Saturday, January 30, 2010

Industrial growth of SW Odisha can bring social balance

The Pioneer, Jan 30, 2010
PNS | Bhubaneswar

Noted NRI activist Digambara Patra, in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has appreciated and congratulated him for the fast emergence of Odisha as the second favourite domestic investment destination, according to an analysis report of Assocham Investment Meter Study on Corporate Investments published in The Pioneer earlier.

However, if the State Government could encourage more industrial growth in south-western Odisha, it could be even better to bring social balance in the State, he suggested. Instead of making another smelter in West Bengal, Vedanta Alumina Limited could be encouraged to establish a smelter and downstream park in Lanjigarh-Bhawanipatna region, proposed Patra, an assistant professor of Chemistry at the American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Anil Agrawal may be convinced to play a pioneering role towards industrial revolution in the KBK region to bring social balance in the State, he further said. Along with irrigation, agriculture and horticulture, growth in industries and service sectors such as health, higher education etc is equally important for inclusive and overall growth of south-western Odisha, he opined.

He pointed out that south-western Odisha is the most backward pocket in the nation including KBK, Kandhamal, Boudh, Gajapati and Bargarh. Its development is very much important as it covers more than 40 per cent geographical area of the State and all of them are backward, he felt.

South-western Odisha should get highest priority for regional development and an RDC should be located in Kalahandi, being the central place for whole of south-western Odisha, in order to help in administration and development, and it should be developed like Sambalpur, Berhampur, Balasore/Baripada and Cuttack/Bhubaneswar as regional station, he further suggested.

Big Bazaar outlets to come up in Rourkela, Sambalpur

Business Standard, Jan 22, 2010

Future Value Retail, the Future Group firm which owns value retail formats like Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar, plans to open three to four Big Bazaar outlets in Orissa.

These stores are likely to be opened in locations like Rourkela and Sambalpur. Presently, there are three Big Bazaar outlets in the state- two in Bhubaneswar and one in Cuttack.

Addressing reporters here, Sanjeev Todi, area manager (operations), Future Value Retail said, “Big Bazaar has received a positive response from its customers in Orissa. We have plans to open 3-4 more Big Bazaar outlets in the state in locations like Rourkela and Sambalpur but the time line is yet to be finalised.”

Big Bazaar announced the 'Sabse Saste 4 Din' offer for its customers in the state. The offer would be valid in over 120 Big Bazaar outlets in 70 cities across the country from January 23-26.

“We are expecting a 30 per cent jump in business this year during the four-day offer period compared to the previous year”, said Todi.

'Sabse Saste 4 Din' would have an exciting array of attractive offers, deals and discounts for a wide range of products like food and grocery, apparel, footwear, toys, luggage, kitchenware, bed and bath ware, home décor, furniture, electronics and fine gold jewellery.

Dental wing of the SCB Medical Cuttack upgraded to an independent Dental College and Hospital

PG medical seats in Orissa go up
Expressbuzz, Jan 30, 2010

BHUBANESWAR: Seats of post-graduate and super specialist courses have increased in all the three government medical colleges and hospitals in the State. The number of PG seats has gone up by 76 and super specialist seats by eight.

This follows after Centre’s modification of the teacher-student ratio for these courses in medical colleges from 1:1 to 1:2.

While PG seats have increased by 36 in SCB Medical, Cuttack, the number has gone up by 20 each in VSS Medical, Burla and MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Berhampur.

Seats for super specialist course in SCB have increased by eight. This includes four in DM (cardiology) and one each in neuro-surgery, paediatric surgery, plastic surgery and urology. According to the Health and Family Welfare department, admission for the increased seats will be held from the 2010-11 academic year. Earlier, the medical colleges had 246 PG seats.

The State Government also upgraded the dental wing of the SCB Medical to an independent Dental College and Hospital. This has been named as the SCB Dental College and Hospital. A notification to this effect was issued by the Health and Family Welfare department here on Friday.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Act against fakes: Tribals

Expressbuzz, Jan 29, 2010
BALANGIR: Muscle-flexing, thousands of tribal men and women today took out a rally brandishing their traditional weapons, seeking action against fake tribals.

This rally, the tribal leaders maintained, will be the last peaceful rally.

Henceforth, the struggle will take a violent turn.

Giving the final warning to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the leaders articulated the sentiments of the tribals present in the rally and indicated that there would be no more peace rallies in future. “Henceforth, there will be violent protest. We won’t disclose our future course of action now,” said Braja Kishor Singh Bhoi, president of Zilla Adivasi Kalyan Sangha (ZAKS).

He said the State Government is playing hide and seek.

In order to avoid law and order problem, there was adequate police arrangement.

Around five platoons of force were deployed. Despite that the tribals not only staged a demonstration in front of the collectorate, but also covered the whole town brandishing weapons. Earlier, the tribals took out three such massive rallies in support of their demand.

ZAKS had identified 347 fake tribals in Balangir district in the last three years and a list was given to district administration for further action. “Although we had given the list to the administration, it has been able to take action in eight cases only,” said ZAKS secretary-general Niranjan Bishi.

While the Centre is taking action without losing time against fake tribals, why the State Government is sluggish? he asked.

Sources said, in Sonepur, Boudh and Kalahandi, ZAKS identified 154, 172 and 82 fake tribals in the last three years. Barring Boudh, action has not been initiated in other two districts.

ZAKS said in Boudh, although caste certificates of 11 persons had been cancelled, action has not been taken against them.

Rural craftsmen showcase their creations

Expressbuzz, Jan 29, 2010
Diana Sahu

IT’S A captivating collage of handicrafts and handlooms of Orissa. From the exquisite Sambalpuri sarees to sandstone icons and from intricate Dokra appliqué work to Pattachitra wall paintings, the traditional craft forms are being showcased in innovative avatars by Orissa Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) at the Sisir Saras - 2010, which is on at Exhibition Ground. Emphasis on traditional skills coupled with sensitive designs has made the products suit contemporary tastes and a symbol of sophistication.

The idea is to provide a platform to the rural craftsmen to showcase their products to urban consumers without the involvement of middlemen besides interact with them to find out possible trade options.

Designed to catch the eye are Dokra wall hangings with fretwork frames featuring gods and goddesses crafted in the typical tribal art genre. Their creator, Mohan Meher from Rayagada, also has to his credit Ganesha profiles arresting in their lacy filigree-like workmanship.

Other Dokra artefacts such as lamps, boxes, candle stands and animal forms compel attention for their intriguing wire work finish of metal casting. Equally spectacular is the range of tribal metal jewellery comprising necklaces, pendants, anklets and earrings from Nabarangpur and Dhenkanal districts.

Besides, there are the fabled Sambalpuri and Katki Ikat sarees, dupattas, sarees in silk cotton and tussar. The sarees are outstanding with attractive motifs, woven borders and harmonious colour combinations.

The colour palette comprises beiges, typical reds, vivid oranges, pretty pinks and mellow greens. Prices range from Rs 300 to Rs 7,000.

Pipli work, wall hangings and cushion covers make colourful statements at the exhibition.

The Pattachitra paintings in silk, paper and tussar, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and local lore are expressed in the brush strokes of Orissa’s oldest craft. Both the Pattachitra paintings and palm engravings have been adapted to create wall hangings, bookmarks and greeting cards.

The wood carvings made of stumps of fallen teak trees, from Kalahandi and Nabarangpur districts reflect the craftsmanship and aesthetics of artisans.

Another highlight of the exhibition is the stalls of daily utility items like pulses, brooms, honey, leaf plates, turmeric and NTFP like Amla, Harida, Bahada besides medicinal herbs like Nagarmutha and Kalmegh, procured from tribal belts of Koraput, Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Nuapada, Gajapati, Balangir, Kandhamal and Boudh districts by SHGs.

Besides Orissa, artistes from 15 other states have also found space to display their products.

While artisans from Karnataka have brought in rosewood and walnut wood carvings, their counterparts from Rajasthan have displayed ghagra cholis embedded with mirror work besides bandhini work.

An interesting display is the leather craft from Andhra Pradesh and iron craft from Chhattisgarh. Says Sreenivas Rao from Anantapuram district of AP, “we have exhibited wall hangings and showpieces made of leather. Eco-friendly colours extracted from roots, fruits, jiggery and iron have been used to print traditional designs.” The exhibition, inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on January 23, would continue till February 1. A new initiative by ORMAS to promote sales of rural products – Bazaar on Wheels – has also been inaugurated on the occasion.

R-Day celebrated at Bhawanipatna

The Pioneer, Jan 29, 2010
Bhawaniptna: Minister of State for IT Ramesh Chandra Majhi unfurled the Tricolour at the police ground during the celebrations of the 61st Republic Day here. He called upon the people to join hands in the development process of the KBK region. Primary teachers also hoisted the National Flag at the newly-constructed Teachers’ Bhawan here. Fruits were distributed at the District Headquarters Hospital here on the occasion.

