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The Supreme Court postpones hearing on Disqualification case of 12 BJP MLAs on account of holding ‘Office of profit’ for one week; EC's opinion on the case reportedly apprised to Governor's Secretary on January 14, 2021

Congress MLA DD Thaisii on Monday urged before the Supreme Court his plea for the fast decision by the Governor as to the disqualification of 12 BJP Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly under Article 192 for holding Offices of Profit on their appointment as Parliamentary Secretaries. He sought a direction to the Election Commission of India, ECI to perform its Constitutional obligation under Article 192 and give its opinion on the disqualification case to Manipur Governor. The Supreme Court bench  postponed hearing on the case for a week.
 

In today's hearing, respondents stated that the Election Commission of India, ECI has already given its opinion on the Disqualification Case to Manipur Governor's Secretary on January 14 this year. However, the petitioner's counsel claimed that the Governor has still not decided and that there is no point in going back to the Governor to decide if they have not decided in six months. According to the petitioner, the Election Commission has a constitutional duty to give it's opinion to the Governor of Manipur and failure to discharge the constitutional duty by a constitutional authority cannot be sustained. The Court ordered to set a deadline for the Governor's Secretary to inform the Governor about the EC's opinion.

It maybe mentioned that the Government of Manipur had enacted the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012, enabling the Chief Minister to appoint Members of Manipur Legislative Assembly as Parliamentary Secretary with the status and rank of a Minister of a State. In 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the scheme of Article 194 does not expressly authorize the State legislature to create an office such as that of the Parliamentary Secretary. Subsequently, Manipur Government passed the Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary And Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018. The Manipur Parliamentary Secretary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2012, and the Manipur Parliamentary (Appointment, Salary and Allowances and Miscellaneous Provisions) Repealing Act, 2018 ceased to exist after the Manipur High Court pronounced them invalid and unconstitutional in a judgment on September 17, 2020.

After the High Court declared these Acts void ab initio, Congress MLAs of Manipur had approached Governor Dr Najma Heptulla seeking disqualification of the 12 BJP MLAs on account of holding the position of parliamentary secretaries, which qualified as 'office of profit'. The Governor then forwarded necessary documents and sought the EC's opinion on the matter in October last year. After much waiting, Congress MLA DD Thaisii had filed a writ petition to the Supreme court seeking the EC's opinion on the case.

DESAM demands regular Principals in 24 Government Colleges & 6 Aided Colleges and Rationalisation of both Teaching & Non-Teaching Staff to enhance Higher Education Sector in Manipur

Democratic Students' Alliance of Manipur, DESAM draws the State Government's attention towards two actionable activities that will increase the efficiency of collegiate education within a short period with high return. It urges the Government for prompt appointment of regular Principals in those Government colleges requiring the same and rationalisation of both teaching and non-teaching staff of Government Colleges to make way for the best, motivated, and capable faculties within a very short period. 

DESAM urges the Government to introduce some major activities in view of the National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP-2020) to bring quality higher education in Manipur with an aim to develop good, thoughtful, well-rounded, and creative people. It points out that only few subjects have high or proper teacher:student ratio, many government colleges have low or inappropriate teacher:student ratio, there is evidence of high variation of non-teaching staff from one college to another and that rationalisation is required for librarian and other staff in co-curricular activities. DESAM reminds about the leadership role of College Principals. The students' union says that only 15 government colleges have regular Principals appointed for a tenure of only 5 years and that some are Principal-in-Charge for more than 23 years without any fixed tenure.

In a video release today, DESAM Secretary General Leishangthem Lamyanba expresses concerns about the huge disparity in enrollment percentage of students in colleges across the State. He says that popular colleges face admission rush while less popular colleges have few students applying for admission. Lamyanba also mentions that owing to the pandemic many students have now opted to study in the state instead of colleges in other parts of the country and with high pass percentage of students in the recently declared class 12 exams, there will be many students seeking admission in the state. Lamyanba stresses on the need for rationalisation of both teaching and non-teaching staff of government colleges to reform Higher Education Sector in the state. He also urges the relevant authorities to appoint regular principals in 24 government colleges and 6 Government aided colleges in the State immediately.

The student leader recalls that DESAM had already submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister and the Education Minister about these issues, and they have given assurances to look into the matter.

