13 Parliamentary Secretaries inducted amidst tussle over cabinet berths
[ Amar Sangno ]
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Amidst the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the filling up of remaining Cabinet Ministerial posts, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Kalikho Pul on Friday inducted thirteen MLAs including two Independent MLAs Paknga Bage and Tsering Tashi as Parliamentary Secretaries in his government.
The Parliamentary Secretaries are Chow Tewa Mein, Punji Mara, Phosum Khimhum, Jomde Kena, Alo Libang, Tapuk Taku, Gum Tayeng, Zingnu Namchoom, Jambey Tashi, Tatung Jamoh and Mutchu Mithi. The Chief Minister administered the oath of Office and Secrecy in presence of host of dignitaries at Banquet Hall here. The new Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin initiated the swearing in ceremony.
Interestingly, in its induction recommendation for the Parliamentary Secretary, Pul has shortlisted fifteen legislators including 56-Khonsa MLA and former Food and Civil Supply Minister Tirong Aboh and 33-Mechuka MLA Passang Dorjee Sona. However, Aboh and Sona did not turn up for the swearing in ceremony further fueling more speculation on reported month-long tussle over finalisation of second-batch of cabinet ministers.
During post swearing in press briefing, Pul said, “They are out of station, but they are on the way to assume new-responsibility”.
Earlier, Pul had inducted seven cabinet ministers including two deputy chief ministers in his council of ministers in early March.
Adding more suspense over ongoing tussle for ministerial posts, it is learnt that PD Sona and Tirong Aboh are reluctant to take up the posts of Parliamentary Secretary.
When contacted, former Food and Civil Supplies Minister Aboh informed this daily that he will “decide” only after discussion with Chief Minister.
PD Sona, Tali MLA Markio Tado, along with former minister Pema Khandu were front runners during the dissident movement. But heavy-weight Gojen Gadi, Jarkar Gamlin and Takam Pario are possible hurdles for them in getting ministerial posts.
Apparently, Pul is still putting all efforts to suture up the crack developing because of ministerial berths, as lot of community based organisations have been pressurizing the chief minister to induct their legislators in the cabinet.
Chief Minister Pul maintained that very soon the second-batch of cabinet ministers would be inducted. Now, it remains to be seen how the Chief Minister tackles the latest dilemma.
Govt cancels approved SIDF
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: The Kalikho Pul government has cancelled the earlier approved projects under State Infrastructure Development Fund (SIDF).
Instead, it has circulated a long list of approved projects under Revised Estimate (RE) of the Annual Development Agenda 2015-16 that does not include most of the projects approved earlier by the Tuki government.
In a letter dated 14th March, 2016 to all commissioners, secretaries and head of departments, the new Planning Secretary Dr Joram Beda issued the schematic break up of annual development agenda 2015-16 and called for preparation of RE for submission to the finance department (budget) directly with intimation to the planning department latest by 16th March, 2016.
This in-fact has taken several departments by surprise as two-day time is too little for going through the whole exercise from step one.
The abrupt cancellation of the earlier approved projects under SIDF and finalizing a new list is sure to upset many in the power corridors of the state, especially when the whole operation has been kept top secret.
Dr Beda’s letter to the commissioners, secretaries and head of departments strictly mentions – ‘Concerned principal secretaries, commissioners, secretaries are also requested to ensure that the document enclosed herewith (the list of approved projects) is kept confidential and be used strictly for official purpose only till the Budget document is passed by the Legislative Assembly.
“This is issued with approval of Hon’ble Chief Minister,” the letter adds.
CM assures APWWS of SDC member
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: The chief minister Kalikho Pul informed that a women member will be represented in the state development council (SDC) and a separate gender budget will be prepared.
He said this when a team of Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS) called on the Chief Minister on Thursday evening to reiterate its demand for induction of women in the State Development Council and creation of Gender Cell in Planning Department.
The chief minister also informed that the government will give representation to the women at the advisory level by inducting an advisor to the chief minister.
A six-member team consisting of APWWS president Gumri Ringu, Secretary General Samnem Ngemu Lego along with Dipti Bengia, Jarjum Ete and Radhilu Chai Techi, while placing nine point memorandum before the Chief Minister called for recruitment of women police officers to help contain/lessen the number of crimes against women and fast tracking of children and gender related cases.
It has been seen that many cases relating to women and children are pending, emboldening criminals, said APWWS team stated.
They also demanded Separate Child Right Commission and appointment of qualified and experienced members in view of increasing crime against children.
The Society also demanded proper verification and monitoring of private schools after reports of cases of rape and molestation of minor students by the teacher and school staffs which is a cause of great concern. Proper verification and monitoring of private schools are the need of the hour to check such incidence, the society stated.
The other demands include setting up of Juvenile Homes and Shelters in every district headquarters as well as improving the facility at the lone juvenile home in Pasighat.
Setting up of Old age homes and mental health institutions also found mention in the memorandum of the Society.
The APWWS also requested for effective implementation of Compulsory Marriage Registration Act, activation of Sexual harassment complaint cell in all govt departments and private enterprise as well as opening of Creche in every government dept.
Pul assured to look into the demands for separate child right commission and increasing the strength of women police officers in the state, establishments of old age homes across the state, mental health institutions and juvenile homes and shelters.
Meanwhile, APWWS has expressed the hope with the joining of Shakuntala Gamlin as Chief Secretary, the administration will be more sympathetic to the issues pertaining to women and children.
Work for student’s welfare, Pul tells AAPSU
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Chief Minister Kalkiho Pul has said that the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) should work for student’s welfare and it should be their first mandate and top priority.
Pul was interacting with an AAPSU team which called on him on Friday to discuss on a comprehensive education policy for the state.
“AAPSU being the apex body of student community, if you do not work for the welfare of the students, how will you represent the student community? What will you tell the people of what have you achieved in your tenure of three years?” Pul asked.
“Other issues are seasonal. It will come and go. Education should be the priority, because we are sowing the seeds for better tomorrow,” said the Chief Minister.
Requesting for cooperation in improving the education scenario of the state, he assured that “in education matter, there will be no discrimination – ruling or opposition. Every school in all constituencies will be provided equal facilities as per the required format.”
The discussion brought in key issues such as to validate the quality of courses in private universities, shortages of teachers due to deputation to other departments and for a CBSE regional centre in Arunachal.
Shortages of subject teachers and arriving at proper recruitment policy to meet the gap through relaxation in reservation system were also discussed.
