Vigilance Police used to victimize an Officer of Dalit Class for blocking his promotion to IAS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In the matter of gross illegality resorted to by Government of Orissa in selection of OAS officers to IAS in 2002, I had exposed how crystal clear was the transformation of the State Secretariat into a breeding place of favoritism and clientelism and how the selection was made in stark disregard to administrative impartialism. The caption of that article was – Crowning Corruption: Promotion to IAS smacks of Manipulation. It was published in ORISSA MATTERS on 11 June 2006 dwelling on the topic from manipulation in preparation of eligibility list by the General Administrative Department to verdicts of Administrative Tribunal, High Court of Orissa and finally the Supreme Court of India.

Following that exposure, genuine and deserving officers who had been victims of the manipulation and leg-pulling had of course been promoted to IAS. It should have been better had they prosecuted the fellows that had harassed them to help the undeserving persons. But, years to serve the government, tired of litigations upto the Apex Court, once the promotion was achieved, they did not dare to put their shoulders to the wheel in punishing the villains.

The trend has not changed. This time, the man the client entertainers are already in action to prey upon, is a Class I officer in Orissa Information Service, by name Sri Niranjan Sethi. He belongs to a Dalit caste, but to the envy of upper caste officers dazzling in power, his manners are magnificent, majestic and remarkably polished. He has been and is going to be a victim of this envy. Caste-supremacists had marred his promotion to IAS once in the past and I have evidence-based reasons to apprehend that they have started their mischief in advance, lest he gets shortlisted for promotion to IAS, when the next occasion comes.

In normal conditions, his promotion may not be stalled, if selections are done impartially.

So attempts have already been initiated to soil his name, which after stumbling upon, I have been investigating.

My investigation makes me convinced that Vigilance Police is being used for this nefarious purpose and even the Chief Minister is being used therein.

For proper understanding of the mischief, it would be better to look at how his prospects for promotion to IAS were marred last time in 2010.

Government of Orissa had received a total of 14 NSCS officers from different departments for filling up two vacancies in IAS of state cadre in 2010 out of which 10 officers were shortlisted. They were Ajay Kumar Bhuyan, Basant Kumar Dash, Bijaya Mishra, Gopabandhu Satapathy, Manoj Ranjan Nanda, Niranjan Sethi, Pradeep Kumar Biswal, Prasanta Kumar Patra, Sasanka Sekhar Panda and Sunil Kumar Panda. Vigilance police was called upon to clear their names.

Vigilance is a wing of GA department of which the concerned minister is the chief minister. It reported on 19.8.2010 that no case/enquiry was pending against Sri Niranjan Sethi. But its report went against one Sri Sasanka S.Panda. Panda was of I&PR department to which Sethi belongs.

Caste-supremacists contrived a new strategy immediately thereafter to drop Sethi from the shortlist.

Somebody raised an allegation against Sethi and without looking into veracity of the said allegation, the same vigilance police informed the Government on 4.9.2010 that, during an issue based enquiry the involvement of Sri Sethi came out in awarding of a contact of Rs. 3 crores to a private production house. Vigilance tried to baffle authorities with suggestive words to show as if Sethi awarded the contract by manipulating records. Juxtaposing this uncalled for communication from vigilance with its earlier report that “no case/enquiry was pending against Sethi, the administrative office correctly rejected the vigilance mischief and decided to recommend Sethi’s name to UPSC along with the name of Sasanka Sekhar Panda, Pradeep Kumar Biswal et al. Subsequently, a new list, reducing the shortlist from 10 to 9 by dropping Sethi’s name was sent to UPSC, without mentioning why his name was dropped. When challenged in the Administrative Tribunal, the Government had tried to take refuge under the plea that vigilance had telephonically informed of Sri Sethi’s involvement with the Rs.3 crore contract allocation. The tribunal had no problem in understanding the mischief. The entire eligibility list sent to UPSC after dropping Sethi from the same was set aside by the Tribunal, as, in its view, he had been illegally deprived of his right to be considered by the selection committee.

