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North East India: A paradise unexplored or a paradise lost? – The World Reporter
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North East India: A paradise unexplored or a paradise lost?

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Sikkim people

Sikkim flickr/ahinsajain

Sikkim and seven sisters of North East India represent seven percent of Indian area and 3.7% of Indian population. These figures hide the immense diversity of languages, ethnicity, culture and biodiversity as well as the wealth of natural resources. Relatively untarnished with human exploitation, unlike most of the India, this place offers a cleaner slate than rest of the country to write a new story of a sustainable development.

The perils on the road to grand promises of this place arise from several unresolved issues of history, the unbalanced component of equation that we have brushed under the rug but not really solved. Depending on what we define as the epicentre of a parochial monolithic identity: Lahore, Delhi, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram or Kolkata, one might find North East India further apart than say Indonesia, which had the same rulers as parts of South India for centuries. North East India and for that matter, several troubled regions of India, can only become full participants to the Indian story and make India a true success story, only when we understand that unlike several more monolithic countries, India had a different history of national evolution. India is not a manifestation of expansion of city-states on ethnic or linguistic lines. It is not a history of one emperor’s sweeping conquests or a legacy of one dynasty. It is a mini world and not just a subcontinent in itself. For Europeans until quite late into Renascences, Hindustan used to be area around Indus and everything to the east of it including South Asia and Parts of South East Asia. In contrast, for majority of Indians (and not all), their country used to be whatever small territories inhabited by people alike them. Even a place hundred miles away could be pardes (foreign country). A lot of South Asia and South East Asia happened to be divided in the current boundaries but could have been divided into several smaller parts or united all as one, if the slight accidents of history were just slightly different. The boundaries are a result of stochasticity and parochialism but not a manifestation of historic inevitability, just as were the establishments of European trading ports and initial colonial conquests in India.  It does not mean that there is not a common thread to India or that every inch of its territory is not worth laying one’s life for but what it means is that to unite India, we need to understand its historic and cultural richness. India is much longer and richer experiment of the same kind as is the US: of admixture, conflict and coexistence of different people. Past uncertainties do not mean that we cannot make the future trajectory more certain. To have a future unity and progress we need to understand the past flux and address the unresolved issues.  The wounds and the unresolved issues of North East India are a bit more than most of India.  These stem from the following:

  1. Underdevelopment of the border regions, with majority of the agricultural sector being involved in subsistence farming and at times only one highway running through rather large regions.
  2. Recent demographic shifts add to sources of conflicts. There are several examples of both incidental and state encouraged demographic shifts in the region. The incorporation of Sikkim by India, which was a separate country until 1975, only happened after Nepalese migrants became the majority in the state. In Tripura, influx of Bengali people has rendered the majority Tripuri people to be now just 30% of the population.
  3. What most Indians forget that India was first populated by groups classified as Austroloid and Mongoloid (the predominant groups in Northeast) by anthropologists and the fact that Chinese population is also genetically a subset of Indian populated that migrated via South East Asia route. North East has interesting history of migration to and back from East and South East Asia. It is ethnically one of the most diverse regions of India. This diversity at times manifests in the form of tribal rivalries. Cultural differences of neighbours can range from nuanced differences to as big of differences as being a patriarchal or a matriarchal society. There are several autonomous state demands in the region that if smartly negotiated and implemented can ease ethnic strife.
  4. Hypocrisy of Indians claiming Northeast as integral to India when there is trouble with China, while forgetting it at the times of peace. This mistreatment extends to treatment of Northeast people as second grade citizens.
  5. Heavy handed and indiscriminate response by Indian armed forces and continuation of Armed Forces Special Provisions Act (AFSPA) are sources of ongoing resentment. Northeast has witnessed the only bombing of Indian territory by Indian Air Force. Po Zoramthanga who went on to become the chief minister of Mizoram, once said that the main reason he joined separatist Mizo National Front was because of “Relentless bombing of Aigawi in 1966”. Nagaland has several veteran citizens who claim alive skinning of their comrades in the Naga Nationalist movement by Indian armed forces. International Human Right Watch argues that human rights violations only fuelled insurgency in most states. It is high time to remove AFSPA and punish the rogue elements in the armed forces.

Right now the separatist movements in Northeast have subsided but not died out. Most of them have devolved into criminal nexus that can be dealt with as a law and order problem. This is right time to push the path of development, representation and reconciliation to prevent another wave of separatism. With corridors to both East Asia and South East Asia, we can build several business nodes like Singapore and Hong Kong in the Northeast. This is the right time to put North-East and similarly troubled regions like J&K on the national agenda.


