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Surge in Covid Cases: Leave of Health staff cancelled in Jammu Division

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JS Correspondent

JAMMU, JAN 05

As per an order issued by the Director Health Services Jammu, leave of all Health staff including doctors, paramedics and other officials has been cancelled in view of sudden surge in Covid-19 cases in Jammu division.

As per the order, directions have been issued to all Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents not to grant leave, except for Medical and Emergency conditions, to health care workers with immediate effect.

JKSSB-EXAM:“No electronic gadgets to be allowed, independent observers shall be deployed”

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JS Correspondent

JAMMU, NOV 21

Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Ramesh Kumar today convened a meeting to review the preparations for forthcoming written examination to be conducted by J&K Services Selection Board (JKSSB) for various posts.

Chairman JKSSB, Rajesh Sharma; Additional Commissioner, Pankaj Katoch; SSP Jammu, Chandan Kohli; Joint Director Information, Sapna Kotwal; Secretary JKSSB, Sachin Jamwal; Deputy Director Planning, Munish Dutta and other concerned officers attended the meeting in person while Deputy Commissioners Samba & Kathua and SSPs of Kathua, Samba, Jammu and Udhampur participated in the meeting through video conferencing.

The meeting discussed measures to be taken at different levels to ensure fair and smooth conduct of the exams.

While giving details of the forthcoming exams, the Chairman JKSSB informed that the Board has initiated the process for conducting written examination for selection against different posts through Computer Based Test (CBT) from November 29, 2022. “For the purpose dedicated centres have been identified in 4 districts of Jammu Division i.e Jammu, Udhampur, Kathua & Samba,” he informed. It was further informed that the test for Horticulture Technician Grade IV and Junior Stenographer have been scheduled from November 29, 2022, while the exam for Junior Engineer Civil (Jal Shakti Department) Exam would be conducted from December 5 to  December 6, 2022 and the examinations for the post of Sub Inspector (Home Department)  is scheduled to be held from December 7 to Dec 20.

Giving details of steps taken, the meeting was informed that the Board has resorted to Third Party Audit of Computer Centres and installation of jammers in the exam centres for free and fair conduct of the test(s).

Maintaining that the credibility of centers was the vital factor in ensuring conduct of fair and transparent examinations, the Div Com directed the concerned Deputy Commissioners and SSPs to thoroughly scrutinize the conduct and past history of the identified centre well before the start of examinations. He also asked the DCs and SSPs to inform JKSSB about the adverse report against the identified centres, if any. He stressed on putting in all possible measures for foolproof security, maintenance of law and order, provision of logistic support for successful conduct of examinations.

The SSPs were directed to deploy an adequate number of men and women police personnel for frisking and other arrangements at various centres.

The Div Com also directed DCs concerned to make available  proper arrangements of uninterrupted power supply, water supply and other amenities in the examination centres during the examinations and ensure that the candidates are not put to any discomfort.

The Div Com stressed that no electronic gadgets be allowed in the examination halls. He asked the KSSB to issue instructions for the information of candidates and also ensure wide publicity of these instructions.

The Div Com directed DCs to nominate observers/magistrates besides computer expert observers for each centre after checking the credentials.

Separatist Hurriyat finished in J-K, attempts being made to keep it alive from Pakistan: DGP

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JAMMU, SEPT 19

The separatist Hurriyat Conference is finished in Jammu and Kashmir but attempts are being made to keep it alive from Pakistan, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said on Monday, adding that the militancy in the region which is “on crutches.” He also said that most of the madrassas (Islamic seminaries) are doing a good job but a tight vigil is being maintained on such institutions whose students have become militants in the past.

 “Hurriyat (Conference) is finished in Jammu and Kashmir. To keep it alive, its chapter was opened in Pakistan and they are giving ‘bandh’ calls from there,” the police chief told reporters on the sidelines of a cricket tournament organised by police for local youths in Kishtwar district.

He said the people gave a “tight slap” on their face by rejecting their bandh calls, which was evident from the fact that there was no strike on August 5 (the third anniversary of revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories) and August 15.

Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella body of separatist groups in J&K, which once enjoyed a dominant position in the valley, was made inconsequential after jailing of several of its leaders in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, and the death of its main leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in 2021.

 “August 15 was celebrated in a befitting manner all across the J&K, from Kishtwar to Kathua and in the Kashmir valley with people hoisting the national flag on their homes.

 “I recently visited the remote Karnah and Keran along the Line of Control (in north Kashmir’s Kupwara) where the tricolour is still seen fluttering from top of every house,” the DGP said.

