Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Curtains down on Greeshma Utsav

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), May 24, 2016
BHAWANIPATNA: The two-day-long Greeshma Utsav concluded in Junagarh under Kalahandi district on Sunday.
The festival was organised jointly by Odisha Sahitya Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi and Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi. While the Sahitya Akademi hosted a Kabi Sammelani, the Sangeet Natak Akademi organised cultural events on the two days. Besides Odissi, artistes showcase various folk dance forms including Kalahandi’s Sarerate dance, Singari, Madli and Ghumura also found a stage in the festival. The Lalit Kala Akademi hosted an art workshop for two days and the paintings and sculptures produced by 30 artists including 15 from Kalahandi were showcased on the concluding day. During inauguration, officials of the Tourism and Culture Departments informed that `two crore has been sanctioned to develop Tarini temple and Jaleswar temple complex in Bhawanipatna.

Friday, May 20, 2016

CM Naveen Patnaik requests setting up of locomotive overhauling workshop in Kalahandi

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), May 20, 2016
BHUBANESWAR: The joint working group (JWG) comprising the Chief Secretary and General Manager, East Coast Railway (ECR) has recommended to set up an Electric Locomotive Periodic Overhaul (POH) workshop in Kalahandi district.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed this today to Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in a letter.
The Chief Minister said the committee has deliberated on various possibilities and based on the actual demand and other economic considerations of Railways it has recommended for setting up of an
electric locomotive periodic overhaul workshop in Kalahandi district.
Stating that the workshop would require about 250 acres of land, Naveen assured the railway minister that the state government would provide the land free of cost for the greater benefit of the State.
The recommendation has been made mainly on account of the overall shortage of electric locomotive POH capacity in
Indian Railways, large electrification works being undertaken in the ECR, he said and added that there is no such workshop anywhere in ECR.
Naveen said the working group has also done a feasibility study based on current operations and concluded that there is an immediate need for a 60 locomotives per year capacity POH workshop. This would reduce the cost of having the current 344 electric locomotives of ECR being overhauled at far off places in Eastern, South Eastern and Central railways, he said.
The chief minister said, "With electrification of the entire Sambalpur Division, which incidentally serves the Kalahandi district, the demand for POH of electric locomotives can only go up".
Naveen requested the railway minister to consider the recommendation favourably and sanction this workshop for industrially backward KBK region at the earliest considering the expectations of the people of Odisha and sentiment of people of Kalahandi.
The joint working group was set up during the railway minister's visit to the state on April 16 in the backdrop of a series of agitation following the decision to shift the proposed railway wago  repair and maintenance factory from Narla in Kalahandi district.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thirst of Kandhbori

Reported by Sri Debendra Bisi
Sambad, May 9, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Apex committee to recommend railways for alternative industry in Kalahandi

Times of India, May 9, 2016
BHUBANESWAR: A meeting of an apex committee took place at the state secretariat here on Monday to study the feasibility of a proposal for setting up of an alternative industry for Narla in Kalahandi district against the proposed railway wagon repair workshop which was allegedly shifted from the district to Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

The apex committee comprised of chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi and East Coast Railway (ECoR) general manager Rajiv Vishnoi discussed thoroughly on the proposal. "After detailed study and consultation with different departments of the state government and district administration of Kalahandi, the committee will submit its report to Ministry of Railways on the proposal," official sources said.

Shifting of the proposed wagon repair workshop from Narla to Andhra Pradesh had created hue and cry in the state. Ruling party BJD and opposition congress had strongly opposed the move of the Railway Board by raising the issue in the assembly. Congress had staged Kalahandi bandh last month demanding set up of the project in the district.
Later railway minister Suresh Prabhu had met chief minister Naveen Patnaik here on April 16 and discussed with him about the controversy. He had told Naveen that the proposed factory was not in the pink book, an official register of railways with information on allocation of funds to different projects.


During the conversation, he had assured the chief minister that his ministry is planning a new project for Kalahandi. Then a high-level committee had been constituted to study the feasibility of the new industry in the district.


According to Prabhu's proposal, the committee was formed last month. The apex committee has already conducted two meetings to work on the issue.


