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Nagaland

Indian Army attacks NSCN-K camp in Myanmar, inflicts 'casualties'

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In another strike, Indian Army commandos have attacked an NSCN-K camp in Myanmar, inflicting some casualties, an army source said on Thursday.
 
"A team of 12 Para Commandos attacked a check post of the NSCN-K (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang) situated in the vicinity of its Shwelo camp inside Myanmar on Wednesday. The gunfight continued for half hour," an army official told IANS. 
 
The rebels suffered at least four to five casualties, he said, adding there was no casualty on the army side.
 
The commandos were equipped with rocket launchers, mortars and automatic grenade launcher to carry out the strike, he said, adding the operation lasted for two hours after being started at 2 p.m. 
 
According to the official, the area of operation was 3 km beyond border pillar 151 on the India-Myanmar border across Nagaland's Mon district.
 
The pursuit of the rebels was undertaken after three Assam Rifles personnel and three others were wounded in an ambush by NSCN-K rebels in Mon on June 18.
 
NSCN-K's Deputy Minister, 'Colonel' Isak Sumi, confirmed that Indian Army "in huge numbers" crossed Chenmoh village and arrived at the international boundary some kilometres away from the "Naga Army" (NSCN-K) forward post, but were detected.
 
"On realisation that their presence has already been detected they resorted to blank firings randomly for several minutes to which the Naga Army responded and prevented any further advance. Casualties could not be ascertained," Sumi wrote on his Facebook page.
 
The NSCN-K faction abrogated a ceasefire signed in 2001 with the Indian government on March 27, 2015, just a month before the truce was up for renewal.
 
Subsequently, they went on a killing spree, attacking Indian soldiers in Nagaland and Manipur. The outfit even mounted the deadly ambush on a convoy of the 6 Dogra Regiment in Manipur's Chandel district on June 4, 2015, killing 18 soldiers.
 
Following this, the elite army special forces personnel entered Myanmar, raided two insurgent camps and inflicted "significant casualties".
 
IANS
 
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NDMA conducts mock exercise on earthquake in North East

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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a multi-State mock exercise on earthquake in the three North Eastern States of Tripura, Nagaland and Mizoram yesterday for assessing the preparedness and response mechanism of the State Governments in a disaster situation.
 
The exercise was conducted in collaboration with the respective State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs).
 
It simulated the 1897 Shillong earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter Scale, which had devastated the entire Shillong plateau and affected the whole of the northeast.
 
The simulation exercise was conducted simultaneously in all districts across the three States at select locations, including hospitals, shopping malls, schools and high-rise residential buildings to assess and improve the administration’s capacity in mobilising resources and reaching out to the affected communities swiftly.
 
The exercise started with sirens indicating the occurrence of tremors. Everybody ducked under the tables while covering their heads. Once the tremors stopped, evacuation drills were conducted. Soon afterwards, State Emergency Operation Centres (SEOCs) were activated.
 
Simultaneously, EOCs at the districts also got activated, assessed the damage, formed rescue teams under Incident Commanders and dispatched them to the respective locations.
 
Rescue drills were conducted in coordination with various agencies, such as Traffic control, Fire Fighting Department, Ambulances, Police and Civil Defence. People buried under the rubble were rescued and sent to hospitals after administering first aid and triage.
 
Afterwards, NDMA experts carried out post-exercise analyses, wherein independent observers from the Army shared their feedback and suggested ways to further streamline response mechanisms.
 
"Mock exercises strengthen the capacity and response mechanisms of all stakeholders. These also help improve coordination among various agencies, which is the key to a successful post-disaster response," said Lt. Gen. N.C. Marwah (Retd.), Member, NDMA.
 
Today’s exercise was preceded by orientation-cum-coordination conferences and tabletop exercises in all the participating States to ensure the smooth facilitation of the exercise.
 
This exercise is significant as the entire North East is located in the seismic zone V. 
 
The mock drill will ensure a better response in the event of a disaster to reduce the loss of lives. It will also generate awareness among the local population who are the first responders in case of any disaster, an official press release added.
 
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Foreigners allowed to visit Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur unrestricted

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In a significant move, the Union Home Ministry has allowed foreigners -- except those from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan -- to visit tourist locations in Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur. which were so far restricted areas.
 
