Daily Archives: April 28, 2012

Support swells for Sambalpur lawyers

Lawyers across the state extended their support to their Sambalpur counterparts, urging the chief minister to take appropriate legal action against the district collector, accused of abusing lawyers while they were agitating on Monday against irregular electricity supply.

The collector, Mrinalini Darswal in turn had leveled serious charges against the lawyers of trying to outrage her modesty.

Lawyers from various bar associations, including a delegation from All Odisha Lawyers Association, Odisha State Bar Council and Orissa high court assembled in Sambalpur on Friday to lend support to aggrieved lawyers of Sambalpur.

“While advocates have already been arrested in connection with cases filed by the collector and DSR, why is action not being initiated by police in the case filed by the advocates,” questioned high court Bar president Jayant Das.

He said that from the description and available information it appeared that the collector did not handle the situation properly and she became the root cause of the entire incident. “Such an incident would not have taken place had she refrained from confronting the lawyers,” Das said.

Members of the local Bar submitted various evidences and still photos to the visiting lawyers to give a clear picture of the situation that occurred on Monday.

They described how the collector abused the lawyer fraternity by using slang language.

“We have given the true picture of the incident between the collector and lawyers on Monday. We informed how we were prepared to go to WESCO office in a bus to protest against the regular power cut and how the collector appeared at the scene movie style and abused the lawyers,” said Sambalpur Bar Association president Pramod Rath.

He informed that Sambalpur lawyers will resume their agitation from Saturday, demanding the ouster of the collector.

The lawyers have also demanded judicial probe in the incident, rejecting crime branch probe.

Nevertheless, an eight-member team of crime branch personnel, led by crime branch DSP Alok Das, reached Sambalpur to take up the case.

“We have come to investigate as per the direction of the government,” Das said.

Nrusinghanath Temple

The Vidala-Nrusimha Temple stands amidst the verdant beauty of the picturesque Gandhamardan Hills. Nrusinghanath is a popular and attractive pilgrim point. Coupled with a series of beautiful waterfalls and some sculptures, its location offers an air of serenity and visual delight, making the trip worthwhile. It is only 165 km away from Sambalpur.

The present temple, situated at the source of the ‘Papaharini’ stream, is a 14th century structure built on a more very old site. The four pillars within the ‘Jagmohana’ suggest that the earlier temple was built in the 9th century. The beautiful doorframes have been dated to the 11th century.The site of the temple is sole. Stone steps wind up the hillside behind the temple, leading past a waterfall, and eventually curving under the falls to a spot where some beautiful and very well preserved relief sculptures are found.

The climb to the carvings and return journey will take about an hour. Since shoes are not permitted on these sanctified pilgrimage steps, those with tender feet should take along a pair of heavy socks for the climb.On the reverse slope of the hill on which the temple is located, is the “Harishankar Temple”. Between the two temples there is a 16-km. plateau, littered with Buddhist ruins that scholars feel may be the remains of the ancient University of “Parimalagiri”, referred to by the 7th century Chinese traveler ‘Hiuen T’sang’ as “Po-lo-mo-lo-ki-li”.

Manhandling of Collector: Investigations begin

A team from Crime Branch arrived here on Friday to investigate the alleged manhandling of Collector Mrinalini Darswal by Sambalpur District Bar Association (SDBA) members on April 23. The eight-member team met SP Nikhil Kanodia, who was absent on the day of the incident and the Additional Superintendent of Police, Dilip Kumar Deo, who had rescued the Collector from the bus.

While the CB team declined comment, a fact finding team of the High Court Bar Association led by its President Jayanta Das and President of All Odisha Lawyers Association Dharanidhar Nayak also visited Sambalpur on Friday to ascertain about the incident before taking a stand on the issue.

At a meeting held at the Sambalpur District Bar Association, both Das and Nayak condemned the arrest of 18 lawyers. The High Court Bar Association President described the incident as unfortunate. He said the team would meet IG of Police, District Collector besides other officials.

