Archive for October, 2010

An account of the folk music of western Orissa

Following report is from the expressbuzz.com:

BALANGIR: Dulduli, Parva, Karma, Dalkhai. These traditional folk music forms have a special meaning and their significance is reflected in various festivals of Balangir. Although these traditional music forms are fading, yet they come alive during festivals like Dussehra.  

 The exclusive rhythms of each form has a special meaning that is meant to appease the presiding deity of a particular place. Every year during Durga Puja, these musical forms get a new lease of life.

Tankadhar Mishra, an expert who has done research in traditional music, said folk music differs from place to place. “In Balangir, if one visits a village, he will find musical forms and rhythms changing with the region. For example, Karma music that is dedicated to Karmasani deity, has a different rhythm. But it may sound different in another place,” he said.

Although different presiding deities have different tastes, there is a common music form known as Sula Khadi (sixteen rhythms) which is applicable for all Goddesses representing Shakti. During Shakti puja at various Shakti ‘pithas’ here, Sula Khadi is mandatory to invoke Devi’s blessings.

Historian Sadananda Agrawal said not a single folk music here is bereft of religious connection. “It is the religious connection that makes the affair special. The rhythms are identified with the choices of different Goddesses,” he said.

October 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm Leave a comment

Travel to Deogarh – ‘The natural paradise of western Orissa’

Following report is from http://www.oktatabyebye.com:

Western Orissa is a very important part of the state and it has eternal beauty which can be proved anytime. Various place like Sambalpur, Bolangir, Jharsuguda, Nrushingnath, Harisankar, Burla dam, Deogarh are the best examples which enrich their value.

I was lucky enough to take a glance of this wonderful part of Orissa. Leaving behind the hectic schedule of my workplace in Delhi, We reached Sambalpur on a very sunny day in June…. Sambalpur has a very good railway station and has also a very good connectivity to all part of India. We boarded Hirakud express  to reach Sambalpur. We have booked otdc niwas well in advance. Otherwise you can find a very good number of lodging option at a cheaper rate. The people were very helpful. We thought of not wasting our time in the town and straightaway went to see the famous long Hirakud dam (hydro energy). The stretch was simply awesome. The main attraction was the road to the area. One side you will feel the affection of the village wind and the other side will give you the touch of urbanism.

On the way we visited Jyoti Vihar , sambalpur university….a real huge infrastructure sprawling over acres. …We spent 2-3 hrs on Hirakud dam. These days general public is not allowed to move on the dam. You can only take the charm from a high tower standing just near to it.

We visited Samleswari temple and Huma temple (tilted temple at 75 deg) …really awesome place for picnic and get-together. We explored the sambalpur market in the evening and tried some good food there. The night was a cushion for us as we were very much tired.

The next morning we left for Deogarh…The place of Gangdev empire sometimes back… The town has an excellent history..The road was not very good for 30-40 kms, otherwise it’s a standard road. You will enjoy the combination of plain road and hilly curves. The drive is of 3 hrs with  tea breaks ofcourse…hehe…Reached Deogarh at 11 am. Searched for a good lodging….It was not a tough task as we have some known people staying there. But anycase….Hotel mamta & hotel Kiran will be a good option to stay in touch with the town. Otherwise book the circuit house in the world famous waterfall’Pradhanpat’. You will miss everything if u don’t visit Pradhanpat waterfall. Mind blowing and simply wonderful. Based on a hilly area it is around 8 kms from the town.You can hire ricksaw, taxi to reach there. The route is excellent and you will gradually feel the cool breeze….awesome..awesome…we felt like walking and running down the track….There was a very good nursery of excellent flowers. And next to its left the road will take you to the circuit house which is named as Lalit Basant…A palace inside the dense jungle. You will feel as a royal visitor once you sit on the courtyard of this palace…It is said that the king was coming to this place to hunt tigers….  It was the base station of the Bamanda Kingdom…I also got to know that this place generated the 1st hydro power from waterfall in the state….

Then we started walking and finally reached the footstep of the waterfall.  Wow…simply wow….You just cannot believe the beauty of nature until you see it with your own eyes…..When we climbed up and up…the temperature was going smooth. It was like heaven in the tough summer of Orissa…hehe..

After staying the whole day by trekking, bathing & strolling we came down in the evening and reached our place by 7 pm…..Then we were served the typical deogarh food….taste was different but really good…It was made in clay oven……

The next moring we visited the local market and some nearby villages to feel the typical style and look….We also visited one very big mango garden…The food like chaat, golgoppe, typical ‘karadi’ (bamboo product)and pakhala rice….were really great ….

