Saturday, February 15, 2014

Remanti Rai’s music album “On Air” released

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: Human Resources Development Department Minister, NK Pradhan, accompanied by Secretary RM&D Department, DR Nepal released singer Remanti Rai’s music album “On Air” here in the capital today. Youngest Sikkim Sewa Samman Music Awardee, Ms. Rai’s new album has two Nepali songs.
Addressing the function, Minister Mr Pradhan lauded the singer’s effort and dedication in the field of music. He stated that Ms Rai has made the entire state proud and added that artists like her need encouragement from all of us.
The Minister congratulated Ms Rai and wished her a bright future ahead. Secretary, Mr Nepal also congratulated Ms. Rai for her new album and for making the state proud.
On the day, the singer also performed songs from her new album while Assistant General Manager of Dainik Jagran, Subhashish Halder also addressed the function which was organized by Dainik Jagran.

SKM condemns Chamling’s comments against Golay

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] has condemned Chief Minister Pawan Chamling’s statements against the party’s leader, PS Tamang [Golay].
An SKM release informs that a meeting was held at the SKM headquarters today where all party workers condemned the CM’s statements. The CM has lowered the dignity of his chair by passing derogatory remarks against the SKM leader, the release states.
The CM cannot make such statements against an opposition leader like Mr. Tamang who is successfully leading a political party in the state, the party maintains.
The meeting was also addressed by vice president [legal], Sonam Bhutia, who said that SKM is not here to repeat the 1994 history, but to write a new history.

Week-long entrepreneurship development programme begins for Lepcha youth

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: A week-long entrepreneurship development programme, with special focus on skill enhancement and financial management, for Lepcha youth started today at Hotel Mistree Mountain here at Hospital Point.
The programme is funded under SCA to TSP, Government of India [2013-14] for the welfare of Primitive Tribe [Lepcha] community of Sikkim and organized by Primitive Tribe Welfare Board [PTWB], Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare/ Welfare Division.
More than 35 educated Lepcha youth from all over the state are taking part in the programme to be held from 14 to 20 February.
The inaugural programme today had Tshering Wangdi Lepcha [MLA, Lachen-Mangshila constituency and chairman, PTWD] as the chief guest, accompanied by GP Upadhyaya [Principal Secretary, SJE&WD and Member Secretary, PTWD], SD Tshering [Director, DESME], Januki Pradhan [Special Secretary/Project Director, SJE&WD], officials of SJE&WD and members of PTWD.
In his address to the participants, the chief guest Tshering Wangdi Lepcha informed that this was the second such programme being held for the youth by the Board. He also thanked the Chief Minister for conceptualizing the formation of the Primitive Tribe Welfare Board for the upliftment of the Lepcha community in Sikkim, but rued the fact that opposition parties and people with vested interests in the state were raising fingers and putting useless allegations in the formation of the said Board.
Leadership, he stated does not mean just leadership in politics, there can be leaders in various other fields too and to become leaders one needs determination, he said to the participants. Citing the examples of Bhaichung Bhutia and Uttam Pradhan, who became good leaders in their own fields, he added that there was need of good leadership in NGOs and Cooperative Societies in the state.
“There are a lot of welfare schemes that have been provided to the people by the department but have not seen much output as of now and so when the Board was provided with the said funds we wanted to use it for the purpose of education for the Lepcha children of the state but due to time constraints the idea could not materialize as planned, but this idea will be looked into certainly in the coming days”, he stated. He also informed of the various other training programmes planned by the Board, such as training in video & photography, driving, hotel management, etc for the youth.
“It is up to you all to take advantage of this programme, so don’t take the programme lightly, attend the programme continuously and learn from the resource persons”, he said and added that there is no substitute for merit and hard work and above all one should not forget one’s tradition and culture.
Sikkim, he stated is moving ahead in the right direction as we are very lucky to have an experienced and visionary leader as our Chief Minister.
In his brief address, the Principal Secretary, SJE&WD and Member Secretary, PTWD, GP Upadhyaya stated that this is a very useful programme and all of the participants should learn the leadership qualities taught through this programme from the resource persons since, he added, the captain of a team inspires confidence. This is a two part programme and it is necessary for all to take maximum benefits from the programme, he added.
He further informed of the various schemes for the development of the Lepcha youth being initiated by the SJE&W Department under the Welfare Board for the development of the community.

Challenge to debate still on, says Golay

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha president, PS Tamang [Golay] has stated that instead of accepting his challenge for a public debate the Chief Minister was bringing up the corruption charges against him. He has said that the challenge placed on 04 February is still on if the CM wants to take it on.
A press release issued by Mr. Tamang has alleged that the CM misused his post by stopping the CBI from coming to the State by issuing a notification to that effect.

“If I was involved in the Animal Husbandry scam then why was I made Minister for two terms and then Chairman of Industries Department,” Mr. Tamang has said.  All the allegations against him are a conspiracy to thwart his political career, he contends. 

NYK holds District Youth Convention in Mangan

MANGAN, 14 Feb: Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Mangan, North district organized its District Youth Convention today at the district community hall.
DC North, CP Dhakal, who was present as the chief guest, said that the youth should be responsible citizens of the state who can choose the right path and use their talents for the right purpose. NYK provides several opportunities for the youth to develop themselves into strong pillars of the nation, he said and urged the youth to register themselves with NYK.
“Our vision should be clear, youth should imbibe positive knowledge and share it with others. First let us transform ourselves to transform the nation”, stated the DC.
CDPO, SJW&WE, LD Denzongpa, in her address, provided information on different schemes and programmes of the department for the benefit of woman and child. She urged people to enroll their children at the nearest ICDS center for pre-school education where she added that the education provided at the ICDS centres is the same as that of private schools.
ADO, KVIC, Ministry of MSME, Rajeev Kumar informed about several subsidized loan schemes for starting any kind of business including the farming sector. For starting any project upto Rs. 1 lakh, government provides 35% inputs, bank provides 60% loan and the beneficiary has to invest 5%, he informed. He added that from North district very few unemployed youth have applied for the schemes. Mr Kumar urged unemployed youth from the district to grab such opportunities to become self-employed.
The programme was also addressed by centre in-charge, Jagriti Rehab Centre, Raju Subba, who informed about the harmful effects of substance abuse and urged the youth to steer clear of such habits.

MR, WC and Ad-hoc employees of South District thank State Govt

NAMCHI, 14 Feb: All Sikkim Muster Roll, Work-charged & Ad-hoc Committee members of South District have expressed their deep gratitude and sincere thanks to the State Government of Sikkim and  Chief Minister Pawan Chamling for regularizing them under various government departments in a meeting organized today in the district office of the association.
During the meeting, Secretary 1 of the association, Samten Bhutia said that Chief Minister has fulfilled their long pending demand as promised and assured by him for which the association extends deep gratitude and sincere thanks. He further thanked the concerned Secretaries and officers for their support in fulfilling their demand. He also appealed to all the members of the association to work sincerely and serve the state government efficiently.
Secretary 2, Prakash Gurung also thanked the president of the association Pema Doma for her efforts. He also informed that the appointment process shall be effective from 01 April and urged the members to collect the NOC from the Association for their appointment process.

NHPC conducts free medical camp and awareness at Makha

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: A “Free Medical Camp cum Awareness Campaign” was organized at Govt. Sr. Sec. School, Makha (East Sikkim) by NHPC Limited, Teesta-V Power Station today.
A press release informs that the camp was inaugurated by Dr. LB Singh [Chief Medical Officer, Teesta-V Power Station, NHPC Ltd.], in the presence of KB Chhetri [Panchayat President], Krishna Regmi [Panchayat General Secretary], Bimla Rai, Malti Chhetri, panchayat members from Patuk-Singbel GPU and many other people from the area.
Thereafter, awareness session started with a presentation on HIV/AIDS, family planning and on prevalent diseases like Dengue, etc.  by Kishore Thapa [District Health Education Officer, District Hospital Singtam, East  Sikkim]. After the session, medical team from NHPC comprising three doctors and ten paramedical staff examined the patients for multiple ailments and prescribed suitable medicines to 140 patients who had turned up at the medical camp today. Free medicines were distributed to patients who were also advised to visit NHPC Hospital, Balutar for further consultation.
Panchayat members and locals appreciated the NHPC Management and doctors for organizing such public welfare camps, the release states. The NHPC Management thanked the Chief Medical Officer, Singtam and local administration for extending necessary co-operation for organizing the medical camp.  