He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir want peace and they have understood the criminal folly of Pakistan which is trying to instigate the youths against their own country.

 “Pakistan is misusing social media which is under watch 24×7 and we are frustrating their designs,” Singh said.

Asked about the recent arrest of a madrassa teacher in Kishtwar, he said for most part madrassas are doing a good job. “Some people from madrassas joined militancy in the past and so it is imperative that we keep a close watch on them, and it is being done.” “If anyone is doing anything wrong, action as per law will be taken against them. Those who involve youngsters with positive thinking are being welcomed,” he said.

On September 3, a 25-year-old madrassa teacher was arrested under ‘Enemy Agents Ordinance Act’ for allegedly passing on information related to security installations to Pakistani intelligence agencies and terrorists.

About the militants active in Kishtwar, he said the ‘guardians of peace’ are more active than militants who are almost wiped out from the region.

 “The militancy is on crutches with one or two active members, and they too will be ‘neutralised’ soon,” he said.

The DGP said the situation in the entire Jammu and Kashmir is well under control with the holding of cricket tournaments and events to pay homage to the police martyrs.

 “Our youngesters have seen a ray of hope with the atmosphere of terror and bloodshed long gone. We want to provide ample opportunities to the youth to move ahead and excel in a peaceful atmosphere,” Singh said.

Referring to the inauguration of multipurpose cinema halls in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts on Sunday, he said their opening may also in future lead to the youth to show their talent, produce films, and watch them on the same big screens.

 “We have a long list of filmmakers who want to shoot in Jammu and Kashmir, engage local talent, and show the beauty of J&K to the outside world. Kishtwar is one such scenic spot which we would like to showcase,” he said.

The DGP said Samradhi Sen, an eight-year-old resident of Kishtwar, has become a national icon in the field of singing after participating in ‘Chhoona Hai Aasman’, a talent-hunt show initiated by the police.

 “Today she is taking part in every national event and we stand with her,” he said, adding “we will support anyone who has a talent and wants to make it big in his or her own field.”

Looking forward to very close engagements at Plenary and Roundtables of Global Clean Energy Action Forum: Jitendra Singh

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NEW DEHLI, SEPT 19

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Science and Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Earth Science; MoS PMO, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions,Space and Atomic Energy, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Global Clean Energy Action Forum meet offers India an opportunity to present Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision before the world.

Before leaving on a 5-day visit to USA as the head of a high -level Joint Ministerial official delegation, Dr Jitendra Singh told the media, since the forum will bring together all the stakeholders including at least 30 Ministers from different countries, hundreds of CEOs and business leaders, scientists and academicians, it is also an acknowledgement of the leading role assumed by India under PM Modi in issues related to Clean Energy concerns.

Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that only last month, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had approved India’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to be communicated to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

India at the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Glasgow, United Kingdom in November, 2021 expressed to intensify its climate action by presenting to the world five nectar elements (Panchamrit) of India’s climate action.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, on August 15, 2021, Prime Minister Modi launched the National Hydrogen Mission on India’s 75th Independence Day. He said, the Mission aims to aid the government in meeting its climate targets and making India a green hydrogen hub and this will help in meeting the target of production of 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030 and the related development of renewable energy capacity.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, since no single ministry is responsible for moving India towards net zero, the Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of New and Renewable energy (MNRE), and Ministry of Heavy Industries (which implements the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles in India (FAME INDIA) scheme to promote electric vehicles), have largely been the driving force behind India’s effort in this direction.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, he is looking forward to very close engagements at the Plenary and Roundtables of Global Clean Energy Action Forum, especially in the light of recent breakthroughs in the areas of Clean Energy Technologies both at home and abroad.

India will give a befitting reply to anyone who tries to disturb peace, unity & integrity of the country: LG Sinha

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JS Correspondent

JAMMU, SEPT 14

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha visited the forward areas of Poonch today and took stock of the security situation along the border. The Lt Governor, who is on a two-day visit to Poonch, undertook a first-hand assessment of the situation at the Line of Control (LoC) and forward areas at the border village Degwar Terwan in Poonch.

He was accompanied by Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta; Brigadier Rajesh Bisht; ADGP Jammu, Mukesh Singh; DIG, Dr. Haseeb Mughal; Divisional Commissioner, Ramesh Kumar and other senior officials of civil administration and the army.

The Lt Governor was briefed on the overall security situation prevalent on Line of Control, development works in the border villages by the army, counter infiltration grid and operational preparedness.

