Monday, February 28, 2011

Chief Minister of Odisha did not announce University status to Govt. Autonomous College Bhawanipatna but said he would consider

Feb 28, 2011

Chief Minister of Odisha visited Govt. College Bhawanipatna on Feb 28, 2011 , but did not announce University status to the college. However, he said that he would consider the suggestion of the chief speaker, who had raised upgrading the college to a University.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thousands treated at K’handi health camp

The Pioneer, Feb 26, 2011
Bhawanipatna: The Kalahandi district administration hosted a three-day-long Mega Health Camp from February 20 to 22 at the district headquarters here attended by a huge crowd, majority of them form the BPL families of the region. Total 29 doctors from various departments treated the patients at the camp while five doctors from the Vedanta Hospital made their valuable contributions. Vedanta Hospital CMO Sabita Swain, paediatrician Ratan Kumar Das, medicine/sickle cell anaemia specialist Gyanarajan Padhy, physiotherapist Supriti Patra, cardiologist Binay Binaykar and nephrologist Sukanto Kishore Das rendered their services at the three-day camp. Four doctors from the Vedanta Hospital attended the camp daily and treated nearly 1,000 patients and majority of them consulted the medicine department, informed CMO Swain. Apart from medicine, patients were treated and cured in the departments of physiotherapy, paediatrics and nephrology, she added.

JSPL to set up world's biggest steel plant in Orissa

Economic Times, Feb 26, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: Optimistic of commissioning the proposed 6 million tonnes per annum steel project in Orissa by 2013, Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) on Saturday said it would keep enhancing the plant's capacity to make it the world's biggest steel plant .


"We will be able to achieve the capacity of 6 mtpa steel plant by 2013," JSPL executive vice-chairman and managing director Naveen Jindal told reporters after meeting Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik .

He added, "The capacity of the proposed 6 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) steel plant will be expanded to 20 mtpa in the next 10 years. This will be the biggest steel plant in the world."

He said the company had already invested Rs 10,000 crore and placed order for another Rs 5,000 crore for its Orissa steel project.

While JSPL would invest Rs 45,000-50,000 crore in steel sector, another Rs 50,000 crore would be invested in its proposed Coal-To-Liquid (CTL) plant.

"The company is likely to invest Rs 1,10,000 crore in next 10 years," Jindal said, claiming that the environmental clearance to its project was not conditional.
To a question on rehabilitation of the project-affected people, Jindal said the company had already demonstrated its activities.

Didi's budget leaves state leaders fuming

Times of India, Feb 26, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: Several MPs, cutting across partylines, slammed the railway budget presented by Mamata Banerjee on Friday.


"Mamata did injustice to Orissa. Even the requests by us (Congress MPs) yielded little result," Congress MP from Kalahandi Bhakta Das said. "We had met her much before the presentation of the Budget and conveyed the state's wish list for overall development of railway sector. But the state's hopes were dashed," Das said.

Equally vocal was BJD MP Baishnab Parida. "The Railway Budget indicates the step-motherly treatment of the Centre towards Orissa. It was purely a West Bengal-centric Budget," Parida remarked.

Expressing concern over the tardy progress of the ongoing rail projects in state, BJD MP Prasanna Patsani said the Railways should act in a "time-bound" manner. "Work on the Khurda Road-Balangir and the Haridaspur-Paradip rail links has been going on since years. Mamata made no commitment regarding the completion of the projects," Patsani said.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who described the Budget as "extremely disappointing" said, "Money sanctioned for the ongoing projects is getting diverted due to non-receipt of project specific sanction and poor execution. Money sanctioned for the projects should be fully utilized."

Mamata proposed to set up a Central Organisation for Project Implementation (COPI) to ensure proper monitoring of the projects across the country. "COPI will monitor and ensure the funds allocated to different projects are fully utilized and not surrendered or diverted and projects completed in time-frame. COPI will also ensure accountability and fix responsibility for non-performance," Mamta said while tabling the Rail Budget.

Taking potshots at her, Naveen said, "The railway budget is disturbingly silent about our proposal of expanding rail network in Maoist-hit areas." BJP MP Rudranarayan Pani said, "Orissa was neglected again. Mamata gave little stress on track safety."

"Mere introduction of new trains and pro-passenger initiatives does not reflect a please-all Rail Budget. Tracks should be maintained properly and repaired in time for the safety of pilgrims," Pani said.

Meanwhile, passengers here expressed happiness as Mamata did not hike the fares. They, however, laid stress on the need to keep the train compartments and stations shipshape.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Appeal for Converting Govt. Autonomous College Bhawanipatna to ODISHA/MAHAKANTARA UNIVERSITY

Note: Though its not yet 100% confirmed but Chief Minister of Odisha might visit on the ocassion of Golden Jubliee Closing ceremony of Govt College Bhawanipatna on 28th Feb, which seems positive, please send him an email requesting "Kindly upgrade Govt Authonomous College Bhawanipatna to a state University"

Letter Sent to CM

Sub: Converting Govt. (A) College Bhawanipatna to ODISHA/MAHAKANTARA UNIVERSITY

Dear Honourable Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,


Ancient MAHAKANTARA consisting present days Kalahandi, Koraput region has a great history. Perhaps very few other regions in present Odisha except Bhubaneswar region have a great ancient civilization like Kalahandi, about 2000 – 5000 years old. The history of Kalahandi goes back to the primitive period where a well-civilized, urbanized and cultured people inhabited on this land mass around 2000 years ago. World's largest celt of Stone Age and largest cemetery of megalithic age have been discovered here – this shows the region had cradle of civilization since the pre-historic era. Asurgarh in Kalahandi was one of the oldest metropolises in present Odisha whereas the other one was Sisupalgarh. The history of Kalahandi is rich in terms of contribution towards the Indian culture and temple architecture. Temple of Goddess Stambeswari, built during 500 AD, is a perfect example where the first brick Temple in Eastern India was built. Sanskritization in Odisha was first started from ancient Mahakantara region. Earliest flat-roofed stone temple of Orissa was built at Mohangiri in Kalahandi during 600 AD. Temple architecture achieved perfection at Belkhandi in Kalahandi and then traversed to Ekamra, present Bhubaneswar, along with the political expansion of the Somavamsis during the 1000–1100 AD.

Some other historical forts in the region includes Budhigarh (ancient period), Amthagarh (ancient period), Belkhandi (ancient to medieval period), Tersinga, and Dadpur-Jajjaldeypur (medieval period). In ancient history this kingdom was serving as salt route to link between ancient Kalinga and South Kosala. This land was unconquered by the great Ashoka. In medieval period also the region had played a prominent role to link South India, Eastern India and Central India region and witnessed the battle ground for Somavansi, Chola, Kalachuris and Gangas. The distribution and occurrence of precious and semi-precious gemstones and other commercial commodities of this region have found place in accounts of Panini (5th century BC), Kautilya (3rd century BC), Ptolemy (2nd century AD), Wuang Chuang (7th century AD) and Travenier (19th century AD).

Unfortunately rich historical significance of this region is not getting notice and recognized in the state Governmental level.

Odisha higher education task force has already recommended for upgrading Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna (GACB) to a state University in South Western Odisha region. Although the task force has recommended the name as South Western Odisha University, recently I realised that there is no university in the name of ODISHA UNIVERSITY.

Beside ODISHA UNIVERSITY at Bhawanipatna, MAHAKANTARA UNIVERSITY (in the line of Utkal University) could also be seriously considered due to historical significance of this region. Other probable name could be Kalahandi University (in the line of Sambalpur University), Bhawanipatna University (in the line of Berhampur University), etc.

Your recent announcement in Ganjam to make Khallikote Autonomous College to a Unitary University soon is very much welcome. However, logically and taking into consideration of practical purpose, at this moment urgency of a state University in KBK region is more important over conversion of Unitary Universities, which are already Autonomous Colleges locating in those region where there are already general state Universities.

The necessity of a state University at Bhawanipatna for KBK region bears importance because for practical purpose as the local students and people of KBK suffer while travelling to Sambalpur or Berhampur Universities due to long distance and poor communication.

Bhawanipatna being the central town in KBK and GACB being the one of the first three colleges of Potential Centre of Excellence received from UGC along with Gangadhar Meher College at Sambalpur and Ravenshaw College at Cuttack in Odisha, make deem fit for up gradation to a state University immediately. GACB is the only College in KBK region which has received UGC recognition and the demand for a University in Kalahandi has been since decades.

This year Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna is celebrating Golden Jubilee and I anticipate you declare it to become a state University during this period.

Thanking you and best regards

Digambara Patra

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Power Institute in offing

Tathya.in, Feb 23, 2011
With 40 000 Mega Watt (MW) power production being lined up, the Government of Odisha is mulling to set up a Power Technology Management Institute in the state.


So the Government of Odisha has decided to set up the Odisha Power Technology and management Institute(OPTMI), which will be of international standard, said official sources.

