Wednesday, 20 May 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News
Imphal, May 20:
Special train from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh ferrying stranded residents of Manipur due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic reached Jiribam Railway Station at 8:14 am today.
12 passengers from Ukhrul and Noney districts, 28 passengers from Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts including a baby, 14 passengers from Tamenglong district, 20 passengers from Senapati and Kangpokpi districts, 15 passengers from Chandel district and 19 passengers from Tengnoupal district left for their respective districts in the State Transport Department buses. The special train also brought back 3 passengers of the Jiribam district.
53 passengers from Bishnupur district, 61 passengers from Kakching district and 62 passengers from Thoubal district left for their respective districts. For the three districts, two buses each were utilised for transporting the passengers.
On the other hand, 80 passengers from Imphal East and Kamjong districts and 117 passengers from Imphal West district left in four buses deployed for each districts.
At the Jiribam Railway Station, all the returnees travelling in the special train from Vijayawada were screened by the authorities. The returnees boarded the buses after undergoing necessary screening process and other mandatory procedures under the supervision of the Jiribam District Administration. The returnees will remain in isolation at the community quarantine centres for 14 days.

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IT News
Imphal, May 20:

Amidst criticism over loopholes in receiving the returned stranded Manipuris from outside the state in the backdrop of the nationwide lockdown measures taken up to contain the spread of the COVID -19 Pandemic, family members of the stranded Manipuris who have returned to the state expressed dissatisfaction with the way that officials are managing the reception of the returnees.

A family member said that her son who returned from Mumbai and reached Imphal today have to go here and there for around 6 hours as the authority failed to give them accommodation at any of the quarantine centers. He said 10 persons who reached Imphal today at around 9.30 am have to wait till 2 pm today without food as they were not accommodated at any quarantine center.

Ten people – 6 from Imphal west, 2 from Imphal East, 1 from Thoubal and another from Bishnupur boarded a vehicle from Bandra in Mumbai of Maharashtra, four days back and reached Mao at around 3 am today. After being screened at Mao gate by the state government authority at around 6 am they then proceeded towards Imphal and reached Model College quarantine center at around 9 am. They were reportedly made to wait for hours without giving them any food besides informing that they haven’t had a full meal for four days when they were on the journey. Inspite of listening to them they were reportedly taken to UNACCO School where a community quarantine center has been opened. What irked the family members is that, after reaching the UNACCO school quarantine center, they were again told to wait as there were no rooms available there too. At around 1.30 pm they remained waiting for the authority to arrange accommodation at any quarantine center without food.

Family members of the returnees questioned the authority over the management in receiving the returned stranded Manipuris to the state from outside the state. 

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IT News
Imphal, May 20:

Thangmeiband United Club (TUC) in co-ordination with Imphal West district Administration, under the supervision of MLA Khumukcham Joykishan  had opened a separate room for transgender at the Community Quarantine centre of DM College of Teachers’ Education, Dhanamanjuri University.

The Community Quarantine centre is opened for returnees from other states in the wake of COVID19 pandemic.

The separate room for transgender is set up with separate toilet facilities which can accommodate five persons. Ya_all, an NGO which have been focusing on transgender have extended its support in setting up the separate compartment.

A Hygiene Bank where stocks of masks , sanitiser, PPEs, sanitary kits for women etc have also been opened. According to report Private donations have been made by various individuals, NGO, private firms etc. Besides, the district administration of Imphal west had also set up a Food Bank, where people can donate food items for the people staying in the Quarantine centre.

Facilities like temporary ramp will be provided for the differently-abled people. More initiatives will come up considering the need of the hour, Thangmeiband United Club (TUC) informed to reporters.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020 17:45

Illegal cough syrup seized

IT News
Imphal, May 20:

Thoubal district police team under the supervision of district superintendent of police Dr. S. Ibomcha Singh seized huge quantity of illegal cough syrup bottles from a drug peddler at Lilong Nungei Dolaithabi yesterday evening.

A report said that the police team led by Inspector O. Ajit Singh OC Lilong PS assisted by Jem Md. Amin khan and Hav Md. Kamal Hassan of CDO, Thoubal under the supervision of Sachidananda Soibam, MPS, Addl SP(Ops)/Tbl arrested one drug peddler identified as Md. Hasim (25) S/O Md. Muhi Miya of Lilong Nungei Khunou and recovered 3601 (three thousand six hundred one) numbers of illegal Cough Syrup bottles marked as “DASLIN-CD+”  and one Tata Truck bearing registration no. MN-01-9755 from his possession. The arrested person along with the seized items had been handed over to Lilong PS for further necessary action.

