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Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum

Maheshwar Gurumayum, Sub-Editor of Imphal Times is a resident of Sagolband Salam Leikai. He has been with Imphal Times since 2013. An avid adventure lover, writes mostly travelogue. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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Van Mahotsav at Chandel

IT News

Chandel, July 4:

As celebrated every year throughout the country during the first week of July, the District Forest Division, Chandel celebrated the VAN MAHOTSAV 2020,  at Lamphoupasna, Chandel district.

Speaking on the occasion Deputy Commissioner, Chandel, Krishna Kumar said that the forest department has done a good job, but the voluntary organisations, village level organisations and other civil society organisations should come up with some ways to protect the sapling planted today. He added that after the survey of the same next year, if successful, can become a role model and can be implemented in other villages of the district. He further said that district administration is looking for a valuable partnership with the villagers as such programs cannot be successful without their active participation and contributions.

While addressing the gathering DFO Chandel, N. Ganesh, IFS, thanked the villagers and the civil society organisations for their active participations. He further said that while efforts for afforestation are going on, deforestation is going on other places, so instead of concentrating the efforts on afforestation it will be more effective if the forest protection is decentralise through the villagers and the civil societies and the district level officers. He further assured the villagers that he will try to help them out on the Agro Forestry models.

The main event of today’s program was the tree plantations by the dignitaries, DLOs, representatives of civil organisation, villagers etc.

 Today’s function was attended by SP Chandel , N. Modhunimai, ZEO, SDO, Chandel, 18AR, Medical department, District AIDS Control Officer  and may villagers and different civil society organisations.

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AR bust illegal arms workshop in Ukhrul District

IT News

Imphal, July 4:

Troops of Assam Rifles along with Manipur Police busted an illegal arms workshop run by a suspected NSCN(IM) cadre near Lunguira Tang in Ukhrul District of Manipur on 01 Jul 2020.

Based on specific input, the joint team launched a search operation in the area. During the detailed search, the troops busted an illegal arms manufacturing workshop run by Lightson @Likeson, s/o Late John Shaiza. On seeing the search party, the individual fled from the spot abandoning the tools and spares used in fabrication and repair of small arms. The team also recovered one 9mm Pistol (Made in England), three Point 22 mm rifle and two 12 Bore Shot Gun along with ammunition.

The recovered arms, ammunition other stores have been handed over to Ukhrul Police Station for further investigations.

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Signage that send a Hearty Laugh