More than 30 Independent Power Producers (IPP)s are setting up their plants in the state, major share of such capacity addition is expected within Twelfth Plan Period(2012-17), foresee officials in Department of Energy(DOE).

In fact increase in power generation capacities also requires commensurate development of transmission capabilities as well as enhanced techno-commercial and management skills as well as modern Grid management and Energy metering, said Pradip Kumar Jena, Secretary DOE.

Mr.Jena said that it would increasingly become necessary to adopt highly efficient technologies, commercial and management practices to handle such high volume of power generation, transmission and distribution.

Needless to say that this would also require a vast pool of human resources having skillsets and competency of a nature not widely available today, said an expert in Power Sector.

So the Power Administrators have felt the necessity to simultenously plan an accelerated growth of human resources having right competence .

Moreover, in order to utilize newly emerging frontier technology and management concepts it would be necessary to develop an advanced facility to undertake research in such high technology and management sectors with continuous focus on Power Sector of Odisha.

Keeping this in view OPTMI is being planned to be set up on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, said an official.

This institute will be set up with active participation of the upcoming power projects in the state and the Public Sector Undertakings (PSU)s of the Power Sector, said the official.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Personal Interview on KBK

Only Improvement, No Development in KBK: Prof. Digambara Patra

Odishanewstoday.com, Feb 21, 2011

News Desk: Professor Dr. Digambara Patra, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut, has given an exclusive interview to Odisha News Today (ONT).


Dr. Patra has been working hard to highlight the issues related to KBK (Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi) and sending his suggestions to various government departments at the state and national level. Here's what Dr. Patra had to say about himself and the KBK region.

ONT: Welcome Dr. Digambara Patra. We really appreciate you for your involvement in the affairs of KBK region and useful recommendations to various concerned authorities. They are really helpful.

Ans: Thank you very much. Indeed it makes me happy.

ONT: Can you tell our readers about your background, academic and your vision?

Ans: I come from Dharamgarh in Kalahandi district of Odisha. Presently I am an Assistant Professor in Chemistry in American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to this assignment my PhD in Chemistry was at IIT Madras and postdoctoral research work in Switzerland, Germany and Japan.

I aspire for a developed Odisha in terms of education, health and infrastructure and believe that to achieve it the region need participation of intellectuals and civil society in terms of sharing knowledge and generating public awareness.

ONT: Do you think there is a definite development in KBK region?

Ans: There is some kind of improvement in KBK region but not development. KBK needs more awareness rather than sympathy. When it comes to Governmental initiatives for poorest of poor, the methods adopted are quite good, but there is lots of slippage in the process. Knowingly or unknowingly officials, private workers, contractors, and most importantly politicians everyone has their big or small share. In the name of NGOs or cooperative society wealth is being made in the personal and political level in Odisha.

Few NGOs are doing fine with their limitations, but there are also many NGOs who are selfish in the ground level. Intellectuals inspired by communist ideology are spoiling rather than helping KBK region. Maoists influence have expanded from two districts to all the eight KBK districts in past ten years, their influence has become a serious concern not only for security reason but also for the development of the region. This was biggest drawback of the present Government.

ONT: What steps the Odisha government must take to ensure speedy development and progress in the KBK region?

Ans: Government initiatives in infrastructure, education and health are largely in the primary level in KBK, the secondary and tertiary level developments are limited in KBK and more focused in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Rourkela and other places. Infrastructure is Key to the development and attracts new investment. NH201 known as heart line for KBK region is still in misery conditions. The other crucial routes such as Nuapada – Sunabeda – Lower Indra Dam – Boden – Nilgi-Sinapali – Golamunda – Dharamgarh – Moter – Jaipatna – Mangalpur – Deopali – Muran – Kolab – Dooduma (Koraput), Sonepur – Balangir – Patnagarh - Padampur, Motu – Malkangiri – Jeypore – Rayagada, Umarkote –Dharamgarh - Junagarh – Jilingdar – Karlapat Kiapadar – Bijepur – Kalyansingpur – Rayagada- Gunpur, Koraput – Kashipur – Bhawanipatna - Madanpur Rampur – Mohangiri – Kantamal (Boudh dist) – Sonepur, Patnagarh –Sindhekela-Kegaon-Brundabahal-Dharamgarh; Umarkote – Nabarangpur -Mukhiguda-Thuamul Rampur – Lanjigarh – Ambadola, Bhawanipatna - Borbhata – Kulen – Titilagarh etc need to be explored and developed as a major state highway routes to link and establish a network among all major towns in KBK districts that will directly boost the economy and commerce in the region.

Khordha road – Balangir and Talcher – Phulbani – Lanjigarh road, Junagarh – Nabarangpur - Jeypore – Malkangiri - Bhadrachalam road, Kantabanji – Jeypore, Rayagada – Gopalpur railway links are urgently wanted to connect undivided Kalahandi Balangir Koraput Kandhamal (KBKK) districts directly with state capital. Similarly survey of Junagarh – Debhog – Rajim (Raipur) and Lanjigarh road – Gopalpur would bring opportunities for the region. Irrigation projects such as Upper Indravati, Suktel, Lower Indra, Koksara Lift irrigation project, Lower Indravati, Lower Kolab, Upper & Lower Udanti, Upper & Lower Tel barrages projects that need special attention.

ONT: The poverty and hunger in Kalahandi were the talks of the nation a few years ago. Do you think the same situation still prevails in the district?

Ans: Poverty is one side of the coin and it is still prevalent in many parts of Kalahandi. However, Kalahandi is also a rich land in terms of history, historical sites, agriculture, folklore, tribal culture, dance, art & craft and minerals. Poverty cannot be completely overcome without developing positive sites of Kalahandi. The historical sites of Kalahandi are most neglected in the state that could boost tourism. Odisha Government has taken major initiatives for the development of tourism industries in other districts in the region but not yet Kalahandi/Nuapada.

ONT: Why the KBK region still lags behind in many areas? Is there any discrimination against the KBK as compared to the Coastal region in Odisha?

Ans: Definitely, but this discrimination is more in the political circle. Although KBK has 20% of Odisha’s population and 30% of state’s geographical area, it just elects 4 MPs and 28 MLAs which is not more than that of undivided Cuttack district alone. Historically, importance has been always given to Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur and Sambalpur. Although Ganjam and Khordha districts are neighbouring districts, all the administrative offices and higher educational institutes were located in Berhampur in the name of South Odisha.

As per inaccessibility, distance and backwardness the region that genuinely deserved was KBK. Three very influential chief ministers coming from Ganjam district in the past to the present along with political awareness have made that region major beneficiary compared to KBK district.

Take the case of High Court (HC) branch, all the HC branches in the nation are located in backward, inaccessible and at least 300 km away from the present High Court in a state. In that respect neither Berhampur nor Sambalpur has any justification for a HC branch, rather such branch should ideally be located at Bhawanipatna, a central town among all KBKK districts, locating 500 km from Cuttack High Court, inaccessible from Cuttack (no direct train communication) and backward location (KBK is most backward in the nation). However, Odisha chief minister had written letters to have two HC branches in Berhampur (for South Odisha) and Sambalpur (for Western Odisha) based on local demand in those respective regions which probably lingering the process.

Is there any rationality in this judgement except regional politics? In Odisha political demand, lobby and protest take over rational judgement for which innocent region like KBK suffer to region having better political clout and more public protest. KBK suffers this kind of discrimination. State University and Government Medical College are other issues for which people in KBK directly suffer. It is not difficult to reach out SCB medical college from Berhampur or Sambalpur than reaching MKCG medical college in Berhampur or VSS medical college in Sambalpur from Koraput or Kalahandi respectively.

ONT: What suggestions you would like to give to political representatives in KBK region?

Ans: The local politicians must be united and they could visualize for actual development, specifically serious political demand should come in highways, railways, higher education, and tertiary health facility that bring effectiveness to the primary level, helps in long term investment and amplify in every other fields. The amount of investment KBK region is receiving is very small compare to its geographical area and requirement.

Building a road is more related to geography than population. KBK should host one third of Odisha’s each state highways, national highways and railways based on its geography, but we do not see that. Data of state highways and national highways per every 1000 sq km in Ganjam and any of KBK districts could be easily matched up to.

ONT: What's your take on the "dal scam" in Odisha?

Ans: Corruption is the biggest problem the nation has been encountering since independence. Corruption is also related to social problem. Only people’s participation in governance might help to reduce it in a country like India.

ONT: Where do you see Koraput, Kalahandi and Balangir in the next five years? Will they appear in national news for all good reasons?

Ans: I do not see much in next five years, in few scales KBK might show a minor improvement in few scale, but majority of the large scale it may remain as such. Government has not yet delivered anything substantially in infrastructure during past 10 years in KBK region. Most of the projects which have started 10 years ago or more, have not fully accomplished. For example, considerable part of NH201 remained as it is; no improvement in other major road; not a new major bridge has been accomplished, and Khordha road – Balangir and Lanjigarh road – Junagarh railway lines are still struggling during past decade.