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IT News
Imphal, May 20:
As part of its ongoing campaign to provide safety to the journalists in the state, the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) today distributed protective gears namely face masks, and hand sanitizers to different journalists’ unions located in different parts of the state namely Kangpokpi and Senapati Districts of Manipur
The protective gears were distributed to all the media persons working in different districts of the state. Many inconveniences and difficulties being faced by the media persons were also discussed during the tour to the four districts. Bijoy Kakchingtabam also further said that the media persons performing their duties with courage at this critical situation risking their lives can be counted as a huge task. In the meantime journalists of Churachandpur district for whom these items were handed over yesterday reported that they have yet to receive the same.

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IT News
Imphal, May 20:

A press statement released by Convenor of the Committee Against the Gross Misappropriation of MGNREGS fund for Tulihal Gram Panchayat alleged that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme is becoming a flop show in Manipur now, and MGNREGS workers of Tulihal Gram Panchayat which falls under the keirao Bitra block of Imphal East District are not given their due wages from a very long time. The poors are facing the maximum brunt of this. The MGNREGS was launched to employ the jobless people of the rural areas of India so that they can sustain their lives on their own.
However, in Tulihal Gram Panchayat rather than fulfilling the objectives of the Schemes by the local government, it is becoming a money minting site for the elected members of the Panchayati Raj institutions and the local government. In contrast to the guidelines of MGNREGS, the members of the Gram Panchayat namely-Zilla Parishad- Inaocha Kongbam, Pradhan -Md Khallique Khullakpam and the ward members of each ward are subjugating the working-class people and violating the rights of the workers. It is also been alleged that a share of the MGNREGs called Line department is siphoned off completely by the terminated erstwhile MLA and Minister Th. Shyamkumar.
The wages of the financial year 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-20 has not been credited to the worker’s account. Rather than crediting the due wages to the worker’s account, it is suspected that the funds are siphoned off with the indulgence of all the members of Gram Panchayat, officials of the bank, and other government officials like Program Officer and Block Development Officer. Most of the people who are suffering include Women, aged people, and illiterate peoples. When the world is shut down due to the Pandemic Covid19 and the poor people are facing a hard life due to loss of job and the shutdown of workplaces, people are in good hope that if the wages are disbursed on time it would give some sort of solace to them.
When the request of the workers to distribute the wages is not heard for the several times the people of the Panchayat hold a meeting and formed a committee named, Committee Against the Gross Misappropriation of MGNREGS fund for Tulihal Gram Panchayat on the first week of May to deal with the issue. The committee had a series of meetings with the members of The Panchayat Including the Zilla Parishad, Pradhan, and the ward members, in a meeting held on 3rd may at a public park they all admit themselves that, a big flaw is there in the utilization of the funds and the system too.
They also showed their readiness to rectify the faulty system. The relese also states that in another meeting held on 16th may between the committee and a brother of the Pradhan Md Azad khan (Rifleman, Manipur Rifle, Government of Manipur) along with the workers, Mr. Azad also signed an agreement stating that the withdrawn wages will be reimbursed from 18th of May and the due wages are to be credited in the workers account. However, the agreement is not putting into practice from the Pradhan’s side, disrespecting the working class and the community people and demanded that violation of rights of underprivileged and the workers by the elected members masking themselves as a messiah or a savior should be punished accordingly. The committee also drew the attention of the government and the authorities so that the workers get their due wages and also demanded that if the wages are not distributed and the norms of MGNREGS are not followed stern actions will be taken up.

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IT News
New Delhi, May 20:
Shaikhom Chingkheinganba, President Manipur students Association Delhi (MSAD) strongly condemns the manner in which the list of people who are to head back to Manipur on 23rd & 25th of May was created and released. A press release by the students’ body alleged that there is no transparency in the selection process and appealed to the concerned authority to not create confusion among the stranded people who are currently in Delhi and to adopt a clear strategy.
The release further questioned in what basis the list has been created?, further stating that office bearers of the students’ body encountered the stranded people including patients and found that they have not been given priority.  Also, the lists has not been created in first come first serve basis raising suspicion of nepotism and that the relatives of those who are in power have been chosen without due deliberation.
The statement further demanded a list including the serial number reflecting the order in which people have submitted their details at tengbang website as well as an immediate clarification .Keeping in view of the current situation which seems to worsen as day passes, the release ask the authority to be more responsible and sensible and refrain from adopting controversial and inconsistent means.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020 17:41