With the decision, applicable from April 1, foreigners now can visit the three states for the next five years without any permit, an official said. 
 
Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur were, since the last six decades, kept under Protected Area Permit (PAP) regime. 
 
Earlier, from January 1, 2011, the PAP was initially lifted for one year from the three states as per a December 30, 2010 circular of the Union Home Ministry. 
 
"Foreign tourists can visit tourist locations in Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur without any PAP from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2013. Citizens from Pakistan, China and Afghanistan are still banned from all PAP areas," the Home Ministry official said. 
 
The areas falling between the Inner line and the International Border of some states were declared as protected areas under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958. 
 
The protected areas currently include whole of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim, besides parts of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Some parts of Sikkim fall under the protected area regime while others under the restricted area.
 
The official further said a review is going on to lift PAP from other areas too. 
 
As per the guidelines, a foreign national is not normally allowed to visit a protected or restricted area unless the government is satisfied that there are extraordinary reasons to justify his or her visit.
 
Every foreigner, except a citizen of Bhutan, who desires to enter and stay in a protected or restricted area, is required to obtain a special permit from a competent authority having the power to issue such permits. 
 
In cases, where the power to issue such permits has not been delegated to a subordinate authority by the Central government, the application for the special permit has to be referred to Union Home Ministry for prior approval, at least eight weeks before the date of the expected visit. 
 
With an aim to promote tourism, the government, time to time by notification, exempts some of such restricted or protected areas from the need of special permission for foreigners to visit them.
 
Necessary powers have been delegated to various authorities to issue such special permits without the prior approval of the Home Ministry to facilitate foreign tourists subject to the certain exceptions. 
 
In cases of foreign diplomats, including the members of the United Nations and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, the special permits to visit such protected or restricted areas are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs. 
 
In cases of the citizens of Afghanistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin, no permit, however, can be issued without the prior approval of the Union Home Ministry.
 
IANS
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NDMA to conduct multi-State earthquake mock exercise in North East

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The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will conduct a mock exercise on earthquake preparedness in three North Eastern States -- Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram -- tomorrow.
 
The exercise, being held in collaboration with the respective State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs), will help participating agencies and stakeholders in evaluating the effectiveness of their disaster response plans, an official press release said.
 
The exercise is significant as the participating States fall under seismic vulnerability zone V, it said.
 
Orientation-cum-coordination conferences were held on April 12 at the State Capitals for working out the detailed modalities and preparations required for the mock exercise.
 
Concerned officials from various stakeholder departments such as the Army, Health, Police, Firefighting, Civil Defence, Transport, Electricity, Public Relations and Traffic Control attended these conferences.
 
Preparedness measures required to be taken at individual, societal and institutional levels to minimise the effects of an earthquake were discussed. NDMA experts briefed the stakeholders on the Incident Response System (IRS), which attributes roles and responsibilities at each level to improve coordination. This helps enhance preparedness and ensure a swift response by reducing ad-hocism in response.
 
Table Top Exercises will be conducted in all the three States before the actual mock exercise. The mock exercise will be followed by a detailed debriefing session where gaps and shortcomings, if any, for improving preparedness will be discussed. Independent observers will be deployed to monitor the entire exercise.
 
The exercise will help in filling gaps, ensuring better communication and improving coordination among various stakeholders and agencies. It will also generate awareness among the local population about the Dos and Don'ts to be followed before, during and after an earthquake.
 
"Capacity building and improving disaster preparedness is an ongoing exercise. NDMA has so far conducted more than 600 mock exercises for various disaster situations across the country in its efforts to improve preparedness and response during for various disaster situations," the release added.
 
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Centre extends ceasefire for one more year with NSCN/NK and NSCN/R

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The Centre has decided to extend the Suspension of Operations with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Neopao Konyak/Kitovi (NSCN/NK) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Reformation (NSCN/R) for a further period of one year with effect from April 28, 2018.
 
"It was decided to extend the Suspension of Operation with NSCN/NK and NSCN/R for a further period of one year with effect from 28th April, 2018, i.e till 27th April, 2019," an official press release said.
 
The agreement in this regard was signed here on April 18 by Mr.  Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs on behalf of Government of India, Mr. Jack Jimomi, Supervisor, GPRN/NSCN on behalf of NSCN/NK and Mr. Viniho Kiho Swu, Co-Supervisor and Mr. Toshi Longkumer, Member on behalf of NSCN/R, the release added.
 
