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Items filtered by date: Thursday, 16 August 2018 - Imphal Times

Over 2 months long impasse at Manipur University ended as MU community reached agreement with MHRD

IT News
Imphal, Aug 16,

After 79 days, the Manipur University community finally suspended the agitation demanding removal of VC AP Pandey. The decision to suspend the agitation was agreed by the representatives of Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU), Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and the Manipur University Staffs’ Association (MUSA) after reaching a mutual understanding with the representative of Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD), Govt. of India after having dialogue for three days.
The dialogue between the representatives of the MUSU, MUTA and MUSA and the MHRD began since August 14 and finally reached to a mutual understanding today morning. G.C. Hosur, Joint Secretary, Govt. of India represents the MHRD. All the talk between the two group were held in the presence of Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh.

As per the agreement reached between the two, the MHRD has agreed to reconstitute the fact finding committee as an Independent two member enquiry committee chaired by Former acting Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court T. Nandakumar. The two members in the existing Fact Finding Committee will be replaced by a retired Vice Chancellor of a University which is mutually acceptable to the parties concerned. The order of the newly reconstituted Independent Enquiry Committee will be issued on or before August 17.
The MHRD also agreed to put VC Prof. AP Pandey on leave during the period of enquiry until follow up action taken on the inquiry report by the Competent Authority preferably within a period of 15 days. The registrar has been appointed as the Nodal officer of the enquiry Committee.
The agreement between the Manipur University Community and the Government was signed by G.C. Hosur, Joint Secretary, MHRD, Govt. of India and H. Deleep Singh, Commisioner (Hr. and Tech Edn.) Govt. of Manipur on behalf of Government and Prof. I. Tomba Singh, President MUTA, S. Jibankumar Singh, President MUSA and Myanglangbam Dayaman Singh , President MUSU.
As the agitation has been suspended academic atmosphere of the Manipur University as well as at other colleges of state will be restored to normalcy and the pending result of the examination of Higher studies is likely to be declared at the earliest possible time.

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Congress hits hard to N. Biren Singh led Govt. over none disclosure of FA contents; Why the BJP govt. is not willing a special Assembly Session – O. Ibobi

IT News
Imphal, Aug 16,

Congress Party Legislature Wing Leader Okram Ibobi Singh today hits hard to BJP led government in the state asking why the govt. does not want to convene a special session of the state assembly to discuss the issue of the Frame Work agreement.
“As a responsible opposition party we do not understand why the government is telling to discuss the issue after passing of a bill at the parliament when there are contents about distorting the integrity of the state”, Ibobi said during a press conference held today at Congress Bhavan here at Imphal.
He further said that it is the need of the hour to discuss about the fate of the state as certain development has occurred after the submission of the Parliamentary Committee report in connection to the Frame Work agreement signed with the Government of India and the NSCN-IM.

Reacting to the clarification of the IPR Minister Bishwajit which he told media that there is no need for a special session as the Bill has not been tabled in the parliament, Okram Ibobi said that the perception of the opposition is different from what the ruling are thinking.
“The perception of the Opposition and that of the ruling regarding the special session to discuss the issue is different. Earlier too we have sent a resolution to the center to let the people of the state know about the content of the Bill before it is table in the parliament, and it is the need of the hour to take a resolution irrespective of the opposition or ruling to protect the integrity of the state”, Ibobi said.
He further added that various developments regarding the issue of the Frame Work Agreement has been come up following the report of the Interlocutor RN Ravi . It will be appropriate to discuss the pros and cons of extending article 371 A or alike to the state of Manipur inhabited by Naga in a special session of the state assembly, Ibobi added. Questioning the government on why a sitting could be required when the bill which might distort the integrity of the state has been passed in the parliament, Ibobi said at the time when the bill is tabled in the parliament the state will have no power to interfere. It is better we take a resolution to protect the integrity of the state.
The leader of the opposition also asked why the government is unwilling to discuss issues burning the state in state assembly.
“We walk out from the house in protest against the Speaker’s ruling to the demand of the opposition for extension of the assembly session”, Ibobi said and added that the government is fooling the people by postponing the session already stated by them.

