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Tripura aims to gain much from tourism mart


Guwahati, November 18, 2018: Tripura aims to gain much from 7th International Tourism Mart set to get underway on November 22. This would be been first such global endeavour in the state.

State’s tourism minister Pranjit Singha Roy in a press briefing on Sunday elaborated the event which would to run till November 24. “Around 60 tour operators and delegates from 16 countries including USA and France would attend the Mart”, Roy stated.

Besides some 30 delegates from across the country and 70 from northeastern states are joining, he added.

“Another 200 tour and travel operators from Tripura will participate”, the Tripura Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Vishwasree Boga who flaked the minister said in the briefing.

Seminar, discussions, site visit, cultural and road shows are salient features of the international tourism mart.

Theme of this year’s fiesta is “Adventure Tourism”.

Paresh Baruah’s nephew joins ULFA(I)


Guwahati, November 18, 2018: In a significant development Munna Baruah, nephew of ULFA-(Independent) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah has reportedly joined the outfit.

Munna Baruah went missing three days ago from Digboi. Family members found no trace of him anywhere and they lodged a missing report has at Chabua and Digboi police stations.

Munna is the youngest son of Paresh Baruah’s elder brother Bimal Baruah.

Police confirmed reports that Munna Baruah joined ULFA.

“Indian origin President in USA in 15 years”


Agartala, Nov 16: America might one day, perhaps, in a decade or a decade and half, have their President from Indian origin, said eminent diplomat and former Ambassador Surendra Kumar.

“There are so many talents and resourceful Indian-origin youths in the USA that sooner or later one of them can become the President of the USA. One good thing about the USA is that in this country you can see your dream come true”, opined the former India’s Permanent Representative in United Nations Environment Programme referring to the emergence of several Indian-origin women’s emergence in American power system in recent time.

The diplomat was delivering speech on ‘70 years of India’s Relation with the USA’ in Tripura University as part of Distinguished Lecture series on November 16.

Vice Chancellor of Tripura University Dr V L Dharurkar who was also present on the dais opened that if ever an Indian origin would become the USA President she would definitely by a woman. ‘Americans trusted Indian women more’ said Dr Dharurkar and he referred to Dr Anandi Bai Joshi who was the first Indian woman who went to the USA.

Ambassador Kumar in his speech also dwelt upon President Donald Trump’s  America First Policy and felt that it might pose some ‘difficulties’ for the Indian youngsters who would want to get settled in the USA with jobs after studies but that would not be the case for those who could prove themselves.

Ambassador Kumar also mentioned about the pressure on President Trump from various important entities like Google, Apple, or Facebook for allowing have qualified technical experts from other parts of globe.

Ambassador Kumar who also dwelt on USA’s policy  in regards to South East Asia, ASEAN countries, Pakistan etc besides India, also felt that though China communist party might have held its grip strongly on its people so far, but in case the Chinese economy slowed down and people face pains a ‘turmoil’ like that of erstwhile USSR in next 10 to 15 years could not be ruled altogether,.

Reacting to a question raised by Vice Chancellor of Tripura University during interactive session, the ambassador who had his stint as a diplomat in China said China made tremendous progress during the last three decades or more. In 1982 there was no five star hotel or for that matter computers in entire China. Now, they could undergo such a huge transformation that many of their cities would put many of the western cities to shame.

On American relations with Pakistan he said the USA could not cut the Pakistan off altogether until and unless the Afghanistan problems were solved. They needed Pakistan but at the same they still did exert pressure on them as far as terrorism was concerned.

Earlier Vice Chancellor Dr Dharurkar in speech dwelt extensively on the Indo- USA relations and how it developed manifold under the Prime Ministership of Narendra Modi.

Prof Gautam Chakma of Political Science department was also present on the dias.

Arshiya successful in “World Cadet Chess Championship in Spain


Agartala, November 16, 2018: Arshiya Das successfully completed her “WORLD CADET CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP-2018 got underway on November 3 and completed on November 16 at Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

In this prestigious tournament ARSHIYA played extremely well under the Super  guiadance of  FM -Prasenjit Dutta. Arshiya secured 7 points in 11 rounds & placed 13th RANK among 84 players from 48 countries in her group. Although upto 9th round she having 4th rank. But she lost both the last round and dropped down to 13th RANK. Her starting rank was 31.

Although this was the best performance by any girl players in Wolrd Chess Championship from North East region.

Arshiya not only fight against her opponent in Chess game, but also facing problem of Food , heavy rain and tremendous cold there. Although she adjusted everything and gave her best.

