Guinness Record on Highest Guitar Ensemble

After setting Guinness Record on Highest Drum Ensemble during the Autumn Festival last year, MTDF (Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum) has put another feather in the cap by setting a new Guinness Record on Highest Guitar Ensemble during this Autumn Festival 2007-Rhythms of Meghalaya.

The record earlier set by 1721 guitarists on June 3, 2007 at Kansas City, US strumming Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” was broken by an ensemble of 1730 guitarists strumming Bob Dylan’s classic number ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ for more than five minutes in perfect rhythm at J.N. Stadium, Shillong, Meghalaya on October 26th.

Kudos to MTDF for setting this new record. Now after Highest Drum and Guitar Ensemble, what next?

Read more about this event here & here.

Arunachal Pradesh- An Independent Nation or Chinese Territory?

Well, if you ‘fly to’ Arunachal Pradesh in Google Earth, you will find Arunachal Pradesh as an independent nation and if you zoom in on- as a part of Chinese Territory. This was what I found out in Google Earth today, when I decided to check out Arunchal Pradesh on Google Earth after reading this.

Initially, I thought, may be after admitting their mistake in depiction of Arunachal Pradesh, Google Earth might have made the correction but as of today, the error in depiction of boundaries has not been corrected yet. Check out the snap shots below:

Arunachal Pradesh depicted as an Independent Nation

Hey! Where is Tirap & Changlang?

After seeing the snapshots above, I guess you might be wondering-this is not the Arunachal I know of. Where is Tirap & Changlang and parts of Siang, Dibang and Lohit Districts? Hopefully, Google Earth will rectify the error soon.

Arunachal Pradesh Small Hydro Power Policy-2007

The State Government has promulgated a new hydro policy called Small Hydro Power Policy-2007, to develop around 2000 MW of hydro power from small hydro projects to be built by private developers under Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis. Under this policy, hydro power projects of capacity ranging from 1kW to 25 MW would be taken up. Some of the salient features of this policy are:

Processing fee: No processing fee would be required for projects between 1kW to 1MW. However, for projects above 1 MW but below 5 MW an amount of INR 25,000/- would be charged as processing fee. INR 30,000/- would be charged for projects from 5 MW to 10 MW whereas for projects above 10 MW and upto 25 MW the processing fee would be INR 50,000/-

Free Power: Those private developers undertaking the projects under this policy has to provide ‘free power’ to the state at the rate of 5 percent for projects from 1 kW to 5 MW and at the rate of 8 percent for projects between 5 MW to 25 MW. However, the local developers are exempted from this free power to the state for projects up to 5MW. There would be concession on free power for 3 years for project between 1 kW to 5 MW, 2 years for projects from 5 MW to 10 MW and 1 year for project above 10 MW.

Transmission Lines: The developers has to lay it’s own transmission line to feed the state grid from their power house.

Revenue: Revenue would be collected by the developers from the villagers where their power is fed.

Selection of Developer’s: Through a ‘single window’ selection system with high level selection committee constituted by the state government. After 30 days of selection of the developer, MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) has to be entered into by the developer and the state government.

Reservation Policy: There would be reservation for local developers as per the prescribed norms of the MoU’s signed earlier on Mega Projects. [????]

No doubt, as the government puts it, the promulgation of Small Hydro Power Policy-2007 would facilitate employment and business opportunities for local developers but the question that comes to mind is-why at this stage? When so many mega projects have been awarded to PSU’s and IPP’s and when the 12 percent free power that the state would get from these mega projects would be more than sufficient for the total power requirement of the state; what’s the need for going for development of small hydro projects? Is it because of the Environmental Concerns or there are other reasons? The Government spokesperson Tako Dabi says in this regard-

“The policy was needed as the state government was unable to provide power from mega projects to remote villages.”