Finally after spending a nice break we came back to Sambalpur and took the train at 3 pm….This journey was really awesome …we could have extended our stay and could have also visited Harisnakar and Nrusinghanath..but due to some emergency we had to come back to the busy schedule again…..

Friends…if you are visiting western Orissa, do not forget to visit Deogarh for sure…..You will enjoy this place……wait for the next episode.

Important place to visit :

Pradhanpat waterfall, Kudurkut waterfall, Olta bara (banyan tree with inverted leaves) at Purnagarh, Lalit basant, Kings palace, ushakothi sanctuary, badarama ghati

Accomodation : lalit basant, Hotel mamta, Hotel Kiran

more info : soumyajitmishra.wordpress.com

October 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Chhatar Jatra: A report from Expressbuzz

Following report is from expressbuzz.com:

BHAWANIPATNA: Thousands of devotees thronged Shakti temple across the district from late Thursday night to offer prayers to the presiding deities as part of Mahasthami celebrations.

The frenzy was high at Manikeswari and Dakhinakali of Bhawanipatna, Lankeswari of Junagarh and Dukri at Talgud, Ambe temple of Kesinga and Durga pandals throughout the district.

At Bhawanipatna, after performing the traditional Sandhi puja and secret tantric rituals on Maha Asthami night at the Maa Manikeswari temple, the ceremonial Chhatar of Maa Manikeswari was taken from the temple to Jenakhal, four-km away on the outskirts of the town. Another round of secret rituals were performed at Jenakhal temple before bringing the Chhatar back to Maa Manikeswari temple in the wee hours of Maha Nabami today. All these rituals were performed in a clandestine manner as per the tradition.

 The deity’s jatra was accompanied by dancers performing Ghumura and other tribal dances. Heavy downpour from early hours today could not deter the devotees from accompanying the Chhatar Jatra. The chorus chants created a thrilling sensation and a sense of awe and wonder among lakhs of devotees who congregated here from different parts of Orissa and the neighbouring states.

As a mark of fulfilment of wishes devotees sacrificed goats while some animal-lovers released doves on the occasion. According to sources, about 10,000 goats were sacrificed on the day. The district administration’s appeal not to make sacrifices openly on the streets found little takers. The Collector was also on leave as part of the puja holidays. Earlier, police only distributed leaflets appealing people not to sacrifice, which too did not elicit any response

October 16, 2010 at 10:11 am Leave a comment

Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) allowed to open campuses abroad

Following is a report by IANS published in http://www.thaindian.com:

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) The prestigious Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) have been allowed to open campuses abroad, a human resource development (HRD) ministry official said Wednesday.

In a decision taken at a meeting between HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and the directors and chairpersons of the IIMs, full powers have been given to the boards of the institutions to open new centres in India and abroad.

“The other powers given to the boards include freedom to create posts within the approved norms, freedom to amend rules of the IIMs within the framework of memorandum of association and rules, power to acquire and dispose property not fully or partially funded by the ministry, powers to approve their own budget and also to manage the funds generated by the IIMs on their own,” the official said.

However, the number of members on IIMs’ boards has been reduced to 14.

The official hinted that an overhaul may be on the cards as the issue of representing the IIM society, the government, the faculty and the alumni on the boards was also discussed.

“It was also decided, in principle, that directors of IIMs will now be appointed through a process wherein the board of governors of the IIMs would suggest three names to the government from which it will choose one,” the official said.

It was also decided that the IIMs will be free to raise the salaries of their directors and faculty from the funds generated in-house.

“The minister has also directed that old and new IIMs sit together to streamline the use of technology for class scheduling, attendance and marks compilation,” the official said.

The minister pointed out the board should take steps to prepare annual action plans and key performance indicators at each level and be fully accountable and transparent.

October 16, 2010 at 8:04 am Leave a comment

Bhai Jiuntia of Western Orissa

Following report is from the Sambad:

October 14, 2010 at 8:40 am Leave a comment

Orissa govt. declares 90 blocks in 15 districts as drought-hit: The Pioneer

Following report is from the Pioneer:

The State Government on Tuesday declared 10,336 revenue villages belonging to 90 blocks in 15 districts as drought-hit. The affected farmers coming under 1,444 gram panchayats could now avail the drought package recently announced by the State Government.