While interacting with the officers and personnel of the Armed Forces, the Lt Governor, commended them for the selfless service in challenging situations. He appreciated the excellent synergy between civil administration, J&K Police, army and other security agencies.

 “I salute the exemplary bravery of our Armed Forces. J&K UT is witnessing a new dawn of peace, progress and prosperity. Our armed forces, police, CAPFs are handling the challenges with full strength, valour & dedication.  India will give a befitting reply to anyone who tries to disturb peace, unity & integrity of the country,” Lt Governor said.

Later, the Lt Governor addressed the border population at Govt. Girls High School Degwar Terwan. The Lt Governor observed that BADP has accentuated the development process of the villages along the border.

The UT Government has rolled out several new schemes for the comprehensive development of the Border Villages, said the Lt Governor.

The Lt Governor took feedback on the benefits being extended under PM Aawas Yojna and other schemes and facilities like LPG, Scholarships etc from the people present in the gathering.

The Lt Government asked the people present on the occasion to ensure enrolment of those who might have been left out under the SEHAT Scheme. They must register themselves to get a Golden Card, which is providing health coverage to every family of the UT.

The Lt Governor further said that various unprecedented initiatives and interventions by the UT administration have led to a corruption-free, fear-free and transparent governance system in Jammu Kashmir.

The Lt Governor said that Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given special focus on the development and prosperity of Border people especially the Youth. The young generation should come forward and avail the benefits of various schemes launched under Mission youth to become self-reliant and successful entrepreneurs.

The Lt Governor asked the people to avail maximum benefits from a transparent and responsible governance system put in place in the UT. He further asked them to give feedback on the various e-services launched to uproot corruption from J&K.

The Lt Governor observed that after the complete implementation of 73rd & 74th constitutional amendment and establishment of three tier system in J&K, the funds received by the panchayats have been increased considerably.

The goal of the UT administration is to bring the development process in terms of Health services, road connectivity, education and other services in Villages especially the Border Villages at par with that of Towns and the cities, said the Lt Governor.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor directed the District Administration to identify land for developing local industries in the District. The Government has kept the provision to provide greater incentives for remote and Border areas under the Industrial Development Scheme.

Earlier, Ch. Abdul Ghani, Member DDC Poonch submitted a memorandum of demands to which the Lt Governor assured for appropriate redressal of all the genuine issues on merit.

Ms. Tazeem Akther, DDC Chairperson Poonch; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Sh Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Sh Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, besides senior officials of District Administration, Army and concerned departments, PRI representatives and local people were present on the occasion.

Sustainable farming is the only way forward to ensure food security and growth: LG Sinha

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JS Correspondent

SRINAGAR, SEPT 09

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today inaugurated a Farmers awareness conference on the use of ‘Nano Urea’, here at SKICC.

The conference was organized by Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO) to generate awareness about benefits of ‘Nano Urea’.

The Lt Governor highlighted the farmer’s efforts in fulfilling the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and transition to sustainable alternatives to protect soil health, plants and environment.

The Lt Governor Congratulated the entire team of IFFCO for developing the world’s first Liquid Nano Urea.

Sustainable farming is the only way forward to ensure food security and growth. Farmers are ultimate entrepreneurs and our effort is to provide them with better infrastructure, easy access to credit, access to modern machinery and benefits of agriculture extension services, observed the Lt Governor.

Under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has become the fifth largest economy in the world overtaking England. It has also sent a strong message that a sustainable and innovative agricultural system is significant for the holistic growth of any region or nation, observed the Lt Governor.

Highlighting the reforms introduced in the agriculture sector in J&K, the Lt Governor observed that being an agriculture based economy and having more than 70% of the population dependent on agriculture, special impetus has been given to make J&K’s agriculture system sustainable and profitable.

Introduction of progressive land reforms and efforts towards diversification, allied activities and high density plantation have enabled farmers with small land holdings to earn more, the Lt Governor said.

Integrated approach of farming has already been initiated and the government is promoting agro-based employment generating activities. Revival of traditional crops with market linkage support, GI tagging of local produce, high density plantation and allied activities have successfully brought prosperity for the farmers, the Lt Governor said.

The Lt Governor further highlighted that various strategies are being adopted for promotion of allied enterprises such as dairy farming, apiculture, sericulture and food processing in augmenting farmers income to reduce losses and open greater opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.

Underlining the need to make necessary interventions to ensure food security for the growing population, the Lt Governor called on stakeholders to work on mission mode for effective implementation of the Millet mission, Exotic Vegetables Farming, promoting micro-irrigation and reducing crop waste.