HRDD begins ‘Green Channel’ fund flow for midday meal scheme

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: The State Government, through the Human Resource Development Department, has begun the implementation of ‘Green Channel’ fund flow scheme for smooth running of the Mid Day Meal scheme in the state. This scheme is expected to streamline and ensure timely release of funds under the Mid Day Meal scheme. This is a central government initiative and said to be among the largest flagship programs being implemented through the country.
The main objective behind the “Green Channel” is to facilitate timely flow of funds to the schools for the MDM scheme and as informed, needs utmost care and attention. The HRD department has directed that several procedures need to be enforced while adopting the Green Channel scheme.
There will be a mechanism in place for online entry of actual number of children availing the Mid Day Meal scheme. In this regard the department has chalked out the role and responsibilities of different level of officers and field functionaries. The online entries will be uploaded at the HRD department’s webpage and this is being done to ensure accountability, transparency and effective utilization of funds.
A pre-check procedure has also been outlined for timely billing and transparency and those for maintenance of accounts at different levels.
In addition, all institutions covered under MDM Scheme are now required to open a joint account in favour of Head of Institution and Cooking Agencies mandatorily.


Exposé on cardiologist-pharma company nexus gets simultaneous Gangtok release along with 27 cities
GANGTOK, 14 Feb: Everester Kazi Sherpa at a function held at Mt. Zion School premises here today, formally released a book titled, “Heart Mafia”, written by Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury. The book raises several questions on the functioning of cardiologists and pharmaceutical industry involved in conducting heart surgeries.
The book is being released by India Book of Records in 28 cities across the country, including Gangtok, with the aim to “eradicate obsolete, unnecessary, unethical medical practices” like angioplasty and bypass surgery that are allegedly done, the book argues, purely for profit.
Author of over 25 books on memory, mind and body, Dr. Chowdhury in 2013 had also written a book titled “How to Return from the Hospital Alive”.
In in his latest work, the author has exposed top cardiologists of the country accusing them of using obsolete but highly profit making procedures – bypass surgery and angioplasty.
Dr. Chowdhury has suggested a special lifestyle and diet plan to cure heart related problems instead of surgeries.
According to the author, both angioplasty and bypass surgery don’t ensure a lifelong cure. “Within 12-18 months a patient may have to go for these procedures again. So the patient becomes a permanent customer of the hospital,” he argues.
Dr. Chowdhury further suggests heart patients to adopt natural bypass - which is also known as collateral circulation - approved and acknowledged by American Heart Association.
Natural bypass does not require any hospitalization and the death rate on the operation table is zero percent and so is the rate of complications, he said. By this method, the heart makes its own bypass in case of any blockage.
Referring to renowned medical journals, the author said that the special diet helps in formation of nitric oxide which initiates or promotes formation of collateral arteries that are otherwise hidden.
Appropriate level of nitric oxide helps the heart to make its new path whenever any of the coronary arteries are blocked. Nitric oxide also helps in reversing high BP, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases.
The author claimed that cardiologists know about natural bypass but deliberately hide the method just to gain profit.
The author has also given the example of former US president Bill Clinton, who had succeeded in curing his heart disease by adopting a special diet plan after failing to do the same despite undergoing many surgeries.

Sasonians organize football tourney for alumni associations

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: “Fr J Hofstetter Sasonian 1-Day Futsal Tourney” was organized by Sasonians Alumni Association of Sikkim today here at Paljor Stadium. This five-a-side football was part of the three-day 2nd International Sasonians Meet in the state.
The day-long tourney had five teams of Sasonians along with alumni teams of Tashi Namgyal Academy, Goethals, North Point, Dr Graham’s Homes and St Paul’s. The Sasonian teams were Fr Benjamin Stolke- White, Fr Edward Gressot- Red, Fr J Hofstetter- Blue, Fr H Ruckstuhl- Green and Fr Rey Yellow.
In the nail-biting final match, TNA defeated Fr Rey Sasonian in the tie-breaker. The match ended in 2-2 draw and was extended for the tie-breaker.  

It is informed that the Sasonians from Nepal, Bhutan, Siliguri, Kalimpong and even from Taiwan and the United States had come for the Meet. 

Reported Stolen


A news-report on a burglary is front-paged in today’s edition. As far as crime is concerned, this one is appears a routine kind of break-in, effected when no one was home and only very general stuff like loose cash and some jewelry stolen from a rented home. Readers would have noticed that burglaries are back in the news, with quite a few reported over the past fortnight. The winter months, with several families on vacation and the cold weather sending people to bed early and less likely to keep an eye out on the neighbourhood. The burglaries have invariably targeted homes while the families are away, and as in the latest case, been chance attempts, offering the burglars no guarantees of scoring a big hit. This suggests that these are not handiworks of career criminals because they would go after bigger hits, aiming for larger bounties than the loose cash and odd jewelry that most recent burglaries have been reporting stolen. But before one can heave a sigh of relief, feeling safer because no ‘gang’ is in operation, one needs to begin worrying about that danger that the trend portends. Sikkim has often heard its leaders and associations hold forth on how the State could witness a violent movement if the unemployment situation was not contained or if Sikkim’s aspirations not delivered on. This inference is too simplistic. While unemployed and thereby frustrated youth do provide the fodder for such ‘movements,’ Sikkim does not have a history of violent uprisings. It is unlikely that history will be rewritten on this front anytime soon. What is cause for more worry is that in place of ideology-driven violence, many would settle for mindless crime and then graduate to pointless violence. Enough warning signs about these developments have been thrown up – in the excessive violence with which political camps respond to situations and also in the reckless disregard that some have displayed for life and property in some individual cases. As mentioned, it would be too simplistic to suggest that the crimes and misdemeanors were the handiwork of unemployed or desperate or frustrated youth [although in Sikkim’s case, this condition is not limited to the youth]. Unemployment does not lead everyone to crime, a weak social fabric does. The social fabric has developed worrying tears through which the young slip and fall perilously towards futures which cannot be good for anyone.s

Two arrested on charges of assault

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: The Jorethang police have arrested two persons on charges of assault. The two - Roshan Rai and Prabin Pradhan – allegedly assaulted one Javed Ansari with an iron pipe. As per reports, another person, Manish Tamang, has also been named for having been involved with the two arrested in the assault. The third accused is yet to be apprehended.
The incident took place when Javed Ansari, 29, of Nayabazaar visited a scrap dealer in Majhigaon, Jorethang on 13 February. During the course of his visit, he is reported to have been attacked by the three at around 1:30 pm after which he was taken to the Jorethang PHC.

One accused of misappropriating cooperative society funds

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: The Pakyong police have arrested one person on allegations of having misappropriated funds from a cooperative society where he was employed. The accused, Balanath Dhungel, a 26-year-old resident of Namthang is accused of siphoning off funds to the tune of Rs. 6.23 lakhs of the Khangchenzonga Livestock Cooperative Society Limited.
The Cooperative Society is based at Kumrek, East Sikkim under Pakyong police jurisdiction. The crime came to light during a meeting of its Society members on 24 January when it revealed that the accused had misappropriated the amount between 2011 and 2012 when he was employed as an accountant with the cooperative society.
A case was then registered with the Pakyong police by the president of the cooperative society. The police, as part of its investigations have also seized cash deposit slips and bank passbooks of the cooperative society and it is reported that more documents are yet to be seized. Statements from witnesses have also been recorded. The case has been registered under section 408 IPC which deals with criminal breach of trust.

