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‘Chutia’ not slang but Assamese surname, says woman whose online job application was rejected

Snippets from the vibrant Northeast that capture politics, culture, society and more in the eight states.

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New Delhi: A woman from Assam alleged she was unable to register for a job on the online portal of the government-run National Seed Corporation Limited (NSCL) because it kept rejecting her surname.

Priyanka Chutia (pronounced ‘Sutiya’) from the state’s Gogamukh town, is a Masters in Agricultural Economics and Farm Management. She belongs to the Chutia community in Assam, one of the state’s oldest ethnic groups.

Chutia took to Facebook last week to address the issue. “…And the reason is nothing but my surname and the portal keeps on saying to use ‘proper naming’ words. I feel really sad and frustrated at times explaining people that I am not using slang but it’s a community where I belong,” she wrote on Facebook.

Chutia is an offensive slang word in the Hindi language.

The Master’s graduate finally wrote to NSCL about the problem and a day later her registration was accepted. However, she put up the social media post to make people aware about the issue, she was quoted by The News Mill as saying.

The technical help desk at NSCL said, “There was a technical flaw in the code for filtration of the name of the candidates which was rectified in early stages.”

This hasn’t been the first time the surname has been misunderstood as slang. The All Assam Chutia Students’ Union (AACSU) had earlier accused Facebook of blocking the accounts of thousands of people with the name Chutia, saying the social network has confused it with the Hindi slang.

Also read: If India starts acting on the yearly floods in Bihar and Assam, that would be true nationalism

Manipuri women turn plums, wild figs, gooseberries into candies

Around 3,300 women in Manipur’s Ukhrul have been making candies out of wild figs, gooseberries, wild apples and plums, among others. So far, they have made around 8,000 kg of various candies from the wild fruits.

The women are being trained under the Van Dhan Vikas Kendra (VDVK), a skill upgradation and livelihood scheme to improve tribal incomes through value addition of products.

Pemmichon Tungshang, a master trainer at a VDVK, has been quoted as saying that the women first collect wild fruits from the jungles and are then taught various steps involved in making candies from them.

He said around 2,000 kg of products made from wild fruits have already been sold and another 6,000 kg were ready for shipping. The maximum orders come from Delhi and Guwahati.

VDVKs of Ukhrul, Senapati and Kangpokpi in Manipur have together received demands for Rs 1.66 crore worth of products from consumers.

Also read: How nearly 1 million women in India’s southern states stopped beedi rolling

Assam doctor in PPE suit performs ‘Barbie Girl’ at Covid centre

Amid the lockdown and rising Covid-19 numbers in Assam, two videos have emerged to spread some joy.

The Northeast Frontier Railway recently shared the video of Dr Ruby Doley, commending her for her positivity and effort to uplift morale. In the video, Doley can be seen dancing to the 1997-hit ‘Barbie girl’ by Danish group Aqua in a full PPE suit. The doctor works at the Covid Care Centre of the Central Hospital in Guwahati’s Maligaon.

In another video, Covid-19-positive patients were seen singing ‘naam’ (community prayer in Assam) inside the Barpeta medical college and hospital. The five-minute clip shows patients using buckets and utensils as makeshift musical instruments to sing and dance. The clip has been shared widely on social media.

Meet Warbot, the robot serving food & medicine to Covid patients

Harjeet Nath, an assistant professor at Tripura University’s Chemical and Polymer Engineering Department, has developed a robot that is capable of serving food, medicine and other essential items to patients, reducing viral exposure of healthcare staff.

A first of its kind robot in the Northeast and named ‘Covid-19 Warbot’, it has been donated to the Tripura Medical College and Dr B.R. Ambedkar Memorial Teaching Hospital.

This remote-controlled robot can carry a maximum load of 10-15 kg and has an operating range of 15-20 metre. On a single charge, it can operate non-stop for one hour.

Nath has been quoted as saying that it took him two weeks to develop the robot, which costs Rs 25,000, by recycling different machine parts. He is a recipient of the young scientist award in 2018.

Four Northeastern states record zero per cent Covid fatality rate

While cases have been increasing nearly every day in the Northeast, it seems the fatality rate is less than 1 per cent in each state of the region.

Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Mizoram have zero per cent Covid-19 fatality rate, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The report also states that 14 states and union territories have a case fatality rate of less than 1 per cent. These include Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, among others.

Also read: T cells produced, mild side effects — decoding why Oxford’s vaccine offers new Covid hope


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  1. Strange. Kumbakonam in Telugu means scam and a similar city exist in Tamil Nadu. The well known bank “Kumbakonam City Union Bank” was forced to drop”Kumbakonam” from their original name. It now exist all over India as City Union Bank (CUB).

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