IMPHAL | Nov 12
29 Assam Rifles of 28 Sector Assam Rifles based at Jhoupi, Chandel assisted in life-saving treatment of a man who suffered a paralysing brain stroke in Hollengjang village today, said a release from IGAR (South).
Nuwas Dung Dung (65) reported to unit MI room in a critical condition in the morning. He was diagnosed with brain stroke leading to unilateral half-body and facial paralysis, it said.
Unit medical team under CMO commandant Satish Kumar sprang into action and provided treatment to the individual before he was stabilised referred to RIMS, Imphal for CT scan and further treatment, it added.
Meanwhile 31 Battalion of 10 sector Assam Rifles organised the first inter-school sports meet Kamjong from November 10 to 11, according to a release.
More than 1500 school students participated in the event. Addressing the people and children, battalion commandant praised the will of people to make Kamjong one of the best districts through development and peaceful environment, it added.
By Amar Yumnam
India has just undergone a kind of new experience when both the Incumbent Political Party in power and the Opposition Political Parties converged on celebrating or observing Black Day of one kind or another; the BJP celebrated the completion of one year after the Demonetisation of two high denomination currency notes last year while the Congress and others demonised the demonetisation. The social media and the electronic media have witnessed large debates and ridicules of the policy. It has also been coupled by huge debates on the GST as well. The same thing happened in Manipur as well where the spokespersons of the Party in power have harvested for themselves a large crop of public ridicule.
While most of the issues and the inconvenient cost incurred consequent upon demonetisation and the onset of GST are already in the public domain, we may now examine why the problems arose. Before I proceed further I would hasten to add that the background principles and objectives are fine with both; it is a good objective that the black money should be brought under control as it is a good thing that the tax- system should be simplified. But the problems have arisen because of the absence of an understanding of the contextual reality. Besides the usual arguments and counter arguments are already in large supply in the public domain, I would like to dwell on a discussion surrounding around the prevalence of informal sector in the economy.
In passing, it may be of relevance to have a brief on the informal sector. Formal sector entrepreneurs or firms are those that pay taxes and bear the burden of government regulation. These are usually run by educated people. Size matters in this sector as larger the size bigger is the profit; it is definitely more profitable in this sector than the informal ones. Informal sector firms are usually run by less educated entrepreneurs and the scale of activity is small; these firms or entrepreneurs do not pose any threat to the survival of the formal sector firms. Further, the scale of business and the level of technological and skill content of the products are such that the costs of becoming formal would not be covered by the earnings by these firms. The global development history establishes that informality disappears as an economy evolves into a higher stage of development. Development economists see informal sector as (a) the pool of unexplored entrepreneurship stunted by government regulations, and (b) a by-product of poverty; they are sets of people trying to survive somehow through indulging in productive activities as the limits of government regulations exclude them from being productive. We may recall the global concern for Inclusiveness during the last two decades.
The informal sector is a very significant sector in every developing country around the world. Looking at the Indian data as revealed by the various rounds of the National Sample Survey, certain things are very salient. First, during the last two and half decades the informal sector has turned out to be the provider of new employment in both absolute and net terms. Second, these mainly one-person establishments have played a role in raising the female labour force participation in India. Third, a trend is already visible of the informal activities becoming increasingly urbanised; this indicates the normal move towards a direction for evolving into the formal sector as the size expands. Fourth, a kind of subcontracting by the formal sector firms has also been seen. This subcontracting is problematic as the formal sector firm could be trying to bypass the government regulations through the backdoor while the other features are positive ones. However, there is equally a positive side to it as horizontal and vertical spillover impacts have emerged in the process. Informal sector has emerged as an important supplier of inputs for the formal sector firms. Further, the generation of employment by the informal sector has been larger in the States where the relationship is stronger. Nevertheless the growth of the informal sector has been more dependent on the strength of the relationship with the formal sector than the other way round.