Padhi said he and Vishnoi has discussed at length about the proposal. "We will send our report to the central government about the setting up of the alternative industry for Kalahandi," he added.

SC asks Kalahandi medical college management to deposit Rs 2 crore or face NBW

Times of India, May 9, 2016
 | TNN | 




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

RAW DEAL TO KBK IN NEW ODISHA EDU POLICY

The Pioneer, May 3, 2016
The ‘New Education Policy-2016’ proposed by the Higher Education Department of Odisha has not done correct assessment while selecting/proposing new affiliated universities across State. To be particular, it has neglected the KBK region.
The draft proposal should have considered quality of the colleges during selection procedure. Colleges having dubious record in the past for malpractice are given priority than college like Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna (GACB), which has always kept high standard of education practice.
This is well reflected from the fact that GACB was among the first 52 colleges in India to receive Potential Center of Excellence (PCE) by University Grant Commission (UGC), the first three colleges in Odisha to get PCE status by UGC and the first college in KBK region to get PCE recognition.
Among the first three PCE colleges of Odisha, other two colleges (GM College and Khallikote College) have already been made Unitary/Cluster Universities by the State Government.
Because of GACB’s good standard, the same Higher Education Department of Odisha had recommended in 2014-15 for upgrading GACB to a university under RUSHA scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. Unfortunately, the GACB could not fulfill RUSHA requirements due to lack of sufficient number of lecturers and other infrastructure facilities for which State Government is largely responsible. Thus, present suggestion for affiliated universities by ignoring GACB contradicts earlier recommendation.
In addition, the proposal also contradicts recommendation made by earlier Higher Education Task Force headed by Prof Pradhan, which had recommended to upgrade GACB to an affiliated university for Kalahandi and Nuapda region in the name of South Western Odisha University. Recommendation of GACB to a university was even prior to conversion of GM College and Khallikote College to universities by the same Task Force.
In 2008, the Sambalpur University had also proposed a branch campus in Bhawanipatna and a UGC team had inspected the proposal, the fate of which is hanging.
The current education policy suggests affiliating universities in Jeypore, Balangir, Rourkela, Angul and Puri. That means the concentration of new universities will continue to be again within 100 km radius of Bhubaneswar.
Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khordha region has already multiple number of national and State institutions including IIT, NISER, IIIT, AIIMS, five State Government universities, three private universities etc, whereas Brahmapur has multiple numbers of State Government institutions and two State Universities. NIT at Rourkela and IIM in Sambalpur boost a number of national institutions in Sambalpur-Rourkela region. This region has three State Government universities. North Odisha has also two State universities, one in Baleswar and another in Baripada.
In comparison, the KBK region comprising 30 per cent of Odisha’s geography and 20 per cent of its population has only one Central University of Orissa (CUO) at Koraput. There is no State Government university for the affiliated colleges in the region due to political bias.
This region needs special consideration to have more national institutions and State universities, especially to develop as a higher education corridor.

(Dr Patra, who hails from Kalahandi, is a faculty member in the Chemistry Department of the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon) 

