April 20


Large scale timber logging in Papum Reserve Forest

[ Tongam Rina ]

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: There is report of large scale timber logging inside the Papum Reserve Forest, adjoining the Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary in East Kameng district since the last few months.

After the Forest Department and Administration seized timber-laden trucks and arrested some people in March last, the activities are reported to have slowed down but not completely stopped.

An officer of the department, who wished to remain anonymous, said that activities have been controlled.   

But villagers say that it continues, though the scale has minimized a bit.

A villager also said the sporadic logging has been going on for the last two years for commercial purposes.

"Earlier, people would just get timber for private use but now it is all commercial", he said.

He alleges that the Forest Department, police and administration are not sincere in finding a mechanism to control timber logging inside the Reserve Forest.

Another villager informed that Darlong, Seijosa and Jolly Langka have formed respective Village Forest Development Councils to stop such illegal activities.  But if the government departments are not sincere, we cannot do anything as it gets personal at the village level if we try to interfere, he said.

The villagers, who have been partners in conservation of hornbills, are worried that felling of trees will disturb the hornbills as it is their breeding season.

A government official said that logging is mainly done by the local people with labourers brought in from Assam.

According to an official source, labour camps solely for commercial logging have come up inside the reserve forest near Dayaso, Margaso Saibung, Jolly Langka and other nearby villages.  Some of the camps were destroyed by the police and forest department in a joint patrolling.  

The villagers allege that labourers have indulged in hunting activities during their stay inside these makeshift camps.  

An official informed that logging activities started when the government decided to notify buffer zones in Tiger Reserves a few years ago.

In 2012, the Supreme Court had directed the state governments to notify buffer zones around each tiger reserves to regulate land commercialization around tiger habitats in order to preserve the endangered species. The Papum Forest Reserve adjoins Pakke Tiger Reserve.  In retaliation, the villages started with small scale logging, which later became widespread, said the officials.

The administration and Forest Department blame each other for the inability to control the timber logging, while the villagers blame both.

"The area is porous and very vast so the limited number of police cannot control the movement of labourers. We just don't have the resources. The timber laden trucks pass through the Range Office and they should know better", says an officer.

A forest official said that it is not the responsibility of the department to keep an eye on entry of the labourers from Assam into the forest for timber logging. The police and administration are responsible for the check gates, he said.  

The department further said that it does not have the required facilities to patrol the entire area. The guards and vehicles are limited, so are the facilities, said an officer.

Principal Secretary, Environment and Forest Omkar Singh said that the department will initiate necessary action against the defaulters after an investigation.

He said that to control illegal activities inside the reserve forests, a joint Assam-Arunachal Forest Department Committee has been formed, which not only exchanges intelligence reports but carries out awareness generation among the villagers.  (All the sources, departmental as well as private individuals that this reporter spoke to chose to remain anonymous.)




Itanagar PS functioning without toilet facilities

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: The condition of Itanagar Police Station is in dire condition. The building which was constructed way back in the 80s reportedly does not have a common toilet for officials and visitors to use. Though a new building is coming up, the work progress is extremely slow.

Though the Government of India is advocating for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and total eradication of open defecation, the police station of Arunachal's capital is functioning without a common toilet for the last three years.  

Itanagar SDPO, Techi Hanyir informed that more than 100 police personnel deployed in the PS, including lady police officers face a lot of problems as there is no proper or hygienic toilet for men or women.

When contacted, Arunachal Pradesh DGP, Sandeep Goel expressed pain to learn about the lack of toilet in Itanagar PS and claimed that he had no knowledge about it. The DGP added that construction work for new police station building is expected to be completed within the next four months, and assured to find an alternate provision to provide toilet facilities within the next 15 days.

Reportedly, Itanagar Police Station handles almost 25 percent of Arunachal's police cases, but the state government and Home Department are yet to look into the basic requirements of the station which remains in shambles.

Former Chief Minister late Kalikho Pul during an inspection of the Itanagar Police Station last year had assured to construct toilets within 10 days but it never materialized.




Nyishi day celebrated with pomp and gaiety across the state

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, Apr 19:  Decadal Nyishi Day was celebrated with pomp and gaiety across the state, particularly in Nyishi dominated districts of Arunachal Pradesh to mark the Constitutional Amendment of changing the nomenclature of Dalfa to Nyishi in the Parliament on 19th March, 2008.