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Mass protest staged against attempt to distort the integrity of Manipur

IT News

Imphal, Aug 16,


Various Meira paibis, Passenger vehicle bodies and local clubs today staged protest against any attempt to distort the integrity of the state while solving the problem of NSCN –IM.

Passenger service vehicle bodies of various area of the state staged a protest demonstration against any decision to enforce article 371 A or alike to Naga inhabited area of the state. The protest were staged at Naoremthong and Uripok in Imphal West district, at Heirok, Yairipok and Lillong in Thoubal district. Protest were also staged at Mayai lambi and Airport line too.

At almost all area of Imphal West and East district, local clubs and Meira paibis staged protest demonstration at their respective localities. Banners demanding revelation of the frame work agreement were displayed during the protest. 

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24 hours bandh on NH 7 underway ; 2 loaded trucks burnt near Makru bridge

IT News
Imphal, Aug 16,

Two loaded trucks were burnt near Makru Thong along the NH 37 in Tamenglong district by suspected ban supporters called by the Zeliangrong Civil Organisation early today morning. Zeliangrong Civil Organisation had imposed 24 hours bandh at National Highway No. 37 and ban all National projects construction works in Zeliangrong areas from Aug 15 midnight to August 16 midnight demanding the  Central and state government to immediately arrest Sangailung Pamei, CAO of NSCN-IM , Zeilad Region, Thailik @ Joel Rongmei, Deputy Kilonser of NSCN –IM and Khangdi Kamei, Captain of the NSCN (IM) who are involved in abduction and held captive of the youth and students’ leaders on August 4 at Tamenglong District head quarter.
The statement of the Zeliangrong Civil Organisation said that  While the leaders of the Organizations are facing serious threat and intimidation from the NSCN IM, some individuals are being misused to be the “mouthpiece” of the underground outfit in the guise of students’ organizations - called “Rongmei Students Organisation Manipur” (RSOM) and “Liangmai Naga Katimai Ruangdi” (LNKR). The sanctity of the students is defiled and diluted by the self style RSOM and LNKR sheer efforts to cover up the unlawful activities, gross human rights violation and anti social acts of the underground outfit. The so called “Liangmai Pui Naga Ruangdi” supposedly a women’s body, whose role is to denounce the unlawful activities and anti social acts of the underground outfit rather endorsing the criminal acts by way opposing the Zeliangrong Civil Organisations is shameful and disgraceful which deserves total condemnation by every right thinking people. Regarding the so called “LNC-M” position not to allow bandh called by Zeliangrong organizations in Liangmai areas where there is no National Highway passes through or no National projects works being undertaken have exposed their too much sympathized for the NSCN IM and its anti social activities which is quite absurd and ridiculous, the statement added.
The abduction and subsequent captive of the youth and student’s leaders at Tamenglong HQ and serious threat meted out to life and security of Zeliangrong Civil Organisations leaders by NSCN IM is  evident that it is a well coordination between RSOM,LNKR and NSCN functionaries therefore, the functionaries of the so called RSOM and LNKR should be immediately booked under relevant criminal sections of the Indian Penal Code for playing the life and security of the citizens, the Zelianrong body said.

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Secret meeting between MLA Asab Uddin and Congress leaders of Assam reported in Silchar based newspaper

