NC lawmakers' busy schedule defers discussion on medical education bill

    Post Report, Nov 18 2018

    A subcommittee under the Education and Health Committee of the House of Representatives on Sunday failed to discuss the National Medical Education Bill due to busy schedule of Nepali Congress lawmakers.

    Lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai informed the discussion was deferred again for few more days as Nepali Congress lawmakers in the sub-committee are heading outside the valley for party works. The discussion was previously scheduled for November 1 but was deferred for today due to lack of quorum after majority of the sub-committee members did not show up.

    The sub-committee meeting today decided to begin discussion on the bill from November 25. It also appointed lawmaker Bhairav Bahadur Singh as its coordinator. Lawmaker Bhattarai said the report will now be prepared so as to table it on the first meeting of the winter session of the parliament.

    The parliamentary Education and Health Committee had formed the sub-committee to prepare a report on the bill following discussion with concerned stakeholders.

    The bill was tabled in the Parliament to address the concerns of Dr Govinda KC, who has campaigning for reforms in the country’s medical education sector. It has proposed 10 year-moratorium on establishing medical colleges in the Valley, one of the key demands of Dr KC. The bill also provisions 75 percent scholarships in government medical colleges, setting up at least one state-run teaching hospital in each province, and making it mandatory for a medical college to operate a hospital for three years before getting an affiliation to run MBBS courses.

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    New bill to fix scholarship terms renegers

      Binod Ghimire, Nov 18 2018

      Graduates who studied on government scholarship but failed to serve the country as committed might lose their passport soon.


      The Federal Education Bill, ready to be registered in the federal parliament, proposes scrapping the passport or not renewing it if a graduate refuses to serve the country, violating the bond singed while being awarded the scholarship.


      The measure comes amid the growing tendency among students of defying the agreement after completing their study. Students studying technical subjects on government scholarship have to serve two to five years in the designated places as part of their bond. They are paid in accordance with the government’s scale for their service.


      However, a significant number of students tend to go abroad once they complete their study.


      Every year, hundreds of students complete their bachelor or master courses at the government’s expense.


      The number of youths studying MBBS with state funding is around 300 annually while their number in engineering education is three times.


      Hundreds of others get scholarships to study agriculture and forestry, among other technical subjects, every year. All the students sign a bond before receiving the scholarships.


      Guidelines are in place to enforce the bond but they are ineffective. Acts, passed by Parliament, give the government more legal authority.


      The bill requires the graduates studying in scholarship quotas to report
      to the government entity concerned within three months of completing their study. They are then deputed mainly to rural areas to work for a maximum of five years.
      “The government can even cancel their passports or deny new ones if one is found not complying with the terms of the bond,” reads the draft law.


      It also authorises the government to recover the expenses from the defiant graduates. On an average, the government spends over Rs3 million on one studying MBBS while it’s around Rs800,000 for an engineering student. A technical team will be formed to determine the compensation amount, according to the bill.


      Non-issuance or cancellation of passport doesn’t stop the government from claiming the cost, says the bill, which will come into effect once the federal parliament endorses it.

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      Meeting delays frustrate ruling party leaders

      TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu, Nov 18 2018
      As the ruling party leadership adopts a “delaying tactic”, Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders have warned against further delays in holding key meetings.

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      Global consensus on employers bearing migrant hiring costs

      CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu, Nov 18 2018
      There is growing consensus on providing much-needed respite for migrant workers, who are compelled to pay hefty fees while processing for jobs abroad.

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      RPP leaders appeal for solidarity with unification campaign

      Post Report, Kathmandu, Nov 18 2018
      Leaders campaigning for unification of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) have issued an appeal for solidarity with the campaign to unify three factions of the party.

      full story »

      Main News

      CIAA files corruption case against three

      Post Report, Nov 18 2018
      Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Sunday filed corruption case against three persons in Special Court for irregularities in construction of physical properties in Mithila Region.
      full story »

      Encroachers usurp over 1,400 sq km forest land in Kailali

      ARJUN SHAH, Nov 18 2018
      More than 1,400 square kilometres of forest land in Kailali district have been encroached upon in the last six decades, according to forest officials.
      full story »

      Construction of integrated settlement for quake-hit people in Laprak delayed

      HARIRAM UPRETY, Nov 18 2018
      The construction of integrated settlement for earthquake-hit people of Laprak in Gorkha district has been delayed.
      full story »

      Money

      World

      Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament on Friday night and called a general election for Jan. 5 in a move that will likely deepen the country’s political crisis.

