Nepal Today

Saturday, June 22, 2013

EPIDEMIC OUTBREAK IN DISASTER HIT AREA Kathmandu, 22 June: Various epidemics have been seen in some 11 VDCs in Rajapur belt, the flood affected areas in Bardiya district, RSS reports from Bardiya.. Due to the lack of pure drinking water, the locals are affected by common cold, diarrhea and dysentery in the areas, said Achyut Lamichhane, chief at the District Health Office. The Office has alerted the locals not to drink polluted water, he added. As the epidemic has been seen in the area, the locals are much worried about it, said Pramod Chaudhari, a flood victim of Daulatpur-2.. nnnn TRANSFERS UNETHICAL SAYS POKHRE; Kathmandu, 22 June: Even after the Constituent Assembly elections have been announced for November 19, the interim election government today transferred six secretaries, Prakash Acharya writes in The Himalayan Times.. Former chief election commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel told THT, “Technically the government can effect transfers, promotions and make appointments until the EC enforces the code of conduct. However, the government, in general, should not take any decision that drags it into a controversy with regard to fairness in elections.” Today’s Cabinet meeting transferred six secretaries – Keshab Prasad Bhattarai from Ministry of Science Technology and Environment to Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, Atmaram Pande from Far West Regional Administrative Office to Ministry of Defence, Somlal Dubedi from Ministry of Education to Ministry of Science Technology and Environment, Narayan Gopal Malego from Election Commission to Ministry of Education, Narendra Dahal from Financial Comptroller General Office to Election Commission and Uddav Prasad Baskota from Mid Zone Administrative Office to Financial Comptroller General Office. A neutral and non-political government cannot be questioned for making such decisions before the code of conduct is enforced but the incumbent election government has been in controversy since its inception, added Pokharel. “In such a context, the government should not take controversial decisions that effect its credibility,” he added. The government had announced poll date on June 13 and is likely to enforce the code of conduct by July 22, EC Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav told THT. The Cabinet also decided to promote two colonels to brigadier generals and transferred 11 brigadier generals of Nepali Army to different offices, according to Minister for Information and Communications Madhav Paudel. It also promoted four senior officers of Ministry of Health and Population from Grade XI to Grade XII. Those promoted, according to the minister, are Dr Lakhanlal Shah, Tirtharaj Burlakoti, Rojan Sundar Shrestha and Shila Barma. The Cabinet appointed Tarak Dhital of Gorkha as the executive director of Central Child Welfare Committee. It also extended the term of Chief Medical Officer of Health Service Department, Teku, Lokraj Paneru, by one year Nnnn SEVEN NEPALIS KILLED IN UTTARKHANAD Kathmandu, 22 June: At least seven migrant workers from Salyan have been killed in floods in Uttarakhand, Resham DC/Kedar Timilshina write in The Himalayan Times from Salyan/Dhulikhel. Families and colleagues of the seven migrant workers, who had gone to Kedarnath to work as wage earners, said they were killed in the floods. Krishna Bahadur Wali of Salyan’s Sarmakot VDC told THT over phone that Tularam KC, Tularam Khatri, Meg Bahadur Wali, Lakshyu Kshetri, Ram Bahadur Khatri , Tanka Chad and Dilli Bahadur Wali of Darmakot and Kotwara VDCs were killed in the floods. Seven others, including Buddhiman Wali, Lok Bahadur Wali, Lal Bahadur Wali, Mabir Wali, Bhagiram Gharti Magar, were out of contact. Labourer Kul Prasad Pandey told THT over phone from Kedarnath that as many as 150 Nepalis from Salyan had been missing since the floods. In addition to those, 149 people from Kavre who had gone on a pilgrimage to Kedarnath and Badrinath have been stranded there due to floods and landslides. Talking to The Himalayan Times over the phone, one of the stranded pilgrims, Tikaballav Sapkota, said a team of pilgrims from Kavre’s Anaikot and Rabiopi VDCs that had left for pilgrimage some 20 days ago, were stuck in Pandeswor, 20 km from Badrinath. Sapkota said Sita Gelal, who fell ill, was airlifted to a hospital for treatment. The Indian government has rescued some people and camped them at Karnaprayag. Sapkota said the rescued people would be sent to Mahendranagar on Saturday. According to Sapkota, some pilgrims from Bhaktapur’s Kausaltar were looted before they reached Kedarnath temple. Some 120 people had left Kavre’s Budol, Chaukot and Malpi on three buses for pilgrimage to Uttarakhand, in addition to 29 people from Rabiopi and Anaikot of Kavre. As many as 176 stranded Nepali pilgrims have been tracked so far in Uttarakhand, where massive floods wreaked havoc early this week. “They are at safe locations awaiting help to get out of there,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Arjun Bahadur Thapa told mediapersons today. According to him, a group of 29 Nepalis was airlifted from Kedarnath to Haridwar by Indian government and another group of 14 Nepalis is on its way to Nepal from Deharadun. Embassy of Nepal in India has, meanwhile, sent two officials to Haridwar, Deharadun and Tehri in Uttarakhand to take stock of the situation and help in the rescue of scores of Nepali pilgrims stranded there. The team reached Haridwar this evening. The Nepali mission claimed that 48 Nepalis are already at safe locations in Haridwar and 70 pilgrims were