FROM RED TO WHITE

The Pioneer, May 1, 2016
The red soil in the hills that surround the tiny village of Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, Odisha, is full of bauxite — the source material for aluminium used in everything from aircraft to beer cans. Yet, mining in Niyamgiri hills has been scuppered due to concerns over the welfare of tribals residing there. But is it all that bad or is it media hype by those determined to hold the nation back? Kushan Mitravisits Lanjigarh to find out the other side of the Niyamgiri story
The transformative power of good education is something we all know about. However, living in large cities, one forgets just how a good school education can make a difference. The best way is to see it in action in a part of India where good schools were non-existent. The Dayanand Arya Vidyalaya (DAV) International School in Lanjigarh and its students are a prime example of the transformative power of education.
The 900-odd students in this school may not seem like much compared to the thousands of students in some large urban schools. But many of these students come from the surrounding villages of this impoverished town, and a large majority of them belong to scheduled tribes and scheduled castes. And for many of them, this is the first time a member of these families has been exposed to proper formal education. If indeed the task of any Government is to expose those previously left behind to proper education, this is where one experiences it first hand.
The problem is that the Naxals that operate in and around this area hate education, with schools being destroyed, and students — and not just in Odisha — brutally murdered. We will not name the students to protect their families from retribution from Naxals, but speaking to a few children, it is impressive to hear about their dreams and ambitions.
In a hospital close to the school, 150 patients come daily; 250 during the peak monsoon season. From hundreds of malaria deaths annually, which was the leading cause of mortality in an area where the average life expectancy was barely 50, now there are no malarial deaths.
But how did we reach here? How did we reach Lanjigarh? It is rather remarkable how the red dust and rock at one end of the Vedanta Resources facility in Lanjigarh emerge as a fine white powder a few hundred metres away. But this decade-old plant is far from running at its full capacity. Indeed, it is just running at a quarter of its commissioned amount.
The reason is not that the white powder produced by the plant, a substance called alumina, is not in demand. Despite the crash in commodity prices across the world, prices of the finished product that emerges from alumina — the shiny metal aluminium — has seen a recovery over the past few months. Additionally, in a growing economy like India, demand for aluminium has been steadily increasing.
Yet, the plant stutters. That is because the reason this huge refinery is placed in Lanjigarh — the middle of almost nowhere, six hours by road from either Visakhapatnam or Bhubaneswar, the largest cities closest to it — is home to some of the world’s highest quality bauxite. Bauxite, the mineral from which alumina is refined, is usually 40 per cent aluminium along with some iron, vandantium and titanium.
The Niyamgiri hills that rise a few hundred feet from the main entrance of the plant have some of the world’s best bauxite. Yet, thanks to a mix of evangelical NGOs supported by the Naxals and a misguided United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government, the mining project is stalled and the conveyor belts meant to bring in the bauxite lie rusting. And that is a pity, not only for the staff that works at the plant, but also for the villagers and tribals impacted by it.
Lanjigarh is also one of the Blocks in Kalahandi district of Odisha, which unfortunately became a byword for poverty, deprivation, and underdevelopment in India, and has struggled to shake that tag off. In 1985, Rajiv Gandhi famously visited the district to shed crocodile tears over starvation deaths which had forced mothers to sell their children so as to make some money to eat. And along with Rayagada and Koraput in south-western Odisha, this led to the rise of Naxalism in this part of India.
Kalahandi was one of the few districts in the mineral-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau to have never had a major factory until Vedanta Resources started work in 2006. The rich bauxite resources attracted Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta Resources, here. It also attracted evangelical organisations desperate to “harvest souls” as well as some environmental and humanitarian NGOs desperate to stop the factory.
The ostensible reason the factory was to be stopped was because it would “destroy” the Niyamgiri mountains, home to the Dongria Kondh tribe, a foraging hill tribe that still lives on slash-and-burn farming. The Dongria Kondh’s god, the Niyam Raja, lives in these hills, and the NGOs, some of them well-meaning, managed to convince the tribals that the home of the Raja would be destroyed by the “big, bad” Vedanta Resources.
A well-orchestrated campaign with protests in London, where Vedanta is listed, followed, and it caught the attention of the publicity-hungry Congress leadership, desperate to be seen as saviours of India. So despite the UPA Government giving environmental clearance to the plant, some 30 years after his father lamented the state of Indian development at Lanjigarh, Rahul Gandhi and his lackeys followed suit hoping to stitch up the tribal vote. But to little avail, as the Congress in Odisha — like in most of the rest of India — was wiped off the electoral map.
The massive attention and case that followed in the Supreme Court, convincing arguments were given for why Vedanta should not be allowed to mine bauxite. Incidentally, Vedanta does not own the mines but the Odisha State Mining Company does. Impassioned pleas were made towards the livelihood of the hill tribes. And the 12 villages that live on the hills were allowed to have a vote to decide the outcome of the plant. Trained by the NGOs and terrorised by the Naxals, the outcome was a given. Yet, visiting Lanjigarh one wonders whether Vedanta is so bad.
This is a part of India where despite the occasional political visit, the State has not really arrived. There is little sign of the Government. Opportunities are limited, and while the railway are in an impeccable state, that is because there are trains hauling coal and iron ore every half hour, with passenger trains few and far between.
