Archive for the 'SOCIAL SUPPORT, CSR, WELFARE' Category

I am a successful professional; I want to get into electoral politics and help people. What should I do?

APPEAL to readers, Odisha in Elections, SOCIAL SUPPORT, CSR, WELFARE Comments Off on I am a successful professional; I want to get into electoral politics and help people. What should I do?

There are many successful professionals who complain about the current politicians, elected officials, leaders, etc. Some of these professionals are ready to give up their professional career and join politics but wonder how to do that.

The phrase "all politics is local" is now commonly said in the US. Following are some excerpts from the wikipedia entry on "all politics is local".

… coined this phrase which encapsulates the principle that a politician’s success is directly tied to his ability to understand and influence the issues of his constituents. Politicians must appeal to the simple, mundane and everyday concerns of those who elect them into office. Those personal issues, rather than big and intangible ideas, are often what voters care most about, according to this principle. … The concept is contrary to the notion that most people, somehow, in local elections are casting votes to "send a message" to the highest levels; instead, the principle predicts that most people will not vote for local politicians simply as a means to act on feelings about higher politicians, …  The prediction is that most people who vote, or debate issues, are focused on resolving their local issues.

Based on the above principle my suggestion for professionals who want to help people via active politics is to go to the "local level" and run there for posts such as a ward member or sarpanch. From that perspective I admire the following attempt:

What not to do?

Unless one is super famous or is a descendant of the Nehru-Gandhi family or (Biju) Patnaik family one should not think of coming to Odisha from outside, create a party and project himself/herself as the Chief Minister. 

This is a mistake which a recent professional who returned to Odisha after a long stint as an IAS officer in another state did.

One should learn from his mistake.

What has/had he done for Odisha that people in Odisha would vote for him.  As a result this person could not even win his own seat.

He should have first focused on doing something for the people at a local level, run at the local level as a Sarpanch, Ward member etc. and tried to move up from there.

I hope others learn from his mistake and the above article in Sambada highlights the right path being taken by an outsider.

An approach that may work but most likely may not!

An approach that may work is for the professional (coming from outside) to convince a recognized party to field him/her as an MP/MLA candidate. This may work, but often does not because there are already a lot of local people who have done social service at the local level for years and if the party ignores all of them in favor of an outsider then it may result in a revolt within the party. So unless the outsider is really famous this approach will not work, and again the best bet is for the outsider to immerse himself/herself in helping people at the local level before trying for a candidacy at the MLA/MP level.

Central government on the right track to give tribals their fair share

Central govt. schemes, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), INVESTMENTS and INVESTMENT PLANS, Mine royalty and cess, MINES and MINERALS, Mining royalty, Thermal, TRIBAL WELFARE Comments Off on Central government on the right track to give tribals their fair share

Following is an excerpt from a report in Telegraph.

… According to the draft bill, a mining company has to “allot free shares equal to twenty six per cent in the company… in case the holder of the lease (the land being taken over) is a company”. If the holder of the lease is a person, “an annuity equal to 26% of the profit after tax” has to be given as “annual compensation”.

The draft Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 2010, also proposes that the mining company has to provide employment and/or other assistance in accordance with the rehabilitation and resettlement policy of the state government concerned.

Government sources said they hoped the draft bill would address these issues through the “partnership” plan. “Their (tribals’) home is being taken away so how will they feel. The point is being driven home,” said an official with the mines ministry.

… The sources said the bill could come up before the cabinet for clearance in a few weeks.

The bill envisages the involvement of gram sabhas or district councils or panchayats — as the case may be — who would identify the families to be affected by mining projects, directly or indirectly, before the commencement of operations to “ensure appropriate benefits”.

“A mining welfare fund will be set up, funds from which will be only for tribal land,” sources in the government said. The plan is to create “model villages”, added an official.

The bill also proposes a mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility document to be attached to the mining plan. The document envisages a scheme for annual expenditure by the mining company on socio-economic activities in and around the mine area to facilitate self-employment opportunities.

P. Chidambaram’s home ministry, too, has come up with a plan to assuage tribal sentiments. It has proposed free power for villages within a certain radius of power plants. “People should not feel that the power generated from their land is benefiting only the rich in cities,” said a home ministry official.

…  Home ministry officials said the focus was now on “micro-management” to understand the problems of tribals. On April 30, MPs from 34 districts most affected by Maoist violence will be briefed by home ministry officials. “We can put things right in the bureaucracy, but it is the duty of MPs to go and talk to affected people,” said a source.

On policing, the ministry wants to deploy police personnel “sympathetic” to tribals.  …


Chief Minister's actions, Land Distribution, Odisha govt. action Comments Off on CM’s speech on “IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF SCHEDULED TRIBES AND OTHER TRADITIONAL FOREST DWELLERS (Recognition of Forest Rights) ACT 2006”

Following is from




New Delhi

November 4, 2009


Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister,  Orissa today attended the Conference of Chief Ministers, State Ministers (Tribal/Social Welfare and Forest departments) on "IMPLEMENTATION STATUS OF SCHEDULED TRIBES AND OTHER TRADITIONAL FOREST DWELLERS (Recognition of Forest Rights) ACT 2006" inaugurated by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India at National Agriculture Science Centre, New Delhi. CM addressed the Conference and gave a vivid account of initiatives undertaken by the State Government for development of  Tribals  in  Orissa.


Chief Minister stated that Scheduled Tribes constitute almost a quarter  of the total population of the State and Orissa has the unique distinction of having 62 different types of Scheduled Tribe communities and 13 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PTGs). He informed that the Government of Orissa has undertaken   several   steps to ensure all round development of the Scheduled Tribes (including the PTGs). The initiatives include setting up of 1004 ST Girl’s Hostels, enhancement of scholarship for ST Boys & Girls, establishment of 19 educational complexes in micro project areas for promotion of Girl’s education among the PTGs, establishment of one B.Ed Training College in Kandhamal, setting up of 11 Ekalavya Model Residential Schools etc. The State Government is also committed to establish another 5000 ST Girl’s Hostels over a period of five years to provide residential facilities for 5 lakh ST Girls, CM  stated.


Chief Minister further mentioned that after the promulgation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights Act), 2006, the Government of Orissa had taken pro-active measures to settle the land rights (both individual and community) in favour of the Tribals and other forest dwellers which they had been occupying/enjoying for ages without any legal record of rights. After vacation of the Stay Order of the Hon’ble High Court of Orissa on the distribution of Certificates of Title on 12th August, 2009, the State Government has been implementing the Act on a Mission mode, he informed.


CM stated  that substantial progress has been made on implementation of  the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and about 2.64 lakh cases have already been verified out of more than 3 lakh cases filed by the Tribals with the Forest Rights Committees (FRCs) as on 31st October 2009.  He further informed that the Gram Sabhas have approved about 2 lakh cases and out of which the Sub Divisional Level Committees have already  approved  72,000 cases. The District Level Committees have approved about 68,000 cases out of which Certificates of Title have been distributed to more than 55,000 cases. About 4,000 Certificates of Title have been distributed among the PTGs out of about 16,000 PTG families in the State.