Two of the shortlisted candidates filed Writ cases in Orissa High Court challenging the verdict of the Tribunal. The High Court held that, the Tribunal’s determination that Sethi has been illegally deprived of his right to be considered was “absolutely just and proper”. But, yet, the Court did not want the interview to be nullified. It asked the government to send Sethi’s name afresh to the selection committee and asked the UPSC to withhold the result of its interview till examining Sethi and to take his performance together with the interviewed ones for publication of the results.

Sethi was subjected to interview by a new body, which forced him to a distinctly different pattern of test and evaluation. The two fellows, who had filed the Writ cases in the High Court assuming that they were selected, were declared selected, clearly suggesting that the selection was on dotted lines; and thus, the entire selection to IAS from NSCS quota was a great farce. Had Sethi been a Brahmin or a Karana or a Khandayat, this farce could never have got even the birth.

From note sheet dated 9.9.2010, it transpires that, when a mysterious telephonic call allegedly from the director of vigilance was cultivated to obstruct the recommendation in support of Sethi, the dealing bureaucracy had rightly pointed out that, if the so-called telephonic message could be taken as pregnant with an allegation against Sethi, then, “there is only one allegation in respect of Sri Sethi. No chargesheet has been issued against Sri Sethi, No chargesheet has been filed in any court of law against Sri sethi. As such, there is no bar for recommending the case of Sri Sethi to the UPSC for selection to IAS by appearing interview before the selection board”.

The above quoted note of the dealing bureaucracy was based on the explanation under proviso to Regulation 5 (5) of the IAS (Appointment by Promotion) Regulation, 1955, which says, ‘the proceedings shall be treated as pending only if a chargesheet has actually been issued to the officer or filed in a court as the case may be’.

In view of this, this time, the villains coming out of hibernation, have started playing their tricks for chargesheeting Sri Sethi. This time under a new plea. And, under a bigger conspiracy.

Why Gopabandhu?

The Servants of the People Society has occupied the Samaja by using a forged will of Pt. Gopabandhu Das. In orissamatters.com, re-posted in savethesamaja,com, Radhanath Rath and Lingaraj Mishra – the former two editors of Samaja as well as ministers of Orissa – have been exposed to have forged the will of Gopabandhu to grab the powerful, popular paper. Rath had taken maximum benefit till his death from the Samaja by projecting himself as the most loyal colleague of Gopabandhu. But, as I have already exposed, he was a low-paid servant of Gopabandhu, torturing him so much that the great humanitarian leader had to die a pathetic premature death. The occupiers of the Samaja know the truth and know that forgery committed on Gopabandhu’s will would one day wake up the entire population of Orissa against them. So, to hoodwink them permanently and to make their propaganda stronger that Gopabandhu has given them the Samaja by way of a will and Radhanath Rath was his real loyal colleague, they had prevailed upon Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to produce a film on Gopabandhu. Fellows of Brahmin caste – in consonance with the preferences of the illegal occupiers of the Samaja – were engaged to coin legends under the guise of research, to write the script and to direct the film. For a little time, Sethi was associated with the project as a production officer.

Now, the villains are using this small period of his link with the project to injure his prospects for promotion. I have already exposed how a member of the Assembly was used to ask coined questions and how the Chief Minister was used to give a reply on dotted lines. That set of question-answer was meant to harass Sethi with a design to affect his promotional prospects.

Joint Accounts, Collective responsibility

Records of the Assembly show that various members have time and again raised questions on this issue and the CM has answered in naming Sri Sethi, when production of a film is a team work involving officials from the dealing assistant to the Chief Minister. Moreover, funds dedicated to production of the film were never under disposal of Sethi. Whenever any amount was to be drawn from the sanctioned fund, the same was being operated through a joint account under orders and superintendence of the sanctioning authorities. So, there was no scope for Sethi to handle the funds by himself. But the Vigilance, it seems, has singled out him in the answer given by the CM.

Misuse of Assembly Answer

Intriguing is that, ghost writers are being used to use the same question-answers in invoking vigilance action against Sethi.

