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Editorial

Narrowing the gaps

The government’s decision to form the pay commission at the earliest has come as good news for the civil servants. With the last pay revision leaving many disgruntled, the government’s decision has revived the hope that may be this time the revision would be real for the civil servants and …

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Beyond 50 years of Bhutan-India relations

Of the many events organised so far to celebrate the 50th year of Bhutan-India diplomatic relations, both in the country and abroad, the one that happened at Madarihaat, India recently was by far the most meaningful and heart-warming.   It was meaningful and heart-warming because the celebration involved the peoples …

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The transition period

Since the government assumed office two weeks ago, it has been engaged in a marathon of orientation programmes and courtesy call on meetings. This is a good practice to orient the cabinet ministers and the members of parliament on the issues of governance. A priority for the government is the …

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Weighty issue of school bags?

Our children are carrying heavy bags to school and back. This is despite Royal Education Council’s (REC) recommendation to the dzongkhag and thromde schools to put in place appropriate strategies to reduce the weight of bags that students carry to school. REC’s findings were based on a survey conducted for …

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How are we answering nature’s call?

Although we have made significant progress in little more than a decade’s time, sanitation and hygiene is still a problem in this country. Today, 80 gewogs in 10 dzongkhags today have a flush toilet. The World Toilet Day in Tsirang yesterday gave us some picture of where we are and …

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Newborn mortality and care

According to health experts, 15.4 percent of all under-five deaths occur due to preterm birth-related complications, making it the leading cause of under-five mortality. However, in Bhutan, we do not even have a reliable preterm birth rate or data concerning outcome of preterm babies. Morbidity and mortality patterns of preterm babies have …

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Community vitality disappearing?

Far away in Shah Alam, Malaysia, an international conference on Gross National Happiness is going on. Community vitality, one of the nine domains of GNH, is the theme of the conference. From the GNH perspective, it is one theme that we should be looking deeper even at home. This is …

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Considering happiness

What is Gross National Happiness? If we asked this question to our own people here at home, likely no straight answers would be forthcoming. And this development philosophy is travelling the world. The development philosophy in itself is not wrong. It is indeed very beautiful. We have been fortunate that …

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Prioritising special education needs

Education ministry has started a special education needs (SEN) programme in Damphu Lower Secondary School in Tsirang. According to a recent disability prevalence report, Tsirang has the highest stage II disability at 33 percent in children between 2 and 9 years of age. What SEN programme promises is empowerment of …

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Thoughts on our future

With the kind of Internet services available in the country, for Bhutan to be top Internet addicted country among Southeast Asian nations is amazing. According to a study conducted by a team of doctors, at least four out of 10 adolescents are addicted to Internet in Bhutan. What does it …

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We can and should minimise medical errors

Medical errors could be the biggest killer in Bhutan after noncommunicable diseases like stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory, and alcohol-related diseases. Sadly, however, medical errors and their causes are least studied and understood in the country due to lack of data, inexperienced staff, inadequate skills, influences of traditional beliefs and practices. …

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More than a political promise

Despite laws and commitments to do more both at home and abroad, we continue to fall short in protecting our children from violence. Sexual abuse against children remains prevalent in the country and the way we are handling it shows that we are doing little to address this issue. Earlier …

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Setting the right precedent

As we welcome the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) to form the government for the next five years, it is an opportune time to introspect the journey the country has undertaken under democracy for the last 10 years. It is a good time to assess the successes and failures, and make …

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