Unless major infrastructure is created under development of KBK will continue. It needs more than a five year with the current speed of development. On the other hand, the way Coastal Odisha and North Western Odisha are progressing recently the gap between KBK and those regions will further increase.

ONT: Any other things you would like to suggest/highlight?

Ans: Present investment climate indicates KBKK region is least beneficial compare to Coastal Odisha and North Western Odisha. Projects like Vedanta Alumina or Utkal Alumina in KBK have become controversial and struggling. For inclusive growth, Odisha state Government should focus in KBKK centring on Bhawanipatna instead of traditional South/North/Western divisions. In the mean time major towns like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Rourkela, Sambalpur, Balasore, Angul, Keonjhar, Jharsuguda, Paradeep, Dhenkanal, Jajpur (Kalinga Nagar), Gopalpur, Badbil etc will continue developing through private parties.

ONT: Dr. Patra, Thank you very much for your precious time. We really appreciate your gesture to give such a detailed interview to us.

Dr. Digambara Patra is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut.


Kalahandi Express, Sept 9-15, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Initiative to preserve indigenous paddy varieties

Shared by Sri Dillip Kumar Das
The New Indian Express, Feb 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Faculty Recruitment Criteria at IITs/IISERs/IISc

CC
Directors of IITs, IISc, IISERs, NITs
HRD Ministry
Editor, Current Science


Dear Prof.Chakraborty, Director of IIT BBSR

I read the following report in The Telegraph (Kolkata) relating to faculty recruitment at IIT Bhubaneswar.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110220/jsp/nation/story_13608488.jsp

Career first class should not be a criteria in IITs, IISERs and any other higher educational institutes in India. There are many students not having career first class in India are doing extremely well later on in research and teaching in institutes out side India and sometime with in India. I found few students without having career first class in India are publishing in Science and Nature from institutes in Europe and America and many are no less than any of the faculty in any national institute in India.

IIT BBSR has adopted a criteria similar to IIT Kharagpur, which requires a career first class, unfortunately this is totally absurd. A student coming from a village and other social circumstance may not perform so well in the beginning of the career but when s/he gets right kind of infrastructure, facilities and guidance s/he may do better and excel.

In abroad many institutes evaluates PhD, research experience, Publication, recommendation, teaching experience and time to time MSc degree during recruitment. In this respect selection of Dr Pani is relevant by IIT BBSR.

At certain point of the career when the candidate is a regular PhD holder with 3 years of postdoc experience,  first class in matriculation, +2 and BSc grade are irreverent and rarely make any difference over research and teaching potential of the candidate.

The criteria as adopted in many American Institute like ours largely focus in research, publication, recommendation, future research proposal and teaching philosophy.

If some one has proved his/her ability in the higher level later on in his career, then there is no point in stopping him/her due to some of his/her grade in schools or college life. This is ridiculous when the candidate has proved his/her potential in the higher level.

The present selection criteria by some of the national institutes including IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bhubaneswar etc to have a career first class indeed exclude some of the excellent candidate who could excel in research and teaching in the international and national level. However, excluding requirement of career first class may bring few more applications which may not be qualified for the recruitment of such premier institute at the national level, but this could be easily sort out based on research and teaching performance during processing the application, in this case at least a deserving candidate is not left out due to career grades in school and college.

All the directors of IITs, IISERs, NITs, IISc and other premier national institutes in India are highly qualified and internationally well recognized researcher, I hope all of them along with HRD ministry will look into this matter while recruiting in the assistant professor level and above so that a deserving researcher and teacher is rewarded and does not suffer due to irreverent career evaluation.

Thank you and best regards
Digambara Patra

.........................................................
The Telegraph (Kolkata), Feb 20, 2011


Teacher scan on Orissa IIT
BASANT KUMAR MOHANTY
New Delhi, Feb. 19: The Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, is in the glare because of violation of norms in the appointment of faculty.
At the centre of the controversy is institute director M. Chakraborty. Documents with The Telegraph show that Chakraborty flouted eligibility norms in the appointment of two assistant professors. He also violated government guidelines to appoint a faculty member past the age of 65 as the dean (faculty).
The Central Vigilance Commission has registered a case against these alleged irregularities and forwarded complaints to the human resource development ministry.
Set up in 2008, IIT Bhubaneswar was originally mentored by IIT Kharagpur. So, IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya served as director of IIT Bhubaneswar till a regular director was appointed.
In August 2008, IIT Bhubaneswar advertised for the post of assistant professors. The ad stated that all applicants had to have PhD degrees with a first class or equivalent in all preceding degrees, as well as at least three years of teaching/research/industrial experience.
However, Sabyasachi Pani, an applicant for the post of assistant professor of mathematics, did not have a first class or equivalent at the Class XII level. But he was appointed.
Briefly in early 2009, Chakraborty, who was deputy director of IIT Kharagpur, took over as the institute’s officiating director when Acharya stepped down because of student unrest.
During that period, Chakraborty asked for applicants’ files and noted that Pani “may be called for interview as he is fulfilling shortlisting criteria”. Accordingly, Pani was called for an interview and selected. But several candidates who had got first classes throughout their careers were rejected.
In May 2009, Chakraborty was appointed as the first director of IIT Bhubaneswar. A selection panel headed by him appointed Rajan Jha as assistant professor of physics. But documents show Jha had less than three years of research/teaching experience when he was appointed.
Chakraborty also appointed S.C. De Sarkar, who was above 65, as the dean (faculty). According to the guidelines, the Visitor’s approval should have been obtained before employing faculty members past 65.
“The allegations are being investigated,” a ministry source said.
Chakraborty could not be contacted for comment. IIT Bhubaneswar chairperson P. Rama Rao said he had received the complaints forwarded by the HRD ministry.
“We have also given our reply to the ministry on these complaints. You can get that information from the ministry,” he said.

Special aid: Kalahandi utilises Rs 200 crore

Expressbuzz, Feb 20, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: The government has provided Rs 280 crore special assistance to Kalahandi districts during 2004 and 2010 out of which nearly ` 200 crore has been utilised. Replying to a resolution moved by Gobardhan Dash of Congress, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raghunath Mohanty said Kalahandi district received special central assistance of Rs 104.33 crore under the revised long term action plan during this period. The district has so far utilised Rs 101.44 crore on several projects for drought proofing, poverty alleviation, infrastructure development and sustainable livelihood. Kalahandi is one of the 19 districts that is covered under the back ward region grant fund (BRGF). The district received a grant of Rs 39.60 crore till last year and the utilisation so far is Rs 32.59 crore. The Congress MLA, however, alleged that the district lost the special grant for two years from 2008 to 2010 due non-submission of utilisation certificate in time. The Centre is providing Rs 15 crore BRGF grant to most backward districts to meet the critical gaps in infrastructure and other development requirements which are not adequately funded through state’s plan outlay. The district has not been able to utilise funds provided under Biju KBK Yojan, a state scheme launched in 2006-07. Although the Government has provided Rs 81 crore to the district, only Rs 29,34 crore has been utilised. Utilisation of funds sanctioned to Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) is also not satisfactory. The district has utilised Rs 36.39 crore out of Rs 54.70 crore during 2004-05 and 2010-11. Moving the resolution, Dash alleged that no perceptible change in the socio-economic conditions of the people has taken place despite the special central and state assistance. People are still migrating from the district to other places in search of work, he said.

PM lays foundation of two national institutes

Times of India, Feb 20, 2011
SIVASAGAR: Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday laid the foundations of the National Institute of Design (NID) and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology (Assam centre) in Jorhat and Sivasagar districts respectively.

Addressing a gathering in Sivasagar, Singh said, "It is befitting that the institute has been named after the late Rajiv Gandhi, our beloved leader and former Prime Minister of India. His contribution to modernization and development of our country was immense. He believed that the application of science and technology was critical to our development process."

He added that the institute, which will be a world class establishment in the petro-chemical sector, will be constructed at a cost of Rs 148 crore from central funds. "The place will offer degree, diploma and certificate courses to unemployed youths of the state. It will also provide special research on a particular subject," he said.

The Prime Minister added that the institute's academic year will start from August this year. He said it was a centre of the main institute at Rae Barelly and its main objective was to promote capacity building in competency related to the domain of hydro carbon sector.

The institute is the first-of-its-kind promoted by oil majors like ONGC, IOCL, OIL, GAIL, HPCL, BPCL NRL and Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB) under the aegis of the Union ministry of petroleum & natural gas.

"There is a high probability of petroleum production in Assam and the northeast. Several oil-related surveys have been conducted in this region and out of 25 new exploration blocks, 15 have been decided to set up in the state," he added.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who was also present, said, "Assam plays an important role in the production of oil across the country. The state's contribution to the oil sector is very important and therefore the Centre paid special importance to this region, particularly in the oil sector."

