Tribal boy admitted to IIT after Minister`s plea
New Delhi, Sept 18: Acting on the plea of HRD Minister Arjun Singh, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, on Monday admitted Balaram Tudu, a tribal boy from Orissa, to the preparatory course 2006-07 as a "special case".
"Since all the 42 preparatory course seats at IIT, Kharagpur were already filled up, we have, as a special case, created one additional seat at the institute to accommodate Balaram Tudu," the institute said in a letter to the national commission for scheduled tribes here.
Tudu was contacted yesterday to come to the institute for counselling, and he joined the institute today for the course, it said.
IIT, Kharagpur, director S K Dube said that the minister has taken a very sympathetic view and requested the institute to consider the case of Tudu for admission to the course.
"Considering the entire case, we have taken a compassionate view in this case, because the earlier communication regarding counselling to Tudu could not be delivered to him, apparently due to negligence of the postal authorities of Bhubaneswar," Dube said.
In order to avoid such instances in future, the minister said that a detailed procedure about preparatory course along with deadline for declaration of results and dates of counselling be incorporated in the information brochure as was being done for all india rank holders.
Intimation about result and information about dates of counselling for all india rank holders as well as preparatory course rank holders from SC and ST communities should also be sent to the district magistrate, collector, deputy commissioner of the district indicated in the mailing address by the candidate so that a separate channel of communication was available, he said.
Singh said in case grievances were raised by other similarly placed SC and ST candidates who appeared at JEE-2006, a uniform approach of sympathetic consideration may be followed, an official release said.
RTI Act violation: 11 engineers asked to pay fine
BANGALORE: As many as 11 Assistant Executive Engineers (AEE) of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) were asked to pay a fine of Rs. 2,250 each on Monday for violation of Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The fine, which has been slapped for delaying and providing inadequate information to V. Bhaskar of Nivarana Seva Trust, has been calculated at the rate of Rs. 250 per day for nine days from August 27 when the information was sought.
The Public Information Officer, N. Devaraj, who is also the Chief Engineer (South) in the BMP, issued notice to the engineers on Monday after a three-hour hearing on the case. He has also directed them to furnish the required information within 48 hours. This is for the first time that the use of RTI Act has resulted in disciplinary action against the officials concerned. The following are the engineers who have been fined: H.T. Mohan Das (Basavanagudi), C. Narayana Reddy (Jayanagar), B.R. Mudduraj (Hanumanthnagar), K.T. Balraj (Binnypet), Rangaswamy N.R. (Padmanabhanagar), N.S. Srikantegowda (Srinivasnagar), Ramesh (Govindrajnagar), R. Jaganath (Hombegowdanagar), Doddaiah (Madivala), Manjunath Reddy (Chandra Layout) and Rangaswamy K.R. (JJ Nagar).
Forest department biggest enemy of tribals’
September 18, 2006
At 77, the most experienced and active Congress politician in the State has rediscovered her protest prowess. Her words in the Assembly may not be quite to the point or forceful, but Jamuna Devi is leading the Congress from the front against the Shivraj Singh Government within and without the House. She spoke at length on tribal issues with Rakesh Dixit.
Who do you think is the biggest enemy of the tribals?
The forest department.
The IFS and IAS officers. They don’t want the disputes between revenue and forest villages resolved. They allow petty officials down the line to exploit tribals.
If tribals are suffering miseries, their dwellings being demolished, their scope for livelihood being diminished and they are being forced to migrate, it is all because of the corrupt officials.
What makes you to feel that?
I have been watching this since 1952 when I first became an MLA. On one pretext or the others, tribals have been dispossessed of their land whether it is in the name of dams or setting up industry or encroachment on forestland. Of late, tribals are being denied of their natural right to pick fuel woods and minor forest produce because they happened to live in the vicinity of sanctuaries. From time immemorial tribals have coexisted with wildlife.
Now they are being asked to go away because the Forest department sees them as danger to wild animals. This is preposterous. Tribals are the real saviour of the flora and fauna from ancient times. Now they are being asked to move away in the name of protecting the very things they know how best to protect..
What will this lead to ?
A big explosion. After all, how long will tribals wait? If tribals are heeding to Naxalites and taking up arms, Forest department is to blame for this all.
Aren’t politicians to blame more?
Yes. Tribal leaders have been suppressed in every party including the Congress. Those who did rise the political ladder forgot their roots and commitment to the community’s interests once they attained certain position.
Has reservation benefited tribals ?
Not much really. Some illiterate tribals got elected to assembly and Lok Sabha due to reservation but they were manipulated by smart politicians in their parties.
You hold an important position. Your party is ruling at the Centre. Why can’t you get decisions in favour of tribals implemented? What is happening to Tribals Rights Bill and the promise to legitimise tribals’ encroachments in forestland?
You must be aware how I have been writing to the State Government and Centre on the issues. I don’t want to comment on UPA but I feel a lack of sense of urgency in the Congress on tribals rights. This is unfortunate.
Arunachal signs MoUs for 9 hydel projects
Total investment of Rs 1,00,000 cr envisaged
New Delhi , Sept. 22
The Arunachal Pradesh Government has signed MoUs with NTPC Ltd, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) and North Eastern Power Corporation (NEEPCO) for setting up nine hydroelectric projects in the State.
A total investment of around Rs 1,00,000 crore is being envisaged for construction and evacuation of power from these projects.
NTPC would execute two projects with a total capacity of 4,500 MW, while NHPC would set up five plants with a capacity of 8,100 MW and NEEPCO would set up two projects with a total installed capacity of 1,230 MW.