At Itanagar, Decadal Nyishi Day was marked with a resolution to carry forward the pan Arunachal identity and strengthen cordial relationships with the Bodo community of Assam along the Assam-Arunachal boundary.

Greeting the Nyishi people on the occasion, Bodo Shatiya Sabha (BSS) President Toren Boro exhorted, "We came to show our solidarity to the Nyishi people on this significant day. This is the victory day of the Nyishis".  The BSS President asserted that the Bodo community would maintain cordial relationship with its Nyishi brethrens so that peace and tranquility prevails along the Assam-Arunachal boundary.

He further appealed to the people of both communities (Bodo-Nyishi) to cooperate with each other in carrying forward peaceful coexistence. The Bodos and Nyishis have already signed two agreements to maintain peaceful coexistence and cultural exchange between them.

Further, All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) President Promod Bodo in his address said that the Nyishis need to create extraordinary people so that the world knows about the Nyishis. Terming the Nyishi Day as a significant day, he proposed for a Nyishi-Bodo cultural festival so that both communities have strong cultural ties.

Nyishi Elite Society (NES) President Bengia Tolum in his presidential address appealed to the state government to declare April 19 (Nyishi Day) as a state holiday so that people of the Nyishi community could celebrate it with pomp and joy.  "Since 2013, we (Nyishis) have been trying to play the role of elder brother in the state, and we have been carrying forward the idea of pan Arunachal, and we hope other communities in the state would do the same," exhorted Tolum while advocating for 'One Arunachal'.

The NES President further appealed to his own community members to play the role of elder brother responsibly in Arunachal, saying that the Nyishi community has a larger role to play for the greater interest of Arunachal.  

Further, he reiterated the NES demands to the government for early creation of Pakke-Kessang and Khamle districts and expedition of Nyishi Heritage Village, alternate road connectivity from Itanagar-Tarasso-Seijosa and Bhalukpong without touching Assam, early completion of Kumey bridge and road connectivity to Tali ADC headquarters.

On participation of representatives from the Bodo community in the Decadal Nyishi Day celebration, Tolum informed that the objective of inviting both BSS and ABSU presidents was to strengthen the cordial relation of both Nyishis and Bodos.

All Nyishi Students' Union President Byabang Joram and NES General Secretary Heri Maring  also spoke on the occasion. Various cultural programes were displayed to mark the occasion.  

Among others, Former CM Nabam Tuki, Home Minister Kumar Waii, IPR Minister Bamang Felix, Parliamentary Secretaries Mama Natung, Karya Bagang, MLA Markio Tado and Nikh Kamin and CIC Dr Joram Begi were present during the function.  

Earlier, NES President Tolum laid the foundation stone of the NES Secretariat cum Culture Centre at Nyokum Lapang in presence of the BSS President.

Representatives from various community-based organisations of Arunachal also attended the function.

At Upper Subansiri, the Nyishi Day was observed in different parts of the district, especially at Ligu village, Gepen and Puchigeko in a befitting manner by the Nyishi community on Wednesday. At Ligu village, the function started with hoisting of the Nyishi flag by Upper Subansiri district NES chairman Jumni Ligu. He highlighted the importance of the day and emphasized on communal harmony among the people of various communities in the state. Special invitees from other communities and District Planning Officer, Same Timba also attended the programme.




A lonely bungalow and a superstitious lore

[ Nellie N Manpoong ]

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: For someone who loves watching horror movies with the lights on and at least one other person beside her, this reporter's heart raced as she entered the former official bungalow of the chief minister and now state guest house, praying that a ghostly encounter would not take place.

It is easy to be intrigued by the unknown -in this case, the suicides that took place there within a span of two months. It is also human nature to want a bit of excitement (for otherwise it does not make for an interesting story). But, as you read on, you may learn a thing or two from someone who has visited the 'haunted bungalow' a few times after the suicides.

I did struggle to breathe, but after a tour of the entire bungalow, I realised that it was the endless staircase to the terrace (which may be counted as the fourth floor) and my exercise-deprived body that had me gasping for air, and not the alleged ghostly aura of the place.

