Sikkim State Council of Science & Technology celebrates National Science Day 2023

28TH FEBRUARY 2023: Sikkim State Council of Science and Technology celebrated National Science Day 2023 at Sikkim Science Centre, Marchak today. National Science Day is observed every year on February 28 to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’. On this day, the great Indian scientist, CV Raman, invented the ‘Raman Effect’ and won the Nobel Prize in the year 1930. The government of India honoured him with the Bharat Ratna in the year 1954. Each year the celebration is based on a specific theme. The theme of National Science Day 2023 is ‘Global Science for Global Well-being’. The programme was supported by the National Council for Science and Technology Communication (an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science & Technology, Govt of India), New Delhi.
The programme was inaugurated by Chief Guest, Shri. B.P. Pradhan, IFS, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Govt of Sikkim. Shri. D.G. Shrestha, Principal Director, Remote Sensing Division, DST, GoS was also present during the programme. A day-long programme was organized with the culmination of State Level competitions on Painting, Quiz, Essay and Thematic Talk. Students from six districts were selected from the district-level competitions organized at various places during this month. Around 50 schools participated in the programme and targeted more than 3000. Ms. Usha Lachungpa, Retd. Prin. Chief Research Officer, Dr, Kamal Chettri, Professor, Namchi Govt College, Dr. Priyadarshini Gurung, Project Scientist, Sikkim State Council of Science & Technology were invited as resource persons during the district-level programme on the theme. During the programme around 250 students visited the science centre and witnessed programme.
Combined District & State Level Exhibition cum Project Competition of INSPIRE-Manak supported by the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India was also organized. 14 projects were selected for state-level competition and finally, 05 projects were selected from State to participate at the Nation Level where every year students are selected to go to Japan for an exposure visit. 10 students from Sikkim have already visited Japan. Dr. Satyadeep Chettri, Associate Professor, NBBDC, Tadong, Shri. Pintu Hatti, NIF-India, Dr. B.C. Khusre, Professor, College of Agricultural Engineering and Post Harvest Technology, Marchak and Ms. Usha Lachungpa, Retd. Prin. Chief Research Officer was the evaluator during the competition. Ms. Usha Lachungpa made her presentation on LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) organized by EIACP RP Sikkim State Council of Science & Technology. In her presentation, she highlighted the importance of individual and collective duty for everyone to live a life that is in tune with Earth and does not harm it.
During the valedictory programme Shri. B. P. Pradhan, Secretary, DST, GoS also Chief Guest highlighted the importance of science & technology in daily life and in different fields and day-to-day work. He also highlighted on linkages of Science & Technology in Sustainable Development Goals. The programme concluded with the distribution of prizes and certificates to all the winners and participants of the State Level competitions by the Chief Guest.

