Posts filed under ‘Nuapada’

Enhanced scholarship for Orissa’s students; Is this enough?

Following is a report from expressbuzz.com:

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to enhance scholarships for college students and those pursuing technical courses. 

A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting presided by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here today. Plus Two, degree, post-graduate, engineering, medical, dental, agriculture and veterinary students will be eligible for the enhanced scholarships.  

It was also decided that more students will be given scholarships from the current academic year. The junior merit scholarship for the Plus Two students has been increased from ` 40 to ` 300 per month. Senior merit scholarship for degree students has been hiked from ` 50 to ` 500 per month.  

The PG merit scholarship will be ` 1000 per month. This has been enhanced from ` 60. The scholarship for students pursuing engineering, medical, dental and other technical studies will be ` 10,000 per year.  

The income limit of the parents for availing the scholarship for their wards has been enhanced to ` 4.5 lakh per year from ` 24,000. Interested students can apply for the scholarship to the Higher Education Department through their respective colleges. 

While 5000 students will be given the scholarship at the Plus Two level, this will benefit 1000 students at the degree level. 

At PG level, the scholarship will be given to 500 students. Besides, 10,000 students from different technical courses will be extended the scholarship.  

The Chief Minister underscored the need for creating awareness among the students about the new scholarship structure.  

He said the students should get the scholarship amount at the right time.  

Higher Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Bijay Kumar Patnaik, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Additional Development Commissioner Rabinarayan Senapati, Principal Secretary in the Finance Department Jugal Kishore Mohapatra, Secretary, Higher Education Department, Madhusudan Padhi, and senior officials were present. 

August 21, 2010 at 4:27 pm 15 comments

Stiff opposition for Sambalpur University’s ‘private exam’ move

Following is a report from expressbuzz.com

SAMBALPUR: The privatisation and outsourcing spree has not spared Sambalpur University either. If the varsity authorities have their way, students will soon find their examination and evaluation done by a private agency. And this has stirred up a hornet’s nest.  The student community and the intelligentsia expressed strong resentment at the move to outsource examination.

The university is planning Integrated Examination Management System under which a private agency will be hired. The agency will look after all the exam-related activities __ registration of examinees, admit cards, setting question papers, valuation of answersheets and issuing provisional marksheets. The system is to be implemented at the university’s 220-affiliated colleges, besides various departments.  Once implemented, this would effectively end the work of six examination cells, six confidential cells, one private cell and one distance education cell that are involved in conducting examinations of around 65,000 students every year. 

Sources said three south-based IT firms __ Mind Largx Infotech Limited (Bangalore), Merit Trac Services Private Limited (Bangalore) and Om Shanti Soft Solution Private Limited (Hyderabad) had evinced interest in the project after the varsity floated a tender in July.  Although university authorities have not yet finalised the deal, the move has led to public outcry. Former Vice-Chancellor of Berhampur University Prof A P Padhi and All-India University Employees’ Federation president Bhawani Hota have asked the authorities to first evolve a consensus.  University syndicate member Karunakar Supakar said he would raise the issue at the syndicate. 

The decision has also come in for stiff opposition from Sambalpur University Employees’ Association, All-Koshal Students’ Union, Sambalpur Chhatra Vikash Parishad and Sambalpur unit of NSUI.  The NSUI, led by district president Debasis Dash, held a meeting on Saturday and resolved to launch a stir if the decision is not withdrawn. However, university Registrar Dr S S Rath said the proposal is at nascent stage and all aspects will be looked into before taking a final decision.

This report was filed by Mr. Ratan K Pani

August 13, 2010 at 8:33 am 15 comments

CM urged to set up varsity in Kalahandi: The Pioneer

Following is from The Pioneer:

People of Kalahandi are grateful to the Naveen Patnaik Government for having granted establishment of two professional institutions for the first time. Retired professor of Sambalpur University Gopabandhu Behera, in his letter to the Chief Minister, has lauded his initiative to set up institutions in this backward part of the State.