From this tournament ARSHIYA increased her International rating by 129 points which is a great achievement. Also she is in top among her age group team & in 4th RANK among all 22 players from INDIA in 3 category viz- Under-8/u-10 and under-12.

After a long journey of 15 days ARSHIYA is now eagerly waiting to come back in her  home town AGARTALA. She will back on Sunday morning by Air India flight at 10:30 am along with her Mother Arnisha Nath Das.

TOTAL 853 players from 100 Countries  throughout the WORLD participated in the championship in 3 category viz- Under-8/u-10 and under-12.

Category of the game :--under-8/under-10 and under-12 (Girls & Boys).

ARSHIYA DAS playing in UNDER-8 Girls category. (Rating –1113)

In u-8 Girls category total 84 players from 48 countries participated.

NEC Seminar on "Power Scenario in NE”


Shillong, November 15, 2018: North Eastern council conducted a press conference regarding the seminar on "Power Scenario In North East- Present situation and action plan for a better future" which is on November 16 at NEC auditorium, Shillong jointly organized by North Eastern Council, Research Center for East and North Eastern Regional Studies and Government of Meghalaya with support from various states Of NER.

Addressing the conference Ram Muivah, IAS, Secretary, NEC welcomed all and also shed the light on the Council's veritable contributions in the power sector for NER. He stated that "NEC has so far taken up 7 hydro/ thermal projects with a total installed capacity of 694.50 MW i.e. about 30% of the current installed capacity in the region. The projects have benefitted all 8 NE States, industries and other major establishments located in the region for their power requirement.

"North East need boost up in power. They need some action plan so that they can harness the lot of resources. Ecology and environment is of paramount importance for North East. The biodiversity overhear has to be maintained. The seminar will give the forum for research, discussions, debate on current turbulence and threat", said Asok Das Gupta, CENERS-KMC.

Celebrating National Press Day in India

Nava Thakuria

As we are celebrating the National Press Day on November 16, let’s pay our heartiest tributes to everyone who contributed for the growth of print media and also its watchdog & mentor (Press Council of India).

Since its inception and functioning the Press Council continues symbolizing a free and responsible press in the largest democracy of the globe. It should not be an exaggeration if we claim that amidst all press (or media) councils functioning in various countries all over the world, Press Council of India (PCI) emerges as a unique entity that exercises an authority over the media and also safeguards the independence of the press in the populous country.

For records, the PCI was first constituted on 4 July 1966 as an ‘autonomous, statutory, quasi-judicial’ body, and it started functioning from16 November, 1966 with Justice JR Mudholkar, then a Supreme Court judge, as its chairman.

Under the Press Council Act 1965, various relevant functions are being authorized for the PCI, like to help newspapers to maintain their independence, to build up a code of conduct for newspapers & journalists in accordance with high professional standards etc.More responsibilities are listed as to ensure on the part of newspapers and journalists the maintenance of high standards of public taste and foster a due sense of both the rights & responsibilities of citizenship, to encourage the growth of a sense of responsibility and public service among all those engaged in the profession etc. Keeping vigil on developments which may tend towards monopoly or concentration of ownership of newspapers, providing facilities for the proper education and training of persons in the profession, promoting a proper functional relationship among all classes of persons engaged in the production or publication of newspapers and developing technical & other research are also put in its card.

Till date, the PCI has been adorned by a galaxy of distinguished personalities including judges, editors, newspaper owners, journalists, media rights activists, litterateurs, educationists, lawyers etc. Justice Mudholkar was followed by Justice N RajagopalaAyyangar,  Justice AN Grover,  Justice AN Sen, Justice RS Sarkaria, Justice P B Sawantetc as the PCI chairman. Among the celebrated editors, who were PCI  members include  Sarvshri Frank Morraes, Akshay Kumar Jain, BG Verghese, Prem Bhatia, ArunShourie, KuldipNayar, Cho Ramaswamy, AN Sivaraman, DharmvirBharati, NK Trikha, VN Narayanan, Ramu Patel, NarlaVenkateswarRao,  Nikhil Chakravorty andMammen Mathew among others.

It was our Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi who articulated the concept of self-regulation in which the press councils or similar bodies were founded and are still functioning. Under the noble concept, the sole aim of journalism should be service to the humanity. As the newspapers possess a great power, it should be controlled from within. Irresponsible exercises of media power would always invite condemnations.

Till the last century, newspapers dominated the media scenario.  Even though only 10 to 15 per cent Indian populace can understand and consume English, the first newspaper in the country (The Bengal Gazette) was published in that language on 29 January 1780 by James Augustus Hicky during the British rule. As regional newspapers started hitting the market, Assam had Arunodoi as the first newspaper in northeast India published in 1846. The region today publishes over hundred morning daily newspapers in various languages. Sizable population of the region still depends on newspapers for necessary news contents. For instance, Guwahati supports publication of nearly 30 morning daily newspapers in various languages like Assamese, English, Hindi, Bengali etc.

