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Minister admits mess in education system

Posted by egovindia on July 31, 2006

Minister admits mess in education system
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, Jul 30: Admitting of the abominable mess and irregularities in the education system of the State, Education Minister L Nandakumar observed that it would take some time to cleanse the system.

Speaking as chief guest on the release function of the quarterly journal “Teachers of Manipur” published by All Manipur Teachers’ Federation today at Hotel Imphal, Nandakumar said that the unlawful practices and irregularities in the education system which has been in practice since a long time back can’t be rectified over night.

It would necessitate a concerted effort from the people, students, teachers and politicians, he observed.

He noted that many persons without receiving any training for teachers have become teachers and as such they incompetent for their profession.

He said that improper appointment of teachers and absence of any thought to appoint the competent ones have made the education system of Manipur of one the worst and corrupted.

Asserting that the Government colleges of Manipur have degraded to such an extent that there are some colleges where there are only teachers but no students.

Without specification, he disclosed that there is one college where there is 50 teachers against 35 students.

There are many Departments in some colleges where there is not a single student, he added.

President of All Manipur Teachers’ Federation Th Yaiskul observed that the teacher fraternity of Manipur has been accusing one another from the highest level to the lowest for the sorry state of education in the State.

University teachers accuse the college teachers for the failure to produce qualified degree holders while college teachers blamed the Higher Secondary school teachers for their failure to impart quality education in 10+2 level and it goes on to the primary level, he stated.

Observing that it’s time for a ‘teaching revolution’, Yaiskul asserted that all the teachers should take their due parts for such a revolution.

Guest of honour of the occasion, MLA Th Tomba remarked that the education system having only demerits but no merit would be disastrous to the society.

He also reminded of the great role of teachers in imparting quality education to the students.


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Rs 210 crores sanctioned for Manipur for 38 schemes

Posted by egovindia on July 15, 2006

Rs 210 crores sanctioned for Manipur for 38 schemes
Imphal | July 15, 2006 5:43:34 PM IST

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 210.07 crores for 38 different schemes in Manipur under Non-Lapsable Central Pool of resources funding during the last four years from 2002-2006.

As per reports available from the Ministry of DoNER, the total amount sanctioned under Education Sector, is Rs 17.13 crore for four different projects.

The Centre has sanctioned Rs 10.13 crore for two projects– construction of Thoubal District Hospital–with the cost of Rs 1.86 crore and strengthening of Health Equipments in Government Hospital for Rs 8.27 crore.

Under Power Sector, the Centre sanctioned Rs 42.43 crore for II projects for installation of power stations at Tousem, Noney, Tamei, Maram etc.


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Manipur must have to be amongst the states where corruption is Information as Corruption Nemesis

Posted by egovindia on July 11, 2006

Information as Corruption Nemesis 

Posted: 2006-07-07

We are in the midst of a nationwide anti-corruption fortnight. The question is, what can we do to make the best of it, considering Manipur must have to be amongst the states where corruption has not only become institutionalized in the officialdom, but also deeply entrenched in the society as such? Other states in the northeast, especially Meghalaya has taken a march ahead in the regard. In Shillong, various civil society bodies have set up a help desk to give assistance to the public in pursuing their cases against corrupt practices, as well as to raise the awareness against the scourge. The new Parliamentary legislation, Right to Information Act, RTI Act, has become a very potent tool in this regard, and Meghalaya was one of the first states in the northeast to constitute a State Information Commission under the Act. Unfortunately in Manipur, despite much hype by the government, such a commission is still to become reality. As a matter of fact, many other autonomous bodies that already exist have been effectively throttled and rendered either ineffective or else subservient to the executive, through guiles and force. The Manipur Human Rights Commission, MHRC, is just one example. It has today been reduced to a White Elephant, with no more use than its exhibition value, to be conveniently put up as a front for the government’s claim of respect of democracy and the rights it guarantees. The subversion of this valued institution, meant to check and balance the powers of the government so as to keep it from straying from the norms prescribed by democracy, cannot be anything less than criminal. Perhaps it is for the same reason that the State Information Commission is not being allowed to take birth.

