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Thursday, 26 December 2019 - Imphal Times

De Jure Government of Manipur argues the legitimacy of ‘Instrument of Accession’

IT News

Imphal, Dec 26

De Jure government of Manipur presently taking asylum at London has argued the legitimacy of the instrument of accession signed by Maharaja Bodhachandra on August 11, 1947.

Spokesperson of the government Narengbam Samerjit, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs & Defence , Manipur State Council, Government –in-Exile, in a statement said that the British suzerainty and Paramountcy did not lapse till August 15, 1947 as the Indian Independence Act , 1947 or India (Provisional Constitution) Order 1947 still was to be enforced. The spokesperson was referring for all the princely states of India that has been annexed in accordance to the signing of the Instrument of Accession.

In connection with Manipur, the statement said that as per the Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 and Manipur State Administrative Rules 1947, the Constitutional Monarchy System was introduced and the then Governor General of India Mountbatten had accepted it so Maharaja Bodhachandra cannot sign any agreement by representing the erstwhile nation.

Following the illegitimacy of the Instrument of Accession, there cannot be any called Manipur Merger Agreement to merge the state of Manipur to India, the statement said.

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AILU Delegates left Imphal for National Conference

IT News

Imphal, Dec 26

A seven member Delegates of lawyers left Imphal to attend 13th National Conference of All India Lawyer’s Union (AILU) which will be held at Kochi, Kerala from December 27-29 , 2019. The National Conference will discuss the ways and means to strengthen judiciary to make India a strong and vibrant democratic and secular country. The Manipur Delegates will place a brief and concise report on the present development in Manipur specially on the ongoing Indo-Naga peace talks and its possible impact in the state and on the CAA movement. The Delegates will move resolutions for a Law University and Lawyer’s welfare schemes in Manipur. Approximately 500 Delegates from all over the country including some foreign Delegates are attending the conference and eminent lawyers and retired Justices of Supreme Court will address the conference.

The seven Delegates are 1) Puyam Tomcha Meetei(President), 2) Salam Pari Luwang (Secretary), 3) Wahengbam Herendro (VP), 4) Maisnam Jagajit (VP),5) Moirangthem Dhanajit (Treasurer), 6) Moirangthem Anand and 7) Khangembam Brajit Singh.

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NPR preliminary step towards NRC; to be rejected: Popular Front

IT News
Imphal, Dec 26

Popular Front of India National General Secretary M Muhammed Ali Jinnah has stated that the cabinet cleared National Population Register is nothing but the preliminary step towards the preparation of National Register of Citizens.
A statement said that the central government does not contend that NPR is a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country.  Since this database seeks to collect demographic as well as biometric particulars of the individuals, it will be an all inclusive data collection which makes it totally different from usual census survey.  Reply in Rajya Sabha by Kiran Rijiju, Minister of State, in November 2014 and the Annual Report of the Central Home Ministry 2017-18 and 2018-19 disclosed that NPR is the first step towards NRC. The endeavour of NPR does not pertain to usual census pursued as per the Census Act of 1948. The home page of the official website of Census Registrar also exhibits an NRC window. All these point to the sinister agenda behind the preparation of NPR, a dubious way of launching controversial NRC. There is something fishy behind expedited move for the NPR in the wake of the nationwide agitations against Citizenship Amendment Act and NRC. Mr. Jinnah has called upon the central govt. to revoke the decision to implement NPR, and appealed to the citizens of the country to reject this process.

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UBI loanee complaints notice of intended sales; alleges tempering of his Bank Cheque

IT News

Imphal, Dec 26

A loanee of the United Bank of India (UBI) Imphal Branch complains against serving of Notice of Intended Sale under the SARFAESI Act 2002 and urged the DGM & Chief Regional Manager, Chief Manager and the Assistant General Manager of the UBI to withdraw the same as the of Notice of Intended Sale served to him on 12/12/2019 is alleged of being quashed by the bank itself in Lok Adalat held on 14/9/2019.

