Friday, April 18th, 2014 - 2:09 AM

PM begins 6-day visit to India

IMG_5827Welcome: The Indian foreign secretary, Sujatha Singh, calls on Lyonchhoen Tshering Tobgay at The Leela Palace in New Delhi yesterday

Ties: Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, who arrived in New Delhi yesterday on his first foreign visit after taking office, will meet Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today to finalise India’s assistance to Bhutan’s 11th Plan.

Bhutan has proposed for an assistance of Rs 45B in the form of program grant, project-tied assistance and small development projects in the 11th Plan.  Bhutan has also requested for Rs 5B outside the plan as a stimulus [... Read More]

Slim agenda for first session

Just one Act (tenancy) to be amended and one Bill (RTI) to be passed will be tabled

Parliament: Only two bills will be introduced during the first sitting of country’s second Parliament, which will start exactly a week from today.

Going by the National Assembly agenda, there will be a motion to review and amend the tenancy Act by works and human settlement minister, and the information and communications minister will introduce the right to [... Read More]

A judicial take on environmental challenges

Rroundtable: More than 60 chief justices, senior judges and experts on environmental justice from SAARC countries are discussing the state of  South Asia’s environment, laws and challenges in Thimphu.

Jointly organised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and judiciary of Bhutan, the 2nd South Asia judicial roundtable on environment justice will consider common environmental challenges in the region, share experiences, and discuss opportunities for cooperation between judiciaries to enhance environmental adjudication and enforcement.

They will [... Read More]

Securing broadband accounts

The ISP has come up with a system that can nip misuse in the bud

Druknet: In response to increasing incidents of broadband accounts being misused, internet service provider (ISP) Druknet has operationalised a system that can track and identify those that access accounts they are not authorised to.

The misuse of internet broadband accounts has been a problem the ISP has had to deal with for a number of years.  Most recently in May, [... Read More]

Rise in dollar rate offsets drop in tourist numbers

IMG_2373Tourist stop at Tamcho lhakhang along Thimphu-Paro highway

Competition from Sri Lanka and Myanmar have eaten into Bhutan’s market 

Tourism: Despite a drop in tourist arrivals this year, the increasing USD rate has come as a great respite to the tourism industry.

Compared to the previous years, the industry has witnessed a drop this year, with major festivals like the Paro tshechu in April and Thimphu tshechu next month failing to draw any crowd unlike past years, say tour operators.

The drop is attributed [... Read More]

Native equivalent of Paracetamol

IMG_5646A-gar So Nga tablets

A pill or powder that is as much a panacea as its more famous counterpart

A-gar So Nga: Similar to the all-purpose analgesic Paracetamol, prescribed by modern medics, is an indigenous medicine called A-gar So Nga prescribed to patients with various ailments.

The brown bitter medicine, with a traditional incense-like smell, is in the form of a tablet. It was produced in Bhutan in 1968 and is the first traditional medicine to be produced.  A-gar [... Read More]

Taking stock of the HIV/AIDS status in the country

With the core mandate to formulate policies and advice the government for prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections in the country, 15th National HIV/AIDS commission (NHAC) met in Thimphu yesterday.

During the meeting, the national HIV/AIDS and STIs control program under public health department has appraised members on the status of HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country, with the key highlights of the program achievements, gaps and way forwards.

It has also sought commission’s endorsement and [... Read More]

Drop-in centre sees mixed results

IMG_4556Face to face: Lham Dorji counsels a visitor

Success stories have been few and far between as not many wish to be associated with the place

YDF: While a drop in centre for youth was established about four years back in Bumthang, not many step in, for there is stigma tied to seeking help.

The centre, staff said, was looked at as a place where addicts and substance abusers go.

“Visiting the centre for help is a stigma,” coordinator and counsellor Lham Dorji said. [... Read More]

106M grant for 11 projects

The Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC) signed agreements with Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) to provide Nu 106M to support 11 projects.

The 11 projects with agriculture ministry, education, economic affairs and Royal Society for Protection of Nature were approved and formalised by the BTFEC’s board in May 2013.

These projects include promoting the use of rural biomass energy, developing and integrating environmental science in the education curriculum, establishment of urban park at Langjophakha, initiation [... Read More]