Referring to answer of the CM to UDAQ 1154 dated 23.6.2014, someone claiming to be Dr. Manoranjan Raut, Ex-Reader in Political Science, SCS College, Puri, has addressed a letter to B.K.Singh IPS, Director cum Addl. D.G. (Police),Vigilance Department, seeking action against Sethi. He has given copies to CM, Chief Secretary, Pr. Secretary, I&PR, I.G.Vigilance Cell, S.P. Vigilance Cell, and to Smt. Pranita Ray, Inspector, G.A. Vigilance Cell. Surprisingly, he has made many mention of profuse praise for Smt. Ray in this letter. A criminologists can, if engaged, only interpret the purpose of the profuse praises for Smt. Ray in this letter. But on investigation I found, that in SCS College, Puri, there was never a Political Science Reader by the name Dr. Manoranjan Raut.

Is vigilance a pawn?

Has he been created by someone who wants to please Smt. Pranita Ray?

The Director of Vigilance should look into this matter and keep necessary watch on Smt.Ray.

Vigilance police should not be a pawn in any villain’s hand to spread innuendos against any officer or to put stymies on way to any officer’s promotion.

The Chief Minister should be more cautious in answering seemingly motivated questions and before mentioningthe name of any particular officer in context of any corruption, he should ascertain whether all other officers suppoedly involved with a collective official project have been duly investigated into and set free, leaving the said single officer to be held responsible.

Assembly be not a Slaughter House of Natural Justice

No officer has any right to defend himself/herself in the Assembly against his wrongful naming by the Chief Minister. And, therefore, he should not make the Assembly a slaughter house of natural justice.

So, it would be proper for the Chief Minister to ask the vigilance police to investigate into who vitiated his repeated replies with motivated venom against a particular officer – Niranjan Sethi – who, on the basis of my five decades long watch on the Directorate of I&PR, I can vouch, is one of the finest officers with administrative spirit and probity the department can ever boast of.

Plutocratic Governments force our Science Scholars to Hunger Strike

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Scientific Policy Resolution of 1958, one of the world’s most comprehensive policy documents on science, strengthened with Technology Policy Resolution approved by the Parliament in 1968, has made it mandatory that research of a high order will be given “pride of place” in Science &Technology education and training.

Kothari Commission (1964) that laid the foundation of the National Policy of Education in 1968 also stressed upon research as essential to lead S&T education to its desired goal.

The goal was spelt out by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru while delivering the convocation address at Allahabad University in 1946. He had said, “it is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and malnutrition, of illiteracy and obscurantism, of superstition and deadening customs, of rigid traditions and blind beliefs, of vast resources going to waste, of a rich country being inhabited by starving millions”. Nehru’s this clear concept has shaped up Government approach to science education in India and the policy resolutions mentioned above.

But in course of time, as Indian democracy has changed into plutocracy, as compradors have taken over the country, research scholars in science are being neglected and harassed. In these pages there is elaborate exposure on how Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had not co-operated with Central Government in establishment of Indian Institute of Science for Education & Research (IISER) and how exploiting the situation, the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had diverted that institute of research in science to Kolkata to please the Bengal MPs on whom he was depending for survival. This subterfuge was resorted to help the Vedanta University design. As we exposed them threadbare and as netizens took the cue and built up an e-campaign against the treachery, Government of India was forced to save the skin of Manmohan Singh by offering the NISER.

But, sad, when research in science is essential to achieve the goals as mentioned supra, the research scholars are thrown into negligence and they are denied the basic sustenance support.

The ministry of science and technology had taken a decision in Oct 2014 to increase fellowship of research scholars. But funding agencies like DBT, DST, DAE, MHRD, ICMR etc – plutocratic in orientation – did not takek any decision regarding the hike. As research scholars raised protests, reportedly decisions have been taken for hike, but they do not match with decision of the ministry. For example UGC declared to implement from Dec 2014 and MHRD from Feb 2015 instead of implementing from Oct 2015 as decided by the ministry earlier.

science scholars in hunger strikeSo in the demand of uniformity and transparency, the research scholars of NISER, ILS, IMMT, KIIT, CIFA, CRRI had to stage a protest rally on 18 Feb 2015 from Ram Mandir to Master Canteen. They have staged demonstrations and hunger strikes even in front of NISER and other institutes. In a convention they have adopted resolutions that are as speaking as relevant. We are posting their Press release verbatim here below, so that the people may know, how the governments, both of Mr. Narendra Modi and Naveen Patnaik ignore the importance of research in science.

