Odisha: Bhubaneswar Hosts Seminar on “Mission 1000 Startups”

Bhubaneswar: On the sidelines of MSME Trade Fair-2017 and Entrepreneurship Week being held here between March 5 to 11 in Bhubaneswar, a seminar session on “Mission 1000 Startups” was held today at the Conference Hall of IDCO Exhibition Ground. L.N. Gupta, IAS, Principal Secretary, MSME highlighted the implementation of the Startup Policy and also outlined the measures and events planned to encourage more and more startups and foster a culture of entrepreneurship in the state. He stated that we are working on sustained basis to achieve the ’Mission 1000 Startups’ by 2020.

Inaugurating the Seminar, Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha Skill Development Authority congratulated the Team Startup Odisha for the outstanding efforts toward promotion of Startup eco-system in the state. He identified the main traits of an entrepreneur and described him as someone, who has fire in the belly, courage and patience. He should have self-belief, independent thinking to serve customers, hardworking attitude, flexibility to improvise, and the ability to keep their ego aside for the sake of their business. He advised all the budding entrepreneurs to select their domain carefully, choose their tools suitably, follow appropriate methodology and should remain focussed on quality of their product or services.

Vikas Bali, MD, Intellecap said to have funded over USD 600 million across countries, including Milk Mantra in Odisha. Under the programme “Sankalp”, they have been assisting social enterprises in India, Indonesia and Kenya. He added that they search, seed, support and scale up early stage social enterprises. As regards Odisha, he announced that the Startups, who get registered under the Odisha Startup Policy, will be provided access to their virtual incubator namely, “Startup Wave”. He also announced that the best 5 Startups, who qualify for product/marketing assistance under the Odisha Startup Policy, will get focused mentoring by the Intellecap team.

Amit Singh, Co-Founder & M.D., Headstart, one of the largest grass root level organisations, supporting entrepreneurship and startups in the country, announced opening of their Headstart Entrepreneurship Chapter in Odisha during this month. Through this chapter, they would be mentoring entrepreneurs across the state. He mentioned that every year 25,000 entrepreneurs are benefitting from their services. Omkar Rai, DG, STPI said that the largest number of STPI Centres are existing in Odisha, which are in Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Rourkela. Further, they intend opening 4 new Centres. He suggested that MSMEs and startups working in the IT and electronics sector can avail funding under the Electronic development fund of the Government of India. He assured to work closely with Govt. of Odisha to strengthen the Startup eco-system in the state.  Manish Kumar, an IITian turned Researcher-cum-Entrepreneur, who is running an organisation ‘Back 2 Village’ and working mostly on promotion of agriculture in Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, articulated his long journey as an entrepreneur and how he has enjoyed the oil that goes with it. ‘Back 2 Village’ is engaging farmers in Mayurbhanj towards adoption of best farming practices as well as assisting them towards market linkage.

Bhubaneswar Traffic Chaos; Not Cops but Administration to Blame

Driving through the roads in Bhubaneswar during peak hours can be a nightmare for any sane driver. On the contrary it can be a sail through for those who don’t follow traffic rules. But this is reality so far as the traffic of the capital city Bhubaneswar is concerned.

Though the traffic police are supposed to streamline the traffic but it is not possible for them since there are more rule breakers and offenders than those who follow the rules.

Zebra crossings at intersections are nowhere to be seen. If at all it is present one would find motorists on them while the signal is red. Lack of basic infrastructure such as foot over-bridges at busy intersections or for that matter proper footpaths for pedestrians are missing.

Footpath is either under encroachment by illegal street vendors or illegal parking contractors. Evident from the prevalent circumstances it shows the lack of co-ordinaton between various government departments. Though the traffic police are mindful of their duties and work diligently but the city administration with a lack luster attitude adds more to the woes of the daily commuter. The sincerity of the cops has been countered by physical attacks from offenders which has been worst form of unruly behavior.

Over all that too much of interference by politicians in the free functioning of various administrative departments has led to the disorderly behavior among motorists. The sooner the government realizes it the better.

BCCI Announces Team for First two Tests against Australia

Mumbai: The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) retained the Indian squad that played against Bangladesh. The All-India Senior Selection Committee met on February 14 to pick the India Cricket Team for the first two Test matches of the four-match Paytm Test series against Australia.

The team is as follows: Virat Kohli (Captain), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, W Saha (wk), R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Karun Nair, Jayant Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Abhinav Mukund and Hardik Pandya.

Here’s the complete schedule –

Match Date Venue
1st Test Feb 23-27 Pune
2nd Test Mar 04-08 Bengaluru
3rd Test Mar 16-20 Ranchi
4th Test Mar 25-29 Dharamsala

OCA Announces Domestic Cricket Tournaments to be held from March 26

Cuttack: The newly formed working committee of the Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) met here under the chairmanship of Dhiren Pallai at Barabati Stadium on February 14 and finalised the dates of the domestic tournaments in Odisha, which would be held from March 26 to May 17, 2017.

OCA decided that all matches of the four domestic tournaments will be conducted at eight different venues in Cuttack. The domestic season will start with the U-16 Inter-District Tournament to be played from March 26 to April 12. It will be followed by the U-19 Inter-District Tournament from April 16 to May 3, the Women Inter-District Tournament from April 3 to 12 and the Kalahandi Cup Senior Inter-District Tournament from April 24 to May 17.

Keeping in view of the hot weather the association decided to conduct the matches in morning and afternoon sessions (timings 7.00 am to 11.30 am and 3.00 pm to 5.30 pm). For determination of age, necessary medical test of all players will be done prior to respective age-group tournaments. Over-age issue will be strictly dealt with and no team will be allowed to field over-age players in junior inter-district tournaments.

OCA also made it mandatory for all players to produce affidavits, made before Executive Magistrate declaring their age, along with original birth certificates, academic certificates and ID Cards for necessary verification. For players born outside the state of Odisha, it is mandatory for them to produce required valid proof of residing inside the state as local player.

ISRO’s Feat as PSLV-C37 Successfully Launches 104 Satellites in a Single Flight

New Delhi: ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C37), in its thirty ninth flight, successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellites today on February 15 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty eighth consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The total weight of all the 104 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C37 was 1378 kg.

The PSLV-C37 lifted off at 9:28 am IST, from the First Launch Pad and after a flight of 16 minutes 48 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 506 km inclined at an angle of 97.46 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and in the succeeding 12 minutes, all the 104 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence beginning with Cartosat-2 series satellite, followed by INS-1 and INS-2. The total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at 46.

Of the 103 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C37, two – ISRO Nano Satellite-1 (INS-1) weighing 8.4 kg and INS-2 weighing 9.7 kg – are technology demonstration satellites from India.

The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (96), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1).

With today’s successful launch, the total number of customer satellites from abroad launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 180.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in separate messages congratulated ISRO on its successful launch.

President of India, Pranab Mukherjee in a message to A.S. Kiran Kumar, Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman of ISRO said, “I extend my sincere congratulations and best wishes to you and your team at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the successful launch into space of PSLV – C37, carrying a record 104 satellites.

This day shall go down as a landmark in the history of our space programme. The nation is proud of this significant achievement, which has demonstrated, yet again, India’s increasing space capabilities.

Kindly convey my greetings to the members of your team of scientists, engineers, technologists and all others associated with this great mission. I urge ISRO to continue to strive for the progress of our space capabilities. I wish all your future endeavours great success.”

Vice President Hamid Ansari in his message said “I offer my congratulations to the Scientists, Engineers and Technicians of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for the successful launch of the PSLV-C37 rocket that placed 104 satellites including Cartosat 2 Series from India and 7 other counties in their designated orbits. This has been a history scripting effort of launching 104 satellites in a single launch.

The flawless launch has once again demonstrated India’s capabilities in the space sector and underlined our efforts to make the use and exploration of space more accessible and affordable.

I wish ISRO all the very best for the future.”

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO on successful launch of PSLV-C37 and CARTOSAT satellite together with 103 nano satellites.

“Congratulations to ISRO for the successful launch of PSLV-C37 and CARTOSAT satellite together with 103 nano satellites.

This remarkable feat by ISRO is yet another proud moment for our space scientific community and the nation. India salutes our scientists.

The Prime Minister also spoke to the Secretary, Department of Space and congratulated him & the entire team of scientists on today’s exceptional achievement”.

LPG Customers to get a Discount for On-Line Payment of Refill Cylinders

New Delhi: The Oil Marketing Companies, IndianOil, BPCL and HPCL offer a discount of Rs 5/- on every LPG refill to all LPG customers who will book and pay for their LPG cylinders online. Customers can make payment through existing online modes such as net banking, credit and debit cards at the time of web-booking their refills.

According to the ministry customers will get the discounted amount displayed on their screens on the net amount refill RSP minus (-) incentive amount of Rs.5/- which they need to pay for their refill transactions. The net discounted amount will also be shown on the cash memo accompanying the home-delivery of the LPG cylinder.

The Oil Marketing Companies aim to encourage consumers to increasingly shift to such payment modes through digital platforms to achieve the objective of no-cash or less-cash based transactions. The incentive will encourage more and more LPG consumers to go for cashless mode transactions.

Odisha: Tickets put on Sale On-line for the Jan 19 Ind vs Eng Cuttack ODI

Cuttack: Over 8,000 tickets have been put on sale on-line from January 2 for the January 19 One Day International match between India and England which is scheduled to be played at Barabati stadium in Cuttack.

The tickets are on sale till Jan 15 at http://get2thegames.com. The Orissa Cricket Association had earlier decided to sell 25 percent tickets online out of total 42,000 tickets.

Tickets will be made available at the counters of the Barabati Stadium on January 16 and 17 for the convenience of the cricket fans who don’t have access to on-line platform.

Agni-IV Nuclear Capable Missile test fired successfully off Odisha Coast

Bhubaneswar: Agni-IV, the surface-to-surface with nuclear missile capability was successfully test fired from the Abdul Kalam Island also known as Wheelers Island off the Odisha coast at 11:50 am on Monday.

The 20-metre long missile which weighs around 17 tonnes has the capability to strike at a distance of 4000 kilometres. Developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Agni-IV underwent the fifth successful test and can be launched from a road mobile launcher.

The Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Ramrao Bhamre and Director-General (Missiles and Strategic Systems), DRDO, G. Satheesh Reddy were witness to the test conducted on January 2, 2017.

Union Road Transport Ministry Reviews Progress of National Highways in Odisha

New Delhi: The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways on Thursday reviewed the work progress of the National Highways in Odisha. In a meeting with the Odisha Government’s representative, the state of the existing highways totalling 4,847 kms was reviewed. Besides the review of above stretch, Highways totalling 1,789 kms for which DPR is under preparation, and also includes Bharatmala component of 500 kms, was also reviewed and the status of its implementation was discussed.

The Ministry has also reviewed and discussed the various proposals received from public representatives to declare 2,506 kms of stretches of State Roads as National Highways and it was decided to forward the proposal details for this to the Government of Odisha.

Madhusmita Behera to Lead Odisha Woman’s Team in T20 League

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Woman’s team all rounder Madhusmita Behera will lead the state team in the Senior Women’s Elite Group-B T-20 League to be held at Jamshedpur from January 2 to 6, 2017.

Odisha will play their other three league matches against Madhya Pradesh, Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh on January 3, 5 and 6 respectively. Former Odisha Ranji Trophy player Dhirendra Kumar Rout has been named the chief coach of the team.


Madhusmita Behera (Captain), Madhuri Meheta, Sarita Meher, Kadambini Mohakud (WK), Anjali Singh, Rasanara Parwin, Priyanka Priyadarshini Sahu, Ritu Singh, Sujata Mallik, Rajashree Swain, Gangotree Behera, Purnima Ray, Kuni Bhadra, Sumitra Sahoo (WK), Chinmayee Das.

Manager: Santosh Das; Chief Coach: Dhirendra Kumar Rout; Coach: Rashmita Mohanty; Physio: Aparna Mishra; Trainer: Sweta Samantaray

Odisha’s Poonam Nayak Selected for East Zone U-19 team

Bhubaneswar: Odia lass Poonam Nayak has been included in the 15-member East Zone team for the BCCI Inter-Zonal Under-19 Women Two-day League. Tanushree Sarkar will lead the team which includes six from Bengal, four from Jharkhand, two each from Tripura and Assam and one from Odisha. The league is scheduled to be held at Vijayawada and Guntur from January 20 to February 3, 2017.

In a meeting of the East Zone representatives the team was finalised at Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) Club, Barabati Stadium today. OCA Secretary Asirbad Behera convened the meeting attended by Santosh Das (Odisha), Kanhu S Chakroborty (Jharkhand), Rita Baidya Kakati (Assam), Rajat Kanti Sen (Tripura), Mithu Mukherjee (Bengal) and Lopamudra Banerjee (National selector, East Zone) as members.

EAST ZONE U-19 WOMEN TEAM: Tanushree Sarkar, Richa Ghosh, Parna Paul, Deepa Das, Shreyoshi Aich, Nisha Majhi (all Bengal); Ritu Kumari, Rashmi Gudia, Durga Kumari Murmu, Mamata Pashwan (all Jharkhand); Suravi Roy, Mamon Ravi Das (both Tripura); Kalpana Sautal, Nirupoma Boro (both Assam); Poonam Nayak (Odisha).

Manager: Rita Baidya Kakati (Assam) Coach: Seema Singh (Jharkhand); Assistant coach: Arpita Ghosh (Bengal); Physio: Sambita Paul (Bengal); Trainer: Manashi Parui (Bengal).

Odisha Panchayat Polls from Feb 13, Model Code of Conduct in Force

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha State Election Commission today declared the dates for 3-tier panchayat general elections for Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and Zila Parishads to be conducted in five phases to begin on February 13, 2017. The State Election Commissioner R N Senapati informing the media persons here said the polls will be conducted in five phases on February 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21, respectively. The model code of conduct comes into force from today and no new schemes, development programmes or roads can be constructed and the government cannot announce any new programmes till the elections end.

The Commission also urged the government, all political parties, candidates and persons holding public offices who are provided with official perquisites and transport and all officials and all employees of the Government, Public Sector Undertakings, Panchayati Raj Institutions and Co operatives to observe the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct in right earnest.

According to Senapati, the filing of nomination papers will take place between January 11 and 17 barring government holidays and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is January 21. Final list of candidates will be declared on the same day, he added.

The Election Commissioner also informed as per the interim orders of the Honble High Court of Orissa, elections to Panchayat Samiti Members of Paijang Panchayat Samiti of Dhenkanal district, Dasarathpur Panchayat Samiti of Jajpur district, Kolabira and Laikera Panchayat Samiti of Jharsuguda district, Bhawanipatna Panchayat Samiti of Kalahandi district and Rengali Panchayat Samiti of Sambalpur district are not being notified.

BJB College Autonomous College Declared Sine Die after Campus Violence

Bhubaneswar: One of Odisha’s premier colleges BJB Autonomous College has been in news for all the wrong reasons over the past few months. Violence, protests and unruly incidents in the college campus has made matters worse for which reason BJB College was closed sine die on Monday here in Bhubaneswar.

According to an office order released by the principal, sine die has been declared till December 30 and the hostel boarders have been asked to vacate the hostels immediately.

The college authorities took the drastic step after there were group clashes in the campus leading to ruckus. Sources added, a dalit student of the Ambedkar hostel was attacked by miscreants within the college campus on Sunday night. In all 3 students were said to be injured and admitted to Capital hospital in the city.

Since September, sine die has been declared twice. Classes had resumed after 15 days sine die in mid October but the situation has not improved which led to another sine die. Repeated violence in the campus and suspension of classes has been affecting the education of students. Involvement of politics within the college campus has led to deterioration in the academics, opine intellectuals.

Nuclear Capable Agni-V Successfully Test Fired off Odisha coast

Bhubaneswar: Agni-V, the surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile was test fired from launch pad no 4 at 11.05 am on Monday from Wheelers island also know as Abdul Kalam Island in Bhadrak district of Odisha as reported by various government sources. The 17 meter long missile and 2 metre in width has been developed by DRDO and has the capability to 50000 kg weight.

According to defence experts the Agni-V missile has capabilities to target northern parts of China many other parts of Asia Europe and Africa continents.

President Pranab Mukherjee tweeting on the successful test of Agni-V said “Congratulations DRDO for successfully test firing Agni V. It will enhance our strategic and deterrence capabilities. #PresidentMukherjee”.

PM Narendra Modi congratulated the DRDO and tweeted “The successful test firing of Agni V is the result of the hardwork of DRDO & its scientists. I congratulate them. @DRDO_India”.

Odisha: BJP-BJD Clash during 12-Hour Bhubaneswar Bandh

Bhubaneswar: During the 12-Hour Bhubaneswar bandh called by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) unprecedented scenes were witnessed when Biju janata Dal (BJD) party workers took to streets on motorcycles in a rally and clashed with the BJP party workers at the station square in the city centre.

Police had to take resort to mild lathi charge and detained a few BJD workers for getting into confrontation with BJP workers. Moments later Bhubaneswar city Commissioner of Police YB Khurania was seen at the spot taking stock of the incident alongwith the city DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.

BJP had announced the bandh call a couple of days back demanding the resignation and probe against the alleged “sex tape” of Mayor Anant Narayan Jena and also his alleged role in the death of an engineering student.

bhubaneswar-bandh-dec-21-2016During the BJP workers were seen blocking the NH-16 and major roads of the city causing inconvenience to commuters and office goers. Main junctions at Khandagiri, Baramunda, Nalco square, Kalinga Hospital square, Vani Vihar, Ram temple square, Sriya Talkies square, station square experienced complete road blockade.

Police was forced to take the protestors into preventive custody from various places. No major untoward incident of violence was reported though a couple of stray incidents happened like setting fire to a vehicle and vandalising a few buses.

BJP leaders also alleged that the police sided with the BJD workers who clashed attacked them. Reacting to the bandh BJP’s Union Minister for petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan tweeted that “basic foundation in a democracy is all about respecting protests and protestors’ demand. But the act of ruling BJD during the hartal by BJP in Odisha goes against the ethics of democracy”.


Barring one incident of clash the Bhubaneswar bandh remained more or less peaceful till 5:20 pm in the evening till the report was filed.

Odisha: Government Gears up for Panchayat Polls

Bhubaneswar: In view to the upcoming panchayat polls early next year the State government on Wednesday issued a notification through the Panchayati Raj department informing all Zilla Parishads in the state to elect members of the Parishad. As per the notification of the Panchayati Raj department, it says “In pursuance of sub-rule (2) of rule-3 of the Odisha Zilla Parishad Election Rules,1994, the State government do hereby call upon the Parishad Constituencies of all the Zilla Parishads in the State to elect members of the parishad in accordance with the provision of the Odisha Zilla Parishad Act,1991 (Odisha Act 17 of 1991) and the rules made there under”.

The State government is also likely to issue a gazette notification in this regard on Friday following which the State Election Commission is expected to declare the dates of the panchayat polls.

India Retains No.1 Test Team Rank of 2016 after Test and Series Win against England

Mumbai: Indian Cricket team ended with a positive note in 2016 claiming the No. 1 rank in the ICC Test team ranking. After today’s win and 4-0 series victory against England in the 5-match series helped India gain five points and they have moved to 120 points in the last Test team rankings update of 2016, 15 points ahead of second-placed Australia.

England with 101 points, one point behind Pakistan and South Africa has dropped to 5th position.

The side at the top of the rankings on 1 April will receive $1 million. The second-placed side will be awarded $ 500,000 while the third and fourth placed sides will receive $ 200,000 and $ 100,000 each.

The ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 20 December, after the India v England series)

Rank Team Points
1 India 120 (+5)
2 Australia 105
3 Pakistan 102
4 South Africa 102
5 England 101 (-4)
6 New Zealand 96
7 Sri Lanka 96
8 West Indies 69
9 Bangladesh 65
10 Zimbabwe 05

Odisha: BJP Calls for a 12-Hour Bhubaneswar Bandh on Dec 21 over Mayor “Sex Scandal”

Bhubaneswar: The district unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has called for a 12-hour Bhubaneswar bandh on December 21 demanding a probe over Bhubaneswar Mayor, Anant Narayan Jena’s alleged “sex scandal” tape and alleged role in the mysterious death of an engineering student.

Addressing a press meet at the state BJP headquarters the Bhubaneswar district unit President Maheswar Khuntia said called on Wednesday it will be a dawn to dusk bandh. Essential services like hospitals, chemists and ambulance services will remain unaffected.

BJP Party Vice-President Sameer Mohanty also informed that a “chakka jam” programme was successfully organised on Monday across 103 out of 112 Notified Area Councils (NACs) and civic bodies for two hours.

Odisha: Encroachments a Menace for the Smart City Bhubaneswar

It is not possible for a chief minister of a state to keep track of what is happening in every nook and corner of the city he lives in. But if the officials of the local Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and also the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) don’t enforce the rules and laws; it ultimately benefits a handful of people but antagonises a majority of population. Now can the chief minister turn a blind eye to it?

For instance, the PWD, BMC and BDA take utmost care to repair and construct roads, drains and other infrastructure of areas developed by the government. Especially the localities which constitutes of government offices, quarters, bunglows, govt. allocated plots and housing schemes or the major roads of the city. They also keep these areas more or less encroachment free.

But when it comes to areas which are held by private individuals or developed by developers are the most neglected. For example localities in GGP Colony, Jharpada, Laxmisagar, VSS Nagar, Cuttack road, Buddheswari colony, Old town, Gandamunda, Khandagiri and many other places don’t get similar attention. The maps of road of these areas submitted or available with the BDA or BMC don’t match with the physical existence of the same. Roads have either shrunk or disappeared. Similarly drains and parks in such areas exist only in files but in reality such places have either been encroached by individuals or by groups of people and being put to commercial use to earn money out of it.

Every lane and by-lane in Bhubaneswar has one or more illegal encroachment. And such individuals who have encroached are either backed by a local political worker or the local municipal councillor. They use all the tricks to silence any resistance against the encroachment from the local residents. Such encroachments which go unreported have either blocked roads making it a dead end or blocked roads connecting to another road. All of this results in inconvenience to thousands of people residing in a particular locality. Blocking of roads and drains cause artificial flood during heavy rains but the authorities never bother.

Another major encroachment that can cause problems in the near future is the encroachment of the taladanda canal flowing through the city. Slums in form of pucca houses have come up on the bed of this canal which can cause man-made floods. At some places it is choked the reason being garbage dumping. One such canal bed encroachment is clearly visible near Jagannath Nagar which begins from the front of Jagannath Enclave in Jharpada area and stretches towards GGP colony.

Since the officials ignore encroachments or indulge in corrupt practices to overlook encroachments it will only complicate matters in future. Illegal construction of apartments and demolition order later has already put the government in a dock. Before things go out of hand BDA and BMC should identify all the lanes and by-lanes which have encroachments within the city. The BMC constructs roads in these localities but overlooks encroachments and this must stop. A further woe is that the government allows roads to be owned by private individuals or developers. This gives scope to individuals and developers sell off existing roads that can obstruct entry and exit to residential localities or individual plots of land.

To make matters worse the local councillors or political workers of whichever political party they belong to, fail to understand that helping one single encroachment can draw ire of hundreds. Even a popular UPA government was down to 44 seats in the parliament because of many wrongs they indulged in during their rule. Lessons need to be learnt from this burning example. Streamlining the system and enforcement of law strictly will hurt a few but will benefit thousands. And it needs to be done soon.

One should never forget old proverbs because they never go wrong “a stitch in time saves nine”.


Odisha Restricted to 152 runs by Jharkhand on Opening Day of Group-B Ranji Trophy

Bhubaneswar: Odisha was restricted to 152 runs on the opening day by Jharkhand in their last Group-B Ranji Trophy match at St Xavier’s College Ground in Trivandrum here on Thursday. In reply, Jharkhand were nine for no loss at the draw of stumps.

Earlier in the day Jharkhand won the toss and selected to field. Spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Sunny Gupta shared 7 wickets between them for Jharkhand. Odisha began the innings slow with Sandeep Patnaik and Ranjit Singh putting up 46 runs for the opening wicket. From 46 for no loss, Odisha was reduced to 48 for 4. Captain Govind Poddar, Abhishek Yadav and Subhranshu Senapati failed to open their accounts.

Though Patnaik and Biplab Samantray steadied the innings adding 36 runs for the fifth wicket, Odisha failed to recover due to fall of wickets at regular interval. At the end they could muster a 150-plus total with a 32-run crucial stand for the last wicket between vice-captain Basant Mohanty and Dhiraj Singh.

Opener Patnaik scored a valiant 43 off 173 balls, which included four boundaries. Left-arm spinner Nadeem was most successful Jharkhand bowler with four wickets for 31 runs, while off-spinner Gupta picked up three for three for 56.

With both the teams already through to the quarterfinals, this match is looked as a preparatory game for the bigger test ahead. But Odisha faltered on the opening day due to lack-lustre performance of their batsmen.


ODISHA (1st innings): Sandeep Pattanaik c Gupta b Nadeem 43, Ranjit Singh c S Kumar b Nadeem 20, Govinda Poddar c S Kumar b Nadeem 0, Abhishek Yadav (run out) 0, Subhransu Senapati c S Kumar b Vikash 0, Biplab Samantaray lbw S Gupta 19, Saurabh Rawat lbw S Gupta 11, Deepak Behera c Gupta b Nadeem 7, Suryakant Pradhan c Tiwary b Gupta 12, Basant Mohanty (not out) 17, Dhiraj Singh lbw Ajay 8; Extras (nb-4, b-8, lb-3) 15

Total (All out; 84 overs) 152

Fall of wickets: 1-46 (R Singh, 27.1 ov), 2-46 (Poddar, 27.3 ov), 3-47 (Yadav, 30.3 ov), 4-48 (Senapati, 32.5 ov), 5-84 (Samantaray, 50.3 ov), 6-94 (Pattanaik, 51.6 ov), 7-108 (Rawat, 56.6 ov), 8-120 (Behera, 59.1 ov), 9-120 (Pradhan, 60.1 ov), 10-152 (D Singh, 83.6 ov)

Bowling: Ajay 13-5-20-1, Vikash 16-4-21-1, Shahbaz Nadeem 26-14-31-4, Anand Singh 5-0-8-0, Sunny Gupta 22-8-56-3, Kaushal Singh 2-1-5-0

JHARKHAND (1st innings): Anand Singh (batting) 4, Sumit Kumar (batting) 5

Total (0 wicket; 4 overs) 9

Bowling: Basant Mohanty 2-0-8-0, Suryakant Pradhan 1-0-1-0, Dhiraj Singh 1-1-0-0


Odisha: Student’s Congress Wing Level Sex Scandal Charges against Bhubaneswar Mayor

Bhubaneswar: The Student’s Congress Wing levelled serious charges against Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Anant Narayan Jena by alleging his involvement in a sex scandal here on Thursday.

Student Congress student wing National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) State Unit President Itish Pradhan made the video available to the media and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.   He also alleged that the Mayor had a role behind mysterious death of Ashutosh Mohanty, a fourth year engineering student in May this year.

Bhubaneswar mayor Anant Narayan Jena speaking to various media establishments has refuted the allegations as maligned and baseless and motivated and he even denied that he is not the person in the video.



Odisha State Plan Expenditure in Current Fiscal Increases by 21%

Bhubaneswar: In a review of the fiscal performance of the State it was determined that Plan expenditure up to November, 2016 during the current fiscal has increased around 21% over the same period of the last fiscal.

It was revealed in a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A P Padhi and others attending the meeting include Special Secretary Finance and General Administration Ashok Meena, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries and Special Secretaries of all departments. While taking stock of of the progress the chief secretary asked to expedite implementation of the developmental projects during the current working season and complete those in scheduled time.

Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan advised to make more use of online litigation management system for quick and timely follow up of the cases in various courts. Departments were also advised to keep watch over implementation of the flagship programmes and ensure achievement of the targets fixed for the year.

According to sources, departments were also advised to keep watch over implementation of the flagship programmes and ensure achievement of the targets fixed for the year. Data suggest that the State plan expenditure up to November, 2016 has increased to the tune of Rs. 24,408.50 crores  against total expenditure of Rs.20,228 crore during the same period of the last year thereby showing an upward trend of around 21%.

The expenditure in agricultural sector has been around Rs 6,227 crores which is more than 56% of the budget estimate. The infrastructure spending has crossed Rs.6,706 crores which is around 59% of the budgeted amount. Similarly, the social sector spending up to November, 2016 has been to the tune of Rs.10,227 crores which is around 55% of the total estimate for the year. Beating the earlier situation of low revenue collection, the collection from own tax revenue up to November, 2016 has been around Rs13,597 crores against the total collection of Rs.13,519 crores during the same period of last financial year.

There has been increase in collection of revenue from tax on vehicles, goods & passengers, electricity duty, professional tax, excise, other taxes and duties. The Collection from non-tax sources has been around Rs.4,300 cr. The total collection from both the tax and non-tax sources has been around Rs.17,896 crores up to November, 2016 against the total collection of Rs.17,967 crores during the same period of last year.

Odisha State Government to Credit 100% Argi-Insurance Money to Farmers’ Account

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Secretary A P Padhi recently directed to Credit the entire argi-insurance money to the bank account of the farmers during a district wise review meeting through video conference here at the Bhubaneswar Secretariat. Padhi also wanted to ensure 100% disbursement maximum within 15 days.

Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan also advised the banks to open parallel savings accounts of the loanee farmers within 2 to 3 days and credit the insurance money to their savings account. Also attending the meeting Principal Secretary Cooperation Manoj Ahuja appraised that this insurance claim is being given against kharif crop loss of 2015.

Notably, around 11.61 lakh farmers will be benefitted from it. A total amount of Rs. around Rs. 1,776 crores will be distributed through their bank accounts. According to sources, till date around Rs.880 crores has already been credited to account of the farmers. Padhi also advised the Collectors to keep a close watch over the situation and ensure 100% disbursement of the compensation money to account of the famers.

He also directed the collectors to review the situation on a daily basis with commercial and cooperative banks and send the updated report to Principal Secretary Cooperation through a social media platform.

Further, Chief Secretary clarified that since the agricultural loan term is up to the month of March, no bank should adjust the insurance money against the loan of current year. The non-defaulter loanee farmers up to the last year should be disbursed 100% of the insurance money.

The Collectors were also asked to ensure 100% disbursement of drought assistance against Kharif-2015. Near about Rs.83 crores would be distributed to drought affected farmers in 24 districts at the rate of Rs.100/- per quintal of paddy.

Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra present in the meeting also appraised that the entire money will be sourced through Secretary Central Cooperative Bank. Collectors were directed to complete the disbursement of the amount within 3 to 4 days. The Principal Secretary Finance T K Pandey, Joint Director Planning Jayanta Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary Agriculture Monaj Kumar Ahuja, Principal Secretary Water Resources Pradeep Kumar Jena along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the review meeting.

Shami and Saha Ruled out of Chennai Test says BCCI

Mumbai: The BCCI medical team on Monday confirmed that Indian pacer Mohammed Shami and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha are ruled out of the fifth Test of the Paytm Test Series-2016 starting on December 16, 2016, against England in Chennai.

Shami has soreness in his right knee and has been advised rest and rehabilitation. He will be going to the National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru to start his recovery programme.

Saha who suffered a hamstring tendon injury in the second Test of the ongoing series against England at Vizag, is undergoing rehabilitation programme at the NCA.

195 Apartments to be Demolished in Bhubaneswar Informs Urban Development Minister

Bhubaneswar: In a written reply in the Odisha State Assembly Urban Development minister, Pushpendra Singhdeo on Friday informed that as many as 195 illegal apartments in State Capital Bhubaneswar will be demolished.

In the detailed reply the minister has informed that 1415 apartments and high rises have been approved by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) within the Bhubaneswar municipality area. He has further stated that out of these apartments, BDA has identified 583 apartments to have been constructed illegally and of them orders have been issued to demolish 195 such apartments.

England U-19 Cricket Team to Tour India in Jan 2017

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England Cricket Board on Friday announced the schedule for the upcoming Under-19 One-day and four-day series to be held in India in the months of January-February, 2017. India will host England for 5 one-day & 2 four-day games.

The schedule is as follows –  

Date Day Match Venue City
30-Jan-17 Mon 1st ODI Wankhede Stadium Mumbai
1-Feb-17 Wed 2nd ODI CCI Mumbai
3-Feb-17 Fri 3rd ODI CCI Mumbai
6-Feb-17 Mon 4th ODI Wankhede Stadium Mumbai
8-Feb-17 Wed 5th ODI Wankhede Stadium Mumbai
Feb 13-16 Mon to Thu 1st Test M A Chidambaram Chennai
Feb 21-24 Tue to Fri 2nd Test M A Chidambaram Chennai


OHRC Serves Notice to Sundargarh SP over Black Stoll Incident

Bhubaneswar: The Sundargarh district Superintendent of Police (SP) Nikhil Kanodia was issued notice by Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) on Thurday and a report was sought over the black stoll incident which not only led to an uproar in the assembly and across the State but also embarrassed the ruling State government.

Admitting the complaint filed a couple of mahila morcha activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) OHRC directed the SP to submit a report within 4 weeks.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday had informed the Legislative Assembly that he has ordered an enquiry into the incident.

Dhenkanal Rape Accused Arrested; Victim Shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital

Bhubaneswar: The accused of the gruesome rape incident which took place in Dhenkanal has been arrested by the local police on Thursday. According to sources police is questioning the accused Sibashis Mohanty, who also happens to be the lover of the young girl and was alleged by the victim of having raped her. The accused belongs to Gandia area of Dhenkanal district.

The shocking incident of rape was reported after some local people spotted a young girl lying semi-conscious in the forest near the Dhenkanal by-pass road. Police reached the scene rescued the girl after informed by the local people and admitted her in the Dhenkanal district headquarter hospital. The girl was in trauma since the rapist after committing rape had also brutally attacked the victim. The incident had taken place on Monday but the girl was discovered on Wednesday.

Later in the evening the girl was able to give a statement to the police and named the rapist as Sibashis Mohanty who also happened to be her lover.

In her statement the victim girl alleged that, “he called me to the forest around 4:30 PM on Monday. Then raped, attacked and dumped me there”.

She had also revealed that the accused belonged to Gondia area of Dhenkanal. Based on the information obtained by police, a manhunt was launched and the accused was nabbed today and furthering questioning is in progress.

In the meantime the victim has been shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack from the Dhenkanal on Thursday for better treatment.


State Government Undertakes Credit Rating of AMRUT Mission Cities in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Credit Rating process for the first time was carried out in the 9 Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities of Odisha to assess the creditworthiness and how to improve the status by overcoming the deficiencies so that a potential investor have confidence in making long term investment.

Since Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) plays a critical role in the delivery of social, economic and infrastructure services including public health, sanitation, water supply, and maintenance of road networks such credit rating processes have become necessary to eliminate deficit in the delivery of various services. The rapid pace of urbanization over the last few decades has led to an increasing pressure on ULBs to ensure adequacy of the above services. Considering the current level of urban infrastructure and sharp increase in urban population, the need for strengthening and augmenting urban infrastructure becomes critical and requiring a large amount of investment.

The population of more than 1 lakh was in consideration for the rating and 9 cities of Odisha which include Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Puri, Balasore, Baripada and Bhadrak were included under the AMRUT Mission which requires large amount of investment in infrastructure development. In order to raise the fund by issuing Municipal Bonds from the open market the Credit Rating process was initiated in these cities.

The Credit Rating of Urban Local Body (ULB) is a comprehensive tool for assessment of creditworthiness and reliability of its debt obligations and also allows the rated city to show potential investors to make long term investment.

According to sources, in order to determine the credit worthiness of the ULBs of AMRUT Mission Cities of Odisha, 2 Credit Rating agencies were engaged in all the 8 AMRUT cities. In package 1 for the cities Rourkela, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Puri, ICRA Limited was engaged as the credit rating agency while in Package-2 for the cities of Cuttack, Balasore, Baripada and Bhadrak, Brickwork Ratings India Private Limited was appointed Credit Rating agency.

Sources also revealed that the final Credit Rating report has already been received for 7 cities by the Government. As per the report received by the Housing & Urban Development Department rating for Rourkela Municipal Corporation is IrBB. Similarly the ratings of Sambalpur Municipal Corporation, Berhampur Municipal Corporation, Puri Municipality, Balesore Municipality, Baripada Municipality and Bhadrak Municipality are IrBB-, IrBB, IrB+, BWR B+, BWR B+, BWR B respectively.

Now necessary steps will be taken in the Urban Local Bodies level to improve the creditworthiness so that in long runs funds can be raised by issuing Municipal Bonds, sources added.

The final Credit Rating for Cuttack is expected to be submitted by the mid of December 2016. For selection of Credit Rating Process for Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation is in progress.

The Credit Rating of Bhubaneswar City was made under the JnNURM scheme in 2013, where the city rating was BBB as stated by Housing & Urban Development Department.

CM Expresses Shock over Stoll/”Odhani” Removal Incident in Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Legislative Assembly today faced unruly scenes over the issue of black stoll removing incident.

After the incident came to light the Opposition members have been demanding apology and statement from CM. Even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) women activists on December 6 staged a state-wide protest wearing black sarees.

Today, the BJP legislators obstructed the proceedings of the assembly by storming into the well of the house. BJP member Radharani Panda sought the Speaker’s permission to raise the issue was denied permission. As a result of which MLA Rabi Naik took to the podium and try to snatch the mic of the Speaker and subsequently the assembly proceedings was adjourned twice for 10 and 20 minutes, respectively.