The Chief Minister disclosed that to meet the delay in supply of CBSE books the government was contemplating on printing books locally.
He also disclosed that the government is contemplating on privatization of government run schools in urban areas, for which it needed proper feedback and support.
He further called on the students to first create awareness among the people on the Chakma and Hajong issue.
Encouraging the student leaders on the issue, Pul said that they must be well versed on the issue.
Deal with opium cultivators with sympathy: CM
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Chief Minister Kalikho Pul said that when dealing with opium cultivators in the state, the approach should be softly.
“For opium cultivators, it could be their only source of livelihood. So they should be provided with alternative means for livelihood before we try to impose our judgments and actions.”
He said this during a meeting with the Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society as it sought establishment of de-addiction centres in Capital Complex, Changlang, Lohit, Longding, Anjaw, Tirap, Upper Siang and Siang districts.
The Chief Minister’s home district is one of the major producers of opium.
He also appealed that instead of destroying the opium fields, the cultivators should be made aware first about the harmful effects of poppy cultivation.
“Thereafter, they must be advised to discontinue the farming from the next season with complete support for them to grow alternative cash crops like cardamoms and oranges,” Pul added.
The Chief Minister informed the APWWS team that drug de-addiction centre in the affected districts will be established with the help of local self-help groups (SHG).
“Many districts in Arunachal Pradesh are struggling with the problems arising out of opium cultivation as well as addiction. A whole generation has been wasted because of lack of efforts to address the issue of addiction”, the APWWS had said during the meeting.
NGOs demand ouster of SF & PSF
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: The Confederation of Service Associations of Arunachal Pradesh (CoSAAP) has strongly condemned the “unethical behavior and humiliation” meted out to the officers and officials of finance department by Secretary Finance Dr BM Mishra.
The association alleged that he has created unhealthy working environment in the department and is mentally torturing the employees by using foul languages on daily basis.
“Files are not sent to the higher authorities and are being sent back to branches with unnecessary queries. Because of such attitude, the Deputy Secretary (Budget) was compelled to tender resignation on 11th March’2016 and entire employees of Finance and Budget are not in a position to discharge the duty smoothly,” the CoSAAP stated in a release.
The association has demanded immediate transfer of Dr. BM Mishra from Finance Department for the larger interest of employees and state as a whole. CoSAAP submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister in this regard.
The Arunachal Civil Society (ACS) has also lodged a complaint with Chief Minister against the Principal Secretary and Secretary (Finance) and demanded their immediate transfer.
In its memorandum to the Chief Minister, ACS claimed that numerous important files are stuck and gathering dust in the office of the Satya Gopal, Principal Secretary (Finance) and B M Mishra Secretary (Finance). They kept those files pending since last part of December, 2015 ‘without any reason’ in violation of Government’s standing order, under which no officer can keep a file more than seven days, ACS said.
The NGO demanded immediate release of LoC and other necessary Govt. files which are still pending in the chamber of both the officers since December, 2015. It also appealed for early clearance of honorarium of Rs 33 crore for the personnel of Home Department, who were engaged during both the last Lok Sabha and State Assembly Election elections.
Other demands of the Society included immediate cancellation of Office of Memorandum of February 10, 2016 regarding Officiating/functional appointments and the promotions on ‘out of turn”, approval of power to DDOs of newly created division under UD & Housing.
Lowangdong stresses on punctuality, discipline & transparency
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Education minister Wanglin Lowangdong during a visit to education department on Friday stressed on punctuality, discipline and transparency to overcome the challenges while acknowledging the efforts of the department in addressing the challenges.
He held four long hours meeting with the officials in his first visit to the department. The meeting was attended by commissioner education Marnya Ete and all the directors along with their team. The officials through power point presentation made minister familiar about status, strength and challenges of the department.
Lowangdong appealed to stakeholders to carry out their duty with the sense of humanity and dignity keeping in view the future of the state and budding children of Arunachal Pradesh. Minister also focused on the need for self introspection to uphold the sanctity of education which is a major tool for social transformation. He called upon teaching fraternity to impart knowledge in such a way through which our children should learn to respect the elders. He added that department has enough potentiality and only the need is to ignite them for better outcome.
While expressing satisfaction with increase in literacy rate, minister added that everyone should put effort to take education sector to new height in the state for which he believes in team spirit and machinery zeal. He added that district performance shall be judged on the basis of the academic result of the district in totality which shall be recognized in case of outstanding academic result. Minister proposed for a coordination meeting with DDSEs and other grass root functionaries for taking appraisal with Chief Minister to develop a policy for radical change in education sector.
Outlining the objective of the meeting, the Commissioner Education drew attention on the burning challenges which have affected the efficiency of the department. He expressed hope that under Lowangdong, department will achieve greater height.
Mein inspects road projects, seeks quality and durability
PASIGHAT, Mar 18: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who is currently on tour of East Siang, inspected the ongoing CC road construction of Pasighat township and Pasighat-Pangin Trans-highway on Thursday.
While advising the executing agencies to maintain quality and durability of the said road, he further hoped that once the project is completed, it would not only ease vehicular movements but would have huge impact in the overall connectivity and socio-economic development of the entire Siang belt besides, enhancing easy transportation of local products to Pasighat and nearby markets in neighboring states.
Addressing a meeting which was attended by local MLA Kaling Moyong, Nari-Koyu MLA Kento Rina, DC Isha Khosla, DIG LH Shanliana, SP RS Chauhan and officers at the Siang Guest House conference hall, Mein said that the present government led by Chief Minister Kalikho Pul is determined to bring faster development in the state with transparent administration and people will soon see visible development in all fronts. For all round development with healthy, secured life and high moral values for the citizens, state government would adopt pro-poor and people friendly programs and policies, he said adding that agriculture, horticulture, veterinary and animal husbandry, tea, rubber etc. are some thrust area besides health, education and road connectivity.
Maintenance of all old and dilapidated government buildings in the state would be taken care on priority. Education, agriculture, horticulture, tourism, health, electricity, employment generation, skill development etc would be revitalized with better plan and policies, by the government, he assured.
The DCM while assuring early renovation and infrastructure development of the Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat has urged to preserve the hard-earned prestige of the college.
Informing about various welfare measures taken so far, Mein informed the house that the present government has released all pending bills of the government employees’ medical reimbursement and also released salaries of the contingency and casual staffs and health workers like ASHAs, ANM, GNM and students’ stipend etc.
