Search Results for ‘opepa’

OPEPA: Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority

OPEPA, Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority has a very extensive website that has won the National e-governance award for best government website. The website is a treasure trove of information. It lists all the schools in Orissa and for some schools it has pictures. The "Track your Child" link in the right side of the home page allows one to see what blocks are in a districts, what GP/wards are in a block and what villages are in a GP/ward. I was able to figure out that my village school (which my grandmother used to take me when I was 3, before I moved to Bhubaneswar) has the following attributes: District – Jajpur, Block – Korai, GP/Ward – Taharpur and Village – Tentulikhunta. In general, the nomination of OPEPA for the award summarizes why OPEPA deserved this award. I hope the information in this site will enable various NROs to track down schools in their native places and find a way to contribute to the development of those schools. Some of the people who deserve kudos for this initiative are Mr. Madhusudan Padhi, the Director of OPEPA, and the people at OCAC and OPEPA. OCAC is the implementation department of the IT department of Govt. of Orissa and is currently headed by Mr. Vishal Dev. OCAC lists the e-sishu project as one of the already implemented e-governance projects.

81 comments January 28th, 2007

Vedanta University – Its importance to Odisha and India. Version 1.3 (Report by Odisha World-Class Universities Support Group)

The report is at .

Current Members of “Odisha World-Class Universities Support Group” that are listed in that report are


  1. Dr. Abani Patra, Professor, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, USA
  2. Dr. Amiya Kumar Rath, Professor and Director, College of Engineering (CEB), Bhubaneswar
  3. Dr. Arun Pujari, Professor, University of Hyderabad (Currently Vice Chancellor, Sambalpur University, Odisha)
  4. Dr. Chitta Baral, Professor, Arizona State University, USA
  5. Dr. Chitta Ray, Professor, University of Hawaii, USA
  6. Dr. Dhanada Mishra, Chairman, Human Development Foundation, Bhubaneswar
  7. Dr. Durga Mishra, Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
  8. Dr. Gautam Das, Professor, University of Texas at Arlington, USA
  9. Dr. Manmohan Mohanti, Retired Professor (Emeritus), Geology, Utkal University (Currently at Nimapara near Bhubaneswar)
  10. Dr. Nihar Ranjan Das, Research Fellow at the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi
  11. Nitai Dhal, Trustee, Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar
  12. Dr. Pranay Swain, UNICEF-OPEPA, ex-faculty IIM Calcutta (Currently at Bhubaneswar)
  13. Dr. Prasant Mohapatra, Professor, University of California at Davis, USA
  14. Dr. Rabi Mahapatra, Professor, Texas A & M University, USA
  15. Dr. Rabi Nayak, Professor, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore (retired), Currently at NISER Bhubaneswar
  16. Dr. Ramakrushna Pradhan, Research Scholar, School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi
  17. Sahadeva Sahoo, Ex-Vice Chancellor OUAT, Ex-Chief Secretary Government of Odisha (Currently at Bhubaneswar)
  18. Sanjeev Nayak, Trustee, Silicon Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar
  19. Dr. Sumanta Swain, Senior Research Officer, International Institute of Health Management Research New Delhi
  20. Dr. Siba P. Misra, Retired Professor and Director, Institute of Physics Bhubaneswar, Ex-President Orissa Bigyan Academy, Ex-President Orissa Information Technology Society (Resides in Bhubaneswar)
  21. Dr. Sunil Sarangi, Professor, IIT Kharagpur, Ex-Director, NIT Rourkela, Odisha
  22. Dr. Supriti Mishra, Fullbright Scholar, Professor, HDF Business School, Bhubaneswar
  23. Dr. Trailokya Nath Naik, Ex-Deputy Director, National Institute of Cholera & Enteric Diseases, Kolkata, Currently at Bhubaneswar after a stint at NISER, Bhubaneswar.

 Others (some associated with academia)

  1. Basant Barik, Credit Suisse, Singapore
  2. Devasis Sarangi, Invest Bhubaneswar and the upcoming TIE Odisha Chapter, Bhubaneswar
  3. Dhirendra Kar, Entrepreneur, North Carolina USA and Bhubaneswar
  4. Nirakar Sahoo, NRO in Maryland, USA (VSSUT Graduate)
  5. Pradosh Sahoo, Student at an IIT, Bhubaneswar
  6. Priyadarshi Mishra, Chairperson, Skill Odisha Initiative, Bhubaneswar
  7. Purna Mohanty, Technology Entrepreneur and SEED Investor, Silicon Valley, CA, USA, Member, TiE Silicon Valley, Member, Invest Bhubaneswar Silicon Valley
  8. Sujeet Jena, Financial Controller, University of New South Wales Foundation, Australia
  9. Surya Rath, Editor of Artfair, Bhubaneswar/Puri
  10. Tejeswar Parida, President, Delhi Odisha Students Association (DOSA), Delhi
  11. Umashankar Das, Entrepreneur Hyderabad/Bangalore  

(Note: A facebook site in support of Vedanta University has about 1200 “likes” and its companion facebook account has about 500 “friends”; about 300 of them are common. The site is and the account is

2 comments January 29th, 2011

Orissa higher education task force formed; headed by IOP founder Prof. Trilochan Pradhan

Following is from a report in Pioneer.