safe in Tehri and were proceeding towards Nepal. Most of them were rescued by the Uttarakhand government. Nnnn JEWELRY SHOPS TO REOPEN SATURDAY Kathmandu, 22 June: Bullion traders, who have closed their shops since the last 10 days, have called off their protest after the government formed a seven-member taskforce to formulate monitoring guidelines, Kriti BHuju writes in Republica.. Bullion traders were on a nationwide strike since last Wednesday to pressure the government to formulate market monitoring guidelines and to protest government action against three jewelery shops. A meeting held between bullion traders and the government at the Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) has agreed on a three-point deal. "The meeting formed a seven-member taskforce with authority to formulate market monitoring guidelines and address the issues raised by bullion traders. With this, the gold traders have agreed to call off all their protests," said Narayan Prasad Bidari, director general of DoCSM. The seven-member taskforce formed under the leadership of Nuta Raj Pokharel, under-secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies, includes representatives from DoCSM, Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law and Justice from the government side, and one representatives each from the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Associations (FNGSDA) and the Federation of Nepal Gold, Silver, Gems and Jewelry Associations (FNGSGJA). Besides, there will also be two technical assistants from each federation. Mani Ratna Shakya, president of FNGSDA, said that with the agreement, all their protest programs have ended and they will reopen the shops from Saturday. "We will open our shops from tomorrow, start issuing recommendations to banks from Sunday to buy gold and also fix the bullion prices, something that has been stopped since June 11", said Shakya. A joint team of DoCSM and Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology had inspected 12 jewelry shops in the capital over the past two months. Lab tests on jewelry samples collected from the shops showed that the traders were cheating customers in terms of the quality and weight of gold, silver and diamond. Though the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies has prepared a draft proposal to standardize the price and quality of gold, silver, diamond and items made from these, bullion traders were against this, arguing that it does not address their demands and that it was very impractical. "Now, as the taskforce will formulate new guidelines, the old draft is automatically cancelled," said Bidari. Nnnn MoE PULLS UP SOCKS Kathmandu, 22 Nov.; : Following widespread criticism over their performance in this year´s SLC exams, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has asked all the schools run under government grants to restrict their teachers from participating in political seminars, workshops or any sort of protest programs, Niranjan Sharma writes in Republica.. The MoE has also directed the offices under it, district school observers and resource persons to compulsorily monitor classrooms and student activities and prepare a review every month. Following the decline in SLC pass rate, the MoE has issued 23-point directive to the offices under it. As per the directive, all subject teachers must prepare a self-achievement benchmark for every grade they teach and send each copy to the Resource Centers and District Education Offices (DEO). One copy of the document needs to be submitted to the headmaster, the MoE mentions in its directive issued on Wednesday. Similarly, the ministry has also instructed the Department of Education (DoE) and District Education Offices to make the schools send quarterly examination results of 10th graders to the Resource Centers and DEO for evaluation of the students who are set to appear in SLC exams. “Weaknesses can be corrected even a few months before the SLC exams,” said the MoE Spokesperson Mahashram Sharma. Likewise, every school must implement students´ progress program, aiming best results in SLC. The MoE Joint Secretary Sharma added that the DEO and the Resource Persons would be responsible to prepare and implement the code of conduct for both teachers and students. The MoE has also introduced the reward and punishment system for the secondary level education in a bid to relate students´ progress with teachers´ performance. Similarly, the headmasters have been assigned to prepare a profile of all the teachers and update them on the basis of students´ exam results. The schools have been directed to compulsorily implement academic calendar strictly. The MoE has also instructed the DoE to increase access of monitoring team to schools and also revise the status of assistance system for teachers. As per the new move, the school administration would have to prepare the list of poor performing students and seek suggestion from DEOs and resource persons as soon as possible. Likewise, the DoE would also have to analyze the achievements made by all the schools in recent times and decide on adding or declining the government aid to the institutions. The School Management Committee, teachers and guardians must hold discussions on improving teaching and learning process. The DEOs need to register complaints against schools and teachers introducing hotline number at offices. Likewise, the Regional Educational Directorate must monitor the DEOs and the schools against which most of the complaints are registered at DEO in every four months and analyze the outcome. nnnn


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