Log in
Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

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

Website URL:

Adventure Tourism in Manipur

As travelers seek new and different experiences, adventure tourism, according to Adventure Travel Trade Association, is a tourist activity that includes a physical activity, a cultural exchange or activities in nature. You don’t necessarily have to go base jumping or go Scuba diving with sharks to be an adventure tourist. Adventure tourism is about connecting with a new culture or a new landscape and being physically active at the same time. It is not about being risky or pushing your boundaries. In fact it is especially important to know and respect your limits while you are in an unfamiliar area. Lists of adventure tourism activities has plenty of options if you are not necessarily a thrill seeker. Adventure travel is a type of niche tourism involving exploration or travel with a certain degree of risk (real or perceived) and which may require special skills and physical extortion.
 Adventure tourists may have the motivation to achieve mental states characterized as rush or flow resulting from stepping outside their comfort zone. This may be from experiencing culture shock or by performing acts requiring significant effort and involve some degree of risk, real or perceived or physical danger. This may include activities such as: mountaineering; trekking; bungee jumping; mountain biking; cycling; canoeing; Scuba diving; rafting; kayaking; Zip-lining; paragliding; hiking; exploring; canyoneering; sandboarding; caving and rock climbing. Some obscure forms of adventure travel include disaster and ghetto tourism. Other form of adventure travel include Social and jungle tourism. As a closely related sub-pieces of adventure travel “Event trips” involve various kind of touristic travels that aims at particular activities as an important part of the travel which don’t necessary fulfill the criteria of being proper adventures. Activities comprised under the term “Event Trips” range from the international sports events (i.e. FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl) to renowned cultural events (i.e. Bayreuth Festival, Venice Film Festival). Access to inexpensive consumer technology with respect to Global positioning system, flash packing, social networking and photography have increased the world wide interest in adventure travel. The interest in adventure travel has also increased as more special travel websites emerge offering previously niche locations and sports. Some of the important type of tourisms which may or may not belong to adventure travel are :Accessible tourism a trend for developing tourism specially for the disabled  ;Culinary tourism is the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences ;Cultural tourism is the act of travelling to a place to see that location’s culture, including life style of the people in that area, the history of those people ,their art, architecture, religion and other factors that shaped their way of life; Ethno tourism refers to visiting a foreign location for the sake of observing the indigenous members of its society, some extreme form of this include attempting to make first contact with tribes that are protected from outside visitors ;Extreme tourism involves travel to dangerous(extreme) locations or participation in dangerous events or activities; Disaster tourism is the act of travelling to a disaster area as a matter of curiosity and it  can be cataloged as disaster learning; Jungle tourism is a rising subcategory of adventure travel defined by active multifaceted physical  means of travel in the jungle region of the earth, it pertains specially to the context of region, culture and activity. Besides these Overland travel, urban exploration and Spiritual tourism may also be mentioned.
Manipur’s valleys and hills provide the ideal platform for a range of adventure sports and outdoor activities. From rock climbing to long trekking, adventure activities are plenty like: rafting; rock climbing; wind surfing; paragliding; Eco-tourism; caving and trekking. Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA), located in Khuman lampak sports complex, Imphal is a deemed State Institute of adventure and affiliated to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), New Delhi; Manipur Mountaineering Institute (MMI) is a part of MMTA that organizes various adventure programs focusing on hot ballooning; paragliding; rafting; rock climbing and other sports. The Association also offers Eco-tourism and trekking packages. The MMTA, featuring Kangla Rock and sports climbing wall, hosts climbing competitions regularly. The adventure and Leadership Park run by MMI of the MMTA located at Lamdan, near the Loktak Hydro Electric Project about 35 Km from Imphal, over an area of around 250 hectares with natural rocks is the first of its kind in India. The park features Natural Rock, spider Net, Burma Bridge and other obstacles. Plenty of adventure tourism facilities are available in the state of Manipur. MMTA, MAASI (Manipur Adventure and Allied Sports Institute) and Adventure Academy of Manipur (AAM) are engaged in promotion of these facilities. There are numerous land, water and air based adventure sports sites across the state such as the Loktak Lake ,for water sports ;the Barak River for rafting ; the Mount ISO along the Dzuko valley,famous for its endemic Dzuko Lily( Lilium Chitrangada) and shirui Hill ,famous for Shirui Lily( Lilium Mackliniae) for mountain climbing and trekking ;the Tharon and Kangkhui Caves for caving adventures; Koirengei Old airfield and Nongmaiching foot hills at wakha for hang gliding, paragliding and parasailing adventure sports and eco-tourism sites. In fact, Manipur is paradise / heaven for all sorts of Adventure Tourism. Manipur has always been one of the least-explored places in India. Despite being home to the best of natural beauties in India, it is nowhere close to being a most –visited place. However Manipur is assuredly a must-visit destination, especially for the nature lovers and adventure seekers. From deep echoing valley to thick forest and dazzling lakes to prolific plains, this beautiful state of India has everything in its arms to surprise its visitors. If you are amongst the adventure- loving people, then pack your bags and be on the route leading to Manipur. There is nothing better than getting that awesome kick of adrenaline while inhaling a breath of fresh air. The adventure refreshes our minds and gives us a better perspective of our lives. So how about some adventure on the wonderland of Manipur?