It would also be relevant to be conscious of the relative qualitative features of Demonetisation and GST. Demonetisation is a limited objective intervention with necessarily short-run features. The preeminent objective of the recent Indian demonetisation has been to attack the black money by a sudden reduction of the hold in the transactions in the market by making two high demonetisation notes unusable after a certain date. The Indian reality has been that the black money generators and holders are the politically and industrially powerful groups of people. Unfortunately the biggest drawback of the recent demonetisation effort has been that all the activities in the informal sector have been necessarily classed as activities in the Black Economy. So while the Formal Sector biggies could easily tide over the crises of adjustment the informal sector has borne the brunt of the demonetisation costs. This is the reason why both employment and economy have suffered. While implementing demonetisation the powers that be failed to take cognisance of the existence of an informal sector, but rather mistook this as synonymous with black money.
As compared to Demonetisation, the GST is a long term intervention with implications for every sector of the economy. The guiding principle of this is simplification of the tax regime for easy compliance and administration; the transaction cost of both compliance and administration is sought to be reduced. Since this is a long term intervention affecting the entire economy, there is the imperative necessity to put in place a near-perfect structure a priori to make the regime effective in a context where the informal sector is still the largest employer in the economy. The latest revision of rates for items reveals that it was not a well thought-out plan of implementation; the uncertainties with the half-cooked food have already cost the economy high.
In the light of all these inter alia it would be in the national interest not to waste time and energy in trying to project these as perfect and successful. The democratic interest would be served better by admitting the errors of judgement and apply mind on correcting the weaknesses of the policies. The present is supposed to be a capable government.
Nothing built on a foundation of falsehood can withstand the trial of time. At least this is what optimists generally like to construct their vision of the universal order on. Even if there is no scientific basis to believe truth and honesty are indestructible, and together they constitute the material for ultimate victory, the fact that remains is, if the belief that there is a definite destination in life is nullified, nothing but chaos would remain. Life would become meaningless too. It cannot be for no reason that so many, including those who do not believe in religion or god, have said for life to be meaningful, there are a few vital preconditions. The first of these is that one must have something meaningful to do. Second, one must be passionate about what one is destined to do. Third, one must have someone to love and be loved by. This could be parents, spouses, children or even pets etc. And Last but not the least one must have faith that all these are what give value to life. In Manipur today, a lot of these preconditions seem to have fallen apart. Hence, few seems to believe in the importance of having something meaningful to do apart from garnering a government job with a guaranteed salary to ensures personal security. In fact most seem overly eager to squeeze the system hard to get something more from it, even when this does not come as a reward for contributions they make.
Few also seem to be passionate about the jobs they have and are happy so long as their service-perks are guaranteed. Look at the state of our roads to confirm this. Look also at the aesthetics of our bridges and public buildings. They seem like characterless utilities constructed with no imagination that recalls the sense of beauty and proportion all societies are uniquely gifted with. We are not even thinking of anything of the proportion or grandeur of the London Bridge, California Bridge, Eifel Tower etc. Even quaint little wooden or stone bridges in Japan and Korea that we get to see in postcards are so richly endowed with the unique and peculiar personalities of the people of these societies. Why couldn’t the ugly new humps that we call bridges over the Nambul River have reflected at least some of the places unique character and aesthetics, as in these postcard bridges? We instead have bridges that need ladders to step on to and therefore quite inaccessible to the elderly and the weak.
We are not at all suggesting this attitude to work is peculiar to the engineering departments alone. It has indeed become the norm in practically every field, especially those that belong to the government services. Look at the miserable manner government schools and colleges have failed the state. Most of them have no students to teach, though many are enrolled each year. The uncanny feeling is, rather than being humiliated, teachers and staffs of these institutions are happy that they earn without having to work. They do not seem to care this failure is a reciprocal process, and only their commitment can ensure the return of their students to classes. In mediaeval Japan, humiliations of such failures would have led to mass hara-kiri of those in charge, but then the hurt of shame is vitally dependent on thickness of skins. Hence in Manipur today, nobody seems pained by this sorry state of affairs, teachers and students alike, for in the end everybody will scratch each other’s back and degrees will be ensured for all students, even those seldom ever seen in the vicinity of their colleges. Never mind if these degrees do not mean employability in the open market so long as they open up the doors to government jobs. What a callous and irresponsible way of ruining the future of this state. If not for the bit of saving grace provided by some exemplary efforts in the private sector, it is frightening to imagine what Manipur would be like in another two generations. Some students do make it through this mess with flying colours. This is especially so in the science streams, but also on account of their individual brilliance beyond system suppression. It is true private entrepreneurships and ventures also are often given to failures, but the difference is their failings are punished by the market, unlike the impunity with which most in the government sector sit on their work lethargy and non-performances with glee, making any change for the better virtually impossible. We do remember the government promising drastic steps, such as making it compulsory for government employees to have their children and wards study in these government educational institutions to make sure these institutions are run as they should be, keeping their primary focus on imparting good education and nurturing the next generation to be fit to take on the world on whatever its terms. We do hope the promises are kept.
