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Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and  a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]

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Need for greater aggression and sterner actions against COVID-19 pandemic

“Attack is the secret of defence; defence is the planning of an attack.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 It is often said that attack is the best form of defence. “The best defense is a good offense” is an adage that has been applied to many fields of endeavor, including games and military combat but most importantly to everyday efforts which could make our lives that much more satisfying. The present efforts towards combating the Covid-19 pandemic has evidently been focused on containment and harm reduction the world over.

To be fair, the scale of virulence and speed of transmission of the present pandemic caught the world unaware, and ever since have been eluding a cure despite the best and relentless efforts of the best minds and technologies. It has been almost five months since the outbreak, and even without a specific line of accepted treatment, there has been incredible progress and promising developments in the search for an effective antidote, and hopefully one could be found sooner than later. Even without a definite cure, experts have managed to study and understand a great deal about the virus and its characteristics- enough to formulae an effective defensive strategy which unfortunately a huge number of the public even in developed countries have so far failed to follow.

Meanwhile, the rate of transmission continues to grow in most countries across the world, and many are increasingly of the view that it is time to change strategy and adopt a more aggressive manner of combating the pandemic. This new wave of thinking is gaining wide acceptance as it has been proven more times than not that early detection and effective isolation has so far proven to be almost effective in fighting the pandemic, but unfortunately this understanding has not been able to be put to practice as the volume of testing of suspected cases is still very low despite the assurance of the authorities including the Chief Minister of Manipur.

 If the past is anything to go by in the state, these assurances and declarations will mean little until any concrete steps are taken up, as it has become an accepted practice for the government to equate assurances with actual accomplishments albeit without nothing much to show for it in terms of actual results. These practices and mute acceptances have a lot to do with the public perception or rather the lack of it, and if this is to change, the public needs to be more proactive and vocal about issues that needs concrete implementation. There also remains the immediate concern of dealing with those returnees flaunting institutional quarantine regulations which are unfortunately on the increase.

To sum up, the world and the state needs to adopt an aggressive approach towards fighting the present pandemic, and one of the most important aspect would be to sensitize the public in order to ensure their cooperation and support without which the best efforts of the authorities, even with the best of intents would prove to be an exercise in futility.     which are unfortunately on the increase. To sum up, the world and the state needs to adopt an aggressive approach towards fighting the present pandemic, and one of the most important aspect would be to sensitize the public in order to ensure their cooperation and support without which the best efforts of the authorities, even with the best of intents would prove to be an exercise in futility.    

We oppose delimitation base on wrong data – O. Ibobi

IT News

Imphal, May 27:

Congress Legislature Party leader Okram Ibobi Singh today said that the Congress party will oppose tooth and nail to any delimitation of parliamentary or Assembly constituency that is based on the wrong data of census report.

Talking to reporters at Congress Bhavan today afternoon, Okram Ibobi said that there has been abnormal growth of population at some areas of the state in 2001 census. And any delimitation conducted base on the 2001 census without increasing the number of assembly constituency will be opposed tooth and nail by the Congress party, he said.

“We have been opposing the delimitation base on the 2001 census and have even went to the court in 2015 to oppose any delimitation base on 2001 census”,  Ibobi , who is also the 3 times Chief Minister of Manipur said.

The CLP leader however said that if the number of constituency is increase from 60. As for the parliamentary seat, Ibobi opine that the number of LS seat be increased to 3 as there are 7 assembly constituency which are included in Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency but voters of the constituency cannot contest the election.

“A the number of voters have increase it is okay if two Parliamentary constituencies are delimitated from the 40 Assembly constituencies of valley area”, Ibobi opined.