The Present health of Loktak Lake

Loktak is the largest fresh water lake in Northeast India and is famous for phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it.The lake is located at Moirang(Bishnupur District) around 40km from the capital city,Imphal of Manipur. Theetymology of Loktak is Lok= stream and tak=the end. The largest of all the phumdis covers an area of 40 sq. km and is situated on the southern shore of the lake. Located on this phumdi, KeibulLamjao National park is the only floating national park in the world. The park is the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai( State animal) the brow-antlered deer( Cervuseldieldi).This ancient lake play an important role to maintain the mild climatic condition  and hydrological cycle as well as economy of Manipur. It also serves a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural fisherman who live in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as phumsangs. Human activities has led to serve pressure on the lake ecosystem. 55 rural and urban hamlets around the lake have a population of about 100,000 people. Considering the ecological status and biodiversity values, the lake was initially designated as wetland of International importance under Ramsar Convention on 23rd March 1990. It was also listed under the Montreux Record on 16th June 1993, a record of Ramsar where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or likely to occur.  
 At the Ithai barrage outlet of the lake, the direct catchment area draining into to the lake is 980 sq.km out of which 430 sq.km is under paddy cultivation, 150 sq.km habitation and 400sq.km under forest cover. The area of the lake is 236.218sq.km comprising large pockets of open water and marshy land formed at the southern part of the Imphal valley up to the confluence of Manipur River and Khuga River. The lake is divided into two zones, namely the “Core Zones”, which is the no development zone or totally protected zone comprising 70.3 sq.km and balance area is called the “Buffer Zone”. Within the lake and on its periphery there are 14 hills of varying size and elevation. In the southern part of the lake are the Sendra,Ithing, Thanga and Karang Islands. Geographically, in terms of biodiversity and human activities pressure, the lake is broadly divided into northern, central and southern zones. The northern zone extends from eastern side of Nambol river near NgaikhongKhunou to Phoubakchao, including MaibamPhumlok, has five main steams/ rivers i.e Manipur, Nambul,Yangoi,Nambol and Thongjaorok rivers flowing into the lake. The zone is separated from the central zone by large Phumdis (varying thickness of 0.4 to 4.5 m) that stretches from northwest to the southeast. During January to March Phumdis in this area are usually burnt for construction of fish cum paddy farms; many large fish farms with raised levees have been built. The central zone extending from AwangLaisoi Pat (western part of Nambol river near NgaikhongKullen) to Laphupat( between Khordak Channel and Imphal river) encloses prominent Islands of Thanga, Karang and Ithing. It has some sub-zones vizLaisoi, Awangsoi, Yennapat, Thorapat etc. It is the main open water zone of the lake which was relatively free from phumdis in the past  but over the years athaphums ( artificially created phumdis for fishing) constructed by the villagers for fishing have proliferated choking the entire lake. The state fisheries Department has established a fisheries center within this at Takmu pat for fisheries development. The southern zone encompasses the Keibullamjao National park,Ungamel and Kumbi Pat at the southern part of the lake and the zone is linked with Khuga River by the Ungamel channel. The Imphal River is also linked with this zone by the Khordak channel. The western catchment drained by KangsoibiRiver flows into this zone. Proliferation of phumdis has been observed near the mouth of Ungamel channel, Kumbi Pat, Nongmaikhong and Khordak area. LoktakLake