Wednesday, 05 August 2020 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Aug 5:

Panic strikes employees as well as visitors and non-COVID patient undergoing treatment at JNIMS after a group of asymptomatic COVID-19 positive people undergoing treatment at COVID Care Center today came out of their room and staged protest in front of the Director’s office.

According to report, at around 11 am today a group of COVID-19 positive asymptomatic patient numbered around 20 gathered in front of the JNIMS Director office and staged protest as they were not satisfied with the kind of facilities provided to them. They protest about untimely and irregular service of mess and other care facilities.

When Imphal Times contacted the officials of JNIMS, the authority said that the matter has been settled. When asked about the demand of the patients, it has been told that the patients (asymptomatic) at the COVID Care Center, JNIMS have been provided the same catering service that has been served to other non-COVID patients undergoing treatment at different wards of the hospital.

“This catering service was not satisfied by the patients at CCC wards”, the authority said and added that they have demanded a better quality food for them. The authority said that they cannot provide special treatment like providing special food for them as the hospital does not have separate provision to provide separate food for COVI-19 positive people.

The matter was however settled after the COVID-19 positive patient had a talk with the Additional Director of JNIMS. But details of the agreement reached between them could not be known.

Meanwhile, visitors and non COVID patients as well as those working in the hospital panic as those people tested with COVID-19  came out as there are possibility of spreading the virus to others. 

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Imphal, Aug 5:

The inability to provide proper medical facilities to non-COVID patients at hospital across the state has cause serious concern to students’ bodies of the state.

A joint press statement of the AMSU, ATSUM , ANSAMKSO-GHQ, MSF, DESA KSA, SUK and AIIMS said that Covid-19 pandemic is at the verge of spreading at Community level . At least 7 have died of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this juncture as both the government and private hospitals have not allowed to admit non COVID patients, there are possibilities of unwanted incident at different sections.

Non acceptance of non-COVID patients but emergency one like injury by accident, delivery case, cardiac arrest etc and those from containment area without testing the COVID-19 is very unfortunate, the students’ bodies said.

The statement said that serious patients from interior parts of the state are facing extreme difficulties in reaching to the hospitals for treatment. There were incident that a woman died while delivery as she could not taken to the hospital. These types of incident should not be repeated in future, the statement said.

The student bodies demanded a proper and effective policy to ensure that other patients (non-Covid) too are treated fairly in hospital. On the other hand, the government should take extra care for those frontliners working to prevent the spread of the virus, the statement added. 

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Imphal, Aug 5:

Students’ Union of the constituent colleges of Dhanamanjuri University (DMU) has strongly reacted to the notification for submission of registration fee of Rs. 100 while applying admission online for various undergraduate courses for the academic session 2020-21 at the constituent colleges of Dhanamanjuri University.

A statement issued by representatives of the students’ union of DM College of Arts, DM College of Commerce, DM College of Science and GP Women College said that even the Manipur University does not require registration fee for application of admission to various colleges. The statement said that due to the ongoing lockdown to contain the COVID-19 pandemic across the country, students have been seriously affected threatening to their career . In the meantime, as those students who were studying outside the state have to admit in the state because of the pandemic the students’ bodies has been urging to increase the intact capacity at maximum level.

The students’ body said that the motive of the DMU for Registration fee is against the interest of the student community and is purely with business motive. The students’ Union appealed the DMU and the Education (U) authority to cancel the requirement for submission of registration fee while applying online application for admission. 

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IT News
Imphal, Aug 5:

Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency MP Dr. RK Ranjan stated that All weather roads for border areas is a must as it will boost the economic activity of the area. He was speaking at the one-day awareness programme on cane and bamboo and its application at Nongkam Satang Village in Tengnoupal district yesterday, jointly organized by Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal, Manipur; Apunba Imagi Machasing (AIMS), Manipur and Nongkam Satang, Choktong and Machi Village Authorities, Tengnoupal District.

The awareness programme is supported by Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC), Guwahati, Assam under North Eastern Council, Ministry of DoNER, Government of India.

The Dr. Ranjan said that a proposal will be sent to the ministry of road transport and highways through the state government to construct an all-weather road.

“Without better road, health infrastructure border areas cannot be developed”, he said and added that the Maring community are master craftsmen in cane and bamboo products. They have a special talent in this and more awareness is needed to promote this.

