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 Tourism” Day is held annually on 27 September with purpose to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.This date was chosen on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted.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; bungeejumping; 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 tourismis 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. Besidesthese Overlandtravel,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 Khumanlampak 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 Dzukovalley,famous for its endemic Dzuko Lily( LiliumChitrangada) and shirui Hill ,famous for Shirui Lily( LiliumMackliniae) 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?

Wednesday, 23 September 2020 17:35

When & how Covid will get over?

We are inching closer to the 10th month of the pandemic and there seems to be no respite from the highly infectious contagion which is ravaging the World. As of now, the number of coronavirus cases has crossed the 30 million mark across the World and has already resulted in 9, 56,881 deaths. What first emerged as pneumonia –like illness in Wuhan, China in December 2019 has engulfed 213 nations across the globe. While Scientists and medical experts around the World have been working at breakneck speed to launch a vaccine to contain the spread of Covid-19, there is one question that when and how will the coronavirus pandemic come to an end? The question is on everyone’s mind and while astrologers and politician have answers, few scientists want to be drawn into hazarding a prediction. Medical historians recognize two types of endings. The medical ending, when the disease stops spreading and social ending, when people overcome their anxieties and move on. It would be appropriate to add a third type of ending: the political, when the government decides that as far as it is concerned, the pandemic is over. Any of these three ending could occur first, as political leaders and society can decide to move on regardless of whether the cases have peaked. If we look at the world today, it would not be overly cynical to conclude that politicians would rather move on and that the societies are distracted to such dysfunctional levels by social media-driven outrage cycles that they often ignore the extant pandemic. May be India is already at this point.
What about medical ending? It is impossible to put a date on it. If anyone tells you a date, they are starting into a crystal ball. The reality is that it will be with us forever because it has spread now, “Simon Clark” a British Cellular microbiologist offers the scientific establishment’s answer: prudent and circumspect as this answer is, it is unsatisfying. It is hard for people to grapple with such an open ended answer and is unhelpful for policymakers who need a base case to work on. The conventional way to try to answer the question of “when new Covid-19 cases will start declining “is to look towards the vaccine. The medical elimination of the pandemic stems from the development of an effective and safe vaccine for the novel coronavirus and following the social protocols strictly. The crisis seems to be unfolding in India in a worse manner than we could have imagined while the official caseload has touched the 5 million mark, experts suggest that the Covid-19 pandemic will peak at different rates in different regions of the country. Hence our response to the pandemic has to be more localize and effective to get rid of the pandemic from the root level. Even when a vaccine reaches us, we would need prioritization and regulation in place to ensure that a covid-19 vaccine reaches all corners.AS of now, more than 165 vaccine candidates are currently in different stages of preclinical and clinical trials and more than 33 of them have reached the critical last leg of human trials. The good news is that even if the vaccine is not completely effective (given the accelerated timeline of its development), it will still be effective in controlling the spread of the pandemic. According to Dr.AnthonyFauci, who is the US’s top infectious disease expert, a vaccine which is safe and 50% to 60% effective will also be acceptable, even though the scientists are aiming to produce a vaccine which is 75% effective. Early data of preliminary studies have shown positive result for several vaccine candidates and we may cautiously expect a moderately effective vaccine by the first quarter of 2021. Once safe and effective vaccine are launched for public circulation begins, the cases will slowly start to go down as well as the mortality rate. Vaccine will arm the World with a good fighting chance against the contagion and take the burden off of the overwhelmed medical care system. This may be considered a step forward in ending the pandemic.
The other ending of the pandemic as observed in the case of the World’s deadliest pandemics, the Spanish Flu, could be the social ending. The deadly pandemic which infected 500 million people across the World and wiped out 1% of the World’s population at that time, ended after two long years when people gained immunity against the virus. This type of ending may play out when a large section of population gets tired of the restriction and starts stepping out of their houses. When people go back to business as usual more and more people will get infected from the disease and develop immunity against the virus. However, herd immunity and the social ending may come at a price which will be beyond our comprehension. It is estimated that 50% to 75% of the population will have to acquire immunity either through infection or vaccination – for herd immunity to kick in. How long will this take? Medical experts have different opinion but it is said that pandemic will not end before 2022. Vaccine might not offer permanent immunity, necessitating regular vaccination to keep Covid-19 at bay. But is suggested that there is another route to herd immunity – when enough people develop immunity to the virus by being exposed to it. Here’s Cynically Optimistic Back-Of-the Envelope (COBOTE) calculation. Let us assume India is undercounting Covid-19 positive cases. This is a reasonable assumption we make. Even a country like Switzerland, estimates that “for every reported confirmed case, there were 11.6 infection in the community”. If we assume that India is undercounting at this order of magnitude, we have over 20 million positive cases in India today, doubling roughly every 20 days. If this holds, over 50% of the population will have immunity by mid-November 2020 and the country will be at the threshold of herd immunity. The outbreak in Mumbai’s Dharvi area started slowing down when 40% of its residents were infected. This is good news. In fact the more undercounting, the faster we will hit the herd immunity threshold. Even if there is no undercounting at the current doubling rate, half the country’s population will have immunity by Republic Day 2021. There is of course bad news. Very bad news, in fact for the case, fatality rate is 2%. That’s lower than any other countries but for India it still means a lot of deaths. According to health experts, there is no one way of ending the pandemic in sight, instead, we need to bring the focus on controlling the spread of the disease. It can only be achieved through a degree of herd immunity, following the social distancing norms and a safe and effective vaccine. The combination of all three measures will help in slowing down the spread of the disease. But Scientist are wise not to offer predictions on, when the coronavirus pandemic will end for there are too many factors at play.
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Saturday, 19 September 2020 18:25

