Four new branches of IIMC to come up next year, one in Mizoram

New Delhi, Aug 8 : Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), one of the renowned media institutes in the country, is all set to spread its wings across India with four new branches commencing next year.

Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni today announced this at the 43rd convocation of the institute.

''The four new chapters of IIMC will be established in Jammu and Kashmir, Kerela, Maharashtra and Mizoram for the session 2011-12,'' Ms Soni said.

Referring to the growth of the media industry in India, the Minister said, ''It is expected that in the year 2014 the compounded growth rate in this industry will be approximately around 13 per cent.'' She expressed hope that the growth will be in all the sectors of the industry -- broadcasting, print media, radio and animation.

With a special mention to the animation industry, Ms Soni reckoned that in the years to come, India would be the hub in animation.

''We hope that with an investment of Rs 52 crore through public-private partnership (PPP), India will be an animation hub including gaming and visual effects,'' she said.

MBDPF alleges conspiracy to create rift between Mizo-Brus

Agartala, July 27 (PTI) The Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF), an apex body of the Bru/Reang refugees, today alleged a conspiracy was being hatched to create rift between the Mizo and Bru communities and demanded the Superintendent of Police conduct probe into the matter.

In a letter addressed to the SP, North Tripura district, A Sawinbunga, General Secretary of MBDPF informed some leaflets with a malicious campaign against the MBDPF, were found in several places of Kanchanpur sub-division recently.

The leaflets, written in local dialect, reportedly read that Elvish Chorkhy, R. Laldawngliana and A. Sawibunga, all MBDPF leaders, are heading the Bru National Army (BNA) outfit and working to target Mizo people in near future which is potently untrue, the letter said.

Alleging the distribution of such leaflets triggered tension among Bru and Mizo communities in Kanchanpur sub-division, a team of MBDPF met the Officer in Charge (OC), Kanchanpur sub-division and handed over some leaflets to him.The letter, sent to the SP, called for a probe in the matter.

The letter alleged the move is aimed to destabilize the relations between Mizo and Reang (Bru) in the sub-division where more than 30,000 refugees had been sheltered due to ethnic strife in neighbouring Mizoram.

Tagore tome in Mizo


Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) has taken up a project to translate the Gitanjali into Mizo to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore.

The Rs 1.5-lakh joint venture between the RBU and Mizoram University will take off in November with March 2011 deadline. The initial print volume is 2,000 copies.

“Tagore has been translated into 20 European languages and nine Asian languages but unfortunately not in any of India’s north-eastern languages,” said Subir Dhar, the director of RBU’s School of Languages and Culture, who is at the helm of the project.

“The interesting part is that we will translate from both the Bengali and English versions of Gitanjali and not just from the English text, which is the base book for several translations,” he added.

The departments of English and Mizo of Mizoram University will collaborate with RBU on the project.

Mizoram University is hopeful of the project. “Though it is in the initial stage, there’s a possibility of including this translation in the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It will open up the scope of studying writers from other regions and not only those of Mizoram,” said Margaret Zama, the head of the department of English, Mizoram University.

Giving translation studies a boost, RBU has decided to offer a one-year postgraduate diploma course in ‘translation and transcultural studies’ from August this year.

“The course will be more practical than theory. Students will be encouraged to do translations and evaluate translations,” said Dhar.

Graduates can opt for either translation or transcultural studies after passing an entrance test. There will be 50 seats in this UGC-sponsored course, which, the RBU authorities believe, will open up job avenues for the students in the publishing, hospitality and tourism industries.

First indigenous ‘toned milk’ coming up in Mizoram

Aizawl | July 12: For the first time in the history of Mizoram a ‘toned milk”–a product of Mizoram Multi- Commodity Producers Cooperative Union ( MULCO) was launched in Aizawl by Lalriliani, president of Indian Society for Tobacco & Health (ISTH), Mizoram Chapter who is also the wife of chief minister Lalthanhawla on Saturday. Lalrinliani lauded the MULCO’s genuine initiatives in bringing out “toned milk” product for the larger interests of sound health and nutrition of the people.
Consultant, MULCO Ltd Rinzuala citing Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA), the Toned Milk has to possess the minimum 3% fats and 8.5 % SNF (Solid Not Fat). Officials revealing the dark side of its workers across the state said that milk producers under MULCO are struggling hard for survival against soaring prices and stiff competitors. Prices of commodities such as cattle feed and oil cake are comparatively higher in Mizoram than other states. In average, a single cow in Mizoram can produce eight litres of milk per day.
After paying for cow feed, oil cake, mineral, medicines and wages of labours, a dairy farmer virtually has no profit. To make matters worse, dairy brands like Amul and Nestle are selling their ultra high temperature (UHT) milk at much cheaper prices in Mizoram due to their lesser production cost. MULCO has been making all-out efforts to rescue the dairy farmers. MULCO was established in 1984 and the company is currently helping out as many as 330 cattle rearers in the state.
According to Varsi Consultancy, Mission Veng in Aizawl, each family in Aizawl consumes only 36 litres of milk in a month with 3% of it for drinking purpose and the rest for making dahi, paneer, lassi, sweets, ice cream et al. The survey also revealed that Aizawl’s requirement of milk on daily basis is 3076 litres worth Rs.8,20,000. MULCO has been selling out 7000- 8000 litres of milk on daily basis.
Meanwhile, the just launched ‘toned milk’ is priced at Rs.36- per litre and will be available in the markets from July 3 next. Other products launched by MULCO in recent times include pasteurized milk (regular), dahi, lasi, paneer, rasmallai, rasgulla, ghee and ice cream (5 flavours). During 2009- 10, the MULCO had notably purchased 23.33 lakh litres of milk worth Rs.58.95 lakhs from cattle rearers in the state. Currently, as many as 3 societies are affiliated under MULCO Ltd.