The MP said, the agro climate of the area is suited for multiple cropping. As the team from CAU have tested the soil, it’s suited for planting litchi and agar trees besides bamboo which are abundantly grown in the area. By planting this, it will help in boosting the economy of the villagers. He said, people living in the border areas are the guardian of the border and they have been guarding the areas. The MP said, he will try to help in all possible ways to boost the economy of the people.

President of the programme, Dr. Lorho S. Pfoze, MP said that the connectivity in the region is very terrible and need to construct a better road between Lamlong Khunou to Nongkam Satang. It is urgent to need to make an international market place at Nongkam Satang to develop a formal trade between India and Myanmar. For this, it is necessary to talk with Burmese and Indian governments.

Prof. M. Premjit, Vice-Chancellor, Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal expressed that Nongkam Satang village is a suitable place for Lychee, Coconut, Cane and Bamboo. That is why he is willing to set up a centre for scientific plantation and skill development of these plants at Nongkam Satang in consultation with the Members of Parliament (MPs) present today. It also needs for establishment of Tissue culture for mass production of nursery plants.

Mr. Rajkumar Mayanglambam, DC, Tengnoupal District also attended as one of the guests of honour in the programme. He also stated that there is a plan to construct a road between Lamlong Khunou to Nongkam Satang under a programme of Assam Riffles and also issued no-objection certificate on it. He will urge it for a speedy process. The issues of no telephone network, lack of health facilities and primary school in the region and he will take it up to solve these problems through a new scheme of Prime Minister.

Th Krishnatombi Singh, the Additional Superintendent of Police of Tengnoupal district also expressed that after crossing the border, all the road in the Myanmar are motorable road, but in the case of Manipur, there is no road from pillar nos. 71 to 87. Such situation is threatening to our national security.

During the programme, hand sanitizer, masks, hydroxide and hand gloves were distrusted to the villagers which were provided by the Directorate of Health Services, Government of Manipur and Manipur university. Mr. Morung Makunga, Former Minister, Government of Manipur was also presented as one of the guests of honour of the programme.

Published in News

By Maibam Verona
Imphal, Aug 5:

King Sejong Institute (KSI), a center for learning Korean language and culture which is directly managed by the Korean Cultural Centre India has been inaugurated through video conferencing at Dhanamanjuri University , Imphal on Tuesday
The inaugural function was attended by Choi Jongho, Minister, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Republic of India, M. Harekrishna, IAS, Vice Chancellor of Dhanamanjuri University (DMU) and Kim Kumpyoung, Director of Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI).
Speaking on the occasion Kim Kumpyoung, Director, KCCI, encouraged students to study earnestly to be able to catch the study and job opportunities KSI provides.
“Only students who are willing to bend down, get through thousands of negative reasons will jump up,” Director Kim said.
Teacher Park Minjae, the Operating Personnel of King Sejong Institute, Imphal addressed the audience on the establishment of King Sejong Institute in Imphal.
He said, “Northeast India has seven states, with a population of about 39 million. In these regions, Arirang TV and KBS World channels are aired. Regardless of their age everyone likes K-pop and Korean dramas. As a result, their interest in Korea is high and like Korea very much. In spite of their interest and demands of learning Korean Language, there was only one course for Korean Language at Manipur University since 2012. Then, in 2018, a Korean visiting professor was sent from the Korea Foundation; Korean language education in Manipur began to develop little by little. So the Post Graduate Course which is a full time Korean Language course started from January, 2019. In November 2019, the Korean Culture and Arts Centre, Manipur started providing the Korean Language Course for Beginner and Intermediate levels. And, in January 2020, a 10 week Korean Language course started at DM University. And this time, King Sejong Institute opened in Imphal through the collaboration between Dhanamanjuri University and Korean Cultural Centre India. It is located in Dhanamanjuri University, is run directly by the Korean Cultural Centre India.”
He further stated that the institute will provide high quality Korean language education by Korean native speakers and introduce various cultural programs for the lovers of K-culture. “This starting semester, we have 43 students, 23 in Beginner level, 14 in Intermediate-1, 6 in Intermediate-2. We will continue to provide Korean language education, and various cultural programs. And through Korean language education, we are trying to help as many students get a chance to work in a Korean company and for their further studies in Korea. We will be the link to connect Korea and Manipur in various ways,” Mr. Park said.
Choi Jongho, Minister, Embassy of the Republic of Korea congratulated the institute and expressed his hope that Korean language and culture education would become more widespread through the institute.
M. Harekrishna, Vice Chancellor of Dhanamanjuri University mentioned that DMU is really proud to join hands with KCCI and KSI, Republic of Korea to have a branch of KSI at DMU. “We look forward to both the parties fully and faithfully cooperating with each other in matters relating to the bright future of the students. We also look forward to the Korean government that they provide avenues for cultural exchange programs which the students would love; scholarships and jobs for the students who are studying Korean language and culture,” VC Harekrishna said. On behalf of the DMU team, he thanked the Minister of the Korean Embassy, Director of KCCI and everyone involved for the successful launching of the Korean language program in DMU during this difficult and uncertain time.
Prof. Lee Hyunkyung, Visiting Professor, Department of Foreign Language, Manipur University also congratulated the opening of KSI, Imphal. “When I came to Manipur University in 2018, I was surprised that north east Indians are more interested in Korea and Korean language than I thought,” Prof. Lee said. She further added that Korean language is taught Manipur only among the seven states in India and believes that KSI Imphal will become the outpost of Korean language in north east India.

