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Assam-Mizoram Row: A brief analysis from a Regional, Geo-Political & Security Perspective

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Assam Mizoram Clash
Assam Mizoram Clash
“You can change friends, not neigbours.”- Former PM Late AB Vajpayee.

Assam as the elder sister:

The above-mentioned quote was said by former PM Late Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. During the 2003 India-Pakistan bilateral summit held in Agra. This particular quote can be apt with the ongoing border dispute between the NE states of Assam & Mizoram. Assam is the gateway to the entire NE region land route-railway & road transport. It is laden with a lot of responsibilities as the elder sister among the seven sister states. The recent dispute between the Assam and Mizoram, if escalates again, can have a greater geopolitical and security implications.

Ethnic overlap:

The flow of Burmese refugees in Mizoram following the recent military coup in Myanmar highlights the question about the global migrant crisis. The fate of the uprooted refugees from a conflict zone in a foreign land. Mizoram however shares an approximately 500 km long porous border with the Chin state of Myanmar. It is the home of the majority Kuki-Chin speaking communities of Myanmar.

Thus, also acts as the sign for the sense of linguistic and ethnic belongingness, as the Mizo language is a part of the Kuki-Chin language family. These refugees from Myanmar welcomed by the Mizo hospitality, considering the ethnic overlapping. Further exemplified by news report (June this year) said the allocation of funds by Mizoram for the refugee on humanitarian grounds. However, rehabilitating several refugees automatically doubles the state’s resources which also includes land. Also, speculated that the recent border dispute between the two states over land might be having an angle, determined from this perspective from Mizoram’s side.

Assam border concerns:

Assam already has boundary dispute with the neighbouring states of Meghalaya, Nagaland and even Arunachal Pradesh. It is now facing problems with Mizoram. This led to a violent incident, witnessed the death of Assam Police jawans along with many jawans being injured.

Assam and Mizoram:

Let‘s examine the geopolitical and security dimensions of the crisis between the two states. The People’s Republic of China (China/PRC), an emerging hegemon of the 21st century has got a significant number of stakes in India’s NE region. From claiming Arunachal Pradesh as their territory of South Tibet to supporting the last remnants of the NE insurgents against the Indian state. Thereby acting as an invisible foreign hand in destabilizing the region. China’s role and influence can’t be ignored, as its footprints are already expanding the South East Asian region. It is India’s destination in the “Act East initiative” and its route is obviously via the NE region of India. Enhancing the Act East initiative means synchronising the overall development of the NE region from infrastructure to connectivity, seen a pace since 2014. This includes the Kaladan Multi-modal project too where Mizoram is a major stakeholder.

Consequences:

A deteriorated state of the relationship will lead to Assam not being able to extract benefits from Mizoram and vice versa. Disturbance along the Assam-Mizoram border can further ignite the other states to demand their territorial claims over the boundary issue. In 2017 Hindustan Times reported the statement by the Chinese state media saying ‘rising Hindu Nationalism’ hijacked India’s China Policy.

Conclusion:

Considering the ideological leanings of the current ruling party in Assam, it will be not wrong if we consider the China factor here. It may be having a diabolical agenda of creating instability in India’s NE region. With motive to disrupt the ongoing developmental works in the region, by covertly provoking certain mischievous elements. If the crisis escalates again in future, it will be detrimental to both sides, considering the dissatisfaction by the people of Assam.

Above all, in January 2019, massive demonstrations against the ‘Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016’ (Now CAA) took place in Mizoram which even witnessed signs that said “Hello China..Bye Bye India”.

Slogans like these only mean providing an upper hand and leverage to the adversarial nation of China. They can take enormous advantage of it for their nefarious agenda about which I mentioned above. If similar outbreak of a similar or crisis resurfaces then external actors will indirectly or covertly fulfil their expansionist objective. Therefore, a peaceful settlement framework under the aegis of New Delhi is a must. So, that it prevents the domestic crisis/issue from being used by India’s adversaries.

Also, Read| IIT Bombay allows Afghani students to join classes

Assam- Mizoram Border Dispute, 6 killed

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Assam Mizoram Land dispute
Assam Mizoram Land dispute

An unfortunate incident occurred in North-East India yesterday evening when both the police forces of Mizoram and Assam clashed over at Lailapool of Cachar district, which has been known as a flashpoint of inter-state border clashes for decades. This time, it took an extremely barbaric turn when alleged Mizo assailants loaded with Light machine guns ( seen in different videos) fired on the Assam side leaving 5 jawans of Assam police dead on the spot and injuring around 65-75 more people.

