Archive for February, 2010

91 ITIs and 415 Skill Development Centres (SDCs) to come up in different places of Orissa in public-private partnership (PPP) mode

Following is a report from http://www.business-standard.com:

The Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Government of India has decided to set up 91 new ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) and 415 Skill Development Centres (SDCs) in Orissa on the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.

While the Orissa government would provide basic infrastructural support for these ITIs and SDCs including free land with proper power, water and road connectivity, the Centre would provide Viability Gap Funding.

The proposed ITI s would have a strength of 250 trainees per shift running about 10 demand driven trades. An estimated Rs six crore would be spent towards infrastructural development on each of these ITI s.

The proposed SDCs would be smaller centres of vocational training with seating capacity of about 300 persons per shift per annum to meet the skill training needs of the locals.

About Rs 50 lakh would be invested on equipment and machineries for these SDCs.

Expressions of Interest would be invited from the training providers to operationalize these proposed ITI s and SDCs on the PPP mode.

To set up these new ITI s and SDCs, all the collectors of the state have been instructed by the state industries department for allocation of suitable land having proper power, water and communication network.

About 3-5 acres of land need to be identified for the establishment of ITI s at the unrepresented block headquarters while 500 sq m of land is needed for setting up the SDC at the gram panchayat headquarters.

Moreover, the Government of India has decided to upgrade 1396 government ITI s across the country on the PPP mode through an interest free loan of Rs 2.5 crore.

Nine ITI s in the state at Puri, Cuttack, Chhatrapur, Umorkkote, Barbil, Dhenkanal, Barbil, Baripada, Baripada and Malkangiri are covered under this initiative.

February 28, 2010 at 11:05 am 1 comment

Twenty two government run polytechnics will come up various districts of Western Orissa in 2010-11

Following is a report from http://www.business-standard.com:

Twenty two government run polytechnics would come up in as many districts of Orissa in 2010-11.

These polytechnics would come up in those districts which are not yet served by the government polytechnics. The districts include Boudh Gajapati, Nabarangpur, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj and Balasore to name a few.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development and the Department of Higher Education of the Government of India has sanctioned Rs 12.3 crore for each polytechnic.

The amount for the proposed polytechnics would be released in installments under the Scheme of Submission on Polytechnics under Coordinated Action for Skill Development.

It may be noted that 13 government engineering schools and polytechnics are already functioning in Orissa under the state industries department.

The Orissa government has already agreed in principle for the establishment of these 22 polytechnics. A single patch of land spread over 10 acres has already been identified by the state government in each of the districts.

Out of Rs 12.3 crore sanctioned for each polytechnic, Rs eight crore will be spent on civil works and Rs 4.3 crore will be spent on equipment, machinery, furniture and learning resource material.

With the opening of these 22 polytechnics, every district in the state will have at least government polytechnic providing quality education.

February 28, 2010 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Science scholarships get Rs 240 crore in the Union Budget 2010

Following is a report by PTI:

New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) Government’s initiative to award scholarships to those opting for science studies today got a Rs 240 crore allocation in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The first 39,000 INSPIRE scholarships were awarded earlier this month by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

They are aimed at attracting students towards basic science and research.

The budgetary allocation for Department of Science and Technology was hiked to Rs 2,025 crores from Rs 1,672 crores from the previous. The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research saw its plan allocation go up from Rs 1,279 crores to Rs 1,600 crores.

Allocation for the Department of Biotechnology has been hiked from Rs 902 crore to Rs 1,200 crores.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ plan allocation has been pegged at Rs 1,000 crores from Rs 793 crore the previous fiscal.

February 26, 2010 at 9:47 pm 1 comment

Western Orissa Students’ Joint Action Committee (WOSJAC) intensify stir demanding Central university status for Sambalpur University

Following is a report from http://www.orissadiary.com:

Report by Byomakesh Panda, Sambalpur: Western Orissa Students’ Joint Action Committee (WOSJAC) has threatened to intensify stir demanding Central university status for Sambalpur University and called Sambalpur bandh on February 10 to press for their demands.

Addressing the mediapersons here on Sunday , Satyabrata Dash , convener of  WOSJAC said that they are  demanding a permanent bench of Orissa High Court in western Orissa and upgradation of VSS Medical College, Burla, into a unitary university.

