Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. Presently, he is teaching Mathematics at JCRE Global College. Jugeshwor can be reached at: [email protected] Or WhatsApp’s No: 9612891339.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2022 17:21

“Look & Act East Policy” of India

The‘’Look East Policy’’ of India was launched by the former Prime Minister P.V Naramsimha Rao in 1991. The main focus of this policy was to shift the country’s trading focus from the west and neighbors to the booming South East Asian countries. This policy continued till the formation of NDA government in 2014. The ‘’Act East Policy’’ was launched at the East Asia Summit in Myanmar in November 2014. The focus of the ‘’Look East Policy’ ’was to increase economic integration with the South East Asian countries and the area was just confined to South East Asia only.On the other hand the focus of the ‘’Act East Policy’’ is economic and security integration and the focus increased to South East Asia as well as East Asia. The’ ’Act East Policy’’ is a political gesture to increase the pace of ‘’Look East Policy’’ that is meant to connect North-East India (NEI) to South and South East Asia (SaSEA).The objectives of Act East Policy are: (i) To promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop a strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at regional bilateral and multilateral levels.(ii) To increase the interaction of the North-Eastern Indian states with other neighboring countries (iii) To find out the alternatives of the traditional business partners like, more focus on the Pacific countries in addition to the South East Asian countries. (iv)To curb the increasing impact of China in the ASEAN region.
Two way trades between India and ASEAN moved up to 71.6 billion dollars in 2016-17 from 2 billion dollars in the early 90s. In contrast two-way trade between China and ASEAN stood at 452.31 billion dollars in 2016. Experts say that under the ‘’Act East Policy ‘’ the government is relying on 3 C’s (Culture, Connectivity and Commerce) to develop better relation with ASEAN nations. In order to ensure the success of the policy, the Modi government is putting steady efforts to develop and strengthen connectivity of North-Eastern Indian states with ASEAN region through people-to-people contact, trade, culture and physical infrastructure (airport, road, power, telecommunication etc.). Some of the major projects include Kaladani Multi Modal Transit Transport Project, the Indo-Myanmar –Thailand Trilateral Highway Project, Border Haats and Rhi-Tiddim Road project etc.
The right wing government at the Centre argues that the pace of development during the short life of Act East, when compared to Look East, is very promising. It seeks to further the philosophy of looking east through its focus on ‘connectivity, culture and commerce’. They argue that the bilateral trade agreements have leap-frogged. The Act East policy goes beyond ASEAN countries and now reaches out to Japan, Australia, Pacific
Island Nations, South Korea and Mongolia. The optimists even claim that the fruits of such a foreign and trade policy are sweet indeed. Japan’s promised investment in the high-speed railway is shown to us as the shining example of such benefits. 
However, there were many organized oppositions against the consequences of such an extensive infrastructural development and policy by various local tribal bodies, student unions in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, members of the academia, and from the larger civil society. These various concerned groups were asking the basic question—at what cost, and for who is this so called development? As much as these questions are moral and ethical in its nature, it is also essentially a reflective of survival of local people and their everyday living. Raising question to such developmental projects and opposing them can also make life difficult for people. Look East, and subsequently Act East, reduces the entire region’s cultural, social and economic spaces into a mere corridor to fulfill the dreams of the policy initiative. It is nothing but ‘politics of self-actualization’. Policies directed at the region are ‘blind, self-directed and intransitive’. Between Look East and Act East, the choices of people suffered the most. It is the most undemocratic of its kind. It is only capable of fulfilling the elite, upper caste and Delhi-based politicians. Such bypassing of the local in arriving at a consensus is a typical example of structural violence orchestrated by the various institutions of the state—a modern micro and macro governmentality complex.
 The Look East, by its very name, suggests that the people do not have a vision in life! Manipur is the gateway to Southeast Asia under the flagship program of India’s “Look East Policy (LEP)”/’Act East Policy’’ (AEP), which is a synonym of “Nongpok Thong Hangba” in Manipuri, has many challenges to meet in the near future. There are numerous problems in Manipur. Some of the problems are geo-political, insurgency, civil movement, social unrest, corruption, infrastructural development, transportation, communication, topography and location, etc. At the same time the people in NEI particularly in Manipur, have been looking East and have interacted with the East for centuries. There is no need to even remind us to Act East either. If that is the case, whose looking and acting are we talking about? The nation is not shared equally nor is the market. Act East/Look East leaves everything to the market to achieve—a holy equilibrium of supply and demand. The market in a capitalist state is a site of injustice. This positionality of the state—imposing development and making people thankful about—brings about a typical case of life. The Act East policy is also a reality of our predicament. It is a question not just of one’s life but of the entire cosmos that surrounds that life—a life world. The state likes the infrastructural ensemble. However, the larger question is—would you like to live in a place where there is an impending danger of your home and hearth being washed away? Or, is it a glass palace the Modi and Ambanis want to build it, and not live in it?