Never before had the Government started any institution of higher education of its own, said Prof Behera. People of Kalahandi have set up all institutions on their own despite their hand-to-mouth financial conditions. This shows people’s participation was always there.

However, the people are not able to establish institutions like university and management institutes. Prof Behera reminds that leading persons of Kalahandi had moved for establishment of a central university in the district. But the Chief Minister was good enough to point out that since he had already committed to Koraput district for establishment of this university he would sanction other institutions for Kalahandi.

The Task Force on Higher Education has recommended establishment of a South Western Odisha (SWO) University at the Kalahandi district headquarters town of Bhawanipatna.

Prof Behera says that if one examines objectively, he will find that Bhawanipatna is another centre like Bhubaneswar waiting for development. The recommendation of the Task Force can be implemented phase-wise. Hence, establishment of a university at Bhawanipatna has to be undertaken in the first phase. If a suitable Officer on Special Duty (OSD) is appointed, the university can flourish, observes Prof Behera.

Prof Digambara Patra, a leading non-resident Odia (NRO) has also all along been batting for this university in Bhawanipatna.


August 7, 2010 at 10:39 am 2 comments

Why Orissa as a state can’t develop?; A report from merinews

Following report is taken from merinews:

The Government of India’s National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in a report has released the well-being index of India. The same tell about the quality of life in India. This report has mentioned that six districts of Orissa being in the list of worst twenty districts of India. Rayagada district ranks the worst in India followed by Kandhamal, Nuapada, Bolangir, Koraput and Bargarh, all in Western and Southern part of the state, are ranked at 4,9,10 & 19 from the bottom respectively.
It has been many years since the Government. of India has been pumping thousands of Crores as special budget for the welfare of these districts of Western and Southern Orissa through scheme like KBK. Then how is it that after so many years of huge money inflow into these districts there is no change in statistics? Who is accountable for this mishap? Is the Chief functionary of the state not responsible for this?”
Orissa, one of the poorest of states in the Indian union, is inhabited by more than 24% of tribal population concentrated mostly in North-Western, Western and Southern part of the state. Due to the negligence of all successive state governments, the development of these three patches are far behind the Coastal Orissa tract by any parameter even though these regions are full of minerals and natural resources.
In two occasions, during 1936 and 1948, these tribal dominated Western and Southern regions amalgamated into then Orissa division (precisely the present Coastal Orissa) from erstwhile Central and Madras presidency of British ruled India respectively to form Orissa state in the line of linguistic similarities. But, reality is, till now the native people residing in these regions don’t know how to speak the state official language Odiya, which is practiced in Coastal Orissa districts in particular. Vast region of Western Orissa communicate in variants of Sambalpuri language (also termed as Kosli by some) and with numerous tribal languages practiced by the indigenous tribal population. This leads to poor enrolment in school which encourages Odiya as the medium of education and thus a high school dropout rate is seen in these regions. Students are forced to learn Odiya language in school which is different than what they practice in day to day life.
The differentiation between the then Orissa Division (Coastal Orissa) and the newly added Western and Southern regions is well maintained by all successive state Governments, while allocating funds and in developmental works.
Inhabited by app.50% of the state population (17,899,735 as per 2001 Census) and spread in 28.73% of total land of the state (44,355.4 Sq Km), this Coastal Orissa tract is given utmost priority by all the successive state governments and have been enjoying all sorts of developmental works in the name of Orissa. Where as a vast land with more than 71.27% of the total land area of Orissa state (109,992 Sq Km), and with a population of little above half of the state population is depriving basic needs.
It is pity that present state government too, has done nothing to minimize the gap between the coastal and the rest of Orissa in its decade long rule; but increasing it by concentrating every developmental activity in and around the state capital Bhubaneswar. During this government’s tenure, all the national institutes for higher studies and research sanctioned by the central government are established or proposed to establish in and around Bhubaneswar. Due to this capital centric attitude, common masses refer the Chief Minister Nabin Pattnaik as the Mayor of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation than the CM of the state.
In recent development except for the Central University, all the educational and research institutes of national repute, such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), etc awarded by Central Government for the entire state are located in and around Bhubaneswar. This has brought a distinction for Bhubaneswar as the only city in India to have an IIT, AIIMS and NISER at one location.
Central Government has also proposed to establish a National Innovative University (World Class), National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), ESI Medical College and Hospital, Railway Medical College in Bhubaneswar, and another IIIT in Berhampur in Coastl Orissa, neglecting the rest state.
Existing and proposed Central funded National Institutes and Universities in Orissa:
Rest Orissa Coastal Orissa
1. NIT, Rourkela, Dist. Sundargarh 1. IIT, Bhubaneswar
2. Central University, Koraput 2. IIT – Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar Branch
3. Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, (IIHT), Bargarh 3. National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubanneswar
4. Food Craft Institute, Balangir 4. AIIMS like Institute, Bhubaneswar
5. IIIT, Bhubaneswar
6. National University, Bhubaneswar (proposed)
7. IIIT, Berhampur (Work on progess)
8. Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM), Bubaneswar
9. Institute of Minerals and Material Technology, Bhubaneswar
10. Indian Institute of Mass Communications,(IIMC), Dhenkanal
11. Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack
12. Biju Pattanaik National Steel Institute (BPNSI), Puri
13. Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology (CIPET), Bhubaneswar
14. Eastern Regional Language Centre for CILL, Bhubaneswar
15. Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar
16. Institute of Physics, Bhubaneswar
17. Regional Medical Research Centre, (RMRC), Bhubaneswar
18. Central Fisheries Institute, Kousalyaganga, Bhubaneswar
19. Regional Research Laboratory,Bhubaneswar
20. National Research Centre for Women in Agriculture (NRCWA), Bhubaneswar
21. Ocean Science and Technology Cell (OSTC), Berhampur
22. National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (NIRTAR), Cuttack
23. National Institute of Design (NID), Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
24. NIFT, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
If you consider the allotment of health facilities in the state the picture of disparities done towards the rest of the tribal regions of the state gets crystal clear. There is just one state run Medical College, viz, VSS Medical College & Hospital, Burla in Sambalpur for the entire Western Orissa, there are state run SCB Medical college in twin cities of Bhubaneswar – Cuttack , MKCG Medical College in Berhampur, a city just 179 Km from Bhubaneswar by Road and 165 Km by train.
Mahandi Coal Field Ltd. (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, a Central Government entity which has operation in Western as well as Central Orissa, is too establishing a Medical College Hospital in Talcher Town, 150 Km from state Capital Bhubaneswar, with state government’s active persuasion. The defense dept has proposed to set up a medical college in Baleswar, another town in Coastal Orissa with a distance of 198 Km by Road from Bhubaneswar.
State government has recently proposed to upgrade Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar to a Medical College with a hoping budget of 32.5 Crores. It is also been proposed to set up Government. Medical College & Hospital in Baleswar where as the state government is trying to establish 3 Private Medical Colleges in backward tribal dominated Western Orissa in PPP mode since last 15 years through Western Orissa Development Council (WODC) with a financial grant of 5 Crores each. There is no progress seen in establishing these Medical colleges in these backward regions of Orissa.
So, a question instantly arises in mind, “Why private Medical College & Hospital for poor tribal region of Western Orissa, who can’t afford a full meal a day and central and state funded Government. Medical Colleges & Hospitals for Coastal Orissa?” Is this not pure discrimination?
Central and State sponsored Medical Institutions in Orissa
Rest Orissa Coastal Orissa
1. VSS Medical College, Burla, Sambalpur 1. SCB Medical college, Cuttack
2. Medical College under Central University, Koraput 2. SCB Dental College, Cuttack
3. MKCG Medical College, Berhampur
4. Capital Medical College, Bhubaneswar
5. AIIMS, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
6.ESI Medical College and Hospital, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
7. Medical College under National Innovative University, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
8. ECO Railway Medical College, Bhubaneswar (Proposed)
9. Medical College by MCL, Talcher, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd
10. Medical College, Balasore (Proposed by State Government.)
11. Medical College, Balasore (proposed by Defence dept)
Points to notice that Balangir, Kalahandi, in this back ward Western Orissa, many times have created news in national media for starvation deaths. Low-income people in these backward districts can hardly afford the cost of good health care even for their children who suffer from early death, under nutrition and anemia. As against the State figure of 65 infant deaths per 1000 life births, district like Kalahandi in the Western Orissa had 119 infant deaths.
Prevalence of undernourishment among children is also high in these tribal dominating districts. The health situation is really gloomy if we look at maternal death rates. Women in these households work hard at home, in the fields, bear children and do not get the medical attention while giving birth to children.
Occurrence of malaria remains a threat to the people in the tribal areas. As many as 158 blocks in tribal districts, which contribute 70 per cent of the malarial cases, suffer the worst. Sometimes outbreak of mysterious diseases in these regions takes a heavy toll of life. Poverty and deprivation leave very little money with people to spend on the treatment of diseases and illness.
The state government is earning maximum revenue from these under developed tribal belts through mining and industries. When the industries are exploiting and polluting the region, are opening health care units and educational facilities in Coastal Orissa with state government’s active persuasion. The recent Vedanta group promoted World Class University in Puri- Konark Road with a budget of 15,000 Cr and in an area of 6,000 Acre sets the perfect example. Vedanta Industries Ltd has established two Aluminum plants in Western Orissa, the refinery unit and captive power plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi District and smelter plant with captive power plant at Jharsuguda, where as it is opening its 100 bed capacity burn and trauma care unit in Bhubaneswar, which i
s at a distance of 400 Km from Jharsuguda and more than 450 Km from Lanjigarh.

