Tuesday, 30 June 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News

Imphal, June 30:

Chief minister N.Biren Singh today left Imphal for New Delhi at around 2 pm on a special charter flight. Source from the Chief Minister office said that the visit is to call on with the central leadership of the BJP including National President JP Nadda , Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah among others in connection with the recent victory of BJP candidate Leisemba Sanajaoba in the Rajya Sabha Election held on June 19.

“It is just a courtesy call to the central leadership in connection with the recent victory by BJP in the lone Rajya seat of Manipur”, a source from the CMO said.

Interestingly the Chief Minister was accompanied by Congress MLA RK Imo. Chief Secretary of Manipur Dr. Suresh Babu was supposed to join the team but canceled in the last minute a source said. Four other persons including the PRO to CM Sanajaoba and two others also accompanied the Chief Minister in his Delhi visit.

Even as the Chief Minister’s visit is stated to be related to the victory of BJP Candidate as Rajya Sabha member, another source close to the Chief Minister’s office said that the Chief Minister will personally discuss the political development in the wake and aftermath of the Rajya Sabha Election. The real purpose of the visit is to discuss in depth over the issue of the NPP MLAs who had resigned from the minister and left the BJP led government to join the Congress camp but return with more demand that gives additional headache to the government.

Even as the four NPP MLAs returned to the government, BJP MLAs and the party’s ally NPF have been demanding equal distribution of ministerial berth to all ally partners. Four ministers and portfolios as desire by them are more like blackmailing the government on the pretext that the BJP government will collapse without the NPP, a BJP hardcore worker told Imphal Times. Earlier some weeks ago, a BJP MLA while talking to Imphal Times had already expressed his displeasure over the allotment of ministers to all the NPP MLAs and had stated that if the government does not make a major reshuffle than they will uprise again.

After the Rajya Sabha election, the N. Biren Singh government is confident in protecting his government even without the support of the NPP.

“We have won the Rajya Sabha Election without the NPP and we are sure that the BJP will remain even after floor test”, an important functionary of the BJP government said.

Regarding Congress claims about imposing whip, the BJP functionary said that there are ways to handle such matters and that BJP is not a fool to allow somebody easily attacking us. In politics, planning and strategy is what is required.

The four NPP MLAs return to the government after much negotiation with the party chief Conrad Sangma and BJP’s Himanta Biswa.

Whether the Chief Minister will keep all the four NPP MLAs as minister’s reinstating their portfolios or will he convince the central leadership so that he can put under control the anger of other BJP MLAs and ally partner NPF by degrading the NPP MLAs is a matter yet to be known.

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By IT Correspondent
Pune, June 30:

In a significant development on the COVID-19 vaccine front, Indian pharma major “Bharat Biotech” on Monday announced development of COVAXIN™,  India’s first vaccine candidate for COVID-19, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV). 
Now human clinical trials will be conducted in phase I and phase II from next month. The Hyderabad based company has a track record in developing vero cell culture platform technologies and has proven record in inventing several vaccines for Polio, Rabies, Rotavirus, Japanese Encephalitis, Chikungunya and Zika. 
 The SARS-CoV-2 strain was isolated in NIV, Pune and was transferred to “Bharat Biotech”. The indigenous, inactivated vaccine was developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) High Containment facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad.  
The company declared that the Drug Controller General of India - CDSCO, Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare have granted permission to initiate Phase I & II Human clinical trials after the it submitted results generated from preclinical studies, demonstrating safety and immune response. Human clinical trials are scheduled to start across India in July 2020. 
Announcing the vaccine development, Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech said: “We are proud to announce COVAXIN™, India’s first indigenous vaccine against COVID-19. The collaboration with ICMR and NIV was instrumental in the development of this vaccine. The proactive support and guidance from CDSCO has enabled approvals to this project. Our R&D and manufacturing teams worked tirelessly to deploy our proprietary technologies towards this platform.” 
Expedited through national regulatory protocols, the company said it accelerated its objective in completing the comprehensive pre-clinical studies and added results from these studies have been promising and show extensive safety and effective immune responses. 
 ”Our ongoing research and expertise in forecasting epidemics has enabled us to successfully manufacture a vaccine for the H1N1 pandemic. Continuing our focus on creating the only BSL-3 containment facilities for manufacturing and testing in India, “Bharat Biotech” is committed to advancing vaccine development as a matter of national importance to demonstrate India’s strength in handling future pandemics” Bharat Biotech Joint Managing Director Suchitra Ella said.

