SUPPORT (183 Members) . GROW (7 Association). PROMOTE (Visitors from 14 Countries). (Check The Site's Statistics)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

TSKK Scholarships to Konkani students

The annual scholarship function of Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr (TSKK) was held at TSKK premises on 24 February 2005. Fr. Lederle Memorial Scholarships of Rs. 5,000/- each were granted to Ms Sonali Phadte, Ms. Petcy Pereira, Ms Edna Vaz and Mr. Premanand Satarkar of M.A. Konkani students of Goa University. Ms Shobha Naik and Ms Neelima Govekar B.Ed. students who have taken Konknni as a teaching subject were given Carvalho Family scholarships of Rs. 5,000/- each. Mr. Ullhas Buyanv was the chief guest for the function and presented the scholarships. Mr. Buyanv shared his experiences of opinion poll and other life incidents with the students and encouraged the students never to get discouraged in life. Ms Deepali Sankolkar compered the function. Students who received TSKK scholarships shared their experiences.

Monday, February 27, 2006

P-r-a-c-t-i-c-e pays off

Keertan Kini took a deep breath, walked up to the podium and spoke confidently into the microphone.

With each word that he spelled correctly, he knew he would be one step closer to his goal of competing at the national level.

By the end of the round, Keertan was one of three sixth-graders left standing, relieved to know that practicing spelling words like "babushka," "follicle" and "impeccable" had paid off.

"I've been studying for this for two to three weeks," said Keertan, a student at Kahler Middle School in Dyer, after showing his mother the trophy he was awarded. "This is my first spelling bee, so I'm very happy."

Kini was one of 26 students Saturday who gathered at Taft Middle School in Crown Point to compete for the chance to go to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

They were among more than 100 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at five locations in the region who spelled away their Saturday morning.

In addition to Taft, bees were at Washington Elementary School, East Chicago; Thornton Fractional North High School, Calumet City; Maywood Elementary School, Hammond; and Wheeler High School, Valparaiso.

After the last word was spelled incorrectly, 46 contestants progressed to the regional competition, which will be Saturday at Munster High School. Only one of them will represent the Calumet Region at the National Spelling Bee.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Kerala men in final

KOTTAYAM: Lifting their game to match the occasion, Kerala men defeated Andhra Pradesh 91-75 and marched into the final of the 46th South Zone senior basketball championship at the Nehru Stadium here on Saturday night.

With captain and centre, international Subash Shenoy finding his touch and new star R. Manoj maintaining his form, Kerala enjoyed a 10-point advantage almost throughout the match.

The game was fast and lively. The home team, which appeared a bit disjointed last evening, combined well, especially in the first half.

The passes were fast and fluent.

Bobit Mathew, T.S. Abhilash and R. Manoj made countless attempts at the basket but the last two were the most successful, with Manoj once again turning out to be the hero of the day.

Good defence

Kerala also defended strongly in the first half, crowding the lane, forcing the Andhra Pradesh boys to shoot from outside. But with J. Pankaj and Kumar Varma coming good with long-rangers, Kerala could never breathe easy.

Early in the last quarter, Andhra Pradesh cut the host's lead to just three points (67-64). The home side quickly woke up, pinned its rival at that score for a few minutes and raced to a 77-64 lead. The rest was easy.

The results:

Men's semifinals: Kerala 91 (R. Manoj 27, Subash Shenoy 12, T.S. Abhilash 18) bt Andhra Pradesh 75 (J. Pankaj 17, Kumar Varma 18).

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Added a new section!!


I have added a new section for Konkani Authors. Check it out!!


Konkani World

Health Center clinic studies, treats fatigue caused by cancer therapy - U.S.A

Dr. Jayesh Kamath established the the Health Center’s clinic for cancer fatigue.

A new clinic at the Health Center’s Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center offers treatment and support for the debilitating fatigue that affects many patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

“Many patients receiving treatment for cancer are seriously affected by fatigue,” says Dr. Jayesh Kamath, an assistant professor of psychiatry, who established the clinic for cancer fatigue and is conducting research into its possible causes and treatments.

“It can cause patients to quit their jobs or retreat from social activities and seriously disrupt their lives,” Kamath says. “And there is a correlation between persistent fatigue and poor prognosis.”

Unfortunately, he adds, many patients believe there is little that can be done about the condition.

Serious fatigue in cancer patients is sometimes related to anemia, thyroid problems, or electrolyte disturbances, all of which can be treated medically with generally good results, he says.

“Fatigue in some cases can also be related to depression and anxiety. Treating the symptoms with medications and with individual or group therapy can benefit the patients.”

One patient in the clinic had been so troubled by fatigue that she was unable to return to work full time for more than a year after successful treatment for breast cancer.

“She was a college professor and could return to work only part time,” says Kamath. After treatment at the clinic, she has returned to work full time and says she wishes she had known about the clinic a year ago.

“We weren’t here a year ago, but it is very gratifying to see her get her life back,” says Kamath.

For those patients for whom there is no identifiable, reversible cause of the fatigue, Kamath and his colleagues in the psychiatry department are studying new treatments, such as a hormone produced by the body that is believed to increase energy levels.

The researchers are starting a small clinical trial to examine its effect on fatigue in breast cancer patients.

They also plan to study a small group of breast cancer patients to see if their fatigue is related to immune system dysfunction.

The fatigue clinic is supported by a gift from the Charlotte Johnson Hollfelder Foundation, which was established by Fred Hollfelder in honor of his wife, who survived breast cancer and died of an unrelated illness.

“Support for the fatigue clinic is a way to honor my wife’s memory,” says Hollfelder.

“She suffered from fatigue during her cancer treatment and I felt helpless. She would be delighted to know I was trying to do something for others.”

Patients interested in the cancer fatigue clinic can get more information by calling the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at 860-679-2100.

For information about participating in clinical trials, call 877-252-2225.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Konkani institute urged to bring out Konkani lexicon

MANGALORE: “Konkani institute of St Aloysius College must bring out a lexicon for Konkani language,” Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy president Eric Ozario said on Wednesday. Inaugurating the silver jubilee celebrations of the institute at the college auditorium, Ozario said work on preparing a Konkani lexicon had been initiated 20 years ago, but the work was stopped for many reasons.

However, Konkani Institute must take up this work with earnestness and only a premier institute of Konkani language like Konkani Institute could bring out an elaborate lexicon, he added.

Ozario also emphasised on the need for extensive researches in Konkani language and documentation of various elements related to Konkani language. “Education is another area of concern where a pro-active leadership should be taken by the institute,” he said.

Konkani activist and writer Dr Edward Nazareth delivering the Bennett Pinto memorial lecture said diversity saved culture and health of a society. “A society which does not have diversity is not secure,” Nazareth said.

He emphasised that if Konkani had to survive the Konkani speaking people should develop a positive stand over their mother tongue. If attempts were not made to save Konkani in households and religious centres, it might lose its existence.

He also suggested that functions and religious celebrations like ‘catechism’ be held in Konkani.

Presiding over the silver jubilee celebrations, St Aloysius College Institutions rector Fr Francis Serrao said language and culture were “not like use and throw items”.

After using the language it should be conserved with respect. During the function three Konkani books, ‘Zalli Vaat’, (biography of late Fr Valerian D’Souza), ‘Kamalahem Ghar Bharlolo Ajo’ (by Jo Sa Alvares) and ‘Voviyo anim Vers’ (by Prof Alban Castelino) were released.

