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Wednesday, 04 December 2019 - Imphal Times

Union Cabinet clears Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019

IT News

Imphal, Dec 4

A day after the representatives of MANPAC and political parties from the state held consultative meeting with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in connection with the contentious CAB, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019.

A leader of Shiva Sena Manipur state - political parties after meeting the Union Home Minister at New Delhi yesterday expressed confidence on the assurance by Union Home Minister for protection of Manipur. However, except for the region which has Inner Line Permit system as well as those protected under sixth schedule, no additional clause has been added to the revised Bill, a source said to Imphal Times.

The Bill seeks to grant citizenship to six undocumented non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who came to India on or before December 31, 2014.

Quoting a senior government official, National daily The Hindu reported that the Bill was one of the items on the Cabinet’s agenda for Wednesday and it was given the go-ahead.

The proposed amendment also has provisions to shield certain areas in the northeast from the impact of the Bill.

Last week, representatives of several northeast groups said they had been assured by Union Home Minister Amit Shah that the tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura protected by Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and States of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland that are protected by the Inner Line Permit (ILP) will be exempted from the impact of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019.

The civil society groups and political representatives met Mr. Shah in Delhi as part of a consultative process to discuss the Bill that is expected to be introduced in the Parliament session on December 9. The session ends on December 13.

Northeast States have erupted in protests against the Bill. A large section of the people and organisations in the northeast say it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants, irrespective of religion. The groups were told on Saturday that the Bill will have a provision to detect and deport all the illegal migrants who entered after December 31, 2014.

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MANPAC reiterates stands; says will continue various form of agitation against CAB

IT News

Imphal, Dec 4

News about the clearance of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 by the Union Cabinet Minister today morning before any visible action on the assurances by Union Home Minister during their meeting on midnight yesterday has created restlessness to the MANPAC team.

“Even as the Union Home Minister had assure to do the needful more the expectation of the MANPAC and the people of Manipur while passing CAB, we in the MANPAC will have no change to our stand and we will consult the people on what to continue” , a statement of MANPAC signed by its Convenor Yumnamcha Dilipkumar said.

The MANPAC statement called on the people to have an eagle eye to the Bill cleared by the Union Cabinet today. It said that if the Bill is passed against the wishes of the people of the North East region including Manipur, the MANPAC along with the people will intensify the ongoing agitation like never before. The MANPAC also appealed the people to stay alert to face any consequences.

The MANPAC team comprising of Convenor Yumnamcha Dilipkumar, Ningthoujam Lancha President NEFIP, Co-convenors of MANPAC Amukamei, Somorendro Thochom and Ph Devan Sharna, , Members of the Core Committee Md. Kheirudin Shah Moikingmayamum , L. Jadumani , Mangcha Haokip, Thiyam Sharatchandra along with the representatives of Political Parties led by Rajya Sabha MP Bhabananda, ex- CM O. Ibobi and other representative of CPI, Congress, Shiva Sena, NPP and NPF met the Union Home Minister Amit Shah at 10 minutes passed midnight yesterday at Assam House in New Delhi.

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Governor inaugurates ‘Celebrating Sankirtana of Manipur: India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’

IT News
Imphal, Dec. 4

Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla today graced the function ‘Celebrating Sankirtana of Manipur: India’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ as the Chief Guest at the Banquet Hall, 1st MR, Imphal, today. The programme was jointly organized by Intellectual Forum of North East, Department of Sankirtana, Manipur University of Culture, Department of Dance and Music, Manipur University and Manipur Citizen Forum. The function was held to commemorate inclusion of Manipuri Nat Sankirtana in the UNESCO’s intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
In her speech as the Chief Guest, the Governor said that State Level Committee of Nata Sankirtana has been observing Sankirtana Day in the State on this auspicious day commemorating induction of Sankirtana Music in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in the sitting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee in December, 2013.
The Governor further stated that the rich cultural heritage of Manipur is well recognized by the UNESCO and has a respectable presence in the international arena of culture. Manipur is today best introduced to the world through her rich performing arts and culture. It is through the Manipuri culture that the world knows the existence of such a tiny State in this far-flung North Eastern part of the country.
Governor reiterated that Manipuri dance is not the art of Manipur alone, it is also an art of this country as a whole. She said that artistes from this State have already performed thousand shows in our country and several countries overseas and brought commendation and recognition from various foreign countries. The grace and power of attracting viewers’ mind is superb in the elegant Manipuri dance which is a delicately sensitive type of classical dance including Nata Sankirtana music. It is our bounden duty to preserve, nurture and enrich Manipuri culture so that it may continue to enrich the Indian culture, she added.
Senior Journalist B.B. Sharma, in his Key Note address highlighted the origin of Nat Sankirtana and the philosophy of the Sankirtana tradition. Prof. N. Lokendra Singh, Dept. of History, Manipur University & President, NE India History Association deliberated on the topic ‘Safeguarding and Promotion of Sankirtana’ and suggested to take initiative to promote research work in Sankirtana. Noted Gurus were also felicitated as a mark of respect for their dedication in safeguarding and promoting Sankirtana of Manipur.
Dr. Ch. Chandramani Singh, Convener, Manipur Citizen Forum, Distinguished Nata Sankirtana Gurus and Artistes, faculties and staffs of Manipur University of Culture & Manipur University and members of Manipur Citizen Forum and Intellectual Forum of North East attended the function.

