A meeting to discuss on the current education situation was held at Samman Bhawan

Gangtok July 28: A special meeting was held at Samman Bhawan today to discuss and deliberate on the current education situation and future road map of digital education in the State. Due to the global pandemic, education and students right to education have been hit hard and to combat the situation, digital and online classes are the only option in the current situation.
During the meeting, Chief Secretary Shri S.C. Gupta briefed the august gathering on the agenda of the meeting and the views and suggestions of the department on the issues.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister welcomed everyone on behalf of the Government and stated that the State Government is utilising the I.T sector to its optimum level, which had been dormant for all these years. He stressed on the fact that during the pandemic, Information Technology and digital connectivity have played an effective and a monumental role and this technology boon could be used as a medium to move forward in this path and makes the best use of it. He also reiterated that Sikkim has been granted an Independent BSNL Administrative Control Centre for the State which will improve connectivity and help in achieving e-Governance by 2022, as proposed by the Central Government. He focussed on moving forward with time and adapting to technological advancement for overall development.
He also proposed that the teachers who are currently off duty due to the COVID-19 situation could be part of the monitoring team in GPUs for ensuring that the asymptomatic cases are following the necessary protocols and guidelines. Their noble services could be utilized to raise awareness, educate, inform and regulate the patients.
However, they should be well briefed before sending them for the fieldwork. This proposal was appreciated by the department who will be preparing a list of teachers and also prepare the Standard of Practise (SOP). The Hon’ble Chief Minister also suggested utilising the services of OFOJ employees for assisting the teachers.
The Secretary, Education Department Shri Anil Raj Rai communicated that the major problem currently faced by the department is connectivity, especially in the shadow areas which mostly fall under difficult terrain. To tackle the situation, currently, they are providing pre-recorded contents to students who do not have access to proper internet connectivity. He also informed that they are using various applications and broadcasters to conduct these classes. He also emphasized on the departments plan to initiate counselling for parents and ask their opinion regarding the reopening of schools.
The Chief Secretary stated that the connectivity issue cannot be solved instantly and we need to make the best use of the facilities we have at our disposal. He insisted on uniformly upgrading the facilities and use YouTube and other similar platforms for these purposes.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister emphasized on turning Sikkim into an education HUB to attract students from various states and abroad. He stated that we should move towards the unconventional technique of education and more research-based methods in Soreng Science College and turn it into a centre for excellence by including subjects like Environmental science, climate change, Himalayan studies centre where traditional practices of Himalayan people and their livelihood opportunities will also be included. He directed the department to set up a team to prepare a Standard of Practise (SOP) in advance to monitor students, teachers and lecturers returning to the state in case of commencement of schools and colleges in the near future.
He also added that the maintenance of schools should be done regularly and should not be ignored because of the lockdown. He directed the education department to hold a meeting with the I.T.department to sort out issues about digital education and find a middle path which will be feasible looking at the current scenario.
The meeting was also attended by Hon’ble Minister, Education, Shri K. N. Lepcha and other officers of the concerned department

Hon’ble Chief Minister convened a meeting with Food & Civil Supplies Department

Gangtok, July 27(IPR): Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang convened a meeting with the Food and Civil Supplies Department at Samman Bhawan today. The meeting was held to take stock of essential commodities in the State.
The meeting was attended by Minister, Food and Civil Supplies Department Shri Arun Upreti, Chief Secretary Shri S. C. Gupta, Additional Chief Secretary Finance Shri V. B. Pathak, Secretary Food and Civil Supplies Shri L. B. Chettri, senior officials of the department, DCSOs of all districts and other officials.
During the meeting, schemes under Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, Aatma Nirbhar Yojana and other schemes of the Government of India were discussed in detail.
The Chief Minister took stock of distribution of essential commodities in the State and also assessed the district-wise distribution during the lockdown period.
The Chief Minister in his brief address directed the department to take urgent steps to ensure the availability of essential commodities in the State. He also directed the department to effectively implement all the centre government schemes pertaining to the under privileged section. He directed the department to coordinate with the concerned MLAs and other officials and shortlist the beneficiaries list amongst the under privileged people having aadhar card to distribute the benefits under various schemes.
The Chief Minister also urged the department to ensure buffer stock of essential commodities in the districts owing to present monsoon season and the pandemic situation

