Saturday, 04 January 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News

Imphal, Jan 4

One day State Assembly session of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly may be held on Monday amidst hue and cry from the oppositions and the CSO for framing of an effective regulation of the Inner Line permit regulations. Source however, said that the one day special session is summoned to endorse the extension of the reservation of the Schedule Tribe (ST), Schedule Caste (SC) and other marginalized community by amending the Article 334 of the constitution for another period of 10 (ten) years. The Speaker of the house is unlikely to allow discussion of any other issues like the ILP as official gazette has already been issued and ILP has been already enforced since January 1, official source said.

The Union Cabinet on December 4, 2019 has approved a proposal to extend reservation for SCs, STs and Anglo-Indian community in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for 10 years,.

The reservation for these categories in the Lok Sabha and assemblies will expire on January 25, 2020.

According to the Ministry of Law and Justice Article 334 of the Constitution lays down that the provisions of the Constitution relating to the reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the representation of the Anglo-Indian community by nomination in the Lok Sabha and in the Legislative Assemblies of the States shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of thirty years from the commencement of the constitution.

Although the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes have made considerable progress in the last thirty years, the reasons which weighed with the Constituent Assembly in making provisions with regard to the aforesaid reservation of seats and nomination of members, have not ceased to exist.

It is, therefore, proposed to continue the reservation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and the representation of Anglo-Indians by the nomination for a further period of ten years. 

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IT News

Imphal, Jan 4

Central leaderships of the BJP roll head on whether to replace Rajya Sabha MP K Bhabananda or to let him continue by nominating him once more as candidate, as the term for Rajya Sabha MP of four North East states including Manipur are now over.

Source said that election for the 4 Rajya Sabha MPs of the four states of North East - Mizoram, Meghalaya,  Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh along with 65 other seats from different states may be held shortly.

With K Bhabananda, the RS MP of Manipur, experiencing bitter performance in the utilization of his MPLAD ( Local Area Development Fund) with media in the state including Imphal Times exposing the misappropriations, the central leadership is doing intense home work to nominate someone who will clean the bad taste of BJP by nominating a dedicated BJP man which have clean background, a source close to Imphal Times said.  On the contender to the post there are several BJP leaders of the state lobbying the Central leadership at New Delhi, however, BJP being a discipline political party might not go to the pressure of any individual but will consult with its parivaar and other grassroot level BJP workers while deciding on whom to be nominated for the Rajya Sabha seat, the source added.

All together 69 members including the 4 from the NE will be retired from the Upper House this year.

The four RS MP from NE states who will be retiring are Mukut Mithi (Arunachal Pradesh), K Bhabananda Singh (Manipur), Wansuk Syiem (Meghalaya), and Ronald Sapa Tlau (Mizoram).

In the 250-member house, the BJP has 83 members and the Congress has 46 members and the maximum number of MPs are retiring from Uttar Pradesh, followed by seven from Maharashtra, six from Tamil Nadu, five each from West Bengal and Bihar.

Apart from these states, four seats each will be vacant from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Odisha; three seats each will be vacant in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two each in Telangana, Haryana, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and one seat each will be vacant in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

The BJP, which is marching towards the majority mark in the Upper House, however, is unlikely to make substantial gain due to its string of defeats in the state assembly polls in 2018 and 2019.

Only Uttar Pradesh, where 10 seats are getting vacant, is likely to be some help for the BJP as the party has its government in the state.

However, BJP’s loss in the State Assembly  polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand is likely to favour the Congress in the Raja Sabha.

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IT News

Imphal, Jan 4

The feelings of alienation among the villagers of Tungjoy, the border villager of Manipur neighbouring state Nagaland seem to have been flushed out as the state Government of Manipur under the Chief Minister of Manipur continues to win the heart of the villagers by asserting that the government is committed for the cause of the villagers. Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar, Education Minister Th. Radheshyam and PHEd Minister Losii Dikho today strengthened the trust of the Tungjoy Villagers which have been fearlessly guarding the territory of Manipur from intrusion by Villagers of Nagaland with spears , bow and now single bore rifles, by attending in the Tungjoy Glory Day.

Tungjoy Glory Day is annual two-day festival of Tungjoi village of Senapati district. The festival has been celebrating since 1970 with the main objective of promoting their indigenous art and culture as well as games and sports.

Taking advantage of the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar, Tungjoi village Authority submitted a memorandum urging the Government of Manipur for immediate construction of an approach road till Khezhakeno Village near Nagaland border to protect the present disputed land between Nagaland and those of Manipur.

The memorandum submitted urged the government for immediate construction of a nearly 3 Km stretch road from any available fund of the government of Manipur at the earliest possible time.

