Saturday, 25 January 2020 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Jan 25

Imphal Times special team while carrying out investigation to what ails in Manipur  University, finds the administrative block as a den of corrupt officials from top to bottom, who don’t have any respect for the law of the land as well as who  considered  the  temple of higher education a gold mine.

More findings by our special team will be made public. In this third publication, Imphal Times is exposing how the authority of the Manipur University Administration unit purchased computer  equipments worth over Rs. 17 lakhs through direct purchase without  invitation of tender,  notification at any of the newspaper. This kind of procurement is a violation of Rule 150 & 155 of the General Finance Rules 2017, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure. 

According to the findings of the Imphal Times Special Investigation team, eight (8)  electronic  equipments worth Rs. 17,01,224/- (seventeen Lakhs one thousand two hundred twenty-four) were directly purchased from a single firm in between May 5, 2016, to August 9, 2016. The firm as per the finding is identified as BB Enterprises, Imphal East.

On May 30, 2016, the Manipur University Authority purchased  three number  of Ricoh Digital Full color Multifunctional Printer Model No. Aficio MP 2001L from the said firm at the cost of Rs. 5,21,325/- (Five Lakhs twenty one thousand three hundred twenty five) . When calculated each printer cost a sum of Rs. 1,73,775/-. Team  Imphal  Times than enquired the rate of the printer at the local market here in Imphal as well as outside the  state  particularly  in New Delhi,  Kolkata  and Bengaluru.  According to the information the market price of the said printer that  they purchase at Rs. 1,73,775/-  cost less than Rs. 55,000/- (Fifty Five thousand).

On July 04, 2016, two numbers of 2 Ton AC 5 star were purchased from the said firm at the cost of Rs. 2,51,788/- (Two lakhs fifty one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight)Another . When enquired about the market price of the said AC, the maximum price does not exceed Rs. 60,000/-(Sixty Thousand). 

On July 21, 2016, one Ricoh Digital Full Color Multifunctional Printer model No.MPC 2011 SP was procured from the same firm, that is BB Enterprises at the cost of Rs. 3,53,630/- (Three Lakhs Fifty three thousand six hundred and thirty). When enquired about the market price, the printer cost less than Rs. 2.5 lakhs. 

On August 6, 2016, another Ricoh Digital Full color Multifunctional Printer Model No. Aficio MP 2001L was purchased from the said firm at the cost of Rs. 2,20,851/-. (Two lakhs twenty thousand eight hundred and fifty one). This same printer when supplied by the same firm BB Enterprises, Imphal East, the price was Rs. 1,73,775/-. This means that the price of the Ricoh Digital Full color Multifunctional Printer Model No. Aficio MP 2001L was increased by Rs. 47,096 in 4 months. 

According to Rule 150 and 155 of the General Finance Rules 2017, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Government of India, any such supplies or purchase should be done following due formalities.

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Imphal, Jan. 25

In connection with the Republic Day Celebration, 2020, Social Welfare and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen today distributed gifts to children and aged person of Ages Homes, Special Schools and Orphan Homes situated in Imphal West and Imphal East Districts. It was organised by the Department of Social Welfare, Government of Manipur.
Director Social Welfare, Manipur, Ng Uttam Singh, Joint Director (ICDS), Manipur, Shri Bantee Singh Konthoujam, Officers and officials of the department were also part of this occasion.
Minister Nemcha Kipgen expressed profound joy in celebrating such important occasion with the special children. She also extends 71st Republic day greeting to all the people of Manipur. She wished for a state where women and children are free from all forms of violence.
The Ministerial team visited the following locations namely B.B. Paul, Mongshangei, Govt. Ideal Blind School, Takyel, Govt. Deaf & Mute School, Takyel, Observation Home, Takyel, SAA, Thangmeiband of Imphal West District and in Imphal East District – Carmel Jyoti, Mantripukhri, SAA, Ningthem Pukhri Mapal and Ema Leimarel Women Welfare Association (Aged Home), Kongba Nongthombam Leikai.