The Chief Secretary chairs a Press Conference at Tashiling Secretariat

Gangtok, 28 Feb (IPR): Chief Secretary Shri V.B Pathak addressed a press conference today and shared about the preparations for the upcoming #B20 & #Startup20 in #Gangtok under India’s G20 Presidency. He was joined by heads of concerned departments.
The Press Conference was held today at the conference hall of the Tashiling Secretariat.
After the press conference, Information and Public Relations Department (IPR) issued an explanatory note regarding the programme to be hosted in Sikkim as part of India’s G20 Presidency. The Press Note is attached for reference to all.
As India assumes the Presidency of the G20 for one year from 1st December 2022 to 30th November 2023, it will host over 200 meetings across the country.
The G20, or Group of Twenty, is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s major developed and developing economies. It comprises 19 countries and the European Union. Collectively, the G20 accounts for 85% of global GDP, 75% of international trade and two-thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
During the course of the G20 Presidency, India will host 215 odd meetings of various groups of G20 in 56 cities across the country.
It is a matter of great pride and honour that the State of Sikkim has been selected to host two meetings as part of India’s G20 Presidency, during the month of March 2023 – the Business (B20) on 16th March 2023 and Startup 20 on 18th and 19th March 2023. These meetings will be attended by around 80 delegates from G20 countries. In fact, Sikkim is the only northeastern state to be selected to host two separate events under India’s G20 Presidency.
The B20 is the official G20 dialogue forum with the global business community and among the most prominent Engagement Groups of G20. For Sikkim, the B20 will offer a huge opportunity to highlight the economic potential and pave the way for partnerships with business communities from G20 countries. Known for its incredible natural beauty and strategic location, Sikkim offers a wide range of opportunities for multilateral business partnerships in Tourism, Hospitality, Agriculture and Pharmaceuticals. It is a rare forum where we can collectively present our economic strengths to the esteemed delegates from the G20 countries.
Likewise, Startup 20 will provide a platform for Startups in Sikkim to take their endeavours to the next level. Over the past few years, Sikkim has witnessed a visible shift in the mindset of the youth, and thus a rise in the startup culture. The two-day Startup 20 engagement will provide ample opportunities for the youth of Sikkim to pitch their products as well as gain insights from the illustrious delegation.
What Sikkim has to offer to the World through G20.
Sikkim has a lot to offer in terms of its unique natural and cultural resources and business potential in areas like agriculture and food processing, tourism and hospitality, industry including pharmaceuticals, and education and skill development.
Over the past few years, Sikkim has made visible progress in augmenting its human resource and facilitating an environment for business and entrepreneurship to flourish.
The growth of industrial infrastructure in the state of Sikkim is directly linked with the augmentation and generation of livelihood opportunities in the State. The Government of Sikkim is giving all the necessary support for the development of green investments and creating a conducive environment in the field of hospitality and tourism, healthcare, sports and wellness, education and skill development, renewable energy and waste management, handicraft and cottage industries, IT and IT Enabled Services, Infrastructure and real estate, agriculture and food processing, fashion, media and films. Sikkim has an established set of industries and an educated human resource pool. Likewise, the State Government has devised focused schemes and programmes to aid budding entrepreneurs and local industrialists to set up and expand their businesses.
Sikkim has set a unique benchmark as one of the most progressive states in the country. Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, it is today recognized as a pioneer in sustainable development through numerous green initiatives. The State has carefully aligned its developmental model with its green policies, making it one of the most sought-after destinations for Green Sustainable Investments. The variegated climatic conditions including forest zones ranging from tropical to temperate and alpine, within a small geographical area provide the flexibility to explore the multitude of flora, vegetation and livelihood opportunities.
Sikkim has made a distinct mark as the first certified Organic Farming State in the country. The organic produce of Sikkim has been making its presence felt in the international market also. Sikkim is famous for Temi Tea with its range of exclusive teas like the premier first flush, other flushes of orthodox, oolong, green and white tea. Certified as an Organic Tea Estate in 2008, it has won laurels from all around the world. The teas of Temi are known to be one of the finest teas in the world today. The distinctive landscape of Temi Tea Estate gives each cup a character that is wholly unmatched. Spread across elevations ranging from 1400 to 2000 metres above sea level, each season at the Temi Tea Estate moulds every flush differently. From the earliest tea to now, Temi has proudly retained its legacy, character and aroma. Temi Tea is exported to Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, the USA, Italy, Germany, and Thailand.
Sikkim has bagged the National Award for the Most Film Friendly State. Sikkim is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country. Sikkim has bagged more than thirty national and international tourism awards. Further, Lonely Planet has christened Sikkim as one of the ten best tourism destinations in the world. It has been featured in the World Tourism Atlas as one of the 100 best tourism destinations in the world. Sikkim offers a wide range of services in the tourism sector inter alia, Adventure, rural tourism, Wellness and Pilgrimage, notably the Eastern Buddhist Circuit. Sikkim is known for its mystic charm and unique culture and tradition.
The State is also seen as a potential destination for medical tourism. With the Government laying high priority on the health sector, investors are exploring the opportunity of developing world-class health infrastructures and investing in other areas like Skill Development.
Another focus area of Sikkim has been Education and Skill Development.
The Government has accorded the highest priority to the education sector by providing an outlay of almost 20% of the State’s budget. With the establishment of new colleges and universities offering curriculum to meet the demands of the fast-paced modern world, Sikkim is on the path to becoming an educational hub for the region.
Sikkim is home to the majestic Khangchendzonga, the third-highest mountain peak in the world. The Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim is inscribed as India’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site under “Mixed Category” which is natural and cultural. Situated in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim is one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world. Sikkim stands out as one of the biologically most diverse Himalayan States in India. Covering just 0.2% of the country’s geographical area, the State houses around one-fourth of the total biodiversity of the country. Hence, Sikkim, the Green State of India, is the ideal destination for eco-tourism, nature-based products and the resulting Green-economy.
Sikkim has made its distinctive presence in all walks of developmental initiatives winning national and international awards and accolades in various forums. The valuable exchanges and deliberations during the B20 and Startup 20 will certainly open up new vistas, especially for the youth of Sikkim who is daring to go that extra mile.
Preparation for the Big Occasion
It means a lot for the State of Sikkim to be able to host two important events of such magnitude. The first meeting of the G20 in the State of Sikkim was held under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary on 9th December 2022, where it was officially announced that the State would host the G20 events.
Thereafter, on 16th December, Chief Secretary Shri V. B. Pathak, along with departmental heads, met Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Chief Coordinator for India’s G20 Presidency and discussed the preparations and coordination required for the event. The details pertaining to accommodation, security, venues for meetings, transportation, cultural events and other requirements were discussed in detail.
Subsequent meetings were held to review the preparations and field visits were conducted to understand various aspects. Focus has been laid on ensuring close coordination among the state government departments and agencies such as the Airport Authority of India, the Army, NHIDCL, BSNL, and others.
Priority is also being laid on ensuring public participation in the activities in consonance with the underlined message of ‘Jan Bhagidari’. Publicity campaigns are being designed and implemented to connect the event with people from all walks of life, and garner their ownership and support, and instil a sense of pride.
The two events to be held in Sikkim under India’s G20 Presidency further adds to the pride and honour of the State and provide us with a reason to celebrate its uniqueness. Support, cooperation and participation are solicited from individuals, groups and organizations to leave a lasting impression among the esteemed delegates of the G20 nations through our warmth and hospitable nature and clean environment. Let us strive to live up to the theme of India’s G20 Presidency – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

