Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

Red Shield medical camp at Senapati

IMPHAL | Oct 10

A medical camp was organised by Maram Battalion of Senapati Brigade under the aegis of Red Shield Division at Kieze village, Senapati district yesterday, said a release of PRO Defence, Imphal.

It said that the camp organised with the intention of providing the best medical care and assistance to the locals in remote location was conducted by RMO along with medical team of 34 Assam Rifles.

A lecture on health awareness was also delivered, in which emphasis was laid upon maintenance of hygiene and sanitation as well as preventive measures against various deadly diseases, it added.

Further it said that a total of 70 people including 23 male, 36 female and 11 children were treated and provided free medicines at the camp.

The occasion was also utilized to established “Maitri Van” - a Tata 407 vehicle based mob platform for dissemination of info and spreading awareness regarding employment opportunities for the youth, schemes for ESM, government facilities/schemes for locals and provide various other facilities to the villagers, said the release.

During the event National flag was hoisted followed by screening of a movie, it said adding that a library was also established at the venue and displayed flex boards/notice boards highlighting job notifications, upcoming recruitment rallies for enrolment in Army and AR and a volley ball match was organised for the youth.

Published in News

By Amar Yumnam

IMPHAL | Oct 10

Richard Thaler has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics. Before we come to his main ideas, let us note a few things about him as a person: He was born in New Jersey in 1945; he is strongly influenced by Daniel Kahneman, Herbert Simon and Robert Lucas Jr – all Nobel Prize Winners in Economics; he works at the University of Chicago.

Economists in Chicago University and the Nobel Prize in the subject are almost like synonymous. In fact, we have lost count of the Nobel Prize winning Economists at the University of Chicago; he is at the same school where our own Raghuram Rajan also works; unlike in India, schools are also used to mean Departments or groups of Departments in colleges and Universities in the Unites States of America; and his most read works are Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (co-authored with Cass 2008, and (ii) Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics (2015).

Economics as a subject today is endeavouring hard to reconstruct herself to be more alive to the contextual realities of the society. In this effort, learning and incorporating from other subjects to understand more about people and society is a robust endeavour. 

In this Economics is regaining its earlier strong relationship with Psychology. Richard Thaler is a researcher in this area and is considered to be the founder of Behavioural Economics. Economics has been under the spell of Rationality Assumption (Utility Maximisation) under which we assume that everybody works to enhance his own benefits under all circumstances, and without absorbing any lessons from the experiences and any impact from the surrounding milieu.

This Thaler says is wrong. In his 2016 Presidential Address to the American Economic Association on Behavioural Economics: Past, Present and Future, he writes: “..the methodology of Behavioural economics returns economic thinking to the way it began, with Adam Smith, and continued through the time of Irving Fisher and John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s.

In spite of this early tradition within the field, the behavioural approach to economics met with considerable resistance within the profession until relatively recently. ….. [T]he idealized model of Homo economicus even in the face of apparently contradictory evidence.

I argue that such arguments have been refuted, both theoretically and empirically, including in the realm where we might expect rationality to abound: the financial markets. As such, it is time to move on to a more constructive approach. On the theory side, the basic problem is that we are relying on one theory to accomplish two rather different goals, namely to characterize optimal behaviour and to predict actual behaviour.

We should not abandon the first type of theories as they are essential building blocks for any kind of economic analysis, but we must augment them with additional descriptive theories that are derived from data rather than axioms….As for empirical work, the behavioural approach offers the opportunity to develop better models of economic behaviour by incorporating insights from other social science disciplines.

 To illustrate this more constructive approach, I focus on one strong prediction made by the traditional model, namely that there is a set of factors that will have no effect on economic behaviour. I refer to these as supposedly irrelevant factors or SIFs. Contrary to the predictions of traditional theory, SIFs matter; in fact, in some situations the single most important determinant of behaviour is a SIF.”

Thaler has had a strong influence in policy making and formation of laws. The most impactful work is his theory of the Nudge. He asks: “How can we be so ingenious at some tasks and so clueless at others? Beethoven wrote his incredible ninth symphony while he was deaf, but we would not be at all surprised if we learned that he often misplaced his house keys. How can people be simultaneously so smart and so dumb?”

Thaler and his co-workers in the Behavioural Economics feel that both public and private institutions can positively impact on individual choices through nudging. They say there is a third way, Libertarian Paternalism, of influencing the Choice Architecture of individuals through nudging. In this the liberty of the individual is protected while at the same time working for enhancing the welfare milieu of the society. The orientation of public policy should be to address the cognitive biases of individuals.

