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Saturday, December 11, 2010

A python measuring about 12 ft was found in lower Tanek Busty of Kalimpong.Photo: Samiran Paul
Attack on GJM leader triggers trouble in hills
ENS, Kolkata:Tension gripped Darjeeling again after two of the Central Committee members of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) were assaulted — allegedly by some of the party members —late on Friday night. The incident prompted senior leaders of the party to expel Arun Ghishing, GJM leader and president of Mirik town Committee, who is suspected to have masterminded the attack.
According to GJM leaders, the GJM town committee leaders had engineered the attack on Binay Tamang, a senior member of the GJM Central Committee, after Ghishing was stripped of a portfolio. On Friday evening, Tamang, the assistant secretary of the Morcha and Pravin Rahapal, a central committee member from Kalimpong, were pelted with stones near Mirik Youth Hostel. A group of 20 town committee members attacked Tamang’s vehicle and damaged it. Rahapal’s relative Bijay Chhetri, who was travelling with Tamang, suffered injuries too.
Dawa Sherpa, working president, ABGL, however, said: “The GJM leaders are trying to hush up the actual incident. There was a clash between the town committee and the central committee over profit sharing. After the murder of Madan Tamang, several GJM leaders had begun opposing some of the senior leaders on certain decisions. Ashok Ghishing was one of those leaders. To teach him a lesson, the central committee demoted him in the party, which triggered the attack by the members of the town committee.” D P Singh, the Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling, said: “Binay Tamang was attacked on Friday by some miscreants. We are investigating the matter.”
IAAPS conference in SIKKIM University
Prashant Bajgain,, Gangtok, December 11: The 5th Two-Day Biennial International Conference of the Indian Association of Asia Pacific Studies (IAAPS) under the banner of Sikkim University (SU) commenced from today at Chintan Bhavan, Gangtok.
Delivering a key note speech on the topic of “Asia at the cross roads of its destiny”, the Director of South East Asian Studies, Singapore, K Kesavapany said that the Asian countries are at a good tune at present stating that at the time when European countries are badly affected owing to inflation crisis, Asia is mildly affected by the same. Kesavapany further stressed on the necessity of strong bounding between China, Japan and India for establishing Asia as a world leader. These countries should mutually tackle the controversies related to International borders, trade, maritime trade and war for working on common ‘Asian’ interest, he added.
However, he expressed that Asia rely largely upon European and western countries concerning certain subjects related to scientific research and global trade and saying Asian countries are self dependent is a wrong interpretation. Asian countries at present are in nurturing stage and the role of big powers like United States will certainly set a direction for its future development, he admitted.
Kesavapany also inaugurated the newly designed official website of the Sikkim University.
Earlier, Vice Chancellor of the SU, Dr Mahendra P Lama said that Asian community at present is initiated towards achieving global leadership but should resolve the inner conflicts for achieving an absolute ‘Asian Agenda’ at a prime.
Briefing on the significance of the 5th International Biennial conference Dr Lama said its contribution will prove worthy for the socio- cultural mileau, sustainable development and ecological conversation for this part of hill region and building the mountainous communities vulnerable to large scale military and geo- political actions concerning that the Himalayas have served as international borders and strategic boundaries for all time.
However, counting on the initiative of SU towards preserving the ethnic rich resources of the Himalayan region, Dr Lama informed of the ‘Oral History Project’ under SU being undertaken for the same.
The traditional knowledge and native wisdom of the faith healers like Dhami, Jhakri, Phedengbu, Bonbo, Pow, Nejum and Boongthing should be institutionalized and recorded under a well designed scientific framework. SU had plans to create a scientific forum for all these faith healers and capitalize their dying wisdom by propagating at national and global level, he informed.
Further, Dr Lama disclosed the aim of SU towards portraying Sikkim and Darjeeling Himalayas as an educational hub for the whole of Eastern South Asia and South East Asia.
The Two- Day International Conference was also attended by the President of the Indian Association of Asian and Pacific Studies (IAAPS), Professor Partha S Ghosh, distinguished international speakers, faculty members and students of SU.