IPS Vaibhav, SP, Cachar was shot too after which he was admitted to the ICU of Silchar Medical College. He may be flown to Mumbai for higher treatment. Meanwhile, the PSO of DC, Cachar was shot at to which he succumbed.

Both Assam Govt and Mizoram Govt have narrated their version of the story. But, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma strongly condemned the inhumane, undemocratic move of Mizoram Police and has talked with Mizoram CM over the incident. While CM Sarma thinks that this issue can be solved over discussions after satellite imaging surveys, he has also allowed Assam Police to retaliate and open fire from now on.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, on Monday, urged Chief Minister of Mizoram Zoramthanga to investigate this matter saying why civilians from his states were holding sticks and trying to incite violence on the Assam-Mizoram border.

He said, “Honble Zoramthanga Ji, could you please investigate why are civilians from Mizoram holding sticks and trying to incite violence? We urge civilians to not take up law and order on their own hands and permit peaceful dialogue to take place between governments.”

The Assam Govt has announced 50 lakh compensation for the family of every Jawan deceased in this unfortunate incident that rocked the Nation and has promised Govt a job for a person in the family of the deceased. He has also declared to raise a Commando- Batallion of 3000 soldiers for the protection of Barak Valley.

Also Read – Expert claim data leaks, Clubhouse denies

Enhanced rainfall activities over Sikkim during the period 28th June to 2nd July

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corona sikkim
Corona case in Sikkim

On Sunday, Meteorological Department (IMD) said the Sikkim will witness heavy rainfall as the southwest monsoon will be covered in the Sikkim region.

Advancing further, the Southwest Monsoon covered the Sikkim region, nearly four days after its normal date.

Special Weather Bulletin Gangtok Said “Monsoon is advancing very well. It has advanced to Sikkim and parts of West Bengal 4 to 5 days in advance. The monsoon flow is strong and southwesterly winds have picked up on a large scale”

And around Sikkim- Rongli, Chungthang: 3 each; Shipgyer, Dentam: 2 each; Gangtok, Mazitar, Khanitar, Namthang, Damthang, Gyalshing: 1 each has Chief rainfall amount(in cm) recorded.

Current Meteorological Condition is saying that The northern Limit of southwest monsoon (NLM) continues to pass through Lat. 26°N / Long. 70°E, Barmer, Bhilwara, Dholpur, Aligarh, Meerut, Ambala and Amritsar. The trough at mean sea level now runs from East Uttar Pradesh to northwest Bay of Bengal across Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal

IMD has classified that the progress is going to slow over the next two days, i.e 28th June.

According to Weather Forecast Due to the expected shifting of the trough of low-pressure area north-wards and strong moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal, rainfall activities over all the districts of Sikkim very likely to be enhanced during the period 28th to 02nd July 2021. During this period, heavy to very heavy rain (07-20 cm) is very likely to occur at isolated places over the state, especially all over East and North Sikkim.

Sikkim has been witnessing heavy rainfall since last week causing heavy damage in Gangtok areas due to landslides. It’s also reported that landslide appeared in Some parts of North Sikkim which also caused east and north connecting bridge.

Also Read – Sikkim recorded 170 new covid cases and 00 New Death

Sikkim to get Sikkim House in Mumbai, relief for medical visitors

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On 31st January 2021, the Honourable CM of Sikkim PS Golay has announced Sikkim will have a Sikkim house in Mumbai soon.

Speaking with The Sikkim Today team in January 2021 in West Sikkim, Chief Minister PS Golay has approached Maharashtra Government for the construction of a Sikkim house in Navi, Mumbai on which the Maharastra govt agrees to accept this.

This house will be 6 km from the nearest airport and 2 km from Tata memorial hospital which be will easy for Sikkimese patients to get connected nearby.

Earlier lots of people from Sikkim who used to go to Mumbai for treatment but can’t find a reasonable place to stay and the Chief minister thought this Sikkim house will be accessible for those who are going to Mumbai for medical treatment.

Yesterday in Sikkim legislative assembly, Honourable Chief minister said ” Maharashtra government has approved our proposal to construct Sikkim House Navi Mumbai near the Tata Memorial Hospital which is one of the top hospitals in the country”

Land measuring 4000 square meter which is almost 1 acre has been allotted for which Rs 11 crore 97 lakhs has already been paid and taken in possession, said HCM in the Assembly.

This will ease the financial burden on our people travelling to Mumbai for treatment and also assist them in other matters,” Chief Minister P.S. Golay in his Budget speech on Monday.

Earlier, the patient from Sikkim used to stay in Hamro Chhahari which was launched years back by the Nepali community from overall which cost only 300/per day Room. But getting a room in Hamro Chhahari is also very difficult for many patients.