IT News
Imphal, Aug 16,

Silchar base daily newspaper “Dainik Jugasangkha” reported an alarming news about a secret meeting between Manipur’s MLA Asab Uddin from Jiribam Assembly constituency and Congress Party leaders of Assam including MLA Kamlakhya Dey of Karimganj, Assam which hinted a possible obstacle to the passing of the Manipur People’s Bill passed by the Manipur Legislative Assembly. The news report also suggested a possible crisis in the N. Biren Singh led BJP government in Manipur.
As per the news report, the secret meeting took place at the residence of Cachar district Congress President Pradip Kumar Dey at Pailapool, Cachar. What is apprehension is the silence of both the MLAs and the Congress leaders of Assam regarding the meeting. MLA Kamlakhya Dey, when enquired about the meeting had denied of any such meeting to reporters, the report said. As per the source of the newspaper, both the MLAs – Asab Uddin of Jiribam and Kamlakhya Dey visited the refugee camp of Bangalis being set up at Chirupul of Lakhimpur and held meeting with the refugee.
The Dainik Jugasangkha report further said that MLA of Jiribam Assembly Constituency Asab Uddin and Cachar district Congress leader Pradip Dey had joint hand to protect Bangalis of Jiribam when the ILPS agitation reached its peak in 2016. Asab Uddin was also the main architect for establishment of an organisation called North East People’s Committee (NEPCO) for protection of Bangali community whom the indigenous people of Manipur claim to be illegal migrants. It was in the aftermath of the issue that Asab Uddin got elected as the MLA of Jiribam Assembly Constituency.
The Silchar bases newspaper also stated that there is a possibility of strong resistance to the Manipur People’s Bill from the pro Bangali people of both Assam and Jiribam as the secret meeting of the Jiribam Assembly Constituency MLA and Congress MLA of Karimganj Assam Kamlakhya Dey discussed about the issue as per source.
The report further said that the meeting of MLA Asab Uddin and Congress MLA Kamlakhya Dey might have discussed about a strategy to root out N. Biren Singh government of Manipur. At Present MLA Asab Uddin is supporting the BJP led government in Manipur. He is also the only non Manipuri elected in the Manipur Legislative Assembly as MLA.  

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Independence Day – for whom

The nation celebrated it’s 72nd years of independence on the 15th of August this year with much fervor and fanfare, as has been done every year since India attained independence from the British rule in 1947.
The occasion was initially observed to remind and redeem the pledge of rebuilding and redirecting the nation towards the path of development and progress from the state of despair and disarray in which the British rulers left it in.
Seventy two years on, what we are actually experiencing is a far cry from the dreams and visions which every citizen of this country hoped to see unfold into reality. There has been a perceptible loss of foresight and vision amongst the so called leaders who have grown to take their positions and the powers entrusted to them for granted, making a mockery of the democratic set up that was designed to aid in the speedy and judicious dispense of duties and justice. The law and order situation in almost every part of the country leaves much to be desired and development index seems to be going southwards. There has not been any significant increase in the basic amenities for a very large number of citizens who are struggling to make ends meet in the rural areas and in the far flung villages. In this day and age when space travel is no longer a figment of the imagination, a substantial percentage of the population still dreams about electricity. Roads still remain basic and unpaved and social upliftment measures like the Public Distribution System has been proving to a colossal waste of precious food grains, being manipulated by those entrusted to ensure their proper implementation in order to aid the underprivileged and the needy. Perhaps these people have taken the slogan “Public property is our property” to mean that they are thereby authorized to hoard them and use them for their personal purposes.
Social unrest and agitations are on the rise, and the governments are taking undue advantage of these to fill their own coffers instead of looking for measures to address these unrest and upheaval. The nation is rather regressing into a vortex of chaos and unrest, while the leaders and officials are busy giving lip service without the will or the temper to carry out their empty promises. The symptoms of social ills are pretty evident closer home.
The police personnel, trained to protect the public are in total disconnect with the common public, their very presence causing panic and concern rather than reassurance and safe. The representative of the people are unreachable once they assume power, and amidst all these mayhem, various unrest and social chaos, amassing wealth through hesitation kill or be killed, justifying their actions and deeds by citing noble ideals and espousing selfless sacrifice with their fingers on the triggers of their guns all the while. The altruistic meaning of Independence has been lost in the chaos. The maddening rush for survival and personal enrichment has caught the public and the powerful alike in it’s wake.
Development and progress are concepts that have been relegated to the dark corners. Unless we come to our senses and redeem ourselves now, it would be too late to salvage whatever little we have achieved as a society and as progressive humans. It is in us all to change things. It is in us to stand up and start working on it.


