December 19, 2014


Capacity building programme for girl students

Changlang, Dec 18: "Nothing is impossible if one works hard and puts sincere effort to achieve it" said ZPC, Changlang Marina Kenglang at the inaugural day of three days capacity building camp at Kasturba Balika Vidyalaya, Changlang. The girl's school is being operated under the R K Mossang Memorial Society, Jairampur. The Society has seven girls' schools under its umbrella delivering quality education to the poor girls of rural areas.

"I valued the opportunity which I got when I was young and studied diligently" added Kenglang while explaining the importance of education for girl child. Urging the girl students to be dedicated to excellence and be a worthy citizen, she cited examples of many successful women in the district. She explained about the numerous scopes and job opportunities for educated women and cited examples of women sharing domestic responsibilities. Further, she administered the oath of allegiance among the participating students to upkeep sense discipline, sportsman spirit and work hard to serve the society.

Later, she inaugurated a handloom and handicraft stall exhibited by various participating schools displaying finished handmade toys, wool knitted cloths and excellent decorative items made of the students.

R K Mossang Memorial Society, chairman, Komoli Mossang informed that the society is dedicated to uplift the poor girl child and support them to be the best they can be. She sought co-operation from all the sections of society for providing continued support to girls in rural area for their progress.

The programme was attended by HoDs of Changlang, public leaders and officials from various departments.


Wancho collegians unhappy over non-induction of legislators from Longding district

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: The Wancho Collegians Co-ordination Committee Itanagar has expressed its unhappiness over non induction of legislators from Longding district in the state cabinet.

In a release, it said that it seeks distribution of the remaining cabinet posts at the earliest as possible which should be based purely on seniority, sincerity, performance and merit.

We will take it as political biasness if the government does not entrust any legislator from Longding with any of the cabinet posts left.

The committee also expressed dismay over the inadequate posting of teachers in the schools of Longding district.


Free distribution camp for disabled persons

ROING, Dec 18: A diagnostic camp cum free distribution of aids & appliances camp for all categories of persons with disabilities was held at District Hospital, Roing today. The camp was organized by the Department of Social Justice & Empowerment and Tribal Affairs, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Naharlagun with the help of Rehabilitation Professionals, District Administration and Medical Officers at District Hospital, Roing.

The persons with disabilities of all categories were screened and diagnosed by the Medical Board of the District Hospital, Roing on the spot and were provided needful aids and appliances like Wheel Chair, Crutches, Rolator, Blind Stick, Hearing Aids, Walking Stick and Tri-Cycle to the needy patients free of cost.

The six member team from Itanagar headed by Tabak Hankar, Research Officer conducted the camp which was coordinated by Savitri Khampti, Deputy Director (ICDS), Roing on behalf of the District Administration.

Around 100 persons with disabilities of the district availed the benefits of the camp. DIPRO


Tribute paid to Peshawar victim

ITANAGAR, Dec 18:  The Lok Sabha Youth Congress (LYC), Western Parliament paid tribute to the students of the Army Public School, Peshawar who were killed in the terrorist attack on 15th December. They observed two minute silence as a mark of respect in memory of the departed soul.

The movement was lead by President Lok Sabha Youth Congress (LYC) Western Parliament cum Chairman APEDA Dikto Yekar. The members of Youth Congress mourned the ghastly killing and conveyed their heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. It was followed by a candle light march at Naharlagun where hundreds of students and youth participated.


Person attempts rape on six year old, alleges TWS

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: The Tagin Welfare Society (TWS) has claimed that a person named S Pangkam attempted rape on a six year old girl at Raj Niwas area on December 13 last.

Meanwhile, the Women Police station has confirmed that the alleged accused has been arrested and is in judicial custody now.

The society has demanded that the culprit be awarded with the harshest exemplary punishment.


ASMs appraise PS to construct bridge over Kumey River

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: The Anchal Samity Members of Tali Constituency under Kurung Kumey has urged the MLA cum Parliamentary Secretary Food & Civil Supply Legal Metrology to take up with the higher authority for early construction of bridge over Kumey River. In a representation to the Parliamentary Secretary, the PRI leaders stated that Tali Nobia and Pipsorang circles are still to be connected by road. It also said that the bridge over Kumey river needs to be built to connect roads in the said circles. It also requested MLA to expedite the formation cutting of Tali and Pipsorang road adding that road is a life line to the people of the area.