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NDPP leader Neiphio Rio sworn in as new Chief Minister of Nagaland

 
Neiphiu Rio sworn in as Nagaland CM
Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) leader Neiphiu Rio was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Nagaland at the head of a coalition -- the People"s Democratic Alliance (PDA) -- government that includes the Bharatiya Janata Party  (BJP), the ruling party at the Centre.
 
Nagaland Governor P B Acharya administered the oaths of office and secrecy to Mr. Rio at a simple ceremony.
 
Mr. Y. Patton, the leader of the BJP legislature party, was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister. 
 
Ten other Ministers were sworn in as Cabinet Ministers. They are: C. M. Chang, G. Kaito Aye, Neiba Kronu, S. Pangnyu Phom, P. Paiwang Konyak, Jacob Zhimomi, Metsubo Jamir, Tongpang Ozukam, V. Kashiho Sangtam and Temjen Imna Along.
 
Mr. Rio, 67, a former Chief Minister, was elected unopposed to the State Legislative Assembly from the Northern Angami-II constituency. He is the only Chief Minister to have served three consecutive terms in the state from 2003 to 2014 as the leader of the Naga People's Front (NPF).
 
BJP President Amit Shah, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and the Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
The ceremony was held at the Kohima Local Ground, making it the first time that the swearing-in of a Chief Minister was done outside the Raj Bhavan.
 
The NDPP had won 17 seats in the February 27 elections to the 60-member assembly, while the BJP had secured 12. Mr. Rio has also got the support of the Janata Dal (United) MLA and an independent candidate.
 
The National People's Party (NPP), whose leader and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was present at the ceremony, got two seats.
 
Outgoing Chief Minister T R Zeliang's NPF won 27 seats.
 
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BJP headed for big win in Tripura, close contests in Nagaland, Meghalaya

The BJP, in partnership with the tribal-based IPFT, was on Saturday headed for an emphatic victory in the elections to the Tripura Legislative Assembly, ousting the CPI (M)-led Left Front, which had ruled the state for the past 25 years, while the contest in Nagaland and Meghalaya was close.

 
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in partnership with the tribal-based Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT), was today headed for an emphatic victory in the elections to the  Tripura Legislative Assembly, ousting the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front, which had ruled the state for the past 25 years.
 
As counting of votes progressed in Tripura, which went to the polls on February 18, as well as in Nagaland and Meghalaya, where votes were cast on February 27, the BJP-IPFT combine had won or was leading in 43 seats in the 60-member Assembly in Tripura.
 
The BJP had won 32 seats on its own and was leading in three more, while the IPFT won eight seats. The CPI (M) had won 13 seats and was leading in three others. 
 
However, in both Nagaland and Meghalaya, the contest was close. In Nagaland, the BJP and its ally, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), had won or was leading in 27 seats, while the ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) had won or was leading in 27 seats.
 
Among the other parties, the Janata Dal (United) was leading in one seat, the National People's Party got one and was leading in another and an independent candidate was leading in one.
 
In Meghalaya, the ruling Congress won 21 seats in the 60-member house, while the National People's Party (NPP) got 19 seats. The BJP picked up two seats. 
 
Among the other parties, the NCP got one, the Hill State People's Democratic Party two, the United Democratic Party six, the Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement one, the People's Democratic Front four and independents four.
 
Counting of votes began in all three states amidst tight security at 8 am today and all the results are expected by late this evening.
 
About 92 percent of the voters had exercised their franchise in Tripura, which went to the polls on February 18. The voting percentage was 85 in Meghalaya and 75 in Nagaland, where polling was held on February 27.
 
All the three Legislative Assemblies have a strength of 60, but polling was held in only 59 constituencies in Tripura, with the election in Charilam (ST) constituency postponed to March 12 following the death of a candidate. In Meghalaya, the election in Williamnagar was countermanded following the death of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma in an improved explosive device (IED) blast. In Nagaland, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party chief Neiphiu Rio was declared elected unopposed from Northern Angami-II constituency.
 
In Tripura, the Left Front had won 50 seats in the last Assembly elections in 2013. The Congress had got the remaining ten seats then, but did not pick up a single seat this time. The BJP was nowhere in the picture in 2013.
 
