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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World Wetland Day is organized every year on 2nd February to mark the day that small group of Environmentalists signed an International Agreement on this day at RAMSAR Convention in Iran on the shore of Caspian Sea in 1971. Established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the Planet,WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown since then. Each year government agencies and non-government organizations and group of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of the wetland values and benefits such as and benefits conservation. Some of these benefits includes biologically diverse ecosystem that provide habitat for many species serve as buffer on the coast against storms and flooding and naturally filter water by breaking down on transforming harmful pollutants. The theme for World WetlandDay2021 is “WETLAND and WATER”.
The 2021 theme shines a spotlight on wetlands as source of fresh water and encouraged actions to restore them and stop their loss. We are facing a growing freshwater crisis that threatens people and our planet. We use more freshwater than nature replenish and we are destroying the ecosystem that water and all life depend on most-wetlands. Water and wetlands are connected in an inseparable co-existence that is vital to life, our wellbeing and health of our planet. According to “The Ramsar Convention” wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peat land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary with water that is static or flowing, fresh brackish or salt, including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters. Fish ponds, rice paddies, and depollution’s and stabilization ponds and salt ponds are human- made wetlands are vital for human for other ecosystem and for our climate providing essential ecosystem services such as water regulation, including flood control and water purification. Wetland- Biodiversity matters for our health, our food supply, for tourism and jobs. Wetlands also absorb carbon dioxide, so help slow global heating and reduce pollution, hence have often been referred to as the “KIDNEYS OF THE EARTH”. Though, wetland covers only around 6% of the earth’s land surface, 40% of all plants and animals species live or breed in wetlands. The worrying thing is that they are disappearing three times faster than forests, due to human activities and global heating. Wetlands are fantastically valuable multifunctional habits- they nurture a great diversity of life, provide water and other resources, protect us from flooding and act as great filters easing pollution. The loss of wetlands due to development pressure has been enormous but this ecosystem can be restored to generate benefits for people and natural- wetland form an important part of nature. But, nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history—and the rate of species extinction is accelerating with grave impacts on people around the world now, likely according to a landmark report by “Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform “on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services.
The Manipur valley is located as an in tramontane basin filled with alluvium of fluvial – lacustrine origin of Quaternary age in the Indo- Myanmar range of North-east India. The valley is confined between 24 degree 16 minutes and 25 degree 2 minutes North latitudes and 93 degree 41 minutes and 94 degree 9 minute East longitudes ,covering an area of approximately 1920 Sq.km with a population of more than 2 million people. This valley is mainly occupied by wetlands like ponds, swamps, pale channels, lake, agricultural fields and flood plains. Historically these wetlands have been emotionally relating to cultural and ritual activities, fortification and recreational activities since the beginning of the Manipuri culture. Presently the wetlands are used for water supplies for domestic consumption, irrigation, industrial purposes and fish production. The rapid urbanization, massive increase in population, local climate change cause significant diminishing and shrinkage of these wetlands and thus creating a cultural gap as the ritual activities around these surface water bodies are no more practiced. Further mismanagement and negligence on the treatment of domestic solid waste deteriorates the quality of our water bodies. Artificial eutrophication coupled with climate changes, it reduces oxygen level and increases acidic level in the wetlands waters further worsen the quality leading to the extinction of some fish species from these waters. Therefore, it is high time to avoid demolishing these wetlands and rejuvenate them to maintain the age old socio- cultural relationship it bears.
According to the recent survey conducted by the Remote Sensing Application Centers Government of Manipur, there are 17 lakes and 2-ox-bow lakes in the state of Manipur. Largest number of lakes is in Imphal and Thoubal Districts. However there are also a number of smaller lakes which are termed as Kom (pits). About 134 water logged marshy and swampy wetlands are in different districts. These areas are low lying situated either in the peripheral area or vicinity of the lakes. Highest number of water logged areas are recorded in Imphal valley (69), followed by Thoubal (40) and Bishnupur districts (21). There are 2 man-made reservoirs, one each in Senapati and Tamenglong districts. The lakes in the state are comparatively old with their own distinct characteristic life-span, topographical, physiological as well as hydrologic features. These features have been closely related to the evolving geo-physical features of the state. In the state, there were about 500 lakes in the valley in the beginning of 20thCentury. They have been reduced fast in the past few years and as a result hardly 55 lakes were found existing in the state by 1950s. Loktak Lake is the most important fresh water lake not only in the state but also in the entire North-East India. But its fate is uncertain now as it is the apple of thesaurus for political leaders and for those who are pretend to save it. Other important existing lakes which are in the state of extreme danger are IKOP, WAITHOU, NGAKRAPAT and LOUSHIPAT. These lakes remain threatened due to artificial eutrophication and encroachment for cultivation and fish farming. Highly degraded lakes in the state are Kharungpat, Khoidumpat, Pumlen pat, Sanapat, Yaralpat and poiroupat forgetting about Lamphelpat, Porompat and Akampat which are no more a lake but still Skelton of being one time a lake is seen. So simply shouting at the public platform on this day with print and electronic media coverage will not do anything to save from this fiasco until those who shouts are sincere and honest enough else your shouting may bring another epidemic like CORONA Virus in our holy land.