MBDPF to complete list of Bru refugees in relief camps

Mizoram Bru Displaced People's Forum (MBDPF) has been preparing the complete list of Bru refugees lodged in the six relief camps at Kanchanpur Sub-Division in North Tripura district and expected to complete the exercise within a week or two. Elvis Chorkhy, president of the MBDPF told PTI over phone
from Naisingpara relief camp, the largest Bru refugee camp, that some of the camps were yet to submit the lists while they expected to complete the lists within one or two weeks.

"The proformas distributed to the inmates of the camps wanted minute details of the family members including which village they want to resettle after their return to Mizoram," Chorkhy said.

The lists were classified into three categories those who left Mizoram in 1997, those who left Mizoram in 2009 and the members of the former Bru militants who had surrendered to the Mizoram government.

The head count of the Bru refugees would facilitate the repatriation of hundreds of Bru families who fled Mizoram due to communal flare-ups in 1997 and 2009 both triggered by murders of Mizos by Bru militants.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, when he visited Aizawl on May 25 last, urged the Bru leaders to ensure that all the refugees returned to Mizoram latest by October end.

Zero tolerance for extortion: Mizoram govt

Aizawl, Jul 9: Mizoram Home Minister R Lalzirliana today made it clear that the state government would not tolerate extortion in the name of ''donation''.

Concerned over the rampant cases of extortion from non-Mizos by different organisations, Mr Lalzirliana convened a meeting with different bodies on the issue.

''There is a good number of organisations formed by lazy people, who are trying to live on others' hard-earned money. These people have given a bad name to Mizoram and turned the otherwise peaceful state into a horrible land for non-Mizos,'' Mr Lalzirliana said.

It is alleged that a number of organisations, including some student bodies, are ''collecting donations'' from non-local traders. ''The government does not allow any kind of extortion, even if it is called donation. This is illegal. Anyone involved in this illegal activity will be dealth in accordance with the law,'' the Home Minister stated.

Mizoram CM greets Mizos on Peace Day

Aizawl, Jun 30 : Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla today extended his greetings to the Mizos on the eve of the 24th anniversary of the historic Mizo Peace Accord.

The Mizoram Accord was signed on June 30, 1986 between then outlawed Mizo National Front, led by Laldenga and the Union Government, ending one of the bloodiest insurgencies in the country.

In his message, the Chief Minister said his government gives top priority to the law and order situation so that the people of Mizoram can march forward to catch up with the rest of the country. Stating that his government remains committed towards promoting the welfare of the poor, Mr Lal Thanhawla said, the flagship New Land Use Policy that aims to uplift the poor is being launched.

''Under the NREGS and JNNURM, the government has been providing employment to the poor,'' he stated.

To generate more power, the government has vigorously pursued big projects like the 210 MW Tuivai Hydel project, 60MW Tuirial Hydel project and 460MW Kolodyne hydel project while smaller projects like 3MW Maicham II small hydel project and 12 MW Serlui B hydel project have been completed, the Chief Minister said.

Mizoram is one of the most peaceful states in India and the accord signed by MNF rebel leader Pu Laldenga with the Centre is often taken as a model for peace settlements in the trouble-torn northeastern states.

In the field of education, the government had taken major steps to impart quality education from primary to college level and to overtake Kerala in literacy. ''Mizoram has been declared the second best performing state in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan,'' he added. Sources said that the Mizo National Front party is gearing up to mark the occasion at the party headquarters Hnam Run in Aizawl. ''Several cultural activities and awareness campaigns will be held here and in party units across the state,'' MNF official said.

Among many others, the Mizoram government had taken major initiatives to explore the huge sports potential in Mizoram, the Chief Minister said.

The opposition Mizo National Front will separately observe Remna Ni or Peace Accord Day at its general headquarters office Hnam Run where party president and former Chief Minister Zoramthanga will address the party members.

The 'Remna Ni' (Peace Accord Day) is a landmark occasion for the people of Mizoram as they feel that it signalled renewal of hope for peace, progress and real development for Mizoram.

The political disturbances started during the tribulation of the bamboo flowering (Mautam) famine which left a deep scar on the minds of some Mizos and was interlinked with a secessionist movement that was to follow.

A voluntary organisation Mizo National Famine Front (MNFF) took up arms on February 28, 1966 in a bid to achieve its goal to separate the state from the India Union.

The Mizo hills were immediately declared a 'disturbed area' and security forces were inducted to maintain law and order.

The disturbances lasted for two decades during which the land had to weather many storms apart from lagging behind in the field of development.

Now 24 years down the line, the Mizo Peace Accord stands out as the most durable symbol of peace and progress, earning Mizoram a sobriquet of Island of Peace in the trouble-torn Northeast India.