The loanee, a government employee also alleged the bank of tampering his Bank Cheque of Rs. 50,000/- to Rs. 1,00,000/-, that he submitted to the bank for installment payment of the loan and alleged the Bank of non placing of deposited money in between the year 2013 to 2017, amounting to Rs. 2,19,500/- to the loan account.

The complainant S. Indra Singh, of  Haoreibi Mayai Leikai, Imphal West, is an employee of Horticulture department, Government of Manipur. He said he borrowed the Housing loan from the UBI at the capacity of his service. However, as he was placed under suspension from 24/4/2013 till 2017, he deposited a total amount of Rs. 2,19,500/- in addition with the tampered cheque amount.

“During the period of my suspension when I was not getting any pay, I deposited a total amount of Rs. 2,19,500/- ( Rs. 1 lakh withdrawn by bank staffs from my UBI Bank account number  0254010513920 by overwriting/tampering the Bank Cheque of Rs. 50,000/- as Rs. 1 lakh + Rs. 20,000/- + Rs. 50,000/- + Rs. 49,500/-) at my Housing Loan Account No. 0254300100596 in between the year 2013 (24/4/2013) and 2017”, S. Indra Singh wrote to the Bank officials.

He said that he will clear the outstanding Loan Capital amounts (Dues) only after deducting the fix deposit amount as well as the deposited amount of Rs. 2,19,500/- on installment basis within three years from the date of receiving official letter in connection to that from the UBI. 

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5th Singju Festival from December 28

IT News
Imphal, Dec 24

The 5th edition State-Level Manipur Singju Festival will be held from December 28 to January 6, 2020, at District Sports Complex (Kodompokpi Ground), Wangjing, Thoubal District.
The festival will be organised by Singju Yokhat Lup (SYOL) in collaboration with Wangjing United Club.
Speaking to the media during a press meet held at Wangjing Sports Complex yesterday by Convenor of Singju Festival Committee 2020, Laimujam Pratap Singh conveyed that the festival will be organised under the theme “Save Our Indigenous Food, Culture and Integrity”. He added that the festival aims at promoting this indigenous food (Singju).
Nearly 100 stalls will be opened at the festival site and sell/exhibit different indigenous food.

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There is no harm in backtracking on CAA: Archbishop of Mumbai

IT News
Mumbai, Dec 26

Cardinal Oswald Gracias, the Archbishop of Mumbai, stressed on the importance of having an inter-religious dialogue, and the responsibilities that come with being “men of service” on the occasion of Christmas.
Addressing the media, on the occasion of Christmas, Gracias, who is also the president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, said that up till now he held multiple offices and realised that it was important to be men of service and have faith in God, no matter which religion we belonged to. “There are many challenges and one might be pressured to do the wrong thing, but in such cases, it is important to do what is right. If you appease people, then you will repent later”, he added.
On the political turmoil in the country over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), he said, “Religion should never be made a dividing factor. I am very keen on inter-religious dialogue between people of different faiths which will knock off any prejudices and eventually help, understand and appreciate each other. I want the Catholic community to be at the forefront of this to build bridges.”
Reacting to the anti-CAA protests, he said, “Violence is not right. A continuous discussion must take place. The students should be ready to come forward and discuss their difficulties, and the government should be willing to engage. The government wants a better India and if after reflection, if they feel that they have committed a mistake, then there is no harm in backtracking. We need to look at the larger picture.”
“If we truly feel strongly about India, then we must work for the country, to the point of being ready to sacrifice for it. Therefore, the most important part is that of reflection and exchange of ideas. Reading and knowing the thoughts of others helps one’s own thoughts to mature and will conceptualise a better India.This is what should be our priority,” the Archbishop said.
The Cardinal celebrated his 75th birthday, at the Cathedral of the Holy Name at Colaba, in South Mumbai, which is the seat of the Archbishop and the ‘Mother Church’ of the Archdiocese, on X Mas day, amid followers, friends, well-wishers and parishioners.