Meanwhile, the SDBA has resolved to stage a demonstration in front of the office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (ND) demanding arrest and suspension of the Collector, on Saturday.? They have also decided to observe the Lawyers Day by wearing black badges.

On the other hand, officials and employees of the district administration, who had resorted to ceasework expressing solidarity with the Collector, resumed their duties on Friday.

An eight-member of crime branch police team reached Sambalpur

Demanding a judicial probe into the incident, the joint Demanding a judicial probe into the incident, the joint coordination committee criticized the government?s decision to hand over the matter to crime branch police for investigation.

On the other hand, an eight-member of crime branch police team reached Sambalpur and began investigating into the incident in which at least three police complaints were filed, including one filed by the district collector. The decision to hand over the case to crime branch police for investigation was taken by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday who had stated that the law would take its course and the guilty shall be severely dealt with Sambalpur district collector Darswal, who was allegedly assaulted and abused by the lawyers on Monday.

In the meantime approached the State Women?s Commission urging the panel to probe the matter in which the local lawyers had allegedly tried to outrage her modesty. SCW chairperson Jyoti Panigrahi said she has received an application from the lady IAS officer and she would soon visit Sambalpur to probe into the matter.

XIMB to open university, partially bypass AICTE

Xavier Institute of ManagementIn a departure from the current trend in business education, the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) is opening its own university and taking away some of its courses from what it describes as a restrictive All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) accreditation process. This will allow it to impart “innovative courses”.

To be named Xavier’s University, the institution will start its first campus in Orissa’s Puri district, followed by two more campuses in Sambalpur and Balangir districts.

“The AICTE has a lot of restrictions when it comes to expansion,” XIMB director P.T. Joseph said over the telephone from Bhubaneswar. “Now, we have got a go-ahead from the state government to start our own university.”

AICTE chairman S.S. Mantha could not be reached for his comments despite several attempts.

Joseph said the institute will spend about Rs70 crore in the first phase of the university plan, of which Rs20 crore will come from the state. While the first campus in Pipli, Puri, will be spread across 35 acres, the Sambalpur and Balangir campuses will be built on 25 acres and 15 acres, respectively. The university will be set up as a private one under the state’s rules, which means it will have more autonomy. “There will be more investment as we progress,” Joseph said.

The central government also wants to turn leading engineering and management institutes such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) into multi-disciplinary schools. The state-commissioned Yash Pal Committee on higher education reform had advocated the multi-disciplinary approach.

“IITs and IIMs were created in the first phase of nation building and kept out of the traditional university structure to give them free play to be able to help the nation have a pool of excellent engineering and managerial talents,” said the 2009 Yash Pal panel report. “To a fair extent, these institutions have succeeded… they need to broaden their curriculum and assume the role of full-fledged universities without losing their unique character.”

To start with, XIMB will offer students the rural management course without AICTE accreditation. “XIMB will remain as an institute under the AICTE umbrella. If they create problems, then we have to think otherwise. But we are taking our (two-year) rural management course to the university from next year when the university starts operation,” Joseph said. The institute will also run a master’s programme on public health in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. It will also offer its three-continent master of global management programme under the university.

XIMB’s plan is a smart way of tackling issues related to AICTE, said Pramath Sinha, founding dean of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

“AICTE was created as regulator to protect the interests of students and parents from fly-by-night operators and maintain a certain level of quality. But the body has become too restrictive for quality players. From regulation, it is now doing more of control that’s stopping quality institutes from expanding and innovating with course and curricula,” Sinha said.

Allowing serious players to open universities is creating an ecosystem that’s free of excessive control, he said. Sinha is planning to open a university in Haryana under the state’s laws.

Joseph said Xavier’s University will offer both undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in areas such as environmental management, microfinance, healthcare management and disaster management. Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik will lay the foundation of the campus on Saturday, according to an official invitation.

The state will pass a legislation to open the private university soon and till that time XIMB will call them additional campuses, instead of a university, the institute’s spokesperson said.