Legal Services Camp organized at Upper Rimbik, West Sikkim

Gyalshing, 16 Feb (IPR): A Legal Services camp was organized by District Legal Services Authority, West in coordination with Sikkim State Legal Services Authority under the aegis of National Legal Services Authority on NALSA (Effective Implementation of Poverty Alleviation) Scheme, 2015, NALSA (Child Friendly Legal Services to Children and their Protection) Scheme 2015 and NALSA (Protection and Enforcement of Tribal Rights) Scheme 2015 at Upper Rimbik, West Sikkim.

The programme was chaired by Hon’ble District &Sessions Judge cum Chairperson, Mr.Jiwan Kr.Kharka, DLSA (W), Ld. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ms.Subarna Rai, Ld. Secretary cum Judicial Magistrate, Ms. Zamyang Choden Bhutia, Mr. Santosh Allay, Sr.Welfare Officer from Social Welfare Deptt, Ms.Reevena Chettri, Social worker from District Child Protection Unit, Panel Advocates Ms. Puja Lamichaney, Ms.Aita Hangma and Ms.Sashi Pradhan.

The schemes of the Government were disemminated to the public. Applications were collected from the people, Applications were also drafted for filing cases in the Lok Adalat.

The crowd was also informed about the various provisions of law including Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, Sikkim Anti Drugs Act and free legal aid services. The program concluded with an interactive session which witnessed the participation of many local Gentries.

Training for Presiding Officer and Polling Officer-I

Gangtok, Feb 16 (IPR): First round of training for Presiding Officers and first Polling Officers commenced in East district from today at three venues namely Conference Hall DAC Sichey, Conference Hall Zilla Bhawan and Conference Hall CEO office, Baluwakhani.

The resource person for the training was Shri Bharani Kumaar, ADC/East, Shri Sunil Mothey SDM/HQ East and Shri Mahesh Sharma SDM/Kabi respectively. A total of 87 Presiding Officers and 94 first Polling Officers attended the training today.

The presiding Officers and first Polling Officer were briefed about their roles and responsibilities with respect to the conduct of election. The functioning of the EVM & VVPAT was also explained to them and a hands-on training session was also conducted to familiarize EVM & VVPAT. The significance of the conduct of mock poll was emphasized and all the necessary procedures pertaining to the polling process was demonstrated.

The training to Presiding and first Polling officers for East district shall be held in three rounds. Next batch of 1st round training is scheduled to be held on 18th Feb and 26th Feb. 2019.

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.