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IT News
Imphal, Jan 25

Manipur Governor Dr. Najma Heptulla, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Power Minister Th, Bishwajit among others cabinet Ministers and MLAs today greets the people of the state on occasion of the 71st Republic Day scheduled tomorrow.
Meanwhile, hectic security arrangement has been taken up by the state home department to ensure full-proof security during the Republic Day Celebration. Almost all major rebel groups operating in the region have boycotted the Indian Republic day calling 12 hour total shut down in the entire North East region.  
In the greeting, the governor said, “It was on this day in 1950 , that we gave ourselves the Constitution which is the guiding principle of our Despite reservations from various quarters, the experiment of democracy in India has been successful and we are going from strength to strength, respected by other nations.On this occasion, we should revere and our homage to those founding father for their foresight and understanding  Despite its large population many of whom were illiterate, successive election have shown the maturity of the electors and aspirations of the people are reflected in the ballot. From a fledgling democracy, we have now become a mature one.
“India is poised to become one of the leading nation of the world .its progress in science and technology backed by a young and dynamic population will usher the country to greater heights. We have, however, to harness the potential of our youth in the right direction so that they become our main assets for the future . Let us all strive to work together to make our country strong, peaceful and prosperous, free from wants.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Works Minister Bishwajit also called on the people of the region to celebrate the day.

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Saturday, 25 January 2020 17:50

Nation Voters’ Day celebrated

IT News

Kumbi, Jan 25

Humanism Foundation in association with Kangvai Battalion and NSS, Kumbi College organised the 10th National Voters’ Day at the auditorium of Kumbi College here today.

As part of the observation, trainees of Humanim Foundation, who are undergoing training at its Skill Development Center, Kumbi; students of Kumbi College and local leaders took a pledge to “uphold the democratic traditions of India and the dignity of free, fair and peaceful elections and to vote in every elections fearlessly and without being influenced by considerations of religion, race, caste, community, language or any inducement”.

Principal of Kumbi College, K Jugeshwor Singh; Chairman of Humanism Foundation, W Shanti Devi; Chancellor of Manipur International University, Dr Harikumar P and Vice-Chairperson of Kumbi Municipal Council, Loitongbam Ongbi Babita Devi attended the observance as presidium members.

Addressing the gathering, L Gopal Singh, HOD of Political Science Department, Kumbi College, who attended at the observance as resource person highlighted the roles and duties of every citizen of India and the importance of vote in elections.

The  day is also celebrated at Bishnupur and Moreh today.

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Imphal Jan 25

One day orientation workshop on ‘Intensified Mission Indradhanush was organized ny ROB, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, Imphal was held at the office auditorium in Imphal.

Speaking on the occasion as Chief guest Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Manipur,

Jayantakumar Singh lauded the efforts of the media outreach programs initiated by the government. He encourage the media to highlight the health sector more for getting full benefit out of the various Government schemes as this will bring a better society.

Additional Director General, PIB, Imphal D J Narain highlighted on the various schemes and programs under Mission Indradhanush. He further said that 300 programs and workshops on Mission Indradhanush  will be done in various districts of Manipur.

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IT News
Mumbai Jan 25

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday said that his party will fully support the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)/NRC and will also support the central government in “kicking out the Bangladeshis and Pakistani infiltrators from the country.
Addressing a state level convention organised at Goregaon in North Mumbai, Thackeray said that a huge morcha will be organised at Azad Maidan in South Mumbai on 9 February, 2020 in support of CAA/NRC/NPR.
On the issue of illegal immigrants Raj Thackeray said that he would meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Home Minister Amit Shah. Raj Thackeray said, “There are many areas in Mumbai where the police cannot enter and I have news that some suspicious activities go on in certain areas.” If given permission, the Maharashtra Police would need 48 hours to flush out illegal immigrants, he added..
“It is necessary to give reply to the protest marches that are being taken out in the country,” Thackeray said, adding that the “talk of the National Register of Citizens” has seen the Muslim community take out rallies “all of a sudden”. “How many in those rallies are from India? And why should we support those Muslims who are supporting outsiders?” Thackeray said. He suggested that the government should to stop Samjhauta Express before starting National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Further Raj Thackeray added that the ‘certified Muslims are India’s own’. Giving examples of Javed Akhtar, APJ Abdul Kalam and Zaheer Khan Raj Thackeray said, “These people cannot be asked to leave as such people are our own but those illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan need to be flushed out.”
In yet another statement which could create controversy, Raj Thackeray said, “The loudspeakers from the mosques should be removed. The Hindus during aarti (prayers) limit the area of worship but the “Muslims too should restrict their area of worship by not playing the loudspeakers”.
He asserted that if ‘Hindutva is attacked he will come out with full force to defend it’.
The  ‘sons of the soil’ and ‘Hindutva’ will be the agenda of MNS and the saffron was always in his heart and the colour was in his DNA.
The MNS chief’s statements attain significance against the background of his criticism of the Narendra Modi-led central government in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.
Earlier in the day, Thackeray had also  unveiled his party’s new flag, which is saffron in colour. The flag bears, at its centre, a ‘rajmudra’ (royal seal used during the times of warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji), at the party’s plenary meeting in Mumbai. The party’s earlier flag had saffron, blue and green colours.
Besides all this Raj Thackeray came down hard on the Uddhav Thackeray(his cousin brother) government. Commenting on his cousin Uddhav Thackeray Raj said, “He doesn’t side with those who change colours to form government.”
Speculation was rife that the MNS might announce an ideological shift with reports  suggesting that the BHP abandoned by its former ally, Shiv Sena, might enter into an alliance with MNS.
In the meanwhile MNS’s “new look” is viewed as a new sympathiser of BJP in Maharashtra where the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi has vowed not to implement the CAA and NRC in the state.

