Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - 10:59 AM
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Food safety first

On World Health Day yesterday, Bhutan, or at least some Bhutanese, joined the international community is in observing the day.  The theme, ‘Food Safety’ was most relevant at home too. In Phuentsholing, where the event to mark the day was held, food safety was mostly focused on what is cooked and served.  This is important.  As the gateway to the country and a commercial hub, people from all walks of life throng Phuentsholing.  Not many have relatives or friends to pile on to.  Many are [... Read More]

For a bigger and safer airport

It was quite a spectacle for the thousands of people, who visited Paro over the weekend.  The Paro tshechu, the Royal flower exhibition and, to the surprise of many, all the seven aircraft operated by the two Bhutanese airlines were on the ground at the same time.

Digital or cultural challenge?

Google Apps is making the news in Bhutan today. The online office suite was employed to save government resource. Some 4,000 civil servants are taking advantage of it. How much have we saved so far, that is the question. And how? If our ministers and top officials can now keep track of their day’s schedule, we have not been mindful of our duties and responsibilities so far.

The Kopchey artifice

There is something fishy brewing in the hills of Chengmari, Samtse.  Villagers of Kopchey have refused to sign a clearance for a mining company to operate, fearing environmental damage and to their land and property. The mine is not new.  It started in 1997 and the license to mine was renewed in 2007.  In others words, there has been a lot of mining activity going on in the vicinity.  Realising the negative impact, and probably becoming wiser, the villagers have refused to sign the community [... Read More]

Bowing out gracefully

It was a simple occasion, when former judge Ugyen Tenzin surrendered his kabney and patang to the Royal Privy Council yesterday.  But there is more than just handing over a kabney and a patang. The judge is the second senior official to do so, bringing alive the tradition of Zhidu, a tradition where individuals, honoured with symbols of power and position, hand over the paraphernalia to the one who bestowed it.  The honours are bestowed to the position, and it is a wise decision to [... Read More]

Odious comparisons

The ranking of the country’s “best performing schools” is out.  Ten schools have held on to the top positions for the last three years. School management will be proud, parents who have students studying in these schools will be happy, and students themselves will be elated.  But wait!  Do we need such a ranking system to gauge our schools?  Are the methods adopted to assess schools fair?

The e-governance gambit

The government invested a lot of money on Google Apps and with very good intentions. Google Apps was going to make the way our government worked more efficient, by cutting down needless and wasteful bureaucratic procedures, and reducing our use of paper. Nearly a year later, it has done so to a very large extent and the government’s experiment with e-governance can safely and rightly be hailed a success.

In the interest of conservation

If the judiciary is known for going by the book of law, the first case to reach the “green bench” could concern the Shingkhar-Gorgan highway. This is because conservationists, who protested against road passing through a protected area, and the habitat of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger, lost to the powerful politicians.  Going by the Forest and Conservation Rules, 2006, construction of motor roads in a protected area is prohibited.

Reining in the national game

Official archery tournaments using traditional equipment will be different now on.  Archers are not allowed to use the coveted arrows that use Monal pheasant feathers as fletches. To save the endangered birds from being killed for their feathers, the association of indigenous games and sports had banned its use and will strictly monitor the same.  This is a simple but logical rule.  Simply put, we cannot kill birds, that too an endangered species, for sport.

A boost for the Bhutan for Life initiative

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay has returned from his 10-day trip to the United States a happy man.  There is every reason to be so. He visited the US to promote the Bhutan for Life initiative and solicit funds to make that happen.  At the end of the visit, Bhutan’s partners in this noble initiative, philanthropists and multinational corporations, together have already committed USD 40 million.

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