Wednesday, 16 October 2019 - Imphal Times

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Imphal, Oct 16

With the case to the alleged irregularities in the selection of candidates being reserved by the Manipur High Court, fate of many youths are in dire straits due to the erroneous system which went unnoticed until 42 MPSC aspirants petitioned to the High Court seeking justice. Any ruling of the double bench of the Manipur High Court will shock either of the two parties and it would have been difficult times for Justice Nobin and Justice Shimray.

“To be or not to be” the famous quote from Shakespeare’s play would have occupied the mind of the two justice. 

Well, the Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC) had conducted the MCSCCE 2016 Examination for selection to 62 posts of MCS, MPS, SDC, EO. These said posts are the top posts in state that commands huge respect and corresponding accountability. It is unfortunate that so many controversies have come up in this examination .The findings of the enquiry committee constituted by the order of the Manipur High Court is in public domain and it has concluded that there were indeed irregularities in the conduct of the examination. 

Huge totaling errors, unevaluated answers, marks being awarded on the front table but not inside the respective answers, marks awarded inside the answer scripts but not on the tabulation column, over attempt questions being awarded marks, absence of examiner’s signature, invigilator’s signature, supervisor’s signature in many answer scripts, no record of handling over of answer scripts to examiners, different signature of same examiner. Alterations of marks without initials, and in some cases by a totally different signature; tabulation sheet found signing only by the Chairman and no one else; are some of the irregularities mentioned in the enquiry report.  In addition to these, there was no Head Examiner, no evaluation guidelines, and no Model answer paper as per RTI information.  Furthermore as per the submission of MPSC in the High Court, some answer scripts were taken by the then Secretary who knew the code numbers for evaluation outside Manipur. Upon query whether doing so won’t disclose the confidentiality; MPSC was not able to produce any document /rule where it was permitted to do so by the Secretary who already knew the code number.

It was also confirmed that for Public Administration the evaluation got over only on 03/09/2016 and the final result was declared the very next day in the morning on 04/09/2016. Some examiners evaluated more than 75+ answer scripts in a day. Above all this, another point worth noting is that the then Chairman was due to retire on 7th November, 2017. Without going into the merits of the allegations, the fact that such illegalities and irregularities took place in the conduct of such a reputed examination call for a serious introspection to find out if there was more than what meet the eyes. MPSC has indeed failed in performing its constitutional duties and accountability should be fixed.

Now that final judgment is expected shortly, all eyes are now on Judiciary as to what decision it will deliver. No doubt the case and the judgment will remain a watershed moment in generations to come and everyone starting from youth to old, in unison, is expecting the judgment to help in rooting out corruption and transform Manipur.

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Imphal, Oct. 16

Social Impact Assessment Unit, Manipur(Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur) conducted Public Hearing to seek the feedbacks of the affected persons on acquisition of 10.00 acres of land from 9-Chingmeirong Nongpok village for finalisation of the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Report and Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) of the proposed construction of new Manipur Police Headquarter at the conference hall of Autonomous District Council (ADC) Bhavan, Chingmeirong as per Section 8 of “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Social Impact Assessment and Consent(Manipur) Rules, 2014”.

Dr.T. Brajakumar, Deputy Director, Directorate of Environment; Meibon Phaomei, Corporatorof Ward No. 26,Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC); Samuel, President, Paomei Colony Youth Club (PCYC) and Expert Members of State Social Impact Assessment Unit  Manipur viz. Prof. E Bijoy, O. Biren Singh, G.A. Jaychandra Sharma, B. B. Sharma and Md. Abdul Salam graced the function as presidium members.

Dr T. Brajakumar Singh gave the introductory remarks for conducting Public Hearing. He stated that Social Impact Assessment study is a part of land acquisition process to study the social, environmental and economic impacts before actual acquisition of a proposed land as per “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013” and “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Social Impact Assessment and Consent((Manipur) Rules, 2014”.

In lieu of this, state government constituted an independent body having eminent and well experienced persons from varied fields to conduct Social Impact Assessment study where Directorate of Environment is appointed as the State Social Impact Assessment Unit.

He further mentioned that quantitative as well as qualitative data from the concerned stakeholders has been analysing from 25th May 2019. The findings of the study is prepared as draft report of Social Impact Assessment which is placed before the public hearing for their feedbacks and inputs.

Local resident of Chingmeirong who are affected for construction of Police head quarter expressed strong resentment over government decision to acquire land. For the construction of the Police head quarter a total of 20.81 acres of land is required and for that 10 acre of land will be acquired from individuals. Land owners of around 21 people including portion of land belong to a private school will be affected while acquiring the land. Some land owners are not happy with the government idea of acquiring land from the area and questioned the reason for choosing the area as suitable for construction of the Police head Quarter.