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Imphal Times evening newspaper is registered under the Registrar for News Paper of India (RNI) and started publication after getting valid permission for publication from the District Administration. Since the launching of this paper, dedicated team members of the Imphal Times spare no pain in rendering their services to make sure that people of the state get information of their interest. Be it trade and commerce, law and order, peoples’ agitations, heinous crime against women and children, government’s policies, corruption and criticisms etc. team Imphal Times with limited staff has been trying to make sure that the information is timely served to its readers.

The idea of journalism and its utilizations never remain the same as the world keeps on changing from time to time. When Reuter started wire service in Europe it was solely for providing information of trade-related activities. When Karl Marx, Mahatma Gandhi, Mao Se Tung, Hijam Irabot and NK Sanajaoba etc. started journalism it was for a cause. Journalism that time was a tool to wake up the slumbering common people who didn’t even know that they were being ruled and colonized by alien people. When people fail to understand about their rights entitled to each and every human, the leaders of those times used journalism to make them understand their rights.

The world has changed a lot. Unofficially there are various regions being kept as colony by superior regime. But after the non-existence of De-Colonise Committee of the United Nation, officially no region has been officially recognized as a colony by superior regimes which are members of the United Nations.

After 1987, there showed a paradigm shift of journalism and its practice. During the middle month of 2015, the world politics showed drastic change. Each and every government running their respective government, having understood the power of media are making all effort to put the media on their own pocket. The essence of patriotism that once runs through the veins of the journalists of olden days seems to have perished. Experienced journalists , not only in India but across the globe are working hand in globe with their respective government. And the situation facing today, witnessed by almost all people including those not affected by the changing media trend even understood that something is seriously wrong with the media of today , which is once considered as the fourth pillar of Democracy.

Media today is in grave danger. In conflict ridden state like Manipur and other North Eastern states of Manipur (leave aside Jammu and Kashmir) there is no guarantee to the security of media persons. When it comes to the state of Manipur, till 2000, media houses and those working in different publication received uncountable threat and intimidation either from the government (state actors) and some outlawed armed organizations for not accepting their dictate on what to publish and what not to be published. And many times it was the people of this state and particularly the civil society organizations and human rights body that came out for those working in the media houses.

Later part of 2015, the trend of civil bodies and people of the state protecting media people seem changed. When government notified order of serious action for publication of news which appeared more like a mouthpiece of the UGs, the UGs keep sending their press statements forcing the media houses to publish it or to face serious consequences if fail to do so. Now what is more worrying is that beside this two-element which is allergic to media people, another third party which once stand for the cause of fair reporting emerges.

A news item published in this newspaper on January 21 , 2020, regarding a meeting between the CSOs representatives of Manipur and the NSCN-IM Supremo at Hebron in Dimapur, was being questioned by some CSO leaders about the reason for the publication. Editor of this newspaper received two calls asking me the source of the news. Those calls were not intimidation and perhaps they might want to know from where Imphal Times get the news. The intention of the reporting was a simple attempt to let the people know that – two groups, one a civil society and another armed rebel group engaging peace talk with the government of India finally sit together for talk. Nobody knows what the members of the CSOs from Manipur and the NSCN-IM Supremo Thuingalen Muivah discussed. But sitting together presumably is a sign of good gesture.

