West District Administration felicitates 20 CMMSS students

Gyalshing, 20 Feb (IPR): A total of 20 students from various schools of the West District were felicitated by the West District Administration at the Conference Hall of DAC, Gyalshing. The programme was an innovative initiative of District Collector, Dr. A.B. Karki, and the entire District Administration to felicitate the 20 students who were selected for the yearly Chief Minister’s Meritorious Scholarship Scheme (CMMSS).

The programme was attended by Shri Tenzing Loden Lepcha, SP (W); Shri Tushar G. Nikhare, SDM (W); Smt. T. Eden Bhutia, Addl. Dir. (HRDD); Smt. Karma D. Bhutia, JD (HRDD); Shri Tenzing N. Bhutia, DFO (T) West; Shri P.L. Subba, Dy. Dir. (HRDD); Dr. N.M. Cintury, JD (AH&VS); and other Officials of DAC.

The DC West, in his address to the gathering, congratulated the 20 students and expressed his gratitude towards them. He acknowledged the contributions of the teachers who have been able to nurture the students to be able to become meritorious. He stated that the DAC is eager to help the students of the West District to attain their goals and are always ready to extend a helping hand towards the Schools of West District. 

The DC acknowledged the students’ ability and their hard work and asked them to never lose hope and fight for success in future. He also expressed his delight on how the students of West Sikkim have been able to grasp 20 seats this year for the CMMSS. He congratulated the school heads and the parents and urged them to support the children in their future endeavors.

The counselling of the 20 meritorious students were done by the SP West and the SDM (W) who spoke to the children and advised them to be always ready for whatever comes their way. They also requested the parents and guardians to help the children to give confidence to their respective children and always be supportive in terms of education.

The SP West mentioned that the CMMSS is a scheme which has a lot of benefit for the local populous which needs to be taken advantage of. He also mentioned that since the children are young their parents and teachers should guide them towards the right path for the future of the State.

The SDM (W) mentioned that right manner and attitude matters in life which should be always kept as a priority. He also mentioned that civil service examinations need a lot of hard work and preparation and hence they should be ready and well prepared. He also urged the Teacher to work whole heartedly to produce more students capable of achieving the CMMSS.

During the programme, the Headmasters of the 20 schools were also handed with ‘Letter of Appreciation’.

Interim budget along with two other amendment bills passed in Sikkim Legislative Assembly

Gangtok, 20 Feb (IPR): The concluding day of the two-day Seventh Session (Part VI) of the Ninth Assembly of Sikkim Legislative Assembly saw the passing of the Sikkim Regulation of Transfer of Land (Amendment) Bill, Bill No. 2 of 2019, presented in the house by Shri Pawan Chamling, Leader of the House and also the Minister-in-Charge of Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department.

The Bill aims to ensure protection against alienation of the land holding of the Limboo community. Following persistent demand of the Limboo community for protection against alienation of Land belonging to the person of Limboo Community and with a view to ensure such protection of the interest of Land of the said community, Sections 3(A) and 3(B) have been proposed for insertion in the Act.

The House also passed the Beggary (Amendment) Bill, Bill No. 3 of 2019, presented by Smt. Tulshi Devi Rai, Hon’ble Minister-in –Charge of Social Justice, Empowerment and Welfare Department.

The Bill seeks to amend section 25 of the Sikkim Prohibition of Beggary Act, 2004 which cast stigma on the persons suffering from leprosy and also create a disability for them as per the direction given by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order dated 24/04/2018 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 1151/2017 in the matter of Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy versus Union of India.

During the Financial Business, the Vote of Account 2019-20 for the State of Sikkim for six months starting April to September 2019 was to the tune of Rs. 356629.60 lakh comprising of Rs. 271388.39 lakh on Revenue Account and Rs. 85241.21 lakh on Capital Account which was announced and passed by the House and was presented by Shri Pawan Chamling, Leader of the House also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department.

The House also passed the Sikkim Appropriation Bill, Bill No. 1 of 2019 unanimously for the Vote on Account 2019-20. It was introduced by Shri Pawan Chamling, Leader of the House and also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department.

The Leader of the House also the Minister-in-Charge of Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department presented the CAG Reports on Finance Accounts (Volume I & II) for the year 2017-18 and Appropriation Accounts for the year 2017-18.