 

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 17:01

Is Indian judiciary really independent?


Judicial independence is the ability of courts and judges to perform their duties free of influence or control by other actors, whether government or private. The term is also used in a normative sense to refer to the kind of independence those courts and judges ought to possess. That ambiguity in the meaning of the term judicial independence has compounded already existing controversies and confusions regarding its proper definition, leading some scholars to question whether the concept serves any useful analytical purpose. There are in general two sources of disagreement. The first one is conceptual, in the form of a lack of clarity regarding the kind of independence that courts and judges are capable of possessing. The second is normative, in the form of disagreement over what kind of judicial independence is desirable. As a practical matter, the type of judicial independence that is widely considered both the most important and the most difficult to achieve is independence from other governmental actors. On the one hand, that type of judicial independence is highly valued among those who impute to courts a special responsibility for ensuring that individual and minorities do not suffer illegal or unjust treatment at the hands of the government or tyrannous majority. On the other hand, that type is considered especially difficult to achieve because the other branches of government ordinarily possess the power to disobey or thwart the enforcement of judicial decisions, if not also to retaliate against the courts for the decision that they oppose. In Alexander Hamilton’s famous formulation, the judiciary is the “Least dangerous “branch, having no influence over either the sword or the purse and is therefore least capable of defending itself against the other branches.
Formal guarantee of judicial independence from government control date to at least 1701, when England’s Act of settlement granted judges explicit protection from unilateral removal by the crown in the context of a large shift of power towards parliament and the courts. Today the idea of judicial independence has such broad and powerful normative appeal that even states that do not honor it in practice are want to profess a commitment to it. Most of the world’s current written constitution contains some form of explicit protection for the independence of the judiciary and protection of constitutional documents that contain such protections, has been increasing over time. Judicial independence has been formally endorsed at the international level as well-for example, in the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985. Any comprehensive and coherent definition of judicial independence must address several questions. The first is: Independence for whom; the second is –Independence from whom and the third one is-Independence from what? To supply satisfactory answers to those questions, however, it is necessary to consider why judicial independence is valuable and what is supposed to accomplish. In other words, it is necessary to address the question, Independence for what purpose.
Indian judiciary, if Im not mistaken is not free from politics. We often take people in judicial system (Lawyers & Judges) to be from some other planet, which is misleading. These people come from same society. Naturally they do have their own bias, opinion and views like anybody else, which makes them political. Justice has always been a nebulous concept while the judiciary has been the repository of public faith in the access to justice. After the executive and legislatures fall short, when one fails to get his grievance redressed the judiciary is the only hope which come to one’s rescue. Time and over again, the judiciary through its landmark judgments and judicial activism have proved that this faith is not misplaced. But while some consider the judiciary, the sanctuary of escape clauses, loopholes and acquittals for want of evidences, it is not free from political interference. It is imperative to note here that the separation of powers is an integral part of the constitutionalism of the country and in that light, the best way to guarantee responsibility by the government towards its subjects. In countries like India and United States, activists frequently complain about judicial activism: judges are said to be guided by political considerations in interpreting the Law certainly, judicial activism is more plausibly a danger in countries that follow common law systems derived from England, where judicial precedents are given more weight than in civil law systems, where legislatures codify Law, which then take precedence over judicial interpretations. Does India have one of the democratic world’s most unaccountable judicial branches? The issue of judicial accountability has been the matter of great debate in India over the past two decades. No country in the world has reached the extreme of judicial power that India has. As in most other democratic countries, judges in India were initially appointed by the government, after consulting with Chief Justice of the Indian Supreme Court. However, many politically-biased judges were appointed, leading to the establishment of an extra constitutional “Collegium system” in which only judges could appoint other judges, placing India’s judicial branches outside of checks and balance of the legislative and executive powers in the country. The collegium itself is made up three to five senior judges who can consult with the government, which can only exercise its power by sending or proposed appointee back for reconsideration. However, if the collegium reiterated its choice unanimously, the government would have to appoint that judge.
This practice was rationalized in a strong manner, one which was not laid out in the Indian constitution. In 1993, the Supreme Court held that since independence of judiciary was part of the basic structure of the Constitution, it could not be compromised through executive or legislative interference in the appointment process. Therefore, only the judiciary itself could appoint judges. The basic structure doctrine has been used by the Supreme Court to prevent numerous constitutional amendments, despite there being no stipulation for this concept in either the original Indian Constitution or in the works and thought of its founders. In 1951 Supreme Court case, the court held that no part of the Constitution was unnamable. While there is no doubt that corruption and nepotism are problems in India to be guarded against, especially by the branch of government whose job is to upload the law, it would be exceedingly strong for a branch of government to be completely unaccountable by appointing its own successors without public input.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021 18:13

