Saturday, November 29th, 2014 - 2:24 AM
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Over to youth

Bhutan’s voter population is increasing.  By the next round of local government elections in 2016, there will be 44,500 new voters qualified to vote for the first time. If that is a huge number, there will be more by the third parliamentary elections in 2018.  We have a relatively young population.  If half of our population is below the age of 25 years, 30 percent of the population was made up of children below 15 years, according to the Bhutan Living Standard Survey. Most in [... Read More]

RCSC cracks the whip

Of late, some civil servants have been busy filling the daily log of activity form, apart from their daily task.  This is one of the many activities the royal civil service commission has undertaken as part of the organisational development exercise. The exercise will show how much a civil servant is occupied from 9 am to 5 pm.  In other words, how much they are really doing in a day, and how it compares to their terms of reference or job responsibilities. The first reaction, [... Read More]

Victory over poverty

Going by the poverty assessment report, extreme poverty can be a thing of the past by 2036.  It sounds a long way off, but given that planned developments started only in the 1960s, it will be quite an achievement. What is more commendable is that some Bhutanese will see the country eradicate extreme poverty in their generation.  The elder generation will vividly recall how they lost family members before the age of 50, how mothers or children died at birth, and formal schooling was mostly [... Read More]

Moral standards on social media

By sundown yesterday, the photo of a young couple that committed suicide went viral.  Those on social media were recipients of the graphic photo, either willingly or unwillingly. There was no control on social networking sites; because of the interconnectivity between friends and friends of friends, it showed up.  Those receiving the image were disturbed, but even so, links were shared and comments made.   A lot of questions asked too.  One would be, ‘Who would do this?’  The ethics of the person(s) uploading the [... Read More]

Educate people about social media

Social media is a powerful tool.  It has power.  And power, as you know, can be used either ways – for good and for bad. The opposition party Druk Phuensum tshogpa (DPT) suing Dasho Benji for ‘defamation’ is not a new case.  It is not an unexpected case, and it will not be the last case either.  The number of defamation charges so far is countable, but this will change.  With increasing number of Bhutanese going online, it is expected to grow. Making defamatory remarks, [... Read More]

A noble initiative, but …

There are more than a thousand jobs on offer from the labour ministry under its guaranteed employment programme.  Surprisingly, there are not many takers. This has lead to employment officials in the ministry feingel that jobseekers are not serious about employment.  They are right.  If there are serious jobseekers, affected by the rising unemployment problem, the ministry should be overwhelmed with applications. That is not happening.  Are our youth not desperate for jobs?  At least employment officials are starting to feel that.  The programme, initiated [... Read More]

The kidnapping racket

One thing is clear from the recent incidence of people from across the border kidnapping hapless Bhutanese citizens.  Security along the borders should be a priority for the government, both local and central, and with a red-flag urgency. As if to thumb their noses at our government and security forces, another two men were kidnapped even as the four Norbugang residents were returned.  The incident happened on the same day. This says a lot of things.  The miscreants were not deterred by the recent events, [... Read More]

Risks of home deliveries

One in every four women prefers to deliver at home. The numbers have been decreasing compared with the past.  In 2000 about 20 percent preferred to institutional deliveries. This increased to 74 percent in 2012. But these are numbers and somehow fail to relay the humane aspects related to complications that can be faced during and after delivery. Most recently, a woman almost lost her life, after she failed to deliver placenta which resulted into postpartum bleeding. What was supposed to be a few hours [... Read More]

What’s the big deal?

To the average Bhutanese, who has not been to any trade fair outside the country, the idea of one would be a shopping spree – at an inflated price. This is the image the ongoing trade fair can impose on visitors, as there is not much to be exposed to, or learn from, the fair.  It is no exaggeration to say that the trade fair organised every year in the country will be remembered for the bura kiras, statues, carpets, kitchen wares, toys and cane [... Read More]

A shot in the arm for Art

Voluntary Artists’ Studio of Thimphu (VAST) – Bhutan getting registered as a civil society organisation (CSO) is another feather in the cap worn by the art community. It should be so for the nation as well, for without art, what is life? This is not a random statement, for what truly is a society and its culture, tradition and values, if not for the creative processes and products to reflect, document and share it? For the art community, which extends beyond VAST, its studios, galleries [... Read More]

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