DBS celebrates 11th Foundation Day

PASIGHAT, Dec 18: The 11th foundation day cum parents' meet celebration of Democrat Bakin's Residential English School, Pasighat was celebrated today at Pasighat.

Addressing the gathering, former Minister Bosiram Siram urged the teachers to rededicate themselves to groom children as worthy citizen through quality education. While sharing his views on health and hygiene, Siram advised the students to keep clean the surroundings of the school and hostels for a healthy and hygienic life.      

Earlier, Chief Councilor Tamuk Denong Tamuk addressing the function said extracurricular activities like games and sports in school are equally essential.

Among others, the event was attended by teachers, students and parents. Winners in various competitions received prizes from the guests, and a beautiful rendition in traditional attire by the students mesmerized the audience receiving a huge applause.


Society mourns death of its member

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: The Memo Ao Welfare Society has condoled the demise of inspector Lijum Bagra who passed away on December 16 last at a hospital in Guwahati after prolonged illness.

Late Bagra, honoured with Governor Award in recognition of his meritorious service on August 15, 2009, had rendered relentless contributions to the state in general and department of home, GoAP in particular under the capacity of both Sub-Inspector as well as Inspector for the past 26 years, the society said in its release.

Offering condolences to the bereaved family members, it further prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.


Society distributes relief materials to victims

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: The Kepang Welfare Society Capital unit distributed blankets, utensils and cash to all the 32 victim families of fire accident at Sine village under Boleng circle of East Siang district on December 15 last.


Junior shuttler team leaves for national championship

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: A group of 9 budding shuttlers of state who won four Gold medals in the recently concluded National Level North East Sports Competition has left for Patna today to take part in the  forthcoming 39th Junior National Badminton Championships 2014 Under-17 & Under 19 category for boys and girls.

The team member includes Laa Talar, Akshay Raito, Jokom Ribya, Rahul Thapa, Laa Tukum, Kalung Taki, Laa Yajum, Pinky Karki and Taring Yania and manager Laa Ribee and coach Dilip Gurung.






Responding to the objection of sport & youth affairs department, Arunachal Pradesh Football Association (APFA) withdrew the word "unprofessional" mentioned in a news item published on Dec 16 edition with the APFA secretary G. Doke Thursday claiming that the National Level North East Sports Competition-2014 was organized by the SYA in a highly professional manner.


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APPSCCE aspirants stage dharna, demand President’s intervention


Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: A sizeable numbers of APPSCCE aspirants today staged sit-in-protest dharna at lawn tennis court near IG Park gate in protest against the way of dealing with the paper leakage issue by the Commission.

"We have no more faith in the state government to act against the Commission" shouted agitated aspirants while demanding the alleged APPSCCE paper leakage issue to be referred to the President of India.

Claiming that the Commission has lost its credibility, the protestors were vociferously said  that they will not sit-in the exam under the same Commission and the secretariat officials. Though the one-member magisterial enquiry committee has submitted its report to the government on October 3rd last, the government has failed to act against the responsible officials, they further claimed. The protestors also questioned the government for its inaction against the 'irresponsible commission members and the officials'.

Later the protestors tried to take out a protest rally but the police prevented them claiming that protestors have only obtained permission for dharna.

The state has instituted a Magisterial Enquiry with Hento Karga as an inquiry officer into the allegations of leakage of General Studies question paper of the APPSCCE (Mains) 2014 on September 18, 2014. It further urged the magistrate to submit the report within a period of 2 (two) weeks to the Govt.

The APPSCCE paper leakage issue drew flak from all quarters; the People's Party of Arunachal (PPA) has lashed out at the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) in support of the aggrieved aspirants of APPSCCE-2013-14.

Its interim president, Kahfa Bengia, terming the alleged leakage of the GS question paper 2 as a matter of great concern for the state said, "It is all the more saddening to know that the institution in question has been the hot bed of controversies since 2009."

"The government should immediately act on the report submitted and let the aspirants prepare themselves for their future. Stringent action should be initiated against those involved in the scandal," he said.

Chairman, CWC PPA, Kamen Ringu said "Corruption as a phenomenon always takes a top down approach. These irregularities happened because of the unhealthy nexus between the politicians at the top and the bureaucrats. The government is to be blamed equally."