Earlier in the day, the DCM accompanied by DVO Dr. J Panor and officials of Veterinary department visited the piggery farm at seven mile.
MLA Kaling Moyong updated the DCM about the development and long-felt requirement of the centurion town and urged him to take appropriate step to establish a veterinary college at Pasighat. (DIPRO)
Scientific cultivation on Tea concludes
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Training on scientific cultivation of Tea (Chai Paathshaala) conducted by the Department of Trade and Commerce in collaboration with Tea Research Association, Arunachal Advisory Centre, Itanagar and Regional Office of Tea Board of India, Itanagar from March 15 concluded on Friday at Officer’s Hostel, E-Sector, Itanagar.
Attending the valedictory function on Friday, Director Trade & Commerce, Tokong Pertin exhorted the participants to take up the Tea cultivation vigorously in the districts so that the Mission Mode Project on Plantation Crops could be made more successful. He also informed that the idea of conducting Chaipathshala was to give technical and scientific tea cultivation training program to the tea growers of the State. Pertin also emphasized for organic tea cultivation in the State. He, further, advised the Tea farmers for taking up tea in a friendly manner so that the interest of the genuine growers could be protected and also, genuine candidates are selected in the district under Mission Mode Project. Later he gave away certificates to the attending Tea Farmers.
Senior Journalist Taro Chatung who has made a short documentary film on Tea in Arunachal Pradesh, gave an interesting insight into the history of Tea in North Eastern Region of India and World citing examples of several tea related movements in the World which culminated to various historic treaties in the world. He also added that tea became mostly farmer driven in the world which originated from NER.
Altogether 27 Tea farmers from various districts of the state attended the training in the second batch and another 27 Tea farmers attended in the third batch of the training.
Topics on various stages of Tea plantations like land preparation for Tea Cultivation, planting and bringing up of young Tea, pruning in Tea, Tipping and Plucking in Tea, vegetative propagation of Tea, Pest Management in Tea and PPC, Disease Management in Tea and Fertilizer Management and weed control in Tea cultivation were covered during the four days training.
Arunachal Advisory Centre, Jr. Advisory Officer, Biswajyoti Bordoloi, North Bank Advisory Centre, Thakurbari, Tezpur, Asstt. Advisory Officer, TRA, Ananta Dutta and Asstt. Director Tea Development, Tea Board Regional Office, Itanagar, Sanjeeb Rajbongshi were the Resource Persons of the training.
Earlier speaking during the inaugural programme on Mar 15, Dy. Director, Trade & Commerce and Course Coordinator of the programme, S. Modi, during informed the trainees that Tea cultivation is the most economical and commercial crop in comparison to other crops. Arunachal Pradesh has huge scope for growing Organic as well as Green Tea. He urged all the participants to learn the scientific techniques from the resource persons.
BRO DG inspects highways
PASIGHAT, Mar 18: Director General of Border Road Lt Gen Suresh Sharma along with Chief Engineer of the Project Brahmank Anil Kumar inspected the Jonai-Pasighat road (NH-515) and Ranaghat-Mebo-Bomjir (NH-13) and expressed satisfaction over quality of the road work.
He also inspected the Sissiri Bridge on NH-13 and observed non–sanction of the approach road on both sides of the road is seriously affecting the progress of the bridge work. They visited Tarang-Korong Bridge near Mebo which was completed recently.
Sharma also interacted with few local people, who handed over a representation requesting BRO to retain and develop the Ranaghat-Mebo-Bomjur stretch of the road.
It is reported that the said portion of the road may be handed over to State PWD.
The DGBR assured that all out effort will be made from his side to retain the road.
Earlier, Sharma interacted with the district officials and the local army formation. DIPRO
ITBP organises blood donation camp
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: The 31st Bn Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has organised a voluntary blood donation camp under the aegis of SHQ (Itanagar) ITBP at Yupia on Friday. The noble endeavor was fully supported by R K Mission Hospital, Itanagar and Vivekananda Trust Shakti.
Speaking on the occasion, Ajay Pal Singh, DIG ITB Police highlighted the importance of blood donation which can help save thousands of lives. He inspired the volunteers to come forward regularly and donate blood to help safeguard life of others.
Dr. L.R. Chaudhary, CMO, R K Mission Hospital stated that blood is more required in traumatic cases and in our country due to non-availability of blood, innumerous lives are lost. He further emphasized that humanity can be served in best way by donating blood voluntarily to the needy people. He urged everyone to come forward for this nobel cause. A large number of volunteers from ITB Police, Vivekananda Yuva Shakti and locals of nearby villages donated blood voluntarily during the camp.
88 scholarships awarded to students
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: In all, 88 scholarships and awards worth Rs. 3,26,000 were awarded to students during the Saint Claret College, Ziro (SCCZ) organized commencement ceremony for the outgoing class of 2016 held today.
Finance Officer, IQAC Coordinator and Professor in Economics of RGU, Prof. Amitava Mitra who gave away the commencement certificates, in his address reminded the students that real education of life begins after college and the kind of educational experience they received at the college must stand them in good stead.
The scholarships included two categories of international scholarship; one by Grace EduCare, USA for 12 students who received scholarships within the range of Rs.10,000 to 20,000 and the other, the sixth-year running Single Step Foundation (USA) Scholarship for 58 female students. The other scholarships included SCCZ Academic and Residential Scholarships, Fr. Tomy Award, SCCZ Merit Awards, Edacheriparampil Mathew-Elizabeth Memorial and Xavier Board of Higher Education Scholarship.
The awards were given away by DDSE Yumlam Tana, DIPRO Ramar Jokik and DTO Yumlam Yajum Lombi.
Rectify revised estimate 2015-16: ICDWA
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Itanagar City Development Welfare Association (ICDWA) has demanded rectification and cancellation of revised estimate 2015-16 claiming that the Kalikho Pul led PPA govt is misusing the fund by placing few projects in their own private land. The association wrote to the chief secretary in this regard.
The alleged projects are road from Panch Ali to Dariya Patung via Kula camp (Govt. approved Sl.No.32)- Rs 1000 lakhs, retaining wall & CC Drain near state museum road between Zero Point to Mowb-II (Govt. Approved Sl. No.33) - Rs 600 lakhs and road from Mowb-II near CM Bungalow to Niya Colony (Govt. Approved Sl. No. 34) - Rs 1000 lakhs.