But ‘Why’? Why can’t power be provided from the Mega Projects to remote villages? Is it because that necessary infrastructure has not been laid to bring power to the villages? Then what about RGGVY (Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyitikaran Yojana) scheme under which each and every villages has to be electrified by the year 2010? Where has the money that state gets as a 90% grant under RGGVY (Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikarn Yojana) scheme to lay necessary infrastructure to get the villages electrified, gone?

And if there is no proper transmission and distribution network how could development of small hydro projects help in electrifying the villages? (The Small Hydro Power Policy doesn’t mention if one has to lay the distribution network also, apart from transmission line to be connected to state grid. )

Nevertheless, this policy has opened up opportunity for unemployed local engineers to become an entrepreneur and be part of state development; provided the government is true to it’s policy of ‘single window clearance system’.

Related readings:

Hydroelectricity at Arunachal Pradesh-I
12 pc free power…Is it really free?

Was the Bangkok trip a success story or a farce?

Neglected, step-motherly attitude, lackadaisical attitude-these are the oft-repeated terms that we generally would be using against the Central Government for whatever state of development we are in. But, Hey! Wait. Isn’t it always easy to put the blame on others? Does the Central Government really at fault for overlooking the region? May be, but the question that comes to mind is- Are we really game for the development? It doesn’t seem so, when you look at the outcome of the four days North-East India Trade and Investment Opportunities Week at Bangkok; in Arunachal’s perspective.

To showcase the states potentials in the four day North-East India Trade and Investment Opportunities Week organized by DoNER Ministry in association with Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) at Bangkok from 1-4 October, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu led a contingent of whopping 32 delegates, of which 26 were MLA’s and rest party workers to that Business Conclave, making me wonder why local entrepreneurs were not made the part of the team. The delegates returned after the summit and CM announced with much aplomb that the show was a huge success with Arunachal Pavillion drawing huge attention, industrial houses showing interest in the state and a probable visit by Thai Delegates during the month of January or February to explore the investment opportunities.

“Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu informed that a high level Thai Ministrial delegation would visit Arunachal early next year to find out investment opportunities.”

-The Arunachal Times

Going by the statement of CM or what was made to believe through the local media, the first impression was-Hey! the Bangkok trip was a huge success evincing interest in the Thai industrial houses to invest in the state. Soon we would be having a huge FDI inflow and may see a spurt in development in the state. But was it a success story indeed?

Though the Bangkok trip was made out to be a huge success story, what amazed me was when Assam delegates led by it’s oh! so dynamic power minister Pradyut Bordoloi (I had this chance to audience him during the North East Power Mart 2007 at Kolkata and how I wished we had some legislators like him) was able to come up with FDI of more than 10 million USD for his state and 26 MoU’s signed during the summit what held our state back not to clinch even a single business deal? Was our team not competent enough to project our state as a state with huge investment potential in terms of infrastructural development, hydropower, agro-based industries, horticulture etc., during the summit? Or was it that it was just a pleasure trip rather than business for them, contrary to what the press release said?

“Overall the event ended with a very promising note and especially Arunachal Pradesh gained a lot with this exposure. In an informal chat with the Arunachal delegates later, Chief Minister congratulated all for showing the world that we are not here for the pleasure trip but we meant business and we achieved it.”

-Arunachal Front

But did they really meant Business? Going by what Patricia Mukhim writes in, it is apparent that the Arunachal delegates were least bit interested in the Business summit; rather they were more interested in vacationing. Khandu himself absconded after inaugural session. With that attitude, no wonder why the delegation led by Khandu was not able to clinch any business deal.

So, it was not a business trip after all but a pleasure trip for the politicians and their families and the entire success story that was splashed over local dailies was a farce.

Voice of Apatani

No, it’s not a forum of the Apatani’s as you might think, but a singing talent hunt platform.

Seems like the craze that talent hunt shows like Indian Idol 3, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa or the Voice of India generated, has seized the psyche of people of this sleepy little town of Hapoli-Ziro to launch it’s own miniature version of the talent hunt called Voice of Apatani.