PM likely to inaugurate rail service in February

BORUM,  Dec 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to visit Arunachal Pradesh for the first time in February next after taking office, is likely to inaugurate the railway service here, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today said while inspecting the Naharlagun railway station here this afternoon.

Tuki took keen interest in the ongoing finishing works and directed to accelerate the process besides verifying the counter for issuing innerline permits and the police check gate set up within the railway station complex.

Responding to a question, the chief minister informed that the railway ministry has consented to introduce Rajdhani Express to link national capital New Delhi from next year.

The chief minister was accompanied by local MLA-cum-UD Parliamentary Secretary Techi Kaso, Capital deputy commissioner Mige Kamki, LRSO Takam Titus and group of engineers led by chief engineer (WZ) K Waghe.

Earlier, Tuki inspected the proposed site for construction of international standard Cricket Stadium at Borum village near Naharlagun railway station.

The proposed stadium would have sitting capacity of minimum 50000 spectators and would be executed by the Public Works Department.

CM while briefing the PWD engineers, advised to ensure parking place in their plan. The CM hoped that with the stadium coming up, there would be lot of business and industries prospects in the area and advised the departments to keep avenues open.



Governor exhorts teachers to rededicate

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: "Education is a shared commitment among the dedicated teachers, motivated students and enthusiastic parents with high expectations", said Governor Lt. Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma addressing  today at the regional incentive award ceremony of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan at Central University, Tezpur Assam.

Attending as the chief guest in the function, Governor Sharma said everyone is a stakeholder. When people stand united and put in concerted effort, it can be a force for the nation's character building, he added.

The Governor emphasized that the purpose of teaching is to coach the mind's of the young students thought process. It must make them to think, and over time it must train their mind to think more efficiently.  Its only purpose must be to build their problem solving and challenge facing capabilities. The educationists, particularly the teachers should build the aptitude of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurship and moral leadership among students and become their role model. He urged upon the teachers to instill a sense of cleanliness, along with love and respect for nature and its resources in the young minds. These efforts will be the greatest gifts to the future generation, he said while advising them to motivate the children to contribute to nation building.

Appreciating the Kendriya Vidhyalaya Sangathan for their yeoman service, the Governor said that KVS has been playing a paramount role in imparting education in different parts of the country particularly in remote areas. At the same time, the organisation has ensured total personality development, academic excellence and promoted national integration among the children. It has also met the educational requirements of the Central Government employees, who serve in various parts of the country and are transferred frequently. He wished that the excellent tradition continues. Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi's advice, the Governor stressed that the teachers should be two steps ahead of time - anticipate change and prepare the new generation for it. Don't worry of the consequences if your intent is correct, he added.

Advising the students on the occasion, the Governor exhorted them to be self-disciplined. He said that their action, thoughts and words must reflect the highest sense of integrity, honesty and commitment. Motivating them to strive to excel in whatever you do, he cautioned that in today's competitive world, there is no room for mediocrity. He asked them to keep in heart that there is no success and no failure, there's only honest effort. The Governor advised them to practice Yoga to overcome stress.

Lt Gen Sarath Chand, GOC 4 Corps, and Prof Mihir Kanti Chaudhury, Vice Chancellor, Central University, Tezpur also attended the function.

Ajay Pant, Deputy Commissioner, KVS informed that the Sangathan has 1104 school across the country and abroad having more than 11 lakh students and has 11 schools in Arunachal Pradesh.

A colourful cultural programme was presented by the students on the occasion.PRO



Apex Bank inks MoU with NSTFDC for employment generation

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: In a significant development Arunachal Pradesh State Coop. Apex Bank Ltd. entered into MoU with National Schedule Tribe Finance & Development Corporation (NSTFDC) on December 16 for bank finance to ST unemployed BPL persons of the state under various activities like establishment of diary, goatry, poultry, fishery and agricultural and horticultural entities.

The NSTFDC had sanctioned Rs. 46.53 crores on December 8 last for setting up of 2200 self-employed units. After completion of all formalities, the bank will start implementation of these schemes in the entire state in cluster basis within the next three months. It is expected that the scheme will give a boost to the cooperative sector and the bank. It will also help in employment generation, economic growth, and income generation in the state.