Chief Minister stated that it might not be enough to only confer legal rights to the Tribals over the land and  suggested that steps should be initiated to provide irrigation facilities and improve  productivity of these lands by dovetailing various programmes  such as National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) etc. He also informed that the Government of Orissa had constituted a Watershed Mission to improve the productivity of rainfed lands and desired that  the Government of India  should support this programme so that it can be extended to  development of the  lands being settled with the Tribals. 



Excerpts from the Presidents’ speech to the new parliament on 4th June 2009

Aaam Admi Bima Yojana, ADMINISTRATION & REPs, Agricultural insurance, Bharat Nirman Program, E-governance, Elections 2009, Fishermen insurance, Health insurance for BPL workers, Health insurance for weavers, Marquee Institutions: existing and upcoming, National Food ... (NFSM), National Old Age Pension (NOAP), NFBS, NMBS, NOAPS, NREGS, NSAP: NOAPS, NFBS, NMBS, NURM, JNNURM, PPP, RURAL & SPECIAL PROGRAMS, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on Excerpts from the Presidents’ speech to the new parliament on 4th June 2009

The whole speech is at Following are excerpts. The underlining and other emphasis is mine.

18. The flagship programmes which my Government introduced have moved the country towards inclusive development. It would be our endeavour to consolidate these programmes in the next five years. The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act has proved to be what it promised-an effective social protection measure and the largest programme in the world for rural reconstruction. Its transformational potential is unfolding before our eyes. My Government would enlarge the scope of works permitted under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act presently limited to unskilled manual work. The opportunity for improving land productivity through the NREGA will be maximized through better convergence of NREGA with other programmes. To ensure transparency and public accountability, independent monitoring and grievance redressal mechanisms will be set up at the district level.

19. The National Rural Health Mission has begun to strengthen rural public health infrastructure. The Mission would be consolidated to make perceptible reduction in infant mortality and maternal mortality in the next five years. Vaccine producing institutes in the public sector will be revived to support the immunization programme. My Government will expand the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana to cover all families below the poverty line in the next five years. Malnutrition has emerged as a major health challenge needing urgent response. Hence the nutrition delivery programme will be comprehensively revamped to bring it under the watch of panchayat institutions and move to provision of hot cooked meals in anganwadis.

20. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has been able to provide access to children to elementary schools and retention has increased on account of the universal mid-day meal programme. The focus will be on making quality education a right through the enactment of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Bill now under consideration of Parliament. The Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan will universalize access to secondary education. The massive expansion in higher education through new institutions under implementation in the Eleventh Plan will enable the country to meet the challenge of education in full measure. In the last five years, a wide range of scholarships and educational loans was introduced for the needy and deserving students. This effort will be reviewed and further strengthened. Government’s strategy for higher education will be formulated around a three-fold objective of expansion, inclusion and excellence. The suggestions given by the National Knowledge Commission will guide the formulation and implementation of the strategy.

21. While male literacy went up to over 75 percent in the last census and is expected to be higher now, female literacy was only 54 percent in 2001. My Government will recast the National Literacy Mission as a National Mission for Female Literacy to make every woman literate in the next five years. Increased female literacy is expected to become a force multiplier for all our social development programmes.

22. My Government launched Bharat Nirman five years ago as a time-bound business plan for rural infrastructure. It has succeeded in reaching basic infrastructure of roads, electricity and telephone to a large number of villages. It has also achieved most of the targets of rural water supply, rural housing and has increased irrigation potential. The remaining tasks will be completed in the second phase of Bharat Nirman. It is also proposed to set enhanced targets for Bharat Nirman in the second phase.

The Indira Awas Yojana, which exceeded the original target of sixty lakh houses for the period 2004-2009, will now take up double the target of rural housing to one crore twenty lakh houses to be completed in the next five years.

Rural Water supply programme will be completed by 2011 and handed over to be managed by panchayats in the next Plan.

The rural telecommunication target will be set at reaching 40% rural teledensity in the next five years and expanding broadband coverage to connect every panchayat to a broadband network in three years. The scheme for Common Service Centres or e-kiosks will be suitably repositioned to be a network of panchayat-level Bharat Nirman Common Service Centres to provide government services to citizens in rural areas.

– New targets would be set for rural electrification, irrigation and road connectivity.

23. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with approval of projects of nearly Rs. 50,000 crore in the last four years is reshaping our cities and has been widely welcomed. It will continue to focus on infrastructure, basic services and governance reform and increase support to cities to upgrade public transport. Over 15 lakh houses are under construction for the urban poor. There is a need to focus urban housing programmes on the poor living in slums. My Government proposes to introduce a Rajiv Awas Yojana for the slum dwellers and the urban poor on the lines of the Indira Awas Yojana for the rural poor. The schemes for affordable housing through partnership and the scheme for interest subsidy for urban housing would be dovetailed into the Rajiv Awas Yojana which would extend support under JNNURM to States that are willing to assign property rights to people living in slum areas. My Government’s effort would be to create a slum free India in five years through the Rajiv Awas Yojana.

24. My Government proposes to enact a new law — the National Food Security Act — that will provide a statutory basis for a framework which assures food security for all. Every family below the poverty line in rural as well as urban areas will be entitled, by law, to 25 kilograms of rice or wheat per month at Rs. 3 per kilogram. This legislation will also be used to bring about broader systemic reform in the public distribution system.

26. Over 50 percent of our population is below 25 years of age and their creative energy is our greatest strategic resource. The challenge is to invest in their education, employability and employment. India has the capacity to contribute to a fourth of the global work force if it invests in skill development of its youth. Education which provides employable skills holds the key for equal opportunities for Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Minorities. My Government has in the last five years brought in legal changes and investment in this direction. These would be consolidated. Besides making massive investment in education, government will focus on the national skill development initiative that has commenced operation with the very ambitious goal of creation of 500 million skilled people by 2022 so that we realize the demographic dividend.

27. The implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act would be monitored to ensure that all title deeds are distributed by end of 2009.

29. The Amendment Bill to the Land Acquisition Act and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill prepared to protect farmers and others dependent on farming from unfair displacement and which was placed before Parliament could not be carried through. It will be our endeavour to have these bills reintroduced and enacted in the budget session of Parliament.

30. My Government considerably enhanced provisions for social security through old age pension for all people below the poverty line and above 65 years of age, all handicapped people and all widows above the age of forty. It will examine extending social protection to other persons at special risk. Social security schemes for other occupations like landless labour, weavers, fisherfolk, toddy tappers, leather workers, plantation labour, construction labour, mine workers and beedi workers will be appropriately expanded.