One of the first things Vedanta did was to establish the DAV International School, with the DAV Foundation. The principal, Shukla Chakrovarty, came from Bhubaneswar to this backwater to establish a school with just three students. Over the years, the school has grown and now has an annual intake of 90 students. While plant employees’ children get admission, the lack of growth at the plant has meant that most of the annual intake is of children from the neighbouring towns and villages. These children are a great testament to the power of education.
One boy in Class 10 spoke about his ambition to join the Army. Another girl from Class 9 spoke about her dream to become an administrator, and another boy wanted to become a journalist. These are hopes and ambitions that these children have to travel the world and whose parents never even left the district, some who live in hovels without electricity.
“I feel that we have made a difference to the lives of these children in a way that few other schools can. I came here because I wanted a challenge, and I believe that these children will be my greatest legacy,” Chakrovarty says.
We are not naming the children for fear of them or their families being attacked by Naxals; the SP of Rayagada spoke of a college student who was murdered by the Naxals recently because he questioned them.
And it is the same story a few kilometres away in the hospital too. Lanjigarh was a malaria-infested zone. Today, the area — despite the inhospitable monsoons — has seen no malaria related death in three years. Yet, the villagers in the hills still see their kith and kin die as the Naxals prevent them from accessing the school or hospital.
Indeed, some of the Naxals and village leaders have chosen to sacrifice their own children to disease rather than to accept aid. Lives are being lost because the narrative of “Vedanta is evil” has to be maintained.
“Education and healthcare are the enemies of the Naxals. In their misguided quest to rid the world of social inequality, they need to realise that integration with the State will do more for these people than burning the provisions that we give the villagers”, says K Siva Subramani, the Superintendent of Police, Rayagada district, where a part of the Niyamgiri range falls.
Vedanta officials admit that the refinery, despite being the cleanest alumina refinery in the world and a zero-emission and zero-discharge facility, will pollute a small amount. However, the plant head, Bimalendu Senapati, says that they are constantly improving themselves. “We are now reprocessing the vanadium and selling it to sulphuric acid manufacturers. We reuse all our caustic liquid, we make bricks from the ash and are figuring out how to refine other materials from the ‘red mud’ waste, which includes titanium.”
Yet, the bauxite is not from the Niyamgiri mountains but from as far away as Gujarat and even Papua New Guinea. “Our costs are double of what we should incur if we had local bauxite,” says Senapati. “This might be the most advanced plant in the world but with the commodity price crash, we are making a massive loss.”
With an investment of Rs8,500 crore, this plant ought to be a shining example of India’s industrialisation, yet some parts of this massive refinery lie rusting away.
The plant, despite running at a quarter of its capacity, provides direct employment to over 2,000 people and also supports the local economy. The employed include 75 workers whose land was taken to build the plant and who live in a resettlement colony called Niyamgiri Vedanta Vihar.
Speaking to a roomful of these workers, many of them tribals from the plains, often relatives of the tribals in the hills admit that it hurt to leave their old villages. But now, earning an average of Rs25,000 per month, some of them have cars, refrigerators, and flat-screen televisions. “We have health insurance. I don’t need to worry about family members dying every time we get a fever. My children are studying in the DAV School and they will go to Delhi or Mumbai. I can operate machinery and use a computer now. My life has changed,” says Bhuma Harijan.
Others from the villages and surrounding towns like Muniguda, the closest railhead, talk of how the plant is giving opportunities to the local youths. Parimita, from the district headquarters of Bhawanipatna and a science graduate, talks of how the plant has given jobs to educated women from the area. “Earlier we all had to travel to South India for jobs. Who wants to move away from home for opportunities?” she says, adding that almost 80 per cent of the plant’s workforce are locals from surrounding districts.
“Earlier Kalahandi was famous for all the wrong reasons; this plant is a good reason to be proud of Kalahandi, but the world still thinks that it is evil because they have not witnessed how this plant has positively impacted our lives.”
And the local economy has also benefitted; youths previously unemployed and with little to look forward to are being trained in various skills at the Yuva Pragati Kendra. The managers at the facility are particularly proud of the 10 youths who recently acquired jobs at retail shops in Bhubaneswar.
In the small village of Lanjigarh, about a 10-minute drive from the plant, the Sakhi Self-Help Group has been helping local women with loans. Several run provision stores and do odd jobs like tailoring. The women realise “Bauxite nahin toh kuchh nahin”, and say that they have actually been in touch with the local legislators for bauxite.
Basanti Sain talks of the benefits that the plant has brought but is scared about what will happen if the plant goes away. “We had nothing 10 years ago; today we all have brick houses and can look forward to a better life for ourselves and our children.”
Indeed, plant officials talk of how the Odisha Government is assuring them of bauxite supplies. Employees and villagers alike want the plant to succeed, and talk of those scuppering the plant in negative tones, with Rahul Gandhi being a particular object of derision. “He talks of women empowerment; this plant has actually empowered women and he wants us to fail,” a local woman strongly points out.
Unsurprisingly, the Congress is almost non-existent in this part of Odisha. Plant officials also want the world to know that mining will not destroy the hills; indeed they feel that the Dongria Kondh tribe has to be brought into Indian society. They need to progress, they need education and healthcare. Yes, they should preserve their traditions, but how can one justify short life expectancies, how can one justify young people dying of malaria, and illiteracy in the 21st century? This is a story that needs to be told.sha