 

  

 

Bad road, lack of suitable vehicles & adequate man-power are some major stumbling blocks for the success of Covid-19 Vaccination drive in Kamjong District; Covid Vaccination is still a distant dream for villagers under Sahamphung Sub-Division 
 
Among the hill districts of Manipur, Kamjong district is one of the most deprived districts in many aspects. Apart from lack of adequate Police personnel to check Law & Order situation, Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Workers, Kamjong District is not even equipped with necessary district admin vehicles for public welfare usage. Such inadequacies retard the progress of the district and especially hinder covid vaccination drive amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Facing various inconveniences, relevant authorities are making their best efforts to reach out covid vaccine to the residents of these far flung areas. 
 
Manipur government created Kamjong district which consists of 4 sub-divisions out of Ukhrul district on December 8, 2016. The district, sized around 2 thousand square kilometre is of hilly terrain with no proper roads till date to connect its inhabitants. Lack of proper infrastructure like health care centres, man power and good road has been even more challenging especially in these tough times of coronavirus pandemic, when the government is making due efforts to vaccinate all the eligible beneficiaries in the state.
There are around 36 Thousand eligible beneficiaries above the age of 18 in this fairly sized district of about 140 villages spread across four sub-divisions of Kamjong Sub-Division, Kasom Sub-Division, Phungyar Sub-Division and Sahamphung Sub-Division. District Administration Kamjong under the initiative of Phungyar MLA K.Leishiyo has been making earnest efforts for days on in reaching out Covid-19 vaccination drive in villages under Kasom, Phungyar and Kamjong Sub-Divisions. However, they are still unable to reach out vaccination drive to residents of villages under Sahamphung Sub-Division till date due to the obvious lack of electricity and pathetic road condition.
 
Challenging the pathetic road, lack of proper health centers, adequate vehicles and man power in the district, Phungyar MLA K Leishiyo is making relentless efforts along with Kamjong District DC and doctors, day and night to reach out Covid-19 vaccination drive to the residents of these remote villages in his constituency. But misconceptions about the vaccine have taken control over the ignorant villagers' minds and many are still unwilling to get vaccinated. One of the journeys included a visit to Chahong village, located 135 kilometres away from the Imphal City. Though, health officials administered Covid-19 Vaccine to many beneficiaries in Chahong Khullen, only 4 people of Chahong Chingthak were willing to get the vaccine shots even after more than an hour of raising awareness on the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination. While, none from the neighbouring villages of Phalung and K. Langli came out to get vaccinated. On the positive note, some villagers of Maku were willing to get vaccine shots after an awareness program was held for them.
 
It is a known fact that bad road connectivity in the remote areas of the state is a stumbling block in carrying out successful Covid-19 vaccination drive for the remote dwellers. Government should provide adequate man-power and suitable vehicles to drive through the rough terrains to reach out COVID-19 vaccine to the villagers. It is equally important for the relevant authorities and health officials including doctors to raise effective awareness to clear away any myths or doubts about the vaccine itself and encourage people to get inoculated against COVID-19 .
 
 
 

The second wave of coronavirus  pandemic is breaking families, destroying lives. Horrifying story of aged Covid patient being abandoned by family has surfaced in Manipur, a land known for its hospitality and warmth.

More than a month ago, an octogenarian woman from Hiyanglam Assembly Constituency in Kakching District was reportedly disowned by her family after contracting COVID-19. This horrifying incident came to light recently. Family allegedly disowned 87-Year-Old Wahengbam Shakhi due to fear of contracting the disease. Staff of District Health Society, Kakching on June 16 admitted Shakhi at the Isolation Ward cum Covid Care Centre opened at Kakching Higher Secondary School and has been looking after her. 

Dr. Moirangthem Arun, Medical in-Charge of Kakching Covid Care Centre has said that staff of the Centre picked up Shakhi from here residence near Pole Star College in Kakching District and they have been looking after her since then. The doctor has said that she (Shakhi) came with very low saturation of oxygen and was kept on ventilator. Shakhi was in a debilitating condition and she couldn't walk or even eat food herself. Dr Arun has said that the isolation ward staff nurtured her back to health. They washed her, fed her and carried her fragile body whenever she had to be moved around and looked after her with the true spirit of a corona warrior. Salutes to such and many other unsung corona warriors!

