HCM attended the Regional Vedic Sammelan at Legship

Legship, November 18 (IPR) :The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri.P. S. Tamang(Golay)attended the Regional Vedic Sammelan as a Chief Guest along with HCM Madam Smt.Krishna Rai at Kirateswar Shiva Dham, Legship, today.

The Vedic Sammelan was organised by the Maharshi Sandipani Rashtiya Vedavidya Pratishthan Ujjain, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India in collaboration with the Shree Kirateswar Shiva Dham Committee, Legship, West Sikkim.

The Chief Minister Shri P.S. Tamang(Golay), in his address, recalled the most decisive role played by the people of Sikkim to register victory of SKM party in Assembly Election 2019 and articulated on the strength of people’s power in democracy. The state govt. believed in secular freedom and fully committed to honour all religions and communities with equal priority.

He outlined achievements made by the ruling government and informed that the stagnant project of Thankur Bari Mandir is in the verge of completion and will be inaugurated on 30th January 2020. The state government has allocated fund to take up Vrindavan project at Dodak, West Sikkim. The Chief Minister also drew lights on the scope of the Sanskrit Language and informed that the state government has planned to establish Gurukool School in all four districts of Sikkim. The monthly salary of Sanskrit teachers in the State will be enhanced from next budget session 2020.

The Chief Minister Shri Tamang(Golay) articulated to motivate people towards a common goal of all round development and prosperity of the state. He also informed that the state government will launch a programme of Sikkim Garib Awas Yojana and asked the concerned officials to identify most deserving beneficiaries from respective areas.

The Government is also committed for various developmental works in the West District and directed concerned District Collector to identify land for construction of Helipad in Gyalshing. The Government has allocated fund of Rupees three crores for the up gradation of Kyongsa play ground, Chief Minister informed. Referring to the demand submitted by the organizing committee, the Chief Minister assured to establish statue of Lord Shiva in identified location.

Shri.Tamang marked the Vedic Sammelan, a historic occasion and applauded a nature of unique initiative of promoting Hinduism philosophy by the Chief Patron of different religious inclination.

Minster-cum- Area MLA of Gyalshing Bermiok constituency Shri.Lok Nath Sharma who is also the Chief Patron of the organizing committee and the President of Mandir Committee, proposed welcome address and extended heartiest gratitude to the Chief Minister for gracing the occasion as the Chief Guest. He marked the event of comprehensively chanting four Vedas from the Sanskrit experts at one stage made the programme, historic and impactful for the devotees.

He also touched upon the need of self-realization of secular freedom in the society and urged to believe on vision and capacity of addressing the issues and work delivery.

He also underlined historical and religious significance of Kirateswar Mandir and proposed for upgradation of Mandir with the establishment of a Statue of Lord Shiva and a monastery in the premises.

Minister also informed that Bhavishya Puran will begin from 20th November and much awaited celebration of Bala Chatturdashi Mela is scheduled to be held on 24th November along with other components of Open Football Tournament and Cultural programme will be continued till 2nd December 2019 at Legship.

Dr. A. Venkataswar Rao, Representatives of Government of India from Maharshi Sandipani Vedvidya Prathisthan, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh mentioned that the programme is being organised for the preservation, conservation and development of Vedic culture. He also elaborated various programmes and activities being organised by the Prathisthan in the country. He also assured to support initiation of a Gurukool Pathshala at Kirateswar Shiva Dham, Legship.

Dr. Ravindra Bhattacharya from Kolkata University also addressed the gathering in Sanskrit language.

The programme was filled in spiritual tone of chanting the most sacred scriptures all four Vedas; Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda, and its interpretations by the experts from Varanasi and Assam.

Earlier the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri P.S Tamang and madam Krishna Rai took part in puja ceremony and offered prayers for peace and prosperity of the state and well being of the citizens.

During the programme the Chief Minister along with the dignitaries were presented souvenir by the organizing committee.