32. My Government will initiate steps within the next hundred days on the following measures:

Restructuring the Backward Regions Grant Fund, which overlaps with other development investment, to focus on decentralized planning and capacity building of elected panchayat representatives. The next three years would be devoted to training panchayat raj functionaries in administering flagship programmes;

A public data policy to place all information covering non-strategic areas in the public domain. It would help citizens to challenge the data and engage directly in governance reform;

– Increasing transparency and public accountability of NREGA by enforcing social audit and ensuring grievance redressal by setting up district level ombudsman;

Strengthening Right to Information by suitably amending the law to provide for disclosure by government in all non-strategic areas;

– Strengthening public accountability of flagship programmes by the creation of an Independent Evaluation Office at an arm’s distance from the government catalysed by the Planning Commission. It would work on a network model by collaborating with leading social science research organizations and concurrently evaluate the impact of flagship programmes and place it in the public domain;

– Establishing mechanisms for performance monitoring and performance evaluation in government on a regular basis;

– Five Annual Reports to be presented by government as Reports to the People on Education, Health, Employment, Environment and Infrastructure to generate a national debate;

– Facilitating a Voluntary Technical Corps of professionals in all urban areas through JNNURM to support city development activities;

– Enabling non government organisations in the area of development action seeking government support through a web-based transaction on a government portal in which the status of the application will be transparently monitorable;

Provision of scholarships and social security schemes through accounts in post offices and banks and phased transition to smart cards;

– Revamping of banks and post offices to become outreach units for financial inclusion complemented by business correspondents aided by technology;

Electronic governance through Bharat Nirman common service centres in all panchayats in the next three years;

– A model Public Services Law, that covers functionaries providing important social services like education, health, rural development etc. and commits them to their duties, will be drawn up in consultation with states;

A National Council for Human Resources in Health as an overarching regulatory body for the health sector to reform the current regulatory framework and enhance supply of skilled personnel;

A National Council for Higher Education as recommended by the Yashpal Committee and the National Knowledge Commission to bring in reform of regulatory institutions;

Develop a "brain gain" policy to attract talent from all over the world into the 14 universities proposed in the 11th plan to position them as "Innovation Universities";

– A roadmap for judicial reform to be outlined in six months and implemented in a time-bound manner;

– Targeted identification cards would subsume and replace omnibus Below Poverty Line (BPL) list. NREGA has a job card and the proposed Food Security Act would also create a new card. Identification of beneficiaries for other programmes which currently use the omnibus BPL list would improve identification based on programme objectives with the common underlying principle that all identification of beneficiaries will be done through gram sabhas and urban local bodies and the list placed in the public domain to be open to challenge;

– A Delivery Monitoring Unit in the Prime Minister’s Office to monitor flagship programmes and iconic projects and report on their status publicly;

– Suitably institutionalized quarterly reporting on Flagship programmes as "Bharat Nirman Quarterly Reports" where Ministers would publicly report on progress through the media.

33. Infrastructure is a fundamental enabler for a modern economy and infrastructure development will be a key focus area for the next five years. Public investment in infrastructure is of paramount importance. Bottlenecks and delays in implementation of infrastructure projects because of policies and procedures, especially in railways, power, highways, ports, airports and rural telecom will be systematically removed. Public-private partnership (PPP) projects are a key element of the strategy. A large number of PPP projects in different areas currently awaiting government approval would be cleared expeditiously. The regulatory and legal framework for PPPs would be made more investment friendly. My Government will continue its special emphasis on infrastructure development in the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir and enhance connectivity to these regions.

34. Our fellow citizens have every right to own part of the shares of public sector companies while the government retains majority shareholding and control. My Government will develop a roadmap for listing and people-ownership of public sector undertakings while ensuring that government equity does not fall below 51 %.

35. My Government is firmly committed to maintaining high growth with low inflation, particularly in relation to prices of essential agricultural and industrial commodities. It will steadfastly observe fiscal responsibility so that the ability of the Centre to invest in essential social and economic infrastructure is continuously enhanced. This will require that all subsidies reach only the truly needy and poor sections of our society. A national consensus will be created on this issue and necessary policy changes implemented.

36. My Government has been able to significantly increase realization of direct taxes as a result of improved and simplified tax administration and this process will continue. The roadmap for moving towards a Goods and Services Tax will be vigorously pursued. My Government is fully seized of the issue of illegal money of Indian citizens outside the country in secret bank accounts. It will vigorously pursue all necessary steps in coordination with the countries concerned.

37. Coordinated action for energy would be guided by the integrated energy policy. The effort would be to see that at least 13,000 MW of generating capacity is added each year through a mix of sources -coal, hydel, nuclear and renewables. Village and rural household electrification and reduction in aggregate technical and commercial losses will continue to be given the highest priority. Competitiveness and efficiency in the power sector will be enhanced through time-bound measures, including operationalising the provision of open access.

38. The pace of oil and gas exploration will be intensified and India’s oil diplomacy aggressively pursued. Reforms in the coal sector, for which a detailed blueprint has been prepared, will be pursued with urgency. The international civil nuclear agreements will be operationalised with various countries even as domestic sources of uranium are exploited and work continues on the indigenously designed fast breeder and thorium reactors.

39. My Government will ensure that our space programme which has achieved wide recognition continues to bring rich dividends to society in agriculture, tele-medicine, tele-education and by providing information to rural knowledge centres, besides contributing to telecommunication, television broadcasting and weather forecasting. Several innovative initiatives commenced by government in the science and technology sector in the last five years and now under implementation will be further strengthened.

40. My Government is proactively addressing issues of climate change through eight national missions. Of these the National Solar Mission, the National Water Mission, the National Mission on Energy Efficiency, the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture and the National Mission on Sustainable Habitat will be launched by the end of this year. The National Ganga River Basin Authority, set up recently will evolve a new action plan for cleaning and beautifying the river in partnership with the basin states.

Vedanta’s plan for Orissa

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, Bauxite, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Jharsugurha, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, Marquee Institutions: existing and upcoming, Medical, nursing and pharmacy colleges, Puri,, Thermal, Universities: existing and upcoming Comments Off on Vedanta’s plan for Orissa

Following is an excerpt from a report in

… Mr.Agarwal impressed upon the Chief Minister that his group is eager to expand the .50 million ton smelter in Jharsuguda to a 1.6 million ton per annum (MTPA)

Naveen Patnaik, asked the Chief Secretary to look into the matter finalize the expansion program, said sources. 

Mr.Agarwal updated the Chief Minister about the status of Vedanta’s ongoing projects in the state here on 3 January..

The Alumina Project at Lanjigarh, Smelter and Power Projects at Jharsuguda and the University project at Puri is being implemented by the Vedanta group.

On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) front, adoption of 400 anganwadis, providing education for 14000 children at Kalahandi are being implemented, briefed Mr.Agarwal.

Mr. Agarwal agreed to extend the coverage to 40000 children and agreed to introduce the Mid Day Meal scheme for 30000 primary and the secondary level school student in the state through Nandi and Sterlite Foundation as the Chief Minister requested him.

