Thursday, 06 February 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News

Cachar, Feb. 6

The three days Ijtema (Congregation) which began from 3rd February at Ghontagram of Lakhipur Sub Division of Cachar District has gathered thousands of Muslim devotees from entire Barak valley of Assam and its peripheries. 

The Ijtema event concluded today with a mass, collective prayers at the paddy field of Ghontagram, Cachar,Assam.

Over the three days gathering, Muslim worshippers listened to scholars (generally referred as Akabirins) who were graced the programme, reciting and explaining verses of Quran and delivered sermons (Waz). It is viewed as an opportunity for Muslim to renew their commitment to Islamic values.

It is organised by Tablighi Jamaat, a Sunni Muslim missionary movement that began in India and whose members volunteers to spread the Islamic values and faith among the Muslim brethren.

The final supplication (Dua) for the three days Islamic congregation was held today morning where  of devotees sought the blessing of Allah and peaceful co-existence among the Muslim brethren as well as to strengthen the Islamic faith.

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IT News
Imphal Feb. 6

A total of 667 projects for the development of Northeast states have been completed during the period 2014-15, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
Singh informed the house, in a written reply, that during 2014-15, the Union Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and North-Eastern Council (NEC) have sanctioned 549 projects costing Rs 8640.08 crore under various schemes for the development of northeastern states.
The Union minister of state (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, informed the Rajya Sabha that of the 667 projects completed, 32 projects were sanctioned during the said period.  The remaining projects are at various stages of implementation, the minister added.

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IT News

Mumbai Feb.6

Four more people were quarantined over Novel coronavirus suspicion on Wednesday in Maharashtra, even as the state government set up a new testing facility to test samples at the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College & Hospital (IGGMCH)Four  patients include a 29-year-old resident of Sanpada, Navi Mumbai (who was admitted to the Kasturba Hospital, Mumbai),  (a 22 year old girl student pursuing MBBS course in China and two men ( who were admitted to the IGGMCH).  One of the men had returned from Thailand.

The patient from Sampada, Navi Mumbai, who works in the shipping industry, had travelled to China on January 22 and returned to Mumbai on February 3. He did not have a cough, cold or any other symptoms. But he knew about the coronavirus and wanted to get himself tested. So he went and got hospitalised,” a friend of the quarantined man said and added that basically he is a Chennai native living  with his friend in Sanpada and often sails for months at a stretch.

While additional facility was created in Nagpur, to reduce the load on National Institute of Virology, Pune, BMC is mulling over the proposal to set up similar facility at Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai. A state officials said none of the 21 samples tested so far has been positive for the virus.

After the Government of India suspended e-visas issued since January 15 to Chinese nationals and foreigners who reside in China on 2 February, many Chinese national, who had gone to China, before coronavirus created a havoc, are now unable to return to India due to uncertainty. India on Tuesday further tightened visa rules by cancelling the existing visas for Chinese and foreigners who had visited the country in the last two weeks.  An e-visa is issued for 90 days.

Shikha Pandey, a Chinese language teacher in Mumbai University, said that many of her Chinese friends had left for China days before the Chinese New Year. The travel advisories then were not stringent. But now they are unable to return. There are estimated 400 ethnic Chinese families and 3,500 Chinese residing in Mumbai Zhang Xuemeng (27) who had travelled to Beijing from Mumbai on January 20 with her family in Hebei had to cancel her return flight scheduled on February 8. It was not clear,  whether the Indian government would allowing them entry. The companies where they work in Mumbai have asked them to postpone their travel, her relatives in Mumbai told IT. Xuemeng, who holds an employment visa, had worked in a private Chinese company in Mumbai for three years before resigning. She was planning to take up another job on her return.

Jie Chu (30), a Chinese national at present in Mumbai, said her e-visa will expire next month and she was not certain whether it will be renewed, She doesn’t  want to return to China in these circumstances. Her family lives in Hunan.

Several airlines, including IndiGo and Air India have suspended flights to China and Hongkong. The AI’s  flights to Shanghai remain suspended till February 14. IndiGo has suspended two of its flights to China. Cathay Pacific has suspended some flights to mainland China but is operating to Hong Kong. “Rwandair” has suspended flights from its capital Kigali to Guangzhou. Air China too suspended its operations to China from Wednesday on wards.