Kalahandi excise revenue estimated at Rs 4.85 cr

The Pioneer, Jan 29, 2010
Bhawanipatna: Excise revenue of Kalahandi district has been estimated this financial year (2009-10) from April 1 to December 31 at Rs 4.85 crore. A total of 562 excise cases were filed up to December 2009, in which 121 persons were arrested from different areas and about 2,800 litres of contraband country liquor, 30,000 kg of Mahua wash, 60 litres of IMFL, 99 litres of beer and 55 kg of Mahua flowers were seized. District Excise Superintendent Ashok Tripathy said that disciplinary meetings on excise affairs are being organised jointly by SP, Collector and Excise Superintendent.

Naveen acclaims Dongria Kondh shawl at Adivasi Mela

The Pioneer, Jan 29, 2010
PNS, Bhubaneswar

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was amazed to see the craftsmanship of the Dongria Kondhs of the Niyamgiri Hills. After putting on the excusive ethnic shawl of this Primitive Tribes Group (PTG) at the ongoing Adivasi Mela here on Wednesday, he lauded their artistic approach and designs.

The Tribal Development Cooperative Corporation of Odisha Limited (TDCCOL) launched the shawls to the market from Thursday.

Patnaik said he knows about the lifestyle of the Dongaria Kondhs of Niyamgiri Hills, where they leisurely knit the embroidery shawls. The local name of the shawl is Kapadagand, which is the main cloth of the tribal men and women, said Principal Secretary of the Department of ST & SC Development Ashok Kumar Tripathy. The Chief Minister was happy to learn about the turnaround story of the TDCCOL, which is back to pink health from its moribund status, said its Managing Director Pusazhule Mekro.

Patnaik was received by Project Director of the Odisha Tribal Empowerment & Livelihood Programme (OTELP) Susanta Nanda at the stall, where the Chief Minister talked to the women who have been empowered by the initiative. The OTELP is organising the livelihood development programme in 30 most backward blocks of seven tribals-dominated districts.

Director of Tribal Research AB Ota briefed the Chief Minister about the fortnight-long tribal fair exclusively organised to showcase the tribal life style, products, culture and traditions. This is considered as the oldest and most colourful festival of tribal people, where all the 62 tribes people including 13 PTGs come to spread out their ethnic mosaic.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nayagarh gets first thermal plant (after the Sugar factory), initiative should be taken for Nuapada, Boudh, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Kandhamal having no industries

Orissa clears Rs 48,500 crore investment proposal

Economic Times, Jan 27, 2010

BHUBANESHWAR: The Orissa government on Wednesday cleared investment proposals worth Rs 48,500 crore. All these projects will create employment opportunity for nearly six thousand people

The investment proposal includes setting up of five new thermal power projects and expansion of two existing power plants.

The projects were cleared by the 12th meeting of the state high-power committee presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The new power projects cleared by the committee include 3200 MW plant National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) at Dharanipali in Sundergarh district (Rs 18,000 crore), 2000 MW plant by Orissa Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) at Rengali (Rs 8,250 crore), 1320 MW plant by BGR at Bhapur in Nayagarh district (Rs 6,300 crore), 1980 MW plant by JR Power Gen Private Limited at Bainda in Angul district (Rs 8,000 crore) and 1320 MW plant by Adhunik Power Company Limited at Birmaharjpur in Sonepur district (Rs 8000 crore)

The existing projects which were given permission to go for expansion are Chambal Infrastructure Limited (from 1200 MW to 1320 MW and GMR Limited (1050 MW to 1400 MW).

Chambal Infrastructure Limited – which has its plants at Siria in Dhenkanal district will invest Rs 5000 crore while GMR Limited will put in Rs 6000 crore at its Kamalanga plant in the same district.

Questions on Responsibility of Vedanta Alumina Limited towards Rehabiliated People and Local Development in Kalahandi

Dharitri, Jan 28, 2010

SC, ST lawyers’ body meet held in B’patna

The Pioneer, Jan 28, 2010
PNS | Bhawanipatna

Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das inaugurated a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in front of the District Collectorate here on Wednesday. Later, the first conference of the SC & ST Advocates’ Forum of Kalahandi and Nuapada judgeship was held here at Ghodaghat Chowk here.

Das said that Dr Ambedkar’s goal was always targeted. He advised the lawyers to achieve their goal by following the path of Dr Ambedkar.

Advocate Daitary Pradhan, Kalahandi Bar Association president Gajendra Padhi and secretary Subrat Bohidar and senior advocate Jagannath Mund were present on the occasion. Convener Nimanchal Naik delivered the welcome speech.

Senior advocate Jagannath Sabar of Nuapada also spoke on the occasion as the guest of honour. Lawyers from Nuapada, Dharamgarh, Junagarh, M Rampur and Kesinga attended the meeting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Letter to MHRD: IIM in Odisha and Central/National University in Kalahandi

Jan 25, 2010


The Honorable HRD Minister, Mr Sibal

The Honorbale Prime Minister Dr Singh
The Honorable UPA Chairperson Mrs Gandhi
The Honroble Chief Minister of Odisha Mr Patnaik

Dear Mr. Sibal,
Recently you have said that your Ministry will consider sanctioning an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kozhikode.

This annoucement is besides IIM, IISER, Central University, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IISST), Innovation/National (world class central) University, etc already proposed in Kerala.

Similalry Rajastant was given an IIT as well as an IIM recently. West Bengal has an IIT, an IIM and an IISER.

In this respect, why a new IIM could not be estbalished in Odisha? The vast region of Western Odisha has not got any national institution recently whereas South, North, Central and Coastal Odisha have many national institutions or laboratories by various ministries of Govt. of India. There is no national institution or labaoratory for higher education in Sambalpur, Balangir and Bhawanipatna region.

Ministry of HRD has also already sanctioned two central Universities to Jammu and Kashmir due to public protest whereas similar demand in Kalahandi for a Central or National University was undermined after establishing Central University at Koraput. Demand for a Central or National University in Kalahandi has been since past two decades. MPs from Odisha have also written to you as well as brought to the notice of the parlimanet (Samaja, Dec 17, 2009) on the matter.

North Eastern states in India have got special preference by MHRD while establishing National Institutions but Kalahandi has not got anything so far by the central Government. There was demand to estbablih Central University in KBK in the line of North Eastern states. However, Odisha was only given a Central University in the state quota but special grant for KBK was ignored which should be ractified.

Many people and analysts think a world class institution could be easily established in place like Kalahandi as establishing such national institution should NOT be location specific.

Unfortunately, MHRD has not considered Odisha in serious note historically even though state Government and MPs from the region repeatedly raised these issues with the central Government. Earlier MHRD had shifted the proposed NIS from Odisha to Kolkata and there was huge public protest against this move, finally honroable Prime Minister Dr. Singh had to interfere and announce NISER at Bhubaneswar through DAE.

I hope your ministry will not repeat the same and will look into this matter to grant an IIM for Odisha and another central/national University in Kalahandi.

Thank you and best regards

Farmers reap profits from cotton crop

Expressbuzz, Jan 26, 2010

BHAWANIPATNA: Notwithstanding erratic rainfall and other adversities, the cotton crop in the district was good this year.

According to reports of Agriculture Department, during the current year farmers have sold cotton worth over Rs 29 crore through mandies of regulated marketing society. Due to adverse weather, cotton coverage during the kharif season was reduced to 18,340 hectares (ha) this year compared to last year’s 20,000 ha. From this 18,340 ha, farmers harvested 93,139 quintals of cotton. Coverage of the crop was extensive in black cotton areas of Bhawanipatna, Golamunda, Kesinga and Narla blocks. In most areas, farmers resorted to mixed crops with pulses like ‘Kandula’ dal. Farmers said the yield of cotton was less than last year’s and the input cost was high but the produce has been better than paddy and other crops.

Following intervention of the Cotton Corporation of India, nine private procuring agencies came forward for procurement this year. Farmers were paid Rs 3,000 per quintal of cotton procured.

Monday, January 25, 2010

If Kerala could get IIT along with IISER and IIM, why not Odisha for a new IIM?

After IIM, Kerela may get an IIT, Jan 25, 2010

Kozhikode: Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) Kapil Sibal has said that if the State government can ensure land for setting up the campus then the Ministry will consider sanctioning an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kozhikode.

Addressing the members of the Malabar Chamber of Commerce at Hotel Taj Gateway here on Sunday, the Minister announced the winds of change which the education sector of the country will experience with the promise of sanctioning one more Kendriya Vidyalaya to the region.

Sibal spoke on the "Relevance of world-class education in the changing scenario," and said that the term 'world class education' is an often misunderstood by people.

The term is always relative to the contemporary situation's challenges in the education sector.

"In a bid to make an effort to reach our goal of world class education we must ensure that all our children should go to school," said the Minister, adding that the schools should identify and nurture the talent of each student.

India is a country where tens of millions of students do not go to schools for various reasons, reminded Sibal, and said that, "For that kind of change to come in, we need to prepare ourselves to get away from the old concepts and mindsets about education."

"The Living Ghost" based on Niyamgiri by Kumar Parija got The Best Film on Envirnoment Issues by Government of India, National Film Award 2008

Thanks to Mr. Srikant Panda, Chicago for sharing this news

The Living Ghost ( got the Government of India,National Film Award 2008 as "The Best Film on Envirnoment Issues."Besides the Silver Lotus,  it will be awarded Rs 100,000/- for it.The award will be conferred by President of India on a day to be declared soon.