Hundreds of crores rupees received from central government in the name of KBK has become a source of exploitation for the state government. The head quarter of the KBK scheme is at the state capital Bhubaneswar, far away from the problems people are facing in their every day life. This century of exploitation by all successive state government since the formation of the state in 1936, towards these tribal pockets has forced them to shout for a separate state of Kosal comprising 11 districts and a sub-division of Western Orissa. Also, the Maoist guerillas are spreading in rest tribal districts in rapid speed taking advantage of this.

These entire exploitation stories remind the colonial era and raise some fundamental questions about democratic rights in India.

July 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm 2 comments

Vedanta University: Lanjigarh versus Puri

Following letter was sent to westernodisha@googlegroups.com:

Dear All,

When an incredible and elegant solution stares you in your face, you have to be completely dysfunctional and utterly intellectually challenged not to take it. Yet this is the current situation about location of Vedanta University. Locating the university in the vicinity of Lanjigarh solves several problems at one stroke, yet sixty milers want to locate it near Puri. Incredible.

It will be good,very good, for the entire KBK region,particularly for the large number of Adivashis will sacrifice not only their home and hearth, but their way of life. They being largely illiterate and possessing no marketable skills, they will be disoriented and will have insurmountable difficulties to carve out a new life with the  few rupees they will get in exchange for their habitat. With an institution of the size proposed, there will be good job opportunities. Hopefully the institution will spawn a variety of ancillary industries, and other institutions which can  give them good chance of a good alternate livelihood.

KBK has been a sink hole where various large scale attempts that have been made to rehabilitate into a healthy society have just been failures and the vast amount of money simply disappears. Vedant University will be strong and reliable anchor  in the community which will automatically attract various infrastructures which the entire region so desperately needs. A critical mass of literate and sophisticated population will develop because of adjacent Central University in Koraput, and thus a new nucleus of educational excellence will be generated. And some day, the kids of those displaced Adivashis may be managers of Vedanta and other institutions. And civil servants who find all kinds of excuses not to be located,they  will eagerly compete to be there.

Vedanta will benefit tremendously because its image of a ruthless destroyer of habitat of disadvantaged populace and mindless destroyer of environment; that image will change into a benevolent philanthropist and builder of healthy society. Mind you, it still has to be a good caretaker of the environment and has to actively engage to protect the sensitive ecology of the region. My feeling is that the local populace will actively cooperate with Vedanta to see that Vedanta becomes a successful profitable venture at the same time jointly engage in protecting the ecology.