Shakhi who has seen her better days in life but abandoned by her own family during her winding days is now said to be stable. However, no one from her family has approached the authorities yet as of filing this report. Is the family oblivious, ashamed or still leaving in the dark abyss of ignorance, selfishness and heartlessness? Fear is not the solution to this deadly pandemic but knowledge is. Let's show some humanity, cares and embrace the "New Normal".

Manipur continues to grapple with surging covid-19 infection as high as 19.37% on July 21. State reported 1,327 new covid cases out of the 6,852 samples tested in the last 24 hours. 15 patients succumbed to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours rising the death toll to 1,424. Covid-19 tally of Manipur has already exceeded 88 thousand mark. On the positive note, Manipur reported 1,032 cured cases in the past 24 hours. A total of 76,279 covid patients have recovered so far. State's recovery rate stands at 86.63 per cent.

Newly infected persons are 1,326 from the general population and one is a personnel of Central Armed Police Force. Imphal West has the highest infection of 400 followed by Imphal East with 351, Thoubal with 124, Kakching with 106, Churachandpur with 94, Bishnupur with 77, Chandel with 38, Tamenglong with 35, Noney with 27, Kangpokpi with 22, Jiribam with 17, Kamjong with 12, Senapati with 10 and 2 each in Tengnoupal and Pherzawl District.

Manipur health department is undoubtedly trying its best in ramping up vaccination rate and reaching out to residents in the far flung areas. Aged and physically challenged people have been vaccinated at their respective homes. Though a genome sequencing unit has been already opened at IBSD, Takyelpat, it is yet to ascertain how many of these new cases are of delta variant. Should there be a need to devise a different strategy to deal with the new variant?

Strict curfew is being imposed in the state barring for few miscreants who have not been spared by the police. There is also report of sorry condition of COVID Care Centre and Hospitals treating covid patients. The pandemic has affected almost everybody. As many as 9 of a family including minors have been even admitted to COVID Care Centre.  It's time everyone takes shared responsibilities, stay home and protect each other.

Door-to-door Random Covid testing from July 10, Strict Night Curfews, No family members to assist COVID patients at CCCs and Hospitals, Government to provide meals to COVID-19  patients

With the continuous spike of COVID Positivity rate as high as above 19 per cent on July 8, Manipur Government has come up with some new measures to curb the pandemic after a thorough discussion with the relevant health experts. Health officials will visit every household and conduct random COVID-19 testing of at least one family member from tomorrow onwards. If any family member was found to be infected then all the remaining family members will also be tested for COVID-19. Manipur Government is also enforcing night curfews strictly with certain relaxations during day time.
 
Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren made the announcement during an inspection of the two-day-mass covid vaccination camp for women vendors of the three Ima Markets and one temporary market which began today. District Administration, Imphal West and Chief Medical Officer, Imphal West organised the camp at the ground floor of the Ima Market No-3. It maybe mentioned that Government has recently announced that only vaccinated vendors or vendors who are regularly tested negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to sit in the said markets when markets reopen. The Chief Minister informed that no family members or attendants will be allowed to support or assist those patients who are undergoing treatment at Covid Care Centres and hospitals, adding that government will provide meals for the patients.
 
Advisor to CM (Health) Dr. Sapam Ranjan, Principal Secretary (Health) V. Vumlunmang, DC Imphal West Th. Kirankumar, Director (MAHUD)  Th. Harikumar, Chief Medical Officer, Imphal West, officials of Health department accompanied the Chief Minister during the inspection. Later, Chief Minister Biren also inspected the mass vaccination drive at Ibemcha High School, Khabam and Mongjam Community Hall, Imphal East.


There is an urgent need to intensify covid vaccination drive in the far flung areas of Manipur. Many villagers in remote areas are still reluctant to get Covid-19 vaccine jab due to fear created by rumours about the vaccine. Roads in these villages are also in a bad shape hindering vaccination drive.

Villagers in the remote hill districts of Manipur are oblivious to the impending threat of Covid-19 pandemic. They are at the risk of getting COVID-19 if anyone with the infection happened to visit these villages. Timely COVID vaccination is a must and the only sure means to prevent such unwanted consequences.

Many villagers are reluctant to get jabbed with COVID-19 vaccine due to rumours about the vaccine that have been circulating for a while. Over and above, roads in these remote villages are in a pathetic condition owing to which, arranging vaccination sites in these villages is a hefty task. Phungyar A/C MLA, Leishiyo Keishing who is also the Chairman of Hills Area Committee along with District Administration has been organising awareness programmes on COVID vaccination in villages in his constituency for a while now. Awareness programs were held along with Litan police at Singkap, Marou and Singta villages just yesterday. 