Press Release on Hunger Strike by NISER Research Scholars on 23rd February 2015

1) All the Research Fellows of India have united under the banner of Research Scholars of India in demanding for Fellowship Hike which is pending since 2010. Although DST and RSI had agreed upon implementing Salary Hike from 1st October 2014, so far it has not been implemented. RSI had called for a Research Blackout on 20th February, which we are observing today in the form of complete Blackout of Research work.

2) RSI is orchestrating an indefinite protest from 18th February which includes 10 points agenda. In support of this call for protest, on 18th February the Research Scholars throughout Bhubaneswar had held a peaceful march from NISER to Master Canteen.

3) Today’s hunger strike is to support Shivaranjan Upalla (a PhD student from IISER Mohali) who was on Hunger Strike from 16th-22nd February. He is in critical condition and is hospitalized now. There are other research scholars from Indian Institute of Science, IIT Mandi who are still on hunger strike in support of RSI agenda. We will also have a candle light march in the evening in support of RSI and Shivaranjan.

4) The ten point agenda put forward by RSI demanded for hike in fellowship with equality among all funding agencies; however DST, ICMR and DBT have announced fellowship hike w.e.f. 1st Oct 2014. On the other hand UGC announced the hike from 1st Dec 2014. MHRD announced fellowship hike wef 1st Feb 2015. Although MHRD memorandum was withdrawn after meeting on 19th Feb 2015, there are still differences on date of implementation among different funding agencies. ICAR, CSIR and DAE have made no announcement till today.

5) Why in front of this institute?
Our institute of DAE funded and we are trying to channelize our demands to higher officials of DAE through our director for implementation of fellowship hike as soon as possible. NISER research scholars get fellowship from different funding agencies and hence it is important that there is equal disbursal of fellowship among all scholars.

6) How long will this protest continue?
We will continue protest till our demands are met and as and when RSI calls for it so that all the research scholars of India are benefitted equally by fellowship hike.

Modi’s Suit: Auction notwithstanding, Answer Awaited

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Auction of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name-striped suit stoutly suggests that people of India are dragging him to his size in appropriate manner in appropriate time.

Delhi, where people from all parts of India constitute the electorate, has given him glimpses of the national mood by thrashing his candidates to 3 in the 70 seated Assembly of Delhi.

People have not left him there. The moment the gigantic gorgeousness of his showy attires, particularly his name-striped suits came to public notice, they woke up to show him that they won’t tolerate being mocked at.

Had they not individually and collectively expressed in social media and group gatherings how shocked are they over ridiculous display of ostentation by the very same man whom they had relied upon because of his repeated recalling of his humble past of a tea-vending-boy, Modi would not have parted with the suit that has been sold at Rs.4.31 crores.

Ostentation on part of the Prime Minister of India is an offense of mocking at the people who thrive on subsidized cereal, who distress sale their paddy and food crops, whose children are wasting away due to hunger and undernourishment, where child labor is the source of livelihood for crores of abjectly poor families, where workers distress sale their labor, where mid-day meals in schools are offered from state exchequer as tricks to protect the ruling politicians from the exposure that in their administration school-going children die in starvation. Modi should understand this.

He should understand that he is the Prime Minister of a country, which is created with the supreme sacrifices of the martyrs, the freedom fighters whose ultimate leader was a “half naked” “Fakir” in the words of Winston Churchill, the powerful Prime Minister of the British empire to whom he had said in the Round Table Conference, “India demands complete liberty and freedom…the same liberty that Englishmen enjoy… and I want India to become a partner in the Empire. I want to partner with the English people … not merely for mutual benefit, but so that the great weight that is crushing the world to atoms may be lifted from its shoulders”. His being in tune with the simplicity of his countrymen had given him this strength.

For this oneness with the people in life-style and attire, notwithstanding differences in approach, in political economic concepts, all our emancipators from the British yoke were revering him as Mahatma. Mahatma Gandhi.

