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Thursday, 21 November 2019 - Imphal Times

MU authority making a mockery of RTI; Prolonged stay of IAS as Vice Chancellor of Manipur University fears financial irregularities

IT News

Imphal, Nov 21

The appointment of former Chief Secretary of Manipur Jarnail Singh as Administrator of the Manipur University seems to bring no change to the financial administration of the Manipur University.  Besides, Manipur University at present being headed by an experience administrator seems to have no regard for the Right to Information Act, 2005. The University authority headed by the former Chief Secretary of Manipur is making a mockery of the RTI Act, 2015 by not giving the right reply but also by providing it after a gap of almost a year which should have been provided within 30 days.

Seityajit, an RTI activist, sought information to the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Manipur University to provide information about expenditures of all kinds, mode of payment and charge of Cultural troupes’ etc. for organizing the 105thIndian Science Congress by the Manipur University on March 23, 2018.

As the MU authority fail to provide the information the RTI activist put up the matter to the Central Information Commission, New Delhi. Hearing of the said case was held today at N.I.C Video Conferencing Studio , District Center Imphal East , DC office complex Porompat through video conferencing.

Of the 12 questions, which the RTI activist wanted to know the University authority replied about the expenditure for Catering service and Accommodation. The reply handed over to the RTI activist, signed by one Sandhyarani Ningthoujam , Finance Officer , MU said that Rs. 5,07,231 was paid for catering service to M/S Babina Health Care & Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. on January 30, 2019.

For accommodation to the delegates of the 105 Since Congress a sum of Rs. 53,77,945 has been paid to M/S Gazal Caterers Faridabad  on 19-03-2019.

The reply is also confusing as payment for accommodation is made to a caterer.

The 105 Science Congress was hosted by the Manipur university and inaugurated on  March 17, 2018 and concluded on March 20, 2018.

October 12, 2018, Former Chief Secretary of the government of Manipur Jarnail Singh joined the Manipur University as administrator to discharge the functions of the Vice Chancellor of Manipur University on interim basis as per the ruling of a division of bench of Manipur High Court head be Justice N. Kotishwar and Kh Nobin Singh.

The ruling of the Manipur High court was considered as a means to correct the wrong that had been happening in the central varsity in the wake of the prolonged protest from the University community for replacement of the then VC AP Pandey. The day the Manipur High Court announced its verdict was assumed a sign of relief with hopes that academic atmosphere in the University in particular and the colleges affiliated to the university in general will resume.

Today, November 21 of 2019, Jarnail Singh is still the administrator of Manipur University. By virtue of the UGC regulation Jarnail Singh was only arranged for a limited period on interim basis, but the one time Chief Secretary of the state who knows the pulse of the people of the state is creating history by becoming the longest serving administrator who discharge the functions of the Vice Chancellor in Manipur University.

And not to be surprised, engagement of contractual staffs and guest faculty among others during the tenure of Jarnail Singh is reported to be even more than the period of Prof AP Pandey. And as per report reaching at the Imphal Times desk, culture of bureaucracy has been introduced in the Manipur University and an MFS officer in charge of Finance reportedly treated some professor holding the post of the Head of Department are sometime humiliated.

In August 20, 2019, news paper reported that a sum of rupees one crore (Rs. 1 Crore) was borrowed from the State Bank of India and the amount transferred to the University bank account at Bank of Baroda has been sanctioned for utilization by the Administrator on August 8, 2018. The sum of rupees one crore is being borrowed on the ground that the amount will be reimbursed after UGC releases fund for the University, base on a reliable source hinting probable financial crisis.  The sanction amount for utilization was carried out without getting any approval from any University Authority, the source added saying that University may face another deep financial crisis as the money for development of MU is feared spent during his stay.  

As per another source with the Imphal Times, the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in a communication to the Registrars of all Central University in the country has directed to incur expenditure for contractual /Guest faculty and daily wage/ contractual/ outsource non-teaching staff from the non-recurring head .The  HRD communication also stated that incurring of expenditure for the above mention staffs under the Salary head is violation of the instruction of MHRD, Government of India. The NHRD had stated that if fail to follow the instruction, the expenses will be treated as unapproved expenditure while finalizing the utilization certificate at the end of the year.

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Rebels strikes, attacks AR camp in Chandel district

IT News

Imphal, Nov 21

Heavily armed cadres of rebel groups operating in the region attack the outpost of the 19 Assam Rifles at Kaichinbung area near Sehlon village under Molcham police station in Chandel district at around 5.30 am today morning.

A spokesperson of the Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF) says that the attack was carried out by combined force of Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA), the army wing of RPF and the Manipur Naga Peoples’ Front (MNPF).

Initial report said that the cadres of the armed rebel group attack the outpost of the 19 AR by firing lethod bomb. A fierce gunbattle reportedly took place after the AR troopers retaliated. No casualty in both sides was reported.

However, as per claimed by the spokesperson of the RPF, the joint force of the PLA and the MNPF attack the camp by firing lethod bomb followed by spraying bullets from machine guns towards the camp .

“Our cadres had cause severe destruction to the AR camp and we do believe casualty on their side”, the spokesperson said.

He further added that those cadres who had gone for the mission had return back safely to their base camp. There were no casualty on their side, he added.  

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CM invites COCOMI for talk

IT News

Imphal, Nov 21

Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren has invited the representatives of Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) today at 4.30 pm today to discuss the prevailing situation in connection with the Naga peace Talk.