Later CM Naveen Patnaik, who is also in charge of the home portfolio, expressed shock over the incident in the assembly and said, “I strongly share the concern of this august house on the issue of security personnel removing black ‘Odhani’ (Dupatta) of girls in a government programme in Sundergarh district on 4th of this month. When I came to know this incident, I was personally shocked. I called Home secretary and DGP and warned against such conduct which denigrates human dignity and warned against repetition. DGP has been asked to conduct an inquiry in to the matter and take appropriate action on the defaulting security personnel. Inspector General of Police, western Range, Rourkela is already enquiring the incident. My government is sensitive and fully committed towards empowerment and preserving the dignity of women. I am also against causing inconvenience to people while enforcing security protocol and had earlier directed police several times in this regard.”

ISRO’s PSLV-C36 Launches RESOURCESAT-2A Remote Sensing Satellite

New Delhi: ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C36) on its thirty-sixth flight successfully launched the 1,235 kg RESOURCESAT-2A Satellite today morning on December 07, 2016, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. This is the thirty seventh consecutively successful mission of PSLV.

The lift-off took place at 10:25 am IST from the First Launch Pad with the ignition of the first stage. Subsequently important flight events, namely, strap-on ignitions and separations, first stage separation, second stage ignition, payload fairing separation, second stage separation, third stage ignition and separation, fourth stage ignition and cut-off, took place as planned. After a flight of 17 minutes 05 seconds, the vehicle achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 824 km height inclined at an angle of 98.725 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and 47 seconds later, RESOURCESAT-2A was separated from the PSLV fourth stage.

According to ISRO, After separation, the two solar arrays of RESOURCESAT-2A deployed automatically and ISRO’s Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took over the control of the satellite. In the coming days, the satellite will be brought to its final operational configuration following which it will begin to provide imagery from its three cameras. The data sent by RESOURCESAT-2A will be useful for agricultural applications like crop area and crop production estimation, drought monitoring, soil mapping, cropping system analysis and farm advisories generation.

Like its predecessors RESOURCESAT-1 and 2, RESOURCESAT-2A has a unique 3-Tier imaging system with Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS), Linear Imaging Self Scanner-3 (LISS-3) and Linear Imaging Self Scanner-4 (LISS-4) cameras. The AWiFS provides images with a sampling of 56 metres, a swath of 740 km and a revisit of 5 days whereas the LISS-3 provides 23.5 metre sampled images with 141 km swath and a repitivity of 24 days. LISS-4 provides 5.8 metre sampled images with 70 km swath and a revisit of 5 days.

With today’s launch, the PSLV has yet again demonstrated its reliability. The total number of satellites launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV including today’s RESOURCESAT-2A has now reached 122, of which 43 are Indian and the remaining 79 are from abroad.


Winter Session of Odisha legislative Assembly Begins with Disruption

Bhubaneswar: The winter session of of Odisha Legislative Assembly began with disruptions from the main opposition Congress party. Noisy scenes were witnessed as the Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati with other Opposition legislators stormed to the well of the assembly demanding suspension of question hour.

Justifying the disruption the leader of the opposition Narasingh Mishra pointed out that there is a provision of suspension of question hour to discuss urgent matters like the death of children due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE). And matter of grave concern since over 100 children have died due to JE. And subsequently the house was suspended by the speaker due to the ruckus.

In the commotion after two adjournments on the first day Odisha Finance Minister (FM) Pradeep Amat presented the first Supplementary Budget for the current fiscal, 2016-17 in the Assembly. The Supplementary Budget estimate is pegged at Rs 6014 crore. The Supplementary Budget was approved by the cabinet on November 23.

According to the supplementary budget Rs 795.95 crore has been allocated for the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and a total of Rs 5150.94 crore was allocated for other projects.

Reports suggest Rs 2875.04 crore has been allocated for Infrastructural Development, Rs 300 crore for establishment of 33/11 KV electricity substations, Rs 200 crore for Biju Setu Yojana and Rs 40 crore for Mukhya Mantri Sadak Yojana. Similarly, Rs 150 crore has been allocated for Rural Water Supply project, Rs 438.40 crore for Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF), Rs 681.20 crore of Irrigation Development, Rs 210 crore for Barrage construction and Rs 250 crore for Mega Lift Irrigation Project. Further Rs 147 crore was allocated for Urban Development project, Rs 50 crore for Urban Water Supply Project, Rs 50 crore for Urban Sanitation, Rs 174.47 crore for social sector and Rs 50 crore for Mamata Yojana.

Tomorrow on Friday the assembly will remain closed due to the ongoing Make in Odisha conclave. The chief Whip of the ruling BJD party proposed that in the assembly that the lawmakers should attend the conclave so that they can educate the people about it. And it was unanimously decided by all members and the speaker of the assembly agreed to suspend the session to be held on Friday.

Toll Collection to Resume on National Highways from Midnight Dec 2

  • Old Rs 500 notes to be accepted till midnight of December 15, but only for purchase of FASTags and where toll fee exceeds Rs 200. 

  • Highway users being encouraged to carry adequate change , make use of electronic payment systems 

New Delhi: According to a press briefing by the union government the collection of toll at all Toll Plazas on National Highways across the country will resume from the midnight of 2nd December, 2016. The Government is taking several steps to ensure smooth movement of traffic along the highways.

All Toll Plazas have been equipped with adequate numbers of POS (Swipe machines) through which people can make payments using their credit or debit cards. Toll fee can also be paid through pre-paid instruments (electronic wallets)

In addition to the above electronic payment methods, the Government is also encouraging people to buy the RFID based FASTags introduced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to enable cashless payments at Toll Plazas. The FASTags can be stuck on to the windshield of the vehicle, and toll payments are made directly from the pre-paid account linked to it. Arrangements for sale of the FASTags are also being made at selected Toll Fee Plazas. The immediate use of FASTags will entail a 10 percent discount on the toll fee, in addition to faster movement through dedicated lanes at the Toll Plazas.

As for making cash payments, the highway users are being requested to carry adequate change with them to avoid delay. The old Rs 500 notes will be accepted till the midnight of December 15, but this will only be for purchasing FASTags and for making toll payments of more than Rs 200.

Officers and representatives of the National Highways Authority of India are being deployed at all Toll Plazas to ensure smooth operations. Their contact details will be displayed at the Toll Plazas.

Odisha: Hi-tech Group Properties to be Confiscated Orders State Government

Bhubaneswar: After the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch had seized the properties of the Hi-Tech Group and recommended confiscation, the Finance department of the Odisha State government on Wednesday ordered the confiscation of properties belonging to the Hi-Tech Group in connection with fraud committed in land deals.

Among the properties seized are the Hi-Tech group’s corporate office at Sahid Nagar, the medical and dental college which the group runs and acres of land that belong to the group in various places in Bhubaneswar. The group had already deposited Rs 63 crores at the Supreme Court which got the Hi-Tech group chairman released on bail. Today’s confiscation as sources reveal is valued at around Rs 100 crores.

Security Arrangements Reviewed Ahead of Winter Session of Odisha Legislative Assembly

Bhubaneswar: In view of the upcoming winter session of Odisha Legislative Assembly the Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh and Director (Intelligence) Sunil Roy on Wednesday reviewed the security arrangements. According to sources a three tier security arrangements have been put in place to avert any eventuality when the house will be in session.

To keep a stricter vigil around the assembly building adequate steps have been taken. Watch towers have been erected and police personnel in plains clothes will be deployed to keep an eye on protesters.

Odisha: BJD Holds Mahila Samavesh; CM Patnaik Promises to Strengthen Women Economically

Bhubaneswar: Four days after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held a “Jan Jagran Maha Samavesh” in Bhubaneswar, the Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government here today on Tuesday held a State-level ‘Mahila Samavesh’ under the Panchayati Raj Department to woo voters prior to the upcoming panchayat elections early next year.

Addressing the gathering Chief Minister Patnaik said the State government has decided to double the credit limit for self-help groups (SHGs) from Rs 500 crore to Rs 1000 crore from the current year. He also added that it will double the double the income of the women in the State.

The samavesh organised as a part of the ongoing Biju Patnaik Centenery celebration, Patnaik empahsised that development of women will help with the overall growth of society and equal participation of woman will facilitate in building the State. Patnaik also said mothers in our society are placed in high pedestal and their sacrifices remain unmatched.

Reacting to the announment made during “Mahila Samavesh” BJP on Tuesday attacked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik about enhancement of loan for SHGs. The party pointed out that the loan is provided by NABARD and Central Government.

Odisha: Preparatory Meeting Held for Jan 19 ODI at Barabati Stadium Cuttack

Bhubaneswar: A preparatory meeting for the upcoming One Day International (ODI) cricket match against England to be played on January 19, 2017 at Barabati Stadium was held at Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) office on Tuesday. RDC A. B. Otta chaired the meeting in presence of officials from the Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) and other senior functionaries of the district administration.

Talking to reporters after the meeting RDC A. B. Otta said spectators will be not allowed to take water bottles inside the Barabati Stadium premises during the ODI cricket match to be played on January 19, 2017.  He also informed that the spectators will be provided drinking water inside the stadium. The decision was taken keeping in view of the past disruption during a match between India and South Africa, added Otta.

According to sources, to tighten the security the organisers of the match have decided to hire private security guards apart from police personnel. Moreover, 132 CCTV cameras will be installed in the stadium to take care of all security measures.

OCA Secretary Ashirbad Behera informed that tickets for the match will be made available to different athletic organistions on January 14 and 15. While tickets for general public will be made available on January 16 and 17. It was further decided in the meeting that one person can buy two tickets only.

Odisha: Special Court Orders 5 years Sentence to Chit Fund Company MD

Bhubaneswar: In the first conviction of ongoing chit funds cases the Special Chit Fund court in Cuttack on Tuesday sentenced the Managing Director of Shirdi Sai Real Estate Private Limited chit fund company to 5 years jail term.

Prakash Chandra Panda, MD of the chit fund firm along with 5 years of jail and ordered him to pay Rs 3 lakh as fine.

Panda was arrested by Economic Affairs Wing (EOW) for duping investors money and case was registered and finally convicted by the Special Court.

Roadmap for Fire Safety Measures at Hospitals after Fire Broke out in SUM Hospital in Odisha

New Delhi: The Minister of State Health & Family Welfare, Faggan Singh Kulaste stated in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here on Tuesday that though health is a State subject and as such no such information is maintained centrally. However, there are news reports of some fire incidents in hospitals in various States.

However, this Ministry has taken note of recent fire incident in a private hospital in the State of Odisha, the Ministry has issued advisory to all State/UTs on October 21, 2016 and also circulated provisions on fire safety in the Unified Building Bye laws 2016, Delhi and National Building Code for guidance or reference.

As informed by National Accreditation Board for Hospital and Healthcare  (NABH), NABH accredited hospitals are required to fulfill fire safety measures as per the Government  rules and regulations.   NABH has also informed that as on November 25, 2016 only 510 hospitals are NABH accredited.

Details of Accredited hospitals as on November 25, 2016

Sl. No. Name of State Hospitals Small Health care organizations      (hospital<50 beds
1 Assam 2 0
2 Andhra Pradesh 60 4
3 Bihar 2 0
4 Chattisgarh 3 0
5 Delhi 50 17
6 Gujarat 33 7
7 Himachal Pradesh 1 0
8 Haryana 19 6
9 Jharkhand 3 1
10 Karnataka 35 9
11 Kerala 32 5
12 Madhya Pradesh 10 3
13 Maharashtra 50 10
14 Manipur 0 0
15 Meghalaya 0 0
16 Nagaland 1 0
17 Orissa 6 1
18 Punjab 30 7
19 Rajasthan 15 0
20 Srinagar 0 1
21 Tamil Nadu 31 10
22 Uttarakhand 2 0
23 Uttar Pradesh 27 4
24 West Bengal 13 0
Total 425 85

Odisha: Modern RFID Access Control System Introduced at Paradip Port

New Delhi: Paradip Port has taken a step forward with introduction of the modern Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Access Control System for controlling and tracking the entry and exit of vehicular as well as human traffic into and out of its prohibited area. The implementation of the system was done as per the directives of the Ministry of Shipping. With introduction of the RFID System with effect from September 26, 2016, the earlier. Paper Pass system for vehicles and the port users has been scrapped.

The implementation of the RFID system has contributed to improvement in productivity of Paradip Port due to smooth movement of traffic across the gates. Paradip Port is the first among all Major Ports to have successfully implemented the RFID Access Control System adding yet another distinction to its string of achievements.

The new RFID system is inherently accompanied with enhanced Maritime Security features. Faster and efficient movement of traffic across the gates leading to reduction in congestion, simplified online payment procedure, availability of real-time information on number of different types of vehicles, equipment, port user personnel inside the prohibited area, availability of entry and exit details of a particular person, vehicle inclusive of the gate no. instantly through which the traffic moved, are some of the added advantages of the new system. Retrieval of data pertaining to the entire period of time is also another advantage of the system.

The new RFID system is beneficial to the port users in that they can avail data related to their cargo inflow and outflow over any desired period of time. Besides, the system also keeps a record of the details of the vehicles along with the credentials of drivers & helpers which can be retrieved from the system at a later date for verification, reconciliation or investigation if required. Port users are facilitated with additional convenience of one more HEP (Harbour Entry Permit) Issue Section and more counters compared to the earlier system of two HEP Issue Sections.


Sisir Behera to Replace Soumya Sourav in Odisha U-19 Cricket Team

Cuttack: The Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) announced a replacement in the State U-19 Cricket team for the third round match the Cooch Behar Trophy Group-C league match to be played against Chhattisgarh from Nov 28 to Dec 1, 2016 at the Ravenshaw University Ground.

Sisir Behera will replace Soumya Sourav Kumar the squad of the Odisha U-19 team which lost their second-round match against Tamil Nadu earlier on November 17. Odisha had drawn their first-round match against Tripura, played at Agartala from November 5-8.


Satyajit Sabat (Captain), Raghunath Malla (Vice-captain), Amrit Khatua, Swastik Samal, Aakash Nayak (WK), Anurag Kanojia, Binit Mohanty, Sanjay Das, Umesh Yadav, Somen Chand, Krishna Palai, Mohammad Saha Arman, Girija Mishra(WK), Prashant Thakkar, Preetsingh Chohan, Nihar Ranjan Pattnaik, Mrutyunjay Sharma, Sisir Behera.

Manager: Tarini Prasad Das, Coach: Rashmi Ranjan Parida, Physio: Satyajit Dash, Trainer: Jagat Ranjan Das.

Injured Hardik Pandya Released from Indian Test Squad for Treatment

Mumbai: Prior to the fourth Test match of the Paytm Test series against England to be held in Mumbai from December 8, 2016 the BCCI medical team confirms that India all-rounder Hardik Pandya sustained a blow on his right shoulder during a training session in Mohali. He has been released from the Indian Test team and will consult a specialist to decide the future course of action.

Batsman KL Rahul is also released from the squad to recover from his left forearm injury. He is expected to regain his fitness for the fourth Test match against England to be held in Mumbai from December 8, 2016.

Odisha among 14 Coastal Economic Zone identified under Sagarmala

New Delhi: Odisha is among fourteen Coastal Economic Zones (CEZ) identified along the coastline of the country in the National Perspective Plan for the Sagarmala programme.

According to a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh L. Mandavia on Monday, these CEZs are aimed at promoting development of port-proximate industrial clusters. This will encourage port-led development and lead to reduction of logistics cost and time for movement of EXIM and domestic cargo and enhance the global competitiveness of Indian manufacturing sector. This will aid the ‘Make in India’ initiative and lead to employment generation.

Odisha is listed as CEZ-13 and ports of Paradeep and Dhamra have been identified for Petrochemicals, Marine processing.

“Raahgiri” Back in New Avatar as “Bhubaneswar Pathotsav”

Bhubaneswar: Come tomorrow on Sunday “Raahgiri” will be back in a new Avatar called “Bhubaneswar Pathotsav”. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena informed the media persons here on Saturday. According to Jena, “Bhubaneswar Pathotsav” will commence again on Janpath stretching from Ram Mandir to Master Canteen roundabout from 7 am to 10 am tomorrow on Sunday. He announced that as before cultural and fun activities will be organised and citizens are welcome to participate.

BMC is said to have made adequate arrangements for the day’s activities. Notably, BMC had decided to rename “Raahgiri” and sought a new name from the citizens between November 22 and 24.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro Passes Away at 90

New Delhi: Fidel Castro former Cuban leader died at the age of 90. Cuban President Raul Castro and brother of Fidel Castro announced the death of Fidel Castro.

Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for almost half a century before handing over the powers to his brother Raul in 2008.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his condolences to the Government and people of Cuba on the sad demise of Fidel Castro. The Prime minister in his message said we stand in support with the Cuban Government and people in this tragic hour. He tweeted, “I extend my deepest condolences to the Government & people of Cuba on the sad demise of Fidel Castro. May his soul rest in peace. We stand in support with the Cuban Government and people in this tragic hour.”

Union Government Forms SPV for Bullet Train Project

New Delhi: According to information given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Friday, a Special Purpose Vehicle, namely, National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRC) has been formed in February, 2016 to implement Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail corridor project.

The estimated cost of Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor is Rs 97,636 crore. Government of Japan has agreed to provide Japanese (Yen) loan upto 81% of the project cost at 0.1% per annum, to be repaid in 50 years with 15 years moratorium.

The target for commissioning the project is 2023-24. Work on scheduled activities such as appointment of General Consultant, Final Location Survey and training of officials has commenced.

The project has been sanctioned with 50% equity participation by Ministry of Railways and 25% each by the Governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Odisha: BJP President Amit Shah Slams BJD Govt at a Rally in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Amit Shah on Friday slammed the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in Odisha for failing to provide basic needs to the common man of the State. Speaking at a rally named Jan Jagran Maha Samavesh here in Bhubaneswar, Shah was critical of the BJD government by questioning what CM Naveen Patnaik has done in his 17 years rule for the development of Odisha?

Shah added, the government failed in overall development, even basic facility like drinking water for all has not yet been ensured by the state government. Lack of employment opportunities within the state has forced the youths of Odisha to go to other States in search of livelihood.”

The BJP President said that the NDA government has provided sufficient funds through various central government schemes to Odisha but the state government never let the schemes reach the common man, alleged Shah.


Prime Minister Modi Seeks Citizen View on Demonitisation

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday made an appeal through his twitter handle to the people of India to participate in a survey on Narendra Modi App and register their views on the step taken on demonitisation by the Government on 08th November.

Prime Minister Modi sought the view of the citizens on the recent decision taken by the Union Government regarding currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000.

In his tweet PM Modi said “I want your first-hand view on the decision taken regarding currency notes. Take part in the survey on the NM App. http://nm4.in/dnldapp

People can submit their views through a survey consisting of 10 questions, which is available through the Narendra Modi App.

The Prime Minister has sought answers on very pointed and direct aspects of the decision of 500 and 1000 rupee notes ceasing to be legal tender. He has also sought feedback from the people on how to make the implementation stronger. The Prime Minister’s core beliefs of direct engagement with people are yet again on full display in the survey. On air are some of the questions.

The ten questions in the Survey are:

  1. Do you think that black money exists in India a. Yes b. No
  1. Do you think the evil of corruption and black money needs to be fought and eliminated? a. Yes b. No
  2. Overall, what do you think about the Government’s moves to tackle black money?
  1. What do you think of the Modi Government’s efforts against corruption so far? Scale of 1 to 5 – outstanding, very good, good, ok, useless
  1. What do you think of the Modi Government’s move of banning old Rs 500 & Rs 1000 notes? a. Great move in the right direction b. Good move c. Will make no difference
  1. Do you think demonetisation will help in curbing black money, corruption & terrorism? a. It will have an immediate impact b. There will be impact in medium to long term c. Minimal impact d. Don’t know
  2. Demonetisation will bring real estate, higher education, healthcare in the common man’s reach a. Completely Agree b. Partially Agree c. Can’t say
  3. Did you mind the inconvenience faced in our fight to curb corruption, black money, terrorism and counterfeiting of currency. a. Not at all b. Somewhat, but it was worth it c. Yes
  4. Do you believe some anti-corruption activists are now actually fighting in support of black money, corruption & terrorism. a. Yes b. No
  5. Do you have any suggestions, ideas or insights you would like to share with PM Narendra Modi?

Odisha Govt Files a Petition on Formation of Tribunal over the Mahandi River Water Issue

New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi here in New Delhi on Monday. Talking to the reporters after the meeting he said that the state government has filed a complaint petition before the Ministry under Section 3 of Interstate River Dispute Act for formation of tribunal and direction to Chhattisgarh government to stop construction of ongoing projects on upper Mahanadi. He also added that he has taken up the Polavaram issue with the Prime Minister.

Among other issues CM Patnaik said to have discussed with PM Modi on the issue of demonetization. It was learnt that the CM has put forth a request to permit District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) to exchange and accept the specified bank notes. Also exempt tribal people living in the scheduled areas from submission of PAN to make deposits above Rs 50,000 in specified notes and allow women Self Help Groups (SHGs) to fully operate their bank accounts without any restrictions.

Chief Minister Patnaik is also said to have requested the Prime Minister to issue directives to Scheduled Commercial Banks to open Brick and Mortar Bank branches in all 4401 unbanked Gram Panchayats (GPs) of Odisha by March, 2019, ensure availability of at least 12-14 days of cash requirements with the bank branches in the state especially of Rs 100 and Rs 500 currency notes and start Mobile bank and temporary counters in rural areas to facilitate transactions in unbanked areas.

Among other demands the chief minister has asked the Prime Minister to restore the earlier annual adjustment process of releasing State’s Share in Central taxes for providing adequate liquidity to implement Centrally sponsored State Plan schemes.  And also requested for release of the balance capital cost of Rs 397 crore for the five new Medical Colleges and release of the balance Central Share of Rs 260 crore under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhijan (RUSA) with immediate effect.

India beat England by 246 runs, Up by 1-0 in 5 Match Series

Bhubaneswar: India beat England by 246 runs in the second cricket Test to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series in Visakhapatnam on Monday.

Brief Scores:

India: 455 & 204

England: 255 & 158 all out in 97.3 overs (Alastair Cook 54, Jonny Bairstow 34 not out; Jayant Yadav 3/30, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/52).

VP Hamid Ansari and Odisha CM Patnaik Release Books on Biju Patnaik on his Birth Centenary Celebrations at New Delhi

New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday presided over the meeting on the Birth Centenary Celebrations of legendary statesman and visionary leader Biju Patnaik in New Delhi. The Vice President of India, Dr. M. Hamid Ansari graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Among other dignitaries who attended the Centenary Celebrations include Justice A.K. Patnaik, Ministers of Odisha, Members of Parliament and Odisha Legislative Assembly and many eminent personalities.

On the occasion VP Ansari released a Book titled ‘Biju Babu as Legislator” by Ramakanta Das. Chief Minister released another Book titled “A Visionary Leader of the Century” published by Odisha Live.
In his address to a huge gathering Chief Minister Patnaik re-called the signal contribution made by Biju Babu in laying the foundation of Modern Odisha. He stated that Biju Babu was one of the most celebrated leaders of his time. He was an idol, a cherished icon for the people of Odisha. Starting his career as a pilot, he took part in the freedom movement, succeeded as an entrepreneur, then left everything to serve the people of Odisha. His only ambition was to take Odisha forward on the path of progress and modernisation.

CM Patnaik concluded his address by stating that Biju Babu is not only our inspiration…he is an idea in continuity. He symbolises for us Odia self esteem, empowerment and progress. He thanked the gathering for standing up to the ideals of Biju Babu and for displaying their enthusiasm in celebrating the Birth Centenary of Odisha’s legendary statesman and a visionary leader.

Bank branches and Post Offices in Rural Areas to Provide Rs 100 and Less denomination Notes

New Delhi: The Ministry of Finance today reviewed and has taken stock of the cash availability and issuance to members of public today. Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Indian Banks Association (IBA) and a few major banks participated in the review meeting.

According to the Finance ministry, a total of over 7 crore transactions have taken place from November 9 up to mid-day of November 12 for deposit, exchange of old notes and withdrawal from ATM and over the counter. Old notes of.Rs.500 and 1000 denominations amounting to about Rs. 2 lakh crores have been deposited to banks.

Out of 2 lakh ATMs, about 1.2 lakh are operational. Presently only Rs.100/- notes are being disbursed from the ATMs. Recalibration (requires both software and hardware changes) of ATMs is going on, which will be completed by end of this month/ early December. Other denominations will then be disbursed by ATMs.

The ministry informed that there is sufficient cash available with RBI and Banks. They were advised step up the supply of cash to the public.

The availability of cash and issuance of cash to bank branches and Post Offices on a daily basis is being constantly monitored and necessary rebalancing being done for more efficient allocation of banknotes of requisite denominations between different areas. To cater to the requirement of rural areas, Banks were advised to supply notes of smaller denominations (Rs. 100 and less) as well as Rs. 10 coins.

UPSC Main Examination to Start from Dec 3

New Delhi: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will be conducting Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2016 at 23 Centres from 03.12.2016 to 09.12.2016. The Commission has uploaded the e-Admit Cards on its website athttp://www.upsc.gov.in.

The commission has also informed that the candidates can download their e-Admit Cards and take a printout from the website. The candidates will also have to produce the printout of their e-Admit Cards at the allotted venue(s) for appearing in the examination.

In case the photograph is not visible or available on the e-Admit Cards, candidates are advised to carry identical photograph for each session along with proof of identity such as Aadhar Card, Voter Identity Card, Driving License, Passport etc. to the venue of the examination. No paper Admit Card will be issued for this examination by the Commission.


Odisha Legislative Assembly to Hold Winter Session from Dec 1 to 31

Bhubaneswar: According to a notification issued by the Assembly Secretariat after the formal approval of Governor SC Jamir the winter session of the Odisha Assembly would commence from December 1, 2016.

The session will have 24 working days.The supplementary budget would be placed in the House on the first day of the session on December 1. The winter session will conclude on December 31.

Sudarshan Pattanaik Sand Art Main Attraction at World Tourism Market in London

Bhubaneswar: To boost Odisha Tourism in the world market the State had participated in World Tourism Market held in London from Nov 7 to 9 to showcase and promote state’s tourism and attract more foreign tourists.

Union Minister, Tourism & Culture Mahesh Sharma inaugurated the Odisha Tourism stall in the presence of Ashok Chandra Panda, Odisha Tourism & Culture Minister along with other dignitaries.

India has been partner country as well as focus country in the World Tourism Market this year. So keeping that in view, Odisha Tourism took the opportunity to attract more tourists from Europe. Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarshan Pattanaik was the star attraction in the market. Odisha conducted B2B meetings, invited potential tour operators, agents, media houses and journalists to interact on state tourism products and destination sites.

The state showcased potential tourists sites such as World Heritage Site at Konark, Golden Triangle of Bhubaneswr-Puri-Konark, Buddhist Circuit, Bhitarkanika-Similipal and Chilika. Officials also held discussions to attract more tourists for various destinations beaches, tribal, religious and eco-tourism in the state.

Odisha CHSE Announces +2 Exams to begin from March 6

Bhubaneswar: The Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE)  to informed that the +2 examinations in the State will commence from March 6, 2017.

According to CHSE chairperson Prof Basudev Chhatoi, the practical examinations will be held from January 18 to 25 of the month, while the theory exams of the Arts, Science, Commerce and Vocational Education stream will begin from March 6 and end on March 28, 2017. The timings of the exams will be from 10 am to 1 pm on the schedule dates.

Government permits Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes on highway toll plazas till midnight of 11 Nov

New Delhi: The central government has permitted fee collectors at toll plazas on highways to accept currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denominations till the midnight of 11.11.2016.

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has issued instructions to all the concessionaries including BOT, OMT operators and other fee collection agencies in this regard.

The orders have been issued in order to avoid difficulties that may be faced by the highway users following instructions by the Ministry of Finance yesterday that currency notes of the denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 will no longer be legal tender from 12.00 am on Wednesday.

Odisha Congress Leader Lulu Mohapatra Passes away at 52

Bhubaneswar: Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra the firebrand Congress leader of Odisha also popularly known as Lulu Mohapatra breathed his last at 10.14 pm on Sunday night after a brief illness while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Gurgaon. He was 52.

As the news of his untimely death broke condolences for Mohapatra poured in from all political circles. Governor SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Speaker Nirankan Pujari expressed their condolences.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan after visiting the hospital paid his homage to Mohapatra and tweeted, “His passing away is a huge loss for Odisha political arena besides being a personal loss;my heartfelt condolences to the family”. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi expressing his condolence through the twitter account said, “Saddened by the untimely demise of sr Congress leader from Odisha Shri Lalatendu Mohapatra.My heartfelt condolences to his fmly &loved ones”.

Odisha State leader of opposition and veteran Congress leader Narasing Mishra, BJP State president Basant Panda, AICC general secretary in-charge of Odisha Congress BK Hariprasad, PCC president Prasad Harichandana also expressed their grief for the departed soul. Other Congress leaders Jayadev Jena, Bhakta Charan Das, Srikant Jena, Pradeep Majhi, Hemananda Biswal also expressed profound grief.

Lulu Mohapatra rose to fame as a student leader at the Buxi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar College in Bhubaneswar. His closeness with the former Chief Minister of Odisha JB Patnaik brought him to limelight and he successfully contested Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) and was an MLA from Brahmagiri in Puri district in the year 1995, 2000 and 2004.

Mohapatra was Student Congress State president and Youth Congress State president. He was working president of the PCC from 2009 to 2014.

The body of Mohapatra is likely to be brought to Bhubaneswar on Monday evening and later taken to his his native village in Puri district where the last rites will be performed.

SC Panda takes charge as Acting CEO of Prasar Bharati

New Delhi: India’s Public broadcaster Prasar Bharti acting CEO Suresh Chandra Panda who was Member Personnel, took charge of the office on Friday.

Panda said after assuming office, that implementing board’s decision and looking into grievance of promotion of workers will be his top most priority.

He said the decision of PB board relating to policies and programming are very important and to be given priority.

Panda is an IAS officer of 1981 batch of Assam Meghalaya cadre and retired as Special Secretary & Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Home Affairs on 28.02.2015.

A Post Graduate in Political Science from Utkal University, Odisha, M. Phil in Public Administration from Punjab University and MBA (Public Services) from University of Birmingham, U.K.

During his long and outstanding stint in public service, Shri Panda has handled many important Ministries/Departments and offices in Government of India as well as State Governments of Assam and Odisha. Before joining IAS, he was an IPS officer of 1978 batch of Uttar Pradesh Cadre, where for his exemplary services, he was decorated with President’s Medal.

Government of India Recognises BFI as National Sports Federation for Boxing

New Delhi: The Government of India has recognised Boxing Federation of India (BFI) as the National Sports Federation (NSF) for Boxing. The step will give a boost to the sport of boxing which suffered due to absence of an NSF in the discipline since 2012.

Notably BFI is a body formed recently, conducted its elections on 25th September, 2016. Earlier AIBA, the International Body for boxing, recognised the newly elected office bearers of BFI. The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports considered the election report and other documents submitted by BFI for grant of recognition as NSF for Boxing. After careful consideration, the government on Friday decided to grant recognition to BFI as NSF for boxing.

This will help Indian boxers prepare for 2020 Olympics with more national & international exposure, and training.

Odisha: Court Grants Bail to Manoj Nayak of SUM Hospital; ED Investigation Still Looms

Bhubaneswar: Manoj Nayak the owner of SUM Hospital was on Friday granted bail by the Khurdha Additional District Judge-II. Earlier Manoj was arrested in connection with the fire tragedy which claimed 29 lives and faced legal proceedings and was sent to jail. Nayak had sought bail after the two-day police remand ended on October 24 and the law enforcement department did not press for further custody.

According to sources the court today granted Nayak conditional bail on a surety bond of Rs 1 lakh and two guarantees. The bail order was reserved after the hearing of his plea ended on Thursday. He has been released from the Special Jail at Jharpada in the city on Friday evening.

Problems for Nayak is far from over since the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is yet to investigate the money laundering case against SUM hospital and Sikshya O Anusandhan Charitable Trust (SOA) charitable trust run by him. Sources say ED have sought details of financial transactions of the university and the hospital from 2005 to 2016.

Odisha: Five Die and 35 Injured as Bus Falls Off Bridge Near Angul

Bhubaneswar:  In a tragic accident five persons including a motorcyclist died and over 30 others were injured as a private bus travelling on NH-55 fell off a bridge near Tukuda around 20 Km from Angul.

According to sources the bus heading from Angul to Athmaillik met with the accident when a motorcyclist suddenly came in the front of the bus. The bus driver swerved to save the motorcyclist but unfortunately the bus hit the motorcycle and fell off the bridge killing the biker. Eyewitness account reveals that while the motorcyclist and a bus passenger died on the spot, two others died on the way to hospital and the fifth person died undergoing treatment in the hospital.

Both the local police and district administration rushed to the spot after the incident and shifted the injured to the Angul District Hospital for treatment. District Collector A K Samal informed that 36 injured patients were admitted at the district hospital but 18 seriously injured patients were later shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed grief and condolence over the incident. He has also announced Rs 2 Lakhs to the family of the bereaved and free treatment to the injured.

Preliminary inquiry has been initiated to ascertain the exact cause of accident.  According to the Transport minister Ramesh Majhi, the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Angul has been asked submit a report after conducting proper inquiry into the accident.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Holds Meeting to Review Cyclone Preparedness


Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday chaired a review meeting on the preparedness to handle eventuality arising from likelihood of cyclone Kyant hitting Odisha coast. The Chief Secretary, DGP, Director Regional Meteorological Department, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Secretaries of the departments of Revenue, Food, Energy, Agriculture & Rural Development, NDRF, Fire and ODRAF representatives were also present in the meeting.

Regional Director Meteorological department informed in the meeting that the deep depression has turned into cyclone ‘Kyant’, which is lying 715 km away off the Gopalpur coast of Odisha. And currently it is moving in north-west direction and is likely to reach west-central Bay of Bengal.

Chief Minister also interacted with the 14 Collectors likely to be affected districts via video conference and directed them to be on alert. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Mohapatra briefing the reporters after the meeting said, the official holidays stand cancelled and the government staff have been asked to remain in field on October 29 and 30 to keep a close watch on the situation. The Collectors have also been asked to take measures to keep the harvested crop covered as rain is expected under the influence of the cyclonic storm. He also informed that the meteorological department’s prediction suggests that the cyclone is moving towards Andhra Pradesh.

According to a cyclone update bulletin released by Indian Meteorological department, “the deep depression over east-central Bay of Bengal moved further west-northwestwards in past 03 hours, intensified into a cyclonic storm ‘KYANT’ and lay centred at 0830 hrs IST of 25 th October, 2016 over east-central Bay of Bengal, near Latitude 17.0º N and Longitude 91.2º E, about 620 km north-northwest of Port Blair, 710 km south-southeast of Gopalpur and 850 km east of Vishakhapatnam The system will move initially west-northwestwards and then west to west-southwestwards towards westcentral Bay of Bengal during next 72 hours.”

During this time squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is very likely to commence along and off Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh coasts from October 27 onwards. The fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea along and off Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh coasts from October 27 onwards.

Cyclone Likely to Hit Odisha Coast; CM Patnaik Calls Meeting on Oct 25 to Review Preparedness

Bhubaneswar: The Meteorological department at Bhubaneswar has confirmed that a cyclonic storm is likely to head towards Odisha coast within a couple of days. Sarat Chandra Sahu, Director, MET office Bhubaneswar said, the deep depression which is likely to take shape of a cyclone will have an impact on coastal Odisha on October 27 and 28.

In the bulletin released by IMD on October 24 says “The deep depression over east central Bay of Bengal slightly moved northwards and lay centred at 1130 hrs IST of 24 October, 2016 over east central Bay of Bengal, near Latitude 16.5º N and Longitude 93.2º E, about 540 km north-northeast of Port Blair and 320 km west-southwest of Yangon. The system is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours. It will move initially north-northwestwards and then northwestwards. It is very likely to reach northwest Bay of Bengal in the morning of 27. October, 2016”.

In a likelihood of the Cylone Kyant heading towards coastal Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to review the preparedness of the State to face any eventuality arising out of the cyclone hitting the coast.

In an advisory issued by Special Relief commissioner PK Mohapatra has asked the farmers to keep the harvested crops covered and also not to panic as it may not impact Odisha and is likely to move towards the coast of Bangladesh.

Mohapatra also said that the department is also in constant touch with the IMD, New Delhi for updates. And the district collectors of the coastal districts have been asked to remain alert to face any untoward situation. The fishermen have also been asked not to venture out in the sea.

Security Forces Gun Down 21 Naxals in Odisha and AP Joint Operation

Bhubaneswar: In the early hours on Monday at least 21 naxals including eight women were gunned down in a joint operation carried out by Odisha and Andhra Pradesh Police in Bejangi forest located between Ramgurha and Panasaputa in the of Malkangiri district of Odisha.

Informing the media persons about the operation today Odisha State Director General of Police, KB Singh said that Moaist leader Gajarla Ravi alias Uday carrying a cash reward of Rs 2 lakhs on his head also was killed in the operation. Singh also said, “Odisha Police team approached the spot from the Andhra Pradesh side as it would have been difficult for us to reach the cut-off area from the Odisha side”. He further added that the AP Police took a lead and put in place a special force “Greyhounds” which helped the Odisha police in successfully conducting the operation.

Among the items recovered after the operation were four AK-47 guns, 10 nos of 303 rifles, 2SLRs and a few Maoist kitbags were seized from the spot.

Notably, a joint team of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh police personnel were put into action in the Bejangi forest after a  tip-off which said of the presence of their leader Ramakrishna and at least 50-60 naxals in a Maoist camp about 10 Km into Malkangiri from the AP side.

BCCI Announces Fixture for Ind-Aus 2017 Test Series

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA) announced the schedule for the forthcoming Paytm Border-Gavaskar Trophy during the months of February-March 2017.