The programme was also attended by the Hon’ble Deputy Speaker Shri Sangey Lepcha, Hon’ble MLA Rhenock Constituency Shri Bishnu Khatiwara, Hon’ble Political Secretary to HCM Shri Jacob Khaling, Press Advisor Shri CP Sharma, Chairman State Bank of Sikkim Shri DB Gurung, Dr. Prafulla Kumar Mishra, Chancellor, Dr Rajendra Prashad Central Agriculture University, Pusa, Bihar, Secretary to HCM Shri S. D Dhakal, Special DGP A. Sudhakar Rao, District Collector West Shri Karma R Bonpo, officials and large number of devotees.

HCM arrived at Legship Kirateswar Shiva Dham to attend Regional Vaidik Sammelan

Legship, November 18(IPR : Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim Shri.P. S. Tamang(Golay) arrived at Legship Kirateswar Shiva Dham to attend Regional Vaidik Sammelan along with madam Smt. Krishna Maya Rai and other dignitaries.

He was accorded warm welcome by the Hon’ble Minister-cum-Area MLA of Gyalshing Bermiok constituency Shri.Lok Nath Sharma and large number of people and the devotees.

The Importance of Sanskrit in Human Civilisation and present Scenario

17th November 2019(IPR):Hon’ble Chief Minister of the State Shri .Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) graced the function of “The Importance of Sanskrit in Human Civilisation and present Scenario “at Manan Kendra along with Hon’ble Minister Shri.M. K Sharma, Minister Health & Family Welfare Department, Social Justice Empowerment & Welfare Department, Shri.Y. T Lepcha, MLA Gangtok, Shri.Vishnu Kumar Khatiwara,MLA Rhenock, Mukul Kanitkarji, Organisation Secretary of Shri Shri Duttatraya Seva Sangh, Swami Narayan Chaintanya, Professor Hari Prasad, Shastri Yoganandaji, Dr. Gyanendra Sabkota, Dr. Deepak Koirala, dignitaries, officials and the members of the Sangh.

The Chief Minister while addressing said that Sanskrit is vital to Indian Culture because of its extensive use in religious literature, primarily in Hinduism and because most modern Indian languages have been directly derived from, or strongly influenced by, Sanskrit. He stated that post Vedic religious text as well as text on medicine, astronomy, philosophy, art and architecture and important literary work are written in Sanskrit inspite of the development of religions language. Adding to his address he said that the importance of the study of the Sanskrit goes far beyond the aesthetic value of its literature and the Sanskrit is the key to the most of the branches of the study of Indian Civilization and the contribution of this civilization to the development of human thought and culture is considerable. He further added that the Sanskrit has the most detailed morphological system and its ideally suited for the computers programmes.
Lastly the Chief Minister said that Sanskrit served as a link language not only within India but even outside in the South East Asian countries and its influence on foreign languages and even on modern Indian languages has been vast and immense.

Swami Narayan Chaitanya said that Gurukul in India has always a rich tradition of learning since ancient times and it is still practiced today. It is where the students are taught how to live a cultured and discipline life. He stated that the main focus of the Gurukul is imparting learning to the students in natural surroundings where they lived with each other with brotherhood, humanity, love and discipline with essential teachings in subjects like language, science, mathematics through group discussion and self learning. Not only this the focus is given on arts, sports, crafts, singing that develops their intelligence and critical thinking which helps in their personality development and to increase confidence, sense of discipline, intellect and mindfulness such is necessary even today to face the world that lay ahead.
He further quoted various hyms of religious text and urged all present there to become a better human being with richness by thought and not by wealth.

Earlier the Governor message was delivered by Deputy Secretary,
PRO to Governor Shri Khemraj B.

Shastri Yoganandji, Deepak Koirala, Gyanendra Sabkota and Hariprasad Adhikari and Shri Mukul K. shared their views on the importance of Sanskrit and Gurukul.

Earlier Shri.Tika Ram Dhal and Shri.Bhawani Shankar Neupani were facilitated for their contribution in Sanskrit Language .
The teachers association also presented a citation to Hon’ble Chief Minister for appointing 170 Sanskrit teachers.
Later all the guest Swamiji were presented with memento by the Chief Minister.