He also announced a 100 bedded state-of-the-art multi-speciality hospital at Jharsuguda will provide medical facility to the local people.

Chairman Vedanta group reiterated his earlier commitment to build a 1000 bedded super-specialty hospital at Puri.

It was also informed that the design and the engineering has been completed and construction is to begin soon.

In addition Mr Agarwal put forth his plans of setting up of a downstream Aluminium Park in collaboration with the government to promote as many as 600 small and medium scale industries at Jharsuguda

The project will generate large scale employment opportunities and additional economic activities in the region.

Currently the Vedanta Group’s investment commitments are in excess of Rs 50,000 crores, half of which has already been invested in various projects of Orissa.

Vedanta is presently generating a huge number of direct and indirect employment for approximately 25000 people, eighty percent of which belong to the state of Orissa.

After the meeting the CM, Mr Agarwal told reporters that all the ongoing projects of Vedanta would continue as per schedule in spite of the recent global recession.

He also assured that in his personal capacity he would make all possible efforts to complete the Vedanta University Project, a world class University at par with the Havard and Stanford University of U,S.A.

He has already committed personal contribution of Rs 5000 crore towards this project.

Vedanta has a good CSR advisory board

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Vedanta Comments Off on Vedanta has a good CSR advisory board

Following is from a news item in Kalinga Times.

“Vedanta is already doing a remarkable performance in its CSR activities and it should come with more such initiatives in the near future,” said S.B. Mishra, former Chief Secretary of Odisha while addressing at the first Corporate Social Responsibility advisory body meeting of Vedanta Aluminium Limited here on Saturday.

Noted writer Pratibha Ray also expressed her satisfaction over the CSR initiatives of Vedanta and advised the company authorities to lay more emphasis towards development and empowerment of women in the plant locations. She particularly gave thrust on women taking up higher responsibilities in society and that all the trainings should not be confined to only basic subjects.

Speaking on the occasion, veteran actor Bijay Mohanty expressed his willingness to visit the plant locations along with the other members and wanted to personally interact with the localities so that the realistic need analysis can be made.

The meeting was convened by the Whole Time Director and CEO of Vedanta Aluminium Sector M. Siddiqi.

Speaking on the occasion, Siddiqi said “Vedanta always strives for improving the living standards of the people on a sustainable basis. The efforts of the company have started showing result on the ground. But this is only the beginning. The wealth of expertise and experience of the Advisory Board Members will carry our CSR efforts to greater heights and show us the right direction”.

The advisory board comprises of 10 honorary members belonging to the elite section of society. The members on the board include P.K Jena, Chairman, Institute of Advance Technology & Environmental Studies; S. B. Mishra and Sahadev Sahoo (both former Chief Secretaries of Government of Orissa); O N Mohanty, Vice-Chancellor, Biju Patnaik University of Technology; A.B. Tripathy, retired Director General of Police; A. B. Ota, Director SC &ST Research and Development Centre, Government of Orissa; actor Bijay Mohanty, besides three women of repute Rita Ray, Professor, Department of Sociology, Utkal University; Namita Panda, Chairperson State Women Commission; and writer Pratibha Ray.

All the 10 members of the board attended the meeting today and shared their thoughts on CSR with the top Management of Vedanta Group.

According to the company, the advisory board is meant to act as a bridge between the company and the people of Odisha. The board will regularly monitor the CSR initiatives of the company and would ensure that the benefits of CSR efforts reach out to the society at large.

NALCO’s CSR activities

Aluminium, Bauxite, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), NALCO 2 Comments »

Following is from a report in Pioneer (Note: It may be in response to

National Aluminium Company (Nalco) has so far spent more than Rs 100 crore towards various social sector development activities. Creation of infrastructure in the surrounding villages for communication, education, healthcare and drinking water gets priority in the periphery development plans of the company.

Nalco sources said community participation in innovative farming, pisciulture, social forestry and sanitation programmes apart, encouragement to sports, art, culture and literature are all a part of Nalco’s involvement with the life of the community. Successful operations of the company have led to employment and income generation for the local people in many significant ways.

These apart, during natural calamities, Nalco has been donating to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund and Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund. Soon after Super Cyclone in Orissa in 1999, Nalco created 197 primary school-cum-cyclone shelters in the coastal districts. Besides, illuminating Lord Lingaraj Temple, Nalco has set up Mahatma Gandhi Park and Biju Patnaik Park in Bhubaneswar and Gandhi Ghat Park at Puri. The company has also committed Rs 2 crore for renovation of Ananda Bazar in the premises of the Jagannath Temple.

"In education, our focus is on primary education, for which we have been extending financial assistance in remote tribals-dominated places of Orissa. But, despite our best of intentions, it is not possible to fund all such projects. As a result, at times, some aggrieved persons do turn to media to tarnish the image of Nalco," a senior officer of the company remarked.

As for the rehabilitation of the 635 families displaced due to the Nalco project in the Damanjodi and Angul sectors, the company sources said employment has been provided to 629 nominees. The nomination status of balance six families has been taken up at appropriate level. Besides, 1,530 families were substantially affected (parting with one-third or more of their lands) in Angul. Even from these, jobs have been provided to 1,160 persons. Nalco has also been sponsoring ITI training to such persons, with 543 having been technically trained so far.

Nalco CMD CR Pradhan said, "As a corporate policy, Nalco has been allocating 1 per cent of its net profit of the year for social sector activities in the succeeding year. During the 2006-07 fiscal, Nalco made a net profit of Rs 2,381 crore and, accordingly, for the 2007-08, the company allotted Rs 23.81 crore for various developmental activities. "Today, in any investment plans in Orissa, the interested companies are cited Nalco’s role as a responsible corporate citizen."

Survey starts fpr the 20 crore, IOC funded, Konark beautification project: Samaja

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Special school in Puri for differently abled people: Samaja

Khordha, Odisha govt. action, Samaja (in Odia), SOCIAL SUPPORT, CSR, WELFARE Comments Off on Special school in Puri for differently abled people: Samaja

The insert mentions that there are 10.2 lakh differently abled people in Orissa out of which 17,245 have been identified in Khurda district.

State programs for differently enabled people: Govt. ad in Samaja

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Launch of National Old age pension scheme

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A PIB on this is at

CM Relief fund: where it can be used (Ad in Samaja)

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Madhu babu pension scheme for BPL senior citizens: Samaja

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Vedanta Aluminium plans a 50 bed hospital in a village near Jharsuguda

Aluminium, Anil Agarwal, Jharsugurha- Brajarajnagar- Belpahar, SOCIAL SUPPORT, CSR, WELFARE, Vedanta 1 Comment »

Following is an excerpt from  a New Indian Express report.

At a public hearing at Badmal bazaar here on Thursday, Vedanta Alumina Limited (VAL) allayed fears of villagers regarding issues like pollution and periphery development after its proposed expansion.

… The villagers were told that a report will be submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board and Ministry of Environment and Forest for their nod. Villagers also raised apprehensions on jobs for locals.