Economic Blockade called off

IT News
Imphal, May 20:
In view of the proposed Economic Blockade and the 24 hours ultimatum served, a joint meeting of Senapati District CSOs, Tribe Hohos and Government of Manipur represented by PHED Minister Losii Dikho, Member of Parliament (MP) Dr. Lorho S Pfoze and MLA K Leishiyo was held today atNPO Conference Hall DHQ.  The meeting deliberated on the conduct and violation of Covid-19 SOP and Quarantine protocols by former DC Somorjit Salam on the 13th May 2020 incident, and based on the positive and detailed discussion, the members agreed that the proposed Economic Blockade which will come into effect today the 20th Ma at 6pm has been called off and an inquiry committee will be set up by the state Government against the former DC to find out the truth behind the said incident for further course of action.

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Wednesday, 20 May 2020 17:40

Foresight and vision- need of the hour

With the increase in the number of state natives returning to their homes, the number of positive cases of Covid-19 infection is increasing on a daily basis, and the trend is expected to continue as long as there are people coming into the state. Even though the infections happened either outside the state or on their way to Manipur and no case of transmission within the state as of now, what with the care and seriousness with which the state government and the concern medical and administrative personnel of the state putting in their best efforts to contain the disease following the protocols laid down to the letter, there is a palpable increase of apprehension in the minds of the collective public. Reports of inadequate PPEs, infrastructures and equipments in a number of designated quarantine centres in the state, especially in remote and hilly areas of the state are also increasing, adding to the uncertainty. Meanwhile, there remains the issue of bringing in the remaining state natives still stranded in various places around the country facing possible harassment, social discrimination and dwindling resources to fend for themselves. The estimated number of such stranded natives yet to come home remain at more than 40,000, with almost 11,000 of them from Ukhrul and kamjong districts only. While the state government have announced the discontinuation of all surface transportation activities with total shutdown of vehicular movements either private or public from 22nd of this month, those whose family members are still stranded in various parts of the country are still hoping for a respite. Many are also of the opinion that the state government should continue with the special transport arrangements until all the stranded natives are brought back home while many others suggest bringing in the stranded in batches. The issue is bound to become a headache for the state government, and a clear and pragmatic plan of action needs to be drawn up without further dithering. While the state government has repeatedly declared that the concern authorities have been adequately briefed and prepared to meet any eventuality as a way of assuring the public, the turn of events suggests otherwise, and the need for the state authorities to come clean on the state of preparedness remains a vital issue, as even with the best of efforts and intentions, there has been reports of misconduct and miscreants trying to jeopardize the whole exercise. These incorrigible elements of the society needs to be given exemplary legal remedy for everyone to be assured that the state government is in no mood to entertain any miscreants or mischief and that the efforts of containing and preventing the spread of the pandemic in the state should not be tampered with or jeopardize by absolutely anyone. The present crisis is one of those very rare instances where one single oversight will certainly wreak havoc to the whole population of the state and beyond, and that perfection in execution of the task is the only sure way of ensuring our safety. The onus of assuring the public about the state of preparedness and contingency plans for any eventuality needs to be made public so that the uncertainties and concerns occupying the minds of the public can be laid to rest. After all, mental health is as important as physical health and removing the psychological and mental disturbances is a very important aspect of public health.    