Dear Mr. Parija,

I happened to see your message posted in OSAnet. and will join hand in congratulating your personal success.

Also visited your website for the film. From the trailer it looks good. and look forward to watch the film as well. Hopefully , this film will give the viewers some of the local fact of Niyamgiri.

I come from the District of Kalahandi, and have seen the activity around the topic of Niyamgiri and Vedant.

the Vedant might bring development to that region. which is yet to be seen even, but there are many untold facts, which the locals ( normally referred as 'Dongria' or 'Kandha' have faced).

The film might bring you a number of recognition. but the locals will thank you for narrating their stories to the masses, which many of the 'forward thinking' minds have tried to forgotten. and thank you for that.

Thank you

Srikant Panda

Villagers script a success story

Expressbuzz, Jan 25, 2010
Uma Shankar Kar
BHAWANIPATNA: Every inch of the land in Salaegaon is lush green in stark contrast to what it was around four years ago. Mass migration and acute poverty were synonymous to the village as floods almost every year left the agriculture land sand-cast and the entire landscape turned into sand dunes engulfing the agriculture land.

The distressed farmers of the village, about 45 km from here, preferred to rewrite their destiny and they did. Hrudanand Sahu a young village farmer and Naib Sarpanch of Dumria gram panchayat said 108 families of Salaegaon changed the odds in their favour. They reclaimed the sand-cast lands and cultivated cash crops which helped them recover from the past losses and start life afresh, he said. To use the land holistically oil seeds and pulses have been grown in the mixed cropping process.

The once dull village fields are now covered with varieties of pulses, oil seeds and other crops. While sunflower crops extend to as far as the eyes can see, groundnut, castor, mustard and pulses like bengal gram and kandul grown in large have given farmers the taste of success. Some farmers even preferred experimenting by growing onions and wheat by utilising water from wells and chahalas (temporary wells). The novel idea to set up kitchen gardens to meet the family’s daily needs has helped adjust their expenses too.

Besides the land holding tenants, other landless villagers also sharing the fruits of changes by cultivating land as share cropper or contact farmers and there is a visible change in the socio-economic condition of the village.

In the last Kharif season all farmers and share croppers of the village earned anything between Rs 12000 and Rs 1 lakh from groundnut farming depending on the extent of land covered.

They are now ready with the second crop of groundnut for the rabi season.

In the absence of help from agriculture department the farmers are gathering new farming ideas and agro technology from watershed mission team and SVA an agriculture related NGO besides concentrating on agriculture-related programmes on television and Radio.

Despite the vast development the village still cut off from outside world. One has to cross Udanti through the fair weather road from Borda side and take the incomplete kuchha road to reach the village. A permanent road to the village and a bridge over Udanti river could just help the villagers market their produce and earn dividends. A cold-storage facility would come as a shot in the arm for them by preventing crops from getting rotten. A rich, beautiful and fertile village all it needs now is Government attention.

State Government to push for perspective plan

Expressbuzz, Jan 25, 2010
BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has reiterated its demand for approval of the eight-year perspective plan for the KBK (undivided Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput) districts submitted to the Centre last year.

It submitted the plan of Rs 4,550 crore to be implemented from 2009 to 2017. It demanded that the funds should be provided as special Central assistance in the form of 100 per cent grant. The State Government has utilised 99.81 per cent of the special Central assistance of Rs 1,704 crore received during 1998-2009 for the Revised Long Term Action Plan (RLTAP) for the KBK region.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken up the issue with the Centre and the Planning Commission several times. However, even though a year has lapsed, the scheme is yet to be considered by the Planning Commission.

The State Government, however, hopes that the Centre may announce a package for the KBK districts in its budget for 2010-11.

The State Government has also demanded a special Central assistance of Rs 300 crore for the Vijayawada-Ranchi highway project for its timely completion.

The project will help in the development of 12 tribal-dominated districts in the State as well as tackle the growing activities of the Maoists in the region.

Minister for Planning and Coordination AU Singhdeo re c e n t ly broached the subject with Sam Pitroda, advisor to Prime Minister on infrastructure, innovation and broadband connectivity, in Delhi recently. He sought the support of Pitroda for establishment of high quality skill development centres in the KBK region and other backward districts in the State.

Heritage Site Asurgarh – Narla in Kalahandi Neglected: The A.S.I must held responsible

Asurgarh [Narla], District Kalahandi, a contemporary metropolis of Sisupalgarh, Kosambi, Ahichatra, Ujjaini and other ancient Indian cities remains unexcavated and unpreserved in true sense of the term. After the finding of the largest hoard of Punch – marked coins [Total 539] from the fort area in 1966, and the trial trenches laid down by late Prof. N.K Sahu in 1973, to determine its cultural sequences [from C 300BC to 500AD], Archaeological Survey of India has declared the Fort as ‘Protected Monument’ and pitched a Sign Board and posted two guards at the site. The stone embankment provided by the A.S.I, Bhubaneswar Circle in 2008 to protect the western wall of the fort from the river action of the Sandol is haphazard in nature.

The significance of Asurgarh in Indian Archaeology, History, and Culture needs no elaboration. The fort, antiquities and its environment itself speak volume of its importance in India as emporium of Bead trade, Political hob of the Atavikas and Kantarakas from 4th century BC up to the 5th century AD. Its hydraulic system is unparallel. The fort was planned in rectangular as per the Kautilyan principle of Durgavidhana and ancient Indian geometrical formula. The fortification covers around twelfth hector of land. Still today the height and width of the fortified wall measures 11 m x 7.5 m and the encircle moat measures 36 m in width. Moreover, this heritage site has been a pride of the people of Western Orissa.

Yet, Asurgarh is not excavated horizontally nor it is preserved scientifically. Many mounds are already demolished. Bulldozer was used to remove the mud walls surrounding the habitation site [outside the fort] during 2005-2007. Archaeological Survey of India has been a mute spectator of the waning out of this ancient metropolitan centre of India located in Kalahandi district. As such, A.S.I has failed to perform its duty and responsibility, asserts Prof, Dr. A. K Nanda, the Convenor of Kalahandi Vision 2020, a non – political Forum recently formed in Kalahandi under the leadership of Sri. Bhakta Charan Das, M.P [Parliament] and others. Dr.Nanda has further warned massive people’s agitation against A.S.I and Government, if it fails to do horizontal excavation and scientific preservation of Asurgarh during 2010-2011.

People of Lanjigarh meet Naveen

The Pioneer, Jan 25, 2010
PNS | Bhubaneswar

The people of Lanjigarh on Sunday met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and said the Vedanta Group has done nothing for the peripheral development of the plant site in Lanjigarh. “Earlier, we had supported the company. But we started opposing the company as local people are not getting any benefits. Only 12 people from our areas have got appointment,” said Nirmal Samal, a social activist from the area.

A villager Prafulla Majhi said how his family had given 10 acres of lands but no employment was given to the family. “They gave Rs 10 lakh to us. We divided the money among us,” he said, adding that for sustenance of livelihood, one needs a job.

The people also alleged that the company was careless on checking pollution. They also called on the senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Pyari Mohan Mohapatra.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

SC panel asks govt to feed the hungry to prevent hunger deaths

Times of India, Jan 24, 2010
BHUBANESWAR: With 15 of Orissa's 30 districts hit by drought amid allegations of more than 400 starvation deaths in nine years, a Supreme Court panel has asked the administration to rescue hungry people immediately to prevent possible deaths.

The SC appointed Commissioner and Special Commissioner have recommended a "protocol" for preventing hunger deaths in the state.

"Protocol for preventing starvation would ensure that the state response is appropriate to mitigate some of the distress faced by poor and vulnerable groups," SC Commissioner N C Saxena and Special Commissioner Harsh Mander told state chief secretary T K Mishra in a letter.

The SC Commission's letter, which reached the office of the chief secretary here recently, also sought an action taken report within a month.

"We are in touch with the Commission in this regard", Mishra said adding that the state administration was taking all steps to avoid hunger deaths.

"It is imperative in the present context of widespread drought in many districts of the country that the state governments should follow a protocol to prevent starvation among poor and vulnerable households", the
commission told the state government.

The state government has already declared 3264 villages under 70 blocks and 41 wards under nine urban local bodies spread over 15 districts as drought affected.

"The areas having sustained crop loss of 50 per cent and above during 2009 kharif season are declared drought hit", revenue and disaster management minister S N Patro said.

The drought-hit districts include tribal dominated Kalahandi, Koraput, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nawrangpur, Nuapada, Sundergarh and Deogarh.

The infamous starvation deaths and child sale in Kalahandi in 1980s had drawn national attention with many dying of hunger though the then government had denied the allegations.

Stating that the district administration was found to be spending most of its energies in trying to establish that deaths were not due to starvation but due to health reasons, the commission asked the state government to ensure that the focus should now be shifted to all the communities that were living in hunger rather than waiting to respond to the crisis after deaths are reported.

Allegations of 404 starvation deaths were made in the last nine raising questions whether development has percolated to all sections.