Australia will play a four-match Paytm Test series.
Here’s the complete schedule –

Match Date Venue
1st Test Feb 23-27 Pune
2nd Test Mar 04-08 Bengaluru
3rd Test Mar 16-20 Ranchi
4th Test Mar 25-29 Dharamsala

Odisha Health Minister Resigns Four Days after SUM Hospital Fire Tragedy

Bhubaneswar: The Health Minister of Odisha Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak today on Friday sent in his resignation to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. It is said to be a fall out after the fire tragedy which occurred in SUM hospital that claimed 25 lives.

After the incident there was a demand from various quarters for the resignation of the health minister. The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government was under tremendous criticism from the opposition parties, media, intellectual and members of the civil societies.

Later in the evening Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik confirmed about the development and informed the media that “Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak sent his resignation to me on moral grounds. I have accepted this and sent the letter to Governor,”

Reacting on the resignation issue of the opposition both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress (INC) claim that the resignation has come after demand from various quarters and it has nothing to do with moral grounds.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Invites Foreign Investors to Make in Odsiha Conclave

New Delhi: Odisha Chief Minister sounded optimistic of a “sizable investment” in the state after he met ambassadors of at least 20 countries. The meeting held at Jawahar Bhawan was inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and both Swaraj and Patnaik met the ambassadors of countries participating in the meet. The diplomats were apprised and invited by Patnaik to attend the Make in Odisha Conclave scheduled to be held in the State from November 30 to December 02.

Patnaik talking to reporters after extending the invitation to probable investors said “we are certainly hopeful that a sizable investment would be done in our State. Several ambassadors have agreed to attend the meet.”

According to sources, Odisha has prepared over 125 projects to be showcased at the upcoming conclave planned in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP). The conclave would showcase the policy and regulatory environment, investment opportunities across focus sectors and manufacturing prowess of the state. The Odisha government has lined up sector specific policy launches prior to the conclave aimed at attracting investments to the State, sources added.

Odisha Women’s Cricket Captain Madhusmita Selected to play in Women’s Challenger Trophy

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Women’s Cricket team captain Madhusmita Behera has been included in the Indian blue team for the upcoming Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy which is all set to start from the 22nd of October. The tournament will go on till the 25th of this month.

Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur will be leading the India Blue and India Red teams respectively. Following are the teams for the respective squads.

India Blue

Mithali Raj, Punam Raut Thirushkamini, Mona Meshram, Veda Krishnamurthy, Madhusmita Behera, Anuja Patil, Kavita Patil, Shikha Pandey, Mansi Joshi, Preeti Bose, Punam Yadav, Sushma Verma.

India Red

Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandana, S Meghana, Devika Vaidya, V R Vanitha, N Nirajana, Jhulan Goswami, Sukanya Parida, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Mandeep Kaur, D Hemlata, Kalpana R.

India Green

Dipti Sharma, Tanushree Sarkar, Jemimah Rodrigues, Manali Dakshine, E Padmaja, Radha Yadav, Prathyusha C, S I Gulia, Nazhat Parween, Disha Kasat, Anusha N, Yashi Pandey, Sanjula Naik.

SUM Hospital Owner Manoj Nayak Surrenders after Media Pressure & Prompt Police Action

Bhubaneswar: On Wednesday evening Bhubanewar City Police Commissioner YB Khurania issued a look out notice against Manoj Nayak and his wife Saswati Das, the trustees of the SUM Hospital where 21 patients died in a major fire mishap. Around 3:30 am early Thursday morning one of the main trustees Manoj Nayak surrendered at the Khandagiri police station. Succumbing to media pressure the state government was compelled to act and the prompt action taken by the police led to the surrender of Nayak.

Earlier in the day Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh informed to the mediapersons that the Joint Director of the Enforcement Directorate, Bhubaneswar had written a letter to investigate Nayak’s financial transactions for which a look out notice was issued against Nayak.

Later in the day talking to media persons Bhubaneswar Police Commissioner YB Khurania informed that police has registered case under Sections 304, 308, 285 and 34 of the IPC against Nayak. He added “Police is interrogating Manoj Nayak after his arrest. We will record the statements of all the trustees of the hospital soon.” It may be pointed out that the Saswati Das wife of Manoj Nayak who happens to be another trustee is still absconding.

According to Khurania, the Bhubaneswar police is still ascertaining the structure of the organisation in order to find out the role and involvement of others in the hospital management. He also added that documents seized will help them interrogate Nayak regarding the funding of  all Shiksha O’ Anusandhan (SOA) Charitable Trust controlled institutions. Commissioner Khurania also informed that investigation is at a preliminary stage and till now 5 arrests have been made in this connection but the numbers may increase as the investigation proceeds further.


Odisha Gets Sunil Mishra as New CIC

Bhubaneswar: After a lapse of two years the State government on Wednesday appointed Sunil Mishra as the new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Odisha. The Governor of Odisha S C Jamir today issued a formal notification in this regard.

Earlier in the month Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had presided over a meeting of the selection committee attended by other members including the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Arukha and Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra. Sunil Mishra’s name evolved as a consensus though the names of additional chief secretary in Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) UN Behera and retired chief secretary of Odisha SK Panda had come under active consideration.

Sunil Mishra is a retired IRS officer.

Suresh Raina to Miss Delhi ODI

Mumbai: According to the BCCI Medical team, Suresh Raina, who is recovering from a bout of viral fever and had missed the Dharamsala ODI, is ruled out of the second ODI of the Paytm ODI Trophy against New Zealand.

It also said the team management has allowed Suresh Raina more time to recover. There will be no replacement in the team.


Match Date Venue
2nd ODI 20-Oct Delhi
3rd ODI 23-Oct Mohali
4th ODI 26-Oct Ranchi
5th ODI 29-Oct Vizag



Odisha: SUM Hospital Fire; Inability to Act Against Illegality has become the Norm of the Day

Lessons have not been learnt after various fire tragedies in hospitals and cinema house that has taken lives of hundreds in the country. Latest being the most tragic incident which happened in Odisha state capital Bhubaneswar. SUM hospital located in the outskirts of the city was on fire which claimed 20 lives.

Unfortunately the fire started due to a short circuit on Monday evening at the dialysis ward and spread to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) located adjacent to the ward. Most unfortunate part of the incident is that all deaths occurred due to asphyxiation (suffocation). And post-mortem on the dead confirmed it. Eyewitness accounts claim that the deaths were due to negligence and delay in evacuation of the patients by the hospital authorities.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday night itself had ordered for an RDC enquiry and had rushed to the spot after the incident occurred but his office has maintained a stoic silence after ordering the enquiry. The Director General of Police (DGP) Fire Services, Binay Behera conducted a preliminary enquiry and submitted a report on Tuesday after which four arrests have been made so far in the incident. The report said to have cited lapses by hospital authorities. On the contrary the State health minister who should have be pro-active in dealing with the situation seems to have gone into hiding and it raises serious doubt in the minds of the ordinary citizen.

Though various lapses have been identified which resulted in the fire but the sense of urgency seems lacking of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government in handling the issue.

While Manoj Nayak the chairman of the trust which owns the hospital remains evasive the action of the government and the police department seems to be under scrutiny for the slow progress over the incident.

Intellectuals have started questioning over why no action of criminal negligence has been taken against the trust chairman Nayak? Even reports in the media have surfaced that a relative of the health minister of Odisha is an employee of one of the educational institution run by the trust. The National Human Rights Commission is said to have issued notice to the Odisha government in this matter.

Since enquiry report has thrown light that the hospital was running without a fire safety no objection certificate (NOC), many eyebrows are being raised as to how a medical college and hospital continues to run which doesn’t fulfill basic safety norms.

Health, education, city planning and crime — inability to act against illegality has become the norm of the day in Odisha.


PM Modi Expresses Anguish over Loss of Lives in SUM Hospital Fire in Odisha

New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep anguish over the loss of lives in the SUM hospital fire in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Prime Minister also assured all possible support from the Centre to the injured and affected. In a series of tweets he said,

“Deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the hospital fire in Odisha. The tragedy is mind-numbing. My thoughts are with bereaved families.

“Spoke to Minister J P Nadda and asked him to facilitate transfer of all those injured to AIIMS. Hope the injured recover quickly.”

“Also spoken to Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and asked him to ensure all possible help to the injured and affected.”

“Spoke to CM of Odisha Naveen Patnaik about the distressing hospital fire tragedy. Assured all possible support from the Centre”.

President of India Condoles Loss of Lives at SUM Hospital Bhubaneswar

New Delhi: The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee has written to Dr. S.C. Jamir, the Governor of Odisha condoling the loss of lives due to a massive fire at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

In his message, the President said “I am sad to learn about the unfortunate massive fire at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital in Bhubaneswar, in which a number of persons have lost their lives and many others are injured. I understand relief operations are currently underway. My thoughts and prayers are with the injured and the families who have lost their near and dear ones.

I call upon the State Government and other agencies to take necessary steps to provide all possible help to the bereaved families as well as medical assistance to the injured. I am sure authorities will also take necessary measures to investigate the cause of the incident and put in place necessary remedial measures.

Kindly convey my profound condolences to the families of the deceased. I wish speedy recovery to the injured persons”.

Odisha Beats Saurashtra in Group-B Ranji Trophy Match

In a Group-B second round match Odisha beat last season runners-up Saurashtra on the fourth and final day’s play at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. After the win Odisha gained six points in the points tally and over all have seven points after having played two matches.

Saurashtra in its second innings had set a 212 run target after adding 179 runs to their overnight score at 95 for five. Odisha fought back with opening batsman Sandeep Pattanaik scored his maiden first-class century in the first innings. Fast medium pacer Suryakant Pradhan bowled well and bagged overall 8 wicket haul for 106 runs in the match.

After winning the toss Saurahtra chose to field. Odisha taking the opportunity and with a useful knock of 123 by Pattanaik reached a respectable first-innings score of 228. Saurashtra in response managed to score 186 and conceded a lead of 42 runs. Basant Mohanty in the first innings took four wickets for 58 runs.

In the second innings a half-century by Subhranshu Senapati helped Odisha post another modest score of 169. Senapati hit nine boundaries in his 57 run score. Left-arm spinner Dhiraj Singh also made notable contribution for Odisha, taking five wickets in the match.

Odisha will play Delhi at Mohali from October 27 to 30.

Orissa Cricket Association has also awarded cash prize of Rs 50,000 to batsman Sandeep Pattnaik and medium pacer Suryakant Pradhan for their performance in the match.


Final Score Card:

First Innings

ODISHA (1st innings): Sandeep Pattnaik c Jackson b Jadeja 123 (213b, 22×4), Ranjit Singh lbw Jadeja 30, Govinda Poddar c Vyas b Jadeja 21, Anurag Sarangi lbw Jani 2, Subhranshu Senapati lbw Punia 4, Biplab Samantray c sub b Punia 0, Saurabh Rawat c Jogiyani b Sanandia 17, Deepak Behera c Jogiyani b Sanandia 0, Basant Mohanty (not out) 16, Suryakant Pradhan c Vasavada b Jani 11, Dhiraj Singh st Jogiyani b Jadeja 0; Extras (nb-4) 4

Total (All out; 80.5 overs) 228

Fall of wickets: 1-85 (Singh, 26.2 ov), 2-122 (Poddar, 46.1 ov), 3-135 (Sarangi, 51.1 ovs), 4-147 (Senapati, 55.2 ov), 5-147 (Samantray, 55.4 ov), 6-181 (Rawat, 69.1 ov), 7-181 (Behera, 69.2 ov), 8-201 (Pattanaik, 74.1 ov), 9-227 (Pradhan, 79.4 ov), 10-228 (Singh, 80.5 ov)

Bowling: Jaydev Unadkat 13-1-38-0, Shaurya Sanandia 15-4-44-2, Deepak Punia 13-5-36-2, Chirag Jani 16-4-43-2, D Jadeja 23.5-8-67-4

SAURASHTRA (1st innings): Mohsin Dodia c Rawat b Mohanty 3, Sagar Jogiyani b Pradhan 2, A Vasavada c Samantaray b Mohanty 2, Sheldon Jackson b Pradhan 0, Jaydev Shah c Poddar b D Singh 64, Samarth Vyas c Sarangi b Mohanty 11, Chirag Jani st Rawat b D Singh 45, Deepak Punia c Samantaray b Mohanty 18, Jaydev Unadkat c Pattanaik b D Singh 0, D Jadeja (not out) 28, Shaurya Sanandia c Rawat b Pradhan 4; Extras (nb-6, w-1, b-1, lb-1) 9

Total (All out; 67.3 overs) 186

Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Mohsin Dodia, 8.2 ov), 2-10 (Sagar Jogiyani, 11.3 ov), 3-10 (Sheldon Jackson, 11.4 ov), 4-12 (A V Vasavada, 12.3 ov), 5-38 (Samarth Vyas, 20.6 ov), 6-126 (Jaydev Shah, 45.6 ov), 7-151 (Chirag Jani, 57.1 ov), 8-151 (Jaydev Unadkat, 57.5 ov), 9-163 (Deepak Punia, 60.1 ov), 10-186 (Shaurya M Sanandia, 67.3 ov)

Bowling: Basant Mohanty 20-6-58-4, Suryakant Pradhan 19.3-5-37-3, Deepak Behera 8-1-23-0, Dhiraj Singh 14-4-47-3, Biplab Samantaray 3-0-9-0, Govinda Poddar 3-0-10-0

Second Innings

ODISHA (2nd Innings): S Pattanaik lbw Unadkat 8, R Singh lbw Unadkat 25, G Poddar c Jogiyani b Jani 13, A Sarangi c Vasavada b Jani 32, S Senapati b Punia 57 (101b, 9×4), B Samantaray c Vasavada b Punia 11, S Rawat lbw Punia 12, D Behera c (Sub) b Unadkat 0, B Mohanty (not out) 8, S Pradhan lbw Punia 0, D Singh b Punia 0; Extras (nb-3) 3

Total (All out; 64.4 overs) 169

Fall of wickets: 1-8 (S Pattanaik, 2.4 ov), 2-41 (G Poddar, 13.1 ov), 3-65 (R Singh, 27.4 ov), 4-113 (A Sarangi, 44.2 ov), 5-135 (B Samantaray, 56.5 ov), 6-154 (S Senapati, 60.6 ov), 7-155 (D Behera, 61.4 ov), 8-169 (S Rawat, 64.1 ov), 9-169 (S Pradhan, 64.2 ov), 10-169 (D Singh, 64.4 ov)

Bowling: J Unadkat 14-4-40-3, S Sanandia 10-4-24-0, D Punia 11.4-2-39-5, C Jani 14-5-30-2, D Jadeja 14-1-31-0, S Vyas 1-0-5-0

SAURASHTRA (2nd innings): M Dodia lbw Pradhan 5, S Jogiyani lbw Behera 68, S Vyas c Rawat b Pradhan 0, S Jackson c Sarangi b D Singh 43, J Shah b D Singh 0, D Jadeja (run out) 0, A Vasavada lbw Samantaray 45, C Jani b Pradhan 1, D Punia c Poddar b Pradhan 4, J Unadkat lbw Pradhan 0, S Sanandia (not out) 2;

Extras (nb-9, b-1, lb-1) 11

Total (All out; 101 overs) 179

Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Dodia, 4.2 ov), 2-6 (Vyas, 4.4 ov), 3-90 (Jackson, 41.4 ov), 4-90 (J Shah, 43.2 ov), 5-91 (D Jadeja, 46.5 ov), 6-156 (Jogiyani, 91.3 ov), 7-171 (Jani, 96.5 ov), 8-177 (Punia, 98.3 ov), 9-177 (Vasavada, 99.3 ov), 10-179 (Unadkat, 100.6 ov)

Bowling: S Pradhan 22-4-69-5, B Mohanty 23-11-34-0, D Behera 16-8-23-1, B Samantray 12-4-30-1, D Singh 19-8-17-2, G Poddar 9-5-4-0

CM’s Stoic Silence as Japanese Encephalitis Claims over 50 Lives in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in Malkangiri district in the State of Odisha has claimed more than 50 lives but the Chief Minister is yet to speak on the issue. Compared to the 2012 outbreak which had claimed 24 reported deaths this year the rise is number of deaths is alarming.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s silence suggests that the administration has not apprised him over the issue. While the Chief Minister is busy inaugurating projects and trying to showcase the achievements of his government prior to the panchayat polls and the lack of empathy of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government has raised many eyebrows among the intellectuals of the State.

Political observers feel that the Chief Minister’s action on his erring party colleagues has been too little over the past few years. May it be the discretionary quota in allotment of land to his cabinet colleagues issue or the Nabakalevara issue the Chief Minister has maintained a consistent silence. Health care, sanitation, higher education which is the basic necessity of the society is being overlooked and is crumbling by the passage of every single day.

Kautilya in his “Arthasastra” had mentioned “an ideal king is one who has the highest qualities of leadership, intellect, energy and personal attributes”. In a vibrant democracy like India, a State government elected by the people with a thumping majority expects the same from its Chief Minister. For over 15 long years the Biju Janata Dal has been in power in the State without a break. Expectations of delivery of basic health care at every nook and corner of the State should have been achieved in all these years but the ground reality is contrary.

Now the civil society has just one request, “Mr Chief Minister, please wake up from your deep slumber!”


PSLV-C35 successfully launches 8 satellites, including weather satellite SCATSAT-1

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successful launched the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C35. T he PSLV-C35 injected all 8 satellites into orbit successfully. It was a textbook launch and marked another milestone in ISRO’s history.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO and its scientists on successful launch of PSLV-35 and advanced weather satellite SCSAT-1 and 7 other co-passenger satellites. “Moment of immense joy & pride for India. Congratulations to ISRO on successful launch of PSLV-C35/SCATSAT-1 & 7 co-passenger satellites. Our space scientists keep scripting history. Their innovative zeal has touched the lives of 125 crore Indians & made India proud worldwide”, the Prime Minister said.

The MoS Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh also congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on the successful launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C35.

The PSLV, in its 37th flight, PSLV-C35, was launched from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota this morning, carrying onboard the 371 kg SCATSAT-1 satellite for weather related studies and seven co-passenger satellites together weighing about 304 kg at lift off. The co-passenger satellites were from Algeria, Canada and the USA as well as two satellites from Indian University/Academic Institute. The total weight of all the eight satellites carried onboard PSLV-C35 is about 675 kg.

Of the eight satellites carried by PSLV-C35, SCATSAT-1 is launched into a 730 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) inclined at an angle of 98.1 degree to the equator whereas the two Indian University/Academic Institute satellites and the five satellites from abroad were placed in a 689 km polar orbit of 98.21 degree inclination. This marks the first mission of PSLV in which payloads were launched into two different orbits. The PSLV-C35 also marked the 15th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration (with the use of solid strap-on motors).

Vigilance Department Raids Home and Office of Puri Jail Superintendent

Bhubaneswar: The Vigilance Department on Friday raided houses and office of Karna Prdhan the Puri Jail Superintendent on charges of amassing disproportionate assets.

Raids were conducted at various places including Pradhan’s office and quarter by a team of officials headed by Vigilance DSP. Searches were carried out at the Superindendent’s house at Nayapalli in Bhubaneswar and also his ancestral home at Konark.

Cuttack Railway Station to Provide Free Wi-FI Service during Pujas

Bhubaneswar: The General Manager, East Coast Railway (ECoR) Unemsh Singh announced on his visit to Cuttack railway station on Thursday that ECoR will provide Free Wi-Fi services at Cuttack railway station during the Durga puja festival.

Wi-Fi services at various railway stations across the country have been a digital India initiative by the Indian railways and ECoR will introduce the service in Cuttack during the Durga Puja and Dussehra festival.

According to a statement released by ECoR, Cuttack railway station will now gain the distinguished status of having high-speed internet facility in the country for its thousands of passengers who travel everyday by trains. RailWire Wi-Fi will be available to any user who has a working mobile connection on a smart phone or on any laptop device, it added.

Meanwhile, construction work for provision of Lift at Platform No. 1 and 2is in progress and is likely to completed soon. It will help the senior citizens and divyang passengers a lot.

Similarly, escalators will be introduced at the Cuttack station after completion of the ongoing developmental works.

National Conference on Labour Welfare Begins in Bhubaneswar on Sep 20

Bhubaneswar: The two-day national conference on labour welfare was kick started here in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the meet in presence of Union Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya. The conference is organised by State government in association with International Labour Organization (ILO).

Labour Ministers of all the States, Secretaries, Labour Commissioners, Chairpersons of Labour Boards will participate in the discussions.  Several Issues on skill development of labour forces, child labour prohibition and steps to be taken in the light of new Child Labour Act will be discussed in the sessions to be held in two days.

Others present during the inaugural session were Union Labour and Employment Secretary Shankar Aggarwal, Odisha State Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, ILO India Director Panudda Boonpal.

India Successfully Test Fires Barak-8 Surface-To-Air Missile Jointly Developed with Israel

Bhubaneswar: India today successfully test fired long range Barak-8 surface-to-air missile jointly developed with Israel from a mobile launcher at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur near Balasore at around 10:13 hours.

According to a DRDO official, the trial was successful and some other tests are expected to be conducted shortly.

Earlier in the year between June 30 and July 1, 2016 three consecutive test fires were conducted by DRDO at Chandipur.

Odisha: Gymnast & Rio Olympian Dipa Karmakar in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The gymnastic sensation of India Dipa Karmakar who has made the country proud after her participation in Rio Olympics 2016 has arrived here in Bhubaneswar City on Friday. Dipa is supposed to be a part of a sports function organised by Odisha Sports Journalists Association.

Earlier Karmakar, who hails from Tripura, was given a warm welcome on her arrival at the Biju patnaik International Airport. According to sources, the sports journalists association in collaboration with KIIT and KISS is holding the 39th National Convention in the city and Dipa has been invited as a guest to attend the function.

Odisha Govt. Appoints New Finance Secretary

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government through a notification on Friday assigned T K Pande with the job of the new State Finance Secretary on his return from central deputation. Pande a 1987 batch IAS officer and will assume charge of the department soon.

In other changes ,Vishal Dev a 1996 batch officer, holding the post of Secretary Women and Child Development department has been given the additional charge of Sports and Youth Affairs department.

Likewise, Surendra Kumar a 1993 batch officer currently holding the post of Secretary SC&ST and OBC development department has also been given charge of I&PR department, the notification said.

Union Sports Ministry to Launch Talent Identification Portal

New Delhi: The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Vijay Goel has decided to start a Talent Search Portal under the Department of Sports. The portal is intended to give a fair opportunity to talented children from every nook and corner of the country to pursue their dreams of achieving excellence in sports.

Details of the performance and potential of a child including video and photographs could be uploaded on the portal by children, their parents, relatives, teachers and others on the portal. A format will be available on the portal to capture the key details of the child. After due scrutiny, children with potential will be given an opportunity to appear for a battery of tests which could be conducted at the nearest SAI Centre among others. Those who pass the battery of tests will be admitted to the training centres of SAI. Sports Ministry will also persuade the State Governments and others to admit some of such children in their centres. Such talented children who are not able to leave their current places of residence for any reason may be offered a scholarship to help them pursue excellence in sports.

The portal will allow talented children to stake their claim for support including admission to sports training centres from the comforts of their homes and will simplify procedures. It will be particularly beneficial to the disadvantaged sections of the society.

The plan is to target talented children of 8 years and above. Efforts will be made to involve National Sports Federations, corporate houses and other stake-holders in the programme. The portal is likely to be launched within a month.

BJP Workers Hurl Eggs at Odisha Agri Minister Maharthy in Bolangir

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy faced an embarrassing situation when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists waved black flags and hurled eggs at the vehicle he was travelling in Bolangir.

According to eyewitness account, the incident seemed to have taken place as the minister at Rugudipara crossing and Bhagirathi square in the town.

Local police is said to have made 4 arrests all of them happen to be BJP party workers. Later the BJP party workers staged a protest in front of the Town Police station.

Section 144 Continues in Soro as Remaining Six Ganesh Idols are Immersed on Wednesday

Bhubaneswar: Curfew in Soro Subdivision in Balasore district of Odisha still continues after witnessing unrest following a group clash during Ganesh idol immersion. Today the remaining six idols, which could not be immersed on Monday due to group clashes, were taken out in a procession amid tight security for immersion.

The Subdivision has witnessed unrest after violence between two communities broke out during the immersion procession on September 9. Around seven people were injured in the clash.

The district administration clamped section 144 under CrPC as situation deteriorated due to incidents of violence and arson.

Puri Police Begins Process to Confiscate Properties of Absconding Servitors

Bhubaneswar: The time frame to surrender before the Puri police by absconding servitors wanted in connection of creating ruckus during the Niladri Bije ritual of Lord Jagannath this year has come to an end on September 12.

According to sources, the police has already begun the process to confiscate properties of Damodar Mahasuar, Jayakrushna Mahasuar, Saina Khuntia, Bhimshen Palankdhari and Ipsit Pratihari. Puri Addl. SP Jagannath Pradhan informed that the District Superintendent of Police has already written a letter to various authorities seeking details of moveable and immovable assets of the absconding servitors. Pradhan also said after receiving the details the department will move to the court seeking orders to attach the properties of the absconders.

Odisha CM Holds Consultation before Tripartite Meeting on Mahanadi Barrage Issue at New Delhi on Sep 17

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik chaired the preparatory meeting ahead of the tripartite meeting to be held on Sep 17 regarding the barrage construction issue by Chhattisgarh Government on River Mahanadi. The meeting was also attended by state ministers Debi Mishra, Bikram Keshari Arukh, Usha Devi and Bijayshree Routray along with the State chief secretary and other officials.

After the meeting Chief Minister informed that the Government is fully prepared for the meeting to be held in New Delhi on September 17. He informed that discussion was held on all perspectives in the meeting. Patnaik also added, “I welcome suggestions from intellectuals, social organisations and political parties on the issue”.

In the meantime on Sunday the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) constituted fact finding team on the Mahanadi issue led by Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya submitted a report to CM Patnaik after having visited Chhattisgarh and making a ground survey of projects in upper Mahanadi region.

Odisha has blamed the Chhattisgarh government of unilaterally constructing barrages on the upstream of River Mahanadi causing decline in the flow of its water to the State.

As a result the tripartite meeting is scheduled to be held between Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti to sort out the issues.

This meeting was scheduled after a BJP delegation from Odisha led by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti in New Delhi. Following the meeting Union Water Resources Minister had decided to invite the Chief Ministers both States to Delhi for a meeting on any date between September 10 and September 20 to sort out the dispute mutually.

Odisha: Police Arrests Bus Driver of Fatal Bus Accident at Athamallick in Angul District

Bhubaneswar: The absconding driver of the bus that met with a fatal accident which took 19 lives near Athamallick in Angul district has been arrested on Sunday. Birendra Behera the driver of the ill-fated bus was arrested by police from near the Athamallick College. He was produced at a local court in Athamallick and then sent to jail custody on Monday morning.

Talking to media persons the Addl. SP Pradip Mishra of Angul said, the absconding driver was apprehended by a special team while he was on his way towards Sambalpur from Athamallick. He also said that the driver has confessed to talking over mobile phone while driving the bus.

Earlier on September 9, nineteen people were killed and 30 others injured when the private bus coming from Boudh towards Athamallick fell off a bridge near old Mantiri allegedly due to careless driving by the driver.

Odisha: 20 People Dead as Bus Falls off Bridge in Angul District

Bhubaneswar: In a major mishap around 20 people lost their lives and several others were injured when a private bus carrying passengers plunged 50 feet below off Manitri Bridge in Angul district here on Friday morning. Preliminary reports suggest that the injured were immediately rushed to local hospitals at Athmallik and Angul for emergency treatment. The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained.

According to DG Police K B Singh, the mishap took place near Deulijhari when the bus coming from Boudh to Athamallik fell from a bridge at Puruna Manitri. Around 16 persons, including four women, were killed, 30 others sustained serious injuries in the accident, Singh added.

According to sources, a helicopter has been sent to Angul to shift eight critically injured passengers to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. The death toll is likely to increase as the injured are being treated at various near by hospitals.

Expressing deep condolence over the accident Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the local administration to take necessary steps. The District Collector of Angul and Superintendent of Police supervised the rescue operation. CM Patnaik has said the State Government would bear all expenses for treatment of the injured. He has also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakhs each to the kin of the passengers who died in the accident.

ISRO Launched Advanced Weather Satellite INSAT-3DR

New Delhi: On Thursday at 4:40 pm ISRO successfully launched the advanced weather satellite INSAT-3DR; ISRO’s GSLVF05 carrying INSAT-3DR from Sriharikota.

INSAT-3DR has an advanced imager, a sounder and transponders for data relay and search and rescue missions. It will maintain continuity in the weather forecasting related services of its predecessors and a variety of other meteorological functions. Its operational life is planned to be ten years.

According to ISRO, the satellite has the ability to provide information on estimated rainfall, sea and land surface temperature, snow cover and cloud movement from a height of 36000 kilometre several times a day covering entire landmass of India and its neighbourhood including remote and uninhabited areas.

Hirakud Releases Flood Waters for Second Time this Monsoon Season

Bhubaneswar: As a result of rise in water level in the Hirakud dam reservoir due to heavy rains in the upper catchment areas, two sluice gates were opened on September 7 to release excess water of the dam.

Very heavy rainfall at the upper catchment area of Mahanadi River in Chhattisgarh due to low pressure pushed the water levels up in the reservoir overnight which led to the release of water. According to the officials at the dam, they have opened two gates and after reviewing the situation a decision will be taken whether or not to open more gates.

Around 63,985 cusecs of water entered the reservoir while 23,332 cusecs water was released through spillways, the official added.

Earlier in the last month to be specific on August 5, the dam had released its first flood waters. The dam released 2,75,993 cusecs of water through 17 sluice gates on August 18. As the water level began to fall all gates of the dam were closed on August 22.

Indian Contingent Ready to Participate in the Opening Ceremony of Rio Paralympics, 2016

New Delhi: After some section of media reported that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has raised serious issues about the kit of the Indian contingent the ministry sought clarification from the Chef-de-Mission of the Indian contingent over the issue.

Today the government and the sports ministry has clarified that Chef-de-Mission of the Indian contingent in Rio has informed that inspection of uniforms/kits of the participating countries is a routine affair in such mega events. This was done in the case of Paralympics, 2016 as well.

After the inspection, IPC made some suggestions to India as well as many other countries. The issues raised in respect of the ceremonial kit of the Indian Contingent have since been resolved. Necessary corrections have been made which have been duly approved by IPC. The Chef-de-Mission has reported that the Indian contingent is ready to participate in the opening ceremony to be held on September 7 with full enthusiasm.

Malla Scores Ton against HP at the All-India U-19 Dhruv Pandove Trophy

Bhubaneswar: A ton by Odisha opening batsman Rathunath Malla and a half-century by Aakash Nayak helped Odisha reach a respectable total of 250 in the first innings on the opening day of their third and last Pool-A league match of the 6th All-India U-19 Dhruv Pandove Trophy Cricket Tournament at Sector-16 Cricket Stadium in Chandigarh today.

Odisha elected to bat and an opening partnership of 74 runs between Swastik Samal and Rathunath Malla helped the team to lay the foundation. Malla consolidated his innings and managed to get 102 runs in his second-wicket stand with Aakash Nayak. But after consolidating the position at 198 for three, Odisha lost wickets in regular intervals and was restricted to a total of 250. Malla hit 14 boundaries in his 278-ball knock of 107 and remained not out, while Nayak slammed 56 (106 balls) with the help of eight fours. Defending a total of 250, Himachal Pradesh were 23 for no loss when stumps were drawn for the day.


ODISHA U-19 (1st Innings): Swastik Samal lbw Walia 27, Rathunath Malla (not out) 107 (278b, 14×4), Aakash Nayak b S Thakur 56 (106b, 8×4), Anurag Kanojia c D Singh b S Thakur 0, Nishikanta Rout lbw R Thakur 3, Saurabh Rawat c&b Negi 25, Partha Sarathi Nayak b R Thakur 3, Suryakanta Samal lbw J Thakur 0, Harshit Rathod c A Thakur b D Singh 5, Ayaskanta Sahoo (run out) 2, Umesh Yadav c A Thakur b Negi 0; Extras (b-4, lb-5, w-7, nb-6) 22

Total (All out; 88.4 overs) 250

Fall of wickets: 1-74 (S Samal, 25.6 ovs), 2-186 (A Nayak, 61.6 ovs), 3-186 (A Kanojia, 63.2 ovs), 4-198 (N Rout, 69.1 ovs), 5-233 (S Rawat, 80.1 ovs), 6-236 (P Nayak, 81.1 ovs), 7-236 (Suryakanta Samal, 81.2 ovs), 8-243 (H Rathod, 84.6 ovs), 9-249 (A Sahoo, 87.4 ovs), 10-250 (U Yadav, 88.4 ovs)

Bowling: Jashodhan Thakur 11.5-3-31-3, Rahul Thakur 15.1-4-59-2, Anshul Thakur 15-4-44-0, Apoorv Walia 20-7-40-1, Amandeep Negi 9.4-1-23-2, Digvijay Singh 17-5-44-1

HIMACHAL U-19 (1st Innings): Arshlan Khan (batting) 21, Digvijay Singh (batting) 1; Extras (nb-1) 1

Total (0 wkt, 9 ovsrs) 23

Bharat Bandh Called By Trade Unions Affects Normal Life in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Normal life took a hit in Odisha here on Friday after a dawn-to-dusk Bharat Bandh was called by 10 Trade Unions including INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, UTUC and LPF. Activists belonging to different trade unions were seen blocking roads, picketing and halting trains at various places across the State.

Transportation came to a standstill as buses, trucks and three wheelers remained off the roads almost the entire day. Rail was blocked at various places including Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur and Balasore railway stations.

In the state capital Bhubaneswar NH16 was blocked by protesters. Offices of the Indian railways, PSUs and other organisations were also shut down. Colleges, schools, shops and business establishments remained closed.

The effect of Bharat Bandh was also seen at the state secretariat as the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reached the State Secretariat around 11 am amid tight security. Since traffic was paralysed ministers and bureaucrats were seen arriving at the Secretariat on motor bikes and three wheelers.

Stung by a Sting Operation, 4 BJD MLAs Lodge FIR

4 BJD MLAs - Copy

Bhubaneswar: Mired in a bribery controversy four Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLAs have lodged an FIR here in a local police station in Bhubaneswar against a person who pretended to be an industrialist and recorded the sting operation.

The four BJD MLAs Bhawanipatna MLA Anam Nayak , Chhendipada MLA Susant Kumar Behera, Hindol MLA Seemarani Nayak and Karanjia MLA Bijay Kumar Nayak caught on camera alleged in the FIR that it was a set up and a person who claimed to be a representative of an industrial house invited all 4 of them to a meeting.

Accrding to sources, the MLAs in their FIR are said to have alleged that the person had blackmailed and tried to extort money; failing to give him money he released the tape to a local TV channel in order to tarnish the image of the legislators.

In a counter move the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is said to have filed an FIR against the four tainted MLAs demanding action them.

Director Vigilance, Dr R P Sharma has informed the media person on Wednesday that he has ordered a forensic test to verify the authenticity of the tape. He has also constituted 5 investigation teams to probe into the matter.

Odisha Legislative Assembly Ratifies GST Bill; 16th State to do so

Bhubaneswar: A special sitting of Odisha State Legislative Assembly was held here on Thursday to ratify the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST), 2016, which was passed by the parliament in the month of August during the monsoon session.

Today, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik moved a resolution on ratification of the GST bill and was passed unanimously after discussion. CM Patnaik thanked all parties for extending their support in passing the bill in the assembly.

BJD MLAs Caught on Sting Operation Seeking Bribe; Odisha CM Patnaik Orders Vigilance Probe

Bhubaneswar: A vigilance probe was ordered by Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday after 4 Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLAs were caught in a sting operation conducted by a local TV news channel. The MLAs were seen seeking bribe from people posing as industrialists and also help them get no objection certificates and set up industries in their constituencies.

The four BJD MLAs caught on camera are Bhawanipatna MLA Anam Nayak , Chhendipada MLA Susant Kumar Behera, Hindol MLA Seemarani Nayak and Karanjia MLA Bijay Kumar Nayak.

CM Patnaik said to media persons that “I have ordered a Vigilance inquiry into the entire matter. Let’s await its results”. Confirming to have received a probe order from the government Vigilance Director Dr R. P. Sharma said a meeting will be held today to work out the modalities of the investigation and also constituting an investigation team.

Parlakhemundi MLA Moves HC for Anticipatory Bail over Suicides

Bhubaneswar: As the mystery over the suicide by siblings in Parlakhemundi deepens, the local MLA Suriya Rao has moved the Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail on Monday. According to sources he has moved court apprehending arrest as he has been named in the suicide notes of former Paralakhemundi palace manager Anang Majari Patra and her three siblings.

The move also came after a complaint with the police has been lodged by Amulya Patra a brother of Anang Majari Patra against the local MLA, other local politicians and a TV channel.

Three NIFT Students Drown in Mahanadi River

Bhubaneswar: In a tragic incident 3 students of NIFT Bhubaneswar have drowned while taking bath in Mahanadi River at Gadagadia Ghat in Cuttack city on Tuesday afternoon. The bodies have been identified as those of Srusti Pal, Sandeep Kumar and Pritam Priyadarshi students of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) in Bhubaneswar.

According to sources, four students of NIFT, two from third year class and two from fourth year class had gone on a trip to Cuttack and decided to take bath at the Gadagadia Ghat. While the four were bathing one student came out to the river bank while the three slipped into deep water and were swept away. Locals present tried to rescue the students but it was not possible.