      The dissolution, which is expected to be challenged in court, was revealed in an official gazette notification signed by Sirisena which also set the next sitting of parliament for Jan. 17.

      The move comes after an intense power struggle in the past two weeks which followed Sirisena’s sudden sacking of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the appointment of former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, a pro-China strongman, in his place.

      Following the sacking, the president suspended parliament in a move which Wickremesinghe said was intended to prevent the ousted prime minister from contesting the decision in the legislature.

      Later Sirisena agreed to reconvene parliament on Nov. 14, but that will now not happen.

      Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate the official prime minister’s residence saying he is the prime minister and had a parliamentary majority.

      Before he signed the papers dissolving parliament and calling the election, Sirisena appointed allies of his and of Rajapaksa to cabinet positions.

      “This is a gross violation of the constitution,” Harsha De Silva, a lawmaker in Wickremesinghe’s party, told Reuters in reference to the dissolution of parliament.

      Independent legal experts had told Reuters that parliament could be dissolved only in early 2020, which would be four-and-half-years from the first sitting of the current parliament. The only other legal ways would be through a referendum, or with the consent of two thirds of lawmakers.

      Given those views, it was not immediately clear how Sirisena can legally dissolve parliament, though his legal experts have said there are provisions for him to do so.

      Sri Lanka’s Election Commission was quoted in some local media as saying that it will seek a Supreme Court opinion before conducting the election.

      Sirisena also put the police and government’s printing office under his defense portfolio, local media reported.

      Ajith Perera, a lawmaker of the Wickremesinghe-led United National Party (UNP) said the party will challenge the decision at the Election Commission first and then may head to the Supreme Court.

      Perera said the dissolution was carried out so that Sirisena could avoid defeat in parliament next week.

      Keheliya Rambukwella, a spokesman for Sirisena’s government, said the president’s coalition had the backing of 105 lawmakers as of Friday, eight short of a parliamentary majority.

      Sirisena has said he fired Wickremesinghe because the prime minister was trying to implement “a new, extreme liberal political concept by giving more priority for foreign policies and neglecting the local people’s sentiment.”

      India and Western countries have requested that Sirisena act in line with the constitution while they have raised concerns over Rajapaksa’s close ties with China. Beijing loaned Sri Lanka billions of dollars for infrastructure projects when Rajapaksa was president between 2005-2015, putting the country deep into debt.

      A gunman opened fire in a crowded Southern California bar popular with college students, killing 12 people, including a sheriff’s deputy, police said on Thursday.

      The gunman, identified by authorities as Ian David Long, 28, was also found dead on Wednesday night in the office of the Borderline Bar and Grill, located in Thousand Oaks, a suburb about 40 miles from Los Angeles, apparently having shot himself.

      Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told a news conference on Thursday morning that Long was a Marine Corps veteran and had apparently fired at random with a .45-caliber Glock handgun with an extra-capacity magazine. There was no known motive.

      “Obviously he had something going on in his head that would cause him to do something like this,” Dean said. “Obviously he had some sort of issues.”

      He said authorities were obtaining a search warrant for Long’s home.

      The Borderline is popular with university students and on Wednesday night was hosting College Country Night. California Lutheran University, located about 5 miles from the bar, canceled Thursday’s classes while Pepperdine University, about 20 miles away, planned a prayer service.

      One of the victims was Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of the department who died at a hospital, Dean said. Helus and a California Highway Patrol officer were the first to arrive at the bar and went inside just before 11:30 p.m. PST (0730 GMT).

      A statement from the sheriff’s office said there would be a procession in honor of Helus, who leaves behind a wife and son, on Thursday morning. “Ron’s selfless, heroic actions will never be forgotten,” the statement read.

