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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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By- Lt. Col. Ajay Kumar Sharma
PIB Defence, Imphal
On the occasion of completion of 02 years of Govt in power, The Ministry of Defence had following major achievements to mention :-
1.    1. Ongoing Schemes/Policies/Programmes/Initiatives since May 2014
A.    One Rank One Pension (OROP) –
·    Long pending demand of 40 years of the Armed Forces for OROP agreed to by Government and Order issued on 07.11.2015.
·    Annual recurring expenditure will be Rs. 7488.70 crore.
·    Payment of arrears from 01.07. 2014 to 31.12.2015 would be approximately Rs. 10,925.11 crore.
·    2013 will be the year on the basis of which pensions of all past pensioners would be re-fixed.
·    Benefit will be effective from 01.07.2014.
·    Arrears to be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all family pensioners, including Special/Liberalized family pensioners and Gallantry Award winners will be paid arrears in one instalment.
·    The pensions will be revised once in every five years.
·    17,29,358 Ex-Servicemen or their next of kin have been paid Rs. 3186 crore till 09.05.2016. These benefits include payments to 4.5 lakh family pensioners.
B.    Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP)-2016
·    DPP-2016 has been in effect from 01.04.2016. The chapter on strategic partnership is under finalisation, through consultation with all stake holders.
·    DPP-2016 promotes ‘Make in India’ paradigm, with greater emphasis on participation of MSMEs.
·    DPP-2016 provides flexibility in procurement for urgent operational requirements of regular and special-forces, even during peace time.
·    DPP-2016 creates a level playing field between the private and Defence Public Sector Undertakings in design and development projects.
·    DPP-2016 allows for procurement of equipment with enhanced performance capability and quality parameters, which clearly meet the requirements of the Armed Forces.
C.    Make in India
·    DPP-2016 promulgated in April 2016 gives strong support to ‘Make in India’ by giving highest priority to Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category of capital procurement.
·    FDI has been allowed upto 49 percent under automatic route and above 49 percent with FIPB approval on case to case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and ‘state-of-the-art’ technology in the country.
·    To promote design & development, revised ‘Make’ procedure issued, with Government funding upto 90 percent and preferential treatment to MSMEs for certain categories of projects.
·    Industrial Licensing policy liberalised. 65 percent to 70 percent of the items i.e parts, components, sub-systems, raw materials etc. removed from purview of industrial licensing. Exchange Rate Variation (ERV) protection extended to Indian private and public sector for all categories of capital acquisitions.
·    ‘Services’ as an avenue for discharging offsets restored.
·    Make in India Portal for Defence Production launched in December 2015 - http://makeinindiadefence.com/. An interactive platform where clarifications can be sought on policies related to Defence Production. Portal provides information on policy and procedural issues on defence manufacturing industry.
D.    Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)-
·    Approximately 50 lakh Ex-Servicemen benefit from ECHS.
·    2029 empanelled hospitals (including 95 civil medical facilities approved since 22.12.2015) are part of scheme. Annual expenditure of Rs. 2363.64 crore.
·    Two Prosthesis Centres - Endolite and Ottobock and their sub-centres empanelled since 09.10.2015. ECHS has been permitted to carry out repair and fitment of artificial limbs to beneficiaries.
·    Digital Signature Certificates for polyclinics approved from 04.09.2015.
·    To maintain transparency, efficiency and timely release of payments to the empanelled hospitals, ECHS has successfully completed the extension of online billing system to all regional centres. This pan India web based service has been implemented ahead of schedule, making a major difference towards delivery of quality healthcare. 
E.    Aid to Civil Authorities
Jammu & Kashmir Flash Floods – September 2014
·    Armed Forces with NDRF launched joint rescue & relief operations.
·    The Army through “Operation Sahayata” pressed into service 330 columns along with speed boats and inflatable rafts and rescued nearly 2.4 lakh people.
·    The Indian Air Force through “Operation Leher” pressed into service 79 helicopters and aircraft and rescued 360 victims and relocated them to safer areas.
·    Relief materials like blankets, tents, medical supplies, readymade foods, drinking water and communication equipment were airlifted to Srinagar, Jammu, Awantipur and other affected areas.
Evacuation of Indians & Foreigners in Yemen – March 2015
·    Navy ships and Indian Air Force aircraft in coordination with Yemen Government and MEA launched massive evacuation operation “Op Rahat” in civil war torn Yemen.
·    The affected people were rescued and brought to Djibouti first, wherefrom Indian Air Force aircraft and Indian Navy ships evacuated them to Mumbai and Kochi.
·    Indian Air Force aircraft facilitated evacuation of nearly 2,100 Indian nationals in 11 evacuation trips.
Nepal Earthquake – April 2015
·    India rushed its Armed Forces under “Op Maitri” to Nepal on the request of its Government.
·    The operation was biggest ever to be undertaken in a foreign land.
·    Indian Air Force aircraft and helicopters undertook 1,636 sorties and evacuated nearly 800 casualties including 121 foreign nationals.
·    Indian Army sent 18 medical teams, one Field Hospital and 10 Engineering Task Forces to different quake affected locations.
·    This joint operation was able to rescue 865 critically ill stranded persons and distributed 358 tonnes of relief material.
·    Five ALH and two Cheetah helicopters pressed into service and distributed thousands of blankets, tents, drinking water, readymade food and medicines.
Chennai Floods – December 2015
·    “Op Madad” was started following request for assistance by State Government. Two rescue and relief columns comprising troops from Garrison Infantry Battalion at Chennai and Army’s Engineer elements were activated and began operations in Tambaram, Mudichur, Manipakam, Guduvancheri and Urapakkam areas of Chennai.
·    More than 20,000 persons rescued and moved to safer areas.
·    Army distributed over 1,25,000 relief packets provided by the State Government and some NGOs besides those from its own.
2.     Of the above the most significant schemes/initiatives in terms of benefits to common man are:-
I.    One Rank One Pension (OROP).
II.    Make in India & DPP – 2016.

