Friday, October 31, 2008

Books Galore

The 6th DC Books International Book Fair got underway yesterday at the Chandrashekhar Nair Stadium. DC has over 100 publishers and a whopping one million-plus books on offer. So it is a must-visit for any bibliophile in town!

Today is also the release of the book "Gujarat: Irakalkku Vendiyulla Porattam" by former DGP of Gujarat, Sri. R.B. Sreekumar - the only senior police officer who stood up to Modi & Co and blew the whistle on State-sponsored Genocide during the communal riots there. This book should make interesting reading if one wants to learn the other side of Gujarat.

And today is the Pre-Bid Meeting for the Technocity project, which is expected to be attended by top officials of the qualified developers. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Technocity @ Wikipedia

In case you want some info on the Technocity project, do check out its new page on Wikipedia. Please feel free to expand and improve the article. Guess it is high time that Kerala's biggest IT project ramped up its web presence.

Extensive information. updates and discussions on Technocity can be found on its dedicated page at


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From Trivandrum to the Moon!

Today morning, Chandrayaan I was
launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, marking yet another step, albeit a giant one, for India's space programme which started from Trivandrum decades ago.

The PSLV which launched Chandrayaan I was built at our own Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, as was most of the spacecraft itself including the crucial Moon Impactor Probe.

Hats off to all the scientists and engineers who made this possible and a great day for all of us, a day for us to hold our heads a little higher because we belong to Space City, India!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Technocity RFP issued

KSITIL has announced the Request for Proposal (RfP) for Parcel A of Technocity (60 Acres) and for the whole of Technopark Phase III (40 Acres). The key dates for the bid are:

Issue of RfP - October 16th, 2008

Pre-bid Conference - October 31st, 2008

Last date for Submission of Bids - November 16th , 2008

As you would all recall, the bidders are:

1. Emaar MGF Land Ltd.
2. Forest City - Sun Capital
3. K. Raheja Corporation
4. L&T Urban Infrastructure
5. Maytas Infra
6. Suzlon
7. SREI Group
8. Brigade Group
9. Ramky Group

Stay tuned for more news of Kerala's largest IT project as the bid process progresses to completion in the next month or so!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2010 National Games in Trivandrum

After months of speculation, it is official.....the National Games are coming to Trivandrum!

Indian Olympic Committee formally announced a few days ago that the 35th National Games will be held in Kerala. With Trivandrum being the capital, it will host most if not all the events, as is customary.

With extensive sports facilities already in place, including football and athletic stadiums, Kerala's largest indoor stadium, two olympic size swimming pools and the top tennis club in the state, Trivandrum's a natural choice.

But the Government is planning a
games village which will have sporting facilities such as a brand new main stadium as well as residential and social facilities for the athletes.

Stay tuned for more on this in the days to come!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One for the Paper

Some of you may recall that I had been toying with the idea of contributing some of the ideas that we discuss here in a prominent daily or magazine so to reach a wider audience. There is a bit of good news on that front, thanks to the interest and support shown by the team of The Hindu. My first contribution on Integrated Townships and Technocity has appeared in today's Property Plus supplement.

I hope all of you will go through it when you get time and let me know what you think. Thanks, folks!

Monday, October 06, 2008

How about a few good words....?

The other day, I got yet another of those pesky forward mails, which are the best testament to the fact that there are lots of completely jobless and ,at least, mildly sadistic people in this world. This one expounded why Kerala gets it all wrong, on the alcohol propensity of the populace, the ineptitude of its Government and the supposed lack of education among its State Cabinet. The most appalling bit about this libel was that it was being proliferated by malayalis, as evidenced by the mail trail!

Disgusted as I was at this self-deprecation, I was not amazed because it was not the first time I was witnessing this penchant for shooting ourselves in the foot. In a conversation about hartals and trade unionisation in Kerala, the voice that is usually the loudest in berating the unfriendliness of Kerala to investment is that of a malayali. Or even when he or she secretly yearns for home, many Keralites tend to sing praises of the lands where they are working and usually look down on home-sweet-home for not being "cosmopolitan".

This kind of behaviour is hard to find amongst the citizens of any other State in India, even those less fortunate than ours. Perhaps it is the congenital leanings towards a holier-than-thou attitude that make it easy to blame all the woes of the State on somebody else. When we find others praising their states, many of us are busy painting a poor picture indeed. And if Keralites don't think Kerala is a good place, who will?

Well, some people do. The October 6, 2008 edition of the Outlook magazine carries a ranking of Indian States on various parameters. Kerala ranks numero uno, finishing first not just in the usual strong points of
Education, Healthcare and Womens' Empowerment, but in the economically vital paramter of Basic Infrastructure as well.

Our State ranks high in almost all the parameters, except characteristically in Employment Generation and Poverty reduction and uncharacteristically in Security & Justice. The study also points out that Kerala's drained coffers are inhibiting further growth. The verdict is clear, Kerala is a great place to live and has the potential for growth, but it needs private investment to expand and to maintain its standard of living.

So our State and the systems that we oft berate have given us the best standard of living in India, given us a healthy, well-educated start to life. The kind of start which helps many of us to go elsewhere, look back and criticise. Which is not what a state in urgent need of private investment needs. It needs its diaspora to build a positive image which will attract investment, if not to actually invest themselves.

So next time, you are tempted to talk about "rampant trade unions" in Kerala, do remember that no one has been lynched in any labour protest in Kerala. And when you talk about hartals, that we don't shut shop when a thespian kicks the bucket. A few good words about Kerala will do us no harm, but may do our State a lot of good.

After all, if we don't speak well of Kerala, who else will?