Road Inspection by Hon’ble Minister for Road and Bridges and Minister-cum- Area MLA of Gyalshing Bermiok constituency

Chunbhatti/Legship, November 17(IPR):Hon’ble Minister for Road and Bridges Shri.Samdup Lepcha and Minister-cum- Area MLA of Gyalshing Bermiok constituency Shri.Lok Nath Sharma jointly inspected the ongoing work of black topping along the Reshi Legship highway. Both the Minster stressed to ensure quality works.

The three days Regional Vaidik Sammelan began at Kirateswar Shiva Dham at Legship

Legship, November 17(IPR): The three days Regional Vaidik Sammelan began at Kirateswar Shiva Dham at Legship, today.

The Chief Guest of the inaugural function was  Hon’ble Minister for Culture and Road and Bridges Departments Shri.Samdup Lepcha inaugurated the historic event of Vedic Sammelan.

The inaugural day was also graced by the Hon’ble Minister-cum-Area MLA of Gyalshing Bermiok constituency Shri.Lok Nath Sharma as the Guest of Honour in special presence of Professor Ravindra Mule, Professor & Director, Sanskrit Department Pune University; Dr. Prafulla Kumar Mishra, Chancellor Dr Rajendra Prashad Central Agriculture University, Pusa, Bihar; Dr A Venkateswar, Consultant, Maharshi Sandipani Ved Vidhya Prathisthan, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.

The Vedic Sammelan encompasses various components with the centric attractions of Veda chanting, a vast collection of hymns that were heard by ancient Indian sages when they were in a deep meditative state.

Addressing the occasion the Culture Minister Shri.Samdup Lepcha applauded the initiative for organizing the historic and unique event for self realization and prosperity of the state. He also shared his inclination with the religious philosophy and expressed happiness for being part of the programme.

Minister Lepcha also drew lights on the the implementation of secular freedom in practice and articulated leadership of the Chief Patron and his extroverted nature to lead the programme based on Hinduism philosophy. He also extended gratitude to the Guest speakers for their enlightening presentations and anticipated peace and prosperity for the state and the nation through the Vedic knowledge imparted in different sessions. He also urged young generations to be more proactive and sincere to take benefit of the Vedic wisdom to build up their career.

Minister Shri Lok Nath Sharma proposed welcome address and said that the collective chanting and interpretation of four Vedas in one stage made the programme historic and consequential to ensure realization of invaluable knowledge in practice.
Minister Sharma also reiterated his commitment to work tirelessly for the all round development and welfare of the society. He also underlined vision and inclusive politics of the state government under the leadership of the Chief Minister Shri.P.S. Tamang(Golay).

Professor Ravindra Mule spoke on the historic and religious significance of vedic knowledge. He also urged people to imbibe Vedic wisdom in human life to realise human values and make the world sacred and peaceful paradise.

National Press Day Celebration

Gangtok, 16 Nov (IPR): Associate Editor, Sikkim Express, Mr. Bijoy Gurung, has been honoured with the Y.N. Bhandari Memorial Award for excellence in Journalism while Senior Journalist, Mr. Bhanu Raj Thapa, has been conferred with the Grameen Patrakarita Purashkar.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. P.S. Tamang (Golay) handed over the awards during the National Press Day function organized by Information & Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim on the theme “Reporting Interpretation – A Journey” here at Manan Kendra today.

It may be mentioned here, the Y.N. Bhandari Memorial Award is annually presented by the State Government while the Grameen Patrakarita Purashkar is awarded by the Press Club of Sikkim.

The HCM who attended the event as chief guest was accompanied by Hon’ble Minister of IPR, Mr. L.N. Sharma, as guest of honour along with Hon’ble Cabinet Ministers, Mr. B.S. Panth, Mr. Karma Loday Bhutia and Mr. Samdup Lepcha, Political Secretary to the HCM, Mr. Jacob Khaling, Press Advisor to the HCM, Mr. C.P. Sharma, Political Advisor, Mr. T.N. Dhakal, Economic & Financial Advisor, Mr. C.L. Denzongpa, MLAs, Mr. Y.T. Lepcha, Mr. Bishnu Khatiwara and Mr. Aditya Golay, Additional Chief Secretaries, HoDs and other dignitaries.

