Naxalite killed in Kalahandi

One left wing extremists was killed when security forces and naxalites exchanged fire in Kalahandi district on Sunday.

Based on intelligence input, District Voluntary Force, a special constabulary unit of the Odisha Police engaged in anti-Maoist operations, had made a move towards Kegaon under Golamunda Police Station area on late Saturday evening.

Near Chura Pahad area, security forces were fired upon by a group of Left ultras and in retaliation DVF personnel also returned fire, said Y. K Jethwa, Inspector General (South-West).

Mr. Jethwa said one naxalite was found to be dead while exchange of fire was still continuing till evening of Sunday. One Insas rifle was recovered from the spot. Kalahandi police had launched combing operation following the encounter with naxalites.

During past one year, left wing extremists were found to be active in Kalahandi district which shares border with Nuapada and Bolangir districts which are already affected by naxal violence.

Odisha scribe Ajit Kumar Nayak passes away

AJIT NAYAK

A pal of gloom descended on Odisha’s Sambalpur City after news of death of senior scribe Ajit Kumar Nayak (53) reached Sambalpur.

Nayak died while undergoing treatment for jaundice at a private Hospital in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. He is survived by his wife, son, mother, brother and sisters.

He was battling with jaundice since last four months and was also admitted to Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences at New Delhi.

After completing his graduation from G M College, Sambalpur, he completed his LLB and was had joined the Sambalpur District Bar Association.

He was also a social worker and was closely associated with Indian Society for Cultural Co-operation and Friendship (ISCUF) and joined journalism in the year 1992.

Nayak had also served as President of NUJI, Sambalpur, General Secretary of Sambalpur Press Club and President of Media Federation, Sambalpur. Beginning his career from vernacular daily “The Ganabarta”, he worked for “The Asian Age”, The Prajatantra”, “The Sunday Indian”, “The Odisha Bhaskar” and was associated with “The Times of India”.

His death has been condoled by people from various walks of life, organisations and members of the media.

Source : Odisha Sun Times

Odisha government plans to introduce “agriculture” as compulsory subject

The Odisha government is contemplating to introduce agriculture as compulsory subject from primary school to university in the state soon in order to encourage students for cultivation.

This was stated by Odisha’s agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy here on 25th February 2015. Thrust will also be given for extensive use of Bio fertilizer and on soil testing, he said.

Maharathy said this while gracing the commemoration day of Government Agriculture College, Bhawanipatna as chief guest. The minister said the work of potato mission has been launched in the state setting a target to produce 10 Lakh MT of Potato from present production of 2 Lakh 20 thousand MT. The minister also informed that for the interest of farmers and farming community, a Krushak Bhawan will be set up at Bhubaneswar with an estimated cost of Rs 44 crore 85 Lakhs.

Stating that there is excellent infrastructure and scopes in this tribal dominated district for agriculture Maharathy said Kalahandi is a land of large varieties of crops like paddy, Cotton, Onion, Oil seeds, pulses, Maize, minor millets and minor agriculture crops and irrigation is available in large areas.

The Vice chancellor of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) Manoranjan Kar said there is nothing like hard working. He asked students to convert challenges in to opportunity. “So far results and other activities of students are concerned, this College is best among the Colleges under OUAT,” he said.

Politics in Sambalpur for coming Polls

Political parties are playing game in Sambalpur by showing many dreams by their capabilities.

Ahead of elections to the Sambalpur municipal corporation, CM Naveen Patnaik on Monday recommends the Centre to set up the proposed Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Sambalpur under relaxed guidelines.

In a letter to Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Patnaik said: “If central government is willing to relax this guideline for site selection, then the state government strongly recommends Sambalpur in western Odisha as the location of IIM, Odisha.”

Earlier, the state government following the HRD ministry’s guidelines, had recommended setting up the proposed IIM in Bhubaneswar.

“I would like to inform you that while recommending the sites for IIM, the state government was constrained by the fact that the location should be close to an airport as per guidelines circulated by the HRD ministry,” said the chief minister.

He said the guidelines restricted the government’s choice to places in and around Bhubaneswar.

In a separate letter to Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Patnaik urged the setting up of two new Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) at Sambalpur and Berhampur.

Stating that the only PSK in Odisha, located at Bhubaneswar, serves 30 geographically dispersed districts, he said the citizens of western and southern districts experience immense difficulties in obtaining passports.

In 2014, about one lakh passports were issued by the PSK.

However, the Opposition Congress and BJP smelt politics in the government move.

“The central government had asked them to identify three places to set up an IIM in Odisha. But it identified two places in Bhubaneswar, ignoring the demand of Sambalpur. As Sambalpur will go to polls soon, there is a political intention behind the letter of the CM,” said BJP spokesperson Suresh Pujari.

Congress leader Pradip Majhi said Naveen Patnaik has embarked on election campaigning for Sambalpur.

Recently, Naveen Patnaik announced Rs.1,600 crore for various development projects in Sambalpur and also laid the foundation stones of various projects.

Aditya Aluminium sets up learning facilities in Sambalpur

Recognising the role of education in social welfare and economic prosperity, Aditya Aluminium, an Aditya Birla Group Company, has set up several learning facilities in and around its project area in Sambalpur. “Education is an area of focus for us in Aditya Birla Group. Hindalco is deeply engaged in helping reach benefits of learning and education for marginalised communities,” Bibhu Mishra, Chief Operating Officer of Aditya Aluminium said.

Elaborating on the company’s initiative to facilitate the learning process, he said “We hope over the coming years these will help truly raise the literacy level in Sambalpur district. “We believe in holistic development of children. So our learning programmes are a mix of educational and sports initiatives. Furthermore, we endeavour to better the school infrastructure so that children are drawn to school.” Among Aditya Aluminum’s initiatives are two free coaching centres, named Kalika running in Pandaloi and Ludhapalli village, where over 104 students get extensive support. Teachers at these centres undergo special training to enable them adopt simple and effective methods of teaching.

The company also provides students with free study material, school bags, uniforms and stationery, a company release said.

Additionally, parent-teacher meets are held regularly to assess the students’ performance and to think of ways to enhance their skills and increase their potential, he said.

Aditya Aluminium has also recourse to innovative ways to stem the dropout rate among students, especially girls.

Last year, it successfully brought back as many as 22 children who had left school in the middle of the term. Girls who have discontinued their secondary education also get a chance to complete their schooling.

In addition, around 60 elderly people have enrolled in the two adult education centres set up by the company.

Nuadei Pradhan, an 85-year-old lady from Tarapoi village said: “Earlier I didn’t know the alphabets, but after coming to Aditya Aluminium’s adult literacy centre, I have learnt how to read as well as write a few words. This achievement has given me immense satisfaction”.