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Imphal Free Press - Imphal Free Press
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

109 Bn CRPF conducts cleanliness drive

IMPHAL | Dec 3

As a part of the nationwide Swachhata fortnight, under the aegis of IGP Manipur and Nagaland sector, around 50 personnel of 109 Bn CRPF deployed at Raj Bhavan, today, conducted a cleanliness drive outside Raj Bhavan and along governor road up to Nityaipat Chuthek.

The drive was organised under the supervision of DC (Ops) Raj Bhavan, Alok Ranjan, assistant commandant, Manoj, and assistant commandant, Jugal Kishore, said a release.

Published in News

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 3

The newly elected office bearers of Manipur State Panchayat Parishad (MSPP) took oath and promised to perform their duties and responsibilities in sincere and diligent manner at ‘Annual Panchayat Summit’ held at Manipur Panchayat Bhavan, Porompat today.

Addressing as chief guest, minister of Works, Power, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Commerce and Industries, Thongam Biswajit Singh said that the concept of panchayati raj was brought up by Mahatma Gandhi with the vision of bottom to top level development.

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the NDA government is implementing several schemes that may support in bringing Gandhi’s dream a success, he added.

Biswajit said that awareness about the role of panchayati raj is meager in the country despite having a democratic form of government. It is the high time to put persistent effort in creating awareness on significant role played by member of panchayat, he added.

He continued that as per norms, the number of days for MGNREGS is used to allocate after analysing the performance of the scheme in the state in the last three years. However due to failure of proper implementation of the scheme in Manipur by previous government, the present government had earmarked just for 19 days, he maintained.

Observing the need transformation in the state, the minister said that a new change can only be achieved when transformation and reformation begins within oneself. Without sincerity to transform oneself, it is hard to bring any positive changes in the society, he added.

He also stated about the mandatory implementation of the rights guaranteed in Indian Constitution and pointed out the negligence shown by previous government in the ministry of Panchayati Raj, which is a serious matter to be discussed.

The present government is going to take up some initiatives and policies that will help in bringing sustainable form of development, said Biswajit.

He also declared that the honorarium which is included in memorandum submitted by MSPP will surely be revised.

Chief advisor of MSPP, N. Mohendro Singh in his key note address stated about the reason for degrading the value of panchayati raj. He said that most of the elected members are fresh who do not have proper knowledge in the sector and they lack motivation.

Proper guidance with appropriate policies is of utmost importance and MSPP is a bridge between government and elected member of panchayat, which needs to be to strengthen, he suggested.

For effective functioning of the panchayati raj institution, Mohendro requested minister Biswajit to form a steering committee and add the slogan ‘go to the villages and transform your villages’ in the policies and programme.

According to index of devolution report for the year 2014-15 release by ministry of Panchayati Raj, government of India, Manipur ranked in 23 out of 25 states.

MSPP had handed over the memorandum that included revision of honorarium, devolution of power and separate chief executive officer of zilla parishad to minister Biswajit at today’s function.

The oath taking of all the 11 newly elected office bearers were administered by N. Mohendro Singh.    

The function was attended as president by president of MSPP, Toijam Itobi Singh, along with MLA of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa, Soibam Subhaschandra Singh and MLA of Jiribam, Ashab Uddin as special guests. The guests of honour were, Adhyaksha of Thoubal zilla parishad, Hasina Begum, Adhyaksha of Bishnupur zilla parishad, Romabai Lairenjam, Adhyaksha of Imphal West zilla parishad, R.K. Taruni, Adhyaksha of Imphal East zilla parishad, P. Bimola Devi, Adhyaksha of Kakching zilla parishad, Ph. Jiten Singh and Adhyaksha of Jiribam zilla parishad Kh. Janaki.

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Biren says helping persons with disabilities is his dream come true

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 3

The Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh called it a dream come true when he launched a scheme titled, Chief Ministergi Shotharabasingi Tengbang, CMST, on the occasion of the observance of International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).

The scheme aims to extend statutory help to disabled persons.

The chief minister said it is his personal endeavor to ensure that through concrete, sincere efforts and action, the grievances and difficulties, especially of the marginalised sections of the society are effectively and comprehensively addressed.