In his reply, General Manager (PR & CSR), VAL Orissa Projects, Prashant Kumar Hota made a presentation on the state-of-the-art technology being used to prevent noise, water, air and hazardous waste pollution. Even fly-ash generated will be recycled.

Later talking to this paper, Hota informed that a mobile medical unit is catering to about 4500 patients. He said plans are on to construct a 50- bed hospital in one of the villages.

Orissa govt. land distribution program : ad in Samaja

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Recent Central government programs

Aaam Admi Bima Yojana, Central govt. schemes, Health insurance for BPL workers, HRD-n-EDUCATION (details at, National Old Age Pension (NOAP), National Policy for Farmers, NFSM (National Food ...), Rashtriya Krishi ... (RKVY) Comments Off on Recent Central government programs

Following are excerpts from an Indian Express article.

Aam Admi Bima Yojana (Launch Date: October 2)

Announced in this year’s Budget, the scheme will be launched on Gandhi Jayanti . It provides for insurance to the head of the family or an earning member of the family of a rural landless household who is aged between 18 and 59 years against natural as well as accidental death and against partial/permanent disability.

The family is entitled to Rs 75,000 as insurance in case of accidental death or permanent disability of the head or earning member of the household. In case of natural death and partial disability, the benefits would amount to Rs 37,500. The annual premium per member is Rs 200, to be equally shared by the Centre and the state Government.

Health Insurance Scheme for BPL Workers (Launch: October 2)

After the Social Security Bill for the unorganised sector came under severe criticism from Left parties, which said it had no specific schemes for the sector, the UPA Government decided to announce a specific health insurance scheme for such workers. The Health Insurance Scheme for Workers in the Unorganised Sector would be launched in a phased manner for BPL workers/families from October 2. All the beneficiaries will be issued smart cards for identification.

National Old Age Pension (Launch: November 19)

The UPA Government has said it will provide old age pension to all citizens above the age of 65 years and living below the poverty line. This marks an expansion of the existing Old Age Pension Scheme, from covering only “persons of 65 years or higher and a destitute” under pension to one “who is 65 years or higher and belonging to a household below the poverty line (BPL)”. The launch is to coincide with Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary on November 19.

Scholarship for Minority Students (Already launched)

Keeping in view the Sachar Committee report, the UPA Government announced a Centrally sponsored scheme of Merit Cum Means Based Scholarship to students from Minority Communities pursuing professional/technical courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The scheme, which will provide scholarship to 20,000 students every year, will cover a large chunk of the tuition fees as well as provide maintenance allowance to selected beneficiaries from the minority community throughout their professional course. In case of 50 identified institutes, which include IITs, IIMs, NITs, AIIMS and others, the Government has announced that the tuition fees would be paid in full.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (Announced on August 15)

With suicides by farmers still a political hot potato and the agrarian crisis showing no signs of abating, the UPA Government announced a Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) on Independence Day. With an allocation of Rs 25,000 crore over the next five years, the scheme is meant to push up investment in agriculture substantially.

It aims to encourage state Governments to raise their agricultural expenditure, hoping this would boost agriculture and allied sector production as well as productivity and farm incomes, and reduce yield gaps across the country.

National Food Security Mission (Announced on August 15)

Concerned over food security and mindful of the fact that it had to resort to wheat imports for the second consecutive year in a row, the Government launched the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), which is aimed at increasing the production of rice by 10 million tonnes, wheat by 8 million tonnes and pulses by 2 million tonnes by 2011-12. It also hopes to create additional employment opportunities. The Government has identified 305 districts in 16 states where Rs 4,900 crore would be invested over the next 5 years.

National Policy for Farmers (Likely launch: October 2)

Having already announced two major schemes for the agriculture sector, the UPA Government has also decided to act on the recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers, which it had constituted when it came to power in 2004. One of these recommendations was a National Policy for Farmers. The policy, to be announced soon, will replace the existing National Agricultural Policy, 2000.

Education Mission (Announced on August 15)

Taking a step forward from the 54 per cent expansion of the higher education infrastructure, the Government has announced setting up of eight new IITs, seven new IIMs, three new IISERs and 30 new Central universities. In the secondary education sector, a massive expansion plan is on the table involving upgradation of over 1 lakh schools. Another 6,000 new schools of good quality are being planned. And the PM has given a stiff deadline of two months for finalising the infrastructure, including their locations.

A rejoinder to PRI’s comments

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), INDUSTRY and INFRASTRUCTURE, IT, Land acquisition, R & R, Steel 7 Comments »

The Hindu reported today that the chief representative of PRI(Posco Research Institute) has made some adverse comments on the progress of MOUs in Orissa.

Taking excerpts mentioned in the report:

“Chief Representative of PRI Chang-ho Kwag said the social infrastructure of the State was not proper to absorb mega projects. “Attitude and mindset of State Government and people towards projects need to be changed. Education of people to understand the real cost benefit of industrial project was necessary in which the state government has a big role,” Mr. Kwag said.“West Bengal can be a good example. Why is every good project taking shape in West Bengal? I think the State Government played a key role there,” he said.

Despite being a State governed by Left parties, the State adopted itself in post-liberalisation era, the PRI Director said.

All the coastal states of India showed healthy GDP growth while Orissa lagged with 3.5 per cent rate growth compared to West Bengal’s nearly 6 per cent, he said.

“The Government needs to set up service mechanism for expediting mega projects,” Mr. Kwag said. The Posco Research Institute said Chinese government had engaged two to three of its personnel for one big project so that they could take care of different processes and ensure project getting converted into reality.

The Head of PRI must understand that Orissa is not a communist country like China. Where if requirements are provided by companies, local protests are crushed using an Iron hand and value propositions are ignored completely. Rehabilitation is a complicated process.

It is surprising to note, that , the head of PRI has mentioned that most projects are coming up in West Bengal. Do they actually think, that they would get a captive port in West bengal and also land at such cheap rates which is being provided to them in Orissa.

Also, they might actually mention which big projects are coming to West Bengal. In West Bengal land acquisition is easier since, the writ of the local communist runs in every block. Even then a Nandigram has happenned there.

Perhaps, he should see the amount if strikes that happen in West bengal. A bandh(strike) is a regular feature of life in the state. If this is considered business friendly then we have some new rules for business.

The truth of the matter is that, Orissa has been second fastest in implementation of MOUs in the country.

Let it be noted ,that , it is a combination of land and accesibility to a sea-port which makes Orissa an attractive destination.

Perhaps, the head of PRI is not aware that according to a World Bank report, Orissa is supposed to be the fastest place to start a Business among all states in India.

Perhaps, some of the statements can be reconsidered.

