Friday, 03 July 2020 - Imphal Times

By our correspondent
Guwahati, July 3:

Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA), while expressing serious concern over increasing number of city-based media employees infected with novel corona virus in the last few days, urges all media houses to go for mass Covid-19 screening for their employees including the working journalists.
Days back, a printer-publisher of Hindi newspaper  Nishpaksha Samachar Jyoti tested positive for Covid-19. City-based Prahlad Kumar Agarwal thus became the first  corona virus infected media person of the State. Unconfirmed reports claim that around ten media employees working in the city lately tested positive for Covid-19.
“We are now worried as our health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma himself stated in public comment that journalists of two news channels tested positive for Covid-19,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.
The forum also appeals to the State health minister to facilitate all media houses to organize mass screening camps for their valued employees at the earliest. After all, the media persons are playing the role Covid-19 warriors with discriminating necessary information in the time of a pandemic, it concluded.

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By IT Correspondent
New Delhi, July 3:

Ahead of the assembly election in Bihar, which is expected to be held in October-November, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Thursday said coronavirus patients and those above 65 years of age will be allowed to vote using postal ballot. 
With activities coming to a juddering halt, due to pandemic, the decision to allow those over  65 years and those infected with coronavirus or suspected of having contracted the infection  to vote by postal ballot has been taken after the government amended the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961. Those who have mild symptoms and are not in any medical facility, but in home quarantine can also vote through postal ballot. Earlier, casting votes through postal ballots was available only to armed forces and officials assigned poll duties 
The people over the age of 65 are vulnerable to the virus, along with pregnant women and those suffering from chronic health conditions including diabetes, hypertension and kidney ailments. Medical experts and the government have been continuously discouraging such people from venturing out. 
“Notification for Conduct of Elections (Amendment) Rules 2020 - for extending Postal Ballot facility for voters above the age of 65 yrs & Covid+ve under home/institutional quarantined, has been issued” ECI spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan said. 
In February, Delhi became the first state to experiment with postal ballots, extending the facilities to those with severe disabilities or above the age of 80 years. The elections to fill 19 vacancies in the Rajya Sabha in nine states scheduled to held in March, were deferred after the outbreak of the pandemic and were held in June. Besides arrangements were made to allow members who were unwell to vote, through postal ballot. 
“At present Bihar has 72,723 polling stations (PS) with nearly 7.18 crore voters. The ECI has directed the chief electoral officer, Bihar, to do a detailed exercise of logistics to ensure that a limit of 1,000 voters per polling station is kept and auxiliary PS are created wherever required. About 34,000 such auxiliary PS in the same building of an existing polling station or in its vicinity would be required to ensure social distancing, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said. 
ECI  will make  use of digital and media platforms, including bulk SMS, social media, TV  advertising, FM and community radio, NVSP (National Voter Service Portal) and the voter helpline app. Similarly the voters’ guide will be updated to incorporate the COVID-19  imperatives ” Arora said. 
The other measures to ensure the safe election include maintaining social distancing, sanitisation and masks/gloves, training, capacity-building of electoral machinery, and sensitisation of all officials on election duty. ECI has already established mechanisms to monitor digital environment for elections. Hence, with proper monitoring mechanism and shift of campaign to the online mode would not affect the implementation of Model Code of Conduct ”, Arora added.

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A one-line statement incorporated with the updated report of COVID-19 cases issued yesterday by the state health department, it is stated that the Health Department has maintained complete transparency on the important facts related to COVID-19 pandemic and the department also re-iterated that there is no concealment of or intention to conceal facts from the public or media.
If this statement from the state health department is related to yesterday’s editorial of this newspaper, it is very unfortunate that the authorities in the state health department have failed to understand what actually was this paper revealing about. There are certain reports of the health department authority holding back reports of samples that were tested and releasing only some at both the VRDL, for reason known the authority. However, such holding back of tested samples instead of letting the people knew about it, as they are anxiously waiting for it, people, particularly the media have reason to believe some false play as details of why such reports are withheld.
Well, as per source the health department authority could announce the result of the tested sample hours before the publication of the evening newspapers as it was earlier done. Remember, the result was announced at 11 am and later at 7 pm a day some days back. Now , as the department has stopped sending out press statements containing the updated report of COVID-19 cases, evening newspaper which has been equally delivering service by joining the war against the COVID pandemic have been left unaccountable.
Well, the announcement of the number of COVID-19 positive cases is not only what is required for the public to know. Announcing the numbers and concealing the facts on how the department is taking up in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be simply coined as ‘Transparency’ unless and until it is an alien concept.
It is known to every persons, forget about those working with the media, that simply releasing the number and mentioning nothing about who are those persons affected and how they have been contacted with the virus is not what we usually understand by the concept ‘Transparency’.
Other than releasing some notes containing the number of people affected by the virus and people who have been recovered, had the state health authority ever convened a press conference or interaction program with the media persons. Had there been any press briefing regarding the development which perhaps should be conducted on daily basis mandatorily.
The manpower utilized for COVID care centers and the amount spend in treatment of those either symptomatic or asymptomatic, has been kept in secret and the Health Dept. said they are maintaining transparency.

