Friday, December 27, 2013

X’mas eve Cabinet approvals

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: A Cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at Samman Bhawan, Gangtok on 24 December. The Cabinet approved and passed the following proposals pertaining to State Government departments:
ROADS & BRIDGES DEPTT: The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking administrative approval and financial sanction of Rs. 21.53 lakhs for payment of land compensation for the work construction of new road from Dalapchand Sawa turning to Deoliong, KM 1st to 5th.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT DEPTT: The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 22.15 lakhs for procurement of kitchen devices for government schools covered under Mid-Day Meal Scheme for the financial year 2013-14.
The Cabinet also approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 198.19 lakhs to release part payment as land compensation to concerned land owners for establishment of Sikkim University at Yangyang, South Sikkim.
SOCIAL JUSTICE EMPOWERMENT AND WELFARE DEPTT: The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according administrative approval and financial sanction of Rs 39.00 lakhs for implementation of scheme under Special Central Assistance to Scheduled Caste Sub- Plan (SCA TO SCSP) 100% centrally sponsored scheme for the year 2013-14.
The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for administrative approval and financial sanction of Rs 437 lakhs for implementation of scheme under Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub- Plan (SCA TO TSP) during 2013-14.
FOOD AND CIVIL SUPPLIES & CA DEPARTMENT: The Cabinet also approved and   sanctioned the  proposal  seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 1,23,34,140 to procure 16,380 quintals of sugar for distribution for nine months i.e. July 2013 to  March 2014 to 3,62,260 BPL beneficiaries.
TOURISM AND CIVIL AVIATION DEPARTMENT: The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according approval and sanction for release of Rs. 50,00,000 to Sikkim Siddhesvara Dham, Namchi as Grant-in- aid, subject to submission of Utilization Certificate.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, LIVESTOCK, FISHERIES AND VETERINARY SERIVICES DEPARTMENT: The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according approval and en-bloc sanction of Rs 219.71 lakhs for implementation of schemes under Border Area Development Programme 2013-14.
The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction for execution of work namely:
a) Restoration of Bop Piggery Farm at Chungthang, North Sikkim at Rs.1,88,10,655.00 and
b) Reconstruction of Sub- Divisional AH&VS complex at Chungthang, North Sikkim at Rs. 1,74,93,600 totalling Rs. 3,63,04,255.
FOOD SECURITY AND AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT: The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 338.49 lakhs for implementation of Rice Programme through its various components during current financial year 2013-14.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT: The Cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according approval and sanction of Rs. 49,43,17,500 for distribution of laptop computers to students of Class XI and Class XII of Government Senior Secondary Schools and students of all Government Colleges in Sikkim and confirmation of approval already accorded for implementation of the programme.
HORTICULTURE AND CASH CROPS DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according approval and sanction of Rs. 150.36 lakh for the implementation of schemes under National Mission on Medicinal Plants (NMMP) during 2013-14.
FOREST ENV. AND WL MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval of scheduled of rates for forestry activities 2013 on the basis of government approved schedules of rates.
LAND REVENUE AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 60,00,000 for immediate restoration work for Raw Water Main of Gyalshing-Pelling Water Supply Scheme damaged due to cloud burst of 30 July 2013 in West Sikkim.
HOME DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 27,91,930 for purchase of Tentage for 3rd IRBn Sikkim.
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY, LIVESTOCK, FISHERIES AND VETERINARY SERVICES DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according approval and sanction of Rs. 34.80 lakh for implementation of beneficiaries’ scheme under Trout Culture in raceways.
FOREST ENVIRONMENT AND WL MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction for implementation of the action plan at the total cost of Rs. 1,014 lakhs as grant in aid under 13th Finance Commission for the year 2013-14.
The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 363.41 lakhs for implementation of the DoNER (NEC) Financial Assistance Scheme, Development of Eco Tourism and allied activities at Chauridara, Green Village, Lingee, South Sikkim during 2013-14 to 2015-16.
The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 1,75,05,000 for implementation of Management Action Plan (MAP) for conservation and management of Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve – Sikkim for the year 2013-14.
The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according approval and sanction of Rs. 234.69 lakhs for the implementation of Forest Management Scheme – Annual Work Programme for the year 2013 – 14.
CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND HERITAGE DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according approval and enbloc sanction of Rs. 201.81 lakhs and transfer of Rs.50 lakhs in the CFY to UD&HD for taking up the preliminary works for construction of Multi Purpose Community Centre at Balbir Bau Ground, Pani House.
The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 276.51 lakhs and approval to transfer Rs. 25 lakhs for taking up the preliminary works for the construction of Village Community Centre cum Library at 6th Mile, Tadong.
ROADS & BRIDGES DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal for according sanction and revised administration approval of Rs. 1,125.46 lakhs and financial sanction of Rs.55.63 lakhs for the work widening, upgradation of Pavement and drainage system along Rangpo – Duga – Pendam Raod in East Sikkim.
URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval and sanction of Rs. 24,00,000 for construction of 23 numbers of shop rooms at Lall Bazar, Kanchendzonga Shopping Complex, Gangtok.
HOME DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking post facto approval and financial sanction for release of Rs. 3,09,37,167 to Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department for payment of balance compensation for land acquired for construction of 2nd and 3rd IRBn Headquarters at Ben (Simchuthang), Mangley Dumro, South Sikkim.
WATER SUPPLY AND PUBLIC HEALTH ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking administrative approval and financial sanction of Rs. 4,140 lakh with funding pattern of Rs. 3,439.80 lakh Central Share and Rs. 700.20 lakhs as State Share for the work Augmentation of Namchi Water Supply Scheme, South Sikkim.
DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL, ADM. REFORMS, TRAINING AND PUBLIC GRIEVANCES: The cabinet approved and sanctioned the proposal seeking approval for creation of 4,002 numbers of posts in various categories under Group C and D level with the financial implication of Rs. 78,85,62,924 per annum.

Cabinet approves creation of 4,002 posts to begin regularisation process

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: In keeping with the announcement made by the Chief Minister regarding the regularization of temporary employees, the Cabinet on 24 December approved the creation of 4,002 posts in various group C and D categories of the State Government. With this, the first phase of regularization of services of temporary employees covering those who have put in 15 or more years of service has taken a substantial step forward. This latest move carries an additional financial implication of close to Rs. 79 crore per year.
Speaking to NOW!, the Department of Personnel Secretary, AK Chettri, informed that this was the first phase of the regularization process in which the department had collated the names of those temporary workers who had put in 15 years of service and forwarded the list to the Cabinet for approval. This list was compiled by asking all departments to forward the names of temporary employees who had put in 15 years of service.
As of now the number of such employees, as informed by the Secretary, is 4002. This is the list which was compiled of those employees in service as of 01 January 2013. However, it is possible that there are more employees in the MR and WC categories who have put in 15 years of service and their names would be forwarded to the government as they come.
To begin with, the regularization of 4,002 workers the financial implication is an additional Rs. 78,85,62,924 per year.
The second phase, informed the Secretary, would consist of compiling names of those temporary workers who have put in 10 years of service.
As part of the regularization process, the government has introduced new nomenclatures for the group C and D posts. The three new posts introduced are Junior Driver, Office Assistant (LDC etc) and Office Attendant (peon etc). Those already working in such posts will be absorbed in their existing capacities.
However there are also those posts which are not included in the official government nomenclature such as Field Assistant, Meter Reader etc. It is expected that the government will formulate new nomenclatures for such posts, now that they are deemed to be regular.
It is this which will cause the regularization process to take some time, it is informed. Those employees working in non official government posts need to be categorized and an official designation has to be accorded to them. This is being worked upon, it is informed.
The muster roll employees being regularized will see their salaries almost doubled, it is informed. The additional financial implication is due to the increased salary as well as other financial benefits which accrue to regular employees such as HRA etc. For those under Work Charged, the salaries would remain the same, it is informed.


