Friday, October 31, 2014

Centre to Lend A Helping Hand in Road Projects

The New Indian Express, Oct 31, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: Of the 559 km Biju Expressway, launched by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in August, the State Government will construct only 258 km, while the rest will be laid by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Besides, most of the funds provided for construction of the Expressway have been drawn from the Central Government schemes and will be funded by the Ministry.
The State Government had launched Rs 3,200 crore economic corridor between Jagdalpur and Rourkela in August, as promised during the last elections. Out of the 656 km corridor, 559 km will be in Odisha and the rest in Chhattisgarh.
The State Government has admitted to a query through the RTI that the four-laning of 160 km road from Rourkela to Sambalpur has already been started under public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Besides, the four-laning of the Expressway from Sambalpur to Sohela via Bargarh of 74 km will be implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
According to the reply furnished by State Government, the two-lane road between Sohela and Nuapada via Padampur of 119 km will be executed by the State Government under the State Highway Development Programme (SHDP). The four-laning of this part of the project will be implemented in the second phase after land acquisition.
Construction of two-lane road from Nuapada to Bhella will be taken up by the Ministry. The 139 km road from Bhella to Ambapani via Godabhanj, Dharamgarh and Sinapalli will be laid under SHDP. However, two-laning of 42 km long Expressway from Ambapani to Chandli via Borrigumma will be executed by the Ministry.
The project aims at connecting Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh with the four KBK districts of Koraput, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Nuapada. The Expressway will also connect many border towns of western and south Odisha like Chandli, Borrigumma, Nabarangpur, Papadahandi, Ambapani, Dharmagarh, Sinapalli, Behella, Nuapada, Paikmal, Padmapur, Sohela, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Rourkela.
In the first phase, 254 km road will be converted to four-lane and 402 km to two-lane. In the second phase, 258 km will be made four-lane. The total project outlay is Rs 3,200 crore, out of which Odisha will contribute a minimum amount.
While the first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by May 2017, the second phase will be over by 2019-end.

Swachh Bharat Mission Kicks off in Kalahandi

The New Indian Express, Oct 31, 2014
BHAWANIPATNA: The District Water and Sanitation Mission (DWSM) launched the Swachh Bharat Mission in Kalahandi district on Thursday. Collector Bijayaketan Upadhaya flagged off the awareness campaign which aims at promoting the importance of hygienic environment in rural areas.
Inaugurating a workshop organised on the occasion, Upadhaya stressed on awareness among the people on cleanliness. He suggested the officials of DWSM to involve folk artistes and use folk media to change the mindset of people at the grassroot level.
According to official figure, only 51 per cent of BPL families and 60 per cent of APL families have toilet facilities in their houses in the district. But, most of the toilets constructed for BPL families are lying defunct or unused. Similarly, more than 374 schools and 376 Anganwadi centres do not have toilets.
Speaking at the workshop, MLAs Balabhadra Majhi and Anama Naik insisted on making the district open defecation-free through a mass movement involving political representatives, social workers, Government officials and citizens. They expressed concern over the lack of toilet facilities in most of the educational institutions.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vedanta hopes to get over bauxite impasse in 3-4 months

Business Standard, Oct 28, 2014
London-listed Resources, the diversified metals and mining major, hopes to get over the impasse on supplies to its Lanjigarh refinery in three to four months.

The one million tonne refinery is running at below its rated capacity by sourcing bauxite from states like Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand and also imports from Guinea and other countries.

“The state government has assured us that they are working on 2-3 alternative bauxite mines for our Lanjigarh refinery. They will take up the matter with the central government and have assured that bauxite from these sources will be made available in 3-4 months”, Vedanta Resources chairmantold media persons after meeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Agarwal also called on the state chief secretary G C Pati and Aditya Padhee, additional chief secretary.

It may be noted that the gram sabha had recently given its consent to Vedanta’s bid to expand refinery capacity six fold to six million tonne per annum. The capacity expansion would mean Rs 10,000 crore expenditure to the already invested Rs 52,000 crore over 10 years to build alumina, aluminium and facilities at Lanjigarh and Jharsuguda, respectively.  The metal major expects to achieve the planned capacity upgrade within a year of getting all approvals.

To feed its Lanjigarh refinery, Vedanta was eyeing Sijimali and Kutrumali deposits across Kalahandi and Rayagada districts over which engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) had got prospecting license (PL) more than two decades ago.