      SCENE LIKE “HELL”

      Asked what the scene inside the bar was like, Dean said, “Like ... hell.” Earlier he had described it as “a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”

      Long first shot a security guard outside the bar, stepped inside and resumed shooting, Dean said. Witnesses said Long had used smoke bombs to create confusion but Dean said that had not been confirmed.

      Dean, speaking on his last day before retirement, said he had been told 150 to 200 people were in the Borderline at the time and that “it could have been much, much worse.”

      Dean estimated 10 to 15 people, including one with a gunshot wound, had gone to hospitals. He said he thought their injuries were minor, and that most of them were likely injured as they escaped, some by breaking windows.

      Dean told reporters that officers had gone to Long’s home in April in response to a disturbance call and had found him to be agitated. Mental health specialists talked with Long and determined that no further action was necessary.

      Family members of possible victims or survivors of the shooting gathered at a teen center in Thousand Oaks for news of loved ones. A visibly distraught man was seen entering the building.

      President Donald Trump, who has resisted a surge in calls for tougher gun controls since 17 students were shot dead at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, ordered flags to be flown at half-staff at public buildings and grounds.

      The Borderline massacre was the fourth mass shooting in the United States in less than two weeks. The others included two women killed at a yoga class in Tallahassee, Florida, two people shot at a grocery in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, and 11 worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh killed by a man shouting “All Jews must die.”

      Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said lawmakers would get to work on legislation including universal background checks when the House of Representatives convenes in January with a Democratic majority.

      “We must find a way to stop the senseless, and many times preventable killings that are robbing our country of innocent lives,” he said on Twitter.

      “CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE”

      Thousand Oaks, a leafy, sprawling suburb, was named the third-safest city in the United States for 2018 by the website Niche.

      “I’ve learned it doesn’t matter what community you’re in,” Dean told reporters when asked if he was surprised this happened in Thousand Oaks. “It doesn’t matter how safe your community is. It can happen anywhere.”

      Tristan Appleby, who was at the bar, told CNN that the shooter was dressed all in black and had fired off about a dozen shots, including at those already wounded and lying on the floor.

      Witness Taylor Von Molt, 21, who said she was a promoter at the bar, said the gunman wore a black mask with a bandana covering the bottom of his face, and a black hooded sweatshirt.

      “I heard what I thought was a balloon pop,” she told CNN. “I was confused because we didn’t have any balloons. I saw him, then I saw him fire his weapon one more time. I ran to the nearest exit and tripped and fell on the way and people kept running on top of me.”

      Witness John Hedge told ABC News he was near the front door of the bar when the shooting began.

      “I just started hearing these big pops. Pop pop pop,” he said. “There was probably three or four. I hit the ground. I look up. The security guard ... was shot, he was down. The gunman was throwing smoke grenades all over the place. I saw him point to the back at the cash register and he just kept firing.”

      Entertainment

      Photo-feature

      A three-day International Tripitaka Recitation programme commenced at Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha, on Wednesday.

      The programme is taking place for the first time in Nepal and over 500 monks from 18 different countries have arrived here to join the mass recitation of Buddhist holy scripture.

      The Buddhist holy book, adorned with special decorations, was carried around the temple of Mayadevi before the programme commenced.

      Thai monks led the recitations followed by monks from Myanmar.

      The Maya Devi Temple premises in Lumbini has been decorated with banners, garlands and flowers in view of the programme.

      The event is being held with the joint initiations of All Nepal Bhikkhu Association, American Buddhist Association, Thai Buddha Vihar and the Lumbini Development Trust.

      All photos by: Manoj Poudel

      Sports

      The International Cricket Council (ICC) has sanctioned the upcoming Everest Premier League (EPL)—a city-based franchise Twenty20 cricket tournament scheduled for December 8-22 at the Tribhuvan University Stadium.

      Tournament organiser EPL Pvt Ltd on Thursday informed that the world cricket governing body gave a green signal to the tournament after it forwarded the necessary documents and fee of US$20,000. The approval means the tournament will now see the participation of international cricketers. The international cricketers will need a No Objection Letter from their respective associations provided the tournament is sanctioned by the ICC.


