Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 - 6:23 AM
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Finding gainful employment

The honeymoon period for most of the 2,400 university graduates is over, with the national graduates orientation programme coming to an end yesterday.  Out of universities and colleges, and ready for the world of work, the NGOP, comes as a respite before they join the work force or, for some, the long queue for jobs. Beginning today, some will retire to the corners of their rooms to gear up for the civil service entry exams, while some will start the long march to landing a [... Read More]

Pilgrim’s progress

Unaware as they might have been, but much before the pilgrimage, the preparation for it has been one heck of a Buddhist teaching for most pilgrims bound for Singye Dzong. Well the teaching began with spouses having to part with one another, parents reluctantly having to leave their children home, grandparents looking after their grandchildren having to painfully tear themselves away from them. These are all a manifestation of the teachings of the Buddha himself, who in pursuit of truth, had himself experienced this very [... Read More]

Getting off to a slow start

In recent days, word is that the government is broke.  Too broke to even pay salaries and travel claims of civil servants on official tours. Fixed line telephones of some government agencies did play the familiar tune and voice when disconnected.  This, for some, was proof that coffers were empty. All this talk and speculation is linked to donor funds flowing into the country for the 11th Plan, particularly from India, Bhutan’s largest and most important development partner. There were those, who pointed out that [... Read More]

Prize, not price of “repeat” pledge

It is a cold elbow nudge educationists are rendering the government’s consideration to allow class X and XII students another shot at the board examinations, should they fall through in their first attempt. Some comments on online forums show disapproval for such a move that rests on the Cabinet table for passage through an executive order. Studies to date, it remains uncertain if there are any conducted so far and at what scale, might show repeating as a narrow strategy to improve results. But they, [... Read More]

The fuelwood paradox

There is reason to be happy in knowing that firewood or fuelwood consumption in Bhutan, which is one of the highest in the world, is decreasing. Bhutan is known for its environment conservation policy, and it does not bode well when we are up there with countries without sound environment regulations as the highest firewood consumer.  With an ambitious programme to electrify all households in the country by the end of this year, it will only be natural to see a further decrease in fuelwood [... Read More]

Breadthwise growth

That Bhutan needs to diversify its economic base for a number of reasons has been a concern expressed for many years now. With all the eggs in the hydropower basket policy, decision makers have long understood that, for a small landlocked import driven economy that is  dependent on a single export commodity had all kinds of risks. In recent years, investments in hydropower have increased and will continue in the years to come, with a ready market in power-starved India.  The benefits of these investments [... Read More]

The message

A lot was said in so little a time. Perhaps that is what could be said about the government’s first state of the nation report, which lasted slightly over an hour, unlike those of the previous government’s that exceeded more than three hours of detailed review of activities it undertook and plans and vision it held for the country. There was not much undertakings to report about anyway of a government that took the helm just two months or so ago. But what people across [... Read More]

The possibilities of free power

The rural poor have so much to look forward to from the government in the next five years. Apart from promising power tillers and Boleros in chiwogs and gewogs, the government is now exploring the possibility of providing 100 units of electricity, free of cost, to the rural poor.  They are also looking at providing a partial or full subsidy on electrical appliances used for cooking. This is welcome news and a good initiative, as we have in rural Bhutan people who cannot afford to [... Read More]

Mixed signals from economy

Several things about the Bhutanese economy are clear. One, it is import driven, because it does not produce or produce enough of most of the things it consumes whether it is rice or fossil fuel. Second, it is facing a shortage of the Indian Rupee (INR) because its rupee earning from hydropower and tourism and industries in the south is less than all the imports made from India.  Therefore, it has to borrow rupees from India to be able to pay for the imports. What [... Read More]

Look beyond today

Assembly deputy speaker had only to move a motion to amend some Acts in connection with Druk Phuensum Tshogpa president’s recent resignation to spark debates carrying subtle messages. Gauging from the debates on the issue, it sounded like one side felt its pride being thinned out with the former prime minister’s refusal to return in the opposition, while the other seemed to have reasons for the move its president made but chose not to delve into it. Such ambiance aside, the real issue was about [... Read More]

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