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: The National Highway (NH-415) from Arunachal State Hospital tri-junction to Chandni Hotel tri-junction, Naharlagun will remain closed for traffic during the Legislative Assembly Session on March 21, 22, 23 and 26 from 7 am to 4 pm due to security reason.
Alternative arrangements have been made for all incoming and outgoing traffic.
Vehicles coming from Itanagar will be diverted at Tomo Riba State Hospital tri-junction via Prem Nagar and take the highway again at helipad tri-junction.
Similarly, vehicles coming from Nirjuli will be diverted at Chandni Hotel tri-junction and take the highway back at G-extension tri-junction, Naharlagun, informed Capital SP Devender Arya.
‘Disburse stipend through bank accounts’
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has called for depositing students’ stipend directly to the bank accounts of the respective students.
In a release, AAPSU urged the education department not to disburse the students’ stipend through any other mode or officers of the department.
Meanwhile, lauding the Chief Minister for addressing one of the long pending demands of AAPSU by enhancing the student stipends, AAPSU expressed hope that other perennial problems faced by the students as well the teachers of the state will be solved.
Affected land owners oppose awarding work to outsiders
[ Karda Natam ]
DAPORIJO, Mar 18: The local public, especially those land owners affected by double-lane road (BRTF) cutting from Ringing to Kojab under Nacho circle, have strongly opposed awarding electric pole erection works within their area to ‘outsiders”.
In their complaint letter to the Upper Subansiri District Deputy Commissioner, the affected people demanded immediate cancellation of work order to ousider(s) and award the same work to the affected people, failing which they threatened to launch democratic movement.
IMFL seized Correspondent
PASIGHAT, Mar 18: A joint team of police, magistrate and activists of Women against Social Evils, Pasighat conducted raids in grocery shops and ghumtis at GTC area on Monday night and seized around 150 bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL).
This raid was a part of operations conducted by the women activists against illegal sale of foreign liquor and other narcotics substances in and around Pasighat.
AAPSU condemns attack on school girl
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Though lately, Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has condemned the brutal attack on a girl student at Daporijo by a group of women on March 8.
A class XII was attacked while she was on her way to school to write examination conducted by CBSE.
AAPSU demanded the authority concerned to apprehend all the culprits involved in the heinous crime at the earliest and award them exemplary punishment as per law.
The students union further urged the parents/guardians of the culprits involved to refrain from extending any kind of legal and other supports as they deserve appropriate punishment for the crime they committed, stated AAPSU president Kamta Lapung.
AAPSU will stand with the victim and her aggrieved family, Kamta assured.
Org writes to PCCF
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Anti Corruption and Crime Control Committee.Org has demanded cancellation of the mandatory NOC/recommendation from Gram Sabha for tender issued by DFO Sagalee.
In its representation submitted to the principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF), it maintained that other works departments do not include such condition in the tender process.
It is the duty of the concern department to acquire the NOC because without land availability, Govt will not allow the project, its letter to the PCCF read.
Workshop on e- TDS
CHANGLANG, Mar 18: While attending a workshop on e- TDS, e- CST at Changlang, Deputy Commissioner Wayong Khimhun advised the officers and officials to strictly adhere to guidelines issued by the Tax & Excise Department from time to time to plug revenue leakages.
State Project Coordinator for MMPCT Anju Upadhyay demonstrated on how to apply online TAN and made clear to all DDOs regarding transparency, accountability and time bound service delivery which will be the foundation of upcoming GST preparedness. DIPRO
Orientation-cum-trainees registration drive held
KOLORIANG, Mar 18: Youths of Sarli and Koloriang CD blocks attended a day-long orientation-cum-trainees registration drive programme conducted under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and Border Area Development Programme held at the General Ground here today.
During the programme, the youths, who are mostly school drop-outs and unemployed, were made aware of the various trades and its scope by District Programme Coordinator in charge, Bamang Chai.
Training provider of the programme, Manghi Welfare Society and its president Ngurang Tado also exhorted them to get themselves skilled in varied income generating trades. (DIPRO)
Jal Kranti Abhyan training at Pasighat
PASIGHAT, Mar 18: A daylong training on “Jal Kranti Abhyan” was conducted at College of Horticulture and Forestry (Central Agricultural University), Pasighat on Friday. The training was conducted by the Central Water Commission (C.W.C.), Guwahati Centre, Ministry of Water Resources, & Ganga Rejuvenation, Govt. of India in collaboration with the College of Horticulture and Forestry, Pasighat and State Water Resources Department.
Techniques of water conservation, rain water harvesting and utilizing the harvested water in micro-mode, the Govt. schemes related to “Harkhetkopani” and participatory management of Govt. implemented schemes at the villages were explained by the resource persons in the training.
About 50 farmers from East Siang district participated in the programme.
D.C., East Siang Isha Khosla chaired the training in which S.E., C.W.C, Ravi Shankar, CHF Dean, Dr. A.K.Pandey, Asstt. Prof., C.H.F, Dr. S.K.Pattanaaik, Assoc. Prof., N.E.R.I.W.A.L.M., Tezpur, Assam, Dr B.C.Nath and E.E., W.R.D, Itanagar, Dimak Gamno were the resource persons.
DC stresses on effective implementation of 14th FC grants
AALO, Mar 18: West Siang DC Pige Ligu has stressed on effective implementation of 14th Finance Commission grants as per Gram Panchayat development plan and guidelines.
He was addressing a meeting of District Planning Committee held under his chairmanship here on Mar 17. While informing that around Rs. 3.70 crores has been earmarked for the district to take up need-based development in the district, the DC said that the fund placement as per AOP should be implemented in letter and spirit despite time constraints. He further said that all taken up schemes will be subject to verification and monitoring. The line department should also work in close coordination with Panchayat leaders to implement the programme in time, he added.
DPDO, Tamik Talom also urged the Panchayat leaders at all levels to implement the schemes and submit Utilization Certificates within this month for onward submission to government for getting the next allocation.
Aalo East PTA JE (PR) Jumli Lollen later gave a detailed power point presentation on ‘My village, My Development Plan’. Zilla Parishad Chairperson Yaman Bagra also spoke on the occasion. HoDs of all line departments, ZPMs, BDOs and chairpersons of Anchal Samities also attended the meeting. (DIPRO)
Financial literary counseling camp conducted
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Apex Bank, Aalo branch in collaboration with Young Mission Adventure Club (YMAC), Itanagar conducted a Financial Literacy Counseling Camp (FLCC) at Yomcha in West Siang district on March 14. The camp which was sponsored by NABARD regional Office, Itanagar aimed at creating awareness of various banking products and services amongst the people in un-banked and remote area like Yomcha.