The members of WOSJAC have staged demonstration  and mass dharana in front of office of the Collector on Monday and again will stage a demonstration in front of office of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern Division) on Tuesday and submit a memorandum.
Besides Sambalpur bandh, all the 182 colleges affiliated to Sambalpur University and other educational institutions across western Orissa will be shut down on February 10 and students would block highways paralysing vehicular movement, he said.

WOSJAC general secretary Padmanava Mishra said they would even launch fastunto- death in future if the State Government turned a deaf ear to their genuine demands. He also said they would protest Ministers’ visit to western Orissa.

February 26, 2010 at 9:33 pm 2 comments

Western Orissa lawyers boycott local courts

Following is a report by PTI: Rourkela (Orissa), Feb 25 (PTI) Functioning in local courts of western Orissa was hit for the second consecutive day today due to agitation by lawyers who are setting up of a bench of Orissa High Court here.

As per the schedule, the lawyers had been boycotting courts for the last three days of each month to demand a bench of Orissa High Court in western Orissa.

The lawyers under the banner of Western Orissa Bar Association are agitating for the last several years to press for their demand.

They obstructed the judges, revenue and other officials from doing their work following which work in the offices had been affected at Sambalpur, the nerve centre of western Orissa.

February 26, 2010 at 9:25 pm 1 comment

Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav starts with much fanfare at Gangadhar Mandap

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The three-day long 14th Sambalpur Lok Mahotsav began with much fanfare at Gangadhar Mandap here on Thursday. Jointly organised by the District Council of Culture, State Culture and Tourism Department and Kolkata-based East Zone Cultural Centre, Governor MC Bhandare inaugurated it.

Collector Hemanta Kumar Das presided over the function. Bhandare said that such occasions help in preserving the folk song, dance and culture and besides providing a common platform to the artists from across the country, it strengthens national integration and harmony.

The function began with Ghanta Badya of Padiabahal followed by Jaiphula of Sambalpur. Rajasthani troupe performed Kalbheliya — a folk dance of the snake charmers’ community.

While Bihu of Assam kept the audience spellbound, Parva of Sonepur and Phaag of Harayana were other major attractions of the evening.

Sidhi Dhamal of Gujarat, Sanchaar of Bargarh, Ranapa of Ganjam, Jindua and Bhangda of Punjab were among other folk dances that kept the audience enthralled till late night. Apart from the folk dances, literary discussions will also be a part of the Mohatsav, informed Organising Committee members Pradip Bahidar and Bhajaram Mahapatra.

“Due to certain reasons it could not be held on its stipulated dates in the first week of January, but we would stick to it from next year,” the Collector said.

All the three local MLAs and Zilla Parishad president were present at the inaugural function.

February 26, 2010 at 7:07 pm Leave a comment

Farmers are committing suicide in western Orissa as Hirakud dam is failing:Study

Following is a report by IANS published in The Hindu:

Dozens of farmers have committed suicide in Orissa in the past one year as the Hirakud dam is no longer serving its purpose, says a new study that warns of a grimmer situation in the coming days if urgent steps are not taken.

The dam, built across the Mahanadi river, about 350 km from Bhubaneswar in the district of Sambalpur, is one of the longest in the world. It is one of independent India’s early multipurpose river valley projects.

In the initial phase, it checked floods in the state’s coastal areas, provided electricity to factories and homes and supplied ample water in the canals to grow a second crop every year.

“However, now these functions have been considerably reduced,” said Rajkishor Meher, a reader in sociology at the government-run Nabakrushna Choudhury Centre for Development Studies in Bhubaneswar.

Government records show 3,509 farmers committed suicide in Orissa in the last 11 years. The opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have alleged that at least 53 farmers committed suicide in the state in the past one year.

A years-long study by Meher on the plight of farmers at the tail ends of canals served by the dam is awaiting publication in the journal Contributions to Indian Sociology.

“The dam has almost lost its principal objective of irrigation promotion and agricultural development in the region,” Meher said.

“The system now hardly generates 30 percent of its installed hydro power capacity because of lack of adequate storage of water in the reservoir, obsolete technology and worn out machinery,” said the expert, who has authored several books related to sociology of development and on Orissa’s economy.

“Although floods in the Mahanadi was under control for some years, because of the silting of the riverbed by sand downstream of the dam, floods in the coastal region of the state have started recurring in a more aggravating form since 1980,” he said.

According to Meher, the dam project had displaced 101,000 people 50 years ago, a majority of them tribals.