In 3 years, every marketplace will have MG Marg’s dazzle: CM
Gangtok, 26 Dec [IPR]: “The Government has a vision to make 100 new tourist points in the State. We are working towards making the entire State a tourism destination. I will need three more years to make all the towns and marketplaces of Sikkim as beautiful as Gangtok. The government is making headway as a City Tourism Destination,” Chief Minister Pawan Chamling said in his address at the inauguration of Paryatan Bhawan, the new office of the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department here at Tadong this evening.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister shared the Government’s concept of an “eco city state”, where the remotest corners of Sikkim will avail amenities as enjoyed by any city or town of Sikkim.
The Chief Minister stated that the tourism sector has not developed in isolation, but is a result of the positive environment and opportunities created by the government. He elaborated that the tourism sector has been complemented by peace, security, law and order, hygiene and eco-friendly policies.
He further underlined the tourism sector as a sensitive profession which requires dealing with knowledgeable, experienced and wide range of people on a daily basis. He thus called on all stakeholders to practice responsible tourism in the state for sustainable development of the sector. He urged all to work responsibly for image building of the state.
“Taxi drivers and hoteliers are the first to directly encounter the tourists and visitors, thus they have a major role in building their perception towards Sikkim,” said Mr. Chamling.
He highlighted the need to inculcate good qualities like politeness and humility while dealing with tourists. “Politeness should be looked upon as our identity, not our weakness,” he stated. He called on the hoteliers and taxi drivers to maintain uniformity and discipline in their tariff.
The Chief Minister lamented on the inability of educated youths of Sikkim to capitalize on the opportunities provided by the government in tourism and service industry. This, he said was the biggest challenge the state faces. He took the opportunity to call on the stakeholders to prioritize employment of local human resource in their establishments.
Urging all to come out of the “Third World Mindset”, he maintained that the government will continue to build the capacity of the prospective youths to make them employable.
The Chief Minister also shed light on the innovative steps taken by the government to catapult the image of the state as a model for others to follow. Initiatives like the Ban Jhakri Falls, Char Dham and the three Buddhism related statue projects are unique examples of how the government has used folk tales and religious practices as instruments of modern development, said Mr. Chamling.
He also made a mention of the upcoming Bhaley Dhunga Sky Walk Project.
The CM also highlighted initiatives like ban on grazing which he said was an example of man and nature could co-exist for balanced development.
During the programme, the Chief Minister was felicitated by the tourism stakeholders of the state.
Earlier, Tourism Minister Bhim Dhungel delivered the welcome address. The technical report was presented by Secretary Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, C. Zangpo.

160 youth undergo adventure training in West Sikkim

YUKSOM, 26 Dec [IPR]: An Adventure Training Programme was organized by the Department of Sports & Youth Affair, Government of Sikkim for 160 educated unemployed youths (18 yrs to 28 yrs girls and boys) of border areas of the three districts of Sikkim namely East, West and North. The programme which consisted of trekking from Yuksom to Tshoka, Dzongri and Thangsing, rock climbing, river crossing, etc came to an end on Christmas, 25 December.
The 160 youths who attended this training programme were divided into 4 groups. While group A and B went for 4 days trekking from 17 to 20 December from Yuksom to Tshoka, Dzongri and Thangsing, group C and D who camped at Yuksom  were given comprehensive training on rock climbing in Yuksom and river crossing in Rathong Chu river near Yuksom and a short trek to Khechoperi lake.
The participants during the course of the trek not only covered the area of Kanchenjunga National Park but also cleaned the area while returning by picking up all the garbage and other wastes that they saw around.
The valedictory function was attended by the Minister for Animal Husbandry, Live Stock, Fisheries & Veterinary Services Development Department and MLA, Dawcho Lepcha as the chief guest along with a host of other dignitaries.
During his address, Minister Mr. Lepcha congratulated all the participants and advised them to use the knowledge which they have gained from this 10-day training programme. He stressed on the importance of being earnest and honest not only to be successful in life but also to be a good human being.
He added that the state government under the Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has always come up with visionary and innovative programmes for the youth as well as the general public. Here he urged people to utilize such opportunities and take full advantage of it.
Mr Lepcha also gave away certificates to the participants for successfully completing the training programme and also to the 24 instructors and resources persons from Sikkim Amateur Mountaineering Association (SAMA) who were involved in training and guiding these youth for ten days.
Tenzing Chundi was adjudged the overall best performer in the adventure training programme and was awarded with a medal and certificate by the chief guest. The guests were also entertained by the cultural show presented by the participants.
Earlier, during the opening ceremony on 16 December, Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs department NK Pradhan was present as the chief guest and Minister and area MLA, Dawcho Lepcha as guest of honor.

YAT organises Mini Olympics at Tathangchen

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: As part of the ongoing Silver Jubilee Losoong Archery Tournament, the Yargay Association of Tathangchen [YAT] organized a Mini Olympics for children below 10 years of age at Tathangchen today. The event was chaired by the Sikkim Police ADGP, SD Negi as the chief guest.
The day-long event had children participating in sack race, three legged race, marble balancing race, bun eating race, 100 meters sprint and treasure hunting.
In veteran’s football, Yargay of Tadong defeated Chandmari, while in the tug-of-war Dzongri Club of Tadong defeated Chandmari.
YAT sports secretary, Gyaphel Tshering Bhutia informed that the day-long event was a successful one with large number of participants in all sporting events.

Rajya Sainik Board to work with panchayats for recruitment rallies

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: Rajya Sainik Board is taking the help of Panchayat members and district authorities to disseminate information on the recruitment rallies to be held in 2014 to the general public to ensure the maximum footfall. The first recruitment rally is scheduled to be held in the month of March 2014.
Rajya Sainik Board Secretary, Col DN Bhutia informed that the board has tied up with Army, Navy and Air Force recruitment authorities for the recruitment programme next year. The board has decided to request Panchayat members and district authorities to disseminate information on the recruitment to the public in their respective areas in order to generate maximum footfall in recruitment rallies.
Col Bhutia mentioned that the year 2013 was a fruitful and satisfying year in terms of recruitment in the Armed Forces for Sikkim as it was for the first time in the history of the state that the largest number of recruitments in various units of the Armed Forces could be done in a single year. It is informed that 800 plus young boys of the state have been enrolled in the Indian Army including those who have been recruited for Sikkim Scouts.
“We are slowly and steadily increasing the strength of Sikkimese youth in the armed forces to make the presence felt at the national level. It is our mission and we will continue to plan and organize larger recruitment rallies in 2014-15,” he added.
The Rajya Sainik Board has also decided to hold camps under the Border Area Development Programme at selected border villages of North, West and East districts to train the local youth for recruitment in the Armed Forces. He added that mock recruitment will be conducted in order to prepare the youth.

Marwari youth seek eye donation pledges

RANGPO, 26 Dec: An awareness drive for eye donation was organized by the Marwadi Yuva Manch of Rangpo at Rangpo Bazaar. With the support of Manch secretary, Puspa Agarwal, Ketan Aakash and Sandeep, two children - James and Subham - dressed as Santa Claus, distributed eye donation awareness pamphlets and sweets through town. The All India Marwadi Yuva Manch has taken the initiative to make the country blindness free, for which, from this year onwards, the 700 branches of the group aim to secure at least 2 lakh eye donation pledges every year. The target for Sikkim is 10,000 pledges. [from SANJAY AGARWAL]

Raj Bhawan felicitation for cultural troupe

Gangtok, 26 Dec [IPR]: The cultural troupe of the Cultural Affairs & Heritage Department which had visited Maharashtra from 15 to 18 December 2013 was felicitated on Wednesday at a special function hosted at Ashirwad Hall of Raj Bhawan here. The Governor and the Chief Minister did the honours.
During the function, Governor Shrinivas Patil and the first lady also felicitated the Chief Minister.
The Governor also presented a compilation of news clippings on the media coverage of the cultural programme presented by the Sikkimese troupe in Maharashtra to the Chief Minister.

Pragati Club thanks CM and area MLA for community hall sanction

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: On behalf of the entire public of Tadong, the Pragati Club of 6th Mile, Tadong [East Sikkim] has extended gratitude towards Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, and area MLA [Upper Tadong constituency], DB Thapa for fulfilling the aspiration and long term demands of the local public by sanctioning the construction of Village Community Centre cum Library at 6th Mile Tadong. The Cabinet, in its sitting of 24 December, approved and sanctioned the proposal of the Cultural Affairs & Heritage Department seeking Rs. 276.51 lakhs for the construction of Village Community Centre cum Library at 6th Mile, Tadong. Against the same, the Cabinet also approved transfer of Rs. 25 lakhs for taking up of preliminary works.

Jorethang lad releases debut single online

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: Yougan Tamang of Jorethang, South Sikkim, has released his debut single "Nirash" online on in association with Radio Misty 93.4 FM Siliguri & 95 FM Gangtok.
Yougan also received the Sikkim Sewa Samman this year for academic excellence. An Anthropology student, he is currently a Junior Research Fellow at the University of North Bengal. His debut single also features Sagar Pradhan a.k.a Kiddi.

