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Odisha Government to carry out Development Activities in 145 more Mining-affected Villages

The government is implementing housing, skill development and drinking water schemes in these villages

Mines in India, Flickr

Bhubaneswar, Nov 18, 2016: The Odisha government has included additional 145 mining-affected villages for carrying out developmental activities from funds available under the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC), said an official on Thursday.

The government is implementing housing, skill development and drinking water schemes in these villages. Though initially 523 villages in the mining areas were covered under the funds, additional 145 villages were identified taking the total to 668 villages in 29 blocks of 8 districts under coverage of the fund, said the official.

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This was discussed at the Board of Directors meeting of the OMBADC held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi here on Thursday.

Reviewing the progress of the scheme, Padhi asked the respective departments to follow saturation model in addressing housing and drinking water needs in these villages, and prioritise household connection of pipe water in those villages.

Panchyati Raj sScretary Deo Ranjan Singh said around 26,409 families in these 668 villages of Angul, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Kendujhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh have been identified to be covered under Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana in the first phase.

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Each family would get an assistance of Rs 1.2 lakh in plain areas and Rs 1.3 lakh in hilly areas for construction of houses. As of now, 18,538 families have been provided the first instalment and 5,346 have been given the second instalment of assistance for construction of houses, said a release.

So far, 219 houses have been completed and the rest were in various stages of completion, it added.

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Rural Development Secretary Madhusudan Padhi said the tendering process for drinking water supply projects has been initiated and it would be expeditiously completed within the scheduled time.

SC and ST Development Secretary Surendra Kumar said skill development training for ST and SC youths have also been taken up under the fund and about Rs 2.4 crore have been provided to the department for the purpose. (IANS)

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Assam Government signs a MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity

It will provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam

Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity
Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity. Pixabay

Guwahati, Assam, September 8, 2017: The Assam government on Thursday signed a MoU with Google India to take Internet connectivity to the remotest part of the north-eastern state.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the government would work to provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam under the MoU and thus increase digital literacy.

Information Technology Secretary Nitin Khare and Google India Country Head (Policy) Chetan Krishnaswami signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Sonowal.

“Technology rules the roost in the 21st century and the state government has upped the ante to use technology to carry forward the fruits of development to the remotest parts of Assam,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the ties with Google was a way forward to strongly pitch Guwahati as a natural gateway to the South-East Asian countries.

Sonowal said his government in sync with the Centre was working for the success of Startup initiative but the success of such programmes sans technology would be a distant dream.

“The MoU will be used as a launchpad to achieve the state government’s vision of women empowerment, skill development, and universal education,” he said.

The Chief Minister asked the Information Technology Department to take steps to make technology acceptable and favourable among the rural populace so as to catalyse rural development. (IANS)


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#SheMeansBusiness : Odisha Government Announces E-Platform for Women Entrepreneurs

The decision to encourage women to do business by using social media is a significant in bolstering women empowerment

SHG women running a cabinet manufacturing business. Wikimedia

Odisha, August 11, 2017: Odisha government has found a novel idea to empower women by allowing them to do business through Facebook- #SheMeansBusiness,  an e-business platform set up by a joint initiative of Facebook, MSME department of Odisha and Mission Shakti. The move is an indicator of the time when start-up revolution is changing entrepreneurship like never before.

The decision to encourage women to do business by using social media is a significant step by the state government to reinforce its business ecosystem and bolster women empowerment.

Women self help groups (SHGs) will now be able to sell their handcrafted products through #SheMeansBusiness.

It would help women exhibit their products across the country and worldwide and will also strengthen their socio-economic status. From ‘Badi’ made in Keonjhar and Ganjam to beautifully crafted ‘Chandua’ of Pipili, the platform will impel women to sell everything.


A workshop is being organized in the capital city to provide the necessary marketing and entrepreneurial skills to women.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stated at the inaugural program of the workshop, “This joint initiative by the government and Facebook is an innovative program to impart digital marketing skills to our women entrepreneurs particularly the SHGs. This can further strengthen the progress of our women and take their empowerment to a whole new level”, mentioned Odhisatv.

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In the first phase over the next one year, the government intends to train and around 25,000 women with basic skills and information on technology, teamwork, transparency which will enable them to carry out business operations smoothly.

On the other hand, women self-help groups are hopeful about the unconventional method of business. “Once we open accounts in Facebook we will be trained to sell our products online and hope to do more business with it,” said an SGH member.

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393