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EGC Shanglen and Community hall inaugurated at Wangbal Part-II

IT News
Imphal, Dec 26

MLA, Okram Surajkumar has inaugurated Educational Gym Club (EGC) and Community hall at Wangbal Part-II, Khangabok, Thoubal District, today.
The MLA also inaugurated a public playground fencing of Wangbal Part-II.
MLA SurajKumar said that in order to develop his constituency electricity and water are one of the most important factor. He added that there will be some lack of development in his constituency but now electricity is improved. He further said that water will also improve before the month of March of the coming year.
The function was attended by Wangbal Gram Panchayat, Pradhan, H.Manichandra, Members of Construction Committee, Members of District Block Congress Committee, Thoubal and KBCC Mahila members.

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Songs of the dark times

“In the dark times, Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times” ¯ Bertolt Brecht
The song of the dark days are powerful, it carries the pain and anguish of the people. It wakes up common people from their slumbering. What is happening around the world is a matter of serious concern for every politically civilized people. People’s uproar in Hong Kong is going to the longest in 21st century world. President of USA Donald Trump impeached, Indonesia facing mass protest and in India over 20 people have been killed while protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act, National Registration for Citizens and now updated National Population Registration.
When one diagnoses the issue that sparks the nationwide chaos, it is a complex one. When few people are opposing the CAA and the NRC, almost many are up on the apprehension about the safety of their land, culture and economy. When those supporting the act have their own narrative of passing the act as a means to strengthen the country a stronger one, critics are of the opinion that it only sabotage the idea of India that has been existing after the British left in 1947. When political rivals strike terming the CAA a narrow political gambit to built vote bank by the ruling, common people are afraid that those illegal migrants getting citizenship may shattered the job opportunity of the citizens of the country.
People at mainland opposed NRC, NPR and CAA, while in Assam and other part of the North East states including Manipur oppose CAA but welcomes NRC or NPR.
The kind of debate over this issue has divided the country into many groups. And among these groups North East States in India unites on this particular issue of CAA, NRC or NPR. The region felt insecure in protecting the identity, culture and land from the migrants so they are opposing the CAA. It is because of this apprehension that the North East people felt that there is an urgent need of detecting the illegal or legal immigrants.
The gloomy and the grave songs need to be listened and every civilized leader should shed tears and felt the pain so that the country remains united. Or else, an idea which has been pushed up to redefine India, in the name of strengthening the country may cost the country – the fate of the then USSR.