A.I:The Fourth Industrial Revolution

With time, science has reached its zenith. The evolution of technology has made our life easier. If you travel back to few centuries before then you cannot find any kind of technological advancement and people were fully dependent on manpower. With growing years, best invention happened that is the invention of machine or the computer. Few years after the invention, the growth began to flourish exponentially. With time, the big machine have reduced their size and increased their speed or capability. Now the human race is completely dependent on a new system, which is the combination of science and engineering and known as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and delivers a machine that is very much intelligent and they are actually computer programs. So here a question comes: why are we dependent on Artificial Intelligence? The different branches of science are working out to create a machine or computer that will have the capability and brain strength of the human being. And now they have made quite an advanced technology that made Artificial Intelligence more intelligent than humans. The father of this artificial Intelligence is “John McCarthy. We have watched many movies or machines that are capable of working more efficiently than the human. So Artificial Intelligence is also a making of-computer or says robots that are controlled by a computer or developing software that can think more intelligently just that of a human being. The impact of the industrial and digital (information) revolutions has undoubtedly been substantial on practically all aspect of our society, life, firms and employment. Will the AI revolution produce similar far reaching effects? Artificial Intelligence is no longer a technology of future, it is a technology of the now. It is playing a significant role in our daily lives. As a species, humanity has witness three previous industrial revolutions: first came steam/ water power followed by electricity, then computing. Now, we’re in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, one driven by Artificial Intelligence and big data. One thing is clear that the latest revolution “Artificial Intelligence Revolution or Intelligence Revolution or the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0”is going to transform our World just as the three previous industrial revolutions did.
AI gives intelligent machine (be they computers, robots, drones or whatever) the ability to “think and act in a way that previously only human could”. This means they can interpret the World around them, digest and learn from information, make decisions based on what they’ve learned and then take appropriate action often without human intervention. It’s the ability to learn from and act upon data that is so critical to the Intelligence Revolution, especially when you consider the sheer volume of data that surrounds us today.AI needs data and lots of it, in order to learn and make smart decisions. This gives us a clue as to why the Intelligence Revolution is happening now. After all AI isn’t a new concept. The idea of creating intelligent machine has been around for decades. So, why AI suddenly so transformative? The answer to this question is two-fold. We have more data than ever before. Almost everything we do (both in the online World and the offline World) creates data. Thanks to the increasing digitization of the our world, we now have access to more data than ever before which means AI has been able to grow much smarter, faster and more accurate in a very short space of time. In other words, the more data intelligent machines have access to the faster they can learn and the more accurate they become at interpreting the information. As a very simple example, think of Spotify recommendations. The more music (or podcast) you listen to via Spotify, the better able Spotify to recommend other contents that you might enjoy. Netflix and Amazon recommends work on the same principle of course. Impressive leaps in computing power make it possible to process and make sense of all that data. Thanks to advances like cloud computing we now have the ability to store process and analyze data on an unprecedented scale without this data would be worthless.
In fact, every business is going to have to set smarter-from small startups to global corporations, from digital- native companies to more traditional business Organizations of all shapes and sizes will be impacted by the Intelligence Revolution. Agriculture is undergoing huge changes, in which technology is being used to intelligently plan what crops to plant, where and when in order to maximize harvests and run more efficient farmers. Data and AI can help farmers monitor soil and weather conditions and the health of crops. Data are being even being gathered from farming equipment’s in order to improve the efficiency of machine maintenance. Intelligent machines are being developed that can identify and delicately pick soft ripe fruits, sort cucumbers and pinpoint pests and diseases. The image of a bucolic traditional farm is almost a thing of the past. Farmers that refuse to evolve risk being left behind. This is the impact of the Intelligence revolution. All industries are evolving rapidly. Innovation and change in the new norm. Those who can’t harness AI and data to improve their business- will struggle to compete. Just as in each of the previous industrial revolutions, the Intelligence Revolution will literally transform the way we do business. For your company this may mean you have to rethink the way you create products and bring them to market, rethink your service offering, rethink your everyday business processes or perhaps even rethink your entire business model.
People fall into one of two camps when it comes to AI. They’re either excited at the prospect of a better society in which intelligent machine help to solve humanity’s biggest challenges make the world a better place and generally make our everyday live easier. Then there are those who think AI heralds the beginning of the end, the drawing of new era in which intelligent machines supersede humans as the dominant life form on Earth. There is a pointless debate between the incredible things that technology can achieve and potential for AI to be used in unethical, nefarious ways. Whether you’re a fan of AI or not the Intelligence Revolution is coming your way. Technology is only going in one direction- forward into an even-more intelligent futures. There’s no going back. That’s not to say we shouldn’t consider the implications of AI or work hard to ensure AI used in an ethical fair way- one that benefits society as well as the bottom line. Of course we should do that. But it’s important to understand that: however, you feel about it, AI cannot ignored. The greatest challenge facing societies and firms would be utilizing the benefits of availing AI technologies, providing vast opportunities for both new products or services and immense productivity improvements while avoiding the dangers and disadvantages in terms of increased unemployment and greater wealth inequilities.AI is changing the World as we know it. Part of fourth Industrial revolution, together with nanotechnology, robotics, the IoT and many other tech terms. AI is the buzzword of 2010s.It is expected that at least 30% of business will use some AI features to improve their sales by 2020.