By - N. Lokendra Singh

Water management has been a subject of much concern and attention for contemporary Manipur Society. Loktak and other lakes in Manipur have been serving historically as the reservoir of heavy monsoon rain and the Imphal River which is known by different name, a different stage of its entire course serves as the only channel which drains the excess water from Manipur valley. Thus, it is through a complex mechanism of the balance of natural forces and delicate and efficient handling of the river and canal system that a unique socio economic system emerged in the valley as well as the hill areas of Manipur. Any disturbance in the given balance and any careless manipulation in the delicate system without proper precautions would naturally create a lot of distortions in the process. The Loktak Hydro-electric Project and its integral part, Ithai Barrage reflects a case of uncritical and over simplified attempt to harness the large mass of water resources in Manipur.
The Ithai Barrage constructed with the purpose of regulating the required volume of water at Loktak Lake for the working of Loktak Hydro Electric Project had created tremendous socio-economic problems for a large number of Manipuri peasants in as many as 15 Assembly Constituencies in Thoubal, Bishenpur and part of Imphal district. Out of about 100 villages listed by S. Ibomcha (S. Ibomcha: Ithai Damgi Ithil Imphal, 1992), some of the villages which have been seriously affected are in the constituencies of Mayang Imphal, Hiyanglam, Wangjing Tentha and Sugunu. Due to the possible at this stage of the study to quantify the exact nature and amount of damages done by the after effects of Ithai Barrage, although available literature and information on Loktak Hydro Electric Project and Ithai Barrage, throw sufficient light on the disastrous socio-economic problems created by the Barrage.
As is a generally known, Ithai Barrage is closed during 8 months of the year, from October to February when the water resources are limited and open only in the four rainy month i.e. June, July, August and September to release the excess rain water. Contrary to the ideas of the planners and architects of Loktak Project many unnoticed and unexpected problems have emerged creating havoc for many of the Manipuri peasants who have been used to a pre-modern Agro-fishing based economic way of life. More than 90 % of the people in the villages earn their livelihood by growing paddy and vegetable, fishing in the rivers, ponds, lakes and other shallow water and also collection of edible aquatic plants grown in the lakes. The Manipuri peasants also used extensively ‘Singmuts’, ‘Singnages’, ‘Charots’, thatch etc. for construction of houses. All these sources of livelihood are, however, gradually destroyed by the constant inundation of paddy fields and increase of the water level in the Lakes. Heavy siltation is being carried on in Loktak Lake in the last 8/9 years because of denudation in the catchment areas of the lake. Distortions in the natural courses of water currents have also filled up the bottom of the lake, resulting to an automatic extension of the deluged area. The question of how such excessive siltation could be prevented is for the specialist of lake management science and policy planners to examine. To a student of social science, however, what basically concerns him is the ever increasing threat of the extension of flooded area around the lake, submerging more and more areas of agricultural land and thereby disturbing its traditional ecological and socio-economic system. What were originally thought and cherished as  the harbinger of a new life of people for many of the Manipuri peasants in terms of supply of electricity and sufficient water supply and also possible reclamation of 25,000 hectares of cultivable land have turned out to be an absolute fiasco.
The most acute problem is the severe inundation of a large amount of cultivable land, the estimate ranging from 20 thousand hectares to 83 thousand hectares. The former estimate made by the Government is certainly an understatement whereas the estimate of 83 thousand hectares made by S. Ibomcha seems to be a slightly exaggerated one. The sustenance of a large number of peasant family in the villages particularly many of the farmer peasant proprietors and tenants who depended on land are uprooted from their traditional sources of livelyhood. The shrinking of total cultivable land in these regions further compounded of total cultivable land in these regions further compounded their problem. Even if many of such peasant wanted to their problem.  