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Illegal mining by Utkal Alumina

Reported by Sri Debendra Bisi
Sambad, April 30, 2016

New Education Policy 2016 contradicts all earlier recommendations by Higher Education Department

Dear sir,
The “New Education Policy-2016” proposed by Higher Education Department of Odisha has NOT done correct assessment while selecting/proposing new affiliated Universities across state because of the following reasons.

(1) The draft proposal should have considered quality of the colleges during selection procedure. Colleges having dubious record in the past for malpractice are given priority than college like Govt. Autonomous College Bhawanipatna (GACB), which has always kept high standard of education practice in this region. This is well reflected from the fact that GACB was among the: (i) first 52 colleges in India to receive Potential Center of Excellence (PCE) by University Grant Comission (UGC); (ii) first three colleges in Odisha to get PCE status by UGC; and (iii) the first college in KBK region to get PCE recognition by UGC

(2) Among the first three PCE colleges of Odisha, other two colleges (G M College and Khallikote college) in Odisha have already been made Unitary/Cluster Universities by state Govt.

(3) GACB is one of the most respected and prestigious colleges under Sambalpur University and in this region for quality education.

(4) Because of its good standard, the same higher education department of Odisha state Govt. had recommended in 2014-15 for upgrading GACB to a University under RUSHA scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India. Unfortunately, GACB could not fulfill RUSHA requirements due to lack of sufficient number of lecturers and other infrastructure facilities for which state Govt. is largely responsible, thus, present suggestion for affiliated universities  by ignoring GACB contradicts earlier recommendation of same higher education department of Odisha.

(5) In addition, this proposal also contradicts recommendation made by earlier Higher Education Task Force headed by Prof. Pradhan by your own Govt., which had recommended to upgrade GACB to an affiliated University for Kalahandi and Nuapda region in the name of South Western Odisha University. Recommendation of GACB to a University was even prior to conversion of G M College and Khallikote College to Universities by the same task force.

(6) In 2008 Sambalpur University had also proposed a branch campus in Bhawanipatna and a UGC team had inspected for this proposal, the fate of which is hanging.

(7) The current new education policy suggests affiliating Universities in Jeypore, Balangir, Rourkela, Angul and Puri. That means the concentration of new Universities will continue to be again within 100 km radius of Bhubaneswar, as one more affiliated Universities have been proposed in Puri (undivided Puri district will have two affiliated universities) and other one in nearby Angul. Rather the committee should have recommended Ravensha University to an affiliated University for undivided Cuttack district and kept Puri under Utkal University for undivided Puri dstrict only.

