Lok Sabha Election to be held from April 11 to May 19

17th General Election to be held in 7 phases from April 11 to May 19; counting on May 23

PM Modi wishes the best to Election Commission and seeks blessings of people

Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and will be held over seven phases followed by counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission has announced on 10 March, 2019.

Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the model code of conduct would come into immediate effect from March 10 and 10 lakh polling stations would be set up this time as against about 9 lakh in 2014.

Chief Election Commissioner of India Sunil Arora addressing media to announce the dates for the General Elections 2019.Announcing the schedule for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission said the ‘voter verifiable paper audit trail’ (VVPAT) will be used in all polling stations this time. The first phase will be held on April 11, second on April 18, third on April 23 and fourth on April 29, fifth on May 6, sixth on May 12 and seventh phase on May 19. Counting of votes for all seven phases would be done on May 23, the EC said. Anantnag Lok Sabha seat in J&K would vote in three phases due to security reasons, the ECI said.

Among other things, the model code of conduct bars the government from announcing any policy move that may impact voters’ decision. The ECI said all political advertisements on social media will need pre-certification.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given best wishes to the Election Commission, all those officials and security personnel who will be on the field, across the length and breadth of India assuring smooth elections. India is very proud of the ECI for assiduously organizing elections for several years, he said.

PM Shri Modi said, “The festival of democracy, Elections are here. I urge my fellow Indians to enrich the 2019 Lok Sabha elections with their active participation. I hope this election witnesses a historic turnout. I particularly call upon first time voters to vote in record numbers.

Photo: Twitter/@PIB_India

The PM further said, “Guided by ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, NDA seeks your blessings again. We spent the last five years fulfilling basic necessities that were left unfulfilled for 70 long years. Now, time has come to build on that and create a strong, prosperous & secure India. #PhirEkBaarModiSarkar”.

Assembly polls

Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Odisha will be held simultaneously with the respective Lok Sabha constituencies.

President’s rule to continue in J&K

On J&K, the ECI said security situation is being monitored. Regarding holding elections ECI has sought info from the State administration. EC has assessed the ground situation and preparedness for the polls, also considering recent developments, sought comments from MHA and also visited the State, had meeting with all political parties and administration officials, based on the findings and availability of forces, EC has decided to announce only the parliamentary elections in the State, decision on holding Assembly elections to be taken soon, he says. So, Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir not to be held along with Lok Sabha polls.

-MARCH 10, 2019

Crying snake discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

Crying snake discovered in Arunachal Pradesh

A new species of crying snake has been discovered in Lepa-Rada district of Arunachal Pradesh. The discovery of the non-venomous crying keelback, whose zoological name is Hebius lacrima, has been published in Zootaxa, the New Zealand-based scientific mega-journal for animal taxonomy.

“The name for this keelback was suggested because of a dark spot under its eyes looking like a black tear that interrupts a white stripe running along the upper jaw to the back of its head and beyond,” Jayaditya Purkayastha, a Guwahati-based zoologist who located the new keelback in the Basar area of Arunachal Pradesh, told The Hindu.

‘Lacrima’ means tear in Latin.

The specimen that Mr. Purkayastha obtained from a paddy field on a hill slope on the outskirts of Basar town was an adult male 48.7 cm long. Photographs of a few other such snakes revealed that was the average length of an adult.

The crying keelback had to be compared with 44 species of snakes worldwide under the genus Hebius. “I had data on 20 species of this genus. So I collaborated with Patrick David of the Paris-based National Museum of Natural History who had data on another 22,” Mr. Purkayastha said.

According to the paper by Mr. Purkayastha and Mr. David, the crying keelback can be differentiated from all other species of the genus Hebius by the combination of a distinctive broad, white, interrupted stripe along its body; three rows of irregular dark blotches (not vertically aligned) on each side; six cream, elongated spots on its anterior part and a smooth dorsal scale row.

The snake, preferring to live near streams along paddy fields, was found to feed on small fish, tadpole, frogs and geckos.

“We are working on many new species of amphibians and reptiles and hope to get the research published by the middle of this year. There is a lot of scope in research pertaining to herpetofauna in northeast India but we need support from government bodies,” Mr. Purkayastha said.

Globally snakes are represented by 3,709 species. The northeast is home to some 110 species, with Arunachal Pradesh accounting for 55. Several animals, birds, amphibians and insects have been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh in a little more than two decades.