Well, the approach has the capability of protecting the democratic values in a society. But, as Milton Friedman and the Austrian School of Thought, we cannot always be sure of the neutrality of government and thus public policy. One criticism of the theory is that “nudging works by manipulating citizens’ choices”.  Further, “is itself just a sexy ad campaign designed to nudge gullible readers into thinking that there is no conflict between libertarianism and welfare utilitarianism. But no one should lose sight of the fact that welfare utilitarianism just is welfare utilitarianism only if it sacrifices individual liberty whenever it is at odds with maximizing societal welfare.

And thus no one who believes that people have rights to craft their own lives through the exercise of their own choices ought to be duped into thinking that just because paternalistic nudges are cleverly manipulative and often invisible, rather than overtly coercive, standard welfare utilitarianism can lay claim to being libertarian.”

In fine, incorporating psychology in policy formulation in a way appreciating the context and cultural values of that context is paramount. This appreciation is the logic behind the award of the Nobel Prize in Economics to Thaler.

Published in News

IMPHAL | Oct 10

Our future will be doomed without the welfare of our children because they are the happiness and strength of the society and of home, as well as of the future of the country, said Nemcha Kipgen.

The social welfare minister was speaking at the one-day regional consultation on ‘Child Rights – Gaps & Challenges in North Eastern States’ held today at Classic Grande with focus on Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2015, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012 and The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 2016.

Delegates from the eight states of Northeast India, participants from various departments of Manipur government, Civil bodies, NGOs were also part of this consultation.

 “Child Rights – Gaps and Challenges in North Eastern States of India’ is indeed a very relevant topic at present” continued Nemcha Kipgen while delivering her presidential speech. 

She drew the attention of the gatherings to pledge for the protection of our children today as without the welfare of the children, there will be no future for the society at large.

Further she opined that every child has the right to information, the right to express his or her views and has the right to be involved in decision making affecting him or her. She urged all the parents and concerned people that children have the right to participate in the family, in schools, at child welfare institutions, orphanages, in the community and at national and international levels, as their active participation in the society has a profound impact on all.

Addressing the gatherings, acting Chief Justice N. Kotiswar said that the law relating to children are evolving slowly and gradually and is taking shape in which various organisations and stakeholder are involved. Various areas and development are taking place related to this. Quoting the poem – ‘On the Seashore’ by the great poet Rabindranath Tagore, he drew the attention of all present to preserve the innocence of the children at all cost. It is the sole purpose of all the stakeholders to retain their innocence, he added.

“Members of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJBs) and CWCs need to acquaint themselves with the evolving and developing role relating to child and should developed child friendly nature to work for the welfare of them,” he asserted. He also appealed for co-concerted efforts to various institutions working for the welfare of the children as far as it is related with the issues of the children.

Chairperson, NCPCR, Stuti Kacker lauded Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh for his distinctive knowledge of the problem where children are targeted and expressed that children of Manipur are in safe hands under the dynamic leader like him.

The consultation program which was organised by Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights and sponsored by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights with technical support from Social Welfare Department, Government of Manipur will be followed by a technical session.

The inaugural session of the consultation was attended by acting chief justice of Manipur High Court, N. Kotiswar Singh, social welfare and co-operation minister, Nemcha Kipgen, chairperson, national commission for protection of child rights (NCPCR), Stuti Kacker, Member, NSPCR, Yashwant Jain, chairperson, (MCPCR), Sumatibala Ningthoujam, commissioner of social welfare, government of Manipur, H. Deleep Singh, as chief guest, president and guests of honour, respectively.

Published in News

All-season football Astroturf fields in pipeline

IMPHAL | Oct 10

The state government will announce special scheme for the differently-abled persons and widows within this month, informed chief minister, N. Biren during a press briefing after his monthly interaction with hill people held today.

However, the scheme would be implemented with effect from this year’s international day of disabled persons i.e. December 3, he added.

 Around 500 people including civil voluntary organisation leaders, village authority executives and village chiefs of hill areas brought 191 complaints to the notice of chief minister on the 6th hill leaders’ day today.

The chief minister interacted with this huge number of visitors from 9 am to 1 pm.

Biren Singh said apart from several individual matters, problems like absence of government officials and poor infrastructure in hill areas were mainly brought to his notice.

Stating that many people, who came pleaded him to help them in the construction of their houses, N. Biren said that the entitled benefits of different schemes are seemingly not reaching the targeted population.

As such, he had convened a review meeting of PMAY scheme, he informed. N. Biren further said that he had directed the authority concerned to serve explanation call to the officials who do not attend office regularly.