Mathematics in our lives

Historically, Mathematics has been a subject that many students struggle with. How often have you heard a young learner utter the words” Im never going to use this stuff” as they are struggling to solve some algebra or calculus problems? Unfortunately, math has a reputation for being hard to understand. For many students, math is boring, abstract, lacking in creativity, complex and very difficult to understand hence typical expression “Im of letters” or “Numbers are not mine”. For some, it can even be a source of dread and panic, causing math anxiety among students. For many parents and teachers the utterances of these phrases are too often a common occurrence in the classrooms. Most people will respond to the students by saying that they may need it or a future job or that it improves the critical thinking ability of brain. While these responses are good and well-intended, they don’t serve the practical and immediate need of the child. So perhaps next time that you hear a student struggling with math, you can gently remind them of these practical applications of math in our everyday life. Furthermore it is interesting to note that if you lack knowledge of mathematics, then you won’t know how it can be used in your life. In other words, learning mathematics will help your mind come up with useful ways that math can be used. People often don’t know what they don’t know and until you fully grasp a new concept you won’t realize what power it has. Even those suffering from math- related anxieties or phobias cannot escape its everyday presence in their lives. From home to school, to work and places in between, math is everywhere whether using measurements, in a recipe or deciding if half a tank of gas will make the distinction, we all use math. It is a good idea, therefore for teachers and parents of reluctant math learners to use real-world examples to ignite a spark of practical interest.
Mathematics is a powerful tool for global understanding and communication that organize our lives and prevents chaos. Mathematics helps us understand the world and provides an effective way of building mental discipline. Math, encourage logical reasoning, critical thinking, creative thinking, abstract or spatial thinking, problem-solving ability and even effective communication skills. In fact mathematics is a study of measurements, numbers and space which is one of the first sciences that human work to develop because of its great importance and benefits. The origin of the word “MATHEMATICS”in Greek, which means tendencies to learn and there are many branches of mathematics in science that are related to the number including the geometric forms, algebra and others. Mathematics plays a vital role in all aspect of life, whether in everyday matters such as time tracking, driving, cooking or jobs such as accounting, finance, banking, engineering and software. These functions require a strong mathematical background and scientific experiments by scientists’ needs mathematical technique. They are a language to describe scientists: work and achievements. As for mathematical inventions they are numerous, throughout the ages. Some of them were tangible, such as counting and measuring devices. Some of them are not tangible as method of thinking and solving. The symbol that express numbers are also one of the most important mathematical inventions. Mathematics helps in analytical thinking. While solving math problems, data are collected, disassembled and then interconnected to solve them. Mathematics helps: to develop the ability to think; explain how things work; to develop wisdom; increase the speed of intuitive; make the child smarter; provides the child with an opportunity to get to the world. It is important in a constantly evolving world and money can be collected in mathematics when used as a profession. Mathematics is the pillar of organize life for the present day. Without number and mathematical evidence we can’t resolve many issues in our daily lives. There are times, measurements, rates, wages, lenders, discounts, claims, supplies, taxes, money exchange, consumption etc. and in the absence of these sports data, we have to face confusion and chaos. Thus mathematics has become the companion of man and his helper, since the beginning of human existence on the Earth. When man wanted to answer questions such as “How many”, he invented math. Then algebra was invented to facilitate calculations, measurements, analysis and Engineering. The science of trigonometry emerged when humans wanted to locate high mountains and stars. Therefore, the knowledge of mathematics arose and developed when human felt the need and mathematics are necessary for the long planning of life and also the daily planning of any individual.
Mathematical rapprochement is necessary for any process, so, if anyone want to reach the height of his life he should not fail to believe in the role of mathematics in his life, starting with the ordinary citizens. Everyday has a daily interest in mathematics. Mathematics deeply related to the natural phenomena, the way to solve many secrets of nature. Mathematics is necessary to understand the other branches of knowledge. All depends on mathematics in one way or others. There is no science, art or specialty except mathematics was the key to it. This discipline and mastery of any other science or art are very much related to the size of mathematics. In fact mathematics is at the center of our culture and its history is often confused with that of philosophy. Just as the cosmological and evolution theories have exerted considerable influence on the conception that humans have of us, the non-Euclidean geometries have allowed new ideas about the Universe and theorems of mathematical logic have revealed the limitations of deductive method. There is also mathematics in art. Since Pythagoras, the most famous mathematician, discovered numerical reasons in musical harmony, the relationship between mathematics and art has been permanent. These aspects of mathematics make them a bridge between the humanities and natural sciences, between the two cultures. Mathematics has a number of useful benefits to our mind, if we go into its study. In spite of huge benefits provided by mathematics, it seems natural that the majority of the populations knows almost nothing about mathematics and that their relation to math is limited to the four rules. This distance contracts with the importance of mathematics today in society. However, it is a subject that is part of the study of our children and as such should be an effort for compression, which usually involves constant practice. As boring as math may seem, its study translates into benefits for education and for our life in general.
Writer is Sr. Faculty JCRE, Global College, Babupara

Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:13

Archaic of War on Nature

COVID-19 has had devastating consequences for the entire World at large. Spreading around the World at the speed of light, by 10th December 2020, COVID-19 hasinfected 69,465,210 people and killed almost 1,579,806. Although the virus’s origins are still murky, it’s highly likely that it jumped from species to species, until it hit ours. However, it is only the latest in a long line of human diseases that have originated in animals. Other such devastating diseases- SARS, HIV, Ebola and Avian flu to name but a few- have caused much harm to human civilization throughout history. Trading diseases with wildlife isn’t new. In the middle Ages, the bubonic Plague-caused by bacterium –originated in city rats and was typically transferred to humans via a bite by an infected flea. The 1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish Flu) has been traced back to birds and killed an estimated 50 million people about one-third of the Planet’s population. In 2009, the less fatal Swine flu was sourced to pigs raised for food in North America and HIV/AIDS started as a virus in Old World monkey in Africa. Recently, the frequency of disease outbreaks has been increasing steadily. Between 1980 and 2013, there were 12012 recorded outbreaks, comprising 44 million individual cases and affecting every country in the world. While many bacterial fungal and parasitic diseases that humans get from animals are hard to transmit between people viruses mutate far faster and are more easily passed on to others. In the fall of 2014, the deadly Ebola virus jumped from an unknown animal to a two year old boy in Guinea. It quickly spread to those around him and began terrorizing West African nations; by 2016 more than 11,000 people had died. Researchers now believe that fruit bats were the origin of this zoonotic disease- which refers to any disease that makes the jump from animal to humans or vice-versa. Today 75% of all new or emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic.
So, how do we prevent future viruses’ outbreaks? It’s clear, “PROTECT NATURE”: its wildlife and natural habitats. Sadly, biodiversity (from Ecosystem to genes to species) is declining faster than at any other time in human history. Natural Ecosystem functions similarly to the human body; when they are robust with diverse species and healthy with space for animal populations, they are more resistant to diseases. Thriving ecosystems also provide a variety of benefits to surrounding human communities, from fertile soil to food to fresh water. However when human activities, such as logging and mining, disrupt and degrade these ecosystems, animals are forced closer together. They are then more likely to become stressed or sick and be in closer proximity to human settlement. In diverse ecosystem well separated from human habitations, viruses ebb and flow without ever having a chance to make leaps between species. But as deforestation drives wild animals out of their natural habitats and closer to human populations, that protection begins to break down. In these conditions, diseases bounce back and forth between wildlife populations and us. Disrupted ecosystem tends to lose their biggest predators first: and what they leave behind are smaller animals that live fast reproduce in large numbers and have immune systems more capable of carrying diseases without succumbing to it when they are only a few species left, they get really good at carrying diseases . And when these populations prosper near people, there may be nothing between a deadly pathogen and all of humanity.
Researchers have been warning for decades that animals-borne illnesses are going to become morefrequent due to the rapid destruction of nature. In fact almost half of the new diseases that jumped from animals to human after 1940 can be traced to agriculture, changes in land use or wildlife hunting. Ebola, Lyme, MERS, SARS, West Nile and others are all fix the profile. There may be 10,000 mammalian viruses potentially dangerous to people. Not only is animal biodiversity desirable but plants diversity as well. For instance, the rare Madagascar rose Periwinkle, Catharanthusroseus, contains compounds useful as medicine for childhood leukemia. An estimated 50,000 to 70,000 plants species are harvested for traditional or modern medicine while around 50% of modern drugs have been developed from natural products that are threatened by biodiversity