of the largest banks in United Arab Emirates, has put in place an Indian IT solution that would enable real-time analysis and enrichment of revenue streams, its developer said Tuesday.

The Xelerate suite of products deals with relationship-based pricing and enterprise billing solution.

Re-visit spiritual values for progress: Modi

Narendra-ModiAmritapuri (Kerala), Sep 26 : Modern-day India must delve deep into its vast spiritual and traditional values for development and enlightenment, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday.

Addressing a function here on the occasion of the 60th birthday celebrations of spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi, he said the spiritual strength of the country can be of real use only if its population practises the principles highlighted in the ancient texts and scriptures of India.

'Kerala Tourism to benefit from weak rupee'

'Kerala Tourism to benefit from weak rupee'Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 7 : The tourism department in Kerala is expected to reap benefits on account of the fall in the value of the rupee, State Tourism Minister A. P. Anilkumar told reporters here Saturday.

"In the previous calendar year Kerala tourist arrivals saw a seven percent growth and a record 18 million people visited the state," he said.

"With the weakening of rupee and a fresh tourism season on the anvil, it's quite certain that those in the tourism business here will benefit," Anilkumar said.

A quarter of young men in Kerala capital smoke

smokingThiruvananthapuram, Aug 30 : Nearly a quarter of young rural men in Kerala's Thiruvanathapuram district are prone to the habit of smoking, says a study.

While 21.1 percent of young men (15-24 years) are prone to the smoking habit, 22.2 percent of men between the ages of 55 and 64 gravitated towards smokeless tobacco products, shows the study conducted in rural areas of Thiruvananthapuram district.

Sonia to open Rajiv Gandhi research centre in Kerala

Ramesh-ChennithalaThiruvananthapuram, Aug 27 : Congress president Sonia Gandhi will inaugurate the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies here on Sep 7, state Congress chief Ramesh Chennithala said Tuesday.

"The state of art research centre would be housed in a 40,000 sq ft building which will have a library and a convention centre. We are also seeking the help of the Indian Council for Social Science Research," Chennithala told reporters here.

The institute, located on the city outskirts, has G. Mohan Gopal as its chairman.

Indian Navy gets first indigenous aircraft carrier 'Vikrant'

ins-vikrantKochi, Aug 12 : India Monday launched its first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC) "Vikrant", joining the select group of three other nations having naval platforms of such complexity and size.

The warship was launched by Elizabeth Antony, wife of Defence Minister A. K. Antony, after the chanting of mantras. She broke a coconut before launching it down the slipway and into water.

Speaking on the occasion, the defence minister described the launch of the aircraft carrier as a "momentous day" for the navy and the country.

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