There has been a long standing conflict between Tungjoy village, Manipur and Khezhakeno village, Phek district, Nagaland on dispute over a land that the Villagers of Tungjoy claimed that a monolith which they had erected at their village was dismantled by villagers of Khezhakeno. Tension still runs high among the two villages as government of both Nagaland and Manipur are yet to solve the issue. 

The memorandum said that there is an aged old boundary dispute between Tungjoy Village, Senapati district, Manipur and Khezhakeno Village , Phek district, Nagaland since 19th century and the same case still remain unsettled. In order to protect the land and the people of Nagaland, the Government of Nagaland carried out so many developmental works in the disputed land such as construction of an NAP Camp, an Extra- Assistant Commissioner office, one Forest Beat Office, One Border Magistrate Office, black topping of roads etc. However no such preventive steps have been taken up by the Government of Manipur.

The Tungjoy Villager also urged the Deputy Chief Minister to construct a Community Hall and upgradation of the Sub – Primary Health Centre to Primary Health Center.

Deputy Chief Minister while speaking on the occasion assured to convey the message to the state cabinet and to the Ministers concerned who happened to be from his political party.   

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Imphal, January 4

With an aim to empower youths to achieve the qualities of endurance, excellence, courage and fraternity a seven-days children winter adventure sports camp (non-residential) is being organised in Manipur.

Schedule from Monday (January 6) to Sunday (January 12), the camp is being organised by the Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Manipur University.

Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA) and M/S Adventure North East India is providing the required technical support to the camp.

This is the first time that such a camp is being organised in Manipur.

The camp is an outdoor educational programme for students from Class III to X and they will be taught rock climbing, rappelling, zip-lining, trekking, para-sailing, horse riding, yoga among others.

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Saturday, 04 January 2020 17:45

AR conducts anti drug awareness drive

IGAR (S)
Imphal, Jan 4

Mantripukhri Battalion of 9 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) conducted an Anti Drug awareness drive for Drug Free Manipur yesterday.    
The awareness drive under the theme “united we stand to fight against drugs for a drug free Manipur” was organised by Chingmeirong Company Operating Base (COB). The drive was planned in response to the concerns of villagers, parents and Meira Paibis expressed during the monthly security meet with respect to the youth of the area under danger of falling prey to the drug menace.
As part of the drive, an interactive lecture on harmful effect of drugs was conducted to generate awareness about the ill effects of drugs and to guide everyone to lead a healthy life. Lecture was followed by an interactive session in which various queries of students were answered. The lecture gave an insight about harmful effects of drugs on the human body. The drive was a success in educating the locals and youth on this sensitive issue and various measures to counter the drug menace.

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Saturday, 04 January 2020 17:43

BJP, Congress lock horns over Veer Savarkar

IT News
Mumbai Jan.4

BJP has demanded an apology from the Congress for defaming veteran freedom fighter Barrister Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (V D Savarkar) in a booklet titled “Veer Savarkar, Kitne ‘Veer’?” (How brave was ‘Veer’ Savarkar?) distributed at All India Congress Seva Dal training camp in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
Maharashtra BJP President Chandrakant Patil, in a statement issued here on Friday, stated that Savarkar was no way responsible for the partition of the country, yet the Congress was blaming him for it. He was acquitted in the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case, yet the Congress was linking him with that case. “The booklet contains lies and perverted content. A person with such a dedication towards the freedom movement, certainly cannot be defamed, Patil said and added that the Congress should tender an unconditional apology for stooping to such a low level and withdraw the booklet, he added.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also targeted Congress over the booklet questioning Hindutva ideologue Savarkar’s credentials as a patriot and his reputation for valour. “Veer Savarkar was a great man and will remain a great man. A section keeps talking against him. This shows the dirt in their mind,” he added.
Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said, “The BJP condemns the booklet. The Shiv Sena chief late Balasaheb Thackeray would have been the first to react, had he been around. We cannot have the same expectation from the Shiv Sena now.” While the Sena distanced itself, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray was yet to give appointment to Savarkar’s grandson Ranjeet, who has sought an audience seeking a ban on the booklet.
The booklet on has claimed that the Hindu Mahasabha co-founder had a physical relationship with Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi. It mentions and talks about several incidents and questions related to Savarkar which is expected to lead to a major controversy. The questions include ‘Did Savarkar encourage Hindus to rape of minority women?’ and the answer to the question, as mentioned in the Congress’s booklet, is a ‘yes’. The booklet also claims that Savarkar had pelted stones at a mosque when he was 12 years old. It describes RSS as a “Nazi and fascist” organisation and that it took inspiration from Hitler’s Nazism and Mussolini’s fascism. The booklet also alleges that Savarkar received money from the British after he was released from Andaman’s Cellular Jail.
Savarkar a fierce revolutionary, had shown an exemplary courage. He was arrested by the then British regime in 1910 and ordered to be extradited to India for his connections with the revolutionary groups like “India House” and the “Free India Society”. On the voyage back to India, he staged an attempt to escape and seek asylum in France while the ship was docked in the port of Marseilles. However the French port officials handed him back to the British in contravention of international law. On return to India, he was sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment totalling fifty years and was moved to the Cellular jail in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. He served ten years of his prison sentence in extreme inhuman conditions, before being released in 1921 after reportedly signing a clemency plea that required him to renounce revolutionary activities. After release, he was moved to Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, where he stayed till 1937. At that time, he was unconditionally released by the newly elected Government of Bombay Presidency. Later he moved to Mumbai (then Bombay). He passed away on 26 February 1966 due to extreme ill health.