But L&T did not get a mining lease (ML) for these bauxite mines since it had no end-use project. However, Vedanta had entered into a pact with L&T to source bauxite from the twin mines with combined reserves close to 300 million tonne.

After being denied access to the Niyamgiri bauxite deposits of Mining Corporation (OMC) following tribal protests, the state government recently allotted three laterite bauxite mines in Koraput district with a combined deposit of three to five million tonne of bauxite in favour of Vedanta, as short-term relief.Today, the Vedanta Group chief also got an assurance from the state government to use power generated from its 2400 Mw coal-fired plant near Jharsuguda to run its smelting facility nearby. The company was unable to use this power for the aluminium smelter as it was not a captive facility and was built as an independent power project.Sesa Sterlite, a Group firm, also has 1200 Mw captive power plant (CPP) at Jharsuguda.

“To run a two million tonne smelter, 3600 Mw power is needed. The government has assured us that we can use full power for smelter operations and all clearances would be given in 15-20 days”, said Agarwal.

Sources said, Vedanta may enter into a tri-partite agreement with the state government and power distribution company, Wesco before being able to use its IPP power for the aluminium smelter. If necessary, the status of the IPP could be changed from IPP to captive power unit, sources said.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Language Labs for Eight More Colleges

The New Indian Express, Oct 26, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: English language labs will come up in 12 Government colleges and six non-Government colleges of the State.
Last year on March 1, the Higher Education Department had signed an MoU with IIT-Kharagpur for setting up the labs in five Government and as many private colleges. However, it was decided to extend the project to a few more colleges in wake of the demand.
Some of the Government colleges where the labs will be set up are Khallikote College at Ganjam, Government colleges at Angul, Bhawanipatna, Sambalpur and Government Women’s College at Keonjhar and MPC College at Baripada. While the labs at Government colleges are coming up at a cost of `two crore, cost of those in private colleges is being worked out.
The private colleges identified under the project are Gopalpur College and City College, Ganjam; SR College, Balasore; UN College of Science and Technology, Cuttack; Baba Saheb Ambedkar College at Gajapati and DAV College, Balangir.
Since spoken and soft skills (computer knowledge) are a pre-requisite for getting jobs, the need for starting these labs was felt by the State Government.
Sources in the Department said IIT-Kharagpur has been asked to visit the identified private colleges to study infrastructure requirements and submit the feasibility report.
Sandeep Pal of Centre for Advanced Communication, IIT-Kharagpur, said the institution had invented an Interactive Software Integrated Learning System (ISILS), an updated electronic tool coupled with digital courseware for language and communication skill development that will be used in the proposed labs.
“Each lab will be equipped with one computer per student, projector screen and other demonstration equipment,” he said. IIT-Kharagpur has been asked to prepare project estimate for 24-seater and 32-seater labs. Work will be started in the current academic session.
Laboratories apart, the Department is contemplating to take the help of Cambridge University to train college teachers in English teaching.
As per the proposal, English language teaching training modules developed by Cambridge University will be used to train English teachers of junior colleges during the summer vacation.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Congratulation to Santosh Kumar Kar for receiving Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change and Center for Environmental Education

A Paryavaran Mitra teacher is one who demonstrates his/her commitment by adopting a sustainable lifestyle, attitudes and behaviour. Reflecting this with the children, he or she is becoming a role model true to the values promoted by the programme.

Teachers are the key facilitators of the programme. They support and guide students in developing the qualities that will make them Paryavaran Mitra. In engaging students in enquiry and action, and promoting development of knowledge, skills and values, they are achieving their ambition through curricular and co-curricular activities.
Projects impart deeper meaning and relevance to the teaching and learning by expanding far beyond the usual models and charts. An action project consists of a series of planned activities designed to achieve a specific objective in a given time. Though activities may not be formally part of the curriculum, they help to show the linkages between different subjects and aspects of a single topic.

Santosh Kumar Kar , Jaya Durga High School, Narla Road , Kalahandi, Odisha got this award from Ministry of Environment , Forest and Climate change and Center for Environmental Education. This program was supported by UNESCO, ACELOR MITTAL, UNEP and Thunja.

