Kerala benefited from foreign tour in many ways, says CM

Pinarayi lists achievements made in the fields of study and research, creation of job opportunities and attracting investment
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leaves after a press meet at the Secretariat on Tuesday |  B P Deepu
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan leaves after a press meet at the Secretariat on Tuesday | B P Deepu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has claimed that the foreign trip by the official delegation led by him benefited the state in more ways than expected. At a presser on Wednesday, the CM listed the achievements made in the fields of study and research, creation of job opportunities and attracting investment.

The European and UK Regional Conferences of the Loka Kerala Sabha and the UK Malayalee Pravasi Conference were held in London on October 9. NORKA Roots signed a memorandum of understanding with Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, one of the UK’s National Health Service Integrated Care Partnerships.

It also signed an agreement with Navigo, a mental health services provider for the North East Lincolnshire Health Service. These agreements will facilitate the migration of healthcare professionals legally and safe. In the first phase, more than 3,000 vacancies will be created for various professionals in the health sector.

The chief minister held a meeting with the Lord Mayor of London and they discussed possibilities of collaboration between the Fintech Start-Up ecosystems and opportunities for investment in the proposed GIFT City of Kerala. Norway offered support to establish a Maritime Cluster and to launch new projects in fisheries and aquaculture in Kerala. Kjersti Flogstad, the executive director of the Nobel Peace Center, told that they were studying Kerala’s proposal to organise the World Peace Conference.

The Norwegian Geo-Technical Institute expressed its interest to collaborate with Kerala for Wayanad tunnel project and arresting coastal erosion. The institute agreed to send an expert team to help Kerala implement technology based intervention to predict landslides.

Four Norwegian companies --- Hydrogen Pro, Tomra, Campi Group and Orkla --- have expressed interest to invest in Kerala during the ‘Investors’ Round Table’ organised in Oslo. It was decided to sign an MoU with the government of Wales, to enable recruitment of health professionals directly from Kerala to Wales. The Kerala delegation interacted with the faculty members and students at the University of Cardiff. The School of Architecture in the University has already conducted an authentic study on the issues related to urbanisation of Kochi. The conclusions of the study were presented before the delegation.

The Hinduja Group assured that it would invest in sectors such as manufacturing of electric buses, cyber space and finance. Gopichand Hinduja would visit Kerala in December 2022. It was also agreed that the Hinduja Group will start a state-of-the-art campus in Kerala towards utilising the state’s human resources in the IT sector.

The Kerala delegation explored the Finnish education system, especially the innovations in early childhood, pre-primary, elementary, and secondary education. Finnish delegation said they would explore the possibility of recruiting health workers from Kerala.

Kerala Digital University signed MoUs with Manchester, Oxford, Edinburgh and Seigen universities for collaboration in graphene research. In addition, Manchester University and Kerala Digital University have signed an MoU to collaborate in R&D activities on graphene and other 2D materials.

An MoU has been signed with the University of Edinburgh for joint research on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics. An MoU was signed with Germany’s Siegen Public University for collaborating on developing image sensors, microelectromechanical systems and neuromorphic VLSI.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has justified the presence of his family members in the foreign tour. There wasn’t any impropriety in it. He accused the media and opposition for creating a false impression of a family tour. The media tried to portray that it was a pleasure trip and was unnecessary. They attempted to create a negative feeling against the government. Instead, the media should have focussed on the tour’s benefits to the state, he said.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the Latin Archdiocese for not taking a just approach in the government-led negotiations in the Vizhinjam protest. He said the representatives of the protestors appear to arrive at a consensus during the talks, but go back to the protest. He said the government approved six out of seven demands raised by the protestors. The Latin Church intensified its protest and organised a road blockade on Monday alleging that none of their demands was addressed by the government. They are planning to conduct a state-wide protest on Wednesday.

‘Daya Bai continuing protest due to misunderstanding’
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the government had accepted three of the four demands raised by Daya Bai. He said the social activist was continuing her protest due to misunderstanding. The excluded demand pertained to the establishment of an AIIMS in Kasaragod. The CM also refuted the Endosulfan Samara Samiti’s allegation of vague promises. “The government has clearly approved two of her demands. Also, an assurance was given to favourably consider demand to set up daycare centres at BUDS schools,” he said.

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