The scheme will be implemented under the Chief Minister's Employment Generation Mission and likely to provide self-employment to about 9000 unemployed youth in the first phase and about 20,000 persons in total. Under the scheme, loan will be offered at concessional rates which are repayable in 5 yrs.

Discussions have also been held by bank management with NABARD officials to dovetail the NSTFDC scheme with NABARD supported producing societies/NGOs to set up primary processing units. These processing units will facilitate marketing and processing various farm products of the primary producing units set up under NSTFDC loan.



Games and Sports are integral part of life: Felix

AALO, Dec 18: 'Games and sports are integral part of life as it not only gives physical endurance but promotes oneness and values of life', said Bamang Felix, Parliamentary Secretary Education & IPR today while addressing the Hirik Hiru Inter Village Football, Cricket and Volley Ball tournament.

Felix who is also the spokesperson of the Govt. disclosed that around 200 posts of policemen to be filled up through sports quota are left vacant despite 10 percent reservation in sports announced by the Govt. He also informed that the govt. has announced Rs. 2 Crores for gold medalist, Rs.1Crore for silver, Rs. 50 Lakhs for Bronze and Rs. 25 lakhs for participating in any international games and sports event by any Arunachalee. Time has come for our boys and girls to take a professional approach towards games and sports, he added.

Saying that such tournament is all about learning from each other to build mutual trust and oneness among different strata of people, he called for maintaining true sportsmanship spirit. The rating of Arunachal in second place next to Manipur in the recently concluded North East Sports Meet is encouraging and shows improvement in our games and sports over the years, he added.

Responding to a memorandum submitted for construction of rostrum at Kamba football ground and construction of a tourist lodge at Kamba, the Parliamentary Secretary assured to spare Rs. 5 lakhs from his MLALAD and asked ADC Kamba to send a detail estimate for construction of the tourist lodge to place it before the govt as soon as possible. The construction of a larger rostrum is quite essential and matter will be taken up with the govt. on priority, he said.

Nyamar Karbak, Chairman APB&OCWWB in his address said that our people should keep away from everyday politicking and rather concentrate on key issues on health, sanitation, communication and problems of schools. The govt. has adopted zero tolerance in the twin important sectors of health and education and officials manning department should come out with professional approach to deliver good services to the people and students, he added.

Karmi Kamki, Vice President and Dr. Pemin Kamki, Managing Director HH Inter village tournament spoke on the motive behind organizing the tournament and said that it is an effort towards reviving the old glory tournament once vibrant HH Tournament at Kamba.

Altogether 15 villages excluding host Kamki are participating in the tournament and the limited Over Cricket is being sponsored by Kamki family in fond memory of late Kendo Kamki.



Research directorate to open sale counters at all DRC offices

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: Directorate of Research has decided to open sale counters of research publications in the offices of all Deputy Residence Commissioners (DRCs) at different cities including the Residence Commissioner office, New Delhi.

The basic objective of opening the sale counter of Research Publications outside the state is to disseminate positive data and information on the people, culture, custom, tradition and heritage to greater Indian people.

According to Director of Research, Dr. Tage Tada, "Arunachal Pradesh is overlooked by both regional and national media. They hardly highlight the positive aspects of the state except some negative news.  The reason may be lack of data and information to the media persons as well as to the greater mass of the nation. Therefore, an immediate need has been felt to open sale counters of Research Publication outside Arunachal Pradesh to focus the state in positive perspective."

It is worth mentioning here that sale counters of research publications at Dy. Residence Commissioner Kolkata had already been opened since February last.

Though Research Department is not revenue earning department but it has earned Rs 8,45,636 through sales proceed and entry fee of the museums in the year 2014, out of which Rs 6,17,744 was from sales proceed of publications and Rs 2,27,892 from entry fee of the Museums.



AAPSU calls for effective mechanism for regular stipend to students

ITANAGAR, Dec 18: A team of All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has called on director of Higher and Technical Education Dr. Tejum Padu at his office here yesterday and requested him to evolve an effective mechanism for timely and regular disbursement of stipend to all students studying in Arunachal and outside the state.