is fed by the Manipur River and several tributaries and UngamelChannel (IthaiBarrage) is the only outlet now. The origin of the Manipur river system and its tributaries which flows in a north-south direction and drains into the lake is from the hill ranges immediately to the west of the lake. Five major rivers with indirect catchment area 7157 sq.km are the Imphal( also called Manipur river),the Iril, the Thoubal, the Sekmai and Khuga. The other major steams which drains into the Lake and which bring in lot of silt are the Thongjaorok, the Nambol, the Nambul, the AwangKhujairok, the AwangKharok, the Ningthoukhong, the Potsangbam, the Oinam , the Keinou and Irulok. The Lake located on the southern side of the Manipur river basin is at the lowest elevation in the valley and other major river flows into the lake except a few rivulets. Several water resources development projects have been developed in the Manipur river basin to meet the growing demands for irrigation and drinking water. The most discussed project is the Loktak Multipurpose project which provides hydropower, irrigation and water supply benefits but has attracted adverse criticism for the drastic alteration caused by the project to the hydrological regime of the LoktakLake and associated wetlands.
A rich biodiversity with habitat heterogeneity has been recorded during a scientific survey carried out between January 2000 and December 2002 in different habitat patches of the Lake. The lake’s rich biological diversity comprises 233 species of aquatic macrophyts of emergent, sub emergent free floating and rooted leaf types. But declining trend of vegetation and important flora are recorded. 57 species of water birds and another 14 species of wetland associated birds have been noted in the lake including 28 spices of migratory water fowl. Also recorded were 425 species of animals-249 vertebrates and 176 invertebrates. The list includes rare animals such as the Indian Python, Sambhar and barking deer. KeibulLamjao national Park is the natural habitat of one of the most endangered deer the brow –antlered deer (Sangai) which was once thought to be extinct. The avifauna recorded in different habitats of the Lake is reported to be declining. In the central part of the Lake water fowl including dabbling duck and diving ducks are reported but their numbers are declining due to proliferation of phumdis. In the habitat part of the rooted plants and others were reported abundant but now show a declining trend. Small hillock( though showing degraded condition) in the lake show big trees and birds of prey such as Milvus migransLineatus and Circus aeruginosus have been recorded on these trees. Fish yield from the Lake is reported to be about 1500 tones every year. Natural capture without the requirement of any lease or license was also in vague in the Lake. The lake fishing is now a mixture of capture and culture system. The old varieties of the local fishes like Ngamu,Ukabi,ngaril, Pangba ,tharak and ngasep  stated to be under serious decline and some of them appeared to be extinct in the lake.
The Loktak Lake and its precincts faced serious problem due to loss of vegetal cover in the catchment area and construction of Ithai barrage at the outlet of the lake for multipurpose development of water resources. The degradation of the catchment area has occurred. Deforestation and shifting cultivation in the catchment areas have accelerated the process of soil erosion resulting in the lake’s shrinkage due to siltation. The annual silt flow into the lake is estimated to be 336,350 tons. The nutrients from the catchment area and domestic sewage from Imphal City carried by Nambul River are discharged into the lake affecting its water quality thus encouraging the growth of water hyacinth and phumdis. All these activities have direct bearing on the ecological stability of the lake. Interfere in navigation and overall aesthetic value of the lake are other reported adverse effects.

