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Army topgun on visit to Manipur

The Eastern Army Commander, Lieutenant General Abhay Krishna, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM arrived in the state on a two-day visit from December 7 to 8.

The very senior army commander is responsible for ensuring security of the Indian eastern borders as well as for countering insurgency in the North East India, PRO of IGAR (S) informed in a statement.   

The Army Commander was accompanied by Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan, AVSM, SM, VSM, General Officer Commanding 3 Corps.

The Army Commander was briefed on the prevailing security situation in the state by the Head of Assam Rifles in Manipur - Major General Virendra Singh.

He reviewed the operational preparedness of the formations and appreciated the endeavours of Security Forces. He lauded the efforts of the soldiers for ensuring peace and tranquillity in the state and also asked them to continue the good work in a professional manner and in the true spirit of the “Friends of the Manipur.”

 The Army Commander accompanied by General Officer Commanding 3 Corps also called on the Governor of Manipur, Dr Najama Heptulla.

General Krishna conveyed his warm greetings and good wishes to the people of Manipur and congratulated the state on the successful conduct of the Sangai Festival.

During the interaction, the security situation in the state was discussed and the close coordination and interaction between the state government and security forces was highlighted and well appreciated.

General Chauhan, while conveying the unstinted support of his forces for ensuring the well being of the state, emphasized on the fact that both Army and Assam Rifles are focused on empowering the children, women and youth of the state to attain financial sustainability and secure future.

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World food scarcity and the challenges of climate change and bio energy

13 Oct 2008 - 1:56pm | editor

By Shobha Shukla

FAO was founded in 1945 on the 16th of October - a day which is observed as World Food Day (WFD) in about 150 countries all over the world. The theme for this year’s WFD is ‘World Food Scarcity : The Challenges Of Climate Change And Bio Energy’ as there is a strong need to expand global awareness to reduce the effect of severe climate patterns on agriculture and the impact of bio fuels on food production.

Global warming and the bio fuel boom are threatening to push the number of hungry even higher in times to come. During 2007 alone, around 50 million more have been added to the rank of the world’s hungry due to rising prices, thus pushing the number of unfed to about 900 millions. The world seems to be further distancing itself from reaching the U.N. Millenium Development Goal of halving hunger and poverty by 2015. Poor harvests, high oil costs, bio fuels and a rising demand for basic staple crops, especially in fast growing Asian countries, have been cited as examples for the spiralling food prices which have sparked protests, even riots, prompting the U.N.Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to give a wake up call.

Global wheat prices have more than doubled during the past year due to poor weather conditions in some wheat producing areas (droughts in Australia and Europe); a shift by farmers to growing crops used in making bio fuels; and speculation by traders. . Though India is being touted as one of the world’s hottest economy, nearly 50% of the world’s hungry live in it. It is listed as a low income, food deficit country, with about 25% of its population subsisting on Rs.12 or less, a day and around 77% living on less than $1 a day ( according to the latest report of National Commission for Enterprises In The Unorganized Sector). It does boast of having a burgeoning 350 million strong middle class with improved diets ( which was lamented by Ms.Rice and Mr.Bush to be one of the causes of the global food price crisis). Yet around 35% of its population is food insecure, consuming less than 80% of the daily minimum requirement and it has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of malnutrition in children below three years of age in the world (about 46%).

Today, India faces an agricultural crisis and hunger, which are due to not only current high prices of basic staples, but skewed up government policies too. Her rapid economic growth and accompanying shortages have also fuelled prices. State support for agriculture and irrigation has been slashed, price support reduced and the public distribution system drastically curtailed.. While the GDP grew at the rate of 8.5% in 2006-2007, the growth in agricultural sector was a mere 2.6%.Also marginal land holdings have increased and total cultivated land decreased, especially as more and more agricultural land is being seized by domestic and international corporations in the form of ‘Special Economic Zones’ for industrialization (as happened in Nandigram and to some extent in Singur).