The committee will study the present scenario of higher education in the State in all sectors, including industries, agriculture and medical.

The committee has been asked to suggest measures and means to improve the situation and bring it at par with international standards, keeping equity, excellence and inclusion of focus areas.

It will also suggest a draft higher education policy for the State. It will also prepare two annual action plans for 2011 and 2011-12 and two five years perspective plans for the State corresponding to the 12th and 13th Five Year Plan period up to 2021-22.

Besides the core objectives, sub-committee will be formed to examine expansion and structural configuration, quality and curricular concerns, governance issues including autonomy and regulatory systems and financing of higher education.

Higher Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said five regional consultative workshops will be held in Cuttack, Balasore, Sambalpur, Jeypore and Berhampur to elicit opinion of the intelligentsias and stake holders. After the regional workshop, a State level workshop will be held in Bhubaneswar.

The members of task force are:

  1. Professor Trilochan Pradhan: Founder and Retired Director, Institute of Physics and Ex-Vice-Chancellor of the Utkal University
  2. Prof KL Chopra (former Director, IIT Kharagpur), NBA
  3. Prof DP Pattnaik
  4. Prof DP Ray, VC, OUAT
  5. Prof AK Pujari, VC, Sambalpur University
  6. Prof Sunil Sarangi, Director, NIT, Rourkela
  7. Prof Chitta Baral, Arizona State University USA
  8. Prof Priyambada Hejmadi (former VC)
  9. Prof Swadhin Patnaik, Director, Institute of Mathematics
  10. Mr. Abani Baral
  11. Prof DV Raman, XIMB
  12. Prof LN Mishra, former Utkal University VC
  13. Prof Rabindra Ku Nanda, former Prof in Chemistry
  14. Prof Damodar Acharya, Director IIT Kharagpur
  15. Dr. Rajib Sahu, Resources Consultant
  16. Dr Achyut Samant, UGC member
  17. Mr. Madhusudan Padhi, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Higher Education

In addition there will be many special invitees. As per a Times of India report, they include:

  • All other vice-chancellors of universities in the state (Utkal, Berhampur, NOU, FMU, Ravenshaw, BPUT, VSSUT, Culture U, KIIT U, SOA U, NLUO, CUO, Sri Jagannath U)
  • Director, NISER, Prof Chandrasekhar
  • Ex-state information commissioner Radhamohan
  • Director, IIIT, Bhubaneswar, Prof Gopal Nayak
  • Commissioner-cum-state project director, OPEPA
  • Director of higher education
  • Director of secondary education
  • Director of elementary education
  • Director of technical education and training
  • Director of medical education and training
  • Prof Bhagaban Prakash
  • Chairman, HDF, Prof D K Ray
  • Prof Dhanada Mishra
  • Prof M K Mishra
  • Retired principal, R D Women’s College, Prof Bijaya Mishra.

  Some of my initial thoughts are at (A lot of the thoughts there have been shaped with discussions with many people, especially Dr. Digambara Patra.)  Please write me with your suggestions and feedback at As various people know more about the areas they have had some connections (grew up there, went to school there, etc.), thoughts about particular town/city/district/area are most welcome and will be appreciated very much.

[I received a very thoughtful feedback about the Hinjlicut area. Since I did not know the exact details about where Berhampur is growing, where Hinjlicut is growing etc., the feedback helped me to better think about that area. Such ground level feedback is most welcome and very much appreciated.]

However, please do have a state-wide perspective. 

The Central government, the knowledge commission as well as the state government are serious about improving the GER from 12.4% to 30% by 2020. The Knowledge Commission has recommended that the number of universities in India go up from 350 to 1500 and that there be 50 national universities. The higher education budget has been going up from one 5 yr plan to another; so I expect that during the 12th and 13th plan there will be more central and national universities. So a lot of new universities, colleges and institutes will be established. Plus, there may be opportunity for extension campuses of exisiting institutes, similar to IISc Bangalore’s plan for an extension campus in Chitradurga, Karnataka. So if we plan properly, we can mitigate a lot of inequality and incorporate a lot of inclusiveness.  Please watch out for this blog as well as the site

My membership in the above committee,  puts certain restrictions on my public activities. In particular, it means that I can no longer publicly campaign for X or Y issue (including the ESIC issue).