The Union Power Ministry, Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde, at a joint press conference with the State Chief Minister, Mr Gegong Apang, said these projects entail an investment of Rs 75,000 crore while an additional Rs 25,000 crore would be required for evacuating electricity from them to other parts of the country.
NTPC would take up the 4,000-MW Etalin and 500-MW Attunli projects, while NEEPCO would develop the 1,120-MW Kameng-I and 110-MW Pare projects. NHPC would execute the 750-MW each Tawang-I and Tawang-II projects, 1,600-MW Middle Subansiri and 2,000-MW Upper Subansiri projects. It would also develop the 3,000-MW Dibang project in a joint venture, where the State Government can have up to 26 per cent equity.
While Arunachal Pradesh would be entitled to 12 per cent free power from each of these projects, additionally, an amount of one paise per unit of electricity generated would be contributed by each project to a Local Area Development Trust. The money in the Trust would be used to take up developmental activities for people of the affected area.
On the issue of the involvement of the private sector in development of projects by the Arunachal Government, which had earlier been entrusted to Central utilities, Mr Shinde said the Centre had advised the State that private promoters could only distribute the power locally. On the issue of preference being given to private developers, Mr Apang said: "Private developers are giving us up to 19 per cent free power (from the hydro projects) as against 12 per given by Central utilities such as NHPC."
Tribals migrating to greener pastures
Monday September 25 2006 10:05 IST
BHADRACHALAM: Even as the Left parties and tribal organisations are raising
a hue and cry over the Indira Sagar (Polavaram) project, tribals in the
area, under threat of displacement, have already started migrating to
The Left parties allege that the construction of Polavaram at its present
location would displace 30,000 families besides submerging one lakh acres
spread over 276 villages.
The mandals that face the threat of submersion, include agency areas of
Bhadrachalam, Kunavaram, Chinturu, VR Puram and Burgampahad.
The authorities, however, claim that the temple town does not face any
threat of inundation as it has an elevated flood bank.
That has not deterred the tribals from migrating to uplands mandals like
Khammam and Sattupalli.
The recent floods to river Godavari and the subsequent inundation of large
chunks of land mass had created a sort of fear psychosis among the tribals.
Over 80,000 people have lost their means of livelihood and crop in thousands
of acres was submerged. Many farmers were restive over the fact that their
villages could get submerged even without Polavaram project.
Recent floods had created a sort of fear psychosis among tribals.
Man kills brother over common wife
Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
A tribal man in Himachal Pradesh allegedly killed his younger brother after a dispute over their shared wife.
Sohan Lal Negi, 35, had an argument with his younger brother Shukru, 31, over their common wife at Ribba village in the tribal Kinnaur valley, some 250 km from here.
A day after the argument, an enraged Sohan reportedly attacked his brother with a knife and killed him. He has been arrested.
Ribba is one of the most economically prosperous villages in Kinnaur and has a very high literacy rate. According to one estimate, the village has contributed a whopping 20 IAS and IPS officers to the privileged elite Indian civil service.
Polyandry - where a set of brothers share a common wife - is still prevalent in some parts of the isolated Himalayan valley,
The custom started centuries ago due to scarcity of cultivable land in this hard mountainous terrain. The custom ensured that the family land wasn’t divided and further fragmented among brothers and they did not set up their own household units.
AU bid to preserve oral literature of tribals
Visakhapatnam, Sept. 26: Pakrothi mane bondh acha se se modima, mora padam sabdase santoec, Porimone upane rokoci phol manor raibayi (the bond between me and this nature is binding wine, she is my first mother, she quivers and thrills at my foot steps, pat pat she splash the terrain, feeds me the yummy taste of delicious fruit feast).
This poem came instantly from the mouth of Butiya, a woman belonging to Valmiki tribe of Lambasingi hamlet in the Vizag agency area when Andhra University professor S. Prasanna Sree and his project members visited this place recently as part of “Translating of tribal oratures”, a UGC major research project launched in 2005.
The project was launched in an attempt to preserve the oral tradition of the tribes living together in the agency areas of the district.
Around 200 hundred such songs, poems and proverbs of nearly nine tribal dialects that are commonly spoken like Valmiki, Gadaba, Bagatha, Porja and Konda tribal communities have been translated into English and are being preserved in CDs.
The project team has made several trips to many tribal villages in Chintapalli, G. Madugula, Paderu and other mandals and recorded these songs from elderly persons and many other tribals. “The great Hindu epic Ramayana would not have reached the future generations if Valmiki, a tribal, had not written it. In a similar way there are many things to learn from the tribals, especially the poems, songs and proverbs which are philosophical in nature and has messages about nature,” said Prasanna Sree. She lamented that there were incidents where the present generation tribals do not know such ‘oral traditional songs’.
Hearing on fever deaths
Rights panel to arrive on Sept. 28
Visakhapatnam, Sept. 26: The Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission (APHRC) will conduct a public hearing at Paderu at 3 pm on September 28 on the deaths related to malaria, malnutrition and other diseases during the rainy season from May- end to November.
The commission will not only hear the people, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), people’s representatives, victim families and the officials, but may also visit to hospitals, medical aid centres, hostels and other public areas. APHRC chairman Justice G. Subhashan Reddy will preside over the hearing. 8
The APHRC had already issued interim directions to the Visakhapantam district collector, the Paderu Integrated Tribal Development Agency and the Visakhapatnam district medical and health officer to take measures to contain occurrence of deaths during the season.