Archive for November, 2009

Orissa governor praises Balangir Mathkhai Mahotsav

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Ours is a multi-lingual and multi-cultural society. You are proving both multi-lingual and multi-cultural by organising such a unique theatre festival. It is a great achievement which needs to be appreciated.”This was observed by Orissa Governor MC Bhandare while speaking to mediapersons for few minutes after addressing people at the five-day-long theatre extravaganza Mathkhai Mahotsav on Wednesday evening.

There should be combined efforts to revive the theatre tradition. Unless there is partnership and collaboration between the State Government and private sectors, and of course people, we cannot have all-round development, he further said .

Earlier addressing the people he called upon the corporate sector to come forward to promote, encourage and sponsor local theatre in order to keep alive the rich tradition and culture of Balangir. Overwhelmed by the warm response of people, he remarked that the gathering was certainly huge like previous years.

Renowned surgery specialist Dinger Meher and social worker Bisweshwarlal Agrawal were felicitated by the Governor. Among others district collector Aswasthy S and former Minister Narasingha Mishra also addressed the gathering.

November 27, 2009 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

Theatre festival “Mathkhai Mahotsav” inaugurated in Balangir

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Srikant Jena formally inaugurated the famous five-day theatre festival Mathkhai Mahotsav here on Sunday. During freedom movement, the theatre festival played a vital role in spreading the message of independence, remarked Jena.

Even though an artist delivers his level best, very often it has been found that he gets much less than what he contributes to the society, Jena said. “We should strive for their upliftment,” he added.

The festival is being held under the chairmanship of Congress leader Narasingha Mishra. Former Minister Nalinikanta Mohanty also spoke on the occasion. Artist Sushila Nayyar was felicitated and Odia play Bhadralok, directed by Suresh Sahu, was staged.

November 26, 2009 at 6:48 pm 3 comments

Dilip Tirkey: One of the rare gems of India

Following write-up is from www.thaindian.com:

Dilip Tirkey is one of those rare gems that any country would be proud to have. Tirkey’s milestone of becoming the highest capped hockey player in the world during the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, last month went almost unnoticed. He equalled the world record of 401 internationals, held by former Dutch captain Joren Delmee.

One would have thought that Tirkey’s homecoming would be celebrated, some sports lover or association would come forward to host a party, order a cake and champagne. But such courtesies are reserved only for cricketers.

Instead, Tirkey quietly returned home with the triumphant Azlan Shah team, and again left for Malaysia this week for the Asia Cup that starts Saturday.

The unassuming player from Sundergarh, Orissa, who has given his everything to the sport, deserved better treatment.

Tirkey belongs to that hallowed circle of international sports heroes who are above such things like the honour of leading the team. Tirkey is to the Indian hockey team what Sachin Tendulkar is to the cricket team. Their very presence is a source of strength.

The tough full-back has come a long way since he had his international baptism as an 18-year-old. He has three Olympic Games (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004), and as many World Cups, Asian Games and Asia Cups, and four Champions Trophy tournaments behind him.

If only India had qualified for last year’s Beijing Olympics, he would have been only the fourth Indian to have played in four Olympic Games, Udham Singh, Leslie Claudius and Dhanraj Pillai having done so before him. No Indian hockey player could have missed Beijing as badly as Tirkey.

Tirkey has a lot of hockey left in him. The day is not very far when he will touch the mindboggling figure of 500 international caps for India who have a busy season or two ahead what with the Asia Cup next month in Kuantan, Malaysia, and the World Cup and Commonwealth Games next year in New Delhi, with a European tour and other international engagements in between.

The 500 milestone would be like climbing the Everest. If Tirkey has talked of retirement after the 2010 Commonwealth Games one can understand. Only he knows how much more his body can take. Comparisons in the fast changing game of hockey are risky. Tirkey’s tackling reminds older students of the game of another stalwart tackler Michael Kindo of the 1970s. But Tirkey’s sturdier build makes him look more formidable.

One remembers with horror the day at the New Delhi’s Maj. Dhyan Chand Stadium a few years ago when, rushing out defending a penalty corner he took a drag flick by Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas, then the world’s best at it, smack on his face. Taking a 150 kmph or so hard hockey ball on an unprotected face can even be fatal. Like everyone else in the stadium that day, Sohail also had his worst fears. It could have been the end of anyhockey player’s career. But the intrepid Tirkey made an admirable comeback. No way you can keep tough men like Tirkey out.