Appreciating and acknowledging good work not only motivates the doer but also provides an opportunity to learn. With this belief, Centre for Environment Education (CEE) organized Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar (National Event) on October 14, 2014, to acknowledge the exemplar efforts in Paryavaran Mitra.

A total of about 2500 schools responded and submitted their entries in school, teacher and student categories. Through a long process of scrutiny at state level by experts in the field of education and environment that included government officials, 96 schools, 65 teachers and 57 students were nominated for the national level Puraskar.
A National Committee comprising of eminent experts in the field of education, environmental education, and environmental solutions short listed 15 schools, 14 teachers and 15 students for the Paryavaran Mitra Puraskar at national level.
The National Jury evaluated the short listed entries and identified 4 best amongst these based on contextual connection in terms educational-linkages to curriculum and classroom activities, local environmental issues, role of students, teacher and other stakeholders, outreach/dissemination of results, outcomes, effort in documenting and providing evidences, sustainability and replicability of action, mobilization of resources, information etc.

The dignitaries at the felicitation event were:-
1.    Dr. Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives; Former Director, UNEP and Former President IUCN
2.    Dr. G V Subrahmanyam, Advisor, Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change
3.    Shri Devinder Arora, CSR Head, ArcelorMittal India
4.    Shri Prasad R. Menon, Chairman, Tata Singapore Airlines
5.    Shri S.K. Mukherjee, Ex Director, Wildlife Institute of India
6.    Dr. (Ms.) Shobita Punja, Chief Executive Officer, National Culture Fund
7.    Ms. Kalpana Sharma, Independent Journalist/Columnist
8.    Dr. Mahfuza Rahman, Faculty, Gauhati University, Geography Department.
9.    Shri Kartikeya V. Sarabhai , Director, Centre for Environment Education
10.    Ms. Mamata Pandya, Senior Programme Director, CEE 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

PM URGED TO ADD 3 KBK TOWNS TO SMART CITY LIST

The Pioneer, Oct 14, 2014

Associate Professor of Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut, Digambara Patra on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include Bhawanipatna, Balangir and Jeypore in the Smart City scheme.
In a letter to the PM, Patra apprised that the State Government also proposed to include the three cities in the scheme. “We are hopeful that the Centre will be kind to consider the State’s proposal to include the three towns even though the population of each of these towns is less than 200,000,” he said.
He noted that population of towns/cities in hilly regions of the country, including those of Himachal Pradesh and north-eastern States, is always low. The KBK region is considered like a hilly region.
Creation of new smart cities across Odisha would help it achieve all-round development, he stated.
He mentioned that while development in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and Khurdha has been phenomenal, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Angul are emerging as industrial cities.
However, the KBK region located far away from the State capital and the Sambalpur-Rourkela region are lagging behind although they have a great potential for development based on bauxites mining, tourism and agriculture. Kalahandi has emerged among the top 25 rice-producing districts in the country, he apprised the Prime Minister.
If Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters town of Kalahandi and located centrally in the KBK region, is developed as a smart city, it would impact a large part of socially backward and mineral rich portion of the State. It would also bring economic growth and social development to the neighbouring Chhattisgarh State, he asserted.
He further brought it to the notice of the Prime Minister that a local train and inter-city link among Balangir, Bhawanipatna and Jeypore would certainly trigger development in the KBK region.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Letter to PM: Make Bhawanipatna, Balangir and Jeypore as smart cities and immediately establish a direct rail link between these cities

To
The Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Modi

CC
Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Patnaik
Honorable Urban Development Minister Mr Naidu
Honorable Railway Railway Minister Mr. Sadananda Dowda


Dear Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Modi,
I am happy to learn that your Government is taking few good steps towards overall sanitation and development across the states within India. The development to minimize the difference between coastal and hilly region is appreciable, for instance proposal to include some coastal and some hilly region in smart cities proposal is praise worthy. However, there are still few challenges regarding geographical inequality within the states.

Earlier most of the time development was confined to within 200 km radius of a particular region. Specifically, in Odisha it was limited to Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and Berhampur and in few instances Rourkela and Sambalpur. However, recently state Govt. is slowly changing this orthodox mind set and considering to bring locations in KBK region which are not only located far from coastal cities of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Puri, Balasore etc., but also far from north western cities like Rourkela and Sambalpur. I must welcome inclusion of 3 towns of KBK region for the new six STPI in Odisha by both the state and central Government.