Quality of health services in North Sikkim draws flak

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: Following the death of a 25-year-old woman during childbirth in the North District Hospital at Mangan due to alleged negligence on the part of the hospital staff some more complaints have emerged about the status of health facilities in the district. The public of Mangan reveal serious gaps in the health services and delivery mechanism of the Health Department which are again in focus due to this incident.
The people have raised some pertinent questions which demand the attention of the concerned authorities. A question has been raised as to why the operation theatre at the hospital is not functioning; there is also the disturbing point raised by the public as to why there is no blood bank at the hospital. The hospital also lacks specialist doctors, the people point out.
Regarding the death of the young mother, there is the allegation that the concerned medical staff was unavailable, coupled with the fact that the medical store attached to the hospital was closed and opened much later. Then again, the required medicines were unavailable.
These are serious questions but not the only ones being asked. While the Health Secretary has taken serious note of the incident and ordered an enquiry there needs to be an integrated approach to the upliftment of health services in the district.

National Consumer Day observed in Mangan

MANGAN, 26 Dec: The Legal Metrology Unit and Consumer Protection Cell (LMU & CP), Food & Civil supplies and Consumer Affairs department (FCS & CAD), observed National Consumer Day 2013 at Mangan community centre on 24 December. The programme was chaired by Area MLA, Lachen-Mangan, TW Lepcha as chief guest.
Welcoming the gathering Secretary, FCS & CAD, CT Wangdi stated that the department is working towards making consumers aware of their rights. In the technical session, Deputy Director, FCS & CAD, Gangtok, RG Pradhan informed consumers that total number of BPL consumers in the state is 41,428 and are covered under the PDS system. At present 16, 415 persons are covered under Mukhya Mantri Antodaya Annapurna Yojana (MMAAY).
The central government and state government is providing sugar at Rs.13.50 per kg under PDS system and senior citizens above 65 years of age not covered by pension schemes are being provided 10 kgs of rice, he informed.
Deputy Controller, LMU&CP Cell, CK Pradhan informed that the department was established in the year 1991 in Sikkim. He also informed that, any individual can file or register a complaint with the district consumer forum for claims upto Rs 25 lakh. After registration, the case will be settled within 21 to 30 days, he added.
District consumer forum member, Ugen Palzor Lepcha, who recently attended a training on the Consumer Protection Act in New Delhi, informed about various consumer cases. SLSA, representative, Tshering Wongyal Bhutia informed that the SLSA provides free legal aid to those who have income below Rs 1.50 lakh.
District Collector (N), CP Dhakal in his address stressed on the importance of awareness on the part of consumers. The chief guest Mr Lepcha said that the Consumer Affairs department should organize such awareness programmes in other districts as well.
The programme was attended by other officials and local public.

Namthang GVK eyes zero waste status

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: A programme on Sanitation and Zero Waste was organized under the Namthang Gram Vikas Kendra 23 December on the Solid Waste Management component of the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) being implemented by the Rural Management & Development Department.
The programme was attended by Joint Secretary (NBA), Deputy Secretary (NBA), Gram Vikas Adhikari (Namthang), Panchayats, School Teachers and School Mangement Committee members. The RMDD State Level officials of the NBA Cell, who were on a visit to the Block to take stock of the Solid Waste Management project, which is to be launched shortly, also conducted a monitoring visit to GPUs under the Block to inspect Household and community toilets as well as toilets at ICDS centres, an official press release informs.
The Solid Waste project which will cater to the Bazaar area, Households and schools under Namthang initially, and will be linked to the periphery markets at a later phase as it gains momentum, the release adds.
A Resource Recovery Centre (RRC) has been provided by the RMDD, where all the non-degradable waste that has been segregated at source (at the household level) will be stored and sold to the scrap dealer stationed at Middle Camp. The biodegradable waste, meanwhile, will be composted and sold to the farms around the area as well as procured for MG-NREGA Plantation works.
Resource Teams to run the project under the guidance of the Panchayats have already been trained by the Department on composting and Zero Waste, it is informed.
The team also plans to set up a hand-made paper making centre at the RRC. Further, shredding equipments are also being provided by the Department to be used for shredding the collected material at the RRC, which would bring down the volume of collected waste and compact it to a large extent.

Agriculture Deptt begins preparations for State Agri-Horti Show 2014

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: Preparations are on full swing for the State Agri-Horti Show 2014 scheduled to be held on 18-19 January, 2014 at Saramsa Garden. This is an important event in the agriculture calendar for the State.
An official release informs that the event is being organized to encash the percolating benefits of the International Flower Show held in February 2013. The inaugural function will be attended by important dignitaries from the Central Government.
The number of footfalls for the event is expected to cross 10,000, it is mentioned. The visitors will mainly comprise of farmers, entrepreneurs, various stake holders linked with agriculture and horticulture trade, traders, agriculture scientists, officials and tourists.
The event comprises of exhibition, competition, seminar and conference including kisan gostis. Different kinds of horticulture produce including fruits, vegetables, spice crops, flowers, organic products, agricultural crops including cereals, pulses, oil seeds etc will be displayed for the benefit of visitors. Also on display will be technological innovations like different kinds of green houses, micro irrigation systems, water management structures; modern types of farm implements, different organic inputs etc.
The farmers would be vying for awards in different categories of competitions and the winners will be suitably rewarded. Around 10 progressive farmers will be felicitated with citation and cash award. Two publications on organic farming and a vision document on round-the-year crop production system are slated for release during the event.

State Food Processing Mission Cell goes online

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: The State Food Processing Mission Cell of the Department of Commerce and Industries has launched its official website
The Food Processing Mission was launched in Sikkim in 2012 and the Commerce and Industries Department is the Nodal Department for the Mission and for all the projects under the Mission under National Food Processing Mission, Government of India has.
A press release informs that the website is launched by Minister Commerce and Industries, Neeru Sewa, in the office premises of Commerce and Industries on 24 December. The ceremony began with the official introduction by Director/ Mission Director, State Food Processing Mission Cell, Brijendra Swaroop.
Also present were Secretary PT Euthenpa, all the officials and staffs of Commerce and Industries Department.
The website will fulfill the much needed requirement of building database/ records of the employees and also help to provide holistic details of programs and features of the Departments, it is mentioned. The website seeks to cover all the aspects of the Food Processing Mission and most of the elements in the website are dynamic which means it can be modified time and again as required by the Department, it is added.

Awareness prog on Sikkim Organic Mission held

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: Horticulture & Cash Crops Development Department, East District organized an orientation cum awareness programme on Sikkim Organic Mission for concerned Panchayats, service provider Sikkim Organic, Mevedir, Morakha Foundation, SSYWA, progressive farmers of Luing Perbing, Ranka ,Rey-Mindu & all the Field Functionaries of Food Security & Agriculture Development Department & Horti Cash Crops Development Department on 23 December.
A press release informs that Senior consultant SOM, DT Bhutia highlighted the importance and future scope of organic farming in the state and urged people to adopt organic farming to achieve the state’s mission to be fully organic by 2015.
Jt. Director HCCD Deptt, SK Sharma, Dy.Director, Agri East, Bina Rai and Zilla Panchayat Ranka GPU also addressed the programme.

Health Secy assures proper enquiry into death of young mother in Mangan

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: The Health Department has taken serious note of the death of a 25-year-old mother at the North District Hospital, Mangan, due to complications developed during childbirth and has directed an officer of the rank of Principal Director to immediately enquire into the matter.
Speaking to NOW! over the phone, the Health Secretary Dr. Kumar Bhandari, reiterated that the Department was “very saddened and concerned” about the death of 25-year-old Dil Kumari Gurung at Mangan District Hospital.
It may be recalled that Dil Kumari Gurung had been admitted to the district hospital at around 6 pm on 23 December where she gave birth to a child at around 11 a.m. It is alleged that the gynecologist was not on duty at the time and when contacted over phone gave instructions to the other doctor on duty and staff regarding the delivery instead of attending to the complication immediately.
By the time the gynecologist arrived at the hospital the young mother had already died due to excessive bleeding and low blood pressure at around 1 p.m.
The Health Secretary informs that in follow up to media reports on the death on 25 December, the Department deputed the Principal Director, Health Department, to proceed to Mangan and get firsthand information about the incident. Despite being a holiday, the Principal Director was directed to enquire into the matter on 25 December and is expected back in Gangtok today.
“The Department has taken the matter very seriously, and if any instance of negligence is found after examination, at any level, appropriate action will be taken,” the Health Secretary has assured.

