Saturday, April 30, 2016

Illegal mining by Utkal Alumina

Reported by Sri Debendra Bisi
Sambad, April 30, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you and best regards

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kalahandi District Sans A University

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

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

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

Sunday, April 24, 2016

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

Sambad, April 24, 2016

Air Odisha flight to Kalahandi from May 1

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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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

Dharitri, April 21, 2016

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

April 21, 2016

University Demand for Govt. A. College Bhawanipatna gains momentum

Sambad, April 21, 2016

Bhawanipatna Thirsts for Water

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

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

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

Cold shoulder to govt college

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

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

Statesman (Kolkata), April 19, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

Highway Blocked over Varsity Status Demand

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

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

Sambad, April 18, 2016


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


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


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

Hundreds of students made Mashal March from Govt. College to Gandhi Chhak in Bhawanipatna demanding Govt. College Bhawanipatna University status

April 17, 2016
Shared by Sri Ripudamansourav Mishra