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Saturday, 04 January 2020 17:42

Crops production and Award for Manipur !

Manipur’s Chief Minister received Krishi Karman Award, 2017-18 for the highest production of food grains amongst those states who produce less than ten lakh tonnes of food grain. The award should have made us feel that Manipur is doing better now in agriculture. However, the devil lies in the details of the latest economic survey report of Manipur. When we look closely at the details of food grain production and the crop production of the past years, we not only see an increase in production but also an increasing amount of suffering for the producers who actually toiled for this award.
The food grain production has increased by 3.14 percent, from 504.78 to 520.65 thousand tonnes. 98 percent of food grain that the state produced in 2017-18 is rice. If we go in the details of the matter, we see that the farm price, which the cultivator in the villages get for settling their paddy, has declined for both autumn and winter paddy between 2016-17 and 2017-18. For autumn paddy, it declined from Rs. 1593 to 1550 per quintal and from Rs. 1636 to Rs. 1612 per quintal for winter paddy. It reveals that the increase production of paddy coincides with a decline in farm prices. More production means more supply; therefore we should expect a decline in the retail prices.  However, on the contrary the average retail price of local rice increased from Rs. 3200 per quintal in 2017 to Rs. 3300 per quintal in 2018, reaching upto Rs 3800 in the month of December 2018. We gain more clarity on the matter when we look at the wholesale prices of milled rice, it increased from Rs. 2875 in 2017 to Rs. 3117 to 2018 per quintal.  This indicates that those who are trading in rice have benefited more than the consumers who are buying the rice from the retail shops, even with increased production. It shows that the increased production is not bringing the price of the milled rice down.
If we want to look at the situation of the farmers and cultivators, we should look at the gross state domestic product data and net state domestic product data at constant prices for crop production for 2016-17 and 2017-18 in the latest economic survey report. The principal crops which the economic survey mentions are paddy, maize, mustard seeds, chilies, ginger, potato, cabbage, cauliflower, banana, pineapple, papaya and sugarcane.  Prices at which farmers sell  only potato, cabbage, cauliflower and maize have increased for the respective years. For mustard seeds, ginger, banana, pineapple, papaya and sugarcane, the prices which farmers get for selling these crops have declined between 2016-17 and 2017-18. The prices which farmers get for selling banana between 2016-17 and 2017-18 have declined, from Rs. 3356 per quintal to Rs 2844. We see a sharp decline in mustard seed farm prices also, from Rs. 4200 to Rs 3000 per  quintal. Given this, the gross state domestic product at constant prices, which saw a steady increase between 2011 and 2015, has declined from 144305 Lakhs in 2016-17 to 137804 Lakhs in 2017-18. The negative growth in GSDP for crop production is more than 4.5 percent. And, the NSDP at constant prices declined more than 6 percent between 2016-17 to 2017-18. However, it was steady increasing between 2011 to 2015.
These numbers clearly reveals that even though there is an increased production of food grains for which the state gets the Krishi Karman Award, there is negative growth in GSDP and NSDP for crop production. Further, it does not make sense to attribute the decline in net and gross state domestic product for crops to either surging or declining armed conflict given the numbers. So, we must look for the answer in some other direction.
Krishi Karman Award should not cover the things which the recent Good Governance Index revealed. Manipur came last in the good governance index amongst the NE and Hill state. If we look at the methodology for preparing the index, performance in agriculture and allied sectors is one indicator. In agriculture and allied sectors performance, Manipur came last according to the Good Governance Index. The performance in agriculture and allied sector is prepared using the data of growth in the sector, food grain production, horticulture production, milk and meat production and crop insurance which the cultivators and farmers get from the government.  The agriculture and allied sector has seen negative growth when we see the GSDP and NSDP data at constant prices. On top of that, the national crop insurance scheme, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, does not cover Manipur at all along with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. We have more to worry about. As per report published by the Hindu on its May 17, 2019, it seems that the scheme has failed. The central government has only spent Rs. 8 crores out of Rs. 1400 crores earmarked for this scheme till the mid of 2019. The state is facing huge problems in agriculture and allied sectors given these issues. The people of Manipur should be intelligent enough to understand that we need to do a lot more in agriculture and allied sector so that we can appreciate ourselves. We need to produce more than 1 lakh tonnes of food grain in order to become self sufficient in food grain production, according to economic survey data. We should first cast away the devil in the details, then we should go for thabal chongba. Otherwise, it is not very intelligent.