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Imphal, Oct 16

The much awaited Shirui Lily Festival was inaugurated today by the Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel at Bakshi ground in Ukhrul is likely to be rocked with the performance of the internationally acclaimed hard rock band Nazareth. MLA Dr. Sapam Ranjan, who is the over all incharge of organizing the festival said that another internationally acclaimed rock band Extreme is on its way to perform at the festival on October 19.

“Love hurts” “Dream On”, Love Leads to Madness” “Where are You Now” , Nazareth’s numbers that won the heart of million people across the globe is what people have been expecting to listen live, even as the band’s lead vocalist Dan McCafferty will be replaced by Carl Sentence.

The Scottish hard rock veterans Nazareth arrived here in the state yesterday afternoon to perform in the ensuing four-day ShiRock 2019, an annual rock music competition- cum-festival held as part of the Shirui Lily Festival. The band members are attending the inaugural function of the Shirui festival.

Nazareth – which first gained international fame after their cover of American songwriter Boudleaux Bryant’s number, “Love Hurts”, that featured on their sixth studio album, Hair of the Dog – had earlier performed in Mizoram in April 2017, sources said. However, American group Extreme, which was formed in 1985, will make its debut performance in India with the Ukhrul show.

In recognition of the importance of the Manipur State flower Shirui Lily, the Shirui Lily Festival, which was upgraded to a State-level event in May 2017, is aimed at spreading awareness about conservation of the bell-shaped flower and also “to develop and implement sustainable and responsible tourism in the State”. It also serves as a platform to promote Ukhrul as a tourist destination of the North East.

Live music, cultural shows, beauty pageants, exhibitions, programmes folk songs, traditional dances, and indigenous games and sports competitions will be the highlights of the festival, which will showcase the age-old traditions and culture of the inhabitants of Ukhrul district.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019 18:21

Forgotten pledge - a reminder

“Where a society has chosen to accept democracy as its creedal faith, it is elementary that the citizens ought to know what their government is doing.” -Justice P N Bhagwati

Easier is said than done - the saying still stands true. Like the nail float in water with the plank, a rowdy sometimes saves his or her life from being spoiled with the kind of companied he or she had. Discipline and responsibility is what has been required to make the ship flow to the right direction and  it is always the wisdom of the captain of the ship that the crew managed to sail their ship to the destiny amidst storms and whirlpools.
It was perhaps the leadership quality of Columbus the captain of that ship and the trust and loyalty of his crew member that he landed to America’s soil make this rich country to everyone across he globe which which is now  the most powerful country in the world today.
The state is more like a ship in the vast stormy ocean. In democratic state like Manipur, Chief Minister is similar to the captain of the ship. It is his wisdom that will sail towards a better direction. It is his command and qualities that will make his crew member follow rules and regulations frame by him. It is only at the time that all the crew members go by their respective assignment that the ship will reached destination. Similar, is with the running of the state, whether it goes upwards or falls, depends on the wisdom of the Chief Minister and his team.
The recent differences arose among the ruling BJP MLAs had indicated crystal clear that it is either the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh that lacks administrative skill to put all his party colleague under his control or is it an intentional uproar instigated by some vested people to put the state under serious crisis. From a school student to persons holding the top post knows that Manipur today is at crucial juncture with multiple problems. More Importantly, the issue of Territorial Integrity, safeguarding of the Indigenous people in the backdrop of the BJP’s intention to introduce the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill.  These issues requirescomplete chaos in the state with other issue which is ironically related but not visible to anyone. Now the crisis for leadership change in BJP led government in the state of Manipur has been settled and that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh will now continue till the end of this legislative Assembly. It would be wrong to blame the dissident MLAs for the act against the Chief Minister, but the chief Minister should welcome them with friendly gestures and showed them love and compassion so that they stand to every policy and programme taken up for the welfare of the people. In our earlier editorial we had opined the need to change anybody in the government who would stands as obstacle to the N. Biren Singh government, but o second thought, the idea may bring catastrophe. In democracy tolerance and wisdom is the only means to run the government. After all the Chief Minister is the best among the equals and has been chosen to lead the government.  
Saying so it is still pertinent to understand the Indian electoral system that stands as a hurdle to decide on which way to chose for a better society. Every elected representative needs a second thought to say no to his electorate. Particularly, the system practice in India showed that without some clique of strong supporters, it will become difficult for one to become Chief Minister as first thing that is important is to get elected as an MLA.   
Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development. But sometimes the effort to bring good governance remains as a dream with the kind of hurdles from his supporters whom the man in the top post cannot deny as without them it will be difficult to get elected again.
Numbers of middle men including relatives are now the talk every people of the state. What more prove is required than checking the bank balance and the properties of these people in this couple of years? We have seen it many times.
Good leader falls, not because of his personality but because of those around him.
It is time that the elected representatives, instead of defending better check the middlemen to insure their pledge for the state.
Let’s make our state free from corruption.