‘Parjal’, a memorial issue on the 10th anniversary of Konkani Sangh of the College, was also released.

Former directors of Konkani Institution Fr Herbert Noronha, Prof Alban Castelino, Prof John D’Silva, Fr Prashanth Madtha, Fr Stany D’Souza and present director Fr Eugine Lobo were felicitated.

St Aloysius College principal Fr Eugine Lobo welcomed the gathering and presented the report.

Lecturer Stella D’costa introduced late Bennet Pinto and the works of Prof John Shera. Dr Norbert Lobo compered the programme.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sahitya Akademi awards conferred on 24 artistes

NEW DELHI: Twenty-four writers in as many Indian languages were honoured with the Sahitya Akademi awards for 2005 at the Kamani Auditorium here on Tuesday. The awardees included only two women writers.

Addressing the gathering as the chief guest, Rajya Sabha member and noted scholar, Karan Singh, said that though the value system was being eroded the country was forging ahead as a nation.

President of the Sahitya Akademi, Gopi Chand Narang, called upon the writers to bring the disturbed social, political and religious values back on track. He warned that there was a threat to cultural ethosin the current milieu of politicisation and mindless consumerism.

While the youngest writer to receive the award for his work in Santhali language was 42-year-old Jadumani Besra, the oldest recipient was 76-year-old Nepalese writer Krishna Singh Moktan.

G. Thilakavati and Abburi Chaya Devi were the only women to get the award for their works in Tamil and Telugu respectively. Vice-president of the Akademi, Sunil Bandopadhyaya, expressed concern over the dwindling number of women writers in the past few years.

Marathi writer Arun Kolatkar was given the award posthumously. Other recipients included Manohar Shyam Joshi for Hindi, Jabir Hussain (Urdu), Suresh Dalal (Gujarati), Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi (Assamese), Raghvendra Patil (Kannada), Chetan Swami (Rajasthan), Dholan Rahi (Sindhi), G.V. Kakkanandan (Malayalam), N. Shivdas (Konkani), Gurbachan Singh Bhullar (Punjabi), Krishna Sharma (Dogri), Vivekananda Thakur (Maithili), Ramchandra Behera (Oriya), M. Nabakishore Singh (Manipuri) and Hamidi Kashmir for Kashmiri.

Good start for Kerala, thrashes Pondicherry

KOTTAYAM : For a tournament with gates, it may not be the start that would pull in the crowds. But formalities have to be gone through and Kerala men thrashed Pondicherry 100-62 in the 46th South Zone senior basketball championship opener at the Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.

The match was a quiet affair. Kerala, taller, stronger and with many big names like Subash Shenoy, Monish Wilson, Bobit Mathew and Vineeth Ravi in its ranks, soon raced to a big lead.

The match was so lopsided that an organising official rushed to the Kerala bench in the first quarter and spoke about the effect a tight contest would have on the gates.

A minute later, as the Pondicherry boys moved forward, the Kerala coach P.J. Sebastian, a young and sporting fellow, told his boys to slow down. "Let them shoot," he shouted from the bench.

Soon, the host lowered its guard. And without much of a defence to trouble it, Pondicherry boys started scoring, though Kerala's lead was too big to catch up.

Kerala led 38-20 after the first quarter and for the rest of the match, the host played with its second string.

K.M. Mathew, chief editor of Malayala Manorama, inaugurated the five-day tournament.

The scores: Men: Group B: Kerala 100 (R. Manoj 22, Vineeth Ravi 11, Subash Shenoy 11) bt Pondicherry 62 (R.Praveen 14, S. Kumaran 12).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Academy invites entries

The Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy has invited entries for Konkani Academy Book Award and Konkani Academy Honourary Award for 2005.

According to a press release, those who have contributed for the the development of Konkani language, literature, drama, music are eligible for Konkani Academy Honourary Award.

Kannada-Konkani, translation works, collection of Konkani poems are eligible for the Konkani Book award. Four copies of the published works should sent to Karnataka Konkani Sahithya Academy, MCC Building, Lalbagh, Mangalore-3 before March 5. For details contact: 2453167.

Celebration of the mother tongue in Lok Sabha

It was a day when they could speak their mother tongue in full flow.

It was the International Mother Language Day and the linguistic celebration took place in the Lok Sabha.

The hour saw interventions in as many as 15 languages, including Bhojpuri and Brij Bhasha, which are not included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

In the case of three listed languages __ Gujarati, Malayalam and Telugu, the absence of translators posed difficulties. So, the members who spoke in these languages had to don the mantle of translators too.

The hour-long impromptu "celebration" gave fresh impetus to the long-standing demands, such as inclusion of Bhojpuri and Brij Bhasha in the Eighth Schedule and declaration of Telugu and Kannada as classical languages; a status that Tamil already enjoys.

That the decision to observe International Mother Language Day was taken at the 11th hour was evident from the fact that it found no mention in the revised list of business for the day.

Also, barring those who attended the customary meeting at the Speaker's chamber ahead of the proceedings, most members were in the dark. Most faces wore a look of surprise when Speaker Somnath Chatterjee broke into Bengali.

Introducing the subject, Mr. Chatterjee said February 21 was observed as International Mother Language Day globally, commemorating those who had sacrificed their lives on this day in Dhaka in 1952, asserting their right to speak Bangla.

Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee, Basudeb Acharia (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) joined the Speaker in saluting the martyrs. All three spoke in Bengali and Mr. Dasgupta said this was the first time he had spoken in his mother tongue in the House.

In fact, the suggestion to observe the day came from Mr. Acharia and Mr. Dasgupta during the leaders' meeting on Tuesday.

Warming up to the idea, the Speaker sought the permission of party leaders to initiate the proceedings himself, by making a short statement.

Thereafter, there was a clamour among the members to express themselves in their mother tongue.

The country's linguistic diversity was in full flow in Bhojpuri, Urdu, Tamil, Oriya, Kannada, Punjabi, Manipuri, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Telugu, Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani, Rajasthani and Brij Bhasha.

There was no stopping the members. Even after doing away with the lunch break, the Speaker had to cut short the discussion, forcing the tail-enders to associate with the celebration without expressing themselves in their mother tongue.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

ONGC signs agreement with Kamat Hotels

The Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) along with its subsidiary MRPL has entered into an arrangement with Kamat Hotels (India) Ltd to provide food courts at their petrol pumps.

The agreement was signed between ONGC Chairman and Managing Director and MRPL Chairman Subir Raha and Kamat Hotels Chairman and Managing Director Vithal V Kamat, an ONGC release said here today.

Kamat owns and operates the famous Orchid - an Ecotel Hotel, Kamfotel and Kamat chain of restaurants spread across various parts of the country. It carries a legacy of 60 years of Hospitality and is known for providing best food at value for money prices.

ONGC and MRPL petrol pumps would offer a bouquet of services and customer conveniences to the different segments of travellers.

"A highway traveller can look forward to a neat and clean resting place, hygienic public utilities, safe parking, food courts to suit the palate, communication facilities, ATMs and select items of daily chores. A city traveller can experience a quick fill, fast food counter and site-specific need based travel related facilities," the release said.

The tri-partite agreement with Kamat will provide a novel experience of hospitality to retail fuel services.