Last month Sandeep Singh, the young captain and drag flick expert of the recent Azlan Shah Cup-winning Indian hockey team at Ipoh, Malaysia, was adjudged man of the tournament.

But every scorer is aware that no matter how many he may score or how many headlines he may find his name in, you can’t win tournaments without the support of doughty tacklers in the defence who prevent opponents from scoring against you. Sandeep has handsomely acknowledged the role of his senior and former captain Dilip “Bhai”, as he deferentially addresses the elder statesman of the team.

(08.05.2009-K. Datta is a veteran sports writer. He can be reached at dattak2007@rediffmail.com)

November 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm Leave a comment

Dilip Tirkey celebrates his 32th birthday‎

Following is a report from the Sambad:

November 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm Leave a comment

Centre prepares for CBI inquiry into mining scam in Odisha

Following report is from the Sambad:

November 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment

NREG central monitoring team may visit Balangir: Srikant Jena

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The performance of NREG in Balangir is not satisfactory and the central monitoring team is likely to visit the district soon to take stock of the situation. This was announced by Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Srikant Jena while speaking to mediapersons on Sunday evening after taking review of lower Suktel irrigation projects and performance of all centrally funded projects.

The lower Suktel irrigation projects although sanctioned way back in 1997 is yet to be completed. A revised estimate of more than Rs 1,100 crores have been sent to the Central Water Commission (CWC). Under PMGSY, as many as 65 roads are yet to be completed.

Similarly, the Khurda Road-Balangir railway line though sanctioned in 1993 is yet to be completed. The land acquisition process has been very slow. Even as a bypass road is badly required in the town, the consultancy firm which has been given the task is yet to submit its report, Jena said further.

Even though a large number of farmers have committed suicide, the State Government has not been able to submit its report on the situation, Jena said further. There is no shortage of fertilizers and the Central Government has supplied adequate fertilizers to the State. It is the craze for Gromor fertilizer which is creating such a situation even as other complex fertilizers of the same composition are also available. It is the duty of the State Government to check black marketing, he added further.

A five days seminar on the programmes run by the Central Government will be held in January and many Central Ministers will be joining it. It will be organised by the publicity wing of the Press Information Bureau (PIB), New Delhi, Jena informed further.

Even as the Government has given slogans of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan and around 33 farmers have already committed suicide in the State, no condolence motion was adopted in the Assembly, said Congress leader in the Assembly, Bhupinder Singh. He demanded raising of relief amount for crop loss from Rs 4,000 to Rs 10,000 per acre. He also demanded the crop loss report of BJD team to be made public.

November 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

NRO activist stresses multi-disciplinary varsities in Odisha

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

Noted non-resident Odia (NRO) activist Digambara Patra has requested the Higher Education Task Force of the Odisha Government to give emphasis on reforming towards multi-disciplinary universities in the State like in US and Europe, instead of specialised universities as envisaged by the task force.

Unfortunately, instead of bringing reform in administration to effectively administer all the affiliated colleges within a university, our policy makers are separating those out of university which is not the need of the hour. A multi-disciplinary education and multi-cultural environment is needed to compete at the international level, Patra expressed in his letter.

There is a section of educationalists in India who think these kind of special universities are more political than for acquiring knowledge. By establishing such kinds of special universities we are not doing any favour towards the real cause of education, knowledge gaining, sharing and inter-disciplinary research except doing a favour for the politicians and administration, opined Patra who is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry, American University of Beirut.

One should not limit a university similar to the Utkal University of Culture. Rather the objective should be that it fulfills the requirement qualitatively as well. Instead of going by population or urbanisation and establishing universities in each town or city, 13 undivided districts should get independent status in higher education through a complete university, so that they build their own future.

Of course, this will balance the regional imbalance existing today in higher education as well as bring effectiveness in knowledge acquiring and sharing, explained Patra in his letter.

Such multi-disciplinary universities in each undivided district can independently fulfill all the local needs and should have authority to perform and, if required, open new campus in its locality which will bring accountability to the process without political/regional favouritism, he further suggested. Autonomous colleges in each district may work independently but affiliating with their local universities, he intimated in the letter.

November 24, 2009 at 9:13 am Leave a comment

Two per cent of water from the Hirakud reservoir is used industrially: Parliamentary affairs minister

Following is a report from the expressbuzz.com:

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raghunath Mohanty today said that only 2 per cent of water from the Hirakud reservoir is being provided for industrial use.