Later a joint rescue operation was conducted by fire brigade personnel and ODRAF team to rescue them. After an hour-long search operation, the bodies of the three students were recovered. One of the students was found dead but the other two were rushed to SCB Medical College and Hospital where the doctors pronounced them ‘brought dead’. The deceased students hail from Kolkata, Ranchi and Delhi, sources added.

CM Naveen Patnaik Conferred Biju Patnaik Sports Award

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a function here on Monday gave away the Biju Patnaik Sports Award.

Purnima Hembram received the Biju Patnaik Sports Award, while Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) Secretary Ashirbad Behera was awarded the best Sports Organiser Award. P Dharma Rao was awarded the Best Coach Award.

CM Patnaik also felicitated the six Rio Olympics participants from Odisha. Among them were sprinters Srabani Nanda, Dutee Chand and four hockey players Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Sunita Lakra.

ISRO Successfully Tests Flight of Scramjet Engine Technology Demonstrator

Bhubaneswar: The first experimental mission of ISRO’s Scramjet Engine towards the realisation of an Air Breathing Propulsion System was successfully conducted today on August 28, 2016 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated through his tweet “Successful testing of scramjet rocket engine is a testimony to the hardwork & excellence of our scientists. Congratulations to @isro.”

According to ISRO,  after a smooth countdown of 12 hours, the solid rocket booster carrying the Scramjet Engines, lifted off at 0600 hrs (6:00 am) IST.  The important flight events, namely, burn out of booster rocket stage, ignition of second stage solid rocket, functioning of Scramjet engines for 5 seconds followed by burn out of the second stage took place exactly as planned. After a flight of about 300 seconds, the vehicle touched down in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 320 km from Sriharikota. The vehicle was successfully tracked during its flight from the ground stations at Sriharikota.

The Scramjet engine designed by ISRO uses Hydrogen as fuel and the Oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser. Today’s test was the maiden short duration experimental test of ISRO’s Scramjet engine with a hypersonic flight at Mach 6. ISRO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), which is an advanced sounding rocket, was the solid rocket booster used for today’s test of Scramjet engines at supersonic conditions.  ATV carrying Scramjet engines weighed 3277 kg at lift-off.

India is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of Scramjet Engine. The successful technology demonstration of air-breathing Scramjet engines in flight by ISRO today is a modest yet important milestone in its endeavour to design and develop advanced air breathing engines including engines for ISRO’s future space transportation system.

PM Modi Announces setting up of Task Force for Next Three Olympic Games

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the meeting of the Council of Minister’s on Friday that Task Force will be set up to prepare a comprehensive action plan for effective participation of Indian sports persons in the next three Olympic games 2020, 2024 and 2028.

The Task Force will prepare overall strategy for sports facility, training, selection procedure and other related matters. The members of Task Force will comprise of those who are in-house experts as well as those from outside. Prime Minister Modi said that the Task Force will be set up over the next few days.

Absconding Servitor Involved in Niladri Bije Fiasco Arrested

Bhubaneswar: After over a month long game of cat and mouse, the Puri police on Friday arrested Rabi Das one of the main accused of the Niladri Bije incident which took place on July 17. He was among those eight servitors who are allegedly involved in misbehaving with Aravind Agarwal, District Collector of Puri.

Rabi Das was arrested from his Datatota residence in Puri. He has been forwarded to court after the arrest.

Earlier on Monday, the High Court had rejected anticipatory bail pleas of Das. He was evading arrest all these days. Since August 13, Puri police had put up posters of the eight absconders across the town. They have been asked to surrender before the police within a month or their property will be confiscated. The time period of one month lapses on September 12.

SIT Questions Parlakhemundi King’s Daughter; Suicide Notes of Deceased Names Influential People

Bhubaneswar: After 5 days have lapsed since the incident of suicide of the former palace manager and her siblings took place, the crime branch Special Investigation Team (SIT) has made little progress so far in the case. In the meanwhile Kalyani Gajapati, the daughter of Parlakhemundi King Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deb, who lives in Chennai, visited Parlakhemundi. The SIT is said to have questioned her about the mysterious suicide of her Father’s former palace manager Ananga Manjai Patra and her three siblings. The investigators have also enquired about the health of the Gajapati.

Prior to that Kalyani was welcomed by her supporters on Thursday evening in the town. She had also offered prayers at the local Jagannath temple. Kalyani is said to have also met local government officials and discussed about the upkeep of the Jagannath temple.

On the other hand sources reveal that the suicide notes of Ananga Manjari Patra, the former palace manager of the King Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deb and her siblings has said to have named the local sitting MLA, leaders of other political parties and a local TV channel. The siblings have mentioned in their suicide notes the circumstances which forced them to take the extreme step as they were humiliated and their image was tarnished, sources added. Another sources said that the suicide notes will be send to handwriting experts to verify its authenticity.

The crime branch SIT is also likely to question those named in the suicide note, a highly placed source revealed.

Odisha: Tutor Kills Student’s Mother in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: A tuition teacher was arrested by the Commissionerate of Police here in Bhubaneswar alleged to have strangulated a woman who happens to be the mother of his student. The incident came to light on Thursday night as the deceased identified as Sheela Jaya, a resident of BJB Nagar area, is said to have visited the tuition teacher Rashmikant Sahu at his tuition centre in the evening to enquire about her son’s progress in studies.

Sources reveal there was some kind of altercation between the two and in a fit of rage Sahu has been alleged to have strangulated Sheela after having hit her with a blunt metal object on her head. The driver of the car was waiting outside while the lady had gone inside. When Sheela didn’t turn up after a long time the driver is said to have gone inside and found Sheela lying in a pool of blood. Both the driver and Sahu had rushed Sheela to the hospital but the doctors declared her brought dead.

According to Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi, during interrogation the tuition teacher Sahu has confessed to have strangulated Sheela to death. The husband of the deceased Rajmohan who works as a senior executive of a liquor company is said to be out of station as the incident took place. The police is trying to ascertain the reason behind the murder, Bhoi said.

Odisha: “Familiarity Breeds Contempt”; Fix Responsibility Mr. Chief Minister

Bhubaneswar: Poverty, illiteracy and belonging to the last strata of the society, an individual was almost deprived of basic human rights in the state of Odisha. The government apathy lay thread bare from the sight, which swelled the eyes of many with tears, as a man carried his dead wife on his shoulders alone for 10 kilometres while his daughter walked by his side crying aloud mourning her mother’s death. The visuals could be seen even on many national television channels in the country.

Human life has no value? Does a dead person not deserve a decent cremation? Many pertinent question arise after the incident happened at district headquarter Bhawanipatna, Kalahandi district in the state of Orissa.

The 42-year-old deceased wife Amang Dei died at the district headquarters hospital at Bhawanipatna while undergoing treatment for tuberculosis. Due to poverty her husband Dana Manjhi from Melghara village under Rampur block requested for an ambulance or mortuary van to transport his dead wife back to village. But denied help from the authorities he decided to carry his dead wife wrapped in bed sheet for over 10 kilometres before journalists belonging to a local TV channel passing by happened to meet Manjhi. Seeing his plight the journalist informed the district collector. After the intervention by the district collector an ambulance was arranged for the transportation of his dead wife.

On being enquired about the incident by media later the Kalahandi district collector Brunda D. expressed grief over the incident and she said “we have arranged an ambulance after speaking to the Chief District Medical Officer. The Tehsildar has also been asked to provide assistance under Harishchandra Yojana. And the Block Development Officer (BDO) has been asked to provide assistance from Red Cross fund and CMRF”.

From Nagada malnutrition deaths of children to the present one it seems there is severe lack of administration at various levels in the State. When an ambulance could be arranged with the district collector’s intervention confirms that there was vehicle available for transportation but it was deliberately not provided. The lackadaisical approach by the district hospital shows that it fears nobody in the hierarchy. Lack of shouldering responsibility and government apathy towards the poorest strata of the society in a tribal district of the state unmasks the hypocrisy of the government.

Politics of inaugurating schemes without proper implementation does not ensure that the facilities rendered always reaches the right recipient. It becomes the duty of the government to ensure it. And it should not be forgotten “familiarity breeds contempt” it has been over 15 years since the government is in power.


Odisha Cabinet Approves New Start Up Policy for State

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here at the State Secretariat has cleared six new proposals. The most important being approval of the GST Bill passed by the parliament and the state government has decided to convene a special session of the State Assembly on September 1 to discuss and ratify the Bill.

The Chief Secretary briefing the media persons after the meeting informed that the cabinet okayed the proposal to set up 1000 start-ups in five years. As per the start up guidelines the State Government is said to constitute Rs 25 Crore start-up fund in order to provide financial assistance to young entrepreneurs.

The cabinet approved to draw plans to put a road map in place for Odisha to bring the state among top three investment destinations in India by 2020.

Apart from that the cabinet approved a proposal for formation of a Higher Education Council and the Higher Education minister will be the chairperson.

Another important decision was regarding the postponement of the start of monsoon session of the State Assembly from September 7 to September 21 keeping in view of the upcoming Nuakhai festival celebrated in Western Odisha.

Fourth Sibling of Ex-Manager of Parlakhemundi Palace Dies; SIT begins Probe of the Mysterious Suicides

Palace manager suicide caseBhubaneswar: Last evening Santosh Patra (Tulu) the surviving sibling of Ananga Manjari Patra former manager of Parlakhemundi Maharaja admitted at the MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur, after attempting suicide, also died undergoing treatment. Earlier police had recovered the bodies of Anang Manjari Patra, Bijailaxmi and Sanjay Patra from their house. Since Tulu happened to be the only key eyewitness to the incident it is a setback for the investigating team as they were waiting to record his statement.

In the mean time a six-member team of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by an officer of the rank of Addl SP of the state Crime Branch have visited the Parlakhemundi Maharaja’s Palace and begun investigations of the mysterious suicidal deaths of the former manager of the palace and her siblings.

According to sources, the investigating team is probing various aspects of the four suicidal deaths and the circumstances which led the four to take such a drastic step. Five-members of the State forensic laboratory are also at the spot collecting vital evidences for forensic tests as a part of the investigation.

Sources added that Amulya Patra another sibling of Ananga Manjari Patra, has filed an FIR against seven persons including a private news channel alleging that these persons directly or indirectly tried to bring disrepute to his sister Ananga Manjari Patra and others which led them to take the drastic step of committing suicide.

Since the FIR has been filed, investigators will also have to take cognizance of it and examine other evidences especially the suicide notes and diary recovered from the scene to proceed with the investigation, sources said.

OCA Plays Safe after CBI Probe Asks Players to Submit Affidavit of Age Proof

Cuttack: On the day when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is questioning Under-16 and Under-19 players of Odisha over the age row issue, Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) Secretary, Asirbad Behera has informed that from this current playing season cricketers will have to submit affidavits as proof of age. Behera also said that the affidavits as age proof are being sought from players as the decision has been taken by Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI).

Recently, the Sports Integrity Unit of CBI had started an enquiry over the complaint against players for forging age related documents to get into the team. Since OCA, Cuttack District Athletic Association and 34 players are alleged to be involved in this manipulation so the CBI questioned the players today at the Barabati Stadium.

Following the age row issue and questioning by CBI the OCA Secretary Behera came out with the affidavit solution as a face saver.

Sindhu, Dipa, Sakshi and Rai to Receive Khel Ranta Awards 2016

New Delhi: The National Sports Awards have been announced for the year 2016. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given away to the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years and among the 4 sportsperson selected for this award three are women.

Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice S.K. Agarwal, Retired Delhi High Court Judge.

The 2016 Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ranta awards are to be conferred to

S. No. Name of the awardee Discipline
1. Ms. P.V. Sindhu Badminton
2. Ms. Dipa Karmakar Gymnastics
3. Shri Jitu Rai Shooting
4. Ms. Sakshi Malik Wrestling


CM Patnaik Orders Crime Branch Probe into Suicide of Palace Manager and Siblings of Parlakhemundi

Parlakhemundi palaceBhubaneswar: Over the sudden development of events regarding the suicide of the former manager Anang Manjari Patra of the Palace of Parlakhemundi Gajapati the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday directed Crime Branch probe into the alleged mysterious suicide case. The local MLA K Surya Rao had also demanded a thorough probe into the incident.

Notably, Anang Manjari Patra was in the middle of the controversy for having kept the Parlakhemundi Gajapati, Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deb under confinement for over a period of time. And as the allegation surfaced Anang Manjari and her siblings have been alleged to have committed suicide while one brother survived the suicide attempt and undergoing treatment at MKCG Hospital in Berhampur.

According to sources the Crime Branch is said to have constituted a six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by a SP level officer. In the meantime local police on Monday has recovered three suicide notes and a diary from the deceased former manager Anang Manjari Patra’s room. The contents of the suicide notes still remain unknown.

Palace Manager of Gajapati of Pralakhemundi Commits suicide Along with Siblings

Bhubaneswar: In a different turn of events the persons accused of keeping the Gajapati of Pralakhemundi, Gopinath Gajapati Narayan Deb under confinement in his palace were found dead at their Jagama Street house. The dead are the former palace manager Anang Manjari Patra and two siblings while the third sibling her brother Santosh Patra (Tulu) was found alive but is in a critical condition and undergoing treatment at the MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur. All the siblings are alleged to have committed suicide but one of the brothers has survived the attempt, sources added.

According to the sources, among the dead Anang Manjari Patra and her sister are suspected to have consumed poison while body of one of her brother Sanjay Patra was found hanging in the same room.

On Sunday people residing in the locality had informed the police of foul odour coming out of the house of the deceased. On getting the information local police broke open the door in the presence of an executive magistrate and found the dead bodies of the siblings and also rescued the lone survivor of the suicide attempt from inside the house.

According to eye witness account the house was locked from inside for the last three days and no one was seen entering or coming out. And after the foul odour emanated they suspected something wrong and approached the police.

Meanwhile as the local SP has started the investigations, Southern Range IG Amitabh Thakur said that the prima facie evidence reveals it is a case of suicide. However, the exact reason of the death can ascertained after post-mortem. The statement of the rescued brother of the deceased will also be recorded, Thakur added.

Anang Manjari Patra made headlines recently for allegedly holding the Gajapati under confinement leading to his deteriorating health. She was also accused for not allowing anybody, including the close relatives of the Gajapati to meet him.

The daughter of the Gajapati, Kalyani Devi who resides in Chennai had written a letter to the Chief Minister urging him to inquire into the property transactions of the royal family that has taken place over the past 35 years. Local political leaders from various political parties had also demanded the arrest of the palace manager.

Odisha CM Rewards Meritorious Girl Students with Laptops

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated a state level function organised under Biju Youth Empowerment Scheme and distributed free laptops to meritorious students and gave away prizes to girls for successful completion of training in the self-defence programme at college levels.

Speaking on the occasion CM Patnaik remembered his late father and former Chief Minister of Odisha Biju Patnaik and said Biju Babu always reposed trust in the youth. He also said his government has always emphasised on women’s empowerment.

Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani and Higher Education Minister Pradeep Kumar Panigrahy were present on the occasion.

Doctors Manhandled; Health Secretary Writes to Home Dept Seeking Police Protection

Bhubaneswar: After repeated attacks on doctors at Puri and Balasore the State Health Secretary Arti Ahuja immediately wrote a letter to the State Home secretary Asit Tripathy requesting the Home department to set up police outposts at health centres across the State and provide 24-hour security to doctors and support staff. “As the incidents of manhandling of doctors are growing, it is requested that police outposts be opened in all tertiary care institutions, district headquarters hospitals and sub-divisional hospitals in the State,” Ahuja stated in the letter.

Doctors at the Puri district headquarters hospital ceased work after the relatives of a patient assaulted a doctor and staff and ransacked the hospital accusing them of medical negligence leading to the death of a patient on Wednesday night.

On Thursday the doctors blamed the district administration for failing to provide security. They also alleged that attacks at the hospital keep repeating but no steps are being taken to curb such incidents. In another incident medicine specialist Dr. Bharat Samal has been admitted to the ICU of the hospital sustained critical injuries after a relative of a patient assaulted him alleging negligence at Balasore district headquarters hospital today.

Citing the cases Ahuja further stated that tight security be provided to doctors and the police should include the provisions of Medicare Act 10 of 2009 in the FIR. “The importance of Medicare Act 10 of 2009 promulgated to curb violence against medicare providers in government hospitals may also be emphasised and police stations be requested to include its provisions in the FIR,” wrote Ahuja in the letter.

Odisha: Bus Fares Reduced as Fuel Prices Come Down

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today through the Commerce and Transport department issued a notification to reduce fares of Ordinary and Express buses by 1 paisa per kilometre and fares of Deluxe and AC Deluxe category buses have been cut by 2 paise per kilometre.

According to the Private Bus Owners Association President, fares were reduced as per the automatic mechanism.

Bandh Called By Congress Party; Throws Life Out of Gear in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: A 12-hour bandh called by Indian national Congress (INC) party has thrown normal life out of gear in various parts of Odisha here on Tuesday. The bandh has been called by the Congress party over the Mahanadi river dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh and the apathy of the Centre and State over not resolving the issue.

The dawn to dusk bandh which began at 6 am in the morning threw hit normal life in Bhubanewar, Berhampur, Bhawanipatna, Bhadrak, Balasore, Sambalpur, Baripada, Angul and many other places.

Members of various wings of the Congress party staged protests, especially the Student Congress, Youth Congress, Mahila Congress and other party workers in large numbers blocked roads and stopped trains at various railway stations.

Many cities, towns and national highways in the State looked deserted since early morning. Most of the vehicular traffic like the trucks, buses, cars and three-wheelers were off the roads. Shops and business establishments, schools and colleges, Government and private offices remained closed at many places in the State.

In the State capital Bhubaneswar situation was peaceful barring a few clashes between Congress protesters and the police. Youth Congress members clashed with the police while trying to force their entry into the State Secretariat. After the scuffle hundreds of Congress workers were detained by the police including many student Congress leaders.

Similarly, mahila Congress workers staged dharna in front of Secretariat main gate in Bhubaneswar which led to arrests.

Earlier in the day several ministers and Secretaries of various departments were seen entering the secretariat gates either by walking or travelling on personal vehicles. Even Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was seen coming to the secretariat amidst tight security.

During the day Commissionerate Police detained senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Narasingha Mishra along with Deputy leader Chiranjibi Biswal, former PCC president Niranjan Patnaik and MLA Ranjib Biswal while they were trying to march towards the State Secretariat near AG Square. Police also detained PCC president Prasad Harichandan, Sarat Patnaik, Srikant Jena, Jayadev Jena and many others were detained near Master Canteen Square while they were leading a protest march towards the State Secretariat.

Dutee Chand Crashes out of Rio 2016

Bhubaneswar: Sprinter Dutte Chand finished a disappointing seventh in the 100m heat number 5 at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro. It crashed the dreams of Dutee and also dampened the hopes of Indian fans after she clocked 11.69 seconds far below her own personal best of 11.24 seconds. The timing was far below the qualifier.

Dutee Chand had qualified for the Olympic games after a gap of almost 36 years since PT Usha had qualified for the games in 1984.

Odisha Cabinet Okays Use of Odia as Official Language and Other Proposals

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday at the State Secretariat approved the use of Odisha Official Language Rules, 2016 for successful implementation of Odisha Official Language Act, 1954.  A long standing demand for the use of Odia as official language from various quarters finally materialised and became operational after the cabinet nod.

Informing this to the media persons after the cabinet meeting Chief Secrretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said the cabinet also decided in setting the University of Odia language and Literature with “unitary” university status.

As regards implementation of the official language in the government Padhi said that a five-member official committee headed by Chief Secretary will be set up to monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Act. Other members include Special Secretary in General Administration Department will also be the convener, Secretaries of Higher Education, School and Mass Education, Culture and Information and Public Relations Departments. The committee is set to hold review meetings of the implementation twice in a year.

Among other decisions made by the cabinet is the approval to the proposal to bring the State under National Agriculture Market (NAM) fold to take advantage of Agritech Infrastructure Fund. A proposal to amend Odisha Agricultural Produce Market Act, 1956 in order to incorporate provisions for allowing e-marketing of agricultural products was taken, Padhi said.

The cabinet sanctioned 40 acre of Government land at Laudigan in Ganjam district to the Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar for setting up of Bay of Bengal Coastal Observatory and Innovation Centre for climate change.

Cabinet also decided to exempt stamp duty and registration fee for Government land required for seven ongoing railway projects was also approved.

Tenders of Fortune Group, Bhadrak and NKC Projects Private Limited, Gurgaon to the tune of Rs 79.32 crore and Rs 104.23 crore were approved by the cabinet for the widening of Bhadrak to Pirahat and Pirahat to Chandbali carriage and the projects being implemented with World Bank assistance is said to be targeted to complete within 18 months.

CM Dedicates 100 Godowns to State, Distributes Free Mobile Phones to Kisan Credit Card holders

Bhubaneswar: In continuation of the celebrations of the birth centenary of Biju Patnaik who also happens to be one of the tallest leaders of the State, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated and dedicated 100 new godowns to the state through video conference here at the State Secretariat.

The godowns are said to be constructed at the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Society (PACS) level by the Cooperation Department for conservation of fertilisers, seeds and storage of paddy having a cumulative capacity of 41,425 MT.

The Chief Minister also distributed mobile phones to 10 women Kisan Credit Card holders and under this programme another 41,000 free mobile phones will be distributed to Women Kisan Credit Card holders.

Speaking on the occasion CM Patnaik said, “today in continuation of our pro-farmer policies 100 godowns of 41,400 metric tonne capacity were dedicated. Besides, distribution of mobile phones to 41,000 women engaged in farming sector was also started to enable them to start a better access to agri information and agri marketing”.

Cooperation and Excise Minister Damodar Rout also informed that soon five hundred more godowns will be constructed and these newly constructed godowns will help the PACSs in enhancing capacity building.

The Cooperation Department through these programmes will strengthen the PACS and meet the requirements of the farming community, including dispensation of agriculture credit, storage and distribution of fertilisers and seeds and procurement of surplus agricultural produces at minimum selling price (MSP).

Also present in the meeting were Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy, Finance Minister Pradeep Amat, MLAs and Secretaries of various departments.

Former Chief Secretary Sudhanshu Mishra Dies at 77

Former Chief Secretary Sudhanshu Mishra Dies at 77

Bhubaneswar: Former Odisha Chief Secretary Sudhanshu Bhusan Mishra died late Thursday night here in Bhubaneswar. He was suffering from cancer and left for the heavenly abode after a brief illness at the age of 77.

Mishra was an able administrator and also served as the State Chief Secretary from 1995 to 1999.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters. Eminent people from different walks of life visited his residence to pay their last respect.

BJP Demands Action against BJD legislator for Attack on Party Worker in Khurdha

Bhubaneswar: In another case of a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator from Begunia assaulting a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker the BJP condemned the incident here on Thursday. The BJP State Secretary Jatin Mohanty said that “the BJD MLA was recently seen assaulting BJP workers at Manamunda in Boudh and Puri. FIRs have been lodged against Jagdev, but he is yet to be arrested by police”.

A BJP team will visit Taratua in Khordha and probe into the incident that happened there yesterday, he added.

Already a case has been registered against MLA Jagdev yesterday at Khurdha Town police station for allegedly assaulting BJP party worker Sheikh Nijamuddin Khan of Taratua during a save Mahanadi protest at Saradhapur crossing.

But Jagdev on the contrary refused the allegations and alleged that Nijamuddin had abused him in inebriated condition while he was leading a procession. Jagdev’s driver later filed an FIR against Nijamuddin in the local police station.

Odisha: High Court Grants Bails to Casting Couch Accused Papu Pom Pom

Bhubaneswar: In a respite to Tattwa Prakash Satpathy alias Papu Pom Pom accused in the casting couch controversy, the Orissa High Court today granted bail along with the co-accused Pradipta Swain.

Papu Pom Pom and his associate Pradipta Swain are accused of sexually exploiting a minor girl in the pretext of giving her a chance to act in Odia movies.

While granting the duo bail the Court also directed them not to intimidate or influence the victim or witnesses nor tamper with the evidence. The Khurdha District Court had earlier denied bail and sent both the accused to jail after their arrest from an apartment in Puri.

Currently both Papu Pom Pom and his associate Pradipta Swain are ldged in the Jharpara Jail in Bhubaneswar.

Noted Journalist Barendrakrushna Dhal Passes away at 77

Bhubaneswar: Barendrakrushna Dhal, a noted journalist, columnist and literary figure of Odisha passed away on Tuesday morning at his residence here in Bhubaneswar. He was 77.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan were among many notable personalities to have expressed deep grief over demise of Dhal.

Journalists, politicians and people, after the news of his demise broke, reached his residence to offer their tributes to the departed soul.

Dhal’s journalistic career spreads for over 4 decades as he worked for state and national level newspapers. At one time he was the Editor of Swarajya. He was also the Odisha correspondent for leading Bengali daily Aaj Kaal for many years. He continued as columnist of leading newspapers of the State till be breathed his last. Dhal was also a writer who penned many novels in Odia language.

He also actively worked for the cause of media persons and was president of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). He will also be remembered for establishing the Bhubaneswar Book Fair which he started in early 1980s.

Family sources informed that Dhal’s last rites will be performed on Wednesday at Puri Swarga Dwar.

NIFT Girl Alleges “Rape” in Bhubaneswar; Students Block Road in Protest

Bhubaneswar: A girl student of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) alleges “rape” to have been committed on her by unknown miscreants in the Infocity area here in Bhubaneswar late Friday night. Angry protests erupted after the incident came to light and the students of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) took to blocking roads since morning demanding immediate action against the perpetrators.

The students allege that the incident happened within 500 metres of the vicinity of the Infocity police station but it failed to take any action.

DCP Bhubaneswar Satyabrata Bhoi reacting over the incident denied and said “such an incident did not take place last night. And the victim girl is safe”. He informed the media persons present after preliminary investigation was carried by the police.

Agitating students raised security concerned and also demanded action from the police and catch the culprits at the earliest after verifying CCTV footage available in the area.

President Pranab Mukherjee Removes Chairperson of Board of Governors of NIT Rourkela

Bhubaneswar: The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on the recommendation of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) removed Vasantha Ramaswamy, the honorary Chairperson of Board of Governors (BoG) of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela on Friday.

HRD ministry took the decision after Vasantha Ramaswamy refused to resign from the post Chairperson of Board of Governors. According to sources NIT Rourkela, Director, Prof SK Sarangi had resigned from his position earlier in April as directed by the HRD ministry.

Both the Chairperson and the director were said to be at loggerheads over the administrative control of NIT Rourkela. The HRD ministry in April had asked both the officials to resign for the larger interest of the institution.  Failing to follow the directive Vasantha Ramaswamy was removed by the President of India.

President Pranab Mukherjee Sends Good Wishes to Indian Contingent in Rio Olympic Games 2016

New Delhi: The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee has sent his good wishes to the Indian contingent in the Rio Olympic Games 2016 on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games.

In a message to Rakesh Gupta, Chef-de-Mission, Indian Contingent for the Rio Olympic Games 2016, the President has said, “I convey my greetings and good wishes to the Indian contingent on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics 2016.

I am sure the Games will be an opportunity for our sportspersons to display their talents and test their limits in various sporting disciplines. These Games will be an opportunity for competing with participants from all over the world in the best traditions of sportsmanship. I urge our sportspersons to do their best for the glory of the nation and to promote unity and friendship with sportspersons of all participating nations”.

Paradip Port to have 20 MW Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant

New Delhi: The Minister of State for Shipping, Pon. Radhakrishnan informed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday that the Government  proposes to implement utility-scale Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant projects at various major ports across the country. The funds for establishment of solar power projects are arranged by the major ports from their own resources and no funds have been released from the Ministry.

The ministry will follow the objectives of being part of the Green Port Initiative and contribute to reduction in carbon emissions and consequently improving environment. The minister also informed that it will reduce cost of power purchased from grid by utilization of solar power for power generation and will also meet with Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) as mandated by State Governments.

The details, objectives and present status of  Solar Power  Projects, Port-wise, as given by the ministry is




Ports Total capacity proposed (MW) Commissioned till date/ present status (MW) Balance to be comm. by Mar’17 (MW) Planned for commissioning in FY 2017-18 and later (MW)
1 Vizag Port 15 6.25 3.75
2 Paradip Port 20 10
3 Kolkata Port 2.32 0.01 0.15 2.16
4 New Mangalore Port 11.19 0.35 4.84
5 Kamrajar Port 2 0.24
6 V.O. Chidam- baranar Port 5.5 5.5
7 Kandla Port 0.175 0.175
8 Chennai Port 0.5 0.1 0.4
9 Mumbai Port 0.605 0.125 0.48
10 Cochin Port 0.15 0.15
11 Mormugao Port 0.2 0.2
12 Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust 25 25
Total 82.64 6.84 15.885 37.16

SCB Medical College Cuttack among 13 Colleges to be Upgraded under PMSSY

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved upgradation of 13 existing Government Medical Colleges / Institutes (GMCIs) under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

Sriram Chandra Bhanja Medical College & Hospital, Cuttack in Odisha is among the 13 medical colleges to be upgraded under this scheme.

According to sources the upgradation will be done at a cost of Rs.200 crore for each GMCI (Central share: Rs.120 crore and State Share Rs.80 crore).  Accordingly the total upgradation cost shall be Rs. 2,600 crores out of which Central Share will be Rs.1,560 crore and that of State will be Rs.1,040 crore.  It will be completed in time period of 36 months.  The list of GMCIs to be upgraded are listed as

S.No. Government Medical Colleges/Institutes State
1 PMCH, Patna  


2 GMC Bhagalpur
3 GMC Gaya
4 GMC Bilaspur Chhattisgarh
5 GMC, Jagdalpur
6 UCMS-GTB Hospital Delhi
7 GMC, Surat Gujarat
8 GMC, Bhavnagar
9 GMC, Indore Madhya Pradesh
10 GMC, Cuttack Odisha
11 GMC, Jaipur Rajasthan
12 GMC Agra Uttar Pradesh
13 GMC Kanpur

Sources added, upgradation of existing GMCIs will create tertiary care facilities.  The Tertiary Care Institutions will serve as composite centres for continued professional education, treatment, patient care and multi skilling of health workers.

The upgradation of medical colleges under PMSSY broadly involves strengthening of the existing departments as well as building Super Speciality Blocks/Trauma Centres or other necessary facilities as Centres of Excellence etc.  However, the upgradation process will vary from one institution to another as per the specific local needs.  The facilities to be augmented during upgradation will be decided after proper gap analysis involving all stakeholders.

The population in eight States namely Odisha, Uttar Padesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will be benefited where these colleges are located.

Lightning Claims 4 Lives in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Lightning strikes today claimed 4 lives in various parts of the Odisha taking the death toll to 56 over which happened over the last 4 days.

Deaths have been reported in the Khurdha, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Bolangir districts of the State.

Odisha has been witnessing heavy rains over the past few days and lightning strikes has been occurring over various place taking human and cattle lives.

Paradip Port Cargo Handling Registers Record Growth in 2016

New Delhi: Paradip Port’s cargo handling growth story among Indian Major Ports continues with a quantum jump in the cargo handled by the Port in the Month of July, 2016. Paradip port in July handled a record throughput of 8.06 MMT in a single month surpassing the earlier highest record handling of 7.61 MMT cargos in the month of March, 2016. This record handling of cargo growth in the month of July, 2016 compared to the same month in 2015 is 32% more the port had handled 6.09 MTs of cargo in July 2015.

According to sources, the major growth of cargo came in the month of July, 2016 with addition of 8 lakh tonnes of POL, 6 lakh tonnes of imported coking coal and 6 lakh tonnes of other cargo like imported lime stone, Dolomite etc. About 60% of the extra 2 million metric tonnes of cargo came from non-mechanized cargo operations in the monsoon which actually helped the port to achieve the record cargo handling of 8.00 MMTs in a single month.

Incidentally, in the 4 months (April-July) of 2016-17, the Port handled 28.65 MMT of cargo compared to 24.34 MMT in the corresponding 4 months of FY-2015-16 witnessing a growth of 17.75%.

The Paradip Port Authority had taken necessary steps in recent months not only for the port customers to do “Business with Ease” as per the initiatives of the Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India, but its efforts have taken the port in achieving many records in the history of the port, sources added.

Tension Grips SOG Camp in Bhubaneswar after Jawan Dies during Training

Bhubaneswar: In an unfortunate incident a jawan of the Special Operation Group (SOG) died in the training camp at Chandaka situated here in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. After the incident a spontaneous demonstration was staged in the camp by fellow jawans undergoing the training.

Sources revealed that the deceased jawan Laxminarayan Pradhan was said to be unwell yet asked to complete a 10 km run. Though he completed the run within the stipulated time yet he collapsed and fainted after reaching the finish line.

Pradhan was said to have been rushed to the Capital hospital after  first aid was administered at the camp. But the doctors declared him brought dead at the hospital, sources added.

The incident sparked resentment among other trainee jawans and they staged a dharna alleging neglect in preliminary treatment after Pradhan fell unconscious.

According to Soumendra Priyadarshi IG (Operations) the cause of death will be ascertained after post mortem. He also added that the family of the deceased will be adequately compensated as per government norms.

Odisha CM Launches Smart City Web Portal for Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday inaugurated smart city web portal ‘Bhubaneswar One’ at the State Secretariat.

This web portal is a one stop website which provides information regarding the capital city Bhubaneswar. Its aim is to provide the people with useful information about the city and will also serve the purpose for those who are visiting the city.

BJP Workers Assaulted by Ruling BJD Leaders; BJP Legislator’s Team to Visit Boudh Tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: Caught on camera of local television channels the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party workers were seen allegedly attacking brutally Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) party workers for waving black flags to the motorcade of Youth BJD president Sanjay Dasburma, who also happens to be the State Food Supply minister, at Manamunda in Boudh district today.

While Dasburma was on his way to attend a rally organised by Youth wing of BJD to protest against the construction work being undertaken on the upper catchment areas of Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government a handful of BJP workers were seen waving black flags to the minister. Subsequently, according to sources, a BJD MLA along with other party leaders and a municipal corporator of Bhubaneswar accompanying the minister in motorcade were seen coming out of the vehicles and began assaulting the BJP workers.

Following the incident, Boudh district BJP Yuva Morcha president lodged a complaint against five BJD leaders including Food supply minister Sanjay Dasburma, Urban development minister Pushpendra Singhdeo, , MLA Prashant Jagdev, corporators Amrash Jena and Vijay Nayak at the local Manamunda Police Station.

Reacting over the incident Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing leaders and party workers held protests and road blockade near the Bhubaneswar Railway Station stalling traffic movement for some time.

In a press conference held at the BJP party office here in Bhubaneswar BJP General Secretary Prithivraj Harichandan condemned the incident and said a team led by BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo will visit the spot at Manamunda in Boudh district tomorrow to assess the situation.

Harichandan also informed that three of the BJP workers have been hospitalised in a critical condition after that brutal attack and cited that from the hooliganism of the ruling party it is evident that Naveen Patnaik government lost faith in democracy.

Union Govt Approves 550 Km Long Coastal National Highway from Bengal to Odisha

New Delhi: The Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Jairam Gadkari on Thursday approved the alignment of 550 km long stretch of road from Digha in Bengal to Gopalpur in Odisha as National Highway.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan revealed it in a tweet “Grateful to PM & @nitin_gadkariji for approving the alignment of 550 KM Digha-Gopalpur NH in Odisha”.

Both Minister Pradhan and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram were present at the meeting with Minister Gadkari when the project was approved.

Minister Gadkari during his visit to Odisha last month had announced this proposed coastal road as a National Highway with an estimated project cost of Rs 5000 Crores. According to sources he has also sought cooperation of the Odisha Government for land acquisition. Tenders are likely to be floated for the project only after acquisition of 80 per cent of land needed for the coastal highway, sources added.

Odisha: K V Singhdeo Elected BJP Legislature Party Leader in State Assembly

Bhubaneswar: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Party president Amit Shah has appointed K V Singhdeo as the party’s leader in the State legislative assembly. According to the press release Singhdeo was unanimously elected to the post.

Basant Panda who was both the BJP Legislature Party leader and BJP Party’s State President relinquished one post as per the BJP party policy.

In this scenario Singhdeo was given charge to lead the party in State assembly. Singhdeo is a five-time MLA since 1995.

North Range RDC begins Probe on Attack on the Convoy of Union Minister

Bhubaneswar: After a lapse of over one month the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), northern range, Bhaskar Jyoti Sharma on Thursday began investigation on the incident of attack by alleged BJD workers on the convoy of Union ministers Santosh Gangwar on his way to attend an event. The minister had escaped unhurt in the attack.

During the preliminary inquiry Sharma according to sources has taken statements of 45 persons and also spoke to officials of the district administration present at the spot when the incident occurred.

The incident had drawn widespread criticism from people belonging to all walks of life including politicians from opposition parties.

Sources revealed that notices have also been sent to BJD and BJP activists to present themselves before the RDC. Even police officials, executive magistrate, Collector and SP of Bargarh have also been asked to cooperated with the probe over the issue.

In this connection 16 persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in the incident and are out on bail.

NHAI Chairman Asks States to Remove Liquor Shops from Highways

New Delhi: In the wake of increasing number of road accidents due to drunken driving, the Chairman, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also requested all Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries/Secretaries (Transport) of all States/UTs to ensure that no license is issued to liquor vendors along National Highways.  State Governments have also been requested to review cases wherever license had already been given for liquor vendors along National Highways for taking corrective action.