Published in Guest Column

For a state like Manipur which is not so sound economically, to test all people of the state is impossible even though that is the best solution. Fear, anxiety, apprehension is a human phenomenon. Every people in the state too are no different as they are a human being.
At this time of the COVID crisis, everyone is showing its serious concern. Those in the health care sectors, law enforcers, district administers, and particularly club members are playing their role to contain the virus with every means they could. But the invisible enemy keeps invading us. We the people should not have a preconception mind of speculating the spread of the virus at the community level, as the negligence of those front line warriors who are responsible for protecting the people. This is stated because all people are hero from their own perspective, everything they have been trying is to save the people. But what went wrong? Why is it that despite the many efforts the virus now has spread at the community level? How come people tested with the dreaded virus were stigmatized when the virus was contracted with them for no immoral behaviors or activities?
Whether the state health department accepted or not, we are in the fourth stage of the pandemic. From a clique of persons who return from outside the state, the virus now had reached out to health workers and to common people who had no travel history or to those who do not have the idea of how the virus has infected them and from where. The fact is that there is community transmission and that the matter should be deal by finding a perfect policy that will be adapted with the society of Manipur without delaying by accepting the fact that “Community transmission” has begun. Before things get worst, it is time that the government act but not to the will and desires of those in the top post. Forget about the Chief Minister and his cabinet Ministers, those bureaucrats whose responsibility and duty is to advise the ministry are not competent enough to take decisions of their own in respect of this pandemic. The only solution for this crisis period is proper planning which should be framed in consultation with various experts in the field. Bureaucrats, who come from a medical background or sociological background should not underestimate those experts in the profession who are presently engaging in their respective field as the wisdom of those dedicating their whole energy obviously have more innovative ideas which is practical and applicable to the society.
Same old policy like the imposition of lockdown, curfew etc. cannot be utilized as usual as the nature of spread is different today. When it comes to the local level, and started transmission at the community level, definitely there is an urgent need for formulation of a program as done earlier during HIV and AIDS pandemic. By setting up the Manipur State AIDS Control Society and implementation of certain work programme under the strict policy have reduced and put under control the spread of HIV and AIDS. Now, the state needs to think of a plan which may be not similar to the way that was taken up for controlling the spread of HIV and AIDS. Because SAR-CoV-2 is different, its character is still studying and so far no medicine to cure the COVID-19 has been so far invented even though the world is trying. But saying so, we have to live and not as prisoners. In the name of containing the virus, people can’t be put as prisoners at home all the time. And nobody knows how long the virus will be with us. A separate cell like that of MACS perhaps may bring some solution. And the guidelines need to be properly framed by collecting all suggestions and recommendations from experts of all stakeholders.
On the other hand, the idea of mass testing is not possible we know that, but the government should not make any mistake to utilize all it has to make sure that people are tested at the maximum level. The Chief Minister, Health Minister, and other authorities of the department have been saying that Manipur at present had the capacity of testing over 2000 samples per day. Had these Ministers and authority ever inspected that even though the state had now machines to test the virus to over 2000 sample, does all the required kits and reagents for testing of the virus have been made available to them? Sample collection these days have been reportedly reduced but complaints about not being tested by collecting sample are heard every single day. There is a loophole, even as all those working in the sector spend all their energy to make sure that people are safe.
The best machinegun without bullets during war times seems to have no values and a similar thing is sense in the VRDLs of both RIMS and JNIMS. These should be checked. And why these VRDLs are getting only 600/700 samples per day when they have the capacity to test over 2000 samples. Why could not the health authority collect more samples so that more people get tested?
This COVID-19 pandemic is no joke. It has a tendency to uproot the whole society. And without proper policy, it is affecting all. This lockdown which is on should not be wasted. The need of the hour is to frame policy with ideas from all experts.