GVK level orientation on organic farming

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: GVK level orientation programme for Panchayats and progressive farmers on organic farming and certification was held at GVK Tintek today. The programme was organized by Sikkim Organic Mission, Agriculture department in association with Sresta Natural Bio Products [Service Provider for Internal Control System]. A press release informs that around 150 persons participated in the programme which was also attended by Deputy Director (Agriculture), CM Upreti, Team of Sresta Natural Bio products, field staffs of Agriculture and Horticulture Deptt.
A similar programme was also held at Duga, Gram Vikas Kendra on 23 December. The programme was organized by Sikkim Organic Mission under FS & ADD and H & CCDD, Government of Sikkim in association with International Panaacea Limited [Service provider agency for ICS].
During the interaction session farmers and Panchayat of different wards discussed various issues related to the facilities and schemes under H & CCDD and FS & ADD, informs a press release.

Faction names their choice of SDF candidate for Dzongu

MANGAN, 26 Dec:  A group of people of Dzongu have named Pintso Namgyal Lepcha of Sikkim Democratic Front [SDF] party as their choice for representing Dzongu in the State Legislative Assembly in the next assembly elections. In a meeting held today at Namprikdang in Upper Dzongu, around 60 people of the area demanded that Mr Lepcha be chosen as the SDF candidate from Dzongu.
The meeting was chaired by Pintso Namgyal Lepcha himself and attended by Norden Tshering Lepcha [organisation secretary], Kado Lepcha [Zilla member Ramthang-Tanek], Chewang Lachungpa and MB Thapa.
Addressing the meeting, Norden Tshering Lepcha underlined the main agenda of the meeting. The meeting was addressed by MB Thapa, Chewang Lachungpa, Karma Dawa Bhutia, Dupden Lepcha and former zilla member, Topnam Lepcha.
They contended that the present MLA has not fulfilled his commitments hence the party should now field a new candidate selected by the people in the meeting.
Karma Dawa Bhutia and Dupden Lepcha contended that they have been with the SDF party for the last 18 years but have not been given any post and new members are instead being given posts. They have further said that if the party ticket for Dzongu is not given to the candidate of their choice then people may be compelled to look elsewhere.
Pintso Namgyal Lepcha in his address said that everyone should work for the party since the party president has assured to solve all problems faced by the people of the constituency. “We, despite being party supporters, have been meted out step motherly treatment by the area MLA”, he alleged. Assuring that he will work for the party and the people, he however stated that the party president will decide who will contest the upcoming elections for SDF from Dzongu and he cannot make the decision.

School authorities sensitized on School Safety Measures

GANGTOK, 26 Dec [IPR]: An orientation programme on School Safety Measures was organized by Sikkim State Disaster Management Authority on 19 December. This is an annual feature whereby school authorities are made aware of preventive and safety measures during natural and man-made calamities. The main focus of such programmes is to safeguard the lives of school going children.
During the programme the Chief Minister directed the Human Resource Development Department to immediately prepare books on Disaster Management for various levels of school children so that even the primary level children are equipped to face any calamity.
At present Disaster Management is taught in Class IV and above. The HRD Department in collaboration with SSDMA now proposes to introduce the concept of disaster management, preventive measures and rescue operations for various types of natural and man-made calamities like earthquake, landslides, forest fires, avalanches, flashflood, mud slides etc. from the primary level of education itself. The main aim is to sensitize children on safety measures to be adopted in the event of any calamity.
The Chief Minister also directed the department to introduce moral lessons in the school curriculum. Government schools follow the CBSE curriculum where moral and value education lessons are an integral part of the syllabus. The department is now taking steps to incorporate more value education lessons in the school books prepared by SCERT to inculcate ethical values in our children.

HRDD introduces community colleges in the state

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: The Directorate of Technical Education, under HRDD introduced the concept of community colleges at a function held at the HRDD premises today which was attended by Minister for HRDD NK Pradhan. The inaugural function was also attended by officials from the HRDD, Commerce and Industries Department, ATTC and CCCT along with representatives from Travel Agents Association of Sikkim.
The Community College is a scheme sponsored by All India Council for Technical Education AICTE, Government of India. Community College is a scheme sponsored by All India Council for Technical Education AICTE, Government of India. The scheme is carried out under the National Vocational Education Qualification Framework (NVEQF) programme.
An official release informs that these community colleges will specialize in skill-based training. Vocational Educational Qualification Framework will allow cross mobility of standards and their absorption in the industry. The courses will be conducted in close collaboration with the industry so that students meet the required skill set.  Students can select the programme from sectors such as IT, media, entertainment, telecommunications, mobile communications, automobile, construction, retail, food processing, tourism, hotels, jewelry design and fashion design.
The courses will be of short duration which will be focused and modular programmes that allow for quick and effective delivery of skills training. The purpose behind initiating such a scheme by the state government is to encourage school drop outs to opt for other alternative vocational sectors and be self reliant.
In his address, Minister NK Pradhan highlighted the various skill development programmes of the state government and added that community college aims at upgrading the skills of the students in various sectors through vocational learning. He urged the students to make the best use of the opportunity. Vice president TAAS, Jitendra Lama also assured all possible help from the association in creating skilled tourism manpower. The community college has recorded enrolment of 24 students in the first batch. The function was also addressed by Director Technical Education, Deepak Pradhan.

Phase II CATCH camp at Dhuppidara; Health Cards handed over

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: Phase II of CATCH camp was conducted by a team from Tashiding PHC and Karzee PHSC at Dhuppidara on 24 December.
During the camp, total health check-up was done followed by distribution of medicines and Health Cards to 55 people by MO In-Charge, Dr. Prabhat Kiran Rai, Tashiding PHC and Panchayat President, Bhim Bdr Manger, informs a press release. Although power supply was disrupted till afternoon, people waited patiently for the check-up and Health Cards, it is added.

Eastern Army Commander reviews operational readiness along Sikkim’s borders

GANGTOK, 26 Dec: Eastern Army Commander, Lt Gen Dalbir Singh, reviewed the operational preparedness of troops deployed along the international border in Sikkim and the security situation in the area. He was accompanied by the Corps Commander, Trishakthi Corps, Lt Gen KJ Singh, AVSM.
A press release informs that the Corps Commander briefed the Army Commander on the operational and logistics issues. The Corps Commander assured the Army Commander that the Trishakthi Corps is fully geared to meet all challenges.
The Army Commander visited forward areas and interacted with cross section of troops deployed in forward area. He also visited the Corps Battle School in forward area. The Army Commander travelled to Nathula and congratulated all ranks involved in renovation of Border Personnel Meeting Hut. In keeping with the tradition, the Army Commander presented gifts to the Chinese troops deployed at Nathula.
The Army Commander appreciated the enormous efforts put in by all ranks of Trishakti Corps in maintaining peace and tranquility along the Indo China border. This visit comes at a time when he is taking over as the Vice Chief of Army Staff in Delhi.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sikkim Winter Carnival concludes with a thumbs-up from those who could attend

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: The Sikkim Winter Carnival organised by the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department concluded today. From scrumptious traditional food stalls for food lovers, photo exhibition and butter craft for art aficionados to mountain biking and rock climbing for the adventure seekers, the carnival had activities to suit just about every holiday taste.
Visitors – local, domestic and international - who were lucky enough to be in the capital at this time of the year seem to have enjoyed the activities.
White Hall Memorial had put up a display of Buddhist butter art and photos while the Directorate of Handlooms and Handicraft exhibited traditional items. At MG Marg, a set of Harley Davidson’s on display drew quite a crowd while there was also a stall for another breed of bikers – mountain biking.
Hub Outdoor, a local shop selling adventure gear, had set up a stall displaying some mountain bikes. They had also organized a ride on 23 December as part of the winter carnival.
A mountain biker from British Columbia, Mr Ray shared his experience of the 50 km ride from Gangtok via Tsomgo, Bhusuk, Assam Lingzey, Pastanga till Ranipool. “It was a great experience and I would like to thank Hub Outdoor for it. It was a great way to explore Sikkim. It felt great to be part of the winter carnival and I will never forget this experience,” he shared.
Palden Sherpa of Hub Outdoor, informed that they had conducted a similar ride during the Sikkim Spring Carnival as well and this time they wanted to take students mountain biking. One biker from Darjeeling came especially for this ride during the winter carnival after he heard about it on RED FM, he added.
Mr Sherpa further informed that a Class VI student of Mt. Zion [Kidzee, Tadong], Jessica Virdi, also took part in the ride and completed the 50 kms along with the rest of the cyclists.
Among the mountain bikes on display at MG Marg were TREK-X Caliber 6-29 ER 2014 Model [Rs 52,000] and GIANT [Rs 53,000]. “These two bikes are among the best in the world. TREK is a US based company whereas GIANT is from Taiwan”, he informed.
Near Star Hall, a photo exhibition titled ‘Glimpses of Sikkim’ has been put up by Imago Creative Studio [Gangtok].
On the Kanchenjunga Complex [Lall Bazaar] rooftop were the mouthwatering food stalls of different communities of the state.
Delhite Nandita Roy, who is visiting Sikkim with her family said, “I have come to Sikkim before and have visited various places here but this is the first time that I am experiencing such an event here. I have visited all the stalls but what I enjoyed the most were the food stalls”. The cultural performances at MG Marg were also beautiful, she added.
“Despite the cold I enjoyed the events and the stalls. I hope such events are organized often”, said a local tourist from Namchi, Narayan Sharma [60-years-old].