 

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IT News
Mumbai, Jan 4

The 23rd edition of “Techfest 2020”, the Asia’s largest Science and Technology festival, organised by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, began at IIT’s Powai Complex in North East Mumbai on Friday.
“ Techfest International Exhibition” organised as part of the festival was inaugurated by Dr. V. R. Lalithambika, the Indian Space Research Organisation engineer and scientist. She is a specialist in advanced launcher technologies and is leading the “Gaganyaan” mission to send Indian astronauts to space by 2022.
The festival which will cover an International Robowars, lecture series and workshops will be on till 5 January. Over 2500 corporates and executives and 45 international exhibitors are participating and a footfall of nearly 60,000 visitors is expected in the festival.
The festival will host the world’s first actor and performer robot, “RoboThespian”, who is all set to make his India debut in this three-day festival. “ RoboThespian, designed by Engineered Arts Limited, will portray this year’s “Techfest’s theme “DaVincian Spectacle: A Fusion of Art and Science”. RoboThespian is the ultimate acting humanoid designed for human interaction in a public environment.
“Techfest” will also present India’s largest robot combat competition where global participants will view with each other for the coveted “Robowars Champion Title”. In the competition, the sparks are expected to fly as metal will crush metal, in the battles interspersed with magnificent artist performances for non-stop entertainment.
Techfest’s international Robowars have witnessed foreign participation from countries such as Brazil, Russia, China, Mexico, Bangladesh, Iran and Nepal earlier. With prizes above Rs. one million at stake, the teams will battle in various weight categories like 120 lbs, 60 lbs and 30 lbs. The show will be anchored by Faruq Tauheed, the official anchor for “Battlebots: the world-famous combat robotics television series.
The Techfest lecture series is another attraction of the festival. Eminent speakers including Dasho Tshering Tobgay, former PM of Bhutan, B S. Dhanoa, Air Chief Marshal (Retired), Cricketer Zaheer Khan, Narayana Murthy VC (Co-founder of Infosys), Prof Eric Stark Maskin (Nobel Laureate in Economics 2007), Prof Richard John Roberts ((Nobel Laureate in Physiology 1993), actress Vidya Balan and others will participate in lecture series,this year.
The exhibition is showcasing cutting edge technologies and innovations from all around the world with the aim of helping bright minds broaden their vision and update them with the latest technologies. In the past years, it has grown into a major technological event, visited by students, academicians and corporates. Exhibits of the likes of Sophia (Hanson Robotics), NAO (Softbank Robotics), Furhat Robotics (Sweden), Android U (Hiroshi Ishiguro Lab), B-Human (Germany) and Team Puli (Hungary) were showcased in earlier Techfest Exhibitions. The various research groups from eminent universities including NTU Singapore, ETH Zurich, MIT Media Labs and Arizona State University, had also participated in the exhibitions earlier.
Started in 1998 with the motive of encouraging technology, scientific thinking and innovation, “Techfest” reaches out to 2500 plus Indian colleges and over 500 plus colleges abroad. IIT began organising international exhibition in 2004 and began hosting one of the largest Robowars in the country in 2009. It was upgraded and its scale increased multi-fold when the first International Robowars was hosted by in 2017.
It had  hosted the first social humanoid “Sophia” first time in the country two years back. Embellished with resplendent artist performances from the likes of Abish Mathew, glamorous ramp walks by models, a 6000-strong audience and 300 participants from all over the world, the 2018 edition of “Techfest”s International Robowars was unequivocally the largest event of combat robotics held in India.
“Two years ago, our festival had showcased “Sophia”, the world’s first robot to receive citizenship, from Saudi Arabia. This time it a step ahead. “RoboThespian” will perform at intervals in the exhibition and might also entertain the audience at a dedicated one-hour session,” Siddharth Maniar, the head of public relations of the festival said.

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