Girl succumbs to burn injuries

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: A 19-year-old girl has succumbed to burn injuries. The deceased, Purnima Gurung had been admitted to the STNM hospital burns ward on 08 February with 90% burn injuries. It is reported that she succumbed to her injuries on 13 February at the hospital. Her body was handed over to her guardians. The deceased was a resident of Temi, South Sikkim.

Another burglary

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: Robberies continue to hound the state police as another house break-in and robbery has been reported from Rangpo. The rented house of Manoj Kumar Mohanty was broken into on 13 February by miscreant/s who made away with cash as well as gold items. The incident took place at around 6 pm that day. A case has been registered with the Rangpo police and the culprit/s are yet to be apprehended.

AIDS Control Society employees end strike

GANGTOK, 14 Feb: The Sikkim AIDS Control Employees Association (SACEA) has called off its strike, which had started on 30 January, and employees will resume duties from 15 February.
A press release of the association informs that its governing body met today and discussed the revised remuneration order issued by the Department of AIDS Control based on recommendations submitted by Anomaly Committee on 13 February. The meeting also discussed: The problems faced by the general public with regard to HIV testing and HIV/AIDS Care and Support Services, both of which had also been suspended; the letter from the  parent organisation [All India AIDS Employee Association] of 13 Feb; The request of Project Director SSACS to resume emergency services.       
After the discussion, the general body, SACEA decided to call off the strike, the release informs.

We thank all the stakeholders and general public for bearing with us and supporting us during the strike period,” the release adds.

4,002 posts created in 26 Deptts for regularization of temporary employees

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: The State Government has sanctioned the creation of 4,002 posts in the various government departments exclusively for the appointment of temporary employees belonging to Group C and D category who have completed 15 years and more in such service as on 31 January 2013. Following this, the Department of Personnel [DoP] issued a notification on 12 February for the creation of the posts in the different government departments in which the employees will be regularized. 
Addressing a press conference today, the All Sikkim Government Muster Roll & Work Charged Employees Association [ASGMRWCEA] president, Pema Doma thanked the Chief Minister for fulfilling his commitment through this notification. She also thanked the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, officials and staffs of DoP.
She mentioned that the regularization of service of 4,002 employees in 26 government departments is a major step taken by the state government.
1,713 posts in the list are in the Energy & Power Department which is the highest among all departments.  
“The association had full faith that the CM would fulfill his promise. It is now the responsibility of all these employees to work sincerely and responsibly in their respective posts to serve the people of Sikkim,” said Ms Doma.
She informed that the process for regularization of temporary employees who have completed 10 years and more is also now underway. On the same, she urged these employees to be patient and not get misled by rumours.

Ms Doma also said that the association is trying to float a proposal whereby employees will have to obtain an NOC from the association before their services were regualrized by the various departments. She therefore urged the employees in the list to take the NOC from the Association. 

Awareness on organic farming and certification at Namli GPU

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: A GPU level orientation programme on organic farming and certification process was held at Namli GPK, East Sikkim on 13 February. The programme was organized by ICS service provider Amar Jyoti Sewa Samity (0rganic) NGO in collaboration with Sikkim Organic Mission, Govt. of Sikkim.
A press release informs that Field In-charge Jeewan Mishra of Amar Jyoti NGO explained about the documentation process and its importance of organic certification, Internal control system. He briefed about the Organic Mission and its benefits to farmers after certification. The NGO is working with 236 farmers in Namli GPU, he added.
Block Technology Manager, Pratima Silwal of ATMA also interacted with farmers. She briefed farmers about the importance of Farm School and its activities. She also focused on Farmers club and Kisan Call Centre where she said that farmers can easily communicate with experts about their field problems through the call centre, the release mentions.
The program was also addressed by area VLW, Lalit Chettri who distributed horticulture seeds to the farmers and briefed them about field preparation and inputs used. He appealed to all farmers to use FYM and bio pesticides.
Submited by: Jeewan Mishra (Field Incharge, Amar Jyoti NGO) 9609752223

DLSA South holds first meeting of 2014

NAMCHI, 13 Feb: The first meeting of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) South Sikkim for the year 2014 was held on 12 February. The meeting was conducted at 3 pm in the District Court Centre at Namchi, and was chaired by District Judge and Chairman (DLSA), Prajwal Khatiwada.
It was also attended by District Collector and ex-officio member, Prabhakar Verma, Superintendent of Police and ex-officio member, Sonam Gyatso Bhutia, Government Advocate and ex-officio member, JB Rai and Judicial Magistrate and Secretary DLSA, Sonam Denka Wangdi. The District Legal Services Authority discussed the constitution of a committee at the District Level for scrutinizing applications for legal aid and for providing legal aid at the District Level which would cater to parties from remote and far-flung areas.
Discussions on establishment and functioning of legal aid clinics preferably at the Block Level were also discussed. Apart from the above, various other issues concerning free legal aid services were discussed. It may be mentioned here that the DLSA is required to hold two meetings in a year under the concerned Rules.  


National Awareness Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights REBYNA RANA

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: A daylong National Awareness Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights [IPR] was organised here at Janta Bhawan today by the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology [NIELIT] in association with Department of Electronics & Information Technology [DEITY], Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, Government of India.
120 students from Sikkim Law College, ICFAI, SMU and NIELIT attended the workshop.
Sensitizing the students on Intellectual Property Rights, Principal Director cum Secretary, DIT, Sikkim, Dr. Rajesh Verma, informed that IPR was the right given to persons over the creations of their minds.
He added that Intellectual Property Right is a general term where Intellectual Property is any product of the human intellect that the law protects from unauthorized use by others.
Informing about Intellectual Property Rights patents, Dr. Verma said that patents are a long-established means of encouraging innovation. “Intellectual property right confers to the holder the exclusive right of exploitation and enables them to exploit the invention by manufacturing, using or selling products or processes incorporating the technology covered by the patent. A patent is the legal document that describes the invention and grants a property right to the inventor or their successor”, explained Dr. Verma.
However, only 50,000 patents have been registered so far in India, so in order to create awareness on copyrights as well as patents this workshop is being organized, he said. Here, he said that we must get positive and also encourage students to innovate.
Dr. Verma appealed to students to register their software and copyrights. He also urged the Science and Technology department to conduct small workshops regarding this for students.
Additional Director cum Coordinator, Patent Information Centre, Department of Science & Technology, Sikkim, Dr. BC Basistha, said that the concept of Intellectual Property Rights is very new to Sikkim and the department has been working hard on educating the masses about it. He further spoke on the need for Intellectual Property Rights.
Dr Basistha highlighted the need to understand Intellectual Property Rights better in order to make the most of it. He informed that IPR centres have been set up at the school and college levels and camps and seminars are being organized every year. “We also have patent and data search facility which is free of cost, and if anyone wants to register a patent then they can come and do a patent search”, he said.
Likewise, Technical Director, NIC Sikkim State Unit, Dr. LP Sharma, said that this workshop is a beginning in the right direction.
The workshop was also addressed by the Scientist-B, NIELIT, Gangtok, Khagendra Sharma and resource persons from Kolkata and Delhi.

Second Division I-League prelims update

Aizawl and Eagles win big
GANGTOK, 13 Feb: Aizawl FC thrashed Kenkre FC [Mumbai] 4-0 in its last match in the ongoing Second Division I-League preliminary round today here at Paljor Stadium.
Michael Lalremruata scored the lead for Aizawl FC in the 12th minute and with another goal by his teammate in the 39th minute, Aizawl FC ended the first half with 2-0 lead. Kenkre players got some good opportunities to bounce back in the match but could not take advantage of them.
In the last minutes of the second half, Albert Zohmingmawia extended the lead of Aizawl to 3-0 in the 82nd minute and with the final goal by his teammate David Lalrinmuana, Aizawl FC registered the victory of 4-0.
In the other match, Eagles FC also hammered Hindustan FC 4-1.
Koko Atanda scored the early lead for Eagles FC in the 6th minute and finished the first half with 1-0 lead.  In the second half, goals from Nadong Bhutia in the 52nd minute and Odili Felix in the 61st minute extended the lead of Eagle FC to 3-0.
However, OO Sola narrowed the goal margin with his goal for Hindustan FC in the 82nd minute but a goal by Sujil KS in injury time sealed Eagle FC’s 4-1 victory.
On 15 February, Kenkre FC will take on Eagle FC in the first match and Bhawanipore FC will be playing against Hindustan FC in the other match.

