The first meeting to discuss the State-level celebration of the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister of Sikkim Late Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari

Soreng, September 20 (IPR): The first meeting to discuss the State-level celebration of the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister of Sikkim Late Shri Nar Bahadur Bhandari was conducted at the Conference Hall of the Sub-Division Administrative Centre, today.
The meeting was chaired by the Hon’ble MLA, Shri Aditya Golay and had the presence and participation of SDM (Soreng), Shri Ranjan Rai, SDPO (Soreng), Shri Mahendra Pradhan, BDO (Soreng), Smt. Sabina Limbu, Department Officials, Chairpersons along with the members of the Nar Bahadur Bhandari Janma Jayanti Samaroh Samiti.
Addressing the meeting, the Hon’ble MLA said that the celebration this year will be done in adherence to the Covid norms and guidelines issued by the Government. Since this was the pre- coordination meeting, he said that the next scheduled meeting will be done on 22 September wherein the roles and responsibilities of the respective department will be assigned. He also informed that the venue for the celebratory event would be decided at the next meeting. He urged everyone to gear up and be prepared as there is not much time left for the preparations

Indra Jatra Celebration Amid Smaller Fanfare

Soreng, September 20 (IPR): The Newa Guthi, Soreng celebrated the Newari festival of Indra Jatra today at the Community Hall. The Hon’ble MLA, Shri Aditya Golay graced this auspicious occasion as the Chief Guest while Everester Smt. Manita Pradhan had been invited as the Guest of Honour. Among other esteemed invitees were SDM (Soreng), Shri Ranjan Rai, SDPO ( Soreng), Shri Mahendra Pradhan, former Chief Secretary, Shri P.K. Pradhan along with various respected Chairpersons and Advisors of the Governement of Sikkim.
The programme was organized not just to celebrate the auspicious event but also to commemorate Smt. Manita Pradhan for her achievement and contribution in bringing pride and glory to the entire Nation and State along with the Newari Community. She was presented the customary shawl and a token of appreciation by the Chief Guest.
The audiences were firstly addressed by the Guest of Honour, Smt. Pradhan. On taking the podium, she extended her warm greetings to all the distinguished guests and officials. She then talked in brief about the importance and relevance of the festival especially in the Newari community. After the short summary, reminiscing her struggles and hardships, she then spoke about her journey from being a nobody to joining the ranks of few women Everester. She admitted that at a certain point in her career, she did feel like accepting defeat but her sheer determination to achieve her aim kept her pushing. In her speech, she advised the younger generations to not to give up their dreams and aspirations especially when the going gets tough rather face them with courage and confidence. She finally concluded her address by expressing her sincere gratitude towards the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim for his encouragement and also for providing her with financial aid. She thanked the Hon’ble MLA for his instantaneous assistance when asked for. And also she said that she was humbled by the honour and love she had received from the community through this recognition.
The General Secretary of the Committee, Shri G.M Pradhan continued with the programme by giving an in-depth mythical explanation as to why and how we celebrate Indra Jatra. He informed that like any other indigenous group living in the State, the Newari community too can trace back its roots in Nepal but they are happy and fortunate enough to be born in a Secular State like Sikkim where every festival is celebrated with equal zeal and appreciation. He also thanked the IPR department for producing and showcasing the importance and relevance of Indra Jatra Festival through a recently released documentary.
The programme was then addressed by Hon’ble MLA Shri Aditya Golay. Firstly he extended his warmest greetings and best wishes to everyone celebrating the festival. Expressing his gratitude towards the community, he said that our State is known for co-existing in peace and harmony while celebrating all the different festivals and traditional rituals. He also communicated about his concerns regarding the depleting and diminishing of our age old traditions and cultures especially amongst the younger generations. He directly reached out to all the youngsters by asking them to preserve and strengthen our conventional customs and beliefs. The Hon’ble MLA also took this opportunity to inform the gathered attendees about the upgradation of the present community hall into a bigger and better Town Hall under the New District formation plan. Talking on the topic political favouritism and preferences, he strictly informed all the elected representatives to end such practices. He said that everyone must be treated with fairness and equal just regardless of their political inclination. “Our society has to come forward in bringing about better changes. Government aids and benefits must reach to those genuinely needy ones and it’s our duty to provide what is their right”,he added. He also requested the Central and the State Government for vaccination campaign of children below the age of 18 at the earliest. He finally concluded his speech by saying that he felt honoured to be a part of the celebration and that he was thankful for the invitation.
The programme ended with the representation of token appreciation and gratitude towards the Chief Guest by conferring him with the traditional khada and Newari topi. The event also featured few cultural dances from the locals.

Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary called on Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim

Gangtok, September 20 (Raj Bhavan): Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary called on Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim, Shri Ganga Prasad today. It was courtesy call on by the Hon’ble Union Minister, who is on a three-day visit to Sikkim.
During the meeting, the Hon’ble Minister apprised the Hon’ble Governor on various ongoing developmental projects in the State.
The Hon’ble Minister appreciated the development that has taken place in the country under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narenda Modi.
The Hon’ble Governor presented “Om Thanka” and “Choktse” to Hon’ble Minister as token from Raj Bhavan, Sikkim.

Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, Government of India arrived at Raj Bhawan

Gangtok, September 20: Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Finance, Government of India, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary arrived at Raj Bhawan this afternoon. The dignitary is on a three-day visit to Sikkim.
The Hon’ble Union Minister was received by Secretary Home (Protocol) Department, Shri S.K Pradhan, Special Secretary to Governor, Shri B K Lama and officials of Home Department and Raj Bhawan.

Minister Shri Lok Nath Sharma graced the Valedictory Session of the three-days long Skill Development Training Programme

Gangtok, September 15 (IPR): Hon’ble Minister for Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department Shri Lok Nath Sharma graced the Valedictory Session of the three-days long Skill Development Training Programme on Trout and Carp Farming at Atal Incubation Centre (AIC)-SMUTBI, Majhitar, East Sikkim, today.
The Hon’ble Minister expressed happiness over the participation of youths entrepreneurs in the Skill Development Training on fisheries and anticipated a new dimension of success as an output of the training session.
He informed that, at present the state records annual import of fish of around Rupees 26-27 crore and now aspiring fisheries entrepreneurs have an absolute opportunity to grab the market with intensive trout/ carp farming at a large scale.
He urged trainees to be motivated in enhancing capacity and attitudinal predisposition to begin a new revolution in the fisheries sector. The sector would play an instrumental role in a joint venture of making Sikkim a self-reliant state.
He urged trainees to work with strong determination and added that the government is always ready to extend all possible support and cooperation.
He added, that the State Government has formed two Fish Farmers Producer Organizations (FFPOs) at Regu in East and Sribadam in West District and also highlighted various benefits entitled by these FFPOs.
The State Government has availed a 35% subsidy to the unemployed youths under the Skilled Youth Start-Up Scheme and advised emerging entrepreneurs to manage to use the opportunities for substantial growth in the fisheries and farming sector.
He also visited various units of Atal Incubation Centre, an independent entity supported by NITI Aayog and further appreciated technically skilled innovative designs like Vertical Farming Internet of Things (IOT).
He also informed that the State Fish Mela is tentatively scheduled for 29th and 30th September 2021.
Secretary, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Dr Sangey D. Bhutia expressed happiness on the feedback of the participants. He urged trainees to utilise the obtained inputs in fisheries farming and share knowledge further with the interested farmers in the society. He also advised the Directorate of Fisheries to conduct such training programme on a periodical basis.
Entrepreneur Shri Dewaker Basnett from Namcheybong, who was one of the participants, shared his experiences of the workshop and also acknowledged the growth in the farming sector in the State. He stated that there is emergence of progressive indicator in the animal husbandry sector in the State at present.
Shri Suraj Rai from Regu also shared his feedback and expressed gratitude to the Government for providing opportunities in building entrepreneurship skills in Carp and Trout Culture.
During the valedictory session, the Minister also handed over the Certificate of Participation to the trainees.
The programme began with the welcome address by CEO AIC/Majitar Dr Tej Chingtham concluded with the vote of thanks presented by the Director/ Directorate of Fisheries Shri N. Jaswant.