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 05 August 2020 18:14

Rural Unemployment & Agriculture

India, essentially is a rural nation where agriculture, horticulture, handicraft, fisheries, poultry and dairy are the major contribution to the rural economy.Yet the contributions of agriculture has been dwindling, creating a space for inequities.Here, unemployment is mainly due to the shortage of capital, the poor exploitation of natural resources and inadequate employment opportunities.The main issue lies in the character of the job as agriculture is dependent upon the benevolence of nature.It is the rain that makes the sector thrive and unfortunately India has rains last for only 3-4 months.In addition,it is a labour - intensive job, whereas in the present era,no one prefers to toil throughout the year. Naturally,there has been a major shift in dependency on agriculture as their main source of income.From 60%,it is constantly reducing owing to problems like price fluctuations, draught,flood, pest and diseases outbreak etc,which brings uncertainty income. Agriculture in Indian context is a seasonal occupation and there is always a heavy demand for labour at the time of sowing, wedding and harvesting whereas in slack season demand for labour falls considerably.In rained agriculture, farmersremain unemployed for four to six months in a year.Because of illiteracy, poverty and poor health,they are unable to avail some alternative employment opportunity during this period.India should urgently look at comprehensive reforms to make agriculture a sustainable and scalable industry. Where does India’s agriculture stand now? The country has made big stride in agriculture post liberalization, the yield has increased and is the third largest producer by value. However the sector realize only 50 to 60% of its potential. Price realization is affected by the APMC(Agricultural Produce Market Committee)Act and middlemen. In rural India, sowing season is nearing end. The rural unemployment rate climbed to 7.1% in the week ended 19 July 2020 to 6.34% recorded in the previous week, according to fresh data from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).This is still below the figure for the week before India went to lockdown on 25th March but economists feel it will see a gradual climb in the coming weeks and July may not see job creation picking up much. Overall national unemployment also inched up to 7.94% in the week ended 19 July from 7.44%, the previous week.
However urban employment remains the bigger concern, as it continues to stay high and its decline has been slower. The urban joblessness rate come down marginally to 9.78% from 9.92% during the same period, according to CMIE, reflecting the stubborn formal sector jobs space that is directly influenced by the existing business environment, which is improving very slowly.Economists and experts said, labor market will see tougher challenge over the next couple of months both in the rural areas and urban pockets. Monsoon is expected to pick up in parts of India bringing along with it natural calamities such as floods, which will restrict activities in the agriculture sector and partially limit low-end self-employment activities. India’s rural unemployment rate has started moving upward with the summer crop sowing season drawing to an end. Except for few crops (rice, wheat) and a few states ( Punjab, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh) the selling price for the farmers is 15-50% below Minimum Support Price(MSP).The sowing season is nearing completion and strain in the rural labor market will be visible in the coming weeks. How can farming be made a sustainable occupation? The agriculture sector employs over 52% of the workforce contributing to only 14% of the GDP. Incomes have been stagnant over the last decades with the average worker earning less than 60-70% of the income of their counterparts in the city. As in urban areas witnessing sporadic lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, the slow reopening of business will limit the faster recovery that the country saw in June. With labor moving to rural India and depressed consumer demand income could drop about 10-20%. Agriculture and food processing GDP contribution has to rise to close to 20% while surplus labor needs to be deployed in manufacturing and food processing.However the country’s food processing value addition at the moment is less than 10% of the produce while for most developed economies there is 100 to 300%. The sector needs to grow at 5% per annum which is double the historical growth.
How do we ensure adequate remuneration for farmers? Increasing remuneration via MSP has drawbacks. It couldn’t be enforced beyond three states and it triggered food inflation and macroeconomic instability. The center and states must devise a strategy for the growth of non-farm sector in rural India which can help absorb people in decent jobs. The slow recovery of business and urge tomeet cost by employers for survival has a direct impact on rural employment. Farmers with a good land holding are doing fine but people who don’t have enough land or workplace as daily wagers are in real trouble. The lack of cash in hand is a problem and this will prompt people to go back to urban areas again despite the bad living condition there. This is where non-farm activities and white color jobs in regional level will be of help. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is helpful but may not be able to take pressure off and absorb all the people during the rainy season, who were earlier largely deployed in agricultural activities.CMIE data shows that rural employment scenario is much better in recent weeks but “we must take note that a higher labor force participation “rate in agriculture means, only a marginal growth in productivity of labor. Immediate income growth is not there. There are other ways: increased price realization for the farmers so that they get most of the consumer surplus and use of technology and supply aggregation platforms for storage, logistics and better price discovery. There is potential to create a segment of processed and branded food to increase farmers’ income. The country should follow a five point agenda reforms: focus on sustainable yield improvements through scientific farming practices; improve agricultural marketing to increase farmer’s price realization through policy changes; set up an Integrated Agriculture Export Mission to scale up food processing and exports to increase value addition from 10% to 50%; promote direct marketing through farmer producer Organization; and seriously work on reforms in the agriculture sector.