Computational Thinking(CT):Education for 21st Century

Today people have realized that education translates into opportunity and hope for the future. They have understood the fact that the ability to get an education, to foster creativity and curiosity, to seek answers will allow mankind to continue to grow. The education culture in India has reached interesting times. Teachers are more qualified, students are more aware, schools have better facilities, and fee structure have gone over the roof. Modern day education is certainly aided by computers, projectors, the internet and much more. Everything that can be simplified has been made simpler. Technology and Science have explored every aspect of life. Internet provides implausible knowledge and there is no end to it. Education in India includes Primary, Secondary and higher education. Elementary Education goes on for 8 years, Secondary and Senior Secondary education goes on for 4 years. Higher Education in India starts after passing the higher Secondary Education and post-graduation courses are generally of two to three years of duration.
     The current system of education in India needs many changes. Teachers need to experiment with different styles of teaching. One must understand, teaching must change not the students. In a World where methods and people change all the times, it is said to see that education follows the same archaic method. It is time for a change. Navigating the challenges and opportunities of 21st century requires flexible and creative thinkers who can adapt to an increasing pace of change. Mainstream Education system in India is not creating such thinkers. The problem is as much about how students are taught, as much as it is about what is being taught. We need to teach students in the same way as we want them to act. Creatively, collaboratively, constantly interacting and driving to output with structure and logic. And we need to teach them content that helps them interpret many of the new challenges. Teaching Computational Thinking (CT) answers both challenges. Computational Thinking (CT) is thought processes involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solution(s) in such a way that a Computer-Human or machine can effectively carryout. Its constructivist play-based approach to teaching and CT content are what our schools needs for developing 21st century learners who will not only become better job seekers but also job makers. We believe that introducing CT education early on would be game –changing in Indian schools. India’s education system has struggled to teach both fundamental and as well as higher order thinking skills and CT education at early ages could be a highly effective way of trying to fill these gaps. While other interventions are also touted for addressing such gaps, we believe CT education is particularly important for Indian context.
      Educational agencies around the World are now recognizing the potential of CT education. In the largest global curriculum change in the past decade, CT is being introduced to children as early as in Kindergarten and primary schools. Finland, which leads on traditional education benchmarks, is reinvesting itself by integrating CT across existing subjects. As automation and productivity increases are replacing execution – oriented jobs and other countries are moving ahead, India cannot afford to fall behind. A quality CT course is not just about learning a programming language. In these classrooms, learning is project-based and teachers are felicitators. They focus students to work in groups and reflect on their own thinking processes. Teaching coding and CT from an early age is important as the benefits of developing higher order thinking skills are greater in early ages. Contrary to the popular belief, school can deliver a well –designed CT course even in low resource environments. Much of core of such courses do not even require computers. A movement called CS unplugged includes several activities and lessons on how to teach computational concepts and ways of thinking without any technology. These activities try to get students to understand fundamental concepts in an intuitive way. For example; to teach students about sequence in Algorithms, a teacher might ask students to write out the steps for making an ice- cream sundae. The thinking required to instruct someone to make this sundae in the same step-by-step thinking needed to design algorithms. At higher levels where devices can enhance the learning by making the concepts come alive, one lab equipped with 20 to 30 low-cost tablets or laptops per school could be adequate.
     Interactive coding courses that have access to devices can allow students move at their own pace. Teachers are encouraged to group students by ability and students do much of their learning by doing and so can take more or less time as needed. The majority of students in India do not experience interactive and best practice teaching. There have been many calls over the years to improve teaching quality and make learning more child centric. The 2005, NCERT guidelines have tried to make child centered and constructivist pedagogy the norms in all subjects. However it is difficult to change the way teachers currently teach. Coding and CT education is new to many schools and so teachers are often looking to learn how to teach it. Teachers training on coding education become an excellent opportunity to promote child-centered learning. Since coding and computational thinking (CT) courses for this age group are project- based and naturally pedagogy is more likely to actually happen in the classrooms. Certain research also shows that when teachers experience teaching in a more interactive manner in one subject they often transfer those habits into other subjects. India has started to recognize the importance of equipping the country’s future generation with CT skills. There are budding programmes across a spectrum of delivery formats; hardware-driven, software-driven; in-school; after-school and in boot camps. The Central Government’s policy think- tank NITI Aayog recently launches Atal Thinking Laboratories (ATLs) in schools across India with a vision to cultivate our million children in India as Neoteric Innovators. The Government is providing the hardware infrastructure to foster makers for 500 schools to begin with. Several organizations have developed programmes and curriculum and currently piloting them in schools across the country. For example. Curricula like that of CSPathshala has created an open-source curriculum for grade 1-8 which is being piloted in over 100 schools this year. Andhra Pradesh has been experimenting with the Google Code to learn course in over 300 of its residential and tribal schools. However the overall scale of these programmes is still a drop in the ocean compare to 1.2 M Schools in the Country.
      If we are to truly get quality CT education into every school in India, we will need to convince state government to adopt it as a core part of the curriculum. The key to this lies in taking an experimental approach that encourages many more prototypes to emerge, linked together by a structured evaluation framework that build evidences for what works. The cultural and physical diversity of India require that the essence of computational thinking (CT) education be adopted to multiple contexts. Government will engage when they see evidences of outcomes and a pragmatic path to implementation. Much like what computation thinking education teaches us, now is the time to build on the various small-scale initiatives to test, debug and create for scale. Ultimately if campaigns such as make in India are to succeed, we need more creators in India. Hence serious investment reforms in how we develop our human capital is required. A good computational Thinking Education initiative can be catalyst for that change. As we participate in the digital revolution, we need to train our children on skills for the digital age. Computational Thinking (CT) has been recognized as one of the key 21st century skills and involves understanding a problem, designing a solution and expressing it in a form that a human or a machine can execute. CT has been introduced into the mainstream curricula in many countries and India has joined them with the “The draft National Education Policy 2019” recognizing CT as a fundamental skill. The education policy recommends teaching from age 6 using well designed worksheets. CSPathshala is an Association for Computing Machinery India (ACM India) initiative to bring a modern computing curriculum to Indian schools. To prepare our students to participate creatively in the digital age CSPathshala proposes an activity based unplugged computational thinking curriculum   for primary and secondary schools.