Published in News
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 16:37

Bomb threat at Mumbai Hotels

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, June 30:
The security has been beefed up at Hotel Taj Intercontinental at Colaba in South Mumbai and at Taj Land’s End at Bandra in North West Mumbai following a threat to blow off  both the hotels was received over a phone in the wee hours of Tuesday.

An anonymous caller claimed that he was speaking on behalf of LeT and both the hotels would be attacked on the lines of the terrorist attack that took place on 26 November 2008 at Taj and other places in Mumbai. It may be recalled that 166 people were killed and several others were injured in that attack.

The Mumbai police sources confirmed that the telephone call received on Tuesday originated from Pakistan and the matter was being investigated. However the threat call sent shock waves among police and other agencies already burdened with the work of lock down enforcement following wide spread of COVID-19 in Mumbai.

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IT News
Imphal, June 30:

Coalition Against Drugs & Alcohol (CADA) organized an awareness program on Covid-19 at Hiyanglam Wabagai Terapishak Keithel yesterday. The program was aimed at imparting knowledge about the pandemic so that community transmission in the state, which has become a risk, can be stopped and also dispelling the various myths surrounding it. The awareness program was presided by Hijam Priyokumar (President CADA), Dipanjit Ningthoujam (Vice president CADA), Mayengbam Budha (Secretary Organisation CADA), Elangbam Shyama (Advisor CADA Kakching) and Huidrom Memngoubi (senior member Terapishak Apunba Meira Paibi Lup). Dipanjit Ningthoujam while addressing the participants briefed about the transmission mode of the virus and the measures to combat it. Hijam Priyokumar also drew the attention of concern authorities to quarantine the drivers who are responsible for transport of stranded passengers from Jiribam to various parts of the state. Face masks and Hand sanitizers were also distributed to the participants of the program.

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IT News
Imphal, June 30:

Manipur Alliance for Child Rights (MACR) in affiliation with Child Rights & You (CRY) kicked off their “Let the Education continue non-stop” campaign at Andro Parking today. The event was presided by Binodkumar Moirangthem, OC, Imphal- East District Police. The campaign is aimed at bridging the educational divide of marginalized children especially during the Covid-19 crisis. During the event attended by MACR members, face masks and educational kits meant for the children were distributed to women street vendors who are suffering due to the prolonged lockdown and curfew imposed by the authority in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. MACR also urged the State education authority and school management to seek alternatives to the currently employed Smartphone based online education system, to a more accessible and child friendly option.
Montu Ahanthem, Convener MACR, in a statement further added that the campaign aims to cover over 1000 children across different areas of Churachandpur, Bishnupur, Kangpokpi, Senapati, Thoubal, Chandel, Imphal-East, Imphal –West, with plans to cover more districts in future. He also expressed happiness over volunteering of CRY’s Fund Raiser by three young girls, Sisao Ahanthem , Shirroy Kangjam and Keisam Yoihenbi chanu.

