Satya Pal Malik: Despite pandemic students persisted and worked hard

Satya Pal Malik: Despite pandemic students persisted and worked hard

Shillong, Jun 30: Meghalaya Governor, Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday said noted that online and remote learning has been a new learning experience for students and teachers and much support has evidently been provided through teacher-student communication and mentorship during the pandemic.

Malik who is the Visitor of the University, gave the presidential address at the 13th Convocation of the Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU) held on Wednesday, virtually.

The Meghalaya Governor also commended the outlook of MLCU and its provision of relevant academic courses, emphasizing the strengthening of individuals and communities at the grassroot level.

He also congratulated the University for acquiring land for its permanent campus for which planning and development is underway, and he hopes that the University will stand as a beacon for surrounding communities.

Silbi Passah a folklorist, traditional music composer and teacher, who delivered the convocation address stated that the degrees received are like an insurance policy with a premium paid off in full by the students’ hard work.

Passah said, “For the youth, life begins after graduation and setting careers and establishing a secure life is important. It is now time for the graduates to explore, impart and put into practice what they have learnt, and to work for the welfare of the needy and downtrodden”.

During the ceremony, 723 degrees and diplomas were conferred including 12 PhD, 18 MPhil, 359 Master’s, 13 PG Diplomas, and 255 Bachelor’s degrees. Diplomas and certificates were awarded to 66 scholars.

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State govt initiating steps to restore Lukha river

State govt initiating steps to restore Lukha river

Shillong, Jun 30: The turning of Lukha river into blue colour due to acid mine drainage is a cause of concern for the government.

Environment and Forest Minister, James Sangma informed that the state government has taken cognisance of the situation and decided to initiate active steps through the Department of Forests and Environment to look into a long-term solution for the restoration of the Lukha river.

“We have been in regular consultation with experts from the United States and from Israel, who have been researching biotechnologies for water restoration. We have currently deployed phycoremediation on a pilot experiment basis,” Sangma said.

According to him, Phycoremediation looks at the utilisation of algae for the removal of toxic contents from water.

The Environment and Forest Minister also stated that as of now, the pilot experiment has shown encouraging results, with efficiency levels beyond the government’s expectations.

“We will look to scale this up in the coming days. We also plan to implement phycoremediation for other rivers, where issues range from high acidity to high alkalinity,” he added.

The Minister also informed that the state is in the process of receiving consultation from experts.

“We hope to deploy more such measures in the coming days to maintain the pristine natural beauty of our state. While we are hopeful of witnessing a vibrant picture in the long run, we would also like to encourage various stakeholders and community groups to come forward and assist us in this initiative. We believe in mutual cooperation because when it comes to nature, it belongs to everyone,” Sangma added.

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‘Indian Christian Day’ to be observed on July 3

‘Indian Christian Day’ to be observed on July 3

Shillong, Jun 30: This year July 3 will be observed as ‘Indian Christian Day’- Yeshu Bhakti Diwas by Christians across all denominations in India and beyond.

“It will be a people’s celebration in sobriety to be observed at various levels. The move to celebrate this day was spearheaded by a group of Indian Christians across the country of various professions, from clergy to the lay member of the Church. In North East India, a Coordination Committee was constituted comprising Christian leaders from all 8 States drawing from Clergy, Laymen, Women and Youth,” Bijoy A. Sangma, secretary Indian Christian Day-North East Chapter stated.

According to him, the vision of Indian Christian Day is to celebrate the person and the message of Lord Jesus Christ which was brought to India in AD 52 by St. Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, and to reiterate Christian’s identity within the Indian cultural heritage and promoting unity in India.

“We firmly believe that in such a time like this, when the nation is going through unprecedented challenges, it is necessary that all Christians, irrespective of denominational affiliation, who all value the contribution of Christians to India, come together in solidarity and observe the Indian Christian Day initiatives as Indian Christians,” Sangma added.

According to him, the idea behind observation of the Indian Christian Day is to reaffirm that Christianity has its roots in India since the 1st century and is not simply a western import.

The Indian Christian Day-North East Chapter also stated that there is a need for Christians to be aware of their responsibility towards nation building and duty towards society.

“We are also acknowledging the contributions made by Christians in various fields – and the great potential we have to do more good for our beloved Nation. Following the teaching of Jesus Christ, we remind Christians of the fact that we are called to be the salt and light to society,” the Chapter stated.

Traditionally, July 3 is observed as the death anniversary of St. Thomas, who was martyred near Chennai in 72 AD.

Commemorating this, the Government of India had issued a Postage stamp on July 3, 1973, the 19th Death Centenary of St Thomas.

This day will also be observed for the first time this year as Indian Christian Day together with the launch of a Decade of Indian Christian Celebration (2021-30) concluding to correspond with the 2000th year of the earthly ministry and service of Lord Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity.

With the current restrictions due to Covid-19 pandemic, the programmes on July 3, 2021 will be online with live-streaming on virtual platforms at the regional level, national and global forums.

The event in North East India is scheduled from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm.