Even if many of such peasants wanted to become tenant of some landlord, they could not do so, because of the unavailability of land. As a result, many of the farmers were depeasentised and wage basis like landless labourers. During the off season many of such farmers would come to urban areas and work as manual worker, on daily wage basis. The majority of the Rickshaw pullers registered in Imphal Municipality Office represents a section of the depeasantised farmers. Female workers of many such villages have come out as vegetable vendors in Imphal market. Child labour particularly young boys and girls working in well-to-do houses as helpers has become a visible trend. Because of worsening economic condition, children education has been considerably ignored and the general socio-economic and cultural life has been to a great extent adversely affected. Thus, a rapid process of social differentiation is being taken place in many villages in Manipur, Social differentiation in terms of modern agricultural development is understandable but rural proletarianisation because of a faulty project is uncalled far. A notable economic change that is being taking place in water affected villages is the beginning of a number of fisheries. A lot of investment is being made for commercial fishing, but much are still to be achieved because production has not even succeeded in meeting the local demands. A negative effect of Ithai Barrage in this regard however is the gradual disappearance of a large number of nutritious local fishes and these should be of immense concern to the Zoologist and Ecologist. A large number of important flora and fauna have also disappeared and even the Keibul Lamjao national park is being threatened because of dramatic changes in the environment and ecology.
It has been in view of the worsening socio-economic life of the peasants that both the common people as well as the local leaders of the affected raised to the problem. The elected MLAs of 51 constituencies in the Imphal, Thoubal and Bishenpur districts formed a ‘Loktak flood Control Demand Committee’ in July 1985 to initiate ways and means of solving the inundation of cultivable land. In response to the popular demands as well as the initiative of the LFCDC, the Government of Manipur constituted ‘Loktak Development Authority (LDA) in 1986 with a fairly sizeable financial allocation to make ways and means of solving the problems of the water affected areas. Under the imitative of the LDA a number of measures have been taken up. An assessment of the siltation at Loktak and Pumlen lakes have been made by WAPCOS (Water and Power Consultant) and one dredging machine has been acquired. So far about 2.5 lakhs cubic metres have been dredged and a weed harvester to remove weed and reeds has so far removed about 1.8 million sq.m of phum from Loktak Lake.
Despite such measure taken up by the Govt. of Manipur as well as the LDA the gravity of the problem increased and on 5th December 1990 representatives of some of the voluntary association of Thoubal, Bishenpur and parts of Imphal district submitted a representation to the Governor of Manipur to take corrective measures of the continuing inundation of paddy fields. The increasing awareness of the eroding traditional ecology of Loktak lake, the indispensible between Loktak and the people of Manipur also made some of the social scientist and social activists to organize ‘Loktak Day’ for 3 days between 21-23 October, 1991. The programme constituted talks and cultural activities to popularise the necessity of preserving the Loktak Lake. Pressed by the ever persisting socio-economic problems of the peasants an organization called “Action Committee-Loktak Project effected areas, Manipur” was also formed to demand due compensation for the affected farmers. The fishing community of Thanga Village also formed an association called “The Loktak Khanpok Fishermen Association’ in 1992 to protect the social economic and cultural life of the inhabitants at Thanga.
Since the socio-economic problems of the affected people deteriorated, the youths and local clubs of the affected areas in 15 Assembly Constituencies in collaboration with some of the social activists of Manipur University held a joint meeting at the premises of the University at Canchipur in July 1992, and the meeting resolved to form an organisation called ‘ All Manipur Ithat Barrage People’s Organisation (AMIBPO) to mobilise public opinion on the problem and to formulate ways and means of combating the issue. In the last 7 months the members of the AMIBPO conducted intensive campaign by organising local meetings in the villages and also by interacting with a number of media men and social activists. Realising the strong momentum of the movement, the Government of Manipur discussed the issue on the floor of the assembly and constituted a committee to examine the various issues involved in the problem. However, much is still left to be achieved.

