Archive for January, 2012

The Art of Kalahandi

Following is a Dharitri report:

 

January 31, 2012 at 6:32 am Leave a comment

Developments of urban and rural areas are of equal importance to make cities slum free

Have a look on the following report from the Pioneer. Without the development of rural areas such steps will be meaningless. Poor people will migrate to cities for better life. As the real estate price is high in cities, they can’t afford to buy houses. Thus, end up in slums. The infrastructure of big cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkota, Bangalore etc. will collapse because of the human influx.

In this case, we should follow the west. We need to build rural centers to provide good higher education, jobs, and health services to rural areas. So that, people will not face any problem while living in villages.

In western countries, after retirement people go back to their villages to live. However, in India even our village school teachers dream of buying a house in cities. We need to reduce this gap. Otherwise, big cities will suffer from severe migration. The developments of urban and rural areas are of equal importance; otherwise, big cities and slums will coexist.

Best regards,

Sanjib

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http://mail.dailypioneer.com/state-editions/bhubaneswar/38365-task-force-formed-to-make-odisha-slum-free.html

With the objective to make the State slum-free, the State Government has constituted Odisha Slum Development Task Force under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik.

According to official sources, OSDTF would help in resource mobilisation through multilateral and bilateral funding agencies and promotion of convergence by removing interdepartmental and interagency bottlenecks.

In the first phase, six cities of the State, like Bhubaneswar, Puri, Cuttack, Brahmapur, Sambalpur and Rourkela have been identified to make them slum-free urban local bodies, the sources said.

The Task Force would prioritise the slums to be taken up for resettlement and decide appropriate projects for development.

Meanwhile, as an action plan, the State Government has already constituted a State-level steering committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to examine and approve the project reports submitted by the implementing agencies in consultation with the OSDTF.

The ‘slum free’ projects would be implemented jointly by the State Government and the Centrally-sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana. Both the State and the Central  Government would bear the cost of the project to be taken up on 50-50 basis, sources said.

Under the scheme, resettlement of slum areas and infrastructure development would be taken up on priority basis.

In order to prepare and implement the projects, city-level technical cells have been set up for mobilisation of people through NGO’s. The detailed project reports would be prepared after taking up socio-economic survey in the proposed cities. And it has been decided to undertake GIS mapping of the slum areas of the State soon, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the sources said two Pilot Projects  have been prepared — one for Rangamatia by the Bhubaneswar Municipal Commission and the other by the Cuttack Municipal Corporation — for 10 slums.

They said the Chief Secretary has directed the BDA and the BMC authorities to prepare a detailed project report for making the Unit-1, Unit-6 and Kargil road area slum-free.

January 29, 2012 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

All languages are dialects

Listen to this interesting discussion here: http://spinner.cofc.edu/linguist/archives/2005/08/audio/Track33.mp3

Following write-up is taken from: http://spinner.cofc.edu/linguist/archives/2005/08/whats_the_diffe.html?referrer=webcluster

Strange as it may seem, there’s no really good way to distinguish between a “language” and a “dialect.” Because they’re not objective, scientific terms. People use the words “dialect” and “language” to mean different things. “Language” can often refer to your own linguistic variety and “dialect” to the variety spoken by someone else, usually someone thought of as inferior. Or “language” can mean the generally accepted “standard” or radio-talk language of a country, while dialects are homely versions of it that vary from region to region and may not be pronounced the way the so-called “language” is. Language varieties are called “dialects” rather than “languages” because they’re not written, or because speakers of that variety don’t run the country, or because their language lacks prestige. In short, the distinction is subjective. It depends on who you are and where you sit.

From a linguistic perspective, no dialect is inherently better than another. For example, the emergence of Parisian dialect as the standard in France, was just a matter of history. When the 10th century king of France set up his residence in Paris, the language of his court became the “standard.” If things had gone differently, the dialect of Poitiers or Dijon might be the national language of France today.

Dialects can be socially determined, as Eliza Doolittle learned in My Fair Lady.

Or they can be politically determined. The linguist Max Weinreich is often quoted as saying, “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” His point was that politics often decide what dialect will be called a “language.” Powerful or historically significant groups have “languages”; smaller or weaker ones have “dialects.”

Or the status of a language can be arbitrarily determined, by a person or a government. In southern Africa a missionary declared three separate languages to be a single tongue. He decided they were dialects of the same language and created what is now known as “Tsonga.” On the other end of the scale, the government of South Africa arbitrarily declared Zulu and a language called Xhosa to be different tongues, even though there’s no clear boundary between them.

Dialect differences are often relatively minor — maybe just a matter of pronunciation: “You say tomayto, I say tomahto.” There can be differences in words such as American English “elevator” and British English “lift”– which reminds me of George Bernard Shaw’s famous quip that America and Britain are: “two countries separated by a common language.” But dialects can also differ so greatly from one another — I’m thinking of German in Cologne versus the German of rural Bavaria — that speakers of the same language can barely understand one another, if at all.