The grand living room, the guest rooms marked with numbers atop the doors, and even the area where the two alleged suicides took place failed to give this otherwise jittery reporter the creeps. The small prayer room where the former chief minister allegedly committed suicide was strewn with remnants of the prayer and blessing sessions that took place on the inauguration day of the guest house. The prayer room is part of a suite, which also has an office with a breathtaking view of the entire city; a large bedroom-cum-sitting area, a decent wardrobe space, and a luxurious bathroom. The ceiling fan where the second suicide took place is just outside the room of the former chief minister, in a small hallway, and has ample light coming in from the large window panes. It, however, does not let out any negative vibrations as many would believe.

We could assume that it would be disappointing to discard a lavish residence like this, and that those who lost their lives were troubled with the situations surrounding their lives - but attributing the suicides to some 'evil' lurking in the building is plain superstition. As for the reported noises that the staffers allegedly heard at ungodly hours, two of the caretakers informed that when someone stays in a large, empty house like this, even the slightest sound could startle you. If it was filled with people, no one would even notice the loudest thump.

However, with the pace at which the chief ministers of Arunachal are continually dethroned and replaced, the question of where the new official chief minister's bungalow will stand also concerns many.

On that, PWD Chief Engineer Katung Wahge informed The Arunachal Times that the PWD will take over the charge of its architectural design and construction after the land department identifies and allots a plot of land for the purpose.

"The task for land identification has begun, and as soon as land is identified we will begin the required work," he said.

The guest house is tentatively under the Protocol Department, while the PWD is looking after its maintenance.

The order is yet to be issued for the Protocol Department to take over the guest house completely. State Protocol Officer Bamin Nime informed that the functionality of the guest house has also not been finalized and there is a lot of work to take care of yet. But preparations are under way, he said, to make the guest house functional as soon as possible.

"Restaurant, room amenities, service staff, intercom, etc, have to be set up before we can house guests in it. As soon as we are given complete charge of it, we will begin work on it. Some work is already under way," Nime said.

As of now, the offices outside the CM's Bungalow have also been put to use, where one office has been allotted to the Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority since January 27 this year by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, while the other one has been handed to the Fire Service Department.

While we wait for the new bungalow to be constructed and established, we could learn to be more accepting of the guest house and toss out the demons that feed our fears.

Did the prayers and blessings that were showered on April 7 last drive away all the evil inside the guest house, or was evil never there to begin with? Something sinister lurking there notwithstanding, this reporter sat alone for a while to take in the aura of the alleged haunting; and there was no fear - only admiration for the architectural design and the magnificent view of the city.




SC notice to Centre, Arunachal on Tawang firing

New Delhi, Apr 19: The Supreme Court has sought responses from the Centre and Arunachal Pradesh government on a plea seeking an independent probe into the death of two persons including a Lama of the Tawang Monastery in alleged police firing last year.

Tawang Monastery is the largest in India and second largest in the world after the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.

A bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar issued notice to the Centre and state government on a plea which sought an independent probe by a SIT saying "the people have lost faith in the state authorities as well as the central government, they do not believe that justice will be done within the state".

The plea said that if not an SIT, then a CBI probe should be directed by the court into the incident of firing and injuries inflicted by police on the mob in protest leading to the death of two civilians.

The petition, filed on behalf of the sister and father of the deceased, referred to an inquiry commission report, which had stated that 380 rounds of ammunition were fired from different weapons, and "after the firing incident, police requested all the magistrates to give firing order ex-post facto to regularise the firing".

The plea said that commission report had concluded that the police firing was "unjustified" as the police force had failed to follow all the standard operating procedures, and had recommended that investigation into the matter should be handed over to an independent agency.

 The petition relates to an incident where police and the paramilitary forces had allegedly opened fire on unarmed protesters on May 2 last year in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, resulting into the death of two persons - Lama Nima Wangdi and Tsering Tempa.

The incident, in which several people were also injured, had created widespread disquiet in the state, the plea said, alleging inaction on the part of both the state and central government as it claimed that none of the guilty has been arrested.




No ‘lal batti’ cars from May 1, Pema discards red beacons

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: Come May 1, 'lal batti' cars or vehicles with red beacons will be a thing of the past as the government has barred their use by VVIPs, including the President, the Prime Minister and chief ministers.

Seeking to end the VIP culture, the Union Cabinet today decided that beacon lights will be removed from all vehicles, except emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire brigade.

The vehicles with beacon lights, which are seen as a symbol of VIP culture, "have no place in a democratic country", the government said.

