Archive for the ‘Tripura’ Category

Now, Schools in Tripura to Charge Only Exam Fee

November 1, 2010

tripura schoolAgartala, Nov 1 : The Tripura government has asked all school authorities in the northeastern state not to charge students  any payment except the examination fee, officials said here Sunday.

“No government, semi-government and government aided schools up to 12th standard are to be allowed to take any kind of fee except the examination charge from the students,” an education department official told reporters.

According to the official, a large number of schools have been charging various kinds of fees from the students. These include development fee, library fee, annual cultural and sports fee, computer fee and magazine fee, among others.

This decision will benefit over 812,000 students of 4,400 schools. Since 1978, education in Tripura up to Class 12 has been free.

The examination fee ranges from Rs.20 to Rs.100.

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7500 Crimes Against Women Recorded in 10 Months in Tripura

October 25, 2010

Crimes Against Women in IndiaAgartala, Oct 25 : As many as 7500 cases related to crime against women have been registered in Tripura over the past 10 months, an official report revealed today.

Referring to police records, Leader of the opposition Ratan Lal Nath stated that more than five hundred cases, including rape, dowry death and other atrocities on women, had been recorded in women’s police stations of Agartala alone.

”Tripura has been placed second in the national list of crime against women in 2008, but if the current trend continues, this year the state would become the topper,” Mr Nath rued.

Meanwhile, the Left-backed Democratic Women’s Samiti has begun a week-long mass demonstration outside police stations today demanding stringent action against the criminals and proactive role to contain crime against women.

Cow is God: Tripura Tribals Dont Milk Cattle

October 25, 2010

By Sujit Chakraborty

Cow GodBagmara (South Tripura), Oct 25 : Tribals of the dirt-poor village of Bagmara in Tripura have been holding on to their age-old custom that forbids consumption of cow milk, though nearly each household has at least one milch cow.

“We consider the cows as god; hence we stay away from any act of milking the milch cow,” Bagmara village chief Ranjit Tripura told IANS. The village is located 170 km south of state capital Agartala.

“We also believe that depriving the calf of mother’s milk is a sin and gods will not exonerate the sinner,” the nonagenarian tribal headman said.

Home to 356 families, consisting of around 2,000 men, women and children, the Bagmara tribal village, under the Rupaichari block in southern Tripura, has been ravaged by militancy for years.

The Tripura government has undertaken several schemes to develop this village sandwiched between two hills.

“To remove this age-old unscientific myth, the state administration has taken plans to train the tribals in modern methods of animal husbandry and to improve their economic condition,” state information department official Manoranjan Das said.

“A training camp on act of milking and care for milch cows was held last week, and more such programmes would be held in the near future,” he added.

About 300 families are dependent on traditional ‘jhum’ cultivation (slash and burn method of farming) and 342 families are living below poverty line (BPL).

To improve the condition of the people of 26 villages, including Bagmara, the state’s rural development department has constituted 441 self-help groups (SHG) and 72 more would be formed later.

“Despite grinding poverty, we have full faith in our gods and customs,” the headman said. “We are a tough group; you will not find a single inch of land in and around our village not utilised,” he said.

With tribals forming one third of the mountainous state’s total population of 3.8 million, Tripura has a rich cultural heritage of 19 tribes, mostly Hindu.

The Tripuris constitute the largest portion of the tribal community, representing more than 50 percent of the total tribal population of the state.

South Tripura’s district Magistrate Samarjit Bhowmik admitted his ignorance about the tribals not consuming cow milk. “I would definitely inquire about it and carry out some awareness campaign.”

“However, a large number of tribals in northeastern India still stick to their traditions and customs,” he said, adding that some people among the Chakma tribes never bring their pregnant womenfolk to the hospital, and follow their traditional process of using medicinal plants.

Tribal intellectual and renowned poet-writer Ratul Debbarman said: “It is interesting to note that although the religion of the majority of tribal people is termed as Hinduism, it is in fact a curious mix of Hinduism and animism.”

“The old gods have not yet been ousted and priests worship them alongside Hindu gods. The tribals worship elements such as water, fire, forests, and earth, each having its own god,” said Debbarman.

