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Tag: Columnist Ashutosh Mishra

Column: Not Much Has Changed In Shiva’s City

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: For the last few years I had been hearing about the ’ positive ‘ changes the city of Varanasi, part of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, has undergone since he began representing it in the parliament. My classmates from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), some of whom still live in […]

Column: The Challenge Of Implementing Good Programmes

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Mo Sarkar as a concept is excellent. It is aimed at improving the quality of governance and bringing government closer to people. By extension it also means involving people in the process of governance. However, for the idea to click it is important to implement it properly. A good beginning was […]

Column: Marketing Our Heritage

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Union Minister for tourism and culture, Prahlad Singh Patel’s announcement that the Konark sun temple will soon find a place in the list of country’s iconic sites to be developed by the central government must have re-assured the people of Odisha who had been hurt by its non-inclusion in the original […]

Column: Chilika, An Improving Eco-System

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The endangered Irrawaddy dolphins of Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lake, appear to be colonising newer areas of the lagoon. This is great news not only for dolphin lovers but also for environmentalists who have been expressing concern over the decline in the lake’s eco-system, particularly with reference to the rampant […]

Column: Don’t Set A Bad Example

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Any bid to reform the education system in the state is usually met with protests either from students or from the teachers. Teachers in the past have agitated against attempts to impose a dress code and to ensure their attendance in schools and colleges. Initially, efforts to stop college teachers from […]

Column: Will 'Samridhi' Actually Make Farmers Prosperous?

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has unveiled the state’s new agriculture policy, ‘Samridhi’ stating that it is aimed at augmenting farmers’ income and enhancing the use of technology in farming. Launching the policy Patnaik also sought to bring KALIA, his flagship scheme for farmers, into focus saying that it had given them dignity […]

Column: Ensure Safe Boat Rides

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Media reports about the ban on the use of fishing boats and unsafe vessels for ferrying tourists to the famous Hukitola island in Kendrapara district being flouted openly should be taken seriously by the authorities. The district had witnessed a major tragedy last year when an over-crowded fishing boat had capsized […]

Attack on Sikh Man
Column: Image of Police Takes A Beating

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The attack on a Sikh businessman in the city a few days ago in the presence of policemen manning a PCR van that had arrived following his SOS call has not done any good to the image of the men in khaki. In fact, the incident, which has since acquired a […]

Column: Implement Plans Honestly To End This Conflict

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Notwithstanding steps to contain human-animal conflict in the state clashes continue to occur, often resulting in casualties and massive destruction of property. Recently two persons in Khurda district were killed in an elephant attack, triggering protests in the area with local residents blocking the nearby road and demanding compensation. These pachyderms […]

Column: Make Puri The Pride of Odisha

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik recently laid the foundation for seven projects worth over Rs 500 crore in Puri as part of his government’s ambitious plan to turn the pilgrim town into a world-class heritage destination. The projects include the construction of a trumpet bridge, a huge meditation and pilgrim help centre, […]

Column: The Challenge of Evolving A Credible Leadership

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The newly anointed Odisha BJP president, Samir Mohanty is an amiable and articulate leader with many friends in the media. Practical and down to earth he has the reputation of being a good organiser while his commitment to the party has never been in doubt. All these are important attributes that […]

Motor Vehicles Act
Column: Take Violators To Task

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: A man was recently fined Rs.26000 after traffic police personnel and RTO officials caught his minor son driving a two-wheeler without a helmet. The father of the boy, who was intercepted at the Barang Police station square on the outskirts of the capital city, was punished as he allowed a minor […]

Column: Fighting For People’s Cause

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The meeting between Rayagada’s independent MLA, Makaranda Muduli and chief minister, Naveen Patnaik in the state capital has triggered speculation about the possibility of the first time legislator joining the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD). This despite Muduli’s statement that clarified that while he was with the chief minister as far […]