Dileep Sanghani, Chairman, IFFCO, speaking on the occasion said that IFFCO is continuously engaged in finding solutions to problems confronting the agriculture and allied sector. He informed that trials of the World’s first Nano Urea were conducted at more than 11000 places in every nook and corner of the country on around 94 crops.

Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, in his address said that J&K’s Agriculture Sector will emerge as a role model not only for the country but the whole world. A new J&K is recording unprecedented growth and development in every sector and is figuring as a top performer in several categories, he added.

Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, informed about the Apex Committee constituted under Dr Mangala Rai to find ways to double the growth rate of the agriculture sector. He said that various technical working groups have been formulated to suggest a policy framework to the Government.

Dr. U.S. Awasthi, Managing Director & CEO, IFFCO, highlighted the features and benefits of Nano Urea. It will immensely benefit the production in horticulture and agriculture sector, he said.

To mark the occasion, the Lt Governor also handed over sanction letters for Sprayers to Farmers, FPOs, Cooperative Societies and SHGs as part of the intervention of the Agriculture department for changing the public perception in the field of agriculture.

Balvir Singh, Vice Chairman, IFFCO; Sh Yogindra Kumar, Director Marketing, IFFCO; Board of Directors, IFFCO, Shri Chowdhary Mohammad Iqbal, Director, Department of Agriculture Production & Farmers Welfare Kashmir, members of FPO, Cooperatives & SHGs and large number of farmers were present on the occasion.

PM Modi’s governance reforms have enabled “ease of working” for women: Jitendra Singh

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NEW DELHI, SEPT 05

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governance reforms in the last 8 years have enabled “ease of working” for women and are actually, in a broader sense, huge social reforms aimed at providing women employees an opportunity to perform to the bets of their potential with a high level of dignity and self-esteem.

Addressing the women officers and staff of DoPT, DARPG and Department of Pensions on the occasion of Teacher’s Day, dedicated to Matrashakti, Dr Jitendra Singh said, his Ministry has taken concerted efforts to increase the representation of women in Central Government jobs and to provide them a balance between professional as well as family life.

Referring to Prime Minister’s 76th Independence Day speech, wherein Modi said, “I can see the manifold contribution of ‘Nari Shakti’, my mothers, sisters and daughters, in the next 25 years compared to the contribution in the last 75 years of India’s journey”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, right from his 1st Red Fort address in 2014, Modiji has announced several schemes for empowerment of women, be it building of household toilets, Ujjawala, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Mahila E-haat or Working Women Hostels. He said, even STEP (Support to Training and Employment Programme) for Women Scheme aims to provide skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies and skill that enable women to become self-employed/ entrepreneurs.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that only three days back, DoPT has taken a historic decision to grant a 60-day special maternity leave for women Central government employees in case of stillbirth or death of an infant within a few days of birth. He pointed out that various instructions have been issued by DoPT from time to time highlighting the special provisions in the rules/regulations for the benefit of women employees for increasing representation of women in Central Government jobs and ease the difficulties being faced by them.

Referring to some of the major reforms / initiatives taken towards women welfare, Dr Jitendra Singh said, steps like continuation of grant of 730 days CCL, facility of Leave Travel Concession (LTC), while an employee is on CCL, removal of the limit of 22 years in case of disabled child for the purpose of a Government servant availing Child Care Leave and Special Allowance @ Rs.3000/- p.m. to Women employees with Disability has been granted for child care have resulted in better output, besides bringing ease of living for women employees.

Dwelling on Pension Reforms, Dr Jitendra Singh said, a number of revolutionary reforms including relaxation in the provision of Family Pension for divorced daughters and Divyangs, introduction of Face Recognition Technology through mobile app for ease in submitting Life Certificate by elderly pensioners, Electronic Pension Pay Order, assistance from Postal Department to facilitate pension process etc and steps like extension of Family Pension to differently abled child of a deceased Government employee/Pensioner or giving a major hike in the Family Pension emoluments for Divyang children of a deceased government servant/pensioner are not only pension reforms but these are social reforms having wide socio-economic implications.

The Minister said, in May this year, DoPT relaxed family pension rules for missing central government employees and the new rule has done away with seven-year mandatory wait and, in all cases, where a government servant covered by NPS goes missing during service, the benefits of family pension will be immediately paid to the family of the missing Government servant.