“A trace of their old faith is to be found in their practice of striking a bamboo in the ground during religious festivals and worshipping it. Sacrifice is an essential part of their religion,” he said.

Tripura Minister’s Email Hacked

October 20, 2010

hacked-email Agartala, Oct 20 : The e-mail account of Tripura minister for Industries and Commerce Jitendra Chowdhury was hacked and emails sent to contacts that he was in Cyprus and required a loan of USD 2000.

All contacts in the address book, including many in the top echeleons of the ministry and bureaucracy received the email from jchaudhury58@hotmail.com saying “I am out of the country in Cyprus. I need a loan of $ 2000 and I will explain the matter and refund the money back to you immediately after I get back on Friday.”

Chowdhury said today that he was on a short visit to New Delhi recently, but was very much in the country when his hotmail account was hacked and he began receiving telephone calls from his contacts about the email.

Chowdhury said he had contacted the New Delhi-based Cyber Crime Cell yesterday and also referred the case to the state director general of police.

90 Corrupt Govt Officials Suspended in Tripura

October 14, 2010

corruption bribery tripura Agartala, Oct 14 : A total of 90 Tripura government officials have been suspended since last year for corruption, a minister told reporters here Wednesday.

“Around 90 government officials, including four block development officers (BDOs) and 13 middle ranking bureaucrats, were placed under suspension for financial misdeeds,” said Tripura Rural Development Minister Jitendra Choudhury.

The suspended officials included 70 panchayat secretaries posted in the rural areas across Tripura.

“For achieving the desired goal in implementation of central and state government schemes, the government has engaged all principal secretaries and commissioners in monitoring works at grass root levels,” the minister said.

“Departmental vigilance and audits are also being further strengthen to deal with corruption,” Choudhury added.

Tripura Celebrates as Somdev Scripts History

October 11, 2010

Tripura celebrates as Somdev scripts historyAgartala, Oct 11 : Tripura was in celebratory mode on Monday, a day after Somdev Devvarman’s gold scripted history at the Commonwealth Games (CWG). The tennis sensation, who belongs to the state’s erstwhile royal family, is being hailed as a shining star of the northeast.

Crackers were burst, boxes of sweets passed around and congratulatory messages flooded the home of Somdev’s parents in Agartala. Residents cheered the 25-year-old’s achievement – he has become the first Indian to win a gold in men’s singles tennis at the Games, which made its debut in Delhi.

“We would felicitate both Somdev and gymnast Dipa Karmakar very soon,” Tripura Sports Council secretary Kamal Saha told IANS.

It was also Somdev’s first gold at the CWG.

His father Pravanjan Devvarman, a retired income tax commissioner, said: “We are very proud of him. He put up a very good show. Not only Tripura, but the entire nation is proud of his success.”

“Somdev gave his career’s finest presentation in the contest and we expect him to play some good tennis in future too,” Pravanjan told IANS in Agartala just after talking to his son on the phone.

Somdev won the gold in tennis by outclassing Australia’s Greg Jones 6-4, 6-2 in the men’s singles competition on Sunday. He left New Delhi on Monday for Uzbekistan to take part in the Tashkent Open tennis tournament.

Tripura celebrates as Somdev scripts history

Somdev’s relatives termed his victory as “historic” for Indian tennis. “We are proud of him and we are certain he will do better in the coming days,” said Dayamay Debbarman, Somdev’s uncle.

The tennis star is expected to visit his home in Agartala soon and will be given a reception by Tripura government and the Tripura Tennis Association.

“Somdev’s success proves beyond doubt that there is no dearth of talent in the northeast and that all these bright youngsters need a platform or an opening to prove their capability and ability,” Tripura Sports Council secretary Kamal Saha said.

“With Somdev’s performance, now the world will know better about the northeast, where despite no scope for developing tennis, there are capable players,” he said.

Somdev belongs to Tripura’s erstwhile royal family. He is the grandson of Tripura’s late royal scion Bikramendra Kishore Debbarman, popularly known as Bidurkarta.

Tripura celebrates as Somdev scripts history

Tripura Tennis Association secretary Sujit Roy said: “Somdev’s father Pravanjan, a recipient of ‘College Blue’ in 1967-68, excelled in table tennis and cricket during his student life.”