To a question from Prafulla Majhi (Cong), the Minister reiterated that the State Government attaches top priority to drinking water supply followed by its use in environment protection. Then it is used for agriculture and generation of hydro electric power, he said, adding its use for industrial purposes comes last in the priority list.

The State Government has permitted 13 industrial houses to draw water from the Hirakud reservoir for industrial purposes. These industries draw 0.314 million acre feet water annually at the rate of 433.322 cubic feet for second (cusec) which is within the limit of 0.350 million acre feet fixed by the State Government, he said.

The live storage capacity of Hirakud reservoir is 3.91 million acre feet while water earmarked for industrial purposes is only 8.95 per cent. Now, industries are using 0.077 million acre feet water from the reservoir which is only 2 per cent, he said.

The Minister said  Rs 3.41 crore water tax had been collected from industrial houses in 2008-09. During the last five years water tax of Rs 7.73 crore was collected, he said.

November 24, 2009 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Uncertainty in procurement of cotton in Kalahandi

Following is a report from the expressbuzz.com:

Stage is set for cotton plucking in Kalahandi district and sources said cotton will be ready for marketing next week. However, farmers are a worried lot because of the uncertainty in procurement of cotton.

This year cotton is grown on 18,292 hectares and the agriculture department expects a yield of about 2. 2 lakh quintals. Last year the major procuring agent was Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) which procured 40 percent of the 2.06 lakh quintals harvested in the district. The rest was procured by some private firms who entered into an agreement with farmers under contract farming system and others who got licences to procure cotton at mandies.

But as these private traders failed to fulfil the terms and conditions of the MoU, it has been decided that there would be no contract farming this year. Also the private traders, who participate in the procurement at mandies, have not renewed their licences this year. To add to the uncertainty, this year CCI is planning to procure cotton only at its ginning mill sight at Kesinga.

This has caused concern among farmers. In the district-level cotton development committee meeting held here recently attended by farmer representatives, district-level officials, representative of Regulated Market Committee (RMC) and CCI and cotton traders, the farmer representatives expressing concern said the CCI should procure cotton from ‘mandi’ points because it will be difficult on the part of farmers to carry their products to Kesinga from far away places.

The meeting decided that four regular mandies and two temporary mandies of RMC will operate for smooth cotton procurement. But as the private traders are yet to renew their licences to participate in the procurement in the mandies, uncertainty prevails over procurement. Farmers of the district expect active intervention of CCI this year like last year to streamline the procurement process.

If the uncertainty prevails, market-watchers say it may lead to distress sale and farmer unrest.

November 24, 2009 at 8:35 am Leave a comment

MPs of Western Odisha demand ESIC medical at Rourkela

Following is a report from the expressbuzz.com:

Four senior Congress MPs from Western Orissa have demanded establishment of the proposed ESIC medical college and hospital at Rourkela in Sundargarh district instead of near the Capital for which the State Government is insisting on.

Though the maximum number of industrial and mine workers reside in the area which is tribal dominated, it has been neglected in the health sector since Independence, the four MPs said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The four MPs, former chief minister Hemananda Biswal, former Union minister Bhakta Charan Das, former minister Amarnath Pradhan and Sanjay Bhoi, said that the area includes border districts and industrial belt of Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Keonjhar, Bargarh and Sambalpur. Out of the 2.4 lakh ESI insured persons in the State, 1.4 lakh are from this area, they said and added that the first public sector integrated steel plant was established at Rourkela in 1955.

That the area has been neglected is evident from the fact it has only one medical college and hospital, they said, adding that it does not have a super speciality medical and health care facility. They said that regional imbalance will have to be bridged for overall development of the State as well as gaining the confidence of the tribals.

Though several medical colleges are going to be set up in the State in the near future, none of these has been proposed to be established in this region.

While the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is going to be set up near Bhubaneswar, another medical recommended by the Human Resource Development Ministry will be set up in the coastal district. Besides, another medical college recommended by the Ministry of Railways will be established at Bhubaneswar. Two more medical colleges have been recommended to be set up Koraput and Talcher. Bhubaneswar city also has three private medical colleges and hospitals, they said.

The MPs said that the establishment of an ESI medical college and hospital will cater to their needs of the industrial workers in a tribal-dominated region. Besides, it will create more employment and means of livelihood contributing to the economy of the area, they added.

November 24, 2009 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

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