Under the circumstance, perhaps the right course of action for the Manipur civil society during this anti-corruption fortnight is to discuss the need for the a State Information Commission under the RTI Act, and then after a consensus is reached, to press for the setting up of one. It must be remembered that the RTI Act is meant to deter the powers that be from hiding skeletons in the government closets precisely by making all such closets easily accessible to the public. For it is when information regarding the state’s affairs remains the monopoly of those who hold the handles to the state’s executive powers, that ambiguous spaces are created in which corruption thrives unhindered and without the fear of discovery. Just the human rights commission is meant to monitor the democratic guarantee of human rights, an information commission is meant to check official corruption. The sooner such a commission becomes a reality, the better it will be for the state.

But even before the commission is set up, the state’s civil society cannot drop its concerns about corruption in public life. The issue has become all the more urgent as the intent of the government to lift the dykes on its ban on job recruitment has become clear. In another month, the examination for the recruitment of the state’s most prestigious jobs in its civil services will be held. Not long after, the government also plans to fill up about 200 vacant posts of lecturers. This will be followed by recruitment of more instructors for the state’s various ITIs is. In the days ahead, it can be reasonably expected that more and more exceptions will be made to the existing job recruitment ban. Also to be remembered is that this is an election year. Those in power will naturally be looking for all means within their command to raise money or else enlist sycophants as supporters through extending official favours and gifts. These new government jobs can become reduced to these gifts. Needless to say it will be in the interest of the people and the state to prevent such an eventuality. We want the best candidates available to be selected for these jobs, not just for the sake of justice for the competitors, but also for the efficiency of the state administration in the long run. Let us then raise our voices against corruption during this fortnight, intelligibly and coherently, and begin the process of ensuring ourselves and the generation to follow, a good common future.

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Institutionalize Accountability-Govt. Sector Lethargy-Collapse of Govt. Education System and etc. in Manipur

Posted by egovindia on July 9, 2006

Institutionalize Accountability

Source: The Imphal Free Press
Posted: 2006-07-04

At the root of the notorious lethargic work culture that has come to be associated with employees in the government sector in Manipur, is the lack of accountability. If there was a system by which non-performers must have to make the exit as a matter of rule, this work culture today would have been a lot different. The answer that naturally follows from this derivation is that to improve the government sector work culture, a way must be found to introduce accountability at every level. Non performers, starting from the state’s top executive, namely the chief minister, to the blue-collared workers it employs, must understand that they would have to be shown the door if they fail to deliver what has been assigned as their responsibility.

This especially so if the failure is on account of unreasonable excuses, established corrupt practices or else patent incompetence. It should not come as a surprise to anybody that there has been no exception till date in Manipur, and even the face of repeated inexplicable failures, no responsibility has been fixed on anybody in particular. No official or minister of worth have also had the humility or public courtesy to own up responsibility, not even to pledge that they would take it upon themselves to prevent the same blunders from repeating. Quite predictably, the blunders keep repeating, and same ministers and officials remain stone-faced and shameless as ever. The near complete collapse of government school education system is the most prominent example, but the list would be endless.

What Manipur needs today is a brave new leadership, courageous enough to acknowledge failures and sensitive enough to repent. Only when this happens would there be motivation in every hierarchy of the government order to strive to improve. But for such a dream to come true, it is not only a voluntary self reform within our leadership class that has to be awaited. It must equally be a public pressure to have the best delivered to them, engendered by an awareness of what is ultimately in their long term interest, which can induce a shift in outlook to public responsibility by those who hold public offices. This public awareness can come about only if the bar of social debates are raised, and in this mission, the intelligentsia and academia must bear the major burden.

The disturbing question is also, are those who can broadly come under these classifications of enlightened citizenry, up to the task? The nagging doubt is, a greater section of them too have not been able to rise above the same lethargy and insensitivity that other sections of the work force are accused of. That many of them suffer from the same insecurities and compulsions that have made even able men and women in the government, with the exception of a few, to allow themselves to be lulled into a state of official ennui. Under the circumstance, the story of the unwillingness to change is no longer a question of general morality and ethics but of class interests. Directly or indirectly, to promote common class interests, even if they are retrogressive, rulers and opponents within the same ruling clique end up protecting each other’s flanks when it comes to the crux.The manner in which the Office of Profit issue was flattened with a new legislation passed by the Assembly recently is just one example amongst many.