The families facing hunger should be provided with foodgrains on highly subsidised rates and steps taken to ensure early sanction and release of insurance under NFBS (national benefit family scheme), the commission said.

The commission's mantra to prevent avoid starvation deaths include coverage under livilihood schemes like ICDS, MDM, NREGS and old age, widow and disability pensions.

For children of the hungry families, the commission said that the administration should ensure their admission to SC-ST hostels.

Similarly, it asked the administration to double food quotas for infants, small children, expecting and nursing mothers.

Environment Minister’s envoy arrives at Lanjigarh

The Pioneer, Jan 24, 2010
Bikash Khemka | Bhawanipatna

Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL) is now anxiously waiting for the last and final phase of clearance by the Ministry of Environment and Forests where reports to be submitted very shortly as a member of the Central team visited the Niyamgiri hill of Lanjigarh.

It was reported earlier that the Union Minister of Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh had asked the State Government to submit a report whether there was any violation of rules and regulation by the industry.

Besides Jairam had personally sent Binod Rishi, a former Additional Director of General (ADG) of Wildlife, who landed at Lanjigarh on Friday morning by helicopter to take the stock of the situation.

During Rishi's visit to Niyamgiri hill he was accompanied by deputy conservator of forest RK Biswal, Orissa Mining Corporation DGM NC Sahu, V. Nagraj Reddy and CCF Koraput V Ramarao Reddy, Head of Environment Vedanta J Soni, Vedanta CEO Pramod Suri, Mr. Bakhala Chief conservator of forest Bakhala and chief conservator of forest (Nodal) V Raja and CCF JK Tiwari.

After visiting Niyamgiri hill by road from Kadamguda Chowk to top of the hill, which is around seven km from the main road, Rishi had come back from Lanjigarh and stayed at Circuit House here.

Collector R Santhgopalan had also discussed with him. Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das did not forget to appraise Rishi personally and discussed many things about the guidelines.

Meanwhile, Rishi denied commenting when reporters wanted to know from him what exactly he found during his visit. Rishi said “I would submit my report to the Centre.”

Friday, January 22, 2010

Anil Agrawal meets media and promises to change image of Kalahandi if refinery project is made successful

Sambad, Jan 22, 2010

Vedanta commits largest refinery in Lanjigarh, largest smelter in Jharsuguda and largest University in Puri

Sambad, Jan 22, 2010

Survey says Odisha 2nd favourite domestic investment destination: Of course credit goes to the state Government

Note: If the state Government could encourage more industrial growth in South Wetsern Odisha it could be even better to bring social balance in the state. Now migration of the people inside the state has become limited towards Coastal Odisha (Balasore-Berhampur) and North-Western Odisha (Sundergarh-Sambalpur-Keonjhar-Angul). Equal focus should be given to South-Western Odisha. The proposed industries coming in KBK are mostly alumina refinery which generates limited scope for downstream industrial growth. For example along with refinery if companies like Vedanta, NALCO, Utkal Alumina etc could be encouraged to establish aluminum smelter adjacent to refinery it would encourage more downstream projects and development like happening in Anugul, Jharsugida, Cuttack region. There is already environmental concern in Jharsuguda, Brajarajnagar, Talcher and Anugul regions, so coal can be transported to KBK region to help in building aluminium smelter. Similalry, instead of making another smelter in West Bengal, Vedanta Alumina Limited could be encouraged to estblish a smelter and downstream park in Lanjigarh-Bhawanipatna region.

Odisha 2nd favourite domestic investment destination: Survey
The Pioneer, Jan 11, 2010

PNS | Bhubaneswar

Undeterred by the global economic slowdown, the domestic investment announcements of India Inc registered a growth of 16 per cent during calendar year 2009 over 2008, with Gujarat, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh emerging as the frontrunners, according to an analysis of ASSOCHAM Investment Meter (AIM) Study on Corporate Investments.

As per the annual AIM assessment report for corporate investments across States and sectors, the total investment plans of India Inc increased significantly from Rs 13,80,099 crore in 2008 to Rs 15,94,203 crore in 2009; out of which Gujarat, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh carved out a majority share of 15.4 per cent, 12.6 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively. The intensity of corporate investment activity during the period of economic downturn has proved the relative resilience of Indian economy.

“The robustness in corporate investment activity on the Indian soil shows how competently the economy has managed to weather the storm of unprecedented global financial crisis,” said ASSOCHAM Secretary General DS Rawat

Gujarat witnessed Rs 2,45,352 crore worth of investment plans. Helped by the investor-friendly policies of the State Government which led to a smooth relocation of the Tata Nano project, the State attracted the majority of investment plans in the real estate, power and infrastructure sectors.

Odisha stood second with the recorded investment proposals worth Rs 2,00,846 crore. The availability of rich mineral resources such as coal and iron ore along with cheap availability of manpower attracted massive investments in the steel and power were among the sectors which attracted maximum investments in steel and power sectors.

The successful commencement of gas production from the D6 block of the KG basin, helped Andhra Pradesh rank among the top three States in attracting corporate investors. The State recorded investment plans to the tune of Rs. 1,29,157 crore. Energy and the real estate were among the major sectors that attracted maximum investments.

Vedanta chief meets Naveen, discusses mining problem at Lanjigarh

The Pioneer, Jan 21, 2010
PNS | Bhubaneswar

Vedanta Resources chairman Anil Agarwal on Thursday called on Chief Minster Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat to find an immediate solution to his company’s bauxite mining problem at Lanjigarh. “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has assured to provide bauxite linkage to our plant,” he told mediapersons after the meeting was over. “Odisha has the 4th largest bauxite deposits. It has the same topography with that of developed nations like Australia. It has coal, bauxite and alumina,” he said.

Agarwal pointed out that in spite of receiving the Supreme Court’s go-ahead for bauxite mining in Niyamgiri in 2008 the activities were yet to start, resulting in huge loss to both Vedanta and the State as the Vedanta Aluminium unit at Lanjigarh is now sourcing bauxite from other States.

He said the company had already invested Rs 39,000 crore in the State. “Many more projects would come up in the State. On a joint venture with L and T, the Vedanta Alumina would set up a steel plant in the State. Everything has been finalised. A tripartite agreement to this effect would soon be made,” he said, adding that 2 lakh people have already got employment in all these projects. “As per our commitment, we are spending either Rs 10 crore or five per cent of the total profit for the development of the plant site areas in Kalahandi,” he said.

Briefing the Chief Minister about the progress of the company’s 1,400-MW power plant at Jharsuguda, Agarwal said it was due to start operation in June,2010. The 100-bed advanced burn and trauma care centre in Bhubaneswar is also progressing as per the schedule. He assured that Vedanta was committed to develop the Metal Park at Jharsuguda that would promote about 100 medium and small-scale industries and employ 15,000 people. Vedanta would provide hot metal, electricity, technical expertise and R and D support for these units.

As per the request of the State Government, the hostel for the students of the recently-announced Government engineering college at Bhawanipatna would be constructed, he said He thanked the Chief Minister and his Government for their support for construction of Vedanta University at Puri and assured that in order to promote art and culture of the State the company has designed special initiatives to search talent across the State at the grassroots level and nurture them through a proper training system. On being asked about the stiff opposition to the Vedanta University project, he said Odisha was a democratic State. “The local people have given their support to the project,” he said.

Replying to another question that the Jharusguda project was creating pollution, he said the company always adhered to environment norms. “We have zero based discharge,” he said.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Implementation of Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) scheme on pilot basis

PIB, Jan 21, 20101
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the implementation of the Scheme “Provision of Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) on a pilot basis within the plan outlay of Rs.248 crore during 11th five year plan. The fund will be utilized for providing capital grant upto 35% of the pilot project to meet the viability gap for operations and maintenance (including invest by private party) in Public Partnership (PPP) mode after dovetailing funds from other Central Schemes and investment from private developers.

The implementation of the restructured scheme in the manner proposed as an innovative initiative being taken for the first time in rural areas. Through the implementation of proposed pilot projects, the unique features of this scheme could be tested on the ground and would enable its upscaling in future.

The primary objectives of the scheme are provision of livelihood opportunities and urban amenities in rural area to bridge the rural – urban divide thereby reducing the migration from rural to urban areas. A distinguishing feature of the scheme is its implementation under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) framework.

The core funding will be ensured from the Central Sector Scheme of PURA complemented by additional support through prioritized convergence of Central Government programmes, funding / managerial support from the private sector and participation of the local Panchayats. The scheme would be implemented and managed by the private sector on viability and sustainability considerations which shall be fully aligned with the overall objective of rural development. This framework of bringing together public funds and private capital into creation of infrastructure in rural areas and leveraging upon private sector expertise to manage and maintain the same during the concession period, forms the essence of the re-structured PURA Scheme.

Under the scheme there is a provision for capital grant to a maximum of 35% of the project cost. Seven to eight pilot projects would be taken up during the 11th five year plan. In order to assure constructive commitment of the stakeholders, separate agreements will be entered into between the stakeholders viz., Concession Agreement (between Gram Panchayat and private developer) and a State Support Agreement (among the Central Government, State Government and the private developer).