Speaking on the issue of Capacity Building and Empowerment of Women, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that Institute of Secretariat Training & Management (ISTM) extensively covers topics relating to the women, their empowerment, protection from domestic violence and prevention from sexual offences, in all its major cadre training programmes. It organizes women issue specific training courses also, ranging from two-day to five-day long durations at ISTM and outside. The Minister added that during the last five years, about 800 officers of different grades and positions have been covered in as many as twenty-five (25) courses, which have been organized at ISTM on the topics of, Gender Sensitization, Gender Budgeting, Protection, Prevention and Redress of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace, and Protection of Women from Domestic Violence.

Dr Jitendra Singh concluded by saying that in the last few years India has graduated from women participation to women led leadership and today they are an equal stakeholder in the nation building. He said, in the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal, women folk will contribute their might in making India a frontline state in 2047 in an enabling milieu and they will confidently assert their rightful place, when India celebrates 100th year of Independence.

A teacher is a bright lamp which has capability of lighting hundreds of unlit lamps: LG Sinha

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JS Correspondent

JAMMU, SEPT 05

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today honoured the finest teachers from across J&K with Union Territory Awards at SKICC to mark the Teachers’ day celebrations.

Extending his greetings on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, the Lt Governor urged the teachers to allow independent thinking, creativity, inquisitiveness, knowledge for quality education by involving students and ensuring individual growth for appropriate learning experience.

 “A teacher is a bright lamp which has the capability of lighting hundreds of unlit lamps and imparts courage to innovate and invent. Holistic education as suggested by National Education Policy will provide equal opportunities to teachers and students to use knowledge to transform”, said the Lt Governor.

Achieving wealth of values in life should be the new aim of younger generation rather than the race for marks. Innovation, flexibility, creativity, value-based education, developing scientific temper, skill sets and independent ideas should be given priority in the education system, the Lt Governor added.

Great educationist and former President of India, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan always believed that education means wisdom, love, curiosity and creativity.  Dr Radhakrishnan had a very clear message – ‘Teachers are not those who give knowledge to the students, but in the true sense, teachers are those who prepare the students for the future challenges’, observed the Lt Governor.

With the same spirit, the National Education Policy prepared under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is the biggest revolution of the last 75 years with the potential to kindle the curiosity, creativity and scientific thinking through quality learning among the students, he added.

Asserting that the last two years have been a period of transformation for education sector in Jammu & Kashmir, the Lt Governor said that new reforms, policies and schemes in line with National Education Policy have redefined the entire education system and made the schools a centre of quality learning while restoring the teachers’ respect in the society.

The Lt Governor noted that initiatives like Teachers-Students mentorship programme, Aao School Chalein Campaign, TALAASH Survey, 500 Atal Tinkering Labs, modern skills training, scholarship programs, computer aided learning etc are bringing real transformation in the educational eco-system.

Dedicated efforts are being made for bridging the gender gaps and ensuring that the quality education is accessible to common man. Necessary infrastructure for girls’ education has been established and in only one year, 14 hostels for girls have been developed, he added.

We are providing all necessary resources for individuality and independent thinking to grow in students and enhance their learning outcome.  As many as 70,000 boys & girls are taking vocational training in 14 different trades and 1420 Computer Aided Learning Centers in Upper Primary Schools are promoting independent thinking in children, the Lt Governor further added.

The Lt Governor asked the younger generation to draw inspiration from the life of great personalities like Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam ji and Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ji and learn higher values of life, make new discoveries & new innovations and dedicate themselves towards nation building.

Any form of violence has no place in a civilized society. We all, in unison must condemn the despicable killings of the innocent teachers, observed the Lt Governor.

There is also a need to ignite the feelings of national integration, righteousness and non-violence among the younger generation. Debates, Essay Writing and other such competitions on the theme of “Truth and Non-Violence” will be organized in educational institutions across the UT, announced the Lt Governor.

Students who excel in these competitions will be awarded on 2nd October to commemorate the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Sh Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lt Governor said that teachers ignite curiosity and sow the seed of knowledge and wisdom in students. He also highlighted the reforms introduced in the education sector in J&K in the last two years.

Tassaduq Hussain Mir, Director School Education Kashmir in his welcome address highlighted the invaluable role and contribution of teachers in laying a strong foundation for the future.

Earlier, the Lt Governor inspected the stalls put up by the students of various schools, and appreciated the students for showcasing the traditional artifacts, heritage, art, crafts and culture of Jammu Kashmir.