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Thursday, 09 June 2022 17:45

Technologies of future for future Career

How many of us can say, with certainty, what jobs we would choose if we were kids today? The pace of technological change in the time, I’ve been in work is only a shadow of what we will see over the next 15 to 20 years. This next wave of change will fundamentally reshape all of our careers. Our future place of work might not be an open office, but interconnected workspaces not tied to one place, but many. They will be underpinned by virtual conferencing, complete and constant connection and portability. Critically, these very technologies might help us unlock the solutions to some of the biggest societal challenges we currently grapple with. The ICT underpinning these technologies, in consort with the transformational power of big data could support smart systems that will help tackle climate challenges. Connected homes, factories and farms leveraging smart energy management systems could mean dramatically lower energy use, which would contribute to the decarbonisation of our economies. Future generations are currently facing the frustration of preparing for careers that could not even exist yet. Selecting a college is difficult enough without adding the possibility that many of the jobs in specific fields will soon be eliminated due to technology. Experts estimate that 65-percent of kids in the next generation will have jobs that are not even created yet. In addition to seeing new jobs in the future, many old jobs will also be obsoleted, being replaced by robots or software automation. Although the idea of losing a job to a robot is unsettling, not every professional is affected. A recent article from The Economist, reviewed the probability of certain jobs remaining the future, many of which are high-paying. The most likely to be eliminated include, accountants/auditors, telemarketers, technical writers, word processors, real estate agents and retail salespersons.
Then, what new jobs will be created to replace the obsolete? Let’s discuss a few technologies for the jobs that will exist in15 to 20 years but do not exist now. With the continued popularity of drones, in the future there will be drones for everything including delivery services, forensics and filming. Once drones take over the world, there will be a great need for commercial civilian drone operators. This will require a pilot’s license and additional extensive training and experience. In the next decade or two, it will not be uncommon to see major delivery airlines using near-pilotless airplanes. Amazon has already proposed the idea of using drones for local deliveries. Whether or not you are linked in to Bitcoin, digital currencies are on the rise as people are becoming untrusting of government-controlled currency. To ensure you do not have a disastrous financial portfolio in the future, you need to enlist a digital currency advisor who is well-verse in the crypto currencies to maintain a diversified portfolio. Skills include a degree in computer security and financial management. With digital locks becoming the norm, in the near future digital locksmith’s, who are experts in dealing with digital locks, will start to be employed. Their primary function will be to get people out of locked cars or into their homes when technology fails. Since no technology is 100-pecent perfect (there will always be defects), a digital locksmith will save the day. 3D printing has taken the world by storm. From simple uses like creating models in the cosmetics industry to more complicated parts like prosthetics, 3D printing continues to develop. In the near future, there will be 3D food printing which using the same technology as 3D printing only to create different types of food, some of which is edible. Food engineers will need to have chemistry and an engineering background to land this type of job.
With the Internet of Things continuing to be adopted, smart grids and home automation systems are on the rise. In the near future, society will need a skilled technician to install all of these devices and configure them to our exact need. Think about it, after decades of improving the technology, people still are unable to setup a new TV. There will be a huge market for the home automation contractor which will require technical training on each product. Forget about DJ’s and VJ’s, the future will soon be about media remixers who mash-up a variety of past and present audio and video media to develop incredible experiences for weddings, restaurants, schools, artists and brands. The best way to envision this type of position is virtual reality meeting a nightclub with a splash of vertigo. The required skill set includes graphic design and audio engineering. There are currently several labs around the world that can grow human organs in a simple petri dish. Eventually technology will become commercially available and there will be a need for an organ harvester to plant and then harvest the organs prior to them being implanted by robot-surgeons. These positions will require biology and chemistry backgrounds. The role of a personal web manager is to prevent people from making fools of themselves across the social media and the Internet. As absurd as this position sounds, there is a growing need for such a job. Your reputation is only as good as the information that people can dig up about you online. If you are overwhelmed by perfecting your social media accounts, imagine the difficulty in 20 years when the landscape has grown exponentially. Personal web managers will be a combination of publicist, hacker, guidance counselor and security agent. The required skills for this position include Web and a tech savvy individual. Natural landscapes continue to disappear across the globe as a result of overdevelopment, natural disaster and industrial farming. Therefore, it will be critical in the future to have a fleet of rewilders who have agricultural and wildlife management training to return nature to some of the environment’s most forsaken locations. While this is a very general position, robot operators will be needed in specific industries. With robots slowly taking over manual labor jobs, there will be a need for a technician to install, configure and fix issues when there are hiccups or failures. Robot operators will simply need technical training to their specific products.