A report issued from the Revenue Department informed that the drought-hit areas were taken into account by analysing the information gathered by Collectors of all the 30 districts. It said insufficient rainfall during this monsoon had led to crop loss in the districts.

“A total of 10,336 villages of 1,444 gram panchayats under 90 districts in 15 districts are reeling under severe crop loss due to erratic rainfall,” the report informed.

The report also informed that among 15 districts, Mayurbhanj district was worst hit. “While 2,460 villages in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj were the worst hit, 1761 villages in Balasore district were at the bottom of the drought-hit areas list,” the report said. Other affected districts are Angul, Baragarh, Kendrapada, Keonjhar, Puri, Sonepur, Sambalpur, Boudh, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh.

As per the drought package announced by the Government recently farmers with more than 50 per cent crop loss in irrigated land would be entitled to get financial compensation of `4,000 per hectare. Similarly, farmers who lost 50 per cent crops in non-irrigated lands would get `2,000 assistance per hectare.

The Government has also declared to give 50 per cent diesel subsidy for supplementary irrigation. It has also announced to half the water tax and land tax payable by the farmers. This apart, the Government has also announced to give power connection to the lift irrigation points of farmers who would make 50 per cent of their dues during rabi season.

It has also announced to waive the tuition fees and examination fees of the children of the affected farmers of the drought-hit areas.While 2,460 villages in tribal-dominated Mayurbhanj were the worst hit, 1,761 villages in Balasore district were at the bottom of the drought hit areas list, Revenue Minister Suryanarayan Patro said.

October 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

Plagiarism in the Indian Institutes of Technology: The Telegraph

Following is a report from the Telegraph:

New Delhi, Oct 10: Scientific misconduct has surfaced in five Indian Institutes of Technology in independent cases that reflect unethical practices in the pursuit of research touching even the nation’s elite institutions.

Scientists familiar with these cases have said they involve plagiarism and poor supervision of young researchers, and show how senior faculty turned into coauthors of scientific papers even while oblivious to their detailed contents.

Authorities at the IIT, Kharagpur, have removed the head of its physics department who was accused of not granting a colleague credit due in a research paper — a charge upheld by an internal institutional inquiry, but denied by the professor.

Two international journals have retracted research papers coauthored by senior faculty at IIT, New Delhi, and IIT, Kanpur, on grounds of plagiarism — one paper copied text from Wikipedia. And the Society for Scientific Values, a 24-year old non-government ethics watchdog for scientists, is investigating complaints of scientific misconduct in two other IITs.

The journal, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, has retracted a 2009 paper coauthored by Anup Ghosh, a professor of polymer science at the IIT, New Delhi, Devesh Avasthi and Pawan Kulriya at the Inter University Accelerator Centre, Sharif Ahmad from the Jamia Milia Islamia University, and Shashi Chawla from the Amity School of Engineering.

The journal said the authors had “plagiarised parts of a paper that had already appeared” in another journal and described the work as a “severe abuse of the scientific publishing system.”

Another journal, Biotechnology Advances , has retracted two review papers coauthored by Ashok Kumar and his students at the department of biological sciences at IIT, Kanpur, for plagiarism. The journal said one paper had plagiarised text from several previously published papers, and the other had extracted text from Wikipedia without citations.

Neither Kumar nor Ghosh were available for comments. But Avasthi, a scientist at the IUAC claimed that a research scholar had plagiarised text and assigned coauthorships to senior faculty.

But scientists tracking ethics say this is no excuse.

“Many young people are unaware that plagiarism is a serious offense. But supervisors should own responsibility for content of papers — and not merely accept authorships to add to the number of papers in their resumes,” said Kasturi Lal Chopra, a former director of the IIT, Kharagpur, and president of the SSV.

An inquiry by Chopra on request from the IIT Kharagpur has observed that the head of its physics department professor R.N.P Choudhary had denied legitimate credit to a colleague A.K.Thakur in a research paper.

Choudhary has denied wrongdoing. He claimed that a student, who was the first author of the paper, had without his knowledge made him the corresponding author. He also said that he has had 29 joint papers with his accuser —Thakur — in the past, and that Thakur had not contributed to this paper.

“We need to teach ethics as part of the curriculum in MSc or at least at PhD level courses,” said Ravinder Kotnala, a physicist at the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, and SSV secretary.

The SSV typically gets about 10 to 12 complaints of scientific misconduct each month, most often from within the academic institutions. Many are frivolous, but we take up the serious ones for independent investigation, Kotnala said.