Assam-based Anwaraddin Choudhury discovered the Arunachal macaque (Macaca munzala) in 1997 but it was recognised as a new primate species in 2004. Another primate species called the white-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys) was discovered by a four-member team in 2015.

Another team led by Aparajita Dutta discovered the leaf deer (Muntiacus putaoensis) in 2002. Another major discovery was that of the Himalayan forest thrush in 2016. It was given the scientific name Zoothera salimalii after legendary ornithologist Salim Ali.





With Hat-Trick, it’s BJP all the way in the North East. A non-Congress Government led by the National People’s Party is likely to take oath in Meghalaya on Monday as the party cobbled up the required numbers to form a Government. NPP chief Conrad Sangma, who was elected as the leader of the alliance, met Governor Ganga Prasad to stake the claim for formation of a Government. The Governor has reportedly invited him to form the Government.

WITH HAT-TRICKThe Congress yet again, just as it did in Manipur and Goa, seemed to have lost out in the race to form the Government despite being the single largest party.

The NPP which has secured 19 seats on its own got the backing from six United Democratic Party (UDP) legislators, four Peoples’ Democratic Front (PDF) legislators, two Hill State Peoples’ Democratic Party (HSPDP) MLAs, two BJP MLAs and one  Independent legislator —  making the combined strength of the alliance to 34 in the 60-member House.

Sources in the NPP said that the party is likely to swear-in on Monday at a function in Raj Bhavan. While the alliance elected Conrad Sangma as the leader of the alliance, the name of his sister and former Lok Sabha MP, Agatha Sangma has also emerged as dark horse for the top post.

“The mandate in Meghalaya is against the Congress. The role of the BJP is just a facilitator. We are facilitating the regional parties in Meghalaya to unite and form a Government in the State to keep the Congress at bay,” said Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has been camping in the State since Saturday.

“It will be a Government of the regional political parties to be led by the NPP. The BJP has two legislators and our party has also decided to extend support to the NPP. We are there to facilitate and we are doing that to ensure that there is a non-Congress Government in Meghalaya,” said Sarma.

Despite winning 21 seats, the Congress failed to bring to its side the UDP, which is playing the kingmaker with six MLAs, and the 2-MLA-strong Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) – both throwing their weight with the NPP which has 19 MLAs.

With entering into an alliance with the NPP to rule Meghalaya, the BJP would thus be in power in six States of the Seven Sisters — Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Manipur Assam, Arunachal Pradesh.

Former Congressmen and now one of BJP’s key strategists Sarma ensured he came up over the two Central leaders of the Congress, Kamal Nath and Ahmad Patel, whom their party had dispatched to the State to prevent a rerun of Manipur and Goa. But Meghalaya became the third State in less than a year for the Congress where its post-polls alliance management failed.

A pre-poll alliance between three local parties including UDP, HSPDP and Garo National Council (GNC) – form the bulk of ‘Others’. Their primary aim to dislodge the Mukul Sangma-led Congress Government in the State has served well the NPP-BJP.

While the NPP secured 19 seats in the polls, the ruling Congress could manage to secure only 21 seats. Regional political party UDP secured 6 seats followed by Peoples’ Democratic Party (4 seats), HSPDP (2 seats), BJP (2 seats), KHNAM one seat, NCP one seat and three Independents.

It may be mentioned here that outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who had been the State’s Chief Minister since 2010, had also met the Governor and said that his party be invited to form the next Government as it is the single largest party. Sangma, however, failed to produce the letters of support from any other party backing his claim.

-05 March 2018 | PNS | New Delhi | Guwahati



By- Jagdish Kaur

Arunachal Pradesh, the abode of the sun god,  has a long international boundary, which it shares with Bhutan on the west, China on the north and north-east and Myanmar on the south-east side. The history of Arunachal Pradesh goes back to hundreds of years in time into the mist of traditions and myths. The limited ethno-historical and ethno-archaeological Jagdish Kaurworks undertaken in the State hamper the reconstruction of the history and culture of the State in a strict chronological order.

Although the history of pre-modern Arunachal Pradesh remains shrouded in mystery, the historiography of religion in the State is overwhelmed primarily with discussion on tribal religion and partially, on Buddhism. Historians have recorded the existence of the Hindu culture and religious motifs in the State from the times of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata (c 500-400 BC). Puranic literatures strengthen this evidence as well. The Lohit River, which feeds into the Parshuram Kund, was known as Lauhitya in Puranic times.