"After May 1, no one will be able to put red light atop his/her vehicle. Blue light willbe used only for emergency vehicles in the country...Neither the states nor the Centre will have power to give any special permission (for use of beacon lights)," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said after the Cabinet meeting.

The matter was under discussion for some time and "the Prime Minister took the decision and informed the Cabinet," Jaitley said, adding amendments will be made soon in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules to give effect to the decision.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pema Khandu today hailed the decision of the Union Cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do away with 'VIP culture' by banning use of red beacons in any kind of vehicles in the country.

"With the 'red beacons' gone, the great divide between VIPs and common commuters on the road would disappear forever," he said in a statement here this evening.

As a gesture of appreciation and total acceptance of the new rule, Khandu ordered removal of all red beacons from vehicles used by the Chief Minister's Office, including vehicles of his official convoy immediately. From this evening, the CM's convoy would commute without the trademark red beacons.

The Chief Minister hoped that the new rule - to come into effect from May 1 - would be welcomed by all and that his colleagues and all others would voluntarily remove the red beacons from their vehicles.




No outsiders in the matter of Lower Siang

LIKABALI, Apr 19: In a joint public meeting at Likabali Circuit House by the people of Likabali Assembly Constituency and Nari-Koyu Assembly Constituency, the members demanded that in the public hearing on matters of Lower Siang- as and when it happens under the newly constituted Group of Ministers (GoM), no outsiders should be allowed or entertained other than people of Koyu and Kora circles.

In the meeting held under the aegis of the District Demand Joint Action Committee (DDJAC) and chaired by former ZPM Tagi Zirdo, the members, while noting that in the given circumstances, wherein, claims and counter claims on territorial ownership of the Koyu and Kora circles have been made by both the Adis and the Galos, unanimously agreed that the vexed issue of territorial ownership and the further decision to merge with the new district of Lower Siang or to remain under East Siang should be left to the local residents (both Adi and Galos) of the two circles.

Also in the meeting, the house while authorising the DDJAC to spearhead the ongoing Lower Siang district movement in co-ordination with other organisations involved, resolved to defer the proposed indefinite bandh call made by the Lower Siang Bandh Call Committee for two weeks.

Here, the house while setting the timeframe till May 3 next for the government to heed to their demand for immediate posting of a Deputy Commissioner and a Superintendent of Police in Likabali to formalise the functioning of the Lower Siang district, further resolved that the indefinite bandh call would be initiated rigorously from May 4 next in both the constituencies in case of any failure from the government to meet their demands.

Further in the meeting, the members present resolved to request Nari-Koyu legislator Kento Rina to lead the delegates to meet the GoM on April 22 next.

Later, it was also resolved by the members to form a women wing of the DDJAC and accordingly, Nari ASM Yalom Sora and Dipa ASM Reyum Basar were entrusted with the responsibility to initiate further action in this regard.   




Parl Secy Taram visits Naharlagun Police Station

NAHARLAGUN, Apr 19: Parliamentary Secretary for Home & Education, Pani Taram appreciated the police personnel and other security forces for working with commitment to ensure that law and order situation in the Capital Complex remains under control.

However, after a surprise inspection of Naharlagun Police Station on Tuesday, he took note of the lack of infrastructure and residential accommodation for the police personnel. Also inspecting the PS lock up, he stressed on improving the condition for the under trial prisoners remanded to police custody.

Observing non-availability of a waiting room for visitors, he announced to provide one soon, but was disheartened to see no provision for accommodating accident cases brought to the PS in emergency, no vehicles or fuel. He assured to take up all essential requirements for the police station with the state government for creating a working environment.

During a visit to the nearby fire station, where the situation was similar, he assured the fire personnel of action to improve the condition.




Laba celebrates Longtey with much fanfare for 25th time

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: The Laba Longtey Silver Jubilee Celebration was celebrated with much fanfare at Laba village under Nyapin administrative circle of Kurung Kumey district.

After inaugurating the foundation stone of the 25th Laba Longtey celebration, PHE & WS, Itanagar Executive Engineer Tadar Mangku exhorted the young generation to protect and preserve rich traditional practices of Longtey Solung.

PHE & WS, Yupia Executive Engineer, Tadar Ukap, along with Khoda Daniel, General Secretary of All Nyishi Youth Association also attended the celebration.