The total number of road accidents, persons killed and injured due to intake of alcohol on all roads in the country during the last three calendar years from 2013 to 2015 are

Year Total number of road accident on National Highways Total number of persons killed on National Highways Total number of persons injured on National Highways Total number of road accident due to intake of Alcohol in respect of all roads Total number of persons killed due to intake of Alcohol in respect of  all roads Total number of persons injured due to intake of Alcohol in respect of all roads
2013 1,36,786 45,612 1,43,107 20,290 6,463 20,081
2014 1,37,903 47,649 1,47,696 18,916 6,968 19,432
2015 1,42,268 51,204 1,45,341 16,298 6,755 18,813

After the statistics road accident due to intake of Alcohol revealed astonishing figures the NHAI chairman has written to the states to take urgent action. The Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Pon. Radhakrishnan informed it in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Odisha: CM Naveen Patnaik Asks Chhattisgarh to Stop Construction on Mahanadi

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday came down heavily on the Chhattisgarh government after Chief Minister Raman Singh said that his government will go ahead with the construction of projects despite resistance from Odisha government.

CM Naveen Patnaik speaking to media persons at the secretariat said, “The statement of the chief minister of Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi waters issued yesterday is most unfortunate. It violates the canons of the doctrine of Inter-state River sharing between co-basin states and our federal governance. What is more unfortunate is the false and misleading statements of the Union minister of state for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan on the floor of the Parliament yesterday. I have already taken up the Mahanadi issue with the Prime Minister seeking his intervention. I sincerely request the Chhattisgarh government to stop all construction till the issue is resolved”.

Patnaik also added, “I assure the people of our state that my government will take up the issue at various levels and leave no stone unturned to establish our justifiable rights over the water of Mahanadi. We will continue our fight till our last breath”.

Raman Singh yesterday said that the Chhattisgarh government drawing water from Mahanadi after getting the nod from the Central Water Commission (CWC). He even claimed that his state has the right to draw more water. He even said that the issue is being unnecessarily politicised by the Odisha government.

Govt Fails to Act Now after Rewarding the Puri Servitors during Previous Year’s Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar: After the recent unruly behaviour of the servitors during the Niladri Bije return of the three deities from the chariot into the Jagannath temple the government seems reluctant to act against the erring persons.

It becomes more evident after media reports suggest that the state government has been on the back foot and avoids a confrontation with the Jagannath temple servitors. Payment of Rs 2 crores as compensation to the servitors for the loss incurred by them due to the ban on devotees climbing the chariots during the annual Rath Yatra in 2015 is a glaring example that the government wants to keep the servitors in “good humour”.

Now the pertinent question arises why do the servitors need to be kept in “good humour”?

It raises suspicion even in the minds of the common man. Does the government benefit in some manner from the servitors by keeping them in “good humour” or there is some kind of benefit which the temple administration or politicians draw from the servitors.

Misbehaving with the district collector of Puri or the media persons present there on the night of the incident has been condemned by all sections of the society, yet the state government preferred to keep mum over the incident.

Strict or stringent action against the servitors is expected to discipline the system. Appointing a Judicial commission and putting the commission report in the cold storage has been the normal practice to pacify both sides in the recent times.

Even during the Nabakalebara fiasco one of the two suspended servitor belonged to a political party and just before this year’s Rath Yatra their suspension was revoked. Was this decision taken to keep them in “good humour”? Raises doubts in the minds of the people.

Unless the government acts now it would suggest that neither the government is protective of its officers nor does it care for the media.

If the government acts now the servitors may try and obstruct daily rituals. But they should not forget that it would also draw the wrath of common man.

Now the ball lies in the court of the State government. To act or not?


Odisha Govt Announces Incentive of Rs 10 Lakhs Each for Six Rio Qualifiers

Bhubaneswar: In a big boost for the 6 sportswomen of the state representing India in Rio Olympics, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced Rs 60 lakhs cash special incentive for the women. Sprinters Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda along with four women’s hockey players Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz and Sunita Lakra will receive Rs 10 lakh each.

The Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has been directed to pay the special incentive to the sportswomen and the CM said it would be of immense help for them to prepare for the games.

“I hope that the six sportswomen will come out with flying colours and bring glory for their state and the country,” he added.

Odisha Health Minister Visits Cholera Hit Rayagada

Bhubaneswar: Health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak today held a meeting with the district collector and other concerned officials at the Rayagada and reviewed the deteriorating cholera situation. After the meeting minister Nayak directed the district authorities ensure 24-hour healthcare and drinking water supply in the disease affected areas.

The death toll in Palama Panchayat of Kalyansinghpur block has risen to 5 after one death was reported today.

Namita Mohapatra, director Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) also confirmed the occurrence of cholera death in Kalyansinghpur block in Rayagada district after tests revealed presence of the bacteria. She also said that RMRC representative will visit the affected village soon to take stock of the situation.

Odisha among 21 States Running Pilot Project of Vidyanjali Programme

VidyanjaliNew Delhi: Section 21 of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE), 2009 stipulates that each Government school, Government Aided school and school belonging to a specified category should have a School Management Committee (SMC) mandated with the work to monitor the working of the school; prepare and recommend School Development Plan; and monitor the utilisation of the grants received, besides their other activities. The SMC is mandatory for all elementary schools. Some Government schools also have Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) which perform similar functions as assigned to SMC.

Further, ‘Vidyanjali’, a School Volunteer programme was launched in June, 2016. It is an initiative to enhance community and private sector involvement in Government schools to strengthen implementation of co-scholastic activities through the services of volunteers. Volunteers under the programme will offer their services to Government schools through an online portal developed by MyGov.in. The Volunteers will conduct one or more co-scholastic activities with children such as reading to children; helping children with creative writing; public speaking; play acting and preparing story books. The Vidyanjali programme is voluntary in nature and States/UTs that are willing may join the programme. The programme is being piloted across 21 States/UTs namely Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Gujarat, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. As per the data made available with the website Mygov.in, so far, 2005 schools have registered with the Vidyanjali Application (App) while, 2084 Apps. have been downloaded and 1216 volunteers have logged in and registered for 815 activities in various schools.

CBSE Conducts NEET-II Entrance Successfully Across India

New Delhi: The CBSE informed that it has successfully conducted National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test-II on 24th July, 2016 across the nation including Srinagar. There are also media reports regarding attempts made for leakage of NEET-II question paper in Uttarakhand.

According to CBSE, the material seized by the Uttarakhand Police from the persons involved in cheating were provided to CBSE and the same was matched by the Board with the original question paper of NEET-II and found that the seized material is entirely different from the original question paper of NEET-II. This was an attempt made by some unscrupulous elements to cheat the candidates on false promises. Therefore, it is reiterated that news of attempt of leakage of question paper was false and far from facts.

Odisha Lead by 3 points in Dr (Capt) K Thimmappiah Memorial Cricket Tournament

Bhubaneswar: Odisha on Tuesday gained three points by virtue of taking a 24-run first-innings lead against Himachal Pradesh in their opening four-day match (Zone-A), which ended in a draw at KSCA Alur Silver Oval in Karnataka.

After conceding the lead, Himachal Pradesh declared their second innings at 253 for eight and set an impossible target of 230 for Odisha to win the match out-right. Odisha were 89 for one when the match was accepted as a draw.

Odisha batsman Subhranshu Senapati, who scored 179 off 286 balls helped the team pile up a score of 422 in first innings. Among other notable contributors of the Odisha team in the match were opening batsman Sandip Pattanaik scored 105 runs, while Govind Poddar hit a half-century in the second innings.

Odisha bowler Deepak Behera was most successful with a match haul of five wickets for 86 runs. Suryakant Pradhan took four wickets, while captain Biplab Samantray, Basant Mohanty and Bikash Rout picked up three wickets each.

Match Scorecard:

HIMACHAL PRADESH (1st innings):

Ankush Bains c Rawat b D Behera 59, Prashant Chopra c Rawat b Pradhan 1, Abhimanyu Rana lbw Mohanty 8, Paras Dogra c sub (A Mallick) b D Behera 33, Amit Kumar c&b B Rout 75, Ankit Kaushik b Mohanty 43, Rishi Dhawan lbw D Behera 63, Akash Vashisht (not out) 58, Mayank Dagar lbw Mohanty 1, Gunvinder Singh c Rawat b Pradhan 7, Naveen Kanwar c S Mishra b Pradhan 0; Extras (b-1, w-2, nb-5, Penalty 42) 50Total (all out; 110 overs) 398Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Chopra, 0.5 ovs), 2-46 (Rana, 13.3 ovs), 3-90 (Bains, 23.1 ovs), 4-107 (Dogra, 27.2 ovs), 5-204 (Kaushik, 64.3 ovs), 6-265 (A Kumar, 83.3 ovs), 7-322 (Dhawan, 101.3 ovs), 8-327 (Dagar, 104.4 ovs), 9-356 (Gurvinder, 109.2 ovs), 10-356 (Kanwar, 109.6 ovs)Bowling: Basant Mohanty 29-6-81-3, Suryakant Pradhan 28-3-114-3, Deepak Behera 29-6-67-3, Bikash Rout 8-0-45-1, Biplab Samantray 11-1-27-0, Govind Poddar 5-0-21-0.

ODISHA (1st innings):

Santanu Mishra c Dhawan b Dagar 12, Sandip Pattanaik c Kaushik b Dhawan 75, Govind Poddar b Dhawan 34, Subhranshu Senapati c Bains b Dagar 179, Ranjit Singh c Kanwar b Vashisht 16, Biplab Samantray c Vashisht b Dhawan 26, Saurabh Rawat c Bains b Gurvinder 46, Bikash Rout c Dogra b Dagar 9, Deepak Behera c Dhawan b Dagar 6, Suryakant Pradhan b Gurvinder 5, Basant 4)Mohanty (not out) 0; Extras (b-9, lb-2, nb-3) 14Total (all out; 146.1 overs) 422Fall of wickets: 1-42 (S Mishra, 19.3 ovs), 2-96 (Poddar, 41.6 ovs), 3-173 (Pattanaik, 69.6 ovs), 4-217 (Ranjit, 83.1 ovs), 5-273 (Samantray 103.2 ovs), 6-384 (Rawat, 136.6 ovs), 7-398 (Senapati, 139.4 ovs), 8-413 (Rout, 143.3 ovs), 9-418 (Pradhan, 144.3 ovs), 10-422 (Behera, 145.6 ovs).Bowling: Rishi Dhawan 25-6-85-3, Naveen Kanwar 15-4-47-0, Mayank Dagar 38-14-70-4, Gurvinder Singh 32.1-6-96-2, Ankit Kaushik 4-0-17-0, Akash Vashisht 28-7-79-1, Prashant Chopra 4-1-17-0.

HIMACHAL PRADESH (2nd innings):

A Bains c Rawat b Pradhan 8, P Chopra c Samantray b D Behera 46, A Rana c Rawab b D Behera 39, P Dogra c Poddar b Rout 85, Amit Kumar c&b Rout 4, A Kaushik b Samantray 51, R Dhawan b Samantray 3, A Vashisht c Pattanaik b Samantray 6, M Dagar (not out) 1; Extras (b-8, nb-2) 10Total (8 wkts decl; 54.4 overs) 253Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Bains, 2.5 ovs), 2-85 (Rana, 18.3 ovs), 3-111 (Chopra, 26.6 ovs), 4-118 (A Kumar, 31.2 ovs), 5-231 (Dogra, 51.2 ovs), 6-238 (Dhawan, 52.6), 7-252 (Vashisht, 54.2 ovs), 8-253 (Kaushik, 54.4 ovs).Bowling: S Pradhan 12-2-49-1, B Rout 16-1-94-2, G Poddar 4-1-12-0, B Mohanty 9-0-40-0, D Behera 9-3-19-2, B Samantray 4.4-0-31-3.

ODISHA (2nd innings):

S Mishra b Dhawan 4, S Pattanaik (not out) 30, G Poddar (not out) 55; Extras 0Total (1 wkt, 28 overs) 89Fall of wicket: 1-4 (Mishra, 2.1 ovs)Bowling: R Dhawan 6-2-14-1, M Dagar 9-3-40-0, G Singh 5-1-17-0, A Vashisht 5-2-9-0, N Kanwar 2-0-7-0, P Dogra 1-0-2-0


Odisha Score 422 as Senapati Hits a Ton

Bhubaneswar: Odisha took a 24-run lead in the first innings of their four-day Zone-A match against Himachal Pradesh in the Dr (Capt) K Thimmappiah Memorial Cricket Tournament at KSCA Alur Silver Oval in Karnataka on Sunday. Subhranshu Senapati hit a century and his 111-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Saurabh Rawat enabled Odisha to reach the score of 422 in reply to the first-innings total of 398 by Himachal Pradesh.

Odisha with their overnight first innings at 144 for two batted out the as Senapati, scored 179. Opening batsman Sandip Pattanaik and wk Rawat also made 75 and 46 respectively.

Score Card:

HIMACHAL PRADESH (1st innings):

Ankush Bains c Rawat b D Behera 59, Prashant Chopra c Rawat b Pradhan 1, Abhimanyu Rana lbw Mohanty 8, Paras Dogra c sub (A Mallick) b D Behera 33, Amit Kumar c&b B Rout 75, Ankit Kaushik b Mohanty 43, Rishi Dhawan lbw D Behera 63, Akash Vashisht (not out) 58, Mayank Dagar lbw Mohanty 1, Gunvinder Singh c Rawat b Pradhan 7, Naveen Kanwar c S Mishra b Pradhan 0; Extras (b-1, w-2, nb-5, Penalty 42) 50

Total (all out; 110 overs) 398

Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Chopra, 0.5 ovs), 2-46 (Rana, 13.3 ovs), 3-90 (Bains, 23.1 ovs), 4-107 (Dogra, 27.2 ovs), 5-204 (Kaushik, 64.3 ovs), 6-265 (A Kumar, 83.3 ovs), 7-322 (Dhawan, 101.3 ovs), 8-327 (Dagar, 104.4 ovs), 9-356 (Gurvinder, 109.2 ovs), 10-356 (Kanwar, 109.6 ovs)

Bowling: Basant Mohanty 29-6-81-3, Suryakant Pradhan 28-3-114-3, Deepak Behera 29-6-67-3, Bikash Rout 8-0-45-1, Biplab Samantray 11-1-27-0, Govind Poddar 5-0-21-0.

ODISHA (1st innings):

Santanu Mishra c Dhawan b Dagar 12, Sandip Pattanaik c Kaushik b Dhawan 75, Govind Poddar b Dhawan 34, Subhranshu Senapati c Bains b Dagar 179, Ranjit Singh c Kanwar b Vashisht 16, Biplab Samantray c Vashisht b Dhawan 26, Saurabh Rawat c Bains b Gurvinder 46, Bikash Rout c Dogra b Dagar 9, Deepak Behera c Dhawan b Dagar 6, Suryakant Pradhan b Gurvinder 5, Basant Mohanty (not out) 0; Extras (b-9, lb-2, nb-3) 14

Total (all out; 146.1 overs) 422

Fall of wickets: 1-42 (S Mishra, 19.3 ovs), 2-96 (Poddar, 41.6 ovs), 3-173 (Pattanaik, 69.6 ovs), 4-217 (Ranjit, 83.1 ovs), 5-273 (Samantray 103.2 ovs), 6-384 (Rawat, 136.6 ovs), 7-398 (Senapati, 139.4 ovs), 8-413 (Rout, 143.3 ovs), 9-418 (Pradhan, 144.3 ovs), 10-422 (Behera, 145.6 ovs).

Bowling: Rishi Dhawan 25-6-85-3, Naveen Kanwar 15-4-47-0, Mayank Dagar 38-14-70-4, Gurvinder Singh 32.1-6-96-2, Ankit Kaushik 4-0-17-0, Akash Vashisht 28-7-79-1, Prashant Chopra 4-1-17-0.

HIMACHAL PRADESH (2nd innings): A Bains c Rawat b Pradhan 8, P Chopra (batting) 16, A Rana (batting) 14; Extras (lb-1) 1

Total (1 wkt; 7.1 overs) 39

Fall of wickets: 1-23 (Bains, 2.5 ovs)

Bowling: S Pradhan 4-1-24-1, B Rout 3.1-0-15-0

Puri Police Move Court to Act against Erring Servitors

Bhubaneswar: With the erring servitors still on the run, according to sources Puri Police today moved court seeking warrants to search and arrest the absconding servitors who had committed ruckus during Niladri bije on the night of July 17. These servitors were identified by Puri police after going through from the video footage.

While two servitors Surya Narayan Pratihari and Raghunath Khuntia have been arrested on charges of misbehaving with Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal, others identified by the police threatening to kill the collector are still at large.

The absconding servitors Damodar Mahasuara, Jayakrushna Mahasuara and Harinarayan Khuntia, on Friday have approached the Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

Notably, the very next day of the incident on July 18, the Singhadwar police station registered criminal cases against the six servitors Damodar Mahasuar, Jaykrushna Mahasura, Saina Khuntia, Ipsit Pratihari, Bhimsen Palankadhari and Rabi Das on the basis of the two complaints filed by Collector Puri.

Police have also identified around 50 other priests, who created the commotion during Niladri Bije and were involved in heckling the collector and assaulted media persons present at the time.

Earlier in the day a group of servitors representing a peace committee had urged upon the authorities not to arrest the servitors involved in manhandling the media persons and heckling the Collector. Sources add that SP of Puri Sarangi has turned down the request and has given ultimatum to the six absconders to surrender search and warrants will be issued and the property of absconders be confiscated.

Odisha Vigilance Team Arrests Tripura Cadre IPS Officer Joydeep Nayak

Bhubaneswar: The Tripura-cadre Odia IPS officer Joydeep Nayak, who was evading arrest on alleged charges of siphoning-off Rs 88 Lakhs meant for computer education of SC/ST students and self help groups (SHGs) in Odisha, was finally arrested by the Odisha Vigilance sleuths from Ghaziabad on Saturday. Nayak had misappropriated such a huge sum when he was on deputation in the Human Rights Portection Cell (HRPC) of Odisha police.

Nayak was nabbed by a special vigilance team and according to Dr. RP Sharma, Director Vigilance “Nayak is being brought to Odisha on transit remand.”

The Odisha Vigilance department had informed the Tripura government which had immediately initiated action and suspended Nayak from duty on July 6 for breaching service rules. Nayak at that time was the Director, Fire Service department in Tripura.

Nayak had earlier moved to court on June 27 seeking anticipatory bail.

Himachal Pradesh scored 265/6 against Odisha at Stumps on Day 1

Bhubaneswar: Himachal Pradesh compiled a sizeable score of 265 for six at the close of opening day of their four-day Zone-A match of the Dr (Capt) K Thimmappiah Memorial Cricket Tournament at KSCA Alur Silver Oval in Karnataka on Friday. Amit Kumar and Ankush Bains both scored half-centuries.

At the close of the day’s play Rishi Dhawan was batting on 44. Odisha bowlers, Basant Mohanty and Deepak Behera bagged 2 wickets each, while Suryakant Pradhan and Bikash Rout picked one wicket apiece.

Score Card:


Ankush Bains c Rawat b D Behera 59, Prashant Chopra c Rawat b Pradhan 1, Abhimanyu Rana lbw Mohanty 8, Paras Dogra c sub (A Mallick) b D Behera 33, Amit Kumar c&b B Rout 75, Ankit Kaushik b Mohanty 43, Rishi Dhawan (batting) 44; Extras (nb-2) 2

Total (6 wkts; 83.3 overs) 265

Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Chopra, 0.5 ovs), 2-46 (Rana, 13.3 ovs), 3-90 (Bains, 23.1 ovs), 4-107 (Dogra, 27.2 ovs), 5-204 (Kaushik, 64.3 ovs), 6-265 (A Kumar, 83.3 ovs)


Bowling: Basant Mohanty 20-4-62-2, Suryakant Pradhan 21-3-69-1, Deepak Behera 20-5-45-2, Bikash Rout 7.3-0-43-1, Biplab Samantray 11-1-27-0, Govind Poddar 4-0-19-0.

Odisha: Maoist Couple with Reward on Head Surrender in Malkangiri District

Bhubaneswar: A dreaded Maoist couple were among five hardcore Left wing extremists (LWE) involved in over 150 cases surrendered before the police in Odisha’s Malkangiri district on Thursday. The Maoist couple are said to be carrying a reward of Rs 9 lakh on their head.

According to sources, all these five LWEs decided to surrender in order to return to the social mainstream.

These surrendered Maoists told the police that they were fed up with their activities after realising that Tribals and poor people were being harassed and exploited by the Maoists.

Meanwhile police confirming their surrender said that these surrendered LWEs who decided to return to social mainstream will be rehabilitated as per the state government’s policy on surrender of Maoists.

Odisha Urges Chhattisgarh to Stop Barrage Construction on Mahanadi; Centre Seeks Report

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra today urged the Chhattisgarh government to stop the construction work of barrage at upper catchment area of Mahanadi River. As the row escalated and the issue was raised by Biju Janata Dal (BJP) leader Bhatruhari Mahatab in Lok Sabha on Wednesday the Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has already sought a report from the Chhattisgarh government on the proposed projects on the upstream of Mahanadi river over which the Odisha government has objections.

Reacting on the issue Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said that the Mahanadi issue has been neglected by the State government and the people in the region will have to face problems because of the barrage construction.

The Congress party blamed the state government for not being able to assess the damage the state would face due to the construction of the barrage.

CM Naveen Patnaik Forms Task Force to Look into Nagada Infant Deaths

Bhubaneswar: Infant mortality due to malnutrition at Nagada village in Jajpur district of Odisha has drawn flak from all quarters, especially the opposition Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) and the Congress Party blamed the Naveen Patnaik led Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government for its failure to curb infant mortality. The scenario came to light after reports came in that 18 infants died allegedly due to malnutrition over the past three months particularly in the same village in the mining district of Jajpur.

After the reports were highlighted in the media the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday reacted over the issue by forming a task force. Talking to media persons present at the state secretariat he said “The task force will also see that such incidents do not recur.”

In the meanwhile, senior official from state agriculture department PK Meherda and Task force nodal officer Manoj Ahuja have visited and enquired about the condition of 19 malnourished kids undergoing treatment at the Kaliapani hospital.

3276 Driving Licenses Suspended in Bhubaneswar-Cuttack for Drunken Driving

Bhubaneswar: Around 3276 driving licenses have been suspended out of a total number of 4794 drunken driving cases have been detected up to the month of May this year. This was revealed in a review meeting held under the Chairmanship of Development Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary R. Balakrishnan in the secretariat here on Wednesday.

Discussing the High Court’s recorded appreciation in their interim order in the case no-12528 dated 27th June, 2016 for the efforts initiated by Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissionerate to check drunken driving on the roads.

In respect to the court’s order, Development Commissioner directed to intensify the drive and make the initiatives more result oriented. Balakrishnan asked the concerned departments to step up the mobile checking units, highway patrolling and make the actions visible on the roads. Balakrishnan said that road accidents costs human life and property and also creates heavy loss on economy of the State. He directed the Police, Excise and Transport departments to take team actions in missionary spirit to check this menace.

According to sources, a total amount of Rs.51.30 lakh have been collected as compounding fees and fines. The Transport Commissioner Dr C. S. Kumar apprised in the the meeting that RTOs and Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissionerate have been supplied with 80 new breath analysers to test drunk drivers. An amount of Rs.15 crores has been budgeted for road safety this year. It was decided to purchase prioritized modern equipments from this fund, Kumar added.

Director General of Police Kunwar Brajesh Singh, Principal Secretary Commerce & Transport Sanjaya Rastogi, Secretary Excise Bishnupada Sethi, Special Secretary Home Lalit Kumar Das, Joint Secretary Finance Roop Narayan Das, Transport Commissioner Dr Chandra Sekhar Kumar, Excise Commissioner along with other senior officers also deliberated in the discussion.

Temple Administration Acts under Pressure Suspends 9 Servitors; Six Others Arrested for Attacking Journalists

Bhubaneswar: After the late Sunday night mess by servitors during Niladri Bije of the three deities back to the Temple and subsequent public outcry condemning the incident, today on Tuesday under tremendous pressure from all quarters of the society the Puri police managed to arrest all 6 servitors involved in attacking the media persons and disrupting the smooth completion of rituals.

Not only that another set of 9 servitors have also been suspended by the Shri Jagnnath Temple administration that had violated the ban on climbing of the chariots and misbehaved with Arvind Agarwal the Collector and District Magistrate, Puri.

The 9 suspended servitors are Damodar Mahasuar, Jaykrushna Mahasuar, Bhagirathi Khuntia, Saina Khuntia, Bhimsen Palankadhari, Ipsita Pratihari, Rabi Das, Rabi Khuntia and Kashinath Khuntia.

According to chief administrator of Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Mohapatra, these 9 servitors were suspended for delaying Niladri Bije rituals, misbehaving with the Collector and flouting the rules of chariot climbing. He said, “we have examined the CCTV footage of the Niladri Bije and suspended nine servitors from duty under clause A and C of section 21 (B) of Sri Jagannath Temple Act 1954,”

Mohapatra further added that soon charges will be framed against the 9 violators and disciplinary action will be taken.

Earlier in the day the six arrested servitors Bapi Khuntia, Shankar Palankdhari, Bipin Patri, Papun Mohapatra, Baban Khuntia and Madan Khuntia were produced before the court of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate and the magistrate rejected their bail plea and sent them to judicial custody.

IOA Send-off to India Rio Olympics Contingent

New Delhi: The Indian Olympics Association (IOA) gave an official send-off to the Indian Olympic contingent for the Rio Olympics. It is the largest Indian contingent of 121 athletes which includes 54 women, to represent India the in great sporting extravaganza to be held in the city of Rio De Jeneiro at Brazil starting from 05 August to 21st August.

IOA felicitated the athletes on Monday and also thanked the government for its support. IOA president N Ramchandran said he is looking forward to the time when the association won’t have to take government grant and will be self-sufficient.

The Union Sports Secretary Rajeev Yadav also said that unlike in the past the government is proactive and are ready to help the athletes in every manner possible including relaxing the disbursement procedure where now 90 percent of money gets disbursed at one time.

UNESCO Tags Three Indian Sites in the World Heritage List

New Delhi: Three more Indian sites make it to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites as all three nominations linked to India were approved at the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul. The three sites included in the list are Capitol Complex in Chandigarh and Sikkim’s national park home to the world’s third highest peak Mount Khanchan-zonga.

This comes two days after the ruins of Nalanda University in Bihar made it to the elite list. India is the first country to get three sites inscribed in the Word Heritage List at a single session of the committee meeting.

Jagannath Temple Administration Lacks Courage to Act against Servitors

Bhubaneswar: After Sunday night’s fiasco during the niladri bjie delaying the rituals till late night and the servitors of deities of Jagannath temple, Puri also misbehaving with the Collector & District Magistrate Arvind Agarwal has raised eyebrows among intellectuals and members of civil society in the State.

Climbing of the Lord Balabhadra’s chariot by a girl alleged to be a daughter of a servitor or misbehaving with the District magistrate or assaulting the media persons covering the rituals of the closing of Rath Yatra seems that rule of law has failed to prevail.

Utter chaos and unruly scenes were clearly visible by one and all present near the chariot and the minister, officers and policemen seemed to be onlookers of the entire incident.

Chief administrator of Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Mohapatra, whose responsibility is to maintain the smooth functioning of the event on Monday claims that all Sevayats have not broken the law.

Lack of respect for the courts or religious leaders or the Gajapati of Puri in the entire turn of events was evident from the episode which unfolded last night.

Arrest of a servitor or a few others later and then releasing them with a warning demonstrates a weak administration and also a lack of will of the ruling political class.

The incidents during navakalevara last year or not abiding the Court order does not make much of a difference as the servitors seem to be the rule of law.

Assault on the journalists by the servitors is deplorable and is condemned by all sections of media and society. It is expected that stringent action is taken against the perpetrators and exemplary punishment will send the right signal so that such incidents don’t recur again.

And an advice to the administration through what Chanakya once said “The disgrace of one’s people brings sorrow to the Nobel minded.”


Odisha Cricket Team to Participate in KSCA Tournament Beginning from July 22

Cuttack: Odisha all rounder Biplab Samantaray will lead the State team that will participate in the Dr (Capt) K Thimmappiah Memorial Tournament, scheduled to be organised by Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) at Bangalore and Mysore from July 22 to August 18, 2016. The 16-member team, announced by Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) today, will leave for Bangalore on July 20.

Odisha team has been placed in Zone-A along with KSCA XI, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura. Altogether 16 teams, including Odisha, have confirmed their participation in this all-India tournament. Teams have been divided into four zones.

TEAM ODISHA: Santanu Mishra, Sandip Pattnaik, Abinash Saha, Govinda Poddar (Vice-captain), Biplab Samantaray (Captain), Abhilash Mallick, Pratik Das, Ranjit Singh, Saurabh Rawat (WK), Basant Mohanty, Debabrata Pradhan, Deepak Behera, Suryakanta Pradhan, Subhranshu Senapati, Prashant Thakkar, Bikash Rout. Manager: Subrat Panda, Coach: Debasis Mohanty, Physio: Subhakant Sahoo, Trainer: Manoj Biswal.


July 22-25: Odisha vs Himachal Pradesh at Alur

July 28-31: Odisha vs KSCA XI at Just Cricket (T)

August 3-6: Odisha vs Tripura at Green Sports Village (T)

Semifinals: August 9-12

Final: August 15-18

Three MPs from Odisha Take Oath in Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: The three newly elected Rajya Sabha MPs from Odsiha Prasanna Acharya, Bishnu Charan Das and N Bhaskar Rao elected on BJD tickets made and subscribed Oath or affirmation today in the Rajya Sabha.

All the three members swore their allegiance to the Constitution of India in Odia language and later was congratulated and welcomed by Hamid Ansari, the Chairman, Rajya Sabha.

Today is the beginning of the monsoon session of Parliament.

BJP Probe Team Says BJD Govt Lacks Seriousness on Kandhamal Shooting Incident

Bhubaneswar: The three-member Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary probe team comprising of MPs Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Ramvichar Netam and Jyoti Dhurbe visited Ggumdumaha village in Kandhamal district today and spoke to the family members and relatives of the victims killed in the shooting by security forces on their way for a anti-Maoist operation.

Speaking to reporters the BJP national vice-president and Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Sahasrabuddhe attacked the BJD government and alleged that it failed to protect innocent people who lost their lives during an anti-Maoist operation in Kandhamal.

Jyoti Dhurbe also met women relatives of the families of the victims and was critical of the government for ‘failing’ to protect the people of the region. She said, “the State government has failed to protect these poor people, let alone do any development in the region. The administration has not given justice to these people. BJP is with the people, society and region of the State,”

After completion of the probe the three-member team is expected to submit a report to the BJP Party President Amit Shah on their return to New Delhi, sources added.

Homeopath Shoots at Man for Urinating near his Clinic

Bhubaneswar: In an untoward incident here today at around 11:40 am a Homeopathy Doctor shot at a man for urinating near his clinic located in the Indradhanu market at Nayapalli area in Bhubaneswar.

According to various eyewitness accounts, an individual named Maheshwar Routray, who happens to be the victim, was urinating near the clinic of a Homeopathy doctor’s clinic. Initially the staff members from the clinic asked the victim not to urinate near the clinic. An argument seemed to have broken out between them. Subsequently, the homeopathy doctor identified as Dr. Bishwbhushan Pradhan too had come out hearing the commotion. The argument seemed to have stretched and led to a minor scuffle upon which the doctor was enraged and shot at the victim’s leg from his licensed revolver.

The injured victim was later admitted at the Capital Hospital here and then shifted to the SCB Medical College and Hospital for treatment.

Odisha: All Villages to be Electrified in State by November 2016

Bhubaneswar: After a high level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A P Padhi and other officials of the energy department in the State secretariat on Friday, it was revealed that all villages in Odisha will be electrified by the end of November this year.

According to Rajesh Verma, principal secretary energy department, around 45,236 villages out of 47,677 villages which is almost 96 percent of the number villages as per 2011 census have so far been electrified by the end of the month of June. Verma said that out of the remaining 2,441 villages to be electrified 541 have been identified as uninhabited.

Reviewing the work done so far the Chief Secretary asked officials to complete the programme within the stipulated time. PGCIL, OPTCL, OREDA and NTPC have been entrusted with the work for quicker implementation. Electrification of 198 villages out of rest 275 villages will be through micro-grid and 76 would be covered through stand alone solar projects by OREDA which will benefit around 12,000 households.

Union Health Minister J P Nadda assures all support to Odisha in its fight against Dengue

New Delhi: Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Jual Oram today met J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare and expressed concern about the rising cases of Jaundice and Dengue in Barbil and neighbouring areas in Keonjhar district of Odisha.

Notably, over 600 cases have been detected in this region. Minister Oram requested for a team of doctors to be sent to the State to assist it in managing the situation.

Responding to the request, J P Nadda spoke to the Health Minister of Odisha, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and discussed the Dengue situation in the State. He assured the State Health Minister of full cooperation and Central Government support in its efforts.

Nadda stated that the Health Ministry is geared up to send a team of doctors to Odisha to extend all necessary support to strengthen its efforts towards management of Dengue in the State. The Union Health Minister stated that the Centre is ready to extent all assistance to the State in terms of preventive and curative measures for managing the situation in Odisha.

Nayak, Health Minister of Odisha thanked Nadda and informed him that presently the situation was under control and he would request for the Health Ministry’s assistance if and when the need arises.

Three-Member BJP Team Arrives in Odisha to Probe the Killing of Innocent Tribals in Kandhamal

Bhubaneswar: A 3-member BJP Parliamentary team constituted by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah to probe the killing of 6 innocent tribals including a child at Kandhamal arrived here in Bhubaneswar today.

The team consists of BJP Rajya Sabha MP  Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Lok Sabha MP Jyoti Dhurbe and Raj Sabha MP Ramvichar Netam arrived here in the afternoon and is supposed to visit Kandhamal and meet the kin of the deceased.

The team is expected to submit a report of Party President Shah soon after the probe, added sources in BJP.

England Cricket Team to Tour India from Nov; Cuttack to Host 2nd ODI

Indian Cricket Team-Image courtesy BCCIMumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England Cricket Board (ECB) today announced the schedule for the forthcoming England’s tour of India during the months of November 2016 to February 2017.

According to the announcement England will play a five-match Test series followed by three One-Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals.

Barabati Stadium at Cuttack will host the 2nd ODI scheduled to be played on January 19, 2017.

The schedule of the tour is given below

Match Date Venue
1st Test Nov 09-13 Rajkot
2nd Test Nov 17-21 Vizag
3rd Test Nov 26-30 Mohali
4th Test Dec 08-12 Mumbai
5th Test Dec 16-20 Chennai
1st ODI Jan 15 Pune
2nd ODI Jan 19 Cuttack
3rd ODI Jan 22 Kolkata
1st T20I Jan 26 Kanpur
2nd T20I Jan 29 Nagpur
3rd T20I Feb 01 Bengaluru

OOA, OCA & OAA Felicitate Ace Sprinter Dutee Chand for Making it to Rio Olympics

Cuttack: Odisha’s ace sprinter Dutee Chand who qualified for the Rio Olympics to represent India in the 100 m sprint and 4 x 100 m relay events was felicitated by Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) Honourary Secretary Asirbad Behera here on Thursday. OCA has also announced a cash award.

The Orissa Olympic Association (OOA) and Odisha Athletic Association (OAA) also announced a cash rewards so that the sprinter could procure the necessary kits and gears for the Rio Olympics.

Whole of India Drenches in Monsoon Rains before July 15

New Delhi: Monsoon rains reached 2 days earlier than it normally does and covered the whole country.

Regions of Rajasthan, Madhya Maharashtra and Delhi saw heavy rains as Southwest monsoon moved towards western Rajasthan and Kutch, and remaining parts of north Arabian Sea.

Rajasthan received more over 13 centimetres of rain at various places while Delhi received showers making it pleasant bringing down the humidity levels.

Heavy rain alert has been sounded in Uttarakhand by the meteorological department and warnings have been issued for people to be cautious for the next 48 hours.

According to IMD, the country has received 280.4 mm rainfall between 1st and 12th July which is 4 per cent higher than normal.

This year rains are expected to be 6% more than the long period average.

July is expected to see 7 per cent more rain while August is estimated to receive 4 per cent more rain than normal these months.

NCST Chairman says Kandhamal Incident Due to Failure of SOP

Bhubaneswar: After meeting the kin of the innocent tribals killed by security forces in Kandhamal the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) Chairman Dr Rameswar Oraon today said that the security personnel failed to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) while conducting the anti-Maoist operation in Kandhamal district leading to the death of 6 innocent tribals. Oraon met the families of the deceased persons and talked with them for over three hours today.

Talking to media persons Oraon said that there was no prior intelligence input of Maoists moving in a vehicle. On the contrary, the security personnel had the information that the Maoists were moving on foot. So he raised a pertinent question that if the forces had prior information, then why did they open fire at the vehicle in which the tribals were moving? He also added that action would be taken against the security personnel who had opened fire at them.

The NCST chairman, who arrived in Kandhamal on Tuesday, said he will meet the State Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and the DGP in Bhubaneswar and will urge the government to take adequate measures so that such incidents do not recur.

Oraon is scheduled to meet the Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi, Director-General of Police KB Singh and Home Secretary Asit Tripathy in Bhubaneswar later today.

Odisha Included in PMAGY Scheme as Union Govt Extends it to 1500 Villages

New Delhi: The Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot reviewed the implementation progress of the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) in the Central Advisory Committee meeting here on Wednesday and said hat so far an amount of Rs.201 crore has been released to the 5 pilot States and Rs.228.97 crore to States in the extended phase.

The minister also said that following the success of the scheme in the 1000 pilot villages in Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, it is now extended to further 1500 Scheduled Caste majority villages in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

deliverablesThe Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojana (PMAGY) is a centre sponsored scheme and is implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for integrated development of Scheduled Caste majority villages having Scheduled Caste population of more than 50 percent.

According to the scheme, it has to achieve integrated development of SC majority villages through convergent implementation of relevant schemes and providing gap filling funds to take up activities which do not get covered under existing schemes.