Hon’ble Chairman Shri B.B. Rai, Public Accounts Committee also presented the report of the Assembly Committees on

  1. 113th Report on Action Taken on the Recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee by the State Government Departments as contained in its 102nd Report.
  2. 114th Report on further Action Taken on the Recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee by the Energy and Power Department, Government of Sikkim as contained in its 104th Report.
  3. 115th Report on Action Taken on the Recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee by the State Bank of Sikkim as contained in its 106th Report.

Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Shri K.N. Rai, announced and presented the Annual Report of the Commission and Government Departments which was laid on the table of the House.

The Leader of the House and Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Pawan Chamling, in his valedictory address stated his gratitude to the people of Sikkim for giving his government continued mandate for the fifth consecutive term. He reminisced his initial years as a young leader of the Sikkim Legislative Assembly and how he had spent close to 35 years for the welfare of Sikkim and its people.

He stated that the last 25 years of his governance has been dedicated towards fulfilling the basic minimum needs of the people of the State. He proclaimed that delivering justice to the people of Sikkim was a vision he pursued right from day one and always dreamt of a peaceful and progressive Sikkim and a brighter future for the people. He articulated how the present government advocated for equal rights to all and stated that plans and policies of the government have been framed and implemented giving highest priority to their grievances.

The Leader of the House said decades of toil and labour of his government has been dedicated towards taking the state and the people forward.

“25 years of trials and tribulations has been spent in fulfilling the Sikkimese dream of growth and progress,” he added.

Shri Chamling further stressed that priorities of the state government employees have always been placed first in the annual budget every year. He recollected that there has never been an instance where tensions have erupted due to non-payment of the salaries of the employees and also added that potential situations were also immediately addressed to avoid any inconveniences to the employees and advocated that all officers should also work towards smoothening out administrative creases for the welfare of all.

While addressing the various claims and false allegations about the flagship schemes of the state government such as the One Family One Job Scheme being a complete hogwash, Shri Pawan Chamling asserted that the scheme has been framed and implemented keeping all the nitty-gritties in mind and hence the people, and esp. the youth should come forward and have faith in the state government and stay away from rumours and speculations and believe in the reality of almost 20,000 unemployed Sikkimese getting employment that is out for all to see.

He also made references to the Sikkim Regulation of Transfer of Land (Amendment) Bill,2019 that was passed today in the State Assembly, adding that the bill was placed in the house only after consultations with members of the concerned community keeping their grievances in mind. He also stated that the bill would be amended if there are any issues that are brought forward by the community in future.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister stated that Sikkim has come a long way due to the state government’s vision of development and progress. He vocalized that no leader has been seen or heard making promises of fulfilling the basic minimum needs of the people anywhere and conjoined that only in Sikkim one can witness developmental politics where development of the state and uplifting the people has been the only agenda.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister gave the august House a synopsis of the landmark initiatives and achievements of the state government in the last 25 years like the Organic Sikkim Mission, making Sikkim a 100% literate State in the Country, upholding the values of communal harmony and secularism in the State, making the youth self-reliant, increasing the state’s rich and unique biodiversity and green cover, equality of women in all avenues, Free Education to the students and, most important of all free education in the field of medicine and free health care to the people of the state which are firsts in comparison to anywhere in the world.

In conclusion, the Hon’ble Chief Minister said, “Sikkim is our heaven and our paradise right here on earth and the merits of progress, peace, development and harmony encompassing all sectors should be valued and taken forward by the Sikkimese.”

He propounded that onus is upon the people to give their mandate to progress and development without compromising on the peace and security that Sikkim is respected and admired for. The Leader of the House extended appreciation and credit to the Speaker of the SLA, the Deputy Speaker, MLA’s and all the officials and staff of the State Legislative Assembly, Law and Order Officials and staff and the Press and Media for ensuring that every session of the esteemed Legislative Assembly has gone by without any glitch. He highlighted that this smooth functioning of the House is a distinction for the entire state.

Shri Chamling called upon all to preserve and strengthen the State, concluding his Vote of Thanks for the Seventh Session of the Ninth Assembly with the words, “Hamro Sikkim, Ramroo Sikkim- sandhai banaunu parcha”.

The Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, Shri K.N. Rai, in his Vote of Thanks expressed his thanks to the Deputy Speaker, The Leader of the House, the MLA’s and all the officials of the State Assembly, the Police Department and the Press and Media for unhindered sessions of the State Legislative Assembly.

Earlier, Members of Legislative Assembly, Shri R.B. Subba, Shri Hemendra Adhikari and Shri Shyam Pradhan also rendered their Vote of Thanks wherein they thanked the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker for successful conduction of Assembly Sessions. They also made references to the Chief Minister for his vision in transforming Sikkim into a world class model state in the country and the world.

At the end, the Speaker adjourned the House sine-die.

North District conducts first round of Training for Presiding Officers and Polling Officers (1)

Mangan, 15 Feb (IPR): The first round of training for Presiding Officers and Polling Officer-1 of North District was conducted today at Zilla Bhawan and DAC Conference Hall in Mangan.

Chief Electoral Officer of Sikkim, Shri R. Telang, was in the district to motivate and address both the groups of Presiding Officers and Polling officers(1). He was accompanied by District Election Officer cum District Collector, North, Shri Karma R Bonpo.

Resource person, Shri Mahesh Sharma (SDM Kabi) and Shri Prem Kamal Rai (SDM Rangpo) imparted an intensive training and talked extensively on the duties of Presiding and Polling Officers, Special Circumstances and response during poll, Polling day arrangements and events, conducting mock Polls, recording of votes, voting Procedure, sealing of election papers, preparation of Presiding officer’s dairy, delivery of voting machines and enforcement of Election Laws in and around the Polling station.

A Hands on practice on preparation of Control Unit, fixing of Green paper seals in the control unit, closing and sealing of CU and VVPAT was also conducted.

Chief Electoral Officer, Shri Telang, while addressing the participants, stressed that the role of Presiding Officer and Polling Officer is that of the kingpin in the democratic process and they should be able to deliver the promise of free and fair elections to the people. He also highlighted on the critical issues of Polling process and roles of both and said that that the polling officers should be well versed and should be able to give able support to the Presiding officers.

He said that Election Commission of India (ECI) is a constitutional body and once appointed as Presiding and polling Officers, they are on deputation to the ECI and therefore under the protection of ECI which simultaneously entails a huge responsibility also. He reiterated that the sanctity of the polling stations should be maintained and the attitude and conduct of the Poll party should be such as to create an environment that gives confidence in the fairness of the election process. He added that two more rounds of training to the Presiding and Polling Officers would follow after today’s round, one after the nominations are filed and once before the polls.

The District Election Officer informed that there would be 13 Polling stations out of 52 Polling stations in the North District which will be manned entirely by women and all facilities in all the Polling stations will be ensured. He said that two model dummy polling stations is being set up in the District Administrative Centre to provide hands on training to the polling party.

The preparatory work for the General Elections 2019 is now going on in full swing in the district. Sector Officer have been appointed for the 10 sectors in the district. The Election Expenditure Monitoring team such as Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Teams, Video surveillance team have been formed. A District Control Room will be set up in the District Administrative Centre which will act as the nerve centre for the conduct of elections.

EVM and VVPAT awareness are being conducted across all the polling stations for the benefit of the voters. The BLOs have also been directed to conduct house to house verification from 15 Feb onward to enroll left out voters if any in the district.

West District Election Department successfully completeS Booth Level Officers meet at Gyalshing

Gyalshing, 15 Feb (IPR): A Meeting for the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) on the assessment of preparedness in regards to the upcoming General Elections 2019 and for the 10-daylong House to House re-verification was organized by the District Elections Office at the Community Hall in Gyalshing, West Sikkim.

The programme was chaired by Dr. A.B. Karki (DC, West), Shri Tushar G. Nikhare (SDM, Gyalshing) along with the SDMs, BDOs and the BLOs of West District. 

The DC West mentioned in his address that the meeting was called to acknowledge the kickoff of the election process in the West District. He stated that for the elections of 2019 to be successful, the BLOs have the most pivotal role and hence the expectations are very high on them. He thanked all the BLOs working day and night to ensure that ‘no voters are left behind’ and that everyone would be able to exercise their right to vote.

He also urged the BLOs to take note of the basic facilities available at the Polling stations ahead of the elections and inform the administration. He further congratulated all the recently posted SDMs and BDOs during the programme and advised them also to take active participation in the Election Process. 