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Book fair to nurture reading habit underway

IT News

Imphal, Dec 4

The Readers Book Store in collaboration with Walking Book Fairs is holding a week long book fair offering buy one get one book free on selected titles for the first time in the state with a mission to culture reading habit among the people of the state.

The Book fair started from December 2, 2019 and will continue till December 8 at the premises of the Readers Book Store, Manipur University.

Speaking to reporter, Coordinator of The Readers Collective Furkan Makakmayum stressed that the main idea of such book fair is to create a reading circle in the state and also to encourage the readers to read outside world of syllabus. 

He further said that such increase in the reading habits of the hoi polloi will eventually increase the consciousness of the masses. 

The book store offers a discount of 30%, 20% on selected titles during the fair and a discount of 10% is given in all the books even during the normal days.

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Winter Exhibition for Differently Abled Persons

IT News

Imphal, Dec 4

National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (Divyangjan) organised  “One Day Parents Training Programme for parents on Home Base Training  for Children with Intellectual Disabilities” in connection with  International day of Persons with Disabilities as a part of 7th Winter Exhibition for Differently Abled Persons (Divyangjan)at Kakching  District, Langmeidong  Dramatic Hall, in association with Relief Centre for the Welfare of Differently Abled Persons and State Commissioner for Persons, Govt.of Manipur.

Speaking on the occasion Resource Persons,  Ravi Prakash Singh,  Lecturer in Special Education, NIEPIE RC, Navi Mumbai, explained NIEPID as an autonomous body that operates under ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and its headquarter is located at Manovikasnagar Secunderabad.

 He said that with the objective of empowering person with mental retardation NIEPID is extending various training programmes and services in many part of India from the past 34 years. As a part of it the services are reaching in all North East States. The hardest thing for any parent to hear is that their child has a physical or mental disability. It may come as a complete shock; you may have thought that your child was just a little slower than others their age. After the fear subsides and you realize you are not alone and your talk it out in counselling and with your partner, the guilt and confusion is likely to set in. You wonder if it’s caused by something you did while you were pregnant and you wonder why on earth this has happened to your child and elaborated on various topics such as types of disabilities, causes, prevention, inclusiveness of persons with disabilities in the classroom, society and home, etc. There are also many causes and volunteer works done to promote greater awareness of disability situations all over the world. Every year, celebrities, athletes, philanthropic organizations, civic groups and many others stage events to bring the limelight to various disabilities. 

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Assam Rifles Conducted Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Sehlon

IT News

Imphal Dec. 4

Sehlon Battalion of 28 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) organised a Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Sehlon village of Khengjoi Sub Division, Chandel District on 03 Dec 2019.  

 The aim of this initiative was to initiate cleanliness drive in the villages.  The Cleanliness Drive/Abhiyan received an overwhelming response from the local population wherein approx 250 villagers participated in the cleanliness drive.  This was followed by a Grand-feast organised by the Sehlon Battalion for the villagers. Simultaneously, a church programme were also organised at the company operating base of Sehlon battalion. 

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18 selected for the Orange Queen contest

IT News

Tml. Dec. 4

Altogether 18 contestants were selected out of 21 contestants who participated for the audition for the 16th State level Orange Queen contest which was conducted today at the Sangai Hall, Hotel Imphal.

Namlalung Gangmei, SDO, Noney gave a brief introduction about the orange festival and orange queen contest before the screening of the queen contest.