Approval for increase in the number of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) through CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET)

PIB, Jan 21, 2010
The Cabinet today approved the implementation of the proposal for increase in the number of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) through CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) in the country.

The main objective of the JRF-NET is to identify, through this national competitive examination, those talented students who could be enrolled for Ph.D. programmes in specific science domains, across India’s scientific and academic institutions and also to identify those who fulfil the eligibility criteria for employment as lecturers across various academic institutions.

The brief details of the proposal are:
Increase in the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) through CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) by two fold over the Tenth Plan period. During the Tenth Five Year Plan a total of about 6000 young students benefited by availing CSIR-JRF through NET. In the Eleventh Plan CSIR proposes to increase the number by two fold.

The total cost of providing fellowships for about 12000 students in the Eleventh Plan is estimated at Rs.444.34 crore.

The proposed increase in intake of JRF-NET fellowships with the attractive remuneration would help in attracting talented youth to take up scientific research as a career and help address the issues related to shortage of scientific manpower in the country.

The biggest beneficiaries of this programme would be the University system and scientific institutions across India as they shall be able to attract bright minds for their scientific programmes/research. It will also benefit students from all over the country who are keen to take-up scientific research as a career.

The programme will be implemented by Human Resource Development Group of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, which conducts National eligibility Test (NET) across the country in 25 cities and at 125 exam centers. A total of about 12000 students would be benefiting through JRF-NET in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

Recognizing the need to identify and nurture young scientific talent who could be enrolled for Ph.d. programmes across India’s scientific institutions. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) started in 1983 a research fellowship scheme as a national responsibility. This was a unique step to fulfil India’s growing ambition to become a scientific & technological power house. In 1989, NET was recognized by UGC as pre-qualification for Lectureship and was renamed as CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test for Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship. Since 1990, NET is being conducted twice a year in the month of June and December.

NET exam is held across the country in 25 cities and at 125 exam centers in five subject areas viz. Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematical Sciences. Selection is made through two paper system. Currently more than 1,50,000 students have been writing the NET exam each year. The CSIR-NET has established an enormous credibility in the country and it has become a bench mark for selecting candidates for pursing Ph.D. programme, appointment either as a lecturer or a project research fellow or for employment in various R&D organization all across the country.

In the recent times serious concern has been expressed by educationalist, scientists, policy markers etc. over declining interest of students to take up careers in basic sciences. There has been an emphasis on enlarging the pool of scientific manpower to contribute towards S&T development in the country which is the reliable benchmark to become a developed nation. In order to achieve this goal focused efforts are required to be made to identify and nurture bright young students who can take up scientific research as a career. The present programme is one such focussed effort in this direction.

Setting up of National Knowledge Network (NKN)

PIB, Jan 21, 2010

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has accorded in principle approval for the establishment of the National Knowledge Network (NKN) to be implemented by the NIC.

One of the important recommendations of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) is to inter-connect all knowledge institutions trough high speed data communication network. This would encourage sharing of knowledge, specialized resources and collaborative research.

The Government’s decision to set up such a National Knowledge Network was announced in 2008-09. An initial amount of Rs.100 crore was allocated to the Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT for the establishing the NKC. A High Level Committee (HLC) was also set up to coordinate and monitor the establishment of the NKN.

Implementation strategy and targets :
The architecture of the NKN will be scalable and the network will consist of an ultra-high speed Core (multiples of 10Gbps and upwards). The Core shall be complemented with a distribution layer at appropriate speeds. The participating institutions can connect to the NKN at speeds of 1 Gbps or to the distribution layer through a last mile connectivity bandwidth.

The NKN will provide nation-wide ultra high-speed backbone/data-network highway. Various other networks in the country can take advantage of this ultra high-speed backbone, with national and international reach to create independent and closed user groups.

The NKN will have about 25 core Point of Presence (PoPs) and 600 secondary PoPs. It will connect around 1500 Institutions. The physical infrastructure (setting up of core network) is expected to be completed in a span of 24 months.

Major impact :
NKN will enable scientists, researches and students from diverse spheres across the country to work together for advancing human development in critical and emerging areas. NKN will catalyze knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer between stakeholders seamlessly – that too across the nation and globally. NKN is expected to encourage a larger section of research and educational institutions to create intellectual property. NKN would enable use of specialized applications, which allow sharing of high performance computing facilities, e-libraries, virtual classrooms and very large databases.

Health, Education, Grid Computing, Agriculture and e-Governance are the main applications identified for implementation and delivery on NKN. Applications such as Countrywide Classrooms will address the issue of faculty shortage and ensure quality education delivery across the country. The crux of the success of the Knowledge Network is related to the education related applications, databases and delivery of services to the users on demand.

Current status of Initial Phase:
In the initial phase a core Backbone consisting of 15 Points of Presence (PoPs) have been established with 2.5 Gbps capacity. Around 40 institutions of higher learning and advanced research have already been connected to the network and 6 virtual classrooms setup.

Scheme of setting up of 374 Model Colleges in Districts having Gross Enrolment Ratio for higher education less than the national GER

PIB, Jan 21, 2010
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the introduction of a new Scheme to provide central assistance for setting up of a model degree college in each of the identified 374 educationally backward districts where Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education is less than the national GER.

Point-wise details:
(a) The Central Government shall provide assistance to the extent of one third of the capital cost for establishment of each college, limited to Rs.2.67 crore. For Special Category States, the Central share shall be 50% of the capital cost limited to Rs.4 crore for each college.

(b) The land shall be provided free of cost by the State Governments. The balance amount of the capital cost, and the recurring cost of running these new colleges shall be met by the concerned State Governments.

(c) During the remaining period of the 11th Five Year Plan, assistance shall be provided for establishing 200 model colleges in identified districts, with priority being given to special category states and districts having concentration of weaker sections and minorities as well as other districts in Schedule V and Schedule VI areas.

(d) The Scheme will have prospective effect and will be applicable to those colleges where admissions commence after 21.01.2010.

(e) A clear Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed with each State Government before any release of funds is made.

(f) The Scheme shall be implemented both through the University Grants commission (which can release funds to the concerned affiliating university for establishment of the college as its constituent college) and also alternatively by way of direct release of funds by the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the concerned State Government, which may like to set up the college either as an affiliated or a constituent college.

The total funds requirements will be Rs.2992 crore (for 374 colleges @ Rs.8 crore per college), and the Central share shall be about Rs.1079 crore. During the remaining period by the XI Plan it is proposed to provide Central assistance for 200 colleges for which the financial requirement (central share) shall be limited to about Rs.615.13 crore.

Assuming that the average number of students in a college is 500, the total number of students who would be enrolled in the 374 colleges, shall be about 1.87 lakh.

This is a new Scheme meant exclusively for students in educationally backward districts, aspiring for higher education. The Scheme shall help in increasing the GER in educationally backward districts.

The Scheme will be publicized among the State Governments immediately for inviting proposals from the States. All the identified 374 higher educationally backward districts in the country where the GER is less than the national GER shall be covered.

In his Independence Speech on 15th August 2007, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India had announced, inter alia, that “We will also ensure that adequate numbers of colleges are set up across the country, especially in districts where enrolment levels are low. We will help States set up colleges in 370 such districts”. The XI Five Year Plan document as approved by the National Development Council envisages, among other things, that 370 new Degree Colleges will be established in Districts with low Gross Enrolment Ratio based on careful selection.

Note: Both Kalahandi and Nuapada are among the educationally backward districts where Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for higher education is less than the national GER

Letter to Chief Minister by Capt R Senapati for Varsity status to Govt. Autonomous College Bhawanipatna


The Honorable Chief Minister of Odisha

Honorable Members of Parliament from Odisha
Secretary, Higher Education Department, Odisha Government
Secretary, Finance Department, Odisha Government
Media & Intelectuals

Dear Honorable Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,

The making of the great Surya Temple KONARK, the pride of Odisha, became a success only when the concept of strengthening the monument from the periphery towards the centre was understood by the King.

In the same way if we are honest in planning to make Odisha a strong state, then first of all we must think of development of the Districts that are away from the centre. On the contrary every novelty is pushed to the centre first with total disregard to the periphery.

Dear Sir, Govt. Autonomous College of Bhawanipatna a 50 year old Institution, reputed for its strict discipline is going to observe its Golden Jubilee in the first wek of January 2010.

Taking this opportunity I request you to start the peripheral attention by giving University status to this great Educational Institution of KBK region.

With regards and hope.
Capt R Senapati
Ex-Army Medical Core
Senapati Street, Bhawanipatna -766001
Tel:+91 6670 230771

Vedanta, L&T plan mega steel project in Orissa

The Economic Times, Jan 21, 2010
BHUBANESWAR: London based Vedanta Resources Plc and Larsen and Toubro have proposed to set up a mega joint-venture steel plant project in Orissa. The two companies are in advance stage of negotiations with the state government and formal announcement in this regard will be made soon, chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc Anil Agarwal,said here on Thursday.

“We are in advance stage of negations with the state government and very soon we are going to sign a tripartite agreement,” Mr Agarwal told reporters after meeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

He, however, refused to disclose details about the size, location and cost of the project.