"ONGC's retail outlets under the OVaL brand and MRPL outlets under HiQ brand will be company owned and managed to instill the confidence for quality of product and value for money. The brands seek to provide a hassle free service to the customers and a unique experience through their products and services," the release added.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Kingfisher Airlines confirm order for 15 aircraft from ATR

Kingfisher Airlines today confirmed to a firm order, the 15 options for the ATR 72-500, it had placed for in November 2005. It also placed additional 20 options for the new planes today.
Kingfisher had in November 2005 placed an order for 20 new ATR 72-500 besides placing an option for the 15 additional aircraft.
The value of the contract is around 270 million dollars and the aircraft are scheduled for delivery from 2007 onwards.
Dr. Vijay Mallaya, Chairman and Managing Director, Kingfisher Airlines, who signed the agreement with officials from Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) at the French Embassy in presence of visiting French President Jacques Chirac, said that the deal would give a boost to air travel in the country.
The ATR 72- 500s will be used as feeder aircraft on smaller domestic routes to link Kingfisher Airlines four hubs- New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, he said.
Our experience of opening up new routes with Airbus aircraft gives us the confidence that there is a huge latent potential to connect even smaller Indian cities where a lot of wealth resides. These smaller cities also do not suffer from the infrastructural constraints at Metro airports. We see an attractive opportunity to also provide feeder services for our Airbus network, he said.
In these days of high fuel prices, the ATR 72-500 is ideal for us to exploit these opportunities in the most economical manner, he added
The aircraft would be fitted with the Elegance cabin and the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools, besides in flight entertainment.
The ATR 72-500 is the latest development of the ATR-72 and shares the same power plant, six bladed propellers, interior design and soundproofing techniques of the ATR 42-500. With a standard capacity of 68 seats, the ATR 72-500 has the lowest seat mile cost and is regarded as a benchmark for the regional market.

Kingfisher Airlines confirm order for 15 aircraft from ATR

Kingfisher Airlines today confirmed to a firm order, the 15 options for the ATR 72-500, it had placed for in November 2005. It also placed additional 20 options for the new planes today.
Kingfisher had in November 2005 placed an order for 20 new ATR 72-500 besides placing an option for the 15 additional aircraft.
The value of the contract is around 270 million dollars and the aircraft are scheduled for delivery from 2007 onwards.
Dr. Vijay Mallaya, Chairman and Managing Director, Kingfisher Airlines, who signed the agreement with officials from Avions de Transport Regional (ATR) at the French Embassy in presence of visiting French President Jacques Chirac, said that the deal would give a boost to air travel in the country.
The ATR 72- 500s will be used as feeder aircraft on smaller domestic routes to link Kingfisher Airlines four hubs- New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore, he said.
Our experience of opening up new routes with Airbus aircraft gives us the confidence that there is a huge latent potential to connect even smaller Indian cities where a lot of wealth resides. These smaller cities also do not suffer from the infrastructural constraints at Metro airports. We see an attractive opportunity to also provide feeder services for our Airbus network, he said.
In these days of high fuel prices, the ATR 72-500 is ideal for us to exploit these opportunities in the most economical manner, he added
The aircraft would be fitted with the Elegance cabin and the newest technological innovations in the field of communications and navigation aid tools, besides in flight entertainment.
The ATR 72-500 is the latest development of the ATR-72 and shares the same power plant, six bladed propellers, interior design and soundproofing techniques of the ATR 42-500. With a standard capacity of 68 seats, the ATR 72-500 has the lowest seat mile cost and is regarded as a benchmark for the regional market.

'Facing Problems? Knock at My Door’ Invites MLA Yogish Bhat

A step towards ensuring a corruption-free government and in order to address the public grievances, Mangalore MLA N Yogish Bhat has asked people to submit their grievances to the government through him.
In a press release issued, the MLA has stated that the BJP-JDS coalition in the state should be utilized towards ensuring social harmony and development.
Campaign against corruption, being one of the prime motives of the government needs people’s support for which grievances related to any government department must be addressed to his office. While dealing with complaints related to corruption, anonymity will be maintained, he assured. Bhat also requested the public to provide suggestions with regard to maintaining social harmony and development.
Grievances and suggestions may be sent to through post or in person at the following address:

N Yogish Bhat
Mangalore MLA
‘Sri Kamakshi’
House No 4.3 - 406/17
Behind SDM College
II cross,
Mangalore 575 003

Canara HS Tops, Little Rock Second in Quiz-wiz 06

N Chetan Bhat and Sushant Kini, students of Canara High School (Main), Dongerkery emerged winners in the Quiz-wiz 06, a district-level inter-school quiz competition held at TV Raman Pai Convention Centre on Saturday, February 19.
Mariyl Likhta and Padmaraj of Little Rock Indian School, Brahmavar bagged the second place, while Suraj Satya and Varun Ashok of Sharada Vidyalaya secured third prize.
Siddharth B Pai and Amith Bhat of St Aloysius High School, K Vasanth Kini and Maheshwar Sharma of Canara High School (Main), and Rakshith R B and Krishna Prasad of Canara High School, Urwa bagged next prizes.
The competition was jointly organised by Sevanjali Charitable Trust and Canara High School Quiz Club and was conducted by Mahesh Nayak.
Canara High School (Main) head S Umesh Nayak, Mangalore block education officer Walter D'Mello, Canara PU College manager U Ganesh Rao, Nitte Education Trust manager Captain Ganesh Karnic and Canara High School manager U S Mohandas Nayak were also presents on the occasion.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

IT users should follow safety measures

Keshav Samant, Head of Financial Technologies, today cautioned the Indian investors and IT users to follow safety measures to ensure protection of their trading information on internet and network.
Speaking at a seminar on 'Secure IT Environment for Foolproof Securities Trading', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, Mr Samant said technology is just a tool of the security system and not the whole system in itself. Security of the trading system depends on its implementation by the top management.
The Indian IT Act and Cyber Law should be implemented in its proper perspective, he said and added that risk factor should be covered with insurance blanket.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr G M Shenoy, Sr Vice-President of NSE.IT ltd, said Indian investors using software should need to develop a IT security culture as is being done in developed countries to protect their interest and invasion of their privacy.
Mr Shenoy said, three aspects -- Technology, Best Practices and Security Culture-- will ensure safety of investors on online trading.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Konknni and its scams - Pratap Naik, S.J.

For the last two years Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr (TSKK) has exposed a series of myths, scams, manipulations and blatant propaganda of Devanagari script proponents.

In the year 2004, TSKK with its hard data informed the public that Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi on 26 February 1975 gave recognition to Konknni language and not to any particular script. It was the Advisory Board of Konknni of Sahitya Akademi which was dominated by Devanagari proponents recommended to Sahitya Akademi on 21 November 1981 that Devanagari should be the script of Konknni.

In 2004, TSKK brought to the notice of the public that when on 20 August 1992 Konknni was introduced in the eighth schedule of Indian Constitution, there was no reference to the script of Konknni.

On 15 April 2005 TSKK exposed various myths created and perpetuated by the Devanagari proponents. The main myth was Devanagari script is the natural script of Konknni. TSKK shattered this myth with the counter argument that nobody has invented any script for Konknni. The existing scripts including Devanagari were borrowed scripts for Konknni. The second myth was that Konknni had a lot of literature prior to 1510 which was destroyed by the Portuguese. TSKK gave counter examples to prove that till 1510 Konknni was the spoken language in Goa. Prior to 1510 in Goa those who knew to read, used Marathi and Sanskrit texts and definitely not Konknni. Hence what was destroyed by the Portuguese was Marathi and Sanskrit literature and not Konknni.