22nd Sikkim Half Marathon attracts 434 runners

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: A total of 434 runners participated in the 22nd edition of Sikkim Half Marathon held today. The half marathon was organized by the Sikkim Amateur Athletic Association [SAAA] in collaboration with Sikkim Tourism Department as a part of Winter Carnival celebrations and was flagged off by the Mayor, KN Topgay from the Paljor Stadium premises.
The Marathon had runners from all four districts of Sikkim including participants from Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Kurseong, Sikkim Police, Sikkim Armed Police, IRBn, ITBP, SSB and Army.
Runners in the Open Category [Men & Women] covered a distance of 21 KM from Paljor Stadium to Bulbuley and back to the starting point, while Under 15 yrs [Boys & Girls] runners covered 15 KM from Paljor Stadium to Bojoghari School and back to the starting point and runners in Under 12 yrs [Boys & Girls] covered 10 KM from Paljor Stadium to Lower Bakthang and back to the starting point.
Before flagging off the Marathon, the Mayor encouraged runners to complete the Marathon. He added that such competitions also teach people to complete all endeavours they set out to fulfill in life.
Tourism Secretary, C Zangpo expressed his best wishes to all runners and urged them to regularly participate in such competitions.
In his welcome address, SAAA president, DIG [Range] Dr MS Tuli informed that the marathon has 52 boys and 10 girls in U-12 category, 62 boys and 25 girls in U-15 category and 238 men and 34 women in Open category. He also urged all runners to complete the marathon. The organizers will also be distributing certificates to all participants.
The prize distribution ceremony was held in the evening at MG Marg. Cash prizes amounting to more than Rs 1.5 lakh were distributed to winners of the different categories.
The youngest participants in the marathon were Gokarna Chettri [Boys] of Modern Secondary school and Dawa Doma Tamang [Girls] of 4th Mile JN Road.

10-day ‘Winter is Fun’ camp underway

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: ‘Winter is Fun’, a 10-day winter camp for school students from the house of Creative Craft in collaboration with Rey Valley International School and supported by RUSS fruit juice started its camp in Gangtok from 23 December.
A press release informs that the 10-day camp would comprise of activities that would help students build their confidence, help them further aspects of team development and engage them in making more friends from different schools across Gangtok and outside.
This is the fourth year of ‘Winter is Fun’ and this year, a different learning mechanism "daily learning system" has been planned where kids come in and learn a lesson for that day. With this they do not miss out on any learning even if they miss out on a day. It is also convenient for those parents who want their kids to participate for only a week, it is added.
The Winter is Fun camp will go on till 01 January 2013. Parents interested to send in their kids for the "daily learning system" can call 7872880086.

Valedictory function held for Winter Carnival

GANGTOK, 24 Dec [IPR]: The Sikkim Winter Festival 2013 concluded Tuesday evening with a valedictory function held at MG Marg here with the Rajya Sabha MP Hissey Lachungpa as chief guest. Awards and certificates for winners of various competitions organized as part of the Carnival over the three days were handed over and a special cultural treat laid out to sign off the mega event.

No concrete rehabilitation plans for Pakyong airport affected, SKM alleges

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] has alleged that the state government has still not finalized a concrete plan regarding the rehabilitation of families affected by the Greenfield Airport construction underway at Pakyong.
An SKM release informs that SKM party supporters and functionaries Nima Theeng, Hari Rizal, Sonam Sherpa and Kamal Adhikari visited the houses of Rapden Kazi (Yap Sanu Kazi) and Karma Bhutia (Phundu Agya), which are on the verge of collapsing due to the airport construction.
It is alleged that the two house owners have not been provided any compensation even after having submitted assessment reports of the property as directed by the administration. SDM, DC, SP, area MLA, panchayat president and members have assured that 60% of the compensation will be released by Monday, the release informs.
SKM has questioned the government’s ability to rehabilitate and compensate families affected by the airport construction when it can manage “only 60% compensation” for two such families. The release claims that 47 houses around the airport site have been affected.
It is further informed that SKM workers interacted with the DC, SDM and SP (East) and were not satisfied with the assurances given. It is further contended that Puspanjali School with more than five hundred students is also located in the vicinity of the airport construction site and the administration does not have any plan so far for the safety of the children.

Sikkim Swatantra Manch releases party manifesto

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: The first annual programme of Sikkim Swatantra Manch, ‘Party Udghosna Diwas’ was held at the party office at Tadong in East Sikkim today. The programme was attended by the party president, Khem Adhikari along with working committee members and district committee members, a press release informs.
During the programme, the party manifesto was also released by the executive members of the party.
The SWM party president informs that the party is a “totally youth-centric” party dedicated to the political, economical, social, religious and educational development in the state.
The meeting was also addressed by party vice-presidents, CB Rai and Shiva Kumar Subba and general secretary, Mahindra Sharma.

Rajya Sainik Board aims to improve Sikkim’s success rate in NDA and CDS exams

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Rajya Sainik Board has prepared a roadmap for the year 2014-15 to train Sikkimese students for the Nation Defence Academy [NDA] and Combined Defence Service [CDS] examinations. This was shared by the Rajya Sainik Board Secretary, Col DN Bhutia during a press conference today.
Addressing a press conference, Col Bhutia stated that recruiting agencies have the impression that Sikkim has very little or negligible representation in the Indian Armed Forces in the Commissioned Officers ranks. Lack of awareness among young students regarding such opportunities is the main reason why many from Sikkim do not opt for the armed forces, he said. This has been revealed by a recent survey carried out by the Rajya Sainik Board in the state during the motivation cum shortlisting of students for CDS and NDA examinations and even during various recruitment rallies, added Col Bhutia.
He added that the survey also indicated that parents and guardians were ignorant of opportunities available in the Armed forces.
Col. Bhutia informed that as per the recent UPSC notification, online filing of NDA application has already commenced from 21 December and will be continue for the next one month. He encouraged students appearing for class XII board examinations to apply online for NDA. The examination will be held on 22 April next year.
He also advised those students who have applied online for NDA to contact the Rajya Sainik Board for further guidance. “These students can take part in coaching classes in the month of March-April next year,” he added.
Col Bhutia mentioned that the group of students who recently went for NDA coaching to New Delhi are high caliber students in terms of marks obtained in the Class X board examination ranging from 75% to 96% and he has high expectations from these students.
The government is sponsoring coaching for NDA and CDS; 45-day coaching camp for NDA- I candidates in March-April, 45-day coaching camp for NDA II in August-September and another 45-day coaching camp for CDS-II in September-October. It is informed that those students who qualify for the written examination will then be sent for a 14-day crash course in New Delhi to prepare for the Services Selection Board interview.
“Students who are in class XI [science stream] this year should be mentally prepared to fill up the NDA online application in the month of November-December so that they can appear for the NDA-I examination in the month of February 2015,” he suggested. He informed that college students in their final year should also apply online for CDS in the month of November 2014 so that they can sit for the examination in February 2015. Interested candidates can visit  to apply online.
Candidates can apply for National Defence Academy after Class XII and Combined Defence Service after graduation.

Organic farming training in Soreng

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Mevedir, in collaboration with Sikkim Organic Mission of the State Govt, organized a one-day Gram Vikas Kendra level orientation program on organic farming and certification at Soreng in West Sikkim on 23 December 2013. The programme was held at the YatriNiwas there and had the Soreng BDO Bhim Kumar Subba as chief guest.
The training program attracted a strong attendance with more than 150 participants comprising of Zilla Panchayats, ward Panchayats, members of Organic Grower Group Committees, registered progressive farmer and key officials representing the Sikkim Organic Mission, an official press release informs.