The unfortunate part is an announcement by one Jitendra Ningombam , the media co-ordinator of the COCOMI at which he told other media houses not to publish the news item carried by Imphal Times under the heading  “Differences between Manipur’s CSOs and NSCN-IM likely to end”, on the ground that the news was not authentic one. He even adviced the journalists on what news to be published and what should not be published. This confused the credibility of the Imphal Times to many of our readers. However, two days later, the President of the UCM Karam Sunil in a press meet stated that they did meet NSCN-IM Supremo Th. Muivah at Hebron.

It is alright when someone criticizes and blames newspaper or even takes up defamation case for reporting wrong information. But trying to sabotage the image of a newspaper for reporting the event that has happened is nothing but an act of intrusion to the media freedom.


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IT News
Imphal, Jan 25

Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) has urge the Government of Manipur to upgrade the Manipur Human Rights Commission by notifying to open the Administration Division, Law Division, Investigation Division and Research and Transparency Division at the earliest. It also urged  to provide sufficient Vehicles which could reach out every nook and corner of the state besides setting up Human Rights Cell in every districts of the state of Manipur.
“We learned that due to lack of enough manpower and the infrastructure within the Manipur Human Rights Commission, various cases on the violation of Human Rights could not be properly addressed as the primary Divisions such as Administration, Law, Investigation and Research and Transparency  Divisions are still lacking since its establishment”, the Forum said and added that without the aforementioned Divisions the full fledged functioning of the commission will be hampered during the course of certain proceedings with regard to the cases of Human Rights violations.
The commission at present have no proper vehicles and adequate manpower to visit far flung places to to conduct enquiry of human rights violations.

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Saturday, 25 January 2020 17:36