“We are really thrilled by Somdev’s performance and energy. This boy will earn much credit for India in future in the field of sports,” Roy said.

According to Roy, after Somdev’s series of success during the past few years, the Tennis Federation of India (TFI) decided to develop a tennis court in Agartala for him at a cost of Rs.200,000.

The Tripura Tennis Association has requested the state government to provide land for the proposed tennis court.

Another Tripura player, Dipa Karmakar, finished a distant seventh in the single’s event in a gymnastics event with a score of 12.687.

Somdev wins CWG Gold in tennis

Somdev wins CWG Gold in tennis

India inched closer to history even as Somdev made history himself at the CWG late on Sunday. Somdev Devvarman won the singles Gold to make it his first big international gold medal.

Somdev Devvarman has been Indian men’s tennis hope for sometime now as far as singles is concerned and on Sunday he showed once again why he is the great prospect going forward. In front of a packed crowd in Delhi, Somdev thrashed Greg Jones of Australia 6-4, 6-2 in the final.
Starting off a little nervous, Somdev accelerated just when it was needed to break the serve of Jones in the 7th game of the first set to go ahead 4-3. He then held his serve for the remainder of the first set to finish it off 6-4.
The win in the first set bolstered the confidence of the India number one, who wasted no time in racing to a 5-0 lead in the second set. His serve was then broken in the 6th game but Somdev regained composure to finish it off in the 8th game to win the set 6-2 and the match 6-4, 6-2.

Somdev wins CWG Gold in tennis

‘His court coverage as good as Nadal’
Somdev was ecstatic after his historic feat. He was thrilled to see the crowd assemble in large numbers to support him. “I am really really happy and thank the crowd for the support they have extended right through the past week.”

Somdev added the key to his victory was the way he attacked his opponent’s serve. “I took chances ion Greg’s second serve. I got some good returns going and that is why I could get such a good result.”
Somdev now sets his sights on t
he upcoming Asian Games in China where he should be a good medal prospect for India. He got a great compliment when Greg had compared his court movement to that of Rafael Nadal. “That is amazing. If I am being compared to someone like Nadal, it feels great.”

Source: India Syndicate , IANS

CNG Buses to Make Agartala a Green City

October 7, 2010

CNG-Bus Agartala, Oct 7 : After 22 years, the Tripura government will bring back town bus services in capital Agartala by introducing 75 buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) to make it a “green city”, an official said here Wednesday.

The Tripura government has recently constituted the Tripura Urban Transport Company (TUTC) to run the public buses, provided by the central government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The new fleet of buses would start plying from Friday.

“Over 60 percent of autorickshaws, a large number of small cars and buses are now using CNG in Agartala, the fourth city in India after New Delhi, Mumbai and Lucknow running CNG vehicles on a large scale,” state Transport Minister Manik Dey said.

“With the gradual conversion of all public, private and government vehicles into CNG mode, the Tripura government wants to make the capital city Agartala Indias first green city, Dey told reporters adding that several other measures are on the cards to achieve the purpose.

The town bus services in Agartala had been withdrawn in 1988, inconveniencing commuters of the city that has a population of half a million.

The introduction of 75 passenger buses, some of them air-conditioned, would be a special bonanza for the city dwellers and puja revellers before the ensuing Durga Puja festival, Dey added.

The Supreme Court had forced the authority to make the national capital (New Delhi) a pollution free city by introducing CNG-run vehicles, but in Tripura we are on our own initiative doing this significant task, the minister said.

Sudden Outbreak of Hepatitis A Epidemic in Agartala

September 30, 2010

Hepatitis A Agartala, Sep 30 : Authorities have issued alert among both health establishments and citizens following spread of Hepatitis A virus in Agartala and its adjacent areas over the past two months.

According to report, as many as 32 positive cases of Hepatitis A were detected among 45 random samples collected from Agartala during the past two months. Experts have advised to drink water after due purification and filtering.

Dr RK Dhar, Director (Preventive Medicine), Tripura, said here today that though Hepatitis A was not as dangerous as the other strains of the virus, it could develop serious complications unless the patient was given proper medication.