Exit conference of MGNREGA Social Audit held in Namchi

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Exit Conference of the MGNREGA Social Audit of Sorak-Syampani & Kitam-Manpur under Namchi, Gram Vikash Kendra and Salghari & Poklok-Denchung GPU under Jorethang, Gram Vikash Kendra was held on 23 December at the Conference Hall of District Collectorate, Namchi.
A press release informs that the main objective of the program was to highlight the facts and findings raised during Social Audit. The programme was attended by District Program Coordinator- Namchi, concerned officials from GVK, Gram Panchayats, GRS & Mates.
Pacific Club, District Resource Institution representative highlighted the facts and findings of the completed MGNREGA schemes. The concerned officials have assured to take necessary action on the findings and to follow MGNREGA guidelines further assuring to maintain proper documentation, the release informs.
The program was addressed by Gram Panchayat President and Secretary from four GPs, GRS, Technical Persons, (AE/JE) APOs & Gram Vikash Adhikari from Namchi and Jorethang GVK. During their address, they highlighted the challenges in implementation of the schemes and the need to motivate job card holders, it is mentioned.
ADC Development, South District, Benu Gurung presented the summary and assured that in future, the concerned officials will work as per MGNREGA guidelines. She further assured to maintain proper documentation and urged for timely submission of Action Taken Report.

Young mother dies after delivery at North District Hospital

MANGAN, 24 Dec: The family of a 25-year-old woman who died after delivering a child at the District Hospital here has accused the hospital staff of carelessness which led to her death.
Dil Kumari Gurung had been admitted to the district hospital at around 6 pm on 23 December where she gave birth to a child at around 11 a.m. It is alleged that the gynecologist was not on duty at the time and when contacted over phone gave instructions to the other doctor on duty and staff regarding the delivery instead of attending to the complication immediately.
By the time the gynecologist arrived at the hospital the young mother had already died due to excessive bleeding and low blood pressure at around 1 p.m. The sister of the deceased further alleged that the required medicines were also not available at the hospital.
Meanwhile, the District Collector North has directed the Chief Medical Officer North to inquire into the matter. The deceased was the wife of Mahendra Gurung, a resident of Yuksom, West Sikkim and at present the couple was residing at Mangan since the husband was employed as a driver with the Animal Husbandry Department at Mangan.
The family members of the deceased have requested for strict action against the doctor and for proper inquiry into the matter.

KN Rai appointed SDF in-charge for Zoom-Salghari

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Sikkim Democratic Front vice-president, KN Rai, currently the political advisor to the Chief Minister, was today appointed the party’s in-charge for the Jorethang-Salghari constituency of South Sikkim, an SDF press release informs.

Official website of Commerce & Industries Deptt launched

 GANGTOK, 24 Dec [IPR]: Minister for Commerce and Industries, Neeru Sewa today launched the official website of the Commerce and Industries Department in the chamber of Director Industries. Present during the official launch were Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, PT Euthenpa, Director Industries, Vijendra Swaroop and senior officers of the Department.
The website, designed and developed by Sibin Group, comprises of comprehensive information about industrial setups, Public Sector Undertakings and Boards and Institutes associated with the Department.
The website consists of an exclusive section on food processing to give impetus to the National Mission on Food Processing.
It may be mentioned here that the National Mission on Food Processing which is part of the 12th Five Year Plan, is meant for minimizing post harvest losses, for decentralization of schemes at the grass root level, and to augment the capacity of food processing. This Mission tries to provide comprehensive package including farm gate infrastructures, supply chain logistics, cold chain and other food processing processes.

Governor’s Christmas greetings

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Governor Shriniwas Patil and the First lady, Rajanidevi Patil, have extended their warm greetings to the people of Sikkim and the Christian community in particular, on the auspicious occasion of Christmas.
In his message, the Governor has said, “On this joyous day, we worship and celebrate the birth of a saviour, Jesus Christ the Messiah, and share the message of good tidings amongst the masses by singing carols and hymns. This universal celebration also known as the festival of Joy helps to bring people around the world in unison.
On this auspicious occasion, I appeal to the people of Sikkim to follow the ways and teachings of forgiveness, love, brotherhood, unity, humility, serving the poor and the needy, sacrifice, and holiness propounded and practised by Jesus Christ himself.”

Training on citrus fruit fly management held in Dzongu

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Training and demonstration programme on citrus fruit fly management was conducted by Integrated Pest Management, (IPM) team of State Bio-control Lab, Tadong on 20 December at Phidang, Dzongu, North Sikkim.
The training programme was presided by Tshering Gyatso, Panchayat Vice President of Lum-Gor-Sangtok GPU.
A press release informs that the Resource Persons for this Training were KK Pradhan [Jt. Director IPM], SD Sharma [Dy. Director IPM], RK Sharma [HDO, IPM], SR Bhutia [ JDH North], TT Bhutia, PC North].
Around 50 participants of Lum, Gor and nearby villages along with resource persons, officials, field functionaries of the FS & ADD and HCCDD, with Panchayats of Lum, Tareng attended the training programme, it is informed.

Youngest contestant for Half Marathon

TOUGH GIRL: Dawa Doma of JN Marg, the youngest contestant to complete the 10 km Sikkim Marathon challenge for kids, jogs to the finish line at Paljor Stadium.

Man arrested on charges of sexual assault and making lewd recording

GANGTOK, 24 Dec: In probably one of the first of its kind incident recorded in Sikkim, one person was picked up by the police for making recordings of a sexual act, apart from sexual assault as well.
Sadar police arrested one person on charges of sexual assault and making lewd recordings. A 49-year-old resident of Phodong was arrested on 21 December by the police after the victim, a woman in her twenties, filed a complaint against him. As per the complaint of the woman, the accused also got her drunk.
It is learnt that the accused as well as the victim met through a common friend a few days back when she was on the lookout for a place to stay in Gangtok. The accused, it seems, agreed to find her a place as well as take care of the rent. It is informed that on 18 December, the woman who came to Gangtok in search of a place, met with the accused and later as she was returning the two stayed at a lodge in Deorali. Here, as per the complainant, she was served alcohol and the accused allegedly took advantage of her inebriated state. Next morning she came to know that the accused had also made lewd voice recordings of the night before. This, the woman has alleged, could have been to blackmail her.
The accused was taken into custody and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for rape and wrongful confinement. He has also been booked under Section 67A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 which deals with the transmitting of material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form.
This section carries imprisonment which could extend to 5 years and fine which could extend to Rs.10 lakh.


Matrix Reloaded progresses
GANGTOK, 24 Dec: Matrix Reloaded has entered the next round of the ongoing Silver Jubilee Losoong Archery Tournament here at Tathangchen. In the match played today, Matrix Reloaded defeated Ravangla by 31 points to 18. Tempo Gyatso Lepcha was declared the Man of the Match.
The next match will be played between Lempu and Gyalshing on 28 December.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Govt notifies ‘home-stay’ definition and regulatory aspects

GANGTOK, 23 Dec: Home Stays in Sikkim have now become official with the state government having finalized its definition as well as the regulatory aspects of this kind of tourism trade; this finalization process was completed with the concerned department having incorporated all suitable recommendations and suggestions as presented by the public and particularly by stakeholders in the Tourism business.
“The essence of Home Stay experience is one in which the tourist experiences the personal local family touch”, is what the new rule says.
As such, Home Stays, are defined as “any private house located in the rural/ urban  area where the house owner or his/her families are physically residing in the unit and earmarks some rooms exclusively for the use of Tourists bearing certain basic minimum service standards and eligibility criteria as prescribed…”
An interesting component included in the idea of Home Stays is that the operator should be willing to partake in any skill or capacity building program of the concerned department or stakeholders. The concerned department is the Tourism and Civil Aviation department.
It is informed that a key aspect of the concept which has now been included is the provision for post implementation assistance and monitoring which is to ensure proper functioning of home stay operations. This will include a support system to provide professional guidance and overall managerial directions to the Entrepreneurial units. An investors’ support cell has been proposed to be functioning under the concerned department. This cell is to assist the units by way of marketing guidance and support, technical guidance for continuous improvement and capacity building.
As for the home stay criteria any individual or family which owns a house in good condition in rural or urban areas and which can spare a minimum of 1 room and a maximum of 5 rooms exclusively for tourist accommodation can apply for home stay registration. The owner also has to agree to provide basic minimum infrastructure standards and basic assured quality in services.
Home stays are also permitted to function in separate units next to the main block in the premises of the home stay establishment owner. Any home stay having more than 5 rooms is to be categorized as a Village Lodge. In clusters or community based home stays areas the local bodies (Panchayats) are to decide the limit on the number of rooms to be allowed.
Apart from the requirement of the house design to conform to traditional and ethnic architecture at least one family member is required to be able to communicate in English and or Hindi. It has also been made mandatory for the owners to be able to make vehicle arrangement to take their guests to the nearest doctor or medical facility in case of illness.
Another interesting aspect of the scheme is the classification of home stays. Based on the facilities and quality of the accommodation provided, homestay units are to be classified into three categories of Class A or Gold House, B or Silver House and C or Bronze House.
An independent panel for monitoring and evaluation of home stays is to be constituted; this is for the purpose of maintenance of service standards. This is to be done by a Monitoring and Certifying committee.
The government has taken a long time in coming out with its set of regulations and standards governing home stays, in fact it is more than a year since the draft notification was issued inviting comments and suggestions from the public. Now that the department has collated these as well as incorporated all suitable suggestions it is hoped that home stays emerge as the next big thing that Sikkim has to offer in its tourism menu.