Resource persons including Aalo Apex Bank Branch Manager Kimar Ete, SSA Block Resource Coordinator (BRC) Nyaluk Gamlin and YMAC chairman Yomjum Yomgam highlighted the importance of the central Govt schemes, like, Atal Pension Yojna (APY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna (PMJJBM), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna (PMSBM) and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY) during the camp.
Ete further appeal to the people of the Yomcha circle to open account at least one from each household and assured all possible help.
More than 200 people including representatives of Women Self Help Group, Farmers Club, Panchayat leaders, Gaon Bura attended the programme, according to a release.
SBI donates stretchers, wheel chairs to Hospital
PASIGHAT, Mar 18: Extending its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm, the State Bank of India (SBI), Pasighat branch on Friday donated five stretchers and equal number of wheel chairs to Pasighat General Hospital.
The items were handed over to East Siang Deputy Commissioner Isha Khosla, who also is the Chairman of District Health Society, by Chief Manager of the bank Sothang Haokip.
Lauding the noble gesture of the SBI, Deputy Commissioner Khosla advised the bank authority to work in close coordination with the district administration while finalizing CSR activities so that urgent requirements of the society can be fulfilled. DIPRO
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: The Department of Legal Metrology & Consumer Affairs (LM&CA) is organizing a mini marathon race called ‘Itanagar Mini Marathon’ on March 20 to generate public awareness on consumer rights, responsibilities and protection activities.
The proposed marathon will start at IG Park, Itanagar at 7 am and end at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Naharlagun, according a departmental release.
Our Pasighat Correspondent adds: East Siang Deputy Commissioner Isha Khosla on Friday flagged of two days consumer awareness campaign at Pasighat organized by Department of LM&CA, East Siang as part of the Consumer Awareness Week’.
The department conducted public meeting at GTC Colony and Daying Ering Memorial Higher Secondary School field.
Topics related to Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and quality analysis of food products, essential commodities were taken up and explained elaborately to the benefit of the consumers.
It will conduct similar programme at Pasighat vegetable market on Saturday, informed Assistant Controller of Legal Metrology, KP Tago.
DC inaugurates CB-NAAT machine
YINGKIONG, Mar 18: Upper Siang, DC Remo Kamki inaugurated a Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CB NAAT) machine for diagnosis of drug resistant TB, installed at the District Tuberculosis Centre amidst the presence of DRDA Project Director, SP, DMO and staffs here today.
Speaking on the occasion, District TB officer, Dr. Ahik Miyu described the scope and use of the machine to the gathering while, the DC advised the staff to handle the machine carefully. (DIPRO)
DC calls for publicizing RSETI activities
YUPIA, Mar 18: Papum Pare Deputy Commissioner Pooja Jain advised the officers of Rural Self-Employment Training Institute (RSETI) to highlight the activities of RSETI through various means of publicity to attract more unemployed youths to avail the benefit of various training given under RSETI.
Attending the district level review and advisory council meeting of APRB-RSETI at her chamber here on Friday, the DC suggested the officers to work out plans to attract corporate houses to sponsor their programmes through their CSR projects.
She asked RSETI officers to involve and take the help of district administration in youths and entrepreneur awareness programme. The DC assured that she will write letters to all the DCs to promote the programme of RSETI to attract more unemployed youths.
The DC cum Chairman DLRAC also discussed on various implications of RSETI with the officers.
Earlier, APRB Chairman A. Kumar briefed the DC about the APRB-RSETI and informed that there is only one RSETI in Papum Pare district for entire state.
Director (RSETI) PB Chetry highlighted on various activities and performance of the institute in 2015-16, fund position, training calendar for 2016-17 etc. He also apprised the DC about the dismal condition of RSETI. Jaspal Singh, Chief Manager, SBI and B. Deory Nodal Officer, APRB were also present in the meeting. DIPRO
Training for 64 Para Legal Volunteers for LSA
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Two days training programme for 64 students from across all districts for being appointed as a Para Legal Volunteers of the Legal Services Authority commenced at the Don Bosco Youth Centre Itanagar.
The Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority (SLASA) is conducting the training. The trainee students shall be given real time exposure and visits to Legal Aid Clinics at ALA, Lekhi, Oju Mission, Naharalgun and the Women and Itanagar Police Stations.
Member Secretary, SLSA, Budi Habung, Chairperson AP State Women Commisison, Mitali Thingkhatra, Legal Adviser, APSWC, Kani Nada, ALA faculties, Battosi Kri, and Nani Mamung, Advocates Sunil Mow and Jaya Doji, SI Naharlagun K.Dev, Principal, Donyi Polo Mission school for Hearing Impaired, Itanagar, H.Sharma will deliver talks on Role and Functions of Para Legal Volunteers, Constitution of India, Child Rights and laws protecting Children, Human Rights, Rights of women and Domestic Violence, Consumer Protection Act,1986, Rights of Prisoners and FIR, Arrest, Human Trafficking and Laws of Disability.
Workshop on Gender Budgeting
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: A workshop on Gender Budgeting is being conducted by State Institute of Rural Development at Hapoli from Mar 17th to 19th.
Addressing the 55 participants from various departments, PRIs, women organisation and SHG leaders on the inaugural session, Lower Subansiri District, Deputy Commissioner, Kemo Lollen called on the participants to attend the programme dedicatedly to understand the concept of Gender Budgeting and carry forward the knowledge practically particularly in planning and implementation of MVMDP (My Village My Development Plan). He said that the training should be taken very seriously to update the knowledge and to reciprocate it in developmental efforts.
Speaking in the function, Zilla Parishad Chairperson, Lower Subansiri, Hage Kobin while emphasising the need of the training, asked the participants to participate actively in the workshop so that both man and women can go hand in hand for the betterment of the society. Stressing on the decentralisation of power to the Panchayats for better functioning, He also said that Panchayat has a major role to play for bringing Gender equality in the society.
ADC cum DPDO Lower Subansiri, Nending Chatung, while encouraging the participants to sincerely attend the workshop, requested the SIRD to conduct trainings at district and block level for proper planning exercise under MVMDP.