He was the greatest leader India has ever produced.

“Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe, that such a man as this one, ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth”, the great Albert Einstein had said on his 70th birthday.

His attire in which he won the hearts of his entire countrymen and led our freedom struggle to force Churchill to the round table in matter of our freedom – the same freedom that the Englishmen enjoy – was the same as of millions of his fellow beings in India.

Of course, Modi is not a Gandhian. Gandhi had said, planning must be addressed to the poorest of the poor. Modi has done away with planning. His administration is wedded to the greatest men of avarice, the greatest accumulators of wealth, the ultra-high-net-worth individuals and advantaged.

It would be, therefore, a folly to expect that he should understand the romance of sacrifice for the country and the splendor of simple dress in tune with the maximum majority of the countrymen who cherish their leader to be like them in nature and attire and concern for fellow beings and manners.

But, it would be legitimate to ask, who the person that gifted this suit to Modi was, and what his/her purpose was, and whether or not there was any favor-seeking design behind gifting of the name-striped suit, the first of its kind, to Prime Minister of India.

It would be better if the Prime Minister reveals the name of that man and help people locate him with whether or not he/she has any business link – directly or remotely – with the Government of India; because, after he obliterated people’s right to say ‘No’ to land acquisition in interest of private industry, the people are in natural agony over suspected role of compradors in administration.

Removal of this suspicion is most important for the country at this moment. So auction of Modi’s name-striped suit is not enough, the government should reveal, who had given the suit and why and whether or not he/she has any commercial interest that power corridors can better serve.

Writings on the walls be read instead of finding fault with the police

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Police is being accused of laxity in Chief Minister’s security after students and youth leaders hurled eggs at him in course of a black flag demonstration when he was on his way to Utkal University today to attend a function.

The demonstration was so sudden that the Police Commissionerate could not have the slightest smell of it. Who is responsible for the lapse is being investigated into.

But the fact is fact. The Chief Minister had to face the wrath of the people, howsoever marginal that be. Elements of Congress are claiming credit, but that does not matter. The demonstrators were carriers of public displeasure over continuous misrule. It is relevant to note that hundreds of young educated unemployed persons were demonstrating today against government’s blatant failure in keeping its pledge to feel up vacant posts. A striking allegation was that during the last ten years, the government has failed to hold competitive examination for State Civil Services or for Government Colleges. Naveen Patnaik is eager to serve avaricious interest of private industrialists, but has no mind for providing employment to Orissa’s educated youth, they were crying before the cameras. In such a climate, hurling eggs at the CM might have come from somebody such affected.

Even ruling party members today came down heavily upon Naveen babu’s government that has subjugated governance by people’s representative to overlordship of bureaucracy. Clealy, the administration is collapsing. Public wrath is increasing.

Misrule is giving birth to anarchy.Police security to CM and action against some police officials for laxity in his security will not end the anarchy. Today’s black flag demonstration and egg hurling have inscribed handwritings on the wall. The same should be read before it is too late.

Sad News: The Sun of Orissa’s Cinematic Creativity set today on daybreak at Mumbai

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Is it possible that the Sun sets on daybreak?

Yes. Because, Nirad Mohapatra breathed his last at 6 AM.

When Orissa was to receive the first rays of the Sun, she had no idea that the Sun that had kept her sky of creativity illuminated was setting in the western part of the country in Mumbai.

He was under treatment in a Navy Mumbai Hospital where surgery had dragged him into complications.

Mumbai shall have his pyre in her lap.

The legendary film director whose first feature film Maya Miriga (1984) that had added glory to India’s international image as producer of top quality films, was adjudged the Best Third World Film at International Film Festival at Heidelberg besides many other international and national accolades, had made it a film of speaking peculiarity of Orissa’s family values and vulnerabilities.

Nirad MohapatraWhenever I had visited him, I had seen in him a sage of knowledge on human nature and behavior in social context. A man of extraordinary erudition and ability of interpretation, he had made tremendous contributions to Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune as a student as well as a theoretician member of its faculty.

If cinema is religion, he was master of its theology.