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 20 May 2020 17:37

Plus & Minus of E-Learning

Nowadays, online learning/classes turns out to be more and more practice. Many traditional universities started to share their courses online for free. It represents an easy and comfortable method to achieve knowledge in almost every field, from Law and accounting, to human sciences such as psychology and sociology or history. Online learning is a great alternative to traditional universities, especially for people who can’t afford the time and money to take real courses. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of online learning?
Although many people still consider traditional Universities are the best way to achieve knowledge and get a diploma. Online learning proves to be a great alternative. Students have the chance to study in their own time and especially for free. It represent a great way to study many fields and to boost-the level of self-motivation. Online learning is so effective because students can finish their homework quickly and there is more time left for hobbies or for finding a job. An access to all resources of a traditional course helps participants learn wherever they are, leaving them the freedom to choose the time for study. With basically an internet connection, a person can attend different courses. Among the advantages of online learning, there are the responsibility and self-discipline of students. Apart from this, online learning provides: save of time; learn from anywhere on the globe; fostered convenience ; reduce expenses; less tiring and less boring; readily available materials; fast and easy sharing of resources; reaches a wider audiences ; supports flexible schedules ; offers a variety of courses on one platform; builds a learning character.
On the other hand, in online learning mode, only in a small group, a person can develop properly. At school, students learn how to make friends, be patient, and get rid of disappointment and especially to compete. Competition between colleagues can be very stimulating and students will only benefit from it. Online learning cannot offer human interaction. Another disadvantage refer to the fact that online courses cannot cope with thousands of students that try to join discussions. Online learning can be difficult for disciplines that involve practice. Online learning should be seen as a complement and extension of classical forms of learning. Not even the best online course can fully replace the personal contact with a teacher or the human relationship that develop in a group. In fact disadvantages of online learning are: requires a good group of tech skills; internet connection problems; lacks the warmth of face to face interaction; unsuitable for hands-on fields; stressful for those with character of weak grasping power; possibility of distraction and cheating. So, traditional classes shouldn’t be replaced with online learning. In class room learning, you can ask questions (assuming the instructor welcome questions). You can discuss issues with fellow students. There is ample opportunities for social interaction and support. You have access to on-campus student facilities like library, co-curricular activities along with game & sports. On the other hand traditional class have constraint in travel time and cost. Attendance times can be restrictive or inconvenient. Shy students may have trouble approaching instructor with questions. You usually have to sit through each lecture even if you already know most of the material and you may be required to buy compulsory textbooks.
Since, humans are social creatures, the society experience of online learning can be a major hurdle for some students. It can be lonely unless you have a friend who is taking the course with you. Many courses attempts to address this by encouraging discussion in course forums which can be general discussion forums where students can introduce themselves ,as well as focussed discussion on particular aspects of the course. Posting your comments and thoughts to the forums can be helpful to overcome these feelings of isolation, particularly in courses that use community mentors or teaching assistants to respond to students’ posts. In some courses, participation in discussion is sluggish. To stimulate online social interaction, write plenty of comments in the students’ discussion forums. Fellow students are more likely to engage with you if you have comments in several threads. You may need to be patient, though because it may take days for replies to be posted.
Do you live in a large city? You may be able to join or start up a community meeting or hangout. Always keep personal safety in mind while meeting internet acquaintances. Another option is to create your own support network amongst your own family members and friends. Even if they aren’t studying with you, you may be able to talk about your study ups and downs. Every little bit of support can help. If you are having trouble understanding something, have you listened to the videos more than once? Have you taken a break, perhaps left it until the next day to look at the material again? Sometimes when we look at it after a break, the meaning suddenly become clear. Is the meaning still eluding you? You can post your questions to the course forums, but sometimes it can take hours or days for an answer. Sometimes, your questions simply remain unanswered. So, you may need a different strategy. Have you checked all of the course resources? Many courses have lists of supplementary materials. Books or research articles may be able to be ordered through your local library. Type your questions into your favourite Search Engine. Read the result but be aware that not all internet posts are reliable, even Wikipedia. They can be used as a starting point, though and cross checking your research with the course materials can help sort the wheat from the chaff. “Google Scholar” can be a useful source of reliable research papers. Most of the above comments about online learning refer to MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). If you are enrolled in a paid online subject as a part of small class, you should have online access to course staff who can answer your individual queries in online chat form or perhaps via Skype or similar. The very nature of MOOCs means that direct interaction between instructor and individual students is virtually non-existent. The only exception is if the instructor participates in the course discussion forum. Coming down to our poor State Manipur,the so call e-learning/online classes at the moment(may improve later)seems to be a fashion like tuition culture.The questions is: do all the schools have enough infrastructurs to conduct such classes? Even initiative taken up by government ,don’t have enough resources & they are facing acute problems.What I observed & commented by many parrents of private schools(forget about government schools /Colleges,Govt.or private where there is no students or few students generally attend the classes even during normal time & many of whose parents don’t have radio forgetting about mobile phone) students,that respective schools are sending ,so many assignment questions in whatapps,which studemts are to practice and submit accordingly.Parents are running here & there to get the questions to download and print out & then Xerox it.However such facilitating centres are closed due to lockdown,then what to do? What about the students at remote & hilly areas where there  is bad network or no network and even no radios? What about those students & parents having no smart phone & even know nothing about how to open whataps? As many parents said,it’s nothing but real mockery to majority of our innocent parents. Whatever the arguments there are,the online classes/ learning is a pain killer for the students during prolong lockdown due to natural disasters like floods, earthquake, war and pandemic Covid-19 and which cannot be the elixir for the permanent relief.
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