Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Manipur tops Northeast and Hill States in NITI Aayog innovation index 2022

Manipur Tops NE and Hill States in NITI Aayog Innovation Index; COCOMI and UNC Demand NRC; Top NHIDCL Officials in Imphal Resign

Manipur has topped in the ‘North East and Hill States’ category in the third edition of NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index.
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren tweeted, “Delighted to share that Manipur has topped the NITI Aayog’s India Innovative Index in “North East and Hill States” category. With PM @narendramodi Ji’s guidance, we will continue to work towards making the state a growth engine of the Nation”.
India Innovation Index is a comprehensive tool for the evaluation and development of the country’s innovation ecosystem, prepared by NITI Aayog and the Institute for Competitiveness. It ranks the states and the union territories on their innovation performance to build healthy competition amongst them.
The third edition highlights the scope of innovation analysis in the country by drawing on the framework of the Global Innovation Index. The number of indicators has increased from 36 (in the India Innovation Index 2020) to 66 (in the India Innovation Index 2021). The indicators are now distributed across 16 sub-pillars, which, in turn, form seven key pillars, NITI Aayog said in a statement.
The index was released on July 21 by NITI Aayog vice chairman Suman Bery in the presence of Member VK Saraswat, CEO Parameswaran Iyer and senior adviser Neeraj Sinha, and Institute for Competitiveness chairman Amit Kapoor, reports added.


The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) and the United Naga Council (UNC) have appealed for setting up of a Manipur State Population Commission and called for deporting illegal immigrants and checking mushrooming of unrecognised villages.
The COCOMI and the UNC demanded in a joint statement issued on July 22 said that the members of the house adopt a resolution for setting up of a Manipur State Population Commission in the ensuing 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly Sesssion scheduled to begin from July 25.
The COCOMI and UNC drew the attention of the members to adopt a resolution and send a proposal to the Government of India for taking further steps to check demographic imbalance of the state.
They demanded that the NRC be updated with a fixed cut-off base year to identify illegal immigrants in Manipur. The joint statement mentioned that COCOMI and UNC had submitted a memorandum to the State Chief Minister on June 4 to initiate steps against influx of illegal immigrants in Manipur.
A copy of the memorandum was submitted to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister on June 10, seeking immediate steps to check the demographic imbalance, the statement reminded.
The memorandum demanded the government to update NRC and deport illegal immigrants or to initiate alternative arrangements so as not to harm the interests of the indigenous people of the land, the statement said.
The two groups also demanded the institution of a population commission to prepare for NRC update and to make key recommendations to the government after collection of scientific information for various demographic issues.

Development Activities Under Rajya Sabha MPLADS Listed

The developmental activities to be taken up under the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) 2021-22 of Rajya Sabha MP Sanajaoba Leishemba have been listed out, following administrative approval and by sanctioning Rs 1.96 crore expenditure of total Rs 2 crore.
The developmental activities are to be implemented in 16 Assembly Constituencies (AC) and the process for successful implementation of the activities has already been underway, stated a release issued by OSD cum Media Advisor of the MP M Shivadutta.
The activities include construction of community halls at Salankonjil in Kumbi AC, Chanam Sandrok in Keirao AC, Charoibung in Mayang Imphal AC, Ima Thareima Ground, Soibam Leikai Ahongei in Wangkhei AC and Konsakhul in Saitu AC; construction of irrigation ponds at Moirangpurel Mamang Ingkhol Loukol in Andro AC, Keirou Loukol in Thanga AC, the release said.
The other activities to be taken up under the scheme according to the release are establishment of a public hall at Chajing Lakpa Pureiromba Hill in Langthabal AC; construction of public pond with boundary fencing and renovation of bathing platform at Yaingangpokpi Keithel in Lamlai AC; setting up of Ukhrul Townhall in Ukhrul AC; digging of community pond for rainwater harvesting at Champhung village in Chingai AC; digging of community pond at Maku Village in Phungyar AC; construction of public toilet at Khoupum village in Nungba AC; construction of community ponds at Azuram village in Tamei AC; setting up of community park at Aimol Chingnunghut village in Tengnoupal AC; and construction of guest house and wall fencing at Hongman Tangkhul village in Saikul AC.
The release also sought support and cooperation from the people in making the developmental activities successful.

Manipur ADCs, Municipal Councils Elections in October

The Manipur State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren on July 21 decided to hold pending elections for Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and Municipal Councils in October this year.
The State Cabinet also decided to increase the number of ADCs to 10 from six to strengthen grassroots administration. Besides, it was also decided that if an ADC has a maximum of 26 members, 24 of them should be elected.
However, the agenda for holding elections of gram panchayat was differed and was not considered in the cabinet meeting held on July 21.