14 comments October 8th, 2009

Read India Campaign in Orissa: A report by Dr. Dhanada Mishra

Review Report of Read India Campaign in Orissa (Jul – Nov 2007)

Dhanada Mishra 


Pratham started its ‘Learning to Read’ and library activities in the slum areas of Cuttack in 2003 and later the direct program was expanded to Jaypore town in Koraput with support of BILT. Later the program was expanded when Pratham Orissa in collaboration with Orissa Primary Education Program Authority (OPEPA) conducted a pilot of ‘Learning to Read’ in 4 blocks of 4 districts namely- Kantamal of Boudh, Tikabali of Kandhamal, Basta of Balasore and Thakurmunda of Mayurbhanj during the period Nov 06 – April 07. The pilot received positive response and now the campaign has moved to 24 out of 30 districts of Orissa. We are covering 181 blocks (roughly half of the state) in these 24 districts. The blocks have been chosen in consultation with OPEPA on the basis of backwardness in terms of various parameters such as out of school children percentage, results etc. as compared to state average.

The campaign was launched on 28th of July with a 2 day state level consultation with various partner organizations. The campaign is 3 months old and community based as the OPEPA partnership to implement it through the school system is yet to be finalized, but likely to take place very soon.

No. of Districts: The campaign will now cover 24 out of 30 districts of Orissa

Target Children: The target group is the children in the age group of 6-14 years.

Learning Goals

    The target children should be able to read 6 letter words and simple sentences, passage, short stories without conjoined letters.

Achievements and Shortfalls:

    • Mobilisation
      • Reach – We have reached about 18340 out of approximately 25000 villages. We have realized that there has to be a change in tactics to speed up our reach by collaborating with existing network of NGOs, SHGs, Government programs such as OTELP, Watershed mission etc. We realistically expect to reach any where between 15000-20000 by middle of November.
      • Partnership – Formal partnership (MOU) with OPEPA is yet to be signed. But we have got in principle letters of support from State Project Director addressed to all DPCs, we have letters of support from Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC)s of two out of 3 zones where most of our districts are located in support of our campaign addressed to collectors. Number of districts are giving us good support with out formal MOU. We have partnership on the ground with about 30 NGOs. We have received small local financial support from one group of educational institutions (CSREM) and a US based NGO – IAFF. Partnership proposal with UNICEF is being negotiated for joint campaign in Koraput and Raygada districts. Some 3811 schools are conducting L2R classes.
      • Personnel- Number of volunteers mobilised was about 14500 at roughly one per village.
    • Training: Almost 17500 volunteers out of 23800 volunteers mobilised have been trained by the end of November. No. Of teachers (700), SHG members (100), Anganwadi workers (1400) have been mobilised but those trained have been much smaller in comparision.
    • TLM: Pratham – Pratham has printed and distributed about 220000 sets of materials to the trained volunteers at the rate of set of 20 booklets per volunteers so that the trained volunteers can start the classes. About 4600 volunteers had received the material by end of November.
    • Teaching-Learning Activities – About 280000 children are involved in the classes by the end of November.


Other Highlights of Achievements:

  1. 196 blocks in 24 districts have been identified and block coordinators, district coordinators and zonal coordinators selected, trained and deployed.
  2. Almost 23800 volunteers have been identified in about 18300 villages and training is going on.
  3. About 17500 volunteers already trained and conducting classes.
  4. 12 page TLM has been designed and printed and being distributed in phases as more and more volunteers are trained and getting ready to start classes.
  5. Letters of supports have been received from SPD and two RDCs.
  6. MOU under negotiation with Orissa’s largest Newspaper group.
  7. Pratham has conducted a ‘Story Writing and Story Reading’ festival in 1500 panchayats in collaboration with SAMBAD – the largest circulating Oriya daily. Almost 15000 children have participated in this festival and it has created thousands of stories written by children that can be used by us in creating material for the Reading campaign.
  8. In collaboration with UNICEF Pratham organised a ‘Reading can be Fun’ stall on Children’s Day for the state level function. UNICEF is considering a proposal to partner with Pratham in their reading program in Koraput and Raygada districts.
  9. In collaboration with Institute of Mathematics and Application (IMA), Bhubaneswar and its director Prof. Swadhin Pattnaik (most well known mathematician of Orissa), Pratham volunteers helped conduct the Rural Mathematics Talent Search Examination (RMTS) on November 18th. As a result of our help, almost 10000 additional class VI students could take the test in almost 100 centres in remote rural areas. This partnership is likely to help us in the future with our work in ‘R2L’ in mathematics.
  10. Number of corporates have shown interest in sponsoring Read Orissa campaign as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility program.
  11. Negotiation is underway with the ICDS department for conducting a 10 block pilot of the Sishubachan program through the Anganwadi centers.
  12. The Skill development program being run at Central Toolroom and Training Center (CTTC) has expanded from one pilot batch of students to four batches.
  13. Spoken English pilot at the Government High School, IRC Village in Bhubaneswar is running well with children showing good progress.
  14. First issue of ‘Pratham Parikrama’ – the newsletter of Pratham has been published.