Also present for the event were President, Press Club of Sikkim, Mr. Joseph Lepcha, along with PCS executives, IPR officials, representatives of Nepali Sahitya Parishad, Press & media fraternity and students of Journalism & Mass Communications.

On the occasion of National Press Day, the Annual Grant of Rs. 5 lakhs was presented by the State Government to Press Club of Sikkim which was handed by the chief guest to the PCS President. Likewise, Positive Journalism Grant of Rs. 50,000 was also presented to five journalists namely Mr. Shekhar Khawas (Himalayan Darpan), Mr. Jeewan Katuwal (Hamro Awaj), Ms. Pratima Rai (Freelance Journalist, West Sikkim), Mr. Thakur Subedi (Hamro Prajashakti) and Mr. Madhu Sharma (Yug Awaj).

The chief guest also handed over the documents and keys of the much awaited Press Club Bhawan to the PCS President. The newly set up Press Club Bhawan is located at the Tourism Department Complex near M.P. Golai in 5th Mile, Tadong.
Congratulating all the awardees, the HCM also extended best wishes to the Press Club of Sikkim for having their pending demand of a proper infrastructure fulfilled.

In his address, he also expressed his proposal of introducing four new awards for journalists next year namely Chief Minister’s Award for Best Rural Reporting, CM’s Award for Best Climate Change Reporting, CM’s Award for Best Women’s Issues Reporting and CM’s Award for Best Women’s Rights Reporting.

The HCM further assured that all other concerns of the PCS including provision of health insurance facilities for media fraternity and pension for the welfare of journalists will be deliberated over by the State Government at the earliest.
Maintaining that a free press is the cornerstone of democracy, the HCM said the State Government is fully committed to upholding freedom of press and expression and any external interference or regulation on press is not called for.

Hon’ble Minister of IPR, Mr. Lok Nath Sharma, in his address, marked the day as a significant occasion to ensure freedom of press, their responsibilities and accountability for secured democratic system. He also outlined unparalleled role of press for vibrant democracy and also touched upon constraints and impediments of media persons come across in maintaining unbiased and true ethics of journalism.

Further he applauded the role of press in the State and urged every member of press fraternity to continue their duties to be more responsive, proactive and accountable with highest standards of professionalism.

He expressed gratitude to the HCM for making it possible to handover new infrastructure of Press Bhawan as per his commitment within short span of only two months of the announcement.

Addressing the National Press Day, Mr. Sharma came out with a suggestion to install digital device for displaying of Governmental Schemes and Public orientated programmes in all District Administrative Centre, Sub Divisional Magistrate Offices, BDO offices, Gram Prashasanik Kenda so as to ensure massive awareness amongst public and visitors.

He also advised departmental official to be more proactive in research and rural reporting in close proximity of the people and the government.

He also underlined on high degree of faith and belief of the people on the news report of established media house and advised to continue constructive journalism in the State. He also urged media fraternity to come forward with their advises and suggestions to be a part of reengineering process of the state.

He also congratulated all the awardees for their achievement and extended best wishes for their future endeavours.

The programme was also addresed by Political Secretary to the HCM, Mr. Jacob Khaling, and PCS President, Mr. Joseph Lepcha.

The event also featured a talk on the theme “Reporting Interpretation – A Journey” which was presented by Senior Journalist, Mr. Pema Wangchuk.

Ms. Shristhi Pradhan, a Mass Communication student of Sikkim University, also delivered a short speech on Journalism.

A cultural presentation was also showcased by students of Tapashree Dance Academy, Arithang during the function.

At the onset of the programme, the chief guest took a tour of the photography exhibition of vintage photographs set up by the IPR Department at the lobby of Manan Kendra.

Earlier, the welcome address was delivered by Secretary, IPR, Ms. Namrata Thapa, while the vote of thanks was proposed by Director, IPR.