The state Government has also proposed to include Bhawanipatna, Jeypore and Balangir in the smart cities. We are hopeful the center will kindly look into the matter sympathetically and consider to include these three towns despite the population of these towns are less than 200,000.  It should be noted that population of towns/cities in hilly regions of India including those of Himachal Pradesh, North Eastern states, etc. are always low. KBK region in Odisha is considered like North Eastern states and Himachal Pradesh.

Recently Odisha is emerging as a fast developing states in India. All around development of the state is quite important for inclusive growth of the country. It is in the interest of the Odisha state to develop new smart cities across the state by distributing in different geographical area.

Primarily, development around state capital Bhubaneswar, which includes other nearby cities like Cutatck, Puri, Khordha, etc has been phenomenal, similarly Rourkela-Sambalpur-Angul is emerging for mining based industries. However, KBK region of the state is located far away from the state capital and Sambalpur-Rourkela region and is lagging behind in industrial development, although this region has a great potential in development based on bauxites mining, tourism and agriculture. Kalahandi has emerged as a top 25 rice-producing district in the nation.

The district headquarter of Kalahandi, Bhawanipatna, is centrally located among all the KBK districts and also among the tribal dominated South Western Odisha which is far from state capital. However, instead of developing a urban city with all modern facilities, higher education, service, and industries, the state Govt. was earlier concentrating Sambalpur and Berhampur with the respective regional tag as Western Odisha and Southern Odisha, which hindered overall urban development of KBK region.

Development of this urban area like Bhawanipatna into a smart modern city will impact a large part of socially backward and mineral rich portion of Odisha. It will also bring economic growth and social development to the neighboring Chhattisgarh state. Considering all aspects, union Govt. of India had already identified Bhawanipatna along with Bhubaneswar in Odisha under the program to improve socioeconomic condition of urban poor.

The twin cities Bhubaneswar-Cuttack lack metro facility. Similarly, a local train and inter-city link could be made between Balangir, Bhawanipatna and Jeypore to trigger development within KBK region, which will be in the line of Rourkela-Jharsuguda-Sambalpur and Sambalpur-Angul-Cuttack/Bhubaneswar railway lines.

Therefore, I urge to consider sympathetically Bhawanipatna, Balangir and Jeypore for smart cities and immediately establish a direct rail link between these cities along with a metro train for Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khordha.

Thank you

With best regards

UGC Nod for Seven Community Colleges

The New Indian Express, Oct 13, 2014
BHUBANESWAR : The University Grants Commission (UGC) has allowed seven colleges of the State to implement the community college scheme this year. The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) had earlier withdrawn the scheme from the State in the wake of several discrepancies and lack of preparedness in implementation of the scheme by the colleges concerned.
The colleges are Bhawanipatna’s Government Autonomous College, Maharaja Purna Chandra College at Baripada, Keonjhar’s Dharanidhar Autonomous College, Fakir Mohan Autonomous College at Balasore, Khallikote Autonomous College in Ganjam, Government Autonomous College at Rourkela and Jeypore’s Vikram Dev College.
The UGC has, however, laid down a set of conditions that needs to be met by the colleges prior to implementation of the scheme. Two of the most important conditions are enrolment of at least 50 students to start the community college and industry-college tie-up in the region concerned. The colleges have been asked to advertise for admission of students to the community colleges.
The seven community colleges will offer courses such as Diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management (THM) and Diploma in Retail Management.
While the colleges to be opened in Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna; Maharaja Purna Chandra College, Baripada; Dharanidhar Autonomous College, Keonjhar and Fakir Mohan Autonomous College, Balasore will impart THM course, those in Khallikote Autonomous College, Ganjam; Government Autonomous College, Rourkela and Vikram Dev College, Jeypore will offer courses in Retail Management.
Last month, while reviewing the progress made by these colleges in implementation of the scheme, the expert committee of UGC found that the institutions failed to meet the criteria as they had neither constituted the Board of Studies and Board of Management nor selected a project implementing agency for the scheme. The State Government had subsequently clarified that Phailin and the Model Code of Conduct for General Elections had delayed the preparatory work for implementation of the scheme and also urged the Ministry to reconsider the State’s case.
Higher Education Secretary Gagan Dhal had held discussion with UGC Joint Secretary KP Singh over the matter and consequently, principals of the seven colleges submitted fresh proposals to the MHRD.
The scheme will help Odisha Government provide skill development training to one million youths in next four years to drive its economic growth.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Centre to set up 6 STPI in Odisha, STPI facilitation centre at Bhubaneswar