In a single-point memorandum, the AAPSU team headed by its Spokesperson Tanya Agu, while highlighting the problems of the students due to irregular disbursement of stipend, appealed the Director to appoint a separate and independent coordinator for addressing the stipend related problems. AAPSU believes that the appointment of a coordinator will help the students' community in placing their genuine grievances. The team further suggested that the stipend money be directly deposited/transferred to the students' account after maintaining certain norms and having verification of the students concerned so that eligible and genuine students' get their due benefits.

The Director informed the AAPSU delegation that his department is working hard and giving special attention to this stipend issue. While assuring the delegation to look into its genuine demands on priority basis, the director assured that his department will upload all information relating to disbursement of stipend to all eligible colleges.

The AAPSU team included its Joint Secretary Lishi Tayo, Galo Students' Union (GSU) spokesperson Marli Kamki and Convenor, All Lower Subansiri District Students' Union (ALSDSU) Nani Tam.



State Politics of Arunachal: All is Not Well

Nani Bath

There are two recent but unconnected happenings in the political arena of the state that deserve attention by any political analyst if, future trends of the state politics is to be positioned in proper order and right perspective.  

At the first instance what merits attention is squabbles within PPA parivar. The infighting came out open after all five party legislators voted for Mukut Mithi, the former chief minister and bête-noire of the then PPA chief ministerial candidate, Laeta Umbrey. Laeta resigned in protest, and joined BJP. It is reliably learnt that majority of the executive members of the party had opted for abstention. That did not happen and the legislators went against the decision of the party.

Kamen Ringu, chairman, Central Working Committee, show-caused Nikh Kamin asking him as to why he should not resign as the party president because of his anti-party activities. There were reports of Kamin promising permanent residential certificates to non-Aruachalees in his election speeches. Later, Khafa Bengia was appointed as the interim president, which was termed as unconstitutional by incumbent president and his supporters.

The crisis remains unresolved. This will, perhaps, never be resolved- signaling deeper crisis within the party, and may be, ultimate decay of regional ideology in the state. My understanding, as an observer, is that the 'crisis situation' may be manipulated by the party legislators as an alibi to switch over to the party in power.

Laeta Umbrey's argument that "It's time for Aar-paar ki Ladai" looks to be coming very close to reality. Laeta was very categorical in his opinion that the time has come for the ladai (fight), not between a regional political party and national parties but between the Congress and BJP. To him, PPA or any other regional party should not be used as launching pad to switch over to the party in power or as a 'transit camp' for rejected Congress candidates. This is a clear indication of the trends of party politics in Arunachal Pradesh.

Secondly, what went almost unnoticed some months back is the election to the president of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee. What is important is not the election per se but the way it was concluded.

Much to the surprise of many political observers, the contest for the post of president was not as 'hot' as it should have been. Padi Richo was elected as its president without many headlines. What does it indicate politically? Does it signal the political ineffectiveness of the likes of Takam Sanjoy, C.C. Singpho, Tako Dabi, Bosiram Siram? Is it an indication of the chief minister, Nabam Tuki's authoritative control over the party? Or is it that the potential contenders did not want to waste their energy by investing in a party which has no future, given the history of 'home-comings' (read: defections) in the state. Rumours have been flying far and wide about possible change of guard in the state with Congress legislators changing their colours to saffron. The fear of repeat of 2003 has prompted the defeated BJP candidates to rush to New Delhi with an aim to save their future political career. A credible source has indicated to me that the party (BJP) central leadership would be interested to put BJP government in place if the Congress legislators get themselves elected as party candidates. Such desire of the party leadership is a remote possibility as, it would mean mid-term polls. No incumbent legislators, including from BJP, will favour dissolution of Assembly.

A section of BJP leadership is believed to have convinced itself that the present Congress government need not be disturbed since it is going to collapse sooner or later because of its own internal contradictions. It will become too heavy for Tuki's political family to bear financial burden because of fiscal deficit and Centre's unwillingness to bail him out of this difficult situation. This government has been tagged as ineffective because of deteriorating law and order condition, lack of tangible development activities, inability of the government to pay salaries of SSA teachers and NRHM contractual staff in time, and untimely submission of utilization certificates of various centrally sponsored schemes.

There is a possibility of the government diverting GPF of its employees for non-plan expenditure. An instance of non-performing indicators has been that a stretch of National Highway (around 200 meters) near Mithun gate, Naharlagun has been remaining incomplete for many years. This stretch has caused hardship to the commuters so much so that it has been termed as NT (Nabam Tuki) road. Inability of the present government to initiate decisive action on the recent APPSC mess adds to its helplessness.