The Hon’ble Union Minister of Finance attends the Credit outreach program at Lachen

Mangan, 28 Feb (IPR): Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman the Hon’ble Union Minister, of Finance and Corporate Affairs attended the Credit outreach programme organised by the State-level Bankers Committee and State Bank of India at Dzumsa Hall, Lachen.
The programme also had the presence of Minister Roads and Bridges cum Area MLA Mangan-Lachen, Shri Samdup Lepcha, Zilla Adhakshya, Shri Kado Lepcha, Up-Adhakshya, Smt. Sonam Kipa Bhutia, D.C Mangan, Shri Hem Kumar Chettri, S.P Mangan, Dr. Tshering Gyatso Bhutia, SDM Chungthang, ADC Dev Chungthang, BDO Chungthang, Pipons of Lachen, Chairman NABARD, Chairman SBI, members of Dzumsa, Officers of district administration and representatives of RBI, SBI and NABARD.
The Hon’ble Union Minister was given a hearty and traditional welcome by the people of Lachen. The Hon’ble Union Minister was presented with khadas and tokens of appreciation such as traditional hats, millet beer, thanka and so on.
The Chief Guest, The Hon’ble Union Minister in her address expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the warm welcome extended by the people of Lachen. Thereafter she went on to highlight the need for Lachen to stand out amongst other Vibrant Villages and therefore urged the Dzumsa Community and State Administration to work together. She stressed that the provision of bare necessities as well as the establishment of infrastructures for development in various sectors, especially tourism should be looked into. She mentioned that with the help of entities like SBI and NABARD, these developments shall reach the people and therefore she urged the locals to come forward and avail the various incentives and schemes of the Government of India such as the Kisan Credit Card programme. She also highlighted the various central schemes for women’s empowerment by providing a market for SHG products. She said that when these developmental works are brought to a village, the village flourishes and thrives to become self-sustainable and thus, vibrant.
The Area MLA Shri Samdup Lepcha in his address expressed his gratitude towards the Hon’ble Union Minister for gracing the people of Lachen with her esteemed presence. He welcomed her on behalf of everyone present. He also put forward the issues that the people are facing due to poor connectivity, transportation, climatic so on and communicated his hope for further cooperation with the Government of India.
Earlier, The Chairmans of NABARD and SBI briefly talked about their upcoming and ongoing activities for successfully realising all the services of the Government Of India for the local citizens.
Afterwards, the distribution of cheques and the Jan Suraksha Scheme to the beneficiaries was administered by the Hon’ble Union Minister.
The programme concluded with vibrant traditional dance performances representing all the communities of Sikkim and Nukkad Natak.