His endeavor to popularize good cinema had made him form a unique platform for the purpose that was known and famous as Cinexstacy. The aptness of the name explains its aim. It was not only a platform for popularization of good cinema, but also a provider of opportunities for cinema scholars to watch and interact on world famous classics.

The world knows how many landmark documentaries he has made.
The world will remember him for the pattern he had in directing the documentaries.

His cultural documentaries such as Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa (1974), Chhau Dance of Mayurbhanja (1985), Pata Painting (1986), Maestros of Odfissi (1995) are as masterpieces as are his ecological documentaries like The vanishing Frontier (1989), and Chilika – A fragile Eco-system (2002). If The Story of Cement (1976) was an industrial documentary, the documentary on polio – A New Horizon – was a touching tribute to the physically challenged brave members of society in context of State’s awareness to their need. He has many more documentaries on behalf of various departments/institutes. But in all of them, the uniquely distinct Niradian touch will continue to attract cinema producers, directors and scholars desirous in knowing how best a documentary could be made to deliver the desired message.

As I share the sad news that on daybreak today, the Sun of Orissa’s cinematic creativity set in the western horizon of India in Mumbai, I stand in solemn silence in his memory.

AIDS imperils Orissa: Deliberate Delay in Reaching at Remedy: Is Payola the Purpose?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

I ask the question directly to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, because it is his Government that has put Orissa in the quagmire of AIDS by not implementing the High Court orders that had suggested the remedy more than four years ago on 28.7.2011.

The question is: Behind this deliberate delay and dilly-dallying, is collection of payola the purpose?

He should seek answer to this question from records of the Government.

A three year old boy had fallen victims to AIDS by taking blood from a Bhubaneswar based Blood Bank and the High Court of Orissa on conducting in-depth study on why the child whose parents had no AIDS was affected by the deadly syndrome after taking blood from the blood bank that claimed to have screened the blood with ELISA. The Court came to the conclusion that if a donor has been infected with HIV, that causes AIDS, hiss blood shall not show the infection within six months, which is known as ‘window period’. ELISA may not detects the virus if blood is collected from the donor during this ‘window period’. The virus can be directed in the ‘window period’ only through NAT PCR technology, the Court determined on deep analysis. So, in its judgement dated 28. 7. 2011 it directed the Government of Orissa, which was a party to the case, to establish NAT facility in all the official blood banks of the State so that patients in dire need of blood can get safe blood.

As the Government had ignored the High Court directive and blood donations were rising in numbers, so also threat of AIDS, I exposed the matter in ORISSA MATTERS on 8.7.2012. By then, one year had elapsed. We even tried to wake up the High Court to government’s negligence to its just order in our provocative article captioned ‘The issue is AIDS: Let the verdicts be not mere wordy acrobatics’ . It was published on 21.7.2012. We exposed how a coterie of officers in the health department were using tricks of subterfuge against the High Court order. it was published on 28.8.2012.

On 1.9.2012, inspired by the ORISSA MATTERS postings, Congress Leader Prasad Harichandan raised the issue in the Legislative Assembly. In replying him, health minister Dr. Damodar Raut assured the House that the High Court orders will be implemented and the NAT technology would be adopted in phased manner. In the first phage the blood banks attached to the three government medical college hospitals as well as to the capital hospital shall be equipped with this method with immediate effect. But mandarines in his heath department did not proceed in the matter till Dr. Raut was divested of this department. He had openly alleged that the Departmental Secretary was not paying any heed to his directions.

We, as a committed sentinel of Orissa, continued to expose the tormenting dilly-dally resorted to by bureaucracy, when unsuspecting patients were being infected with AIDS and other severe TTIs by taking blood from blood banks, which, in view of the analysis done by the High Court in its 2011 judgement, nobody can say for sure to be safe.

Finally, the Health Department resolved to adopt NAT technology as assured by the Health Minister in the Assembly and after 15 months of the Minister’s assurance, the matter was placed before the Expenditure Finance Committee, which was approved by the same Committee on 13.12.2013. The EFC had advised the Health Department to apprise the Law department of the decision taken to adopt NAT technology, as the High Court had issued orders for use of NAT in blood screening.