The event is being organized under the banner of Apatani Youth Association (AYA) from 18th November, 2007 to 31st December, 2007. The rules are simple-If you are an Apatani, has attained the age of 15 years and has a flair for singing then you can register your name for participation before 5th of November, 2007; though the professionals (singer) are excluded from participation. For audition you have to prepare two songs-one in Apatani and the other in Hindi. And those selected for top 20 has to deposit a non-refundable amount of INR 2,000.00/-; which I seem not to understand why? When asked, the organizing Chairman told that since they have to arrange orchestra and accommodation for the participants, they are charging this non-refundable fee of INR 2000/- from the top 20 participants.

So what’s the catch? The winner takes away INR 50,000/- as prize money besides a contract for cutting an album and the runners-up bag INR 20,000/- as prize money and an one album contract.

For more details, contact the Organizing Chairman Millo Tamang at +919436230319 or see the contact details at the poster above.


Terit Nagar(Jairampur), 11 Oct’ 07: Fortunately, the patience of the masses has been rewarded. Finally, after days of uncertainties and rescheduling, the Public Leaders, the Government Officials, the Students Fraternity and the General Public of Nampong, Manmao and Jairampur Circles has the privilege to hearken and espy their proficient leader and the head of the state, the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Mr.Dorji Khandu, who is in his maiden trip of Jairampur after taking office as the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Earlier, when he was a Cabinet Minister, he visited Jairampur and Nampong as a Chief Guest to grace the mammoth and magnificent Moh-Mol festival. Subsequently without further delay, he straightway proceeded to lay the foundation stone of Additional Deputy Commissnor Office at Terit Nagar and fulfilled the long awaited proposal of the local citizens. As a matter of fact, the establishment of Additional Deputy Commissnor Office in the province will facilitate the inhabitant of the four circles in magnitude regarding all round development of the territory and other imperative official’s works for which the general public have to travel towards distant district Headquarter- Changlang, which causes huge predicament and mount the financial crisis of the poor villagers and the students as the traveling and lodging expanses magnifies manifold.

Thereafter, the Hon’ble Chief Minister advanced ahead to address the massive throng who were waiting and preparing for this propitious day since a month. In his inaugural speech, the Hon’ble Chief Minister extended his greetings to the gathering. He stressed further in his speech that the opening of border trade with neighboring countries will definitely upgrade the stagnant economy of Changlang district in particular and Arunachal Pradesh in general. He favored and supported the concept of “Look East Policy” of the Central Government which enables India to expand its trade and commerce affinity with the South East Asian countries. He also appreciated the perception of promoting eco-tourism in the district because the eco-tourism industry has the feasibility to elevate greater height and minimize the employment tribulation of the state. He inched further and focused to fabricate and meliorate the standard of infrastructure for eco-tourism so that utmost backpackers from India and abroad influx the region and contribute to accelerate the constant economy of the district and the state. He concluded his address by complimenting the mass convention and installed hope by announcing development schemes and allotting fund for the district.

In addition the Hon’ble Speaker, Mr. Setong Sena, forwarded his gratitude towards the Hon’ble Chief Minister for his stopover at his constituency.” The inauguration of ADC complex is a blessing for the people of the region,” He added. He continued that the tourism industry plays pivotal role in bolstering the economy of the modern world. Thus, the state should initiate and sponsor such projects in district level and the state resources be utilized appropriately to create more employment prospects for the educated unemployed youths. Certainly, tourism industry is one of the most feasible industries in the world and it has immense potential to spread out in Arunachal Pradesh because the shrouded paradise is conspicuous and marked as the 10th bio-diversity hot spot in the world. He elaborated further that the tourism should be introduced in the grass root level so that entire populace gets a piece of pie from this major change over.

In his address Mr.Tsering Gyurme, Chief advisor to HCM, suggested all the villagers to concentrate in orange orchards & tea cultivation plantation etc. as the soil of the territory is also favorable for horticulture and agriculture.