Protective Wall Binding Teesta Collapses Posing Threat For Erosions.

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The recent incessant rains in the state have transformed small streams into raging torrents and increased the water volumes of big Rivers like Teesta. The sudden rise in water level is an alarming bell for a few disasters in making. A portion of the protective wall guiding the flow of the Teesta has been washed away. A complete washout is evident if not taken care of and we are only in the first week of June.

The illegal quarrying, sand mining and breaking up of river boulders is the main reason for rivers to change courses and pose a threat. If this issue is not addressed at the earliest, the under-construction via-duct might be damaged.

Also, the settlements near the river belts are always at a threat during every monsoon. Most of the river belts in Sikkim have been plundered by sand mafias and river boulders broken down by stone breakers to feed them into the illegal crusher plants mushrooming in every nook and corner along the riverside. Sikkim is inviting a catastrophe and this will be man-made and not natural.

The benefits of ecotourism are far-reaching

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Travelling to a place that is not familiar, exploring how the sunlight hits different places, meeting new people and getting acquainted with the myriad cultures and traditions our planet inhabits, will never get old. However, as the ‘vacation mode’ takes over, we get so caught up in our holiday spirit that we forget to realize the impact of our travel and actions on the places we visit. As of 2018, tourism was predicted to be responsible for an estimated 8% of global greenhouse emissions — a percentage that’s only expected to increase with time. In light of the severe damage caused to the environment, it is imperative that we consider the ways in which ecotourism can be far-reaching.

Ecotourism has been gaining popularity because of its focus on environmentally friendly practices, cultural and natural heritage, and social and economic benefits for local communities. A suitable balance must be maintained between all three aspects to guarantee long-term sustainability. To support biodiversity and give back to the local communities, sustainable travel has often proven to minimize the negative impacts and also benefit the local economy. Opting for trains, buses or public transport in cities and avoiding planes is an excellent way to reduce our carbon footprint while travelling. 

Ecotourism is an extension of environmental conservation. It is a no-brainer that the cycle of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ is a motto that if followed judiciously can majorly impact the current state of the environment. Instead of following our traditional methods, we must accustom ourselves to a few changes that will eventually help our ecosystem breathe. Surprisingly enough, we fail to notice the impact we cause on animals when we visit wildlife sanctuaries or scribble sweet nothings on the walls of historic buildings. This disrespectful behavior allows the masses to mercilessly exploit nature. 

Nature does not need us; we need it. Therefore, it is essential to give back to it. By conserving our natural heritage, we give rise to a lot of economic benefits for local communities who have constantly been overshadowed by the widespread urbanisation. One must know that an ecosystem that has the maximum amount of diversity is the richest. Protecting our ecosytemprovides an alternative source of livelihood to local communities that can further promote sustainability. These opportunities can provide jobs to several underprivileged individuals. As a result of this, an improved lifestyle can be achieved with a stable source of income.

The UN Environment Program and the UN World Tourism organization defines sustainable tourism as ‘tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.’ The aim of sustainable tourism is to amplify the benefits of travel and dial down the negative impacts caused by it. Creation of national parks, nature reserves and other protected areas to preserve the biodiversity are an example of sustainable tourism. For instance, Bhutan is called one of the happiest countries in the world because of its tourism principle of “high value, low impact.”

While travelling, our stay comprises of the maximum money spent on excessive usage of unnecessary products that promotes ample waste generation. Ecotourism also means valuing our natural resources and protecting our natural surroundings. Many hotels have started using solar energy panels, promoting recyclable products, and sourcing from local manufacturers to ensure reduction of energy consumption without hampering the overall comfort and guest experience. Instead of focusing on the glimmering fancies, we must trace back to the luscious greens for their is no gift greater than the gift of nature. 

Travelling is much more than adventures, picturesque locations for photographs, unique delicacies, and communities whose way of living is very different from what we’re accustomed to.  To be able to witness all of this and more, we must travel more responsibly and recognise that, while our vacation destinations may be a getaway for us, they serve as the homes and means of livelihood for the local population. When we visit a new place, we have the opportunity to leave a lasting impression on the place and people and let them know that we value their culture, traditions, and way of living as much as we value ours. The satisfaction of impacting the environment, biodiversity, and local communities in a positive way is much more than reckless travel and tourism. 

Watch animals playing in their natural habitat rather than paying to see them in captivity. Plan hiking expeditions for vibrant views of nature and up-close encounters with a variety of wildlife rather than hopping in a car. Bring a cloth bag from home and avoid purchasing several plastic bags. Invest in a local handicraft instead of wildlife items. While being mindful of our natural environment, travelling can still be exciting and pleasant. Let’s have this in mind as we plan our next getaway.