The major components of integrated development of villages under PMAGY include (i) Physical infrastructure such as construction of roads, street lighting, access to safe drinking water; (ii) Sanitation and environment; (iii) Social infrastructure, human development and social harmony; and (iv) Livelihood.

The meeting was attended by select Members of Parliament, representatives from concerned subject matter Ministries, National Institute of Rural Development and experts.


SIT Begins Probe into Killing of Innocent Tribals in Kandhamal

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted by the Chief minister Naveen Patnaik to invesitigate the killings of innocent tribals in a cross fire between security forces and Maoists, the SIT has begun its probe informed the Director General of Police (DGP) KB Singh to media persons here in Bhubaneswar.

Singh said, Director, Intelligence, Sunil Roy and IG, Operations, Soumendra Priyadarshi have already reached Kandhamal and are meeting the IG, Southern Range, Amitabh Thakur and local SP Pinak Mishra and taking stock of the reported incident.

Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a high-level meeting on Monday with top officials comprising of the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, DGP, Director Intelligence and others and constituted an SIT to investigate into the matter.

After the meeting the Chief Minister had informed the media persons that a thorough and impartial probe into the incident will be conducted and that he has directed an investigation of the case by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the State Human Rights Protection Cell (HRPC) and will be monitored and supervised by an officer of the rank of Additional Director General (ADG). He also had added that “If anyone is found guilty of negligent conduct after the probe, we shall take stringent action. I have also directed the DGP to have a detailed review and apply required correctives so that such an incident is not repeated in future during anti-Maoist operations.”

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to Visit Houston and Promote Road-Show Discovered Small Fields Bid Round 2016

New Delhi: Road shows in Houston, United States of America and Calgary, Canada will be held as part of process of promoting the Discovered Small Fields Bid Round 2016. Houston road show is scheduled on 14th and 15th July, 2016 while the Calgary road show will be held on 18th and 19th July, 2016.

Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan will visit Houston and Washington D.C, during 13 – 18 July, 2016. During this official visit, he will launch the International Road-Show for the 67 Discovered Small Fields (DSF) in Houston. He will also visit Washington during which he will meet his counterpart Dr. Ernest Jeffrey Moniz – Secretary of Energy, USA on 18th July.

Discovered Small Fields bidding was launched in New Delhi on 25th May, 2016. Subsequently, Road-Shows for this round were held in Mumbai and Guwahati. Under this round, 67 DSF of ONGC and Oil India Ltd, which could not be monetized during previous years, are being offered for international bidding. Progressive administrative and fiscal procedures have been introduced in this bidding process in sync with best international practices.

During the visit, Shri Pradhan will be accompanied by Secretary, MoP&NG, Senior officers and CMDs of ONGC, IOCL, GAIL, HPCL and MD-BPRL.

Roadshows are being organized in India and abroad to attract investors for the bidding round.

4 Girls from Odisha in Women’s Team as Hockey India Announces Teams for Rio Olympics

New Delhi: Hockey India today announced the Men’s and Women’s teams for the Rio Olympics 2016 here at a function held in New Delhi.

In a surprise change the long standing captain of the men’s team Sardar Singh has been replaced by Goal Keeper PR Sreejesh while Sushila Chanu will captain the Women’s team replacing captain Ritu Rani after she was dropped due to lack of improvement in her performance and other issues.

Men’s team have found themselves in a tough spot as they have challengers like Germany and Netherlands in the Group.

Men’s team

Men’s squad: PR Sreejesh (captain and GK), Harmanpreet Singh (defender), Rupinder Pal Singh (defender), Kothajit Singh (defender), Surendar Kumar (defender), Manpreet Singh (midfielder), Sardar Singh (midfielder), VR Raghunath (defender), SK Uthappa (midfielder), Danish Mujtaba (midfielder), Devender Walmiki (midfielder), SV Sunil (forward and vice-captain), Akashdeep Singh (forward), Chinglensana Singh (midfielder), Ramandeep Singh (forward), Nikkin Thimmaiah (forward).

Standby: Pardeep Mor, Vikas Dahiya

The women’s team is in Group B with Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, Japan and United States

Savita (GK), Navjot Kaur (midfielder), Deep Grace Ekka (defender), Monika (midfielder), Anuradha Devi (forward), Poonam Rani (forward), Vandana Kataria (forward), Deepika (vice-captain and defender), Namita Toppo (defender), Renuka Yadav (midfielder), Sunita Lakra (defender), Sushila Chanu (captain and defender), Rani Rampal (forward), Preeti Dubey (forward), Lilima Minz (midfielder), Nikki Pradhan (forward).

Standby: Rajani Etimarpu & H. Lalruat Feli

Deep Grace Ekka (defender), Namita Toppo (defender), Lilima Minz (midfielder) and Sunita Lakra (defender) are the 4 Odisha girls to have made to the Indian national team for the Rio Olympics.

Odisha sports minister has announced Rs 50,000 incentive for each player to have made it to the team.

Papu Pom Pom’s Bail Plea Rejected; Accused may move Higher Court for Bail

Bhubaneswar: On Monday the comedian actor Tatwa Prakash Patpathy alias Papu Pom Pom and his associate Pradipta Swain alias Gitu were produced before the Khurda District and Sessions Judge Court through video conference for their bail plea on alleged sexual harassment. The hearing took place in the court while the victim minor girl and her parents were also present.

Papu’s Advocate argued the case citing that the victim’s parents were kept in dark when the FIR was lodged against Papu. He further argued that child welfare committee (CWC) also inquired into the case without taking permission of the minor’s parents; therefore, the case had no legal base.

The public prosecutor opposing the bail plea argued that Papu Pom Pom and his associate should be denied bail since there is every likelihood for them to influence the witnesses or tamper with the evidence if granted bail.

Surprisingly the parents of the minor victim remained silent on the issue of the compromise petition filed by them during the previous hearing.

After hearing the argument of both sides the court rejected the bail pleas of Papu Pom Pom and his associated Gitu. Later their counsel informed the media that they will move to the higher Court for bail.

Dengue Cases on Rise; CMC Issues Notice to Bottling Plant for Failure to Curb the Disease

Bhubaneswar: While 62 more dengue patients get admitted in the SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack on Monday the situation seems to be grim as more are more dengue cases is on the rise. According to sources, apart from local dengue cases, patients referred from Keonjhar and Jajpur district is also on the rise. Out of all the patients admitted four cases are said to be critical and have been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

With dengue cases on the rise in the city, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) has on Monday issue notice to the franchisee of aerated bottling plant, Tripty Drinks Pvt. Ltd, at Jagatpur industrial for having failed to take adequate measures in the spread of dengue surrounding the plant area. It is important to mention here that maximum dengue cases reported in Cuttack is from Jagatpur industrial area.

Odisha Human Rights Commission Seeks Report on Killing of Innocent Tribals in Kandhmal

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today sought a report from the Odisha government on the incident of reported Killing of 5 innocent civilians in a crossfire between security forces and Maoists at Malapanga forest in Kurtamagarh of Kandhmal district.

According to sources OHRC issued notices to the State Home Secretary, DGP, South Range IG along with South Range Revenue Divisional Commissioner seeking a report to be submitted before the commission within two weeks.

Odisha: Bandh called in Kandhmal over Killing of Tribals; Central Team to Visit Odisha Tomorrow

Bhubaneswar:  A dawn-to-dusk bandh called by both the opposition parties BJP and Congress in Kandhmal District of Odisha over the killing of 5 tribal villagers in crossfire between Maoists and security forces that happened Friday night has paralysed normal life.

Party workers of BJP and Congress have held protests and road blockades at various places in the district. Normal life has been thrown out of gear after shops and business establishments remain closed along with vehicular traffic coming to a halt.

District administration has taken adequate measures by deploying police force to prevent any untoward incident.

Human Rights Commission Serves Notice to Odisha Govt over Dengue

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) taking sou motu cognizance over rise in dengue cases across the State has served notices seeking details in 2 weeks time from the Secretaries of departments of Health and Urban development and district collectors of eight districts affected with dengue outbreak.

While the dengue cases in the states has risen to 426 with the highest number of cases detected in the Keonjhar district. Over 25 cases have been identified in Cuttack.

Total number of cases undergoing treatment in SCB medical college and hospital has reached 36 with one patient stated to be in critical condition and has been put in the ICU.

Controversy Mires Rath Yatra Again after Girl Seen Climbing the Chariot

Bhubaneswar: Controversy has become synonymous with the Rath Yatra every year. The latest being a girl found climbing on to Nandighosh, the chariot of Lord Jagannath. Within hours after the controversy erupted displeasure among the devotees the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) came out with a clarification that the girl on the chariot is a relative of a temple servitor.

The public relations officer of SJTA Laxmidhar Pujapanda talking to reporters said the girl aged about 12-13 years is a relative of a temple servitor and had climbed the chariot along with her father.

Backing the version of the SJTA PRO, the Superintendent of Police, Puri, Sarthak Sarangi said that there is no ban on servitors and their family to climb on the chariot. He also reiterated that police will investigate the camera footage and and initiate necessary action against the person whosoever has violated the law.

Similar incident has occurred the previous year during the Rath Yatra which had raised a controversy.

Anjali, Sarojini from Odisha Selected for U-19 National Cricket Camp

Bhubaneswar: Out of 25 players selected by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for Under-19 Girls National Camp include two girls from Odisha. The two Odisha players Anjali Singh and Sarojini Giri will join other members at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) at Guntur (Andhra) to be held from from July 8 to August 7, 2016.

The Complete list of players chosen for the camp is Padmaja E (Andhra); Yastika Bhatia, Radha Yadav, Pragya Rawat (all Baroda); Tanusree Sarkar, Indrani Roy (both Bengal); Laxmi Yadav (Delhi); Suman A Gulia, Bhawna Ohlan, Diksha Sharma (all Haryana); Harleen Deol (Himachal Pradesh), Ramya D (Hyderabad);

Shanti Kumari (Jharkhand); Prathyusha C, Sanjana Batni,    Shubha Satish (all Karnataka); Yashi Pandey(Madhya Pradesh); Jemima Rodrigues, Fatima Jaffer (both Mumbai); Anjali Singh, Sarojini Giri (both Odisha); Suman Meena (Rajasthan); Ekta Singh, Tanu Kala (both Uttar Pradesh); Disha Kasat (Vidarbha).

Muslims across Odisha Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr

Bhubaneswar: With the end of the month of Ramzan, Muslims in Odisha celebrates Eid- ul-Fitr “festival of breaking of the fast” here on Thursday. Since morning people thronged to the Mosques and Eidgahs to offer their Eid prayers. Bhubanewar, Cuttack, Jajpur and Bhadrak have a sizable Muslim population who celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr.

Festivity and fervour was evident as people wore new clothes and savoured mouth watering delicacies on the occasion. Muslims observe Roza or fasting as they consider it as the holy month. They believe that they are commanded by Prophet Mohammad, as mentioned in the Quran, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramzan and practice social service and compassion during the month before offering the Eid Prayers.

Prime Minister Modi and CM Patnaik of Odisha Greet People on the occasion of Rath Yatra

Bhubaneswar: While the festival of Rath Yatra began at Puri the Prime Minister on this occasion greeted the people. He said “On the occasion of Rath Yatra, my warmest greetings to you all. May Lord Jagannath continue to shower his blessings on everyone. May the blessings of Lord Jagannath lead to development of villages, well-being of poor & farmers and take India to new heights of progress.”

Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik witnessed the Rath Yatra at Puri and also greeted the people on this occasion. He tweeted  “Heartfelt greetings on this joyous & most auspicious occasion of #RathaJatra. Jai Jagannath!”

Rath Yatra Festivals begins in Puri

Puri: As usual with lots of pomp and ceremony the Rath Yatra festival of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra began here in Puri. The three deities on this day began a journey to their aunt’s place and return after 9 days stay.

In the morning the rituals began with Pahandi that is bringing the deities on board the beautifully decorated chariots. After boarding the three respective chariots, Shankaracharya of Puri Jagadguru Swami Nischalanada Saraswati of Govardhana Matha later performed the rituals on the three chariots followed by Puri Gajapati Divya Singh Dev performed his ritual of Cchhera pahanra sweeping and cleaning the chariots of three deities before they begin their journey towards Gundicha temple their aunt’s place.

Lakhs of people congregated here on the Bada Danada (Grand Road) to witness the holy festival of Rath Yatra. People have thronged from all across the country and abroad to take a glimpse of Lord Jagannath and his siblings on board the three chariots. This is a festival which has a great significance in Hindu religion for its belief in equality as the deities themselves come out to give Darshan to people from all religions, caste and creed. The chariots are drawn by the people and are on their way to the final destination at Gundicha temple about 3 kms away from the Jagannath Temple till reports were last received.

PM Narendra Modi Inducts 19 New Faces, Drops 5 Ministers from his Cabinet

New Delhi: The President of India today sworn in one cabinet minister and 19 new ministers of state on advice by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Prakash Javdekar, the minister of state (MoS) in charge of Environment is the only MoS to be elevated to  cabinet rank along with 19 new faces who took their oath of office at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The list of ministers include Prakash Javadekar (Cabinet Minister) and Ministers of State Faggan Singh Kulaste, S.S. Ahluwalia, Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi, Vijay Goel, Ramdas Athawale, Rajen Gohain, Anil Madhav Dave, Parshottam Rupala, M.J. Akbar, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey,  Ajay Tamta, Smt. Krishna Raj, Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Anupriya Patel, C.R. Chaudhary, P.P. Chaudhary and Subhash Ramrao Bhamre.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also dropped 5 ministers from his cabinet they are

  1. Sanwar Lal Jat, (Minister of State for Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation)
  2. Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundariya, (Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)
  3. Nihal Chand, (Minister of State for Panchayati Raj)
  4. Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava (Minister of State for Tribal Affairs)
  5. Prof. (Dr.) Ram Shankar Katheria, (Minister of State for Human Resource Development)

President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted their resignation.

Arrested Motilal Gouda Sent to Six-Day Police Remand

Bhubaneswar: A day after Motilal Gouda, the former assistant director of the Directorate of Factories and Boilers, was arrested from Vizianagaram he was produced before the Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM) court here on Monday. The court has sent Gouda on a six-day police remand.

Gouda is accused of issuing a fake gazette notification asking industries in the State to get the health check-ups of their staff done at pathology laboratories. Raids conducted at various residences and establishments owned by Gouda have revealed that he has amassed wealth disproportionate to his income.

CBI Arrests Odisha Youth Congress Chief in Arth Tatwa Chit Fund Case

Bhubaneswar: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested Odisha Youth Congress Chief Rajat Choudhury for his alleged involvement in the Artha Tatwa (AT) chit fund scam. He was later suspended from the party.

CBI made the arrest after the main accused in the AT Chit Fund scam Pradeep Sethy was questioned in the jail. Prior to that Choudhury was questioned by the CBI for his alleged the ownership of 2 flats and a vehicle.

Similarly an advocate of the Odisha High Court,  Debasish Panda was also arrested for his links in the scam. He was a signatory as a witness of a shady land deal made by the former Attorney General with AT scam accused Pradeep Sethy.

Odia Girls Dutee and Srabani qualify in 4 x 100 m relay Women’s Team event for Rio Olympics

Bhubaneswar: Indian ace sprinters made India proud as they qualified for Rio Olympics in the 4 x 100 m women’s relay.  The 4 x 100 m relay team, comprising of Dutee, Srabani, HM Jyothi and Merylin Joseph broke their own national record of 44.03 seconds, set in the IAAF World Challenge in Beijing in May this year, by clocking a new national record of 43.42 seconds and qualified for the Rio Olympics at the Kazakhstan National Athletics Championships at Almaty on Monday.

The International Olympic Committee will allow the top 16 teams from across the world who qualifies by July 11 to participate in the Rio Olympic Games. The Indian women’s team edged past France to become the 16th country to enter the games.

Casting Couch Victim Seeks Police Protection; Father Seeks Withdrawal of Case against Papu Pom Pom

Bhubaneswar: While the people named in the casting couch controversy are still at large, the victim has approached the Mahila Police on Monday seeking police protection after she alleged to have received death threats. The victim claims to have received the threats from people she has named in the FIR lodged on June 26.

The alleged perpetrators have been issued notices by the Commissionerate police but no progress has been made so far except the arrest of actor Papu Pom Pom and his associate.

On the contrary, the victim’s father today approached the Khurda District and Sessions Judge Court and filed an affidavit withdrawal of the case since the matter had been “amicably resolved”. However, the court rejected the plea saying such cases cannot allow a compromise as the law does permit it.

Earlier actor Papu arrested by Commissionerate Police under Sec 354 (A), 506, 509 of IPC and Sec 8, 12 and 17 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

PM Modi meets Indian Athletes for 2016 Rio Olympics

New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi today met over 60 athletes who will participate at the Rio Olympic Games to be held in Brazil. PM Modi met each athlete individually and encouraged them to perform to the best of their ability in the world’s biggest sporting arena.

Several former Olympians including MC Mary Kom, Anju Bobby George and P. Gopichand were among those present at the gathering. Over 100 Indian athletes from 13 different disciplines have qualified to represent India in the Rio Olympics to be held in August this year.

The Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Dr. Jitendra Singh was also present on the occasion.


PM Modi to Rejig Union Council of Ministers Tomorrow

New Delhi: The much awaited cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister is likely to take place tomorrow at 11 a.m. The chief Spokesperson of the government Frank Norhona has mentioned in a tweet that cabinet expansion will take place tomorrow at 11 a.m.

PM Modi is likely to induct new faces to his cabinet and is also expected to fill up the vacancy arising from ex-sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal becoming the chief minister of Assam.

Court Defers Papu Pom Pom’s Bail Plea hearing till July 11

Bhubaneswar: The hearing for the bail plea of arrested Odia comedian actor Tatwa Prakash Tripathy alia Papu Pom Pom has been deferred by the Khurdha District Court after the Bhubaneswar Commissionerate police sought more time to submit the case diary in court. The next bail plea hearing is scheduled for July 11.

Earlier actor Papu was arrested by Commissionerate Police and cases under Sec 354 (A), 506, 509 of IPC and Sec 8, 12 and 17 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act were registered against him.

The statement of the complainant has already been recorded by a magistrate under section 164 IPC.

PM Modi to meet Athletes Contingent for Rio Olympics to be Held in Brazil

New Delhi: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will meet the athletes who shall be representing India at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

PM Narendra Modi will meet the Olympic Contingent at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi on Monday. So far, around 100 athletes from 13 sports disciplines have qualified for the Rio Olympics.

The Prime Minister will interact informally with the sportspersons, and wish them well for their performance in the world’s biggest sporting arena.

Absconder Dr Motilal Gouda Finally Arrested by Odisha Police

Bhubaneswar: In a sudden turn of events on the run Dr. Motilal Gouda, the former assistant director of the Directorate of Factories & Boilers, was arrested by Odisha Police on Sunday from Andhra Pradesh.

This was confirmed by Special DG Crime B. K. Sharma in presence of media persons today. He said that Arun Bothra IG, Economic Offence Wing had constituted a team which was on Dr. Gouda’s trail for the past 4 days. The team raided various place in Vishakhapatnam and Vizianagram in Andhra Pradesh and finally arrested Dr Gouda. He is being brought back to Odisha and very soon will be produced before a magistrate. Odisha police will try to bring him remand for further questioning, Sharma added.

Dr. Gouda had made headlines over the past few days after he was dismissed from service on charges of issuing fake gazette notification ordering engagement of five private labs for pre-employment health check-up of factories and industries. Prior to that Gouda was serving as a Medical officer in the state government’s health department and was sacked from his job in November 2015 on the charges of unauthorised absence from duty for a longer period of time.

Dr Gouda was on the run over the past fortnight while his plea for an anticipatory bail was rejected by the Orissa High Court on June 24.

In the meantime, Vigilance department had also conducted raids on Saturday at Gouda’s residences and commercial establishments which revealed that he has amassed wealth and assets illegally disproportionate to his income.

Vigilance Department Raids Absconder Dr. Motilal Gouda’s Ancestral House

Bhubaneswar: The Vigilance department conducted raids here on Saturday on various establishments of the absconding former assistant director of the Directorate of Factories & Boilers Dr. Motilal Gouda. According to the sources, Vigilance sleuths conducted raids at various places across the State including his ancestral home at Chandipur village under Mohana block in Gajapati district.

The Vigilance department sprang into action after the state anti-corruption wing received a formal request from the Labour and ESI Department to probe into alleged fraud committed by Dr. Gouda.

Dr. Gouda was suspended from service by the state government on charges of issuing fake gazette notification ordering engagement of five private labs for pre-employment health check-up of factories and industries. Prior to that Gouda was serving as a Medical officer in the state government’s health department and was sacked from his job in November 2015 on the charges of unauthorised absence from duty for a longer period of time.

Dr Gouda is absconding for over a fortnight and his plea for an anticipatory bail was rejected by the Orissa High Court on June 24.

148 Special Trains to Run during Rath Yatra Festival says ECoR

Bhubaneswar: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) informed here on Friday that 148 special trains will run to Puri during the Rath Yatra festival. According to the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) ECoR,  35 new counters will be opened at the Puri Railway Station while 25 new counters will be opened at various other stations.

For security and safety of passengers during the festival 600 Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel will be deployed at the Puri Railway Station along with four dog squads. Additionally, 25 new CCTV cameras will be installed to keep an eye on the crowd, he added.


LCA “Tejas” Inducted into Indian Air Force; PM Expresses Pride and Happiness

New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi today expressed pride and happiness over the induction of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)  Tejas fighter jet into the Indian Air Force. PM Modi also lauded Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) on the induction of Tejas.

“Induction of indigenously made Tejas fighter jet into the Air Force fills our hearts with unparalleled pride and happiness. I laud HAL and ADA on the induction of Tejas fighter jet. This illustrates our skills and strengths to enhance indigenous defence manufacturing”, the Prime Minister said.

The LCA “Tejas” inducted into No. 45 Squadron of Indian Air Force (IAF) on 01 Jul 2016. No. 45 Squadron, also called the “Flying Daggers”, was last equipped with MiG 21 Bis Aircraft and operated from Nalia. It’s motto is “Ajeet Nabha”. The Squadron will operate from Bangalore for nearly two years before it moves to its designated location at Sulur near Coimbatore. It is the first fighter Squadron to be a part of the Southern Air Command of IAF headquartered at Thiruvananthapuram.

Group Captain Madhav Rangachari, an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, is the Commanding Officer of Flying Daggers. He flew the inaugural flight of LCA in 45 Squadron today. Apart from operational experience on Mirage-2000 and MiG 21, he also has considerable experience on flight testing of LCA prototypes.

With 45 Squadron commencing operations today, soon the Tejas would be employed to defend the Indian skies.

“No Helmet No Petrol” at Filling Stations in Cuttack from Today

Bhubaneswar: “No Helmet No Petrol” if you drive into filling stations with your two wheeler in Cuttack.  After implementing the ‘No Helmet No Petrol’ in Capital city of Bhubaneswar and across Khurdha district, this rule has been extended to Cuttack district as well.

The rule comes into effect from today in Cuttack where the bikers will be refused fuel without wearing helmets. It may be recalled that on June 13, Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissioner of Police YB Khurania held a meeting with officials of oil companies and petrol pump owners asking them not to sell petrol to bikers not wearing helmets.

In the meantime before implementation of the rule Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Police Commissionerate had held awareness drives to educate the mass on the use of helmets while driving.


Second Successful Test Fire of Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile at Chandipur in Odisha

New Delhi: Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) was successfully test-fired for the second time from the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur off Odisha Coast at 15:45 hours on Thursday and it hit the target in a different envelope at low altitude. It also met the mission requirements.

Earlier around 08:16 hours on Thursday a Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at the same place.

The MRSAM is jointly developed by DRDO and IAI of Israel for the Indian Air Force. The missile guided by a Radar system and on-board avionics successfully hit a Pilotless target aircraft.

Odisha to Partner with Shipping Ministry for Coastal Shipping of Thermal Coal under Sagarmala

New Delhi: According to the Ministry of Shipping, the State Government of Odisha will partner the Ministry for taking ahead the ‘port-led development’ agenda under Sagarmala, the flagship programme of the Ministry. The State Government has confirmed 10% equity participation in the Special Purpose Venture (SPV) of Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL) that will be formed for development of a heavy haul rail corridor from Salegaon to Paradip port. This initiative will strengthen supply-side connects from mine to port and will boost coastal movement of 140 MTPA of coal, as envisioned in Sagarmala National Perspective Plan.

The rail link will serve as the last mile connectivity to transport bulk cargo of thermal coal from the Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), via coastal shipping at Paradip, to power plants in coastal regions of southern states. It will also serve the 4 major industrial clusters- Jharsuguda-Sambalpur; Angul-Talcher-Dhenkanal; Kalinganagar Steel Hub; and port based industrial area of Paradip.

Including the 3rd and 4th line development between Budhapank and Salegaon by Indian Railways, the project estimates an investment of Rs.4500 Crore. The project will be executed by the SPV between Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL), RITES, Paradip Port Trust, the State Govt of Odisha and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.

As a precursor to this, an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) meeting chaired by the Chairman, Rail Board, comprising the Secretaries of Shipping, Coal and Power was held to firm up the actionable plan for harnessing the coastal shipping potential. The IMC has awarded the approval for preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) by RITES along the finalized alignment.

The project is part of the port-led-development programme of Sagarmala by the Ministry of Shipping to enhance port connectivity and encourage coastal shipping of commodities to reduce overall logistic costs, thereby enabling ports to become drivers of country’s overall economic growth.

In order to efficiently handle the additional volume of coal, the Paradip port is taking up a number of projects to enhance its capacity to handle coal. In the short term it is undertaking berth mechanization projects. The development of the outer harbour as a new port and capacity augmentation of the existing terminals are now being prepared by the port.


Bhubaneswar Police Arrests Papu Pom Pom from Puri

Bhubaneswar: In a dramatic turn of events Bhubaneswar Police Commissionerate arrested Tatwa Prakash Satpathy alias Papu Pom Pom today. According to Police Commissioner Y. B. Khurania, the comedian actor Papu Pom Pom was arrested by a team of Bhubaneswar Police from Neelachal apartment at Puri. He said, since Papu and his associated were avoiding notices commissionerate police jumped into action and within a short period of located the alleged accused. Notably, the arrest happened after he was expelled from Biju Janata Dal (BJD) yesterday.

Papu was accused of alleged sexual advances by a minor girl. It came to light after the minor girl narrated the incident on a local Television Channel a few days back. And taking a sou motto cognizance of the matter the Khurdha District Child Welfare (DCW) committee had lodged a complaint with the Bhubaneswar Mahila Police. Subsequently, the IIC of Mahila police and DCW members located the victim and an FIR was lodged. Further, the statement of the victim was recorded be a Judicial Magistrate First Class under section 164 IPC.

After Papu’s arrest he was produced before the Magistrate and lodge in Jharpada Jail in Bhubaneswar.

Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile Test Fired at Chandipur off Odisha Coast

New Delhi: Around 08:16 hours on Thursday a Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) was successfully test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur on the Odisha Coast.

The MRSAM is jointly developed by DRDO and IAI of Israel for the Indian Air Force. The missile guided by a Radar system and on-board avionics successfully hit a Pilotless target aircraft.

Many Indian industries like BEL, L&T, BDL, TATA group of companies besides other private industries have contributed to the development of a number of subsystems which have been put into use in this flight test. The MRSAM system provides reliable air defence at medium ranges.

Both, Indian and Israel teams participated in the launch campaign. The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar congratulated DRDO and the Industry Partners for successful demonstration of the Air Defence capability. Secretary Deptt of Def R&D and DG DRDO Dr. S Christopher declared the launch as a major milestone for the IAF towards air defence.

Odisha: Government Launches Mobile App to help obtain PCB Clearance Certificates Online

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government in its initiative of ease of doing business in the State took another step forward by launching the Mobile App for online tracking of the status of the applications submitted to Odisha pollution Control Board by various industries and start ups.

The Mobile App was launched by the State Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the Secretariat conference hall in the presence of Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan and Member Secretary Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) Rajiv Kumar, Senior Scientist OSPCB P. K. Prusty, Director Environment Devi Datta Biswal along with other senior members and technical experts.

Member Secretary Rajiv Kumar said that the Pollution Control Board developed this Mobile App and through this facility any industry can view their application status “Anytime Anywhere”. General public can also view and download the Consent order issued to any industry for their reference and use. The Mobile App can be accessed by smart phones and tablets. This app has been developed under Online Consent Monitoring and & Management System with the name OR-OCMMS.

According to Nihar Ranjan Sahoo an OSPCB official, this Mobile App has been developed with technical support from National Informatics Centre (NIC), New Delhi within a period of 2 months. The App can be installed on an android mobile from Google Play Store free of cost.

Any Stake holder or the public can also have a look at the type of application (CTO/CTE) date of submission of application, and the present application status. If the application has been approved in the meantime, the stakeholder can see and download the approved date and the approved /consent order. This Mobile App will make the consent management system quicker and transparent.

BJD Expels Papu Pom Pom from Party after complaint of Sexual Assault against him

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday in a press release said that it has expelled Tatwa Prakash Satpathy alias Papu Pom Pom from the party. The Odia Film actor is absconding over the past few days after sexual assault charges were levelled against him by a minor girl.

Bhubaneswar Police has been in the look out and has already issued notices to the actor and his associates to appear before the police for questioning.

Reacting to the development Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) responded by saying that the state government played a delaying tactics to arrest Papu Pom Pom to keep BJD’s image intact. BJP general secretary Bhrigu Buxipatra added that after Bhubaneswar Police issued notice against the actor that under pressure BJD acted against its member.

Papu Pom Pom was inducted by BJD party Supremo into the party in 2013 prior to the 2014 Assembly Elections. He had unsuccessfully fought the 2014 Assembly Election on a BJD ticket. The actor was also involved in promoting a Chit Fund Company that has swindled crores of rupees of investors from within and outside the State.

Union Cabinet Approves Implementation of the recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of the recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) on pay and pensionary benefits.   It will come into effect from 01.01.2016.

In the past, the employees had to wait for 19 months for the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations at the time of 5th CPC, and for 32 months at the time of implementation of 6th CPC.  However, this time, 7th CPC recommendations are being implemented within 6 months from the due date.

The Cabinet has also decided that arrears of pay and pensionary benefits will be paid during the current financial year (2016-17) itself, unlike in the past when parts of arrears were paid in the next financial year.

The recommendations will benefit over 1 crore employees. This includes over 47 lakh central government employees and 53 lakh pensioners, of which 14 lakh employees and 18 lakh pensioners are from the defence forces.

Union Cabinet Approves Road Project in Odisha

New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the CCEA approval of road projects in Odisha and other States will help improve the infrastructure and connectivity in these states. In a series of tweets, he said

CCEA approved the development of four laning of Angul-Sambalpur Section of NH-42 which is New NH-55 in Odisha.

The cost is estimated to be Rs. 2491.53 crore and total length of the road to be developed is approximately 151 kms.

The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Odisha and in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic…particularly heavy traffic, plying between Angul and Sambalpur section.

Monsoon Session of Parliament to begin from July 18

New Delhi: The Monsoon session of Parliament will be held from July 18 till August 12. The session will have 20 working days. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu today also informed after the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs meeting in New Delhi that 25 bills are expected to come for passing and consideration during the session.

The minister also expressed hope that Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill will be passed in the upcoming session. He sought cooperation of all opposition parties in ensuring passage of the bill.

Mr CM, if you want to Act, then Act Now

Bhubaneswar: Not everything seems to be going well so far as Odisha in concerned. One controversy after another has confused the people whether Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is aware of the facts or seems to look the other way and let things happen in the state.

Recent attack on the union textile minister’s vehicle at Bargarh allegedly by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) workers or fraud and corruption by a former Assistant director of the Department of Factories (Medical) Dr. Motilal Gouda has a bearing on the Patnaik led government in Odisha. Chit Fund controversy or the Bramha Parivartan controversy during the navakalevara in Jagannath Temple, Puri or the God Men controversy, it has been alleged and the public also perceives that there has been an involvement by some of his cabinet members or party leaders in all these issues. Yet, is the CM still unaware of these issues?

BJD has 117 seats in the State Legislative Assembly and it is the maximum number of seats held by BJD since the party came to power in the year 2000. With a thumping majority, the people of Odisha had restored faith in the government and expected it to perform in the most transparent manner. But mired with controversies within two years of CM Patnaik’s fourth term in office has raised many eyebrows among various sections of people in the State.

Political observers feel that the CM seems to have become a pacifier and is reluctant to initiate action against the wrong doers. Previously known for his no-nonsense attitude he had instilled fear among the political class within his party and also the bureaucracy but today it seems to have lost that sheen.

With 117 seats the CM should not be hesitant to crack down on his erring men and show them the doors rather than allow corruption, nepotism and complacency flourish under his nose. In politics, twists and turns can happen any moment. Mr Chief Minister, if you have to act and bring your house in order, then act soon before the termites eats into your own foundation.

Sometimes going with the public perception helps regaining people’s trust.


CM Naveen Patnaik Orders RDC Probe into the Attack on Union Minister’s Vehicle

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minsiter Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday has ordered the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) Northern Range to conduct an inquiry over the attack on the Vehicle of Union Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar while he was at Bargarh Town to attend the Vikas Utsav celebrations last week.

The chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s order came at a time when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has planned to hold demonstrations in 316 blocks across the State. BJP leaders had demanded immediate action against the perpetrators and also blamed the state government’s inability to control law and order in the State. Despite a scathing attack by the BJP it took some time for the State government to order an enquiry.

According to sources, CM Patnaik has asked to conduct the enquiry and submit the report within 60 days.

Odisha: Actor Papu Pom Pom Absconds after Alleged Sexual Assault Charges

Bhubaneswar: Comedian actor Tatwa Prakash Satapathy alias Papu Pom Pom of Odia film industry has found himself in another controversy where a minor girl has filed a police complaint in which she has alleged sexual assault by the actor.

Based on the complaint Bhubaneswar Police Commissionerate had sent a 4 member team at his Bhubaneswar residence under the Khandagiri Police station area yesterday and returned empty handed since his house was found locked.

According to Bhubaneswar police Commissioner Y B Khuarania, actor Papu and his associates have been sent notices to appear before the police within 7 days or a non-bailable warrant will be issued against their names.

Media reports suggest that in order to evade questioning or arrest by Bhubaneswar Police the actor and his associates might have fled to New Delhi and are seeking legal opinion to get anticipatory bail.

Notably a few days back, Actor Papu has also been linked with a chit fund company which has swindled crores of rupees of investors. It has been alleged that he helped in the promotion of the company both within and outside Odisha.

Papu had also unsuccessfully fought the 2014 assembly elections on a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) ticket.

Odisha: Casting Couch Scandal; Actress Sharmistha Records Statement under Sec. 164 IPC

Bhubaneswar: After the recent casting couch scandal which rocked the Odia Film and Television fraternity it seems to have shocked the people of Odisha. Bringing this issue at the forefront Actress Sharmistha Priyadarshini has put up a brave fight against the alleged perpetrators.

Sharmistha, who filed an FIR earlier and recorded her statement Under Sec. 161 Indian Penal Code (IPC), also recorded her statement today under Sec. 164 IPC before a magistrate here at the Bhubaneswar SDJM Court.

Sharmistha has lodged complaint against few directors and producers of Odia entertainment industry and has also alleged that they had solicited sexual favours from her through Facebook and WhatsApp interactions.

Mahila Police Station on Monday had already served notices to six persons in this regard in order to appear in person at the police station following the complaint made by Sharmistha.

The outcome of the notice is unknown and further reports are awaited in this matter.

Odisha: Cong EX-MP Pardip Majhi’s Arrest Spark Protests; Bandh Called in Nabarangpur, Kandhamal

Bhubaneswar: A dawn-to-dusk bandh called by the Congress party has affected normal life in Nabarangpur and Kandhamal districts situated in the western part of Odisha. Congress party has been protesting against the arrests of 17 leaders including Ex-MP Majhi.

In order to control the situation district administrations of both the districts have taken adequate measures in deploying security forces to prevent any untoward incident.

It may be noted that Majhi along with other protestors now lodged at Umerkote Sub jail was arrested, on Saturday, allegedly trying to ransack the Raighara forest range office and beating up forest and police staff during a demonstration.

Odisha: Cabinet Meeting to be Held in Secretariat Today

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government will hold a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here at the State Secretariat around 5.30 pm in the evening.

The cabinet is likely to place 11 proposals for discussion from Food and Civil Supplies, Health and Family Welfare, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Industries, Finance and General Administration departments.

It is also learnt from sources that Subroto Bagchi, chief of Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) is also likely to make a presentation in the meeting.

PM Modi Releases Book on Birds Found in Kutch Region of Gujarat

New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book titled “The Birds of Banni Grassland” in New Delhi, today. The book was presented to the Prime Minister by the Scientists of Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE).

The Book is a compilation of the research work, relating to more than 250 species of birds found in the Banni area of Kutch, Gujarat.

The Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, located at Bhuj, has been studying the plant, bird and marine life in the Rann of Kutch for over 15 years.

BCCI Working Committee Decides to hold Ranji Matches at Neutral venues

Cuttack: The four day first Annual Conclave of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) concluded at Dharamshala in Hamachal Pradesh last week.  The BCCI Working Committee meeting, which was held on the concluding day, took many important decisions.

Apart from appointing Anil Kumble as Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team the working committee on the recommendations of the technical committee also decided to hold Ranji Trophy matches at neutral venues. The board also decided to explore options of hosting Mini IPL overseas in September. The Working Committee also approved the suggestions of the Junior Committee that suggested Under 19 Cricketers can represent India only once in the ICC Under 19 World Cup and any player entering the system at Under 19 stage can play only two seasons of Under 19 cricket.