When the Language Bill was passed, the Devanagari proponents manipulated and succeeded in introducing the phrase Konknni means Konknni in Devanagari script.

Recently TSKK proved that All India Konknni Parishad is a non registered Society and receives Govt. funds to organize Konknni conferences.

The latest scam involves a few known Konknni writers in Devanagari script. Sahitya Akademi has announced that 2005 award for Konknni will be given to Mr. N. Shivdas for his book Bhagarsall. Shivdas is a member of the Advisory Board of Konknni in Sahitya Akademi. The award winning book has been published by Asmitai Pratishthan, Margao. Mr. Uday Bhembre and Dr. Harishchandra Nagvenkar are the office bearers of Asmitai Pratishthan. Both of them together with Mr. Pundalik Naik were members of the jury panel and recommended the book for the prestigious award. Publishers of the book have taken upon themselves the role of jury and to recommend their own publication! Therefore, TSKK has demanded from the Sahitya Akademi to cancel the award announced in favour of N. Shivdas. TSKK also demanded from Sahitya Akademi to withhold further awards to Konknni till thorough investigation of the matter has been undertaken.

These and many other scams which are increasing day by day have destroyed Konknni and the unity of Konknni speakers. The good of Konknni is forgotten and eyes are set on grants, awards and places of honour. To save Konknni and Goa, people of integrity should raise their voice to defend the true interests of Konknni.

Besant Institute of PG Studies Organizes ‘Edify – 2006’

A two-day management fest for undergraduate students of colleges affiliated to Mangalore university ‘Edify – 2006’, was organized by the MSNM Besant Institute of PG Studies, on Thursday February 16, here. Nearly 13 colleges are participating in various competitions.

Inaugurating the programme, B Dayananda, superintendent of police, stressed the need of inculcating the right value system in students, so that they are well-equipped to face the challenges of the globalised world.

Kudpi Jagadish Shenoy, president, Women’s National Education Society (WNES), presided over the event.

Akila, convener of Edify, rendered a brief report on the programme. M P Hrishikesh, director, MSNM, welcomed the gathering.

Infosys Initiates Advanced Paediatric Care Centre at Wenlock Hospital

On Friday February 17, the foundation stone for the ‘Infosys advanced paediatric care building’ was laid by Sudha Murthy, chairperson, Infosys Foundation, at the Government Wenlock Hospital here.

Addressing presspersons Sudha Murthy said that the building will be constructed at a cost of Rs 4 crore. It will consist of 3 floors covering an area of approximately 40,000 sq ft. The care centre will comprise an operation theatre, an ICU, surgery rooms, x-ray, ultrasound, general and isolation wards, doctors’ rooms, seminar hall, consultation, rehabilitation and recovery rooms, dormitory, waiting rooms, reception, lobby and also store rooms.

She hoped that the centre would make available the facilities to aid the suffering children in the district and neighbouring districts.

Dr Shantharam Baliga, pediatrician, said that the centre will serve to the needs of the families below poverty line. Though the paediatric advanced centre is highly expensive, the facilities will be offered free of cost to the poor, he added.

Blasius M D’souza, MLC and H V Parshwanath, deputy commissioner, were present during the foundation laying ceremony.

The construction of the centre is said to be completed within fourteen months.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Konkani Identity Of A True Goan?- Article

Goa seems to get caught up in one controversy after the other that keeps raging, we have had the VCD on freedom struggle, Konkani V/s Marathi language issue, the opinion poll, Mopa Airport and now the battle between Konkani v/s Konkani is over its script.
Prima facie the confusion created over the script seems to be a ploy by politicians to strike the sensitive nerve by whipping up passions and arousing sentiments for vote bank politics well before the ensuing assembly elections. The controversy is also due to vested interest promoters of the konkani language who are making every attempt to exert pressure on Government to secure large funds for financing their own konkani Academies, Mandals, Kendra’s, Parishads and which is why the issue has suddenly erupted and is taking an ugly turn.
No doubt Konkani (with devnagiri script) has been included in the eight schedule of our constitution having an official language status that has enabled us maintain our identity, but the moot question is whether it would be worthwhile for one official language to have two different scripts incorporated at this stage through an amendment in the Goa, Daman and Diu official language act, 1987 and whether it will need the approval of the Central Government / Parliament and would it not expose our own divisive misdeeds is a matter that needs introspection and contemplation.
The saying goes that one has to strike when the iron is hot, why were the Roman script protagonist sleeping over the issue and why was no action was taken to correct the anomaly since last nineteen years?
Konkani in the Devnagiri script was accepted as the official state language of Goa since 1987 on the assumption that the learner already has knowledge of that script which is common to Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, and Sanskrit, besides the Government of India (Department Of Hindi) had brought out a book and cassette for the purpose of learning Konkani through Hindi and vice-versa. Our school and college students are taught Konkani through the Devnagiri and have by now become familiar and acquainted with this commonly accepted script, therefore making a loud noise now for equal status will only aggravate the situation and cause further confusion without serving any purpose.
We are all aware that the Roman script is very popular and widely used among the catholic community in their correspondence and has the backing of the church as religious services are conducted in Konkani using this script and it is rather surprising that our powerful catholic politicians and ministers have failed to address this burning issue for equal recognition on the floor of the legislative assembly all these past years and such a situation would never have arisen.
Although it is our right to protect our mother -tongue being sons of the soil, we have to do away with negative thinking and crab mentality and learn to settle our petty squabbles and iron out the creases amicably for the common good of Goa. Can we as a society that is moving forward, afford to remain mired in prejudices of the language of the people?
A language and its script cannot be forced on the people and it should be left open for the Goan to choose the script he prefers and any interference or involvement with the language controversy by government, political parties, individual politicians and other interested parties may turn the tables and have a reverse effect, which may not be able to correct itself.
The Government must refrain for taking sides and should distance itself completely from the language issue, there should be a total stop to funding and financing any organization or group that thrives under the garb of promoting the language its art and culture which should be left entirely to the lovers of the language devoid of political and government interference.
Today the scene is all together different. We are still struggling for a good quality of education, freedom from corruption and other related freedoms that are being denied and it is imperative for government to stress on how to prepare the Goan to take up new challenges on strength of self rather then the strength of language.
We have a cosmopolitan populace in Goa who speak different languages. The outside influx is growing and controlling Goa and we goans are heavily dependent on them. Be it the fishermen at the Betim jetty, the barber, podeiro (baker/bread man), carpenters, masons, labourers, waiters and motorcycle pilots, are also outsiders doing roaring business. The outsiders have become sarpanchas and municipal counselors and very soon may even contest the assembly elections and become ministers, most white collared jobs in the private sector are filled with these hardworking outsiders who have built fortunes, married our pretty goan girls and made Goa their homes.
Our NRI’s have become rich and famous, these Goans are educated to the hilt and are proud to communicate in konkani to preserve the Goan identity. Goa has a rich cultural heritage, ethos, tradition and most of all the Goan spirit of unity in diversity, the inseparable bond of harmony that exists between Hindus and Catholics for hundreds of years, the unconditional love a goan has for his fellow Goan. Why are we then looking for a diversion through the language issue to destroy the peace of Goa?
There is no reason why the Goan should fight with his own fellow Goan. Let us concentrate and capitalize on the positive side of peaceful co-existence that will strengthen the future of our children and our people instead wasting our productive time, energy and money creating divisions in the name of konkani. It is high time that we bury the language issue once and for all and divert our energy towards preserving our sweet and versatile Konkani.