Ease of Living Index to Empower Citizens in Aspiring for a Better Quality of Life from their City Authorities

Ease of Living Index launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on 13th August 2018 has attracted wide public enthusiasm and provided an opportunity to Urban Planners, Municipal Authorities and public at large a baseline data for wider public debate. It is expected that the baseline data will fulfill the demands of cross section of people in aspiring for a better quality of life form their city administration. This is a unique exercise and is based on an open and participatory assessment of cities along with physical audit of urban metrics in a transparent manner. The assessment, certainly, is more than just a ranking exercise. It marks the beginning of the creation of arobust baselinealong 78 urban metrics and seeks to drive evidence-based thinkingon urban planning and development.It has also initiated an healthy competition between the cities based on the rankings and generated acute interest, comparisons, critiques and analysis by citizens and experts in the public domain.
Process Overview
Through an international bidding process, M/s IPSOS Research Private Limited in consortium with M/s Athena Infonomics India Private Limited and Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)were selected for assessment of liveability indices. The implementation of the assessment commenced formally on 19 January, 2018.Transparency and neutrality are critical attributes that define the success of this exercise.The assessment is open and participatory and started with a nation-wide drive to encourage cities to provide data online through a dedicated data entry portal.
Two rounds of quality control and excel-based audit were performed on the data provided by the cities and errors were identified. Every city was given an opportunity to fix the errors and update their data sheets.This was followed by a round of document-based audit by a set of independent professionals to validate the veracity of the data. This was done by comparing data from supporting documents (in the form of published plan documents, administrative reports etc.) with the information presented by cities in the data entry portal.
Finally, a physical audit was conducted for selected parameters which could be physically verified (for example, availability of passenger information systems) through a network of trained field staff.
Defining features that influence the assessment outcomes and Rankings:
1.    Indicators and Weightages
The foremost aspect that influences a city’s performance is the set of indicators that the city is being assessed on and weightages assigned to them.  In the current assessment, the physical infrastructure pillar receives the highest weightage of 45%, with several of the indicators focusing on universalization of services(Sanitation, Power, Water, Sewer,Transport, Public Services etc.Thus, cities that are observed to be doing better in terms of service coverage stand to gain significantly. The other feature is the differential weights associated with indicators based on whether they are classified as supporting or core. A core indicator receives a weightage of 70% while a supporting indicator only receives a weightage of 30%. For example, a city that has taken significant efforts to restore ecologically sensitive areas (core indicator) within its jurisdiction stands to gain more on the theme of ‘identity and culture’ vis-à-vis its performance on an indicator such as number of cultural/sports events hosted (supporting indicator).
2.    Quantum of Data Available with Cities
Every city was invited to participate in a data collation exercise through an online data entry portal. Multiple departments participated to provide data on over 500 questions, cutting across 78 indicators. Cities that had strong systems for data generation and reporting and/or a history of planning that was evidence based (City Sanitation Plan, Mobility Plans etc.) were observed to perform better as they are simply better equipped to provide data. Cities that have inadequate systems of record keeping were observed to be at a disadvantage.
3.    Quality of Data Provided
To encourage cities to provide sound data, an incentive in the form of higher weightages has been deployed for indicators that are backed by supporting documents. Cities that could support the data provided with strong secondary documents (ex: SLIPs, DPRs, City Mobility Plans etc.) were given due weight-age in their score.
4.    Relative benchmarks
To ensure that the assessment offers a level playing field to all cities, relative benchmarks are assigned for 22 of the 78 indicators in which cities are evaluated against their comparable peers, defined by the population. Cities were classified into 4 categories namely- Group 1 – Below 0.5 Million, Group 2 – 0.5 to 1 million, Group 3- 1 to 4 Million, Group 4 – Above 4 million
For example, Karimnagar (a city that is in the ‘below 0.5 million’ category) is observed to be performing better than Hyderabad as its benchmarks on several such indicators are fundamentally different. For example, the benchmark value (best performing city’s data) for Karimnagar on surveillance density is 1.76 (number of CCTV cameras per km of road length) while for a city like Hyderabad, the benchmark is 19.2.