As a nation, we support over 82,000 registered newspapers with a cumulative daily circulation of 110 million. Fighting with enormous credibility crisis, the Indian newspapers continue growing to make it a Rs 3,20,000 million industry. As we are improving our literacy rate up to 75 percent, more citizens now develop the capacity to read newspapers (even in digital forums). By the end of the century, Indian media scene was encroached by television channels. Today we have over 400 privately owned ‘free to air’ news channels telecasting news and related contents for almost 24 hours a day. Millions of audiences in India even abroad glue to those channels for newsfeeds. Because of its fastness, lucidity and inherent touch of entertaining elements more people now watch news channels.

The growth alternate media, as India today supports nearly 400 million smart phone users, has however posed a serious threat to both print and electronic (radio and television) media. Because of its extreme swift, cheap and participatory nature, the social media has turned out to be a giant entry breaking most of the barriers faced by the mainstream media.

But unfortunately, both the news channels and alternate media outlets in India are yet to be taken under the purview of PCI. Voices have been raised in different forums for enhancing and  empowering the PCI with the inclusion of news channels and also portals under its ambit. Otherwise, the actual aim and thrust of PCI may dilute some day. Should not we treat it as a wakeup call !

  • The author is a Guwahati based journalist and media commentator. 2018

Colourful Northeast Youth Festival begins


Agartala, November 15, 2018: Colourful Northeast Youth Festival opened on Thursday amid cheers and enthusiasm. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb inaugurated the fiesta in presence of senior ministers.

Young artists and talents from all eight northeastern states – Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura – are attending the festival to run till November 19.

Dancers dressed in indigenous fatigues gave spellbound presentations at the opening ceremony held at Children’s Park. A large crowd witnessed the programme.

Each year one state in the region is selected for the festival. 

Himanta Biswa Sharma arriving on 18th


Agartala, November 15, 2018: Northeast Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Chairman and BJP stalwart in Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma is arriving Agartala on November 18. He will campaign in Mizoram Reang or Bru refugee camps in view of assembly elections in Mizoram slated for November 28.

Some 12000 inmates of the camps are eligible to cast vote in Mizoram poll. Nearly 35,000 refugees are stranded in six makeshift camps in Kanchanpur, north Tripura.

According to latest diktat of the election commission the refugee voters have to travel to respect constituencies inside Mizoram to vote. The commission withdrew earlier arrangement to install polling stations on Tripura – Mizoram border in wake of massive protests spearheaded by Mizo hardliner social groups.

DoNER Minister reviews progress of Hostel for NE students at JNU Campus


New Delhi, November 14, 2018: The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Dr. Jitendra Singh reviewed progress of the Hostel to be built for North Eastern students at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus here on Wednesday. The Vice Chancellor of JNU, Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar and representatives of various concerned departments were also present in the meeting. 

Later, the Minister also paid a visit to the site for Hostel building in JNU campus. The foundation stone of the hostel was laid by Dr Jitendra Singh last year. 

The North Eastern Council (NEC), Ministry of Development of North Eastern is funding 100% for the construction of this hostel and an estimated budget for this project is about Rs. 28.30 crore. The hostel will have 224 rooms and accommodate 424 students.

Out of 224 rooms, 24 rooms have been assigned for Divyang students.The remaining rooms will be occupied by equal number of boys and girls i.e 200 boys and 200 girls. The four storey hostel will be built in approximately one and a half acre area.

Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the development of north eastern region has been the priority for the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He spoke about other projects, such as setting up of Hostel for Northeast girl students in Bangalore University, North Eastern Cultural and Information Centre to be set up in Dwarka in New Delhi, among others.

Prof. M. Jagadesh Kumar, VC of JNU, said that JNU has more than 8,500 students, out of which about 10% students are from Northeastern region. He said that the work is in progress for setting up of hostel for these students in JNU campus and clearances are being taken from various departments including forest department and Delhi Urban Arts Commission.

New Chief Justice sworn in


Agartala, November 14, 2018: Justice Sanjay Karol has been sworn in as new Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura at a ceremony in Agartala on Wednesday.  Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki administered oath of office and secrecy to Justice Karol at auditorium of old Raj Bhavan.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb and dignitaries were present at the ceremony. Justice Sanjay Karol is third Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura since it was separated from the Gauhati High Court some years ago.