Burglars eyeing gold strike twice in East Sikkim

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: There have been a series of robberies of late, especially gold heists in the East district and now comes news of a double gold heist in two different places under Ranipool police jurisdiction. A total of around 7 tolas of gold have been stolen and the burglars are yet to be identified or traced.
The house of Bhim Lall at Maligaon, Nandok was burgled a few days ago. The robber/s are reported to have entered his home by breaking in through the windows of the house during daytime. Gold ornaments weighing 3 tolas and a gold chain weighing 1 tola are reported stolen along with Rs. 10,000 in cash. The police also pressed the dog squad into action in this case but as of now this doesn’t seem to have been of assistance. The police are also interrogating suspects and known miscreant/s in the area. This, too, has not gotten them far.
In another, but similar incident, a robbery was reported from 5th Mile, Metro Point, Tadong. The complainant, Kuldeep Singh, had been away from home for about a week on official duty in Uttarakhand. On returning, he found his rented rooms had been burgled and his wife’s gold missing. In this incident 3 tolas of gold ornaments have been reported stolen and another 2 items made of silver. No one has been arrested so far.

Disturbing Trends


Teenage, for all the joie-de-vivre we associate with this phase of growing up, is also among the most complex years. Even as hormones play havoc during these years, peer pressure accentuates the rebellious streak that is only natural given the growing awareness of youth. This is the age when they start noticing things, understanding implications and learning the ropes of life. Although parental pressure to keep them on the right track is ill-advised [remember the rebellious streak], it is equally disastrous for parents to distance themselves too far from the children. A delicate balance has to be struck and no matter how complicated this might sound, parents have been striking the right balance for centuries now. The current generation in that phase, however, with the breaking down of the joint-family system and the increasing incidence of working parents, the two generations are finding lesser and lesser time for each other. The generation gap is about communication and although we live in the information age, communication between generations has become even more sparse. Its fallouts are obvious. With no answers forthcoming from the elders for the millions of questions that crowd their minds, the youth settle for their own explanations, work out their own reactions to situations and chart their own course. Although no one denies them the intelligence to do so, the shortage of understanding adults who can advise them better, often leads them ‘astray’. Rather disturbing trends have already begun manifesting. The more notorious criminals in Sikkim in recent years – ‘Spiderman’ and the duo behind the Gangtok double-murder of a few years ago took to crime while still in their teens. And it is not crime that is harming them, too many young are also ending their own lives, the most recent case being a 19 year old who hanged himself on the eve of school reopening earlier this week in remote South Sikkim. Addiction remains a worry and the induction age into drugs grows ever younger. Empathy is not being allowed to grow and a society is at risk of having superficiality celebrated. These are not normal youthful behavior; these are not youthful pranks… these are disturbing trends. It is all too easy to blame this trend on television and the internet, or on drugs or ‘company’, but that is neither correct not a solution. We have to own up our responsibility towards the younger generation and although each has a right to decide his/ her own destiny, we can at least help them understand the ramifications of their actions and decisions.

CMO underlines urgency to expedite follow-up on announcements

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: With the shadow of the model code of conduct looming large and expected to be in place as early as by the first week of March, the State government is expediting the execution of orders and notifications on announcements and assurances given by the Chief Minister. The urgency is expected now that not much time is left at hand before such policy interventions will no longer be possible once the Code sets in.
In this regard, the Chief Minister’s Office has issued an urgent order to the heads of various departments directing them to issue relevant orders and notifications, as the case may be, at the earliest in follow-up to policy announcements made by the CM.
The CMO has desired that executive orders be issued on the announcements of the Chief Minister which need to be followed up with the appropriate orders.
There are a total of 6 announcements and issues listed in the order of the CMO for further action. These include the announcement of the CM on transfer of Trade License from father to son following the death of the trade license holder. This is particularly relevant for members of the business community here who have always been faced with problems and obstacles in the form of bureaucrats who refuse to understand how this transfer is a natural process and should not be taken up as a fresh case. This matter comes under the UD&HD.
Also connected with this is the announcement of a 75% fee relaxation for unemployed youth with respect to trade license, token tax, environment clearance etc for which an order has to be issued by the relevant departments. This is to make it easier for unemployed youth to set up trade or service or business establishment in the state.
Orders have also been sought by the CMO on the matter of doubling the salaries of panchayat office bearers.
A more recent announcement made by the Chief Minister relates to supply of free electricity to people in the rural areas. In this regard order is sought for free consumption of electricity up to 100 units and 50% subsidy for consumption up to 300 units. It is for the Power Department to issue the relevant notification.
Then again the recent announcement of the CM during the Cooperative Sammelan held in Manan Kendra a few days ago of raising the ceiling of contract work to Cooperatives to Rs. 5 crore is for the Cooperatives Department to follow up with executive action.
In a relatively recent development, the CMO has also considered it urgent for executive orders to be issued on the matter of transfer of residential certificate to the son of the residential certificate holder on the latter’s death.
This ‘urgent order’ has been forwarded to various heads of departments including Forest, UD&HD, RMDD, Power, Roads & Bridges, Buildings, PHED, Irrigation and Transport.  It remains to be seen how the departments follow up on the directive.

SKM continues public interactions

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha vice-president [administration], Tseten Dorjee Lepcha met and interacted with the people of Nimthang, Bhusuk and its surrounding areas today. An SKM press release informs that during the interaction, people alleged that these areas are still backward in several sectors.
Another SKM release informs that a meeting at the SKM head-office has strongly condemned the state government’s unfair attitude towards women. The party general secretary [Nari Morcha] Pabitra Bhandari alleged that the present government practices a policy of partiality whereby women are not given equal rights.

The release informs that the meeting unanimously passed a resolution that the SKM party would provide full rights and resources to women of Sikkim. 

All Faith Memorial Prayer Service for Nido in Delhi

GANGTOK, 13 Feb: An ’All Faith Memorial Prayer Service’ is being organized on 15 February at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi by the parents of Late Nido Tania of Arunachal Pradesh.
The prayer service is being held to mourn the demise of Late Tania who died after being brutally beaten by shopkeepers at Lajpat Nagar in what is being seen by many as a case of racial discrimination.

The prayer service will be addressed by Lok Sabha MP of Arunachal Pradesh, Takam Sanjoy and the parents of Late Tania, Nido Marina [mother] and Nido Pavitra [father]. A choir service will also be held on the day while mourners have been asked bring along candle and flowers if they can.

