In an innovative promotional scheme to popularise Malayalam, The State Institute of Languages is all set to launch a slew of new technologies, including an English-to-Malayalam translator ‘Paribhashika’.
M R Thampan, director of the institute, said that as part of its efforts to popularise Malayalam the new initiatives would be launched on November 1, the state formation day, by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. “They include a spelling and grammar checking system, new Malayalam fonts and a complete translation system,”
The software ‘Paribhashika’, developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) is a pattern directed, rulebased English-to-Malayalam machine-aided translation (MAT) system. It is heartening to note that this software is the first of its kind for Malayalam where the AnglaBharati MAT engine has been customised for a Dravidian language. The institute is also planning to extend its language software in mobiles as well.
This software can be used for all possible types of translation as it has text and file input facilities apart from post editing options. Typically translation of a chapter from English to Malayalam takes three months by conventional methods whereas Paribhashika can wrap up the work within just a month. This innovative software will encourage the Malayalam writers to translate their works and will help in popularising Malayalam, the official language of Kerala among kids.
It seems that the hotly fought sea -saw game between the pro and the anti liquor campaigners in Kerala is likely to end in a tie. For every step to prevent alcoholism in Kerala, a counter step is being designed to promote drinking! For a cash starved treasury, the revenue of Rs.8841 crores last year from government controlled corporation selling Indian Made Foreign Liquor was something too big.
Now a few enterprising guys have devised a cheeky mobile application named ‘Kuppi’, (which literally means bottle in Malayalam ) that gives you the available liquor brands at BEVCO and its price in a few clicks. The the anti liquour campaigners says that this app violates Act 47 of the Indian Constitution as well as Cable Network (Regulation) Amendment Bill as Act 47, bans the use of intoxicating drinks and drugs for non-medicinal purpose, while the cable network amendment says that mobile being an electronic medium, cannot advertise liquor.
However, the illusive creators of the app who have gone underground following the controversy says that the details on the mobile apps carry only the details that are already available on the BEVCO website and does not promote any specific brand or drinking in general.
Kerala already holds the dubious distinction of being the first State to open an exclusive supermarket for premium brands of liquor so that the rich and the famous can get their favorite brand without having to stand in queue in the roadside outlets. The kick of ‘Kuppi’ is likely to linger on for many days considering the heated debate that it has set off!
Google search results have unveiled an interesting pattern that put South Indians way ahead than the rest of the country when it comes to online searches on healthy food. From garlic to pomegranate and egg whites, the health conscious south Indians do not seem to get enough of their online health updates.
The highest number of searches were recorded from the southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Kerala topped the search results for items such as oats and olive oil and the recent dengue epidemic scare triggered a whopping 250 percent increase in the searches for the popular herbal remedy of the papaya leaves.
Apart from papaya, Pomegranate too topped the search lists of South Indians thanks to its medicinal value and anti-cancerous properties. The highest number of searches for pomegranate came from Tamil Nadu, to be followed by Karnataka.
The netizens of Karnataka searched the most for garlic, green vegetables, oats, sprouts and egg whites. Oats which is thought to be effective in controlling obesity is evolving as a popular breakfast item for South Indians while garlic is favored for its anti viral and anti oxidant properties that can slow down the process of natural aging.
Interestingly , the online community of Kerala was not very keen on other popular health foods such as skimmed milk, turmeric, green vegetables or sprouts unlike the other South Indian states. The highest number of searches for turmeric were from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh while the keyword skimmed milk got the maximum hits from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra. It is heartening to note that the next generation of Kerala is not leaving anything to chance in health matters, which in turn will go a long way in safeguarding the healthcare credentials of Kerala .
Team Karma Kerala took a day off from its busy schedules to celebrate the festival of Onam, the largest of its kind in Kerala with all the traditional flair and grandeur.
The day started off on a busy note as the whole team got themselves divided into groups to get the flowers ready to decorate the elaborate floral carpet. The ladies and gents of Karma Kerala upheld the traditional taste in their attires by dressing themselves up in the traditional Kerala dress.
There were enough time for everyone to tuck in a few banter and photo shooting sessions as the day progressed. A traditional Onam feast was served on plantain leaves before everyone exchanged onam wishes of a prosperous and happy onam that extends to over four days of fun and fiesta for millions of Malayalees all over the world.
Malayalis have endorsed liquor as their best companion in their happy and sad moments and no celebration can be complete without a peg for any native of Kerala. It is paradoxical to note that Kerala, which takes credit for being one of the most literate States in India also tops the list of the highest per capita liquor consumption in the country. The state-owned Kerala State Beverages Corporation Ltd, the sole distributor of IMFL ( Indian Made Foreign Liquor) records an all time high in its sales during Onam, Christmas and New Year.
Bars in Kerala remain open 7 days a week ( except the 1st of every month and a few red letter days like Gandhi Jayanthi) from 9 am to 9 pm. The moment shutters open, the winding queues start taking shape outside liquor stores. Bars fill the Government coffers as it earns millions of rupees as revenue, which will go up many times during festival seasons like Onam and New Year.