“Given the rate of population growth and limited success of the past resettlement and rehabilitation process, it is not unfair to say that around 200,000 people of the original Hirakud oustees might still be impoverished by the project,” he said.

The reservoir submerged around 50,000 hectares of good farm land in 300 villages. As against that, it irrigated 157,790 hectares during the Kharif and 97,910 hectares during the Rabi seasons, according to official records.

“But at present due to silting of the reservoir and canals the tail end areas do not get adequate irrigation water for the second crop. The area deprived of a second crop is almost one-third of the created irrigated potential in the command area,” Meher said.

“So, the effective irrigation coverage for the second paddy crop is now available for hardly 60,000-70,000 hectares of agricultural land and that is at the cost of loss of 50,000 hectares of agricultural land and disruption of livelihood of around 40,000 displaced families at present.

“Plus, availability of water for agriculture shall be reduced in future, as the area surrounding the reservoir is now witnessing fast industrial growth and mining of coal.”

Meher said factories were taking more and more water from the Hirakud reservoir. “Before 1997 the total allocation of water to the industries of the region from the reservoir was 3,191,200 gallons per year. This has increased by 27 times in the past nine years and this is obviously at the cost of water for irrigation.

“In this scenario, the farmers in the tail end are going to suffer more and more.”

Meher wanted “immediate improvement” in the water management in the project’s command area. “If that is not done many small and marginal farmers who regularly borrow money for farming from various sources at high rates of interest may commit suicide.”

February 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm Leave a comment

Odisha and Railway Budget 2010

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

The State’s demand for allocation of at least Rs 1,805 crore towards railway development in the 2010-11 Railway Budget has been ignored. It has got about Rs 836.64 crore as against Rs 715.22 crore for 2009-10. It would be spent for construction of new lines, gauge conversion, doubling and electrification. In addition, Rs 65.53 crore have been sanctioned for undertaking traffic facilities work at various stations located in the State. In total, the State has got Rs 902.17 crore.

This includes Rs 430 crore for completion of the ongoing new lines and Rs 399.73 crore for doubling of the major rail tracks. The good news is that Rs 120 crore has been sanctioned for the Khurda- Balangir railway project, Rs 101 crore for Haridaspur-Paradeep, Rs 75 crore for Daitari-Bansapani and Rs 50 crore for Talcher-Bimalagarh project.

In the Railway Budget for 2009-10 the State had asked for Rs 1,504 crore, but it was allocated only Rs 715 crore, of which only Rs 653.22 crore was released. The Budget has proposed to update the surveys for the Phulbari-Berhampur, Puri-Konark, Gunupur-Theruvali and Jeypore-Malkangiri rail routes. In addition, survey will be made for new train lines in the Talcher-Phulbani-Lanjigarh and Gunpur-Theruball-Junagarh-Jeypore routes. The only new line project that was included in the Budget is Digha-Jaleshwar.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has proposed to set up one of the State-of-the-art wagon factories in joint venture or public-private partnership (PPP) mode either at Bhubaneswar or Kalahandi. Similarly, for rail connectivity to the new minor ports coming up at Astranga, Chudamani and Gopalpur, the Railway Minister has proposed PPP mode. The following new lines are expected to be completed during the year 2009-10: Lanjigarh-Bhawanipatna portion of Lanjigarh-Junagarh line. The following sections are expected to be completed in 2010-11: Bhawanipatna-Junagarh of Lanjigarh- Junargarh & Khurda-Begunia of Khurda-Bolangir.

The Budget had made provisions of 10 Duronto trains in the Railway Budget 2010 including five for West Bengal while there will be one Duronto Express between Howrah and Puri.

Out Patient Department (OPD) and diagnostic centres will be set up at Balugoan, Bhadrak, Bhubaneswar, Bramhapur, Jajpur-Keonjhar Road, Kantabhanji, Kesinga, Khurda Road, Koraput, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Titlagarh, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram stations. Secondary-level General Specialty Hospitals will be set at Bramhapur, Kantabanji, Koraput, Palasa, Rayagada & Visakhapatnam stations of the East Coast Railways.

February 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) to come up at Balasore and Sambalpur

Following is a report from http://www.business-standard.com:

Orissa would have two more centres of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) at Balasore and Sambalpur.

Pradipta K Mohapatra, the state IT secretary said, “The state has two functional STPIs at Bhubaneswar and Rourkela and the third STPI at Berhampur will be inaugurated shortly. Besides, the state will have two more STPIs at Balasore and Sambalpur.”