Hon’ble Chief Minister chaired a high level meeting to review the State Government plan of action on COVID-19

Gangtok, July 27(IPR): Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang chaired a high level meeting of State Task Force to review the State Government plan of action on COVID-19 at Samman Bhawan today.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Chief Secretary, Addl.Chief Secretary Finance, DGP, Heads of various Government departments, ADGP Law and Order, DIG Range, and senior officers of the State administration.
Chief Secretary Shri S.C. Gupta in his opening remarks presented a brief overview of the status of COVID-19 in the State. He also briefed about the second Notification issued on 26th July with regard to extention of lockdown, taking into account the prevailing situation in the State.
The Chief Secretary apprised that the State is also facing monsoon woes due to incessant rainfall and the government is trying to restore the situation so that least hurdles and headships are being faced by the people. The State administration has also pulled manpower (safaikarmacharis and office attendants) from various departments to augment the manpower in the Health Department.
During the meeting, contact tracing, testing and preventive measures of COVID-19 along with post lockdown scenario after 1st August was also discussed at length.
The Chief Minister in his address informed about the State Government’s effective coordination to tackle the present situation. He pointed out in detail about the menace of fake news being circulated in social media which is adding to the already existing challenge. He stressed on the need to disseminate correct and factual information through credible source and all news or information in any form should be verified and thoroughly checked with concerned department before posting and uploading.
He further said that if anybody is found to be spreading fake news on social media, electronic media, or in any form, Government will take stringent action.
The Chief Minister also stressed on the need to consistently follow basic guidelines by everyone and added that the sudden surge of positive cases in the State is due to the gross violation of lockdown norms, despite repeated appeal from the State Government. He directed the Police to strictly initiate action against those who are found violating the lockdown guidelines. The proper health guidelines should be enforced and implemented in letter and spirit.
The Chief Minister maintained that post 1st August, there could be slight relaxation to facilitate certain activities. He urged everyone to continue to abide by all safety norms.
It was also informed that a State Level Steering Committee will be constituted in the State for manpower management keeping in view both present and future requirements in all districts.
In the meeting, it was informed that if any person came in contact with COVID-19 positive cases, they should immediately contact the toll free State helpline number 104. The Chief Minister stressed that the Helpline Number should be adequately publicized as a potential medium to aid in contact tracing.
The meeting also took stock of the arrangements in place for operation of OPD services in Old STNM hospital as a makeshift facility to provide basic healthcare. Issues concerning supply of medicines and consumables in various hospitals, CHCs, PHCs, and PHSCs were also discussed in detail.
The Chief Minister also directed the State administration to immediately address the shortage of manpower in Health Department and make it fully equipped. There should not be dearth of manpower and medicines in the hospitals across the State, he stated

Hon’ble Governor remembered the Kargil Heroes on the occasion of 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas

Gangtok, July 26: Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim, Shri Ganga Prasad joined with the rest of the Nation and remembered the Kargil Heroes on the occasion of 21st anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas today.
Hon’ble Governor paid his homage to the brave and slain soldiers and offered floral tribute in the memory of martyrs, in a brief function held at Raj Bhavan.
Hon’ble Governor, Shri Ganga Prasad said, “On this occasion, we feel proud for the selfless sacrificed made by our soldiers who fought valiantly for the country. Their sacrifices will always be a source of inspiration for our forces.”

The RTPCR testing for COVID-19 was organised at the Hon’ble Chief Minister’s residence

Gangtok, July 16: The RTPCR testing for COVID-19 was organised at the Hon’ble Chief Minister’s residence in Lumsey, today.