Now that Onam is only a few days away, all the State run BEVCO outlets are fully stocked with all the popular brands of drinks to cater to the revelers who wish to have a kick. Last year, the beverages sale set a record of sorts in Kerala as the alcohol sales touched a record as Kerala consumed liquor worth a staggering Rs 143 crore, which does not include the sale of liquor through private bars.
This year too the Bevco is hopeful of keeping up with its double digit annual rise. Apart from the authorised Bevco outlets and bars attached to hotels, gallons of spurious liquor too will flow to Kerala across the borders to quench the undying thirst for liquor of Malayaless. It seems that when it comes to buying their favorite liquor brands, recession and rupee value depreciation never comes to the mind of Malayalees!
Come August, Punnamada lake, the venue of the fabled Nehru Trophy boat race will become a beehive of activities as scores of snake boats, each rowed by over 100 oarsmen in quick unison start their practice sessions. This high profile water sports will not just attract curious tourists, media and famous personalities from around the world but also rowers from distant lands.
This year’s snake boat race, which is something exceptional to Keralawill feature a woman team from UAE. Women rowers of UAE under the captaincy of Julie Amer of Mountain High Group will participate in this year’s Nehru Trophy Boat Race. The team had a good track record to their credit as they had defeated their rivals in 750-metre long race both in 2006 and 2007. It is Julie Amer’s love for Kerala that brings her to Kerala along with her team of committed women rowers every year to contest in Nehru Trophy.
This unique water sports event will be a visual feast when massive snake boats each measuring from 120 feet to 140 feet in length and punted by over 120 highly charged oarsmen hit the swollen lake of Punnamada. This boat race offers an amazing spectacle of rowers rowing in unison well complemented by high pitched songs and resonant drum beats. The final preparations are in full swing as Alappuzha gets ready to host this year’s Nehru trophy boat race on 10th August, which is feted as the most popular of all the boat races in the world!
Has Kerala infact become ‘ God’s own country’ as many North Indian Brahmin priests are shifting their bases to Kerala in search of a lucrative income and a steady job. These priests are in great demand for performing temple rituals in both private and family-run temples all through the state and in return they make a handsome monetary gain. While a qualified priest in North India gets only around Rs 2000 per month, in Kerala they doles up around Rs 8000 – 10000 apart from food allowance, which adds up to Rs 3000 per month.
Though there is a sharp difference between the temple customs and rites in North and South India, the priests manage to juggle these diverse tasks and often the small differences in customs are overlooked deliberately due to the dearth of experienced priests in Kerala to carry out the temple rites. In North India the emphasis is on Shukla Yajurveda and Adharva Veda whereas in Kerala it is based on Yajurveda, Rigveda and Samaveda. Is it that everything is fair in God’s name in His own abode of Kerala? Food for thought indeed
Forget about the painstakingly slow and expensive cancer detection techniques like biopsy and scan. All you need to do is to turn on this smart phone app that can tell you whether you are at risk or not! It could indeed be too good to be true for anyone who might have gone through the cumbersome cancer detection procedures.
Sanjay Sreekumar, aged just 19, from Kochi, Kerala has designed a smart phone App to detect breast cancer. A software student in Australia, he has named it YapApp. The YapApp explains in English the step by step procedure for self-detection of breast cancer. There are two versions of this app for male and females respectively as breast cancer is found in men also.It can be down loaded for free on Android and iPhone devices and will be made available on BlackbBerry phones soon.
If you suspect a growth or patch, all you need to do is to press a panic button, which will show a list of nearby hospitals in your town. In addition, the app will give monthly reminders for self-examination. It is indeed a matter of great pride for every Malayalee that this futuristic App was launched at a prestigious function attended by ambassadors of 14 countries and many other distinguished figures in the Australian Parliament House recently.
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Kochi, the emerging business capital of Kerala is all set to get a stylish, air conditioned outlet for premium brand beverages soon. With the success of its premium outlet in the capital city in Thiruvananthapuram, Bevco is considering the idea of opening more such outlets in various other destinations. Tipplers are offered the ultimate convenience of choosing their favorite brands of IMFL, beer and wine in this stylish supermarket where different brands of beverages will be displayed in racks. The shoppers can stroll around to choose and pick their brands without being preyed upon by curious onlookers at the roadside beverage outlets.
These premium outlets will sell only premium brands of beverages that are priced ₹ 500 and more. However these shops will not be selling any Foreign made foreign liquour (FMFL) like Scotch Whiskey or Cognae for the time being. These high end Bevco outlets will cater to the emerging trend and culture of responsible drinking in the society. It will indeed relieve many a high end tipplers the pain and shame of standing in the queue in road side Bevco outlets to get their favorite brand of booze! The tipplers who are often forced to resort to the costly option of hitting a bar to wind down after a day’s work can sigh a relief at this latest initiative from Bevco. However, will this innovative venture promote drinking or just cater to the niche segment of responsible drinking? Well, we may have to wait for a while to get an answer for this million dollar question that pops up in every malayalee’s mind!