All in all it has been an exhilarating experience, as we go about taking the campaign forward and reaching out to children far and wide in remote corners of the state. We hope to work closely with OPEPA at the state level and education department officials at all levels and finally primary school teachers to ensure that all of our children are able to read, write and do arithmetic.

1 comment December 13th, 2007

More primary schools being established

Following is an excerpt from a news report in New Indian Express.

The State Government will open 933 primary and 708 upper primary schools in the current financial year.

The new schools will be located in areas having no schools as per the national parameters of having one primary school within 1 km radius and an upper primary school within 3 km radius.

… 449 primary schools and 392 upper primary schools had already been operationalised and the remaining schools will function by January-end.

About 300 centres under the Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) has been converted to primary schools while a few primary schools have been upgraded to upper primary schools.

The Government has made a budgetary provision of Rs 120 crore for the new primary schools and Rs 41 crore for upper primary schools.

Each of of the new schools will be given a financial assistance of Rs 4.80 lakh for infrastructure development.

The funds will be provided to the Orissa Primary Education Programme Authority (OPEPA).

The State has 34,953 primary schools, 3,979 upper primary schools and 12,376 nodal schools having both elementary and upper primary classes.

Two teachers will be appointed to each new primary school in the first year while each upper primary school will have three teachers.

While education volunteers working in the EGS centres converted to primary schools will be absorbed, preference will be given to local youth during appointment of teachers in these new schools.

December 11th, 2007

Dhanada Mishra’s READ Orissa campaign diary

(For those who do not know, Dhanada is a Ph.D in Civil Engineering from University of Michigan, is in his early forties, was principal of JITM after passing over many offers.)


As I sit in a review meeting of our campaign in the Cuttack office surrounded by eager young faces as zonal cordinators, state office functionaries, state head of projects etc., I am bombarded with passionate arguments about the progress of our efforts in the 180 blocks of 24 districts in different remote corners of the state. As we look in to the number of volunteers mobilised, numbers of those trained, numbers of classes started, the meeting erupts with arguments and counter-arguments. Some one doesn’t believe the numbers, some one defends vociferously as for a while I sit back and let the energy drain and enjoy the passion that people bring to their work as which is perhaps only possible in my new occupation! We discuss and debate our work culture, the need to open up more, to take more people with us in the campaign, the urgency and importance of motivating that grassroots level volunteer, the need for travelling to keep in touch and support each other, the enegy, the passion, the dedication to the cause stands out above the occasional din of arguments and counter-arguments. Welcome to the Read Orissa Campaign at its peak!

As I adjust in to this new life of no office, no 9-5 office hour, no Sundays to take a break, there has been very little opportunity to reflect on this dramatic transition from that of a volunteer to a full-timer, let alone write the experience down. When I relocated suddenly back to Bhubaneswar, to re-occupy my parents’s home leaving my job at JITM, Paralakhemundi behind, my parents as well as Babita’s (my wife) parents were perplexed with a tinge of concern as to what I was up to. I was not sure how to put it to them, other than saying that I am on a sabattical and will be working on social issues full-time. This was not very convincing for most of my family and well wishers and I had to make up some story like I am still working for JITM on their Bhubaneswar campus etc.

Continue Reading 4 comments October 28th, 2007

OPECA Ad: Private colleges want students to report within a week of their counseling


46 comments July 19th, 2007

Kasturaba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Scheme

As mentioned in the PIB press release

2180 Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) have been sanctioned upto March 2007, which includes 1000 new KGBVs in 2006-07.  88% of KGBVs have been operationalised.  A major national evaluation conducted this year has shown that the scheme has received ‘high priority and political attention in all States and has been launched in record time with a clear commitment to reach out to out-of-school girls.  The programme has been very well received by the community and has responded to diverse poverty situations including remote inaccessible locations’.

More details on this program is mentioned in another PIB release. In Orissa 49 such schools are being set up.  Somehow Orissa seems to be lagging behind with respect to this scheme. Andhra Pradesh is leading in taking advantage of this scheme.

May 24th, 2007


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