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Pragjyoti International Dance Festival captivates Tezpur


Guwahati, March 10, 2015: The 7th Pragjyoti International Dance Festival brought down the curtains with the second day of its performances at Tezpur’s Mahabhairav Mandir today, amidst roaring applauds of the audience, reverberating with music and mesmerizing dance forms.  Dancers from across India and abroad took the gathered audience to a whole new world of gusto and enthusiasm on the last two days of the festival within the premises of the enchanting heritage site Mahabhairav Mandir.

Showcasing a kaleidoscope of the world famous artists, PIDF left the spectators spellbound with the mesmerizing performances and created a harmonious milieu in the glorious Tezpur city on the concluding performance day of the 5-day classical dance extravaganza.

The vibrant festivity and biggest-ever classical dance extravaganza ‘Pragjyoti International Dance Festival’ organized by Kalpa, a Society for Promotion of Literature, Art, Culture and Social Harmony; is an initiative of using dance as a medium towards revisiting and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Assam and to exhibit the wide range of India’s classical dance forms together on one platform. The PIDF team will now travel back to Guwahati for a Lecture Demonstration and Interactive Session at IIT Guwahati tomorrow, which will bring down the curtains on the festivities.

The event is held in association with INTACH (India's National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage), Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India and Assam Tourism. The programme is co-sponsored by India Tourism, LIC, State Bank of India and Oil India Limited. 

Amnesty condemns Nagaland lynching

Dimapur, March 8, 2015: Amnesty International, India has demanded that the mob responsible for lynching Syed Farid Khan in Dimapur on March 5, be brought to justice and described the entire incident as “ a serious lapse of the criminal justice system”.

Amnesty International, India, programmes director Shemeer Babu also demanded that the government of Nagaland must ensure that every person who was part of the mob be brought to justice as failure to do so would send a message that anyone can commit “outrageous abuses and attempt to justify them as an expression of public anger”.

While quoting media reports based on police statement that police did not use force on the crowd to avoid casualties and later opening fire that led to death of one person, AII also noted that three officials were suspended by the government.

In this regard, AII urged upon the state government to uphold the rule of law and to deal swiftly and effectively on violence against women but “not with barbarism by self-appointed vigilantes”. 

Credit: Nagaland Post News 

Nagaland government’s appeal to media


Kohima, March 5, 2015: The Government of Nagaland have requested editors of all local papers and media-persons in the State to be sensitive to the possible repercussions to the acts of the mob at Dimapur today (Thursday) and to specially avoid inflammatory or provocative pictures of the ugly incident in their reports and publications.

Many ugly objectionable pictures are already on social media, but the traditional media which is available more widely has been requested to be more sensitive and apply self censorship as they see fit to help mitigate the possible ramifications.

The government made the appeal after a arrested rape accused was seized by an irate mob and lynched to death. 

Assam to have a law against witch-hunting: CM


Guwahati, March 3, 2015: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi assured to enact a law to deal with witch-hunting and its manifestations. Talking to a seven member delegation of Coordination Committee against Superstitions at his official residence this evening, Gogoi assured that a law encompassing all provisions to tackle witch-craft in the state will be introduced in the present Assembly Session.

He further said, ‘Considering the practice of witch-hunting and its ill effects in the society a, comprehensive law to deal with this menace has become a paramount importance’. 

The Coordination Committee against Superstition that met the Chief Minister is an umbrella body of 12 different organisations and led by its convenor Dr. Natyaveer Das.

Community livelihood support in Arunachal Pradesh


Itanagar, March 2, 2015: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Wildlife Trust of India facilitated 100 villagers of Dello with drinking water filters as a part of community livelihood support to boost their conservation efforts in the eastern horizon of Arunachal Pradesh.

The event was organised by IFAW-WTI with Arunachal Pradesh Forest department supported by the local GPM & ASM body in Dello.

It is to be mentioned here that Dello, is the area where “Amalo”, the eastern hoolock gibbons are suffering due to less canopy and habitat for the last few decades. IFAW-WTI, under Dibang Valley Conservation Project (DVCP) has been active for the gibbon conservation in Arunachal and successfully translocated 9 gibbon families of 26 individuals to a nearby safer habitat in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary in the state.

The initiative of water filter distribution is a part of strengthening the NGO and local community relationship in the conservation activity fields under DVCP with Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department.

Ipra Mekola, member, State Wildlife advisory board said, “Through this support we want to involve more and more villagers to conservation action. It is not only the eastern hoolock gibbons but also the environment and ecosystem need attention at large for the conservation of the wildlife habitat of Arunachal Pradesh.”

The villagers of Dello were very happy at this support by IFAW-WTI through Dibang Valley Conservation Project (DVCP).

Shanti Mimi, GP Chairman , Delo expressed that if such community support will be continued for the wellbeing of the local villagers, the community will also reciprocate that with responsibility for conservation works in this part of Arunachal Pradesh.”