Sikkim Manipal University Pride Awards function

GANGTOK, 16 Nov(IPR): Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) conducted its second SMU Pride Awards function on 15th November 2019 for recognizing its employees who has made outstanding contributions to the University and has exhibited excellence.
While delivering the welcome address, Shri M.S. Sridhar, Head, Human Resources, SMU, said that the “SMU Pride Awards” is designed and initiated to reward the efforts and loyalty of the University employees across all units with the primary focus of the programme being fostering high performance, appreciative culture and engaged work force towards bringing in Excellence across all areas of the operations of the University to be a leader in this space. These awards represent the organization’s appreciation to imbibe “Appreciative Culture” in the University, he said. “The different types of awards and the purpose of the awards have been identified so that the expected behaviors are exhibited by the employees towards the objective of the University,” he added
Mr. Sridhar explained that the entire architecture of this programme was well dovetailed to promote the “Employer Branding” initiatives to become the “Employer of Choice”. Based on these principles, the University worked on the 5 EVPs (Employee Value Proposition Pillar) comprising of Communication, Process improvement, Technology Adoption, Appreciative Culture and Employee Engagement.

Lt.Gen. (Dr.) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor, SMU in his address, said that such initiatives fostered a culture of appreciation within the organization. “Such events can motivate and encourage employees to build a engaged work force eventually setting a new direction towards the University to grow to the newer heights in the areas of accreditation, research and various rankings,” he added.
A total of 90 employees were recognized on this occasion with trophies and certificates under 11 award category.
Dr. C. T. Singh, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT) and CEO, AIC-SMUTBI, was awarded with the the prestigious TMA Pai Award for 2019. This Award is designed for the purpose of recognizing employees who have maintained, exhibited and sustained strong value system of the organization through their exemplary work ethics, work standards.
Dr. Singh single-handedly worked towards the setting up of the Atal Incubation Centre-SMUTBI (AIC-SMUTBI) at SMIT from Ground Zero which is a business incubator setup under the Atal Innovation Mission and supported by NITI Aayog at Sikkim Manipal University. The mission of this incubator, founded on 7th September, 2018 is to nurture and support early-stage entrepreneurs of under-served region of North Eastern India by providing them office space, consultancy, mentoring, seed grants, branding, Co-working space, connection opportunities and many other facilities. The AIC-SMUTBI is one of the 100 world-class incubators of the government of India, envisioned and completely bolstered by Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.
The Outstanding Excellence Awards were won by Mr. Nihar Ranjan Sahoo, IT Department, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences and Mr. Narayan Mohapatra, Senior Executive, Human Resources Department, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, for demonstrating outstanding commitment, perseverance and excellence in their respective areas of responsibility within the organization.
Renowned Sand Artist from Chennai, Mr. Gajendran performed at the event by presenting the journey of the Sikkim Manipal University and also its Founder Dr. T.M.A. Pai and Dr. Ramdas Pai through his unique art.

STUDENTS & FACULTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY, SMIMS ATTEND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF UNESCO BIOETHICS

GANGTOK, 16 Nov(IPR): UNESCO Chair in Bioethics Asia Pacific Division’s International Conference on Bioethics in Health Sciences ‘BIOETHICON 2019’ was organized in the SRM Medical College Hospital & Research Centre, Kattankulathur, Chennai in collaboration with the Government of India, Indian National Commission for Cooperation with the UNESCO on 8-10 November, 2019.

The aim of the conference was to offer a unique platform for the exchange of Bioethics Education Information and Knowledge. About 3000 delegates attended the conference.
Six final year students of M.Sc. (Tanisha Dutta, Kanan Raj, Satakshi Pant, Satabdi Bhattacherjee, Sahin Ahmed and Nova Deka) and two faculty members (Dr. Tanaya Ghosh and Dr. P K Mitra) of the Department of Medical Biotechnology, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS), under Sikkim Manipal University attended the conference.
In oral presentations students shared their experience on knowledge of bioethics of undergraduate / postgraduate students of Biotechnology of few colleges of West Bengal in various topics of Biotechnology like In Vitro Fertilization, Bioinformatics, Gene Editing, Medical genetics, Cloning, Organ transplantation and stressed on the need of bioethics teaching among the students under study.
Dr. Tanaya Ghosh chaired two scientific sessions of the conference. Dr. P K Mitra delivered plenary lecture on Animal Ethics.