A healing touch

A steady stream of people frequents the Old Children’s Park complex opposite Sadar Thana where Drs Thakela Bhutia and Basant Rai quietly operate a very popular physiotherapy clinic. Billed as a physiotherapy clinic cum rehabilitation centre, Physiocure speaks volumes of the drive of a duo of local lads who chose to push the envelope and test their entrepreneurial skills to create a success story that should inspire the many other educated locals out there.
Thakela, hailing from Darap in West Sikkim, and Basant from Majhitar, Rangpo, started out on a similar career trajectory with a Bachelor in Physiotherapy from Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Gangtok. Thakela mentions that just after completing school, a friend’s mother had a stroke that rendered her body half-paralysed. Accompanying them to Kolkata for physiotherapy, her gradual recovery - she was able to sit, stand and walk after physiotherapy - and the healing power of physiotherapy inspired him to become a physiotherapist. Basant, meanwhile, does not remember any specific trigger, but he was always aware that he wanted to work in a field where he could help alleviate suffering in others. At that time, physiotherapy was a novel practice with very little general awareness. Basant shares that the idea of a non-invasive procedure without any medication, of healing with just the body’s own mechanism and strength, piqued his interest in physiotherapy.
Both the doctors accumulated a considerable wealth of practical experience in established hospitals outside of the state before they launched their clinic here. Thakela did his internship in Hindu Rao Hospital in Delhi, followed by a stint in Moolchand Hospital, Delhi and Paramount Hospital, Siliguri. Meanwhile, Basant interned in Kasturba Medical College, Udupi, Karnataka and then worked voluntarily at STNM Hospital. It was during this phase that both doctors saw firsthand the importance of physical therapy treatment for a multitude of ailments and decided, independently, to pursue higher studies in physiotherapy. They wound up as roommates during their Masters in Physiotherapy from HNB Garhwal Central University, Dehradun, that they completed in 2011. It was there that Thakela and Basant developed a firm friendship that would be the crucial foundation stone of their professional partnership later. In June 2012, they decided to combine their complementary specialisations, neurology and orthopaedic musculoskeletal respectively, to collaborate in opening a physiotherapy clinic in Gangtok.
Their functional clinic is today a bustling establishment that continues to thrive largely due to positive word-of-mouth recommendations from grateful patients of all walks of life. The trained manual therapist duo treat patients with neurological cases like stroke, spinal injuries, back pain, disc prolapse, spondylosis, mechanical back and neck pain, cerebral palsy, facial palsy, Bell’s palsy and orthopaedic conditions like osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, post-fracture rehabilitation, any kind of joint pain, and associated ailments. Modest and unassuming, and doubly solicitous, the doctors have successfully treated many patients who swear by their prowess to heal and guide them in recuperating from their various neurological and orthopaedic ills.
Prodded to talk about a specific case, the doctors recount the story of a 36-year-old male patient suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nerve system. Delhi doctors advised physiotherapy for which the family approached Physiocure. Rendered a quadriplegic, he was unable to move his limbs and was confined to bed. He was very spirited, however, and firmly believed he would recover. The doctors started treating him at home, and he started recovering fast. Within a month, he was able to come to the clinic for therapy, helped first by two people and then just one person. With sustained physiotherapy, he was able to come unassisted, aided by just a walking stick. After 11 months of continued physiotherapy, he was able to return to work and lead a normal lifestyle. The doctors recount this as one of their most stirring successes and are confident that there are many like him that they can help recover and lead meaningful lives again.
Physiocure is a rousing precedent of how two young people found it in their hearts and dreams to become self-sufficient and lend Sikkimese people a definite healing touch on their own turf. It is open Monday through Saturday from 7p.m. Rates are very nominal, depending on the severity and complexity of the patient’s condition. House calls are also entertained depending on the location.
Contact numbers: Dr Thakela Bhutia- 8768951705; Dr Basant Rai- 9647428228
Email id:

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Adjustment aimed at ensuring quality standards in Early Childhood Care and Education
GANGTOK, 12 Feb: The State government has redefined the Pre-Primary Levels I and II to align these levels with the national standards, particularly the National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Education. This has been necessitated to provide a curriculum framework for Early Childhood Care and Education and ensure quality standards in ECCE.
It is informed that the Pre Primary Level I which includes children upto 4 years of age will henceforth be admitted in Integrated Child Development Scheme Centres; these centres function under the Social Justice Empowerment and Welfare Department as Pre Primary Level I.
The Integrated Child Development Scheme Centers shall also look after the children’s nutrition, communication, psychomotor, basic values and social skills. The centres shall also monitor the nutritional contents in the Mid Day Meal provided to the children at Pre-Primary level II.
The Pre Primary Level II which includes children aged 5 years and above will be promoted from Pre Primary Level I and admitted to Pre Primary Level II under the Human Resource Development Department.
The Human Resource Development Department shall look into the other development aspects of the child relating to language and numerical skills at Pre Primary school level-II in order to make a child ready for class-I when he/ she attains the age of 6 (six) years.
School timings for Pre Primary Level II will be from 9:15 am to 12:30 p m. Mid Day Meals will also be provided to the children of pre primary levels attached to the government schools.
The vision of the National ECCE Policy is to promote inclusive, equitable and contextualized opportunities for promoting optimal development and active learning capacity of all children below 6 years of age. The Policy focus is on early preschool learning for every child below six years.
Broadly, the policy focuses on restructuring the Integrated Child Development Scheme [ICDS] and integrating early childhood education with the Right to Education Act to ensure a smooth transition into formal schooling.

Gangtok metal band puts together tribute song for Nido Taniam

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: Gangtok based metal band ‘Dwelling for Aeon’ released a tribute song for Nido Taniam on this evening. Taniam, a student from Arunachal Pradesh was beaten to death by shopkeepers at Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi on 30 January in an incident which has been universally condemned and is being seen as a racial attack.
‘Mundane journey called life’, an “acoustic” metal song, is a dedication to Taniam, a victim of racial violence. The song is also for all the people from the North East who are discriminated against just because they look different, say the band members.
Dwelling for Aeon has Ashish Biswakarma [vocalist], Arun Pandey and DK Calvin [guitars], Anup Rai [drums] and Adarsh Gautam [bass]. The tribute song features Suseri Fuchimoto [violin] as a guest artist.
The metal outfit was formed in 2011 and has played at IIT-Guwahati and several local gigs. The band is due to release their first album in the next 2-3 months while they have already released some singles like ‘My Apologies’, ‘16 hours’ and ‘Come Alive’.

Sikkim Police transfers

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: The state government has affected transfers of the state police personnel’s top brass including Special Director General of Police [SDGP] Janga Basnett from Training to Director, Fire and Emergency Services.
Similarly, Director, Fire & Emergency Services, TT Tamang, has been transferred and posted as Additional Director General of Police, Headquarters.  ASP, IRBn, New Delhi, RK Sundas has been transferred and posted as ASP, IRBn, Pipley, Karshang Tshering Bhutia, ASP, District Prison Namchi has been transferred to 3rd battalion IRBn, Ranipool in the same post.
Arjun Kumar Bomjan, who was recently promoted as DSP is also transferred and posted DSP/ Reserve Lines while K B Gurung, recently promoted as DSP has been given charge of District Prison, Namchi in the same post. Similarly, Chundi Chopel Bhutia, DSP has been transferred and posted as DSP, IRBn, New Delhi.
Ambika Subba, recently promoted as DSP is also transferred and posted as DSP/ PHQ and K P Nepal, DSP, IRBn, Pipley has been transferred and posted as DSP/ Sikkim Vigilance, Gangtok.

SSP proposes naming of Namnang Skywalk after late Crown Prince

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: Sikkim Sangram Parishad has proposed the naming of the Skywalk on the Namnang-Deorali road in memory of Late Crown Prince, Tenzing Namgyal. This was decided in a meeting of the party high command held today at the SSP head office at Jeewan Theeng Marg, an SSP press release informs. The State Government, it may be recalled has renamed the Guards’ Ground at Tathangchen after the late Crown Prince. The ground is now officially known as Tenzing Namgyal Memorial Ground.
Meanwhile, the release informs that the SSP working president, Rajendra Upreti, and vice president, Kamal K Rai proposed the resolution to name the Skywalk after the Late Crown Prince in recognition of his contributions to the welfare of Sikkim and its people. The resolution was seconded by the party’s women’s cell president, Chumsang Shenga and general secretary, DB Basnet.
The resolution was discussed at length and passed unanimously.
“The main reason behind the proposal for naming the Namnang-Deorali (“Skywalk” which is under construction), in the memory of Crown Prince Late Tenzing Namgyal, who had expired in a car accident in the month of March, 1978 on the same road/ place”, the release states.
The party will pressurize the government to implement the resolution, the release adds.
It is also informed that SSP has also decided to hold a public meeting on 16 February, 2014 at Gyalshing Bazaar, West Sikkim and the meeting will be addressed by party president, Nar Bahadur Bhandari.