Orissadiary, Sept 30, 2014
Report by Prachee Nayak, Bhubaneswar: Centre to set up 6 centre Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in Odisha. This was confirmed by the Odisha IT Minister Pranab Prakash Dash.  On this regard Union  Communication and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad writes letter to IT Minister Pranab Prakash Dash. Union Minister Prasad directed concern authorities to take steps for setting up 6 centre Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in Odisha. These six STPI centre will be set up at Jajpur, Sambalpur, Kalhandi (Bhawanipatna), Koraut (Jeypore), Angul and Rayagada. It should be noted that Odisha IT Minister Pranab Prakash Dash on July 7 met Union  Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at New Delhi and urged to set up 6 STPI Centre in odisha.  It should be noted that in Odisha STPI operates four centres at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Rourkela and Balasore. More than 100 IT units of the state are registered with STPI. These units contribute a major chunk to the state’s IT export basket. STPI- Bhubaneswar is one the three centres established along with those at Bangalore and Pune for implementing the STP scheme and to promote software export by providing infrastructure facilities including high speed data communication (HSDC) links.  It should be noted that Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) plans to set up a facilitation centre at bhubaneswar with a mandate to give boost to the IT sector in the state. The centre, to be set up on three acres of land near the International Institute of Information Technology(IIIT), will have software and hardware incubation centres, data centre for the use of IT industries. The Union ministry has sanctioned about Rs 49 crore for the centre in the first phase for taking up the civil infrastructure. The centre will be a G+7 storied building. - See more at: http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=53873#sthash.whlvhqnH.dpuf

Monday, September 22, 2014

Maize Farmers Stare at Crop Loss Mess

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), Sept. 21, 2014
BHAWANIPATNA:  Farmers of Kalahandi district, who cultivate maize as one of the major cash crops, are set for a major loss due to adverse climatic condition during the current kharif season.
According to Agriculture Department, this kharif season, maize has been grown in 19,545 hectares against 19,672 hectares last year. Out of 82,672 tonnes of maize produced last year, around 36,000 tonnes were exported to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Kalahandi maize has a good demand even in international markets as organic manure is used in cultivation instead of fertilizer and pesticide.
During current season, the farmers were expecting a good harvest considering the last year’s experience. However, the crop yield is likely to get a setback due to adverse weather conditions throughout the district except areas of Golamunda block. The traditional maize growing areas like Bhawanipatna, Kesinga, Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh and M Rampur blocks received inadequate rain during initial phase of farming and later, excess rainfall hampered the growth of plants.
Deputy Director of Agriculture, Laxman Kumar Paltasingh, said inadequate rain in June and continuous rain from July affected the crop. Farmers of most areas failed to take up the weeding and earth work on time and also could not apply manure.  From the field situation, it is apprehended that there may be tentative production loss of 30 to 40 per cent compared to the last year’s output.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

To help Vedanta, Orissa nudges Centre for Karlapat bauxite mines

The Financial Express, Sept 18, 2014

Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar | Published: Sep 18 2014, 08:52 IST
Orissa chief secretary on Wednesday urged the Union mines ministry to reserve Karlapat bauxite mines in Kalahandi for the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation.
This comes a week after Vedanta Resources chief Anil Agarwal met chief minister Naveen Patnaik seeking his help for bauxite mines for the 1 million tonne per annum bauxite refinery in Lanjigarh block of the same district.
OMC had entered into a MoU with Sesa Sterlite (earlier Vedanta Aluminum) for mining Niyamgiri hilltop in Kalahandi district jointly, but the plan came unstuck in August 2010 after protests from local tribals and environmental activists.
The Anil Agarwal-owned company is running the plant with bauxite sourced from outside Orissa.
Agarwal had met Patnaik seeking his help in getting alternative bauxite mines for his refinery as well as aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda district.
The company has got prospecting licence for 3 laterite mines in Koraput, expecting to get some amount of bauxite from it.
“The proposal would facilitate OMC to provide bauxite in a fair and equitable manner to the state-based end-use plants to meet their raw material...,” Orissa chief secretary GC Pati wrote to Union mines secretary Anup Pujari.
Official sources said once Karlapat is allocated in favour of OMC, it would be a breather for Sesa Sterlite as the state PSU can sign MoU for providing bauxite to it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