About Author-

Full Name: Bikrant Tiwary
Designation: CEO of Grow-Trees.com

Bio:

Bikrant Tiwary – CEO – Bikrant Tiwary, an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and a Master’s in commerce from Ranchi University, has over 20 years of diverse experience in insurance, media, and the social sector. His exposure to the certificate program of Harvard Business School gave him a new vision for the business. He has been a winner of Silicon Valley Fellowship organized by AFI and has also been nominated by U.S. Consulate General Mumbai for their EcoHeroes campaign. Bikrant is the first CEO of Grow-Trees.com and the former National Head of GiveIndia, the largest philanthropic online platform. He had left his corporate career in 2010 with a passion to bring positive social changes to society.

About Grow Trees:
Grow-Trees.com which has created the concept of ‘Greet with Trees®️’, where one can plant trees to support projects like Trees for Tribals, Trees for Tigers, etc., and store them in their TreeBank®️ and/or dedicate via eTreeCertificates®️ to greet one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one.

SRC and SUSA Meet cum 2nd preliminary round of State Level Inter College Debate Competition

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SRC and SUSA Meet cum 2nd preliminary round of State Level Inter College Debate Competition organized by All Sikkim Students Welfare Forum


The SRC and SUSA Meet cum State Level inter college debate competition was organised today at Manan Kendra Gangtok. The event was graced by Shri. CP Dhakal State Information Commissioner as chief guest. The event was graced by Prabhakar Goley, Chief Paytron of Garib Jan Kalyan Prakosta as guest of honour. The debate was held on the topic Sale of Human Organs should be legalised wherein the students of Sikkim Government Law College Gangtok and Sikkim Government College Namchi took part and the winner of the debate was Sikkim Government College Nmachi. The title of best speaker was conferred to Biswajid Sapkota of Sikkim Government College Namchi. The chairperson of the debate was Dr. Dilip Pandey Associate Professor in Law and the Dean of Students Affairs Sikkim Government Law College, Gangtok. Debate was judged by Dr. Neeraj Adhikari and Dr. Bharat Kumar Pradhan. The event was addressed by Bishal Sharma General Secretary Sarathi Sangathan, Dr. Neeraj Adhikari President Doctorates Association of Sikkim and Former President of SUSA, Naresh Chettri Motivational Speaker, Pradeep Tamang Former SRC President and Advocate, Yogesh Sharma, President SUSA, President of All Sikkim Students Welfare Forum in his address stressed the lack of debating culture amongst the students and requested the SRCs of colleges to form different clubs and societies in colleges. Chief Guest in his address highlighted the importance of debating culture in the society and also congratulated the organising committee for organising such programme. The programme was followed by interactive session with the SUSA executives, ASSWF executives and SRC members.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) signs MoU with Tezpur University

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Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) signs MoU with Tezpur University for promotion of compressed biogas in northeast India

Tezpur, January 21: Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tezpur University for promotion of compressed biogas in Northeast India. The MoU was signed by Dr Biren Das, Registrar on behalf of Tezpur University and Bijay Kumar on behalf of IOCL in a function held at the Council Hall of the University in the presence of several members of the University and delegates of an on-going event jointly organized by DST-TEC and IPR Cell of the University.

Prof Debendra Chandra Baruah, Professor, Department of Energy and Director of Centre for Multidisciplinary Research presented a brief overview of the MoU at the event.

Prof Dhruba Kumar Bhattacharyya, acting Vice-Chancellor of Tezpur University and Mr. Bijay Kumar, General Manager (Alternate Energy Division), IOCL expressed their happiness over the signing of memorandum of understanding, which will strengthen industry-academia collaboration concerning a key area of present-day concern. The Vice Chancellor expressed his confidence on the collaboration stating that useful outcomes of this MoU concerning this biofuel will lead to extension of such collaborations in several other areas in the near future.

Mr Sunil Rajagopal, Nodal Officer – North East & Senior Manager (Alternate Energy & Sustainable Development) and Mr S Basu of IOCL were also present during the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Baruah said Tezpur University has been engaged in promoting biogas through target-oriented research and several locally available biomasses have been identified as promising feedstock for generation of fuel (biogas) and organic fertilizer with assured recycling of crop nutrients. Such ongoing research and development (R&D) on biogas will boost up further to benefit the region through signing of the MoU with Indian Oil Corporation Limited. Referring to an E-Conclave on Issues of Industrial Scale Biogas in North east India organized in August 2021 as a Silver Jubilee event of the Department of Energy, Tezpur University which was also addressed by Chief Minister of Assam, Prof Baruah stated that Industry-Academia collaboration was recommended by the Conclave and the TU-IOCL MoU is a right step in this direction.

