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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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Combating Covid-19 pandemic by empowering the youth

By- Alex Naoroibam

India is in the midst of a raging battle against the Covid-19 pandemic and so far, we have managed to check its spread and limit the number of fatalities.
There are many dimensions to this battle being waged by the Indian government. One crucial aspect of the fight is to keep the economic cycle rolling, to help people earn their livelihood. One strategy in this effort has been to empower the youth in the field of Animal Husbandry, to enhance their skill and learning capacity.
A recent Cabinet Meeting chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has introduced a Rs. 15,000 crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund for infrastructure related development in animal husbandry, dairy and livestock related enterprises. The scheme is aimed at providing employment to nearly 35 lakh youth of the nation. Under the scheme, banks will provide upto 90 per cent loan for starting such enterprises.
For the first time the Government has extended an Interest subvention of 3 per cent on all such loans under the scheme. The Development Fund will incentivise infrastructure investments in dairy, meat processing and animal feed plants. Eligible beneficiaries under the Scheme would be Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), MSMEs, Section 8 Companies, Private Companies and individual entrepreneurs.
Animal husbandry plays a vital role in the rural economy of the country. Many depend on this for their livelihood. In most of the North East states, and especially so in Manipur, many from rural areas are depending on animal husbandry. Cattle rearing, pig farm, poultry farm, etc. are quite important in sustaining the livelihood of the people in rural areas.
Proper animal husbandry practices are crucial in providing correct feed, proper shelter and protection against diseases to the domestic animals So they can be economically productive. It also helps in developing high yielding breeds of various domestic animals through cross breeding. It increases the availability of various food products such as milk, eggs and meat to the family and the local communities. Itpeole learn ways in systematic disposal of animal wastes, which helps in maintaining healthy environment.
In Manipur, animal husbandry is an opportunity area as a wide range of animal breeding and raising of livestock are yet to be explored. With the introduction of this scheme, youth can now explore the field of animal breeding and raising of livestock with necessary financial assistance.
In Manipur we are witnessing a start of small units for processed meat products. However, such processed meat products can be enhanced through value addition and bring them up to international level by utilizing the scheme.
One of the best opportunity brought by the introduction of the scheme is that it can be utilised in horse breeding. It is a known fact that Pony (Manipuri Horse breed) played an important role in introducing the game of Polo to the world. However, it is very unfortunate that in Manipur very few people are engaging in horse breeding and rearing. Taking the opportunity of the scheme, people who are engaging in horse breeding can now expand their business and improve their stocks and as a result grow economically.
Recently, an American giant food chain KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) has shown interest in Manipur. As a result of this, many youth have started engaging in poultry farming. Taking a cue from this, and with the help of this scheme, Manipuri youth can start up such food chain businesses that can spread up to the whole nation and even at international level in a few years.
In tune with the Central Policy, Manipur Government has started giving opportunity to the eligible farmers of the state under the PM Kishan scheme. Earlier the PM Kishan scheme only covered farmers but now it has included people in animal husbandry business. The benefit provided under Kishan Credit Card would ensure a sum of Rs 1.6 Lakh to every farmer. The scheme would also ensure the farmers to procure loan without guarantors.
Such initiative of the State Government would surely ease the problems being faced by the animal husbandry farmers, and would also help in attracting more unemployed youths in the sector. This policy of the Government in the Centre would not only help the youth in fighting against the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic but also help in generating income forcing the rural and semi urban unemployed youth. This will also help in the realisation of the dream of expanding entrepreneurship, promote the ideal of Atmanirbhar Bharat and strengthen the weakest sections of our society.

Even though cracks between NPP and BJP stitched, Joykumar unlikely to accept the reallocated portfolios unless offered the one he desire

IT News

Imphal, July 7:

Even as the cracks between the NPP and the BJP in Manipur has been stitched with the N. Biren Singh government re-allocating all the portfolios that were removed from Y. Joykumar, the Dy. CM of Manipur, the dust seems not settled yet as Joykumar is not letting the chance of getting what he desired missed so easily. 

Reports at sections of reliable media said that Joykumar Singh had admitted that he won’t take the matter lightly just by re-allocation of the 3  portfolios but will settled after the matter  is discussed with Union home minister Amit Shah. Source said that the Deputy CM want Home portfolio in addition to the in-charge for Finance department. 

A media report quoted Joykumar as saying,  “I might have been misquoted. But all I said was I will not take the three reallocated portfolios until I get the ‘matter discussed’ with Union home minister Amit Shah.”

However, the NPP leader did not further elaborate the terms of his agreement discussed with Amit Shah during the meeting held in Delhi.

In a notification issued by Manipur chief secretary J Suresh Babu on Sunday, Governor Najma Heptulla reallocated three previously held ministries — finance, science & technology and economics & statistics — to Joykumar Singh. However, names of the other three NPP MLAs did not feature on the the new list of portfolios despite reports of retaining them as ministers.