‘CHOOSE B’PATNA FOR STATE’S 2ND AGRI VARSITY’

The Pioneer, Sept 17, 2014
Non-resident Odia (NRO) Professor Digambara Patra has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to set up the second agriculture university of the State at Bhawanipatna and several regional research centres of the varsity across the KBK region.
In a letter to Chief Minister Patnaik and Chief Secretary GC Pati, Patra has resented the proposal of the House Committee headed by former Minister Pramilia Mallick for setting up the varsity in Similiguda of Koraput district.
Describing it as political favoritism, Patra argued that Bhawanipatna has several merits for the top institution such as strategic location, an agriculture college with faculty, staff and infrastructure, administrative and academic advantages of the district.
Notably, last year Chief Minister Patnaik had appealed to the Centre for the second Agriculture University in KBK region. Former Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had suggested setting up the university in Kalahandi since the district is a top producer of rice, cotton and pulses in the State and it required advanced technology to boost its farming.
The State Government had earlier asked Orissa University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT) to submit a feasibility report to upgrade the current agriculture college at Bhawanipatna to a university.
Patra said that Kalahandi is among the 25th largest rice producer districts in India. The agriculture growth of the district is not yet saturated and it is predicted that it can be one of the forefront districts in the nation in agriculture growth.
He said Bhawanipatna is located centrally among all KBK districts and suits the interest for all the KBK districts. Semiliguda is more than 300 km from Balangir, 340 km from Nuapada and 360 km from Sonepur, whereas the farthest KBK district headquarters Malkangiri is within 250 km from Bhawanipatna.
Rest of the KBK district headquarters are in 150 km from Bhawanipatna (4 of them are in 100 km range). The proximity of Bhawanipatna to all the existing Regional Research and Transfer Technology Stations and Regional Research and Transfer Technology Sub-Stations of OUAT in KBK and western Odisha region even demands location of the proposed university at Bhawanipatna, he pointed out.
Patra suggested that the infrastructure, students and staff of the Agriculture College at Bhawanipatna can be used initially for the new university till it comes full-fledged. He said that water, electricity and road infrastructure is already available in the existing building of the college. Only the current facilities need to be expanded within in the campus, he added.
He stated that the Agriculture College is located in the township area and neighboring to Bhawanipatna railway station and on Khariar-Bhawanipatna SH 16, which is being expanded to a four lanes through World Bank assistance.
“The land available under OUAT campus in Bhawanipatna is in the samerange of land area where OUAT main campus is located in Bhubaneswar. Of course, land available in the Regional Research and Transfer Technology Station at Similiguda is much higher, but this is largely outside the urban area for research purposes, whereas the land available in Bhawanipatna is within in the township area. If land is the actual concern, there is plenty of land available adjacent to Agriculture College, Bhawanipatna that the Government could easily acquire for the purpose,” he said.
He continued to say, “However, most of the Agriculture Universities or Faculties keep their research centers that need substantial farming land in rural campus and undertake teaching and campus housing related activities in the urban campus. For example, farm and research center of Agriculture Faculty of my University is in a rural area, 75 km from our main campus where teaching is carried out.”
He also suggested that “It could be a good idea to keep the teaching campus of the proposed second agriculture university in the urban location like Bhawanipatna and distribute the research centers to various districts in KBK region”.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NRO Urges For Tribal Varsity

Tathya.in, Sept 12, 2014
Bhawanipatna : 12/September/2014 
As the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has given its nod for setting up a National Tribal University in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar region to facilitate research and development of tribal culture and dialect, leading NRO Digambar Patra has lauded the move.
 
Dr.Patra in a letter to Union Minister HRD, Smriti Irani has said that earlier Union Government  has established Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) at Amarkantak and one of its regional campuses has been established in Manipur.
 
So Dr.Patra has urged the Union Government to set up a National University for Tribals in Kalahandi. He said that Odisha is primarily a tribal dominated state and it is one of the few major states having substantial percentage of tribal.
 
Odisha has higher percentage of tribal population compared to Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc.
 