Column: Water Harvesting Should Be A Public Movement

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Odisha government’s move to construct in-stream storage structures (ISS) in major river basins, if successful, will ensure that the state’s future water requirement is met without much difficulty. There is no denying the importance of such a project as the bulk of water from the major rivers of the state is […]

Column: Geo-Tubes Not A Viable Option To Fight Sea Erosion

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Recently a portion of the geo-synthetic tube wall erected at Kendrapara’s Pentha village to combat sea erosion was damaged in a fire. Media reports suggest that 30 gabion boxes of the wall that is made up of water-permeable geo-textile tubes filled with sand slurry were gutted in the mishap. This is […]

Column: Making Parents Stakeholders In Their Children’s Education

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Not so long ago parent-teacher meetings (PTMs) were seen as an exercise typical of English medium schools. In a way, they distinguished the elite from the hoi polloi. Such distinctions are now getting blurred with governments willing to invest more in education and adopt healthier practices such as PTMs that make […]

Column: Even Symbolic Gestures Are Important

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Newspapers have reported about tourism minister, Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi standing in a queue with other patients at the Bhima Bhoi Medical College and Hospital, Bolangir, recently to consult doctors for an orthopaedic problem. The minister, who was on a visit to the hospital to review the facilities as part of state […]

Column: Looking Beyond Chilika

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Bird census in Bhitarkanika national park and Athgarh forest division has shown a jump in the number of winged guests. This is great news primarily because it confirms that feathered beauties have now begun to favour many more water bodies in the state in addition to Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water […]

Column: A Worrying Trend

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The TV visuals of an Odisha MLA shaking and convulsing eerily during a religious celebration organised recently in Angul district must have caused a lot of mirth among viewers. The incident has, however, raised some awkward questions with reports in a section of the media suggesting that the legislator’s behaviour convinced […]

Column: Communication And Development

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Finally the residents of Dhuliput and Maliguda, the two remote villages under the Chitrakonda block of Malkangiri’s once infamous “cut-off” area, rechristened as Swabhiman Anchal following the inauguration of Gurupriya bridge in 2018, have a metalled road. Cut off from development these villages have for decades been part of a benighted […]

Column: We Must Look Beyond Puri and Gopalpur

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Among the major tourist attractions of the state the beaches at Puri and Gopalpur have been rated as the second and fourth most clean in the country respectively in a survey conducted by the National Centre for Coastal Research ( NCCR), an institute functioning under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The […]

Column: Better Late Than Never

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Koraput administration recently organised a mega awareness camp at one of the villages under the disputed Kotia panchayat bordering Andhra Pradesh to inform people about the various social security schemes of the state government. Old age pension was distributed among the eligible beneficiaries and health check-ups were also carried out. The […]

Column: Forests Must Be Conserved Carefully

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The good news is that Odisha’s forest cover has increased. The latest India State of Forest Report, as quoted in a section of the media, says that the state has added 274 sq km of forest in the last two years. Currently, our forested area extends up to 51,619 sq km […]

Column: End The Menace of Women Trafficking

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Fuelled by grinding poverty trafficking of women from different parts of the state has emerged as a major challenge for the law-enforcing authorities. The social dimension of this inhuman trade is just as shocking as its criminal aspect. In most cases, young women are practically sold by impoverished families to middlemen […]

Column: The War Against Corruption

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The suspension of an IAS officer in connection with graft is likely to restore people’s confidence in the government’s resolve to tackle corruption in high places. Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, who holds the Home portfolio, has been facing criticism for being soft towards the officers of the elite administrative service while […]

Column: Let’s Behave In A More Responsible Manner

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: A countrywide debate is raging over Meerut SP (city) Akhilesh Narayan Singh’s alleged ‘ go to Pakistan ’ comment made during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). It has come to light via a video purportedly shot during the protests in the communally sensitive city of Uttar Pradesh. The video, […]

Maoists torch vehicles
Column: Fake Revolutionaries

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Maoist rebels recently ransacked the camp office of a road contractor in the Jagdalpur area of Rayagada district, torching JCB machines engaged in road construction. The radicals left behind posters threatening villagers who cooperated in the project work. This has become a pattern with the ultras who appear determined to oppose […]

Column: Shun Violence At All Costs

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Former Congress MP, Pradeep Majhi was recently caught on camera asking someone over phone to keep petrol and diesel ready and set things on fire once instructions were issued. The video showing Majhi making the call was apparently shot during the Nabarangpur Bandh organised by his party to protest the alleged […]

Column: Is Independent Media A Chimera?