Tata footbal academy looking for talents in Kalinganagar

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Jajpur, Jajpur Rd- Vyasanagar- Duburi- Kalinganagar, Odisha sports, Tatas Comments Off on Tata footbal academy looking for talents in Kalinganagar


Govt grants environmental clearance to Posco steel plant

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Iron Ore, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Ports and waterways, POSCO, Steel, Value Addition Comments Off on Govt grants environmental clearance to Posco steel plant

The Hindu reports that environmental clearance has been granted to POSCO steel plant. POSCO has earmarked 1,525 crores for environmental pollution control as per the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) as well as the state government conditions. Excerpts:

“The Ministry of Environment and Forests has given the environmental clearance for Posco’s mega steel project at Kujang near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa,” highly-placed official sources said.The Korean steel giant had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Orissa government in June 2005 pledging an investment of Rs 52,000 crore for setting up the plant.

“The project authorities shall utilise Rs 1,525 crore earmarked for environmental pollution control measures judiciously to implement the conditions stipulated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) as well as the state government. The funds so provided shall not be diverted for any other purpose,” a source quoted the Environment and Forests Ministry as saying, while granting clearance.

The clearance has been granted to the world’s third largest steel manufacturer for installing furnaces using FINEX technology only and on the condition that gaseous emissions from its various units should strictly conform to load/mass based standards notified by the government.

Earlier in April, the MOEF had granted its approval under Coastal Regulation Zone to the Korean steel giant’s proposal to set up a captive port at Jatadhari at a cost of Rs 17,113 crore.”

Panchayati Raj and Rural Development

Annapurna Scheme, ARWSP, Credit cum subisdy Scheme, DDP, DPAP, IWDP, PMGSY, PMGY, RURAL & SPECIAL PROGRAMS, Samagra Awaas Yojana, SGRY, SGSY, Swajaldhara scheme, Total sanitation campaign - CRSP, Watersheds Comments Off on Panchayati Raj and Rural Development

Following are the various rural development schemes channeled through Panchayati Raj obtained from the central government web page.

  • SAMPOORNA GRAMEEN ROZGAR YOJANA(SGRY)The objectives of the Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana is to provide additional employment in the rural areas as also food security, alongside the creation of durable community, social and economic intrastrucutre in the rural areas. The programme is self-targeting in nature with special emphasis to provide Wage Employment to women, SCs, STs and parents of children withdrawn from hazardous occupations. This Programme is being implemented into two streams :-
    • The First Stream of the Programme will be implemented at the District and Intermediate level Panchayats. 50% of the funds are earmarked out of the total funds available under the SGRY and distributed between the District Panchayat and the Intermediate Panchayats in the ratio of 40:60.
    • The Second Stream of the Programme will be implemented at the Village Panchayat level. 50% of the SGRY funds are earmarked for this Stream. The entire funds are released to the Village Panchayats through the DRDAs/District Pachayats.
    The objective of SGSY is to bring the assisted poor families above the poverty line by providing them income generating assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy. The families of below poverty line (BPL) including artisans, identified through the BPL Census are eligible for assistance under the Scheme. While selecting the new activities priority may be given to those having inherent skill which is primarily constituted by the rural artisans. The role of PRIs in the implementation of this Scheme are as under:-