Ms Manisha Sarin, Secretary JKBOSE, senior officers of UT administration, large number of teachers and students were present on the occasion. Students and teachers from across the UT also joined through virtual mode.

Our aim is to transform Jammu as an eco-city for sustainable economic activities: LG Sinha

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JS Correspondent

JAMMU, SEPT 02

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today inaugurated and laid foundation stone of 14 projects of Jammu Smart City worth Rs 113 crore.

Dedicating the Smart City Projects to the people, the Lt Governor said these projects will create smart living by improving quality of life, better public services, opportunities for local economic development and easier accessibility to everyone.

Observing that the global framework of smart cities has undergone a paradigm shift in the last two-three years and eco-cities have been envisaged to make the urban infrastructure sustainable, the Lt Governor said that Jammu Smart City projects have ensured that maximum green space is provided to the citizens.

Our aim is to transform Jammu as an eco-city for sustainable economic activities and to also nurture ecological assets. Six projects have been initiated to harness the benefit of rich ecology, enhance the well being of citizens and resource efficiency by appropriate strategic approach, the Lt Governor said.

The Lt Governor also impressed upon multi-stakeholders contribution and people’s participation to make J&K UT’s cities and towns resilient, competitive, and dynamic with strong social infrastructure to tackle the challenges of growing urbanization.

The Lt Governor further observed that the concept of Smart City without Smart Citizen is meaningless. From developing Smart City to maintaining its systems and infrastructure, the participation of every citizen at every level is vital. It is the responsibility of the community to preserve and protect the amenities, he added.

The Lt Governor directed the officials to ensure the completion of the projects within a set time frame and called for adopting a realistic approach to make public services and urban infrastructure efficient with equal participation of all citizens, making cities smart with use of technology, to facilitate rapid socio-economic development and better quality of life.

Highlighting the impact of the Smart City projects inaugurated today, the Lt Governor said that the Facade Lighting of Mubarak Mandi, the priceless heritage of Dogra Dynasty, will add aesthetics to the heritage building, and boost the local economy by attracting more tourist influx.

The 10 new digital panels and advertisement panels at 110 locations apart from generating revenue for Jammu Municipal Corporation will also provide employment opportunities to locals, he added.

The Lt Governor observed that the project of street development from Mubarak Mandi to Raghunath Bazar, will provide a new experience of smart urban mobility to the citizens while preserving the cultural richness of the old market and locality of about five and a half kilometer road and its adjoining city. He expressed hope that once the project is completed in June 2023, Raghunath Bazar, Jain Bazar, Kanak Mandi, Moti Bazar will emerge as a smart commercial hub and will also provide new opportunities for economic growth to the existing businesses.

Another  street development project from Canal Road to Talab Tillo Chowk costing Rs 20 crore has been planned  to be completed with an integrated approach, keeping in mind the urban design process, urban management, mobility and local economic development, it was informed.

Speaking on the achievements of the revenue department, the Lt Governor said, under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, major revenue reforms were introduced by the government in the last two years. Initiatives like ‘Aapki Zameen Aapki Nigrani’ and institutionalization of 1553 Patwarkhanas has empowered the common citizens. Through digitization and land pass books, land disputes will be substantially reduced and it will be easier to check fraudulent transactions.

The land passbooks that have been distributed today are valid documents and to ensure its security, a unique number and QR code have been arranged in the passbook given to the land owners, he added.

The work of digitization of land records is going on in all 20 districts and out of 6912 villages, the process of digitization has been completed in 3049 villages i.e. land records of about 44.11% villages have been digitised, it was informed.

Referring to the several issues projected by various quarters, the Lt Governor directed the officials to examine the issue of dilapidated condition of Bahu fort road leading to Bawe Wali Mata Temple and take necessary action at the earliest so that the local people and devotees do not face difficulties. He further instructed for the execution of allied work of entry gate and approach road of Bawe Wali Mata and approach road of Har Ki Pauri at a rapid pace.

The Lt Governor also took note of the slow and unorganized progress of various Smart city works going on in the Gandhi Nagar area, and directed the concerned officials to ensure that works are not executed in a piecemeal manner on any stretch.

He called upon Engineers and Project Managers to draw project strategies that are simple, realistic and utilitarian. Our basic intent about the Smart City projects should be to make Public Services and Urban Infrastructure Efficient.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor also directed all Deputy Commissioners to complete the modalities for the disbursement of next installment under PM Kisan to all the beneficiaries of Jammu Kashmir.