During the meeting, SDM Gyalshing, Shri Nikhare, also gave directions needed to be followed by the BLOs during the 10-daylong house to house re-verification starting from 16/2/19. He also enlightened the BLOs with the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ which needed to be followed strictly in regards to the Elections.

He also mentioned that no bulk distribution of Photo Voters slip would be allowed under any circumstances by the BLOs. He then mentioned that all photo voter slips to be distributed one week before actual poll day. He further stated that the 61 Polling Stations of the West District would be having Webcasting feature in the Polling Stations.

Lastly, he informed the BLOs to also make the public aware of the Voter helpline App available for download and the Voter Helpline Number 1950 which is toll free for general public to clear their doubts.

District Planning Committee meet of North District Zilla Panchayat held in Mangan

Mangan, 14 Feb (IPR): The meeting of the District Planning Committee (DPC) of North District Zilla Panchayat was held today at Zilla Bhavan under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Zilla Adhakshya, NDZP, Ms. Namday Lepcha. The meeting was also attended by Up-Adhakshya, North, Shri Taney Bhutia, District Collector, North, Shri Karma R. Bonpo, Additional District Collector (Development), Zilla Panchayat members and heads of various departments in the district.

The Block Development Officers of the four blocks of the district presented the consolidated Gram Panchayat Development Plans of various Gram Panchayats in the meeting. The Plans of the Grams Panchayats was unanimously passed by the Committee. Similarly, the labor budgets of MGNREGA for the year 2019-20 was also discussed and passed by the committee.

The DC, North discussed the Development Plan of the NDZP and the Zilla members were directed to immediately submit their proposals for implementation in their respective Gram Panchayats. He also stated that NDZP has initiated plans to increase their own source of revenue by taking over the new Guest House at Pentok Mangan and the running the Cold Storage facility at Mangan Shopping Complex and renting shops to poultry farmers. He added that NDZP has initiated plans for the proper marketing of organic vegetables in the district to increase its revenues.

Speaking on the occasion, Zilla Adhakshya, Ms. Lepcha, stressed on proper implementation of all the plans presented by the Gram Panchayats. She added that the funds of Gram Panchayats should be used constructively and for increasing the livelihood opportunity of the people. She urged the Gram Panchayats to use the available infrastructures in the village for the benefit of the public. She also directed that materials for MGNREGA should be available on time so as to reach the targeted man days in the Gram Panchayats.

Hon’ble Chief Minister conferred with Doctorate of Literature (Honoris Causa) by Desh Bhagat University in Punjab

Gobindgarh, 14 Feb (IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling today was conferred with the prestigious Doctorate of Literature (Honoris Causa) by the Desh Bhagat University here at Gobindgarh in Punjab. The honour was given to him for his ‘exceptional vision, deep commitment and continuous efforts to uplift the weaker section, backward class and women; for his leadership and good governance with moral and spiritual wisdom’.

While delivering his key note address, the Chief Minister congratulated the bright young students who have just received their degrees and medals and also complimented the Desh Bhagat University on its tremendous contribution in the field of education which is today one of India’s proud educational institutes.

The Chief Minister informed that the State Government in Sikkim has made tremendous progress in the education sector duly earmarking 20% of State budget under education sector which is the highest expenditure in India so far. Talking about free education up to college level, the Chief Minister mentioned two unique programmes of the Sikkim government like the Chief Minister’s Meritorious Scholarship Scheme at Class V level and Chief Minister’s Free Scholarship Scheme for Sikkimese students admitted in world’s top 20 Universities.

The Chief Minister further said that Sikkim has become the most literate State in the country with literacy rate of 96.72%, life expectancy of 73.15 years and per capita income of Rs 3,41,000 at present.

“Sikkim is the cleanest State, first Open Defecation-free State of India, most peaceful and safest tourist destination State. During the period of 1993 and 2013, forest cover in Sikkim increased to 47.34% from 43.95% in 1993. Sikkim became the only State in India to have increased its forest cover in the past two decades. As a governmental response to growing unemployment, we recently launched a unique programme – One Family One Job – under which employment to 20,000 were given on 12 Jan, 2019 ensuring 99% reach, covering all households in Sikkim,” informed the Chief Minister.