Press Release from the office of BDO Namthang

Namchi, 28 Feb: A felicitation programme for the two students under Namthang Block who have successfully cleared the Chief Minister’s Meritorious Scholarship was organised at the Tanzey Borbotey School, today.
The programme was graced by Mr. Yogen Syangden, BDO Namthang as the Chief Guest, Mr. Kiran Siwakoti, AEO Education Department Namthang, Mr. Deepak Sharma, Panchayat Lower Karek ward, School Staff, Parents and local gentries.
At the outset Mr. Bishnu Psd. Dahal, HM Tangey Barbotey Primary School briefly highlighted the aims and objectives behind organising this programme. He congratulated both students for successfully clearing the CMMS Test. He also congratulated the parents for their support and guidance towards their children. He further said that the achievements of these children have made them very proud. He expressed his gratitude towards the Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. Prem Singh Tamang and Hon’ble Minister cum Area MLA Mr. Sanjeet Kharel for providing such opportunities to the students to pursue higher education from the government and for providing new school buildings for the betterment of the students.
During the program, BDO Namthang Mr. Yogen Syangden expressed happiness and congratulated the meritorious students from Namthang block. He said that the collective efforts of students, their parents and school teachers have proved a successful result and made the whole Namthang block feel proud.
AEO Namthang Mr. Kiran Siwakoti also congratulated the students and guardians for achieving such success. He appealed to the guardians to guide their children so that they would come up with flying colours in future as well. He also briefly highlighted the scholarship being provided by the government like Prerna Scholarship, especially for girl students.
Mr. Deepak Sharma father of Anushreya Sharma expressed his gratitude to the government, school authority as well as the local people for their support and cooperation.
It is to be mentioned here that Miss Anushreya Sharma of Tangey Borbotey School and Miss Priyanka Pradhan of Kaizaley JHS has been allotted St. Joseph school, Martam for their higher studies.
The programme was conducted by Mr. Kharka Psd. Sharma, Primary Teacher.

The second district-level NCORD Committee meeting for Gyalshing District at DAC Gyalshing

Gyalshing, 28 Feb (IPR): Additional District Magistrate Shri Khemraj Bhattarai chaired the second district-level Narco Co-ordination (NCORD) Committee meeting for Gyalshing District at the conference hall of DAC Gyalshing, today.
Additional District Magistrate interacted with the representatives of concerned line departments and discussed thoroughly the various aspects of the efforts to be rendered by the committee and called upon the members to give their opinion for containing the problem of narcotics in the District.
He further instructed the concerned department to destroy the growth of marijuana plants that are found in the villages and other places to curb and discourage the use of substance abuse in the future.
He also mentioned the need for everyone present to collectively put effort to curb drug abuse in the district and make it a drugs free district in the state.
SP Gyalshing highlighted the importance of the identification of drugs prone areas and the need to launch more awareness campaigns to make the general public aware of the ill effects of drug abuse and the role they could play to curb incidents of substance abuse in the District. During the meeting, he requested the house for setting up a dedicated room in DAC premises wherein seized exhibits are to be stored under safe custody inside a vault.
Based on the underlying need for wider and more effective sensitization of the masses, the meeting proposed to utilize Gram Sabhas to reach out to the panchayat and the public in the district.
Further, the departmental representatives also floored their inputs and suggestions on the subject.
The meeting also saw the presence and participation of SP West, Shri Arjun Kumar Tamang, ASP, Gyalshing Shri Passang Tshering Lepcha, Dy.SP (HQ) Shri Sonam Wangdi Bhutia, SDM (HQ) Shri Santosh K. Alley, SDM Dentam Shri N.K.Karki, officials from Agriculture and Education Department.
Earlier the minutes of the previous meeting on the district-level committee of the Narco Coordination Centre (N-CORD) were read by SDM(HQ).
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the chair.