    • The Gram Sabha will approve the list of BPL families.
    • The list of key activities and the list of villages identified under the scheme in the Block should be approved by the Intermediate Panchayat.
    • The list of swarozgaris finally selected should be made available to the Gram Panchayat for placing it before the next Gram Sabha.
    • The Gram Panchayat would actively monitor the performance of the Swarozgaris particularly repayment of loan.
    • The District Panchayat will review the performance under this scheme in its General Body Meetings.
  • PRADHAN MANTRI GRAM SADAK YOJANA(PMGSY)This is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme. This Scheme seeks to provide connectivity to all unconnected habitations in the rural areas with a population of more than 500 persons through good All-weather roads by the end of the Tenth Plan. In Hill States and Desert Areas, the objective would be to connect habitations with a population of 250 persons and above. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are as under:
    • The District Panchayats (or DRDAs where the District Panchayats do not exist) shall be the competent authority to select the variable best suited for the District, categories them and accord relative weightage to them and shall communicate it to all concerned.
    • The Plan should be finalized by the Intermediate Panchayat. Any changes made by the Intermediate Panchayat should be separately mentioned and reasons, thereof, should be indicated.
    • The Draft District Rural Roads Plan would be presented to the District Panchayat by the Chief Executive of the District Planning Committee. It should be discussed and adopted by the District Panchayat, with such changes, as may be considered appropriate, but strictly within the framework of the Manual.
    • The Rural Raods constructed/upgraded under this Programe will be maintained by the concerned District/Intermediate Panchayat. Efforts will be made to involve local peoples’ participation in the maintenance of Rural Roads.
    • All the Road Works will be subjected to Social Audit by way of discussion in the Gram Sabha and the relevant information in this regard will be made available to the Gram Sabha.
  • INDIRA AWAAS YOJANA (IAY) This scheme provides assistance primarily to the BPL rural households belonging primarily to SCs/STs and freed bonded labour categories. Benefits of the scheme have also been extended to families of servicemen of the armed and paramilitary forces killed in action. 3% of the houses are also reserved for BPL physically and mentally challenged persons living in rural areas. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :
    • The Zilla Parishads or DRDAs on the basis of allocations made and targets fixed shall decide the number of houses to be constructed/upgraded Panchayat wise under IAY, during a particular financial year.
    • The Zila Parishads/ DRDAs shall intimate the same to the Gram Panchayat. Thereafter, the Gram Sabha will select the beneficiaries from the list of eligible households, according to IAY Guidelines as per priorities fixed, restricting this number to the target allotted.
    • Panchayat Samiti’s approval is not required. The Panchayat Samiti should however, be sent a list of selected beneficiaries for their information.
  • PRADHAN MANTRI GRAMODAYA YOJANA(PMGY) This scheme envisages allocation of Additional Central Assistance to the States/UTs for providing /improving the outlay of Basic Minimum Services including “Rural Shelter” in the rural areas. The funds under this Scheme are released by the Ministry of Finance/Ministry of Home Affairs on the basis of recommendations made by the Ministry of Rural Development, being the nodal Ministry for implementation and monitoring of the scheme. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :
    • The Zilla Parishads/DRDAs will decide the number of houses to be constructed, Panchayat-wise, and the same will immediately be intimated to the Gram Panchayat.
    • The Gram Sabha will select the beneficiaries from the list of eligible households, restricting this number to the target allotted.
    • The Intermediate-level Panchayat (Panchayat Samiti) will invariably be sent a list of selected beneficiaries.
  • CREDIT CUM SUBSIDY SCHEME This Scheme targets rural families having annual income upto Rs.32,000/-. While subsidy is restricted to Rs.10,000/-, the maximum loan amount can be availed upto Rs.40,000/- under this scheme. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :-
    • One of the Agencies for implementing the scheme is Zilla Panchayat. The identification of the most appropriate implementing agency under the Credit-cum Subsidy Scheme shall be left to the State Government.
  • SAMAGRA AWAAS YOJANA This is a comprehensive Housing Scheme with a view to ensuring integrated provision of shelter, sanitation and drinking water. This is being implemented in one block each off 25 districts of 24 States and one UT. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :
    • The Zila Parishad, the Block Samiti and the Gram Panchayat will be fully involved in the implementation of this Scheme.
    • The special IEC funds of Rs. 5 lakh per district and habitat development funds of Rs. 20 lakh will be routed through DRDAs. DRDAs/ZPs and Public Health Department will be the main implementing agencies.
  • INNOVATIVE SCHEME FOR HOUSING AND HABITAT DEVELOPMENT AND RURAL BUILDING CENTRES The innovative scheme for housing and habitat development has been designed for standardizing and popularizing/ replicating/propagating cost-effective, environment-friendly housing construction technologies, designs and materials and evolving ideal types of sustainable rural human settlements consistent with agro-climatic variations and natural disaster proneness. The Rural Building Centres Scheme is inter alia designed with the purpose of technology transfer and information dissemination, skill up gradation through training and production of cost effective and environment friendly material components.
    • Panchayati Raj Institutions are one of the Implementing Agencies under these schemes.
  • ANNAPURNA The Annapurna Scheme aims at providing food security to meet the requirement of those senior citizens who though eligible have remained uncovered under the National Old Age Pension Scheme. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :
    • The Panchayats identifies the Beneficiaries and communicate the same to Collector/CEO.
    • The Gram Sabhas are required to select the Beneficiaries for the Scheme and the lists of beneficiaries so selected by Gram Sabha will be displayed by the Gram Panchayats.
    • The Gram Panchayats distribute the Entitlement Cards to the Beneficiaries in Gram Sabha Meetings.
    • The Gram Panchayats will give wide publicity to the Scheme and will also be responsible for dissemination of information in regard to the procedure for securing benefits under the Scheme.
  • WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES UNDER DPAP AND DDP: The Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP), Desert Development Prograamme (DDP) and Integrated Wasteland Development Programme (IWDP) are being implemented on watershed basis and aim at drought proofing and controlling desertification by regeneration of depleted natural resource base. All these three programmes were brought under the Guidelines for Watershed Development with effect from 1.4.1995. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :
    • The District Panchayats and other Panchayati Raj Institutions shall have very important role to play in Watershed Development Programmes.
    • The PRIs shall have the right to monitor and review the implementation of the programme and provide guidance for improvements in the administrative arrangements and procedures with a view to ensure convergence of other programmes of Ministry of Rural Development such as SGRY, SGSY, IAY, CRSP, Rural Drinking Water Supply, etc.
    • At the Village level, the Gram Panchayat shall be fully involved in the implementation of the programme, specially community organization, formation of SHGs and training programmes.
    • Gram Panchayat will be responsible for operatio and meaintenance of assets created during the project.
    • The Watershed Action Plan should have the approval of Gram Sabha and it should be a part of annual action plan of Gram Sabha.
    • The District Panchayat/DRDA in whose favour the project has been sanctioned will be entitled to affect recovery of funds from any institutions/ organization/ individuals and take appropriate action under law if the project is not properly implemented for funds are misutilised or not spent as per Guidelines.
    • The Panchayats at any level are also entitled to take on the responsibility of implementing a cluster of watershed projects in the capacity of Project Implementation Agencies(PIAs), if they so desire.
    • PIAs will motivate the Gram Panchayats to pass necessary resolutions to make public contribution, conduct Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercises, prepare the development plans for the watershed, undertake community organization and training for the village communities, provide technical guidance and supervision of watershed Development activities, inspect and authenticate project accounts, undertake action research to adapt low-cost technologies and /or validate and build upon indigenous technical knowledge, monitor and review the overall project maintenance and further development of the assets created during the project period.
    • Under the new initiate ‘Haryali’, the watershed programmes are to be executed by the Gram Panchayats by facilitating project funds to them. The District and Intermediate Panchayars are to act as PIAs
  • ACCELERATED RURAL WATER SUPPLY PROGRAMME (ARWSP) Under ARWSP, the Central Government is to supplement the efforts of the State Governments in providing access to safe drinking water to all rural habitations of the country. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :
    • Panchayati Raj Institutions should be involved in the implementation of schemes particularly in selecting the location of standpost, spot sources, operation and maintenance, fixing of cess/water tariff, etc.
    • The implementation of the Sector Reform Projects in the identified pilot districts, are also to be carried out either by the District Panchayats or through the District Water and Sanitation Missions (DWSM), which are to be registered societies under the supervision, control and guidance of District Panchayat.
    • Wherever PRIs are themselves firmly in place and willing to take up the responsibility and are strong enough to do so, they implement the projects themselves instead of DWSM.
    • At the village level, the individual Rural Water Supply Schemes are to be implemented through Village Water and Sanitation Committees which should be committees of Gram Panchayats.
    • Drinking water supply assets are transferred to the appropriate level of Panchayats and such Panchayats are to be empowered to undertake operation and maintenance of drinking water systems.
  • CENTRAL RURAL SANITATION PROGRAMME(CRSP) This programme aims at improving the general quality of life in rural areas; accelerating coverage in rural areas; generating demand through awareness creation and health education; and controlling incidence of water sanitation related diseases. The role of PRIs in implementation if this scheme are :
    • Total Sanitation Campain (TSC) is a community based programme where Panchayati Raj Institutons are in the forefront.
    • As per TSC Guidelines, the implementation at the district level is to be done by the District Panchayats. Panchayats at block and village level are to be fully involved for implementation of the programme.
    • Where District Panchayat is not in a position to implement the programme, it is being implemented by District Water & Sanitation Mission which is chaired by Chairperson of District Panchayat and the Village Committees are chaired by the Chairpersons of Gram Panchayats. In the later case, the Village Water & Sanitation Mission are part of the Gram Panchayat.
  • SWAJALDHARA This programme aims at providing Community-based Rural Drinking Water Supply. The key elements of this programmes are namely, (i) demand-driven and community participation approach, (ii) panchayats / communities to plan, implement, operate, maintain and manage all drinking water schemes, (iii) partial capital cost sharing by the communities upfront in cash, (iv) full ownership of drinking water assets with Gram Panchayats and (v) full Operation and Maintenance by the users/ Panchayats. The role of PRIs in implementation of this scheme are :
    • Gram Panchayat shall convene a Gram Sabha Meeting where the Drinking Water Supply Scheme of People’s choice including design and cost etc. must be finalized. Gram Panchayats are to undertake procurement of materials/services for execution of schemes and supervise the scheme execution.
    • A resolution must be passed in the Gram Panchayat meeting calling for users/beneficiaries to contribute 10% of the capital expenditure. However, GP can remit towards community contribution from its tax revinue (Not from Government Grants) with the approval of Gram Sabha.
    • Gram Panchayat will decide whether the Panchayat wants to execute Scheme on its own or wants the State Government Agency to undertake the execution.
    • After completion of such schemes, the Gram Panchayat will take over the Schemes for Operation & Maintenance(O&M).
    • Panchayat must decide on the user charges from the community so that adequate funds available with Panchayat to undertake O&M.