In a major reshuffle of portfolios, chief minister N Biren Singh retained 13 portfolios, including home, personnel, transport, tourism. minority affairs, and MAHUD, among others.

The political turmoil in Manipur surfaced after nine MLAs, including four NPP MLAs, withdrew their support to the BJP-led coalition government while equally accusing CM N Biren Singh for functioning the government in an autocratic manner.

However, the party revoked their decision and renewed their support after the four NPP legislators, accompanied by its chief Conrad K Sangma and convenor of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) and Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, met Union minister Amit Shah in Delhi.

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‘We don’t procure sub-standard mask, we encourage hand made three-layers masks under the Ministry’s guideline’

IT News

Imphal, July 7:

Officials of the Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department today said that there is no question of procuring sub-standard handmade masks for distribution to the MGNREGA workers. Reacting to a news report appeared in yesterday’s edition of this newspaper, an official of the RD & PR talking to some reporters said that three layers handmade masks are being procured from various Village Level Facilitators (VLF) formed by groups of Self Help Groups comprising of women only.

“As per the ministry guidelines, we encourage the VLFs to produce handmade three-layers-masks that are also washable and re-usable for distribution to the active job cardholders under MNREGA”, the official said.

In connection with some of the sub-standard masks showed to Imphal-Times yesterday by some reliable source, the official said that they have no idea of how those could be claimed as those masks which we procured and kept in packed.

“If in case any such masks showed to Imphal Times office were found, we will immediately return it to the producers”, the official said showing a bunch three layers masks made by various VLFs.

Government of India has advised encouraging homemade masks and even the Chief Minister of Manipur had appealed the people to wear masks while going out of their respective home and so providing protective masks to active job card holders of MNREGA  is mandatory during this COVID-19 pandemic.

In connection with the fund for procurement of the masks, the PR & RD official said that those masks for protection of the MNREGA workers and the promotion of the local self help groups which numbers are over thousands are utilized from the Administrative fund.

“6% of every sanction amount for the MNREGA are meant for administrative expenditures and the guideline permits to utilise the fund for public propose to counter the spread of the COVID -19 pandemic”, the official said showing the guidelines that stated permissible activities under the administrative expenditures.

Utilization o the said fund is allowed under the worksite facilities mentioned in the guidelines.

As the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered to allow MNREGA works, the department felt it necessary to procure the face masks and also hand sanitizers that too are locally produced, the fund for such will be utilised from the administrative expenditure, the official added.

The official also took the reporters at the warehouse where bundles of hand made masks submitted by the VLFs form by 10 to 15 SHGs. Reporters present at the scene were allowed to check the masks and found all to be three-layer masks unlike the one shown to Imphal-Times.

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Conquering the art of bloody politics

An egalitarian society runs with the wisdom of good politicians. And the wisdom of a politician comes from a good company. That is perhaps the reason for the human being to believe in a democratic form of government rather than living in a monarchy or autocratic state. But when the company of the politician turns rather like a prostitute, then anger, anguish, and frustration haunt the people including the state subjects. According to Indian great scholar Chanakya, “The prostitute deserts a customer when he becomes bankrupt. The subjects desert a powerless king”. So, it is not only important for a politician who takes the lead role in running the state, to segregate who are prostitutes and who are real friends among those who actually or pretended to give the so call good advice. Or else, politics which is an ingredient part of running an egalitarian state sometimes turn bloody, either due to the arrogant nature of the man leading the society or due to lack of understanding in the segregation of who is a prostitute or who are real friends encircling around him. 
It will be over speculation to consider all politicians who have been elected by the people to represent them and run the society as bloody politicians. But those around him are those making him performing the role of bloody politics. Again, it is worth remembering Chanakya’s word – “Shun a friend who speaks fair on the face but acts foul in the absence, like a pitcher filled with venom but having milk in the opening”. Such a friend or in other words such advisors or close associates who use to be near and dear ones of the politician are not friends at all, and the leader should understand that such people are more dangerous than enemies. 
Bloody politics is what the people of Manipur have been witnessing since the last many decades. The picture comes clearer during the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly where a coalition government led by the BJP, with Chief Minister N. Biren Singh runs the state. The unfortunate part is that there has not been a game of first among the equals – a political revelation of who should be leading the team who has been elected by their respective people on equal status. Thus, the present team running the state has no idea that a separation from the team, an insult by the close relations, unpaid debt, and association with the crooked incinerate the whole team even without fire.
This is what we the people of the state of Manipur have been seeing. As the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly has been crowded with many newcomers, who had never tested to prove themselves as first among the equal, many played games with fire for some selfish gain. The bloody game has started since the inception of this government and it is not yet over now. 
To all the politicians, who have been handed over people’s mandate to run the society – ”A man doing some noble deeds and living for a very short duration is more welcome in this world than a man living for many years but working against the welfare of the world?” – Chanakya.