Saturday, January 31, 2009

NRI seeks rail infrastructure in Orissa’s backward region, Jan 31, 2009
January 31st, 2009 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS - Send to a friend:

Bhubaneswar, Jan 31 (IANS) An Oriya NRI based in Lebanon has urged the government to develop railway infrastructure in Orissa’s most backward districts to ensure the economic prosperity of the region.The Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput (KBK) region, known for its economic backwardness, has been neglected by the central government for years, Digambara Patra, an Oriya academic based in Beirut, told IANS in an email.

Patra said he had Friday written letters to President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stressing the need for developing a railway network in the region.

“Railway infrastructure development is one of the keys to success and can bring economic prosperity to such a backward region,” Patra, who works as an assistant professor at the department of chemistry in the American University in Beirut, wrote in the email.

“Unfortunately, in railway development, the Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput region is being neglected…In the last couple of years, Indian Railways has committed Rs.50,000 crore (Rs.500 billion) investment only in Bihar for various ongoing and new projects, but it has neglected Orissa, especially the KBK areas,” Patra said.

He pointed out that the central government had in the past has established a Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) project in Sunabeda, Koraput and an ordinance factory in Balangir and both had increased the employment potential in the regions. But the neighbouring Kalahandi region has not been considered for any major industrial project, Patra said.

He added that “setting up a new East Coast railway division in the region would help speed up railway projects in the impoverished western and southern Orissa, which are poorly connected by railways”.

NRO reminder on KBK rail, Jan 31, 2009

Critical infrastructure like national highway, railway line and telecommunication is poorest in Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput (KBK) region in Orissa.

And Naxalism takes advantage of the backward region due to hilly and forest terrain.

However, infrastructure owes in general and rail connectivity in particular in KBK is being neglected severely and has not yet been considered by the Centre.

It is clearly evident from struggling ongoing projects since decades in KBK region such as Lanjigarh road – Junagarh and Balangir – Khordha road lines.

In last couple of years Indian Railway has committed Rs.50,000 crore investment only in Bihar for various ongoing and new projects where as Orissa, especially KBK, is being continuously neglected since decades by Indian railway.

Politicians have often used backwardness of KBK in general and Kalahandi in particular to show case their eagerness towards the poor people in the society though they fail to scrutinize high rate of unemployment rate among semi-skilled and skilled laborer in the region.

While Indian Railway has proposed to establish new factory in UP, Bihar and Kerala, it has coolly forgotten Orissa, alleged Digamabara Patra in a memorandum to Dr. Man Mohan Singh.

Lanjigarh road is located in the border of Kandhamal, Rayagada and Kalahandi.

A factory based at Lanjigarh road/Bhawanipatna will enormously benefit Kalahandi, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Boudh, Nuapada, Balangir, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajpati, Sonepur and Malkangiri equally as it is centrally located to all the districts, feel Dr. Patra.

A leading Non Resident Oriya (NRO) argues for a new East Coast railway division in Lanjigarh road/Bhawanipatna.

This will help to speed up the railway projects in Kalahandi, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Boudh, Nuapada, Balangir, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajpati, Sonepur and Malkangiri districts many of which are poorly connected by Indian railway.

Completion of Lanjigarh road – Jungarh line completely in 2009-10 , conneting Khordha road – Balangir line in Eleventh Plan has been urged.

Immediate approval of the projects like Lanjigarh road – Phulbani – Angul line Junagarh – Nabarangpur – Jeypur – Malkangiri – Balachandar road line and Kantabanji – Khariar – Dharamgarh – Ampani – Nabarangpur – Jeypur line has been urged by Dr.Patra, who teaches in American University of Beirut.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Centre approves 4 polytechnics, Jan 24, 2009

Centre has approved to open 4 polytechnics in Malkangiri, Boudh, Gajapati and Samabalpur district

In order to lure the youth of the Maoist predominant areas for technical education the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has chalked out program to establish more diploma engineering institutions.