Earlier, Organizing Chairman, Tadar Sima presented a brief history of Longtey celebration. A large crowd of people, including villagers of Laba village, Panchayat leaders, and staffers of Tadar Taniang Government College, Nyapin and ADC office Nyapin were also present on the occasion.

The festival was also celebrated at Chabang and Gyamar villages, Kurung Kumey district with traditional gaiety and fervor on Wednesday. The celebration was attended by Rubber Board Chairman-cum-State BJP unit vice president, Tame Phassang, along with Assistant Engineer, Gyamar Karo and RWD AE, Gyamar Natung, among others.  




Meet on coordination of ASHAs and Anganwadis

RIGA, Apr 19: In order to strengthen the grass-root health and education sector and achieve better coordination between ASHAs and Anganwadis of Siang district, a meeting was held for Riga block on April 19 at Riga.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Singh dwelt on the importance of such meetings as a platform for interaction between ASHAs and Anganwadis, which would in turn inculcate better camaraderie and cooperative spirit vital in making the system more efficient and successful.

Acknowledging the importance of ASHAs and Anganwadis and in order to motivate and incentivize them, the Deputy Commissioner announced the constitution of a District Level Award for the three best performing Anganwadi Centres and ASHAs in the district with a cash award of Rs 10,000, Rs 5000 and Rs 3000 for the first, second and third place respectively.

He also assured renovation of AWCs and buildings, imparting proper and timely training, including refresher training to equip them for better and improved performance. Highlighting the importance of community participation, he urged all involved, including the local populace to extend all support and cooperation while assuring the same from the District Administration's side.

The resource persons for the event, Dr T Taki, CDPO Riga Lenzing Tagi,   Dr Pemin Kamki, EAC Riga T Mibang, BEO Riga Block Taram Tatan, Principal Riga GSS Taben Yosung, COs Pebika Lego and Indira Riba dealt elaborately on the duties and responsibilities of the ASHAs and Anganwadis, the role of administration as a facilitator, need for coordination, cooperation and co-sharing of responsibilities between the ASHAs,  Anganwadis and Education Department in order to create a genuine and actual impact on the state of health and education at the field level. (DIPRO)




Do not be complacent about TB: Dr Jini

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be one of the major health problems and is the leading cause of death among various infectious diseases, said Director of Health Service, Dr Moji Jini.

Addressing health officials in a meeting of the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) to review the performance of TB control programme, Dr Jini cautioned against becoming complacent in their attitude towards TB control activities, reiterating that TB still continues to be the foremost disease accounting for most of the mortality and morbidity caused due to infectious diseases.

He urged the District TB Officers to become expert in TB management. This, he said, can be achieved by keeping oneself updated constantly and taking sincere interest in all the recent developments related to the disease.

He said that due to the intensive IEC activities, the stigma attached with TB has come down significantly as compared to earlier days.

A presentation on TB/HIV collaborative activity in the State was also made by APSACS Project Director, Dr Riken Rina.

"TB is the most common opportunistic infection", he said and emphasized on the need to carry on the collaborative activities to manage and further make HIV-TB services accessible to all needy patients.

Earlier, Deputy DHS (TB) cum State TB Officer, Dr Moi Nyori highlighted the performance of the state during the first quarter of 2017 through a PowerPoint presentation.

Presently, there are eight CB-NAAT machines used for detecting Drug Resistant TB installed in the District TB Centres of Bomdila, Pasighat, Roing, Yingkiong, Aalo, Tezu, Deomali and Intermediate Reference Laboratory Naharlagun which provide free diagnostic services, Dr Nyori informed.

He further informed that three more such machines will soon be installed in DTCs Changlang, Ziro and Seppa.

Dr Nyori also spoke at length about the activities carried out during the Active Case Finding in Papum Pare, East Kameng and Lower Subansiri districts.

The meeting was also attended by all the district TB officers, officials and officers of the State TB Centre.





Army rebuts allegations of scuffle with students

NAMSAI, Apr 19: The 11 Grenadiers today sent a rebuttal that there was no scuffle between the troops of the formation and students of the Arunachal University of Studies (AUS) on April 14 last as reported.

The army clarified in a press release said that its formation was attending a computer awareness capsule on the day. While moving out of the college campus after classes, they found the college gates blocked by some students who were protesting against the college administration on the stipend issue.