Published in Articles
Wednesday, 05 August 2020 18:13

Manipur Home returnees, unemployment and ILPS

By Lunsieh Kipgen, IPS

At least fifty thousand natives of Manipur state have returned from various parts of the country to their home state in the wake of covid-19 pandemic. A large chunk of these home returnees are said to have been working in unorganised and semi-organised sectors in different parts of the country.  They are not migrant labourers working in factories/industries or in the agriculture sector. They earn wages relatively better than the migrant workers whose exodus from cities to their native states too has been witnessed in the wake of the country wide lockdown. Once thrown out of job the working force have no option but to return to their home. Unemployment rate in India and elsewhere is already a big problem. Manipur is no exception. Insurgency in the state is already linked to unemployment problem. Manipur has got a name as home to a large number of armed militant groups. The irony with Manipur is that despite covid scare and implementation of the Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) in the state the influx of non locals from mainland India continue to be unabated thereby indirectly depriving the natives (locals) of employment opportunities in the process and draining the state’s money unnoticed.
The bulk of Manipur home returnees are from the age group between 20 and 40. Those in government service or working in organised sectors could work from home and so they never formed a part of the train loads home returnee group. Most of these returnees are in their prime youth and would fit in most of the physical strength demanding employment and earning sectors such as construction works requiring skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled labour. In cities these home returnees are said to be employed in less physical strength requirement jobs like private security guards, staff jobs in hotel, restaurant, shopping malls and tourism sectors. Some more educated groups with knowledge of English language and computer reportedly worked in call centres of the corporate world, etc. These youths earn wages/salaries enough at least for their own sustenance and maintenance. Even some of them save part of their income to support their relatives back home or a sibling studying and staying with them in the cities. The problem with them now is that most of them may not like to be engaged in agriculture or construction sectors after returning to their home state. The sudden change of life style from city to village/small town would certainly create imbalance. The sense of frustration with job lost must have contributed to the recent inmate unrest witnessed in several Institutional and Community Quarantine centres where home returnees are lodged for a required period.  
Around forty thousand and even more non locals from mainland India are engaged in different employment avenues in Manipur at a time. They are engaged in different trades ranging from barber, cobbler and cart puller to construction workers and small time businesses. They are seen engaged in different construction activities and petty businesses even in the rural villages of the state. The non locals here stay in rented houses, work and earn. They never come here to buy land and settle permanently. They remit the money they earned from here to their families in their home states. They go home once a while to visit their families carrying with them cash they have saved over a period of time.
Since the locals are not willing to work in many types of menial jobs the non locals cannot be blamed for coming into the state and earning in areas of work where locals are not engaged. In fact the locals should be thankful to the non locals for coming and doing things they (locals) don’t have the skill or the will to do. But it is simply inexcusable for the local youths to leave a vacuum in the blue collared jobs and crib about absence of working and earning avenues. The local unemployed youths are big potential income earners in the more “dignified” jobs like construction sector requiring unskilled, semi skilled and skilled labour. Masonry, carpentry, tiles work, plumbing work, electrical fitting, painting works, petty shop keeping, etc. are huge employment avenues and reasonably high income earning avenues in the state. The local unemployed youths including home returnees can certainly be absorbed in these areas of employment. When these employment opportunities are captured mostly by the non locals we are shouting our voice hoarse for ILPS. Skills and semi skills can be acquired over a short period of time. It is just our wrong mentality and absence sense of dignity of labour that prevents us from taking up trades which can provide a decent living.
The introduction of ILPS in the state from first January 2020 was a long cherished dream fulfilled for Manipur. Its main objective is to deny unhindered and unregulated entry of non locals from mainland India into the state so that they don’t deprive the natives of their land, employment opportunities and income. The state government had collected a sum of Rs. 100,00,000 (one crore) revenue from seven ILPS check gates in a span of one and a half months starting from the first date of ILPS implementation on January 1, 2020. This is reasonably a big revenue amount. Around 33,500 ILPS passes were issued during this period. The ILPS revenue collection rate would of course fluctuate as fresh pass costs more and renewal rate less. The fresh passes were issued not only from border gates but also in various valley district concerned offices to those who were already here.