Hon’ble Minister of Finance attends the credit outreach program organized by NABARD

Gangtok, 28 Feb (IPR): Hon’ble Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman attended the credit outreach programme organised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and Banks in Sikkim here at Chintan Bhawan today.
The Union Finance Minister was accompanied by State Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, GoI, Dr Vivek Joshi, Chief Secretary, GoS, Shri V.B. Pathak, and Chairman, NABARD, Shri Shaji K.V. The function was also joined by Secretary, Ministry of DoNER, Shri Lok Ranjan, from Guwahati via video conferencing.
The programme was attended by Speaker, SLA, Shri Arun K. Upreti, Deputy Speaker, Shri Sangay Lepcha, State Cabinet Ministers, MP Lok Sabha, Shri Indra Hang Subba, Chairpersons and Advisors to the Government of Sikkim, MLAs, officials from NABARD & other Banks, HoDs and officials from various departments and representatives from NGOs, KVKs, among others.
Addressing the gathering, Union Finance Minister, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman expressed immense pleasure over the flourishing of progressive yet sustainable growth witnessed in various sectors in the State in its unique demeanour and added that these characteristics still remain understated despite the efficacy.
She applauded how the State has risen beyond its attraction to trigger tourism and stepped into the world of enterprise development, with some of its organic products from the remotest of its places finding their mark even in today’s global market. The ready-for-market products with high standards displayed at the stalls at MG Marg reflect the grit and resilience of the local producers of the State, she added.
The Union Finance Minister said that institutions like NABARD are agents of change and are doing exceptional work in reaching the government schemes to far-flung areas of Sikkim, including the cluster of villages in the Sikkim-Nepal border and encouraging small entrepreneurs. For NABARD to come this far and understand the communities of such places and enterprise them speaks about how every institution under the Government of India, guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been realising the ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ policy in the country, she stated.
Highlighting various key aspects of the Union Budget 2023-24, the Union Finance Minister said that the government is focused on making cooperatives the pivot of development of the rural economy and added that the Cooperatives Ministry is looking into setting up a national cooperative database which will help in better implementation of national policy on cooperatives. She further informed that the government is also planning to set up a massive decentralised storage capacity tailored to the requirements of local cooperatives. She added that small and marginal farmers would benefit greatly from this year’s Union Budget.
The Union Finance Minister emphasised the impressive and substantial women’s participation in the economy of the State and added that the Union Budget this year will provide professional help to Self Help Groups to brand and market their goods professionally and achieve standard quality measures, which is of great importance.
She also spoke about the PM-VIKAS scheme of the UB-FY 23-24, designed to allow craftspeople and artists to enhance the calibre and reach of their goods.
Stressing the importance of the Vibrant Villages programme, the Union Finance Minister said that the government aims to develop essential infrastructure along border villages so that there are no migrations due to a lack of basic facilities. She informed that the Union Ministers have been instructed to regularly visit the border villages to ensure all government schemes are attaining saturation in those areas.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang extended gratitude to the Union Finance Minister for choosing the Himalayan State of Sikkim for the Post Budget interaction and added that the Union Budget FY23-24 has been a forward-looking budget and will consolidate the finances and accelerate inclusive economic growth in Sikkim.
The Chief Minister also expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Finance Minister for allocating resources under the new initiative of PMDevINE, which has led to the successful completion of the Dhapper-Bhaleydhunga Passenger Ropeway. He informed that the tourist potential of the ropeway could be significantly enhanced by some supportive addition in the form of a skywalk on the hills and thanked the Union Finance Minister for considering the support request in this regard.
The Chief Minister said that although the economic structure of Sikkim is significantly different from other States in the country, the State has made efforts to accelerate growth and the living conditions of its people and has attempted to keep its policies corresponding with the approach of the Union. He thanked the Union government for fully supporting the policy initiatives of the State.