Published in News
Thursday, 06 February 2020 18:07

The mental equation

Times are a changing- as everything ought to. Stuffs that were not even dreamed about are becoming devices and gadgets for everyday use. The pace of development and inventions is increasing at a dizzying pace and in an unbelievably complex manner. Every single gene in the human body can be identified, isolated and manipulated. Electricity can be transmitted without any wires or cables. Cars that run for more than a thousand kilometers with only a gallon of fuel is no more a fantasy today. Space travel or space tourism is here. Humans with embedded microchips can now manipulate and control his environment, well almost, as of now. Research and development in every field, being aided by sophisticated computers and robots, have quickened their pace and shortened their observation periods, leading to quicker results. It would not be much off the mark to say that the world as we know today is undergoing a paradigm shift in the way we live our lives. Through these radical changes and developments, one thing has withstood the test of time, proving to be an unseen and unaccounted yet a determining factor that could make or mar everything else- the human mentality.
The workings of the human mind – emotions and feelings that cannot be quantitatively ascertained or expressed as an exacting scientific expression or equation, has remained an enigma- a mystery that has not been unraveled till date. Herein lies the genesis of every conflict and differences. Societies created laws and statutes based on the greater good of the citizens, and a system of checks and balances to arbitrate, enforce and amend them. It is a perfect set up- on paper. Unfortunately, the bitter reality is so far removed from the system so envisaged. We, the ordinary citizens are arrested and harassed for raising our voice against what we feel is unjust and wrong- even threatened and shot by those who purport to serve our motherland, whatever form that might take. The powers that be proclaims to work according to the wishes of the people, while the voice is subdued with threats and intimidation, or worse still, let the voice die out and be forgotten with time. And who are we to turn to for help when the terrorists are the army and police who are drug traffickers; who are extortionists; who are the influential and powerful? For us mere mortals, complaints and appeals entail the inherent risk of losing limb and life. Is what we are experiencing a replica of the so called Jungle law? One would like to think that a jungle law would be a far better option- each one would then have a place in the set up.
But then again, we are born equal. A prime minister is as human as a sweeper or a carpenter or a scientist. Each one is doing their bit for the society. The president of India or the Chief Minister of Manipur needs a weaver to weave a piece of fabric which will be sewn into a cloth by a tailor and sold at the market from where it will be brought for his use. We need to accept and embrace one another as our equals. The powerful ones wouldn’t have had a concrete mansion to hide within were it not for the masons and plumbers.  Respect for others regardless of caste, creed, faith or colour should be the basis of social interaction and formulation of policies. So long as tolerance and understanding is at a premium, no amount of expressed progressive efforts will ever succeed. And the time to adopt an inclusive and tolerant mentality is now; for tomorrow will be a day too late.  

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Even as the date for receiving queries from bidders is moving closer, the Tata Group appears to be inching forward to bid for Air India by actively exploring a structure for “Air India” acquisition with “Singapore Airlines|, its joint venture partner in “Vistara”.
The queries on the sale process will be received till 11 February, the government will answer the queries by 25 February, while the respective expressions of interest will have to be submitted by 17 March. The qualified bidders will be informed by 31 March 2020.
The minimum net worth criterion to bid for Air India, reeling under a debt of Rs 80,000 crore,  has been set at Rs.3,500 crore, but the government has allowed domestic carriers with negative net worth to put in bids on the strength of their consortium partners if the local airline’s share in the consortium is limited to 51%.
Tatas have started working on the structure for such an acquisition, including a merger of “AirAsia India (headquartered in Kochi, with 49 per cent stake of Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes and 51 per cent of Tatas) and “Air India Express( a 100% subsidiary of AI).
The Tata Group, has reportedly  approached  Fernandes  for his approval to acquire “Air India Express”, since the shareholders’ agreement stipulates that Tatas can’t invest more than 10%  in another budget airline without  unless he is willing to waive the covenant.
While “Air India  Express” flies to over 33 destinations with over 649 services a week to the Gulf countries, “AirAsia India” has been waiting to get government nod to fly overseas.
On the other hand, the combination of “Air India” and “Vistara”, is expected to help the Tatas to monopolise the full-service space in India. With the two-pronged strategy to acquire “Air India”, the Tatas aims to up its ante in the aviation business that it had pioneered in the country. In “Vistara”, Tata Sons holds 51% stakes while  Singapore Airlines owns 49% stake and the company is registered as TATA SIA Airlines Limited.
As per the bid document, Air India has an aircraft fleet of 121 aircraft (excluding 4 B747-400 aircraft) as on November 2019, mainly comprising Airbus and Boeing aircraft, out of which 65 are owned or on finance lease. “ Air India Express” has a total of 25 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft of which 10 are owned and 7 on finance lease. The remaining 8 are on dry lease.
However Fernandes, former director of “AirAsia R. Venkataramanan, Deputy CEO of AirAsia Tharumalingam Kanagalingam and other top executives are being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate about allegations of money laundering. While Fernandes was summoned last month and again on Wednesday, Venkataramanan has been asked to appear before ED on February 10. Venkataraman had  stepped down as managing trustee of the Tata Trusts in March last year and later exited “AirAsia India”.
In addition, the  CBI, is also investigating Fernandes and others on charges of criminal conspiracy under the Prevention of Corruption Act, under the allegation that a conspiracy was hatched to get the erstwhile 5/20 rule amended during 2009-14, to get the requirement to operate for minimum 5 years to become eligible to fly overseas, scrapped.
Besides Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Commission, working alongside Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), has been probing the case of bribery in the airline. The SFO had found that individuals associated with the plane making, had paid to secure deals with “AirAsia” and its long-haul unit “AirAsia X”. Two other agencies in Malaysia, including the aviation agency and the Security Commission, are investigating the matter.

Published in News
Thursday, 06 February 2020 18:03

Assam Rifles Conducts Security Meeting

IGAR (South)
Imphal Feb. 6

Continuing with its Philanthropic activities in maintaining security of the area of responsibility and general awareness, Kakching Battalion of 28 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) organized a meeting with village Chiefs on yesterday.
The aim of the meeting was to reach out to the local populace through the village Chiefs and to apprise the people regarding the current security situation, the present status of Naga Framework Agreement and the initiatives taken by Assam Rifles to protect the local populace during the adverse situation.
The meeting was held in Wabagai of Thoubal District at around10:30 am on 05th Feb 2020. A total of five village Chiefs, nine Ward Members from Wabagai were present in the meeting. The event was followed by refreshment.
The gathering and benevolent gesture was appreciated by village Chiefs and the Ward Members who were present in the meeting  assured of their co-operation and support in maintaining the security situation of the area of responsibility and also for various welfare measures which are being run by Kakching Battalion.

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