During his discussion with the chief minister the chairman promised to spend a minimum of Rs 10 crore or five per cent of the profit of the company’s Lanjigarh project for the welfare of the locals in the tribal dominated Kalahandi district.

Mr Agarwal also assured the state government to provide electricity from its independent power project at Jharsuguda smelter unit providing some relief to the power starved state.

“The first Unit of 2400 Independent Power Plant at Jharsuguda would be commissioned in coming summer. This will add 600 MW to the state’s power production capacity and can help the state government in combating the current power crisis. It is to be mentioned that Vedanta has been supplying 15 % of the total requirement of the state power from its captive power plant since recent past,” Mr Agarwal said.

As regards commencement of construction of Vedanta University project at Puri, Mr Anil Agarwal sought help of chief minister Naveen Patnaik to extend administrative support to begin the construction work.

Mr Anil Agarwal also informed to the government that Lanjigarh refinery is fully operational by sourcing bauxite from other states, incurring a huge opportunity loss for both states as well as company. State government has assured to look into the issue seriously and try to work out for an immediate solution.

The chairman said construction activities for a specialized burn and trauma care centre at Bhubaneswar would begin very soon. The 100-bed capacity advanced burn and trauma care centre – proposed to come at Gangapada - will cater the high demand of the accident and trauma patients of the state as currently there is no such medical facilities are available.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For students' sake a good analysis: Higher education need not be location specific, wonderful institution can even be established in Kalahandi

For students' sake
Daily News & Analysis, Jan 20, 2010
E Raghavan

As is often the case these days, it is the intervention of the apex court, in response to a public interest petition, that might once again help clean up the mess in higher education; particularly of the deemed university variety.

Even a cursory look at the list of over 40 such universities that the union HRD ministry now believes is sub standard is enough to indicate how messy this particular business is. The name and the location of such institutions suggest that they could be anything but places of higher learning.

Higher education, of course, need not be location specific. One can have a wonderful institution even in Kalahandi. But for that, you need a good faculty and good facilities as well. The list that the government put out does not show any such stuff in the first place. Many of them sound like hole-in-the-wall teaching shops and they secured the status of a deemed university through a process of accreditation that now seems completely dubious.

It is obvious that you can reach this conclusion based on a couple of simple pointers in the affidavit the Centre filed in the Supreme Court after a review committee looked into the functioning of 126 deemed universities across the country. Of these 44 were found so unfit that the Centre wants to derecognise them while giving an opportunity to another 40 odd such institutions to improve standards in a given time frame. Quite simply, if the affidavit more or less certifies that 38 of the 126 deemed universities were OK and 44 can reach that level in three years but another 44 are beyond redemption, you can guess how bad that last lot is.

Of that lot, six in Karnataka give the state the dubious distinction of a ranking only below Tamil Nadu, which with 16 such universities is at the top. Some of them probably used their patrons’ political clout to secure the status they did not deserve in the first place, though they maintain that they have met the standards laid down by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Many of them are not institutions you would happily send your child for higher studies.

While the institution itself may be justified in seeking some autonomy from the larger state-run universities to avoid scrutiny at every stage, the potential to profit from turning education into a business is what makes the deemed university status attractive.

The state’s track record in dealing with higher education has always been pretty poor. Those involved in academics will readily agree with that and share their lament over declining standards as well. Quite apart from the quota system that, according to the meritocracy lobby, lowers standards, it is the injection of caste quotient that has sufficiently vitiated academic environment in universities. For instance, the appointment of vice chancellors these days is based on caste affiliation much more than academic accomplishments. Quality and standards would be the first casualty in such an environment.

There is always a counter argument in favour of privatisation of higher education. Many private engineering and medical colleges made huge profits by collecting hefty fees under various nomenclature and turned education into a lucrative sector with more and more players setting up colleges in tin sheds. At the end of the day, however, the sheer volume of number of engineers and doctors created a funnel for the knowledge industry in the state to prosper. Students who benefitedfrom this system have no complaints. The deemed university route, however, seems entirely different and does not seem to show long term benefits to students. As long as students in these colleges can continue their studies through an affiliation of the institution to the state university, very little is lost.

The current dispensation in the state may have had very little to do with the six institutions in the state securing a deemed university status. It would, therefore, be easy for the state government to critically examine the process of accreditation of not only such institutions, even those that secure affiliation of universities run by the state. The system of inspection to certify standards, even by academic bodies, is completely broken in the state and deficiencies of either facilities or faculty can be overcome by greasing palms.

As long as such a system receives political patronage as well, it is very difficult to expect truly higher learning in institutions of higher learning that are only so in name. The solution lies in improving overall quality by applying stringent standards such as those the review committee in the HRD ministry used to recommend derecognition of six such institutions in the state. A transparent system of the affiliation of colleges by universities and a stringent process of evaluating standards periodically by an independent body may compel poor collages to upgrade their quality as well. That is the kind of silver lining the state should seek in the long term interest of its young citizens.

Asurgarh fort: Buried under neglect

Expressbuzz, Jan 20, 2010
Uma Shankar Kar

BHAWANIPATNA: Negligence on the part of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to preserve the remnants of Asurgarh in Kalahandi district has triggered widespread resentment among history-lovers and intellectuals. Asurgarh, an ancient metropolis, is considered contemporaneous to Ujjain, Ahichatra, Kosambi, Sisupalagarh and other ancient Indian cities, but it remains unexcavated.

After a large number of punchmarked silver and copper coins of Mourya, pre-Mourya and post- Mourya periods were found from Asurgarh fort area in 1966, a trial excavation was done by eminent historian Prof. Nabin Kumar Sahu on behalf of Sambalpur University in 1973. Later, ASI declared the fort a protected monument, pitched a sign board and appointed two guards.

Sahu inferred from the discoveries that these belonged to the period from 4th century BC to 5th century AD.

The place of Asurgarh in Indian archaeology, history, and culture is very significant, say archaeologists. The fort, antiquities like varieties of beads, iron objects, black and red ware and ornaments speak volumes about its importance. It was considered an emporium of bead-making and trading and its hydraulic system was considered unique. The fort was planned in a rectangular pattern as per Kautalyan principles of ‘Durgabidhana’ and ancient Indian geometrical formula.

The main fortification spreads over 12 hectares. There was also external fortification which is now in ruins. At present, the height and width of the fortified wall measure 11 m x 7.5 m and the encircled moat measures 36 m in width. A stone barrage constructed over the Udanty river to provide controlled water to the fortified area and the moat still exists.

Despite it, Asurgarh is yet to be excavated horizontally nor is it preserved scientifically.

Dr Akhaya Kumar Nanda, convener of Kalahandi Vision 2020, an apolitical intellectual forum, deplored the sorry state of affairs and lamented that ASI is a mute spectator to the fading away of this ancient metropolitan centre by limiting its activities to erecting a sign board and appointing two guards.

He demanded preservation of Asurgarh by the ASI and conduct horizontal excavation to unearth the treasure trove of history.

Demoted, Orissa HC judge sent to Kalahandi

Indian Express, Jan 20, 2010
Maneesh Chhibber

In a rare case, a sitting judge of the Orissa High Court has been demoted to a district and sessions judge. He has now been posted as district judge of Kalahandi.

Sources in the Union Ministry of Law and Justice said the decision to demote Justice L K Mishra was taken when the Supreme Court collegium refused to recommend his case for continuation as Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court after his indictment in a case pertaining to alleged tampering of marks of candidates for the post of judicial officers in the state.

The Registry of the Orissa High Court issued orders demoting Mishra after a decision to this effect by the full court headed by Acting Chief Justice I M Quddusi.

While another Additional Judge, B K Patel, who had been appointed at the same time as Mishra, has now been appointed Permanent Judge of the same HC on the recommendation of the HC collegium, Mishra’s fate was sealed as the SC collegium refused to clear his case.

Asked about further inquiry against Mishra, a senior Law Ministry official said, “As district judge, he is under the administrative control of the HC. It is now for the full court to decide whether it wants him to continue in service or not.”

Source said the Orissa High Court had brought to the notice of the Chief Justice of India the fact that Mishra was allegedly involved in increasing marks of two candidates for the post of judicial officers. When the interview board saw the answer sheets of all candidates, it detected the irregularity — marks of two candidates had allegedly been increased to facilitate their selection. Thereafter, the HC was forced to quash the result of the written examination.

Incidentally, the inquiry against Mishra was conducted by present Acting CJ Quddusi who recommended suitable action against him. Quddusi also favoured reconsideration of the decision to appoint Mishra as a judge of the HC.

“Once a regular Chief Justice is appointed, the HC may take a final decision with regard to further action against Mishra. Until then, it is Kalahandi for him,” said a Law Ministry official.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Diamond deposits likely in Kalahandi, Nawarangpur, Nuapada and Bolangir districts of Orissa

Diamond deposits likely in Orissa, Karnataka, AP, Jan 19, 2010

The explorations by the world's biggest diamond producer De Beers and the country's largest iron ore miner NMDC have found traces of kimberlite and lamproite in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka [ Images ], indicating possible diamond deposits there.