SKM accuses SDF of trying to set its zonal office ablaze, takes out ‘Pratiwad rally’ in protest

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: Sikkim Krantikari Morcha [SKM] today took out a ‘pratiwad rally’ in Jorethang protesting an alleged attempt to set their zonal office on fire by Sikkim Democratic Front [SDF] workers last night.
In a press release, SKM has blamed former Minister and at present Political Secretary to the Chief Minister, KN Rai for the alleged rise in criminal activities in Jorethang and surrounding areas. SKM has alleged that since Mr Rai was given charge of Poklok-Kamrang constituency, anti-social activities have increased in the area.
The release alleges that SDF workers tried to set the SKM party office at Jorethang ablaze last night in order to create tension in the area. Following this incident SKM took out the pratiwad rally and asked the police administration to book the culprits as soon as possible.
SKM has also raised several other issues including alleged encroachment of UD&HD land by SDF.
The pratiwad rally covered the Jorethang bazaar and later turned into a party meeting at Jorethang ground where Biren Rai addressed the gathering.

SKM team visits Kopchey and Sundunglakha

 GANGTOK, 12 Feb: Continuing its public interaction campaign in Chujachen constituency, a Sikkim Krantikari Morcha team visited and interacted with the people of Kopchey and Sundunglakha today.  
An SKM release informs that a team comprising of party advisor, Mohan Gurung, vice-president [East], KB Gurung, vice-president [zonal], Binay Lama, Mohan Labar of Driver’s Front along with Dup Tshering, Shanti Gurung and other active members interacted with the people. The release claims that during the programme 32 houses of Kopchey and Sudunglakha joined the SKM party while 12 houses hoisted the party flag.
The release states that the people of the area accused the area MLA of partiality in the distribution of benefits in the recently held Janta Mela.

Meeting discusses National Rural Drinking Water Awareness Week celebration

GANGTOK, 12 Feb [IPR]: A state-level meeting was convened at the conference hall of RMDD today with regard to the celebration of National Rural Drinking Water Awareness Week (NRDWAW) to be observed from 20 to 25 February 2014. The programme was organized by Communication and Capacity Development Unit (CCDU), SIRD, Karfectar, South Sikkim. It was informed that the programme will be held on the theme ‘taking charge of our water resources’.
The meeting discussed at length the proposed activities to be included in the celebration. It was also decided to observe the NRDWAW district wise starting from Gangtok, Mangan, Namchi, Gyalshing and the valedictory function will be held in Gangtok. The programme will include rally, marathon, involving the students and locals as well as other activities like street play to create awareness.
The Secretary RMDD, D R Nepal highlighted about the importance of safe water supply and sanitation which he said is the priority of the State Government. He also sought cooperation from all concerned departments to make the awareness campaign a success and to impart awareness on the theme amongst the masses.


“Our Pledge, Our Commitment”, this was the title of the booklet released by Sikkim Krantikari Morcha President, Shri. P.S. Golay on 4th February 2014 at Jorethang. I opened the book with palpable anticipation. I was confident that the booklet would contain new and brilliant ideas given the man’s passion for parivartan. But as I flipped through the pages, it was superficiality at its best. It looked more like a sheer copy paste job! But I did not give up! I kept reading in the hope of finding some new  revelations and thoughts! Alas!  From the first page to the last, the booklet contained nothing to write home about. All it did was invoke a deep sense of nothingness. So much for parivartan!
I could not help but pitch SKM’s ideas against the SDF’s achievements. All of us are aware that the SDF Government has been praised and lauded at all levels for its innovative ideas and vision.
The first bullet point reads ‘SKM’s born to end Chamling’s undemocratic rule.’ If Chamling’s really so undemocratic how come he is rated as PM for a possible third front leader at the national level by national leaders?
Other commitments include tourism, conservation and rural development but these sectors already have reached their zenith in twenty years in Sikkim under SDF Government. Shri Golay talks about tribal status for certain communities but he has failed to speak in favour of tribal status for all the left out Sikkimese communities. The word Sikkimese is so vital for our survival. This reveals his lopsided mindset.  He even seems to be more concerned about outsiders than the Sikkimese people. We all know that Income Tax exemption for all Sikkimese communities was brought by the Chamling Government but this fact has sadly failed to find any preservation in Shri Golay.
Shri Golay in the booklet has tried exceptionally well to strike a chord with the common man by playing the aam aadmi card. He says that all representatives of SKM will be treated like any other person and no preferential treatment will be given to them. Well and good. But SDF Government has tied up with some of the best hospitals in the country where the poorest of the poor is treated at State Government’s expense.
He talks about austerity measures. But austerity measures are already well in place! All policies for the old, poor, youth, employees, journalists, environment, tourism all sound exceedingly familiar. Old wine in new bottle? You bet!
How I wish SKM had done its homework properly!
We all hunger for change and it is quite natural to want change. But when change is just a lazy idea in an idle mind, then it makes no sense at all.
When I thought again, I realised, I realised that we tend to take things for granted.  I asked myself if there was anything I wanted from the Government. I struggled for an answer to detect a loophole. I tried hard but could not think of anything that’s lacking in my life as far as basic needs and requirements are concerned. The Government has done so much for all of us. And in turn the least we can do is be grateful to the Government! And a piece of advice to Shri. Golay. Next time please let the parivartan reflect like a mirror in your thoughts, ideas and past actions. Presently, the mirror of parivartan appears to be pock marked and so it will be in the future too. We have to be more careful from now on.
And all I can say about the booklet is ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!’  Indeed!!
PK Chettri, Temi

Committee set up for Freight Subsidy Scheme

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: The state government has constituted a six-member committee to examine and consider the claims of Industrial Units and recommend the Freight Subsidy Scheme-2013.
In a Gazette Notification, the state government has constituted the State Level Committee headed by Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, PT Euthenpa, as chairman.
Other members are: Director, Commerce & Industries Department as member secretary; a representative from Finance Department; a representative from Transport Department; representative from North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. Gangtok and; representative from Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Govt. of India as Members.

NHPC sponsors wood carving training

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: One-month capacity building and skill up-gradation program on Wood Carving started at Dung-dung on 10 February. The training has been organised by Directorate of Handicrafts & Handloom (DHH), Govt. of Sikkim and is sponsored by Teesta-V Power Station, NHPC Ltd.
A press release informs that the training aims at the up-liftment of the underprivileged and to make them self-reliant. The training has 15 participants and was inaugurated by MLA, Singtam-Khamdong, Am Prasad Sharma.
The training is part of NHPC’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development (CSR-SD) activities for 2013-14. The inaugural function was attended by Dy. Director, CT Lepcha and Asstt. Director, C Bhutia of the DHH, Govt of Sikkim.

IHCAE launches official website

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: The official website of the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Ecotourism [IHCAE], Chemchey in South Sikkim,, was launched by the Tourism Minister, Bhim Dhungel on Tuesday. The launch was also attended by the Tourism Secretary, C Zangpo and IHCAE Director, ST Bhutia [IPS] and other officials.
The website contains detailed information about the institute along with information on its campus, training courses and other activities along with the event calendar of the institute.
Speaking to media persons today, IHCAE Director, Mr Bhutia mentioned that the website has all details about the institute and its activities targeted mainly for the youth of Sikkim.  He added that the website would also help people from other states to take part in the various activities of the institute.
Mr Bhutia has urged the young people of the state to visit the website and promote the institute which mainly emphasizes on adventure and ecotourism.
The institute was formally inaugurated by the Union Minister for Tourism, Kumari Selja on 07 December 2009. IHCAE is located on a hill top at Chemchey Village, South Sikkim at an altitude of 6582 ft. covering an area of 21.2 acre. The institute is the first of its kind in the entire North East region.
IHCAE provides high standard eco-tourism and adventure related training courses while emphasizing on instilling the concept of adventure tourism without causing any environmental degradation.