Secretary, DoNER, Shri Lok Ranjan, congratulated the State government on the successful completion and inauguration of the ambitious Bhaleydhunga ropeway project among the developmental projects. He called the event momentous for the Ministry of DoNER as this project is the first amongst the PMDeVINE to reach the conclusive stage and has resulted from close coordination and guidance from the Central and the State level, truly in the spirit of Gatishakti. He further expressed the commitment of the Ministry as well as the NE States to work for achieving the vision of comprehensive and inclusive development of the region.
Secretary, DFS, GoI, Dr. Vivek Joshi, briefed about the focal points of the credit outreach programme and how the SLVCs and lead banks can provide technical as well as managerial assistance to the entrepreneurs in the State.
Chairman NABARD, Shri Shaji K.V., also addressed the programme, highlighting various schemes under NABARD.
At the onset, the Union Finance Minister virtually inaugurated the Eco-friendly Passenger Ropeway (Cable Car) from Dhapper to Bhaleydhunga in South Sikkim.
The Eco-friendly Passenger Ropeway (Cable Car) connecting Dhapper at Upper Yangang to Bhaleydhunga in South Sikkim is an ambitious project undertaken by the State government to provide accessibility to the renowned Bhaleydhunga cliff and open this hidden dreamland to the public and tourists with the aim to promote nature and eco-tourism in the State of Sikkim.
The 3.5-km-long passenger ropeway is a state-of-art project constructed with the technology, materials and expertise of M/S POMA Ropeways of France. The systems offer comfort and safety and are regarded as the gold standard in ropeway construction and management.
The Bhaleydhunga Ropeway is the longest and highest ropeway in the State and boasts a maximum speed of 6 m/s with a swift travel time of only 13 mins to reach the Bhaleydhunga top that compensates for a six-hour-long demanding trek.
The project is a preferred ecologically sustainable alternative in place of conventional roads in difficult hilly terrains to improve connectivity and convenience for commuters besides promoting tourism. It shall help augment the burgeoning tourism industry in Sikkim, bringing economic benefits not just to established hospitality businesses but also to all stakeholders and entrepreneurs.
Subsequently, the Union Finance Minister also virtually laid the foundation stone for the Mini Secretariat and Niyukti Bhawan at Lumsey in Gangtok.
With the aim to ease traffic congestion in Gangtok and to accommodate several offices under one composite space, the State Government has envisioned a project to construct a mini-secretariat and Nyiyukti Bhawan at Lumsey to relocate some of the Head offices to the periphery of Gangtok.
The Buildings and Housing Department, Government of Sikkim, will implement the project at a cost of Rs. 295 Crores and is slated to be completed within 36 months. The project will be built on Government Land measuring 2.12 Acres at Lumsay, Tadong, under the Gangtok district.
The Mini Secretariat project envisioned by the State Government will be yet another leap in infrastructural development and urban planning, and this will ease the traffic burden from the main town of Gangtok. Consolidation of designated office spaces for various Departments, Commissions and Boards will mean further strengthening of the administration and better and faster delivery of service.
On the occasion, sanction letters and cheques of developmental projects under NABARD for the State and credit facility by Banks were handed over to the beneficiaries under various schemes through the hands of the Union Minister.
Sanction letters amounting to Rs. 7.24 crores of various programmes implemented by NABARD were distributed to nine projects, namely,
1. Grant support of Rs. 234 lakhs to the State Bank of India for setting up six centres of Financial Literacy (CFLs)
2. Ceremonial launch of Chuba Off-farm Producers’ Organisation (OFPO)
3. Grant Assistance of Rs. 115 lakhs for the development of Ungthuckchum Yergay Springshed, Mangan district
4. Grant assistance of Rs. 92.16 lakhs for the development of fruit orchards (Wadis) in Sopakha panchayat of Gyalshing district under the Tribal Development Fund project
5. Assistance of Rs. 49.50 lakhs to Sikkim State Cooperative Bank (SISCO) under the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society as Multi-Service Centre (MSC) scheme
6. Grant assistance of Rs. 34.00 lakhs to SISCO Bank for setting up of banking kiosks at Dairy Cooperative Societies
7. Grant assistance of Rs. 9.95 lakhs to Sikkim University
8. Grant assistance of Rs. 6.41 lakhs to SHGs for livelihood enterprise development programmes (for SHGs under LEDP) for training on soap making
9. (A) Grant assistance of Rs. 5 lakhs for setting up a veterinary centre with a zoonotic lab at Yuksom, Gyalshing district
(B) Grant assistance of Rs. 1.00 lakh to SHGs (for MEDP projects) for training for home nursing/general duty assistants
(C) Grant assistance of Rs. 0.97 lakhs to SHGs for training on pickle making.
Thereafter, various banks’ cheques were handed over to ten beneficiaries selected under schemes such as MUDRA, Stand Up India and KCC, among others.
Similarly, two booklets published by NABARD, namely ‘ Booklet on NABARD’S Special Development Plan for Aspirational District and ‘Booklet on Millets’, were also released through the hands of the Union Finance Minister.
Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by the Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Shri V.B. Pathak.
CGM (FI), SBI Bank, Shri Janmejoy Mohanty, proposed the vote of thanks.