HCM met Miss Deepa Rai the first person from Sikkim to clear the Research Eligibility Test (RET) conducted by Tripura University

Gangtok, September 15: Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang met Miss Deepa Rai, daughter of Shri Govind Rai of Soreng, West Sikkim at his official residence in Mintokgang, today.
She is the first person from Sikkim to clear the Research Eligibility Test (RET) conducted by Tripura University and will be pursuing her Ph.D. on the Impacts of Eco-Tourism in Sikkim.
The Chief Minister expressed his best wishes to her for her future efforts and hoped she continues in the same spirit. As a token of support, he also provided some financial assistance of Rs 2 lakhs from the Chief Minister’s Discretionary Grant (CMDG) for her endeavours.

SMU launches Dr Ramdas M Pai Scholarship Scheme

GANGTOK, 15 September 10, 2021: In consonance with its heritage, legacy and ethos of the Manipal Education & medical Group (MEMG) to provide socially relevant and affordable services to our students & citizens in the keys verticals of education, healthcare, research and service to society, Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) has announced the Dr. Ramdas M Pai Scholarship for deserving meritorious students who have unfortunately lost their sole earning parent during their course of their study at and its constituent institutes, colleges, units and departments. This scholarship scheme, a philanthropic initiative of SMU is in the form of complete course fee waiver for the remaining duration of their study at the University and its constituents.
The scholarship has been officially launched on September 17th , on the occasion of the 86th birthday of the iconic and visionary Dr. Ramdas M Pai, the founding Pro-Chancellor of Sikkim Manipal University and the Chairman Emeritus, MEMG. He is the worthy son of the legendary Late Dr. T. M. A. Pai, who was the founder of the Manipal Group and a highly respected doctor, banker, educationists and philanthropist.
Dr Ramdas M Pai is an alumnus of Karnataka University and a postgraduate in Hospital Administration from Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, USA. In 1961, Dr Pai began his career to spearhead the emerging field of hospital administration at the Kasturba Hospital, Manipal and gave wings to the dreams of his father. Dr. Pai has dedicated his entire career in envisioning a healthy, educated and enlightened society and a nation. In line with his philosophy & ethos, SMU endeavors to fulfil its onuses towards our State of Sikkim & the North Eastern region.
In 2001, Pai set up the Manipal Foundation to give impetus philanthropic efforts of the Manipal Group. By continuing to provide excellent opportunities in higher education and implementation through innovative curricula and novel learning approaches, he believes, the Manipal Group will lead to nurture, groom and mentor pioneers in all fields of medicine and education to serve the underserved and underprivileged strata of the society.
Dr. Pai has always set a high benchmarks of credibility, integrity and core values in all the institutions he has established. His commendable contributions to education has been recognised nationally and internationally. He has been the deserving recipient of a galaxy number of awards and honours in recognition of his contribution to healthcare, education, business and community service.
Among the various awards and honours, Dr Pai received the Padma Bhushan by the President of India in April 2011. In December of the same year, the Government of Melaka, Malaysia honoured him with the prestigious ‘Datuk’ Award. He was also awarded the Golden Peacock Lifetime Achievement Award for 2011 in recognition of his contribution in the field of education and healthcare. He was bestowed with the ‘Life Time Achievement Award 2018’ by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI); the Dr. B. C. Roy Award for his community health efforts from the President of India Shankar Dayal Sharma and also received the Phillips Medal of Ohio University in recognition of public service in 1993.
Dr. Pai shares a special bond with SMU, an institution he envisioned, nurtured and established as a pioneering Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Sikkim. He will always be remembered as the founding Pro-Chancellor of SMU from its inception till 2018, taking it to its glorious heights. In the year 1992, when Sikkim had no university, a joint venture Sikkim-Manipal University of Health, Medical & Technological Sciences was conceived and a Memorandum of Agreement was accordingly signed with the Government of Sikkim on 12 March 1992.
Today, the constituent colleges and units under SMU include Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences (SMIMS), Central Referral Hospital (CRH), Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology (SMIT), Sikkim Manipal College of Nursing (SMCON), Sikkim Manipal College of Physiotherapy (SMCPT), Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Hospital Administration and Department of Medical Biotechnology. The University has a majority of students from Sikkim and the eastern and north-eastern India, thereby realizing the vision of Dr. Pai to provide a contemporary professional education to students from the remote regions of the country.
The scholarship scheme was launched in an austere and befitting function to commemorate the 86th birthday of Dr. Ramdas M Pai on September 15. The Scholarships were awarded to 21 eligible students of SMU.
Dr. (Lt. Gen.) Rajan S. Grewal, Vice Chancellor, SMU paid a reverential tribute to the peerless contributions of Dr. Ramdas M. Pai and highlighted his yeoman service to the nation and the world. He exhorted the faculty, staff, students and employees of SMU to carry forward his rich legacy and treasured heritage by enshrining the core values of credibility, integrity, compassion and dedication as epitomized by Dr. Ramdas M Pai.
Dr. Muralidhar V. Pai, Dean SMIMS administrated a solemn pledge to uphold the vision and mission of the founding Pro Chancellor of SMU, Dr. Ramdas M. Pai