भागोपको हि-बर्मेक शाखा गठन
राष्ट्रियस्तरमा गोर्खालाई उठाउने संगठन हो परिसंघः सीपी गिरी
गान्तोक,10 डिसेम्बर।  भारतीय गोर्खा परिसंघ (भागोप) सिक्किम राज्य समितिको  संगठन विस्तार अभियान अन्तर्गत पश्चिम जिलाको हि-बर्मेक क्षेत्रमा पनि भागोपको क्षेत्रिय समिति गठन गरिएयो। हेमलाल निरौलाको अध्यक्षतामा सम्पन्न बैठकमा हि-बर्मेक क्षेत्रका वुद्धिजिवी, पञ्चायत सदस्य तथा सचेत युवाहरूको उपस्थिति रहेको थियो। 
बैठकलाई सम्बोधन गर्दै राज्य अध्यक्ष डॉ. कमल गुरुङले भागोपको राष्ट्रिय सोच अनि राष्ट्रियस्तरमा गोर्खा समुदायको सभ्य समाज निर्माणको उद्देश्यलाई स्पष्ट पारे। यसै गरि संगठनको राष्ट्रिय कार्यक्रम अनि अहिलेसम्मको उपलब्धीहरूबारे महासचिव एस पाण्डेले उपस्थित जनसमुदायलाई अवगत गराए। उनले भने, भागोपले राष्ट्रिय स्तरमा थालेको विभिन्न योजना र मुद्दाहरू छन्‌ जसमा सातवटा प्रमुख मुद्दालाई राष्ट्रिय मुद्दाको रूपमा चयन गरिएको छ। यी मुद्दाहरू समाधान भइसकेर पनि भागोपको कार्य निरन्तर जारी रहने छ, उनले भने। यसैगरि राज्यस्तरमा भागोपले गरिरहेको कार्यबारे कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष नारायण भट्टराईले आफ्नो मन्तव्य राख्दै सिक्किमको देश स्वाधिनता आन्दोलनमा रहेको योगदानको महत्वलाई स्पष्ट पार्ने कार्य हेलेन लेप्चा उर्फ साबित्री देवीको जन्मभूमीको माटो चिन्हित गरेर परिसंघले सिक्किमको भूमिकालाई उजागर पारेको बताएऽ
यसै गरि गोर्खा समुदायलाई राष्ट्रियस्तरमा अन्य समुदायको हाराहारीमा विकास गर्नको निम्ति आइपीएस, आइएएस, आइएफएस लगयात अन्य धेरै सेवाहरूको निम्ति प्रसस्तमात्रामा गोर्खा युवाहरूलाई निकाल्न सक्नुपर्ने मन्तव्य पूर्व डीजीपी सीपी गिरीले आफ्नो मन्तव्यमा पेश गरे। उनले परिसंघ भनेको राष्ट्रिय स्तरमा गोर्खाहरूलाई उठाउने छाता संगठन रहेको बताए। 
बैठकमा भागोपको समाज र राष्ट्र निर्माणको पहललाई समर्थन जनाउँदै हेमलाल निरौलाले संरक्षक सदस्य बन्ने घोषणा गर्दै सदस्यता लिए भने हि-बर्मेक क्षेत्रका बर्थाङ, हि-गॉंउ, हि- पताल, हि-सापोङ लगायत वरिपरीका गाउँबाट आएका प्रतिनिधिहरूले सहर्ष सदस्यता ग्रहण गरेर क्षेत्रिय समिति गठन गरे। जसमा प्रमुख सल्लाहकार हेमलाल निरौला, अध्यक्ष अशोक प्रधान (श्रेष्ठ), कार्यकारी अध्यक्ष एनएल प्रधान, महासचिव कृष्णलाल शर्मा,सचिव कार्यक्रम धनबहादुर सुब्बा, सचिव संगठन जयन्ती अधिकारी, वित्तीय सचिव घनश्याम नेपाल, सचिव प्रचार प्रभाग मधु शर्मा अनि राजेन्द्र लुइटेल मनोनित भएका छन्‌ भने अन्य 10 जना कार्यकारी सदस्यको समिति गठन गरिएको छ। 

Sop for part-time teachers
TT, Calcutta, Dec. 11: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today announced that temporary teachers in state-aided schools will be in service till the age of 60, moving to retain support among a group that has traditionally backed the ruling Left.