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Govt. ready to uphold people desire: CM

Imphal, Aug 16,

As in other parts of the country, the State also celebrated the 72nd Independence Day yesterday. The State level celebration was held at the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles ground with Chief Minister N. Biren Singh as the chief guest.
The Chief Minister hoisted the National flag amid playing of National anthem.
Addressing the gathering, N. Biren Singh urged the people of the State both hill and valley to join hand in protecting the oneness and integrity of the State and the country.
He said that the State Government is ready to uphold the people’s will and desire regarding keeping the oneness and integrity of the State intact. The State Assembly is still kept un-prorogued by the Government so that a special session can be convened at any moment towards this end, he said.
The Chief Minister said that the Manipur Legislative Assembly had renewed its stand to protect the integrity of the State by taking another unanimous decision in July this year. He expressed hope that the Centre would certainly consult the States before taking any decision regarding fulfilment of demands of the Nagas.
Regarding the present unrest at Manipur University, the Chief Minister informed that a high ranking official of the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development is currently camping in Imphal to address the situation. N. Biren Singh informed that the official had a marathon meeting with the representatives of MUSU, MUTA and MUSA at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat in his presence and Cabinet Ministers yesterday.
Stating that the two sides were so close to reach an understanding, he expressed hope that an amicable solution would be brought within a few days.
During his speech, he also mentioned about State and Central Government’s remarkable achievements and pro-poor schemes. He said that the NDA Government at the Centre had made outstanding progress in diplomatic relations with different countries apart from bringing many developmental and economic changes.
Passing of OBC Bill 2017 and National Sports University Bill, 2018 could be mentioned among the latest positive developments made possible by the Central Government, he added.
Likewise, the State Government has been putting in effort to maintain corruption-free and transparent administration in the State. With the setting up of an Anti-Corruption Cell, 310 corruption related cases had been taken up so far, he said. The Chief Minister added that 33 officials had been put under suspension while one official had been terminated from service and appointment orders for 11 persons had been cancelled. He also said that 10 officials had been given warning for indulging in corrupt practices. In order to ensure transparency, the Physical Efficiency Test (PET) for recruitment in the Manipur Fire Service was done with full video recording, he said while adding that the same procedure would be followed in the recruitment of IRB personnel as well.
Stating that condition of NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam road) has now improved considerably, the Chief Minister said that Makru and Barak bridges are likely to complete by March next year. Maintaining that another remarkable achievement of the State Government was mass drives against drugs and intoxicants, the Chief Minister said that huge quantity of drugs and intoxicants could be seized within a short span of time.
Earlier, the Chief Minister reviewed and took salute from 50 different march-past contingents of BSF, CRPF, civil police, India Reserve Battalion, Manipur Fire Service, Home Guards, Traffic Police, VDF and Excise Department personnel, Forest Guards, NCC Cadets, Anganwadi and ASHA workers, college and school students. Commandant of 5th India Reserve Battalion, Shri Sh. Jugeshore Sharma, MPS was the parade commander.
This year’s special attraction of the march past was participation by a contingent each from 15th Mahila IRB, Nagaland and 9th Battalion State Armed Force, Madhya Pradesh.   Eight band platoons of different security forces, Home Guards, Manipur Fire Service and Sainik School also took part in the march past.
Later, the Chief Minister also decorated three police officers with President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service and presented Police Medal for Meritorious Service to 13 officers and personnel.
Recipients of the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service are Shri Anand Prakash, IPS (Additional DGP-AP), Shri Shyamchoron Singh Asem (Inspector), Shri RK Tejbir Singh (Inspector) while the recipients of Police Medal for Meritorious Service are Shri IK Muivah IPS (IGP-Adm), Shri Th. Bijananda Singh (Dy. CO), Shri A. Basanta Sharma (Dy. CO), Songlianthang Vaiphei (Inspector), Pamreingam Longpinao (Inspector), Shri Nongthombam Ingocha (Inspector), Chabungbam Subol Singh (Inspector), Shri Y. Roshankumar Singh (H/C), Shri Md. Anuwar Shah (Havildar), Shri S. Sanatomba Singh (Havildar), Shri T. Abhiram Singh (Rifleman), Shri Md. Kayamuddin (Rifleman) and Shri L. Miralkumar Singh (Rifleman).
Medal for Excellence in Police Training 2015-16 was conferred to Smt. Priyadarshini Laishram (CO 7MR) and Md. Riyajuddin (Subedar).
The Chief Minister’s Trophy for Community Service was presented to Dr. S. Ibomcha Singh (SP, Tengnoupal) and Shri B. Rishikesh Sharma (Inspector NAB) while the Chief Minister’s Trophy for Anti-Drug Campaign was handed over to Shri W. Basu Singh, MPS (SP-NAB), Shri Philem Bangkim Singh (Sub-Inspector, Senapati district) and Shri Gangmei Gaijon (Constable - NAB).
The Chief Minister also handed over the State Level Swachhata Award, 2018 at the occasion. Kakching, Imphal West and Thoubal District received first, second and third prizes for the cleanest district headquarters respectively.
Prizes for the Swachh Survekshan 2018 for the cleanest towns of Manipur in North East region (population less than one lakh) were also distributed. Kakching, Kumbi and Mayang Imphal towns received first, second and third prizes respectively. Special Open Defecation Free (ODF) award was conferred to the Member Secretary MUDA.
Special prizes were also presented to Shri Prasanta Oinam, District Manager, DeGs Bishnupur and Laishram Ranjeet Singh of Karimganj, Assam.
Ministers, MLAs, top civil, police and military officers, Government employees and general public also took part in the celebration.