Therefore, based on the letter of former BJP MP  Bikram Keshari Deo regarding establishment of Central University of Orissa in Kalahandi instead of Koraput, earlier MHRD had proposed to establish new tribal university campus in Kalahandi during 11th plan.
 
Information obtained through RTI act that IGNTU at Amarkantak has already received a proposal from MHRD to open a regional campus at Kalahandi.
 
As per the policy of the University, State Government of Odisha was informed to provide infrastructure facilities like a minimum of 300 acres of land, approach road and electricity supply and accordingly the state Govt. was asked to facilitate with the infrastructure facilities.
 
Following it, then Additional District Magistrate (ADM) had identified the required 300 acres of land in Benda Jhola and Kumudabahal village in Thuamul-Rampur panchayat samiti of the district and informed the same to the Department of Higher Education (DHE), Odisha.
 
Since then no action has been taken by MHRD. On the other hand, MHRD has acted immediately on the proposal of Chhattisgarh Government and considering similar proposal for Andhra Pradesh.
 
It is surprising that MHRD has not acted on the promise it has made to Kalahandi people with regards to establishment of a tribal university despite the fact that KBK region in Odisha is a tribal dominated backward region.
 
Dr.Patra pointed out that the region is also suffering due to insurgency like Bastar. The site identified by Kalahandi district administration is located at the heart of tribal population in Kandhamal, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Rayagada, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Balangir, Boudh, Bargarh, Sambalpur and Sonepur serving one of the largest tribal concentrations in Odisha as well as in India.
 
The site is well connected by state highway, which is undergoing a two lanes expansion and having all required infrastructure like water and electricity.
There are many other suitable Government owned sites in Kalahandi district such as one near Kesinga or Junagarh having all required infrastructure for such establishment of a national university.
 
MHRD has been establishing multiples of new IIT, IIM and AIIMS; however, it has completely sidelined its earlier commitment to establish national universities for tribal population in Kalahandi.
 

Under this backdrop, Dr.Patra has urged the Union Minister to  take necessary step to establish a national university in Kalahandi for tribal immediately.

NRO ARGUES WHY K’HANDI DESERVES TRIBAL UNIVERSITY

The Pioneer, Sept 14, 2014
As the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has given its nod for setting up a National Tribal University in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar region to facilitate research and development of tribal culture and dialect, leading non-resident Odia (NRO) educationist Digambara Patra has lauded the move.
Prof Patra in a letter to Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani has said that earlier the Union Government has established Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) at Amarkantak and one of its regional campuses has been set up in Manipur.
Prof Patra has, therefore, urged the Union Government to set up a National University for tribals in Kalahandi. He has pointed out that Odisha is a tribals-dominated State. Odisha has a higher percentage of tribal population compared to Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc.
Therefore, based on the letter of former BJP MP late Bikram Keshari Deo regarding establishment of Central University of Odisha in Kalahandi instead of Koraput, earlier the MHRD had proposed to establish a tribal university campus in Kalahandi during the 11th Plan.
Information obtained through the RTI Act says the IGNTU at Amarkantak has already received a proposal from the MHRD to open a regional campus in Kalahandi. The Odisha Government was informed to provide infrastructure facilities like a minimum 300 acres of land, approach road and electricity.
Following it, the then Kalahandi Additional District Magistrate had identified the required 300 acres of land at Benda Jhola and Kumudabahal villages in Thuamul-Rampur panchayat samiti of the district and informed about it to the State’s Department of Higher Education.
Since then, no action has been taken by the MHRD. On the other hand, the MHRD has acted immediately on the proposal of the Chhattisgarh Government and is considering a similar proposal for Andhra Pradesh. It is surprising that the MHRD has not acted on the promise it made to Kalahandi people with regard to a tribal university, Prof Paztra has stated.
He has pointed out that the site identified by the Kalahandi district administration is located at the heart of tribal populations of the districts of Kandhamal, Nabarangpur, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nuapada, Rayagada, Gajapati, Kalahandi, Balangir, Boudh, Bargarh, Sambalpur and Subarnapur serving one of the largest tribal concentrations in Odisha as well as in India.