Talking about organic farming, the Chief Minister said that Sikkim has a unique identity as the First and Only Organic State in the world and recounted some of the advantages of organic farming as sustainable farming system.

In the fast changing world, the Chief Minister advised students to update themselves with emerging world knowledge on a daily basis as modern advancement in bio-engineering is about to change the course of evolution itself.

He thanked the University Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and faculty members for conferring upon him the honour. He also remembered the people of Sikkim who have entrusted upon him the responsibility to lead the State as their Chief Minister for over the last 25 years.

The Chief Minister was also invited to join the Chancellor and chief guest to felicitate different individuals for their achievement in different fields. Among them were conferment of honoris causa to former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee in absentia, Padma Shree Shri H.R. Shah, Shri Surjanaran Patro (Cabinet Minister of Orissa), Lt. General Shokin Chauhan, Shri Lov Verma, Ms. Priti Verma (Punjabi Cinema Actress), Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, Mr. VR Shankara, Dr. Huzaifa Khorakiwala.

State Conclave of the National SC-ST Hub scheme scheduled to be held this month at Chintan Bhawan

Gangtok, 14 Feb (IPR): State Conclave of the National SC-ST Hub scheme under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, (MSME), Government of India will be held at Chintan Bhawan on 26 Feb this month. National SC-ST Hub is an initiative of Government of India aimed at various funding initiatives of the Central Government for SC-ST entrepreneurs. The State Conclave of the National SC-ST Hub scheme is being organized by the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) with the assistance of MSME in coordination with Commence and Industries Department, Government of Sikkim.

In this regard, a preliminary meeting of Joint Working Committee was held at the conference hall of Commence & Industries Department, Tadong which was attended by Commerce & Industries Principal Secretary, Dr. Thomas Chandy, National Working President of Forum of SC-ST Legislators and Parliamentarians cum Director General Dr. Ambedkar Chamber of Commerce, Shri Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, Information and Public Relations, Secretary, Dr. Sherab Shenga, Vice Chancellor of Sikkim State University, Dr. G.K. Niraula, officials from various state and central government agencies and education institutions.

During the meeting, National Working President, Forum of SC-ST Legislators Parliamentarian, Shri Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, briefed the gathering on how the conclave will be organized in the capital town Gangtok. He said that the programme will have four sessions; inaugural session followed by technical session where targeted group will be students of universities and colleges including poly technical colleges and existing and upcoming entrepreneurs in the state. He also informed that the Hon’ble Governor, Shri Ganga Prasad will grace the inaugural session as the chief guest.

Shri Atwal said, “Different schemes of the Government of India designed to assist the entrepreneurs will be highlighted during the conclave and the financial institutions will also be involved to brief the guidelines to avail different schemes. Through this conclave, SC-ST youth of Sikkim will be benefited from various centrally sponsored schemes.”

National Working President expressed his gratitude and thanked the State Government for accepting the request to organize State Conclave of the National SC-ST Hub scheme in Gangtok. He further informed that the conclave will have exhibition stalls and asked various departments of the State Government and entrepreneurs to be part of the exhibition.

Dr. Chandy sought support of different departments and stakeholders for the successful conduct of the programme.

During an open discussion, Secretary, IPR, Dr. Shenga, suggested for more publicity and promotion for this conclave. Officials also shared their ideas and views to make this conclave successful.

Union Minister K.J. Alphons on his second visit to the State, terms Sikkim ‘model State’

Gangtok, 14 Feb (IPR): Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Shri K.J. Alphons, made a brief visit to the State today. This is the second visit of the Union Minister to the State in a span of less than 15 days.

Addressing a public event titled ‘Bharat Ki Mann Ki Baat’ here at Community Hall in Pakyong, the Union Minister highlighted the key achievements and accomplishments of the Government in the last five years under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He gave a brief outline of all the people-centric schemes implemented successfully by the Central Government.

Shri Alphons spoke highly of the developmental initiatives of the State and termed Sikkim as a ‘model State’. He said that he was highly impressed with Sikkim, its good-natured people and the cleanliness and eco-friendly practices, and said that he even mentioned Sikkim in his recent address in the Parliament as well as in television interviews.

The Minister further said that Tourism and Orchids are the special features of Sikkim and added they should be promoted nationally and internationally.