The samples of Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang along with Smt. Sarda Tamang and Hon’ble MLA Shri Aditya Tamang were collected, followed by the security personnel and residential staff. A total of 95 samples have been collected.

The sample for testing was collected by the Urban Sampling team led by Sampling Incharge Dr. Kunzang Lepcha, Medical Officer from Urban PHC, Old STNM, Gangtok under the guidance of Health Authority, STNM, Hospital.

A team of Gangtok Municipal Corporation led by Senior Supervisor, Shri R. P. Subba was also present to sanitize the premises.

Hon’ble Chief Minister congratulated the team and expressed gratitude to the entire Health workers and the COVID-19 warriors for their selfless dedication and uninterrupted service.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister convened an emergency meeting of the State Task Force

Gangtok, July 14(IPR): Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) convened an emergency meeting of the State Task Force today to discuss the latest spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in Rongli Subdivision and the immediate measures to be taken.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Chief Secretary, DGP and Heads of Departments.

At the outset, Chief Secretary Shri S.C. Gupta apprised the house of the latest developments in the last 24 hours. He informed that in Rongli and Pakyong Subdivisions, a few cases have been detected in the community, despite the best efforts of the State Government.
He said that the State will now go for 100% testing of each person who enters Sikkim, at the entry point.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang in his address called for strict vigilance from the administration to ensure that cases do not spread further. He invited suggestions from the esteemed members.

Hon’ble Ministers Shri K.N. Lepcha, Dr. M.K. Sharma, Shri Sanjit Kharel and Shri M.N. Sherpa shared their viewpoints.

During the meeting, suggestions and viewpoints were placed by ACS Finance and Planning Shri V.B. Pathak, DGP Shri A. Shankar Rao, Principal Secretary, Health, Shri. K. Shrinivasulu, ACS, Labour and Raj Bhawan, Shri. S.D. Negi, Special DGP Shri. S. Sudhakar Rao, DG-cum-Secretary Health, Dr. Pempa T. Bhutia, Secretary, Coordination Shri Rinzing Chewang Bhutia, Principal Chief Engineer, Transport Department Shri Karma Namgyal Bhutia, Secretary Transport, Shri Raju Basnet, Secretary IPR Ms. Namrata Thapa, Secretary UDD, Ms. Sarala Rai, IG Law and Order Shri Akshay Sachdeva and DIG Range Shri Prawin Gurung.
Chief Secretary Shri S.C. Gupta summed up the suggestions and placed his view point.

After lending a patient hearing to all the suggestions placed in the meeting, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang directed that the State Administration should strictly assess and monitor the quarantine facilities of Army and paramilitary forces including GREF.
He called for immediate up-gradation of quarantine facilities in Rongli and Pakyong Subdivisions, and consider home quarantine option to manage the increase in the number of cases, with strict orders for compliance.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister called for strict vigilance of Pharmaceutical companies and ensure that all guidelines are strictly followed.
He also called for limiting the number of returnees from other states, as well as a complete restriction on inter-district movement of vehicles for at least fifteen days. He also called for restriction of intra-district movement to ensure limited movement.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister further called for enforcement of complete lockdown in Rongli and Pakyong Subdivisions from 6am of 15th July (tomorrow) to contain further spread. He also directed the Administration to ensure that all the guidelines are adhered to in letter and spirit. The Hon’ble Chief Minister also called for an immediate restriction on the movement of persons into the official residences of all the Ministers and MLAs.
He further called for an immediate restriction on the return of employees and workers of all private companies for the next fifteen days. However, Central Government employees should be allowed to enter with thorough screening and testing.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister suggested for augmenting the Police force by deploying forest guards and local village guards, who will be under the disposal of the concerned SP.

The meeting concluded with the decision to hold another review meeting in the next three days.