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IT News
Mumbai, New Delhi, June 30:

Despite much publicised “Vande Bharat Mission” (VBM) being implemented by the Union Government to evacuate Indians stranded abroad, over 200 Indians from North Eastern states remain stranded in UAE, due to heavy airfare and absence of direct special Air India flight to Guwahati, the biggest airport in the North East. 
The expats from North Eastern states including Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura, working mostly in hotels, Spas and fashion shops in Dubai and other cities, have become jobless in the last few months and are struggling to return to their native states. They include a sizable number of girls. 
The victims include Calvin Joute who was working as waiter in a hotel in Dubai on monthly pay of 1800 Dirhams and lost his job in February. Similarly Ngamzamang Lhungdim, who was working in an international fashion chain in Abu Dhabi, as a senior sales associate, on a monthly salary of 4000 Dirhams, resigned since his employer asked him to proceed on leave without pay. Both of them are from Manipur.   
Now most of the expatriates face a threat of cancellation of their visa, since visa extension granted till December 2020 is applicable only to those whose visas have expired before first March 2020. The fine for overstay is 200 Dirhams for the first day and 25 Dirhams per day for subsequent days. If they convert their visas into tourist visas, they have to pay 2000 Dirhams, which again is a costly affair. This has put them in a bind. 
To tide over the difficulty, at the behest of the “Purvanchal Pravasi Milan” (PPM), an outfit formed for cultural amalgamation of the people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, in UAE, the “SpiceJet” had agreed to run a special flight to Guwahati from Dubai on 29 June, with tickets costing around Rs 26,000 per passenger. However, the number of tickets booked did not meet the expected number of 170 passengers and eventually the flight had to be cancelled. 
Many had registered their names to travel by above special flight. However they could not pay the charges of tickets, due to want of money since most of them have lost their jobs after a lock down was imposed by UAE, due to COVID-19 pandemic from April onwards. Most of them are staying with their friends. They were expecting support from their respective state governments, but no one volunteered to help, Leo Tharmi Raikhan, a Mumbai based activist coordinating the evacuation mission on behalf of the fellow North East Indians said. 
A group of volunteers from the North Eastern states comprising David, Lovejoy, Ngayaomi, Angam, Bryan, Maro and Lian coordinated with PPM, to help the expatriates to return to their states. Subsequently a Zoom meeting led by David and Angam was also held in which the stranded expatriates voiced their concerns. Linda Newmai, a social activist from Nagaland who joined the meeting assured them that she would take the issue with respective state governments and the Central Government to ensure their return. 
Although over a lakh Indians from other parts of the country returned to India and landed in major cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Kochi, by nearly 160 flights till now, those from North Eastern states continue to languish in absence of direct flight to North East. Since May only two flights from Kuwait and Russia landed in Guwahati. No direct or feeder flights have been arranged for expats coming from the N/E region. The expats who are in financial difficulty and eager to return home, are hoping to get a sponsor to foot the heavy air fare. 
In the meanwhile in response to a tweet by David Tusing, a Dubai-based journalist originally from Manipur, who submitted a list of expatriates from North East India stranded in the Gulf countries, Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh on Friday replied  ”Will pursue the matter with urgency. Thanks for sharing the list. We will overcome. Jai Hind (Long live India)”, giving a glimmer of hope to the expatriates.