The projects inaugurated by the Lt Governor include- Façade lighting Illumination Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex at a cost of Rs 3.32 Cr; Digital Ad Panels at multiple locations across Jammu City costing Rs 3.48 Cr and Static Ad Panels at multiple locations across Jammu City worth Rs 4.95 Cr.

Projects for which foundation stones were laid today included Complete Street Development from Mubarak Mandi to Raghunath Bazar via Pucca Danga, Moti Bazar, etc. (5.50 km long Heritage Trail) at a cost of Rs 16.18 Cr; Complete Street Development Canal Road-Talab Tillo costing Rs 20.21 Cr; Blue Green Project for Ranbir Canal: from BSF Paloura to Pawan Ice Cream (Phase I and II) worth Rs 20.17 Cr and Blue Green Project for Tawi Canal Zone 1, from Gorkha Nagar to Railway Station at a cost of Rs17.83 Cr.

The Lt Governor also laid foundation for the Development of Park and renovation of Women Vocational Centre at Prem Nagar costing Rs 1.11 Cr; Development of Indoor Gym and Park at Channi Himmat worth 3.86 Cr; Library cum Cafeteria at Mubarak Mandi at a cost of 3.28 Cr; Façade Lighting of Sidhra Bridge costing Rs 3.35 Cr; Vertical Garden- Phase-II at a cost of Rs 1.09 Cr; Landscaping & Development of Green Spaces in Jammu costing Rs 6.62 Cr and Rs 7.50 cr worth Archives Repository project at Kala Kendra.

Chander Mohan Gupta, Mayor JMC, said that several development works under Smart City project are being implemented at a rapid pace. The unprecedented growth of Jammu Kashmir under the LG led UT administration is being discussed across the nation, he added.

Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament, congratulated the people of Jammu on the occasion. He further lauded the UT Government for accelerating the development process. Those projects which were deliberately delayed for decades are now seeing the light of the day, he added.

Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary said that the occasion represents the changing scenario of Transforming Jammu Kashmir. He urged the people to link their Aadhaar and mobile numbers with their land records for obtaining maximum benefits of transparent governance.

Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary to Government, Housing & Urban Development Department, in his welcome address highlighted the key features of the inaugurated projects and the one for which foundation stones were laid on the occasion. We will see a transformed and aesthetically appealing developed Jammu City in the coming time, he added.

Vijay Bidhuri, Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, Revenue Department informed that around 100 Land Pass Books are being handed over to people today. It is a legal document admissible in the court of law having a QR code, he added. He also apprised about the progress being made under Aapki Zameen Aapki Nigrani campaign.

Rahul Yadav, CEO JSCL & Commissioner JMC presented a brief description of the projects and delivered the vote of thanks.

Ravinder Raina, President BJP J&K; Ms. Purnima Sharma, Dy. Mayor, Jammu, besides corporators of JMC attended the occasion.

Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary, Jal Shakti Department & Financial Commissioner, Revenue; Sh. Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Ms. Avny Lavasa, Deputy Commissioner Jammu, besides senior officers form the civil administration and police, besides scores of citizens were present on the occasion.

National Education Policy will reorient India’s Education Policy to global benchmarks: Jitendra Singh

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NEW DELHI, SEPT 02

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will reorient India’s Education Policy as per global benchmarks.

Addressing the PHDCCI Education Summit, 2022, Dr Jitendra Singh said, NEP is the biggest path-breaking reform in India since independence as the new policy is not only progressive and visionary but is also in keeping with the emerging needs and requirements of 21st century India. He said, it gives due priorities to the inherent talent, knowledge, skill and aptitude of the students, rather than focusing only on degrees. He added that it also gives the young scholars and students enough room to decide their options depending upon their aptitude and their personal circumstances from time to time.

Dwelling on the merits of NEP-2020, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the provision of multiple entry/exit option is something to be cherished as this academic flexibility will have a positive impact on the students related to the availing of different career opportunities at different times, depending upon their intrinsic learning and inherent aptitude. The Minister also said that the feasibility or appropriateness of this entry/exit option can be in future contemplated for the teachers as well, giving them career flexibility and upgradation opportunities as is done in some western countries and the USA.

The Minister said, the policy advocates creative and multidisciplinary curriculum that includes humanities, languages, culture, sports and fitness, health and well-being, arts and crafts, in addition to science and mathematics. It reflects the true essence of Swami Vivekananda’s Man-making Education, Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Education and Mahatma Gandhi’s Basic Education.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, today, around 40 million Indians are in higher education, more than the figure for The United States and the European Union combined and the ambitious new education policy seeks to double that number. He said, it is a big goal, but no doubt it is achievable.

