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By Ratikant Mohanty

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s air travel expenses have dealt a bigger dent to the state exchequer as compared to previous years.

In a written reply to a query by BJP’s Rourkela MLA Dilip Ray, state parliamentary affairs minister Bikram Keshari Arukha on Tuesday said, the state government has spent over Rs 26.55 crore towards airfares of Mr Patnaik and his cabinet colleagues in the last three years.

During 2015-17, Rs 8.43 crore was spent in 2015, Rs 11.14 crore in 2016 and Rs 6.97 crore in 2017 towards air travel expenses within and outside state, Arukha said.

Worth mentioning, an application under RTI Act revealed that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his ministerial colleagues’ chopper rides cost the state exchequer nearly Rs 23 crore between 2011 and 2015.

During the last three years, Mr Patnaik had used a helicopter on 104 occasions for travel inside the state as compared to 45 times by his colleagues, Mr Arukha further said.

Similarly, Mr Patnaik undertook air rides outside the state 11 times and only one minister travelled outside the state during this period, he concluded.

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By Sudam Patra

Balasore, Dec. 12: Leading industrial house Emami Group which has got its paper mills in Balasore has been in the forefront in implementation of various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities in Balasore district. The company has formulated the policy for development and implementation of CSR as also required under Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.

Emami Paper Mills Limited through its CSR activities takes up programs that benefit the communities in and around its place of work and ensure over a period of time, enhancement in the quality of life and economic wellbeing of the local people and thereby establishing its presence as a good corporate citizen.

Eradication of Hunger, Poverty and Mal Nutrition:

The company, as a part of its CSR activities promotes eradication of hunger and Malnutrition from the local community. Nearly 400 mouths are fed every day on this account. The Company monitors the Body Mass Index (BMI) of children of the locality and detects cases of mal-nutrition. Such children are supplemented with protein enriched food supplement three times a week. Nearly 250 children are benefited on this account. Clothes are also provided to poverty sicken orphan children of the locality.

Promotion of Preventive Health Care

A dedicated team of doctors and para-medical staff provide door to door preventive health service to the local community. Along with this mobile health service is available at 12 locations twice a week. During the year under reference 7269 patients have been provided elementary healthcare through the mobile health unit. Regular medical advice along with medicines under traditional system of medicine is also provided at ten locations. During 2015-16, 23,270 patients were benefited under this scheme. In addition to the regular clinics, 18 special combined homeopathic and ayurvedic camps were conducted during the year.

During the year, the company supported the local govt. PHCs (Public Health Centre) in upgrading their labor room, indoor patient wards and sitting arrangements for the out-patient department. Regular medicines are being provided to Mitrapur Swasthya Seva Kendra for free distribution. On the recommendation of doctors, company also supports poor and needy patients for seeking expert medical advice. 35 patients were benefited under this scheme during the year.

Sanitation and Provision for Safe Drinking Water Realizing the fact that safe drinking water is the key for preventive healthcare, the company provides running water supply to 120 households of Rasulpur village and has commissioned 22 new tube wells to the already 185 community water points in the area over the last five years.

Promoting Education and Vocational Skills:

Initiatives under promotion of education encompass five broad activities namely, Infrastructural support to local educational institutions, scholarship support to the poor and meritorious, free distribution of exercise notebooks, community teacher program and capacity building of the tribal children.  Based on the survey of local schools, the company supports educational institutions in developing their infrastructure by making provisions for classroom furniture, fans, lights and toilet. During the year 530 pairs of desk cum bench has been provided to 16 institutions to accommodate the growing student enrollment.

During 2015-16, 330 top scorers from 71 institutions have been provided with a scholarship ranging between Rs.500 to Rs.5000. Free distribution of exercise notebooks to students took a quantum jump in comparison to the previous year. In 2015-16, 71,433 exercise books were distributed to 89 institutions.

Ensuring Environmental Sustainability and Animal welfare:

The company has undertaken bulk plantation on 2.5 acres of land at Baniagaon where 2500 seedlings were planted. Along with this, 5,690 peripheral plantations were undertaken around the factory site on 6.3 acres of land.

Protection of Art and Culture and restoration of sites of Historical Importance:

The Company during the year had taken initiative to restore place of cultural importance at Nuapadhi village under Remuna block.