Manipur Schools to Reopen from July 25

Manipur State Cabinet on July 21 has decided to resume normal classes of class 8 and above from July 25 onwards. The government schools were scheduled to reopen on July 16 after summer vacation.
However, in the wake of increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the second week of July, in consideration for the health safety of children, Manipur Government decided to close down all the schools (government/government aided/ private schools/schools affiliated to CBSE) located in the state for conduct of normal classes with immediate effect till July 24.
IPR and Health Minister Dr Sapam Ranjan said that the State Government is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the state. Along with senior officials of education and health department, the cabinet discussed the closure of school and its impact as well as possibilities of reopening schools, and resolved to reopen schools for higher classes from class 8 onwards.
However, with the vaccination efforts underway for students up to class VII, further steps to resume physical classes for lower classes will be announced accordingly, reports added.

Indefinite Bandh Suspended

The indefinite bandh imposed on July 21 from the intervening midnight of July 21 and 22 along Imphal-Dimapur highway by Manipur Drivers Association (MDA), Senapati Truck Drivers Union (STDU) and Senapati Truck Owners Association (STOA) in protest against the seizing of eight trucks on July 20 by district forest officer, Motbung Forest Beat Office under Kangpokpi Forest Division has been called off.
The indefinite bandh has been called off after reaching an agreement between the Divisional Forest Office, Kangpokpi Forest Division and the drivers’ group with the intervention of Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren and Forest and Environment Minister Thongam Bishwajit.
Earlier, MDA General Secretary Ksh Sanjoy in front of Motbung Forest Beat Office said that the three associations strongly condemned the seizing of eight trucks which were transporting sand. Sanjoy said the eight trucks were seized as they failed to produce their Transport Permit (TP). But the transport drivers have been demanding for issuance of the required TP from Mao gate but no TP was issued to them till date.
After reaching an agreement, the seized trucks also have been released, reports added.

VDF Honorarium Hiked

The honorarium of VDF persons will be hiked by ₹500 annually as adopted in State Cabinet meeting held on July 21. This will come to effect from January 2023. It was also decided that VDF personnel can take leave of 15 days in a year since they are working on Sundays as well.
Moreover, VDF personnel who had served for a minimum of eight years will be delegated to the rank of a corporal and those who served for 16 years will be promoted to the rank of sergeant since there is no definite structure of promotion for them, the cabinet decided. However, the same will be monitored by a screening committee. VDF personnel will be covered as eligible beneficiaries of CMHT and PMJAY, reports said.

AMSU Demands Education Budget Hike

The All Manipur Students Union (AMSU) has demanded that the budget allocation for education sector should be increased. Decrying the lack of adequate budget resources AMSU General Secretary Bikramjit Thongam said, most of the educational institutes are lacking in infrastructure in conformity with changing trends in education sector. This has resulted in students and teachers to undergo many inconveniences, he added.
Bikramjit also strongly condemned the authorities concerned for ignoring their charter of demands, which was submitted in the form of memorandum consisting of 12 demands on May 24, into action.

NEFIS Extends Support to Sri Lankan People’s Movement

The North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) on July 17 took part in a solidarity demonstration at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi in support of the ongoing Sri Lankan people’s movement.
The event was organised on the occasion of the 100th day of the historic Galle Face Protest in Colombo, which has spearheaded the ‘Janatha Aragalaya’ or people’s struggle in Sri Lanka, stated a release. Solidarity meets were also organised by NEFIS in Manipur and Assam, it stated.

Top NHIDCL Officials in Imphal Resign

Top officials of National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), including its Imphal based Executive Director Rajiv Sood, have resigned. NHIDCL deputy general manager Pramod Srivastava, who was in charge of NH 37, the Imphal-Jiribam highway, also resigned. Rajiv Sood resigned on personal grounds, reports said.
Of late, NHIDCL is in the eye of the storm over pending land compensation issues and differences with top PWD officials particularly over construction of RCC drains along the Imphal Jiribam highway besides the fatal incidents in Likhru Korii Bridge and non-completion of Irang Bailey Bridge.
It may be recalled here that, Sood had called on the state Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren only two days ago in his office. However reports said, he had already submitted his resignation to NHIDCL authorities before the said meeting.
Despite recent controversies, the all-important RCC bridges over Barak and Makru rivers on the Jiribam highway were completed during his tenure as Executive Director while another RCC bridge over Irang River is in progress, reports added.