Leaders of the COCOMI, while contacted by Imphal Times said that even as the invitation is welcome, the matter has to be discussed before meeting the Chief Minister. “We received the invitation at around noon and as our representatives are busy in organizational matters we are able to gather only now that is at 4 .00 pm. and meeting is at 4.30 pm.”, Jitendra Ningombam a co-covenor of the COCOMI while talking to Imphal Times said. He however said that the invitation will be discussed as soon as all the leaders arrived. He further said that the COCOMI had already placed its demands to the Chief Minister and until the demands are fulfilled there is no way the COCOMI will retreat its agitation. On the other hand, Jitendra said that we are also not happy if the Sangai festival could not be celebrated successfully however, at this juncture anything can happen and it may be more disastrous if anything happen amidst the Sangai festival. Jitendra Further said that the COCOMI only appealed the people to stay away from attending the Sangai festival in view of the present situation.

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REFORM observes 13th foundation Day

IT News

Imphal, Nov 21

The 13th Foundation Day of Research Forum Manipur (REFORM) was held today at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound.

Addressing in his Keynote speech General Secretary of REFORM advocate Sukham Premjit highlighted the objectives of the forum. He stressed that REFORM continue to make aware of the cultures of the various indigenous communities of the land and also to bring forth at international level.

Highlighting the reasons for the sinking indigenous population Premjit said that the lack of trust among the indigenous communities and the strong external force that swept against the indigenous communities disintegrate various indigenous communities. He concluded that the only way to save the land is to communicate among the communities at the earliest and to march forward for a progressive Manipur.

Chairperson of Manipur State Minority Commission Anwar Hussain said that the present generation should take care and preserve the historical things the ancestors has left for us or else it will all disappear if the people are careless.

He also stressed that the people of the land should feel pride for their culture and identity.

Mutua Bahadur also read a paper title “Lamdamsida Ningthourolsingna Lairik Mayek Eeba Yunglamba Nungsing”.

The event was attended by Social Activist Filson Y. Lunghar and President of REFORM Mangsatabam Lokendro and Chairperson of Manipur State Minority Commission Anwar Hussain as the dais members of the function.

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Cease work strike of FEGOCTA defunct college atmosphere

IT News

Imphal Nov 21,

The cease work strike protested by the government college teachers against the government’s failure to implement 7th UGC  pay for the teachers has defunct the normal environment of the colleges. 

Classes ceased to function as the teachers hold protest inside the college campus. 

Speaking to media persons at DM College Campus, Vice President of FEGOCTA K.Indramani warned that their protest will continue until their demands to immediately approve the implementation of the National Higher Education Policy of India of 7th UGC Pay and Regulations, 2018 for the government college teachers of Manipur by the State cabinet.

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District level healthy Mother & Baby show competition held at Jiribam

IT News

Jiribam, Nov 21

The first District level healthy Mother & Baby show competition was held today at PWD Guest house, Jiribam.

The competition was organized by District Health Society, Jiribam under the aegis of National Health Mission. The screening of healthy Baby was held on 3 categories.

The programme was attended by Mayanglambam Rajkumar, DC Jiribam as a Chief Guest while Dr.N.Soroja Devi, Dr. Kh. Dijen Meitei and Dr. Mukesh Singh shared the dais as President and Guests of honour respectively.

For Category I (6-12) months babies, Ng. Lingjelthoibi D/o: Ng. Bijit; N.Lanthoibi D/o: N . Dijendra and Sanathoi D/o: H.Manglem bagged first, second and third position in their category.

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The unresolved crisis

The one thing that the people of the state would perhaps be pining for at present is “if only….” If only-the state government would have heeded the protests of the people and the opposition at the outset before the bill was passed. If only- the state government have read the signs of things to come in the rising dissent of the public. If only- the state government have been more transparent in its dealings, especially when it concerns the interest of the public. If only- the state government have listened more and talked less.
The present situation is a result of the failure of the state government to perform its most basic function- that of ensuring the welfare of its people- economically and politically. The perennial effort to appease the central government and to be in its good books, and worse still, to maintain and increase their coterie of unscrupulous racketeers and swindlers to do their dirty deeds and biddings have distanced the so called peoples’ representatives from the public.
Distrust, suspicion and lack of communication increases as a result. The declaration by the COCOMI and MANPAC stating that the present steps being taken up by the state government cannot be trusted exactly conveys the manner in which the public have come to view those at the helm of affairs. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the present set of ministers and MLAs has shifted their focus from governance towards profiteering. Every single activity is being carried out on consideration of money and personal benefits and nothing else. The practice had thus been institutionalized leading to a trickle-down effect.
The result- one now has to grease the palms right from the gatekeepers of any government department right up to the highest authority to get anything done, without any exception. The state is at a standstill as of today, and the hardest hit lot would have to be the students who have lost invaluable time and opportunities. Yet inexplicably, the government is mooting resumption of normal classes for private schools. Could it kindly enlighten the public as to the rationale behind such a consideration? Or has it lost the plot and is trying to distract and drag the issue further? Does it still believe that it can somehow wriggle itself out of its present quandary? After the dust had settled on the present issue, the next general election will be an interesting study in human behavior.
The present government has shown itself incapable of standing its ground or protecting the interests of its people. The alternative isn’t much comforting either, with most of the leaders being outcasts of the present government or ones who have been discarded by the people- a classic case of old wine in new bottle. The ultimate responsibility of protecting the interests of the public will therefore come down to us, the general public through our judicious choice of representatives who can dig deep and  fight our fight, not someone who can shell out the highest bid for our mandate.
Last take - will the Sangai festival be successful?

Rebels attack 19 AR camp in Chandel district

News Flash : Heavily armed rebel group attack an outpost of the Assam Rifles at Shelon area under Chakpikarong Sub Division of Chandel district. Report said that the armed rebel group attack the outpost of the 19 Assam Rifles at the area using Lethod bomb on Thursday morning at around 6 a.m. The AR troopers too retaliated and gun fight between the two groups lasted for few minutes. The first hand report said that no casualty occurred on both side.

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