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Exit the Dog, Enter the Pig! 

With the Year of the (Earth) Pig upon us, we take one last look at Asia’s winners and losers in the year that was. In the Year of the Dog, who was up and who was down? Readers may well be surprised by the relative positions of China’s and Malaysia’s leaders …

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The four pillars of Eastern tourism?

A disappointed tourist at the locked gate to Yongphula airport

In a recent Kuensel article, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that to develop tourism in the Eastern sector, more research is required. “We cannot send equal number of tourists to all the areas, but what we can do is send more tourists to areas where they are willing to go…” “…where they …

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Winter camp for highland schoolchildren

JICA Bhutan Office hosted the Winter Camp for Highland Children from Lunana Primary School from January 10 -16 January at the Technical Training Institute, Punakha. With the successful completion of the whole program without any injury or trouble incurred to the 32 participating children, I would like to thank all …

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Saving Bhutan’s forest

Underdeveloped and lacking capital, Bhutan saw its forest resource as a low-hanging fruit in the early period of modernization. The 1974 National Forest Policy ruled: A major share of the contribution to the national exchequer will have to be from forests. Therefore, the starting premise of this policy should be …

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Reflections on the three elections gone by

With the 2018 polls way behind us, and with three elections on our back now, it is time we reflect on how an important element of our democracy project – the electoral process, could be fine-tuned as we move forward. It is my assumption that 10 years is long enough …

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An insight into the construction industry of Bhutan: Part III

The dilemma of construction waste The rapid development and construction activities have led to rampant disposal of construction wastes in undesignated places. Although regulations in the Waste Prevention and Management Regulation 2012 indicate legislations to control illegal disposal of waste, construction waste is generally treated similarly to household waste by …

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Smooth sailing on the “Seven C’s”

Austin, Texas – the place that I call “home” – has undergone a radical metamorphosis over the past five decades, from what was admittedly a provincial capital city in the 1960’s to what is now considered the number 1 place in the US to launch a “start-up” business.  This transformation, …

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An insight into the construction industry of Bhutan: Part II

Unreasonable tender quotes tarnish quality of work  The Annual Report 2018 states that in an analysis of Large and Medium Contractors, on an average, 7 bidders have participated for a single work, and of the total works, 93% of the works were awarded below the estimate at an average quotation …

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Connecting Shingkhar and Gorgan: Our Challenges

Road Networks in  Bhutan The Road Classification System of Bhutan approved in June 2017 defines the primary national highways with the traffic volume of more than 200 vehicles per day, formation width of 10.5meters and carriageway of 7.5meters; and the secondary national highways with traffic volume between 100-200 vehicles per …

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An insight into the construction industry of Bhutan: Part I

While the world prepares to extend the technological revolution and usher into the so called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, embracing the use of a fusion of technologies including artificial intelligence to increase efficiency in the delivery of output, and alter entire systems of production and management, the global construction industry, however, …

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Dzongkha is more than a language

Language is not only a medium of communication – in that you don’t learn a language just to be able to communicate with someone. Language is a bearer of culture and cultural values, it is a conveyor of feelings and belief systems. And language provides the key to unlock the …

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A close-up dig at the life of our roadside workers

It is estimated that there are about close to 2,450 roadside workers as part of the national workforce in the country, which is 0.32% of the country’s population.  This group of the national workforce that is scantly spread across the country continue to form the cornerstone workforce fervidly engaged in their own style and …

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