Resource persons from KILA (Kerala Institute of Local Administration), Prof. T. Ragavan, P.V. Ramkrishnan and Babu Kariat delivered on Concept of Gender, Budgeting as well as Practice of Gender Budgeting in Kerala particularly in Panchayats. Prof. Ragavan informed that ten percent of funds are spent for women specific programmes as women empowerment measures by each tier of Panchayats besides other planned programmes in Kerala.
Dr.Tage Kanno pointed out the need of health facilities in village in the session on Women and Health.
Deputy Director (ICDS), Jaya Jawal Singh informed the participants that malnutrition is very common in rural areas. Therefore parents should send their children to Anganwadi centre and pre-school education centre for supplementary nutrition and to help the children to develop their brain in full potential since 1 to 6 years is very tender and crucial age for brain development. She further emphasized that education is the main tool for women empowerment. Through education you get to understand the information and with the information and knowledge you learn to choose the option and take decisions for betterment, she said while explaining the Kishori Shakti Yojana. Various other programmes like NSAP, Beti Bachao Beti Parao Andolan, etc. was also explained.
Session on MVMDP and Gender Empowerment, Rural Development programmes were delivered by Course Coordinators, L K Kabak and Mihin Lali from SIRD, Itanagar.
Compensation is a major issue which has seriously affected the developmental process
of Arunachal Pradesh. Many important infrastructure projects have not taken off due
to it. The worst affected is road and airport project. Projects like Trans-Arunachal
highway (TAH), Itanagar-Banderdewa four lane road, etc is in doldrums over the compensation
claim. There is no doubt that in many places compensation claim has been exaggerated
and need proper investigation.
Especially the claim made by land affected people under TAH in some section need
thorough investigation. In Upper Subansiri, the district administration led by deputy
commissioner Komkar Dulom has managed to bring down the compensation rate. Due to
the effort of DA, the work in Bopi to Tai section of TAH is about to start. But
it is also wrong on the part of central government to expect state government to
provide land free of cost for all the infrastructure projects. Last year when the
then PWD Minister Gojen Gadi meet MoRTH minister Nitin Gadkari regarding four lane
projects, Gadkari clearly told that project will be taken up without land compensation.
Now Airport Authority of India ((AAI) is also toeing similar line. AAI said that
Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh has to acquire and hand over 525 acre of land free of
cost and free of all encumbrance, for the Greenfield Airport at Hollongi. It is unfair
on the part of MoRTH and AAI to expect state government to provide land free of cost.
Central government is very much aware that government of Arunachal does not have
enough funds to give compensation. Therefore they will have to support the state
government. Also no land owners will hand over their land to government agencies
for free of cost. They will have to be compensated. Central as well as state government
need to adopt middle path in this regard.
Team Arunachal is an illusion
We saw an article by a respected MLA of the state giving his colleagues, a lecture
on the morality of politics and taking the high moral ground of Team Arunachal.
Tell me who in the 60 MLAs do not lobby for what they want to become? If few of them
manage to get a cabinet berth they again lobby for plump portfolios just to fill
The Thirteen lakhs Aam Janta of the state knows very well that many of the MLAs are
changing sides with those who promises to give more of cash/cabinet berth or plump
Department as Parliamentary secretaries. The biggest losers are the common people
but few great volunteers get benefitted as Chairman and Vice Chairman of state PSUs.
If the word Team Arunachal is taken in true spirit what was the need to create a
dissidence activity among the same party that too for 13 long months? Lastly an opposition
party appointed gentleman comes as a Governor and plays a saviour to the MLAs of
particular camp. If Team Arunachal was true than why MLAs have deserted the leader
under whose leadership many got elected as MLAs. Congress Government was formed
in the state defying the Modi wave in 2014 election.
These same MLAs who become Ministers and who do not become Ministers will again gossip
over a whisky bottle and decide to topple the present Chief Minister, who has just
converted to PPA.
The party office bearers of the PPA will never know what is happening in the Government
and by the time, the Chief Minister starts to plan out policy and program for the
betterment of the state, he will find that someone else is taking oath as Chief Minister!
His own so called loyalists will pull the carpet.
The MLAs of Arunachal has got the dubious distinction of being most busy in conspiracy
and to invent various ways to fragment the state on the lines of Tribe, Community,
Religion and most of the time for personal financial gains! So where is Team Arunachal?
So I say the word Team Arunachal is an illusion. It is better to rise above personal
desires and give a chance to progress and development of the state under a single
leadership; with the leadership under who the Assembly election was won; or else
you are cheating your voters for your petty gains. It is a hard and true fact that
the people/voters of the state always sided with Indian National Congress whenever
we faced the Assembly election and this trend will continue in future elections too.
I will conclude by saying that one who is living in a glass house should not throw
stone at others.
Learn a few things about humility, dignity and grace
This is in response to the brilliant heart-rending letter of a concerned citizen
titled "Behaviour defines a person not stature"(March 17). Just like a true humanitarian,
our respected broad-hearted fellow citizen has demanded entitled honour and dignity
for the Group D and contingency staff. Rightly has he/she stated that a person is
defined by their behavior not their post and respect has to be earned which can be
done by showing respect to others.
In this context, allow me to share certain facts related to two great humanitarians
who had walked on this beleaguered planet.
Before getting posted as Governor of West Bengal, the highly respected Gopal Krishna
Gandhi(grandson of Mahatma Gandhi) had played the role of India's High Commissioner
to South Africa when none other than Nelson Mandela was the incumbent President
of the Rainbow nation. In an interview, Gandhi shared his experience revolving Mandela.
During a journey within South Africa, Gandhi found himself travelling with Mandela
in the same flight. As the aeroplane landed in its destination, Gandhi noticed that
Mandela not only folded the blanket (which he had used perhaps to beat the cold)
neatly, but also personally handed it over to the airhostess with a bow, gracious
smile and utmost respect and humility. When nouveau-riche "highly educated" people
display supreme audacity and vulgar economic might while travelling in air and treat
the airhostess as their "paid servants" or "slaves"; none other than the reigning
President of the country and a living legend of the world used to treat "mere" airhostess
with such humility!
It is often witnessed how petty officials, politicians to "VIP"s throw tantrums
if any "petty" security personnel posted at airport, hotel or any public space "fails"
to identify him or dares to check him according to rules. But a certain Nobel Laureate
named Mother Teresa, whose face was also vastly recognised across the globe, used
to religiously introduce herself as "My name is Mother Teresa" whenever she used
to visit any institution, even if it is located in her home town Kolkata!