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Pilot Launch of Ayushman Bharat

Imphal, Aug 15,

A simple ceremony to mark the pilot launch of Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) was held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat with Chief Minister N. Biren Singh as the chief guest yesterday.
However, the mission will be officially launched across the country on September 25 this year, on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.
Four hospitals of the State viz. RIMS Hospital, JNIMS Hospital, SKY Hospital and Jeevan Hospital, Kakching signed agreement of empanelment with the State Government for the scheme at the ceremony. Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Minister lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conceptualising such a noble scheme having humane touch. He expressed hope that the expenditure incurred by State Government’s Chief Minister-gi Hakshelgi Tengbang (CMHT) would come down up to a large extent with the introduction of Ayushman Bharat.
Observing that no scheme would serve its intended purpose unless it is executed effectively, the Chief Minister asked the authority concerned to put in best possible effort to implement the scheme in a transparent and proper manner. He also advised the officials to encourage more hospitals to get empanelled for the new scheme.
The ambitious Ayushman Bharat scheme aims to cover over 10 crore vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) of the country and provide health cover up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. The expenditure incurred in premium payment of the scheme will be shared between the Central and State Governments at the rate of 90:10 for North East States.
All members of eligible families as present in SECC 2011 database are automatically covered. Beneficiary can go to any empanelled public/private hospitals across the country and get free treatment for up to Rs 5 lakh. Beneficiaries need to carry any prescribed ID like Aadhaar card to receive treatment.
Health and Family Welfare Minister L. Jayantakumar, MLAs L. Radhakishore, Dr. Sapam Ranjan, Th. Satyabrata, H. Dingo, Radheshyam Yumnam, Paonam Brojen, S. Bira, Y. Surchandra, Chief Secretary Dr. J. Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary (Health) Shri V. Vumlunmang, Secretarty (Social Welfare) Jacintha Lazarus and Directors and Medical Superintendants of RIMS and JNIMS and Managing Directors of SKY Hospital and Jeevan Hospital were also present at the programme organised by the Directorate of Health Services.

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