CBA 2006-INDIA: Commonwealth Needs More Publicity

Members countries of the Commonwealth have been urged to increase awareness and the profile of the Commonwealth.

The statement was made by the Chairman of the Prasar Bharati, M V Kamath at the opening of the 26th Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA) in the Indian capital of New Delhi.

“I have realised that the Commonwealth arouses very little interest in among anyone I know,” Mr Kamath said. “That raises a very important question, 60 years Britain was anxious that India should remain in the Commonwealth. India gave an assurance that it would to the great relief of the British Government.”

“Presently the situation has changed. Membership to the Commonwealth has become more of a formality, something which is taken for granted,” he said.

Mr Kamath said that in this era of globalisation this was very sad and laid the challenge to the members of the CBA to increase the profile of the Commonwealth.

“Can we do something to inspire interest in this great international body, unique in its own way and cuts across continents, religions and cultures?”

“Does the Commonwealth have a role to play? I think it does. May I suggest something to you all? I think we need to popularise the Commonwealth. It can be done with the active corporation of our member countries,” the Chairman of the Prasar Bharati said.

“It can be done by devoting one hour each day for one week for each Commonwealth country on our Public Broadcast Channels.”

“In 52-weeks we can introduce 52-countries to our national viewer-ship, because a country is just not a name. It is people. We must introduce the people in all their glory to the member nations of the Commonwealth,” Mr Kamath said

Mangalore's Muralidhar Kamath Steals the Show at AIKP Programme

Mangalore’s own gift to the field of music, a musical sensation, Gurpur Muralidhar Kamath, will add another feather to his already feathered cap in the form of a devotional cassette and a Konkani cassette.

Murlidhar, who has the credit of composing music for over 55 cassettes, feels that his new cassette would be entirely devoted to his `kuldevata’ Sri Mahalasa Narayani at Mardol, Goa.

Strongly backed by his better half, Vidya, Muralidhar has a rich musical tradition of 14 years under his belt. And his "Ragdwani’’ orchestra has 3,000 shows to its credit and Murlidhar goes on adding to it.

The recently concluded All India Konkani Parishad’s convention saw a foot-thumping and mind blowing performance by this Mangalore’s gift to the musical world.

"I have performed all over – Mumbai, Kolkata, Belgaum, Chennai and other parts of the country,’’ states Muralidhar.

If people know Muralidhar, they know about his unique musical album "Baila Kudla’’ - Kudla is the name of Mangalore in Tulu language - which is released through two different cassettes in which songs of 13 different languages are sung by this versatile composer.

Besides this, Muralidhar has given music to vernacular serials and is a known face in Karnataka’s Mangalore city and around.

Famous yet down-to-earth, Murlidhar, smiles when asked about his vigour to be on stage for hours together and yet perform with full enthusiasm."Music is my strength,’’ he says.

Speaking on Konkani music he says,"Konkani songs get good response. We have to prove the entity and power of Konkani music.’’

He is of the opinion that traditional music should be mixed with modern tunes and their fusion makes melodious music.

"We have strength but we should know to work on it,’’ says Murlidhar.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ministry of Tourism ropes in Ninad Kamat

Ninad Kamat of 'Zeher', 'Parineeta' and 'Dus' fame has been roped in by Ministry of Tourism. And isn't he grinning from ear to ear?

Well, don't get any ideas as he hasn't joined the Ministry as a politician or a bureaucrat. Instead he is a part of the tourism promotion campaign where he features in the 'Athithi Devoh Bhavo' segment. The government sponsored advertisements are already on air where he is shown to be preventing hassled foreign tourists from small time touts and guides and instilling the belief of 'respecting the guests'.

A smart campaign indeed, its quite catchy, meaningful and carries good impact.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

GU has 20 Konkani post-graduates annually

Around 20 students obtain post-graduation degrees in Konkani every year from the Goa University while another 100 graduate in Konkani and thousands more study the language at school level.
This was disclosed by Prof Madhavi Sardesai, lecturer at the Goa University at a discussion on “Konkani Education And Its Advantages” at the 25th session of All India Konkani Parishad at Kala Academy, Panjim, on Sunday.
Prof Sardesai said those scoring more than 55 per cent marks at the PG level can get a lecturer’s job and added that Konkani television channels have started and the DD channel will start shortly. Hence more openings will be created, said Sardesai.
Balchandra Goenkar, Konkani lecturer from the Rosary High School, Navelim said the common question raised is what will Konkani offer in terms of employment to those studying the subject and said many options are available.
Presenting his views on Konkani primary education, Fr Mauzinho de Athaide from the Rachol Seminary said that there is a belief among some that by doing primary education in Konkani, English education is affected and is not done well. This is not true, according to Fr Athaide. If we don’t study our mother tongue, we won’t be able to study other languages well, he argued. Primary education in Konkani is essential to preserve our language. There are differences between caste, creed and the Konkani language will help to wipe out these differences, according to Fr Athaide.
Suggestions on how to promote Konkani education were also put forward by the members. According to Santosh Pai from Calicut, there should be a Konkani Education Kendra to promote Konkani education. The Goa Government and the Goa University should have an extension to other States such as Kerala, Karnataka and others to promote this language. The Parishad should have a journal to promote Konkani education, he suggested.
Sardesai suggested that more Konkani courses should be introduced for people who want to learn the language.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mumbai glitterati at Business Tycoon Vijay Mallaya's Derby

Sunday afternoon was a special one as all the celebrities enjoyed the bright sunshine at The Turf Club-Mahalaxmi Race Course in South Mumbai. Vijay Mallaya of United Breweries and Kingfisher Airlines was the official sponsorer of the Derby. Actor Feroz Khan looked stylish dressed in a blue blazer and a blue Kashmiri scarf tied around his head, wooing some hot ladies with his charms.

Actress Tara Sharma came dressed in a halter floral dress and looked simply beautiful. The actress, who recently called it quits with her long time boyfriend Actor Akshaye Khanna, who refused to tie the knot, was trying to hide all the grief with her beautiful smile. Tara also made a small speech on how excited she was to see the horses run the Derby.

Jagjit Singh, who is a regular at The Turf Club also; attended the Derby with a bandage on his forehead. This Gazal Maestro is spotted every morning at the racecourse where he goes for a morning walk with his friends.

Actor Arbaaz Khan attended the derby sans his stylish wife Mallika Arora Khan. Arbaaz, who is always on the side of his elder brother Salman through thick or thin made no exception this time as well. when Salman Khan ended up in a car accident in which a girl was hurt.

Vijay Mallaya, who is the one man with many caps on his head, is not only a business tycoon and a respected politician but also a great host as the Derby was for sure a rocking one.

Konkani activists swear to remain united

The participants at the valedictory function of the silver jubilee literary conference of the Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Parishad today swore to remain united by resolving differences over script, religion, caste and regionalism, and in turn, forming a unified, homogeneous and able Konkani community, so as to maintain Konkani identity.

Addressing the gathering, Fr Mouzinho do Athaide appealed to the followers of Konkani language to remain united by ironing out all misunderstandings among them, and work in the larger interest of the language.