The three-day Green Film Festival and Forum on Environment and Wildlife

Gangtok, September 15 (IPR): The three-day Green Film Festival and Forum on Environment and Wildlife commenced today at Sidkeong Tulku Conference Hall of Forest Secretariat in Deorali.
The event is being organized by SECURE Himalaya Project of UNDP with the support of Forest and Environment Department, Government of Sikkim and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India and CMS Vatavaran.
The festival was inaugurated by Additional Chief Secretary-cum-PCCF, Forest Department, Shri M.L. Srivastava, in the presence of Conservator of Forest, (Wildlife)-cum-nodal officer (SECURE Himalaya Project), Shri Udai Gurung, Additional Director, Smt. Rajni Bhandari, Deputy Director, CMS Vatavaran, Shri Sabyesachi Bharti, FTII faculty member, Shri Ritesh Taksande, and UNDP representatives.
The programme was attended by participants including college students, professors and NGO members from Sikkim.
Addressing the gathering, ACS-cum-PCCF, Shri Srivastava, stressed on the need for dynamic sensitisation on climate change and its effects with a major focus on the conservation of biodiversity. He added that it can be achieved by acknowledging a shift in habitual attitudes towards nature.
Highlighting the role of mass media in spreading mass awareness on environmental issues, he stated that the Green Film workshop will offer a great platform for the participants to understand and enhance their environmental storytelling skills for wider outreach.
The inaugural session was also addressed by Conservator of Forest, Shri Udai Gurung, wherein he briefly spoke about the various components of the SECURE Himalaya Project and expressed hope that the workshop would be interactive and come to fruition while achieving the objective of spreading awareness on environmental issues.
The first two days of the Green Film Festival and Forum will feature a Green MOJO Filmmaking workshop on environmental filmmaking, mobile journalism and post-production along with practical works and evaluation, which will be conducted by faculty member, SKIFT at FTII, Mojo Educator and Film & Photography Educator, Shri Ritesh Taksande.
The final day of the festival on 17th September will include a screening of around 11 national and international nominated and awarded as well as SECURE Himalaya films on environment and wildlife issues. The festival will conclude with a quiz competition followed by an award in the closing ceremony.
It may be mentioned here that the Green Film Festival and forum is part of the 9th CMS Vatavaran Travelling Film Festival and Forum being held in Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh. The idea behind this festival and forum is to support this unique green movement for conservation through the medium of films, festivals and forums and engage with a cross-section of stakeholders including the Government of India, media, conservation organizations, experts, academics, corporations, youth and the general public