(8) Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khordha region has already multiple number of national and state institutions including IIT, NISER, IIIT, AIIMS, five state Govt. universities, three private universities etc. whereas Berhampur has multiple numbers of state Govt. institutions and 2 state Govt. Universities along with newly established IISER.  NIT at Rourkela and IIM in Sambalpur boost number of national institutions in Sambalpur-Rourkela region. This region has 3 state Govt. Universities in Sambalpur and one state University in Rourkela. North Odisha has also two state Universities in Balasore and Baripada. In comparison, KBK region comprising 30 % of Odisha’s geography and 20 % of its population has only one Central University of Orissa (CUO) at Koraput. There is no state Govt. University for the affiliated colleges in the region due to political biases. It does not have 20 % or 30% of state Govt. universities as per the need of its population or geography. This region needs special consideration to have more national institutions and state Govt. universities, especially to develop as a higher education corridor. Otherwise all the arguments by higher education department using low GER and regional disparity is meaningless.

(9) Geographically, Bhawanipatna is centrally located in all KBK districts and unlike Balangir it is farthest place from Sambalpur University. In fact based on geographical and other considerations Sambalpur University had earlier proposed campuses in Bhawanipatna and Rourkela whereas Berhampur University has proposed a campus in Jeypore.

(10) If affiliated Universities can be made each for Puri-Nayagarh, Dhenkanal-Angul and Sundergarh-Deogarh, undivided Balasore district then why not for Kalahandi-Nuapada? Socially, politically, economically, regionally and infrastructure wise it will be good to make three affiliated Universities in KBK region one each at Jeypore, Bhawanipatna and Balangir, especially, when this region is well known for backwardness, low GER, poor regional distribution of higher educational institution and high concentration of tribal population.

All the above proves very well that Govt. Autonomous College Bhawaniptana is the most deserving college in KBK region under Sambalpur University based on its potential and quality education and all other past recommendations by various committees, Sambalpur University and UGC (University Grant Commission), therefore, it must be considered for a University in new education policy 2016.

Thank you and best regards

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kalahandi District Sans A University

Note: Thanks to initiative and support by Priya Abraham and support of Sandeep Sethi
The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), April 28, 2016

BHAWANIPATNA:  Kalahandi is yet to find a place in the higher education map of Odisha as it does not have a single university despite assurances of the State Government.
In the absence of adequate number of colleges and a university, the gross enrolment ratio of the district continues to be low at 8.7 per cent. According to a report on the level of education achieved by Indians as of 2011, released by the office of the Census Commissioner and Registrar-General of India last year, in Kalahandi, only 4,789 youths have completed their BA/BSc/BCom degrees while their population is around 1.2 lakh.

In the Education Policy-2016 which is being framed by the Higher Education Department, Kalahandi finds no mention. Instead, the department has proposed to upgrade five autonomous colleges in Jeypore, Balangir, Rourkela, Angul and Puri to universities.
Although the Task Force on Higher Education in 2009 had recommended for upgradation of Government Autonomous College of Bhawanipatna to an affiliated university for Kalahandi and Nuapada region, it has been ignored by the department.
On the other hand, the State Government had last year recommended for upgrading the college into a university under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan of the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD). “Unfortunately, due to lack of adequate number of lecturers and infrastructure facilities, the proposal was turned down by the MHRD. The State Government is largely responsible for this as no attention has been paid towards faculty recruitment in the college,” said Akshay Kumar Nanda, a retired principal of the college.
Apparently, the Government Autonomous College of Bhawanipatna is the first college in KBK region to get ‘Potential for Centre of Excellence’ recognition by the UGC.
“KBK region comprises 20 per cent of Odisha’s population but has only one Central University at Koraput. There is no State Government-run university for the affiliated colleges of the region,” said Gopabandhu Behera, a retired professor of Sambalpur University who is also the president of Sikhya Vikas Parishad of Kalahandi.
In 2008, Sambalpur University had proposed to set up a branch campus in Bhawanipatna and a UGC team had studied the proposal. However, no decision has been taken yet.
Meanwhile, students of the college and members of its alumni association have sent a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to look into its upgradation as university. On Tuesday, they staged a demonstration outside the collectorate. Housing and Urban Development Minister Pushpendra Singh Deo and Digambar Patra, an associate professor of American University of Beirut who is also an alumni of the college, have written to the Chief Minister on the demand.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Demand for University status for Govt (A) College Bhawanipatna: Demonstration in front of collectorate on April 25

