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Kerala’s first IIT in Palakkad to get a new campus, Nila campus inaugurated

The campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kerala was inaugurated on Friday by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence of Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State for Education. CM Pinarayi inaugurated the Nila campus in Palakkad by unveiling a plaque via video conference, while the stone laying was done online by Minister Pokhriyal, by unveiling another plaque. While IIT Palakkad has been operational since 2015, they were operating out of another college as the campus was not ready.

A total of 640 students are pursuing their undergraduate degree at IIT Palakkad, and 225 students are in post-graduate programs. There are also 132 doctoral students. As part of the BTech programme, the IIT offers programmes in streams such as civil, mechanical, electrical and computer science. The MTech programme offers subjects such as manufacturing and materials engineering, computing and mathematics, data science, etc.

“Today at the foundation stone laying ceremony of IIT Palakkad, I interacted with Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and MoS for External Affairs V Muraleedhadan and other dignitaries. Starting its journey in 2015 under the supervision and patronage of IIT Madras, today four B Tech programmes, six M Tech programmes, and three M Sc programmes are on the path of constant progress. Now this building will give a new dimension to the progress,” said Minister Pokhriyal.

He added that IIT Palakkad, with its centre for research and education in data sciences, will explore new possibilities in the field of new scientific and technical knowledge in data sciences and artificial intelligence. There will be the aid of various institutions in France and Germany. “Such collaborations will strengthen the quality of education and the soft power of India,” the minister said.

“I am happy that a budget of Rs 1,006 Cr has been approved for the first phase of construction of IIT Palakkad. Only through the construction of such institutions can we fulfil our dreams of nation building, capacity building and character building,” Minister Pokhriyal added.

CM Pinarayi could not make his inaugural speech due to connectivity issues. The state’s Minister for Higher Education KT Jaleel, spoke of the contribution of 450 acres of land by the state government for free to build the campus. “It was in 2014 that the Palakkad IIT was declared. The first IIT in the country came up three years after independence, during the time of PM Jawaharlal Nehru in Karagpur. There are 23 IITs across India today. Kerala now has an IIM (Indian Institute of Management) and an IIT too has come after a lot of effort. We hope that an AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) will also be allowed in the state,” Minister Jaleel said.

Malayalam actor Parvathy Thiruvothu posted an apology on her Instagram page on Monday for ‘liking’ Hirandas Murali aka rapper Vedan’s post in connection to allegations of sexual harassment made against him. Several days after the allegations were made on social media, Vedan finally acknowledged his behaviour and posted an apology. However, this was seen as insincere by many, including the survivors.

In an Instagram post, actor Parvathy expressed her apologies to the survivors who have spoken up against Vedan. “I apologise sincerely to the survivors who have so bravely spoken up against the accused singer Vedan,” she wrote. Explaining the reason behind liking the post, she cited how several men fail to even acknowledge their actions. However, she also noted that the apology cannot be celebrated. “I had liked his apology post with the thought that many men don’t even acknowledge that they were at fault. I know clearly that it is not something to celebrate. I truly believe that it’s of paramount importance that the survivors be respected as they go forth with the case,” read her statement.

Parvathy also noted that she removed her ‘like’ shortly after she received messages from survivors who felt that his apology was not a sincere one. “I removed my “like” as soon as I got to know that a few survivors said the apology was not a sincere one. I stand corrected. Whether to forgive and how to heal is always the right of the survivor and I’ll only stand by them. I would like to apologise if you felt let down by me,” the actor wrote.

Ten days after allegations of sexual harassment were made against Malayalam anti-caste rapper Vedan by a group of women on social media, the rapper, who had reacted differently earlier, published a lengthy note apologising to the victims. However, two of the women survivors TNM reached out to confirmed that the rapper hadn’t reached out to them personally.

After Vedan’s Instagram post went viral, actor Parvathy had liked the post. However, she received flak from many, including survivors for doing so.