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Morung Lecture XII: Imagining 2019

Morung Lecture XII: Imagining 2019
Mmhonlumo Kikon speaking during the Morung Lecture XII: Imagining 2019 program held on February 9. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, FEB 9 (NPN) | Publish Date: 2/9/2019 12:18:17 PM IST

 PARTICIPANTS ADVOCATE FOR PEOPLE’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE POLICY MAKING PROCESS

The “Morung Lecture XII: Imagining 2019” program was held at Don Bosco Institute of Development and Leadership (DBIDL), Don Bosco Campus, Riverbelt Colony on February 9.

Advisor, IT Science and Technology, New and Renewable Energy, Mmhonlumo Kikon, speaking at the program, said that in today’s context, if people talked about change, they needed to know how policy decisions were framed in the past and then discuss how policy decision should be made today.

Citing examples of how the government of Nagaland currently balances the ratio of teachers and students, the advisor said it is one of the instances of correcting wrong decisions of the past. He said a lot of time and energy is wasted in addressing wrong policies retroactively. On this subject, Mmhonlumo said that he imagined future policies being structured around realistic assessment of the grassroots, with communication between the community and government.

He also dwelt on the initiative of the state government on communitization that envisions basic service delivery through intended policies, and spoke about the need to review the impact communitization had had.

Mmhonlumo said that most developmental activities were concentrated in Kohima and Dimapur. “70% of the population are rural area and yet 30% benefit from the majority of government policy”, Kikon pointed out.

Coming back to the education sector, he said the practise of installing proxy teachers was an ethical problem.

Responding to a query about independent administration for Eastern Nagaland, Mmhonlumo admitted that development had been scarce especially in this area, and suggested that “tribalism in imparting development policy needs to be addressed.”

Highlighting the concept of progress, Eleutheros Christian Society (ECS) managing director Phutoli Chigmak brought up the need to retrospectively look into issues before reacting.

Drawing attention to community participation, she said that the community was an important component and it could also impact policies if it took the initiative and worked hand in hand with the government. But she also pointed out that the grassroots community cannot question  authorities. Discussing customary laws, Chingmak suggested that youngsters need to go back to the community to learn these laws. Inspite of fundamental rights, Nagas are bound by customary laws and are groomed with bias and grow up with these biases.

In regard to the economic sector’s development, Chigmak lamented the lack of marketing linkages. She requested the government of Nagaland to take serious note of farmers and what they produce and try to build stronger ties in areas like marketing and linkages, especially with farmers of rural communities.

Dr. Akum Longchari, publisher of The Morung Express in his concluding remark advocated for interactions such as the Morung Lecture XII: Imagining 2019, during or before policy making, as opposed to post counselling after the policies had been made. Dr. Longchari expressed his view that the people’s involvement was needed in the policy making process.

He asked if the state was reflecting the values of the people or the people were having to reflect the values of the state.

On the lecture, Dr. Longchari said that the discussion had been very helpful as it went to the “micro level” of villages and issues.

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