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 18:20

A Lesson from a Long Peace Talk

The 22-year negotiation and peace talks between NSCN (IM) and Government of India have a unique story over unique history of Naga. At the end of the peace talk, there are many hiccups because of three terms: Unique History of Naga, Inclusiveness in the final agreement and Shared Sovereignty. Change of slogans and voices are seen these days in Nagaland and Manipur. Earlier many NGOs, especially those who are pro-peace talk, shouted at their highest pitch that the Naga solution should be brought at the earliest. However, endless rounds of talks have irritated them; now, many are asking not to sign hurriedly.

Three months, as announced by Interlocutor, seems too short for a solution to them. Just after the announcement of Interlocutor, all of sudden, Naga Flag and Constitution have become vital issues of the final agreement. Nobody, other than the persons of NSCN (IM) and Government of India, can give any comment or opinion at this crucial stage of well-praised Peace Talk in India. Because no one knows what they have agreed in the historic Framework Agreement that would be the spirit of the final Agreement. The people of India, democratic and secular, have to sit like a spectator though the Final Agreement would bring a change in the political structure of existing India and relations amongst different ethnic groups, communities. NSCN (IM)’s interpretation of uniqueness of history of a particular group is not in the tune of Indian interpretation, and also of shared sovereignty.

Inclusiveness of Naga peoples in the peace talk poses another problem. As a newspaper reader, one can only say that what did the peace talk bring to both the parties; they start arguing over the same points where they started the peace talk. Over the years, the peace talk have brought the split of NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) into more number of factions, war of words between different Naga groups, cold war between Naga of Nagaland and of adjoining States, Naga CSOs of Manipur and rest of the CSOs in the State, demand of formation of State of Eastern Nagaland, and many more. The political atmosphere of Manipur is charged with hate-speeches of NSCN (IM) leaders.

A lesson out of the stories of the ongoing Naga Peace Talk is that ethnic nationalist movement in this part of the world is nearly impossible because of the intricate historical ties of the groups and historical sentiments. The Ao sentiments towards the Meitei may not be the same as that of the Tangkhul. The demand of Mao products in mobile Mao market in Imphal shows a different story, different from the NSCN (IM) narratives. The historically rooted sentiments of different ethnic groups in Manipur are unique in nature and values; these sentiments cannot be washed out easily with certain political slogans.

The UCM, Manipur, in its clear voice says that the Indian habit of dividing geographical zones on the basis of linguistic, religion, caste or tribe will not bring solution, rather it will create more problem in North East India. NSCN (IM) calls Working Committee of NNPGs a bunch of confused people. Working Committee may be wrong or right, but NSCN (IM) cannot see that the Naga solution could only be brought in a larger North East Canvas; the unique history of this region has overlapping of social and cultural systems among the peoples. UCM’s statement of no administrative division on ethnic lines indicates that development should be done on the basis of needs or otherwise, not on the ethnic lines. R N Ravi better understands the full meaning of the statement.

To-day, NSCN (IM) sees the carrot and stick in the hands of Government of India; earlier its leaders once said, India is Father and Naga, the Child. One time Father-figure becomes betrayer at the far end of the peace talk. Does the longest peace talk in India bring anything new for the Naga or India? Simple advice from newspaper reader to whom the real content of Framework Agreement is hidden, is that if nothing can be achieved, it is better to stop the peace process to save time and energy, moreover the Taxes from ordinary people.

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Wednesday, 16 October 2019 18:18

UKLF condole over the demise of its leader

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The United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) expressed its deepest condolence and mourned over the untimely demise of  their Spokesman and former Home Secretary who expired yesterday at his residence.
In a condolence message issued by its Joint Secretary, the UKLF expressed deepest condolence and deeply mourned over the untimely demise of their Spokesman and former Home Secretary Anthony Jangkhothang Haokip who expired at his residence located at Nazareth Village in Chandel District today.
Late Anthony Jangkhothang Haokip was one of the leader who firmly believed  in the Organisation’s ideology of Kuki Re-unification and worked wholeheartedly for the cause of Kuki Nation.
And he also worked in different capacities in the Organisation and hold the post of Spokesman till he breathes his last.
His contribution for the Kuki Nation in general and for the Organisation in particular can be ignored and will not go in vain, added the UKLF.
While paying a revolutionary salute to the departed soul of their leader, the UKLF also shared the sorrow and grief of the bereaved family members.