This year orange queen is choreographed and managed by the Blue Wings. Those contestants who could not make it at the screening in Imphal can come for the audition at Tamenglong which is scheduled to be held on 7th December at the Amphitheatre, DC Bungalow, Tamenglong District Headquarter added the orange queen organisers.

This year screening for the orange queen contestants were also conducted at Nagaland and New Delhi. This year the theme for the queen contest is “Beauty with Purpose”.

Shelina Saikhom, Orange queen 2018, Sangeeta Thiyam, Orange Queen 2017, Raina Sharma Laimayum, Miss Manipur 2018 and Rosia Naorem, BUKKM Literature Face of the Year 2019 are the jury members of today’s audition.

District Administration of Tamenglong will be celebrating the 16th State level Orange festival cum Centennial’s celebration at Tamenglong District Headquarter under the theme “Tamenglong Oranges The Centennial’s Pride” on 16th-18th December 2019.

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Insertion of a clause or assent to Manipur peoples’ Bill will be a painful joke

It seems that no force will be strong enough to stand against the passing of the CAB, 2019. Union cabinet has made a clean passage for the Bill and it is certain that the Bill is passed in the Lok Sabha in the next few days. MANPAC among other opposition groups from the north East States have been nearly calm down by the Union Home Minister assuring insertion of a clause or exempting some of the areas which comes under the sixth schedule or tribal states. 
What will be that shield for the state of Manipur that was reportedly assured by the Home Minister Amit Shah to the MANPAC team is a matter to wait and watch? But literally insertion of a clause to the Bill will be a painful joke. 
It is also not sure on whether a bill like “The Manipur People’s (Protection) Bill, 2018 “, that is pending with the President of India will be able to stand against CAB is also yet to find out as the people still did not have a discourse in it. 
As per the view of this newspaper The Manipur People’s (Protection) Bill, 2018 is not going to be a shield behind which Manipur can hide. It does not stop anyone who will visit Manipur with identity cards or such other documents to prove the person as bona fide citizen of India.
In this context, additional population from India’s neighbouring countries could take advantage of the Citizenship Bill to look for opportunities across India including Manipur. 
The Bill will only empower the State authorities to register non-Manipur People visiting the State and issue pass accordingly to regulate their entry and exit. 
A pass with a cost to discourage dumping of population may be considered. Nevertheless, identifying the bona fide citizen of India will remain a loophole as forgery and backdoor channels are common. 
Passing of the Citizenship Bill means more people coming to Northeast India and acceptance of those already living there. 
The Centre has failed to implement the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 to detect and deport a large number of illegal immigrants living in the country. 
The Citizenship Bill will take a U-turn instead. It is a well known fact that demographic threat has been driving political movements in Northeast India including insurgency. 
Both the Union and the State government’s position on the Citizenship Bill is an insult to the indigenous peoples’ movements in Northeast India. 
It questions the sanctity and rationale of the 1985 Assam Accord and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). It makes a mockery of the demand for a permit system in Manipur as well. 
Happy-go-lucky attitude of the government is a major setback for the state and the region as a whole. 
What is unfortunate for the state of Manipur is that instead of opposing the controversial Bill, the government is referring to mere apprehension in the minds of the people about the State getting flooded with a large number of illegal immigrants and foreigners from neighbouring countries. In fact, the issue of illegal immigrants is a reality we have seen in Northeast India, not just an apprehension. 
Moreover, official corruption and vote bank politics are rampant in the State itself. The Citizenship Bill will put more pressure on land and resources in Northeast India. 
Even in states where land rights are restricted only to the native peoples, the extra population will add more burdens as far as economic activities and employment opportunities are concerned. 
More candidates competing for jobs will cost the ethnic minorities. 
The People’s Bill merely prohibits non-Manipur people acquiring of land in Manipur without the consent and sanction of the State government authorities. In October 2018, speaking at the India Today Conclave East 2018, Chief Minister Biren rightly said that it will not bar anybody from buying property or settling down in the State. 
With President of India’s assent, the Bill will help the State government regulate (or facilitate) land ownership by non-Manipur people or Multinational Corporation. It clarifies that the People’s Bill is not a defensive shield against the Citizenship Bill. 
In search of a mechanism to shield Manipur from the existing socio-political challenges, the Government of Manipur must add more teeth to the People’s Bill and stand firm against the Citizenship Bill. 