Dr Jitendra Singh also pointed out that the Modi Government has also corrected the past anomalies and explained that the biggest discrepancy in the previous education policy was the nomenclature, the Ministry of Human Resource Development was a misnomer in itself was supposed to misrepresent other meanings. He added that now the Central Government has changed the name of the Ministry of Human Resource Development to the Union Ministry of Education.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, one of the most commendable opportunities that stem from the National Education Policy (NEP) is the chance for universities and colleges to incorporate entrepreneurship into their curriculum. If this is done in a meaningful manner, it has the potential to provide impetus to the nation’s economy in a fairly short period of time, he added.

The Minister also pointed out that India has created a massive jump in its global ranking of Global Innovation Index (GII) from 81st in the year 2015 to 46th in 2021 among 130 economies of the world. India ranks 2nd among 34 lower middle-income economies and 1st among 10 Central and Southern Asian economies in terms of GII. The consistent improvement in the GII ranking is owing to the immense knowledge capital, the vibrant start-up ecosystem, and some outstanding work done by the public and private research organisations, the Minister said.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, India has been focusing much on acquiring, developing and expanding latest technologies, which can well be understood by the increasing use of drones, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, block-chain and other innovative technologies in all sectors. He underlined that the new India is keen on making the maximum out of potential-rich areas like science and where scientific institutions are now seen as modern temples.

The Minister concluded by saying that the NEP was launched to transform India’s education system through a multidisciplinary approach. With the National Education Policy completing two years on July 29, 2022, post its roll out, 2,774 Innovative Councils in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in 28 states and six union territories (UTs) have been established, as per an internal progress report by the Ministry of Education. As per the report 2,000 institutions in higher education are set to begin as skill hubs and of this 700 have registered on the common portal of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

INS Vikrant example of India’s thrust to making defence sector self reliant: PM Modi

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KOCHI, SEPT 02

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said INS Vikrant is an example of Indian government’s thrust to making its defence sector self-reliant and has made the country part of the select group of nations who can indigenously make aircraft carriers.

Modi also unveiled the Indian Navy’s new ensign which drops the St George’s Cross and incorporates the royal seal of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Addressing a large gathering at the commissioning ceremony of INS Vikrant, Modi said with the new ensign, the country has shed its colonial past.

Till today Indian Naval flags carried a sign of slavery which has been replaced with a new one inspired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, he said.

Modi also spoke about certain features of the aircraft carrier — which he described as a floating airfield, a floating town — and said that power generated in it can light up 5,000 houses.

“INS Vikrant is not a mere war machine but proof of India’s skill and talent. It is special, different,” Modi said and highlighted the indigenisation efforts behind the massive ship, including the steel that went into its making.

With the commissioning of Vikrant, India joined a select group of nations having the niche capability to indigenously design and build an aircraft carrier.

The commissioning ceremony was attended by a host of dignitaries including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Kerala Governor Arif Mohamad Khan, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and top officials of Navy and Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).

Modi unveiled a plaque to mark the induction of INS Vikrant, named after its predecessor that played a crucial role in the 1971 Indo-Pak war, into the Navy.

The carrier is equipped with state-of-the-art features.

Prime Minister said that port capacity in the country has doubled in the last eight years and stressed that infrastructure growth is key for development of a modern India.

Speaking at the launch of various development initiatives at a public meeting here, he said for a developed India, the manufacturing sector and ‘Make in India’ need to be expanded.

Modi spoke about the government’s focus on infrastructure development.

The PM also said he is happy that the “double engine” government in Karnataka is working to fulfill the needs and aspirations of the people at a fast pace.

At the event, the Prime Minister inaugurated and laid the foundation for mechanisation and industrialisation projects worth around Rs 3,800 crore through a ‘remote control’.

These included a project worth over Rs 280 crore for mechanisation of Berth No. 14 for handling containers and other cargo undertaken by the New Mangalore Port Authority.

He also laid the foundation of five projects worth around Rs 1,000 crore undertaken by the port.

The Prime Minister inaugurated two projects undertaken by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited — BS VI Upgradation Project and Sea Water Desalination Plant — worth Rs 1,830 crore and Rs 680 crore respectively.

The sea water desalination plant will help reduce dependency on fresh water and ensure regular supply of hydrocarbons and petrochemicals throughout the year, according to an official statement.

Having a capacity of 30 million litres per day (MLD), the plant converts seawater into water required for the refinery processes, the statement said.