Various places in Arunachal Pradesh find mention in the Hindu epics. Kalika Purana describes upper Lohit valley as prabhu kutar and Subansiri valley as prabhu parbat. The present ruins of Bhismaknagar near Sadiya are said to represent the palace of King Bhismaka, alluded to in the Bhagavata Purana. Two copper plates with Sanskrit inscriptions have been discovered from the copper temple near Bhismaknagar.

Various tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, such as the Karbi, consider themselves as the descendants of Bali and Sugriva (from Ramayana). The Tiwas are proud of being the descendants of Devi Sita.

Archaeological explorations have established the presence of Hindu culture in Arunachal Pradesh. Concerted efforts are needed to historically evaluate the ancient history of the State

The Mishmis trace their ancestry to the legendary king Bhismak and through him to his daughter Rukmini and Lord Krishna. The presence of Shaivism influence with phallic worship in the sub-hills bordering the Brahamaputra valley and remote areas of Tawang is also evident.

During the 19th century, British administrators and scholars recorded oral history of various tribes and also explored Bhismaknagar, Tameshwari temple, Bhalukpong, Rukmini nagar, Ita fort among others.

The archaeological section of the Directorate of Research in the State conducted excavations and explorations towards the later decades of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st century. A large Shiva Lingam was unearthed in Lohit district during excavations during 1965-67. A series of excavations followed in Bhismaknagar, Malinithan, Vijaynagar, Rukmininagar and Naksa Parbat over the next decades.

The inscriptions found at Tamresari temple and  Bhismaknagar fort was written in Sanskrit, Assamese and Bengali script. One of the inscriptions is translated to ‘Sri Sri Lakshmi Narayan Japa’. Parshuram Kund, located near Tezu in the Lohit district, has been visited by Hindu devotees since long. The legend described in the Kalika Purana of the eighth century mentions that Lord Parasurama washed off his sin of matricide by taking bath at this place.

Bhismaknagar, located near Roing in the lower Dibang valley district, also finds mention in Kalika Purana. The place was ruled by King Bhismaka, father of Rukmini, wife of Lord Krishna. Malinithan is a complex of temple ruins located in the foothills of west Siang district.  Excavations conducted over the years have unearthed four separate temple bases and a large number of sculptures and idols of Hindu gods and goddesses.

Well carved and decorated stone structures speak volumes about the glorious past of the temple complex. The place is associated with the legend of Lord Krishna who rested at this place with his wife Rukmini on their way back from Bhismaknagar as described in Kalika Purana. They were welcomed by Lord Shiva and his consort goddess Parvati with garlands and flowers. Lord Krishna addressed the goddess Parvati as ‘Malini’ and said that she would be worshipped at this place with this new name and the place has since become famous as Malinithan or the ‘abode of Malini’.

The temple complex dates back to ninth to 13th century AD and the influence of earlier period rulers of Assam dating back to 700 to 950 AD cannot be ruled out. Directorate of Research has extensively studied and recorded these excavations. Many sculptures/stone structures are either lying in the open or are preserved in the site museum, including temple parts, idols of gods/deities, rishis and sages, gandharvas, apasaras and other human and animal figures.

The presiding deity of the temple is Durga (Malini). The present image of the goddess was reconstructed from broken pieces found during the excavation. Besides Durga, idols of Nandi, Indra, Surya, Brahama, Ganesha, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Varaha, Radha, Krishna, Shiva Linga and numerous other stone figures can be seen in the temple complex.

Akashiganga, located near Malinithan, is considered as one of the 51 sacred shakti peethas associated with the legend of goddess Parvati. The legend says that the head of the sati had fallen at this place. Malinithan and Akashiganga draw huge number of pilgrims and tourists from different parts of the country.

Arunachal PradeshThe latest surface discovery in the State is that of the tallest Shiva Linga in the world at Ziro in the Lower Subansiri district. The miraculous discovery of Shiva Linga happened in the holy month of Shravan in the year 2004 in the deep forest. It is believed that the appearance of the Linga at this place finds mention in chapter 17 of Rudra Khand of the Shiva Purana. The natural rock mass Shiva Linga is 25 feet high and 22 feet in circumference.  A constant stream of water flows beneath the Linga which is surrounded by other members of the Shiva parivar. The trunk of Lord Ganesha is in the front side while the goddess Parvati and Lord Kartikeya are on the back side in the form of smaller Lingas.