He added, "I request the Prime minister to hand over a few marginal fields to the Assam Hydrocarbon Energy." The CM also requested the Prime minister to construct another bridge on the Brahmaputra connecting Dissangmukh in Sivasagar district to Tekelifuta in Lakhimpur district. Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Jaipal Reddy said the construction work of this project will be complete by August 2013.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bypass route for NH201 near Bhawanipatna and Highway network among KBK-Kandhamal towns

Feb 19, 2011


Dear Honorable Minister of Road Transport and Highways Sri Joshi,

Development of KBK region is being rigorously discussed in the state and central Governmental level. However, Government initiatives in infrastructure is largely in the primary level in KBK, the secondary and tertiary level developments are limited in KBK and more focused in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Rourkela and other places in Odisha. 

Infrastructure is Key to the development and attracts new investment. NH201 known as heart line for KBK region is still in misery conditions as before it was announced as National Highway. 

The necessary for a bypass for NH201 near Bhawanipatna town has been a long standing demand to avoid unwanted vehicles passing thorough the centre of the town in daily basis by increasing the traffic and accidents.

State Government has been continuously raising Puri-Bhubaneswar highways, Vijayawada – Ranchi highways, etc, both received substantial central Govt. grant recently, but very rarely any inter districts highways linking KBK districts was raised, except Motu-Rayagada line under proposed Vijayawada – Ranchi highways. The proposed route of Vijayawada – Ranchi highway by state Govt. does not serve the economic reason between above two cities except passing through Maoists influence districts in Odisha. Indeed a short and convenient route with economic reason would be established for Vijayawada-Ranchi route passing through Motu, Malkangiri, Jeypore, Dasmantpur, Kashipur (of Rayagada), Bhawanipatna, Madanpur Rampur, Kantamal (of Boudh), Sonepur, Sambalpur and Rourkela. This would have covered large part of KBK region (benefiting 5 out of 8 districts) and major towns like Jeypore, Bhawanipatna, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Rourkela. 

Road development of Maoists districts is very important, so is the road development of KBK region (all the KBK districts are Maoists prone as per state Government). The politics played by the state Government to favor few districts of political interest in the name of Maoist districts over other backward KBK districts are never appreciated.

Road development of Maoists influence districts in Odisha could very well be done in various different aspects such as Koraput – Baripada highways via Phulbani, Keonjhar etc. Naming such project as Vijayawada-Ranchi highway without economic consideration of the route was not justified, when there is easy and alternative possibility passing through major part of KBK districts.

For the development of KBK region establishment of highways and linking all the major towns of KBK among themselves is utmost important.
In this respect urgent attention is needed for the following routes.

A by pass route for NH201 near Bhawanipatna

Four Lane national highway route for Balangir to Koraput via Bhawanipatna, Nabarangpur (NH201 & NH 43)

Two Lane Highway for Nuapada to Dooduma (Koraput) via Sunabeda,  Indra Dam, Sinapali, Dharamgarh, Moter, Jaipatan, Indravati dam, Muran dam, and Kolab

Two Lane Highway for  Umarkote to Parliakhemundi via Jharigram, Gotomunda, Dharamgarh,  Junagarh, Karlapat Kiapadar, Jaykaypur, Rayagada, and Gunpur

Four Lane route for Nuapada to Phulbani via Bongomunda, Titilagarh (NH217)

Two Lane route for Vijayawada to Ranchi via Jeypore, Dasmantpur, Kashipur (of Rayagada), Bhawanipatna, Madanpur Rampur, Kantamal (of Boudh), Sonepur and Sambalpur

Major road to connect Titilagarh with Bhawanipatna  via Borbhata and Kulen

Exploring major direct route for Umarkote to Phulbani via Nabarangpur, Mahulpatna, Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh and Tumudibandh

I await you look into this matter.

Thank you and with best regards

Digambara Patra

Poor show by Sarba Siksya Abhijan in Kalahandi in 2010-11

Shared by Sri Dillip Kumar Das
Sambad, Feb 18, 2011

Upsurge of anger against Maoist monstrosity

The Pioneer, Feb 19, 2011
SAROJ MISHRA/ MILLU PATTNAIK | Bhubaneswar/ Malkangiri

Even as the Government of Odisha remained clueless about the fate of the Collector of Malkangiri district, R Vinil Krishna, and a junior engineer, Pabitra Majhi, who were abducted by Maoists two days ago, thousands of people took out huge rallies on Friday demanding the immediate release of the two officials and denouncing the Left extremists.

Hundreds of school children joined spontaneous marches in Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput and Jeypore towns. As many as 10,000 people participated in the rally at Malkangiri; many carried placards saying, “Free our Collector”.

Government employees, trade union activists, advocates and journalists joined the rallies along with college students. They demanded the unconditional release of Krishna and Majhi.

In Rayagada, the march was led by District Collector Nitin Bhanudas Jawle.

Similar rallies were held in Bhawanipatna, Athagarh, Parla-khemundi, Balangir, Gajapati, Kandhamal and even Rourkela. Many offered puja in temples and organised yajnas for the release of the abducted officials.

All colleges and schools remained closed on Thursday in Malkangiri town in protest against the abductions. Bus operators stayed off the road in support of the mass upsurge against Maoists.

Late Friday night, the Maoists are reported to have agreed to extend their 48-hour deadline to meet their demands by another 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Maoists have sent a letter listing the names of their choice of mediators for negotiations. They are Prof Hargopal of Kakatia University in Andhra Pradesh, Prof RS Rao of Sambalpur University and social activist Dandapani Mohanty. The State Government said it had been able to establish contact with two of the mediators selected by the Maoists to negotiate the release of Krishna and Majhi.

“We have established contact with Prof Someswar Rao and Prof Hargopal. They are willing to mediate with the Maoists,” Chief Secretary BK Patnaik told newspersons in Bhubaneswar after a meeting at the Chief Minister’s office. The two mediators have accepted the State Government’s request to issue an appeal for the extension of the two-day deadline given by the Maoists.

He said the State Government had also contacted social activist Swami Agnivesh. He has indicated that the Maoists are considering extending the deadline for the Government to meet their seven-point charter of demands, including a halt to anti-insurgency joint operations (which has already been conceded), the withdrawal of BSF personnel and the release of 700 Maoists in jail.

The Chief Secretary said the Government would consider the demands made by the Maoists. “Many demands may come up during discussions. We are open to discussions,” he said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also appealed to the abductors to extend the deadline. “We have also appealed to them not to harm the Collector and the junior engineer held captive by them,” Patnaik said.

Hargopaal has told a TV channel that the deadline set by the Maoists should be extended, which is the first requirement for negotiations. Similarly, the State Government should adopt a positive approach and look into the demands of the Maoists, he said, adding it should not be difficult to release on bail some people, including women, and it is in the Government’s purview.

A Maoist describing himself as Prasad of the Andhra-Odisha Special Zonal Committee has issued a letter, saying they had voiced their demand to solve ‘basic problems’ several times and for the Government to act in a democratic manner. But the Government had snared ‘innocent people’, including teenagers and the elderly, in false cases and sent them to jail.

Though the Maoists had made many attempts to free these people, it had not been possible. So they were forced to abduct the Collector. The letter further warned if any raids were conducted in the villages and if the security personnel involved in combing operations were not withdrawn, the Maoists would be forced to kill the Collector. The letter demanded the release of three Maoists — Padma, Sudarshan and Santi Prasad — who are currently lodged in Malkangiri Jail.

The Maoists have cut off all communications to Malkangiri from the rest of the State by felling trees on vast stretches and digging up the main road connecting the district at Gobindapalli Ghati. Reports said the Maoists have also blown up a culvert.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nexus Technoware Solution Pvt.Ltd. planning to start Orissa’s 1st Enterprise DATACENTER in Bhubaneswar.

Press Release, Feb 15, 2011
Nexus Technoware Solution Pvt.Ltd, Orissa’s leading & awarded IT Hosting Services Provider, is going to establish a hi-end datacenter in Bhubaneswar to provide advanced cloud computing services to customers.


In this context NTSPL has approached Industrial Development Center Orissa (IDCO) and Orissa Application Center (OCAC) to provide land at Bhubaneswar, through single window mechanism. NTSPL is planning to make the project functional by the year 2013. And it will be one of the largest Independent Enterprise Datacenter of the Orissa with 10,000Sqft Datacenter Space. And it will create employment opportunities for above 150 personnel, both technical & non technical within next 2years.

Due to high investment factors, small and mid-size businesses’ reluctance to invest significant capital and operating expenses in private datacenters is also driving the demand for outsourced datacenters and collocation. Rather than investing in the capital to build or expand an in-house datacenter to meet their IT needs, many companies are sharing datacenter space by co-locating with others in multi-tenant managed datacenters. All the criteria for secure and reliable data center facilities for services like disaster recovery, email hosting, datacenter collocation, virtual server hosting, managed services or infrastructure services are to be provided by us.

NTSPL has seen these same trends in Orissa. As companies need to cut back on IT capital intensive projects and reduce operating costs in their datacenters, collocation in multi-tenant datacenters can provide a solution that requires no capital investment, i.e. “Cap-Ex Free” IT, and can often reduce operating expenses by leveraging outsourced data center specialists.