Fr Athaide, who replaced the Education Minister, Mr Luizinho Faleiro as the chief guest of the concluding function at the last moment, stated that the main objective of the literary conference was to solve the problems faced by Konkani people.

The Konkani people must look for opportunities to meet more often and interact to learn about each other’s difficulties, he observed.

The Parishad president, Mr Paul Moraes said that all problems, including the script row, can be solved by sitting across the table.

Appealing Goans to take non-Goan Konkani-speaking people along with them while moving ahead, Mr Moraes said, “Or else there will be a communication gap between the two groups and they will not be able to identify with each other.”

We have to bridge the distance created among the Konkani people from different states, from the time of one literary conference to another, he observed.

Earlier welcoming the gathering, the Rajya Sabha MP and reception committee president, Mr Shantaram Naik stated the objectives of the Parishad had been achieved, however practical problems still exist.

“These problems can be solved by the followers Konkani language,” he suggested.

Speaking further, Mr Naik said the three-day event pointed out in more than one way how Konkani can stride into hi-tech world.

Mr Naik also said that though the central government has agreed on a full-fledged television centre to Panaji, its planning and raising of necessary infrastructure would take at least three years. “Till then,” he said, “the existing centre must start the Konkani news bulletin with available facilities.”

Mr Naik demanded that important legislations such as Land Revenue Act, Mundkar Act, Tenancy Act, Birth and Death Registration Act and so on must be translated into Konkani. The government bulletin should also be published in Konkani and made available on government website, he observed.

The national organising committee president, Dr Tanaji Halarnkar also spoke. The representatives from four states who addressed the gathering included Ms Precilia Fernandes (Maharashtra), Mr Santosh Pai (Kerala), Mr Prashant Balgi (Karnataka), Ms Patsy Pereira (Goa). The representatives of the organisations affiliated to the Parishad were felicitated on the occasion.

The vice-president of the Parishad, Mr Mahabaleshwar Sail proposed the vote of thanks.

Devanagri Konkani can be used for e-mail

Konkani in Devanagri script can be used for e-mail as well as other purposes even as Microsoft XP provides useful software for the use of Konkani.
This was informed to the delegates of the 25th session of All India Konkani Parishad at a seminar on ‘Use and spread of Konkani language through the medium of Information Technology (IT)’.
Ramdas Karmali of Goa University demonstrated as to how Konkani can be used for different purposes using the computer technology and said that Konkani should be used in all fields of life by the Konkani speaking community as it will facilitate its use in IT.
He suggested that Linux operating system may be of greater advantage as it is open and freely available.
Stating that technology development of Indian languages has been possible because of the initiative taken by Government of India and state governments, Prof Karmali said similar support is required from the Goa government as well as those state governments where Konkani is spoken, for the technology development of Konkani.
Prof Ramrao Wagh also of Computer department, Goa university, warned that languages will perish if they cannot be communicated through IT. He demonstrated the avenues open to Konkani in the field of IT and said there are many impediments to the road of progress.
Shantaram Varde Walaulikar said the corpa of 3 million words already prepared for a project of Machine Aided Translation of Government of India’s IT ministry is acknowledged to be one of the best in India by experts of Universal Networing Languages of UN as well as experts of IITs in the country.
He said Konkani is lagging behind in IT because the MoU executed by Goa government with IIT Mumbai didn’t work. Nitin Nachinolkar also spoke.
Speakers also stressed the need for usage of Konkani for official language. For a language to spread through the medium of IT, in theie opinion, it has to be widely used for purposes of administration, education, commerce and industry etc.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Konkani script issue may reach flashpoint

The differences among Konkani language supporters over the demand for recognition to the Roman script on par with Devanagari script may snowball into a major controversy following the call given by Dalgado Konkani Academy to the supporters of Roman script to join a "symbolic rally" organised on Friday to coincide with the inauguration of the three-day silver jubilee convention of All India Konkani Parishad (AIKP).

Academy president Wilson Mazarello and the former President Tomazinho Cardozo renewed their call to Konkani-speaking people to protest and boycott the convention.

The academy has taken a stand that the Official Language Act of 1987 according official status to Konkani language in Devanagari script was a "betrayal of the majority of the State's Konkani-speaking population which was traditionally associated with the use of Roman script in their life."

Mr. Cardozo said they were not opposed to Devanagari script, but they wanted the Government to recognise Konkani in Roman script on par with Devanagari script in the Official Language Act to mitigate the "injustice done to a Goan community, which reads and writes Konkani in the Roman script."

"Because of this Official Language Act, writers, readers, publishers, artists and lovers and promoters of Konkani in Roman script are treated as second rate citizens in the State," said a statement issued by the academy.

Mr. Cardozo said the issue of having the script for Konkani in schools should be left to parents. At present schools in Goa are using only Devanagari script.

With the script issue slowly raising its head, the unity among Konkani people is under threat.

Resolve row over Konkani script through talks: writer

Chief Minister Pratapsinh Rane on Friday expressed his Government's support for the development of the Konkani language.

Addressing the three-day silver jubilee session of the All India Konkani Parishad, he urged the parishad to hold the next World Konkani Sammelan in the State.

Writers, activists and lovers of Konkani from Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra and Goa are attending the conference.

Governor S.C. Jamir formally inaugurated the session in the presence of R.V. Deshpande, former Minister for Cooperation of Karnataka, who was guest of honour. Paul Moras, Konkani writer and activist, took over as the president of the parishad from Basti Waman Shenoi.

The former Presidents of AIKP K.K. Pai, Chandrakant Keni, Ravindra Kelekar, Purushottam Mallya, Uday Bhembre, Nagesh Saunde, Pundalik Nayak, Tanaji Halankar, Basti Waman Shenoi, were felicitated on the occasion.

N. Shivdas, winner of Sahitya Akademi Award for his book "Bhangarsal" in Konkani for 2005 was also felicitated.

Emphasising on the standardisation of the Konkani language, Paul Moras called for resolving the controversies about script and dialect of Konkani amicably through dialogue and discussions. He said that though it was true that parishad's policy of convergence to Devanagiri script has been well accepted across the Konkani regions, that did not mean that those using other scripts should be forced to resort to transition.

They should be encouraged and persuaded to follow the standardisation keeping in mind the interest of the future generations, Mr. Moras added.

Mr. Jamir said the Konkani language accordinged a distinct identity to the people of Goa.

Mr. Deshpande hailed Konkani as the most secular language and language of love and stated that Karnataka had always remained ahead in doing whatever was possible for the development of the Konkani language.

Dearth of good critics in art and culture field

Prasar Bharti chairman and renowned journalist M V Kamat on Saturday lamented the dearth of good critics in the field of art and culture.

In his welcome address at the inauguration of Manipal Film Study Centre by the Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) here, the honorary director of MIC stressed the need to produce good film critics to show to the world the great Indian culture and tradition.

Compared to the old classic films, on Saturday’s films did not reflect the culture and traditions of the country, he added.

Stating that MIC was the only centre in the country providing film journalism course, Kamat asked the students to view more and more classic films and go deep into the subject to master the art of geography and the art of becoming excellent critics.

UTI Bank will set up the UTI Bank Foundation under the Bombay Trust Act to take forward the bank's corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

UTI Bank will set up its first overseas branch in Singapore in the next few weeks.

This is a part of UTI Bank's strategy to set up overseas network in the coming financial years to undertake trade finance and loan syndication for Indian corporates. In the next few months, the bank will open offices in China (Shanghai), Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and UAE.