loss, wildlife too; need to be protected if we want to safeguard ourselves. Removing a species through culling can also have health consequences for us. When you eliminate some but not all of the animals, you increase the level of a virus within a population because those individual are still circulating it. This is known as dilution effect, which hypothesize that a higher rate of species richness created a buffer against zoonotic pathogens. Culling isn’t the only dangerous practice we humans have perpetrated on wildlife. Wild market and the illegal wildlife trade pose some of the clearest threat to animals and human health. Taking disparate animals out of their various native environments and penning them together puts them in contact with other species-and other diseases- that they likely would have never encountered naturally in the wild. Wild animals markets that sell a variety of exotic species in one place are the perfect breeding ground for rare zoonotic diseases. This exchange of wildlife and wildlife parts is also devastating to nature because it decimates species populations such as elephants and rhinos, which are critical to the health of their respective ecosystem. Wildlife biodiversity can restrain pathogens before they ever leave the wild. But under current conditions more than one million species are at risk of extinction due to human activities.
What’s more, human- caused climate change plays a part in exacerbating pandemics. Along with natural habitat and wildlife loss, shifting climate zones increases our vulnerability to a range of health threats. As the world warms, wild life is forced to migrate to new places, where they interact with other species they haven’t previously encountered, increase the risk of new diseases emerging. We know that in the late 1990s, in Malaysia, the outbreak of Nipah Virus was a result of forest fires and draught which had caused fruit bats, the natural carriers of the virus, to move from forest to pig farms. Infected pigs then infected farmers, who infected others, spreading the diseases. Climate change has caused humans displacement which alters and accelerates the transmission patterns of infectious diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and Zica virus. Movement of large groups of people to new locations, often under poor conditions, increases their vulnerability to such biological threats. Climate change is also responsible for massive fires across the planet. Earlier this year, more than half of the Australian population was exposed to health harm for weeks when life threatening bush –fires created a blanket of smoke pollution. More than 400 people died as a result. Air pollution particles act as transport for pathogens, contributing to the spread of infectious diseases and viruses across large distances. It’s not like we didn’t know that a diseases like COVID-19 was coming. In 2018 disease ecologist Dr. Peter Daszak, a contributor to the World Health Organization Register of Priority Diseases coined the term Disease X. This described a then –unknown pathogens predicted to originate in animals and cause a serious international epidemic. COVID-19 is that DiseaseX.we have been lucky. The past 20 years of disease outbreak could be viewed as a series of near-miss catastrophes. But we’ve also been unfortunate because that may have led to complacency rather than the increased vigilance that’s necessary to control outbreaks perhaps the seriousness of our current situation will make us finally understand that the biodiversity crisis ,the climate change crisis and the COVID-19 crisis are deeply connected. The state of environment affects the transmission of infectious diseases and that means we must adopt a holistic view of public health that includes the health of the natural environment. We need to re-imagine our relationship with nature. For a long time nature was resilient and robust, so we assumed we could do anything we wanted to it and it would bounce back. Due to population growth and overexploitation, however, we’ve reached a point where what we do to nature now permanently impact it. There is a consistent pattern; when biodiversity decreases and wild spaces vanish, pathogens rage putting humans, other animals –both wild and domestic- and plants. The collision course with nature that we’re on has to stop for as pioneering 20th century conservationist RACHEL CARSON argued, a war against nature is inevitably a war on ourselves.

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