CPM Demands CBI Inquiry into Scams

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), Sept 15, 2014
BHAWANIPATNA:  Demanding CBI probe, State Secretariat member of CPM, Ali Kishore Pattnaik said involvement of politicians in mining and chit fund scams in the State should be brought to the limelight.
Addressing mediapersons here on Saturday, Pattnaik said according to CAG reports, financial irregularities have been found in 38 departments and 17 public sector undertakings (PSUs) of the State Government. “The current BJD Government has surpassed all the past corruptions. The Government is hand in gloves with persons accused in chit fund and mining scams,” he alleged. Failure of Crime Branch and Vigilance in solving several cases has been proved and the only solution to unearth the truth is the CBI, he said.
Apparently, the State unit of CPM has launched a public awareness campaign on these scams since September 5 and it will continue till 15th.
Protests will be stepped up if the Government fails to take any action against the corrupt politicians, he added.
District secretary of CPM, Naba Kishore Pattnaik, and district committee member Biswajit Chatterji, highlighted several problems ailing the region.
Issues like establishment of an agriculture university in Kalahandi and revival of the medical college at Jaring that failed to get the nod from the Medical Council of India due to lack of infrastructure and early establishment of the proposed rail wagon factory at Narla were also discussed in the meet.

Kalahandi, Koraput in Race for Second Agriculture Varsity

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), Sept 15, 2014
BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Assembly Standing Committee on Agriculture has recommended establishment of the proposed second agriculture university at Semiliguda in Koraput district, Citizens’ Forum, Kalahandi demand the institute at Bhawanipatna.
The Committee, headed by BJD legislator Pramila Mallick, said an agriculture university plays a vital role in education, research and extension in the field of agriculture and allied sciences. There is a need for another such varsity to meet the State’s demands.
“Steps should be taken to establish a second agriculture university preferably at Semiliguda in Koraput district,” the report submitted to the Assembly said.
The site recommended by the Committee assumes significance against the backdrop of Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy’s announcement that the State Government has decided to set up a second agriculture university in KBK region.
Meanwhile, the Kalahandi Citizens’ Forum has urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to establish the proposed university at Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi.
In a memorandum to the Chief Minister, the forum said adequate Government land and other ancillary facilities are available near the Agriculture College at Bhawanipatna. The land available with Arkabahli agriculture farm located near the existing agriculture college and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra could be readily utilised for demonstration farming.
At least 500-600 acres of land would be required for the proposed agriculture university which will house a College of Agriculture and Agriculture Engineering, College of Fisheries and College of Animal Sciences.
Meanwhile, the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) has submitted a list of facilities available on agriculture and allied subjects in KBK districts to the State Government for taking a decision on the proposed university.
Sources in OUAT said both Semiliguda and Bhawanipatna are suitable locations. It is upto the Government to take a decision as to which site is better suited for the proposed university.
Several Congress leaders of Balangir district have also demanded establishment of the proposed university in their district.
The State Government recently wrote to Collectors of six districts to identify a suitable location in their districts for the proposed Indian Institute of Management (IIM). The six districts are Cuttack, Khurda, Ganjam, Koraput, Sambalpur and Sundargarh.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

BIJU EXPRESSWAY IN FOUR N’RANGPUR BLOCKS SOUGHT

Note: A good suggestion, indeed we have been asking state Govt. to connect Dharamgarh and Umakote directly via Jharigram since a while, which will benefit bordering area of KBK and directly connect Umarkote with Balangir, Kalahandi, Sonepur, Kandhamal etc.

The Pioneer, Sept 13, 2014
Demanding the proposed Biju Express Highway route to cover four blocks, including Dabugam, Umerkote, Jharigam and Chandahandi of Nabarangpur district, a delegation of the Zilla Nagarik Suraksha O Sachetan Manch submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through district Collector Md Sadique Alam on Thursday.
Notably, the proposed highway with a cost of Rs 3,200 crore would connect Jagadalpur in Chhattisgarh with Rourkela via Kotpad, Boriguma, Nabarangpur, Papadahandi, Maidalpur, Ampani, Kenduguda, Dharamgarh, Nuapada, Saintala, Bargarh, Sambalpur and Jharsuguda. It would cover four KBK districts and four districts in the western Odisha. For a more convenient communication facility in the tribal-dominated district, the delegation demanded that the highway be diverted from Papadahandi junction to Dabugam, Umerkote, Jharigam, Chandahandi and then Dharamgarh instead of Maidalpur-Ampani-Kenduguda as the existing NH-26 passes through the Maidalpur-Ampani-Junagarh-Bargarh route.