He requested that the identities of the two other IITs not be revealed because the investigations into the complaints are still incomplete. One complaint claims researchers fabricated data, while the other claims that the same experimental data was used unjustifiably to generate multiple research papers.

“Ideally, even school students need to be sensitised to ethics,” Kotnala said. “I’ve seen plenty of school science projects entirely based on material copied from the Internet.”

The SSV has long urged India’s scientific departments to introduce ethics training in academic institutions and create an agency with legal teeth to monitor ethics in scientific affairs.

The SSV has itself conducted workshops on ethics, but its members have limited time for such activities. “It’s also a dirty job — no one likes to police scientists,” one member of the SSV executive committee said.

October 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm 1 comment

Orissa demands Rs 1516 crore as drought assistance:PTI reports

Following news is from http://news.outlookindia.com (originally reported by PTI):

With half of 30 districts hit by drought because of inadequate rains, the Orissa government today demanded Rs 1516 crore as central assistance to deal with the situation.

“The Centre had committed Rs 151.92 crore for the 2009 drought and Rs 402 crore towards flood in 2008 from National Calamity Contigency Fund (NCCF). But it did not release the fund,” Revenue and Disaster Management minister S N Patro told reporters here.

“In view of the drought, I request the Centre to release Rs 151.92 crore from the NCCF approved by a high-level committee chaired by the finance minister,” he said inviting a central team to access the magnitude of drought this time.

Though the state government had several times in the past asked for release of Rs 535.92 crore (Rs 151.92 plus Rs 402 crore), the Centre had ignored the demand, the minister said.

Patro said that though then union home minister Shivraj Patil during the 2008 floods announced central assistance of Rs 500 crore to Orissa, it received only Rs 98 crore.

Quoting reports submitted by district collectors, the minister said that a total of 10,336 villages and 104 wards in 15 districts had been identified as drought affected where crop loss of 50 per cent and above was recorded during the kharif-2010, he said.

Meanwhile, the state government announced compensation of Rs 4,000 per hectare of crop loss for irrigated land and Rs 2,000 for each hectare of non-irrigated land.

October 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

Maa Sureswari(Sursuri) of Sonepur: Report by the Sambad

October 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

Meet Nilamadhab Panda film maker and director from Sonepur, western Orissa;Nila Madhab Panda’s I AM KALAM wins two international awards

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

Debutant filmmaker Nila Madhab Panda’s I AM KALAM has won the Best Feature Film Award at the Lucas International Film Festival in Germany. It has also won the Don Quixote Prize of the International Federation of Ciné-Clubs (FICC) awards.

Set in Rajasthan, I AM KALAM relates the story of Chhotu’s hunger for education, something which he cannot aspire to have because of his family’s poverty-stricken status.

Through an engaging, entertaining and fast-paced narrative, the film takes the viewer to the world of Chhotu, who at one point starts referring himself as Kalam after watching ex-president APJ Kalam speak about how he got his education fighting several odds on TV,.

Naming himself as Kalam has more than a symbolic meaning for Chhotu (a name thrust upon him by people at the Dhaba, who, like most of us, care two hoots for the identity of little kids working at eateries, shops and other establishments, and insensitively calling all of them as ‘Chhotu’, (the small one).

Chhotu’s life takes an unexpected turn as he befriends Prince Ranvijay, whose father, an erstwhile “king” of a princely state, is running a heritage hotel at his ancestral palace across the street, where Chhotu goes to deliver tea to the guests. What follows forms the crux of the film.

A sensitive film on the plight of the underprivileged, the film is also about how the privileged class can play a role in the uplift of the less-privileged millions. 

Panda, who has made over 60 short films, documentaries and television drama for Doordarshan, the BBC, Discovery Channel, NGC and private producers across the globe, says, “I believe in telling stories that have a universal appeal and a sense of purpose to the art that I create. I believe that the more local you get, the more global your access will be; and so here is one such local story.”

In all my films, I have explored the people’s basic needs and problem of the marginalized. I find such stories purposeful and exciting. I am also interested in making cinema for children and family; a genre that is much neglected in world cinema and more specifically in Asia.”

The film’s cast that has Delhi slum boy Harsh Mayar in the title also includes veteran actor Gulshan Grover (as Bhati the dhaba owner), child actor Hussan Saad of DELHI 6 fame (as Prince Ranvijay), French actress Beatrice Ordeix, FTII-trained Pitobash Tripathy and Meena Mir.

October 9, 2010 at 8:01 am 5 comments

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