Technology has and continues to change the world on a daily basis. With innovation at an all-time high and exponential growth of technology, in 10 years, the world will be a completely different place. There are many uses of technology, convenience, entertainment, efficiency, cost savings, etc. With thousands of products and fields undergoing a technological makeover due to startup companies making better products, processes and services, there needs to be experts in those fields. The aforementioned jobs that will exist in the near future that do not currently exist will open an entire market of applicants. While many are losing their jobs because of technology, there are just as many gaining new positions as a result of that same technology. And yet we must be vigilant. Not of technological change; we have the power and innovation to harness and use its power as we see fit. But of access to the connectivity and opportunity it brings. Lastly, we must use every tool within our armory to ensure the current and future generations are not left behind in the global digital skill race.
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Thursday, 02 June 2022 18:01

The role of Statistics in Society

Statistics is the subject that deals with the information gained by the data. Studying statistics help us to apply appropriate and different techniques for collection of data, analyzing and examining it, and concluding the result. Statistics can also be defined as a complex but useful process with the help of which we are able to make scientific discoveries, make choices on the basis of data and predict things. It may be interesting to point out that statistics is not a new discipline but as old as the human society itself. It has been used right from the existence of life on the earth, though its use was very limited. In the good old days, statistics was regarded as the ‘’Science of Statecraft’ ’and was the by-product of the administrative activity of the State. It has been the traditional function of the government to keep records of population, births, deaths, taxes, crop yields and many other types of activities. Counting and measuring these events may generate many kinds of numerical data. Though, in its present usage, the word ‘’Statistics’’ is barely a century old, it has been in use for a much larger period. The word ‘’Statistics’’ seems to have been derived from the Latin word ‘Status’ or Italian word ‘’Statista’’ meaning statesman or the German word ‘Statistik’’which means a Political State.
The word ‘’statistics’’ conveys a variety of meaning to people. To some’ ’statistics’’ is an imposition form of mathematics, whereas to others, it suggests tables, charts and figures, commonly found in newspapers, journals, books, various reports, speeches, classroom lectures, TV etc. Almost daily, we are exposed to a wide assortment of numerical information which often has profound impact on our lives.The field of statistics has a major contribution to the development of all the other fields and subjects, thus adding to the development of the society. All the aspects of life come under the umbrella of statistical knowledge; economical, housing, medical, education, industrial, mathematics, business psychology, and natural sciences such as physics, biology, and chemistry, etc. Thus, the applications of statistics are wide-ranging.
There are many implications of statistical knowledge in different grounds and field .Statistics help the businessmen in making quick and appropriate decisions. He becomes aware of his customers’ demands and then produces and sells accordingly. He also keeps a balance of the quantities. Proper planning of production is performed by the businessmen with the help of the statistics. After the production of resources, the quality is checked and assured with the aid of statistical methods. Thus, statistics play a vital role in the establishment of businesses and making correct decisions regarding all the aspects of the business. Using correct knowledge of statistics, businessmen make their businesses successful. “Statistics can help us to assess risk and to stay the right side of foolishness”. The economic conditions are also impacted by the knowledge of statistics. The statistical methods prepare national income accounts which are the multipurpose indicators for administrators and economists. These methods are also utilized for the collection, analysis of the data, and testing of the hypotheses in the economic research. Imports and exports, supply and demand, per capita income, and the inflation rates, all are studied and examined under the statistical knowledge. In all the social and natural sciences, statistics majorly contributes. In mathematics, statistics make and describe the measurements in a most precise way. Dispersions, probability averages, and estimations etc. are applied in mathematics. The relation of mathematics and statistics is deep. Where the statistical methods are applied in mathematics, mathematical methods are applied in statistics such as algebra, differentiation, and integration. Banks also make use of the statistical knowledge. The notion of depositing the money, and gaining profits and losses, all use the statistical methods and approaches on the basis of probability in order to estimate make an estimation of the number of deposits and also their statements for a particular day. Statistics is the fundamental ground of all the governmental policies. All administrative decisions are now being made using the statistical data. The methods are used in the determination of an increase in the cost of living in an instance where the government wishes to revise the employees’ pay scales in order to determine the standard of living. Statistics is also helpful in the preparation of the budgets of the provincial and federal governments. It estimates or predicts the revenues and expenditures from various sources. In the fields of meteorology, biology, chemistry, physics, commerce, communications, etc., statistics has its significance in analyzing and examining the experiments and deducing the results. Astronomy which is the study of stars and space also utilizes the statistical knowledge. With the help of statistics, different properties and characteristics of the heavenly bodies are measured such as the densities, masses, sizes, and distances. Statistics have also made transformations in the ideology of the state. The choices and the decisions we make, all depend on the statistics.