One of the tests people use to differentiate “language” from “dialect” is mutual intelligibility. You can say that people speak the same language — or a dialect of the same language — if they understand each other. If they don’t understand one another, they must be speaking different languages. That seems like a good rule. So why, in a case like the Cologne and Bavarian dialects, which aren’t mutually intelligible, don’t the Germans call them separate languages? Or why are Swedish and Norwegian separate languages, when Swedes and Norwegians have no trouble understanding one another? It’s really pretty confusing.

It becomes even more muddled when speakers of Dialect A just don’t want to understand speakers of Dialect B. Dialects of the same language aren’t mutually intelligible, even though there’s no linguistic basis for that. The two groups insist that they speak separate tongues, even though they don’t.

So, do you conclude from all this that the terms “dialect” and “language” are politically and socially loaded? If so, you’re absolutely right.

Now let me ask: do you speak a language or a dialect? That’s a trick question, because ultimately, all languages are dialects. You no doubt speak one of each.

That’s the linguistic thought for today, which comes from Dr. Tucker Childs, professor of Linguistics at Portland State University. And this is the Five-Minute Linguist at the College of Charleston, in cooperation with the National Museum of Language. Visit us at www.cofc.edu/linguist. And in the meantime, keep in mind that wherever you are, and whatever you do… language makes a difference.

January 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm Leave a comment

Life expectancy of Indravati dam

Following is a report from the Samaja:

January 28, 2012 at 7:27 am Leave a comment

Degradation of educational quality in Rajendra College Balangir

Following is a report from the Sambad:

January 28, 2012 at 6:50 am Leave a comment

Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary

Following report is from Telegraph: 

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 24: If you want to know how nature helps human beings in getting formulae for herbal cure at close proximity, then Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary in Sambalpur district could be the next stop for you.

Not only ethno-botanical healing trends, but also Badrama, popularly called as Ushakohi, is famous for its animals, birds, wild mushrooms and the virgin sal and teak forests.

However, its native people and their traditional knowledge to heal common ailments for ages is the mainstay. Even today, a dry deciduous forest, which is vulnerable to forest fire, could retain its greenery through community participation.

Forest department officials in this region have also given due recognition to people’s role in effective conservation and sustainable management practices. Besides the flagship species — elephant which has been declared national heritage animal by the environment and forests ministry — one can spot leopards, tigers, spotted deer hyena and wild boar in the wilderness.

But the beauty of the forest spread is attractive and one can watch them from watchtowers, two at Kutab village and the third one at Pathuri. Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary is nestled in Bamra Wildlife Division of Sambalpur district with an area of 304.03 sqkm, including core area31.28 sqkm (Ushakothi Reserve Forest – 200.68 sqkm, Badrama Reserve Forest – 57.97 sq km, Binjhapalli Reserve Forest – 16.73 sq km and others – 28.65 sq km).

It is 40 km from Sambalpur town on NH-6.The sanctuary has a hilly terrain and is continuous with Khalasuni Sanctuary in the south. There are 172 villages (including hamlets) and 225 revenue villages inside the sanctuary with a population of around 3,000. Almost all are forest dependent tribal communities.

The vegetation is moist sal bearing forest and moist mixed deciduous forest at many places. The single forest rest house (FRH) at Badrama has four suites and the food is also available with expert chefs deployed by the forest department.

There are two perennial streams which provides water for the wild animals throughout the year. One is near Ushakothi, which is 33km from Badrama, FRH on forest road and the other is Deojharan which is 35km from Badrama FRH towards Kutab.

A biodiversity survey was carried out by social service organisation Vasundhara with the joint support of Badrama Wildllife Division and Badrama Abhayaranya Bikas Parishad, a self-help group.

Before that there were no published records available on the status of flora and fauna.

The survey was carried out in June, 2010 which resulted in documenting 220 species of flowering plants including 50 species for medicinal uses, 14 species of wild edible mushrooms, 15 species of mammals, 20 species of butterflies, 30 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 12 ologist Prasad Kumar Dash and wildlife biologist Pratyush Mohapatra,who conducted the survey said, “the sanctuary needs to be thoroughly explored to know the existing status of taxonomic novelties. The wildlife of the sanctuary, besides the big animals also include barking deer, sambar, mouse deer, chitals and giant squirrels.’’

“Badrama is rich in traditional knowledge as most of the villagers depend on herbal medicines to cure their diseases and ailments like tuberculosis, jaundice, fever, nephritis, headache, dehydration, common cold, cough and chest pain. The plants used for the purpose are Melia Azadirachta(garuda), Aeilanthus excelsa (mahanimb), Holarrhenaantidysenterica (kurei), Alangium salvifolium (ankula), Atylosia scarabaeoides (banakolatha), Elephantapus scaber (eayura chulia), Carya arborea (kumbhi), Nyctanthes arboritristis (gotikhadika),Occimum sanctum (tulsi) and Ricinus communis (jada),’’ they informed.