For further information, please contact:
Thanks & Regards

Sagar Mohanty
Managing Director
Nexus Technoware Solution Pvt. Ltd.
Bhubaneswar
Email: sagar@ntspl.co.in
Cell No: 91-9438148250

News report on Vision Kalahandi 2020 meeting held on Sept 2010

Samaja, Sept 11, 2010

Hooch claims one, 3 fall ill in Kalahandi

Expressbuzz, Feb 18, 2011
BHAWANIPATNA: One person died and three took critically ill after consuming spurious liquor in Bargaon village under Junagarh block of Kalahandi.


Sources said the victims are daily labourers engaged in paddy plantation work. On Wedesday after work they bought liquor from a bootlegger of Naktiguda village, Pradason Meher and consumed it before leaving for home.

One of them, Baya Patra fell unconscious at home and was rushed to Junagarh Government Hospital where he was declared dead. The three others Narendra Biswal, Kalaram and Kesni also reported critically ill at Bhawanipatna Government Hospital. They are said to be out of danger.

Meanwhile, the Excise officials swung into action and raided the illegal shop of the bootlegger but Meher had fled by then. Excise Superintendent Makardhwaj Bargee said investigation was on.

Excise team also conducted a series of raids on several illegal liquor centres in the vicinity of Naktiguda village and 10 cases have been registered.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University in Odisha

Odishanewstoday.com, Feb 14, 2011
News Desk (By Dr. Digambara Patra): For various socially challenged or weaker groups, the Union Government has been establishing specialized Universities. Then why not a Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University in rural districts of the country?


They included Aligarh Muslim University for the minority, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University for tribals, Women (under proposal), etc under central university act. On the other hand, institutions such as IITs, NITs, AIIMS, IIM, Central Universities, proposed Innovative Universities, etc have been being established towards generating high quality human resource and research in the country.

Majority or most of these high quality institutions are located in either state capital region or large urban area. India has higher percentage of rural than urban population, the number of urban students qualifying into high quality institutions such as IIT, NIT, AIIMS, IIM, IISc, Central Universities etc compared to their rural counterpart clearly shows that the urban population has an upper hand to enter these institutions due to (i) easy access to these institution for reference and guidance, (ii) various available coaching centers in the urban area to train and qualify for the national entrance test, (iii) better awareness and economic condition of urban population to support their children through coaching, and last but not the least (iv) Government apathy towards rural and backward cluster while establishing such high quality institution across the nation.

Due to lack of accessibility, awareness and economic condition, large section of rural populations irrespective of communities are relatively left in void compared to their urban counterparts when it comes to access to quality education, bringing differences in economical conditions and opportunities, which finally encourages large rural migration to urban areas from rural and backward cluster of India.

Large part of rural Odisha in South Western part is known for rural mass migration, whereas major cities in the nation are getting increasingly populated and polluted due to large rural migration, some of the report claims these rural migrations to urban area in India could be one of the highest in the world.

National integration would not work, if periphery would remain dependent on metropolis in far off place for University education and research.  The problem of place like Kalahandi, Nuapada, Nabaragnpur etc to depend on far off place like Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Sambalpur etc for University education is quite disheartening as many poor but talented students can not avail such opportunity due to economic reason.

There has been a demand for a University in backward place like Kalahandi since more than two decades.  But still in Government level such demand is being undermined. Local disappointment is growing after state Govt. denied the Central University opportunity in Kalahandi in the last moment.

Additionally, large part of the nation is rural areas and existing methods and technology applied to solve rural problems is equally non-reliable and inefficient like found to solve urban problem, which justify the need for modern new technology, creativity and innovation to solve rural problem through Rural University.

Due to inadequate & poor quality of human resource generation, social imbalance is increasing in backward clusters of the nation which is encouraging Maoists activities and other social dissidents. This is being growingly witnessed in Kalahandi and neighboring backward cluster since past decade. Whole KBK-Kandhamal districts are present Maoist affected.

Similarly, large part of the rural area, especially backward pockets and cluster in the nation, need quality human resource generation to boost local development by triggering growth of local economy.

Economists also agree investment while establishing National/Central Universities mainly goes to construction sectors which directly boost local economy. Such investment is always given to metro or large urban areas like Bhubaneswar of the country by totally ignoring rural India like Kalahandi, though quality can still be maintained while establishing such institution in rural and backward cluster.

For solving rural problems and generating high quality human resource in the socially backward rural pockets, India should build “National Rural University” in the line of Central or Innovative University in each rural, backward and economically poor pocket and cluster across the nation.

The father of the nation was a great advocate of rural economy and development; he had visualized and dreamt to develop the nation through rural development programs and rural economy. To begin with, an institution in the name after father of the nation such as “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University at Kalahandi” could be made in the 12th plan period starting from 2012-13.

The proposed “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University at Kalahandi” can be established though Governmental initiative or Public Private Partnership (PPP) as Odisha has higher percentage of rural population and KBK-Kandhamal region is most backward rural region in the nation. Kalahandi is the central location of KBK-Kandhamal, which is most backward rural pocket of India and all the districts are prone to Maoists and poverty.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University (MGNUR) should be first established at Kalahandi and subsequently, the branch or off campus of the proposed University can be established in the other rural pockets and clusters in various other states distributed across the nation.

Since rural economy of backward cluster is in general agriculture and forest based, the economic condition is not lucrative towards establishment of PPP based institutions. Therefore, emphasis can be given to establish such institution though Ministry of Human Resource Development or Ministry of Rural Development or partnership of both the ministries.
Dr. Digambara Patra is the Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry at the American University of Beirut.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna may celebrate its closing ceremony of Golden Jubilee on Feb 26-28, 2011

Effort is being made to invite Chief Minister of Odisha during the closing ceremony of Golden Jubilee Celebration of Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna during Feb 26-28, 2011.

Kalahandi is one of the rare districts in Odisha which Chief Minister has not visited after the last general election. There were couples of opportunities which CM could not make to visit Kalahandi. Among the districts, Ganjam district has got most benefited of CM visit out side the state capital region. As Kalahandi became a congress party's strong hold in the last general election (after total swing by BJD-BJP combine in 2000 & 2004 election, only region in whole South and Western Odisha), there was speculation that BJD is politically ignoring this region in development.

Hope this time the chief minister accepts the invitation to visit Kalahandi and proves it wrong. He also takes interest on long standing University demand in Kalahandi.

Quality of the food items given in the Anganwadi centres by Vedanta NO better than the supplies of the Government !

Contributed by Sri Dillip Kumar Das

As far as my information goes the quality of the food items given in the Anganwadi centres by Vedanta is no better than the supplies of the government. The food mixture given to the Anganwadis for the feeding of the children are not kept under hygenic condition and also the packets dont contain the Batch Number, Date of manufacturing etc to track the expiry date. Only it is written on the packet that the food item is best before three months from date of packaging which can not be calculated as the packet does not contain the date of packaging. It implies the seriousness in Child care services by VEDANTA.
 




Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vedanta Foundation touches 50000 children in Orissa's Kalahandi, Rayagada districts

Note: It is not clear, if Vedanta was paying for these programs, then what about Govt. program? Is the Govt not contributing in other districts/blocks of the state? Vedanta could be encouraged to contribute where state Govt. is not doing rather supporting the same plan run by Govt. in other district. If Vedanta is just supporting Govt. run program in these two district, then this region is not getting any additional benefit due to Vedanata.


Orissadiary, Feb 12, 2011

Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Kalahandi: Economic prosperity is a valuable target whereas the most viable instrument to achieve it is good education. While the major task to achieve this feat is education for the poor. Furthermore, in a nation where every 3rd malnourished child in the world lives, it is an arduous task to render education for all, where every child is special for the nation-building.
However, in the region which was known for child-sale, malnutrition and poverty, giving good education and nutritious food to the children can make a lot of change. Such are Kalahandi and Rayagada district of Orissa.
Looking at the importance of education in these regions and in an attempt to improve the nutritional status of severely malnourished Anganwadi children in the age group 0-6, till now, Vedanta group has reached out to 47,000 children in Kalahandi and Rayagada districts. Under ‘Vedanta Bal Chetna Anganwadi Project of Vedanta group, 11 blocks have been covered, where thousands of children of 1010 Anganwadi centers get quality education and nutritious food.
Vedanta group has tied hands with Anganwadi Centers in fortifying the supplementary foods under ICDS scheme. Thus, with this scheme, children get added nutrition and extra food which deviates them from the monotonous menu of the government schemes. The prime objective behind this project is to make all pre-school Anganwadi children socially and psychologically productive and ensure 100% enrollment in formal school.
It is Joyful and playful method of teaching what makes the difference in Bal Chetna Project. Puspa Majhi of Balabhadrapur says, “My son feels glad to attain the Anganwadi School. Teachers there take special care to the children and teach in a playful method which holds the attention of the kids.” “We also feel happy to send our children to the Bal Chetna Anganwadi centers where nutritious food is provided” adds Puspa.
Education is the only medium which can take a long way to Kalahandi and Rayagada districts, the poorest regions of India. In these regions - more than making the people understand the value of education, encouraging the poor children to come to school is more significant. So, in this regard, Bal Chetna Project has kicked off a revolutionary step.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Guv inaugurates school building in K’handi

The Pioneer, Feb 12, 2011
PNS, Bhawanipatna

Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare on Thursday inaugurated a newly-constructed school building in the campus of the Durga Madhab Uchha Vidyapitha at M Rampur in Kalahandi district on the occasion of the celebration of its golden jubilee. A science exhibition was part of the function.

