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India’s First Boat Clinic

The Brahmaputra River runs over 891 km through Assam with vast network of islands and home to the most vulnerable communities in the state. With more than 2.5 million people living on some over 2,500 islands in Assam they represent 8 percent of the total population in the state. For centuries the river has been a source of life for the people of northeast especially Assam. Yet every year due to floods, millions of people are displaced, crops, livestock and properties are destroyed. Health problem are of major concern due the inaccessibility to medical aid.

Most of these islands lack basic infrastructure and services especially in health care. Post the flood event, the major problem faced by people especially those living away from the mainland of Assam is the access to medicines and sustained health care. People had to travel long distances at great cost and risk to get medical attention. The people dwelling among these islands frequently lost pregnant women and children due to lack of access to basic health care.

It was only in June 2004-2005 when Mr. Sanjoy Hazarika the Managing Trustee for the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (C-NES) launched a unique initiative to tackle the challenges faced by the Island dwellers. The service provided by C-NES comes virtually to their doorstep with the help of dedicated and extremely hard working team of medical personnel.

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The UPS and DOWN of MUKUL SANGMA

Mukul Sangma, the head of state of Meghalaya, who came into the political scene in 1993, elected to the state legislature, as an independent from the Ampatigiri constituency in the Garo Hills, claimed the political leader to become Chief Minister, is now in the helm of political developments, whether he can steer the Congress to the victory stand in the ensuing 2018 general elections of the State Assembly. The present Chief Minister and leader of a national party, has an advantage, specially being a ruling party, though heading a coalition government known as the Meghalaya United Alliance (MUA), which include regional parties, such as the United Democratic Party (UDP) and others.

Mukul Sangma had passed the test of being elected as a Congress candidate in 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013 and was first given the responsibility of being the Home Minister and also Education, under the D.D.Lapang Ministry in 2005. Another up gradation of Mukul Sangma, was his appointment as Deputy Chief Minister in 2005. Yet here followed by one of his down-fall, when he had to resign, following a police firing killing five persons at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills District and four persons in Tura and that about 100 persons were injured, in an agitation against a state level committee recommendations on the restructuring of the Meghalaya Board of Secondary Education (MBOSE).

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Shell in Glitch

The Government of India has made public names of 55,000 directors of shell companies across the country. Surprisingly Northeastern states have also been featured in the list released by the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry. It has brought “Name and Shame” where multiple names from the Northeast, India have come out in the exercise by the Centre in the racket involving shell companies. Disqualified under Section 164 (2)(A) of the Companies Act, 2013, these directors/promoters cannot float new companies or be appointed in any other company in similar capacity.

On 12th September 2017, Ministry of Corporate Affairs statement revealed that 1.06 lakh directors of ‘shell companies’ have been identified for disqualification under the relevant provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. Government has taken an initiative to break down the network of ‘shell companies’ to fight against black money/money laundering.

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Recalling Gopinath Bordoloi on his Death Anniversary... 

Lokpriya Bordoloi Gopinath was the first Chief Minister of Assam after Independence. He was the Chief Minister (then called Prime Minister) of Assam from 19 September, 1938 to 17 November, 1939 and again from 11 February, 1946 until India’s independence on 15 August, 1947. He then became the Chief Minister of Assam and remained in office until his death on 5 August, 1950. Today in his 67th Death Anniversary we pay him the homage for being the kind, loved, respectful and charitable persona which made him known as “Lokpriya” means “beloved of the people”.

In this journey let us refresh ourselves with his immense contribution for the freedom of Nation from the British rule. He was an eminent freedom fighter and a supporter of Gandhiji and non-violence. Born on June 6 1860 at Raha Gopinath Bordoloi worked for the country in attaining independence from the British rule. After his schooling from Cotton Collegiate School he attended the Scottish Church College at Calcutta city known as Kolkata in present times.

During his college times, he got associated with India National Congress as a volunteer and soon took a leading role in the establishment of Congress party in North- East especially in Assam during the 1930s era. All the regional parties were asked to merge with the congress Party making Bordoloi its first secretary which later plunged into Non- Cooperation movement led by Gandhiji. He was most instrumental during 1946-47, when he worked day and night to prevent the inclusion of the significantly Hindu dominated Assam into East Pakistan that nurtured a majority of Muslims. This was the most crucial time for Gopinath Bordoloi when the then undivided majority Muslim political leaders from Bengal, with most of them affiliated to the Muslim League, desired the inclusion of significantly Hindu dominated Assam into East Pakistan that nurtured a majority of Muslims. Later the matter was sorted out by holding a number of rallies and demonstrations with high ranking officials in the colonial Government because of this reasons there were apprehensions about the breaking of mass communal riots in the Assam region but Bordoloi and other leaders used sensitivity and political influence to maintain the territorial integrity of Assam with the Union Government of India. Post Independence too he worked with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to secure the sovereignty of Assam from the communist China and East Pakistan from both the sides. He dedicated towards rehabilitating thousands of Hindu refugees from East Pakistan for possibility of any riots keeping in mind to maintain communal peace and harmony which was successful until 1971 war for East Pakistan’s freedom.

He earned the title of “Architect of Modern Assam” for making an effort of all round development in Assam. In his memory Guwahati International Airport is named after Him as “Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport” which is the primary Airport of the North- Eastern States of India.

 

He was also honoured with Bharat Ratna Posthumously prestigious award in the year 1999 after 50 years of his death anniversary.

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Defining article 175

Article 175 does empower the Governor to address and send messages to the House or Houses (in states with a Legislative Council). The Governor can send messages “whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise”, and the House “shall with all convenient dispatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration”.

However, as held by the Supreme Court in many cases, the power of the Governor is not absolute. He is bound to act on the advice of the state cabinet. In its landmark judgment in Union of India vs Valluri Basavaiah Chaudhary and Others, a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court in 1979 held that the Governor was a “constitutional had of the State Executive, and has, therefore, to act on the advice of the Council of Ministers”.

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