Railways to Revisit Environment and Social Impact Assessment

The Railways is to hold extensive discussion with IIT Guwahati, Manipur University and other institutions to have a detailed investigation for working out how the hill slopes adjacent to Railways boundaries in the Jiribam-Imphal project can better be monitored, so that early warning can be given for any future untoward event. Environment Impact assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) shall be revisited in the light of this landslide.
This is one of the points included in a memorandum of understanding signed between NF Railways, Noney District Administration and Makhuam Village Authority in the presence of Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, Disaster Management Minister Awangbow Newmai and Hill Areas Committee Chairman Dipu Gangmei among other officials after a high-profile meeting to address the issues arising out of the landslide and grievances aired by Makhuam Village Authority held at CM Secretariat in the afternoon on July 20.
After three weeks of continuous efforts by rescue workers to trace the missing persons in the aftermath of Marangching massive landslide in Noney district, the Manipur government has finally decided to wind up the search operation on July 20 evening.
Till day-21 of the search operation, five bodies remained untraceable. Only 18 of the 79 people believed to be affected by the landslide that occurred in the intervening night of June 29 and 30 were rescued alive.

Makhuam Landslide Was Manmade Disaster, PFA Manipur Claims

People for Animals (PFA), Manipur on July 21 claimed that the Marangching landslide was an artificial, manmade disaster and commended the state government for initiating measures to redo an environment and social impact assessment of the railway project.
In a release, PFA, Manipur stated that the signing of an MoU with North Frontier Railways indicates that the Marangching incident was not a natural disaster. Although the damage is already done, redoing the assessment will be helpful in preventing future disasters, it added.
PFA further questioned the competency of the report submitted by the state level and district level environment assessment committee before the railway project was commenced. “The Marangching incident proves that eco-fragile regions like Manipur are prone to such devastating incidents,” PFA stated.

No Prosecution Sanction

The Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West has taken cognizance against eight police personnel on July 8 in an alleged fake encounter case in which a 12-year-old minor was killed in 2009.
However, three Assam Rifles personnel were left out as no prosecution sanction was given by the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
After taking up cognizance, the case has been transferred to the Session Judge, Imphal West for further proceedings. The court issued notice to EEVFAM, being an association of victims of fake encounters, which falls within the ambit of “victim” as defined u/s 2(WA) of CrPC and is entitled to participate in the proceedings for considering final report/closure report.
Further, the court also issued notice to three Assam Rifles personnel namely Vijay Singh Balhara, Gopal Singh and Md Riayakat Ali, all from 21 Assam Rifles through Ministry of Defence, EEVFAM for consideration of supplementary charge sheet denying prosecution sanction.
The CBI Special Investigation Team (SIT) in 2020 submitted a charge sheet against eight Manipur police personnel in an alleged fake encounter case in which a 12-year-old minor was killed in 2009 before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thoubal.

Cancer Among Top Five Killer diseases in Manipur

People of Manipur are facing a high cancer risk factor along with poor healthcare seeking behavior and lack of resources for prevention and control of cancer in healthcare facilities, according to a report on “Monitoring Survey of Cancer Risk Factors and Health System Response in North East Region (NER), Manipur”.
The report was released at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences {RIMS), Imphal Manipur by RIMS director Professor Ahanthem Santa on July 19.
“The Department of Pathology, RIMS Imphal in collaboration with ICMR-NCDIR, Bengaluru took up this project in the year 2019-2021 with an aim to estimate the prevalence of major cancer associated behavioral and metabolic risk factors and pattern of their distribution in the population,” Professor & HOD Pathology RIMS Sushma Khuraijam said in a statement.
The North Eastern region has the highest incidence of cancer in India and is also burdened by high prevalence of risk factors of cancer and inadequate treatment facilities. Cancer is among the top five leading causes of death in Manipur.
The response of the health system towards cancer prevention and control at the primary and secondary level in public as well as private sector and health facilities has also been assessed in this project, Professor Sushma Khuraijam added.

P Gaichui Passes Away
P Gaichui

The first Kabui Programme announcer of All India Radio (AIR), Imphal, P Gaichui passed away on July 21 due to cardiac arrest. She was 82.
She breathed her last at the Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi around 11.50 am on July 21. Gaichui was a diabetic patient and suffered a cardiac arrest recently, reports added.
P Gaichui became the first announcer of AIR Imphal, Kabui Programme in 1963. She is wife of former MP and Professor Meijinlung Kamsom.
The mortal remains of Gaichui has been flown to her hometown at Majorkhul in Imphal on July 22, reports added.

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