In 2016, the Odisha government had proposed to establish a public university at Balangir town. What happened to that proposal? People of Athmallik, Boudh, Sonepur, Balangir, Nuapada and Kalahandi districts are still dependent on Sambalpur University. A public university at Balangir will catalyze the growth of higher education in various districts of western Odisha. Why the Odisha govt. is silent on the proposed Balangir University issue.
Dr. Mahendra Kumar Mishra is a senior researcher of language and culture. His research interests are multilingual education, tribal culture and oral tradition. Dr. Mishra is the founder member of Language and Learning Foundation, New Delhi and Folklore Foundation, Bhubaneswar, India. He talks to Dr. Sanjib K Karmee about his research work, Pandit Prayag Dutta Joshi and Kosli language.
From the past few years, I am regularly visiting various places of Gujarat state. Unequivocally, urbanization is happening rapidly. Cities like, Surat, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Baroda and Rajkot are expanding fast. Also, small cities like Anand, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Navsari and Bharuch are growing.
If you are a tourist and visiting Dwarka and Somnath of Saurashtra region, on the way you can see excellent infrastructure. Especially, roads, public transport system, and bus stands of Gujarat are much better compared to other Indian states. All the temples are well maintained. Tourist places are connected via rails and roads. The Dwarkadheesh temple is a magnificent monument. In Dwarka, people usually say “Jai Shrikrishna” to each other while wishing. Odia folks need to learn a lot from Guajaratis about the art of keeping temples clean and well maintained.
During a road trip from Dwarka to Somnath, one can see thousands of windmills installed by Suzlon. The Somnath temple area is vast, well maintained and calm. There are two Somnath temple, old and new. The old temple was built by Rani Ahilyabai Holkar after Mahmud Ghazni destroyed the earlier temple. The new temple was constructed in 1951. There is a statue of Sardar Patel inside the temple, who took the initiative for construction work of new temple. The Somnath temple trust provides accommodation and dining facilities. In Somnath, the minus is the salt water supply for the bathroom. You have to buy water for drinking purpose. In restaurants, you can also find butter milk.
Agriculture is more technology based in Gujarat, and I could see vast fields of turdal cultivation in many places. If you are visiting Gujarat, get ready for eating oily food, chillies, fafda, and raw cabbage. My favourite Gujarati food is Dhokla.
Personally, I felt that in the Saurashtra region, people are generally respectful and helpful towards old people and women. Overall, Gujarat is a very nice state. I will visit Gujarat again in future. In terms of development and urbanization, Odisha is at least 15-20 years behind Gujarat.
Following is a report from the Sambad:
The western world is very good at preserving places of historical importance. Even in Asia, countries like China, Japan and South Korea have undertaken tremendous efforts to restore centers of historical and cultural heritage. But, things are very different in western Odisha. Forget about preserving these centers, the Odisha government has systematically erased the history of western Odisha and Somavamsi Kings from the prescribed text books. My native place (the undivided Balangir district) has a very rich history. However, we were never taught about it in schools. Following are few interesting books by Dr. Sadananda Agrawal on the history of western Odisha.
Following images were taken from the FB page of Dr. Agrawal:
Bhubaneswar: Construction works of the proposed medical college and hospital (MCH) of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Sundergarh will commence from August 15 and would be completed in two years. The NTPC officials told this to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a meeting in the State Secretariat on Monday. They also presented the architectural design of the MCH.
As per the plan, the MCH would come over an area of 21 acres of land while its layout area will be of 1,30,000 square meters. The hospital in a five-storied building will have 500 beds with seven specialty departments. It will have facilities for education of 500 students. There will be a 600-room hostel. Besides, there will be a recreation cub, staff quarters, teaching block and parking facility in the complex. Around Rs 400 crore will be spent for the entire project.
Among others, Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Energy minister Pranab Prakash Das, Chief Secretary GC Pati, Development Commissioner were present.