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Among other sectors of the society we live today, what has been tremendously affected by the novel coronavirus is the media industry particularly the print media. Since March this year, the circulation figure of almost all major newspapers in the country has been reduced giving heat to the running of the media industries. A similar phenomenon also happens across the globe. As in India, there are reports of giant media houses closing down its subsidiary publications and had closed dozens of jobs leaving many journalists jobless.
The advent of new generation media with the advancement of internet technology had already given hardship to the running of the print media before the invasion by the novel coronavirus. Most global media houses like the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street journal etc. have already plan to go online publication and similar planning are also taken up by giant Indian print media houses. Will the changes that have been taking place to the fate of print journalism a doomsday for print media? This is one topic that Imphal Times would like to discuss with media icons who have years of experience in the field.
Before we started taking expert opinions, Imphal Times felt it necessary to highlight the journey of the print media which happens to be in a thorny street. The history of print media in India began with the publication of the first English newspaper ‘Bengal Gazette’ in 1780 by James Augustus Hicky. Since then newspapers became a tool for both those ruling the state as well as for those who are critical of the ruling regime. Point wanted to remind us that since that times newspaper has been considered as the significant organ of Indian society, even as it has been accepted and agreed by the well advanced western countries much ahead of India. Now when electronic media radio came to India for the first time in India in 1936, MV Gopalaswami set up his private radio station and started transmission as ‘Akashvani’. This was later adopted as All India Radio on-air name in 1957. That was the time when those in the print media started worrying about the fate of print media. Later, after Television came on the scene, Marshal MacLuhan prophesied the doom of the print media. There has never been hold to the advancement of Technologies, and finally from black and white television comes the colour television which has been followed by multiple news channels and many media experts felt the same with the idea of Marshal MacLuhan. But the prophecies turn wrong. No electronic media including the television or the radio could be replaced or uproot the print media. The reality was that the print media have built their niche in society and their role or providing exhaustive and interpretive information cannot be completely taken away by electronic media. That was a time when the new generation internet depended on Information technology and other social media which can connect persons living at the opposite side of the globe within a second.
The Radio, the Television, the telegram, the wire service that have been disseminating information all rely on the print media until the internet medium of media came into existence.
The already troubled print media was once more hit by the novel coronavirus affecting its circulation and forcing them to close down certain subsidiary publications by laying off journalists who were working on it. This was due to the decline in the income of the media houses.
Now the next generation of media is going to be dependent on the internet. Web portal news sites are the hopes of future media. Having said so one has to remember is that it is just the change of channel/medium – from paper to mobile, laptop, tablet, or desktop screen that will be replacing. Traditional marketing perceptions for running a newspaper will remain no longer applicable and a new concept of marketing for the web portal news has to be discovered and utilized.

Published in Editorial

By: Bramhacharimayum Sadananda Sharma

Apart from our physical identity now a days we do also need to maintain a virtual social media identity, and when it comes to social media identity the social media platforms has played an important role. The rapidly growing social media has changed the directions, many people giving more importance in virtual lives than ever. Also Social media platforms are the places where we “showcase” our living experiences. They also mirror a variety of scope regarding our position in the virtual and physical social life. Because of this both the factors make people to play different characters in the social arena.
With the advancement of Technologies and many IT-Companies sectors, easily accessible Internet facilities, affordable Smartphone can also be one of the factors of Social network in gaining more and more importance in today’s world. Social media enables identity expression, exploration, and experimentation; something that is natural in a Society which encourage the internet communities and the interactions they make within themselves. It is also required to comprehend and understand the motives of using group interactions on social platforms.
Communicating online offers many ways to connect with others, yet many people are putting extra effort in social media now more than ever. Apart from their study activities they tend to socialize with friends and family members. In fact, chatting using social media medium is one of the means they communicate with others. But just like any other social activity, the opportunity for bullying do exists.
When a person uses the Internet or any online platform with an intention to harass, threaten, embarrass or target another person, comes under Cyberbullying. Earlier, the victims of cyberbullying were mostly teens but the case spread and even adults started to experience cyberbullying and public shaming as well.
Some of the most common Cyberbullying strategy happens in our society are using a camera phone to record a video and later share a bullying incident, downloading a video of something humiliating and posting it to YouTube and Facebook in order to allow a larger audience to view the incident.
Such incident creates and causes another person to become upset or emotional breakdown. And to be mentioned this type of activity is often referred to as Cyberbaiting.
In some recent incident, a video of one-hour length, we do never worry or be concerned to share any quality content or message that the video wants to convey to us. Instead, we put more efforts and time to find out mistakes, just to make fun out of it. They crop, cut, edited and even manipulated the message of that video. Subsequently, they uploaded in social media. And the most surprising part is that people in social media do support and encourage such activities leading to viral in social media and some people even posted inflammatory comments and sickening words over this.
Imagine that person who is giving the interview or TV show, how much efforts and research works they must have put before they went live in the show. He or she must be working believing in mind that this work of mine will help our society in some ways. But, that confidence, spirit, and enthusiasm disappeared in matter of seconds when our appreciation and support is focus in trolling and bullying on their mere mistakes.
We often talk and debate about why there is no proper medium for expression of thoughts and ideas in our society. Obviously, it will be hard for anybody to stand up in this system where mass bullying is high however appreciation and supports comes out very rare from our own public. We are not all perfect, that’s why we discussed and debate in public domain for a collective good, we do make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we have the right and privileges to tear down someone’s image and prestige.
In fact, Cyberbullying involves using social media, Smartphone, text messages and online apps as tools and weapons. But going in depth they are not the only main problem. Cyberbullying occurs because of the choices the User or the individual’s person makes.
When analyzing the root cause of this type of unwanted incidents, restricting our child’s digital access or taking away electronic gadgets will not prevent them from being cyberbullied. In fact, they will find one way or other even creating a fake profile without our knowledge and can lead to involvement in serious unwanted activities. Instead of controlling our child’s online access, lets us focus our efforts on educating our child and youths about the risks of cyberbullying. Talking in casual manner to them about how to make smart choices online and how to report cyberbullying if it occurs. Keeping an open dialogue with our kids and youths about cyberbullying is the most effective way to deal with the issue and let us not encourage such acts of bullying in any online platform even among our friends or families.