      “ICC has granted the approval bearing in mind the unique circumstances that currently exist in Nepal and because the league is in the interests of cricket in Nepal and the Nepalese players in particular,” read a statement from ICC representative Clive Hitchcock in a press release from EPL Pvt Ltd.


      According to the new ICC regulations, ICC must approve any domestic tournament in the country whose cricket board is under suspension. Nepal is currently without a cricket administration after the ICC suspended the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) citing “government interference and unfair elections”.
      The sanctioned amount acquired by the ICC will be used in the development of Nepali cricket once the board is reinstated. “This is great news not just for EPL but also for the millions of fans and we are sure that with the support of ICC, EPL will reach greater heights,” EPL Managing Director Amir Akhtar said.


      The EPL will be participated in by six franchises including defending champions Biratnagar Warriors, Bhairahawa Gladiators, Lalitpur Patriots, Pokhara Rhinos, Chitwan Tigers and Kathmandu Kings XI. Zimbabwean allrounder Sikandar Raza, Ireland international Kevin O’Brien, UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa, Scottish batsman Kyle Coetzer are some of the big names confirmed this season.

      Health & Style

      Fiction Park

      Colour me you

      Subani Sapkota, Nov 18 2018
      Fear feels strange. It starts with your mind, goes to your heart and travels all the way through your body, making your entire body shake and tremble. It creates a continuous drumming sound, and your heart does nothing to lessen the tension building up inside you.
      full story »

      Escalate

      You don’t go sell ice on Everest

      Nov 12 2018
      David Thirumur has been a life coach for the past 12 years, roving across the globe speaking to businesspeople, entrepreneurs and students. A social entrepreneur andleadership speaker, Thirumur was raised in India and was involved in a number of businesses before leaving to become a full-time speaker.
      full story »

      Saturday Features

      A tiny, delightful morsel

      Richa Bhattarai
      Indian author Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi’s latest offering, The Rabbit and the Squirrel, is likely to baffle librarians and booksellers, for it defies conventional genres.

      Going the extra mile

      Amir Raj Thapa
      At 4am on a chilly autumn morning, a troupe of 23 students and teachers from the Ambika Secondary School gathered in Panauti. The crowd stirred—ready to get on the bus to Kathmandu where the students were to take part in the Kathmandu Marathon set to kick off later that morning.

      Nepaleaks

      Guffadi
      We are done with Tihar and yet, evil continues to rule over good in this land of ours. The only folks who have all the fun during the festive season are our hardworking civil servants, honest contractors and humble politicians.

      Falling in and out of love with words

      Ajit Baral
      When at home and not working, my wife and I usually read books, sitting alongside each other. And when she comes across a word she is not familiar with, she invariably asks me its meaning.

      Mardi mountain madness

      The Mardi Himal trail is an incredible trekking route, where the terrain varies from dense forests to rugged rockscapes and mountain landscapes.

      Art imitates life

      ABANI MALLA
      Ashim Shakya’s artwork is a time machine that merges decades and histories. It takes observers to a surreal Kathmandu, where the cityscape is a platform on which is staged a play where artefacts and deities frolic.

      Movie review: Producer Changa; Storytelling Chet

      ABHIMANYU DIXIT
      Nepali bureaucrats all seem to be under a malaise that invites much criticism—they do their 9-5 jobs without any conviction or any motivation to perform, since at the end of the month, they will be paid regardless. The team behind Changa Chet seems to be afflicted with the same syndrome.

      Wake up and smell the jamun

      Mohan Guragain
      Kathmandu sets numerous national records in Nepal. It is the biggest city of the country, most populated and most polluted. As the country’s largest metropolis, its population composition is also hugely diverse. Furthermore, as the Valley holds much of the country’s wealth, it is Nepal’s biggest market.

      Tea party

      Guffadi
      If you want to know how a political party would run this country were they to come to power, attend one of their tea parties. Don’t fall for their hawatari speeches because our netas have promised us thousands of MW of electricity in the past decade and we have not even managed to add a hundred.