There is another angle to the possibility of change of government in the state- Kiren Rijiju factor. Kiren once wrote through social media about his possible role in state politics. He wanted to lead from the front in order to end corrupt practices in the state by giving an example of how the Congress government had misused advance money generated from hydro-power developers.

If "leading from the front" is an indicative of his active role in state politics, it would not be difficult to assume that he, most probably, is eyeing for the top executive post. As such, immediate replacement of the present chief minister with a known face from BJP will only upset his 'scheme of calculation'. We cannot easily rule out a possibility of an 'understanding' between himself and the present chief minister.

My causal observations have given me to understand that the state BJP is a divided house, as of now. A house when divided always gives breathing space to its opponents. Nabam Tuki, the chief minister, seems to be taking good advantage of the division within the BJP. For now, its- "Divided BJP: advantage Tuki".

Whatever may be the present contents and structure of the state politics, pragmatic politics will surely take over. BJP will have to come to power if it has to survive beyond 2019. Every member of the party knows it well. Many believe that it's a question of when rather than how.

(Prof. Bath is a faculty in Rajiv Gandhi University and can be contacted at nanibath@rediffmail.com)



Expert team arrives to choose site for proposed film and television institute


ITANAGAR, Dec 18: "Despite inadequate infrastructure and training institute in the state, our local youths have been producing lots of documentaries and films", informed Chief Minister Nabam Tuki to the visiting Director of Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkota Sanjaya Pattanayak and Associate Professor Pankaj Seal.

The visiting guests are here in the state as a part of expert team entrusted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GoI to conduct feasibility study and chose an appropriate site for proposed Film and Television institute.  Tuki, apprised the team of the development of film making in the state beginning with Dr. Bhupen Hazarika "Mera Dharam Meri Maa" in the early eighties and also apprised them of the subsequent progress made both in Hindi and local languages by various young film makers.

While justifying his stand for selecting Arunachal Pradesh for the film and television institute, the Chief Minister said "our state has everything to offer for a film. Beautiful landscape and scenery that matches Switzerland, colourful tribes and hospitable people that would mesmerize any film maker to opt Arunachal". He further added that sufficient land is available for the film and television institute at all the proposed selected sites.

He further disclosed that the state government is very serious on developing the communication network like, airfields, road communication and rail services. Airfields at various locations are coming up soon which would improve the communication bottleneck to a great extent, CM viewed.

The CM also informed that the youths of the state are making remarkable advances in the field of sports and bagged second position in the recently concluded Northeast Sports Meet held in Itanagar.

Earlier on the day, the expert team called on Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi at his Niti Vihar office. While welcoming the visitors, Negi said that Arunachal Pradesh has huge potential in creative fields and establishment of a film and television institute will hugely boost the creative spirits of the youths besides promoting national integration.

He assured that in all the earmarked sites at Jote Jolling and Yachuli have sufficient land availability for meeting requirements for establishment of the institute.

The visiting team was escorted by the secretary IPR, Dani Sallu, Director IPR CM Longphong and Deputy Director, Obang Tayeng during the meet.



Ecotourism Festival underway at Bhalukpong

BHALUKPONG, Dec 18: With a motto to promote brotherhood and communal harmony in the region and to uplift traditional culture aspects of Indigenous tribes, a week-long Kameng Ecotourism cum River Festival 2014 was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Pema Khandu along with Parliamentary Secretary Education and IPR, Bamang Felix at Nyetchidow festival ground, Bhalukpong on Monday last.

Surrounded by hills and evergreen forests, Bhalukpong is famous for its unique natural beauty and is home to hot springs and an orchid centre at Tipi. The district for the first time has organized such festival with a mission to maintain peace and tranquility in the district.

Various adventure sports such as river rafting, angling and elephant riding are the highlights of the festival.

Speaking as the chief patron Kumsi Sidisow local MLA said, "The festival is organized to maintain brotherhood and to preserve cultural heritage of the state and the district in particular and to promote communal harmony in the state". He also requested Pema Khandu to mark the festival as calendar festival of the state, to which the Minister assured necessary assistance.