Sources have reported unearthing and discovery of idols and images of Hindu gods and goddesses in the fields and at various construction sites in the State. Some of the idols have been installed in the newly-built temples while local people worship the others at their homes. Archeological evidence corroborates the mythological legends and beliefs prevalent over the centuries.

The ‘Nehruvian policy’ in post-independent India encouraged various tribes in the State to grow as per their own genius and tradition overlooking the danger of complete annihilation of the existing cultural ethos. Subsequent decades witnessed intensive studies of various ethnic groups/tribes by the historians and scholars to the extent of projecting tribal religion as the only authentic form of religion in Arunachal Pradesh.

However, archaeological evidence and explorationsin in the recent past have established the presence of Hindu religion in Arunachal Pradesh dating back to many centuries. Concerted efforts are needed to historically evaluate and appropriately integrate these findings to reconstitute the ancient history of the State.

(The writer is a doctor with deep interest in the history and culture of India and is author of, ‘Arunachal Pradesh- Rediscovering Hinduism in the Himalayas’)

Courtesy- The Pioneer| 21 December 2017

Brave Indian force can defend our borders: Rajnath Singh

Brave Indian forces can defend our borders: Rajnath Singh on Doklam standoff

Indian security forces can defend the country’s territories bravely, said Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, August 21.

Brave Indian forces can defend our borders: Rajnath Singh on Doklam standoff

Indian security forces can defend the country’s territories bravely, said Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, August 21.

“Our security forces have all the power to protect Indian borders,” said Singh at an event organised by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). “Thought they’ll be cold and tired but the spirit I saw in them (security forces)! No one would dare raise eyes towards India. We have such brave soldiers.”

“I went to Ladakh once and had never experienced such harsh cold in life. I was told (ITBP) Jawans would meet me in morning,” recalled Singh, further adding the the government will make sure that “their promotions aren’t delayed.”

Speaking on the ongoing standoff between India and China at Doklam, the minister said, “There will be a solution soon and I am sure China will make a positive move.”

“India has never attacked any country, nor does it have an ambition to expand its borders. Security forces are equipped to handle any situation (at the border),” he further added.

The home minister said he wanted to convey a message to all neighbouring countries that India wanted peace.

The ITBP guards the 4,057 km long Sino-Indian border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area over the last two months.

China has been ramping up rhetoric against India over the last few weeks demanding immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam. The Chinese state media, particularly, have carried a barrage of critical articles on the Dokalam stand- off slamming India.

With Agency Inputs

-August 21, 2017, New Delhi


Pull back troops from Dokalam with ‘no strings attached’

Pull back troops from Dokalam with ‘no strings attached’: China to India

China on Wednesday said it has conveyed its firm stand to India that it must take “concrete actions” by immediately pulling back troops from Dokalam in the Sikkim section with “no strings attached” to resolve the current standoff.

Pull back troops from Doklam with 'no strings attached': China to India

China on Wednesday said it has conveyed its firm stand to India that it must take “concrete actions” by immediately pulling back troops from Dokalam in the Sikkim section with “no strings attached” to resolve the current standoff.

Providing the details of the July 28 meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and State Councillor Yang Jiechi for the first time, Chinese Foreign Ministry told PTI that the two officials exchanged views on BRICS cooperation, bilateral relations and relevant major problems.

Doval was in Beijing last month to attend the BRICS — Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa — NSA’s meeting.

Doval and Yang are also the Special Representatives of the boundary talks between the two nations.

Yang held bilateral meeting with Doval “at his request and in accordance with the practice”, the ministry said in a written reply to a question about the discussions relating to the standoff at Dokalam which began when China started constructing a road in the area.

“Yang Jiechi expressed China’s stern positions and explicit requirements on the trespass of Indian border troops into China’s territory at the Sikkim section of China-India boundary,” it said, indicating that there was no breakthrough during the talks between Doval and Yang.

India’s position on the issue was made clear by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj last month, saying both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place, favoring a peaceful resolution of the border standoff.

India also conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said during his talks with Doval, Yang also “urged India to respect China’s territorial sovereignty, the international law and the basic rules governing international relations and immediately pull back the trespassing India border troops to the Indian side of the boundary with no strings attached and resolve the current incident with concrete actions.”