Still, we would expect some systemic adjustments from the current leadership. They must possess some of what is generally referred to as “enlightened self interest”. This will entail a bit of personal sacrifices in the present for sake of ensuring a better future, after all the future is common for all of us, and needless to say, inescapable. In this context, it will be laudable if a norm or tradition is introduced by which purging of the leadership is mandatory in the event of the failure or non performance of government departments in any particular mission. Only such an initiative can break the inertia and lack of motivation in the government work culture. We must remember, motivation is not necessarily only about perks and rewards, but also of punitive measures. We are not for a complete handover of public businesses and affairs to the private sector, for an un-reined private sector is capable of tremendous injustice and exploitation too, but in the post Cold War era, it is a demonstrated fact that an infusion of the ethos of the private enterprises into the public sectors can do wonders to the latter’s productivity. Will our leaders show the courage to learn from the lesson the rest of the successful world has learnt?

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Detoxifying Society of Corruption in Manipur

Posted by egovindia on July 9, 2006

Detoxifying Society of Corruption

Posted: 2006-07-06

Corruption today has become a monolithic monster in Manipur, eating away at the very vitals of the society. It is not as if there is no corruption in the other states. In fact in terms of volume corruption may be much more elsewhere than here, but what few other states can match the state is in terms of its spread and depth of entrenchment. In a sense, it would not fall very short of target to say practically everybody with a stake in any public dealing has been corrupt in some way or the other. The base inclination to cheat the public coffer for personal aggrandizement is uncontrolled, and everybody is on a grabbing spree to illegally convert into private property, what is supposed to remain as everybody’s property. This selfishness must have to be the explanation for the emergence of the phenomenon as an accepted tradition. It shows up in a wide range of cheating habits such as illegal tapping of electricity by ordinary consumers in connivance with petty officials and the kickbacks of percentage cuts that ministers are reputed to take from government contract works and purchases they dole out to sycophants and cronies. Everybody talks of these black deeds as if they were perfectly normal and practically everybody with even a toehold on the state executive structure thinks it is their right to take bribes to extend favour within their executive powers.

And so today we find even the lowliest white collared government employee has a purchasable price tag on his signature, and these prices are flaunted with pride, and often shown off with flourishes of expensive cars or mansions much beyond their means of legitimate incomes. And the skewed sense of natural justice today is, these shows of opulence by officials who have fattened themselves from public purses, are actually looked up upon by peers and society as well deserved rewards. In the end, the worth of the individual has come to be measured in terms of money only, no matter what colour the money is of. What other distortions can the understanding of achievement undergo we wonder. What other degradation social values can undergo too? But corruption is also very much a reciprocal process. If the public official who takes bribe for executive favours is corrupt, so is the bribe giver who feels no guilt about jumping merit norms and doing injustice to competitors. In a way, the bribe giver is also paying so as to be in the position of the bribe taker someday, when he too can up his value in today’s perverted social scale, perpetuating this oppressive process into an extremely vicious cycle. The matter is complicated further by the emergence of insurgencies, whose only source of sustained big money inflow is the government coffer. We have come to a stage when extortion and corruption have actually come to complement each other, with one using the other as their raison d’etre.

Corruption today is a beast not easy to rein in. But if our society must survive, there can be no way than to find a way of correcting the present perspective. We see no other way this can happen other than the top leadership beginning the process by seeing beyond their selfish interests and once and for all forgoing the black income everybody knows they earn. This would give them first of all the moral authority to tell others in the lower hierarchy of the government to end their corrupt ways, other than give them greater opportunity to focus on the serious business of governance. You cannot possibly have a head of government, or his cabinet colleagues, who thinks a ten percent cut from every government contract as his birthright expect his sermons on corruption and its ills to be take seriously by anybody. Surely the devil cannot convince anybody even if he were to quote extensively from the scriptures. But even this cleansing at the top would only be the beginning. The corruption toxin has percolated deep below the skin of our society. What is certain however is, the detoxification process must have to begin from the very top.

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