Biren said that persons with disabilities encounter many disadvantages in society and they are often subjected to stigma and discrimination, and they have limited access to proper healthcare services, quality education, face fewer economic opportunities, and are generally excluded from social processes.

He stressed that “Chief Minister-gi Shotharabasingi Tengbang” is reflective of the firm commitment of this government to empower the persons with disabilities and the marginalised. Such scheme would facilitate their vital and meaningful participation in contributing towards the creation of socio-economic wealth and overall welfare of the state, he added.

Under CMST, there are five sub schemes. Care-giver Allowance or Maintenance Grant to Persons with Disabilities with high support needs, provide 80 percent disability people with Rs.1500 per month. Self-employment Loan with subsidy to the PWD along with skill training will provide 19-59 years who can work would be given soft loans and self- employment through Manipur Society for Skill Development (MSSD).

CMST also includes a scholarship scheme for students with Disabilities. The rates of scholarships are: Rs 3,000 per annum for Class I-V, Rs 4,000 per annum for Class VI-VIII, Rs 6000 per annum for Class IX-XII, Rs 8000 per annum for Graduate and Above.

Under CMST, free travel and concession to persons with disabilities are given for free travelling in public transport under Manipur State Transport (MST). The Scheme also included a maintenance grant for homeless older persons with monetary support of Rs. 1,000 per month to the older persons in the age group of 60 years and above, who are homeless or sheltered in old age homes recognized by the department.

Minister for social welfare and co-operation, Nemcha Kipgen presided over the function and in her speech; she said that India has one of the most progressive disability policy frameworks in the entire developing world. However there are certain challenges such as lack of awareness, challenges of inter-sectorial co-ordination etc. in proper implementing various social welfare schemes in the state, she added.

She assured that the present government under the leadership of chief minister, N. Biren Singh would overcome the challenges and hurdles in implementing policies for all the categories of differently-abled and intellectually disable people so that they can become part and partial of the society.

At the occasion, the dignitaries handed over monetary allowances, scholarships, free travel card and maintenance grant to various beneficiaries under the scheme. Around 900 beneficiaries will be provided Care Giver allowance, 140 beneficiaries would get Student scholarships, 286 beneficiaries would get maintenance grant, 700 beneficiaries would get free travel card and 5 beneficiaries would be given soft loans.

Students and children from different disabled homes also took part in the celebration with their extraordinary performances.

The function was held today at Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium and was attended by his council of ministers namely deputy chief minister, Y. Joykumar, minister for PWD, Th. Biswajit Singh, minister for health and family welfare L. Jayantakumar Singh, minister for CAF and PD, Karam Shyam, minister for tribal and hill areas development, N. Kayasii, minister for PHED, Losii Dikho, minister for agriculture, V. Hangkhanlian, Sapam Ranjan, Khashim Vashum, chief secretary Shri R.R Rashmi, additional chief secretary Suhel Akhtar, commissioner of social welfare H. Dileep Singh, director social welfare, Jacintha Lazarus, officials of the social welfare department attended the function.

Published in News

By Amar Yumnam

A few weeks ago, I had written in this very column appreciating the commitment and robust attempts by Biren as Chief Minister to bring about real world socio-politico-economic changes in Manipur. I had also written “that Biren is functioning under heavy constraints.” Then I had emphasised the fiscal constraints amongst others that Biren faces while putting his ideas into action and performance for shared prosperity. But as of now, it seems other weaknesses or constraints of the governance under him emerging in a rather fast way; in such a way demanding his attention and corrective interventions to save the credibility of his government and own leadership capability.  

Every society evolves and the speed of the evolution gets only faster with the rise in the stock and complexity of knowledge in each individual in the society. Only  few years  ago a classic joint study of MIT and Harvard put it: ”The secret of modern societies is not that each person holds much more productive knowledge than those in a more traditional society. The secret to modernity is that we collectively use large volumes of knowledge, while each one of us holds only a few bits of it. Society functions because its members form webs that allow them to specialize and share their knowledge with others.” When Biren assumed the charge of the Head of the People of Manipur, there definitely was a socio-political milieu as legacy. First, in this milieu the people were looking for a change in the political atmosphere and governance approach of the ruling regime just preceding him. Second, during the period of the previous regime the awareness and understanding of the prevailing dynamics of the relationship between the people and the government had been heightened and particularly towards the end. Third, while the longing for change was visible, the social component was such that those longing for it did not constitute a clear dominant group.