Manipuri Women Infertility Suspected on Food

By Chingakham Dina, Arambam Karamjit

Infertility is caused due to problems associated with both men and women. Infertility problems in Manipur become widespread issue now. This causes mental stress and financial burdens in the family. Many women are moving out of Manipur for treatment. Interviewing with leading fertility experts from Pratiksha Hospital, a leading infertility treatment centre in Guwahati, came to know that 60% of the patients coming from outside Assam is from Manipur.
A record of about 60% infertility women from whole northeast region excluding that of Assam in a single hospital are from Manipur, is alarming wake up call for Manipur society. Many more women are getting treatment in Manipur too. Large number of patients are also moving to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai etc. to seek medical helps. There are other numerous clinics and hospitals in Guwahati itself where many Manipuri women have been getting treatment related to infertility and IVF procedure. There could be many thousands of Manipuri women suffering from infertility problems. Many women also return home as their reproductive health is beyond the limit of medical help. Health and nutrition are important factors to keep biological continuation from one generation to next. Regarding to nutrition, women from Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland have better status than other states in northeast India according to one of the leading doctors from Pratiksha Hospital. If nutritional intake of Manipuri women is better among north easterners, then why especially so many Manipuri women are vulnerable to infertility problem?
This article is calling attention to concerned department or authorities for awareness and prevention from infertility related issue by taking precautionary action. Infertility is not similar to life threatening diseases but the effects are catastrophe for the couples and suffers from emotional trauma with heavy cost of treatment. With alarming size of population effected by infertility issues, there needs awareness to avoid this fate of childless couples. To understand the underlying problems, we sat and interviewed the founder and leading infertility specialist Dr. Pramod Kumar Sharma and another infertility specialist Dr. Diganta Deka, from the same hospital.
General issues of infertility are related to- late marriage, working women (have more stress), life style, lack of knowledge, infections, smoking, alcohol abuse, genetics, environment pollution, multiple partners and abortion without proper precaution. Late marriage was considered as main cause of infertility a decade ago but now more and more younger couples are also coming for IVF treatment. When couple could not get pregnant in six month or one year, mental pressure grows up with psychological fearsome of social stigma that childless couples could face. This mental pressure is also another factor to compound to the issue of infertility. Life style, working women, smoking and alcohol abuse will not be main causes for Manipuri, which are not in severe situation compared with other societies. Late marriage is one of the main causes that egg quality declines over the age, which cannot be prevented by modern scientific technology. There are many late marriages in another society too but the issue of infertility is too far bigger for Manipuri couples.
Without scientific proof, however we examine to find the possible links to the main causes of the issue by analyzing statistical figure. Every state has some specific issues related to infertility problem regarding to their society and life style, environment, lack of knowledge etc. When the issue of infertility is focused on Manipur society, fertility/infertility doctors opine something else apart from late marriage which was considered the most prevalent cases, and the possible causes come down to some specific points. This analysis is based on patients statistics record, so there needs scientific research to pinpoint the core issues of infertility by concerned department for public health awareness.
Possible link 1