The 206th birth anniversary of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya was observed in the State

Gangtok July 13(IPR): The 206th birth anniversary of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya was observed in a function organised by Nepali Sahitya Parishad at Bhanu Udhyaan, Zero Point, Gangtok today. The function was graced by the Hon’ble Governor Shri Ganga Prasad as the Chief Guest, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang as the Guest of Honour, along with the Speaker SLA, Shri L. B. Das, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, MP Lok Sabha, Political Secretary to HCM, Chief Secretary, Secretary to HCM, Heads of Departments, Government officials, literary figures, members of Nepali Sahitya Parishad and other dignitaries.

To commemorate Bhanu Jayanti, the programme commenced with the lighting of the lamp, the offering of prayers, recitation of verses from Ramayana and garlanding to the statue of late Bhanu Bhakta Acharya at Bhanu Udhyaan by the Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and other dignitaries present.

Hon’ble Governor Shri Ganga Prasad in his address briefed on the life of Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya and his notable contributions to the Nepali language.
He added that the Ramayana’s profound teachings have and will continue to inspire generations and asked everyone, especially the younger one’s to imbibe the great work of Adikavi which has basic human ethics n values.

Addressing the gathering, the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang said that Adikavi Bhanu Bhakta Acharya has been an inspirational figure and remarked that Adikavi laid the foundation of Nepali literature and has always been revered as a significant literary figure in the Nepali communities.
Citing Ghasi as an inspirational figure, the HCM said that Bhanu Bhakta was greatly influenced by a Ghasi to do something noble which eventually resulted in the translation of the great epic, the Ramayana, from Sanskrit to Nepali language which he made it accessible, readable and understandable for a wide range of Nepali speaking communities globally. He also threw light on the Ramayana and its relevance in today’s world urged the present generation to draw inspiration from Adikavi’s noble work.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister also announced to construct a permanent infrastructure at Bhanu Udhyaan in the near future.

The Rapid Antigen Testing Centre for Covid-19 at Rangpo was inaugurated by HCM

Gangtok, July 11(IPR): The Rapid Antigen Testing Centre for Covid-19 at Rangpo Screening Centre was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) today.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister was briefed in detail about the protocol for Antigen Testing, by Principal Secretary, Health, Shri. K. Shrinivasulu and officials of the Health Department. The Hon’ble Chief Minister took a detailed stock of the screening centre and interacted with the health workers deployed in the facility.

As informed by DG cum Secretary Health Dr. Pempa T. Bhutia, the Rapid Antigen Testing is a new category of tests for the diagnosis of Covid-19 in the Country which has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The Rapid Antigen Testing is an easy and faster method to detect Covid-19 cases and can provide results within 30 minutes.
With this inauguration, Sikkim becomes one of the first States in the country to start Antigen Testing for Covid-19.

Dr. Bhutia further informed that the Rapid Antigen Testing will be done on returnees upon their arrival at the Screening Centre at Rangpo from today onwards. If any of the returnees test positive, they will be immediately sent to the Isolation ward of STNM hospital, Gangtok. The returnees would be asked to wait until results come out so that they can be assessed and advised on further protocol. It was also informed that the Army and the paramilitary forces will also be tested and if their reports come out positive, they will be returned to their designated quarantine centres in West Bengal.

The function was attended by Hon’ble Speaker SLA, Shri L. B. Das, Hon’ble Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. M.K. Sharma, Hon’ble Minister for Transport Department Shri Sanjit Kharel, Political Secretary to HCM Shri Jacob Khaling, Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Shri K. Shrinivasulu, DG Cum Secretary Health Dr Pempa T. Bhutia, Secretary to HCM Shri. S. D. Dhakal, DC East, SP East, officials from health and other concerned departments and host of other dignitaries.