Published in Guest Column
Tuesday, 30 June 2020 16:26

AR helps accident victims


Imphal, June 30:

The troops of Chassad Battalion (Somsai Sector) Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) turned saviours for the victims of a road accident in the remote Chattrik area of Kamjong district on 26 June 2020.

At around  1100hr, a Shaktiman truck carrying sand alongwith 5 passengers was moving from village Chattrik Khullen to Kamjong. The region has been facing incessant rains since past two days and due to sudden brake failure, the vehicle lost control while negotiating a hairpin bend downslope and toppled off the road. As a result of sudden jerk, one of the passengers, Leishingam fell off the vehicle and sustained severe facial injuries to his nose, jaw and forehead. The other passengers too sustained minor injuries.

On receipt of information, a team of one officer and 11 troops including Nursing Assistant of the Chattrik post of Assam Rifles immediately rushed to the accident site and provided continuous medical aid to the victims and evacuated them to CHC Kamjong for further medical treatment.

The village authorities and the local community expressed profound gratitude to the unit for this prompt & kind gesture. Such instances and many more reaffirm the Assam Rifles as the True Friends of North East.

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IT News
Guwahati, June 30:

Patriotic Peoples’ Front Assam (PPFA), while observing a media debate revolving around a city based doctor’s claim that Covid-19 is a hoax, urges concerned authorities to address the issue before it creates unnecessary confusions among the common people. The forum of nationalists also argues that if a practicing physician makes
such comments the medial fraternity should also come forward with necessary clarifications.
It may be mentioned that Dr Satyakam Phukan, a practicing surgeon in local hospitals, recently sent a mail to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with a copy to National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the President (of India) Ramnath Kovind appealing the agency to take steps ensuring that the common people do not suffer in the name
of various strict measures to contain the outbreak of novel coronavirus, which he terms as a hoax citing a number of international media reports in western countries.
“It is shocking that when the human race is fighting the infection of novel corona virus for more than three months with the casualties of five hundred thousand people around the world (over 16,000 in India and 11 in Assam), Dr Phukan has come out with his claim that a seasonal influenza being framed as a pandemic. His views are already
circulated through a number of social and mainstream media outlets of Assam,” said a statement issued by the forum.
Emphasizing on timely and necessary explanations by the concerned authorities including the State government over the debate, the PPFA also urges Indian Medical Association or Indian Medical Council to come with specific inputs over the issue so that it  cannot create misunderstanding  among the people facing the prolonged lockdown and all the efforts to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country do not go waste.

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