The results have been disastrous as many studies show that agricultural growth reduces poverty and hunger much more than urban and industrial development. A spate of farmer suicides ( about 150,000 during the last decade) is a rude reminder of our agrarian crisis and the grip of cash cropping on poor farmers, bolstered by seed and chemical agribusiness. India has belatedly sought to control prices by holding back essential commodities, curbing export of non-premium rice and waiving off loans of farmers. Obviously more needs to be done than mere cosmetic changes.

There is an urgent need to improve productivity of dry land farming (as 60% of India ’s agriculture is rain dependent) as well as a better implementation of the National Rural Employment Programme and the Public Distribution System.

The director general of FAO, Dr. Jacques Dious, has called upon governments to pay urgent attention to needs of agriculture and water management and also increased investment in agriculture. At the recent Rome Summit held in June 2008, he pointed out that in 2006 the world spent 1.2 trillion dollars on arms. He asked, ‘Against that backdrop how can we explain to people of good sense and good faith that it was not possible to find $ 30 billion a year to enable the hungry to enjoy the most fundamental human right to food and thus the right to life.’ Yet it has been estimated that there is enough food for all in the world, at least 2700 kilo calories per person, per day.

But it is the lack of purchasing power (more than food shortage due to population explosion and inclement weather conditions) which makes so many millions go to bed hungry every day. Hunger is linked to the denial of a living wage to the working poor. It is about denial of land to the landless. It is caused by socio economic policies that deny people the right to food. Resources are there to end hunger, but they are exploited by a miniscule few to the detriment of others So the real reason for all this hunger and poverty may well be policy and not scarcity; politics and not inevitability. The real culprits are economies that fail to offer everyone opportunities and societies that place economic efficiency above compassion.

As we Indians gloat over our victory in the recently concluded Nuclear Deal and as Ratan Tata and his Nano are hailed as an engineering marvel, let us do something sincere and concrete to put some food inside empty bellies. That then would be a truly Indian Miracle. Till then, let each one of us at least refrain from over eating and throwing away left over food in the dustbin.

Shobha Shukla teaches Physics at India's Loreto Convent and has been writing extensively in English and Hindi media. She serves as Editor of Citizen News Service (CNS).

Bihali on the boil

5 Jun 2015 - 11:05am | AT News

Simmering tension s back to Bihali along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border in Sonitpur district after suspected miscreants from Arunachal Pradesh killed a local resident forcing people I large number to hit the streets.

Talking to Assam Times protestors alleged that the miscreants from across the interstate border killed a local resident inside the reserve forest which they will not take easily.

District administration and police officials have been constantly monitoring the situation which could go out of control if the situation remains out of control.


Unified command meets at Kokrajhar

2 Apr 2015 - 7:43pm | Hantigiri Narzary

A meeting of the unified command was held today at Kokrajhar circuit House regarding the security situation in the BTAD during the BTC election on April 8.

The meeting chaired by the GOC 4 Corps Lt. gen Sarath Chand was attended among others by GOC 21 Mountain division Maj. Gen. CP Mohanty, Joint Secretary(Home & Political) Mahadananda Hazarika, ADGP RM Singh, IGP(SB) Hiren Nath, Deputy commissioners and Superintendent ogf police from the four BTAD district.

Later talking to the media, Maj. Gen. CP Mahanty said the meeting was held to take stock of the security situation in the BTAD to ensure that the upcoming BTC elections are concluded without any hitch, without any security concerns. He said all the stack holders of the group meeting access the security situation as is today, as is going to be during the elections and after the election. He said should there be any critical situation that may emerged ‘we have to ensure that the area remains peaceful during and after the elections.

 He said the meeting  have  taken stock of the situation and expressed hope that the situation will continue to remain peaceful till the election.

Joint Secretary(Home & Political) Mahadananda Hazarika said that the Government of Assam is committed to held the BTC election in a peaceful, free and fair manner. He said that BTC being constitutionally constituted set up, the government is committed for its election in peaceful way so that voters can exercise their franchise in free and fair manner.

He also requested all the law enforcing agency to be alert and also to enforce the law in a proper manner and be visible before and after the elections so that no violence takes place in the areas.