First level checking of 1,200 EVMs underway

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: The State Election Department here in Gangtok today began the exercise of checking the Electronic Voting Machines. This is the first level checking of the EVMs being conducted by the Election Department and has been undertaken under directions of the Election Commission of India.
The checking of EVMs is being done in the Strong Room of the department situated at Vajra, Gangtok and will continue till 15 February.
As per an order issued by the department the offices of the election department will be out of bounds for the general public during the period of the EVM checking due to security reasons.
For attestation of photo electoral identity cards and other works the Election Department has requested the general public to approach the concerned district election officers at the District Administration Centres.
As informed by the CEO, D Anandan, a total of 1200 EVMs are undergoing the preliminary checking for which engineers from Electric Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) have come.
A total of 5 engineers from ECIL, which is the government designated company for manufacture EVMs in India, are here to conduct the checking.
Incidentally, the first level checking of machines was also done in September 2013 when, as per the CEO, a total of 2000 EVMs were checked under the same directives of the ECI. The checking of the machines involves cleaning and checking its buttons and other accessories.
The CEO reiterated that this checking is a regular feature at the time of elections and done on the directions of the Election Commission of India.
At the time of checking only recognized political parties, as per the directives of the ECI, are asked to send in their representatives to witness the checking exercise.
As informed by the CEO all recognized political parties have been intimated about the checking and asked to send representatives. Here again, the CEO, D Anandan made it clear that this is only the preliminary exercise and that there will be another checking of those EVMs which will be finally selected for use in the upcoming elections.
This subsequent checking will be done in front of the candidates by the respective Returning Officers.
It is informed that not all 3200 EVMs will be required for the elections in Sikkim and it is understood that the ECI may request the Election Department here to dispatch any number of EVMs as it requires to be used for polling in other states as well.
Therefore, the final selection of those machines to be actually used for the elections in Sikkim will be done later and these will undergo another round of checking which will be done in the presence of all candidates of all political parties contesting the elections.

Infusing Quality into Education

Education has been billed as a priority focus area for governmental assistance, and ‘quality’ is the new watch word. It is heartening to learn that education, which has for long enjoyed arguably the largest workforce in Sikkim, has also been receiving the attention that is its due for a while now. Delivering quality education will always be a work in progress because improvements can always be made and since learning is an organic process, it cannot be allowed to stagnate because that would impede evolution itself. But we get ahead of the story here. Frontpaged in today’ edition is a report on the government’s redefining of Pre-Primary Levels I and II to align them with national standards. It is clearly a procedural matter which flows down from the Centre to the State, but is still a welcome move because in spelling out specifics in how toddlers need to be initiated into classroom learning, necessary focus is being directed on those all important growing up years which have for long received scant attention from governments. An ambitious National Policy on Early Childhood Care and Education has been structured, but it is still too early to judge whether it can deliver quality standards as aimed, but as mentioned, the attention that quality in the formative years of learning is receiving is welcome.
Let’s look at where Sikkim stands vis a vis school education at present. The density of schools in Sikkim leaves no room for complaint and the free textbooks and uniform scheme of the government ensures that at least the tools required to remain in school are in place. Schemes like the mid-day meal are also pegged as incentives to keep students in school and when delivered with care, are also supplementing the nutritional requirements of growing up years. But these are only tools, and the only effective incentive to keep children in school, or rather, keep them as keen learners, will be the quality of education that is imparted in the classrooms, not the quality of food served during breaks. Enrolment figures are handsome in Sikkim’s schools and kids here can complete education if they so desire. There is the concern over high drop-out rates, but that will require the involvement of more agencies than just a government department alone to redress. What is necessary now is to ensure that schools groom students, not just prepare them to pass their board exams. There is no prescribed set of do’s and don’ts by which this can be achieved, but a good place to begin would be to offer respect and provide inspiration. Respect for the students and their education and inspiration for the teachers and their responsibilities.
There is much in the education system of the country and the State that can be improved, but what is important to bear in mind is to first get everything that is already in place to perform to its potential. When one seeks respect for students, it is with the end result of these children growing up into self-respecting and confident citizens themselves. This possibility is denied them when their school infrastructure is allowed to waste away, when basic amenities like clean toilets and drinking water are either not provided or not maintained, when they are allowed to complete entire terms without adequate delegation of teachers. What is worrying is that is no embarrassment is felt by anyone even when obvious failures such as dangerously poor construction, not enough classrooms, inadequate furniture, missing libraries and short deployment of teachers is played out in public by protesting parents or students. It is obviously because the system does not prioritise respect enough and government officers see themselves as dispensing favours, not public service; a scenario in which people and students are expected to be grateful for whatever they receive. These attitudes need to change if quality is to be imparted in school classrooms. It is fine to lavish teachers with handsome salaries, teacher training is always welcome and with the right attention paid to physically developing and maintaining schools as centres of learning, the inspiration required to revitalise the teaching fraternity will be complete. Once what is possible with the existing infrastructure and resources has been achieved, the loftier aspirations of quality can be targeted. For that final aim, it would be advisable for the policy-makers to set a clear target on what they want government schools in Sikkim to become, then grade the schools so that once efforts to scale up ‘quality’ are rolled out, it is possible to return at regular intervals and measure the achievements. At present, ‘quality’ is a loosely defined and poorly understood term, this will simply not do; it needs to be quantified into measurable terms covering infrastructure, attendance, staffing patterns, co-curricular engagements, community participation, creative outputs etc.

Sikkim in semifinals of Dr. T Ao Memorial Football Tourney

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: Sikkim has reached the semi-final round of the ongoing Dr T Ao Memorial Football Tournament at Aizawl in Mizoram. In the quarter-final match played on Tuesday, Sikkim defeated Assam 4-2 to secure its place in the semi-final berth. The Sikkim team will now take on Mizoram in the semi-final on Thursday.

Training on incense-making begins at Lungchok

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: One-month Capacity Building training in Dhoop Making for 15 unemployed youth of Lungchok-Kamarey GPU in South Sikkim. The training was organized by the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom, Government of Sikkim sponsored under CSR component of Summit Online, Trade Solution Pvt. Ltd.
A press release informs that the training was inaugurated by Panchayat President of Lungchok-Kamarey GPU, R P Gurung as the chief guest today in the Yuwa Sunakhari Club, Lungchok Ward.
Mr Gurung while addressing the gathering and trainees, urged them to take full advantage of the training and become self-reliant. Further, he urged the trainees to be innovative as there is high demand for incense sticks especially at religious places like Samdruptse, Chaardham and Shakti Sthal which is under construction at Lungchok-Kamarey GPU. The chief guest also thanked the Government, department officers and Summit Online, Trade Solution Pvt. Ltd. for organizing and sponsoring such training in their area.
The departmental officers informed the gathering about the criteria of training and also informed about the Health and Life insurance policies provided to artisans. Information regarding regular admission was also disseminated, the release mentions.
The programme concluded with the vote of thanks by Assistant Director (South), DHH, Namchi, DK Rai.

Asst Electoral Registration Officer appointed for Shyari constituency

GANGTOK, 12 Feb: As per a notification issued by the Election Commission of India the Deputy Municipal Officer, Gangtok Municipal Corporation has been appointed as the Assistant Electoral Registration Officer for 23 Shyari assembly constituency. This constituency is a BL reserved constituency. This has been notified by the ECI under sub-section (1) of 13C of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (43 of 1950). The ECI makes all appointments of Electoral and Assistant Registration Officers for the purposes of general and state Assembly elections.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

ALL SMILES: Everyone likes a gift, especially when it is something as substantial as an allotment order for a construction under the CMRHM scheme which will deliver a pucca home to replace a kutcha dwelling. The smiles here convey such a joy. The Kitam-Manpur Gram Panchayat under Melli constituency completed distribution of allotment orders of various benefits at a programme held on Friday [07 February] at Kitam Haat Shed following the Gram Swaraj Mela [held on 04 February 2014]. 80 beneficiaries received allotment orders for CMRHM construction, 59 beneficiaries received GCI sheets, induction stove sets for 50 beneficiaries, house upgradtion grants for 79 homes and one beneficiary who completes a CMRHM home recently received a solar lamp.