 

Climate Change &Agricultural hurdles in Manipur

Manipur is one of the mega biodiversity hotspots in the World and has a treasure trove of various flora and fauna. Manipur has abundant natural resources viz, soil, water, forest etc. The environmental sustainability Index (ESI) is very high and was ranked 2nd in India during 2011.Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in N-E India is located in Manipur. There are four major river basins namely, Barak river basin( 9041 Sq.km catchment area) in the west, the Yu river basin in the east, the Manipur river basin( 6332 Sq. km catchment area) in the center part and a portion of Linyi river basin in north. The total water body in the state covers approximately 56.46 thousand hectares. However the hydrological system has been altered due to climate change and human pressure. An area of 1699.40 thousands hectares is under forest cover with seven types of forest class viz; tropical; semi evergreen; moist deciduous; east Himalayan wet temperature; Sub-Alpine; Grassy Blanks; bamboo brakes & cane brakes forest. However, the state is vulnerable to soil erosion due to its undulating topography, steep slope and high rainfall. Approximately 2190 thousand hectares have been classified as eroded area. Deforestation and practices of Jhum cultivation accelerated erosion. It was reported that about 1189 thousand hectares of the state comes under different soil loss classes under water erosion, 2232 thousand hectares area come under degraded  and wasteland category and 1597 thousand hectares is affected by soil acidity.
         Manipur, one of the eight sisters of north –eastern region of India, is a hill grit state situated at the lower tip of the sub-Himalayan range. Resembling most of the northern states of India, the economy of the state primarily depends on agriculture and allied sector. Though the total land under agriculture is only 6.74% of the total geographical area, it provides livelihood of more than 52% of the total population of the state. Rice being the staple foodcrop, accounts about 95% of the total food grains production and covers about 72% of the total cropped area of the state. Besides rice other cereals such as maize, wheat etc. and pulses along with various kind of fruits and vegetables are also grown in both valley and hilly regions. It is to be noted that permanent cultivation is practiced in all the districts of valley regions whereas terrace cultivation is followed in some parts of hill districts but Jhumming or shifting cultivation is widely adopted in most of the hill districts. Agriculture in Manipur is characterized by rugged terrain, wide variation in slopes and altitudes, community land system and conventional cultivation practices. Agricultural production is mostly rain-fed, monocrop and at subsistence level. Use of local varieties, limited use of agro-chemicals, low moisture retention capacity of upland soil and lack of irrigation facilities  along with traditional management practices have resulted in low crop productivity and low cropping intensity.  As agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of the state, sufficient growth in this primary sector is inevitable to boost economic development. Growth in overall economy depends on development of the agricultural sector. So it can be assumed that the growth in farm sector is a necessary pre-condition for economic development. Growth in the agricultural sector could be catalyst for national output growth via its effect on rural incomes and provisions of resources for transformation into Industrial economy.
    Manipur has been affected by the changing climate. Trend analysis of weather variables in Imphal under National Innovation on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) revealed that the mean annual maximum temperature (1954-2014) has been increasing ( 0.10C per decade). The mean annual minimum temperature has also increased significantly (0.30C per decade). The total annual rainfall recorded during 1954 to 2014 also increased (23.5mm per decade); however a decreasing trend was observed in February, June, July and November rainfall (-10.8 to -0.1 mm per decade). The mean annual rainy days (1954-2013) showed an increasing trend. Decreasing trend in total monthly rainy days was observed in January, February, and April, June and July. The mean annual maximum Relative Humidity(RH) increased significantly ( 3.8 % per decade)  from 1985  to 2013, whereas  the mean minimum  RH ( 1985 -2013)  showed  a decreasing  trend( -1.6% per decade). The mean monthly maximum RH, increased significantly (3.0 to 5.6 per decade) throughout the year. Similarly decreasing trend was observed in mean monthly minimum RH (- 3.2% to -0.6% per decade) for all month except May (1% per decade).The temperature is projected to rise by 1.70C by the end of 21st century. The southern districts are expected to experienced higher temperature than that of northern districts. Total annual precipitation is expected to increase throughout the state. Extreme precipitation events will cause crop yield variation. Increase in pest and disease incidence as well as erosion and degradation of soil is also expected. Projected increase in evaporation and runoff will decrease the soil moisture recharge. Fresh drinking water could also become scarce. With rise in surface temperature the plant species are expected to move upward. Decrease in microbial population is projected with increase in altitudes. Loss of vegetation could cause top soil erosion. Loss of Bio-diversity and extinction of rare or threatening flora and fauna are also projected. Food grain production and requirement of the state have been estimated to be 77105 and 79323 thousands tones by 2050. Hence Manipur will be in deficit of 2218 thousands tones food grains by 2050.
     However, agriculture sector in Manipur is now facing the consequences of climate change which is a reality and an increasing trend in temperature, precipitation and emission of greenhouse gasses has been observed in Manipur. A subsistence level farming is coupled with prevalent shifting cultivation, the small and marginal farmers will be most affected due to this climate change. Hence there is an urgent need for devising climate proof plan and climate ready policy for climate compatible agricultural development in Manipur. Location-specific, climate smart technology basket need to be devised or introduced and should be demonstrated through participatory approach for ensuring a climate resilient production systemand a climate resilient ecosystem.  The interaction between the system’s adaptation strategies and mitigation potential should also be given due importance in the action plan for combating climate change.