I offer to end my piece by touching another three illustrious personalities -
Pope Francis, India's ex-President Late APJ Abdul Kalam and Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
In this age of supreme haughtiness when muscle flexing , utterance of shrill rhetoric
and expression of holier-than-thou attitude have emerged as the "in-thing" and leaders
exhibiting such "masculinity" get instantly projected as "extremely strong personality"
resembling "Iron Man" who has the "remedy for all ills"; Pope Francis stands high
aloft as a stray island of civility and sanity around this turbulent ocean of intolerance
and hot talk. His unique humility, gentle behaviour and gracious smile can never
be described through mere words. No wonder why young people dare to touch him and
take selfies with him as if he is their most dear friend! What a magnetic majestic
personality with foot firmly rooted to the ground!
Often the "nationalist pride" of South Asians get shattered whenever any overhyped
star or individual get detained in a European or USA airport and physically checked
according to rules. Not only do his/her "patriotic" countrymen erupt in fury, the
cry-baby individual or star also resorts to cheap emotional gimmicks by proclaiming
that he/she was "victimised" just because of his/her affiliation to a particular
race, religion or country! But when our respected departed former President and
internationally-reputed technocrat had to undergo the very same "ordeal" in USA airport,
Kalam acknowledged it with smile and utmost humility by co-operating with the security
staff. Also it would not be out of context if I mention how Kalam once refused to
sit on a stage just because the chair allotted to him was larger and higher than
that of the rest!
And Gopalkrishna Gandhi had established himself as an extremely popular Governor
through his graciousness and deeds, thereby capturing the hearts of the common people.
A bi-monthly Bengali literary magazine had featured Gandhi as its cover story praising
his personality, noble thoughts and deeds as Governor. In the next issue, Gandhi
(despite not being a Bengali by birth) had personally written a letter thanking the
magazine and its writers and readers and stressing that "I do not deserve such honour"!
Why don't we learn a few things about humility, dignity and grace from these teachers
of the society? They not only profess, but also practice it in daily life and make
this society a better place to live in.
Through the columns of your esteemed dally, I would like to express my anguish and
affliction at the conditions of Taksing SHP under Taksing circle, Upper Subansiri.
The project was personally initiated by the then former Minister Tanga Byaling in
the year 2010 and under his guidance a committee was formed at circuit house Daporijo
to oversee the project works with Department of Hydropower Development as the executing
agency. The project work started with lot of hope of electrification but soon the
hope faded for the border circle of Taksing.
As of now, the project works is in hiatus for almost two years and some works which
was completed during the initial two years have been damaged by the landslide due
to compromise with the quality works under Punyo Lasa, Surveyor and J.E In charge.
Now the moot point is who will take the responsibility for the failure of this project?
The answer is simple; the Department of Hydropower Development and its erring officers
who are solely responsible for the dereliction and failure of SHP project. And it
is a known fact that Government of Arunachal Pradesh has already released Rupees
two crore and fifty lakhs only for the project on installment basis.
But even after the release of such huge amount for the project, 80% works is still
incomplete. Now the question here is where has the huge amount of Rs. 250.00/- (Rupees
two crore and fifty lakhs) gone? The Department of Hydropower Development has to
answer this lingering question. If they don't answer, I have to knock at the door
of Chief Minister for institution of SIT against the Department of Hydropower Development
and its erring officers in days to come.
The unusual act of Punyo Lasa is that the Contractor Takia Bai's formation cutting
and land development bills of Rs. 2, 10,000/- (rupees two lakhs and ten thousands)
only were secretly deposited in favour of M/s R.M Enterprise and real contractor
of the work is now running from pillar to post in order to get his bills cleared.
In this regard, I had appealed to A.E Daporijo Civil Sub-Division, Department Of
Hydropower Development to disclose the owner of M/s R.M Enterprise but the Department
is reluctant to respond to my query.
Now it is high time for Lasa to disclose the owner of M/s R.M Enterprise unless he
is ready to face legal battle.
Taksing Mini-Hydel Project
Punitive provisos of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act,
[ Rachel Kabi ]
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 that came into force
on the 5th of January 2016, repealing and replacing the Juvenile Justice (Care and
Protection of Children) Act, 2000 appears to have been implemented in haste due to
enormous public pressure mounting on the Government. The Ministry of Women and Child
Development seems to have acted emotionally in implementing this legislation due
to public outrage and pressure in the case against a juvenile who was apprehended
for a gang rape a few years ago in the capital. The 2015 Act has brought about a
crucial change where child offenders between the age of 16 and 18 apprehended for
a heinous offence would be treated as an adult in the criminal justice system depriving
them of the rights to be heard in the juvenile justice system. The Juvenile Justice
Board (JJB), the competent authority to adjudicate matters dealing with children
in conflict with law is given the discretion to assess if the child offender had
the mental and physical maturity to commit the offence. On the basis of this preliminary
enquiry, the child offender would be referred to the Children’s Court for further
proceedings. The Court can transfer the child to jail after the age of 21 years if
he has not shown any signs of reformation during his stay in a designated place of
safety. The motive behind this Act is to deter children not to commit crime;this
Act has shifted from restorative justice to retributive justice.
Those familiar with the history of children’s legislations would concur with me that
this is not a child friendly move of the Government. It had actually taken many years
for child rights activists to strongly advocate and persevere to bring a uniform
age for children as there was gender based discrimination in the Juvenile Justice
Act of 1986. When India became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of the Child (UNCRC), 1989 which defines a child as any human being below
the age of 18, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 was
accordingly passed putting an end to the gender based discrimination of children’s
age and defined a child or juvenile as anyone below the age of 18 irrespective of
gender. It was considered as one of the best children’s legislation of the country
with the principle of working in the ‘best interest of the child.’
The 2015 Act mentions about Children’s court and lodging the child in a place of
safety for the period determined by the court as detention. But the issue is, how
many States in India have Children’s Courts and a designated place of safety as mandated
in the JJ Act? The situation in Northeast is even more a matter of concern as there
are many districts that have not constituted JJBs and even if they are constituted,
it is not functional. The Act also states that in the absence of the Children’s court,
the Court of Sessions will be incharge of dealing with the child in conflict with
law. The inquiry proceedings of the Sessions Court which is so habituated in dealing
with adult criminals is different from the Juvenile Justice Boards and it shall certainly
have a bearing on the judgement related to the child offender.