Bhandare also inaugurated a Swarna Jayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY) exhibition and a science exhibition at the Kesinga Vidyapitha at Kesinga during its golden jubilee celebration in the evening. Women SHG members also participated in the programme.

Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Bhupinder Singh also addressed both the functions, saying that discrimination among schoolteachers should be avoided and demanding construction of a stadium near the school at M Rampur.

Addressing the children and teachers, the Governor laid stress on children’s quality education saying the children are the future of the country. Only education can eradicate poverty, he said.

He promised to provide a computer to the laboratory of the Durga Madhab Uchha Vidyapitha and directed the district administration to ensure it. Collector Roopa Mishra and other district officials were also present on the dais.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University in 12th Plan Period

Feb 10, 2011

To

The Honorable President of India, Smt Patil
The Honorable Prime Minister, Dr Singh
The Honorable UPA Chairperson, Smt Gandhi
Honorable Minister of Human Resource Development, Sri Sibal
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Dr Ahluwalia
Chairperson, NKC, and Advisor to PM on Infrastructure, Dr Pitroda
The Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr Patnaik
MPs from Odisha
Media

Dear Honorable Sri Sibal,
I thank you for approving 18 model colleges in Ganjam, Gajapati, KBK districts, Kandhamal, Boudh, Bargarh, Deogarh, Nayagarh, Angul, Deknkanal and Keonjhar and in other states across the nation having low GER. This will be a good beginning for quality education in the rural area.

However, for various socially challenged or weak groups, the Union Government of India has been establishing specialized Universities for minority (such as Aligarh Muslim University), tribal (such as Indira Gandhi National Tribal University), Women (under proposal), etc under central university act. On the other hand institutions such as IITs, NITs, AIIMS, IIM, Central Universities, proposed Innovative Universities, etc have been being established towards generating high quality human resource and research in the country.

Majority or most of these high quality institutions are located in either state capital region or large urban area. Despite India has higher percentage of rural than urban population, the number of urban students qualifying into high quality institutions such as IIT, NIT, AIIMS, IIM, IISc, Central Universities etc compared to their rural counterpart clearly shows that the urban population has an upper hand to enter these institutions due to (i) easy access to these institution for reference and guidance, (ii) various available coaching centers in the urban area to train and qualify for the national entrance test, (iii) better awareness and economic condition of urban population to support their children through coaching, and last but not the least (iv) Government apathy towards rural and backward cluster while establishing such high quality institution across the nation.

Due to lack of accessibility, awareness and economic condition, large section of rural populations irrespective of communities are relatively left in void compared to their urban counterparts when it comes to access to quality education, bringing differences in economical conditions and opportunities, which finally encourages large rural migration to urban areas from tribal and backward cluster of India.

Kalahandi is known for rural mass migration, whereas major cities in the nation are getting increasingly populated and polluted due to large rural migration, some of the report claims these rural migrations to urban area in India could be one of the highest in the world. A landmass inhabited by more than 14 laks of people lacks a University. Is not a shame for Indian Democracy? How national integration would work, if periphery like Kalahandi would remain dependent on metropolis in far off place like Bhubaneswar, Berhampur, Sambalpur for University education and research? There has been a demand for a University in Kalahandi since more than two decades. Local disappointment is growing when state Govt. denied the Central University opportunity in Kalahandi in the last moment.

Additionally, large part of the nation is rural areas and existing methods and technology applied to solve rural problems is equally non-reliable and inefficient like found to solve urban problem, which justify the need for modern new technology, creativity and innovation to solve rural problem through Rural University.

Due to inadequate & poor quality of human resource generation, social imbalance is increasing in backward clusters of the nation which is encouraging Maoists activities and other social dissidents. This is being growingly witnessed in Kalahandi and neighboring backward cluster since past decade.

Similarly, large part of the rural area, especially backward pockets and cluster in the nation, need quality human resource generation to boost local development by triggering growth of local economy.

Economists also agree investment while establishing National/Central Universities mainly goes to construction sectors which directly boost local economy. Such investment is always given to metro or large urban areas like Bhubaneswar of the country by totally ignoring rural India like Kalahandi, though quality can still be maintained while establishing such institution in rural and backward cluster.

For solving rural problems and generating high quality human resource in the socially backward rural pockets, India should build “National Rural University” in the line of Central or Innovative University in each tribal, backward and economically poor pocket and cluster across the nation.

The father of the nation was a great advocate of rural economy and development; he had visualized and dreamt to develop the nation through rural development programs and rural economy. To begin with, an institution in the name after father of the nation such as “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University at Kalahandi” could be made in the 12th plan period starting from 2012-13.

The proposed “Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University at Kalahandi” can be established though Governmental initiative or Public Private Partnership (PPP). Since rural economy of backward cluster is in general agriculture and forest based, the economic condition is not lucrative towards establishment of PPP based institutions. Therefore, emphasis can be given to establish such institution though Ministry of Human Resource Development or Ministry of Rural Development or partnership of both the ministries.

Since KBK region is considered as the most backward rural cluster in the nation and Kalahandi is the central location of KBK-Kandhamal, most backward rural pocket of India, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural University (MGNUR) would be established at Kalahandi. Subsequently, the branch or off campus of the proposed University can be established in the other rural pockets and clusters in various other states distributed across the nation.

Anticipating your kind attention in this regard

Thanking you and with best regards

Digambara Patra

How Posco got the green nod & Vedanta got stuck

Times of India, Feb 11, 2011
Both are mining projects in Orissa and both involve diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes. So how could environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh allow forest diversion in Posco's case last fortnight after he had done just the opposite in Vedanta's five months earlier?


The contrast has a lot to do with jurisdictional violations where one entity strayed into the domain of another for clearing the mining projects.

In Vedanta's case, the trespasser was the Supreme Court itself. While dealing with a challenge to the alumina refinery set up by the UK-based company in Lanjigarh, the Supreme Court granted forest diversion clearance to the bauxite mining project on the nearby Niyamgiri hills from where the refinery was proposed to get its raw material.

The Supreme Court's order flew in the face of the Forest Conservation Act, under which it was the Central government alone that was competent to assess the merits of the proposal to divert forest land for non-forest purpose and decide whether to grant clearance for the project concerned.

The Supreme Court, strictly speaking, could have intervened only after the government had exercised its discretion one way or the other, that too in the event of a challenge to the executive decision. But since the apex court jumped the gun in the Vedanta case, it resulted in the unusual situation in which the government actually overruled the Supreme Court's clearance.

Before crossing the Rubicon, Jairam Ramesh had consulted attorney-general Goolam E Vahanvati who was reduced to saying that the Supreme Court's clearance did not get in the way of the government's statutory power to take a call on the Vedanta project. Accordingly, Ramesh refused forest diversion on Niyamgiri in August 2010 on the basis of a range of violations found by an expert committed headed by N C Saxena. A crucial part of the evidence considered against the bauxite mining project was the adverse effect it would have had on the only habitat of Dongaria Kondhs, who are officially classified as a "primitive tribal group". Across the world, protests were held against the sacrilege on the "mystical" mountain worshipped as a deity by the tribes.

There is no such tribal angle to the Posco proposal of diverting 1,253 hectares of forest land for the purpose of mining iron ore as part of an integrated steel plant, which is hailed as the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) anywhere in the country.

This is despite the fact that the Meena Gupta Committee set up by Ramesh to examine all issues related to the diversion of forest for Posco came up with conflicting findings on whether it violated the statutory rights of forest dwellers.

The issue in contention was not whether any tribal groups resided in the Posco-acquired forest land and therefore came under the protection of the Forest Rights Act (FRA). Rather, it was about another category of people protected by FRA called "other traditional forest dwellers" (OTFD).

The Gupta Committee was divided on whether any of the non-tribal residents of the affected forest qualified to fall in the category of OTFD. Anybody claiming to belong to the OTFD category will have to fulfill three prescribed criteria:

* They should have primarily resided in the forest for at least 75 years prior to December 2005.

* They should at present be dependent on the forest or forest land for bona fide livelihood needs.

* They should have been in occupation of forest land in December 2005.

So, when Ramesh granted clearance to Posco on January 31, it was subject, among other conditions, to a "categorical assurance" from the Orissa government that at least one of the three criteria was not fulfilled by those claiming to be dependent on the land in the project area.