The Foreign Ministry also posted a 15-page fact sheet with maps and other details about the standoff since it began on June 16.

Bhutan had protested to China, saying that the area belonged to it and accused Beijing of violating agreements to maintain status quo until it is resolved.

The fact sheet said on June 18 about 270 Indian troops entered more than 100 meters into the Chinese territory to “obstruct the road building of the Chinese side, causing tension in the area”.

“Over 400 people at one point, have put up three tents and advanced over 180 meters into the Chinese territory,” it said.

“As of the end of July, there were still over 40 Indian border troops and one bulldozer illegally staying in the Chinese territory,” it said.

New Delhi has expressed concern over the road building, apprehending that it may allow Chinese troops to cut India’s access to its northeastern states.

Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognizes as Dokalam, while China claims it as part of its Donglang region.

Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.

The fact sheet said the standoff occurred in an area where there is a clear and delimited boundary.

“This makes it fundamentally different from past frictions between the border troops of the two sides in areas with – boundary. The Indian border troops? crossing of the already delimited boundary is a very serious incident as it violates China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said.

The fact sheet said that no such attempt would be tolerated by any sovereign state.

“The fact of the matter is that it is India which has attempted time and again to change the status quo of the China-India boundary in the Sikkim Sector, which poses a grave security threat to China,” it said.

“The China-Bhutan boundary issue is one between China and Bhutan. It has nothing to do with India. As a third party, India has no right to interfere in or impede the boundary talks between China and Bhutan, still less the right to make territorial claims on Bhutan’s behalf,” the fact sheet added.

“No country should ever underestimate the resolve of the Chinese government and people to defend China’s territorial sovereignty. China will take all necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate and lawful rights and interests,” it warned.

“The incident took place on the Chinese side of the delimited boundary. India should immediately and unconditionally withdraw its trespassing border troops back to the Indian side of the boundary. This is a prerequisite and basis for resolving the incident,” it added.

The fact sheet said China values the growth of good- neighborly and friendly relations with India and is committed to maintaining peace and tranquility in the border area between the two countries.

-August 2, 2017, Beijing

Showing PoK, Arunachal Pradesh as not a part of India could lead to 7-year jail, Rs 1 crore fine

Showing PoK, Arunachal Pradesh as not a part of India could lead to 7-year jail, Rs 1 crore fine

Showing PoK, Arunachal Pradesh as not a part of India could lead to 7-year jail, Rs 1 crore fine


A draft legislation proposed by the Narendra Modi government will soon make it mandatory for any person or institution seeking to acquire and disseminate any geospatial imagery or data of any part of India through space or aerial platforms to first seek permission and license from a government authority.

According to a report in The Economic Times, those acquiring geospatial imagery of India without permission may end up paying a fine of up to Rs 1 crore besides a 7-year jail term.

The daily said that the Centre is mulling bringing the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, which is meant to regulate the acquisition, dissemination, publication and distribution of geospatial information of India. The Bill could mean that online platforms, such as Google, will have to apply for a license to run Google Maps or Google Earth in India.

Not only this, the Security Vetting Authority, to be set up by the government, will conduct “sensitivity checks” on the imagery in a bid to protect India’s security, sovereignty and integrity.

According to the draft, “No person shall acquire geospatial imagery or data including value addition of any part of India either through any space or aerial platforms such as satellite, aircraft, airships, balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles or terrestrial vehicles, or any other means whatsoever without general or special permission of the Security Vetting Authority.”

The Act will, however, not apply to Indian government bodies, reported the daily.

Meanwhile, a visiting Malaysian minister tendered an apology in New Delhi on Monday after an incorrect depiction of an Indian map in his presentation at a business event showed PoK as part of Pakistan that triggered strong protests from a section of the audience.