“A government order has been issued to ensure service protection for para-teachers. Now that you can work till the age of 60 years, we will try and ensure that you get proper financial benefits from time to time,” the chief minister told a gathering of nearly 4,000 such teachers at Calcutta’s Metro Channel this afternoon.
The move will benefit 56,000 para-teachers, hired on a temporary basis to meet the targets of the Centre’s Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) scheme that began in 1997. The fate of such teachers was tied to the scheme, scheduled to end in 2015, leaving them in a state of uncertainty. Bhattacharjee’s announcement ends the suspense.
Para-teachers in primary schools are paid Rs 5,400 a month and those in secondary schools Rs 7,425. The corresponding minimum salaries for full-time teachers are Rs 13,500 in primary schools and Rs 19,500 in secondary ones. The managing committees of the schools recruit para-teachers, generally from the locality.
The Opposition dubbed the announcement a pre-poll sop. “Pushed to the wall after losing in successive polls since the 2008 panchayat elections, the chief minister is now desperate to woo para-teachers before the Assembly polls. But we believe para-teachers will not be misguided,” Trinamul state chief Subrata Bakshi said.
A CPM state committee member admitted that the announcement was aimed at winning over the teaching community. “There is no denying that a sizeable section of para-teachers will back us because of the relief.”
Bhattacharjee blamed the Centre for the job uncertainty, saying it had not agreed to provide funds for such teachers’ salaries after the completion of the scheme in 2015. “It will be difficult arranging the funds. But we cannot terminate your services in the middle of your career because of the whimsical attitude of the Centre,” Bhattacharjee said in his speech while inaugurating the first state-level conference of the Nikhin Banga Para-Teachers’ Association. The newly floated body is affiliated to Citu, the CPM’s labour arm.
But a teacher at the venue demanded more. “The state government should also remove the anomaly in the pay scales (between those of full-fledged and temporary teachers),” said a para-teacher from North 24-Parganas.
The state had initially rejected the Centre’s recommendation to appoint para-teachers, when the scheme started in 1997, as it felt it would not be possible to recruit quality teachers from areas around the schools but agreed later.
Bengal sits on student benefits
Basant kumar Mohanty, TT, New Delhi, Dec. 11: The Bengal government could have ensured a monthly scholarship of Rs 500 for nearly 22,000 poor schoolchildren in the state over the past three years, without any damage to its own pocket. Instead, it chose to help just about 3,000 get the scholarship.
The National Means-Cum-Merit Scholarship, launched in 2008-09, looks to benefit about one lakh Class IX students every year. The State Bank of India pays the entire sum, which the students receive till they clear Class XII.
All that the states need do is hold a test, select eligible students according to the quota for each state, and send the list to the Centre along with the students’ bank account numbers.
Bengal, whose quota is 7,250 students per year, sent just 2,601 names the first year and a meagre 409 names in 2009-10. It has sent none so far in the current fiscal that ends next March. “Despite repeated reminders, the response from Bengal has been poor,” a central government source said.
“The reason could be that the funds are not routed through the states; there is no scope for ghost beneficiaries. The SBI directly deposits the money in the students’ accounts.”
Bengal is the second-worst laggard behind Assam, which, with a yearly quota of 2,411, has not sent a single name for the scholarship in three years.
Bengal has also lagged in responding to another central scheme that aims to set up “model degree colleges” in educationally backward districts. There are 374 such districts in India, including 17 of Bengal’s 19 districts.
The Centre had sought proposals by March 2011, with details of the sites, infrastructure and the like. Most states haven’t sent a single proposal, and Bengal is among them.

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