Lukewarm Response to Open University in sambalpur

The State Government’s announcement to open an Open University in Sambalpur has evoked lukewarm response in the district.

Terming it as a small consolation for the people of Sambalpur in particular and Western Odisha in general, economist and academician Dilip Panda said the Government should first correct the prevailing weaknesses and lacunae in the educational system, which is in a shambles throughout Western Odisha. “The State Government should take up the responsibility of improving the quality of education in the existing institutions before going for Open University,” he said. The Government should utilise `35 crore budget for the Open University towards development of colleges and schools in the region.

Reacting sharply to the announcement, chief spokesperson of BJP Suresh Pujari said, “The announcement can hardly be appreciated as the schools and colleges in the region remain in poor condition. A large number of staff vacancies in schools and colleges is affecting the quality of education.”

Though former MP Sriballav Panigrahi welcomed the step, he said this will not serve the purpose of improving quality of education as the institutions lack adequate staff and infrastructure.

Kalam urges students to set their goal

apj-abdul-kalamNoting that education aims to produce good human beings with skill and expertise, former president APJ Abdul Kalam on Saturday asked students to set their goal and work hard with perseverance to achieve it.

“The purpose of education is to make good human beings with skill and expertise… Enlightened human beings can be created by teachers,” Kalam said at the 150th anniversary function of Chandrasekhar Behera Zila School here.

Asking the students to become good human beings, set their goals and work hard to achieve it, the former President stressed on fixed aim in life, continuous acquisition of knowledge, hard work and perseverance to achieve success. Kalam, who started his speech in Sambalpuri, said knowledge was the assimilation of creativity, righteousness courage.

“Where there is righteousness in the heart there is harmony in the house, when there is harmony in the house there is order in the nation, when there is order in the nation there is peace in the world,” Kalam said. Stating that problems should be handled boldly, he said the youths should have the qualities to successfully overcome hurdles and effectively deal with problems in life.

Answering queries, Kalam said the primary education in the country makes the Indian education system unique as it was different from the systems in other countries. Kalam also released a souvenir during the occasion. Odisha’s School and Mass Education Minister DP Mishra was among the dignitaries present.

Odisha to set up open university at Sambalpur

In an apparent bid to pacify the ongoing agitation demanding establishment of an IIM in western Odisha, the state government on Saturday announced setting up an open university at Sambalpur.

The announcement in this regard was made by Higher Education Minister Pradeep Panigrahi in the assembly on Saturday.

“The proposed open university at Sambalpur will be first of its kind in the state. Therefore, its impact and jurisdiction will be vast,” Panigrahi said. Panigrahi said, “The state government has already made provision of Rs 35 crore for establishment and infrastructure of the proposed open university.”

Besides contributing to progress of higher education, the open university would facilitate distance education, continuous training and research for students and teachers.

The open university would also help a large number of students, drop-outs and provide need-based quality education in the backward and tribal-dominated districts of the state, Panigrahi said.

He said the varsity at Sambalpur also reflected the state government’s steps to eradicate regional imbalance in Odisha.

The people of western Odisha, particularly the residents of Sambalpur have been agitating since a long time demanding establishment of the proposed IIM for the state in their region. However, the state government decided to locate the proposed IIM in Bhubaneswar which led to intensification of agitation in Sambalpur.

Jaundice grips Sambalpur, water samples to be sent to Pune

With jaundice spreading in Sambalpur, Odisha’s health department will send water samples to National Institute of Virology in Pune for laboratory test.

Chief District Medical Officer(CDMO), Jagatkrushna Samantray said Around 20 jaundice cases are being reported in the district headquarter hospital daily and 5 to 7 jaundice patients are taking admission in the hospital daily.

Steps to check the spread of the disease was reviewed at meeting yesterday and the water samples would be sent to Pune within two days,he said.

Contaminated water appeared to be the reason behind the spread of the disease, he said adding a household survey by four teams was being conducted to ascertain the cause and the source.

During the survey we found that 677 persons had been infected by jaundice between June and November in Sambalpur city. The survey also found that six persons had died due to the disease during the period, said additional district medical officer, public health, Ashok Das.

Water supply pipelines are adjacent to drains at many places in the city, he said adding due to leakages in the supply pipelines, the drain water is seeping through and contaminating water meant for drinking.

Steps were also taken to create awareness of the people about the disease and precautionary measures, he said.

Seashore Chief’s Key Aide Got Neta-Babu Eat Out of His Hand

From general secretary of the students’ union of Sambalpur’s GM (Autonomous) College to a conduit between Seashore Group of Companies chief Prashant Dash and the political leaders as well as bureaucrats in the State Capital, Subhankar Nayak really came a “long way.”

He initially dabbled in supply of sand and stone chips in Sambalpur after his graduation before shifting his base to Bhubaneswar, reportedly to pursue MBA, where he found what he wanted __ wealth and clout.

A native of Mudipada in Sambalpur town, Nayak, a key aide of the Seashore Group chief, was produced before the court of Special Chief Judicial Magistrate (CBI) here. The court sent him on a nine-day CBI remand during which the probe agency is likely to seek out names of people he was involved with.

It was during his stint as general secretary that Nayak had invited a former minister of the Biju Janata Dal as chief guest of the annual function of the college which apparently opened the floodgates of opportunities for him. Soon, he came in contact with a host of ministers and politicians while proximity to a senior leader brought him closer to bureaucrats, including IPS officers.

Nayak, who is charged with channeling funds of Seashore Groups, went on to enjoy such clout that influential people were soon eating out of his hand. He once allegedly forced Jharsuguda Police to make the accused of a cheque dishonour case parade before the media holding a “maha thaka” (big cheat) slate.

For someone who had no formal occupation for a living, Nayak ensured that bureaucrats turned up at the funeral rites of his maternal grandfather.

The CBI suspects him to be the front for investment of funds by the high and mighty. Nayak called the shots in transfer and posting and allegedly collected money on behalf of politicians and bureaucrats. This also gave Nayak leverage to dictate terms to them. While his friend recollect him as the little “Sobhraj”, he stayed away from Sambalpur after finding his calling.

On Tuesday, when the CBI searched his flat in the Capital, two gold biscuits and `14.63 lakh were found from his possession. Upon seeing the CBI sleuths, he is alleged to have attempted to throw the cash through his windows.