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COVID 19 UPDATES: Meghalaya records 352 new positive cases, 392 recovers

‘Covid-19 cases in the state could be upto 25 times the numbers recorded’

Shillong, June 30: Meghalaya on Wednesday registered 352 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed the tally of active cases to 4,216, the health department said in a bulletin.

Meanwhile, the state also records 392 new recovered cases in last 24 hours, with this the total recovered cases reaches 44,459.

07 more succumbs to the infections in last 24 hours, taking total number of fatalities from COVID-19 infection to 838 so far.

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Woman who had gone missing found inside a bank

Two HNLC members arrested for unfurling flag in 2019

Shillong, Jun 29: A 40-year old woman who has purportedly gone missing from her home on May 25 was found inside a city bank.

Police said she was found on May 28, from inside the Meghalaya Rural Bank Office, Bishnupur Branch.

The branch manager of the rural bank found the 40-year-old woman inside the bank in a “dehydrated and weak” condition when he opened the doors on Monday morning after the week-end holiday.

“We arrested her today and investigation is on to find out about her plan to hide inside the bank for three days,” Superintendent of Police of East Khasi Hills district, Sylvester Nongtnger said.

Police sources claimed that the woman had planned a bank heist but failed to go ahead with it.

“We found that she had a bag with puffed rice and ORS drinks besides other materials in her possession. She removed most of the CCTV cameras inside the bank and managed to bag some money,” sources said.

Meanwhile, police are investigating whether others were involved in planning the failed heist

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Congress demands the ouster of State Power Minister

Congress demands the ouster of State Power Minister

Shillong, Jun 29: A day after Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma informed that the government has been replaced Arunkumar Kembhavi as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL), the opposition Congress is now demanding that James Sangma be dropped as Power Minister.

“We are not satisfied with the piecemeal approach of the government in the matter which tantamount to ignoring the gravity and the urgency of the matter. The present Power Minister should be dropped or he may gracefully resign as Minister,” Congress legislator Zenith M. Sangma said.

Sangma said if he stays as Power Minister he can still influence and there can be foul play.

“… and the very purpose of constituting this Inquiry Commission will be defeated. It should be done immediately without any further delay because we all know that Justice delayed means justice denied,” the opposition MLA said.

Sangma also alleged that there is not only one scam but there are several scams in MeECL and all these scams are to be investigated specifically.

He also alleged that another likely scam taking place in the Power Department is in the name of the Self Identified Power Project.

“The Expression of Interest (EOI) for the same has already been floated, which is in a very suspicious manner. During this Covid Pandemic, when the inter-states and inter districts movements are restricted, generally people cannot travel to Meghalaya. Therefore competition cannot take place and in the process, pre-selected firms will only be awarded with the project,” the Congress legislator said.

The Congress has therefore demanded that this EOI should be cancelled immediately in the greater interest of the state.

Sangma also said that now it is too late to admit that the MeECL will be losing revenue this year.

On Monday, the Chief Minister had said that MeECL will have a loss of Rs. 900 crores this year but as per the Congress’ calculation it will be more than Rs. 1500 crores.

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COVID 19 UPDATES: Meghalaya records 378 new positive cases, 489 recovers

‘Covid-19 cases in the state could be upto 25 times the numbers recorded’

Shillong, June 29: Meghalaya on Tuesday registered 378 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed the tally of active cases to 4,263, the health department said in a bulletin.

Meanwhile, the state also records 489 new recovered cases in last 24 hours, with this the total recovered cases reaches 44,067.

04 more succumbs to the infections in last 24 hours, taking total number of fatalities from COVID-19 infection to 831 so far.

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Rebecca Suchiang CMD of MeECL

Govt resorting to load shedding out of compulsion: Mondal

Shillong, Jun 28: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday announced the name of Additional Chief Secretary Rebecca V Suchiang as the new Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of the cash-strapped Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL).

Noting that the appointment of a new CMD would not immediately show results “because it is very complicated”, the Chief Minister said, “I have repeated again and again that MeECL has had a lot of difficulties because of whether the unbundling of the companies, the Rs 800 crore terminal benefits to be given to the employees, which again was not given and therefore they have to take from their own revenue, whether it is from the overall payments to be made to different generation companies”.

“So there has been a huge financial burden as I keep repeating that whereas states like Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and others owe nothing to these big companies, they owe only Rs 100 crores, but Meghalaya owes more than 1,000 crore,” he spelt out.

Pointing out that NEEPCO (North East Electric Power Corporation) and the NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) went into financial troubles, Sangma said, “What will a company do when they are in financial troubles, they would look at their biggest dues which happens to be Meghalaya and they would start pressurizing them. It is a natural process, it is the same for us if we have big companies and suddenly MeECL doesn’t have money.”

The Chief Minister also expressed hope that Suchiang would be able to bring in change in the corporation as she is an experienced bureaucrat and hoped that there would be further coordination between the corporation and the Finance department.

“Having said that, I am not saying that the previous functioning of the outgoing CMD was bad or good, it is a tough situation so therefore tough situation will require tough decisions to be taken,” the Chief Minister underscored.