Using Insecticide and Harmful Chemical. Farmers use heavy dose of chemicals, insecticide for crops/grains and growing vegetables. There has been cases of cattle died after consuming vegetables meant for human consumption. DDT chemical causes immature of birds’ eggs, thin shell of bird’s eggs which bring about egg breakage frequently leading to affect the fertility of bird. The tenderness of human eggs without hard shell might not stand better against such chemical. Passing chemicals to human from food is widely reported. Cancer causing reason is also reported from heavy usage of chemical in the field. The present day insecticide and pesticide affects the human health.
Possible link 2
One of the leading doctors was wondering why the case of infertility in Manipuri society is too many. Without further explanation he suspects that the widespread issues of infertility in Manipur could be related to using fermented fish. Otherwise, there could not be any other exceptional reasons for Manipuri only apart from other communities. No doubt that fermented fish (Ngaree) has been used for long time in Manipuri society without any known side effects. If the ngaree hypothesis is true, then the possible problem could be the source of raw material for making ngaree. The present day raw material for making fermented fish is transported in bulk from other states. Dried fish or semi-dried fish easily attracts warms, insects, flies and maggot. In order to protect these raw material fish for ngaree from insects and warms, there might be good chances that the fish stocks were preserved using harmful chemicals before arriving to Manipur.
There have been stories for using formalin, a carcinogenic agent in preserving iced fish transported to Manipur from Andhra Pradesh. Some villagers also reported that people use insecticide to catch fish at border area in Myanmar and the fish is transported directly to Manipur. Unconfirmed sources also suggest that some scrupulous business people use chemical such as fertilizer/urea to fasten the process of fermentation while making ngaree. If the hypothesis turns out to be true, the whole Manipur society is in critical situation because fermented fish is widely used like salt, and chili while cooking in every Manipuri household every day. The infertility cases are also more number among the valley people of Manipur who consume fermented fish than hill people that mostly depend on meat from animal.
Fish is the most common item to make a dish better taste in Manipur. Unconfirmed but highly reliable sources also reveals that diesel oil is injected in the body of semi rotten dead fish before heating and drying on the fire. This process makes the fish more firm bodies, keeping more healthy looks and it avoids breaking down the body while drying. Medical experts confirmed that diesel fuel exhaust fume causes cancer to complicate heath problem. Long term exposure and getting in human body also causes kidney damage and unable blood clotting.
This calling is to have attention from food safety authorities. It is time for food safety authority to investigate any edible food items such as ngaree, dried fish, grain, fruits and vegetables to determine the level of harmful chemicals and insecticide by collecting samples, certification of products selling in the market to greater extend. The scientific findings will help full awareness, precaution and safety from infertility. Infertility issue itself brings great harm to our society economically, emotionally, and socially. Already suffered womenfolks feel that it is time for investigation by food safety authorities to know exactly what we eat; the harmful chemical and insecticide level for common interest for public health and safety.
Fertility/infertility doctors opine that the puzzle of infertility can be alleviated to some extend by awareness and advice. The advancement of science and technology cannot challenge the conformity of nature. In spite of great scientific skill, biology of human body will go on its natural pace. As one gets older, naturally the quality of egg will decrease and chances for pregnancy is comparatively lower.  Try to get pregnant during optimal conceivable age is the advice from one specialist doctor. Beyond that, nature is hard to be challenged.

(Writer’s profile:   

Chingakham Dina- Working at Pathumwiali School, Pathumthani Thailand.  Also taught in Cambodia / Can be reached at chingakham(at)yahoo(dot)com
Arambam Karamjit- Teacher SKN School, Nonthaburi, Thailand/ Former Retail Outlet Manager, Hang Ten Co Ltd, Singapore / Can be reached at ronin9992008(at)gmail(dot)com)

‘The catastrophe’ - What is wrong with ILPS?