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Employee Training and Development Becomes One of the Most Disruptive Megatrends That Is Shaping the Future of Work

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Employee training

There is no question about the effectiveness of employee training and development. It’s incredibly important to help your staff advance their skills and knowledge to help grow a business, but the impact of employee learning has often been understated and even neglected. However, companies are now suggesting that employee training and development is one of the biggest megatrends that have completely transformed the future of work. It has overhauled how businesses should be developing and engaging with employees, and it’s leading to an incredibly diverse and talented workforce that is capable of wonderful new things.

Part of the problem of employee training and development is that it’s difficult to measure its impact on the workplace. Employee performance often isn’t a quantitative measurement that is easy to read and link to their output. This is one of the reasons why the effectiveness of employee training and development has been questioned by management experts.

Thankfully, new strategies have been developed to help measure workplace learning and its impact on companies. Below, we’ve included a helpful infographic that covers some of the most important measurements, such as return on investment and how it is calculated in the context of employee learning and development. It should put the effectiveness of employee training into perspective and will help you better understand when training is needed and how development actually improves your business and its productivity.


Infographic by: Ezra Coaching
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Top 10 Simple Health Changes To Boost Your Well-Being

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It does not matter how old you are, where you live, or what your occupation is, your health should always be a top priority. However, most of us are a little bit guilty of letting our well-being slide from time to time. With that being said, read on to discover some of the simple ways you can give your health a boost today.

  1. Get rid of at least one item in your life that contains toxic chemicals – You may be shocked by just how many items in your life contain toxic chemicals. This includes everything from air fresheners to bed sheets. Get rid of one of these items and replace it with something natural instead. This is something you should make a habit to do every few months or so. You will be surprised by just how much of a difference this can make. 
  2. Deep breathe for at least five minutes – Throughout the day, you should make sure you take the opportunity to deep breathe for at least five minutes. Why? Well, there have been numerous studies that have shown that deep breathing can help to lower stress hormone levels. This means that you will feel better, get an improved night’s sleep, and you will have less anxiety too.
  3. Drink more water – You probably expected this to be on the list, but the importance of drinking more water should never be ignored. Your body needs water for almost every function. If you are dehydrated, this could be the cause of headaches, pains, aches, and a number of other symptoms.
  4. Have one veggie night per week – A lot of people eat far too much meat, red meat especially. So, why not have a veggie night once a week? Not only is this good for your health, but it will be good for your bank balance too. There are so many great recipes online that can give you ideas regarding tasty and creative dishes that do not incorporate any sort of meat or fish. Once you start off with one night per week, you may then decide that you want to up it to two nights, and so on. However, it always helps to start off small so that it is easier and more manageable, and you can then get used to it.
  5. Sign up for an online pharmacy – Nowadays, you can easily order your prescriptions and medications over the Internet via an online pharmacy. This can help you to boost your health because it ensures you never experience delays with your medication. If you are someone who often doesn’t take their recommended course of tablets because you cannot get to the doctors in time for a repeat prescription, then this is definitely a good suggestion for you. Your medication will be delivered to your door with a click of a button.
  6. Make a dedicated effort to lower your stress levels – There is no denying that we live in a very stress-filled world at the moment! The world we live in is one that has heaps of pressure, and it can be difficult to stay on top of everything and keep those stress levels low. However, it is vital that you find a way to do so. After all, if you don’t adrenal fatigue and health can start to take a tumble, which is the last thing you want. For those who are unaware, adrenal fatigue relates to a group of different symptoms that impact people who are under a lot of physical, emotional, or mental stress. From being a single parent to having a stressful job, there are a lot of different reasons why you may be struggling. Therefore, we recommend that you look for different ways to reduce those stress levels so that you can enjoy a more calming and peaceful life. Whether it is doing some breathing techniques or taking more regular breaks so you can have moments for yourself, there are a lot of different ways that you can make sure you are keeping your stress levels to a minimum. The importance of this should not be overlooked, as stress can impact our mental and physical health in so many different ways. 
  7. Do something nice for someone every day – You will be surprised by how good this makes you feel, and by how much this has a positive impact on your health. It’s all about mental well being. When you do something nice for another person, you are benefitting their health, as well as your own. First and foremost, there is no denying that it feels good to hear some nice words for someone or to get a helping hand when you need it. You feel recognised and appreciated, and this is something we all need. At the same time, doing something nice for someone else and seeing their reaction can make you feel amazing too. After all, doing something good for someone is a gift for yourself at the same time. You will find that the deed continues throughout the day, making you feel great and happy within yourself. 
  8. Incorporate some movement into your commute – If you do not have an active job, this is particularly important. Sitting at a computer all day can be bad for your health. One way to combat this is by incorporating some movement into your commute. If you can walk or bike to work, you should give this a go. If not, start parking your car further away from your place of work so that you have to walk there and back. You should also start using the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can.
  9. Start meal planning – You will find it much easier to eat healthily if you plan your meals. At the start of every week, make a menu of what you are going to cook for dinner every evening, as well as what you are going to make for your lunches every day. Not only will this help you to eat better, but you will save money too. Make sure you incorporate some healthy snacks into your food prep for work. This will stop you from going to the vending machine whenever you are bored or your energy is zapped. The great thing about the times we live in at the moment is that you can easily get recipes and meal prep inspiration online. So, if you are struggling, simply do a little bit of digging online and we are sure that you will find a lot of different options when it comes to meal ideas and clever food prep suggestions for the week ahead. Not only is this going to help you to be more organized, but you will find that it actually saves you quite a bit of money in the process. After all, when we do not have a food plan for the week ahead, we tend to spend a lot of money on items we do not need. Food can end up going in the bin because we do not use it. This ends up in an awful lot of waste, and we should all be looking to reduce this, so meal prep is great in many ways.
  10. Keep a journal – Last but not least, keeping a journal is good for a person’s mental health. You should write down your thoughts. It doesn’t need to be a long entry; you can simply jot down a few bullet points every evening. This will help you to articulate your thoughts so that they do not wear you down. After all, it can be very difficult to sleep if you have lots on your mind. A lot of experts advise this approach for people who suffer from insomnia. One of the main reasons why a lot of people struggle to get the hours of sleep they need is because they cannot shut off when they go to sleep; their minds are still going at a million miles per hour. They are thinking about what they need to do the following day and any worries or concerns that they may have. Because of this, it very much makes sense to keep a journal so you can offload some of these thoughts and worries and you can have a much more restful night of sleep. Once you get into the habit of doing this, you will see that it actually does make a significant difference when it comes to drifting off and enjoying a good night of rest. 