Regarding infrastructure requirements which could not be reflected in the last State budget, he contended that he had instructed the DCs concerned to send a proposal each to the State planning department.

Meanwhile, attending the closing ceremony of Manipur Police Quasquicentennial Football Cup 2017 held at 2nd MR Ground, Imphal today, N. Biren said that the State government would develop 2-3 playgrounds by laying astro turf (artificial turf) in the State soon so that the players could play football all around the year.

The tournament was organised by Manipur police department in connection with the 125th anniversary of Manipur Police.

 Speaking as chief guest of the function, chief minister lamented that if Guwahati can host the World Cup match then why Manipur was not given an opportunity to host even a single match of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.

Hailing the Indian Football Team for their wonderful performance in the ongoing U-17 World Cup, Shri N. Biren Singh said that apart from some technical know-how on how to play in crucial moments and more maturely, the overall performance of the Team is good. He further stated that tiny State, Manipur, has a lot of potential in terms of promoting football as many players are representing the country at various international tournaments.

Further he continued that unlike the past now people feel the sense of security when they see police in streets and realize that police are the saviour of the people. Stating that Manipur police is performing their duties with discipline, he stressed that various initiatives being taken up by the department are people oriented and certain initiatives like community policing etc. have successfully implemented and maintained a good and cohesive relationship with the people.

Chief Minister urged the different Sports Associations of the State to step forward and co-ordinate with the State Government so that we could mould good and potential players in the State.

 Addressing his presidential speech, minister for youth affairs and sports, Letpao Haokip said that it is very delightful and heartening to see that 8 players from the State are representing the country at the U-17 FIFA World Cup 2017.

Minister further stated that it is the responsibility of the police personnel to make people aware that police are there to protect people from harm and help at bad times.

The final match was played between the Imphal East District Police and Thoubal Kakching District Police team.

 Minister for PHED, Losii Dikho, chairman of Manipur Pollution Control Board, L. Radhakishore Singh, parliamentary secretary (Planning) Khasim Vashum, parliamentary secretary (Home) L. Sushindro Meitei, DGP L.M. Khaute and top police officials attended the function.

Published in News
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

Go beyond symbols

The new reach out initiative to the remote hill districts being taken up by the new government under chief minister, Nongthombam Biren, is laudable. Equally laudable is the chief minister’s declared commitment to end corruption. Towards actualizing the first, he started the monthly hill peoples’ day, the latest edition of which was today. This is a day he keeps aside ever month to welcome ordinary people from remote villages of the hills and listens to their grievances. In the second, he has formed an anti-corruption cell headed by two government officers under his direct supervision whose brief is to take public complaints on corrupt practices in the officialdom so that appropriate action can be taken against perpetrators. So far so good, but the question is for how long would it remain this way? There can be no doubt about it that the intent in either case is commendable but often the as T.S. Eliot told us in “The Hollow Men”, the tendency has often been that “between the idea and the reality, falls the shadow”.

So far so good indeed. Especially in the earlier initiative of opening up the highest corridors of power in the state to ordinary people from the hills routinely. The sense of openness generated by the gesture is palpable, and so far it is being taken as a much needed whiff of fresh air in the suffocating atmosphere of mutual suspicion that had come to dominate the state’s two major regions – the hills and the valley in recent times, thanks to divisive politics at many different levels. But what must not be forgotten is, people cannot live on love and fresh air alone. Unless the goodwill generated by the open-hearted handshake is followed up by tangible action that addresses and ameliorates the real problems of the people on the ground, even the sweetest dream can turn sour. Signs of this are already beginning to show up in the complaints now beginning to surface from different corners that promises of the government to deliver the people from their miseries are not getting anywhere beyond the promises themselves. The message has time and again been, good intents are not enough. It is sound policies on the ground capable of delivering the goods that will ultimately matter. Bertrand Russell’s famous essay “The harms that good men do” illustrated for all of us how this can be so. Following from this, there are two things that the government must be cautious of in this regard. One, it must not make off-the-cuff promises that are beyond its reach. Two, well measured promises that keep within the government’s purse must be followed up with scientifically developed policy backbones.

On the second initiative of setting up of an anti-corruption, the less said the better. Unless it is an autonomous body, it will only end up another tool of the powers that be to cover up their own misdeeds and hound those of their opponents. It is therefore unlikely to go far, and nobody will have any doubt that corruption is far from being stemmed and is unlikely to be, not at least by this new arbitrary political device. Very broadly, everybody knows there are two visages to official corruption in the state. One is bribery for government jobs and transfers. Once upon a time it was also about bribery for entrance to training courses for the most sought after professions, in particular medical and engineering. Thanks to a number of checks and balances after the scandalous 1980s and 1990s, this at least has been restrained considerably. When this form of corruption is allowed to run free, the biggest harm is the destruction of merit and with it, the hope and faith that hard work and enterprise lead to success. Its scourge is not so much in the accumulation of illegal wealth in the hands of those in position of power but in its condemnation of the society to moral bankruptcy.

