Daily Archives: April 13, 2012

WIFA devoid of ground

While EPL clubs have been building a fan base by holding special camps in Mumbai, the Western India Football Association (WIFA) isn’t getting a facility to even organise pre-tournament camps for the Maharashtra team that will be playing the Santosh Trophy.

For quite some time, the association has been trying to identify grounds in the city. With Cooperage undergoing renovation, WIFA is likely to opt for the St Xavier’s ground in Parel — a compromise necessitated by circumstances.

St Xavier’s conducts many lower division tournaments for the Mumbai District Football Association. Not only is it an open ground, the conditions there aren’t conducive for top quality football.

WIFA secretary Souter Vaz admitted that getting a suitable practice facility hasn’t been easy. “We have to go elsewhere,” he said, referring to the makeover in Cooperage. The cricket season, as always, has played a part in football getting marginalised.

“We went to RCF Chembur but they have their own cricket and football camps. Similarly, the Priyadarshini Park hosts its summer camps. We were also keen on the University ground in Marine Lines, but it is reserved for the IPL,” he added.

The Santosh Trophy, which will be held in Orissa, will commence on May 11. The tournament will be inaugurated simultaneously in four different venues: Cuttack, Bhubaneshwar, Sambalpur and Bargarh.

The All India Football Federation wanted the tournament to be held for the U-23 age group. However, state associations opposed the move, forcing the AIFF to change the format. The 2012 Santosh Trophy, thus, will involve seniors.

In addition, the AIFF has decided that 16 teams will play the finals, while eight sides from the previous edition will be eligible for direct entry, hosts Orissa being one of them. The rest of the seven places will be decided by qualifications.

The 16 teams, divided into groups of four, will compete in a round-robin format. The top teams from each group will earn a place in the semifinal. The final will be played on May 27.

Sambalpur University to close down Computer Science

Sambalpur University is planning to close down its 22-year-old department of Computer Science. Three years back, it was the then vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Pujari who had given a similar proposal to augment his pet project of Sambalpur University Institute of Information technology (SUIIT).

While Vice-Chancellor B C Barik has formed a committee to look into the feasibility of the issue on recommendation of the University Syndicate, students who aspired to pursue computer courses have already lost a year.

The UGC-sponsored department was started in 1998 with one-year PG Diploma in Computer Application (DCA) course. As the course elicited good response, the University introduced two-year self-financing course of MSc in Computer Science in 2001 followed by three-year Masters in Computer Application (MCA) in 2002.

Till now, about 600 students have passed out from PGDCA course while around 400 completed their MSc in Computer Science and MCA. However, in the last academic year, enrolment was stopped.

The department has an intake capacity of 30 students for each? course. Sources said although 35 applications were received during last academic year, the applicants were asked to enrol in SUIIT. As of today, the department has only students pursuing their second and third year course of MCA.Sambalpur University PRO Rajat Kujur said the department was being closed to merge it with SUIIT, an autonomous body under Sambalpur University.

IAP performance in State better with 70% expenditure

The State fared better than other Maoist-affected States as far as the implementation of the Centrally-sponsored Integrated Action Plan is concerned, which is now in operation in 18 of the 30 districts, according to sources.

The sources said the total expenditure in the implementation of the IAP has been in the order of 70 per cent of the released funds for various projects. This was revealed at a review meeting following the recent video conferencing by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on the implementation of the scheme.

The sources said IAP was implemented in 15 backward and Maoist-affected districts and, since December last year, the Union Home Ministry had extended the project to three more districts- Nayagarh, Jajpur and Ganjam on demand by the State Government. The other districts in which the IAP is in operation are- Balangir, Deogarh, Gajapati, Keonjhar, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Nabarangpur, Nuapada, Rayagada, Sambalpur, Sonepur and Sundargarh.

During the financial years 2010-11 and 2011-12, while the Union Government had provided Rs828 crore with Rs55 crore for each of the 15 districts, the newly added three districts received Rs90 crore at the rate of Rs 30 crore each. Out of the total Rs915 crore, the expenditure was to the tune of 70 per cent in 15 districts and around one per cent in case of the rest three districts, the sources said.

During the two years, various projects like road communication, building, drinking water supply, irrigation and other core sectors were taken up. The State Government had already allotted Rs 934.15 crore, more than the released funds, for the implementation of such projects in the 18 districts, the sources said, adding that 74 % of the projects are drinking water supply schemes, both piped water and tube-well projects.While 90 per cent of the projects were taken up for implementation, 65 per cent of the projects have already been completed, the sources said.