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Today is the 88th birthday of Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam (APJ Abdul Kalam) who was born on 15th October 1931 to a Tamil Muslim family in the pilgrimage Centre of Rameswaram on PAMBAN Island, then in the Madras Presidency and now in the state of Tamil Nadu. His father Jainulabdeen was a boat owner and Imam of a local mosque, his mother Ashiamma was a housewife. Kalam was the youngest of four brothers and one sister in the family. The eldest of whom was a sister “Asim Zohra”, followed by three brothers: Mohammad Muthu Meera Lebbai Maraikayar,Mustafa kalam and Kashim Mohammad. He was extremely closed to his elder siblings and their extended families throughout his life and would regularly send small sums of money to his older relations, himself remaining a lifelong bachelor. Kalam was noted for his integrity and his simple lifestyle. He never owned a television and was in the habit of rising at 6:30 am or 7am and sleeping by 2am. His few personal possessions included his books, his Veena, some articles of clothing, a CD player and a laptop; at his death, he left no will, and his possession went to his eldest brother who survived him. Kalm’s father owned a ferry that took Hindu pilgrims back and forth between Rameswaram and now the uninhabited Dhanushkodi. His ancestors had been wealthy traders and owned with numerous properties and large tracts of land. Their business had involved trading groceries between the mainland and the Island and to and from Sri Lanka as well as ferrying pilgrims between the mainland and Pamban. As a result the family acquired the title of “Mara Kalam Iyakkivar” (means, wooden boat steerers), which over the years became shortened to “Marakier”. With the opening of the Pamban Bridge to the mainland in 1914, however the business failed and family fortune and properties were lost over time, apart from ancestral home. By his early childhood Kalam’s family had become poor; at an early age he sold newspaper to supplement his family income.      
In his school years, Kalam had average grades but was described as a bright hardworking student who had a strong desire to learn. He spent hours on his studies, especially Mathematics. After completing his education at the Schwartz Higher Secondary school Ramanathapuram, Kalam went to attend Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, then affiliated with the University of Madras, from where he graduated in Physics in 1954.  He moved to Madras in 1955 to study Aerospace Engineering in Madras Institute of Technology. While Kalam was working on a senior class project, the Dean was dissatisfied with his lack of progress and threatened to revoke his scholarship unless the project was finished within the next three days. Kalm met the deadline, impressing the Dean, who later said to him “I was putting you under stress and asking you to meet a difficult deadline”. He narrowly missed achieving his dream of becoming a fighter pilot as he was placed 9th in qualifiers and only eight positions were available in IAF. A proud and practicing Muslim, daily namaz and fasting during Ramadan were integral to Kalam’s life. He was fond of saying:” For Great men, religion is a way of making friends; small people make religion a fighting tool”. In addition to his faith in the Koran and Islamic practice, Kalam was well versed in Hindu traditions; he learnt Sanskrit, read the BHAGAVAD GITA; and he was a vegetarian. Kalam’s desire to meet spiritual leaders to help create a more prosperous ,spiritual and unified India was  what initially led him to meet Pramukh Swami, the Hindu Guru of BAPS Swaminarayan Sampradaya who Kalam would come to consider his ultimate spiritual teacher and guru. His father had also impressed upon the young Kalam,the value of interfaith, respect and dialogue. As Kalam recalled: “Every evening, my father A.P. Jainulabdeen, an Imam, Pakshi Lakshmana sastry, the head priest of the Ramanathaswamy Hindu temple and a church priest used to sit with hot tea and discussed the issues concerning the Pamban Island”. Such early exposure convinced Kalam that the answer to Indian’s multitudinous issues lay in dialogue and cooperation among the country’s religion, social and political leaders.       
After graduation from Madras Institute of Technology in 1960, Kalam joined the Aeronautical Development Establishment of the Defense Research and Development Organization as a member after becoming a member of Defense Research and Development Service (DRDS). He started his career by designing a small hovercraft but remained unconvinced by his choice of a job at DRDO. Kalam was also part of INCOSPAR Committee working under Vikram Sarabhai, the renowned space scientist. In 1969, Kalam was transferred to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) where he was the project Director of India’s first satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully deployed the Rohini satellite in near-earth orbit in July 1980; Kalam had first started work on an expandable Rocket project independently at DRDO in 1965. In 1969, Kalam received the government’s approval and expanded the programme to include more Engineers. In 1963 to 1964, he visited NASA’s Langley Research Centre in Hampton, Virginia; Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland; and Wallops Flight Facility. Between 1970s and 1990s, Kalam made an effort to develop the polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and SLV-II projects, both of which proved to be successful. In 1970s Kalam also directed two projects-project Devil and project Valiant which sought to develop ballistic missiles from the technology of successful SLV programme. Despite the disapproval of the Union cabinet, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi allotted secrete funds for these aerospace projects through her discretionary powers under Kalam’s directorship. His research and educational leadership brought him great laurels and prestige in 1980s which prompted the government to initiate and advanced missile programme under his directorship. Kalam was the chief executive for the Integrated Guided Missile Development programme. Kalam played a major role in developing many missile under the mission including AGNI an intermediate range ballistic missile, PRITHIVI, the tactical surface to surface missile. He thus came to be known as the “MISSILE MAN OF INDIA. He also played a pivotal organizational, technical and political role in India’s POKHRAN-II nuclear tests in 1998, the first since the original nuclear tests “SMILING BUDHA” by India at Pokhran in 1974. In 1998, along with Cardiologist SOMA RAJU, Kalam developed a low cost coronary stent, named “KALAM-RAJU” stent. In 2012 the duo designed a rugged tablet computer for healthcare in rural areas which was named the “Kalam-Raju Tablet”. Kalam received 7 honorary doctorates from 40 universities. The Government of India honoured him with Padma Bhushan in 1981 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1990 for his work with ISRO and DRDO and his role as a scientific advisor to the Government. In 1997, Kalam received India’s highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, for his contribution to the scientific research and modernization of defense technology in India. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Von Braun Award from the National Space Society to recognize excellence in the management and leadership of a space –related project. In 2012, Kalam was ranked number 2 in Outlook India’s poll of the Greatest Indian.         
Kalam served as the 11th President of India, succeeding K.R Narayanan. His term lasted from 25th July 2002 to 25th July 2007.During his term as president ,he was affectionately known as the “ PEOPLE’s PRESIDENT, saying that signing the office of profit Bill was the toughest decision he had taken during his tenure. Kalam was criticized for his inaction in deciding the fate of 20 out of 21 mercy petitions submitted to him during his tenure. Article 72 of Indian Constitution empowers the President of India to grant pardons and suspends or commute the death sentences of convicts on death row. Kalam acted only one mercy plea in his five years tenure as president, rejecting the plea of rapist Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was later hanged. Perhaps the most notable plea was from Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri terrorist who was convicted on conspiracy in the December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament and was sentenced to death by Supreme Court of India in 2004, while the sentence was scheduled to be carried out on 20th October 2006, the plea resulted in him remaining on death row. He also took the controversial decision to impose President’s Rule in Bihar in 2005. In September 2003, in an interactive session in PGI Chandigarh, Kalam supported the need of uniform civil code in India keeping in view the population. During his tenure as President of India, on 12th April 2006, Gin Gangte, then a mere School Head Master of a hill village Bunglon (now a member of the Indian Information Service) in Churachandpur District of Manipur, met the President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam at Rastrapati Bhawan in new Delhi and invited him to visit the Bunglon; to know the real faces of India to which Kalam promised to make a visit at the Village. Six months down the line the President fulfilled his promised with the “Great October Visit” on 16th October 2006, which turned the village and it’s surrounding a new life which was unattended for the last 70 years.         
After leaving office, Kalam became visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong, Ahmedabad, Indore and an honorary fellow of Indian Institute of Science ,Bangalore; Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology, Thiruvanant hapuram;  professor of Aerospace Engineering at Ana university and an adjunct at many other academic and research Institutions across India. He taught Information Technology at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad. In May 2012, Kalam launched a programme for the youths of India called “What Can I give Movement” with the central theme of defeating corruption. On 27th July 2015, Kalam travelled to Shillong to delivered a lecture on “Creating a livable Planet Earth” at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong. At about 6:35pm IST; only five minutes into his lecture, he collapsed and rushed to the nearby Hospital but he breathed last at 7:45pm IST due to sudden cardiac arrest. His last words to his aide Srijan Pal Singh were “Funny Guy! Are you doing well? Thus Missile man of India and people’s President bade good bye to us for his heavenly abode forever leaving behind a vacuum which will be hard to fill.

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