The research work on biogas inside Tezpur University campus, especially the production of biomethane and organic fertilizer using range of plant residue biomasses and organic waste had drawn the attention of IOCL during earlier visits of its officials to the University campus which finally culminated in the formal collaboration and signing of today’s MoU, said Bijay Kumar while expressing his faith that entire NE region could get benefit through the Government of India’s SATAT (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation) scheme which is aimed at setting up of industrial scale Compressed Biogas (CBG) plants and make it available for use in automotive fuel. SATAT was launched by the ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India in 2018 with no plant installed in NE India yet. Considering the distinct and untapped benefits of biogas technology for gainful utilization of surplus biomass resources, the MoU is expected to contribute faster deployment in the entire Northeast India.

The 56th Jnanpith Award winner Nilmani Phookan breathes his last

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Nilmani Phookan Jr breathes his last on January 19th, as the poet was suffering from ill health for the last few years. Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sharma took to social media and congratulated the 90-year-old on being awarded one of the most prestigious literary awards in December 2021.

The poet bagged the award on 7th December 2020. He was the third person from Assam after Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya and Mamoni Roisom Goswami, to be awarded India’s highest literary honor.

This picture should come while search for 'Assam'

Nilmani Phookan was born on 10th September 1933 in Dergaon, Assam. He initiated his writing journey in 1950. His inspiration driven by the nature lives of ordinary people filled with varied emotions such as pain and longingness in his poetry has molded a connection with the people of the state.

Poet Phookan continued his writing till a few years back, when he stopped working due to ill health.

The poet was a D.Litt from Dibrugarh University and was accorded several noted awards such as Sahitya Akademi Award in 1981, Padma Shri in 1990, and Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2022.

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Nilmani Phookan receiving 56th Jnanpith Award 2020

Phookan was also an art critic specializing in folk art and folklore. He has also translated several poems from foreign languages, particularly Japanese into the local language.

He was given the title of ‘Jatiya Kabi’ and ‘Sahityacharya’ by the Assam Sahitya Sabha. The Sabha is also trying to make Phookan’s work more accessible to people.

Surya Henu Nami Ahe Ei Nodiyedi, Kobita, Manas-Pratima, Phuli Thaka Suryamukhi Phultor Phale, and Gulapi Jamur Lagna are some of Phookan’s best-known works.

Read more on The Sikkim Today.

The Joshimath crisis is a reminder that nature will retaliate after a certain tipping point

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“The Joshimath crisis is a reminder that nature will retaliate after a certain tipping point,” says an environmental expert

Bikrant Tiwary, CEO of Grow-Trees.com says massive afforestation can help repair the fault lines in Uttarakhand’s ecosystem

Uttarakhand is currently making news for all the wrong reasons. The state that falls under the West Himalayan biogeography has been the focal point of concern for environmentalists with the recent Joshimath crisis, where cracks in the buildings, roads, and agricultural land have sent alarm bells ringing far and wide. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released a satellite image showing how the town in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand sank by 5.4 centimeters within just 12 days. More than 700 houses have been damaged and the state has been recognised as a landslide and land subsidence zone by the Chamoli District Magistrate.

Noting how deforestation has been a major cause behind the Joshimath crisis, environmental expert and CEO of the social organisation, Grow-Trees. com, Bikrant Tiwary says,” As per the open source web application, Global Forest Watch, the state has lost 820 ha of natural forest in 2021, which is equivalent to carbon emission of 426kt. These trees have been cut for developmental activities in this tourist hotspot which in turn has put immense pressure on the natural environment. Land sinking in the Joshimath was reported as early as the 1970s and persistent mechanical activities, tourism and unregulated construction activities have disrupted ecology even more.”

Bikrant points out that Joshimath came into being on the debris of landslides and loose soil which is prone to slide and sink. “Drilling, tunnel boring activities and heedless construction will lead to irreversible damage to this already fragile ecosystem,” he adds.

To mitigate these calamities, Grow-Trees.com, initiated the ‘Trees for Ecotourism’ project in the ‘Van Panchayat’ regions of Kyar Kuli Bhatta and Mussoorie across an area of over 20 hectares of land where local tree species like Aadu/ Peach (Prunuspersica), White orchid tree (Bauhinia picta), Orange (Citrus X Sinensis), Bhimal (GrewiaOptiva) and many more have been planted.