Rural Infrastructure:

During the year under reference, the company has invested its resources in creation of lasting rural infrastructure. Community centers were erected at Rasalpur. The company took initiative in installing 17 street lights in Rasalpur and Patripal gram Panchayats. A creche by the company was constructed at Balasore during the year.

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By Swagatika Bhutia

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 11: The rate of cyber crime is alarmingly increasing in Odisha. While 356 cases were registered in 2015, as many as 559 cases have been lodged in various police stations by September 30 this year.

Of course, 2016 saw a slight fall in cyber crime rate. As many as 346 cases were registered in that year.

The registered cyber crimes include uploading of objectionable video of women on social media platforms and bank frauds.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, while replying to a query in the State Assembly on Monday, said at least 93 women have been victims of objectionable videos going viral in social media by September 30. The figure is most likely to increase by the end of the year.

While 42 women were victims of viral video in 2015, 40 such cases were registered in 2016.

 

The CM said as against 356 bank fraud cases registered in 2015, 382 cases have been lodged by September 30 this year, an increase of 68.58 per cent.

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In New Delhi on the auspicious occasion of 38th Bheemsen Sachchar Memorial Lecture held on Saturday.

(From left) Shri Deepak Malviya, President, Servants of People Society (SOPS), Shri N. Narayana Murthy, Founder INFOSYS,  General (R) VP Malik, Shri Raj Kumar, President SOPS, Delhi Branch. Other dignitaries off the dais included veteran journalist Kuldeep Nair, Retired Justice of Supreme Court Rajinder Sachchar.

 

Photograph by Akshya Rout

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Govt assures support to farmers

By Saroj Kumar Behera

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 9: Heavy rains caused by a deep depression formed over Bay of Bengal on Saturday lashed most parts of Odisha, seriously damaging standing paddy crop and vegetables in thousands of acres of land.

The depression, according to local Met office, is very likely to maintain its intensity during the next 24 hours with a possibility of triggering heavy rainfall over north coastal districts of Odisha.

“The depression over west central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of about 18 kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 5.30 pm today over northwest Bay of Bengal, about 150 km south-southeast of Gopalpur and 150 km south-southwest of Paradip and 330 km south-southwest of Digha,” a bulletin of the local meteorological centre said.

“It is very likely to maintain its intensity during 24 hours and weaken gradually into a well marked low during subsequent 12 hours,” it added.

“Heavy rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places very likely over north coastal districts of Odisha during next 12 hours,” it forecasted.

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Nalco CMD Dr Tapan Kumar Chand

Science to make technology affordable for common people: Nalco CMD Dr Chand

By Alisha Sahoo

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 9: “Science and Technology has the potential to improve lives substantially if it can be made affordable to common people,” said Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD of National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) at the inauguralfunction of Akhila Bharatiya Karyakarta Avyash Barg, Vigyana Bharati.

Addressing the programme as the Chief Guest, in the presence of ShriR.V.Rajakumar, Director, IIT, Bhubaneswar, ShriManmohan Vaidya, Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, RSS, Shri Shankar Rao Tatawavadi, Mantor, Vigyan Bharati,  among other dignitaries, Dr. Chandurged everyone to use the inquistive nature constructively so that Science can be used for development of our country.

“The greatness of Science does not only lie in the fact that it has resulted into growth and development, but the power of an inquisitive mind that it has gifted human beings with that deserves credit.Let Science be used for the benefit of the society,” added Dr. Chand. Dr. Chand gave compliments to the organizers of Akhila Bharatiya Vigyana Bharati for making family as the unit for disseminating scientific spirit and temper.

Dr. Chand and other notable speakers lauded the organisers for providing a platform like this workshop which brought together stakeholders from different fields to discuss and brainstorm over using science as a tool to improve lives and learn from the best practices.

 

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Sukinda MLA Pritiranjnan Ghadai interacting with tribal children at Rangitangar near Sukinda  on Saturday. Mr Ghadai said he has been focusing on all-round development of the tribals. 
Sukinda MLA Pritiranjnan Ghadai interacting with tribal children at Rangitangar near Sukinda  on Saturday. Mr Ghadai said he has been focusing on all-round development of the tribals.
-Photograph by Akshya Rout

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By Our Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR, DEC. 9: The 8th National Finance Conclave of KIIT School of Management (KSOM) was organised on December 9.