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Counting of votes begins in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland assembly elections

Counting of votes began amidst tight security in the elections to the State Legislative Assemblies in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland on Saturday morning.

 
Counting of votes began amidst tight security in the elections to the State Legislative Assemblies in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland this morning.
 
The process began at 8 am and all the results are expected by this evening.
 
About 92 percent of the voters had exercised their franchise in Tripura, which went to the polls on February 18.
 
The voting percentage was 85 in Meghalaya and 75 in Nagaland, where polling was held on February 27.
 
All the three Legislative Assemblies have a strength of 60, but polling was held in only 59 constituencies in Tripura, with the election in Charilam (ST) constituency postponed to March 12 following the death of a candidate.
 
In Meghalaya, the election in Williamnagar was countermanded following the death of NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma in an improved explosive device (IED) blast. In Nagaland, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party chief Neiphiu Rio was declared elected unopposed from Northern Angami-II constituency.
 
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Senior NSCN(KN) cadre apprehended in Nagaland

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In a major blow to Naga insurgents, a senior cadre of the NSCN (Kitovi-Neopak) group was apprehended in Nagaland on January 23, the Ministry of Defence has said.
 
Acting on specific information from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) about movement of a senior NSCN cadre from Dimapur to Zunheboto, a joint team of Assam Rifles and NIA established multiple mobile vehicle check posts in Kohima district of Nagaland on the morning of January 23, an official press release said.
 
During a vehicle check at the Mobile Vehicle Check Post in Zubza near Kohima, troops of Assam Rifles apprehended a self-styled Brigadier of NSCN (KN) from vehicle, along with two cadres of NSCN (KN). 
 
The apprehended cadre have been identified as SS Brigadier Aheto H Chophy s/o Hozuxu, r/o Village Yehemi, Zunheboto, Nagaland along with two cadres, namely, SS Sergeant Witti Marak and Mr Mughahoto Sumi.
 
Aheto Chopy is accused No 3 in a NIA case pertaining to criminal conspiracy for misappropriation of government arms and ammunition belonging to Zunehboto District Executive Force Kote. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him by a Special Judge of NIA on May 14, 2014 and subsequently on July 8, 2014.
 
One Type-56 rifle, two pistols, 176 rounds of ammunition, Rs. 1,32,320 in Indian currency, mobile instruments and incriminating documents were seized during the operation, the release said.
 
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Assembly polls in Tripura on Feb 18, Meghalaya and Nagaland on Feb 27

The Election Commission of India (ECI) today announced that elections to the state legislative assemblies would be held on February 18 in Tripura and on February 27 in Meghalaya and Nagaland.
 
In the case of Tripura, the notification will be issued on January 24 and the last date for filing nominations will be January  31. Scrutiny of nominations of will be done on February 1 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations will be February 3.
 
In the case of Meghalaya and Nagaland, the notifications will be issued on January 31 and the last date for filing nominations is February 2. Scrutiny of nominations will be done on February 8 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is February 12.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up in all three states on March 3 and all the results are expected by that evening.
 
The terms of the legislative assemblies of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura are due to expire on March 6, March 13 and March 14, respectively.
 
As many as 55 of the 60 seats in the Meghalaya Assembly and 59 of the 60 seats in the Nagaland Assembly are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs). In Tripura, of the 60 seats in the Assembly, 10 are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 20 for STs.
 
The existing electoral rolls of all the Assemblies Constituencies in the State of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura have been revised, with reference to 01.01.2018 as the qualifying date. Final publication of electoral rolls in respect of Tripura has been done on 05.01.2018 and final publication in respect of Meghalaya and Nagaland has been done on 10.01.2018. 
 
As per the final electoral rolls, the number of electors in Meghalaya is 18,30,104; Nagaland 11,89,264 and Tripura 25,69,216. There will be 3082 polling stations in Meghalaya, 2187 in Nagaland and 3214 in Tripura.
 
Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) units will be used in all the polling stations in all the three states.
 
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Faced with climate change, Nagaland to revive traditional rice varieties

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Rising temperature, erratic rainfall and occurrence of moderate drought are beginning to impact food production in Nagaland. In order to meet the challenge of climate change, the state is now turning to its forgotten resource – traditional food crops which can withstand higher  temperatures and water-stressed conditions.
 