Three-daylong national workshop on “Challenges for Biodiversity Conservation and Human-Wildlife Conflict – Identifying the Problems and Possible Solutions”

Gangtok, 15 Nov (IPR):Three-daylong national workshop on “Challenges for Biodiversity Conservation and Human-Wildlife Conflict – Identifying the Problems and Possible Solutions” hosted by JICA assisted Sikkim Biodiversity Conservation Forest Management Project (SBFP) under Forest & Environment Department, Government of Sikkim commenced at Chintan Bhawan in Gangtok today.

The workshop was inaugurated by Hon’ble Speaker, Sikkim Legislative Assembly, Mr. L.B. Das, by lighting the ceremonial lamp in the special presence of Hon’ble Minister of Forest & Environment, Mr. Karma Loday Bhutia, Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Shri S.C. Gupta, Principal Secretary-cum- Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Mr. M.L. Srivastava, IFS, Chief Representative, JICA India, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Chief Development Specialist, JICA India, Mr. Vineet Sarin, and Martam-Rumtek MLA, Mr. Sonam Venchungpa.

Also present for the event were HoDs of various State departments, JICA Japan delegate, representatives from 12 other States, representatives of educational institutions, members of Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs), Eco-Development Committees (EDCs), Self Help Groups, NGOs, Press & media fraternity and other participants.

At the onset of the programme, felicitations through khadas and bouquets were presented to the chief guest, Forest Minister, Chief Secretary, JICA India Chief Representative and other dignitaries on the dais.
In his welcome address, Principal Secretary-cum-PCCF, Forest Department, Mr. Srivastava, spoke in brief about Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) and its objectives. He informed that JICA offers developmental assistance to India with human security and quality growth being its main broad mission. Quoting JICA as “an engine of growth”, Mr. Srivastava pointed out a number projects taken up by JICA in the country under various domains like health & medical care, transportation, power & energy, private sector development programme, agricultural and rural development and many other categories.

Highlighting on the key achievements of JICA assisted SBFP with introduction of eco tourism policy in the State being one amongst them, Mr Srivastava said that SBFP has achieved in bringing a distinct paradigm shift in ensuring transparency and accountability in the villages propelling Sikkim as the first State in the country to effectively ensure field forestry convergence and Panchayati Raj issues. It has also immensely contributed in strengthening SHGs’ movement in forest-filled villages as settlements which generally comprise of women force, he added.

Speaking about the workshop on human-wildlife conflict, Mr. Srivastava stressed on the need to come up with practical and effective solutions and urged for more stakeholders’ participation in conflict management so as to mitigate the conflict issues amicably to an extent that is possible. He further listed out some of the initiatives undertaken by the Forest Department to deal with human-wildlife conflict which included habitat improvement, awareness & capacity building training for front liners, solar fencing, better food availability in forests, sterilization of feral dogs and others.
Concluding his address, Mr. Srivastava maintained that the active involvement of the civil society is a must and expressed hopes that this three-daylong workshop would help in achieving a deeper and broader understanding of the solutions to address the human-wildlife conflict in the State.
The PCCF’s address was followed by a video message presentation wherein Hon’ble Chief Minister Mr. P.S. Tamang (Golay) conveyed his welcome greetings to the JICA representatives and to all attending the event. He expressed happiness over the workshop being organized by JICA assisted SBFP to address challenges of biodiversity conservation and human-wildlife conflict. He also conveyed his apologies for being unable to attend the event due to an urgent engagement. He hoped that through this platform of knowledge sharing and discussion, a proper and practical solution to resolve various issues pertaining to biodiversity conservation and human-wildlife conflict could be deliberated upon successfully.
The inaugural session was also addressed by JICA India Chief Representative, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, who expressed gratitude to the organizers for hosting the workshop and also complimented the State for its cleanliness, fresh air and great scenery while adjudging Sikkim as a special State in terms of its history and also the State’s potential to be developed.
He spoke in brief about India-Japan relation and stated that for India, Japan is the largest bilateral development partner. Likewise, for Japan, India is the oldest and largest partner of Official Development Assistance (ODA). He further discussed various engagements of JICA with the State in the forestry sector and emphasised on the achievements and impacts of its projects. He also expressed hopes for fruitful deliberation of the workshop and extended gratitude to the organizers for inviting him to the State.
Delivering the keynote address, Hon’ble Forest Minister, Mr. Karma Loday Bhutia, extended warmest welcome to the invitees from JICA and all other dignitaries and participants. He said that the newly formed SKM-led government is at its youngest stage and is looking forward to working with JICA for the development of the State in the years to come.
Presenting an overview of the State since its engagement with JICA, the Forest Minister stated that finding an absolute solution for human-wildlife conflict may not be possible but best efforts should still be made in order to achieve an effective solution to mitigate the issue.