"Our troops politely requested them to open the gates. The Arunachal Pradesh Police representatives present at the site intervened to ensure exit of our troops and there was no scuffle", the release read, adding that the Namsai Police Station OC has also confirmed the same. "The presence of the army at the venue was totally incidental in nature", it added.




GST will end corruption: Pema

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, which will be implemented across the country from July 1 onwards would end corruption to a great extent, said Chief Minister Pema Khandu during the 5th departmental review meeting of Tax, Excise & Narcotics Department on Wednesday.

"The Tax and Excise Department used to be labeled as a corrupt department - but that will be a story of the past once the GST is implemented," said Khandu and expressed confidence that the GST will make business more transparent and the new tax system would end corruption to a great extent.

Informing that 94 percent of state's own resource comes through the Tax and Excise Department," Pema appealed to the department officials to gear up to work under the new tax regime. He specifically urged them to work with the businessmen, to make them aware of the new taxation laws.

Also, to make the department efficient to implement GST, the Chief Minister assured on meeting manpower shortages that were highlighted by Tax and Excise Parliamentary Secretary, Tapak Taku in his speech earlier. Khandu announced that in the cabinet meeting to be held in May, he would approve for more post creations.

Arunachal will immensely benefit through the GST regime, Pema further said, adding that the GST, which is a destination based tax, will increase the tax revenue of a consumer state like Arunachal.

Pema, who is also the Minister for Tax and Excise, predicted huge jump in total revenue collection from the provisional figure projected at Rs 636 crore for the current financial year. After the implementation of GST, the projected growth of excise revenue is likely to increase to Rs 250 crore in the current financial year from the previous year's figure of Rs 105 crores, he said.

He also informed that the state government has sought Centre's intervention for providing temporary IT facilities through VSAT services in remote locations where cable connectivity is difficult to reach at the earliest. (CMO)





GSU condemns legislators

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: The Galo Students' Union (GSU) took strong exception to the timing of the Mopin dinner programme hosted by the Chief Minister on April 18, coinciding with the 48 hour bandh called by the Union in all Galo-inhibited areas.

Opining that the dinner programme could have been postponed by a day or two, the GSU said, "What the Chief Minister has done is not in the interest of the indigenous communities of the state," and also strongly condemned the press advertisement issued jointly by six legislators of the community, urging people to join the dinner programme.

Meanwhile, the third phase 48-hour bandh called by the GSU in all Galo-inhabited areas of Upper Sunbansiri, West and East Siang districts ended on Wednesday.

The union, keeping in mind the inconveniences faced by the general public, had exempted movement of private vehicles and local vendors from the purview of the bandh, which ended at 5 am. However, most of the vehicles remained off the roads, the GSU informed in a release.

Almost all government establishments were closed during the bandh period, claimed the GSU.

"There were no bandh-related untoward incidents; though two young activists were picked by the police in Basar, and assaulted them without any provocations," the students' union said and demanded initiation of disciplinary action against the officer in-charge of Basar Police Station.

The GSU informed that it has decided to carry on the movement until its demands were met by the state government. Claiming its demands genuine, the GSU said that the fourth phase of the agitation would be declared soon.




ASER holds seminar of educational status

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: A team of the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), in collaboration with the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET), Dirang held a seminar to discuss the education status at elementary level and various problems faced by elementary schools in imparting quality education.

As per ASER team, the quality of education at elementary level in Arunachal Pradesh, particularly in reading and writing and doing arithmetic sums by students, has been showing a sharp decline since 2012 as compared to other Northeastern states.

The team suggested government's intervention for corrective measures.

Participating in the discussion, Lecturer Padi Tylang of the DIET gave emphasis on the role of school management committee, parents, guardians and public as a whole in improving the quality of education and urged them to serve as watch dogs.

He also stressed upon sudden visits and inspections of schools by the Deputy Commissioners, DDSEs and gearing up the activities and roles of BRCs and CRCs.

The ASER team was led by Suraj Das, Regional Manager, North-East ASER Centre.

Principal In-Charge, DIET, Dirang SK Dey and the PSTE students of second and fourth semester were also present in the seminar.





APCTA observes Demand Day

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: The Arunachal Pradesh College Teachers' Association (APCTA) on Wednesday observed 'Demand Day' in form of a peaceful sit-demonstration demanding publication of the 7th UGC Pay Review Committee Report and to share it with the All India Federation of University and College Teachers' Organization (AIFUCTO).

