Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
A warm welcome to all the readers to the monsoon month of June! Under normal circumstances, the much awaited monsoon is supposed to hit the Indian subcontinent by June.
The previous month was marked by some positive news. The good news included the summiting of Mt Everest by several mountaineers from Arunachal. The successful climbers include Muri Linggi of Roing (Lower Dibang Valley district), Kishon Tekseng of Yingkiong (Upper Siang), and Taka Tamut of Jomlo Mongku (Siang), and an eight-member expedition team of the National Institute for Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS), Dirang.
A major milestone achieved was the re-commencement of commercial flights from Pasighat on 23 May. The chief minister and many other ministers took the inaugural flight of Alliance Air from Guwahati to Pasighat. We hope more flights to other airports of Arunachal will follow soon. Another piece of good news was the granting of permission to the state government to start the academic session of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) in Naharlagun, with an intake capacity of 50 MBBS students, from 2018-19 onwards. Hopefully, soon we will get Arunachal’s first home-grown doctors.
However, there has been some negative news also. The negative news included the non-appointment/unavailability of regular directors/VCs in some important educational institutions like the NIT Yupia, the NERIST, and the RGU. One fails to understand why our premier educational institutes are being neglected despite so much of public pressure.
The recently declared poor results in Class 10 and Class 12 exams are indications that the education sector needs more emphasis and nurturing.
The other bad news is the decision of the central government to introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. This bill seeks to grant citizenship to people without valid documents from minority communities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians – from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan just after six years of residence in India.
It has been vehemently opposed by most organisations, student bodies, and prominent citizens of all the states of the Northeast. The demographic composition of a few states of the Northeast has already been distorted by large numbers of migrants from other parts of the country. Implementation of this bill may lead to civil disharmony once again in the region.
It was reported recently that China has begun large-scale mining operations on its side of the border with Arunachal Pradesh, in Lhunze county, where a huge trove of gold, silver, and other precious minerals have been found. This may explain the contamination and discolouration of the Siang river which has continued now for almost one year. Still no solutions appear on the horizon.
Another intriguing aspect is about the real reasons for the postponement of the already elapsed municipal councils of Itanagar, and Pasighat, and the panchayat elections. The two municipal bodies and the panchayati raj system no longer exist in the state. Any clues? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)