 

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IT News
Mumbai, July 3:
Since now it is a time for a digital and virtual revolution, due to the restriction on social contact, following COVID-19, the “Furtados School of Music” (FSM), located at Khar in North West Mumbai and having several branches pan India, has launched all-inclusive “right brain stimulating” online learning platform, titled “FSMBuddy”, to provide interactive learning courses across the fields of arts, drama, language and music. 
FSM, which has partnered with 143 schools and 15 centres in the country to train nearly 75,000 students, has already taught over 20,000 students online in the last 8 weeks. The school is being run by Tanuja Gomes and Dharini Upadhyaya, co-founders and co-CEOs. 
“FSMBuddy”, offers training in voice, piano, keyboard, guitar, drums and percussion instruments. It is for the first time that the live and virtual classes are being held, instead of pre-recorded classes. They are designed to follow a pre-decided timeline for all the courses. To make it better for the students to learn at their speed, “FSMBuddy” makes the classes available for the students, almost 2 weeks post their scheduled classes. 
“Every teacher is carefully selected to ensure a great learning experience for students. The aim is to provide quality education also to the students abroad whose roots are still in India. This initiative is in line with our prime minister’s vision of being self-reliant and to promote Indians on global map. The platform will also host short term master classes with well accomplished musicians”, FSM co-founder and co-CEO Tanuja Gomes said. 
“When children are small, their “right brain” is more active than the “left brain”. However once a child enters school, the curriculum is focused on sharpening the “left brain”, due to which the “right brain” slows down over time. By the age of 25, the “right brain” function reduces. It is essential to stimulate the child’s “right brain” in the first 15 years of their life to ensure synergy between the two sides and enlarge the whole brain capacity”, Dharini Upadhyaya said. 
“FSMBuddy” has received testimonials from music industry experts including ace drummer Darshan Doshi, percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, actor Farida Venkat, Chintoo Bhosle (a grandson of Asha Bhosale and the founder of “A band of boys”) and many musicians, endorsing the need to have such a platform which can lend a hand in shaping the future of the children. 
FSM was set up in 2011 and its course is comprehensive and lays an emphasis on music theory and combines modern and effective methods of teaching with traditional elements of learning. FSM seeks to bring in quality and organized music learning to the doorstep of every music aspirant.

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IT Correspondent
Mumbai, July 3:

National Award winning choreographer Saroj Khan, who had honed the dancing skills of many actresses including Madhuri Dixit, passed away in the wee hours of 03 July, Friday, following cardiac arrest, at Guru Nanak Hospital at Bandra in North West Mumbai. 
She was admitted to the hospital with breathing complaints on 17 June. She also suffered from diabetes. She had tested negative for coronavirus. The death came at 1.52 AM. She was 71 and is survived by her husband B. Sohanlal, son Hamid Khan ( choreographer Raju Khan) and daughters Hina Khan and Sukyna Khan. 
Her mortal remains were taken to the Ahle Sunnat cemetery at Malad in North Mumbai, where her son Raju Khan performed last rites, in presence of family members. Burial took   place in the cemetery near Malad Chowki. 
Saroj Khan born as Nirmala Nagpal, joined the Indian film industry as a child artiste, playing the younger Shyama in “Nazarana”. She eventually became a background dancer in 1950s films like Bimal Roy’s “Madhumati” under the guidance of dance director B. Sohanlal. She married Sohanlal, when she was barely 13 years old and after they separated she tied the knot with Sardar Roshan Khan. 
After assisting B Sohanlal, as a dance choreographer for a few years, her first independent work came in “Geeta Mera Naam” (1974). She got noticed after she choreographed for Sridevi in “Mr. India” (1987) ( featuring Anil Kapoor and Sridevi) in a song “Hawa Hawai”. She worked with Sridevi in films like “Nagina” and “Chandni”. This was followed by her long-term partnership with Madhuri Dixit in the 1990s in songs like “Ek Do Teen” (Tezaab) (1988)” “Hum Ko Aaj Kal Hai Intezaar” (“Sailaab”) (1990), “Tamma Tamma”( Thanedaar) (1990). ”Dhak Dhak Karne Laga”(Beta) (1992) and “Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai” (Khal Nayak) (1993). 
In a career spanning forty years, she choreographed nearly 2000 songs. Her most successful collaborations were with actresses Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi. He had also judged dance reality shows like “Nach Baliye”, “Ustaadon Ka Ustaad”, “Boogie Woogie” and “Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa”.

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IT News

Imphal, July 3:

Troops of Assam Rifles in an operation apprehended an active cadre suspected to be belonging to United Socialist Revolutionary Army(USRA)  a SoO group along with two accomplices near in S Kotlian village in Churachandpur district of Manipur on June 30.

The apprehended cadre has been identified as SS Secretary (Law, Custom & Culture) Henkhogin @Kaiku Vaiphei age 65 yrs,  r/o S Kotlian and the accomplices as Nekhobal Vaiphei, age 42 yrs and Ginlalmuon age 45 yrs r/o S Kotlian. The apprehended persons are suspected to be involved in the manufacturing/ smuggling of illegal weapons. The troops also recovered two 9mm country made Pistols, one 12 Bore country made Rifle with three live rounds, Rs 1.04 lacs cash, three mobile phones and tools for manufacturing weapons.

The apprehended individuals along with recovered items have been handed over to Churachandpur Police Station for further investigations.

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IT News

Imphal, July 3:

Keeping up its efforts to thwart the contemptible activities of the inimical elements of society, troops of Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) apprehended a drug dealer with 1 kg Opium at TM Kasom in Ukhrul district.

Based on credible inputs received from a reliable source, a team of Assam Rifles under one officer moved towards Yaolen village near TM Kasom, Litan. At around 1100 hrs, the team intercepted a motorbike with registration number MN 01 Z 6893 outside Yaolen village. On checking, the driver Tonglhun Khongsai (age 45), r/o Yaolen was found carrying 1Kg of Opium, worth Lakhs.

The recovered Opium and the individual was handed over to Litan Police station. Assam Rifles will continue to check such nefarious activities of illicit drug smuggling in Manipur to protect the youth from the menace of drug addiction.

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