Bhubaneswar, Sept 30 (LocalWire): Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy felicitated public relation officer Umakanta Mohapatra for his research work on civil society and rural development.
Mohapatra’s thesis titled ‘Role of voluntary organizations in rural development: an empirical assessment’ has been notified for PhD degree by KIIT University.
The thesis has been appreciated by Prof Leandro Moris, State University of Sau Paulo, Brazil; Prof BB Mohanty, Pondicherry University and Prof Ranju Hasini Sahoo, Indira Gandhi National Open University.
Dr Mohapatra conducted his research under the guidance of Prof Navneeta Rath of Utkal University and Dr Sucheta Priyabadini of KIIT University.
Shifting from many earlier theorisations about voluntarism in India, Dr Mohapatra established that organized voluntarism at community and state level existed in Odisha right from the 3rd Century BC.
Unlike other parts of the country, voluntarism in the state was based on socio-patriotic issues like protection of the motherland from aggression, community action for mitigating the effects of natural calamities, developing Odia literature and breaking the caste taboos in matters of sacred text were the guiding impulses of voluntary action.
Such findings differed from reports of many scholars who maintained that voluntary action until modern times was individual acts undertaken as part of the fulfillment of religious obligations.
Voluntary organizations in Odisha are mostly hybrid type and conformists.
They have been successful in implementing eight types of activities like rural housing and creation of livelihood assets, implementation of social security measures like pensions and health insurances, eradication of illiteracy, schooling of children and reduction in dropout rate, implementation of drinking water and rural sanitation schemes, promotion of sports and culture, conservation and upgrading of the natural environment.
The average scoring of voluntary orgnisations in these eight parameters varies within the range of 65-70%.
However, the grassroots level organisations have to augment their efforts for people’s empowerment and creation of general developmental awareness among people.
To his credit Dr Mohapatra authored books like ‘Social Change Themes and Perspectives’ and ‘Rural Sociology’ co-authored with Dr DN Jena, ex Vice-Chancellor Culture University.
Dr Mohapatra has also published nine research-based articles in Scopus indexed, Copernicus indexed, Thomson Reuters indexed, ISSN standard and UGC approved journals.
He edited the book ‘The Wonder that is Kendrapara’ and is also one of the leading editors of District Gazetteer, Angul.
The Additional Secretary to government and OSD to Chief Secretary Dillip Routrai along with both the guides and senior officers from different departments joined the occasion.