The hilly state has initiated steps to revive traditional rice as well as millet varieties which over the years gave way to high yielding crop varieties for various reasons. Though farmers are not growing traditional varieties for sustenance, they are still the custodian of knowledge about them. In the wake of climate change, these varieties will be promoted among farmers, as they are the best bet for adapting to changing climate.
 
The biological diversity of rice in the state is tremendous – 867 traditional ‘land races’ of rice have been identified by the State Agriculture Research Station (SARS) at Mokokchung. These rice varieties are broadly categorized as glutinous, brown and aromatic, and most of them are grown under the jhum or shifting cultivation system practiced by different Naga tribes in the state.
 
The state government has initiated a project called “gene pool conservation of indigenous rice varieties under traditional integrated rotational farming system for promoting livelihood and food security as climate change adaptation strategy.” The Rs 24 crore project will be supported by the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change. It will be implemented in one village in each selected block in five districts - Tuensang, Wokha, Zunheboto, Mokokchung and Kohima – over the next three years.
 
All rice production systems are exposed to heat stress but rainfed uplands are particularly vulnerable to temperature rise. Heat stress leads to stunting, affecting yields. In addition, warmer climate leads to introduction of new diseases and insects.
 
“Farmers need new varieties which are drought and heat resistant. Traditional rice and millet varieties can do just this, as they can grow even in marginalised lands, are highly diverse in terms of pest resistance, yield, time of cultivation and maturity and water requirement,” Dr D.K. Chetri, Joint Director, SARS, told India Science Wire on the sidelines of a media workshop in climate change here.
 
“Nagaland is not adequately equipped to handle current climate change impacts. The state has a large existing adaptation deficit which is a priority of early action. Therefore, there is a need for developing processes for community led adaptation that are rooted in local institutions,” he added.
 
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Under the projects, field gene banks will be developed for conservation and research of promising varieties, and seed exchange programme will be initiated with the involvement of communities engaged in both jhum and terrace cultivation. Selected promising seeds varieties will then be disseminated to farmers across the state.
 
Rice is staple food of Nagaland with about 86% of the cultivable area in the state under jhum and terrace rice cultivation systems. Traditional rice varieties are grown in altitude ranging from 300 to 2500 meters. But of late, farmers are shifting to cash crops putting cereal production under stress. High intensity farming of rice and pulses, promoted under several schemes, has not been sustainable.
 
Climate change has added a new stress factor. In the last 100 years, Nagaland has experienced increase in average annual temperature from 1.4 degree to 1.6 degree. “The projected increase in average annual temperature is 1.6 degree to 1.8 degree between 2021 and 2050,” pointed out Dellirose M Sakhrie, secretary of the state Department of Science and Technology. The rainfall is also expected to increase in intensity by 20%. The number of extreme dry and extreme wet days will increase during 2021-2050.
 
Dr Chetri said farming practices in the state would have to be modified with changing climate, in order to ensure food and nutritional security of people.
 
The workshop was organised by the Centre for Media Studies, the Department of Science and Technology, the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme, along with the Nagaland Climate Change Cell.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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Hornbill Festival, perfect showcase of rich Naga culture and tradition, says Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind at the inauguration of the Hornbill Festival and State Formation Day at Kisama in Nagaland on December 1, 2017.
President Ram Nath Kovind at the inauguration of the Hornbill Festival and State Formation Day at Kisama in Nagaland on December 1, 2017.
President Ramnath Kovind today termed the Hornbill Festival as the “perfect showcase of the rich Naga culture and traditions, preserved over the years in the form of music, dance and food".
 
Speaking at the inauguration of the Hornbill Festival and State Formation Day celebrations, Mr Kovind said the Hornbill Festival at Kisama here and the International Music Festival represent the diversity of Naga society.
 
“We have the best of traditional dance and music, and we have the best of modern musicians and artistes,” he added.
 
“As I understand, every tribe and community has skilled weavers who specialise in different styles of shawls. Each is a marvel. In a time of machine-made products, Nagaland should justifiably be proud of such traditional, hand-woven shawls. They must reach a much wider market,” the President said.
 
“Today, Nagaland is at the edge of making history. After years of insurgency, there is hope. With the support of the people of the state, of civil society institutions and all stakeholders, there is an opportunity for lasting peace.
 
“I congratulate all the Naga groups for having come so far. I am confident that a final agreement – one that is fair to all and meets the expectations and aspirations of all – will be reached soon,” Mr Kovind said.
 
