KL This Week: Onam Celebrations Hit by Rains, CPIM Elects new State Secretary
Image: R Prakash.
The much-awaited Onam celebrations have been affected by intense rains in central districts of the state. The southeast monsoon continues to wreak havoc as the IMD has predicted heavy rains till September 7.
The extended metro rail services in Kochi were inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 2. Prior to his visit, he praised the teachings of Adi Shankaracharya, which sparked controversy in the state.
Union home minister Amit Shah is also in the state to chair the 30th southern zonal council meeting of states and Union Territories.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] elected MV Govindan as state secretary of the state unit following the ill-health of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. Speaker MB Rajesh will replace Govindan while he will be replaced with AN Shamseer.
Senior citizens belonging to the Scheduled Tribe community will receive Rs 1,000 as Onam gift, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government has announced.
In another step aimed at improving the quality of higher education in the state, an expert committee has submitted its recommendations to the government on increasing public spending in the sector from 28.6% to 40% by 2036-37.
The state government has fast-tracked the steps against the increasing drug menace with recommendations for preventive detention for illegal activities.
IMD PREDICTS MORE RAIN
After its initial prediction of reduced rain after September 4 across Kerala, the IMD has predicted the possibility of severe rainfall till September 7.
After a gap of two years, the state government and several cultural bodies have planned for extensive Onam celebration on September 8. However, the incessant rains have dampened the spirit of the festival.
Incidents of flash floods and landslides were reported earlier in the week. Five members of a family were swept away in a landslide in Idukki district. Read More
CHANGE OF GUARD IN KERALA CPI(M)
The minister for local self-governance and central committee member of CPI(M) Govindan has been elected as the state secretary after Balakrishnan was shifted to Apollo Hospital, Chennai, for treatment.
Following Govindan’s resignation, Rajesh was inducted into the Cabinet. The CPI(M) state committee has also decided to nominate Shamseer to the post of Speaker.
ONAM GIFT FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
As part of its welfare measures, the LDF government announced an Onam gift of Rs 1,000 for senior citizens of tribal communities. A total of 60,602 members of the vulnerable community will receive the gift.
The LDF government had earlier started distributing Onam kits containing 14 different items for around 87 card holders of the public distribution system on August 23.
Further, the Cabinet also decided to provide benefits to the workers of the Kerala Workers Welfare Board, as per the recommendations of the 11th Pay Commission.
DRASTIC REFORMS RECOMMENDED IN HIGHER EDUCATION
A committee constituted by the state government has recommended drastic changes in the higher education sector. The LDF government had set a target of increasing the gross enrolment rate in higher education (GERHE) from the current 38.8% to 75%. Kerala ranked sixth in GERHE behind Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Puducherry, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in 2020-21.
The seven member panel has recommended several measures on improving institutional autonomy, academic freedom, inclusion, social justice, and accountability apart from increasing the allocation for education. Read more
DRIVE AGAINST DRUGS
The government and Opposition parties have planned an extensive drive against the use of drugs by the youth with the help of the police and the excise department, who have prepared a data bank of regular offenders.
The government has announced a social campaign with the Opposition pledging total support. The campaign will be inaugurated on October 2 with meetings of Parent Teacher Associations at all schools.
FORMER SC JUDGE ON ‘TEMPLE TAKEOVER’ BY COMMUNISTS
Retired Supreme Court Judge Indu Malhotra triggered a controversy over her comments on Communist governments “taking over temples for revenue”.
Minister for Devaswom K Radhakrishnan countered her by putting up facts on the role of Communist movements and the LDF government in protecting the rights of oppressed Hindus.
The minister also detailed the state government’s intervention in saving temple properties from private individuals while detailing the allocation of funds for administration of temples. Read more
SILVERLINE AND VIZHINJAM IN NEWS
The state government is fully committed to semi-high-speed rail service Silverline project, which will connect Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod. Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, during the 30th southern zonal meeting, raised the demand to include Mysuru in the project.
Vijayan’s Tamil Nadu counterpart MK Stalin, meanwhile, raised the demand for a high-speed rail track in his state.
The LDF government has also announced that there is no possibility of halting the container port project of Vizhinjam Seaport International Limited despite the protest of fishermen in the coastal villages who have cited environmental and livelihood issues. The Kerala High Court has ordered police protection for construction site. Read more
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