So Orissa being largely affected by Left Wing Extremism has been benefited handsomely.

Malkangiri, the worst affected by Maoist menace has been allotted a polytechnic.

Each polytechnic will cost Rs.12 crore and the MHRD has provided Rs.8 crore as the first instalment.

Vir Vikaram Yadav, Director Techinal Education, speaking to said that the State Government is trying to cover all the districts with polytechnics.

While the State Government has 13, there are 7 private polytechnics imparting diploma in engineering.

With these 4 new institutions, many other districts are left.

Districts carved out in 90’s like Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Nayagarh, Nawarangpur and Sonepur also do not have any polytechincs.

Mr.Yadav said that the State Government has also decided to cover all the blocks with Industrial Training Institute (ITI).

Accordingly plans are afoot to cover 125 blocks which are yet to have an ITI.

In the meantime the Directorate of Technical Education & Training (DTET) has prepared a Vision Document keeping in view the growing demand for technical education.

Government of Orissa is also preparing a memorandum for the National Knowledge Commission, which will be included in the agenda of the Centre to provide future course for technical and technological development.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tribal Central varsity to be set up in Koraput: Union Minister

The Pioneer, Jan 16, 2009
PNS | Sunabeda

The Union Government would set up a tribal Central university in Koraput district, said Union Minister of State for Rural Development Chandrasekhar Sahu while addressing the annual function of the women’s college here.

Attending the function as the chief guest, Sahu advised students to be self-sustained and utilise their knowledge acquired due course of their academic pursuit for social development. Education should not be confined to getting a job only, he added.

Attending as the chief speaker, DAV College principal Harisankar Mishra said eradication of poverty is must for bringing an improvement in education. The function was presided over by college principal Pabitra Kumar Bedanta.

Among others, former Minister Raghunath Patnaik, Koraput MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati, Ayodhya Samal and Indira Priyadarsini Patnaik also spoke. Sahu distributed prizes to the deserving candidates.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Civil Society favor K'mal rail, Jan 9, 2009

Civil Society of Orissa will demand railway connectivity to Kandhamal.

So the members of the Civil Society will stage dharana in front of the Orissa East Coast Railways (ECOR) headquarters here on 3 February.

They will also present a detailed picture of the continuous neglect and step motherly attitude of the Indian Railways to Orissa

It seems that they have lost high hopes pinned on Kalyan Coomar Jena.

People from all walks of life in Orissa were very happy as Mr.Jena took over reins of Indian Railways.

Least said is better about the Chairman of Railway Board, said many members of the Civil Society.

During Jena’s tenure, Bihar got the maximum and Orissa as usual suffered a lot.

There are only cosmetic changes and lollypops for Orissa, lamented they.

So the leading members of the Civil Society are furious with the Indian Railways authorities.

They have decided to vent anger in public in a peaceful way on 3 February here.

Their main demand is to connect Kandhamal with railways network.

People from all walks of life participated in the meeting held here on 7 January and they voiced the demand for new rail line in Kandhamal.

They were unanimous over the issue as they felt that once the connectivity will be there, the problem will eased.

Professor Chitta Baral, leading voice of NROs gave out details how Orissa has been neglected during Lalu Prasad Yadav regime when Mr.Jena is the Chairman of the Board.

Among others Braja Kishore Tripathy, MP, Sibaji Pattnaik, former MP, Dhananda Mishra, Narendra Mishra, Sudarsan Das also raised pertinent issues.

Engineer BC Praharaj, Ajaya Pattnaik, Bimal Mishra,Rajesh Mishra and SN Mishra pointed out the requirement of the state so far railways infrastructure is concerned.

Political personalities including Sura Jena, Biswanath Mohapatra,Tapasi Praharaj, Deba Parija, Bikram Swain vented their ire against the authorities.

Social activists like Tusar ray, Sashiprabha Bindhani, Madhu Bhai, Manoj Jena, Abhaya Singh, Pradipta Pradhan, Dillip Sabat also spoke on the occasion.