These trees, says Bikrant, are capable of absorbing 300,000 kgs of atmospheric carbon and will not only reclaim the forest land but also control soil erosion, check water surface run-off, enhance wildlife habitats and nourish the ecosystem. Afforestation also encourages direct community involvement, generates local employment as well as livelihood options and augments rural economy.

Concludes Bikrant, ” The Joshimath crisis is a reminder that nature will retaliate after a certain tipping point. When we create ecological imbalance, we alone will have to face the consequences. Afforestation can help repair the fault lines in Uttarakhand’s ecosystem but we also need to curtail disruptive activities that have already created havoc in the region.”

AIC-SMUTBI CELEBRATES NATIONAL START-UP DAY

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On 16th January, 2023, AIC-SMUTBI, Sikkim celebrated National Start-up Day at a local hotelhere Gangtok in collaboration with Start-up India and Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, as their initiative of Innovation Week 2023. 

Start-ups are the backbone of the ‘New India’ and Hon’ble Prime Minister of India announced 16 January as the founding day of National Start-up Day, to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship across the country.

AIC-SMUTBI witnessed the gathering of entrepreneurs in hybrid mode with a total of 38 in person and 23 online Startup Founders onNational Start-up Day. CEO, AIC SMUTBI, Prof (Dr.) Tej Chingtham welcomed all the Start-up Founders to the event where he praised the entrepreneurs on making a difference and contributing to the society and world as a whole. 

A keynote session on “Leveraging Innovations through the Manthan Platform” was conducted by Mr. Soumanil Mukherjee, Office of the PrincipalScientific Adviser to Government of India; which was set up in 1999, under the leadership of our former President of India, Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He gave an introduction to Manthan web-app which is based on the 4 pillars: 1. Opportunity creation and early-stage invasion 2. Defining people and proposal 3. Exhibition by partners 4. Webinar conference. He also highlighted various opportunities that can be leveraged by Start-upFounders through Manthan.

AIC-SMUTBI conducted Start-up Founders Hustle where the founders expressed their hardships and achievements during their journey.Founders also expressed their aspiration to connect with start-up ecosystem and provide a platform where all innovative minds can share their stories and experiences. They also highlighted points on how CSR funds can be leveraged for the benefit of the country through Start-ups. 

Start-up Founders talked about various sectors like tourism, education technology intervention etc and pointed out the immense opportunities in Sikkim and in the North East of India.

The event concluded with an end note that to build a successful venture one should “Fall in love with the customer’s needs, and not the idea else it will end up becoming a research rather than an entreprise.”

Local Kung Fu fame Mahesh Deori breathes his last

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Simple yet powerful; that’s Mahesh Deori left his image on the modern Assamese film industry.

Deori, who delivered the iconic and famous “haga lagise na ki oi” monologue, breathed his last today.

Mahesh Deori
From 1961-2023

He was born in Shillong in 1961 and completed his schooling there. “He was the first of five siblings to get a job. He was also the first to own a car – an ambassador numbered BHA 222, from his days in Mughalsarai. Momai Motte (as my brother and I addressed him) had exquisitely beautiful handwriting. In the days of handwritten letters, he wrote down the lyrics to three Johnny Lee country songs and posted them to us, and those pages remained an invaluable treasure for a long time.” Mentioned Kenny Deori Basumatary while remembering the fallen actor.

Kenny Deori Basumatary was the director and played an essential part in films such as Local Kungfu.

Mahesh Deori had lung cancer for a few years, but according to the post made by Basumatary, he never let his condition come in the way of his confidence. So much so that, even though he wasn’t feeling well, he could still dance with his family last Christmas. He was also an accomplished player of his favourite guitar, which also interred with him.

The well-known actor claimed that Momai Motte was a rock for him and their entire family. His ability to strike a balance between seriousness and playfulness helped shape the lives of many people, including his children Ronnie (Local Kung Fu’s KK – “Peace; I mean peace”) and Jenny (Local Kung Fu’s silkworms and snails), who attended TISS and is currently employed in Australia.

In the post, he also mentioned several stories and occurrences involving Mahesh Deori and said that he would have been engaged in their future endeavour.

Based on inputs from a post by Kenny Deori Basumatary.

Read more on Sikkim Today.