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States who also drafted the Declaration of Independence, once famously wrote: “[W]ere it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Modern politicians, […]

Column: Going From Strength to Strength

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: As the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) celebrates its 23rd foundation day there is no denying its tremendous success as a regional party. It has an enviable electoral record which no other regional outfit in the history of the state can match. With the right kind of strategy and a generous dose […]

Column: ‘Mo Sarkar’ Flatters To Deceive

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: ‘Mo Sarkar,’ Naveen Patnaik government’s much-vaunted initiative to bring the administration close to the people, seems to be floundering rather early. It had begun with a flourish but the initial enthusiasm about its implementation by various departments has, from all appearances, petered out. Things are back to square one almost everywhere. […]

Column: BJP Needs To Change Its Strategy

Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: With loss in Jharkhand fifth Indian state has slipped from the grasp of the Bhartiya Janata Party. The aura of invincibility that had come to surround the party and its mascot, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi seems to be withering, much to the relief of its opponents. What is more worrisome for Modi […]

Column: NTCA Can’t Be Faulted For Suspending The Tiger Project

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: If reports in a section of the media are to be believed the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has decided to suspend the tiger translocation programme that had brought the Satkosia tiger reserve into focus. The NTCA is apparently miffed with the state wildlife wing officials’ mishandling of the project that […]

Column: Patnaik Keen To Retain Muslim Vote Bank

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The very fact that chief minister, Naveen Patnaik felt the need to clarify his party’s stand on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) demonstrates his insecurity vis-à-vis the Muslim votes in the wake of his party’s support for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the parliament. Muslims, who constitute a sizeable vote […]

Column: Change of Approach Must To End Poaching In Chilika

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The joy of bird watching in Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lake that plays host to lakhs of winged guests coming from as far as Russia and Kazakhstan, has been tinged with concern for their safety. Poaching continues to be rampant in the lake area spread over three districts with more […]

Column: Save The Dolphins

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Carcasses of three Irrawaddy dolphins including a calf were found recently on the Pentha beach within Gahirmatha marine sanctuary limits. This should be a matter of concern for wildlife officials and Nature lovers alike because these man-friendly mammals are an endangered species covered under Schedule I of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, […]

Column: The Price Of Ignorance

By: Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Media has reported about the felling of around 40,000 trees in Sambalpur’s Talabira village to facilitate coal mining. The destruction of greenery followed Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC)’s Stage II clearance for diverting 1,038.187 hectares of forest land for an opencast coal mining project. Believed to be […]

Column: Maoists Thrive On Poverty and Backwardness

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: Maoist rebels have warned the residents of a particular village in Malkangiri, state’s most formidable Red citadel, against using their mobile phones. Orapadar, located in the district’s Swabhiman Anchal ( earlier known as the cut-off area), is a dark hinterland with connectivity the biggest problem being faced by the people. With […]

Column: A Mission That Must Succeed

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: The launch of Mission Suvidya by chief minister, Naveen Patnaik to ensure better amenities for students in the hostels run by the scheduled tribes and scheduled caste development department is expected to give these institutions a much-needed face-lift. The SC&ST hostels had turned into the breeding ground of scandals with several […]

Column: A Crown of Thorns?

By Ashutosh Mishra Bhubaneswar: There is growing speculation in the media over who will be the next president of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha. Names are being bandied about and their chances being discussed. The possibility of incumbent president, Basant Panda, who is now a Lok Sabha member, getting a fresh term is […]