The water filter support in the fringe village of Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary that too in the foothills is a help for the villagers as there is scarcity of purified drinking water facility.   

NF Railways to connect all NE state capitals by 2020


Agartala, February 26, 2015: As per the grand plans of the Northeast Frontier Railways for India’s North Eastern region, there are plans to connect all the state capitals of the region by 2020.

This was stated by NF Railways General Manager R.S. Virdi at programme in Jorhat. Virdi said that the NF Railways has major plans for the region and is undertaking several major projects in the region. He stated that 34 major projects are currently underway which are to the tune of Rs 53,000 crores.

Virdi further stated that the most important ones among the ongoing projects are the connecting lines from North Lakhimpur to Murkongselek, the upcoming Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra river near Dibrugarh, the new line from Jiribam to Imphal in Manipur and the conversion of the meter gauge to broad gauge line from Badarpur to Agartala.

Virdi also added here that there is a great potential of rail freight increasing in Upper Assam. He further added that the railways want to serve the tea industry of the state and want to make advances in that direction.

Assam government opposes Land Acquisition Ordinance


Guwahati, February 24, 2015:  Assam government has extended full support to social activist Anna Hazare in his fight against the Land Acquisition Ordinance.

In a statement on Monday, chief minister Tarun Gogoi said that the Government of Assam has all along been opposing anti-people, anti-farmers’ policies. “Our Government stood against anti-people and anti-farmers’ policies.

The Land Acquisition Ordinance is anti-people and anti-farmers’ and meant to serve only the interests of the rich, affluent and industrialists. We are dead against such a policy and not going to implement it. Our Government expresses its strong opposition to the Ordinance and extends full support to social activist Anna Hazare in his crusade against it,” he added.

The chief minister further said that he had attended the swearing-in ceremony of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar to express his solidarity with all-like minded secular and progressive parties in their fight against divisive forces and lend support for pro-poor policies.  

3rd Swine Flu case in Nagaland


Kohima, February 23, 2015: The State Health department has confirmed the 3rd case of H1N1 flu in Nagaland. State Nodal Officer (IDSP), disclosed that the patient was in Delhi for the past few days and on discovery that he was having flu symptoms consulted Doctors and gave his sample in Delhi for verification and reached Nagaland on 20th February 2015 by flight.

On receiving news from Delhi Saturday evening that the result of the Naga gentleman tested positive of H1N1 flu, the Health department took prompt action and started medication to the patient at Kohima. Till Sunday evening the condition of the patient was stated to be stable.

The Health department has advised travellers coming back to Nagaland from the metro cities to get timely medication from the nearby hospitals.

MoU to be signed between Afghanistan and Assam


Guwahati, February 21, 2015: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to be signed between Assam and Afghanistan, India’s strategic ally and neighbour in Central Asia. This fact was revealed by Shaida Mohammad Abdali, the Ambassador to the Afghan Embassy in India.

Abdali made this statement while adderessing the Assam-Afghan Business Session at the ongoing Assam International Trade and Industrial Fair (AITIF) at Jorhat today. He stated that the Afghan government is planning a tea research project with the Kaziranga University as the love for tea is great among the Afghan people and the Assam brand of tea is quite popular there.

Abdali said that Afghanistan has always given the red carpet treatment to Indian businesses in their country.  He said that India has a special place in the hearts of the Afghan people but he also lamented that there are only about 100 Indian companies there so far. He expressed hope that the number would increase as a strong foundation for future partnership is being laid through such business meets as the AITIF.

Also speaking at the do was Sayed Mujtaba Ahmadi, the Economic Counsellor to the Afghanistan Embassy in India. He said that India and Afghanistan don’t just share a conventional trade relationship between each other but pointed out that Afghanistan is India’s doorway for economic gains in Central Asia. He emphasised that the increased relations between the countries would act as a bridge between South Asia and Central Asia. 

Plan to use science to bolster development


Guwahati, February 19, 2015: Union Science and Technology Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan met Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to discuss several key issues on science and technology and how to proliferation of science and technology can be used to bolster growth of the nation.

The Chief Minister informed the Union Minister about various institutions of science and technology that are working in the state and how science and technology is being used to stimulate growth of the state. Tarun Gogoi also apprised the Union Minister of the state’s bid to connect science and technology to improve the standard of living in Assam.

In course of discussion, Gogoi also said that the state has 219 blocks and in each block one Arya Bhatta Science Centre has been set up to promote science and technology and popularize it among the young minds. He also said that the state is also making extensive use of science and technology in agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, health and other allied sectors to ensure balanced growth.

Union Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan also requested the Chief Minister to encourage innovation and said that the Centre-State coordination would prove to be a boon for the promotion and proliferation of science and technology in nation building.