CM lays foundation stone of 2nd and 3rd IRBn Hqrs at Mangley

NAMCHI, 23 Dec: The Chief Minister Pawan Chamling today laid the foundation stone of 2nd and 3rd Indian Reserve Battalion Headquarters at Mangley-Singchuthang. Mangley is a remote village situated in South Sikkim that comes under Temi Namphing constituency.
Addressing the function, the Chief Minister highlighted that the construction of the 2nd and 3rd IRBn Hqrs in Mangley will add a new chapter to the development of this place in all aspects. He went on to inform that the necessity to bring about growth in this area and generate various kinds of prospects through different avenues was the reason the state government chose Mangley for the construction of this project.
The CM thanked the landowners whose lands [33 hectares] have been acquired for the campus. Recalling the time when he had gained permission from the Central Government to establish the IRBn Hqrs in Sikkim, he said that after the creation of the headquarters, thousands of local youth had gained employment. The success of this institution reflected in the good impression of the Sikkim IRBn in Delhi where the IRB recruits have been termed as well trained and disciplined stated the Chief Minister.
He informed IRB members about different facilities and benefits provided by the present government like the creation of improvised promotion avenues, transfer on rotation system to tackle the problem of outside posting, increased pay, family & health benefits, etc. Highlighting on the efforts of the state government to grant excellent facilities to the police, he added that the policy for the promotion ratio for them has been improved to 50:50 from 67:33 ratio.
While stating that the present government has worked endlessly to bring about vast development in the State Police Force, he pointed out that the Sikkim Police Department has a good image and delivers disciplined and efficient workforce. Applauding the good work of DGP Sikkim Police, Jasbir Singh and the entire Police force, he said that it is also due to Mr Singh’s guidance and leadership that the state police has gained a positive image.
He urged the IRB recruits to craft a good campus in this area after its construction by endorsing positive elements and avoiding negative factors. He informed the Police personnel about the 10% quota in the police department reserved for promotion to worthy candidates of SI post and below and 5 % quota to follower groups. He informed that 1000 children of the C&D grade employees have been given jobs on humanitarian grounds under the present government.
On the upcoming Sikkim University, Bhaley Dhunga Skywalk, Ropeway, he asked the public to avail all the opportunities arising from these projects to empower themselves. “It is the aim of the government to develop the human capital and this can happen only when the public learn to become self reliant by utilizing the benefits and taking advantage of the prospect occurring in their respective areas”, stressed Mr Chamling.
Secretary Building and Housing, MB Gurung presented the technical details of the upcoming headquarters. He informed that the first IRBn Hqrs was established at Pipaley in West Sikkim and now the construction works of the new 2nd and 3rd hqrs has also been taken up by the Building and Housing Department. The headquarters will be established to accommodate approximately 1500 residents. The total land which has been acquired by the Police Department is 83.18 acres located adjacent to Mangley bazaar. The estimated cost for the first phase is Rs 18.20 crore which has been sanctioned by the state government and tendered as well. The total built up area of the barracks will be 26,684 sqft to accommodate 300 plus IRB personnel.  He informed that the time period for the completion of the project is three years from the date of commencement of the project.
Earlier, DGP Sikkim Police, Jasbir Singh welcomed the gathering while the program rounded off with the vote of thanks from Additional DGP SD Negi.
The foundation stone laying program organized by the Police Department was also attended by the Chief Secretary, R Ongmu, MP, PD Rai, dignitaries of Sikkim Police, Ministers, MLAs, Chairpersons, Official dignitaries, SDZP Adhakshya & Upadhakshya and IRB personnel.

SSP greetings on Christmas, Losoong and New Year

GANGTOK, 23 Dec: Sikkim Sangram Parishad Party has extended its best wishes and greetings to all citizens of the state on the auspicious occasions of Christmas, Losoong and New Year 2014. An SSP press release states that the party will continue to stand for the unity, harmony and peace in the state. May the New Year 2014, bring happiness, peacefulness and prosperity, it is added.

SICUN working towards strengthening cooperative movement in Sikkim

GANGTOK, 23 Dec: Sikkim Cooperative Union [SICUN] has appealed to cooperative societies in the State to support the SICUN and strengthen the Cooperative Movement in the state. SICUN has been working to bring all cooperative societies in the state under a single umbrella to further strengthen them through trainings and education.
Addressing a press conference today, SICUN president, Ganesh Rai stated that being the apex body of cooperative societies the union has a big responsibility to strengthen cooperative societies through training and education. He mentioned that there are around 4000 cooperative societies in the state at present and among them 333 are members of SICUN. The Union is trying to get all cooperative societies of the state under it by the end of next year, he added.
The SICUN is organizing the state-level Cooperative Sammelan tentatively on 30 January in Manan Kendra. The organizers have invited all cooperative societies across the state to attend the Sammelan.
The union is also instituting awards for the best working cooperative societies and leaders which will be presented annually and a high-level committee for this purpose has been formed, informed Mr Rai.
“SICUN is also building a Cooperative Training and Education Institute in Assam Lingzey in East Sikkim at a cost of around Rs 22 crore. Around 50% of the construction work is complete and it is likely to be completed by the end of 2014 or starting of 2015”, he stated.
Mr Rai mentioned that the SICUN was formed in 2002 when the Sikkim government declared the year as the Cooperative Year and since then the Union has been working to strengthen the cooperative movement started by the state government.
The new board of directors of SICUN was formed on 20 November for a term of five years. The board has Ganesh Rai as president, Laxmi Prasad Kafley as vice-president and Sanju Rai, Bishnu Chamling, AP Rai, Parasmani Dangal, Chewang Rinzing Lepcha and Tashi Ongdup Lepcha as members.

State chess team to take part in 3 tournaments

GANGTOK, 23 Dec: Sikkim Chess Association [SCA] is all set to participate in different prestigious tournaments in and outside the country in the month of December 2013 and January 2014. During the tour, SCA teams will be representing the state in three different tournaments.
An 11-member SCA team will be leaving on Tuesday to participate in the Dhurba Tara International Rating Chess Tournament to be held from 25 to 30 December at Damak in Nepal. The team will be accompanied by SCA general secretary, Mahendra Dhakal, who will also be serving the tournament as a FIDE Arbiter.
The team comprises of Rakesh Gurung, Thendup Tamang, Rohit Gurung, Rahul Gurung, Bhoj Bahadur Chettri, Priya Chettri, Dinesh Chettri, Shejal Rai, Manisha Gurung, Chetiz Rai and Sourab Subba.
After this tournament, a three-member SCA team will move forward to represent the state in the Grand Master Chess Tournament scheduled to be held in Gurgaon from 01 to 08 January 2014. Rakesh Gurung, Thendup Tamang and Rahul Gurung will be taking part in the tournament. Mr Dhakal, who will be accompanying the team, will again be serving the tournament as a FIDE Arbiter.
The same three-member team will then participate in the Grand Master Chess Tournament to be held at Parsunath in Delhi from 09 to 12 January 2014.
Speaking to NOW!, Mr Dhakal said that the team members have been going through rigorous preparation for the tournament. The team is in high spirits for the tour which will give wider exposure to young players of the state to prepare them for future competitions, he added.
“This tour will also prepare local players for the upcoming North East FIDE Rating Chess Tournament scheduled to be held in Arunachal Pradesh from 29 January to 04 February”, Mr Dhakal added.
SCA president, HS Sharma and other executive members have also expressed their best wishes to the state team.