“Today there is a government in the state without any opposition. This is a unique situation. It also offers a chance to resolve long-standing political problems, bring lasting peace – and it can accelerate the process of development and of creating jobs and opportunities. Nagaland deserves this; all of you deserve it – and the young people of the state deserve it,” he added.
 
“The youth of Nagaland is the pride of the country. I see in them a quest and an aspiration to excel and be the best. They are the true legatees of Dr T. Ao, the doctor-sportsperson who was the first captain of our national football team after Independence, leading the team in the London Olympics of 1948,” Mr Kovind said.
 
“Young people from Nagaland are role models for the rest of India. An illustrious daughter of this state, Temsutula Imsong has won the hearts of the nation for her remarkable work in cleaning the ghats of the river Ganga in Varanasi,” he added.
 
“Another Naga girl – Chiewelou Thele – was adjudged the best trainee commando in her batch of police officers of Delhi Police. She was the Poster Girl for Delhi Police this year. And as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, I must say I am immensely proud of our Naga soldiers and officers. They are among the best we have. They have done the country great service,” he said.
 
The key to Nagaland’s development is infrastructure and connectivity projects. These will link Nagaland to new markets, both in India and abroad. That is one of the key goals of the Government of India’s Act East Policy and of its thrust for connectivity in the states of the Northeast, including Nagaland.
 
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Nagaland has so much to offer. The strength of the state lies in its organic farm produce, flowers and fruits. The state has rare medicinal plants and herbs that can help create jobs and boost the economy. “I cannot forget to mention Naga Jolokia, called King Chilli locally. This is one of the hottest chilli peppers of the world. We need to bottle it into one of the hottest selling sauces of the world,” he added.
 
The President said  Nagaland has the potential to be an attractive tourist destination, offering a unique blend of heritage and culture and spectacular natural beauty. Another attribute of society here is the high literacy rate. A young population that is fluent in English, comfortable with Information Technology and forward-looking can transport the state and the region into a hub for the services industries of the future. 
 
“Our country is making great strides in every area - business, trade, education and culture. We are among the world’s fastest-growing economies. We are also a diverse nation. Our linguistic, ethnic, religious and geographical variety makes India special – and that is our biggest strength.”
 
“It is an exciting time to be an Indian. And it is an exciting time to be a Naga. Nagaland and the Northeast are central to the India story. Without the development of Nagaland, the development of India will be incomplete,” he added.
 
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Kovind to visit West Bengal, Mizoram, Nagaland from Nov 28 to Dec 1

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President Ram Nath Kovind will visit West Bengal, Mizoram and Nagaland from November 28 to December 1 in his first trip to the three states after assuming office in July this year.
 
An official press release said Mr. Kovind would attend a civic reception hosted in his honour at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata tomorrow. He will also address the "Vigyan Chintan - Scientific Ecosystem in Kolkata" at Raj Bhavan in Kolkata.
 
On Wednesday, the President will visit the birthplace of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore at Jorasanko and Netaji Bhawan in Kolkata. He will also address the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations of the Bose Institute in Kolkata and visit the Ramakrishna Mission and Math at Belur.
 
On the same day, at the Raj Bhavan, Aizawl, Mizoram, the President will inaugurate housing complexes for economically weaker sections under the ‘Basic Services to Urban Poor Scheme’. On November 30, 2017, the President will address a special session of the Mizoram Legislative Assembly.
 
On the same day, he will meet and interact with various prominent citizens and NGOs in Kohima, Nagaland. On December 1, the President will inaugurate the Hornbill Festival and State Formation Day celebrations of Nagaland in Kisama, before returning to Delhi.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Zunheboto region of Nagaland

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.0 on the Richter scale, was recorded in the Zunheboto region of Nagaland this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 26.0°N and longitude 94.5°E, occurred at 0841 hours at a focal depth of 13 km, an IMD bulletinn added.
 
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Minor earthquake jolts Zunheboto region of Nagaland

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale, shook the Zunheboto region of Nagaland today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 25.9°N and longitude 94.4 °E, occurred at 1308 hours at a focal depth of 24 km.
 
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Modi reviews flood situation in NE, announces assistance of over Rs. 2,000 crore

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a relief package of over Rs. 2,000 crore for relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and flood mitigation measures in the flood-affected North-Eastern states. 
 