Whether such an assurance from Orissa can be relied upon or not, Ramesh himself is vulnerable to the charge of usurping the authority of the relatively low profile ministry of tribal affairs. Since it is the nodal agency for FRA, Ramesh should have left the issue of enforcement of that law to the tribal affairs ministry. He had empowered himself to monitor the compliance of FRA by issuing a self-serving circular in July 2009. Thus, if the Supreme Court had overreached itself in the Vedanta case, the environment ministry committed the same jurisdictional lapse in the Posco case.

Vigilance raid on Kalahandi MVI

Expressbuzz, Feb 11, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: Anti-corruption sleuths today cracked down on a transport officer of Kalahandi and detected huge wealth the officer had amassed.


Premises of Nirmal Chandra Mohanty, MVI-cum-in-Charge RTO of Kalahandi came under Vigilance raids at four places simultaneously. He was found to have accumulated movable and immovable wealth to the tune of Rs. 99.46 lakh.

The sleuths searched Mohanty’s residential and office premises in Kalahandi, Rourkela, Jajpur and Bhubaneswar. His investment in jewellery stood at Rs. 16.33 lakh while deposits in banks and other such schemes was to the tune of Rs. 12.76 lakh. Rs. 59,515 was found in cash from his possession.

Similarly, Mohanty possesses three houses in Bhubaneswar, Rourkela and Balichandrapur (Jajpur) and at least four housing plots. The combined worth of the immovable assets was estimated to the tune of Rs. 69.76 lakh.

While the total assets, detected so far, stand marginally short of Rs.1 crore, his bank lockers are yet to be opened. Investigation is on and the Vigilance will soon register a case in this connection.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Census begins in Kalahandi district

The Pioneer, Feb 10, 2011
PNS | Bhawanipatna

Census 2011 began in Kalahandi district on Wednesday with the Government employees appointed as Enumerators started collecting information from Collector Roopa Mishra’s residence as per the guidelines.

Afterwards, the Enumerators went to the residence of District and Sessions Judge Ashok Kumar Acharya to get the required information.

In the first phase, each and every household in 13 blocks will be covered gathering particulars by asking questions and filling up census forms. Subsequently, in the second phase, the rest of the blocks in the district will be covered under this programme.

The district administration is giving special attention to this drive so that the head counting is done without error.

Speculation over new State Cong president intensifies

The Pioneer, Feb 10, 2011
PNS | Bhubaneswar

Speculations intensified as to who will be nominated as the president of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) after four leaders of the State unit met party supremo Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday.

With the question of appointment of a new PCC chief remaining undecided ever after last year's general elections, the meeting of the four leaders meeting Sonia Gandhi at her instance assumed significance. The present State Congress president KP Singh Deo, who was the incumbent during the elections in which the party fared badly in the State, has since long expressed his willingness to relinquish the post.

The leaders, who met Sonia Gandhi, were former Union Minister Chandrasekhar Sahu, PCC working president Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, former State Minister Niranjan Patnaik and Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Bhupinder Singh.

While Sanu, Mohapatra and Patnaik are in the race for the PCC chief's post, party sources here said that their meeting with Sonia Gandhi does not mean that anyone else might not be nominated for the responsibility. Kalahandi MP and former Union Minister Bhakta Charan Das is also another strong clamant for the post, the sources said.

In fact, Das, who was not inducted into the Union Ministry despite strong speculations after the last elections, is a leading Dalit face of the State Congress and his home district Kalahandi got the maximum number of MLAs elected last time.

Before meeting Sonia Gandhi, the State leaders also called on AICC observer and Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Though the aspirants for the PCC chief post publicly state that they would abide by Sonia Gandhi's nomination of any of them, they are in fact at loggerheads against each other in their bid for the coveted post. For the purpose, they, along with their respective groups of supporters, have been lobbying with the AICC leaders by undertaking frequent visits to New Delhi during the last one year.

In fact, the Congress high command's persistent delay in choosing a new PCC president has dented the party's image in the State. As such, the State Congress is inflicted with acute factionalism and needs a strong, dynamic head to meet the daunting challenge from the Naveen Patnaik-led Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

Copy of Letter to Govt (A) College Bhawanipatna about establishment of model colleges in 18 districts of Odisha including Kalahandi and Nuapada

Thanks to Dr Baba Mishra for sharing this.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

RMRC plans two centres to fight diarrhoea

Times of India, Feb 7, 2011
Bhubaneswar: The Regional Medical Research Centre is planning to open two outreach centres at Bhawanipatna and Rayagada to prevent diarrhoeal diseases in the KBK region. The two centres will be set up in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the state government, RMRC director S K Kar said.


At least 183 people died of cholera in the KBK region in 2010 and outbreaks have been reported many times before. The state government is keen to monitor diarrhoeal diseases in the region so that these can be prevented, Kar said. Besides, the centres will study and find out ways to wipe out cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases from the region.

The centres in coordination with the district administrations will also work on nutrition of tribals, venereal diseases, sexually transmitted infections and other emerging public health issues, Kar said.

While the government will provide office space, the ICMR and the state will be funding it on a project to project basis. The outreach centres will be functional for three to five years. The RMRC will also vaccinate the KBK population against cholera at the centre but this depends upon funding from the state, Kar said.

At present, RMRC is mapping population in Satyabadi block of Puri district to vaccinate them against cholera on a pilot basis. The double dose oral cholera vaccine (OCV) "Shanchol" guarantees 70 per cent protection against the diarrhoeal disease for two years. tnn

BEST WEBSITE DESIGN AWARD -2010 for Sagar Mohanty

Shared by Sagar Mohanty, Feb 8, 2011
Mr.Sagar Mohanty, Managing Director, Nexus Technoware Solution Pvt. Ltd (NTSPL), Bhubaneswar has been conferred with the “BEST WEBSITE DESIGN AWARD -2010” for Outstanding Website Design Work. The award was presented by International Achievers Conferrence, on the occasion of National Seminar on “Outstanding Contributions to Nation Building & World Peace” at Habitat World, New Delhi.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

About a corrupt NGO in Orissa

Shared by Sri Dillip Kumar Das
Dharitri, Feb 6, 2011

Future citizen eats rotten egg and pulses

Shared by Sri Dillip Kumar Das
The Paryabekhyak, Feb 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Heads roll over pulses scam

Shared by Dr Bikash Meher
Tathya.in, Bhubaneswar:5/February/2011
Kelu Charan Swain quietly sneaked into CMO around 1 PM on 5 February and handed over a sealed envelope to the officials of the Chief Minister.

Not even an eyebrow was raised over the normal movement of the Private Secretary of the Minister Women & Child Development, Pramila Mallick.

However after that CMO was humming with activities and Corridor of Power was buzzing with the information that Minister W& CD has resigned.

In fact the envelope was containing a heavily loaded letter with a Single Line sentence “I tender my resignation on moral grounds”.

Mrs. Mallik has resigned over the scandalous supply of pulses to the schools and anaganwadi centres that rocked the Naveen Patnaik Government.

Later Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, revealed to the Media that “Minister Pramila Mallik has submitted her resignation to me. I have forwarded it to the Governor for acceptance.”

Earlier in the morning Mrs.Mallick went to meet the Chief Minister at Naveen Niwas trying to clarify her stand.

However Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik was in no mood to accept her clarifications as he was convinced that the Minister has rejected the official proposal of the Department of Women & Child Development (DOWCD)  to go for tender twice during 2006 and 2007 after Supreme Courts’ order.

Secondly sources said that “While the Minister has decentralized the purchase of pulses for MDM and SNP, payments were made on a centralized mode”.

Allotment of funds were being controlled in the State Secretariat alleged a senior BJD Lawmaker.

This issue has already been brought to the notice of the Chief Minister, said he.

On the issue of resignation later Mrs. Mallik said she resigned on moral grounds.

“I was waiting for the Vigilance Report. The Report has clearly said that I was not involved,” she said.

"But I decided to resign because the opposition parties have been targeting the Government and the Chief Minister over the issue," she said.

The alleged scam came to light after Debasis Nayak and Kalapatrau Das senior BJD Lawmakers brought it to the attention of the Chief Minister.

The State Vigilance Directorate on 19-20 January raided offices in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Jajpur and Ganjam last month and claimed that there were serious irregularities in the supply of pulses to children under MDM and SNP.

Anup Kumar Patnaik, Director General Vigilance after submitted the report, Chief Secretary studied the report in details.

The anti-corruption sleuths, while giving a ‘clean chit’ to the DOWCD, has come down heavily on the Collectors and Ex-Collectors.

Acting upon the report, Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik has asked the Chief Secretary to take legal action against the NRHM Director P K Mehrada and Ambika Prasad Mishra, both IAS officers.

Dr.Mehrada, a 1997 batch IAS officer was Collector in Mayurbhanj and Mr.Mishra, a1995 batch IAS was Collector in Deogarh, when irregularities took place over purchase of dal, said a top cop in State Vigilance.