India on 71st Republic Day

As we are set to celebrate 71 st Republic Day, the presence of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as the chief guest at the R day function assumes significance, since with this visit bilateral ties and strategic partnership between both the countries is expected to be strengthened.
The invitation extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of 11th BRICS Summit held in Brasilia, was accepted with pleasure by Bolsonaro.
This year there will be 22 tableaux from 16 states/Union Territories and 6 Central ministries, rolling down the Rajpath in new Delhi, at the grand R day parade. NDRF was raised in 2006 for specific tasks of relief and rescue during natural and man-made disasters or similar life-threatening situations.
Over 600 school children will be carrying out exercises and drill. A spectacular march past by the Indian armed and paramilitary forces will be an added attraction. While R Day is a national festival, celebrated all over the country, it is important to take stock of situation related to different aspects of economy and social conditions prevailing in the country.
Economic slow down
The country is facing economic slow down. Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims for a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2024, the task seems to be difficult since GDP needs to grow steadily. As per the Government statistics, India’s economy is expected to grow at 5% (as against earlier forecast of 6.1 per cent).But experts including former Union Finance P Chidambaram have termed the claim as “exaggerated”. GDP came down to 4.5 per cent in quarter II of 2019-2020 (against 5 per cent in quarter I of 2019-2020) and declined consecutively for 7 quarters.
The National Statistical Office (NSO), has indicated that the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) has spiked to 7.35 per cent (from earlier 5.54 per cent) in December, triggering further growth concerns amid a slowing economy. The retail inflation is the highest witnessed since July 2014. The real worry for the RBI and government is the rate of food (vegetable) inflation, which was  the key trigger behind the steep rise in inflation in December 2019.
Nearly 25 states and Union Territories have been facing poverty, hunger, income inequality and every fifth Indian is below the poverty line states the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Index 2019-20 recently released by  NITI Ayog. The index, aimed at measuring performance vis-a-vis the United Nations-mandated SDG goals, was prepared after a survey in 640 districts. With 21 per cent of the population below poverty line, India’s target is to bring it down to 10.95 per cent. However only six states have shown some improvement and other states are lagging behind.
Disinvestment in PSUs
The massive disinvestment in public sector undertakings (PSUs), amply proves that the economy is on unsteady wicket. Many PCUs-Air India(New Delhi) (debt burden of Rs 80,000 crore), BPCL (Govt’s share 53.29 percent), SCI (63.75 percent),Container Corporation of India Ltd. (New Delhi) (30.8 percent), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Ltd. ( THDCIL) (Rishikesh, Uttarakhand) (75 per cent), North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO), Meghalaya (100 per cent) and NTPC Ltd.( the  government’s stake has already come down to 63) are on the disinvestment lit. NDA Govt raised Rs 2,79,622 crore from the disinvestment of PSUs(2014-2019) compared to Rs 1,07,833 crore, raised by earlier UPA Government. Amid this the question why profit making BPCL figures in the list of disinvestment remains unanswered.
Investment in infra sector
Amid resource crunch, the Government has announced a plan to invest Rs.102 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector in the next 5 years to achieve the GDP target of $5 trillion by 2024-25. Some of the sectors are: NIP projects covering expressways, national gas grid and PMAY-G (Rs 42 lakh crore), energy (Rs. 24.54 lakh crore), Road projects (Rs. 19.63 lakh crore), Suburban infrastructure (Rs. 16.29 lakh crore) and railway projects(Rs. 13.68 lakh crore). Although a portion of this investment will be shared by respective state governments, the plan is expected to put enormous burden on the Central exchequer.
US- Iran Strife
The escalation in the tension between the US and Iran can have implications on India’s exports to the Persian Gulf nation, according to the Federation of Indian Exporters’ Association (FIEO). India’s exports to Iran in 2018-19 were worth $3.51 billion and the  imports were valued at $13.52 billion. Indian exporters may find their payments getting blocked in the coming months. The rupee kitty with Iran, through which the payments to Indian exporters are made, is fast depleting. Unless an alternate mechanism is put in place, the Rupee-Rial trade might come to a grinding halt.
The Government has relaxed FDI norms in single-brand retail trading, contract manufacturing, coal mining, and digital media. Further, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is working on “ new industrial policy” and “national e-commerce policy” ,which are expected to be announced by March 2020. According to Union Commerce Minister Ramesh Prabhu, the government has been working on a plan to bring in $100 billion FDI this year.
Indian Rupee
Indian rupee has been hovering around 72 against US dollar. The rupee which went through bouts of volatility earlier, fell further to breach the 72 mark against the US dollar (USD), spooked by a surge in global oil prices. A surge in crude prices raised the spectre of a higher import bill for India.
The population of India is estimated at 1,368,938,792 (equivalent to 17.74 per cent of the total world population) and India ranks second in terms of population in the world. 33.6 per cent population is urban (460,249,853) and remaining population is settled in rural areas. The population comprises 70,71,26,717 (51.6 per cent) male and 66,24,07,581 (48.4 per cent) women population. India is expected to add nearly 273 million people between 2020 and 2050.
Despite various public health schemes, health care sector continues to remain neglected going by the recent death of 107 infants in Kota’s (Rajasthan) JK Lon Hospital within a month.
Besides, a total of 146 children died in Umaid and MDM hospitals in Jodhpur in December.
Thus the issue of spike in fatalities at the state-run institutions and evidence of poor hygiene, broken equipment and staff shortages continues to raise head time and again. Sixty per cent of primary health centres (PHC) in India have only one doctor. Only 20 per cent of the PHCs fulfil Indian public health standard norms.
Food grains
Average yields of most crops in India are still rather low. Amid low income growth scenario, demand for food grains, is projected at the level of 256 MT this year. It comprises 112 MT of rice, 82 MT of wheat, 39 MT of coarse grains and 22 MT of pulses.
The overall literacy rate in Urban India is 79.5 per cent ( 74.8 per cent women, 83.7 per cent men), while it is 64.7 per cent in rural India (56.8 per cent women, 72.3 per cent men).  
There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate. The low female literacy rate has a dramatically negative impact on family planning and population stabilisation efforts.
Unemployment rate increased to 8.50 percent in October from 7.20 percent in September  2019. The unemployment rate averaged 5.16 percent from 1983 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 8.50 percent in October of 2019 and a record low of 3.53 percent in December  2011. The latest Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) released by the National Statistical Organisation (NSO), Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir have the highest rate of joblessness,  while Gujarat and Karnataka have the least joblessness.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 29, 2018, had declared that 6 lakh villages in the country were electrified by 100 percent. However official data, reveals that only 7.3 % of the total Indian villages, are having 100% household connectivity, and about 31 million homes in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan are still in the dark.
The Government has announced to build 1.12 crore houses by 2022.  It claims that 24 lakh houses were given to beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY(Urban) and the number will soon reach 50 lakh. But the fact remains that even after 4 years after the launch of PMAY-Urban, just 20 per cent houses were constructed, while another 52 per cent are grounded for construction.
Space Technology
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which has already made significant advancement is planning to send three astronauts to space for seven days by 2022, under “ Gaganyaan mission”, the indigenous human spaceflight programme.
India is expected to become one of the most powerful countries in the time to come. Let us hope that India becomes super power by 2030.

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