The announcement came at the end of a series of high-level meetings, where the Prime Minister reviewed the flood situation and relief measures in the affected States. 
 
Through the course of the day, Mr. Modi held separate, detailed review meetings on the situation in the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland. The Chief Ministers of the respective States, and senior officials were present at the meetings.
 
A memorandum was received from the Chief Minister of Mizoram, who could not make it to the meeting in person. 
 
An official press release said that over Rs. 1,200 crore would be given by  the Union Government for the infrastructure sector alone. The funds will be utilized for repair, maintenance, and strengthening of roads, highways, bridges, and other damaged infrastructure. 
 
The release said Rs. 400 crore will be provided for improving the water holding capacity of the Brahmaputra River, which will assist in flood control. 
 
In the current financial year, the Union Government has approved Rs. 600 crore as central share of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). Out of this, Rs. 345 crore has already been released, and the remaining will be released immediately, to assist the States in relief and rehabilitation work. 
 
The Union Government will also provide Rs. 100 crore for carrying out a study to synergize efforts towards finding time-bound long term solutions to recurrent floods in the region. 
 
The North-Eastern region, with eight percent of India's land area, contains one-third of the country's water resources. The Union Government will constitute a High Level Committee, with representation from Ministries of the Government of India and the States, for proper management of the region's vast water resources. 
 
An ex-gratia assistance of Rs. 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased, and Rs. 50,000 to each of those seriously injured due to the floods, has been sanctioned under the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF). 
 
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Modi to review flood situation in North-Eastern States tomorrow

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Guwahati tomorrow where he will chair a series of high-level meetings to review the flood situation and the relief operations in the North-Eastern States, particularly Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur.
 
Chief Ministers and senior officials from these States are expected to be present at the meetings, an official press release added.
 
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Minor earthquake recorded in Phek region of Nagaland

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale, shook the Phek region of Nagaland late last night.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 25.5°N and longitude 94.6°E, occurred at 2344 hours on Tuesday at a focal depth of 50 km.
 
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Minor earthquake jolts Myanmar-Nagaland border region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, jolted the border region between Myanmar and the Indian state of Nagaland today.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteological Department (IMD) said the quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 26.5°N and longitude 95.4°E, occurred at 1502 hours IST at a focal depth of 75 km.
 
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Govt, NSCN say talks progressing in right direction, closer than ever before to final settlement

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Government of India's interlocutor R. N. Ravi and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) General Secretary T. Muivah held talks here today and said later that they were closer than ever before to the final settlement  and hoped to conclude it sooner than later.
 
"We assure the people that the talks have been progressing in right direction with determination," they said in a joint communique.
 
“The political initiative of the Government of India and NSCN to amicably resolve the Naga political issue has received a new urgency and impetus during the last two years. The talks have become more purposeful, less ritualistic, more forthright and far more frequent. In the last two years we met more times than all the years before. It helped building unprecedented mutual understanding and trust," it said.
 
The communique said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "statesmanship, his respect and love for the Naga people, their legitimate rights and aspirations and wisdom of the Naga leaders could lead to the historic Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015 which settles the political parameters of the final solution. Within these parameters, details are being worked out in earnest."
 
They said the prolonged illness and unfortunate passing away of Mr. Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman NSCN, adversely impacted the process. His departure is a big loss for all of us," it added.
 
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Government to help in `Mithun’ conservation in North-East

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The Government will give all possible help for conservation of Mithun, recognized as the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Radha Mohan Singh has said.
 
Speaking at a function at Peren in Nagaland on Saturday, he said the Mithun had a very significant role to play in the lives of the tribal communities of the North-East. It also figures in the official seal of the state of Nagaland.
 
Realizing the requirements for technology transfer efforts for its conservation, a new Krishi Vigyan Kendra was opened at Peren on August 6. ICAR’s National Research Centre on Mithun at Jharnapani, Medziphema, Nagaland, is the only institute in the world dedicated to  research on conservation and improvement of this animal species.
 
The Minister said the institute would work towards technology development for scientific rearing of Mithun that has not only helped in the conservation of the biodiversity and the rich cultural heritage of the region, but also contributed to the economic development and ecological stability of the North Eastern states.
 