He also shared that along with being the Forest Minister of the State, he is also the area MLA of Kabi-Lungchok constituency in North Sikkim. He informed that the area is an economically backward tribal belt of the North district with low source of income as the fertility of the soil is not adequate for farming. In the past years, people of the area were growing Cardamom as cash crop, however, over the years due to various soil fertility diseases the production of cardamom has seen a shocking end. Therefore, more researches need to be done and necessary measures need to be taken to revive agriculture in the area and also explore its potential for sustainable development through eco tourism, he added.

The Minister further assured to give consent and approval for future projects aftee detailed study and underatanding of the same. He urged the experslts and researchers in the workshop to continue creating inclusive management plans that are dynamic and present strong scientific reasoning.

Addressing the gathering, chief guest Mr. L.B. Das (Speaker, SLA), presented an overview of the flora, fauna, pristine lakes, cultural heritage and organic history of the State.

Stressing on important issues with regard to human-wildlife conflict pertinent in the State of Sikkim, the Speaker gave suggestions that can be considered as a measure to mitigate the issue. He suggested plantation of fruit bearing trees in the forest areas to at least minimise the occurences of wild animals straying away to human habitats for food.

He further expresses hope that at the end of the workshop, a profound information and understanding on human-wildlife conflict is achieved in order to deal with these issues and enable a peaceful co-existence between wildlife and humans. He further emphasized on erecting solar fences to stray away wild animals and shed focus on intensive patrolling during peak seasons of human-wildlife conflict.

During the programme, the chief guest along with other dignitaries on the dais released three publications of the Forest Department namely Rapid Biodiversity Survey (RBS) Report-V, Rapid Biodiversity Survey (RBS) Report-VI and a book on “Wildlife Population Estimation- Phase II”.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Project Director, SBFP-JICA, Mr. N.W. Tamang.

Simultaneous to the workshop, a plenary meeting with the heads of line departments of the State along with JICA representstives was also convened under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim for discussing prospective projects.

State Departments of Urban Development, Roads & Bridges, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Forest, Tourism, Mines & Geology, Education and Sports presented their proposed projects to which the JICA representatives assured to provided assistance as per their cadre after further discussions and considerations in the days to come.

The inaugural programme was followed by technical sessions delivered by representatives of the States of Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Rajasthan and Odisha which also included a question-answer session.

State level band competition for Schools under Samagra Shiksha

Gangtok, November 15(IPR): The 3rd Edition of State level band competition for Schools under Samagra Shiksha, Education Department – Government of Sikkim was conducted today at Guards’Ground, Gangtok. Shri. Sanjit Kharel, Hon’ble Minister for Housing & Buildings,Transport Department, Govt.of Sikkim graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Shri. Bishnu Kumar Khatiwara, Hon’ble Chairman State Trading Corporation and Shri C.P. Sharma, Hon’ble Advisor to HCM (Press and Media) graced the programme as Guest of Honour. Shri. Bhim Thatal, State Project Director, Samagra Shiksha during his welcome address briefed about the Band competition and also highlighted that in the 1st and 2nd edition Sikkim team got the 1st Runner and winner in the National level competitions.
The band competition was conducted in two categories ie, Boys and Girls. In Boys category 3 schools took part and in Girls category 4 schools participated in the competition and gave a spectacular performance. Under Boys category, North Sikkim Academy, Magan and in Girls category West Point Senior Secondary School, East Sikkim bagged the 1st position. These two teams will now represent the State in the National level Band Competition to be held in the month of December 2019 at Guwahati. Hon’ble Minister congratulated the winners and showed his kind gesture by awarding cash prize to them, He also encouraged and extended his best wishes to them to perform well in the Zonal level competitions.