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Signature campaign to seek speedier trial in Vet’s murder case

IT News
Mumbai, Dec 4

Even as four accused arrested in connection with the recent rape and murder of the 26-year-old veterinarian girl in Telangana have been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has began a signature campaign demanding that the trial by the Fast Track Special Courts (FTSCs) be finished within 10 days instead of six months.
BJP MLA Mangalprabhat Lodha from Mumbai told this correspondent that a campaign to collect one lakh signatures of citizens has been launched. The signatures will be submitted to all MPs, especially women MPs of Parliament to demand completion of trial within 10 days in the fast track courts. “We will demand that the provision to complete the trial within 6 months be amended to complete the trial within 10 days. A memorandum will also be submitted to the Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah demanding that the trial be completed expeditiously. We also demand that the accused be “hanged” as early as possible.
The POCSO Act mandates that the investigation in the cases should be completed within  two months and trial should be completed in 6 months. One of its key objective is to expedite the trial and disposal of cases involving women and children by setting up Fast Track Special Courts.
NCP MP Supriya Sule said that she agreed that the trial should be expedited and at the most it should be completed within 3 months. “We should have a zero tolerance about such heinous crimes. Over and above this, a social change is the need of the hour because marriages of minor girls are still being conducted in some parts of the country, a dowry is still being demanded. As such there should be drastic change in the mind set of people”.
The 26-year-old veterinarian was brutally gangraped and killed by four lorry workers before they burned her body on Wednesday night (27 November) in Telangana’s Shamshabad. They revisited the spot to ensure that the body is totally burnt.
All the four accused were nabbed from their houses on Friday (29 November) by Cyberabad Police. The four accused- Jollu Naveen, Chintakunta Chennakeshavulu, Jollu Shiva and  Mohammad Areef—were sent to judicial custody for 14 days on Saturday (30 November)  amid high drama with a large crowd facing off against police. Three cops were suspended on Saturday (30 November) for a delay in registering an FIR in the case. Cyberabad police filed the remand report on Sunday (1 December) four days after the vet was found with her body burnt under a culvert in Chatanpally on the Hyderabad-Bengaluru national highway.
The gruesome rape and murder case, which is being perceived as another ‘Nirbhaya’, has sparked national outrage. The incidents of rape and gang rape of minor girls below the age of twelve and similar heinous crimes against women continue to raise their heads.
To prevent such crimes, stricter laws were introduced through “the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018”. It strengthened he relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC), Evidence Act and Protection of Children Against Sexual OffencesAct (POCSO) and provided for stringent punishment for rape of children and women. The key motive behind introducing harsh punishment was to create deterrence against such crimes. However, it is only possible if the trial in the court is completed within the time frame and justice is delivered expeditiously to the victims.
The new ‘Women Safety Division’ was set up by the Union Home Ministry on May 28, 2018 to strengthen measures for safety of women in the country and instil greater sense of security in them through speedy and effective administration of justice in a holistic manner and by providing a safer environment for women. It is responsible for policy formulation, planning, coordinating, formulating and implementing projects/schemes to assist States/Union Territories to achieve this objective, as also prison reforms, anti human trafficking and related subjects. This, inter-alia, includes increased use of IT and technology in criminal justice system and enabling a supportive eco-system for forensic sciences and crime & criminal records. However, despite a strong law and policy framework, large number of rape and POCSO Act cases are pending in various courts in the country.

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