Wednesday, 09 September 2020 11:52

What could be the World after Covid-19?

The global coronavirus pandemic which has already caused unimaginable devastation and hardship, has brought our way of life to an almost complete halt. The outbreak will have profound and lasting economic and social consequences in every corner of the globe.  The Global spread of the coronavirus, (COVID-19) is the ultimate news story. On the one hand, new statistics are announced on an hourly basis. On the other, the idea of a mysterious new disease spreading from country to country plays on humanity’s deepest fears. Given both physical and psychological impacts of this novel coronavirus, it is time to examine its potential long-term effects on a global scale. One potential effect may be to alter global trends in the way in which almost everything we use is produced. The supply chains for innumerable products have become increasingly global and interconnected. The psychological and practical impact of disruption in supply chains due to COVID-19 may accelerate the reversal of the grand trend of supply chain globalization. This would have a major impact on the future of the global economy. Another long term effect of the current coronavirus epidemic is its impact on the future of megacities. As the world’s population continues to both grow exponentially and urbanize, the number of megacities-those with over 10 million people will continue to increase. According to UN, there will be 43 such cities by 2030. While much of the focuses in the international discourse over the future of such cities has focused on issues like smart transport, sustainability and food security but public health will be a major issue as well. If a new disease like COVID-19 were to take root in such a city, it could potentially spread to hundreds of thousands of people within a short time. Surprisingly, there appears to be a lack of innovative start-up activity in this field of public health in future cities. Covid-19 should spur aspiring entrepreneurs ’to fill this gap.