An Awareness cum Token Distribution Programme of Agriculture

Gangtok, Sept 14 (IPR): An Awareness cum Token Distribution Programme of Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Departments for the beneficiaries of Namchebong constituency, was held at Gram Prashashanik Kendra, Assam Lingzey, today.
The Hon’ble Minister, Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Shri Lok Nath Sharma graced the occasion as the Chief Guest in special presence of Hon’ble MLA, Namchebong constituency, Shri Em Prasad Sharma. The programme also had the presence of Hon’ble Chairman, Cooperation Department, Shri BB Chettri, Hon’ble Chairman, Excise Department, Shri Ganza Bhutia, Commissioner-cum-Secretary Horticulture, Smt Yashoda Bhandari, Secretary Agriculture Shri Rinzing C Bhutia, PD cum Secretary, Animal Husbandry Dr. Sangey D. Bhutia, Directors, Panchayats, Officials, OSD Agriculture Shri P.K. Subba, field functionaries including ADOs, HDOs, VOs, ROs, BOs, VLWs, FAs and others.
Over one hundred farming households from Namchebong constituency received various agricultural machinery tools and tokens, including Power Tiller, Power Weeder, Chaff Cutter, Mini Rice Mill, Brush Cutter, Spices Grinder, Rice thresher, Garden Hand Tools, HDPE Pipe, Naturally Ventilated Tubular Structure GreenHouse, Bamboo Structure GreenHouse, On Farm Handling Unit/Collection Unit, Genap Tank, Flour Mill Pulverizer, Sheep Farming, Goat Farming, Silage bag, Intensive Carp Fish Farming under Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services and Directorate of Fisheries.
Addressing the farming community, Minister Agriculture, Shri Lok Nath Sharma articulated the significance of the life saving profession of Agriculture/Livestock farming and dependence of human society on farming and allied sectors.
He touched upon the newly conceptualized policy of “Future is Farming” and underlined long term sustainability of farming profession and further motivated farmers to enhance productivity for earning sustainable livelihood and economic upliftment.
He also mentioned that the farming community is notably elevated in terms of dignity of profession with the launching of various initiatives like Gwala Diwas, prestigious award of Milk Man of the Year and other numerous farmer-friendly schemes.
He also informed about the newly initiated policies framed by the union government to provide loan with 50% subsidy in agriculture, horticulture, livestock farming and allied sectors at central level and provision of subsidised loan under Chief Minister Start up Scheme in the state as well.
He also urged field functionaries to practice seed trail production in the government farm and educate farmers. He also directed the concerned officials to carry out necessary exercises pertaining to the proposal of terrace gardens in urban areas.
Minister Shri Sharma also informed that over ten thousand farmers have benefited under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samman Nidhi Yojana (PMKISAN) within the last two years in Sikkim, whereas the number of beneficiaries was in single digit during the previous regime, he added.
He also announced plans to provide Five On-Farm Handling Unit / Collection Unit for Namchebong constituency and advised to award Self Help Groups from respective areas.
He also elaborated provision of production financial incentives under Mukhya Mantri Krishi Atmanirbhar Yojana and piggery farming incentives under Pashudhan Samridhi Yojana and further encouraged for increase in production. He also encouraged the SHGs for marketing and informed that an amount of 2% of incentive value will be granted as handling charges to all marketing agencies engaged in aggregating and marketing farmers produce.
He also motivated farmers to acquire insurance and compensate for loss of production in case of any crop damaging incident.
The Minister also touched upon the historic initiative of Sikkim Garib Awas Yojana envisioned by the Hon’ble Chief Minister and the beginning of inauguration programme within the stipulated time period.
Area MLA Shri Em Prasad Sharma expressed gratitude to the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Hon’ble Minister Agriculture, departmental officials for providing various facilities and token to the farmers of Namchebong constituency.
He also shared about the natural potential for fisheries farming at Bashilakha, Rai Gaon and further urged to promote fisheries in the peripheral areas.
He also applauded the government’s decision of declaring Pakyong a new district and touched upon ongoing preliminary exercise in this regard.
The MLA also shared ongoing developmental works in his constituency.
Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Horticulture Department, Smt. Yasodha Bhandari, stated that the state government is working tirelessly to benefit the farmers with renewed vigour and energy under the enthusiastic leadership and strong willpower of the ruling government. She also informed that the seeds are distributed based on the suitability of the climate of particular areas. She also touched upon the newly initiated financial incentives under Mukhya Mantri Krishi Atmanirbhar Yojana.
Secretary Agriculture Shri Rinzing C Bhutia expressed happiness on the active participation of youth in the programme of Agriculture, Horticulture and Allied Sector. He spoke on the provision of various schemes including Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samman Nidhi Yojana (PMKISAN), Fasal Bima Yojana and urged farmers to acquire benefits from the implemented schemes.
PD-cum-Secretary, AH & VS Dr Sangey D Bhutia, also highlighted various schemes and livestock friendly policies of the department. He also informed that the financial incentives of Rupees thirteen crore were distributed to the dairy farmers in the previous financial year. The daily production of Milk has increased substantially to fifty-eight thousand litres which was around thirty-five thousand litres per day before the launching of dairy incentives. He also informed on the detailed provision and criteria to be entitled for the piggery financial incentives under Mukhya Mantri Pashudhan Samridhi Yojana.
Thereafter, Minister Shri Lok Nath Sharma along with the dignitaries and officials visited Orchid Farm Assam Lingzey and Pig Breeding Farm in Assam Lingzey Gaucharan