Observing the Demand Day at Dera Natung Government College, Itanagar, APCTA General Secretary, Dr Eli Doye lamented that while the central government as well as all state government employees are receiving the 7th Pay Package, the university and college teachers of the country are still clueless about its implementation by the UGC and MHRD.

He said that it was very unfortunate on the part of the central government to show such undemocratic and apathetic attitude towards the teaching community and the education system as a whole.

Dr Doye informed that the Demand Day was observed by APCTA's units in all the 16 government colleges by staging peaceful sit-in demonstration and holding discussions on the issue.




Lecture on 'Gender in the Writings of Indian diaspora'

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: A special lecture on the topic "Gender in the writings of Indian diaspora" was delivered by Professor Aparna Rayaprol, Head, Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad, in the Department of English, Rajiv Gandhi University on Wednesday. Professor H K Sharma, the Dean of School of Languages, faculty members of the department, research scholars and students also attended the lecture.




New Seva Sadan building inaugurated

ZIRO, Apr 19: MLA Tage Taki inaugurated the new RCC building of "Danyi Piilo Seva Sadan" under the Arunachal Vikash Parishad at Salang, Ziro on Wednesday.

Responding to a memorandum submitted by Secretary, AVP, Lower Subansiri District unit, Punyo Mullo, Taki assured to construct two more floors in the existing RCC building.

Among others, retired Sr Scientist (Road & Research), B L Parashar,  AVP district unit  president Gyati Pada also spoke on the occasion. Especial invitee Satish Dureja, from Delhi, Balwadi teachers, members from VHP, RSS, AVP, Meder Nello, Apatani Priest Association, public leaders, Gaon Burah, PRI members and general public attended the inaugural function.




Org seeks creation of Abo Tani Culture Affairs Dept

ITANAGAR, Apr 19:  In a memorandum to the Chief Minister, the Abotani Clan Organization (ATCO) has on Wednesday sought the creation of an Abo Tani Culture and Tradition Affairs Department with the view to preserve and promote the rich culture and tradition.

'With the advent of modernization and influx of many new cultures, the age-old culture and traditions of the Abo Tani clans are on the verge of extinction', rued ATCO and expressed hope that the homogeneity of culture and tradition among the Abo Tani clans could play an important role in bringing peace, harmony and unity in the state.

Earlier, on Sunday last, members of the ATCO visited Tomo Riba Institute of Medical Sciences, Naharlagun and distributed fruits and cash to the indoor patients on the occasion of Easter Sunday.




NHPC inks MoU with IL&FS Skill Development Corporation Limited

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: NHPC Limited, Liaison Office, Itanagar and IL&FS Skill Development Corporation Limited, Guwahati represented by Pravesh Kumar, Senior Manager (HR, NHPC) and Nivedita Barthakur, Regional Head, inked an MoU on Tuesday for imparting vocational training to 25 unemployed youth, including women from SC, ST, OBC & EWS, under CSR initiatives in General Duty Assistant trades.

The MoU was signed in the NHPC office in Itanagar. The project is targeted to provide employability to Schedule Tribe youth in and around NHPC Project affected areas of Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley, Tawang, Lower Subansiri and Papum Pare districts.




State BJYM attends national executive meet

ITANAGAR, Apr 19: The Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) team headed by state President Taring Tiri attended the National Executive Body Meeting of the Morcha in New Delhi on Wednesday.

In the meeting, various developmental activities to be spearheaded by the youth brigade of the party were explained by national BJYM President and MP Poonam Mahajan.

The state BJYM team apprised the national BJYM president about various activities it has carried out in Arunachal Pradesh in realms of e-governance (digital India), benefits of demonetization, cashless transaction and various digital application launched by the government and financial institutions.

National executive member cum in-charge for Manipur, Nani Opo and in-charge for the states of Nagaland and Manipur Ram Tajo also attended the meeting along with the state BJYM team.




Social activist GK no more

TEZU, Apr 19: Renowned social activist and Principal Secretary of Anu Shiksha Seva Trust, Gofailum Kri of Danglat passed away in Sankardeva Hospital of Dibrugarh.  He was popularly known as GK among the community members.