It is in this context that when Biren gave a strong manifestation of an alternative character and orientation of the governance over land and people of Manipur, the expectations of the people have been given a renewed vigour. Well, there are global political economic lessons establishing the periods of transition as the most critical ones. As Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in his classic The Prince long back, “And it should be realized that taking the initiative in introducing a new form of government is very difficult and dangerous, and unlikely to succeed. The reason is that all those who profit from the old order will be opposed to the innovator, whereas all those who might benefit from the new order are, at best, tepid supporters of him. This lukewarmness arises partly . . . from the skeptical temper of men, who do not really believe in new things unless they have been seen to work well. The result is that whenever those who are opposed to change have the chance to attack the innovator, they do it with much vigour, whereas his supporters act only half-heartedly; so that the innovator and his supporters find themselves in great danger”. The message is that Biren has necessarily to be attentive to public opinion and attitudes (already aggressively aroused by the norms of governance under the previous regime), the involvement behaviour of the vested interests and the inherited inertia of the administrative organ of the government. 

This is exactly where there is urgency of a renewed appreciation of the contemporary approach to understanding and evolution of policies for social transformation and economic advancement. Every society does face challenges consequent upon the dynamics of evolution and in the process develops capacity to address the rising complexities. This is particularly so with rise in interconnectedness. However in this process the realisation has also emerged globally that contextualisation of the understanding of the dynamics and framing of policies to address the roadblocks are paramount. In the governance literature, it is understood like this:  “The toolbox is overflowing; best practice manuals in various areas of interest tumble out of seminars and workshops. However, difficulties arise when attempts are made to apply what are often excellent technical solutions under real-world conditions. Human beings, acting either alone or in groups small and large, are not as amenable as are pure numbers. And they cannot be put aside. In other words, in the real world, reforms will not succeed, and they will certainly not be sustained, without the correct alignment of citizens, stakeholders, and voice.”    

In this background we feel Biren as being constrained particularly by two powerful self-interest groups – one exogenous and another endogenous. The exogenous group poses as possessing wonderful tool-boxes of knowledge and policy formulation. The endogenous group indulges in jumping the gun to curry favour of the Chief Minister. Unfortunately both these groups manifest as jumping the queue. Above all, both the groups are already causing damage to the cause, commitment and credibility of Biren as Head of the People of Manipur. But when it comes to the critical test, both these groups may not mind a recurrence of “Et tu, Brute?”- Latin meaning  “and you, Brutus”? –   a phrase made famous by William Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar while depicting the assassination of Caesar and uttered by him while he saw his trusted friend Brutus among the assassins finishing his life and rule.  

Published in Articles
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

Amoebic short sight

A fascinating question posed by German philosopher Karl Popper in All Life is Problem Solving (Routledge Classic), a collection of essays by him, in the opening essay by the same name, should provide new insights into many of the problems faced in the Northeast. It would be a lesson worthwhile reflecting by those of us in Manipur in the thick of the anarchic crisis we are faced with currently. The essay is an attempt to size up an idea that most of us take so much for granted, therefore seldom bother to give a closer scrutiny. The conclusion that Popper, a physicist turned philosopher comes to is fascinating for its simplicity, but opens up larger questions about existence and survival. In its essence, what he says is that all life is about problem solving, and the drive behind this, in the ultimate analysis, is survival. He thus goes somewhat further than Darwin for whom the survival instinct is encoded in our genes and this manifest in the urge in all species to unendingly procreate and multiply. This departure is important, for while instinct to procreate is vital, this instinct is not able to foresee non biological external problem that life is so full of and therefore threatened by – climate change, deadly epidemics, water crisis, food crisis, deadly conflicts etc., to name just a few.