Long four months passed by to call for ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) .The State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) was authorized to call for RFP, which it dis in March 2014.

Two companies responses.

A high power Committee comprising experts from outside the State selected one of the companies in June 2014 as its offer was acceptable as per the terms and conditions laid down by the Government.

Surprisingly, instead of putting orders to the selected Company, on 29.9.2014, a meeting was held on Technology , Tender process, and Cost break-up of service charges to be paid towards NAT testing facility of blood units in the blood bank. It unanimously accepted the proposal to adopt NAT and decided to charge 1/4th of the NAT testing cost of Rs.790/- from patients settling the chargeable rate to approximately Rs.200/-.

The matter should have ended there. But, another dilatory tactics was adopted. A fresh meeting was held on 17.10.2014 to  workout the cost towards service charge. In this meeting it was put on records that when ELISA testing shows Negative result, NAT shows Positive in one out of 500 tests. Yet, confusing notes were made in item 4 of the minutes.

In File 64/14 part 1 the Law department was moved on 14.11.2014 as per EFC, dated 13.12.13, to say if the decision to adopt NAT was as per the High Court Orders. The Law Department expressed shock over the inordinate delay in implementing the High Court Order and in its opinion sent on on 15.11.2014, it observed that the scheme should be implemented immediately.

File was put on 22.12.2014 and gathered dust there till 29.1.2015. And since then, has been pending with the Secretary, Health and Family Welfare.

In the meeting taken on 17. 10.2014 by the departmental Secretary “to prepare a road map for the implementation” of the NAT scheme, it was held that:
(a) NAT technology is the foremost and latest technology in the
transfusion field as per WHO issued guidelines.
(b) From various study papers it is revealed that NAT is helpful in reducing the window period.
(c) NAT can detect Hepatitis B & C much earlier than the traditional ELISA method.
(d) Till date the NAT is known as “Gold Standard Procedure” to provide the safe blood to the public.
(e) From the reports it reveals that, NAT yield (ELISA Negative & NAT positives) is around 500: 1. (Resolution No.1)

This means, the Secretary is convinced that when viruses causing AIDS escape ELISA screening, NAT is catching at least one in every 500 tests.

In Orissa, about 3,50000 units of blood are transfused per year to patients in critical conditions where transfusion is not avoidable. This means, per day transfusion is around 1000. If the AIDS causing HIV virus is escaping detection in one in every 500 units of blood, then it indicates that every day the State Government is inserting the dreaded disease to two unsuspecting patients.

This alarming reality does not find consideration in the corridors of power.

I had discussed the shocking phenomenon in my last posting captioned ‘Orissa in Quagmire of AIDS: High Court Ruling sand Minister’s order rot under Red Tapes, published on 20.10.2014. The Government does not bother. Because of the dilly-dallying mandarines, the funds allocated for implementation of the NAT scheme in the last supplementary budget could not be spent.

How long the mandarines in health department shall keep the High Court order and the Minister’s declaration inconsequential?

Is incompetency of bureaucracy or the mandarines’ super competency in cultivating a climate for payola responsible for this massive delay in implementing the High Court order?

Let the Chief Minister say, because, as per official confession mentioned supra, his government has been infesting two persons with AIDS and other TTIs per day by not adopting the NAT technology.

Reporter succumbed to cardiac arrest: Samaja should pay all dues forthwith

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Jayabardhan DashReporter Jaya bardhan Dash of the Oriya daily ‘The Samaja’ succumbed today to cardiac arrest at Berhampur. Till his death he was actively working for the Samaja.

The newspaper is under illegal occupation of Servants of the People Society, New Delhi. It is a habitual litigant organisation and has been harassing the workers with non-payment of dues.

Taking its conduct into consideration, it is apprehended that heirs of Dash may not be promptly and properly paid with dues of the journalist.

We call upon his fraternal friends of Berhampur to keep a watch and see that his dues are properly paid.

Dash was President of Berhampur Press Club and had tremendous contribution to sports in the area. We pay our respects to the departed doyen of journalism in the district that had taken leadership in newspaper production in the State.