Sangma said that his cabinet colleagues felt that MeECL should be given a chance to try and improve and so Suchiang was brought in considering her experience.

“We expect that MeECL will have a loss of Rs 900 crore this financial year. MeECL is going to inevitably face a very difficult financial situation in the coming 8-9 months, we need a senior person, to be able to steer the ship and closely coordinate with finance and move things forward,” the Chief Minister said.

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Mairang district to be functional before 2021 Independence Day

Mairang district to be functional before 2021 Independence Day

Shillong, Jun 28: Mairang sub-division will be upgraded into a district before Independence Day this year, the state government informed on Monday.

Mairang will be the 12th district of the state.

“Mairang will be the new district of our state and because of Covid-19 the situation has been slightly slow but to let the people know and feel positive about it that we will do our best to ensure that before Independence Day the Mairang district is functional,” he said.

“This has been a genuine demand of the people of Mairang area and adjoining constituencies. Mairang is at the bottom when it comes to sustainable development goals and the main purpose of doing this is to really push the living standard of the people in Mairang and other parts of West Khasi Hills and therefore the need was very justified,” the Chief Minister asserted.

“When we look at the size of West Khasi Hills district and the economic standard of the people, the sustainable development goals, West Khasi Hills has been neglected a lot and to bring development and to raise livelihood of the people which I have been speaking for a very long time – the only way to do is to bring administration closer to the people,” Sangma underscored.

When asked on the demands to upgrade Sohra civil sub-division into a district, the Chief Minister said, “It has been an area of concern. There has been demand for it but because of the geographical landscape and the area of Pynursla and down and the areas across the valley – so the geographical mapping is not coming to a point where we are able to really look at a consensus. So all those issues are being discussed and we will see how to move forward”.

He also informed that there are also similar demands in Garo Hills district.

The Chief Minister informed that Dadenggre sub-division under West Garo Hills district could be carved out to form another district.

Sangma said, “We will examine this proposal. Power Minister (James Sangma) met me a couple of times and demanded for a new district at Dadenggre as West Garo Hills again is a very huge district, but the government has not yet taken any decision.”

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Govt constitutes enquiry committee into alleged rice scam

Govt constitutes enquiry committee into alleged rice scam

Shillong, Jun 28: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday announced an independent inquiry will be conducted into the alleged “rice scam”, where Assam police had seized one lakh bags of rice from a private go-down at Boko in Assam’s Kamrup district.

“In the interest of ensuring that full transparency is there so that the people and the general public are fully satisfied, we will be constituting an enquiry commission into this issue,” Sangma told reporters.

The Chief Minister said that the inquiry committee would be headed by a retired judge and will be given two-three months’ time to submit its report on the matter.

He also informed the process will start within a day or two,

“We want to be very transparent and we want to assure the people that there is no such scam or any kind of misappropriation that is taking place. So for their satisfaction, we are ready and we will be setting up an inquiry into this,” the Chief Minister said.

Meanwhile, Sangma also informed that the members of the independent enquiry committee set up by the government to probe into the alleged irregularities in the MeECL have been selected and a notification will be out soon.

The Chief Minister also said that the government has ensured that the members of the committee were independent.

“The yardstick we followed was not to bring in people who had worked in MeECL in the past or who had worked in other departments since there could be some questioning whether this is truly independent in nature or not. We tried our best to make it truly independent in nature,” Sangma said.

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COVID 19 UPDATES: Meghalaya records 336 new positive cases, 508 recovers

‘Covid-19 cases in the state could be upto 25 times the numbers recorded’

Shillong, June 28: Meghalaya on Monday registered 336 new COVID-19 cases, which pushed the tally of active cases to 4,378, the health department said in a bulletin.

Meanwhile, the state also records 508 new recovered cases in last 24 hours, with this the total recovered cases reaches 43,578.

08 more succumbs to the infections in last 24 hours, taking total number of fatalities from COVID-19 infection to 827 so far.


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HITO seeks info from government over purpose of Amit Shah’s visit to state

Two HNLC members arrested for unfurling flag in 2019

Shillong, Jun 27: The Hynñiewtrep Integrated Territorial Organisation (HITO) has sought information from Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma about the forthcoming visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Shillong next month.

According to HITO the matter “seems clouded under some deep mystery as the purpose of the visit has not been clearly defined or made known to the public”.

“While welcoming the impending visit of the Union minister, we would like to stress that the outcome of the visit must be positive for Meghalaya, no matter what,” the HITO said and posed a few queries, including whether the State government would “bring up the issue of ILP, Them Metor and especially the ongoing boundary dispute with Assam”.

“Is it a private party visit of the senior BJP leader or is it being projected as an official visit so state government resources will be used to host him,” the HITO asked the Chief Minister through a letter, and pointed out that Meghalaya besides fighting COVID-19, is facing “numerous challenges in almost every sphere of life”. “People need immediate succor and assistance, not tall long empty promises by those in a position of power,” HITO wrote to the Chief Minister.

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