Pullinger admits that the statistical knowledge is all regarding the subjects of high value and importance in human activities. Apart from all these applications, we see statistics benefitting us with different methods which are applied in making predictions about the weather forecast, spread of any disease, mortality rate, occurrence of any natural disaster such as earthquake, or floods etc., effectiveness of any medicine or drug, examining and studying genes and their impacts, predicting the results of elections, keeping a track of buying and selling, rates of insurance company, etc. People in weather make predictions about the coming weather, and make everyone aware of that. Scientists make research about the how any particular disease is spreading and how much it has affected the people using the statistical methods. Similarly, they also make people aware of any disaster that’s going to happen in the near future. Different methods of statistics deal with different kinds of data. Not every method is applicable to all kinds of data. Hand says, “There is no aspect of modern life upon which statistics do not impinge”. Hence, we observed how the knowledge and learning of statistics take control of all the aspects of our life and society; whether it is educational, medical, jobs and employment, governmental, administrative, astronomic etc. Though all the calculations and conclusions cannot be made on the basis of probabilistic perspective, statistics provide the stepping stone for reaching the right conclusions and results.
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Manipur is home to more than 33 ethnic groups. Encircled by ranges of high hills, Manipur valley, dotted with ponds and lakes, lies at the Centre. The Meiteis, the largest group, live in the valley where a few sacred groves are the only forests left untouched by humans. These sacred groves are intertwined with socio-cultural and religious practices and are zealously protected and preserved by the people living in the surrounding areas. It is believed that many pre-Hindu deities reside in the groves. Meitei religion is centered on the veneration of deities, and centuries after the coming of Hinduism, the tradition of worshipping the pre-Hindu deities continues. Lai Haraoba or the performance of ceremonial rites to appease these deities is an important festival of Manipur. By February-March each year, the magical touch of spring awakens the dormant buds of trees from their deep winter slumber. April enters with intermittent light showers of rain causing plants and trees to flower profusely. Butterflies, bees, and other insects get busy sucking nectar, unwittingly helping in pollination. May and June bring along dark nimbus clouds and the sky resounds with the roar of thunder. Flowers fertilized develop into fruits and trees are laden with these.
Manipur is a state which is well known for its rich tradition and ethnicity is considered one of the beautiful places with beautiful natural beauty and great tourist spots. The state is also known as the land of festivals as there is hardly any month where there is no festival celebrated by the local residents. There are a number of festivals that are celebrated in the state, which is a way to bring happiness, peace and harmony among the family, relatives and community people. They celebrate every festival with lots of happiness and this way they try to preserve and maintain their tradition and culture even in today’s modern world. In tune with the changes taking place in nature, May-June also heralds in the celebration of Lai Haraoba at many localities of Manipur. The Lai Haraoba festival is celebrated with great joy as a remembrance of the Almighty’s creation of the Universe and is an important traditional festival for the people of Manipur. According to the legends, Guru Sidaba was the greatest lord who resided in a dark vacuum which once got illuminated and gave him a sign to create the World. So, the whole purpose of this process is not to forget the creation of the Universe. Also, according to some belief, the festival was first celebrated in Koubru Ching (Hill Range).
Lai Haraoba is one of the important festivals of Manipur and it is celebrated to pay respect and honour to the local traditional deities and ancestors. The festival is usually celebrated by the Meitei community and is also referred to as the ‘’Festivity of Gods’’. In this festival, the people worship Sanamahi, Pakhangba, Nongpok Ningthou, Leimarel and around 364 Umang Lais (Jungle deities). This festival is organized as a piece of memory of the contribution of God in creating the Universe and also it is celebrated in the memory of the development of plants, animals and human beings.During this festival, the local people dance in front of the idols which is a part of their custom and they also bow to the spirits of their ancestors in order to seek blessings from Gods, Goddesses and ancestors. Both the old and young people perform colourful and traditional dance and songs as a part of the celebration. They also perform dramas, where the people enact the lives of Khamba and Thoibi who are the hero and heroine of a popular folklore.