Further, BCCI also decided to keep aside a separate marketing budget in the coming season to popularize Test Cricket. BCCI and the State Units will work together towards promotion and marketing of International matches. BCCI will enter into Venue agreements with the associations hosting international matches in the coming season, defining their roles and responsibilities and minimum standards required.

Working Committee decided to start a new T20 league in place of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. First, all state teams will play an Inter zonal league in their respective zones. All five zones selecting a zonal side to play an Inter Zonal League will follow it. It also approved the proposal of Media Committee to issue an Annual Season Media Accreditation card.

BCCI will also start annual awards for state associations in the following categories: Best Website, Best Facebook page, Best Twitter Handle, Best Instagram, Best Media Facility, Best Media Operations. This will encourage state associations to be more transparent and professional.

Odisha: Monsoon Rains Puts Life Out of Gear in many parts of State

Bhubaneswar: Heavy Monsoon rains which hit the coastal region of Odisha since yesterday has put life out of gear in many places. The most affected cities are Bhubaneswar and Cuttack followed by towns of Paradip and Balasore. The most affected districts are those lying on the coastal belt.

The residents of the twin city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack have a harrowing experience since morning as the rains water logged many roads and crossings bringing traffic to a halt and especially in lanes and by lanes which lack proper drainage system.

In the meantime the Bhubaneswar MET office has predicated more rains for the coastal belt in the next 24 to 48 hours due to the low pressure which is hovering over coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

Another Sprinter Srabani Nanda from Odisha Qualifies for Rio Olympics 2016

Bhubaneswar: Srabani Nanda sealed a place in the Indian contingent for Rio de Janeiro Olympics to be held in Brazil this year. The 26-year-old sprinter who hails from Kandhamal district of Odisha clocked a timing of 23.02 seconds in women’s 200 m event at the 26th G. Kosanov memorial meet in Kazakhstan.

Earlier ace sprinter Dutee Chand from Odisha qualified for the 100 m event at the same venue on Saturday.

Odisha Ace Sprinter Dutee Chand Qualifies for Rio Olympics 2016

Bhubaneswar: Fighting relentlessly against all odds Dutee Chand finally made her place in the Indian contingent to represent the country in Rio Olympics 2016 starting from August 5 to 21.

Dutee ran in the women’s 100m heats of the 26th G. Kosanov memorial meet at Kazakhstan on Saturday and clocked 11.30 secs, creating a new national record and qualifying for the Rio Olympics. The qualifying mark for Rio de Janeiro Olympics was set at 11.32 seconds which Chand finished comfortably

Dutee qualifies for the 100 m sprint in Olympics after PT Usha who represented India in 1980.

Odisha: Union Textiles Minister inaugurates Training Programme for Scheduled Castes Handloom Weavers

Bhubaneswar: Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar inaugurated on Friday June 24, a 45-day long skill upgradation training programme for Scheduled Caste handloom weavers belonging to Sohlela Block in Bargarh district of Odisha.

In a function held in the village Birjam, the Minister also gave away the certificates to pass outs of the first Handloom Entrepreneur training course. The Minister also handed over the sanction letters to handloom weavers under Pradhan Mantri Weaver MUDRA Scheme. He also visited an exhibition of exquisite Ikat handloom products prepared by awardees and producers registered under India Handloom Brand.

Speaking on the occasion, Gangwar said that the Central Government is implementing several new initiatives such as raising earnings of handloom weavers to Rs. 500 per day. He also said that the Government is giving special priority to handloom weavers belonging to Scheduled Caste. Out of more than 600 weavers to be benefited by the block-level cluster project in Sohela, 90% weavers belong to the SC category, the Minister added. He also said that the Ministry of Textiles has requested State Governments to send projects of blocks that have concentration of SC weavers, on priority.

MLA Pradip Purohit and Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Alok Kumar were among others those present on this occasion.

BJD’s Violent Attack on Union Minister’s Convoy; BJP says Naveen Government Scared of Modi’s Development Agenda

Bhubaneswar: After the violent attack on the Union Minister’s vehicle convoy at Bargarh town today BJP reacted sharply here in the State Capital Bhubaneswar. In a press release BJP general secretary Bhrigu Buxipatra made a scathing attack on the ruling BJD and said that the BJD party workers attacked with the know of CM Naveen Patnaik. He also added that it has hurt the sentiments of the Odias by disrespecting visiting guests.

Earlier in the day Union Ministers Santosh Ganwar, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Ex-CM of Jharkhand Arjun Munda had arrived at Bargarh to attend the Vikas Utsav organised to celebrate the completion of 2 years of Narendra Modi led NDA government. The convoy in which they were travelling was attacked and stones pelted at the vehicles and wind shields were broken. Buxipatra in the press release also said that in order to thwart the message of the development by Modi government, BJD has taken resort of undemocratic and violent path.

NFDC Shoots Documentary on Bhubaneswar; Part of Smart City Initiative

Bhubaneswar: The National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) on Friday began shooting a documentary on Bhubaneswar City as a smart city initiative. Just a year ago Bhubaneswar topped the competition of smart cities and the central government has entrusted NFDC to make a documentary highlighting the culture and tourist attractions of the city.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Smart City projects on June 25, 2016 kick starting execution of Smart City Plans of 20 cities selected in the first round of ‘Smart City Challenge Competition’. This marks the beginning of holistic and integrated urban development in the country as envisaged under the new urban missions launched by the Government.  He is likely to declare a Railway Multi-modal Hub, Traffic Signalisation Project and Urban Knowledge Centre for Bhubaneswar.

Odisha: BJD Party Workers Protest against Union Government’s Vikas Utsav Celebrations in Bargarh

Bhubaneswar: The ruling BJD party workers today protested against the celebrations of Vikas Utsav organised by BJP led NDA government in Bargarh town here on Friday.

According to TV reports, members of the ruling party have barged into a local Handloom Saree seller’s show room and ransacked the shop. Reports also suggest that Union Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar was supposed to hold discussions with some weavers at the venue. Along with Gangwara, union minister of state for Food Processing Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti was to attend the celebrations, sources added.

This event is being celebrated similar to that organised in state capital Bhubaneswar and other major towns of Odisha.

BCCI Appoints Anil Kumble as Head Coach of Indian Cricket Team for a Year

Mumbai: BCCI on Thursday announced the appointment of Anil Kumble as the Head Coach of the Indian Cricket Team. He has been appointed for the period of one year.

Given to his immense knowledge and experience, the BCCI is confident that Kumble will take Indian cricket forward and contribute to its growth and success. The Board is confident that Kumble will meet the consistent high standards of professionalism set by the Indian team and fulfills the expectations of the followers of Indian Cricket.

India is set to host 13 Test matches, 8 ODIs & 3 T20Is in a mega home season (2016-17) and Kumble will play a major role in the collective objective of the Indian team to attain the top ranking in all three formats of the game.

Kumble’s first assignment will be the upcoming away series in the West Indies, where India will play four Test matches.

As part of the process for selecting the Head Coach, the Board received 57 applications, which were evaluated by the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly with Sanjay Jagdale, the Chief Co-Coordinator. The Committee conducted interviews with select shortlisted applicants and submitted a report/recommendation to the Honorary Secretary Ajay Shirke.

The Board recognizes the contribution of Team Director Ravi Shastri under whom India marched to the semi-finals in the ICC World Cup held in Australia and the ICC World T20 India 2016. With him as Team Director, India won the Test series in Sri Lanka after a gap of 22 years and also outplayed South Africa 3-0 in a four-Test home series before clinching the Asia Cup.


Union Home Secretary to Hold Review Meeting with Central Ministries on LWE Related Issues

New Delhi: The Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi will chair a review meeting with the Secretaries of the Central Ministries on key development issues of the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected states, here on June 24. The Chief Secretaries of 7 LWE affected states Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana and Maharashtra will also attend the meeting. The Union Home Minister will take the review meeting on a later date.

The Ministries/Departments participating in the meeting include Department of Telecom, M/o Road Transport & Highways, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Department of School Education & Literacy, Department of Financial Services, Department of Posts, Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has adopted a multi pronged strategy which inter alia includes security related interventions, development measures, ensuring rights and entitlement of local communities etc. Special projects such as construction of roads, installation of mobile towers and construction of Fortified Police Stations etc. have been sanctioned by the Government of India. The development works are implemented through the states and relate to various schemes/programmes of the development ministries of the Government of India.

ISRO’s PSLV-C34 Successfully Launches 20 Satellites in a Single Flight

New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in its thirty sixth flight (PSLV-C34) successfully launched its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle carrying the 727.5 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 19 co-passenger satellites today morning on June 22 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota.

After PSLV-C34 lift-off at 9:26 am IST from the Second Launch Pad with the ignition of the first stage, the subsequent important flight events, namely, strap-on ignitions and separations, first stage separation, second stage ignition, heat-shield separation, second stage separation, third stage ignition and separation, fourth stage ignition and cut-off, took place as planned. After a flight of 16 minutes 30 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 508 km inclined at an angle of 97.5 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and in the succeeding 10 minutes, all the 20 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage in a predetermined sequence.

Of the 19 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C34, two – SATHYABAMASAT weighing 1.5 kg and SWAYAM weighing 1 kg – are University/Academic institute satellites and were built with the involvement of students from Sathyabama University, Chennai and College Of Engineering, Pune, respectively.

The remaining 17 co-passenger satellites were international customer satellites from Canada (2), Germany (1), Indonesia (1) and the United States (13).

With today’s successful launch, the total number of satellites launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has reached 113, of which 39 are Indian and the remaining 74 from abroad.


Three LPG Bottling Plants to be Set up in Odisha

Sambalpur: The Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan announced setting up of three LPG bottling plants in Odisha. Speaking to media persons here on Monday June 20 he said, at present state has nearly 6.5 lakh metric tonnes of bottling capacity. And the capacity of production in the existing plants at Jatni, Balasore and Jharsuguda will be increased and a decision has been taken in this regard, added Padhan.

The minister further informed that keeping in mind the demand of LPG in the coming decades, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) will set up a LPG bottling plant at Bhubaneswar, Jeypore and Bolangir respectively.

Earlier Dharmendra Pradhan after launching the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana at Ainthapali said that his ministry targets to provide LPG connections to 30 lakh BPL women in the state over the next 3 years. Besides that an additional 10 lakh connections will be provided to people in non-BPL category

PM Modi Participates in Mass Yoga demonstration to Celebrate International Yoga Day in Chandigarh

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today celebrated the second International Day of Yoga at Chandigarh, in the midst of approximately 30,000 participants in a mass Yoga demonstration.

Addressing the gathering at the iconic Capitol Complex, the Prime Minister said that today, people in all parts of the country have connected with Yoga. He said that the world has come forward to support the idea of International Day of Yoga. He added that all sections of society too, have come together in this endeavour.

The Prime Minister said that the International Day of Yoga is a day linked to good health, and it has become a mass movement. He said that Yoga is not about what one will get, but it is about what one can give up. He said that with zero budget, Yoga provides health assurance, and does not discriminate between rich and poor.

The Prime Minister called for focus in the next one year, on how to mitigate diabetes through Yoga. He said that to honour those who are working to popularize Yoga, two awards will be instituted, one at the national level, and the other at the international level.

The Prime Minister joined and mingled with the participants of the mass Yoga demonstration.

ISRO to Create History; Launch 20 Satellites on June 22

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will achieve another landmark on June 22 by launching a record 20 satellites in a single mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle “PSLV-C34” will lift off on June 22 and the vehicle will not only put 20 satellites into the same orbit – the highest number of satellites to be put into orbit by a PSLV – but it will perform two tricky experiments of the same nature.

On June 22, eight minutes after the PSLV-C34 lifts off, the fourth stage engine will sizzle into life, taking the stage to an altitude of 514 km.

The fourth stage engine will be cut off 16 minutes and 30 seconds after the lift-off. Over the next 10 minutes, 20 satellites will be injected into the same orbit from the fourth stage, one after another.

On December 16, 2015, after the PSLV-C29’s fourth stage put six Singapore satellites into the same orbit, the ISRO re-started the fourth-stage engine for four seconds.

Image Courtesy: DD News

Monsoon Gains Momentum after a Slow Progress

New Delhi: After the weather had forecast an “above normal” monsoon this year but there was a slow progress over the last few days. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the southwest monsoon is expected to gain momentum and advance further into several parts of drought-hit Maharashtra and central India.

The southwest monsoon has further advanced into remaining parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gangetic West Bengal, more parts of north interior Karnataka, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Jharkhand and Bihar.

IMD also said the conditions are favourable for the monsoon to advance into entire Konkan and Goa, drought-hit central Maharashtra, Marathwada, remaining parts of north interior Karnataka, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and parts of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

Odisha: Government Implements e-Stamping System for Payment of Stamp Duty

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has implemented e-Stamping system for payment of stamp duty in the State in addition to the sale and use of physical stamp papers normally sold by stamp vendors.

According to sources, this proposed e-Stamping System is an additional revenue evidencing mechanism that aims at easy payment of stamp duty by the registrant public through electronic mode which is a part of Ease of doing Business (EoDB).

Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL) has been appointed as the Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) for issuance of e-Stamp Certificate in the State.

Electronics Park in Bhubaneswar to Home 100 Manufacturers

Bhubaneswar: Greenfield Electronics Park being developed by Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) Odisha is said to house 100 Units of electronics manufacturing cluster with state of the art, infrastructure and common facilities. It is spread over an area of 203 acres within InfoValley in the outskirts of Bhubaneswar city. The plan mooted in 2014 has be developed by a Singapore based consultant Jurong Consultants and got its nod from the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology recently after a meeting was held between the officials of the state government and the Secretary of the Union Electronics & IT ministry.

According to the plan, core infrastructure like road, provision of power and water etc. for the park is likely to be ready soon and the State government expects an investment of around Rs 1000 crores in the near future. State government is said to have allocated Rs 110 crores along with the central assistance of Rs 95 crore for developing 203 acres of land in the village Larapur and Durgapur in Khurdha district.

According to sources, the project envisages to create an attractive environment for Electronics manufacturing industry in the State and also boost employment opportunities for the youth in Odisha.

The Electronics Park proposes ready-to-use plug-and-play facilities with excellent transport connectivity. Sources added that for this purpose the state government considered Bhubaneswar as an ideal location for the park along with the fact that there will be greater availability of skilled manpower passing out from reputed technical and management institutions located in the city. The city also promotes its smart city tag to woo investors as the emerging most preferred cities in the country to live in and do business in eastern India.

Petroleum Minister leads Indian delegation to St Petersburg International Economic Forum

New Delhi: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited St Petersburg, Russia from 16 to 17 June 2016 to represent India at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). SPIEF is the leading economic event of Russia, drawing participation of important political leaders and some of the largest companies and global business leaders.

The hallmark of the visit was the signing of a Sales Purchase Agreement for acquisition of 23.9 per cent stake in Vankor oil block by an Indian Consortium of Oil India Ltd., Indian Oil and Bharat Petro Resources Ltd. (subsidiary of BPCL) with ROSNEFT. This follows acquisition of 15 per cent stake in Vankor by OVL for which all formalities were completed on 31st May 2016. The signing of agreement was witnessed by Pradhan and his Russian counterpart Mr Alexander Novak.

Pradhan held meetings with Igor Sechin, President of ROSNEFT, Leonid Mikhelson, CEO of Novatek and Alexey Miller CEO of Gazprom, the leading Russian oil and gas companies. He discussed broadening India-Russia cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. The Minister briefed the CEOs on government’s recent policy announcements and investment opportunities in the hydrocarbon sector, including on the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy and Small Discovered fields bidding round.

At the SPIEF, Pradhan participated in the Panel discussion on ‘New Global Petroleum Market Realities’ along with Russian and Venezuelan Energy Minister. The panel discussion was moderated by Daniel Yergin, who is considered a leading authority on energy, geopolitics and the global economy, and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Pradhan elaborated on emerging investment opportunities in the exploration and production sector. CEOs of global oil majors appreciated recent reforms in Indian hydrocarbon sector.

The Petroleum Minister also visited St Petersburg and held meetings with Alenxander Novak, Minister for Energy of Russia, Alexander Dyukov, CEO of Gazpromneft. Both ministers discussed the entire gamut of oil and gas relations between India-Russia and expressed satisfaction on the ongoing cooperation between the two countries in the hydrocarbon sector. Both Ministers agreed that cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector was one of the key areas of the time tested and Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia. They expressed happiness on the conclusion of all formalities relating to the acquisition of 15% stake by ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) in Vankorneft, a subsidiary of Rosneft of Russia. Both Ministers also discussed on further deepening the engagement, including two way investments in the sector. Pradhan briefed his Russian counterpart on the issues related to Mineral Extraction Tax being contemplated by the Russian government and its effects on Indian investments. He also invited Rosneft, Gazprom and other Russian companies to invest in Indian hydrocarbon sector, including in the recently launched auction of Small Discovered Fields.

Rourkela Gears up Again to Compete for Smart City Tag

Bhubaneswar: Steel city Rourkela which had missed out the Smart city tag in the previous occasion now gears up again to compete for the second time. The district administration and the local civic body have chalked out a plan in this regard to upgrade the physical and social infrastructure of the city along with waste management and development plans in order to participate in the national level competition and make a place in the second list of smart city projects.

To appraise of the plan, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi chaired a meeting at the State secretariat and reviewed of the ongoing work done in this matter. He also directed the Urban Local Body (ULB) to finalise the upgraded proposal by June 25 reflecting the peoples’ aspiration and community needs.

Briefing media after the meeting, Chief Secretary Padhi said that we discussed about the vision statement of Rourkela Smart City, the project components implementation mechanism, convergence with other ongoing programmes etc. Around 24 inspirational points have been identified. Rourkela Municipality would finalise the draft including all these inputs. The project would be sent to Government of India by the end of this month.

The important components of the smart city project for Rourkela include river front development at Panposh, connected neighbourhood, complete streets, 24×7 water supply, multi-utility citizen service, entrepreneurship development, children and senior citizen friendly civic life, transport complex, development of smart corridor, development of core business and core institutional area, development tribal art and culture, housing and social infrastructure etc.

The meeting was also attended by Secretary Housing & Urban Development Shishir Kumar Ratho, Municipal Commissioner Bhubaneswar Kishan Kumar, Collector, Sundargarh Bhupindra Singh Poonia, ADM, Rourkela Monisha Banerjee, Commissioner Rourkela Municipal Corporation Akshya Kumar Mallick along with project consultants from DFID.

Apathy of Civic Authorities towards Bhubaneswar City may make it Unsmart

Bhubaneswar: Smart city status has sped up activity in the city of Bhubaneswar which cannot be denied from the fact that government holds regular meetings. Ambitious plans are laid out and the media regularly briefed on how the city will carve out in future. But very little has moved on ground as regards the existing problems that mars the city. Rapid encroachment of roads and land, broken roads, lack of proper drainage system and lack of solid waste disposal are a few glaring examples that not all is well in the city despite the residents being taxed. Apathy of the civic authorities towards various areas within the city is going to make it unsmart rather than making it smart.

For visitors to Bhubaneswar their movement is restricted basically to two stretches of roads which begin from the Biju Patnaik Airport to Chadrashekharpur area and the second stretch can be identified from Forest park to the Vani Vihar square. One also cannot disagree that along with these stretches there are other main roads in areas like Cuttack road, Unit IV, Unit VI, Unit VIII, Unit IX that are spotless and pothole free. There can be no denial that majority of these areas house quarters where the politicians, bureaucrats and government employees reside. For all these areas mentioned one can find that the roads are black topped every six months and well maintained. So heap of appreciations pour in from various quarters both national and international. But is Bhubaneswar city is confined to the Secretariat building and its adjoining areas?

It is a pertinent question because roads in the city are maintained both by the PWD and Municipal Corporation. For instance people under the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) area pay municipal tax and user’s fee but there still remain areas in the centre of the city where no roads have been constructed by the BMC. People reside in these areas which have uneven muddy roads that get filled with water during rains. Whose responsibility is it to construct the roads and drains? The government shouldn’t expect people to pay from their pockets to construct roads and drains. We are still in a democracy.

The government of the day needs to wake up revisit the lacunae and redress these problems also make the BMC more accountable when it comes to roads and drainage system and encroachments in the city. Because not providing basic amenities can sway minds of people in a democracy.

Monsoon rains round the corner may cause hindrances to the city dwellers especially in these areas which also comprise of the majority population of Bhubaneswar. The Chennai floods in the recent past should act as a reminder for the city civic authorities and with prediction of good monsoons in 2016 by the IMD, government should act as a wakeup call before it is too late.



11 Villages in Odisha Electrified in a week between May 23 and May 29

Bhubaneswar: In a rapid electrification program launched by government of India under the under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojna (DDUGJY) after Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s address to nation, on Independence Day, Government of India has decided to electrify remaining 18,452 un-electrified villages across India within 1000 days that is by May 1, 2018.  The project has been taken on mission mode and strategy for electrification consists of squeezing the implementation schedule to 12 months and also dividing village electrification process in 12 Stage milestones with defined timelines for monitoring.

The State of Odisha also benefits from this program. According to the data released by government of India, Odisha had 2210 un-electrified villages as on March 31, 2016. Since April 1, 2016 to April 30, 2016 government has managed to provide electricity to 35 villages in the State. Data also suggests that there are 70 ongoing projects of electrification in the state till April 30, 2016.

Status of Rural Electrification in Odisha

Village Electrification (Nos.)

  • Total inhabited villages in Odisha (as per Census 2011) – 47677
  • Un-electrified Villages as on 31.03.2016 – 2210
  • Villages electrified during 2016-17 – 35 (01.04.2016 to 30.04.2016)
  • Balance Un-electrified villages as on 30.04.2016 – 2175
  • Villages to be electrified through grid – 1480 (Awarded-855, yet to be awarded-625)
  • Villages to be electrified through off-grid – 275 (Sanctioned-196, In-principle sanction-79, Awarded-6)
  • Uninhabited villages – 420

The initiative taken by government of India is one of its kind to provide essential services to villages since India achieved its independence.


Odisha: CM’s Ire Comes Too Late

Bhubaneswar: The Chief Minister’s ire came too late but did it send the right signal to the people of Odisha? Going by perception of the citizens it seems more like the CM wanted to silence the voice of dissent in a democracy against the corrupt. The Chief Minister of Odisha has a long standing history of his no-nonsense position against corruption. Yet, the timing of his crack down on dissenting voice against the corrupt raises eyebrows in some quarters of the intellectual class.

At a time when the State stares at drought plagued with acute shortage of potable water in the western parts with over 45 deaths officially declared due to heat wave conditions does not go down well to the masses, when chit fund controversy again hits back at the government.

While the opposition BJP and the Congress are hell-bent to rake up the issue at all levels the upcoming Panchayat elections will be interesting to watch say political commentators. Moreover, the strong presence of media and the pro-active social media will no doubt make a dent to the ruling BJD’s ambitions at the Panchayat level unless prompt action is taken against the real wrongdoers.


Oil Cos Cut Non-subsidised LPG price by Rs 61.50 per cylinder

New Delhi:  Price of non-subsidised cooking gas LPG was slashed by 61 rupees 50 paise per cylinder from yesterday. It will now costs 513 rupees 50 paise in Delhi as against 575 rupees previously. Subsidised LPG costs 419 rupees 13 paise per 14.2 kilogram cylinder in Delhi.

However, Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, price was hiked by 12 per cent. The three fuel retailers Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum revise jet fuel and non-subsidised LPG prices on the first day of every month, based on the average international price in the preceding month.

BCCI Congratulates Indian Women’s team for 3-0 sweep against Sri Lanka

Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) congratulated the members of the Indian women team for winning the three-match T20 International series against Sri Lanka.

In a press release, BCCI President Shashank Manohar said that the Women’s team has done consistently well, with T20I series win against Australia in Australia and now against Sri Lanka at home.

Manohar also congratulated Indian captain Mithali Raj for the consistency shown by her team and hoped the team would continues to build the momentum for the ICC World T20 2016.

The Indian women team had thrashed Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the third and final game to complete a 3-0 series whitewash.

BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur also congratulated the team on their resounding victory in the T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka.

This is a result of their dedicated effort, which has translated into a series of successful performances, he said.

Odisha: Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy to be set up at Bhubaneswar

New Delhi: The Minister of State for AYUSH (I/C) Shri Shripad Yesso Naik replying to a question in Rajya Sabha said on Tuesday that the Central Government has approved setting up of a Central Research Institute of Yoga and Naturopathy at Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

He also said that land has been obtained from the State Government of Odisha and registered in the name of the Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy (CCRYN). The funds have been released to Central Public Works Department for construction of boundary wall and walking track etc.


Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission for Integrated Development of the Rurban Areas

Bhubaneswar: An integrated and development programme for rurban areas of Odisha under the  Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM) – National Rurban Mission will be implemented with the joint support of the Central and State government. Odisha Chief Secretat A P Padhi chaired the newly formed State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC) that will look into the broad outlines of the Mission. Padhi as the chairman of the committee suggested prioritising the road, drinking water supply, and electricity, street lightening, sanitation, health and housing schemes along with establishment of agro-processing units in the rurban areas of the State in the first phase.

The Mission, launched by the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt of India targets at bridging rural urban divide, reducing poverty through enhanced income generating activities, development of small & medium enterprises and attracting investment in rural areas.

Panchyatiraj Secretary Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh said, the basic objective of the rurban mission is to stimulate economic development, enhance basic services and create well planned rurban localities in the State. And a decision in this regard has been taken to institutional structure for implementation of the Mission through a 3-tier structure in the State. These are Cluster Development and anagement Unit (CDMU) at cluster level, District Project Monitoring Unit (DPMU) under the chairmanship of Collector and State Level Empowered Committee ( SPMU). While the National Level the Empowered Committee of the National Mission Directorate with its expert group will monitor the programme. Panchayati Raj department has been nominated as the State Nodal Agency (SNA) for the Mission. The Director, NRLM P J Nath as State Mission Leader will and supervise on behalf of SPMRM. IIT, Kharagpur has been entrusted upon the task as the State Technical Support Agency (STSA) to provide technical support for preparation of action plans, project reports and provide handholding support for implementation of the scheme.

According to the Panchayati Secretary the rurban cluster has been conceived a cluster of villages that preserve the essence of rural community with focus on urban facilities. A cluster will consist of a unit of geographically contiguous villages with a population of about 25,000 to 50,000 in plains and coastal areas. In tribal, hilly and desert areas the cluster will consist of contiguous villages with a population of 5,000 to 15,000. The Mission Director, Nath added that it has been decided to cover 7 clusters including 5 from non-tribal and 2 from tribal areas in the first phase. The Mission will cover other areas of the State in phased manner. Integrated Action Plans will be prepared for each cluster. The fund for the projects will be mobilized through convergence of various central and state sector schemes and critical gap fund from the national rurban mission.

Principal Secretaries from the departments of Energy, Higher Education Industry, ST & SC Development and other senior officers from concerned departments also participated in the meeting.


Odisha Court Orders Death Penalty to 5 Accused for Raping and Killing a Minor Girl

Keonjhar: The Champua Additional District and Sessions Judge court of Keonjhar district in Odisha sentenced to death 5 accused of gang rape and murder of a minor girl. This incident had taken place in Belkundi village of Keonjhar district on August 1, 2012.

The order comes after 3 years of the crime committed when the minor girl had gone missing on her way back from tuition classes. Desperate family members had searched for the victim when she did not return home and later found her body at the outskirt of the village with distinct injury marks. The victim was a Class VIII student of the local High School. Though the 5 accusedhave been convicted and sentenced to death, another two accused are still at large and the police are yet to apprehend them.

The accused persons Mata Munda (23), Jiten Munda (25), Biswanath Gop alias Naru (24), Mangal Purti (25) and Harjit Singh (25) were found guilty on the charges of rape, murder and kidnapping and sentenced to death by the court. The family members of the victim have welcomed the decision of the court.

Odisha: Hike in Taxes, Bus Operators threaten Strike

Bhubaneswar: After the breakdown of talks with the state government on the issue of raise in taxes from 70% to 100%, the bus owners association in Odisha has threatened to go on strike. According to sources, despite the transport minister’s assurance to reconsider the issue of taxes, the bus owners remain defiant and have decided to go ahead with the strike from December1, 2015.

The bus owners association opposes the hike in taxes as it will lead to the hike in bus fares eventually over-burdening the passengers. The association has demanded to roll back the hike completely or partially. They also demand that the City buses should not be allowed to operate on the national highways. On the contrary the state government through the transport minister has argued that taxes have not been raised since 2005, the minister also sought from the association sometime to reconsider since the decision has already been taken by the cabinet and cannot be overturned in his individual capacity, which the bus owners have refused.

Study Suggests E-commerce Sales through Mobile Device likely to hit $638 billion by 2018

Global e-Commerce sales made via mobile devices are expected to cross $638 billion by 2018, according to the joint study brought out by ASSOCHAM and Deloitte on July 6, 2015.

Currently, the availability of e-Commerce applications on various mobility devices is helping to drive sales and revenue. E-tailers like Flipkart, Amazone and Jabong now get 50% of their revenues from consumers shopping on their mobile phones. Predictive analytics is helping the e-tailers to provide better solutions in real-time enabling compelling user experience even on mobile screens, said Mr. D S Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM.

However, while shoppers want real-time, relevant, and personalized information and offers, retailers will need to surround this service with very strong privacy and security. Trust, transparency, and protecting customer information will be critical in retaining loyalty as mobile retailing becomes the norm, noted the joint study.

Online commerce companies should enable all features from search-to-purchase on mobile apps, such as facilitating product research, price comparison, view ratings and reviews, and payment.

The launch of wearables, such as Google Glass and Apple Watch, opens new opportunities for reaching out to customers. E-tailers would keep an eye on developments in this arena, although it might only be an urban phenomenon at the moment.

The e-Marketplaces are growing significantly with the increase in the Internet penetration and Smartphone usage. Internet enabled mobiles are making shopping a unique experience for buyers. e-Marketplaces provide a technology platform for sellers to participate and a trusted environment to scale up rapidly, increase profit and is highly valued by the customers. The non-inventory led B2C model also allows the e-commerce players to provide attractive discounts and offers which are difficult for inventory led brick-and-mortar shops as well as for pure e-Tailers.

According to joint study “Global Powers of Retailing 2015,” online marketplaces rather than pure inventory-led companies tend to serve as the primary e-commerce model in Asia. The high costs of holding inventory, poor logistics and supply chain challenges in India are shifting the inventory-led companies and new entrants to adopt marketplace model. Also, e-Marketplaces work well in India due to high fragmentation on supply side.

The rise of online sales in the developing markets is encouraging retailers to go online for global expansion. The e-retailers are becoming exclusive partners for different brands. The Chinese Smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, entered Indian market through Flipkart e-Marketplace that helped to reach a large customer base in a short time. 43 Similarly, OnePlus teamed up with Amazon India for exclusive partnership.

Increasingly, Social media is becoming important for e-commerce players to understand reviews of people on products and services. The e-tailers can check their social media footprint with the number of likes and tweets about the brand and products. Social media provides a platform to directly interact with customers and respond to their queries.

E-retailers can promote products as per the trending topics in social media channels. The brand pages can post expert opinions on the products in video or blogs and thus can help in better customer engagement. The social media also provides a suitable platform to perform extensive market research where the e-tailers can recognize changing customer habits, unmet demand, white spaces in market, get early feedback on test advertisements and can gain fast mover advantage.

Online retail players have started to use social media analytics. The analytics can be used to mitigate risks and frauds, to know customer lifetime value, customer segments, forecasting and targeting. The analysis of social media data can provide information on product demand, competitors pricing, customers buying behavior, etc. Prior knowledge of this data can significantly help in customization of service offerings and enhancing user experience. Optimized pricing can be done based on price comparison with the competitor’s products and accordingly changes can be done in real-time.

Cash on Delivery (CoD) is the most preferred mode of payment in India with 45% of the shoppers using it while 21% shoppers opt for debit cards and another 16% go for credit cards. CoD mode has many issues ranging from high direct and indirect costs, security, or time taken to reverse logistics arising from CoD defaults. More people have banking access due to the financial inclusion project – Jan Dhan Yojna of the government. Digital companies such Paytm, Videocon D2H, and telecom operators such as Airtel, Idea are entering the banking arena with payment bank license. Emerging cashless payment solutions will boost the e-commerce sector.

Chilika Lake as “Destination Flyway” to get a Facelift

Bhubaneswar: Chilika has been declared as “Destination Flyway” by United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) because of its natural treasure and bio-diversity. To restore and manage Chilka Lake and its basin a meeting was held by the chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati recently in Bhubaneswar. The Chief Executive Chilika Development Authority Dr Ajit Kumar Pattanaik presented the updates and proposed action plans.

The chief secretary has advised the concerned departments to initiate a detailed scientific study on how to retain ecological balance and develop bio-diversity of Chilika in the perspective of the natural changes and dynamics on its opening mouth to the sea. According to sources at present there are about 4 mouths in Chilika including the old Palur mouth. The other three apenings are Gabakunda inlet, Dhalabali inlet and new Phailin inlet, opened after the cyclone Phailin hit the south Odisha coast. There are about 211 bird species, largest Irrawaddy dolphin population, 217 fish species and more than 30 migratory species.

Specific interventions have been taken up by Govt during the last years for understanding the complex ecosystem, modelling of hydro-dynamics to retain the optimum salinity gradient of the lake and adaptive restoration planning through wide consultative processes. Management of the wet-land with micro watershed ecological units and empowerment of local communities through capacity building have also been taken up. Strategic Partnerships have been made with a number of voluntary and community based organisations and a close monitoring system has been put in place. Because of these interventions, there has been 7 fold increase in annual fish and prone landing. At present the Lake is yielding the fisheries of worth 110 cr per annum.. There has been expansion of sea grass meadows, increase in dolphin population and avian fauna. There has been re-appearance of hilsa and other native fish species, sources added.

Alternative sources of livelihood for local community have also emerged because of bio-diversity and livelihood interventions of Govt. At present, near about Rs 40 crore per annum is being earned from community based eco-tourism activities. Near about 850 boats are being used for dolphin watching and 400 boats are being used to conduct the tourists for bird watching. The boats of the local fisherman have been engaged in these activities which has reduced the pressure on fishery. Chief Secretary Pati was keen and advised CDA authorities to scale up fishery resources to the tune of Rs 200 crores in coming year.


Kuldeep included in 14-member Indian Squad for First Three ODIs against WI

The BCCI selection committee met in Bengaluru on Saturday and picked the Indian squad for the the first three ODIs against West Indies.

The matches will be played at Kochi, Delhi and Vishakhapatnam on 8 October, 11 October and 14 October respectively.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C & Wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Murali Vijay, Kuldeep Yadav

The squad thus comprises 14 players.

R. Ashwin has been rested.


President Mukherjee Presents Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for excellence in PA, Academics and Management

New Delhi: The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academics and Management for the year 2014 to Dr. Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said, the annual Award for excellence in Public Administration, Academics and management was an occasion to remember the values and ideals of Shastriji.

The President said, conferment of this award on Dr. Pillai is recognition for the outstanding work done by our space and Defence Research Scientists. The President congratulated the entire scientific community and ISRO in particular, for the remarkable feat of having successfully executed the Mars Orbiter Mission in its very first attempt.

The President said, “I on my behalf and that of all our countrymen, pay tribute to the scientists and technical staff who have toiled tirelessly to create history. I see bright young faces sitting here and I need to remind all of you that you have a great responsibility ahead of you. You must imbibe the Shastrian values of courage, integrity and self-less service. You all must rise above pursuits for self and look around to see what you can do for your fellow countrymen. Look inside you and see what you can do to bring about difference in the society and the nation”.

Odisha: Girl Brutally Attacked and Critically Injured at Bhubaneswar Railway Station

Bhubaneswar: In a gruesome incident an 18-year old college girl was brutally attacked and critically injured by unknown assailants near Platform no 4 of the Bhubaneswar railway station on Sunday.

The railway police still remain clueless while the victim is undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College Hospital at Cuttack. The victim was shifted to Cuttack from the Capital hospital after her condition deteriorated. The girl, identified as a resident of Nayagarh, is a under graduate student of the Nayagarh Autonomous College.

According to sources, the family of the victim had reported a missing complaint of the girl with Nayagarh police on Saturday. The railway police and Nayagarh police are jointly investigating the case after the girl was traced.

Police sources also reveal that the girl said to have come to Bhubaneswar with a friend to attend an interview. But police sources are yet to confirm the facts. The victim also claims to have been carrying cash, jewellery and mobile phone that have gone missing. Police is still trying to verify the facts, sources added.

Odisha: Government Reviews Security Measures in Jagannath Temple Puri

Bhubaneswar: Prior to the Nabakalevara festival to be held in Jagannath temple at Puri in 2015, government of Odisha on Monday reviewed the security arrangements of the temple and its surroundings. Additional chief secretary U N Behera in charge of the home department held a meeting and reviewed the security measures.

After deliberations in the meeting the state administration has decided to install additional CCTV cameras in and around the temple premises to strengthen vigil. Notably, Soumendra Priyadarshi, IG, Intelligence had visited the temple last month and after taking stalk of the temple security had suggested for the installation of 32 CCTV cameras.

The Jagannath temple administrator Dr Arvind Padhee talking to reporters after the meeting said that the administration has decided to install 32 CCTV cameras in and around the Jagannath temple, Puri and a request has already been made to the Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation for the installation.

He further added that traffic, parking facilities and mobile toilet issues and its financial implications and setting up these facilities before the festival was also discussed in the meeting.

CII-PwC Study Forecasts India’s Entertainment and Media Industry to Clock over Rs 227,000 Crore by 2018

New Delhi: India’s entertainment and media sector is expected to grow steadily over the next five years as per CII-PwC’s latest report titled India Entertainment & Media Outlook 2014. The industry is expected to exceed 227,000 crore INR by 2018 growing at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% between 2013 and 2018.