KANGPOKPI | Nov 12
Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) and All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) have urged the state government to regularise the contract teachers of 2006 batch in order to ameliorate the acute shortage of teachers in hill areas of the state.
A consultative meeting was held today at TRI hall by leaders of KSO and ANSAM along with the contract teachers to discuss for regularisation of their services. Around 200 contract teachers attended the meeting where their grievances were minutely discussed.
KSO and ANSAM have strongly urged the government to take up concrete step for regularisation of the contract teachers just like it was done for teachers of Heirok High School a year ago.
IMPHAL | Nov 12
All Manipur DPC completed recruitment candidate of police constable Tamenglong zone has taken back its call for bandh in view of the chief minister’s proposed Tamenglong visit on November 15.
A release said they have received the concern of the JAC of 2013 batch re-recruited in 2016 for Manipur police constable male/civil under the chairmanship of Jayanta.
Zone members will also meet the chief minister on November 14 to arrive at a solution for their pending issue, the release said, adding if there is no solution to their demand, the zone will immediately resort to agitation.
From Our Correspondent
UKHRUL | Nov 12
The first ever Ukhrul flower festival that began on November 8, at Thahao, Assam Rifles Town Post, concluded today. The event was jointly organised by Ukhrul Flower Society and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ukhrul, under the theme “Flower for Love & Livelihood".
DIG, 10 Sector Assam Rifles Ukhrul, brigadier Mohit Seth attended the occasion as chief guest, while commanding officer, 27 Assam Rifles Ukhrul, colonel Rajesh Dogra, and branch manager, UBI Kakching, Angam Shimray, were the guests of honour, respectively in the closing ceremony of the said festival.
CO 27 AR Ukhrul, colonel Rajesh Dogra gave out the certificate of appreciation and consolation to all the 73 florists who participated in the flower festival.
In the category of ‘unique indigenous flower’, Shirinchon of Shirui village walked away as the winner. And in the ‘indigenous ornamental flower’ category, another native of Shirui village, Wonrumyar, was declared as the winner. Both the winners were awarded a cash prize of Rs. 10,000 each.
In the ‘open flower competition’ category Kazem of Shirui village was awarded the winner with a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 , while Athena Chamroy and Khayarin Huileng from Halang village won the second and third position, along with a cash prize of Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 15,000 , respectively.
Convenor of the Ukhrul flower festival, Artax Shimray, in his welcome speech remarked that the festival is being organised to promote floriculture for a better livelihood. He also informed that the prizes for ‘unique indigenous flower’, ‘indigenous ornamental flower’ and ‘open flower competition were donated by Alice Rimai, Angam Shimray and DIGP, Manipur, IK Muivah, respectively.
Brigadier Mohit Seth in his speech lauded the organisers of the said festival and extended his gratitude to Ukhrul Flower Society for making him a larger part of the family of Ukhrul. He added that everyone should feel proud to have made history in Ukhrul and that there will come a time to recall this very day, the first of its kind in Ukhrul district.
He assured that the Assam Rifles has been and will always associate and continue to be an integral part of the festivity, sports and other activities being taken up by the people of Ukhrul district.
Head coordinator KVK Ukhrul, Ramakrishnan, in his word of thanks credited the programme’s success to all the participating florists, government officers, artists and various individuals who gave their time, talent and resources for this festival. He also extended his gratitude to the Assam Rifles for their logistic support and assistance.