Namsoong fair at Namprikdang from 05 to 08 Jan

MANGAN, 23 Dec: Namsoong Celebration Committee and District Administration, North have unanimously decided to celebrate Namsoong Festival from 05 to 09 January 2014 at Namprikdang ground in Upper Dzongu, North Sikkim.
A meeting was held today under the chairmanship of Minister, Energy and Power and Cultural Affairs Department, Sonam Gyatso Lepcha, who is also the Chairman of the Namsoong Celebration Committee here at conference hall at Zilla Bhawan in Mangan.
It is learnt that the Chief Minister has consented to be the chief guest of the programme on 08 January. Football Tourney, cultural show, display stalls, etc will be the main attraction of this year's celebration.
During the meeting, important aspects like electricity, drinking water supply, law & order, sanitation, garbage disposal, fire-safety, medical arrangements, etc. were discussed at length.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister, Mr. Lepcha said that in order to keep the law and order under control and to avoid unfortunate incidents during the celebration there must be close co-ordination between the celebration committee and police department. He further urged the HoDs to shoulder the responsibilities as they have been assigned in order to make the celebration a success.
The meeting was also attended by District Magistrate, North, CP Dhakal, president Namsoong Celebration Committee, Nezing Lepcha, HoDs, SDMs, GVAs of the district and members of the celebration committee.

CM’s Christmas greetings

GANGTOK, 23 Dec [IPR]: Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and Mrs. Tika Maya Chamling have extended warm greetings and best wishes to the people of Sikkim on the occasion of Christmas.
The Chief Minister in his greetings has wished that the propitious festival bring peace and harmony in the society and infuse the spirit of unity and brotherhood amongst the people. The Chief Minister in his message has also wished that the festival of Christmas may bring joy, happiness, peace and prosperity to the people of Sikkim.

Two-day workshop on Census Info 2011 begins

GANGTOK, 23 Dec [PIB]: The Directorate of Census Operations, Sikkim is organizing a two-day workshop cum data dissemination programme on Census Info – 2011 Gangtok starting today. Director, PIB Gangtok, CK Dorjee inaugurated the program as the chief guest.
Asst. Director, Census Operations, Sikkim, PK Chettri presented the Census Data 2011. The aim of this workshop is to sensitize the general public on the 2011 Census data.
Dinker Gurung [Sr. Town Planner, UDHD, Govt. of Sikkim], Karma Rinchen WT [Lecturer, Govt.
College Gangtok] and Dr. R. Kumari [Lecturer, Manipal University, Gangtok] are the resource persons. Dr. S.C. Dwivedi [Geographer, Census Operations, Sikkim] delivered the training on Census Info
software 2011 to all participants. T Gazmer [SI-I, Census Operations, Sikkim] presented the vote of thanks in the program.
The Census Info software 2011 is designed by Dev Info and UN. The program was sponsored by UNICEF and Office of the Registrar General, India and organized by Directorate of Census Operations, Sikkim.

ASSA organises HIV AIDS awareness programme REBYNA RANA

GANGTOK, 23 Dec: The All Sikkim Students Association [ASSA], East District organized a Students Awareness Meet on HIV/ AIDS here in the TNSS School, auditorium hall today.
Addressing students who had come from different schools of the state, Gangtok MLA, Dorjee Namgyal, who was present as the chief guest, lauded the initiative taken by ASSA. “Such programmes should be conducted more regularly because the role of the youth in HIV/ AIDS awareness is very important. Such messages should be conveyed to all students of the state”, he said.
The MLA urged the youth to stay away from drugs and take advantage of the opportunities provided by the state government. This social evil of drug abuse must be eradicated from our society, he said.
ASSA vice-president Tseten Lepcha spoke on the aims and objectives of ASSA where he mentioned that the association has been working for the welfare of students of the state since it was established.
“On behalf of all the students of Sikkim we would like to extend our profound gratitude towards the present Government and CM for providing such an exemplary and exceptional education environment and facilities”, he said.
Sensitizing students on HIV/AIDS, Consultant Youth Affairs for SSACS, Chungchungla Bhutia who was present as the resource person, said that, one of the main causes of HIV AIDS infection in the state as well as the nation is through sexual contact. However, taking proper precautions can prevent further spread of the disease, she added.
She further highlighted the role of youth in HIV AIDS awareness and urged them to live responsibly.
Literary secretary [ASSA], Pradip Rai, general secretary, Kudy Pema Lachungpa and other members of ASSA also addressed the function.
During the function, the chief guest also distributed tokens of appreciation to members of the association who donated blood during a camp organized at STNM recently. Prizes were also distributed to the winners of a drawing competition held recently. The function also saw cultural performances by students.
Also present were DPH Councilor, Srijana Khati, Principal for TNSS School, KB Chhetri, president ASSA, Pritam Singh and other members of ASSA and students.


Lempu outshoots Apayphu
GANGTOK, 23 Dec: Lempu defeated Apayphu in today’s match of the ongoing Silver Jubilee Losoong Archery Tournament 2013-14 here at Archery Range, Tathangchen. In the match, Lempu scored 51 points while Apayphu scored just 17 points.
Karma Tenkyo Bhutia was declared the man of the match for scoring the highest 11 Karii [target].
In the next match on 24 December, Ravangla will take on Matrix Reloaded.

ICAI delegation calls on Governor

GANGTOK, 23 Dec: Members of the ICAI, led by their president, CA Subodh Kumar Agarwal, and including vice president, CA K. Raghu, secretary, T. Karthikeyan, called on Governor Shriniwas Patil  at Raj Bhawan here today.
In a special ceremony held at Raj Bhawan, the Governor felicitated the ICAI members as well.
The members of ICAI, New Delhi, also expressed their keen desire to help the people of Sikkim in pursuing the CA course, a press communiqué from Raj Bhawan informs.
The members, the release adds, are in a visit to Sikkim to attend the council meeting of the ICAI which was held yesterday at Mayfair Resort, Ranipool.
The visiting members also expressed gratitude towards the Governor for having spared his valuable time.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sikkim Winter Carnival begins

GANGTOK, 22 Dec [IPR]:  The three-day Sikkim Winter Carnival 2013 started today at White Memorial Hall with the inauguration of the Buddhist Art of Butter Sculpture and Sand Mandala presented by Tourism and Civil Aviation Department along with the Photo Exhibition presented by Information and Public Relations Department.
Governor of Sikkim, Shriniwas Patil inaugurated the Carnival in the presence of the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Chamling. The Carnival has been organized by the Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Government of Sikkim in order to promote tourism.
The inauguration ceremony also included the inauguration of the exhibition at the Directorate of Handlooms and Handicrafts, Zero Point followed by a visit of the exhibition, sales emporium and live demonstration by the Governor, Chief Minister and other dignitaries.
At MG Marg, Gangtok the Governor of Sikkim declared the Sikkim Winter Carnival 2013 open. Earlier, the dignitaries also visited the different stalls at Titanic Park.
While presenting the welcome address, Secretary, Tourism and Civil Aviation Department, Chewang Zangpo Bhutia informed that the three-day carnival will showcase ethnic culture coupled with peace and tranquility of the state. He also sought support from the public to make Sikkim a must-visit destination. The Secretary informed that the three-day event will be webcast live by the I.T. Department.
The Governor and Chief Minister visited the photo exhibition put up by Imago Creative Studio, titled ‘Glimpses of Sikkim’ in front of Star Hall, and then proceeded to Kanchenjunga Shopping Complex where traditional food and artifact stalls were laid out by various communities and associations of Sikkim.

Boys’ Club’s Winter Football Coaching Camp for kids begins

GANGTOK, 22 Dec: More than 200 children are taking part in the 40-day Winter Football Coaching Camp which started today here at Paljor Stadium. The fourth edition of the coaching camp is being organized by one of the oldest clubs of Sikkim, Boys’ Club.
The camp has children of different age groups [7 to 16 years], who were divided into different groups. The organizers have engaged 10 coaches who will be assisted by senior experienced players of the club. The camp will start from 8 AM in the morning and would continue till 11 AM every day. The children will also be provided with kits and diet during the camp.
Boys’ Club general secretary, Nima Thendup said that the participating children will be provided with basic training and coached on football skills. “The main objective of the camp is encourage children towards healthy living and a disciplined life. So, this year we have also included health education classes”, he added.
Apart from children registered with the club, talented underprivileged children from rural areas have also been included in the camp free of cost, he informed further adding that last year also the club had taken 35 such children from different rural areas.
Speaking on the outcome of the camps held so far, he stated that the camp started with 100 children in the first year and from the following year parents started coming forward. The numbers have gradually increased and some talented players have also played for the club in U-14 football tournament, he said. He further added that the club has also taken talented players for further training.
“We are very happy that after our initiative, some individuals and other clubs have also started similar initiatives in the districts and sub-divisions,” he added. The camp will conclude on 31 January 2014.