Social Security and national old age pension in India: Ad in Samaja

NFBS, NMBS, NOAPS, NSAP: NOAPS, NFBS, NMBS Comments Off on Social Security and national old age pension in India: Ad in Samaja

The Panchayati Raj department has a National Social Assistance Program (NSAP) which presently consists of three separate schemes: NOAPS (National Old age pension scheme), NFBS (National Family Benefeit Scheme) and NMBS (National Maternity Benefit Scheme). Following are some details about these programs from the NSAP web page.

  • National Old Age Pension Scheme(NOAPS):
    • Age of the applicant (male or female) should be 65 years or above.
    • The applicant must be a destitute in the sense of having little or no regular means of subsistence from his /her own sources of income or through financial support from family members or other sources.
    • The amount of pension is Rs.75/- Rs 200 per month per beneficiary. The State Government may add to this amount from their own sources.
    • Upper ceiling on the number of beneficiaries for a State/UT is prescribed by the Central Government.
  • National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
    • Central assistance for a lumpsum family benefit is available for the households below the poverty line on the death of the primary breadwinner in the bereaved family.
    • The amount of assistance is Rs. 10000/-.
    • The primary breadwinner is a member of the family whose earnings contribute substantially to the total household income.
    • The death of the primary breadwinner due to natural or accidental causes should have occurred while he or she is in the age group of 18 to 6″2″ i.e. more than 18 years of age but less than 65 years of age.
    • The maximum limit of the total number of beneficiaries of a State/UT is prescribed by the Central Government.
    • The family benefit is paid to such surviving members of the households of the deceased who, after local enquiry, is determined to be the head of the household.
  • National Maternity Benefit Scheme (NFBS)
    • A lumpsum cash assistance of Rs. 500 to the pregnant woman of the household living below the poverty line is given provided she is 19 years of age or above.
    • The benefit is available upto the first two live births.
    • The benefit is disbursed several weeks prior to the delivery. In case of delay, the benefit may be given even after the birth of the child.


MCL, Jobs, CSR and R & R: Should follow CCL

Coal, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), MCL, R & R 13 Comments »

On the ongoing tussle to make MCK comply with R & R policies MP Dharmendar Pradhan has compared MCL’s hirings with other similar companies hirings. New Indian Express gives a report on this and we give some excerpts from that report.

The average annual production of coal in Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) is 30 million tonne with a workforce of 1.02 lakh; with 95,000 manpower, the annual production of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) is about 23 million tonne, and Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) has nearly 90,000 workforce to produce 32 million tonne.

Similarly, the Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) has about 70,000 employees with an annual production of 42 million tonne. The South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) is the largest producer of coal with annual production of 88 million tonne and has 80,000 workforce.

On the other hand, MCL, the second largest producer of coking grade coal in the country with average annual production of 80 million tonne, has given jobs to 20,591 people. The company has been facing resistance from the locals for its poor policy on resettlement and rehabilitation.

MCL’s Chairman and Managing Director Aviram Sharma was caught on the wrong foot when Dharmendra Pradhan, MP, sought to know from him the manpower position in other subsidiaries of Coal India vis-a-vis their production at a high level meeting here on Thursday. The meeting was convened to discuss the contentious issue of R&R policy in MCL areas.

Pradhan told the meeting that there are nearly 5,000 rightful claimants for compensatory job in MCL. Besides, MCL is not doing a favour to them as they have already lost their land and livelihood, he argued.

Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal, who presided over the meeting, directed MCL and NTPC to implement the policy and report it every week on the progress.

Now, just because MCL employs less it does not become a bad guy. But, if must follow the R & R policies and also keep its promises. Moreover, it should consider the action by Central Coal Fields to set up an engineering college in Jharkhand. Following is an excerpt from the Business Standard article that reported on this.

The Jharkhand-based public sector Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) has established 68 schools in various parts of its working areas of different standards besides financial and other infrastructural help to 195 schools situated in and around CCL command area.

CCL has recently decided to establish on engineering college for the benefit of the people of Jharkhand.

CCL spent over Rs 1042 crore on social overhead onwards 1998. It had constructed over 160 km of heavy duty coal transportation roads. 300 km of approach road and equal length of colony roads, 6 major bridges on river Damodar, 59,455 permanent houses, 19 hospitals besides water supply schemes covering over a population of 5.02
lakh. CCL is also one of the major employers in Jharkhand.

It has 62,827 employees on the roll of which 35 per cent belonged to Schedules caste and Scheduled tribes.

The company is also one of the major contributors to state exchequer. The state has earned over Rs 2811.56 crore of royalty and other taxes from CCL?s mining activities after the constitution of Jharkhand state. …

In the financial year 2006-07, CCL has constructed/repaired 35 km new roads in nearby villages in its command area. Over and above, CCL is to organise 215 health camps for various specializations during this financial year.

Syndicate Bank and Indian Overseas Bank plan social schemes

Banks, Education and Training Vilalgers, Ganjam, Jatropha, Kalahandi, Koraput, Koraput- Jeypore- Sunabedha- Damanjodi, Rayagada, Rayagada- Therubali 2 Comments »

Business standard reports that Syndicate Bank and Indian Overseas Bank plan several social schemes involving training villagers. Following are some excerpts from that report.

Syndicate bank said it would take up extension activities in all its rural branches for educating and training villagers in different aspects of agriculture, animal husbandry, plantation and fish rearing.

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) said it would organise at least three training camps for women in southern Orissa during 2007-08.

“We have decided to organise at least three training camps on tailoring, handicraft and beauty therapy for rural women in southern Orissa towns at Rayagada, Jeypore and Bhawanipatna” …

At Jeypore in Koraput district, the bank has decided to impart training to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women.

In Rayagada, training to be given to the weaker section people.

Similarly in Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi district, women in general categories will get training.

In each camp, scheduled to start in July or August, at least 20 women would be participated.

The respective branch managers would select the women to get training, he said …

After getting training for a fortnight, they would receive financial assistance from the bank for establishment of units in various fields.

“Our corporate office has agreed for three training camps initially and if more number of women come forward for skill and entrepreneurship development, more number of camps will be organised” …

Syndicate Bank would conduct 58 extension activities during 2007-08.

The bank’s Berhampur branch has recently held a farmers’ meeting on jatropha plantation at Narendrapur in Ganjam district in collaboration with the Orissa Nature Care & Council (ONCC), an organisation imparting training on jatropha cultivation for bio-diesel.

ONCC provided technical know-how and inputs for jatropha planting while the bank was financing farmers, …

Syndicate Bank offered Rs 10,000 to each of the 55 farmers in the village for taking up of jatropha plantation, …

Jatropha cultivation was done in about 105 acres in the village.

Syndicate bank would donate Rs 10,000 each for renovation and cleaning of ponds in 10 villages during the current year.