The Hon’ble Governor dedicates his birthday celebration to front line warriors

Gangtok, July 8: Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim, Shri Ganga Prasad dedicated his birthday celebration to the various frontline warriors of Sikkim including Doctors, Nurses, Police personnel, Sanitary Workers and all those involved in the State’s battle against the Coronavirus pandemic to thank them for their invaluable services and dedication.

As a ‘Thank You’ gesture for their services rendered during these tough times of global pandemic, a group of Doctors, Sikkim Police and Sanitary Workers were honoured and acknowledged on his 84th Birthday celebration at Raj Bhavan today.

While extending his gratitude to the entire frontline warriors of the State, Hon’ble Governor said “you all are real frontline warriors, I salute you all for your dedication and commitment. Sikkim has waged a strong fight against COVID-19 due to courageous frontline warriors who have cared and cured many patients in the State. On my birthday, I got an opportunity to say “Thank You” to frontline COVID-19 warriors for their commendable services.”

As a token of appreciation, gifts and sweet packets were given to the representatives of Doctors from STNM hospital, Sikkim Police and Sanitary Workers of Raj Bhavan.

The Hon’ble Governor also planted a ‘Rhododendron’ sapling in the Raj Bhavan premises on the occasion.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister attends a distribution programme of PMJAY

Gangtok, July 8 (IPR): A distribution programme of Sikkim Manipal Swasthya Surakhsha Insurance Card and Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(PMJAY) Health Insurance Card was held in a programme at Samman Bhawan today. The programme was graced by the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang (Golay) as the Chief Guest.

Sikkim Manipal Swasthya Surakhsha is a health scheme initiated by Central Referral Hospital (Manipal) and sponsored by Government of Sikkim in order to provide added health care facilities and protection to the people from financial inabilities arising out of health setbacks. It covers hospitalization expenses in General Ward at CRH, 5th Mile to an extent of Rs. 1 lakh on a family floater basis and offers cashless treatment along with seven free OPD visits and 10 to 30% discount on CT Scans, MRIs and other tests. Under the scheme, upto five members of the family can be enrolled in a family plan.

The Sikkim Manipal Swasthya Suraksha has taken 1,202 families and 4,900 beneficiaries under its ambit in the State till date. The benefits of the scheme can be availed from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021.

The Ayushman Bharat – PMJAY is a health assurance scheme initiated by the Government of India and aims at providing health coverage of Rs. 5 lakhs annually per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation across public and private empanelled hospitals in India.

Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang handed over the Sikkim Manipal Swasthya Suraksha Health Insurance Cards and PMJAY to the beneficiaries present of the State.

In his brief address, the HCM stressed on the need for maximum awareness on these schemes at grassroot level so that economically weaker section of people from every corner of the State can avail for the health facilities being provided by the State and Central governments. The scheme is meant to reduce the burden arising during medical emergencies and is designed to help families of below poverty line with quality healthcare services, he added.

He reiterated that the health sector has always been the State government’s top priority and added that the people of Sikkim will be provided with maximum health benefits.

The HCM informed that the State government will pay a premium of Rs. 2000 per annum and people who hold COI/domicile will be able to avail quality healthcare at Central Referral Hospital Manipal (CRH) for the insurance scheme. He also shared that the scheme will be further extended from the next financial year for the benefit of less privileged of the State. He further informed about the Mobile Village Clinic services which will be initiated in all districts from the next financial year, wherein quality healthcare will be provided at the doorstep of the people.

Additionally, dialysis facilities have been set up in all four districts which will be further taken up to the sub-divisional level, he added.
He further informed about the Mukhya Mantri Jeewan Raksha Kosh wherein the economically weaker section of people can avail for healthcare benefits.

On the occasion, incentives were also provided to six (6)progressive farmers of Khamdong Singtam constituency in order to encourage and motivate them towards the farming sector.

The distribution programme also had the presence of Deputy Speaker, SLA, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Political Secretary to HCM, Confidential Secretary, Vice-Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University, and other dignitaries.