Sambad, April 24, 2016

Air Odisha flight to Kalahandi from May 1

Prameya, April 24, 2016
Published on 24 April 2016 By Prameya News7 (author) - See more at: 
Bhubaneswar: After successfully operating flights to Sambalpur, Rourkela, Jharsuguda and Jeypore, State-based chartered private air carrier Air Odisha Aviation Pvt Ltd will start its operations to Kalahandi district starting May 1. On Saturday the private air service operator successfully conducted a trial run.
The nine-seater flight took off from the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) with Junagarh MLA Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra and Air Odisha founder Santosh Pani on its board and landed at the Utkela air strip in Kalahandi district.
The flight started its operations from the city airport to four cities, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Sambalpur and Jeypore on January 19.
The airline is getting subsidy from the state government on the basis of nautical miles it flies in a month. The price was fixed at Rs 222 per nautical miles with a cap on total subsidy of Rs 8 crore annually.
Sambad, April 24, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Memorandum for University status for Govt A College Bhawanipatna by Dharamgarh People

Dharitri, April 21, 2016



Students collecting money for building momentum to convert Govt. College Bhawanipatna to University

April 21, 2016






University Demand for Govt. A. College Bhawanipatna gains momentum

Sambad, April 21, 2016

Bhawanipatna Thirsts for Water

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), April 21, 2016
BHAWANIPATNA: The widening gap between water demand and supply in Bhawanipatna town has aggravated people’s problems. While the demand is 10.35 million litres per day (MLD), only 4.2 MLD is currently being supplied. Locals attribute poor water network and lack of repair or maintenance of old pipelines as the reasons behind the ‘man-made’ crisis.
There has been no addition to the pipelines that were laid by the erstwhile king Brajamohan Deo. In fact, prior to the Independence, Kalahandi never faced water crisis. There was a network of water bodies that irrigated land and catered to the water needs of a small population then.
Brajamohan Deo had even introduced piped water supply in the town in 1930 and locals never felt the pangs of water scarcity till Bhawanipatna was declared a Municipality in 1951. The population then was barely 12,000. Even as the population has now grown by seven times, not much headway has been made into laying of new pipelines. None of the 20 Wards are completely connected with water pipelines.
Water is drawn from river Sagada, 12 kms away, and after treatment at Kandhabandopapla, 10 lakh litres are pumped into an overhead tank near Kali temple in the town thrice in a day for distribution. This apart, there are 12 production wells from which, 0.1 MLD water is drawn and supplied, but this does not suffice. To add to the problems, erratic power supply has been affecting water distribution leaving half of the town parched.
The only respite for people living in water-stressed areas is water supply through tankers by the civic administration.  Although there are 505 tubewells, 20 are lying defunct. The functional ones do not ooze out much water due to the falling ground water level. Assistant Engineer, PHED, SK Parida said they are doing their best to cater to water needs of people. The situation will ease-off only after the proposed drinking water project from river Tel materialises. 
Executive Officer of Bhawanipatna Municipality, Loknath Tiwari said 1000 litre water tanks have been installed at  strategic locations.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Exam boycott by students and protest for University status for Govt. Autonomous College Bhawanipatna.

Note: Exam boycott by students and protest for University status for Govt. Autonomous College Bhawanipatna on April 19, 2016. Thanks toRipudamansourav Mishra for sharing the image and info. 




Cold shoulder to govt college

Thanks and appreciation to Priya Abraham, Prof. Chitta Baral and Sandeep Sethi for their support.
Telegraph, April 19, 2016

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1160419/jsp/odisha/story_80834.jsp#.VxW55uZ97UZ

Students, locals protest against govt's apathy to set up university

Statesman (Kolkata), April 19, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

Highway Blocked over Varsity Status Demand

The New Indian Express (Bhubaneswar), April 18, 2016
BHAWANIPATNA: Students of Bhawanipatna Government Autonomous College on Saturday blocked National Highway (NH) 26 at College Chowk here for five hours demanding university status to the college.
They said that recently the State Government had declared to upgrade Rajendra College in Balangir and Vikram Dev College in Jeypore to the status of universities. But Bhawanipatna Government Autonomous College has been overlooked,  they added.
Later, they submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the district administration. The students threatened that their agitation will be intensified if the Government fails to fulfil their demand.  However, the road blockade was withdrawn after the intervention of the Sub-Collector. 