Sikkim-TMC to contest 2014 elections

GANGTOK, 11 Feb: The Sikkim Pradesh Trinamool Congress has announced plans to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the State. Making this announcement today, the party also said that it plans to field a woman candidate in the Lok Sabha election and is on the lookout for a suitable candidate.
The announcements were made by the SPTMC general secretary, Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha during a press conference held today at the party’s office. Mr Lepcha informed that AITMC general secretary, Mukul Roy, in consultation with the party chief, Mamta Banerjee, has given the green signal to SPTMC president, PT Lucksom to contest Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state.
He informed that this was decided during the central executive meeting ‘March to Brigade’ organized by AITMC in Kolkata recently.
For the Lok Sabha election, the party is looking for a suitable woman candidate this year, informed Mr Lepcha. He also stated that the party is looking for fresh candidates to contest all 32 Assembly seats.
The state-unit has been asked to submit the list of candidates to the central body in March. The party is also scheduled to release the party manifesto by the end of March.
Informing that the SPTMC will be holding a public meeting in Singtam on 14 February, Mr Lepcha stated that the party workers are interacting with the public across the state and listening to their grievances. He informed that the membership drive of the party has also been going on.
“SPTMC will follow the ‘One CM for one term’ rule, since being ruled by one CM for 20 years is not good for the state”, said Mr Lepcha. He mentioned that the party would like to bring about positive change in the system from the top to bottom.

The press conference also introduced the new office bearers of the state-unit; Tika Ram Gurung as vice-president, Navraj Chettri as publicity secretary, PT Lepcha as secretary for West Pendam and MB Rai as secretary for Rinchenpong. 

Strength-lifting team leaves for national tourney

GANGTOK, 11 Feb: A Sikkim Strength Lifting Association [SSLA] team will be representing the state in the 20th Junior Men & Women National Championship and 20th Senior & Master Men & Women National Strength Lifting and Inclined Bench Press Championship 2013-14, which started today at Howrah in West Bengal. The team left for the championship on Monday.
The seven-member team has Pema Dorjee Bhutia, Chandra Bahadur Dong, Phurba Tamang, Pem Dorjee Sherpa, Hishey Namgyal Bhutia, Bhai Chung Chung Bhutia and Karma Doma Bhutia. The championship is scheduled to end on 14 February.
SSLA general secretary, Pintso Namgyal informs that the team underwent rigorous training sessions in preparation for the championship. He informed that after formation of the state association last year the state team is taking part in this prestigious national championship for the second time. It is informed that in the last edition of the championship Pema Dorjee Bhutia had won a gold medal for the state.
SSLA hopes that this time as well, the state team will return with medals, expressed Mr Namgyal.
The association conveyed especial thanks to Rajya Sabha MP, Hishey Lachungpa, Chief Whip, Ugen T Gyatso and UDHD Minister, DB Thapa for supporting the team as well as Chewang Sangderpa and Sumeet Thirani for their voluntary support to the association.

Scientific Advisory Committee of KVK-South meets

GANGTOK, 11 Feb: The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) South Sikkim was held at Zilla Panchayat Bhavan, Namchi on 10 February to review different on-going activities and to guide and support the KVK scientists in formulating need-based and relevant Annual Action Plan 2014-15.
A press release informs that the SAC meeting was chaired by Additional Director, FSADD, NT Bhutia while Additional Director South and West Districts, Horticulture & Cash Crops Development Department, BK Rai was the chief guest for the programme.
Reports of on-going activities along with perspective plan 2014-15 was presented discipline-wise by individual Subject Matter Specialist (SMS) namely Dr. RD Ghatak (Agronomy), Sangay Palmoo Bhutia (Horticulture), Pravesh Shivakoti (Plant Protection), Dr. Chewang Norbu Bhutia (Animal Husbandry) and IP Shivakoti (Agriculture Economics) and by Tshering Dorjee Tamang, Farm Manager.
The presentations covering On Farm Trials (OFT) and Field Level Demonstration (FLD) were in line with the mandate of KVK i.e., assessment, refinement and dissemination of proven technology to farmers in the fields of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, the release mentions.
Some of the problems being faced by farmers at present were taken up by the KVK scientists and different technologies in order to address the problems were suggested. The inventory of line of work included organic management of blight in large cardamom, organic management of pests and diseases in ginger, citrus trunk borer management, etc.
The chief guest praised the efforts of KVK scientists and advised them to work in convergence with the line departments where he said that both KVK and the line departments are working to achieve the same goal ie., increasing production and productivity of crops and animals and for betterment of the farming community, the release informs.
He mentioned that KVK should as far as possible conduct research and trials in case of all activities (crops and livestock) undertaken by the line departments. NT Bhutia appreciated the presentations and suggested to incorporate relevant, need-based and location-specific research and demonstration work covering the whole of South District and provide deliverable technologies for the farmers. He also directed conducting SAC meetings regularly and season-wise.
Dr. Kalita in his address stressed on the importance of continuous and regular monitoring in the field and commended KVK South Sikkim for the work being undertaken and assured to provide full support from ICAR for any technological backstopping. He mentioned that KVK should follow guidelines of National Agriculture Research System (NARS) while conducting different research work in farmers' field as well as in the demonstration farm of KVK.
The meeting ended with vote of thanks by Programme Co-ordinator KVK South Sikkim, Namthang, Tilak Gajmer.

Posts created in Power Deptt for temp employees disabled in harness

GANGTOK, 11 Feb: Temporary employees of the State government with disabilities have something to cheer about. The State government has sanctioned the creation of 5 posts in the Energy & Power Department for disabled temporary employees.
The state government has issued the order for the creation of 5 posts of Supervisor [Electrical] in the Power Department; these posts are exclusively for appointment of disabled temporary employees, more specifically, for those temporary employees who were disabled in the line of duty.
It is informed that the creation of the posts will be filled by those temporary employees who were electrocuted while on duty and suffered disabilities to the extent of 40% and above.
Furthermore, it is informed that these newly created posts will automatically stand abolished as and when vacated by the incumbents on account of promotion, resignation or retirement.
These posts were created with the concurrence of the Finance department.

Stakeholders Meet convened by Teesta-V Power Station

GANGTOK, 11 Feb: Teesta Stage-V Power Station, NHPC, convened a Stakeholders Meet on 11 February in an effort to exchange views with various stakeholders regarding its CSR&SD (Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Development) activities.
A press release informs that the objective of this Meet was to provide information of the CSR activities which is being undertaken by NHPC, to inform the community about the benefits, to know their needs and aspirations and to get feedback in order to improve activities under CSR initiative.
The dignitaries present in the Meet were Director (Handicrafts & Handloom), Govt. of Sikkim, Ganga Pradhan, SDM (East Sikkim), Dhiraj Subedi, CMO (East), Dr. T Laden, BDO, Khamdong, SL Cintury, BDO Rakdong/Tintek, Pema Wangchuk Bhutia. Also, a large number of other stakeholders viz Panchayat members, representatives of NGOs and educational Institutions, along with media persons and senior officers of NHPC were present.
A presentation, highlighting the CSR activities of the power station, was delivered by Manager (HR), RK Verma. On this occasion, a CSR booklet showing glimpses of the initiatives undertaken by Teesta-V Power Station during the F.Y. 2011-12 and 2012-13 was released, the release mentions.
The Meet was addressed by the dignitaries and thereafter, the delegates were given an open forum to give their opinions and suggestions regarding CSR&SD activities of NHPC Ltd.