More than 70 members of the Civil Society and at least 20 from Kandhamal participated in the brain storming.

ECOR was represented by TK Joshi and Sanjay Mishra.

Civil Society has decided to organize a meeting prior to 3 February in Kandhamal to raise awareness.

It has been decided to publicize a composite document on Rail neglect in Orissa.

The meeting was organized by Agami Odisha, Swabhiman Odisha Munch, Loksamukhya and Focus Orissa.

All Participant organizations almost vowed to make the people of Orissa aware about Railway neglect and fight for the Railway infrastructural development in Orissa.

Er.Lalit Mohan Pattnaik of Agami Orissa coordinated the meeting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Letter to CM: Proposal to Convert Govt Auton. College Bhawanipatna to Unitary University

Orissadiary, Dec 25, 2008

Dear honorable Chief Minister, Mr. Patnaik,
Unitary University provides many additional advantages to autonomous college to design/introduce new courses depending on local need in the graduate and post graduate level, to substantially improve research activities, to employ permanent faculties who can support in research and education in the long term development of the institution and importantly ushers in more funds from the state and UGC to improve infrastructure, teaching programs, and research facilities.

Recent decision by the state Government to convert Ravenshaw College, UCE Burla and Khallikote College are welcome decision in that respect.

Coincidentally, these institutions were affiliated with Utkal University (Ravenshaw College), BPUT (UCE Burla) and Berhampur University (Khallikote College) representing Central (Ravenshaw College), Western (UCE Burla) and South (Khallokote) Orissa regions. However, none of them belong to KBK region or are affiliated with the Sambalpur University (except UCE’s association in the past).

UGC has recommended “College with Potential for Excellence” (CPE) status so far to only five Colleges from Orissa, out of which two of them, Ravenshaw Autonomous College Cuttack and Khallikote Autonomous College Berhamapur, are (being) made Unitary University by the state Government. Other three are GM Autonomous College Sambalpur, Govt. Autonomous College Bhawanipatna and Fakir Mohan Autonomous College Balasore.

Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna, being one of the prides of the KBK as well as Western Orissa regions, caters to the flame of learning since about last 50 years. It is enjoying the status of “College with Potential for Excellence” (CPE) since September 2004 being one among the first 47 colleges of the whole nation. It is among the first 3 colleges and only College in KBK region to receive CPE honor.

Despite being located in a backward and underdeveloped region, Government (Autonomous) College Bhawanipatna has established itself for maintaining high quality in education in this part of the state. Students of this College have been securing top ranks at the University level as well as state level in various fields of education.

KBK region is known to be backward in higher education and research facilities. Lack of sufficient teachers/lecturers in major Govt. Colleges in the region has been a serious concern.

Unitary University would facilitate highly skilled professionals in the various fields to join as permanent faculties, such as, as Assistant, Associate and full Professors, in such institutions and will fulfill deficiencies in shortage of lecturers in Autonomous College in Kalahandi.

In major Govt. and private institutions in Kalahandi shortage of lecturers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, agriculture and horticulture professionals etc are always noticed as there are only few professionals in various fields at the local level.

Where as local students in Kalahandi are struggling to get employment in the local level and some of them are forcefully migrating to other states in search for opportunities. There is a high percentage of local youth with bachelor degree without any employment. Many of them [such as Mr. Ajit Barik (OBC), Mr. Surudhan Hans (OBC), Mr. Raita Hans from Gambhariguda, P.O. Khairpadar, Dharamgarh], are working as barber or daily laborer despite having bachelor degree and OBC certificate with them. This contradiction in place like Kalahandi is surprising but it is a real fact and mainly due to improper planning in higher educational policy, specially, at the local level.

On the other hand, there is no state University in Kalahandi or KBK region to meet local requirements. Being an autonomous college, Government Autonomous College, Bhawanipatna has limited flexibility to introduce new courses on nursing, pharmacy, optometrist, agriculture, horticulture, banking and services, metal processing, information processing, computer science, medicine etc in the diploma, bachelor as well as postgraduate level course to fulfill local demand.

