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Initiatives in tourism promotion


The tourism sector in small pockets of our state is gradually picking up. This is due to the great efforts and open mindedness of the people in these areas in understanding the importance of people to people contact. For example your paper highlighted the successful development of tourism in parts of East and West Khasi Hills and also West Jaintia Hills but this has not been without dedicated entrepreneurs who have come from within the local communities which is a success story to script. The story of Mawryngkhang at Wahkhen village of East Khasi Hills near Pynursla is a story of innovation, ideas and dedication without even the local MLA’s support. This has been in the news. We look forward to more local entrepreneurs making positive efforts in this sector.

Yours etc.,

Dominic S. Wankhar,

Via email

Nepotism in Agriculture Department!


                It is unbelievable that the current director of the State’s Agriculture department who is said to have officially retired in December last year has oddly defied the superannuation bar and has, instead, been enjoying multiple windfall benefits by way of holding a few more enviable posts equivalent to the director level created within the broad manpower framework of the Agriculture department. There is a belief that what has made this director avail such package of fortuitous fortunes is because she is in the good books of Dr. Mukul Sangma, the CM of Meghalaya, who is coincidentally Minister in-charge, Agriculture. These undue privileges showered on this incumbent has made her not give a toss about the extant service rules laid down in the Meghalaya Fundamental Rules & Subsidiary Rules, 1984 that govern each and every employee of the State Govt. This has set a very bad precedence among her peers in other departments. And for that matter, several negative complaints have been splashing in the media against this Director but she has remained indifferent to the complaints.

Lastly it impelled a person of the caliber of Mr. Jemino Mawthoh, MLA, to speak to the media of the official irregularities that are going on in Agriculture department where the arbitrary role of the said Director is brought to the limelight and this media interaction had featured in your daily (ST Oct 2, 17). In the wake of this media report and after eight days, to be precise, a flood gate of promotions, transfers etc., were opened up for all the eligible officers who have been long stranded in the same posts. The aggrieved officers ought to be indebted to Mr. Mawthoh for having singularly brought to light the hush- hush affairs prevailing in the Agriculture department.

Interestingly, the Director in question who is said to retire on December 31st next is leaving no stone unturned to seek extension of service till March end next year coinciding with the end of a financial year. This undue ambition contrasts sharply with that of her immediate predecessor, Mr KM Brahma, who sportingly refused to comply with the reported request of the Govt. to extend his retirement time till the end of a financial year, given that he was to retire a few months preceding March 31st. This case in point was unerringly, a moral consciousness on the latter’s part not to deny the timely promotional scope of his junior co-staffers waiting in the wings.

Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

Gender Gap Report


The World Economic Forum’s ~ Global Gender Gap Report ranks countries according to calculated gender gap between women and men in four key areas namely ~ health, education, economy and politics. It measures women’s disadvantage compared to men. Last year, India had climbed 21 places to go up the ladder from 108th to 87th rank. But this year, India has unfortunately slipped 21 places to get back again to the 2015 position at 108. 

In spite of its vast population, Bangladesh has done extremely well to get a good rank at 47. This year’s report also shows that Iceland has closed nearly 88 per cent of its gaps. Iceland has been the world’s most gender – equal country for nine years and is followed by its Scandinavian cousins ~ Norway and Finland. However, Norway is the leader in both human development and happiness indices.   

According to the Global Gender Gap Report, 2017, India’s position on “health and survival” is undoubtedly the most important area to focus. India ranks fourth lowest in the world on “health and survival” and ranks 141st among 144 countries which is the number one reason for our overall lowly position at 108. To combat it, our national food, khichdi can be served in midday meal along with boiled eggs and bananas to children at schools. Students must also be given some extra khichdi so that they can have it just after the last period. Just by cooking some extra khichdi, students can be provided with an afternoon meal along with the existing midday meal.

The number two area of concern is that of “economic participation and opportunity,” in which our country is ranked 139th. One of the ways to address this issue is to provide substantial amount of scholarships to the poor girl children up to the age of 21 years to make child marriage a less attractive option and to ensure women’s participation in the economic field. This can also change, so to speak, the tag of a girl from a “dowry – debit” to a “scholarship – credit” and thus ensure her survival by helping her to cross the hurdle of foeticide, infanticide and nutritional discrimination. So, this will also go on to repair the problem number one that is her “health and survival”. 

The third area is “workplace gender gap” in which our country is ranked 136th. Quick justice delivery system is a must to give women a level playing field with men so that they can take part in economic activities without any difficulty. Also, there should an effective administrative radar to ensure equal wage for equal work.

However, as the saying goes ~ “every cloud has a silver lining”. Indeed, our country has become successful in fully closing its primary and secondary education enrolment gender gaps and is nearly closing its tertiary education gender – gap.

Yours etc.,

Sujit De,


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