Tattoos and Selection Criteria

RBP

Royal Bhutan Police Selection Criteria

It was in 2016 I was exposed to the tattoo “punishment” in Bhutan. Yes! You read it correct – “punishment”. I never imagined that an ignorance of young and wild minds will turn out to be a life changer while applying for jobs or training when they attain maturity. In the BBS issue of 6th September 2016, I read of a young graduate interested to join police officer, but was disqualified as he had tattoos on his hand. The reason of not wanting people with tattoos in armed forces: tattoos and social stigma. (more…)

Education; Text books; Students and Quality in Bhutan

Education in Bhutan began with monastic schools and it was during the reign of the second King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Wangchuck that Bhutan opened its first secular schools with “Hindi” as the medium of instruction borrowed from India. Recognizing the importance of communicating with rest of the world, it was the third King of Bhutan, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, in 1960s, introduced English as the medium of instruction in schools. This laid the foundation for modern education systems in Bhutan. Today, the education system in Bhutan includes formal, non-formal and monastic schools and government provides free education to all students till grade 10 and scholarships to students meeting the requirements for higher studies. (more…)

Trash reaches the SACRED place in Bhutan

Having had the merit to travel to some of the developed nations on earth, I can proudly claim that there are lots of beautiful things about our country, the DRUK YUL. However mounting pressure of trash is sadly not among those things. Great beings of the past referred to Bhutan as the Lho Jong Meen Jong, The land of medicinal herbs. Besides the innumerable values of our rich natural environment, our natural heritage was the setting for the discovery of many spiritual treasures by the realized masters. Alas! our natural settings and “pristine” are gradually turning out to be beautiful stories as Bhutan is beginning to develop at breakneck speed with majority of Bhutanese not having slightest hint on the escalating problems of trash the country is exposed to. Phew!!! (more…)

Sad end to the sacrifice, torture – turning animal trophies to ashes

Kenya invented bon fire to reduce the stock pile of ivory in 19 July 1989 when they reduced about 12,000 kg of ivory to ashes. Similar burning was again pursued in 2015 and 2016 when Kenya burnt down 15,000 kg and 105,000 kg respectively of ivory and rhino horns. Kenya’s invention was followed by number of countries likes Belgium, China, France and USA by destroying stockpiles of illegally traded elephant ivory and rhino horns that were seized and confiscated. However, another big burn after Kenya was by United Arab Emirates in 2015 when they destroyed 10,000 kg of ivory followed by Malaysia in 2016 by burning 9500 kg of ivory. (more…)

What is it that we want to conserve?

Bhutan is known to the world for being leader in conservation arena and often regarded as a carbon negative country whose people are dedicated to remain carbon neutral for all times to come. Bhutan first pledged to become carbon neutral at COP15 held in Copenhagen in 2009, but went un-heard. However, Bhutan’s pledged gained much required attention at COP21 held in Paris in 2015, when Bhutan reiterated its promise. Bhutan may as well be the only country in the world having constitutional mandate to conserve 60% of the total geographical area under forest cover for all times to come. With population explosion and per capita landholdings bound to become smaller with time, this may look daunting, however having 50% of the country delineated as protected area net-work as of now looks ever more promising. (more…)

Medicinal Plants Vs. Bhutanese

Bhutan was known as Lho Jong Men Jong [Land of Medicinal Herbs] to the Tibetans, and sure enough our land is bestowed upon with diverse medicinal herbs. Modern medicine came to Bhutan, probably in the 1960’s with the coming of first motor-able road in mid- 1960’s. However, Bhutanese knew to rely on medicinal herbs to treat any forms of diseases and even now, good percent of Bhutanese prefer traditional medicine to modern medicine. We have a place dedicated only to promoting indigenous treatment and making medicines. Though, I was never into traditional medicine, my parents and my wife was into it for quite some time and I have to admit of hearing them feeling better. (more…)

Cordyceps – the priced medicinal fungi

Alpine areas of Bhutan now has about 4000 seasonal visitors thronged to collect cordyceps – the highly priced medicinal fungi.

Ophiocordyceps sinensis is the name by which it is known in the scientific community but commonly known as cordyceps; and or Chinese caterpillar. In Bhutan it is called by the name Yar-tsa Gun-bub (summer grass and winter worm) or just bub (worm). Owing to its market value, every year close to 4000 Bhutanese comb the alpine pastures of the country hunting for it. Since only about 10% of it will be out of the ground, collectors have to be on their knees, crawling, trying to spot it as they are well camouflaged in the midst of dried grasses and herbaceous twigs. For an un-trained eye, everything brown would either look like cordyceps or everything brown might look like dried twigs. (more…)

Biodiversity Conservation in Bhutan

Many reports depict Bhutan as one of the 10 global biodiversity hotspots, but nowhere did I find that Bhutan is recognized as stand-alone hotspot. However, Bhutan does form part of biodiverse Eastern Himalayan region as identified by international conservation organizations [hotspots; endemic bird areas; crisis eco-regions; last of the wild] to prioritize and allocate conservation efforts. (more…)

Thimphu Water Woes!

Bhutan is known for highest per capita fresh water availability in the region with 101, 959.70 cubic meters of available fresh water. Bhutan ranks 6th in the world in per capita fresh water availability and neighboring countries are trailing far behind with India and Nepal ranked at 127th (1116.35 cu.m) and 146th (660.06 cu.m) position in the world respectively. I referred this data in FAO web-page, which was obtained from Aquastat. (more…)

Beautiful Thimphu gearing towards Choked Thimphu

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that where we live remain clean, safe, well organized, and beautiful, for all times to come”

His Majesty The King of Bhutan, address to the Nation, 109th National Day, 17 December 2016

It is about time Bhutanese respect the genuine concern remarked by His Majesty and not take His Majesty’s vision for clean society lightly. We are lucky to have such humble leadership with broad vision for Bhutanese and Bhutan. (more…)