Popper does not go into all these details in this book. He only provides the fundamental principles behind different kinds of problem solving and how higher life forms do this much better. In a rhetorical way, he poses the question what is it that distinguishes the problem solving strategies of a rudimentary life form such as the single cell amoeba and that of a Albert Einstein? At its very basic, problem solving as Popper explains, involves first the identification of the problem, then the attempts to solve it and finally arriving at the right answer through a series of elimination of failed or false solutions. Popper presumes, as any scientist would, that no problem or its solution is final, and that a new solution or theory will always pose new problems, and in this way the cycle of problem solving will continue endlessly. So the original question: How does the amoeba differ from Einstein in solving problems? The basic difference, according to Popper is, while the amoeba is unable to distance itself from its problem solving strategy, higher life forms, to which category Einstein belongs, can and most often do. The result is, the amoeba is part and parcel of its own problem solving strategy, so that if the strategy fails, it perishes with it. For instance, if a trap comes up suddenly before a colony of amoeba in traversing a distance, amoeba after amoeba will run into the trap and die, until one amoeba happens to find an alternative route, which all other amoebas will follow, until another life threatening situations comes up before the community.  Humans, (that is humans with brains larger than an amoeba), are capable of externalising their problem solving theories, so that even if his theories perish, he does not perish with them. In fact, Popper’s definition of progress and scientific enquiry is a constant attempt to falsify existing theories, even if they are ones own. A good scientist will therefore be trying to find faults with his own theories the minute he has proven it, and thereby continually improve it, and in the worst case scenario where the theory is incapable of solving a problem, discard it altogether. Indeed, the belief in the infallibility of theories, always results in dogmatism.

The proposition is interesting because we identify this strain of rigid dogmatism in the way many of us approach our problems. Viewed against Popper’s definition of problem solving, these exhibit a syndrome similar that of the amoeba. Often, so many of the firebrand champions of indigenous causes for instance argue (undoubtedly powerfully, though often sentimentally too) that the identity of the indigenous man is non-objectifiable, as it is deeply rooted in his subjective realm of his culture, land, mythology, history etc. They also discard the causal and scientific explanation of life’s problems as non-applicable to their situations, claiming theirs is an alternate universe, and their problems can only be solved within their universe by the intuitive wisdoms of that universe alone. While not trying to oversimplify the problem of identity, the stubborn refusal to accept scientific enquiry can only amounts to shying away from hard reality in the belief this is a solution. This can be dangerous, as the line that divides the subject and the object can become confused. The end result can very well be, like the amoeba, those who are incapable of distinguishing themselves from the problems before them, may end up becoming part of the unfolding experiments, so that in the event of their theories failing, they may perish with them. History is so full of tragedies befalling those who fail to see the fallibility of ideas and beliefs, even the most dearly held ones. History is also replete with success stories of others who were resilient and ever ready to change with the winds of changing times.

Published in Editorial
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

First OSMACON organised

IMPHAL | Dec 3

Ophthalmological Society of Manipur organised its 1st annual conference, OSMACON today at Imperial hall, Classic Grande, Chingmeirong under the theme “Progress through Unity”.

Founder secretary of Susrut Eye foundation and research centre, Kolkata, Dr. R C Paul, senior ophthalmologist, Dr. L Tondon Singh and chairperson, organising committee, Dr. Y. Yaima Singh grace the function as chief guest, guest of honour and president respectively.

During the function all the dignitaries talked about the ever increasing technology and demands of the profession and called for a united approach so that the eye care services can be improved in Manipur.

The function was divided into five scientific sessions and as a part of the session a ten minute video on “Entod Ophthalmic” was showed including an ophthalmic quiz in the last session.

Published in News
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

Assam Riffle organises advance Christmas

From Our Correspondent

CCPUR | Dec 3

Assam Riffle organised an advance Christmas programme inside its camp located at Headquarters Veng, Churachandpur, to mark the birth of Jesus Christ in the multi-cultural and secular tradition of India.

The Christmas celebration was done with piety and fervour by the Assam Rifles at the Church located within their camp and the arrangement was collectively done by the troops of AR, IRB and students from Silmat Bible School and civil volunteers.