The second visage of corruption comes in the shape of the well-known unholy nexus of ministers-bureaucrats-contractors triumvirate. Much more than the earlier form of corruption, this one is a money making machine and creates millionaires of everybody in the nexus through organized robbery of public funds. But what they grab is reciprocal to the shortfall in quality of developmental work all around. Bitumen-topped roads that peel off every monsoon; dams that get washed away by heavy rains; dilapidated school buildings tec., are just some evidences of this. If the first leads to moral destitution of the state, the second stunts it physically. The way to control both, in our opinion, is first and foremost to ensure transparency. The Right to Information Act, RTI, is a powerful tool for this, and people must be made familiar with it and its use. The government could also, if it is sincerely about controlling the phenomenon, publicise the details of tenders won for every contract work, how much money involved, specification of works for which the tender was won, name of contractor, engineer, bureaucrat and minister handling the responsibility etc. Only this may have a chance at checking this monster destroying the very fabric of our society.

Published in Editorial
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

Arrested ZP candidate released on bail

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 10

Zilla Parishad candidate of 10 Naoriya Pakhanglakpa, Wangkhemcha Dhamendro, who surrendered to the Singjamei police station in connection with an allegation of assaulting rival candidate on October 7 was released on bail by the Judicial Magistrate first class Imphal West-I today.

A case was lodged against Dhamendro, 39, Zilla Parishad candidate of 10 Naoriya, an FIR, for allegedly assaulting rival candidate RK. Taruni Devi of Haobam Marak Chingtham Women College and two other women inside the T.S. Paul Manipur Women College, Monsangei during the poll hour in the just concluded 5th General Panchayat election on October 7.

Following the case against him, Dhamendro, reportedly surrendered to the police station concerned and later produced before the Magistrate.

During the appearance, the police pleaded the court to remand Dhamendro to judicial custody for 15 days for further investigation.

However, the accused counsel prayed the court for releasing him on bail as there was no prima facie evidences of involving him in the alleged assault of the victims.

After examining both the pleas the court granted bail to the accused after furnishing PR bond of Rs. 50, 000 with one surety.

It is pertinent to note that, denying the allegation against him the accused on Monday informed that a defamation suit of Rs. 10 crore was filed against the complainant and legal notice for the same was also been served by the accused’s counsel.

Published in News

IMPHAL | Oct 10

The message to the people issued by chairman of People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, kh. Sathy on its 40th rising day continued that despite having taken several resolutions to protect agricultural land, the puppet government has not translated its decisions into practice.

To save the indigenous population, several student organisations are compelled to carry on mass movement, and in doing so, the students cannot concentrate in their study with full attention, it said adding for this movement, many students have sacrificed their lives, and many have been maimed and living a crippled life. All these incidents fall in line just as the colonial master, India desires, it added.  

In Kangleipak alone, since the time AFSPA 1958 was enforced, more than 20,000 people had been killed, it said. At present, cases of 1528 fake encounters, in which the Indian Occupation Forces and the State Force had arrested and killed 1528 people, are pending in the Supreme Court, it said. As the trials have been delayed, those accused personnel are moving around freely as if they are not guilty, it added.

In a country where press is described as the fourth pillar of democracy, the life of senior journalist Gauri Lankesh could not be saved and many other journalists have been killed under different circumstances, it said.

These incidents drew the attention of the UN which did not take kindly the indifference of the Indian government to safeguard the lives of journalists, it added. Moreover, since the secret agenda and efforts of India to destabilise and occupy the neighbouring countries gradually came to be realised, countries that had good relations with colonial India have distanced themselves, it added.

On the other hand, except for keeping Kangleipak as its border post to safeguard the border since 1949, India has not taken a single significant step during this long period for the people of this region to stand on their own feet, it said.

Even as preparations are being made not only for the Act East Policy but also for the Trans Asian Highway, nothing has been done to develop the border town, Moreh or to make it a neat and clean city with all basic necessities for a person to live, it added.

As we do not have our own productions, Kanglei people may not have anything better to do than acting as porters to carry the loads of the visitors, it said. However, what PREPAK wishes to place before the people is that unless we know how to tap the benefits and steer the policies to our own advantages, those outsiders, who come into our land in the garb of visitors under then said policies, may get to settle down here for good, it continued.