By -Kamal Baruah

Last summer, we drove down along the groves of Willows and Poplars surrounded by an perpetual view of the mountains. The wonderful panorama of the valley is flawlessly a travellers’ paradise. We reached the point of the strange world “Magnetic Hill”. It’s a perfect pit-stop for tired riders at 14,000 feet after 30 km drive at Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway. Visitors often confronted with various road signs on border roads. Soon we stopped our vehicle in the box on the road marked “Park your vehicle”, we experienced the wonder. It was a mind-blowing illusion at driver’s seat observing our static car in neutral gear started moving upward slowly. The phenomenon was unusual that defied gravity. In reality, the hill is no sources of magnetic field; it’s just an optical illusion that makes the downslope of the road leading to the Magnetic Hill. So when the vehicle is climbing uphill, it’s actually going downhill.
The hilly route gave us a smooth ride “Be soft on my curves” at the frontier which reminded me the difficulties in late 90s. There were times when air warriors were airlifted to Leh Airport as there was virtually no road to move where even Angles fear to tread, yet soldiers ventured out into the land of the mystic Lamas. It is Ladakh, Army survive for its daunting task to protect their territory over the land of snow coated mountain peak. Nothing gives a high as intense as high mountain passes in that arid region yet remained soldiers’ first love to their Regiment. The groups of aboriginal inhabitant still in those mountainous regions face hardships amid border conflict however they are still living on the edge today.
City dwellers do not foresee such difficulties, how the lives of folks on the border are living. There’s a lot more to do, but so far, so good. It faces tight funds and uphill goals in tough terrain. Hopefully a quest to improve the plight of border areas has begun. BRO – Boarder Roads Organization has been empowered for construction and maintenance of crucial roads infrastructure for the armed forces in inhospitable terrain. In an unusual gesture, Arunachal villagers forego land compensation for road construction near China border. Those ultra-patriotic Indians are an example for the rest of the country to follow.
People Liberation Army puts up massive signage in the border area to claim it as their land and often got confronted by Indian troops in border areas for encroaching construction work, building structures or writes on rocks and trees. Being in combatant uniform, we had the opportunity to visit far-flung Himalayan border and at the same time it has caught the fancy of tourists on wheel for its innovation for patriotism saying “We cut mountains but connect hearts”.
It is also interesting to find funny and ridiculously witty boards yet conveying serious messages on roads. One of the many signage across the road read “Am curvaceous, be slow”. Isn’t that inspired travellers on road? There is plenty of such signage on road; interestingly they are unusual and looked good too either but have a meaning a lot for safe driving and people involved of unquestionable integrity and patriotism. India and China share three and half a thousand km long border running along Arunachal, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal and Ladakh. You can have the same feeling either in Tawang (Arunachal), Nathu La (Sikkim) or in Leh. They like those ideas saying “Love thy neighbor but not while driving”. They are actually rejuvenating travellers after a tiring stretch.
The surface access on Sino-India border is closed for half of the year due to heavy snowfall and incessant rain thereby its supplies are possible through airlift only. While China has always been upgrading its border infrastructure, India has not given any importance for long. The bulk works are mostly entrusted to BRO the “Pillars of the Nation” with few numbers of projects to CPWD and ITBP too. Besides roads, the strategic infrastructure includes bridge, tunnels, arfields, mobile towers, strategic railway lines and border outposts (BOPs) in high altitude areas. Project HIMANG is doing great job in Ladakh saying “God made Ladakh and we connect it to rest of the world”.
Since the old existing roads are narrow it is required to realign for a lesser height for vehicles carrying artillery and troop movement. The GREF, BRTF are helping BRO aggressively for tunnel projects and bridges. India is all set to ramp up its infrastructure along the international border in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Ladakh to complete strategic Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs) but are delayed mainly due to strategic security consideration, environment clearances and limited working season. It has also gone with Jimmy Buffett’s road sign “Without Geography, you are nowhere”
Now 255 km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie DSDBO road between Leh and Karakoram Pass along the LAC in eastern Ladakh over the Chinese military buildup is nearing completion that could provide all-weather access. Tourists are not given permission to travel those protected / restricted areas (extreme north) other than the Nubra Valley and Pangong Tso Lake in the East. This writer had the privilege to work in Forward Base Supply Unit THOISE (Transit Halt of Indian Soldiers) en route to Siachen Glacier where the temperature plunges minus 50 degree C. But in summer, fruits of apples, apricots and walnuts bloom. Interestingly, there are no insects or mosquitoes in that sparse vegetation.
Thanks to BRO’s sense of humor that ends up giving a smile after every turn in that rocky terrain. “Haste makes waste” – hurrying will result in poor ending. So we wait for another drive on that frozen highway DSDBO and see some heartier laugh from the signage over the steering wheel.
(The writer is a former air warrior and now works for SBI)

Introduce General Courses in Government Colleges without delay for quality in Higher Education