Effects& Solutions of Stubble burning

Stubble burning is intentionally setting fire to the straw stubble that remains after grains like paddy, wheat etc. have been harvested. India is an agricultural-driven economy where 50% of the population is engaged in the cultivation of agricultural products. The production of crops such as rice, sugarcane and wheat not only feeds the country but also a major contributor to the foreign export sector. The production of millions of tons of agricultural crop every year has also increased the agricultural waste that we as a country are dealing with right now. The waste commonly known as the residue is made up of organic compounds from various organic sources like rice straw, coconut shell, sugarcane bagasse to name a few. Since the residue compiles to form a really large amount, it becomes extremely difficult for farmers to take care of the waste.

During the harvesting season, the reaping of the paddy fields generates a humongous quantity of husk which needs instant dumping. Farmers usually gather the husk and incinerate it as it is the easiest way to dispose it without leaving any trace of waste in sight. However, doing so creates serious issues that is directly linked for our environment. Research has shown that the burning of agricultural biomass residue or stubble is a major health hazard. It doesn’t just affects the organic carbon levels of the soil but also produces an uncontrollable amount of harmful smoke that causes air pollution to the immediate vicinity. A large number of toxic pollutants are emitted into our atmosphere due to open burning of the husk. These pollutants also contains harmful gases like methane, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These toxic gases either build a cloud of ash or formulate into smog that is formed due to the intensified amount of smoke present in the atmospheres. These harmful gases create an obstinate amount of cumulative danger that has the ability to travel thousands of kilometers, increasing the level of air pollution in the nearby cities and completely wrecking the air quality index and becoming the causes of numerous health issues. Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana in north-west India has been cited as a major cause of air pollution in Delhi. Smoke from the burning produces a cloud of particulates visible from space and has produced toxic cloud in New- Delhi. The burning of husk or stubble more often contributes to the frequent formation of brown clouds that have an adverse effect on the local air quality, hampers atmospheric visibility and further impacting the reason for climate change. We also need to understand that the burning of paddy or stubble leads to the loss of key nutrients as nearly 50% Sulphur, 75% potassium and 25% of the nitrogen and phosphorus is lost. A study estimates that crop residue burning at Punjab and Haryana, released 149.24 million tons of Carbon dioxide (CO2), over 9 million tons of Carbon monoxide (CO), 0.25 million tons of oxides of Sulphur (SCX), 1.28 million tons of particulate matters and 0.07 million tons of black Carbon. These directly contribute to environmental pollution and are responsible for the haze in Delhi and melting of Himalayan glaciers. Burning stubble causes increased soil erosion and heat from burning it penetrate 1cm into the soil  elevating the temperature to 33.80C to 42.20C which  kills beneficial soil organisms like bacterial and fungal populations critical for a fertile soil and eventually causes lower yields. Burning of crop residue causes damage to other micro-organism present in the upper layer of the soil as well as its organic quality. Due to the loss of ‘friendly’ pests, the ‘wrath of ‘enemy’ pests has increased and as a result crops are more prone to disease. The solubility capacity of the upper layer of soil have also been reduced as intense burns induce the formation of a water repellant soil layer by forcing hydrophobic substances in litter towards through the soil profile. In dry environments, burning residues can reduce soil fertility quite quickly. Since soil organic matters holds sand, silt and clay particles into aggregates, a loss of soil organic matter results in a loss of soil structure. According to a report ,one ton stubble  burning leads to a loss of 5.5 Kgs of Nitrogen,2.3 Kgs of Phosphorus, 25 Kgs  of Potassium and more than 1 Kg of Sulphur- all soil nutrients, besides organic carbon.

          Stubble burning is a serious issue and it must be sought an immediate effect. With such agrave impact on the environment, understanding the importance of opting for potential alternatives to stubble burning is the only available solution. Providing stubble collecting machine to the farmers or offering reasonable labor to reap paddy fields in order to avoid stubble generation is the other way to control the issue. Offering temporary employment to the people in need during the harvesting time is another way to combat the situation. One great way to approach the issue is to think of alternative to deal with it. Converting stubble into energy in an innovative way to address the matter. Not only it helps in reducing the greenhouse effect but also helps to fight against the threats of global warming. Setting up biomass power plants in the villages can help meet the energy needs of the villagers. Setting up biomass fuel plants to generate fuel using paddy husk or making fodder for livestock out of the collected stubble can also serve as an important step to bring down the adverse effect of crop residues finding their way into the environment during the needless burning of crops. Another impact of alternative practices to stubble burning on the environment is the using of Happy Seeder- a machine that can sow wheat in the presence of rice straw – is a profitable for farmers and can also help the environment. The researchers found that using the Happy Seeder led a nearly 10-20% increase in farmers profit on average. Since in Happy Seeder practice reuses the crop residue in the field, the biomass improves soil moisture and could be good for the long term health of the soil. In Happy Seeder practice formulching, the machine can be mounted on a tractor and it cuts and lifts rice straw, sows wheat into the bare soil and deposit the straw over the planted area as mulch.  However , not all farmers  currently have access  to Happy Seeder equipment and  there needs to be more  available options  for renting  these machines as it is not  affordable  for everyone. Besides this, crop residues can also be effectively managed by using machines like: Rotavator; Zero till seed drill; Baler; Paddy straw chopper and reaper binder etc.

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.