Central Nepal’s Pokhara region witnessed it’s third deadliest plane crash in last three decades leaving 68 people dead

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Rescuers scour the crash site in the wreckage of a passenger plane in Pokhara, Nepal, Monday, Jan.16, 2023. Nepal began a national day of mourning Monday as rescue workers resumed the search for six missing people a day after a plane to a tourist town crashed into a gorge while attempting to land at a newly opened airport, killing at least 66 of the 72 people aboard in the country's deadliest airplane accident in three decades.(AP Photo/Yunish Gurung)

Tezpur, Assam: On 15th January 2022, Nepal’s Yeti Airline’s ATR 72-500 crashed near Central Nepal’s Pokhara region. Resulting in casualties of around 68 and a search for four people under process. According to government officials, this was one of the deadliest crashes in the last three decades. On Sunday, a video clip shared on social media captured the final seconds before the plane crashed. The video, which appears to have been shot from a Pokhara rooftop, shows the plane flying low over a busy area and tumbling before it vanishes. After the video, a loud explosion can be heard.

Plane crash video captured by the residents of Pokhara, central Nepal region.

According to the Yeti Airlines spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula, out of 68 people, four were crew members, and 64 were passengers. Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority reported that out of those passengers, 37 were men, 25 were women, 3 were children, and 3 were infants.
As per the data retrieved from Aviation Safety Network, the incident was the third deadliest crash in the history of the Himalayan nation. The first two were the crashes involving aircraft run by Pakistan International Airlines and Thai Airways, which left 167 and 113 people dead which happened in July an September 1992.

Rescuers scour the crash site in the wreckage of a passenger plane in Pokhara, Nepal, Monday, Jan.16, 2023. Nepal began a national day of mourning Monday as rescue workers resumed the search for six missing people a day after a plane to a tourist town crashed into a gorge while attempting to land at a newly opened airport, killing at least 66 of the 72 people aboard in the country’s deadliest airplane accident in three decades.(AP Photo/Yunish Gurung)

Of the casualties, 53 passengers and all four crew members belonged from Nepal, whereas the rest belonged to 15 different nations: five were Indian, four were Russian, and two were Korean. The rest were individual citizens of Australia, Argentina, France and Ireland.

Around 18 minutes after departure, at around 10:50 a.m. local time, the aircraft lost contact with Pokhara Airport. Following that, it crashed into the neighboring Seti River Gorge. The Nepal Army and many police agencies have sent first responders to the crash scene to conduct a rescue effort, according to a statement from the civil aviation authorities.

A five-person committee has also been created to determine what caused the collision. According to Nepal’s deputy prime minister and government spokesperson Bishnu Paudel, the quintet must deliver a report to the government within 45 days.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder are displayed after they were retrieved from the site of the crash of a passenger plane in Pokhara, Nepal, Monday, Jan 16, 2023. Jagannath Niraula, a spokesman for Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority, said the boxes were found on Monday, a day after the ATR-72 aircraft crashed, killing 68 of the 72 people aboard. He said they will be handed over to investigators. (AP Photo/Anish Bhattarai)

Before Sunday’s tragedy in Nepal, 11 tragic events involving various ATR 72 types had been reported to the Aviation Safety Network. Twenty-two people were on board on Tara Air flight that crashed into a Himalayan mountain last May at the height of roughly 14,500 feet. According to the Aviation Safety Network database, that was the nation’s 19th plane disaster in the past ten years and its 10th deadly one.

An ATR 72-500, a twin-prop turbojet popular among low-cost carriers in the Asia-Pacific area, was the plane that crashed on Sunday. ATR airplanes usually have an excellent reputation. ATR is a joint venture between the European aerospace giants Airbus and Leonardo. They have, however, been in collisions previously. In February and July 2015, two ATR 72s flown by the now-defunct Taiwanese carrier TransAsia were fatally crashed. Taiwanese authorities temporarily grounded all ATR 72s registered on the island due to the second incident.


“Our first thoughts are with all the individuals affected by this,” the statement read. “ATR specialists are fully engaged to support both the investigation and the customer.”, ATR said in a statement.

For further updates, stay tuned.

AIX Connect (operating as AirAsia India) announces 21 weekly direct flights between Surat and Bengaluru, Delhi and Kolkata

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Air India group airlines increase connectivity to Surat to 21 weekly flights; launch Surat-Bengaluru as a new route

National, January, 2023: AIX Connect, a subsidiary of Air India, announced the launch of daily direct flights connecting Surat, Gujarat with Bengaluru, Delhi, and Kolkata, and connecting itineraries to Bhubaneswar, Kochi, Guwahati, Goa, Hyderabad, Ranchi, Bagdogra, Lucknow, Chennai, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Srinagar starting March 03, 2023. The addition of Surat, Gujarat, lays the foundation of the airline’s expansion plans in the region. The launch fares are ₹4,499 for Surat-Bengaluru, ₹4,299 for Surat-Delhi and ₹5,499 for Surat-Kolkata. Bookings can be made through the airline’s website www.airasia.co.in, mobile app and other major booking channels. Members of the Tata NeuPass rewards program can look forward to earning NeuCoins with every booking. 