Though Manipur government has intensified covid vaccination drive in valley areas, not even 20 thousand people have been vaccinated so far in the hill districts. Some villagers believe that getting Covid-19 vaccine is similar to getting  ‘666’ marked, which is believed to be the symbol of Anti-christ or the devil. Such rumour and many others have hindered vaccination drive.

After villagers repeatedly failed to turn up at Covid Vaccination Centres, the local MLA himself had visited some of these villages to raise awareness on the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and to clear away their doubts. Impact News reporter Kshetrimayum Premchand interacted with some of the villagers yesterday and witnessed that many of them are now willing to get the vaccine shots.

Around 200 villagers of Singkap, Marou and Singta recieved COVID-19 vaccine jabs just yesterday following an awareness program on the benefits of covid vaccination. On the positive note, eligible residents of 60 villages out of aound 140 villages of Kamjong District have been inoculated against COVID-19 so far. Meanwhile, the relevant authorities are making their best efforts to vaccinate the remaining eligible beneficiaries within this month.

Students' Wing of the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System, JCILPS has warned of ban on entry of Passenger Train in Manipur if the Government failed to rectify the Inner Liner Permit System being implemented in the state.

Speaking to Impact News on the sidelines of the 6th Death Anniversary observance of Lamjing Meira Sapam Robinhood at Awa Ching in Imphal East District today, Convenor of JCILPS Students' Wing Bhuiyamayum Sazad said that the prevailing ILPS in Manipur is just for name sake as it lacks essence to protect the indigenous people of Manipur. He said that the system lacks 'Cut of Base Year' to identify outsiders and criteria to award penalty to those who violate the system.

Stating that JCILPS never gave it's approval for the current ILP system right from the beginning, Sazad expressed worry that once passenger train runs regularly in Manipur before amending the ILPS, it will be a great threat to the future of indigenous people of Manipur. He urged the Government to implement a proper ILP system in the state and warned of intense drive against non-locals who are residing in the state without a valid Inner Line Permit.

The Convenor also said that they will start identifying those areas of Manipur under Foreign names so that necessary measures can be taken against illegal encroachment by outsiders.

People fondly remember 'Lamjing Meira Sapam Robinhood' on his 6th Death Anniversary today. 

Joint Committee On Inner Line Permit System, JCILPS observed his Death Anniversary at Awa Ching in Imphal East District in a subdued manner by strictly adhering to COVID SOPs. Family members, leaders of student organisations and Civil Society Organisations paid floral tribute to the portrait of Robinhood at the memorial event.

It may be mentioned that Sapam Robinhood succumbed to bullet injuries when police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters demanding implementation of Inner Line Permit System on July 8, 2015. He was a class 11 student (Science) of Annanda Singh Higher Secondary Academy.

JCILPS gave the title of ‘Lamjing Meira’ to Sapam Robinhood in honour of his bravery.

 

Manipur health department is making all out efforts to ramp up Covid Vaccination rate in the state with an aim to prevent the possible outbreak of 3rd Wave of coronavirus pandemic. State Health Society, National Health Mission, Manipur organised "One Day Advocacy Program cum Panel Discussion' for "Faith Based Organisations" on the topic ‘Strengthening of Covid-19 vaccination’ today.

Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) V. Vumlunmang gave key-note address at the programme held at All Manipur Baptist Convention, (MBC Church) in Chingmeirong. Dr Sasheekumar Mangang, Additional Director, MD, DHS gave an "Overview of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Manipur and State Mission Director of National Health Mission Dr. N. Shyamjai stressed on the "Importance of Covid Vaccination".

Dr. Shyamjai said, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the only sure means to protect oneself from the deadly disease. He asserted that rate of COVID-19 infection is lesser among inoculated people. Informing that the rate of Covid vaccination in Manipur and the country is still less in comparison to other countries, he appealed to everyone to come forward and get jabbed for protection.

It maybe mentioned that a total of 7 Lakh 38 Thousand 631 people have received COVID-19 Vaccine shots in Manipur till July 4th, of which 6 Lakh 52 Thousand 691 have received the 1st dose and 85 Thousand 940 have received the 2nd dose. Leaders attending the programme have called for joint efforts in raising awareness on the benefits of getting inoculated against COVID-19.

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