Sidisow while expressing hope for an eventful week said, "The initiative is a very good step to set Bhalukpong as a hot tourism spot and it is the responsibility of the local people to show hospitality to the tourists."

Stressing on the role of the locals Sidisow further said, "Local peoples involvement is must to host the tourist in the state and the local people should always remember the slogan 'Aathithi Dev Bhawa' and treat the tourists like god." Showing hospitality to the tourist will not only promote tourism in the state but will also boost the economy of the state, he added.

David Nongram, chairman, Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation, Government of Meghalaya who attended the fest as special guest said, "Arunachal Pradesh is blessed with beautiful river, landscape and terrain and its rich culture and tradition can be showcases in festivals like this to promote tourism".

Duktu, a member from Bhutan parliament said, "We feel fortunate to be a part of the festival. In Bhutan tourism is the second largest revenue generation industry after Hydro power and it is simply through preserving our cultural and heritage". Tourism has brought us together here and we should work together to promote tourism both in Arunachal Pradesh and Eastern Bhutan".

Bamang Felix said, "We should not only preserve our culture but should promote it as well." He added that the local people are important factor for hosting the tourists with proper manner and hospitality.




No plans to create separate time  zone  for  NE: Govt

NEW DELHI, Dec 18: Government has no plans to create a separate time zone for seven North Eastern states, Rajya Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh also denied that the region was wasting a huge amount of electricity at home and offices in absence of a separate time zone.

A scientific study based on regional load curves and several assumptions carried out by the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru has indicated a modest saving of power between 1.2 to 1.5 per cent of the total usage if North Eastern Region has a separate time zone, which is not very high, he said replying a written question. The demand for two time zones in India had first come from the North-Eastern states in the mid-1990's with the reasoning that the sun rises in the region between 4:30 AM and 5:00 AM - at least one hour ahead of the rest of the country.

Noted film maker Jahnu Barua and several students organisations in the North East have been quite vocal in raising the demand for past several years, saying many nations worldwide follow different time zones within their territory.

India currently follows a time, which is 5-1/2 hours ahead of the international standard, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Russia has 11 time zones, while the US and Canada have six. However, China, which is much broader than India, sticks to only one time zone, the largest country to do so.

The decision generally rests with the country, taking into account its convenience and international conventions. PTI



DU’s Gyanodaya Express train sets off for Northeast

NEW DELHI, Dec 18: Delhi University's 'Gyanodaya Express' today set off for the northeast with 870 students and teachers on board with an aim to enrich the students about the rich culture and heritage of the region.

The 'Dharohar-Gyanodaya Express' train was flagged off from the Safdarjang Railway Station here by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Sarbanda Sonowal, MoS Youth Affairs and Sports. Both the ministers hail from the Northeast.

Started as the 'College-on-Wheels' project in 2012, this is the fifth edition of Gyanodaya Express.

"This is a very unique concept to be pursued by any educational institution and we have drawn an inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi who had travelled in trains for over an year. Real education means ground exposure to students," DU Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh told PTI.

"I hope more and more universities will join hands with us for future Gyanodaya editions to enable students studying in universities across the country to benefit from the initiative," he said.

The trip, which will conclude on December 29, will cover all eight northeastern states -- Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

The varsity had offered short-term courses in Assamese, Nagamese, Manipuri, Arunachali and Tripuri languages of the northeast. Foundation courses in Nepali and Bengali, which are widely spoken in Sikkim and Tripura, were also offered by DU as part of the preparation for the heritage tour.

"The 14-coach train has two classrooms with all infrastructural facilities, including projectors and LCD screens. As many as 70 students will be given class at a time. There is a library and the train is equipped with internet facilities to aid students in studies," DU's Media Coordinator and Joint Dean of Welfare Malay Neerav said. DU had invited proposals from students about projects they would like to undertake on such a journey. The colleges had selected the best proposals and nominated them for the tour with the final call on the selected students having been taken by a project selection committee.

"A total of 65 projects will be undertaken. Students have been divided into groups of 10 each supervised by one mentor. Each group also has a student from northeast to help the students familiarise with the area or language," he added.

The students will meet representatives of local universities as well as senior functionaries of the states during the trip.

DU also plans to publish a book titled 'Dharohar: The glory of the Northeast' on the experiences of the students during the journey as well as the projects churned out by them. PTI