But then revenue consideration is never the reason for ILPS demand for years. Its primary objective as stated earlier is to prevent smarming of non locals in the state which could eventually create socio-eco-politico-cultural and demographic imbalance. If over thirty thousand ILPS passes could be issued in less than two months then the number of non locals present in the state could well just be imagined. Non locals continue to pour in even during this covid lockdown has irked valley based pressure groups including the JCILPS. The continued incoming of non locals is possible as construction related works are exempted from the lockdown.
Manipur is considered a good earning destination by non locals from mainland India. The presence of a large number of non local work force never make labour cheap either.
In fact these migrant workers are exploiting the locals for their (locals) laziness and unwillingness to do certain type of works. Through an interview conducted, it is gathered that a non local ‘head mistry’ in masonry and plumbing works here earns handsome income as a local government contractor. The ‘head mistry’ identifies a contract work in construction field and through a phone call brings in the number of required skilled and unskilled workers from outside the state. He arranges rental rooms for his employees, procures provisions for them and guides them in their work sites without himself doing any physical work. The profit he earns in private construction contracts is to the tune of several lakhs of rupees per month.  In plumbing works, a head mistry contractor on an average earns a profit margin of Rs, 4000/- to 5000/- in a three to four hours work where he would take two to three labourers for a small repairing work after paying them (labourers) around Rs, 600/- to 700/- wage each for the less than half a day’s repair work.  An electrician charges Rs. 2000/-to 3000/-for a day’s work. Are these people having enough work/contract all the time?  Yes. They are never free even for a single day and always have plenty of works in line. A non local running a small Pan shop or a grocery shop in a locality here too earns profits enough to run his family by remitting cash to his relatives at home. These are just a few examples cited to enlighten/remind the drainage of the state’s money to other states. ILPS regulations and entry fees do not make any difference to these non locals. Whatever expenditures they incurred on ILPS is recovered through increased wages and profit margin anyway.
Insurgency or armed militancy in the state is linked with unemployment problem. This can be true if white collar jobs or government service alone is considered as an employment. Interestingly the number of unemployed people registered with the employment exchange at a given time always stands around forty thousand to fifty thousand. The total number of underground cadres in the entire state would be less than ten thousand anyway. Even if 50 percent of the state’s blue collar job sector is occupied by the by the local potential work force then the number of underground cadres and militancy would dwindle to a great extent. The state government at any point of time would never be able to provide government jobs to all those qualified individuals or seeking government jobs.  
The state government have started to encourage entrepreneurships through start-ups, vocational training, skill development and other self employment schemes to absorb unemployed youths into income generating fields. Liberal soft loans and one time financial assistance largesse schemes are advanced to the genuine needy individuals. These are of course meant for the educated unemployed. But then for the uneducated too loans and grants for purchase of passenger vehicles, etc are provided to the needy and deserving. Poultry, piggery, fishery, horticulture, farming, etc are several other employment and income earning areas for both the educated and uneducated alike.
The lure and craze for easy and fast money has spoiled the present generation. The youth must focus on changing their mindset with regard to work. Ironically those youths who have returned home this time are the ones who have actually gone to different parts of the country in search of work only. Now that they cannot work and earn outside the state they must think in terms of finding and engaging themselves in suitable jobs most of which have been grabbed by the non locals leading to exploitation of the state natives and drainage of the state’s money. There is nothing which cannot be learnt and done. It is heartening that quite a number of locals have taken to tiles work which hitherto was considered non locals’ exclusive expertise area.  Plumbing is an area which the locals have not tried to pick up so far. This is equally a lucrative work area exclusively dominated by the non locals. Once the non locals are replaced or deprived of their working and earning opportunities they would slowly and steadily leave the land and their continued influx would cease. Then only the fruit of ILPS would be seen and enjoyed.