In all possibility, it can be stated that the parliamentarians who were instrumental
in introducing the new legislation might not have understood the reality and the
world of these children, the background they hail from and the abusive environment
most of them live in, the challenges they face day in and out, battling all odds
of an uncertain future. The Bill passed by the Lok Sabha on May 7, 2015 was also
quickly passed by the Upper House on December 22, 2015 in spite of opposing views
and concerns raised by many stakeholders against the Bill and its intent. It is even
more shocking that within ten days, the Bill got the assent of the President on 31st
December 2015. Why was it not referred to a Select Committee for final views before
passing it to the President? Why all this hurry when it is not going to affect the
proceedings of the juvenile accused in the Delhi gang rape case as the Act is not
retrospective in nature.
The very essence and spirit of the Juvenile Justice Act is defeated when it calls
for children to be tried as adults. The principle of presumption of innocence does
not arise in this scenario as certain age groups of children would be tried differently
on the basis of the heinous offence alleged to have been committed. The Act defines
heinous offence as offences for which the minimum punishment under IPC or any other
law is imprisonment for seven years or more. This word ‘heinous’ is not even mentioned
in the Code of Criminal Procedure that only categorizes offences as bailable / non
bailable or cognizable and non-cognizable. So it is weird when the juvenile justice
legislation uses this term to categorize the offence committed by children. Moreover,
what are these heinous offences? Is there any list in the criminal justice system
citing such and such offence is heinous? The Centre for Child and the Law, in Karnataka
has listed 46 offences which are heinous carrying a minimum punishment of seven years
imprisonment or more. It’s going to be practically difficult for the JJB now when
child offenders (16 to 18 years) apprehended for heinous offences are placed before
them which shall cause inadvertent delays in the inquiry process.
A lot of hue and cry has been raised by our law makers supporting the Bill stating
that there has been an increase in juvenile crimes in the country by misrepresenting
the NCRB data. It is to be noted that juvenile crimes constitute less than 2 % of
the total IPC crimes in India and it has remained like this for years. The total
number of juvenile crimes in the year 2014 was 42,566 against a total of 37, 90,812
IPC crimes in the country constituting only 1.1% (National Crime Records Bureau)
which isa very small percentage and not alarming as portrayed by the Government.
How can the Juvenile Justice Board within a short span of time assess the mental
and physical capability of the child offender? After apprehension, the child is usually
in a state of shock and hardly communicates. It takes time to establish rapport and
only after that he or she builds trust in the childcare professional to honestly
confide about their life and the antecedents to the offence. According to noted psychiatrist,
Dr. Shekhar Seshadri (NIMHANS), who has worked extensively with child offenders and
children in difficult circumstances, the adolescent’s brain is not fully developed
and the fine tuning of the brain continues till the age of thirty. It takes time
for the connections and the functionalities of various parts to develop. An adolescent
may look mature physically but it does not assure that he is mentally mature enough.
They are not in control of their impulses resulting in hasty impulsive acts for which
they regret later. Hence, it is not wise to judge an adolescent’s brain in the same
way one would judge an adult’s brain.
Empirical evidence globally also suggests that most of the child offenders hail from
disadvantaged backgrounds, broken homes, single parenting, abandoned by their own
parents, subject to abuse, neglect and frequent conflicts at home, with parents having
deviant patterns, and deprived of all love and care. These children deprived of positive
role models in their life are many times left with no option but to join adult gangs
to feel accepted and acknowledged for their behavior. From my experience of working
with children in conflict with law and association with the juvenile justice system,
I find that there is only a thin line that separates these two broad categories of
children, i.e., children in need of care and protection and children in conflict
with law. (The contributor is a former Child Protection Consultant, UNICEF Assam)
For instance, I came across an eight year old boy staying in the observation home
for nearly eight months allegedly for stealing chira(puffed rice) to satisfy his
hunger. He became quite comfortable and secured in the observation home where all
his needs were provided and was reluctant to go home for fear of being sold by his
mother for want of money as she had done this to his younger sibling. He is a child
who is in need of care and protection and cannot be branded a child offender. This
is just one incident but like him majority of the children brought to the JJB are
those who are deprived of basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Many are
left to fend for themselves and they have no choice for survival but to involve in
activities that criminalize their behavior.
There is a concern that the proceedings of the child offenders apprehended for heinous
offences might be subjective in nature taking into consideration factors such as
caste or religion rather than the offence per say. It has happened to many children
who were apprehended because they belong to a particular community and also on the
basis of their appearance. There is also every possibility for the police in treating
this age group of child offenders as adults right from the time of apprehension and
lodging them in jail instead of going through the lengthy process of adjudication
in the Juvenile Justice Board and further inquiry by the Children’s courts or the
Court of Sessions. Further, subjecting a child to the adult criminal justice system
does not in any way assure that he is going to be reformed but may pave the way for
him to turn out to be a hardened criminal due to association with adult offenders.
The child offender needs to be given the opportunity to reform and appropriate rehabilitation
schemes should be available and accessible to ensure that he is reintegrated into
the society as any human being.
The only positive aspect of the legislation is the change in nomenclature – referring
to the juvenile as child offender. The 2000 Act addressed them as juvenile in conflict
with law, but now, the negative connotation of the word juvenile is replaced as ‘child
offender’. A few more terminologies are defined and additional sections related to
adoption and offences against children are some of the highlights of the 2015 Act.
As the Act is already in force, let’s hope that the juvenile justice functionaries
who are empowered to deal with the child offender are sensitive to the child and
the antecedents of the offence and not end up sensationalizing the issue. The Probation
Officer (District Child Protection Officer) who is the crucial person in furnishing
the Social Investigation Report, an important document to decide the course of inquiry
by the JJB, should also complete the task with care and sensitivity as it involves
the future of the child. It is also imperative for the Board to examine the living
conditions of these child offenders taking into consideration the factors that actually
brought them into contact with the offence. Instead of debating on the personality
of the offender and other subjective factors, we need to focus on creating a child
protective environment where every child has the opportunity to live, grow and develop
in a healthy manner with full protection of their rights enshrined in the Constitution
and the UNCRC. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure children live within the
safety net and protect them from all forms of abuse, violence and exploitation. (The
contributor is a former Child Protection Consultant, UNICEF Assam)