On the other hand President of the MPCC M. Okendro said that the congress party will launch a nationwide campaign on social networking site demanding transfer of Rs. 10,000/- each to the bank account of migrant workers who have lost their jobs due to the nationwide lockdown that has been taken up across the nation to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Technology to the rescue

Our state, though nestled on the far fringe of the country with unfriendly hilly terrain to welcome visitors, does not lag much behind in terms of awareness and utilization of available technological developments, and one thing which the people of the state has taken to with gusto, more out of necessity rather than convenience is the information technology or, simply put- IT. The advent of this amazing technology has indeed changed the way the public view things. People can now understand a broader perspective of all issues and hence, can form their own informed judgement. The curiosity and inquisitiveness of the people has also been aroused, leading to a more scientific temper of mind that questions various beliefs. It has also undoubtedly brought the world closer, thereby easing the frustrations of having to deal with the difficulties of overcoming physical barriers regarding communication and transport, or that inextricable feeling of being sidelined.
While IT is not the panacea to the shortcomings of the society, it is indeed a game-changing aspect, and can be utilized to even effect in our state. Take for instance the protracted problem of distributing, and more importantly, that of collecting bills for various public facilities being provided by the Government. How many of us have really seen a water bill in the last decade or so? And who should we inquire about any matter relating to any Government Department in the state. The obvious solution in this time and age is to Google, which is possible only if and when the information and details are made available by the Government. And when online stores are successfully functioning despite the initial concerns regarding the safety of the payment methods, such fears has been proven unfounded. The whole concept of implementing IT in Governance, as envisaged in the NeGP (National eGovernance Project) Vision, to “Make all Government services accessible to the common man in his locality, through common service delivery outlets and ensure efficiency, transparency & reliability of such services at affordable costs to realize the basic needs of the common man” should be made functional, with additional services included as required to facilitate generation of revenue for the state.
A fully functional Common Service Centre (CSC) implemented under the NeGP formulated by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY- a full-fledged ministry since 19 July 2016, which henceforth is known as the Ministry of Electronics and Technology, bifurcating it from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology)  are Information and Communication Technology enabled front end service delivery points at the village level for delivery of Government, Financial, Social and Private Sector services in the areas of Agriculture, health, education, entertainment, FMCG products, banking, insurance, pension, utility payments etc. The big question is: are these centers functioning as required, or are they just formalities to make up the numbers in the report sheet of the Government?
What steps have the Government taken up to create awareness amongst the public so as to educate them, and ultimately enable them to access the services provided at these centers? It is clearly evident that there need a lot to be done before such supposedly beneficial services reach the public and make their lives that little more convenient. A concerted proactive approach to create awareness and to educate the mass on the development activities and services should be carried out to ensure that such beneficial and positive steps are not wasted, especially in the present situation when the normal functioning and social interactions are greatly restricted- a situation which is more than likely to continue in the foreseeable future.

Are the Quarantine centres being converted into hotspots?

IT News

Imphal, May 24:

According to social media posts, 102 returnees from UP and Uttarakhand presently undergoing mandatory quarantine at designated centre at Haoreibi College Boys and Girls Hostel are living under pathetic condition with no proper drinking water, dustbin or hygienic arrangements or food, and no government authority has visited this place so far. A press statement issued by Laishom Ibomcha Singh, Former Secretary (Law)& Ex- MLA today further states that the sum of Rs 200 for every inmate staying at these quarantine centres promised by the state government have yet to reach the inmates, and also adds that if any government authority fails to visit and inspect the said community Quarantine Centre by 2pm tomorrow, all the 102 inmates will return to their homes as per an ultimatum submitted to the Chief Minister. Terming the conduct of the state authorities as an abject negligence on the part of the state government, the former MLA cautioned that if the inmates carried out their threat due to the continued negligence of the state government without testing for the virus, it would prove catastrophic if any one of them happened to be Covid-19 positive, and would certainly cause a huge social unrest. Questioning the inequalities in facilities provided at different designated quarantine centres across the state and terming the same as discriminatory, the statement questioned the adequacy of Rs 200 for a day given the lack of facilities, food and water at the centre. Recalling the announcement of Rs 822.22 Crores by the centre on 20 May for Corona Management for Manipur state by Union DONER Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, as well as an appeal for Rs 100 Crores from the centre by the State Health Minister to Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the statement questioned whether the fund has been actually transferred, adding that an utilization certificate would be required before further financial assistance can be availed by the state. Drawing immediate attention of the state government, the press release appealed the authorities to look into the discrepancies to make the sincere efforts of the state government of bringing back stranded Manipuri natives from different parts of the country a success.

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