Mashal Yatra by Students and Protest by Swadesi Jagaran Manch in Demanding University for Govt College Bhawanipatna

Sambad, April 18, 2016

VARSITY TAG SOUGHT FOR B’PATNA GOVT COLLEGE

The Pioneer, April 18, 2016
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been urged to upgrade Government Autonomous College, Bhawaniptana, to an affiliated university for Kalahandi and Nuapada region.
Arguing that when the State Gvernment has decided to create affiliated universities for Puri-Nayagarh, Dhenkanal-Angul and Sundergarh-Deogarh (even for undivided Balesware alone), educationist and NRO Prof Digambara Patra said there is no reason why the same facility shoud not be extended to the Kalahandi-Nuapada region.
He suggested that socially, politically, economically, regionally and infrastructure wise it will be good to make three affiliated universities in KBK region one each at Jeypore, Bhawanipatna and Balangir, especially, when this region is well known for backwardness, low GER, poor regional distribution of higher educational institution and high concentration of tribal population.
Earlier Higher Education Task Force formed by the State Government had recommended to upgrade the Government Autonomous College, Bhawaniptana to an affiliated university for Kalahandi and Nuapada region. Indeed, the Government had also recommended in 2014-15 for upgrading of the Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna to a university under RUSHA scheme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Unfortunately, due to lack of sufficient number of lecturers and other infrastructure facilities this could not be materialized, for which State Government is largely responsible, Patra said.
In 2008 the Sambalpur University had also proposed a branch campus in Bhawanipatna and a UGC team had inspected for the proposal, the fate of which is hanging. Incidentally, the Government Autonomous College,  Bhawanipatna was among the first three colleges in Odisha to receive Potential Center of Excellence by UGC; other two colleges (GM College and Khallikote College) have already been made Unitary Universities whereas Government Autonomous College, Bhawaniptana is being continuously neglected. Demand for conversion of Government autonomous college Bhawanipana into a regular university has been long standing for a decade, Patra maintained.   

SP SUBMITS MEMO TO RLY MINISTER

The Pioneer, April 18, 2016
The Samajwadi Party State Committee on Saturdaysubmitted a memorandum to Railways Minister Suresh Pravakar Prabhu seeing establishment of proposed wagon factories at Naral in Kalahandi and Sitalpalli in Ganjam district.
Besides, the party demanded introduction of an express train from Puri to New Delhi vial Sambalpur in the name of former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.
 ‘The East Coast Railway contributes highest revenue to the Railways Ministry and it has also topped in freight revenue. But the allocation for Odisha is not up to the mark. Meanwhile, the Ministry has shifted the proposed Narla wagon factory to Vishakhpatnam on flimsy ground. This has shocked the people of Odisha. Besides, no step has been taken to expedite wagon factory at Sitalapalli. We demand the wagon factory established at Narla and Sitalapalli project expidaterd,’ the memorandum read.
The party reiterated its demands for introduction of a superfast express in hounour of Biju Patnaik and ‘Hamsafar Train’ from Bhubaneswar to Mumbai and another from Bhubaneswar to Bangalore.
Besides, it placed a demand for construction of a metro railway line, Khordha- Bhubaneswar - Cuttack - Choudwar - Chandikhol - Paradeep - Puri - Bhubaneswar.  

NARLA FACTORY WAS NEVER OKAYED, SAYS RLY MOS

The Pioneer, April 18, 2016
Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha on Sunday said the proposed wagon repair factory at Narla had never received any due approval.
“Many debates are being held about the proposed Narla wagon repair workshop. But the fact is that the project did not get any approval. Somebody came here (Odisha) and announced that the workshop would be set up at Narla. As per norms, any proposal approved by the Railway Board is mentioned in the Pink Book, a book that records yearly growth plans with financial details. But there is no mention about the proposed Narla project in the Pink Book,” Sinha said while speaking at the launching of free Wi-Fi at the city railway station here.
Stating that he furnished this information in conformity, Sinha, in an apparent reference to earlier UPA Government, said, “The Narendra Modi Government doesn’t believe in mere announcements. It believes in implementing promises.”