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The tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur is closely involved in the rearing of this bovine species, called `Mithun’. Even though, the Mithun may be genetically different from other bovine species, it has a genetic resemblance with its ancestor `Gaur’.
 
The total population of Mithun in the country is about 3 lakh, of which, Nagaland accounts for 12%. Looking into this meagre population, there is a great need for putting in breeding and conservation efforts in this direction, he said.
 
Mr. Singh said that "in order to bring stability in the horticulture-based farming system, animal integration is essential". Though Índia possesses the largest number of milch animals in the world, yet their productivity is one of the lowest, which calls for efforts to enhance the productivity.
 
Keeping these points in view, the Government has initiated schemes like Rashtriya Gokul Mission, Pasudhan Mission and Pasu Chikitsa Yojna under which the efforts are being made to conserve and further develop the indigenous breeds of cattle, he added.
 
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College of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry inaugurated in Nagaland

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Union Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated the College of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry at Jalukie village in Peren District of Nagaland under the aegis of the Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal yesterday.
 
Speaking on the occasion, he said the Union Government had established the CAU in the region in 1992, taking into account the need for agricultural education. The university has so far established seven colleges.
 
Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the amendment of CAU Act, 1992 to include the state of Nagaland under the jurisdiction of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal.
 
The state Government provided suitable land free of cost to establish the college. The Minister expressed the hope that the new college would try to maintain higher standards of education and help Nagaland make rapid development and advancement in term of agriculture and allied sciences and human resource sector.
 
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He acknowledged that animal husbandry practices have been playing a pivotal role in supplementing family income and generating employment to the rural poor apart from efficient utilization of agricultural products and by-products suitable for human consumption.
 
Mr. Singh also inaugurated a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in Peren. He said a seed hub was being established under the aegis of CAU, Imphal and another in ICAR Research Complex at Agartala. One KVK
 
Mr Radha Mohan Singh also inaugurated KVK in Peren. He further stated that one Seed Hub is being established under the aegis of Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal and another in ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Tripura Centre located in Agartala. One KVK would be established this year in Kifre district he said.
 
Front line demonstration of pulses and oil seeds would be conducted in 60 hectares and 220 hectares, respectably in the state this year, he added.
 
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Cabinet approves amendment in Central Agricultural University Act, 1992

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The Union Cabinet yesterday approved the amendment in relevant clauses of the Central Agricultural University Act (CAU), 1992 to include the State of Nagaland under the jurisdiction of CAU, Imphal. 
 
After inclusion of State of Nagaland under jurisdiction of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal, the College of Veterinary Sciences in Nagaland will produce the much-needed professional manpower in the fields of animal husbandry, which will facilitate socio-economic growth in the region, an official press release said.
 
The new college will help familiarize the farmers with new techniques, thereby contributing to the production and productivity of domestic animals in the State of Nagaland. 
 
"The amendment will help the State of Nagaland reap the benefit of the CAU, Manipur, which is established for the entire North Eastern Region," the release added.
 
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Veteran Naga leader Isak Chishi Swu passes away

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Veteran Naga leader Isak Chisi Swu, chairman of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM), passed away at a private hospital here today after a prolonged illness.
 
He was 85. 
 
Mr. Swu was suffering from a kidney ailment and had been admitted to the Fortis Hospital here on July 5 last year for a series of surgeries.
 
Due to his ilness, Mr. Swu could not attend the signing of the Naga Peace Accord on August 3 last year between the NSCN-IM and the Indian government in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
Mr. Swu joined the Naga National Council (NNC) in the 1950s and remained with it till it split in 1980.
 
He and NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah formed the group in 1980 to oppose the Shillong Accord signed by the the NNC with the Government of India.
 
In 1997, NSCN-IM agreed to a truce with the Centre and has been holding talks since then with the Government's representatives.
 
"My heartfelt condolences to the family and supporters of Mr. Isak Chisi Swu on his demise. May his soul rest in peace," Mr. Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"Mr. Swu will be remembered for his historical role in bringing out the Framework Agreement for Naga peace," he said.
 
"Mr. Isak Chisi Swu wished the best for the Naga people and aspired for peace," he added.
 
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Minor earthquake jolts Tuensang region of Nagaland

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, jolted the Tuensang region of Nagaland late last night, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 25.8 N and longitude 95.0 E, occurred at 2342 hours at a focal depth of 75 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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