A Unitary University, however, will give this institution independency to introduce new courses not only in the discipline mentioned above but also in the field of medicine, agriculture, technology etc based on local requirements as a “Real University”.

Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna is located on NH 201 and has 60 acres of land and towards its north-east more than 100 acres of land are under the possession of the State Government and some private individuals which are lying vacant and can be utilized for horizontal structural growth. If situation arises like for Ravenshaw University, there is sufficient of land near to Bhawanipatna for future possible expansion of a new separate campus.

Recently, Human Resource Development, Govt. of India has selected locations for IIT/IIM/WCCU based on region and not based on population and other parameters. In fact, as per Government notification Amarkantak was chosen for “Indira Gandhi National Tribal University” because it is centrally located tribal region in Maharastra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

Kalahandi is the central district in KBK region. Even including other backward districts of Kandhamal, Boudh and Padampur sub-division, Bhawanipatna, could be ideally suited as a central location in this region. All major towns/districts of KBK as well as Boudh, Kandhamal and Padampur (Bargarh Dist) could be easily reached within 200 km by state/national highways from this place.

Based on location, available infrastructure, local & regional requirements, quality and importantly merit Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna deserves to be a Unitary University.

Making Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna a Unitary University will help this institution to improve its infrastructure to introduce new courses and improve its research facilities in this part, specially, in a backward part of the state that does not have any state University to meet all local requirements in employment and education.

We urge you to immediately approve and make the Government Autonomous College Bhawanipatna to a Unitary University in the next cabinet meeting.

Thanking you

Best regards

Dr Digambara Patra
Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
American University of Beirut
Beirut, Lebanon

Meeting on “Railways in Orissa” & our demand to sanction a Rail Link in Kandhamal

Respected Sir,

We would like to invite you to our session on Railways in Orissa and our demand to sanction a Rail Link in Kandhamal. The gathering will comprise of concerned Odia Budhijibi inside and outside of Orissa as well as political activist and representative from different Political party. Agami Odisha member Prof Chitta Baral from Arizona University ( USA) will give a presentation on Railways.

This programme is being conducted jointly by Agami Odisha. Swabhiman Odisha Munch , Lokasamukhya and Focus Orissa. Being convener of this programme, I will be highly obliged for your august presence in our meeting on 7th January’09 at Red Cross Bhawan by 10.30 AM. Please find our leaflet attached.

Thanking You,

Yours Truely

Date & Time-7th Jan’09 at 10.30AM to 2PM ( Lunch)
Redcross Bhawan, Unit-9,Bhubaneswar

Convener) Er. Lalit Pattnaik.
Working President Agami Odisha

Naveen's pre-poll gift to Kalahandi, 28th December, 2008

The State Government has decided to open an engineering college and an agriculture college in Kalahandi district. This was decided at a high-level meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here today. Naveen has directed the authorities concerned to start the construction of the two colleges immediately.
Work on the two colleges will start during the current financial year. A provision of Rs 5 cr each will be made for this. The engineering college will be established at Bhawanipatna with 240 seats. The seats will be filled up through joint entrance examination and admissions will start from the next academic year. The proposed college has got the approval of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
The new agriculture college, with 48 seats, will function from the next academic year in the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) at Bhawanipatna. This will be the third agriculture college in the State after Bhubaneswar and Chiplima.
The Chief Minister said establishment of these two colleges in Kalahandi will help in the economic growth of the district. Among others, Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy, Development Commissioner TK Mishra and senior officials attended the meeting.
Spokesperson of Kalahandi Central University Kriyanustan Committee Akshaya Kumar Nanda welcomed the decision and said in Bhawanipatna that the move will boost higher education in technical field in the district having no technical college.
However, the proposed two colleges are no alternative for Central university for which the people are fighting. Similarly, president of Sikshya Vikash Committee Gopabandhu Behera said setting up of a Central university is the prime demand of the people