Surveys are also underway in these states to detect gold mineralisation, the government said today. It said explorations in the three states had resulted in discovery of 41 kiberlites and 13 lamproite pipes.

Complex volcanic magmas solidify into kimberlite and lamproite and work as the elevators that bring diamonds with other minerals and mantle rocks to earth's surface. "So far, a total of 339 Reconnaissance Permits (RPs) have been issued covering an areas of 4,66,556 sq. km, out of which aerial surveys have been conducted in 27 RPs," an official statement by the Mines Ministry said.

It said kimberlite and Lamproites were discovered in Kalahandi, Nawarangpur, Nuapada and Bolangir districts of Orissa.

Kurnool, Prakasam and Anantapur districts in Andhra Pradesh also had these deposits. Explorations by CRA Exploration India Pvt Ltd in the state indicated discovery of several mineralised zones in Anantapur and Kurnool districts.

In Karnataka, these were discovered in Gulbarga district. The ministry said exploration permits had been given to several companies.

Explorations in certain areas of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh did not indicate major discoveries while exploration is in progress in Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh.

"Besides the above, the Airborne Mineral Survey and Exploration (AMSE) Wing of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has, since its inception in 1965, carried out aerial surveys," the statement said.

The GSI has been reconstituted into five Missions namely Baseline Geosciences Data Generation, Natural Resources Assessment, Geoinformatics, Fundamental and Multidisciplinary Geoscience and Special studies, Training and capacity building.

"GSI has been equipped with a new heliborne system costing Rs 52 crore (including helicopter and sensors) for airborne survey and a new deep sea vessel costing Rs 448 crore (Rs 4.48 billion) is being procured with latest state-of-the-art technology for marine survey in offshore areas," the statement added.

This will reposition GSI to help discover and exploit offshore mineral resources. A total area of 4,21,917 sq km has been flown in geologically favourable zones for targeting mineral resources which include rural and backward areas.

Meanwhile, coal exploration is going on in Maharashtra [ Images ] and gold mineralisation is being studied in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

All deemed universities will finally go, no student will suffer: Sibal

Times of India, Jan 19, 2010
NEW DELHI: The concept of deemed universities will be abolished in India, human resource development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal said on Tuesday, a day after the government moved an affidavit in the Supreme Court seeking de-recognition of 44 such institutions.

"It is a policy decision that all the deemed universities will finally go," Sibal told reporters at the 10th Editor's Conference on social sector issues here. "The concept of deemed universities from the country will go in the near future and this is part of the reform process. We are putting in place the required legislations," Sibal added.

Kapil Sibal emphasized students in deemed universities will not suffer. "Technically, we haven't de-recognised any deemed university. We have moved the Supreme Court with an affidavit and a report by the expert committee on deemed universities. Let me assure, no student will suffer," Sibal told reporters here.

Sibal's comments come a day after the central government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that the recognition of 44 deemed universities must be taken away.

"We are going to take care of all students. And government's intention is not to put any student in problem. All students will get a university degree," the minister assured.

Sibal said the government had accepted the findings of the committee on de-recognition of 44 deemed universities. "The court will tell us what course of action we will take," Sibal added.

The country has nearly 100 deemed universities that function as stand-alone universities but don't give affiliation to other institutions.

Gamang enthrals audience on final day

Expressbuzz, Jan 19, 2010
BHAWANIPATNA: The four-day Kalahandi Utsav Ghumra - 2010 ended on a high-note yesterday. The event was organised both at Bhawanipatna and Dharamgarh.

The function was marked by performances by former chief minister Giridhar Gamang, artistes from Cuttack, Mayurbhanj besides other parts of the State.

Over the years, the event has turned into a festive occasion for denizens of Kalahandi.

This year near 50,000 people attended the event which was also graced by former President Dr KPJ Abdul Kalam. Addressing the valedictory function, MP Bhakta Charan Das called for attitudinal change among politicians, bureaucrats and government officials for progress of the district.

Six personalities were felicitated with Kalahandi Baraputra award for their contribution to various fields ranging from literature to agriculture. They are Jayant Kumar Behera, Bharat Bhusan Deo, Pravas Mishra, Gajanana Naik, Ratnakar Bhoi and Satya Narayan Rajput.

The Vedanta Alumina also presented Gyanashree award to toppers of various schools and colleges. The souvenir of Utsav 'Kala Jharan’ was also released. Besides folk dancers from Kalahandi, artistes from Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh presented shows. A day-long marathon Ghumra dance performance was organised on the eve of the main event to popularise the martial art dance form.

Palishree Mela, KBK craft mela, Krushi mela and an handloom exhibition also attracted visitors.

At Bhawanipatna, a Kavi Sammilani, seminar on the topic ‘Together we can develop Kalahandi’ and a volleyball tournament was organised for KBK youths. The Utsav was held simultaneously at Dharamgarh. Besides cultural shows, the main attraction at Dharamgarh was the attractive stage prepared depicting Kalahandi’s heritage and environment of Churadangar, ‘Pranam Kalahandi’ exhibition and an art exhibition.

Cover image in Dharitri on Kalahandi Utsav 2010-Ghumura

Thanks to Dharitri, Jan 18, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Centre to derecognize 44 deemed universities

Times of India, Jan 18, 2010

NEW DELHI: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has decided to withdraw the "deemed" status to 44 universities in the country alleging these were being run as family fiefdoms rather than on academic considerations.

However, to avoid jeopardising the future of nearly two lakhs students enrolled in these universities spread over 13 states, they would be allowed to revert back as affilated colleges of their original universities, the Centre said in an affidavit.

The affidavit filed by the HRD Ministry said the government has accepted the recommendations made in this regard by the high-powered P N Tandon committee and the Special Task Force set up to suggest measures to tackle the problem.

"The Review Committee came across several aberrations in the functioning of some of the institutions deemed to be universities. It found undesirable management architecture where families rather than professional academics controlled the functioning of institutions," the affidavit said.

According to the Centre, most of the 44 erring deemed universities were offering post-graduate and undergraduate courses that are "fragmented with concocted nomenclatures" and seats "disporortionately" increased beyond the actual intake capacity.

Bhakta takes Vedanta side, Jan 17, 2010

Anil Agarwal has the last laugh.

Chairman of the Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) was happy to see Bhakta Charan Das on his side.

Member of Parliament (MP) of Kalahandi on 17 January distributed prizes to six meritorious students of Kalahandi with the “Vedanta Gyanashree Award-2010”.

With Field Marshals like Dr.Mukesh Kumar at the helm, Mr.Agarwal need not bother, said a senior officer of the District Administration.

Giridhar Gamang, Former Chief Minister also graced the occasion.

R S Gopalan, Collector Kalahandi chaired the annual cultural ceremony –Ghumura-2010

Among others present were Dushmanta Nayak, MLA, Bhawanipatna, Sarat Nayak, Chairman of Zillaparishad, Kalahandi, Chudamani Seth, ADM, Bhawanipatna.

Dr. Mukesh Kumar, Chief Operating Officer of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) also graced the occasion.

Each of the selected students was given a desktop computer and certificate of merit for their scholastic achievements.

Meritorious students get Vedanta Award
The Pioneer, Jan 19, 2010
Pioneer News Service | Bhawanipatna

Six meritorious students of Kalahandi district were awarded the Vedanta Gyanashree Award-2010 on January 17 during the last day of the district level festival of Kalahandi, Ghumura-2010 at Bhawanipatna.

The scholarship award was presented by Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das, former Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang and Collector RS Gopalan. Among others present were Bhawanipatna MLA Dushmanta Nayak, ZP president Sarat Nayak, ADM Chudamani Seth and Chief Operating officer of Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) Mukesh Kumar. Each of the selected students was given a desktop computer and certificate of merit for their scholastic achievements.

Chief operating officer (COO) of VAL, Mukesh Kumar said, “Vedanta Gyanashree Award is an initiative by Vedanta Aluminium Limited to encourage and support the meritorious students of Kalahandi district to achieve more heights in their study.”

Selection of the students was made as per their performance in the last Class X and XII examinations.

Among the selected students, two of them were in the top ten list of All Odisha +2 Commerce Examination. Four of them were district toppers in HSC, CBSE and ICSE examinations. Rahul Jain and Preksha Agrawal of Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna had secured the First and Ninth Position respectively in +2 Commerce Examination conducted by Council of Higher Secondary Education, Odisha. Ghungura Mishra and Anupam Acharya of DM High School, M Rampur secured the highest mark in Kalahandi district in HSC Examination last year. Abhinash Agrawal of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Bhawanipatna and Preeti Jain of Vimla Convent School were the district toppers in CBSE and ICSE examinations respectively.

In order to inspire students of Kalahandi, VAL had also awarded Vedanta Scholarship to four students in 2009. The company also supports meritorious students from economically backward families in the local area through various short-term and long-term financial assistances.

New central varsities for minority communities mulled in Rajasthan, Bihar and Karnataka

New central varsities for minority communities mulled, Jan 16, 2010

New Delhi: If the new proposal by the Ministry of Minority Affairs comes into action then, the country could soon have a new model of central universities that offer preferential admission to students from minority communities which is not followed by any central varsity until now.