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“AWAKENING,” a two day residential training for adolescents

IT News
Imphal, Dec. 26

FXB India Suraksha as part of its project Mukti-an Anti Trafficking project to address issues of human trafficking and child sexual abuse, organized a two day residential training programme titled, “Awakening” for the Adolescents from different schools across Imphal East and Imphal West on issues related to Child protection and safety  at Youth Hostel, Khuman Lampak, Imphal on 23rd and 24th December, 2019.
The main objective of the programme was to make children aware of their rights and the mechanisms available to ensure their safety and security and how they can be change agents in ensuring the same. 63 adolescent students were part of the two day residential trainining programme.
The programme was conducted as part of project Mukti-an Anti Trafficking initiative to combat human trafficking and child sexual abuse in Manipur implemented with the support of ECPAT Luxembourg since 2015 in Imphal and Ukhrul. In the last 4 years project Mukti did not limit itself to concentrate within its proposed project areas but spread out to different other districts to propagate its mission to combat human trafficking and reduce instances of child sexual abuse from. Through the project more than 10,000 school students were made aware, above 15,000 adolescent boys and girls trained and above 30 adolescent clubs were formed.
M.. Premchandra Singh, ZEO, Zone II inaugurated the two day training programme. He appreciating the effort said, “This residential training is first of its kind and is of high value. We hope that the students get exposure to learn about issues which they may not have discussed earlier. Child protection issues are of high concern and it is very necessary to start a dialogue amongst children in order to prevent abuse and exploitation.”
The two day training  programme was facilitated by Mr. Sunil Meitei, Project Officer, Imphal, FXB India Suraksha, Wungreiso A Sangh, Project Officer, Ukhrul, FXB India Suraksha and Grace Jajo.
During the programme the participants were trained on the basics of Child protection and safety where they were told about the roles and responsibilities that families, communities, institutions and as a nation has in order to create a safe space for children to lead their life in dignity. The participants were informed about the different forms of abuse, how to identify whether there is an abuse or not, the preventive measures and redressal mechanisms available.
The children were also given sessions on life skills and how they can be ambassadors to prevent violence and exploitation towards children. Children were given group work too to showcase their thoughts on how to bring change as child ambassadors and the initiatives they wanted to take up in their respective schools on trafficking in persons and child sexual abuse. The two day training programme also witnessed recreational activities such as games, dancing, playing and storytelling.
Awakening is a unique initiative that seeks to empower adolescent girls against human trafficking and sexual abuse. This residential training programme aims to bring together adolescents children in the age group of 10-18 years from different schools of Manipur, who would be trained as Peer Leaders. These participants would in turn lead the movement against human trafficking by educating their friends and classmates. The primary objective of the initiative is to bring about change in attitudes and knowledge on gender related issues and thereby empowering the adolescents to combat trafficking.

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