AirAsia India will begin operations to and from Surat, with 21 weekly flights at convenient times. Surat is the second largest city of Gujarat and is known for its diamond-cutting and polishing industries. Surat is a thriving commercial center with a rich history and culture and offers a range of business opportunities, as well as a variety of tourist attractions, including temples, museums, gardens, and more. 

AirAsia India currently operates in two union territories and thirteen states, including Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Manipur. The airline is committed to providing convenient and affordable travel options.

Talking about the launch of the new destination, Ankur Garg, Chief Commercial Officer, AIX Connect, added “We are excited to announce our network expansion in the west of India, to Surat, Gujarat. The city has shown a robust demand for business and SME travel, and we believe it has great potential for future growth. We will be offering 21 weekly direct flights connecting Surat with Bengaluru, Delhi, and Kolkata, providing our guests with convenient and enjoyable travel experiences.”

Flights commence from 03 March, 2023 and are open for booking for the below routes: 

Sl. NoFromToDepartureArrivalFrequency
1BengaluruSurat14:2516:15Daily
2SuratBengaluru16:4519:00Daily
3DelhiSurat08:2010:00Daily
4SuratDelhi11:0012:40Daily
5KolkataSurat13:5516 :30Daily
6SuratKolkata17:0519:40Daily

The airline remains committed to driving operational excellence and an enhanced guest experience with pioneering digital and marketing initiatives like cloud-tech powered in-flight experience hub AirFlix, its award-winning website and mobile app, AI-powered conversational chatbot Tia, and integration with innovative service providers to enable products like FlyPorter baggage delivery services, and seamless Single Sign-On, profile management and personalisation built on the Tata NeuPass loyalty program.

This is how the youth can helm the climate agenda in 2023

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On National Youth Day (January 12), environmental expert Supriya Patil recommends five ways in which young people can serve the environment

The enormous impact of young activists like Greta Thunberg on the conversation around climate change is undeniable. Greta was just 15 when she started the weekly strike, ‘Fridays for Future’ and her evolution into an international advocate who in 2019 was named as one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine, demonstrates the power of a lone, determined young person. There are many young change makers in India also who are working towards the 2030 agenda for sustainable development put forward by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. But can India, with its large youth population, do more?

Environment expert Supriya Patil who works with social organisation Grow-Trees.com has a few suggestions about how more youngsters can contribute to the fight against climate change.

Consume and waste less

Heedless consumption generates enormous waste and as per CNN’s December 2022 report, India has more than 3,100 landfills, with the biggest standing at 65 metres. These landfills let out methane gas, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Buying reusable cups, cutlery, bags, and recyclable products and setting up compost bins will reduce the emission of methane and improve carbon sequestration in soil. Young shoppers can also patronise thrift stores and speak up for the planet on their social media sites.

Plant more trees

The Youth of today should maximize the use of technology to their advantage and support organisations that enable people to plant from the comfort of their homes. Grow-Trees.com as one such organisation here which is planting millions of trees across India and creating urban forests  to improve poor Air Quality Index.  In 2019, Grow-Trees.com  also conducted environment awareness and plantation programs with the Youth Development Society of Sikkim (YODESS)

Support sustainable agriculture

A 2022 UNEP article notes how sustainable agriculture uses 56 per cent less energy and creates 64 per cent fewer carbon emissions. Young consumers can support organic farm to table practices, buy local produce, learn more about indigenous farming traditions and even start their own community kitchen gardens to help reduce food miles. Community gardening projects in urban areas, also help in improving the air and soil quality and nourishing the micro-climate.

Consume more plant-based food

A 2014 Oxford University study states that “people who eat meat are responsible for almost twice as many dietary greenhouse-gas emissions per day as vegetarians and about 2.5 times as many emissions as vegans”. Vegans refrain from consuming eggs, dairy and any product that exploits animals. Veganism is not just a fad but a mindful choice that can contribute enormously to the health of the planet. Following a vegan diet can also help preserve habitats, prevent livestock emissions, and stabilise oceans as the meat industry pollutes the marine ecosystem.

Follow energy-efficient practices

Youth can take the lead in advocating energy-efficient practices at their homes, educational institutions, and workplaces. This includes switching off the lights and fans when not in use, curtailing water wastage, using energy efficient gadgets, installing solar panels etc. Supporting sustainable businesses, investing in green initiatives and sensitising others to the need to conserve and preserve the environment can also make a huge difference to the well-being of the planet.