The proposal forwarded to the Law Ministry for inspection explores a central university model in public-private partnership mode (instead of total central funding), to come up on land donated by the Wakf Board in Rajasthan, Bihar and Karnataka.

Although offering admissions to both majority and minority students, the land for these universities will be given by the Musilm communities with the minorities getting the maximum share of seats.

They are expected to come up at Ajmer, Kishanganj and Mysore and are expected to get the maximum share of seats in these new varsities.

The Minister of Minority Affairs Salman Khursheed confirmed that the concept has been borrowed from Dr B.R Ambedkar University, which came up to educationally empower SC students.

While introducing this new proposal, the ministry seems to overlook the Supreme Court status which is still upholding its verdict upon the standing of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) as a minority institution.

Since the varsity came up under an act of legislature and does not conform to the requirements under Article 30 of the Constitution that allows the minorities to establish and manage minority institutions, it status stands disputed.

"The government can either wait for the Supreme Court's judgement or resort to setting up of new central varsities which can help the educationally deprived minority students," said Khursheed.

Plan to set up 3 central varsities on wakf land

Ecpnomic Times, Jan 14, 2010

NEW DELHI: The government is working on a proposal to set up three central universities in the public private partnership mode specifically for educationally backward Muslims. The ministry of minority affairs, which is spearheading the proposal, has suggested that these universities be developed on wakf land. The plan has the in principle approval of the ministry of human resource development and ministry of finance, and is being currently vetted by the law ministry.

These universities will be modeled on the BR Ambedkar University and the Indira Gandhi Tribal university.

Both are central universities which seek to primarily serve educationally and socially groups. “The proposed universities are somewhat different in that the beneficiary group is contributing to the effort,” minister of state for minority affairs Salman Khurshid said.

“This will be another model of setting up universities — public private partnership. The wakf board will donate the land on which these universities will be set up,” the minister said.

By opting to set up these universities on wakf land, the government hopes to pre-empt controversy over their minority status, thereby avoiding a legal controversy like the one Aligarh Muslim University has been embroiled in. The minority status of the AMU is a matter that is still being considered by the Supreme Court.

The university was stripped of its minority status first in 1968, then restored by Indira Gandhi in 1981. In 2006, the Allahabad High Court once again stripped the university of its minority status. It is argued that the AMU was set up by an act of legislature and not by a minority community. With the wakf board offering its land for the university, they become partners.

This would allow for classification as an institute set up for the promotion of educational interests of the weaker sections, as outlined in Article 46 of the Constitution. This would also allow the universities to set aside 50% of its seats for Muslims. The universities will be set up in Ajmer (Rajasthan), Kishanganj (Bihar) and Mysore (Karnataka).

The university in Karnataka will be called Tipu Sultan University of Science and Technology; the one in Kishanganj will be called Rafi Ahmed Kidwai University of Health Science; and the one in Ajmer will be named Khwaja Gharib Nawaz University.

The proposed universities would be “a right mix” of modernity and tradition. The decision to set up the minority universities followed several representations from religious leaders.

L K Mishra appointed Kalahandi district judge

PTI, Jan 18, 2010
Cuttack, Jan 17 (PTI) A full bench of the Orissa High Court has decided to appoint L K Mishra as Kalahandi district judge after the end of his two-year tenure as an additional judge of the High Court.

"Since no recommendation for his (Mishra's) appointment as permanent judge of the High Court or any communique for extension of his tenure as additional judge was received after completion of his tenure yesterday, the full bench decided to send him back to his original cadre," Acting Chief Justice of Orissa Justice I M Quddusi told PTI today.

He, however, refused to comment on why Mishra's name was not recommended for appointment as a permanent judge of the High Court.

Justice Quddusi further said that Mishra could be again elevated to the bench as an additional judge if his name is recommended for the post.

HC judge reverted to district court
Expressbuzz, Jan 18, 2010

CUTTACK: In an unprecedented move, the Orissa High Court has posted one of its judges Justice LK Mishra as the district judge of Kalahandi as the Union Law Ministry did not sanction his elevation as a permanent judge.

Justice Mishra was appointed as additional judge of the Orissa High Court in January 2008 along with Justice BK Patel.

Both took oath of office that entailed a tenure of two years. After two years, additional judges are usually elevated as permanent judges.

With their tenure coming to an end this month, Justice Patel was appointed permanent judge and took oath on January 14. However, there was no intimation on the elevation of Justice LK Mishra.

The full court took a decision on the administrative side yesterday to post Justice Mishra as the district judge.

Kalam urged to help set up national varsity in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Jan 18, 2010
PNS | Bhawanipatna

The intelligentsias of Kalahandi district urged former President APJ Abdul Kalam to influence the Central and State Governments to take immediate steps for establishment of a national (innovative) university in the region.

The intelligentsias led by convener of Vision Kalahandi 2020 AK Nanda and non-resident Odia (NRO) Digambara Patra presented the former President the well-researched document — Vision Kalahandi 2020 here.

Nanda pointed out that Kalahandi is at present backward despite its geographical location at the central point of south-west Odisha, its vast natural resources and glorious past. The KBK Yojana and other schemes of the Central and State Governments would not work here unless higher education and research generates awareness among the masses, he observed.

Although the Government of India has been initiating a number of universities like Central and National [Innovative], nothing is allotted to Kalahandi, lamented Dr Nanda. Such centres of higher learning should be established in the backward zones so that the areas lagging behind the developed zones would march ahead and the regional imbalances would be reduced considerably, which would ensure an effective national integration, said he.

Nanda also pointed out that lakhs of people of Kalahandi cutting across political and professional lines have petitioned several times to both the Centre and the State to get a university. However, both the Governments turned deaf ear to the request, he added.

Kalahandi district, they said, has thousands and thousands acres of land ideally located at the tariff points of rail, road and air. The region is, moreover, free from Maoist menace and natural hazards like floods, earthquake, tsunami and volcanic eruption. As such, the region is congenial for education and research to grow. So establishment of a university in the region is must, they argued.

Facilities in Bhubaneswar should reach Kalahandi: Kalam

The Pioneer, Jan 18, 2010
Bikash Khemka | Bhawanipatna

In the wake of the visit of APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday, thousands of people including schoolchildren and their teachers gathered at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here to have a glimpse of the former President

Kalam reached the Police Ground here by a helicopter at around 3.50 pm. First of all he inaugurated the Primary teachers’ Bhawan and then inaugurated the 3rd Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura 2010.

Addressing a huge gathering, he said, “I am happy to here on the Kalahandi festival day. I am delighted to participate in the inaugural ceremony on 3rd day of Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura 2010. I am indeed delighted to inaugurate the Primary Teachers Bhawan.”

“I would like to greet the District Collector RS Gopalan, Minister of Labour and Employment Pushpendu Singhdeo, SP Sudha Singh, former MLA Pradipta Naik, organisers of the utsav and all the schoolchildren, teachers and parents who have come here,” said the former President.

Kalam also interacted with the students and answered briefly to their questions. He said I am going to give you (students) an equation. Knowledge is equal to creativity plus righteousness in the heart and spread courage.

Kalam advised the organisers to launch a new project every year during Kalahandi Utsav, which will boost economic development, improve employment potential in the district. He also said the amenities available in the city like Bhubaneswar should also reach Kalahandi.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kalahandias memo Kalam, Jan 16, 2010

The presence of APJ Abdul Kalam has made Kalahandias happy today.

In fact former President of India took lot of interest in the inclusive development of the back ward district.

Taking this as an opportune moment, intelligentsias of the district propped up by Digambara Patra, leading Non Resident Odia(NRO) presented Dr.Kalam the Vision Kalahandi 2020 here on 16 January here.

A K Nanda, Convener Vision Kalahandi 2020 presented the well researched document.

Dr.Nanda pointed out that Kalahandi is backward at present despite its geographical location at the central point of south-west Odisha, its vast natural resources, and glorious past.

K B K Yojana and other schemes of the Centre and State government would not work here unless Higher Education and Research will generate awareness among the masses, said Dr.Nanda.

Although the Government of India has been initiating number of Universities, viz Central and National [Innovative], nothing is allotted to Kalahandi, lamented Mr.Nanda.

It should be established in the backward zones, so that, the area lagging behind the developed zones would march ahead and the regional imbalance would be reduced considerably, which would ensure a concrete National Integration, said he.

Lakhs of people of Kalahandi crossing across Party and professional lines have petitioned several times to both the Centre and the State to get a ‘University’.

Delegation after delegation met HRD Minister at the Centre and the Chief Minister of the Odisha State and with utmost humility requested for a University at Kalahandi.

But unfortunately, both the centre and the State turned deaf ear to the request of the people.

Kalahandi district has thousand and thousand acres of land ideally located at the tariff point of rail, road and air.

The region, moreover, is free from Maoist menace and natural hazard like flood, earthquake, tsunami, and volcanic eruption.

As such, the landmass is a congenial place for Education and Research to grow, so the people of Kalahandi.

Therefore, Kalahandias have appealed you to influence the Government, both Centre and State to establish A National [innovative] University at Kalahandi.