Apart from sight of the multitude of beautiful flowers, the closing ceremony ended with lively performances from popular Hao-Tangkhul musicians: Kingsword Hashimwo, Tangkhul Music Forum artists, and indigenous folk band, Featherheads. 27 AR bands also enthralled the crowd with old numbers of popular Manipuri and Hindi songs.
IMPHAL | Nov 12
NHPC will organise a state-level painting competition on energy conservation on November 14 at Raj Bhavan, Imphal.
Governor of Manipur Najma Heptulla will inaugurate the function as chief guest. The event is part of ‘national awareness campaign on energy conservation 2017’, said a release.
Union ministry of power’s bureau of energy efficiency has taken the initiative, organising painting competitions on energy conservation under two categories. Category A is for students of standards fourth to sixth while category B is for standards seventh to ninth. The competition is being held in three levels: school, state and national, it said.
The initiative will be implemented throughout the country with the support of 11 central public sector undertakings under the ministry of power and the 33 state designated agencies established under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, it added.
Further it continued cash prizes worth 95,000 rupees per state per category will be distributed to state-level winners on the day of the competition.
Winners of both categories will be awarded cash prizes worth 10.35 lakh rupees by the ministry of power on national energy conservation day on December 14, it maintained.
From Our Correspondent
THOUBAL | Nov 12
A six-week long, technology based entrepreneurship programme on food processing organised by Manipur Science and Technology Council which started on September 29 at the training hall of Integrated Rural Development Service Organisation (IRDSO), Wangjing under Thobual district got concluded yesterday.
In the concluding ceremony of the training programme, Manipur Science and Technology Council, Th. Sundernath attended as chief guest, food technologist, M. Tonjao as guest of honour and executive director of IRDSO, Nonibala Narengbam attended as president, respectively.
Nongmaithem Babina was selected as the best trainee in the six-week long training programme. Words of encouragement along with modest gifts were presented to her from MASTEC. The rest of the trainees who attended the programme were given certificates.
Sundernath said the trainees should try to become good entrepreneurs by utilising the knowledge acquired during a short time from the programme. He recalled the stories of many successful entrepreneurs of the world, and narrated how they started small and become highly successful. It all depends on hard work, he said.
Nonibala said the trainees who attended the programme must give focus on becoming successful entrepreneurs.
It may be mentioned that the training programme included processing of different fruits to make juice and pickles. A total of 22 trainees comprising of 17 females and 5 males took the training for processing 35 different food items.
From Our Correspondent
KANGPOKPI | Nov 12
The village chief of Haraothel, Haotinmang Vaiphei has urged the DFO northern forest division, government of Manipur to take immediate action against the alleged illegal devastation of the village forest by miscreants.
The chief has also urged the state DGP to open a police picket or outpost immediately at Haraothel to protect the village people.
In his report to the state DGP, Haotinmang has alleged that taking the advantage of the ongoing construction of National Sports University many miscreants have been committing illegal destruction of the forest and hills of Haraothel without any official order or permission.
The forest areas within the beat office of Sardar hills under the range of Kangchup-Geljang have been seriously and illegally devastated by the miscreants using heavy machineries. The miscreants even threatened the villagers when the former tried to stop them, he alleged.
IMPHAL | Nov 12
Information and broadcasting ministry’s directorate of field publicity, Nagaland and Manipur region organised an orientation workshop for field officers on flagship programmes of the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare in Imphal on November 11.
Additional principal CCF and OSD (forest and environment) L. Baite was chief guest at the event, held at the directorate of agriculture. He called upon people of Manipur and Northeast as a whole to bring an agricultural transformation or green revolution in the region.
Regional director of DFP (Nagaland and Manipur) Mangjangam Touthang gave the keynote address. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving due emphasis on thriving agricultural sectors in the country.
The objective of the programme was to equip the field officers with the latest knowledge and updates on the flagship programmes of the ministry, with a special focus on Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana, Pradhan Mantru Fasal Bima Yojana and soil health card.
Agriculture department’s nodal officer (II) Ak Chitaranjan Singh and subject matter specialist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Imphal West Khuraijam Hera Singh also attended the event as resource persons.