*** The writer is the Inspector General of Police, Manipur

Published in Guest Column

IT News

Imphal, Aug 5

The All Tribal Rights’ Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) has expressed disapproval to the inaction of the State Government for non-disbursement of funds to the beneficiaries of Family Oriented Schemes under Tribal Affairs and Hills, Government of Manipur for the financial year of 2018-19 and 2019-20 till date. The union government has already released the sanctioned amount to the State Government, however, the State Government has withheld the disbursement of funds to the beneficiaries who are ignorant of the schemes and also poor section of the society. It has become a routine for the State Government to divert the funds meant for Scheduled tribes under TA & Hills including scholarships of the students which is highly condemnable. No fund meant for ST communities has been disbursed on time by the present State Government which negates the whole objects of this Department and defeat the actual spirit of the Constitution.

The fund for scholarship has been diverted, the funds for family oriented schemes have been diverted and all other funds meant for ST communities of the State under TA & Hills have been diverted consistently which is a clear indication of suppressing the rights of the poor tribal people and play with their livelihood. TA & Hills is the only Department which provide some kind of economic reliefs and also allow to carry out some important family oriented activities for implementation of various programmes like Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Flower Fisheries, Piggeries, Industries, Women’s & Children Programmes, Medical and Health, Education etc. However, the State government has not disbursed the fund to the beneficiaries till date even after a lapsed of more than a year and 5 (five) months from the end of last financial year.

The ATRPFM demands the State Government and the authorities/department concerned to disburse and credit the approved amount to the bank account of the beneficiaries, failing which we shall be seek remedies before the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and also file PIL before the High court of Manipur.

Published in News

IT News
Dimapur, Aug 5:

The challenging local, regional, national, and global context within which the Nagas are struggling to find its feet and to walk tall and dignified, is complex and seems insurmountable. These are but “external challenges” which every nation and peoples have their own fair share of. The Nagas, despite surviving a thousand years as a civilization in its own right, from colonial and post-colonial onslaught of militarisation, Christianisation and globalisation, have no control whatsoever over what essentially stems from outside of their location and immediate context – the global economy, complex political paradigm and economic imperatives. These are but weaknesses and challenges that need to be minimised over the long term. What is most disturbing and urgent, though, is about the “internal challenges” that the Nagas have control over, and yet, would do nothing about it.  For this, the Tetso College invited James Pochury, a program officer from an International NGO in New Delhi to speak on Participatory Democracy – Activism as Tool for Critical Engagement” in a Webinar on 4th August, 2020. The webinar was moderated by Dr. Aniruddha Babar; a Political Scientist, Lawyer and an expert in International Law and attended by students from different parts of Nagaland, faculty members and respected members of the society.
James Pochury spoke about necessity of political activism and how it is relevant to a present day situation where Naga society has been trapped in a complex socio-political conundrum. He emphasize on a need of peaceful political activism within the legal framework to claim and reclaim the legal and constitutional rights. He also spoke on social transformation and social development in the present day Naga context. He critically examined as to why it is necessary to positively transform the unjust and unequal power structures and systems that perpetuate the status quo - where the powerful (elected) become even more powerful and the powerless Naga masses (the electors) become perennially powerless. “To actively promote social and economic justice, where a win-win equation is a non-negotiable principle - asserted, demanded and enjoyed by an alert and conscious Naga citizenry. Fulfilled by a transparent and accountable governance system that is embedded in Naga ethos, expressed in Naga Democratic Socialism. We cannot take on the powerful status-quoists with the same mindset that created the problem in the first place. We must become powerful to take on the powerful. Through counter-hegemony”. He concluded.

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