”All the hospitals and nursing homes have been advised to keep a close watch on the patients who complain of common symptoms of the Hepatitis virus and preventive measures have been made mandatory in all the health clinics to contain its spread,” Dr Dhar stated.

Meanwhile, the Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura (HFT) stated that they had already launched campaign and vaccination programme across the state as a preventive measure.

HFT has been administering Hepatitis B vaccine, as people of Mongoloid origin have been identified to be more susceptible to the deadly Hepatitis-B.

”In India 2-7 per cent of the population is affected by Hepatitis. However, China has achieved 100 per cent success in preventing infection at birth as early as 1995,” HFT officials said.

AFSPA Extended For 6 Months in Tripura

September 30, 2010

AFSPA Agartala, Sep 30 : Tripura has extended for another six months the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), citing militant activities along the border with Bangladesh, an official said Wednesday.

“Though terrorism has come down in Tripura significantly, the government is averse to taking any chances for some more time,” a home department official told IANS.

The controversial anti-terror law enacted 52 years ago gives sweeping powers to the security forces to curb terrorism.

“In some areas of the state bordering Bangladesh, the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) are active,” the official added.

Of the 64 police stations in Tripura, the AFSPA is in force in 34 police stations and partially in six since 1997.

“The state level coordination committee, supervising the anti-insurgency operation, reviewed the overall situation and suggested to extend AFSPA’s term by six months. The government has accepted the recommendation,” the official said.

Human rights activists and tribal based political parties describe the act as “draconian” and want its repeal.

“Innocent people are victimised by security forces in the name of anti-insurgency operations,” Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT)spokesman Shrota Ranjan Khisa said.

Director General of Tripura Police Pranay Sahaya has refuted charges of human rights violation.

“The success of Tripura in curbing terrorism was discussed in the conference of directors general and inspectors general of police in Delhi last month,” he told reporters.

He quoted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying that Tripura was the best governed state in the country in terms of curbing terrorism.

Besides Tripura, the AFSPA is also in force in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, where rights activists and political parties have been struggling to revoke the law.

In view of the outcry against AFSPA, the central government had appointed a five-member committee headed by Supreme Court judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy to examine the necessity of the act.

After visiting the concerned states, the committee submitted its report to the government in October 2006 but its findings have not been made public.

35,000 People of Tripura Suffering From Psychic Disorders

September 28, 2010

psychological problems Agartala, Sep 28 : As many as 35,000 people of Tripura have been suffering from severe mental disorders while 12 per cent population were reported to have developed psychological problems as of now, health officials revealed here today.

Director of Tripura Health Services S R Debbarma, at the fifth state conference of Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS), said the health department had been facing a critical situation with regard to providing treatment to the growing number of mental patients in Tripura.

”As per record, about one per cent of our total population has developed severe psychological problems and another about 40,000 people are at the initial phase of mental disorders but we have only 15 doctors to treat them,” Dr Debbarma said.

He estimated that about 90 per cent of the patients had not yet been brought under the formal treatment protocol because of inadequate infrastructure and lack of trained doctors. And the current trend showed that one person in every four families in the state would develop psychological disorder by 2020 while the number of severe cases would be 15 per cent or more.

Talking to mediapersons leading psychiatrist of eastern India Dr AK Nath said more than 500 million people around the world had been suffering from mental diseases and in India it was about 18 per cent of the total population. Only 21,000 beds were available for the psychic patients in India altogether as of now, Dr Nath mentioned.

”Coupled with the expansion of average life span of men and women up to 71 and 73 years respectively, the trend of nuclear families, loneliness, feeling of social insecurity in urbanized world, unequal wealth concentration and high expectations in life are the main reasons for mental illness, tension and anxiety,” Dr Nath observed.

A recent survey indicates that one in five young Indians between the ages of 19 and 25 have a personality disorder but lack of understanding along with the stigma attached to mental health issues prevents many from seeking treatment on time, he attributed.

Referring to the Mental Health Foundation’s report Dr Nath said scientific studies had clearly linked attention deficit disorder, depression, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia to junk food and the absence of essential fats, vitamins and minerals in industrialised diets.

”Food can have an immediate and lasting effect on mental health and behaviour because of the way it affects the structure and function of the brain,” he added.