-May 5, 2016,New Delhi


Committed to provide stability: New Arunachal CM

Committed to provide stability: New Arunachal CM

“We are committed to providing stability,” said new Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul after a combined Congress-BJP government was sworn in late on Friday following 24 days of president’s rule.
The step comes after the Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the decks for the revocation of president’s rule in the state as it vacated its order of maintaining status quo passed on Wednesday.
The central government had on Wednesday recommended that president’s rule be lifted from the state. The decision was, however, held back in the wake of the apex court’s status quo order.
“We are committed to providing stability and working for the overall development of Arunachal Pradesh with utmost sincerity,” Pul told IANS after being sworn in as the ninth chief minister.
Governor J.P. Rajkhowa administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 47-year-old Pul at a ceremony at the Raj Bhavan, marking the historic coalition government involving the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The BJP, which has 11 members in the 60-member House Arunachal assembly, is extending outside support to Pul. Two Independent legislators are also supporting the 19 rebel Congress legislators.
But sources close to the rebel Congress camp claimed that nine Tuki’s loyalists are also set to shift their allegiance to Pul.
While former chief minister Mukut Mithi, also a Rajya Sabha member from Arunachal, was present in the ceremony, Nabam Tuki and his loyalists skipped the event.
However, Congress general secretary in-charge V. Narayanasamy described the formation of the new government as “highly illegal” and “unconstitutional” since Pul had not been elected as leader of the Congress Legislature Party.
“This political development in Arunachal Pradesh has proven that the BJP government was involved in destabilising the Congress government which has the mandate of the people,” the veteran Congress leader told IANS.
“The Congress cannot take the support of the BJP in forming a government. We don’t subscribe to the BJP’s ideology and therefore, the new government cannot be a Congress government,” he said.
However, Pasang Dorjee Sona, one of the 19 rebel Congress legislators, held Narayanasamy responsible for the political mess in the state.
“It was Congress leader Narayanasamy, in-charge of party affairs in the state, who is responsible for the political mess in the state. He never allowed us to meet and share our grievances with Congress president and vice-president,” Pasang told IANS.
“We have to work with the BJP in the interest of the people of the state and governance has nothing to do with political ideology. Good governance and the development of the state come first,” Pasang said.
Arunachal Pradesh BJP President Tai Tagak told IANS: “We have been playing a constructive role in the opposition and our duty is to protect the interest of the people and development of the state.
“We are extending outside support to the rebel Congress since we wanted a popular government to be in place and to serve our people and to ensure development.”
The BJP leader also blamed the Congress leaders in New Delhi for the political mess that forced the central government to enforced the president’s rule in the state.
“It is their own legislators who have revolted against Tuki for his financial mismanagement and corruption. They (congress leaders) should have resolved their internal problem but when the situation goes out of their hand how can they blamed the BJP for it,” Tagak said.
-20 February 2016 | IANS | Itanagar

Background of 4th International Tourism Mart, Gangtok, 14th–16th October, 2015

Background of 4th International Tourism Mart, Gangtok, 14th–16th October, 2015


The North Eastern region of India comprising the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, is endowed with diverse tourist attractions and products. The varied topography of the region, its flora and fauna, the ethnic communities with their rich heritage of ancient traditions and lifestyles, festivals, arts and crafts, make it a holiday destination waiting to be explored. With the objective of showcasing the largely untapped tourism potential of North Eastern region in domestic and international key markets, Ministry of Tourism in association with the North Eastern States organizes International Tourism Mart (ITM) in different North Eastern States on rotation basis. Considering the contiguous features of West Bengal with the north east, the State has been included in the Mart.

The numbers of Foreign Tourist Visits (FTVs) to North Eastern States during 2014 were 1.19 lakh with a high growth of 39.8% revealing a significant improvement in the growth of 27.9% in FTVs registered during 2013 over 2012. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd ITM was organized in Guwahati, Tawang and Shillong, respectively.

The 4th ITM is being organized in Gangtok, Sikkim during 14th – 16th October, 2015 by the Ministry of Tourism in association with the North Eastern States and West Bengal. International buyers and media delegates from 27 countries namely Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam and from different regions of the country will be participating in the Mart and will engage in business-to-business meetings with sellers from the North East Region and West Bengal. This will enable tourism product suppliers to reach out to international and domestic buyers and promote tourism in the region.

Besides the foreign delegates, domestic buyers from other parts of the country and sellers from the North Eastern States and West Bengal will be participating in the Mart. Representatives of State Tourism Departments of these States will also be present to showcase their tourism destinations and to interact with the delegates. In addition to the business meetings, the three day event will include presentations, cultural evenings, visits to local attractions in and around Gangtok and press meetings with the media. It will bring together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight north eastern States of India and West Bengal.

The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, Government agencies and others. Post-Mart Familiarization tours to the States in the region have been arranged by the State Governments for the overseas delegates from the 17th to 26th October 2015 to create awareness about the rich and varied tourism products of the region and give them first-hand knowledge and experience of the destination.