Archive for November, 2013
BHAWANIPATNA: The Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) is hoping to tide over its raw material crisis at its refinery and smelter units in the state following the state government’s assurance to consider the possibility of bauxite supply from two mines allotted to Larsen and Toubro (L&T).
The move comes over three months after gram sabhas in Rayagada and Kalahandi rejected Vedanta’s bid to mine Niyamgiri bauxite reserves for its refinery.
On Tuesday, Vedanta group chairman Anil Agarwal following a meeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the CM assured bauxite for the company’s refinery project at Langigarh in Kalahandi district from L&T’s reserves. In the early 1990s, L&T got prospecting licence for Sijimali and Kutrumali mines, with a combined deposit of about 300 million tonne, in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts respectively. But the state government had then denied mining lease (ML) to it on the ground that the company no end-use plant.
L&T’s executive chairman A M Naik, who was present at the meeting with CM, said his company had signed an MoU with Vedanta for the Rs 12,000 crore joint venture project.
Official sources said the state government has to recommend to the Centre to give ML in favour of L&T so that bauxite could be sourced from the two mines for Vedanta’s refinery. VAL has a smelter plant in Jharsuguda.
Vedanta sources said the company has assured the state government of value addition in the form of alumina and aluminium if bauxite is sourced from Sijimali and Kutrumali through L&T.
Rajendra Autonomous College of Balangir, the oldest college in Western Odisha, will not receive its annual University Grants Commission (UGC) grants owing to large scale vacancies in teaching posts and alleged embezzlement of funds. The college had been getting the annual grants since 2002.
Against the sanctioned strength of 62 faculty members, the college has 40 vacant posts. The college has a student strength of 4,000.
Established in 1944, the college got permission to open degree courses in 1965-66 and it opened post-graduation courses in 1978-79.
The faculty crisis has become so acute that even the principal Prasanna Kumar Patra is holding dual responsibilities. He is in-charge of Balangir Sanskrit College and also Rajendra Autonomous College. With the college administration failing to solve the acute staff crisis, the UGC authorities have decided not to release its annual grant of `10 lakh.
The vacancies apart, college sources said, the UGC had taken note of an expenditure of `3.65 lakh towards purchase of computers for the college in violation of its norms. The UGC has set certain guidelines as to what amount would be spent on movable and immovable equipment and infrastructure.
When the college authorities sent the utilisation certificate, the UGC took strong exception to the purchase of the computers and stopped annual fund for 2013-14. Principal in-charge Patra admitted that the UGC had raised objections to the purchase of computers and did not release `10 lakh for current academic year. “The amount was spent in an unauthorised manner by the former principal of the college and other officials,” he said, adding that the Department of Higher Education has been informed about the financial crisis that the college is facing in the absence of UGC grants.
Sources said the UGC has asked the college management to return `3.65 lakh with 10 per cent interest.
A three-day seminar on ‘Distribution, cultivation, conservation and use of medicinal plant’ concluded at Sri Sri Nrusinghanath Ayurveda College and Research Institute here on Sunday.
Speaking at the valedictory function, Director of All India Institute of Ayurveda, New Delhi, Dr Abhimanyu Kumar said though Ayurveda is being promoted in foreign countries, the situation is not the same in India. He also assured to help the institute in medicinal plant research.
The programme was presided by former legislator and college president Satya Bhusan Sahu in the presence of Principal of Gopabandhu Ayurveda College, Puri, Dr KB Mohapatra, member of State Medicinal Plant Board Biswanath Hota and Bargarh CDMO Dr Jagdish Mahanand.
The minister, however admitted that the medical college project was delayed due to dispute over selection of the venue for the proposed medical college. Though it was initially planned to set up the medical college at Rourkela, later it had decided to change the venue to the state capital.
However, the minister said the ESIC has decided to upgrade its 50 beded existing hospital at Rourkela to a high-tech hospital with 100 beds. “We have planned to invest Rs 100 crore for upgradation of the hos ..
Prithwiraj High school of Balangir, one of the oldest educational institutions in the State, is in moribund condition due to poor management and negligence of the authorities concerned.
Established in 1916, the school has produced more than 10 top students in HSC examination. Its science laboratory used to be an ideal one which was visited by many scholars from the State and outside.
But the school presents a different picture now. The science laboratory and library are closed and the main library has not been used for more than 10 years. There is no power supply to the school for more than four years though all outstanding bills have been cleared.
The school is running without a single toilet though it needs at least 12 toilets considering the student strength. There is no urinal even for the lady teachers. As the drainage system in the school has been damaged, water logging assumes acute proportion during rainy season.
Due to space constraint, students and teachers face a lot of difficulties during examination. Though PWD department has constructed four new classrooms, those are yet to be handed over to school authorities.
While lack of drinking water supply is another major constraint, the students are not willing to keep their cycles in the cycle stand in the absence of adequate security measures.
Biswajit Dash, an old student of the school, said the science laboratory of the school was a modern one. “Our teachers allowed us to experiment in the laboratory. We had also computer facilities in the school,” Dash said.
Admitting the deterioration of infrastructure of the school, District Education Officer Sanjiv Kumar Singh said the library needs some new books and the laboratory upgradation. Regarding drainage and toilet facilities, he said they were trying their best for the development of the school.
Following report is from the Prameya: http://epaper.prameyanews.com/Details.aspx?id=7856&boxid=5471478 (Thanks to Saket for the pointer)