Late Kri was awarded for his pioneering role in multi-purpose cooperative society movement in the state and the Tamla LAMPS was revived under his leadership.  Late Kri was also founder member of Cultural and Literary Society of Mishmis (CALSOM) and All Mishmi Students Union (AMSU). He also served the Bharatiya Janta Party for over three decades.

Well wishers Mamata Riba and Tsering Naksang, while conveying deep sense of condolences to the bereaved family, said "Gofailum Kri was a much respected public leader and an honest person."

Meanwhile, Kolamai Kri, widow of late GK extended sincere thanks to  Research Minister Dr Mohesh Chai, Anjaw and Lohit Deputy Commissioners Mamata Riba and  Danish Ashraf, Lohit SP Isaac Pertin and others who  extended  their helping hand during the trying times of  the  family of the late social activist.

---- Editorial ----



Railways spreading presence in Arunachal

The Indian Railways is pushing hard to spread its presence in Arunachal Pradesh. After tasting success in Naharlagun-Guwahati and Naharlagun-New Delhi route, the railway is planning to open several new routes in the state. The preliminary surveys for Bhalukpong-Tenga-Tawang (378 km), North Lakhimpur-Bame-Aalo-Silapathar (247.85 km) and Pasighat-Roing-Tezu-Parsuram Kund-Rupai (227 km) have been completed and detailed on-location survey is expected to commence at the earliest.

The Railway Ministry has also sanctioned eight new railway lines for Arunachal which include Itakhola - Seijosa (18 km), Doomdooma-Namsai-Wakro (96 km), Dangri - Roing (60 km) Naharkatia-Deomali (20 km), Lekhapani-Nampong-New Khamlang-Deben (75 km) and Tinsukia to Pasighat via Kanubari (300 km). Once completed all these railway lines will tremendously improve connectivity in the state. It will also ease dependency on road network and provide alternate mode of transportation to the citizens. The railway ministry should explore possibilities of starting goods train from Naharlagun to various cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, etc. It will immensely benefit farmers as they will be able to directly sell horti-agri products to customers bypassing the middlemen, who often create so much trouble for them.  In future such goods train should be started from other places like Pasighat, Tezu, Bhalukpong and so on. While expansion of rail network is a welcome step, the authorities should remain alert and do not allow people to misuse train service to illegally enter state without ILP. State government should work out modalities with railway ministry in this regard.








---- Readers Forum ----






Dear Editor,

I wish to withdraw and apologize for the letter on fake sports certificate, which I had written and was published on March 23 of this daily under heading “Fake sports certificate and recruitment.”

Actually, I did not have much knowledge about the matter as I am not from sports background.

I neither had any intention to tarnish the reputation of sports fraternity of the state nor to keep pending the police recruitment process in Tirap, Changlang and Longding under sports quota.

It was a rumor only. Hence, there should be no misunderstanding anymore.


A Citizen,  Longding




Review our language policy

Dear Editor,

Your editorial, "Not a good decision" (April 19) has rightly pointed out that the decision to make Hindi compulsory till class tenth in CBSE - affiliated schools and Kendriya Vidyalayas is expected to evoke reaction from states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala etc where earlier attempt to impose Hindi has been met with fierce resistance. A regional language like Hindi must not be imposed in our country. On being asked about his views on Hindi being the common language of India, Sri Aurobindo had said, “English will be all right and even necessary if India is to be an international State. In that case English has to be the medium of expression, especially as English is now replacing French as a world - language” ('Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo', p - 587). Had we paid heed to the pragmatic views of Sri Aurobindo, India could have taken a big step forward towards national unity. The need of the hour is to review our language policy and to stop imposing Hindi.


Sujit De, Kolkata




Encourage online payment

Dear Editor,

Through your esteemed daily, I would like to request the recruiting departments of the State to go for an online payment for their respective advertised post. It would be a great relief to the aspirants and common public if they could abolish the old fashioned and laborious method of payment through Treasury Challan followed by submitting it in Banks. There are long queue in Banks and Treasury office with lots of rush, if there happens to be an advertisement from some departments.

The ultimate sufferers are the students who miss their classes and chose to make a queue for the uncertain job. If they can’t abolish the said procedure then they can atleast include the online mode of payment. This would also encourage the people from using internet thus encouraging online payment system or cashless transaction; the dream of our Prime Minister.


P. Tesia, RGU





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