A review meeting of Sikkim Garib Awas Yojana was conducted

Gangtok, September 14: A review meeting of Sikkim Garib Awas Yojana was conducted at Ranka BAC, where Area Incharge Mr NB Gurung graced the occasion as Chief Guest. The meeting was also attended by Mr ST Bhutia (SNT, Advisor), ADC Development, Gangtok Smt Radha Pradhan, Bhoj Gautam (Confidential Assistant to HCM), and few dignitaries.
There are 100 beneficiaries from Burtuk constituency and 36 beneficiaries under the Rumtek constituency under Ranka BAC, out of which 9 in Burtuk and 5 houses in Martam-Rumtek have not been started yet.
The beneficiaries present expressed their gratitude to the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang for the SGAY scheme for the welfare of genuine and basic needs for the poor. Those beneficiaries whose houses were not started yet pointed out the reasons for the delay to which ADC Development asked the representatives of the project to submit a report within 3 days.
The Engineers on behalf of the Mungipa trade link informed the gathering on the SGAY scheme and its main characteristic.
Shri NB Gurung addressed the gathering and requested the beneficiaries to be vigilant and asked the main contractors to complete the work in time if beneficiaries are facing trouble to construct on their own.
The meeting was attended by Panchayat members, Shriman Gurung, Pem Tshering Lepcha, Meera Rai, Rekha Rai, Datta Ram Pandey (Panchyat President), NP Bhattarai (Zilla Panchayat, Rey Rumtek), Tirtha Bdr Chettri (Luing Ranka, Zilla Panchayat), Chokey Doma Bhutia (Panchayat President).
Shri Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha, Additional Political Secretary to HCM East extended his gratitude to Ms Priscilla Rai (Ranka BDO) and her entire team for organising a well-coordinated program.