During the evening the deity is carried in a palanquin and moved around the locality for people to seek blessings. Lai Haraoba is celebrated in honour of the deities of a particular locality, though it honours and calls upon other Lais as well. The main religious functionaries of the traditional Meitei religion are the Maiba (male) and Maibi (female). The word Maiba, when used without the association of religion, may mean a shaman, a witch doctor, or a traditional medical practitioner. Similarly the term Maibi, when used outside the context of religion, simply means a midwife. The Maibi of Meitei religion is a priestess as well as a dancer, a songstress, a medium through whom a Lai delivers oracles, and an occultist sans its pejorative overtones. In Lai Haraoba, the Maibi plays a more prominent role. Unlike the colourful traditional dress worn by a Meitei woman, the phanek (lower ankle-length garment wrapped around the waist) of a Maibi is white. An additional waist-cloth of half the length is wrapped over the phanek. She wears a long sleeved blouse and a white enaphi (chaddari) completes the dress. Maibi Jagoi or the Maibi dance has become a very popular form of Manipuri performing arts. As visual performance demands, the additional waist-cloth and the enaphi of Maibi now have colorful borders .Lai Haraoba has evolved over a long period of time and incorporated the traditions of all the people of Manipur’s original seven principalities, including the Chakpas. There are variations in Lai Haraoba since certain rituals inherent in the original local form of worship have been retained in their respective areas. Each form of Lai Haraoba has its own liturgical prayers. Depending on the variations in the vast complex rituals, dance, prayer and song, the many version of Lai Haraoba may be brought under four groups viz: (i) Kanglei Haraoba (ii) Chakpa Haraoba (iii) Moirang Haraoba (iv) Kakching Haraoba.
Important rituals of Lai Haraoba include Lai Phi Setpa (adoring the deities with dress), Lai Ikouba (invoking the deities to come out of water), Lai Themgatpa (imploring the deities to come to their shrines), Yakairol Ishei Shakpa (singing of awakening songs), lei langba (offering flowers), Naoshum Eshei Shakpa (singing of lullables) and Laimang Phamba (communication with deities or seeking of prophecies). All the rituals and performances of Lai Haraoba other than those with Lai Ikouba and Lai Themgatpa are performed in the laibung, (the empty space in front of the shrine of Lai). There is another episode of Lai Haraoba called Lai Lam Thokpa or Lai taking a stroll. Lais are put in dolai (palanquin) and taken out in procession to any suitable place where rituals can be performed in the presence of a great number of people. Songs are sung during the Lairoi (conclusion of Lai Haraoba): these include Ougri hangen (a song to pacify the mind) Khencho (a song illustrating the union of male and female) and Hijan Hirao (a song describing the woes of a mother tree when she learns that her son will be felled to make a large boat).
After the Maiba and Maibi, the Pena-khongba or Pena player performs the most important role in Lai Haraoba. The Pena, a small one-stringed fiddle, is a traditional bow and string instrument. Pena Khongbas have to be present at all the rituals associated with the deities. They take a major part in chanting and singing prayers to the accompaniment of the Pena. At the conclusion of the sacred liturgical prayers and rituals of Lai Haraoba, many traditional games such as lamjel (flat race), Thouri Chingbi (tug of war), Mukna (wrestling), Khong Kangjei (a novel form of hockey), Yubi Lakpi (snatching of coconut/ rugby) and Sagol Kangjei (polo) are played. In a way, Lai Haraoba is also a ‘’fertility rite’’ for in the olden days it was celebrated to appease the deities, to replenish the sacred potency of the earth depleted by the harvesting of the crops, as well as to increase the human population. In those days when the infant mortality rate was high, it was important to keep the birth rate high. Lai Haraoba gave opportunities to marriageable boys and girls to meet, show off their talents and get acquainted.
Creation myths, belief and superstitions, the concept of birth and rebirth according to the Meitei philosophy, are ingrained in the rituals of Lai Haraoba. Despite the fact that it is a pre-Hindu festival, the Hindu Meitei still celebrate it with traditional pomp and fanfare, for Lais, continues to be worshipped by the Hindu Meiteis and Sanamahi in particular is still worshipped in every Meitei’s households irrespective of the faith they follow. To conclude Lai Haraoba may be said to reflect the culture of Meitei’s in totality, irrespective of cast, creed or faith.
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