During the programme, prayer was offered followed by cake cutting and light refreshment among the over 150 devotees of all faiths from Churachandpur.

Published in News
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

AJPDC holds press meet

From Our Correspondent

JIRIBAM | Dec 3

All Jiribam Peace and Development Committee in association with various civil organisations have organised a press meet today where a joint co ordination committee comprising of 13 members from several civil organisations of Jiribam was formed.

The joint co-ordination committee along with government officials from DC office, education department, ICDS and health department took several resolutions in the meet.

The resolutions said that whenever a resident of Jiribam applies for PRC, income certificate and domicile etc., it takes 15 to 20 days to receive them and the people of Jiribam face many difficulties as the officers are absent sometimes. It appealed that proper rules and regulations should be kept regarding these matters.

The schemes and benefits provided by MOBC and other departments for the OBC are not made available to the students as they have not been issued in time by the DC. Regarding the losses, the DC must be held responsible, it said. 

On the other hand, no funding has been made to PHED Jiribam for this year. This is a clear discrimination by the government of Manipur towards Jiribam, it alleged.

It was informed in the meet that on May 15, a demand made of 19 points was submitted to the chief minister that included issues regarding the shortages of doctors and nurses at Jiribam Hospital. The CM assured that the issues will be addressed within three months. However, the government has not done anything so far. Therefore, by collaborating with several student bodies and civil organisations, extreme measures will be taken up if the 19 point of demands is not turned into actions, it said.

Published in News
Monday, 04 December 2017 00:00

Swachh Survekshan 2018

From Our Correspondent

THOUBAL | Dec 3

A discussion workshop on Swachh Survekshan, 2108 was organised by Heirok Nagar Panchayat yesterday under the supervision of Mahud department at the Laikol community hall of Heirok part II under Thoubal district.

Swachh Survekshan, 2018 is a part of Swachh Bharat mission where all the municipal councils and nagar panchayats of India will be competing against one another regarding sanitisation and cleanliness. 

Director, MAHUD, N. Gitkumar, joint director, Ng. Uttam, president, All Manipur Municipalities and nagar panchayats Welfare Association, chairperson, Samurou Municipal Council, L. Nonibala,  chairperson, Andro nagar panchayat, Kh. Jayenti Devi attended the workshop as presidium members.

Ng. Uttam said as a part of swachh bharat mission, ministry of housing and urban affairs will be organising Swachh Survekshan, 2108, which will begin next year from January 4 in all over the country where 4041 towns of the entire nation will take part in the cleanliness competition.

The winners of the competition will be judged by the representatives of the quality council of India by personally visiting the each and every towns, municipal councils and nagar panchayats. They will monitor the competition very closely and then declare the results. The competition will be tough and all the 27 towns of Manipur will take part in it, he said.

Published in News

By A Staff Reporter

IMPHAL | Dec 3

Relief centre for welfare of differently abled persons (RCWDAP), Manipur observed the international day of persons with disabilities under the theme of ‘transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all’ at Sagolband Tera yengkhom leirak community hall.

Speaking as the chief guest, Manipur legislative assembly speaker Y. Khemchand Singh said disabled persons are mostly discriminated in any society, adding that the BJP government has introduced various schemes for disabled persons.

Khemchand said that he will take up any necessary action to help the differently abled persons before declaring fifth winter disabled Mela, which will be held till December 5, open.

In highlight of the function, a documentary by M. Punshiba titled ‘Eikhoigi Hak (Our Rights)’ was released by the chief guest. A blood donation camp was also held at RIMS.  

The programme was attended by RCWDAP chairman Ch. Opendro Singh, RCWDAP advisor S. Kunjakeshwor Singh, former ICHAM president N. Rajendra, former chief resource person at CTEL, ministry of HRD, Th. Chandramani Singh, assistant director at Humans Rights Law Network Th. Premlata Devi, Yengkhom Leirak development club president H. Shantikumar Singh and secretary general of UNESCO club, Manipur, Ambition Ant as the president and guests of honour respectively.

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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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