In 2013, the overall entertainment and media industry was estimated to be 112,044 crore INR and grew by 19% over the previous year. The largest segment, India’s television industry, continued its strong growth momentum led by subscription revenues, representing a year-on-year growth of about 15%. Internet access and internet advertising have been the fastest growing segments with annual growth rates of 47 and 26% respectively.

“The key theme of our report this year is ‘monetisation strategies in media sector’. Clearly, the future lies in digital media as the internet segment is leading the growth in India.” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry.

The revenue from advertising is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% and will exceed 60,000 crore INR in 2018 from 35,000 crore INR in 2013. Internet access has overtaken the print segment as the second-largest segment contributing to the overall pie of entertainment and media sector revenues.

Smita Jha, Leader, Entertainment and Media practice, PwC India, said, “Digital success does not just necessarily mean better, improved technology. It means applying a digital mindset to build the right behaviours among industry stakeholders. This includes getting ever closer to the customer–across the entire organisation, and in everything it does.”

Businesses no longer need a digital strategy, what they need is a business strategy fit for a digital age. The industry needs to get even closer to the consumer and adopt more flexible business models. To do this, companies must exhibit three behaviours: forging trust with consumers; creating the confidence to move with speed and agility; and empowering innovation. This will be an important step in monetising the digital consumer.

Television and print are expected to remain the largest contributors to the advertising pie in 2018 as well. Internet advertising will emerge as the third-largest segment, with a share of about 16% in the total E&M advertising pie. The film segment estimated at 12,600 crore INR in 2013 is projected to grow steadily at a CAGR of 12%, on the back of higher domestic and overseas box-office collections as well as cable and satellite rights.

With the rapidly increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets, the gaming sector is fast emerging as a promising source of revenue for the industry. Efforts by industry players as well as support from the government are expected to provide a major boost to the gaming sector, which is still in its infancy. Out-of-home advertising is gradually expected to slide to the last position in terms of revenue contribution to the sector, with its share declining to 1% in 2018, while music remains constant at 1% revenue share between 2013 and 2018.

“Decision are in, delays are out” Says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar at CII summit on Sustainable & Inclusive Solutions

New Delhi: “Decision are in, delays are out”, proclaimed Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change (Independent Charge), Information & Broadcasting (Independent Charge), and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, talking about the last 100 days of the his government. Javadekar was speaking at the inauguration of the 9th Sustainability Solutions Summit organized by the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development. He argued that if no decisions are taken one cannot grow, and if you don’t grow you can’t achieve sustainable development targets. He added ‘that companies and governments need to take decisions while balancing both sustainability and growth.’

Pointing towards international negotiations Javadekar added that the biggest environmental disaster is poverty and that unless we eradicate poverty, we can’t have a level playing field.

Giving his opening remarks, Y C Deveshwar, Past President, CII, Chairman, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development Advisory Council and Chairman, ITC Limited, highlighted how the world has exhausted its budget of resources for the year and will now be living on borrowed resources from the future. Fifty years ago it was using three-fourth of the available resources and today it uses more than can be replaced. Solving this problem is not the onus of a single of society, however, business he feels can play an important role, saying, ‘Business can make a very large contribution, not because it has the financial resource, but because it has a managerial resource, it has innovative capacity, and because business has demonstrated that if an objective is set, it finds ways and mechanisms to be able to achieve those objectives’.

According to Dr Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute, we live in a good news, bad news, good news world. The good news is the phenomenal progress the world, and India, has made –doubling of incomes, halving of poverty, increased access to education and health care, gains in life expectancy, reductions in infant mortality, to name a few. India itself has reported a growth rate of 7 per cent, has added 800 million people to the workforce every year, in terms of purchasing power parity is third in the world, and 300 million people have been lifted out of poverty. However, it is this progress that has also led to the bad news, leading to great pressures on natural resources. The third good news he said is, ‘there doesn’t need to be a tradeoff. Research is overwhelmingly pointing in the direction today that says you can actually grow, and you can grow green at the same time.’ He emphasized that if we improve resources efficiency, we will not grow better and live better.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, proclaimed that India is facing a double dilemma, ‘on the one hand it has to take care of the environment and biodiversity, and on the other hand it has to still provide the infrastructure facilities, boost the economy, feed its ever growing population, and provide basic amenities to its people.About two decades ago, the Indian economy opened up to the world, which brought about rapid economic growth but challenges of socio-economic development are still considerable. Today, there is an urgent need to bridge this gap.’Industry also needs to take leadership and must think of sustainable business as the new usual.

Industry Body FICCI Pools for J&K Flood Relief

New Delhi: The apex industry body FICCI has engaged with its membership and staff for relief and rehabilitation initiatives for the flood-affected areas of Jammu and Kashmir. While several small and medium industries have come forward to support this initiative through FICCI, many large scale industry members of FICCI have taken the responsibility to reach out directly to the victims.

FICCI is coordinating with NDMA to disburse medicines from its member pharma companies to the flood affected areas in J&K. Approximately, Rs. 5 crores have been directed towards J&K relief operations from FICCI membership till now.

Additionally, FICCI President Sidharth Birla has announced a Task Force to undertake the rehabilitation work in J&K. FICCI is in touch with the Central and state administration to carry out the rehabilitation work in the flood affected state.

FICCI is trying to replicate the efforts that were undertaken post Uttrakhand floods where the Chamber had engaged with the state administration for building homes, providing geospatial facilities and fabrication of biodegradable toilets for affected civilians.

FICCI employees have also come forward to support the cause that needs urgent national attention. In addition to providing material for relief operations via NGOs identified for support, FICCI employees have pledged their one-day salary towards reconstruction of J&K.

Odisha Crime Branch to Monitor Investigation into Theft Cases of Heavy Vehicles

Bhubaneswar: Keeping in view over the rise in cases of loot and theft of heavy vehicles in the State, Odisha DGP Sanjeev Marik convened a meeting of top police officials including DIG, IG of six police ranges, SPs of 10 districts and also members from truck owners’ association.

Talking to press reporters after the meeting DGP Marik said, a special cell at the Crime Branch (CB) will be created to monitor investigations into cases of theft of heavy vehicles. He also added, the special cell will look into the whole affairs of investigation. Starting from registration of such cases to filing of charge sheets, the special cell will have a control. He stressed that patrolling of national highways will be intensified.

The ADG Crime Branch BK Sharma said local police lack sensitivity on the issue, the Crime Branch special cell will follow-up the cases and charges. According to sources, in 2013 as many as 95 trucks were looted of which police could manage to recover 31 heavy vehicles. And in 2014 a total number of 59 cases have been registered so far while police has managed to recover 13 trucks. Most of the cases pertaining to the theft of heavy vehicles have been registered in Jajpur, Dhenkanal and Cuttack districts, sources added.

Speaking to the reporters Rabi Satapathy, general secretary, State Truck Owners’ Association said rise in truck loots and killing of the drivers and helpers is on rise. The association proposed to intensify highway patrolling and setting up of a helpline number for truck drivers to report theft cases immediately. He added that truck owners faced hurdles in filing FIRs at the local police stations.

Odisha BJD MLA Seeks Anticipatory Bail from HC over Alleged Links with Chit Fund Company

Bhubaneswar: In the latest development over alleged links with Artha Tatwa (AT) group the Chit Fund Company under CBI scanner, Pravat Kumar Tripathy the BJD MLA from Banki approached Orissa High Court seeking anticipatory bail.

Talking to a news agency BJD leader Tripathy said, CBI had already raided his residence and apprehended that he may be arrested. He moved to court seeking anticipatory bail to avoid further humiliation and arrest, he added. Notably, earlier CBI had also raided the house of his close associate Subash Padhy a local BJD leader of Banki in this connection.

The recent arrest and raids carried out in the offices and residence of two local media house owners by the CBI has shaken Tripathy. It has already been alleged that MLA Tripathy had taken money from the tainted AT group CMD Pradeep Sethy for the celebration of “Banki Mahotsav” in his constituency.

Cuttack to Host One-Off T20I: INDIA-WI Series Schedule Revised

Bhubaneswar: The Barabati Stadium at Cuttack will now host the one-off T20 International. The first ODI will be played in Kochi, Delhi will host the second ODI, Vishakhapatnam and Dharamshala third and fourth ODIs. The final ODI will be played at the Eden gardens in Kolkata. BCCI stated it in a press release last Saturday. The match-schedule of the series between India and the West Indies, to be played in October-November 2014, had to be revised due to operational reasons, the press release added.

The revised schedule is as follows:

October 3: Practice match – Mumbai

October 5: Practice match – Mumbai

October 8: 1st ODI – Kochi

October 11: 2nd ODI – Delhi

October 14: 3rd ODI – Vishakhapatnam

October 17: 4th ODI – Dharamshala

October 20: 5th ODI – Kolkata

October 22: T20I – Cuttack

October 25-27: West Indies v Board President’s XI – Kanpur

October 30-Nov 3: 1st Test – Hyderabad

November 7-11: 2nd Test – Bengaluru

November 15-19: 3rd Test – Ahmedabad

CBI Investigations of Chit Fund Scam Reveals Political Nexus; CM Remains Silent

Bhubaneswar: Ongoing CBI investigation of the Chit Fund scam reveals a deep involvement of political and a few local media houses with the Artha Tatwa (AT) group. Raids conducted at the residences of ruling BJD leaders and questioning of a sitting MLA, who happens to be the son of a Rajya Sabha (RS) member and close confidante of the Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has raised many eyebrows.

Though Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik made the particular RS member to resign as the leader of the party in the upper house but it comes too late and too little. Politicians of the ruling party seeking favours from the Chit fund company and the CM’s silence raises serious doubts in the minds of the people whether CM Patnaik was of the know about the alleged links of his party leaders with the chit fund scams.

Media happens to cover the day-to-day action. And before further revelations are made by the CBI the CM should come clean over the entire issue so that the citizens of the State can restore faith on the State government.

by Editor

Barabati Stadium at Cuttack to host the 3rd ODI between India and West Indies on Oct 14

Cuttack: Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) will play host to the 3rd One-day International (ODI) match between India and West Indies at the Barabati Stadium here on October 14. This was announced by the Board of Control for Cricket of India (BCCI) last Thursday. India will play the West Indies in all 5 ODIs, one T20 International and 3 Test matches, from October 8 to November 19, 2014.

Barabati Stadium at Cuttack has so far hosted 18 ODIs. The last matched between India and Australia was abandoned without a ball bowled due to soggy ground conditions.

OCA secretary speaking to the media said the OCA looks forward to an exciting match in October and the pitch curator is preparing a good and quick wicket for the encounter.


October 8: First ODI at Kochi

October 11: Second ODI at Vishakhapatnam

October 14: Third ODI at Cuttack

October 17: Fourth ODI at Kolkata

October 20: Fifth ODI at Dharamshala

October 22: T20 International at Delhi

Oct 30 to Nov 3: First Test at Hyderabad

Nov 7 to 11: Second Test at Bengaluru

Nov 15 to 19: Third Test at Ahmedabad



Match No 1 (Jan 27, 1982): India beat England by 5 wkts.

Match No 2 (Dec 27, 1984): England beat India by 1 run.

Match No 3 (Oct 30, 1987): Australia beat Zimbabwe by 70 runs.

Match No 4 (Dec 12, 1988): India beat New Zealand by 5 wkts.

Match No 5 (Oct 22, 1989): England beat Pakistan by 4 wkts.

Match No 6 (Dec 28, 1990): Sri Lanka beat India by 36 runs.

Match No 7 (Nov 9, 1994): India beat West Indies by 8 wkts.

Match No 8 (Feb 18, 1996): India beat Kenya by 7 wkts.

Match No 9 (Oct 27, 1996): India vs Australia. Match abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain.

Match No 10 (Apr 9, 1998): India beat Zimbabwe by 32 runs.

Match No 11 (Dec 2, 2000): India beat Zimbabwe by 3 wkts.

Match No 12 (Jan 22, 2002): England beat India by 16 runs.

Match No 13 (Nov 6, 2003): New Zealand beat India by 4 wkts.

Match No 14 (Jan 24, 2007): India beat West Indies by 20 runs.

Match No 15 (Nov 26, 2008): India beat England by 6 wkts.

Match No 16 (Dec 21, 2009): India beat Sri Lanka by 7 wkts.

Match No 17 (Nov 29, 2011): India beat West Indies by 1 wkt.

Match No 18 (Oct 26, 2013): India vs Australia. Match abandoned without a ball bowled.

Assocham Study Reveals 100 entities waiting to apply for Banking Licence

New Delhi: Recent draft guidelines on small and payment banks have enthused about 100 entities including microfinance institutions, telecom players, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and public sector companies to apply for such banking licence once RBI invites applications for the same, reveals the ASSOCHAM latest study.

These interested firms are awaiting final guidelines which will provide more clarity to firm up their plan to apply for the ‘differentiated bank’ licence to further the objective of financial inclusion, according to a study conducted by ASSOCHAM.

Those which are looking to enter small banks space are awaiting clarifications like if a small bank can operate in an industry clusters across various states or it can operate in a particular state only, said Mr. D S Rawat Secretary General ASSOCHAM.

Besides, presence in a particular area could lead to potential threat of concentration risk that final guidelines can provide more light to avoid such a situation, added Mr. Rawat.

The study said, for example if there is draught or flood in a particular area, it will have quite a significant adverse impact on the balance sheet of a small bank with little diversification of risk.

Small banks would perform all basic banking operation like a commercial banks but with restricted area presence. It can collect deposits and disburse small-ticket loans to farmers and small and medium businesses, unorganised sector through high technology-low cost operations as par draft norms circulated by RBI.

As far as payment banks are concerned, it will cater to marginalised sections of society, including migrant labourers, for collecting deposits and remitting funds. They would not be allowed to indulge in lending operation.

According to the study, there are many interested firms for implementation of this model also but expecting lowering of minimum capital requirement to Rs 50 crore in the final framework.

Such banks can be set up with a minimum capital of Rs 100 crore as against Rs 500 crore required for normal commercial banks, as per the draft.

Indeed such banks once become functional would be great step towards financial inclusion and weed out moneylenders who charges usurious interest rate from the country. It can bring 42 per cent financially excluded population into the formal banking system.

It is a shame that money lending still exist after 67 years of independence and it is time to get rid of this in right earnest.

One of the steps towards this was RBI giving in-principle approval to IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services to set up full-fledged banking operations in April this year.

The process to allow private sector into enter into banking arena began. The Reserve Bank last came out with a set of guidelines for licensing of new banks in the private sector in February 2013. The process of licensing culminated with the announcement by the Reserve Bank (Press Release dated April 2, 2014) that it would grant “in-principle” approval to two applicants who would set up new banks in the private sector within a period of 18 months.


Source: Assocham

Cheap Imports of Chinese Cycles and Components Bleeding Domestic Market

New Delhi: Rising imports of bicycles and their components from China to India at almost 25 per cent cost-comparative advantage owing to free trade agreements (FTAs) together with South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) are posing a serious threat to domestic bicycle industry producing over 41,000 bicycles per day, according to a just concluded study undertaken by the ASSOCHAM Economic Research Bureau.

“There is a need to increase the import duty on bicycles and its parts from prevailing 20 per cent to 30 per cent as by doing this the prices of bicycles made both in India and China would equate in the global market,” noted a just-concluded study on ‘Future of Indian Bicycle Industry,’ conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).

“There is an urgent need to impose strict anti-dumping laws to check rising cheap imports of bicycles and components from China which has been dumping its products into India,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the study.

“The imports of bicycles and their components from China to India have risen by about 41 per cent during the course of past five years, as such it is imperative for India to review the FTAs and SAFTA to safeguard the interests of the domestic bicycle industry,” said Mr Rawat.

India’s exports of bicycle to other countries have grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 17 per cent while the imports grew at over double the rate of about 35 per cent mainly on account of uncompetitive pricing, noted the ASSOCHAM study. “China has ranked on top amid countries importing bicycles and their components into India with imports worth about $8,900 in 2007 to $35,000 in 2012.”

“Soaring fuel prices, rising rural incomes, growing health consciousness together with free distribution of bicycles to students by various state governments in order to promote education and keep a check on dropout rates will push the growth of bicycle industry in India and the industry is expected to generate about one million jobs during the course of next couple of years or so,” highlighted the ASSOCHAM study.

However, input cost inflation like rising steel prices (largely due to rising exports of iron ore pellets), poor condition of roads esp. in rural areas are other significant challenges faced by the industry, it added.

India is world’s second largest bicycle producer after China accounting for about 10 per cent of global bicycle production and with an estimated market size worth $1.5 billion Indian bicycle industry produces about 15 million finished bicycles annually

ASSOCHAM has batted for reduction in excise duty imposed on bicycles to support the industry and reduce the excess burden.

On behalf of the bicycle manufacturers, the apex chamber has urged the government of Punjab to reduce the value added tax (VAT) on bicycle components which is currently hovering 5.5 per cent. “There is also the need to release VAT refund of bicycle manufacturers lying with the Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab government so that the money be utilised by manufacturers to push production.”

In its study, ASSOCHAM has also suggested the Punjab government for keeping stable power tariff as the same is being raised quite frequently thereby adding to the cost of production of bicycles.

Bicycle manufacturers in Ludhiana, the city accounting for lion’s share of about 90 per cent of bicycle production in India have urged the government to reduce both the interest rates on loans which at 11.75 per cent for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is too high to bear.

Besides, there is also the need to reduce the freight charged by the government on raw materials being imported from other states which further escalates the production costs of bicycles, further noted the ASSOCHAM study while highlighting the various problems being faced by the sector.

GPRS Enabled Electronic Cash Transactions Introduced at Hyderabad Airport

New Delhi: Cash transactions for collection of airport charges from non-scheduled operators at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad have become history with the commissioning of GPRS enabled EDC terminal at the airport. Shri G. Asok Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, launched the facility today in Hyderabad as a part of the ongoing `India Avaition-2014’.

The salient features of the facility include a multi-currency handler and identification of fake currency. Non-scheduled operators can now enjoy a credit of 45 days on payment through credit cards. Till now, they were remitting through cash transactions. The facility will work on Real Time basis demanding less of manpower. A similar facility was launched in September last year at Juhu Airport and now almost all airports managed by Airports Authority of India (AAI) have this facility.

ICC Welcomes BCCI Decision to Stage IPL 2014 in UAE

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson today welcomed the decision of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to stage Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The BCCI’s decision to stage the first part of the IPL 2014 season in the UAE is great news for the people of the UAE and the region. It will complete a remarkable season of cricket in the UAE, which has already seen the successful staging of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013 and the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014.

“This news comes on the back of the on-field success of the UAE national team which has qualified for both the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and has the potential to propel cricket’s profile to new heights in the country.”

Mr. Richardson, who is based in the UAE at the ICC headquarters in Dubai Sports City, said the ICC was ready to support the successful staging of the IPL 2014 matches in its home country.

“Recognising the importance of the integrity of the competition, the ICC will provide its full support for the matches in the UAE, including through the provision of anti-corruption services. It will also be a good opportunity for both the BCCI and the ICC to share knowledge and experience as we both strive to deliver memorable events to cricket fans around the world.”

Maximum Degree Holders in 15th Lok Sabha says Report

New Delhi: The 15th Lok Sabha has seen a record increase in number of post-graduates taking the number of such members to 256 as compared to 157 in 14th Lok Sabha. Infact 15th Lok Sabha has around 78% of the members having graduate, post-graduate or doctorate degree. Number of under-matriculates members has fallen sharply from 112 in 1st Lok Sabha to 20 in 15th Lok Sabha.

Though there is no educational qualification stipulated in the Constitution of India to contest the elections, the emerging trend suggests more and more academically educated candidates are winning the elections. Number of candidates having graduates and higher degrees has gone up from 56% in the 1st Lok Sabha to 78% in 15th Lok Sabha. Number of candidates without matriculation has decreased from 23% in 1st Lok Sabha to around 3% in the 15th Lok Sabha.

Though there were candidates without any formal education whatsoever who contested the elections, 15th Lok Sabha does not have even a single illiterate member. There are as many as 24 members who hold doctorate degrees. Also, a decrease in number of graduates in 15th Lok Sabha has accounted for increase in number of post-graduates and higher degrees. There were more number of graduates and less number of post-graduates in 14th Lok Sabha which has been reversed in 15th Lok Sabha.

India’s Largest Civil Aviation Exhibition Inaugurated in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The country’s largest civil aviation exhibition, India Aviation-2014, has been inaugurated today at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad by Minister for Civil Aviation, Ajit Singh. This is the fourth edition of the International Exhibition & Conference on Civil Aviation.

At the opening ceremony, Governor of Andhra Pradesh, E.S.L. |Narasimhan was the chief guest. In his address, he said, “the greatest plus for the aviation industry in India is liberal environment in both the domestic and international spheres, an airport modernization drive that is beginning to show results, and above all a vast potential for market growth to keep pace with the economic growth of the country. Andhra Pradesh is part and parcel of India aviation’s growth story in terms of infrastructure, modernization, and capacity augmentation particularly at the non-metro level in a significant way.”

In his inaugural address, Ajit Singh underlined the significance of the show saying “this event is much more than an aviation show. It provides a platform to experts to deliberate on how to improve connectivity, use newer technologies, developing better and more reliable air navigation services and air traffic management system.”

Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, in his opening remarks, took note of the rapid growth in civil aviation sector in the last decade. He said, “civil aviation industry in India is experiencing a new era of expansion driven by factors such as low cost carriers (LCC), modern airports, Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in domestic airlines, cutting edge information technology (IT) interventions, growing emphasis on regional connectivity, increasing involvement of private participation under PPP and the policy of development of Greenfield airports. This surge has fuelled the demand for support services like ground handling, maintenance, repair & overhaul, etc .”

The exhibition has been organised jointly by Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). More than 250 exhibitors are participating in the event. The show will continue till March, 16.

Assocham Expresses Concern over Stagnation of Industrial Growth in January 2014

New Delhi: Expressing serious concerns on indifferent performance of industrial sector in January 2014, apex industry body ASSOCHAM said that estimates of industrial production for the month of January 2014 shows industrial stagnation as manufacturing industry continued to register deceleration along with significant continued fall in the production of capital goods and consumer durables too indicate that industrial sector has lost growth appetite.

“The negative growth of manufacturing has got serious implications for the overall growth, employment and trade balance,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.

“The lack of depth in manufacturing has been affecting India’s economic security and stability as sustained high negative current account balances with China and other trade partners,” said Rawat. “In view of this, ASSOCHAM strongly recommends for a paradigm shift in the government approach as cheap imports of various manufactured goods like electronics, chemicals and steel are resulting in domestic manufacturers to lower capacity utilization rates, leave alone adding new capacities.”

“Various Government Ministries must act in unison for putting together effective policy measures for addressing this phenomenon. In the long term, the country needs to reform both policies and processes,” said Rawat. “The RBI needs to take a constructive view while undertaking the mid-quarter review of its credit policy later in the week. The weak supply response arising out of difficult business conditions needs the attention of policy makers.”

General Elections 2014 to give Rs 60000 Crore to Boost GDP to Economy says Assocham

New Delhi: With electioneering picking up fast, the estimated Rs 15,000-20,000 crore to be spent on the general elections in all, will create a huge multiplier GDP effect of at least  Rs 60,000 crore giving a shot in the arm of the Indian economy, an ASSOCHAM study has said.

The ASSOCHAM study has arrived at the realistic figures of election expenditure by the government and candidates. While the official limit for each of Parliamentary candidate in 543 constituencies has been fixed at Rs 70 lakh, the previous experience of different agencies at the ground level shows that this time around, each of the contestants, in majority of the cases , may end up spending Rs five-seven crore , the scanner of the Election Commission notwithstanding.

“It is extremely difficult for the official machinery to minutely monitor the expenditure details of the candidates…The past experience shows that the number of crorepatis fighting the elections far exceeded the commoner, who would even find Rs 70 lakh difficult to raise unless he or she is from a cash rich big party..”, the ASSOCHAM study said.

With multi-cornered contests in most of the constituencies between NDA, UPA, regional parties like SP, BSP, AIADMK, DMK, Trinamool Congress, TDP, YSR Congress and the new kid on the block Aam Admi Party, it is assumed that each of the Parliamentary seats will have at least 3-4 serious candidates…Thus, each of the constituency may witness Rs 20-25 crore being spent on tough electioneering.

This would add up Rs 12,000-15,000 crore for electioneering. With addition of the official expenditure of at least Rs 1,000 crore and the other undefined extra spend on logistics by the Central and State Government, the total election expenditure – official and unofficial, permitted and non-permitted could go near the Rs 20,000 crore mark.

The Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha will give another booster of Rs 1,000-1,500 crore, the chamber study said.

The businesses in the media –like television channels, newspapers, city hoardings, printers, social media, transport and hospitality – bus/taxi operators, tents/scaffoldings, caterers, airlines, will see the direct positive impact of the election budgets of the political parties as also the state machinery.

“However, the greater economic impact would be seen in the form of GDP multiplier effect since those earning from these would be spending at least 80-90 per cent of such earnings. The propensity to save is small among the workers , employees and even the owners of the unorganised businesses which will generally be more useful for electioneering excepting TV channels and newspapers,” ASSOCHAM President Mr Rana Kapoor said. However, he said that the study has sought to capture the ground situation and in no way reflects endorsement by ASSOCHAM on use of money power in elections.

“We stand for elections which are free from money and muscle power and do not support huge budget, even though the economy may get a consumption boost,” he said.

The ASSOCHAM study said it would be conservative to assume a multiplier effect of one:four to this expenditure.

The debate of accounted or unaccounted money notwithstanding, the Rs 60,000 crore booster to an economy resulting from multiplier election spend will make a big difference to the economic sentiment. In case, the country is luck to get a stable government after elections, the sentiment will further improve breaking the vicious circle of slow investment and demand that the Indian economy has been witnessing for the last two years.

FICCI Sets up Centre to enhance Corporate Governance Standards in India

New Delhi: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) today announced the establishment of an in-house Centre for Corporate Governance, which would aim to contribute to the enhancement of corporate governance standards in India and provide services in this area internationally. The Centre will be chaired by Arun Duggal, Chairman, Shriram Capital Ltd. and will have its own Advisory Board, Staff and funding.

The launch of the Centre has happened at an opportune time since corporate governance is an issue of vital interest to the business community and with the passage of the new Companies Act 2013, there is now a larger focus on corporate governance.

One of the major initiatives of the Centre for the year 2014 would be ‘Women on Corporate Boards’ which was launched last year. It involves a Mentoring Programme under which experienced Board members will mentor and coach professional women to become ready to join corporate Boards. “We are certain that this unique initiative will improve gender balance and increase the number of women as independent directors on corporate Boards”, said Sidharth Birla, President, FICCI. He requested industry captains to help in the placement of the first batch of mentees and also refer high potential women capable of serving the Boards of companies for the second batch of the programme.

In 2014, the Centre will also set up a peer group forum for Directors called the Directors’ Forum and a Board Support Centre that would act as a confidential help desk for Board members to get advice on any Board Agenda item or any Governance issue. Educational programmes on corporate governance would also be organized for Board Members in partnership with academic institutions. Apart from these, the Centre will act as a think tank and strive to undertake academic research, publish papers and promote scholarship in the area of Corporate Governance and Board Effectiveness. It will also interface with the Government, regulators and other agencies of the Government on issues relating to corporate governance.

Indian Railways Launches ‘SMS Gateway’ for Sending PNR Status Alerts

New Delhi: Indian Railways added another milestone by launching yet another innovative scheme called the ‘SMS Gateway’, which will enable passengers to get SMS alerts on the status of reserved tickets. The ‘SMS Gateway’ which was developed by Centre for Railway information Systems (CRIS), an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Railways, was launched by the Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury here today on the occasion of a seminar on the theme “Role of IT in Rail Services – Present and Future”.

The ‘SMS Gateway’ project will be used to send SMS alerts to passengers in case of status change in the PRS tickets, as compared to the initial booking status (For example W/L to RAC, RAC to CNF, W/L to CNF). SMS alerts prior to chart preparation will be sent once a day, in case of status change only, beginning from 5 days before the journey date. The SMS alerts after chart preparation (which is normally done 3-4 hours before train departure), will convey the actual Berth No., Coach No. and RAC No. for those passengers whose final Charting status has changed as compared to the initial booked status. In case of any ticket upgradation or seat re-allotment also SMS alerts will be sent.

The Indian Railway estimates that a large of SMS alerts will be sent on daily basis (approx. 4 lakh), hence the system will be made ONLINE in phases. Initially, the system would be configured for sending post chart alerts in a few selective Rajdhani trains, followed by other Mail Express trains. Subsequently the pre chart alerts will be enabled.

This facility will greatly reduce the last minute enquiry rush on the PRS websites and Call Centre as well as reduce the4 crowding near the pasted Chart locations on the Railway Platforms. This service will be provided free of cost to the users. This will enhance the image of Indian Railways.

Taking the things forward, CRIS took up the project for setting up of SMS Gateway of sending alerts to passengers, sanctioned by the Railways Board. Till now passengers can find about their PNR status through website enquiries or Call Centre (139) or IVRS or SMS enquiry. Railways decided to proactively send the SMS alerts to passengers at no extra charges to them.

During the development of the application for sending SMS alerts, considerable challenges were faced, to ensure that there is no adverse impact in the normal functioning of the backend main PRS system (CONCERT), which is one of the largest ticketing applications in the world. M/s Mahindra Comiva and Velti System, India were the technical partners of CRIS for making this project a success.

Movie Review: Highway (2014)

Starring: Randeep Hooda, Alia Bhatt

Directed by Imtiaz Ali

Produced by Sajid Nadiadwala & Imtiaz Ali

Written by Imtiaz Ali

Music by A. R. Rahman

Cinematography: Anil Mehta

A typical Imtiaz Ali movie which has got everything relevant to the sensitivity of the present generation and prevalent in the current social system. Highway, which is so apt a title for the movie from the beginning to the end. And justifying the character in the movie is Alia Bhatt (screen name Veera Tripathi) with the rustic male Randeep Hooda (screen name Mahabir Bhatti).

The story revolves round a young girl Veera who seeks freedom in her life. Set in the background of her marriage she desires to sneak out with her would-be husband in the night before her wedding day to feel the fresh air in a peaceful surrounding. She urges her would-be husband to drive to the outskirts of the city. Though her fiancé reluctantly drives her out of the city towards the highway Veera is enthralled with the cool and fresh breeze and start feeling a sense of liberty. Veera’s fiancé stops the car on the Highway at a petrol pump. But little did he know that the pump was being looted by a gang of robbers. In the mean time Veera had already stepped out of the car to the feel the air outside. While fleeing the robbers bump into her and take her as hostage. After forcing her fiancé out of the car they drive her away. Initially they didn’t think of holding her as a captive but the ring leader of the gang Mahabir Bhatti thought of kidnapping her for ransom.  Thus begins the story of a very sensitive girl and full of emotions Alia Bhatt as Veera.

Imtiaz Ali has used Alia Bhatt very well to fit into the character of Veera. Not only Alia even Randeep Hooda has justified his role to the optimum. And the cinematographer Anil Mehta has tried all his skills to make the movie rolling at the theatres successfully.

The story as relevant in today’s society has been well depicted. Imitiaz Ali has tried to bring out the human emotions of both the male and female through the characters. But at times the movie seemed like it had stopped moving forward and suddenly it came to an end. Alia’s scene describing her early childhood has probably touched the heart of many viewers and she has proved that she has loads of talent to prove herself in the future. And Randeep Hooda as usual made a mark.

All-in-all a must watch movie for it has a veiled message for all about women and girls in our society.

© ionewsplus.com 2014

TRAI Report Reveals Rise in overall Teledensity in India in the 4th Quarter of 2013

New Delhi: The latest data released by TRAI shows an increase in the Teledensity in India. According to the report the overall Teledensity in India increased from 73.69 at the end of November, 2013 to 74.02 at the end of December, 2013. The latest data on telecom subscribers released by TRAI here today, subscription in the urban areas increased from 546.64 million in November, 2013 to 549.40 million at the end of December, 2013. Subscription in rural areas increased from 363.50 million to 365.79 million during the same period. The monthly growth rate of urban and rural subscription is 0.51% and 0.63% respectively. The overall urban Teledensity has increased from 144.46 to 144.95 and Rural Teledensity increased from 42.43 to 42.67 in this month. It would be interesting to keep an eye over the next few months as to how the telecom companies behave in the market after the latest spectrum auctions in February 2014 which has a tremendous hike in the spectrum prices.

President Pranab Mukherjee Inaugurates 45th Governor’s Conference at Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi: The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee opened the 45th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi today (February 13, 2014). The Conference is being attended by Twenty-six Governors and three Lt. Governors.

The agenda for the two-day Conference of Governors includes external and internal security environment, development issues in Scheduled Areas and North Eastern region, improving the quality of higher education and making disaster management more effective.

In his opening address at the Conference, the President said the Role of Governors is as a bridge between States and Centre. Governors have to ensure that State Governments act according to the Constitution while safeguarding the interests of the state. This is the unique responsibility of a Governor as they represent the Centre in the State and the State at the Centre. The President called upon Governors to remain alert and ensure that the coming general election to the 16th Lok Sabha is peaceful and conducive to free expression of the will of the people. The President said Governors must also ensure that the pluralistic character of our nation is not tarnished in any manner.

The President said during his address to the Governors and Lt. Governors through video-conferencing on July 25, 2013, a suggestion emerged that Groups of Governors should be constituted to deliberate upon issues such as the Role of Governors as a bridge between States and Centre; Areas under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, North Eastern Council and related issues; Areas under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, Role of Governors as Chancellors of educational institutions in improving the quality of higher education and Disaster Management. The groups of Governors have submitted reports with invaluable suggestions. These suggestions would serve as useful input for policy makers.

The President advised Governors to spend more time touring inside the states and closely monitor the implementation of Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 for benefits to reach the tribals of Scheduled Areas. Measures to strengthen Autonomous District Councils and extend certain features of the Panchayati Raj Institutions should be also considered. The President also called upon Governors to be pro-active as Chancellors in taking up the cause of higher education to bring excellence in State institutions.

Speaking on Disaster Management, the President said India, is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world. About 58.6 per cent of its landmass is prone to earthquakes; over 40 million hectares (12 per cent of land) is prone to floods; 68 per cent of the cultivable area is susceptible to drought; and, out of the 7,516 km coast line, about 5,700 km is prone to cyclones. The Disaster Management Act, 2005 has brought a change in the approach to disaster management, from a relief-centric to a holistic and integrated approach encompassing prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation. There is need for effective implementation of this Act.

Dignitaries participating in the Conference included the Vice President, the Prime Minister and Union Ministers of Defence, Finance, Home Affairs, Law and Justice, Tribal Affairs, Human Resource Development, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and Minister of State (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.

Agri Min Sharad Pawar addresses 3-day Asia-Africa Agribusiness Forum

New Delhi: Low farm productivity and non-cultivation of half of arable land in Africa coupled with the pressure of increasing population and urbanization on farm land in Asia provides a great opportunity for responsible investment by Asian countries in Africa to promote agricultural growth, diversification and employment without comprising on domestic food security, Sharad Pawar, India’s Minister for Agriculture and Food Processing said here today.

In his keynote address at the Asia-Africa Agribusiness Forum, organized by FICCI and the Ministry of Agriculture, Pawar said, “The great competitive advantage for Africa is its 733 million hectares of arable land, which accounts for 27.4% of the total arable land in the world. Currently, only 183 million hectares of land is under cultivation in Sub-Saharan Africa and approximately 452 million still remain uncultivated. On the other hand, agricultural land in Asia is under pressure from increasing population and urbanisation.” This gives rise to opportunities for investment by Asian countries in the African region, he said.

Minister Pawar said that in Asia, more than 2.2 billion people directly or indirectly depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The Asian countries together constitute more than 60% of the world’s population and heavily depend on agriculture to meet an ever–increasing food demand. The continent has made remarkable progress in agricultural production while dealing with an increasing population and a resultant increase in the food demand. Food production has increased at a rate higher than the growth in population, largely on account of introduction of HYVs for cereals, better irrigation facilities and fertilizers, besides support for credit and an assured support price. “These learnings can be, and have to be replicated in Africa, and this is the right forum for the exchange of ideas at the highest levels,” Pawar pointed out.

Dwelling in India’s experiences with farmers and agribusiness enterprises, Pawar said the farmer is an entrepreneur and a risk taker. He has also been a great innovator and adaptor but has often lost out in terms of trade and in transactions on account of several factors, most of which are related to size, scale and access to technologies, inputs and markets. But when he has worked together as in the milk, sugarcane and fertilizer sector, farmers have created some of the finest organizations. Amul and IFFCO which are global brands and leaders in their respective domains. “In addition to co-operatives, we have also started promoting Farmer Producer organizations by providing equity and credit guarantee support. We have declared 2014 as the Year of the FPOs and strengthened the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium, a specialised body that provides professional, financial and technical assistance to small farmers and their organisations, besides encouraging agri entrepreneurship,” the Minister said.

According to a FICCI-PwC discussion paper on ‘Unlocking the Food Belts of Asia and Africa’, there is huge potential for agri-business in the both the Africa and Asia, but growth of the sector depends upon policy environments, capacity and resources. The opportunities in the

agribusiness sector have the potential to address various social and economical issues but there remain substantial barriers for growth of the sector.  The paper states that in Sub-Saharan Africa and most of Asian countries, agro-based industry needs a major transformation in order to generate more job opportunities, revenues and food for the growing population. Apart from the industrial transformation, farming techniques need improvement in order to offer good opportunities