''As the Indian companies are turning global, we need to set up our own establishments to support the growth of the Indian firms overseas,'' said UTI Bank Chairman and Managing Director Dr P J Nayak.

Dr Nayak told select reporters on the sidelines of a function today that the bank would shortly float medium-term notes (MTNs) of about $ one billion to fund the cost of its overseas expansion.

The MTN would be an umbrella programme with over a period of 12-18 months with minimum tranche of $ one million, he said. While for Singapore branch, all the necessary approvals were granted, for the remaining overseas branches, discussions were underway to get the approval as soon as possible, he said.

UTI Bank to set up foundation for social activities

UTI Bank will set up the UTI Bank Foundation under the Bombay Trust Act to take forward the bank's corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.

"The bank has recently received RBI approval to set up the UTI Bank Foundation, which is to be established under the Bombay Trust Act, an independent body to take forward the CSR initiatives of the bank," UTI Bank CMD, Mr P J Nayak, said here on Saturday .

UTI Bank has been supporting various causes of humane concern for the underprivileged sections of the society. "The genesis of the Bank's CSR endeavour goes back to 2004, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the bank," Mr Nayak added.

Currently, the bank is supporting education for underprivileged children by providing financial assistance to upgrade infrastructure in government elementary schools, thereby catering to the educational needs of 600 children from low income group househo lds in the state of Tamil Nadu.

In the state of Hyderabad the bank has associated with Dr Reddy's Foundation to promote the 'Clothes Bank Drive' aimed at collecting clothes for street children, where the bank has offered its ATMs as a nodal point of collection, Mr Nayak added.

The foundation will receive a certain percentage of the net profit of the bank every year into its corpus and will also be allowed to raise funds from other sources.

Konkani speaking people must unite: activists

The seminar on ‘Sanskritikaran (Culturalisation) - An idea of a Konkani cultural state’ stressed on uniting the Konkani speaking people spread all over the globe by making use of effective mediums like Internet and e-mail.

The participants of the seminar held on the occasion of the silver jubilee literary conference of Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Parishad at Dinanath Mangueshkar Kala Mandir, Kala Academy, observed that the identity of a region is more important than the culture of the place and an institution should be set up to work towards uniting the people of one region with those from other regions, all of whom are bonded by a common language.

The seminar also noted that creating a Konkani cultural state may be a distant dream, but immediate efforts should be undertaken to bring together Konkani speaking people.

The seminar presided over by a representative of the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Akademi, Arun Ubhaykar. Noted Konkani writer from Kerala, Dr L Sunita, the editor of the Konkani daily Sunaprant, Sandesh Prabhudessai and the well-known Konkani novelist, Mahabaleshwar Sail, who has conceptualised the idea of Konkani cultural state, participated in the seminar.

Sail, opening the seminar said that the concept of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru to create Indian states based on the language spoken in the particular region, was not a political concept but a cultural one.

Forming a Konkani cultural state with the participation of the Konkani speaking people from the four states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala will result in cultural and lingual development of this new state, he said.

This state would have all the properties and aspects of a political state and it has to be recognised by the Constitution, Sail added.

Dr Sunita, reading a paper on the topic said that the culture that has evolved over the years would guide us to form a Konkani cultural state.

She further observed that Konkani is spoken by some of the members of Hindu, Muslim as well as Catholic communities in all the four states on the western coast and hence there is a possibility of creating such a state.

In spite of different scripts, the original form of Konkani language has not changed, she noted, stressing that Goa is the centre of Konkani culture and it should be maintained so while forming a new state.

Prabhudessai said that there is every possibility of the cultural state becoming a controversial state due to various reasons. He also raised a question that instead of desiring for a Konkani cultural state, why not aim for a Konkani cultural nation.

Speaking further, he said that a state is a political and a administrative provision made to bring together different people. “The idea of formation of a Konkani cultural state is to be supplemented by strong lobbying for the same in the Parliament,” he observed, questioning as to whether we have such a strong lobby.

Stating that Goa cannot protect the interest of minority Konkani communities in other states, Prabhudessai said that the concept of a Konkani cultural state would definitely receive strong opposition from various quarters, especially the establishment.

It would be beneficial if we try to preserve our identity through Konkani language, in the immediate future, he suggested.

Ubhaykar, summing up the discussion said that one should look at the entire issue with optimism.

“It is very important that the Konkani speaking people are proud of their language, just as the Tamilians, Andhraites and Kannadigas do,” he said, mentioning that the bond between Konkani people from one state and others must be gradually taken to an international level.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Roman script backers demand equal status

The Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) today, in the presence of the Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Wilfred de Sousa and the South Goa MP, Mr Churchill Alemao gave an ultimatum to the government to amend the Official State Language Act for according “equal status” to Roman Konkani at par with the Devnagri Konkani before December 20, 2006, during a large rally of supporters of Roman Konkani, at Azad Maidan.

The public rally was held to boycott the silver jubilee literary conference of the Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Parishad, which was inaugurates at Kala Academy Complex, today evening.

The president of DKA, Wilson Mazarello said that the Speaker, Mr Francisco Sardinha, the deputy Speaker, Ms Victoria Fernandes, Industries Minister, Mr Luizinho Faleiro, Agriculture Minister, Mr Francisco Pacheco as well as MLAs, Mr Jeetendra Deshprabhu, Mr Matanhy Saldanha and Mr Carl Vaz have extended their support to the agitation.

Dr de Sousa said that he as well as Mr Pacheco would support the amendment in the Official State Language Act for giving equal status to Roman Konkani and vote in favour of such a bill if it is introduced in the House.

Mr Alemao said that he would support the agitation if it takes on to the street and take it to its conclusive end.

Fr Pratap Naik, speaking on the occasion said that the first martyr of the Konkani language, Floriano Vaz sacrificed his life for the cause of Konkani, twenty years ago, on December 20, 1986 and hence the deadline set up. “Almost 28 per cent of the Goan people read Konkani in Roman script,” he pointed out.

‘Goem Shahir’, Ulhas Buyao said that it is the Roman script which had kept the Konkani language alive, when Hindus were only using Marathi in their religious activities.

The speakers in general termed the ongoing literary conference of the Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Parishad as a fraud on the part of those who had deliberately kept the Konkani in Roman script and their supporters at bay due to ulterior motives.

Those who spoke at the rally included Fr Conceicao D’Silva, Fr Antimo Gomes, Fr Manuel Gomes and Mr Radharao Gracias.

A strong contingent of 60 people from Mangalore led by the president of the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Akademi and president of the ad hoc committee of Vishwa Konkani Parishad, Eric Ozario also attended the rally, supporting the Roman Konkani.

Ozario told that unity of the Konkani people cannot be achieved by thrusting on them the Devnagri Konkani. “The government should respect the dialect of the language, customs and traditions of different communities,” he added.

Konkani meet wants one script, Devnagri

The president of the silver jubilee literary conference of Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Parishad, Paul Moraes, addressing the inaugural session of the three-day event, today said that one script namely Devnagri should be supported, especially among the new generation if Konkani language is to be developed in the global scenario.

The Chief Minister, Mr Pratapsingh Rane, who was the chief guest on the occasion said that his government is ready to support holding of World Konkani Conference in Goa.

“The state has a unique culture of creative geniuses and Konkani language has been instrumental in maintaining this culture,” he observed.