SLDB organized a program on Publicity & Organization of Farmers’ Awareness Camp at Manan Kendra

Gangtok, Feb 28 (IPR): Sikkim Livestock Development Board ( SLDB), Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Govt. of Sikkim organized a programme on Publicity and Organisation of Farmers’ Awareness Camp at Manan Kendra, today. The programme was sponsored by the National Livestock Mission, Deptt. of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Govt. of India. The Minister, of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, Agriculture and Horticulture Shri Lok Nath Sharma graced the occasion as the Chief Guest in the special presence of the MLA Martam Rumtek Shri Sonam Tshering Venchungpa. The programme had the participation of panchayats and farmers from all six districts of the state.
Minister Shri Lok Nath Sharma, applauded the encouraging output generated by Chuba-based Off Farm Producers Cooperative Society Limited (OFPO) initiated through the benefits distributed by the state government. Addressing the farmers, he stated that the government has introduced exemplary initiatives and working with determination to support the entire farming community in the rural areas. He congratulated the Chuba OFPO on being awarded under the endangered craft category by the New York-based Aghati foundation.
He also spoke on various aspects of marketing linkages and underlined the scope and advantages of quality output with surplus production. Farmers have been financially benefited under various schemes like Mukhyamantri Krishi Atma Nirbhar Yojana, Pashudhan Samridhi Yojana, Development through credit, and KCC loan, he added.
Shri Sharma appreciated the active participation of young entrepreneurs in the awareness programme and shared planning of establishing processing units. He also elaborated on the growing demands for organic products outside the state and stressed the involvement of the farming community in producing vegetables and high-value agricultural products.
He also acknowledged the performance of field functionaries and added that the department has performed efficiently to root out newly infected livestock diseases from the state, successfully.
MLA Martam Rumtek Shri Sonam Tshering Venchungpa acknowledged the success stories shared by the agro entrepreneurs and appreciated progressing impact of the incentivization programme in the state.
He recalled the farming spirit of Sikkimese traditions and applauded the efforts made for reviving existing potential in the rural farming community. He also advised participants to be motivated toward agricultural and livestock production.
Secretary, AH&VS Dr. P. Senthil Kumar stressed the need of transforming livestock production from subsistence to commercial stage for sustainable growth of the livestock farming sector. He also advised farmers to enable themselves in producing consumer demand-based products for marketing and further urged to take part in training sessions.
Dr. Sharmon Rai, Director, AH&VS, drew light on the overview of the National Livestock Mission and elaborated detailed procedures for taking benefits through digital methods.
Dr. Zeruiah Bhutia, Additional Director, Disease Investigation Cell educated farmers on modes of transmission and preventive part of various diseases like African swine flu in pigs, porcine reproductive & respiratory disease ( PRRS), classical swine fever (CSF) in pigs, peste-des-petits ruminants (PPR) in sheep & goat, brucellosis in cattle, lumpky skin disease etc.
Dr. Sanjay Gazmer, Additional Director, Extension and Training interacted with the farmers and outlined various steps of rearing cattle and the importance of acquiring training.
Dr. Karma Doma Bhutia, Additional Director / CEO SLDB, spoke on the detailed process of obtaining cattle insurance. She informed that farmers of the BPL category need to pay only Rs. 200/- out of Rs. 2000/-, wherein the remaining premium of Rs. 1800/- is being paid by the government. The APL families are also required to pay only 30% of the total premium. She also sensitized farmers to utilize sex-sorted semen.
Joint Director ( VS), Dr. Pema Bhutia underlined the benefits of the National animal disease control programme and the importance of immunization for preventing Khuret and brucellosis. The government has set a target of eradicating various diseases by 2030, he informed. He also reminded farmers to dial a toll-free number of 1962 to take benefit of Mobile Veterinary Clinic Services.
Shri Rahul Verma, Manager, RBI, Sikkim state and Shri Ritvi Sharma Branch Manager SIDBI also addressed the farmers and briefed about the banking procedure of acquiring loans.
An emerging entrepreneur from Chuba, Namchi district, Shri Shri Arun Gurung shared experiences and success stories of Off-farm producers organizations and expressed gratitude to the AH&VS department, state government and KVK Namthang for providing required support in establishing OFPO.

Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary visits Nathula

Gangtok, 28 Feb (IPR): Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, Minister of State for Finance, Government of India, visited Nathula today.
He was accompanied by Shri Kumar Ravikant Singh, PS to MoS for Finance, Shri Rajesh Kumar Gupta, PA to MoS for Finance, officials from CGST and Customs, G.O.I, Shri Raj Pradhan, Liaison Officer (RDD), police personnel and a medical team.
During his tour to Nathula, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary participated in the webinar where Prime Minister Shri Narendra addressed the post-budget on the theme “Unleashing the Potential: Ease of Living Using Technology” at Tsomgo Army Camp.
Several eminent personalities joined the webinar and shared their insights in the plenary session.
The webinar on ‘Unleashing the Potential: Ease of Living Using Technology’ was the fifth in a series of 12 post-budget webinars. It was organized to seek ideas and suggestions for effectively implementing the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.
The initiative behind the Ease of Living Using Technology is to reduce the cost of compliance of small businesses and industries by formulating a list of compliances that can be pruned. It will ensure that the benefits of the digital revolution reach all citizens.
After the session, the dignitaries proceeded to Nathula, where Shri Pankaj Chaudhary was warmly welcomed by Shri Dinesh Singh, Br, Commander, 63 Mt Brigade, Nathula and other Army officials. The Minister had a brief interaction with the officials.
The visiting delegates also went to Baba Harbhajan Singh Temple and offered their prayers.

Career Counselling & Awareness Programme at Officers Club Namchi

Namchi, 28 Feb (IPR): A one-day workshop on the Career Counselling and Awareness Programme for the children of Child Care Institute under Namchi District was held at Officers Club, Namchi, today. The program has been organized under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna (DDUGKY) by the State Institute of Capacity Building (SICB), Skill Development Department in collaboration with Namchi District Child Protection Unit. Present amongst others were DCPO (Namchi) Ms. Roshnila Gurung, Protection Officer Mr. Wangyal Tamang, resource persons Ms. Smitha Rai, Project Officer (PMKVY) Mr. Arjun Mukhia, Project Officer (DDUGKY) Mr. Anil Sharma accompanied by staff and members of the organizing department.
At, the onset DCPO (Namchi) Ms. Roshnila Gurung gave a brief introduction and highlighted the aim and objective of the awareness program which is to inspire particularly the children to assist them in properly selecting the career of their choice. She emphasized the role of the resource persons and said that they are trained professionals who will offer guidance toward the right career path, they will also aid in understanding the competencies of the children in occupational exploration and career planning. Moreover, she informed that this program will help individuals acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to identify options, explore alternatives and succeed in society.
Resource person, Ms. Smitha Rai shared in detail her journey as an entrepreneur and credited her career to the strong foundation she build during her interning day which led her to learn the acumen of business without necessarily earning a business degree. She said that instilling an entrepreneurial mind-sets and skills in youth is essential as these youths can in the future become a job –providers. Showing the youth that entrepreneurship is a viable option will lead to a healthier economy with more enterprising youths. She also shared that one can be successful if they follow their passion and work hard and urged especially the children of the five child care homes present that they can also be self-sufficient entrepreneurs if they gain the management skills along with fundamental expertise which can be sought by enrolling in the various Government entrepreneurship schemes or by starting their drive by taking a placement during their holidays which will further support in building network, increase their motivation, improve their CV and develop and refine their skills.
Resource persons, Project Officers (PMKVY, DDUGKY) Mr. Arjun Mukhia and Mr. Anil Sharma presented an overview of the various opportunities provided by SICB which they said is an autonomous organization under the Skill Development Department and its primary mandate is to capacitate unemployed youth, educated them with employable skills thereby enhancing their chance for sustainable livelihood while providing better avenues for professional growth. They also updated about Niyukti Kendra which aims to evolve and appreciate skill development framework. These resource persons apprised that candidates aged from 18 to 35 with a minimum criterion of class 8 or above and with valid documents can sign up for the various courses offered under DDU-GKY which range from Tourism and Hospitality, Beauty and Wellness, Aviation and many others option. They also cited fruitful examples of students who had been certified by the SICB and how they are flourishing in their respective career paths and encouraged the children to present during the programme to draw motivation from them and with proper supervision recognize their talent and grow from strength to strength.