Is somebody or some groups of individuals intentionally trying to sabotage the ILPS movement?- a matter that need to be pondered upon and an issue urgently required checking by the so called members of the JCILPS spearheading the movement. It stands as a fact that people in Hill areas of Manipur are strongly opposing the 3 ILPS related Bills. Even the MLAs who had not opposed to the passing of the 3 ILPS related Bills in the state Assembly on August 31, 2015 have now started putting up objection to the Bills; albeit in an unofficial yet no uncertain manner.
The valley based civil society organizations and the JCILPS will not easily give up the demand. They had done, are doing and are likely to continue every form of agitation in the coming days until the 3 Bills get assent of the President. It is also true that whether the Bills get assent of the President or not is not under the purview of the state government. However, what the JCILPS is urging the government is to constitution some of the commissions that is agreed and is under the power of the state government. It is because of the negligence on the part of the State government in dealing with the peoples’ issues in time that people are suffering in the state. Daily wage earners, families who subsist on hand to mouth by depending at Khwairamband keithel now face the worst situation in their lives as they failed to keep in stock the requirements for their family.
Today is the second day of the JCILPS agitation. The first day witnessed one of the most shocking incidents in which a father who was returning home after buying cake for his kid’s birthday succumbed to his injury after some so called JCILPS agitation supporters attacked him for violating the bandh at Uripok area.
One could only wonder as to what would be the situation today. There is deepening apprehension about more people facing the same fate if the situation continues. May be the worst nightmare is materialising in the coming days and there seem to be something seriously wrong somewhere. This is about Manipur and nobody should be allowed to play with the fate of this erstwhile kingdom.
The situation now in Manipur is serious to put it mildly and there are reasons to believe that these are the game plan of the political parties; both of those in power as well as those who are trying to topple the present ruling party.
This is being opined because, even after knowing that the people are facing the worst situation Mr. Ibobi has not spelled a single definite word to calm the anger of the people. The 60 MLAs whether those supporting the Bills or the ones compelled to stand up against the Bills are all responsible to a degree. Why not convene an emergency sitting of the state legislative assembly to discuss the prevailing issue?
If logic is to be followed, the ILPS related Bills will remain only a dream for the state unless there is consensus among the people of both Hill and valley.
Imphal Times had yesterday drawn the attention of the government to once more go through the content of the Bills along with those opposing the Bills. Earlier this paper also suggested the ILPS system be applied only at the four valley districts as the remaining five Hill district are already protected as it is included in the scheduled area.
For three consecutive terms you are in Power, Mr. Ibobi, and the fourth term is going to be a big challenge for you. Please don’t ruin the state in your gambit to retain power at any cost.

Anti-Terrorism Day Observed

Manipur CM appeals to eradicate dreaded terrorism

The State-level observation of ‘Anti-Terrorism Day’  was held at the Banquet Hall of 1st Manipur Rifles today with Chief Minister Shri O. Ibobi Singh as Chief Guest. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minsiter said that “Let us all join hands together to eradicate the dreaded Terrorism. Only then peace, social harmony, and understanding among all fellow human beings would prevail in the State of Manipur”.
The ‘Anti-Terrorism Day’ (Day Against Terrorism) was observed  in commemoration of the death anniversary of the then Prime Minister of India, Shri Rajiv Gandhi who was killed in a bomb blast attack on May 21, 1991  at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. Today is the 25th death anniversary of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the former PM of India. However, terrorist related activities happens day by day all over India.
Chief Minister said, “Terrorism has an immense impact in law and order situation and obstacles in the developmental activities of Manipur. To tackle terrorism, state govt. has try it best by spending huge amount of money and strengthen the Police force.  Therefore, the time has come to fight terrorism so, we must opposed with our strength all forms of terrorism and violence”.
The Chief Minister further said that observing such a day that upholds the idea of standing against terrorism is very appropriate in the present context of Manipur. He urged Civil Society Organisation, NGOs and every person of the society to fight against terrorism and violence at their individual levels also and not to hand over the task to Government alone. The CM appealed the parents and guardians of today’s youngster, to guide them in a proper way and in the right directions since they are the assets of the future generation. If the parents guide their youths in a right direction, and fight the forces of disruption threatening human lives and values, it would helps in eradicating terrorism from the State.
Attending the observation as the President, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Gaikhangam said that in the modern civilization, terrorism is the biggest threat and any problems could be solved only through negotiation. He recounted various achievements of former Prime Minister Shri  Rajiv Gandhi by mentioning the signing of the historic Punjab Accord in 1985 and Mizoram Accord of 1986, which were milestone events in bringing internal peace to the country. Gaikhangam added that it was during Rajiv’s time that the voting age of citizens was brought down from 21 year to 18 year. He appealed all to follow the footsteps of the peace initiatives taken up by Rajiv Gandhi.
Council of Ministers, HAC Chairman, MLAs, Parliamentary Secretaries, Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and other top civil and police officials  attended the function.  All those present at the function took a pledge to stand against terrorism.

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