 In the era of globalization, international conferences and trade shows have become part and parcel of doing business. If COVID-19 continueto spread around the world over the coming months, we may well see a move towards virtual business conferences. In many countries,millions of workers are facing the bleak prospect of losing their jobs.According to a report of International Labour Organisation (ILO) about 40 coror workers in the informal sectors of India will be pulled down to acute poverty line due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.The World Bank said on 12th April,2020 that the Coronavirus outbreak has  severally disrupted the  Indian economy, magnifying pre-existing risks to its outlook.The World Bank estimated the Indian economy to decelerate to 5% in 2020 and projected a sharp  growth deceleration in fiscal 2021 to 2.8%  in a baseline scenario.Global economy could shrink by almost 1% in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.In the worst case scenario,the global output would contract by 0.9% instead of growing 2.5% in 2020.Governments are considering and rolling out large stimulus packages to avert a sharp downturn of their economies which could potentially plunge the global economy into a deep recession.On grand scale, the coronavirus by discouraging travel and potentially reversing trends in supply chain globalization, is driving people apart. In another sense, it is bringing people together. Coronavirus do not discriminate, based on nationality or religion. They touch on our most basic human condition and human fears. Understanding the disease, slowing its spread and developing vaccination, will require intense international cooperation. One of the dangers of COVID-19 is that it will increase suspicion or racism against those who appear to hail from areas where the virus most prevalent. Instead, it should trigger an emphatic human response to those suffering. Additionally, the threat of a mysterious respiratory disease spreading around the world should put the day-to-day partisan political debates in perspective. There are something that are bigger than any one politician, party or country.

     In the face of such turmoil of COVID-19, as the UN Secretary-general has indicated COVID-19 will require a response like non before-a “war time” plan in times of human crisis. And as we inch from a “war time” response to “building back better”. We need to take on board the environmental signals and what they mean for our future and wellbeing because, COVID-19 is by no means a “Silver lining” for the environment. Visible positive impacts-whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions-are but temporary, because they come on the back of tragic-economic slowdown and human distress. The pandemic will also result in an increase in the amount of medical and hazardous waste generated. This is no one’s model of environmental response least of all an environmentalist’s. And indeed, the  Scripps Institute of Oceanography has highlighted that fossil fuel use would have to decline by about 10% around the world and would need to be sustained for a year to show up clearly in carbon dioxide levels. Any positive environmental impact in the wake of this abhorrent pandemic, must therefore be in our changing production and consumption habits towards cleaner and greener. Because only long-term systematic shifts will change the trajectory of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. So in the aftermath of the crisis when economic stimulus packages composed of infrastructure are designed, there is a real  opportunity to meet that demand with green packages of renewable energy investment, smart buildings, green and public transport etc. With respect to the disease itself, part of the challenge ahead is understanding where such disease come from, because the health of our planet plays an important role in the spread of zoonotic diseases i.e disease originating from pathogens that transfer from animals to humans. As we continue to encroach on fragile ecological ecosystem, we bring humans into ever-greater contact with wildlife. Further, illegal wildlife trade and illegal wet market are not infrequent causes of such diseases. Around 75% of new and infectious diseases are zoonotic and in fact about 1billion cases of illness and millions of death occur every year from these diseases.

   Humanity’s expansion on the terrestrial earth surface means that today human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface, squeezing wildlife and nature into an ever smaller corner of the planet. And yet, nature is critical to our own survival: nature provides us with our oxygen, regulates our weather patterns, and pollinates our crops, produce our food, feed and fibre but it is under increasing stress.  Changes in temperature, humidity & seasonality directly affect the survival of microbes in the environment & evidence suggests that disease epidemics will become more frequent, as the climate continues to change. As we continue our relentless move into natural habitats, contact between human and reservoir hosts increases, whether as a result of urbanization, habitat loss and fragmentation or live animal markets- all of which increases the likelihood of interaction between these vectors and humans. According to IPBES, we have seen 100million hectares of agricultural expansion in the tropics between 1980 and 2000, roughly equal to the size of France and Germany combined. The wild must be kept wild. It is time to restore our forests, stop deforestation, invest in the management of protected areas and propel markets for deforestation- free products. Where the legal wildlife trade chain exists, we need to do a far better job of improving hygiene conditions. And of course, there is the urgent need to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, the fourth most common crime committed worldwide

   The better we manage nature, the better we manage human health. This is why the post 2020 biodiversity framework that countries around the world are expected to agree on this year, matters greatly. An important pillar in our post-COVID recovery plan must be to arrive an ambitious, measurable and inclusive framework, because keeping nature rich, diverse and flourishing is part and parcel of our life’s support system. Even more important when you consider that between 25-50% of pharmaceutical products are derived from genetic resources. And as the engines of growth begin to rev up again, we need to see how prudent management of nature can be part of this “differenteconomy “that must emerge, one where finance and actions fuel green jobs, green growth and a differentiate way of life, because the health of people and the health of planet are one and the same and both can thrive in equal measure. Whatever our differences, viruses like COVID-19 known no borders, we all are one in this fight together.

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