He said that the state IT department is also going ahead with its plan to set up the second tower of the Orissa Computer Application Centre (OCAC).

The second OCAC tower which is coming just behind the existing OCAC tower in the city is set to be operational by June this year and it involves an investment of Rs 40 crore.

The proposed facility isbeing developed exclusively for IT and ITes (information technology enabled services) companies. Spread over an area of 1.4 acres, it will have a total built-up space of about two lakh sq ft.

The second OCAC tower will offer ready to use office space to the IT SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), said Mohapatra. He was speaking at the inauguration of the JSS Software Technology Park, the first software technology park in the state.

Speaking on the occasion, state chief minister, Naveen Patnaik said, “Besides offering ready to use office space for the IT and ITes (IT enabled services) units, the JSS Software Technology Park will provide incubation facility to the IT start-ups at affordable rates.”

Talking on the success of the e-governance projects, Patnaik said, “Our e-governance projects like e-procurement and e-registration have been immensely successful and these projects have earned accolades from other states. Another e-governance project which has revolutionized workflow at the state secretariat is the Orissa Secretariat Workflow Automation System.”

February 23, 2010 at 6:56 pm 2 comments

Demand for ESIC Medical College at Rourkela gains momentum

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

To exert pressure on the State, a mass convention was organised by the Action Committee for Establishment of ESIC Medical College and Hospital at Bisra Maidan on Sunday here. Leaders of all political parties except the ruling BJD, trade unions and civil societies attended the convention expressing their solidarity with the Action Committee for the larger interests of Sundargargh district. Surprisingly, neither the two BJD MLAs, despite their presence in Rourkela, nor any one of their frontal leaders turned up at the convention.

While the entire district is united on the common issue, the allegedly uncooperative attitude of the BJD has raised eyebrows of the Rourkelites.Rajgangpur MLA Gregory Minz and Talsara MLA Prafulla Majhi assured that they would raise the issue in the forthcoming Assembly session while former Speaker Kishore Patel called for broadening of the Action Committee by involving more people from various walks of life in Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Keonjhar districts.

Trade union leaders like Satyapriya Mohanty(SUCI), RK Mishra(BMS), Jahangir Alli and Biman Maity(both CITU), Pravat Mishra(AITUC) and HMS representatives also supported the demand. They argued that more than 70% of Insured Persons(IPs) under ESIC in the State belong to the ‘under-privileged’ Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar and Sambalpur districts.

Sundargarh District Congress Committee president Raju Sarangi, Sundargarh MP Hemananda Biswal’s representative Dusmanta Naik, Rourkela District Congress Committee and Rourkela Shramik Sangh president Prasanta Behera, BJP leader Khagendra Pradhan, Congress leader BN Pattnaik, former Bonai CPI(M) MLA Laxman Munda,former Rourkela Municipality chairman Nihar Ray supported the issue and called for spreading the demand among the IPs.

Similarly, Rourkela Chamber of Commerce president Subrat Pattnaik, Rourkela Bar Association president Ramesh Bal and Rourkela Press Club secretary Mihir Ray also supported the demand. They all viewed that for years together Sundargarh district has been neglected in the health sector. Though Rourkela is a major city, so far the super specialist hospitals for heart, neuro, kidney and cancer treatments have not yet been available here whereas the State is promoting private hospitals, they alleged adding though in Bhubaneswar there are number of super specialist hospitals and medical colleges and many more on anvil, the State is adamant on setting up ESIC Medical College at Bhubaneswar. It shows the apathetic attitude of the State towards Sundargarh in particular and western Odisha in general, they further fumed.

It was unanimously decided that a team consisting of local MP Hemananda Biswal, Rajya Sabha member Mangala Kisan, two local MLAs Gregory Minz and Prafulla Majhi and CITU State general secretary Bishnu Mohanty will meet the Prime Minister and Union Labour Minister on February 25 during the Parliament session. The team will also meet Central Labour Secretary and DG ESIC. It was also decided to expand the Action Committee by inducting all the elected representatives of the district and student leaders to intensify the stir. It was also decided to meet the Chief Minister and Labour Minister during the Assembly session. The mass convention was held under the chairmanship of its convenor Muralidhar Parija. CITU State secretary Bishnu Mohanty gave the keynote address and briefed on the steps taken up so far on the issue.

February 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm Leave a comment

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