Mr.Mishra, recently been promoted to Commissioner-cum-Secretary rank is likely to suffer for rest of his service career, feel Babudom Watchers.

Vigilance sleuths found serious irregularities in purchase of pulses in Balasore district and have recommended action against the present Collector Manish Kumar Verma.

2000 batch IAS officer, Mr.Verma will be shifted from Balasore and posted in the State Secretariat, said sources.

Though the Vigilance Directorate has not registered any case as yet it is likely to file cases against the erring officials and suppliers of substandard pulses to the schools and anganwadis.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Collectors asked to ensure safe drinking water

Times of India, Feb 3, 2011
BHUBANESWAR: Chief secretary Bjiay Kumar Patnaik on Wednesday asked the district collectors of seven tribal-dominated districts to ensure safe drinking water to all before summer.


Reviewing long-term strategies to counter water-borne diseases in tribal districts, Patnaik said there should be tubewells or other sources of drinking water for habitations as small as of 10 families, a press release said.

The government will chlorinate the water sources periodically. A four-member squad in each block will inspect safety of water sources.

The state government had decided to prepare long-term strategies to tackle water-borne diseases in Rayagada, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Gajapati and Koraput districts after spurt in cholera in these districts in 2010. The district authorities were supposed to identify inaccessible areas and take steps to tackle water-borne diseases in these areas.

Odisha missing tribal varsity

Tathya.in, Feb 4, 2011
Bhubaneswar:4/February/2011


Absence of any political clout of Odisha at the Centre is harming badly the state.

While Political leadership is lacking to influence the Union Government and it s busy in Centre bashing, for which the state is suffering a lot.

Latest is the move to set up a Tribal University in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Sources said Duggubati Purandeswari, Union MOS HRD is trying for a Tribal University in her constituency in Vishakhapatnam (VIZAG) in Andhra Pradesh.

While way back in 2005, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik mooted the idea and demanded the Tribal University to be set up in KBK Zone in Odisha.

Given the Scheduled Tribe population in the state and lowest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in the state in general and KBK in particular, Odisha is the place where a Tribal University needs to be set up.


At that time the Arjun Singh, Union Minister HRD grabbed the idea and made the Centrally funded Tribal University in Amar Kantak.

Since then there has been talk about opening of branches of this tribal university across India.

One such branch has been inaugurated in Manipur.

Later Odisha asked for a branch in Kandhamal.

Many times the Chief Minister has raised that issue with Kapil Sibal, Union Minister HRD and has been told that there is no money now (11th plan).

But then how come there is money for a new Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh.

Sources said that move is on to set up the Andhra Pradesh Tribal University on a 300-acre site in Chintapalle.

A study team of senior professors led by Samaresh Bandopadhyay (Kolkata) with Sudarshan Nadu (Bhubaneswar), Joseph Bara (JNU) and Registrar of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University from Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh, Ashok Singh, which inspected the site on Friday, will be submitting feasibility report to the Centre.

Educationists feel that Odisha needs to push for tribal universities (fully or partly centrally funded) for its tribal district clusters.

One in the North (Sundargarh-Keonjhar-Mayurbhanj); one in the central part (Kandhamal-Gajapati-Rayagada) and one in the southern part (Malkangiri-Nabarangpur-Koraput); or western part (Kalahandi-Nuapada).

While other states are able to get universities/institutes for their states that are worth 100s of crores, Odisha is lagging behind, thanks to weak political leadership, feel they.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Kalahandi varsity demand louder

Tathya.in, Feb 1, 2011
Bhubaneswar:1/February/2011


The demand is getting louder for a University in Kalahandi.

Intellectuals, educationists and students feel that the Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) should take the lead in setting up the University, which is the dire need of the hour.

In a recently held daylong conference on “Emergence of Science Education” was organized by the VAL at Lanjigarh, they felt strongly for the varisty, which is the need of the people of this tribal zone.

This conference was attended by many intellectuals of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts including the students and faculties of the Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna and the Government Autonomous College, Rayagada.

The VAL authority needs to understand the requirement of higher educational aspirations of Kalahandi, says a faculty participant.

He pointed out that half a century back the people of Kalahandi had set up Science College at Bhawanipatna for the development of basic science education in undivided Kalahandi.

The College has achieved CPE rank and Autonomous status and is known now as Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna.

The Institution has already produced many luminaries on basic science.

For quality science education at Degree level, this is one of the best institutions in Odisha.

Even the students belonging to the interior zones such as Lanjigarh, Narla, Risida, Karlapada, Dharamgarh, Khariar, Gunupur, and Titilagarh etc, having their degree course in Science in this college, are now posted as scientists/ faculties in various European and Asiatic Science Research Institutes and Universities.

Dr. A.K Nanda thus exhorted a Vedanta University at Kalahandi for quality science education and research or an IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research) or NISER of Bhubaneswar in needs to be promoted in PPP mode in Kalahandi.

While Prof. G.B Behera strongly supporting the contention of Dr.Nanda, exhorted that when Ani Agrawal Foundation is bent upon in setting up a World Class University at Puri at the cost of Rs.1600 crore, University at Kalahandi at the cost of Rs.1000 crore needs to be set up.

The faculties and student participants supported the argument and proposal of Dr.Nanda and Prof. Behera.

Prof, A. K Pujari, Vice – Chancellor of Sambalpur University who was the Chief Guest of the occasion too stressed on the need of a University at Kalahandi.

Now it is the demand of the day that University of Kalahandi needed to be set up and VAL has to make up the mind and take the lead, said Dr. Digambara Patra, Professor of the American University of Beirut.

Uncertainty over Vedanta hits livelihood

Times of India, Feb 3, 2011
BHAWANIPATNA: Uncertainty over Vedanta's Lanjigarh project has thrown a spanner into the earnings of small-time traders. Upset they have threatened to commit suicide.


These include representatives of the contractors' association, labourer's association, truck owners association and association of Small Enterprenuers of Lanjigarh, Biswanathpur, Ambodala and Muniguda area.

These businessman had taken loans to buy vehicles, build market complexes and houses, which would have found takers once the project came up. But with the ministry of environment and forests scrapping bauxite mining and stopping the expansion of Vedanta, there is no such hope now. The plant is also reluctant to engage them.

"We have been facing uncertainties since December 31, 2010 after the senior management of VAL informed that Vedanta was going through a tough time with refinery incurring heavy losses of Rs 500 to 600 crores," member of the Contractor's Association Binod Gaud said.

VAL authorities claimed that following environment ministry's order, the corporate-backed development work in Lanjigarh has been hit. "The fate of many development projects aimed at the welfare of the local people have been stalled following the decisions," a spokesman of VAL said.

Already around 10,000 labourers have lost their jobs followed by violent protest inside the administrative building of VAL.

The traders have also met the Kalahandi collector in this regard. "We met the Kalahandi collector and handed over a memorandum mentioning our plight, particularly the threat to our livelihood," said Mahesh Agrawal, one of the traders.

Centre insists on fresh Vedanta proposal for expansion bid

DNA, Feb 2, 2011
Justifying its order stalling expansion work of Vedanta Alumina Refinery in Orissa's Kalahandi district, the Centre today insisted that the company should furnish a fresh proposal to obtain environmental clearance for such a bid.


"The process for environmental clearance has to be started de novo," said an affidavit filed by the Union ministry of environment and forests in the Orissa high court in response to a writ petition by Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) challenging the stalling order.

VAL in August 2007 had applied for expansion of its Lanjigarh-based existing refinery capacity from 1 to 6 MTPA and captive power plant from 75 to 300mw. But pending environmental clearance from the ministry, the company went ahead with construction work for its six-fold refinery and four-fold power plant expansion proposal.

Exercising powers under Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and Rules thereof, the environment ministry in October last year had ordered the company to maintain status quo at the plant site and also withdrew the terms of reference (ToR) issued to the company in March 2009 for expansion.

Cancelling the public hearing conducted by the company with respect to expansion project, the environment ministry had also directed the Orissa forest and environment secretary to take legal action against the company for violating Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006.

However, challenging the environment ministry order, VAL had moved the Orissa high court through a writ petition and at the same time moved the ministry in at least three letters written in the months of October, November and December 2010 requesting for withdrawal of its October 20, 2010 directions.

Responding to the notices issued to it by the high court pertaining to VAL writ, the environment ministry said that the requests of the company have been duly examined and under statutory provisions the violations committed by the company have been referred to Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) for consideration on the merit of the proposal.

"In the case of VAL, the appraisal process was not completed. As the petitioner had violated the provisions of EIA notification of 2006, final direction were issued for withdrawal of terms of reference as well as cancellation of public hearing conducted in April 2009. The process of environmental clearance has to be started de novo," the environment ministry affidavit said, adding VAL was requested on January 11 to submit the fresh proposal to the ministry for obtaining environmental clearance for its expansion project.

Adjourning the hearing of the case, the division bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice BN Mohapatra posted the matter to be heard again on February 21.