Earlier, the Governor, Mr S C Jamir inaugurated the literary conference, at the open auditorium of Kala Academy, in the presence of a number of former presidents of the Parishad.

Mr Jamir, describing Konkani language as the entity which gave Goa its distinct identity, said that there should be reciprocal understanding between people by way of languages.

The local languages must develop linkages with the world community, at large, the Governor said, pointing out that languages are vehicles of communication and find expression of feelings. Learning languages helps in fostering emotional integration between people, he noted.

Moraes, delivering his presidential address said that literature in Konkani has been generated through various scripts and the process would continue, which is a fact. “However,” he said, “many scripts are unable to standardise the language and hence our predecessors as well as leaders who shouldered the Konkani movement chose Devnagari script as the standard script.”

Speaking further, Moraes said that everyone following other scripts in Konkani could slowly shift to Devnagri, over a period of time. The future generation should very well be conversant with the Devnagri script, he opined.

Moraes also stressed on the need to make Konkani education compulsory in Goan schools and impress upon the governments in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala to introduce Konkani in their schools. “There is a need to launch another movement for achieving this goal,” he pointed out.

Moraes said that Goan bodies like Goa University, Goa Konkani Akademi and Kala Academy must involve Konkani institutions from outside the state in their projects like Konkani encyclopedias, dictionaries, research and translation work.

“In our midst there are few narrow-minded people who have build walls of regionalism, caste, religion, dialect and community, which in turn create hindrances before the parishad to achieve its goals,” he stated.

“The government should provide the Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Parishad with an office in the state and an annual grant,” Moraes said.

The former co-operation minister of Karnataka, Mr R V Deshpande, who was the guest of honour, said that Konkani is a secular language and Konkani people are secular in nature. He further said that a World Konkani Centre should be constructed, at Mangalore.

The outgoing president of the parishad, Basti Vaman Shenoy also spoke on the occasion.

The president of the reception committee of the conference, Mr Shantaram Naik, in his welcome address said that Konkani is a great binder and unites people, while the president of the national organising committee, Dr Tanaji Halarnkar urged for promotion of Konkani language by crossing the barriers of religion, caste, region and script.

A number of former presidents of the parishad namely Ravindra Kelekar, Purushottam Mallya, Uday Bhembre, Chandrakant Keni and Pundalik Naik, among others were felicitated on the occasion.

A number of new books in Konkani of various scripts were also released during the inaugural session.

Kamat asks medicos to serve poor, needy

Renowned Journalist and Prasar Bharti Chairman M V Kamat today called upon medical professionals to serve the poor and needy by giving them more love, support and care.

Delivering the convocation address at the Kasturba Medical College here, he recalled the recent Supreme Court order directing even private hospitals to provide free treatment to patients whose income was less than Rs 3,000 a month.

As many as 12 people were presented with the distinguished alumni awards-2005 and nine teachers got the best teacher awards for 2004-05 on the occasion.

Merck eyes acquisitions for growth

MUMBAI: Indian drug and chemicals maker Merck Ltd., a unit of Germany's Merck KGaA, is looking for acquisitions in India and abroad to strengthen its portfolio and boost sales, a senior official said on Friday.

"We need to grow. We are looking at acquisitions of both brands as well as businesses, depending upon the kind of opportunities available," R.L. Shenoy, a director at Merck Ltd., told Reuters.

He did not specify how much the company planned to spend on acquisitions, but said it would use its reserves worth 2.5 billion rupees to help fund them.

"We are looking at acquisitions in the area of diabetics, oncology and cough and cold medicines," he said.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Konkani meet to form a cultural state: Bhembre

The concept of Konkani cultural state will take shape at the silver jubilee literary conference of the Akhil Bharatiya Konkani Parishad, scheduled to be inaugurated by the Governor, Mr S C Jamir, at Kala Academy Complex, on February 10.

Noted writer, poet and stalwart of Konkani movement, Mr Uday Bhembre, addressing a press conference in connection with the forthcoming 3-day literary conference, yesterday said that a special seminar on ‘Sanskritikaran (Culturalisation) - An Idea of a Konkani Cultural State’ participated by experts, will discuss various aspects of this unique concept.

Around 50 lakh people following Konkani in Devnagri, Roman, Kannada and Malayalam scripts are based in the four different states of Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka, and are separated by the physical distances, he said, adding that the seminar will look into the possibility of forming an abstract state made up of followers of Konkani.

The remote possibility of bringing such a state into existence due to the non-contiguous geographical areas in the four states dominated by the Konkani people, has prompted us to make efforts in this direction, at the public level, Mr Bhembre said.

He also stated that this concept would bridge the islands of Konkani people located in four states, and unite these people —irrespective of the scripts of the language — by a common bond, for the greater interest of the language. This imaginary cultural state would result in the prosperity of the Konkani language, Mr Bhembre added.

He informed that another seminar at the literary conference titled ‘Use and Spread of Konkani Language through the Medium of Information Technology’ would demonstrate the machine-aided translation technology, currently being developed by the computer department of the Goa University, in collaboration with some Konkani institutions.

The technique developed with the help from the ministry of information technology will help in computer supported translations of material from other languages into Konkani, he informed. Speaking further, Mr Bhembre said that such techniques are developed for 22 Indian languages recognised by the Constitution, through a nationwide exercise.

He also said that the universal language networking project of the United Nations would help the Konkani language in making its presence felt on the global level. “This project is intended towards keeping alive various languages against the onslaught of English, and in turn, preserve different cultures and their diversity,” Mr Bhembre noted.

The president of the reception committee, Mr Shantaram Naik, speaking on the occasion said that the utilisation of information technology in promoting Konkani language would go a long way. “For example,” he said, “the Konkani literature could be exchanged through Internet, there can be debate on the same through e-mails and more importantly, the writers and poets can create their works and edit the drafts of these works on the computer itself, finally giving a CD of the same to the publishers; the entire exercise will save precious time and money of the writers or poets.”

Another session titled ‘Konkani Education and its Pragmatic Use’, Mr Naik said, would inform the people about the benefits of learning Konkani at primary level, as those doing so would be at the advantage during their recruitment in government services.

“A Clause in the government recruitment rules which mentions that the knowledge of Konkani is essential for the candidates, will also be discussed,” he pointed out.

The other sessions at the literary conference include ‘The traditional occupations of the Konkani people and their politics, economics and socialism’ and ‘Non-Konkani people and their Konkanisation’, it was informed.

The event will also witness a poets meet, discussion participated by Varsha Usgaonkar, Rose Ferns and Prasad Lolienkar, and a documentary on life and times of noted Konkani poet, Dr Manoharrai Sardesai, beside cultural programmes.

The president of the national organising committee, Dr Tanaji Halarnkar, said that around 600 delegates from outside the state will be arriving for the event and adequate arrangements have been made.

Replying to a question about the call given by the Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) to boycott the literary conference in support of its demand to give an equal status to Roman Konkani, Dr Halarnkar said that there is no time to discuss these matters at such a crucial juncture.

“However, the parishad will meet after the event and discuss the demands of the DKA and furthermore, arrive at solution by the first week of March,” he informed, adding that the parishad would also review its working.

Dr Halarnkar hoped that there would be no adverse effect of the boycott call given by the DKA, on the literary event.

The secretary of the parishad, Mr Gokuldas Prabhu was also present on the occasion.