PREPAK sincerely and earnestly urges all the people of hills and valley of Kangleipak (Manipur) to escape from the trap of influence and charms of the enemy and carry on a united struggle for liberation against Indian rule, it said.

If we have the united strength and courage of hills and valley people in our hands, we shall be able to defeat India and regain independence of our country that was snatched away by India in 1949, it continued. If people of hills and valley stand united as one, no power on earth can ever defeat us, it added.

Published in News

IMPHAL | Oct 10

On the occasion of the outlawed PREPAK (Pro) 41st rising day of Red army, the message of the chairman, L. Paliba continued that even though many Kangleichas bring prestigious awards for India in the fields of sports, theatre, cultural arts and dance, Indian leaders congratulate these performances only whenever they come to Imphal, they do not bother to let these achievements known to the outside world.

None of Indian Kings led a war against British after Anglo-Sikh Wars (1845-1849), was not the Anglo-Manipuri War (1891) the last war against British? England declared war against Manipur after hectic debate at British Parliament, but unfortunately this war is not included as a big chapter in Indian Modern History, it might have been excluded purposefully as other battles or wars might be valueless, it read.

Further according to the message, the neglect of history by India shows Manipur was not a part of India and even reinforces the fact that Manipur is still not part of India. Whenever a Kangleicha goes abroad with Indian Passport, most of the times foreigners do not think him/her as an Indian, what is even more surprising is that even the Indian Immigration officers do not think Kangleichas as Indians which resulted in many incidences of jeering and making jokes of us pretending to be Indians, it added.

With the dream of abundant availability of cheap rice and food under Food Security Acts, people are negatively influenced not to cultivate the fields but instead use the rice fields to build up infrastructures for development, the message maintained.

With the absence of strong indigenous and farsighted leaders, extension of railways, full-fledged Trans-Asian Highways, exploring mineral oil, other development projects will bring enslavement of indigenous people, it continued.

The chairman added that India takes special interest in railways and trans-Asian Highway projects as these will benefit the Indian capitalist class and big businessmen. Though Indian government claims rural village roads are constructed at 133 km per day, the condition of Jiri Highway is still similar to the condition of World War II, it added.

Nowadays Indian negative characteristics are so infused in our society that even doctors need to be bribed in order to take good care of the patients, even ministers appeal to the doctors for humanely treatment of the patients, news of negligence and uncaring of the patients by the doctors, nurses and staffs are pouring out daily, it read.

The message concluded stating that sudden increase of women related crimes, drug abuser-addicts, un-employed youths, and on the other side sky rocketed price of living materials, educational costs, innumerable family problems, these are all awards we achieved after India annexed Kangleipak.

Published in News
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

Two KCP cadres arrested along with arms

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Oct 10

A combined team of Imphal West police commandos and 5JAKRIF Patsoi COB reportedly arrested two members of the KCP (MC) Lamyanba Khuman factions from separate incidents during counter insurgency operation launched today.

According to source from 5JAKRIF, the combined team led by inspector P. Achouba Meetei under the supervision of additional SP (Ops) Imphal West N. Modhunimai Singh, following information of the presence of KCP (MC) Lamyanba Khuman conducted search operation early morning today in the general area of Konthoujam Maning Leikai and arrested a cadre of the outfit identified as Palmei Lovingson, 32, son of (L) Chaoba Rongmei of Konthoujam Maning Leikai.

During preliminary interrogation he disclosed to be active member of the outfit, who along with two other accomplices from the same village, carried out anti-social activities including extortion of money and also planning to plan IED to sabotage the upcoming 126 Manipur police raising day, said the same source.

Further following his disclosure that a .32 pistol used in threatening people while extorting money was also in the possession of one Hoineilung Kamei, 38, son of (L) Pathoi Kamei of Konthoujam Maning Leikai the team reportedly arrested the accused (Hoineilung) the same day around 8.10 am.

Published in News
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 00:00

DCDA decries non-functional bank

IMPHAL | Oct 10

District Concern Development Association (DCDA), Tamenglong district has appealed to the authority concerned to make the bank functional as the people have been deprived of cash in the district. A release said, the remittance to the bank was delayed or cancelled many times, otherwise only Rs. 5000 per customer is allowed in the only bank of UBI.

If the bank is not made functional by October 14 and the present condition of limited transaction continues, the people of Tamenglong will be compelled to shut down the bank, followed by other intense forms of agitation, it added.

Published in News
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Imphal Free Press is a widely circulated English daily published in Manipur, North-East India. Started in 1996, it has relocated its head office from Sega Road, Imphal to Palace Gate, Imphal.

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