The unnecessary confrontation between Vedanta on one side and environmentalists and displaced Adivashis can be avoided. Vedanta will emerge as a hero, and can serve as a role model for other mining enterprises. At the same time it will avoid confrontation with Puri-ites regarding land accumulation for building the university. 

It will also be great for Orissa government. Many from Koshala or Western Orissa including me are very critical of Orissa government for over concentrating practically most human resource development activities in the vicinity of Bhubaneswar leaving rest of Orissa largely untouched. Location of Vedanta University in Kalahandi will be first good step to address the inequity, and hopefully this will be followed by similar gestures throughout Orissa away from the sixty mile strip. Location of Vedanta University will cost the government nothing. Cash strapped Orissa government has not been able to manage adequately the institutions of higher learning. Now it can focus in strengthening the existing ones. And the long neglected huge population of Adivashis,who are literally dying because the government has put their horrendous problems under the carpet, will have some ray of hope of good future.

Some argue that the decision of location of Vedanta university in Puri was the decision of Vedanta not Orissa government. But is the Orissa government is so weak that major educational development is surrendered to a industrial house ? With such a majority in the Orissa assembly, one would think that the government is full control of what happens in the state.

Therefore only conclusion one can derive from such decision is that Navin’s government is simply a regionalistic one dominated by self-centered   “academics” and “intelligentsia” with no vision of overall development of Orissa; and this really the way they want. These self centered folks are not interested in reduction of inter-regional disparity, or are interested in rational solutions of the problems. They are simply engaged in rationalisation of the decisions which irrational in essence.

So do you think that wisdom will prevail, and Vedanta University will be located in Kalahandi after all  ? Do not hold your breath. The change of status of dysfunctional to functional is not in the cards.

Regards

Professor Arjun Purohit,Kingston, Ontario, Canada

E-mail:apurohit1934@gmail.com

May 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm 2 comments

New recommendation by Higher Education Task Force (HETF), Orissa show gross injustice towards Western Orissa

Following picture is taken from http://www.dheorissa.in/DHE/consolidated.aspx. This picture clearly shows the injustice of Orissa govt. and Higher Education Task Force (HETF) towards western Orissa. Just look at the density of the institutes in both the region, that is coastal and western Orissa. 

For decades people from western Orissa have been pleading to deal with inter-regional horrendous disparity. Solution offered had been to decentralize all state institutions as well as spread whatever is obtained from the central govt. but to no avail. All the centrally funded institutes are located in the coastal belt, now the new recommendation by Higher Education Task Force (HETF) adding salt to the wound of western Orissa people. 

The disparity is so stark that one really does not need to count.

April 23, 2010 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

Amenities available in the city like Bhubaneswar should reach Kalahandi:APJ Abdul Kalam

Following is a report from The Pioneer:

In the wake of the visit of APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday, thousands of people including schoolchildren and their teachers gathered at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium here to have a glimpse of the former President

Kalam reached the Police Ground here by a helicopter at around 3.50 pm. First of all he inaugurated the Primary teachers’ Bhawan and then inaugurated the 3rd Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura 2010.

Addressing a huge gathering, he said, “I am happy to here on the Kalahandi festival day. I am delighted to participate in the inaugural ceremony on 3rd day of Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura 2010. I am indeed delighted to inaugurate the Primary Teachers Bhawan.”

“I would like to greet the District Collector RS Gopalan, Minister of Labour and Employment Pushpendu Singhdeo, SP Sudha Singh, former MLA Pradipta Naik, organisers of the utsav and all the schoolchildren, teachers and parents who have come here,” said the former President.

Kalam also interacted with the students and answered briefly to their questions. He said I am going to give you (students) an equation. Knowledge is equal to creativity plus righteousness in the heart and spread courage.

Kalam advised the organisers to launch a new project every year during Kalahandi Utsav, which will boost economic development, improve employment potential in the district. He also said the amenities available in the city like Bhubaneswar should also reach Kalahandi.

January 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

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