By - Dr Thangjam Ranjit

Through your esteemed daily, I would like to highlight an academic issue which is very important vis -a –vis the academic careers of thousands of students in the state.
It is a fact that in most of the government colleges, including those in the urban areas and district headquarters, only the Honours courses are opened without General/Pass courses in the 5th and 6th semesters of the Three Years Degree course under Manipur University. It means where General and Honours courses were running in Govt. Colleges, after the introduction of semester system of examination in 2010 by Manipur University, about 27 govt. colleges had discontinued General courses for reasons known to the concerned college authorities only. Many teachers who are in favour of having Honours courses only in degree colleges reasoned for shortages of infrastructure and lack of faculty members to run both the Hons. and General classes in parallel in the concerned colleges. The argument is not justifiable since all these colleges had opted for Honours and General courses from the university authority., and a teacher in the UG courses is supposed to take classes for 14 to 16 hours in a week as per UGC norms. In the above circumstances, a department having a minimum of 4 to 5 teachers in Arts subject can run both the General and Honours courses in parallel without difficulties but with some difficulties in science subjects/departments. As per UGC norms, an undergraduate college is supposed to have 7-5 teachers in each department/subject, depending on whether the subject is having practical or not. Most colleges of the state have enough faculty strength now, except few. For room problems, it can be solved by extending one or two classes in the evening/or morning for the sake of students, who are none but our children only.
The practice of offering Honours courses only in the govt. colleges, except newly converted ones, is not good at all, considering lack of quality in higher education in particular and education in general in Manipur. It is a common knowledge for general public that students having aptitude for higher studies on one hand and other students not having interest for higher studies on the other cannot study together to achieve their respective goals ,as they are in incompatible combination . In an Honours class, the number of students should be within a manageable level of 20-30 for science subjects involving practicals and more than this number for arts subjects; if so, there is possibility of imparting quality education in the concerned colleges .
To the dismay of many parents who want their children to obtain higher academic degrees/laurels from these elite or premier colleges of the state, it is a distant dream. The number of students in these colleges in science streams goes 30 /40 to 80/90 in average and even 130/140 or more in some arts subjects/classes in some colleges. It is common understanding of parents that honours subjects are desirable in higher studies than those of the general subjects and accordingly they ask their children to opt Honours instead of General course. Again, one should not believe in the rumours that General students are not eligible for higher studies leading to MA/MSc/MCom. In fact, General students have more advantages than Honours students as far as academic scopes/careers are concerned. To be brief, a graduate in General Course having the uniform knowledge of the three subjects , unlike a Honours graduate, can avail the opportunity of reading any of the three subjects in master degrees or all of the three one after another, if he or she desires to do so. Whereas, Honours graduates will get chance to do master degree only in one subject in which he or she is offering Hons. subject .But, to the worries of many innocent parents and students ,college authorities are asking students to opt Honours courses in large number, in the present practice, irrespective of whether they are interested to do post graduation or not, whether the students get high marks or not , and the like. In a nutshell , the very academic exercise/ practice that is going on now in govt. colleges are unhealthy and unproductive one. To say the least, the continuing academic exercises, of giving only the Hons. degree without General/Pass course degree being practised by college authorities, are just for creating unemployment problems and to produce unfit graduates in the highly competitive job markets of today is a great injustice done to students and society by authorities in govt colleges and the same must be stopped by the authorities in the concerned department of the state govt.
It is a common knowledge that general students who are not interested to go for higher studies but to end up studies by becoming graduates only are compelled to face uphill task of undergoing a comparatively bigger and tougher syllabus of Hons. course unnecessarily, and thereby making many of them failed or passed in lower divisions/grades in the 6th Semester Hons. Examination and even by making them unfit for any higher studies or loss of academic careers, instead of high marks/distinction in the 6th Semester General exam. Thus, General students by opting Honours course in their poor knowledge the opportunity of learning three subjects in General course and passing easily is also derailed while Honours students on the other hand, by clubbing together with students having no charm /interest for higher studies have to lose their enthusiasm and degrade themselves as they are in touch with their incompatible partners in large number in the classes, labs, study tours, etc. for science students.
In the light of the above facts, concerned authorities in the colleges, education department, Manipur University, DM University, etc. should contemplate seriously the consequences that lead to the withdrawal of General courses from the govt. colleges of the state, and clubbing of two incompatible groups of students in the name of Honours course in huge and unlimited numbers beyond manageable level than the normal intake capacity in Hons. course, in the larger interest of the varied students in our society, and should re- introduce the two parallel courses – Hons. and General in the govt. colleges where only the Hons. courses are in operation, beginning from the forthcoming academic session, 2020-2021. The re- introduction of General and Hons.courses in degree colleges of the state will bring quality in higher education and can catch up other universities in the North East, such as NEHU, GU, Dibrugarh varsity, Mizoram varsity, and Tejpur varsity, which are ranked in comfortable positions among 100 ranking universities of the country, in the next few years, in the larger interest of the student community in general and students in higher education in particular and the society in the state.