The theme of this year’s conclave was “Policy Interventions: Challenges & Prospects of Indian Business & Finance.”

The conclave was inaugurated by Mr Jitendra Panda, MD & CEO, Peerless Securities Limited, in the presence of Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS, Prof Hrushikesha Mohanty, VC, KIIT Deemed to be University, Prof. Debasish Das, Director, KSOM and Prof. S.N Mishra, Dean, KSOM.

Mr Panda elaborated the philosophy behind the formulation and implementation of financial policies across various markets. He emphasized on the workings of major policy initiatives like Demonetization, GST, Make in India, Digital India, and Ease of doing Business etc.

Prof Mohanty talked on different challenges faced by the players in the financial markets against the backdrop of recent policy changes and emphasized on the urgent imperative of up-gradation of the skill sets of the millennial to meet these challenges. In his welcome address Dr. Samanta highlighted the impact of policy changes on business prospects. He also talked about the viable financial model of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences which is highly appreciated by policy makers of the country.

The first panel discussion was on “Policy Interventions: Impact on Stakeholders’ Business Performances” which was moderated by Ms. Lakshmi V. Iyer, CIO – Fixed Income & Head – Products, Kotak Mahindra Asset Mgt. Co. The other panelists were Mr. Subrat Das, CFO, SembCorp Green Infra Ltd.; Mr. Srinivas Baratam, MD, Kriscore Financial Advisors; Mr. Mahesh Gupta, Director – Finance, Appster; and Mr. Sanjeev Goswami, Founder Director, Fractal Capital.

The second panel discussion was on the topic  “Policy interventions: Business Challenges and Innovations” which was moderated by Dr. Rajeev Uberoi, General Counsel and Group Head Legal & Compliance, IDFC. The other panelists were Ms. Renu Rajani, VP – Financial Services, ADM Service Line, Infosys; Ms. Sangeeta Sumesh, ED & CFO, Dun & Bradstreet Technologies and Data Services Pvt. Ltd.; Mr. Vikas Sarda, CFO, Unitus Capital and Unitus Seed Fund; and Mr. Aakarshan Mookim, Head-Business Finance (FP&A/Commercial   Finance), Macmillan Education.

The conclave also had six workshops for the students with topics relating to contemporary banking, mutual fund, micro-insurance, corporate governance practices and digital innovations. The conclave was a part of three National Level Conclaves in the areas of HR, Marketing and Finance conducted by KIIT School of Management to create a forum for the exchange of ideas and thoughts on pertinent themes of the current era. This year’s conclave witnessed huge participation from management students, academia and industry practitioners.

 

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To be held in January, the carnival aims to attract domestic, foreign tourists

By Our Correspondent

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 8: The Odisha government is planning to host bird festival in Chilika Laka, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon.

The festival will be jointly organised by tourism and forest departments in January next year.

The exact date for the festival is yet to be finalised. However, the authorities are planning to hold the festival in January second or third week, sources in the state tourism department said.

The bird festival is expected to attract a number of tourists – both domestic and foreign – to the lake during this winter.

There will be various programmes like photo exhibition, painting competition, photography, migratory bird watching sessions and many more during the festival.

Sources said that special arrangements will be made in Nalabana and Mangalajodi islands in the lake involving the brave tour operators in the event.

A large number of migratory birds flock Chilika during winter every year. They enhance the beauty of the lake and islands.

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By Our Correspondent

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 8: The state-level committee on anti-Maoist operations on Friday approved an annual budget of Rs 71 crore for 2017-18 under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme.

The committee approved the SRE budget ahead of a crucial meeting of the Central government with the Maoist-hit states on December 11.

Usually the state government spends money for anti-Maoist operations and the Centre reimburses 60 per cent of the total spending.

“Today the state level committee approved the budget,” said home secretary Asit Tripathy.

The SRE scheme fund is utilized by the state to fortify police station, construct boundary wall of police stations, train police personnel and meet arms and ammunition expenses of paramilitary forces.

The fund is also utilised to provide ex-gratia to families of civilians or security personnel killed during anti-Maoist operations.

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