Kerala Current Affairs

EC launches mobile app e-voter for Kerala assembly polls

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched an innovative mobile application titled e-voter with comprehensive details about the forthcoming 2016 Assembly polls in Kerala.

The app is envisaged for voters’ facilitation for search in electoral roll, information regarding candidates, location of polling station, affidavit filed by them, filing of complaint and so on.

Key facts

  • The e-voter app was developed by the state IT Mission. It aims at ensuring great transparency and conduct of free and fair elections.
  • The app has ‘know your candidate’ option that would provide constituency wise details of candidates.
  • It has ‘constituency list’ option that would give segment wise details of voters (total number of voters, number of male voters and female voters) and total polling stations.
  • The app will also provide information about previous elections results and names of Chief Ministers.
  • The e-voter app can be downloaded from the Google Play store and can be installed on any android phone

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Renowned Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas passes away

Renowned Kerala cartoonist V T Thomas passed away following a brief illness at in Kottayam, Kerala. He was 86.

He was popularly known as Toms and had created the legendary cartoon characters Boban and Molly (Bobanum Moliyum).

About V T Thomas

  • Born on June 6, 1929 in Kuttanad in Alappuzha district. During the World War II he had served in the British Army for a brief period.
  • Later he turned to the world of cartoons, following footsteps of his elder brother Peter Thomas.
  • He found his characters Boban and Molly at the age of 30 from his neighbourhood. Initially in 1950 the characters appeared in a cartoon column Sathyadeepam weekly.
  • But later in 1957 on these characters became part of Malayala Manorama weekly. He resigned from Manorama in 1987 and began his own publication.
  • The whole story of Boban and Molly characters described the issues faced by the middle class and the day to day socio-political developments through his cartoon column.
  • Some of his other famous creative characters were of the kids lawyer Pothen, the nincompoop panchayat president Ittunnan (chettan), the flirty Appy Hippy and so on.

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Ballast water bringing invasive species to Indian coasts: Scientists

Scientists fear that ballast water carried by ships is providing a vehicle to bring in exotic invasive species across the Indian Coast.

In this regard, a survey was conducted by the Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries, University of Kerala.

In the survey the presence of as many as 10 invasive species was found in the biodiversity-rich intertidal habitats of the Kerala coast. Some of invasive species include one species each of seaweed, bryozoan, mollusc and seven species of ascidian. The distribution of invasive species from the Kerala coast is likely assisted by shipping.

What is Ballast?

  • Ballast is a compartment in a ship that provides it stability as it holds water which moves in and out of it to balance the ship.
  • The compartment usually remains below the water level in order to counteract the weight above the water level.

Fears

  • Ballast is one of the biggest transporter of non-native (exotic/invasive) marine species.
  • Over 10,000 non-native marine species are transported across the world in the ballast water.
  • The colossal loads of ballast water carried by ships mainly transports fish, viruses, algae, , zooplankton, bacteria and benthonic invertebrates to harbours at a faster pace.
  • Expansion of ports and minor ports could pave for the introduction of alien species in Indian marine and coastal areas.

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