The villagers of Kutab with the support of the forest department are being instrumental in protecting 1,200 hectares of forest area from fire in the summer of 2010. This has resulted in very good regeneration of seedlings and saplings of many economic and rare plants of the sanctuary.

Laxman Parua, president, Forest Protection Committee, said: “The prevention of forest fire has helped in natural regeneration of plants such as kendu, bija, sal, harida, bahada, amla and char along with 14 varieties of wild edible mushrooms and many medicinal herbs in their community assessed forest areas.’’

Another young activist Srikar Padhan, who is the secretary of the Forest Protection Committee, said: “The protection of forest against fire has helped in rejuvenating the small streams with the deposition of huge amount of leaf litters on the forest floor.”

He also expressed his satisfaction about the increase availability of elephant fodder plants in Kutab and Tansara after fire protection. This self-initiated forest protection has drawn the attention of the forest department, Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary and the Range Officer has joined hands with the local communities of Kutab to provide small incentives to strengthen future efforts. Dushmanta Pradhan of Badrama Abhayaranya Vikas Parishad said, “Favourite fodder plants of elephants and especially bamboo varieties attract elephants here. Though the water sources are limited, they never create any problem for the elephant population. There are more than 124 species of elephant fodders in the forest. From tourism point of view many caves are also found near Ushakothi, Deojharan and Satpahad. However, despite managing forest fire, things like spread of weeds in the forest area is a thing to worry about.’’

A senior forest official said: “Badrama, which was notified as a sanctuary on December 17, 1987 represents a beautiful landscape and attention is also given to take de-weeding measures. We are having many pro-people projects to help prepare a sustainable management strategy for the forests, medicinal varieties and wild animals.’’

JUNGLE FACTS: BADRAMA

● Area: 304.03 sqkm in Sambalpur district

● Major forest species: Sal, teak and bamboo

● Temperature : Winter around 10°C and summer 45°C

● Tourist season: October – April

● What to see : Elephants, leopard, tigers, spotted deer, hyena, wild boar, 220 species of flowering plants, 50 species of medicinal herbs, 14 species of wild edible mushrooms, 20 species of butterflies, 30 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 12 species of snakes

● How to reach: The forest is 48km from Sambalpur town

● From other places: 4200km from Rourkela via Bonai-Barkot, 180km via 4Bamra-Kuchinda-Jamankira route and 217km from via Jharsuguda-Sambalpur route

● Nearest railhead: Sambalpur

● Nearest airport: Bhubaneswar airport is 250 km and Raipur 300 km from Sambalpur

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● Here is another report on Badrama: Badrama Abhayaranya Vikas Parishad

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● A you tube video on Badrama:

January 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

SAIL to invest on modernization of Rourkela steel plant

Following is a report from TOI:

ROURKELA: The Steel Authority of India Ltd, which is at present on a major expansion and modernization drive, has a long term plan to take its production capacity to 60 million tonne by 2020, said its chairman C S Verma, while talking to the media on Friday last.

“Rourkela Steel Plant is one of the major units to be covered in this modernization package. About Rs 12,000 crore would be spent on RSP modernization alone, with a target to take its production capacity of hot metal to as high as 4.5 million tonne from its existing capacity of 2 million tonne,” Verma said. “Various modernization projects of the Rourkela Steel Plant are on the verge of completion, as the sinter plant III and the new OBBP (ore bedding and Blending Plant) units will be commissioned in the next two months, and the blast furnace V will come up by June 2012,” Verma added.

Verma, who is here on a two-day visit, appeared evidently optimistic about the future of the steel market, and also ruled out the possibility of any adverse market scenario for the steel industry at present. “Despite the global economic slowdown, there is still a big gap between the global average steel consumption and the per capita steel consumption in India, which is bound to go up in near future,” Verma said.

“The per capita steel consumption in India is as low as 55 kg only against the world average of about 225 kg,” Verma said, adding, in rural areas, it is as low as consumption 10 kg only.

“Considering the large gap in the supply and demand of steel in the Indian market, overseas steel majors like Posco and Mittal are making a beeline to set up their unit here in India,” Verma added.

Giving details about the present expansion and modernization drive of SAIL, Verma said, “The modernization work of various units of SAIL has been going on in full swing with placement of orders for about Rs 56,000 crore out of total amount Rs 72,000 crore estimated to be spent on this account.”

“An estimated Rs 10,500 crore has been spent for strengthening our mines and the raw material dispatch system, and modernizing various facilities in different mining units,” Verma said.

“Besides, SAIL has tied up with the Indonesian government to set up a mine there and couple of mines in some other countries, which will materialize in a year or two,” Verma added.

Regarding SAIL’s interest in taking over Odisha’s Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd. (NINL), Verma said, “SAIL is quite keen on taking over NINL and discussion is on with them and at the government level to take over this unit. If everything goes well, SAIL will be happy to take over this unit.”

January 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

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