So there you have it: some of the best ways to give your health a boost. The suggestions that have been provided are really simple and easy, so there is no excuse not to give yourself a bit of TLC. we are sure that you will start to notice a difference as time goes on. However, as is the case with anything, it requires patience and persistence. You cannot expect to turn your health around in one night.

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Why Buy A Business, Rather Than Start One

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There are good and bad sides to buying a business and starting your own business from scratch. For lots of people, the positives of buying an established business outweigh the positives of starting a business. Here are the reasons why buying an existing business could be the right choice.

Easier To Secure Finance

All businesses will need finance. Unless you can fund your business yourself, you’ll need to secure financing from investors. Most lenders will be more willing to lend money to an established business that they can already see is doing well, rather than risk an unknown factor. 

Income From Day One

One of the downsides of starting a business is that most start-ups will go through an early stage where they don’t make much, if any, money. For some entrepreneurs, this stage can last for several years. 

During this stage, you will need to pay out for things like your premises, as well as equipment, installation of equipment, stock, materials, fixtures and fittings, legal and professional fees, a license, uniforms, and more. 

If you don’t have finance in place or another form of income, this stage can be very tough for a new business owner. If you buy a business, you can start earning from day one, and avoid this tricky period where you might be out of pocket.  

Established Brand

When you buy a business that already exists, you are also buying into a brand that is already known, recognizable, and has a track record. You get the business complete with all the trademarks, copyrights, and websites associated with it, as well as the business locations

This means that your business will already have customers, lenders, suppliers, and other contacts that are confident in the business already. 

Instant Customer Access

An existing business also has customers already, which can help you succeed straight away. You can use a range of strategies and marketing to build on the existing customer base, but won’t have to struggle to build a customer base from scratch. 

Established Network Of Contacts

When you start a business from scratch, a lot of your time and energy has to be put into building up a network of contacts. 

All businesses need to have supplier and marketing contacts, so buying an existing business that already has those contacts in place allows you to hit the ground running.

Like money lenders, suppliers and marketing companies are more likely to offer you more favourable terms if your business has been around for a while and they know it.  

Focus On Growing The Business

When an entrepreneur starts a new business, they will have to put a lot of their energy into getting their business off the ground. This takes a lot of time and can be very tiring. 

On the other hand, when you take over a business that is already established, you’ll be freer to focus on the areas of the business that most need your attention, aiding the growth of the business as a whole. 

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