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Saying no to shutdowns and stones, Kashmiri youth prefer smartphones and startups: LG 

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SRINAGAR: Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Friday said that ‘Bandh’ call culture (shutdown) has completely ended in the valley as Jammu and Kashmir has for the last three years witnessed significant improvement in the overall situation.

The Lt Governor also said that stone pelting was replaced by smartphones as Kashmir youths are inching towards entrepreneurship (startups).

Sinha said people from across India have been able to build a trust which was apparent through the huge footfall of tourists having visited Jammu and Kashmir for the last seven months.

He said nearly 1.10 crore tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir for the past seven months which he said was a significant change in the overall situation of the Union Territory.  

“I can say, shops are open, traffic ply normally on roads, schools and colleges function normally. These are the signs of normalcy. Gone are the days of shutdowns when shops and educational institutions remained closed. Kashmiri youth are using smartphones, they want to move towards startups and have abandoned stone pelting,” LG said while talking to the media on the sidelines of the inaugural function of Ujala Cygnus Kashmir Super Specialty hospital at Nowgam.     

Sinha said that in e-governance category Jammu and Kashmir stands at number one position among all the UTs, while it stands at number five, if compared with other states in the country.

He said that the system of e-governance in the country started much earlier, however, in Jammu and Kashmir it was started on October 28, 2020 and despite that today J&K stands at number one position among all the UTs in e-governance system.

“If it is compared with other states in the country, Jammu and Kashmir stands at number 5 position, and I can say that in coming years we will be at number one or two position among states as well,” he said.

He added that all the officers are working with dedication and around 2009 public services have been brought online under the e-governance system in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Post independence, Jammu and Kashmir had just 3 medical colleges, however, today under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, J&K has 5 medical colleges functional, two more are going to be functional soon and two AIIMS have also been set up in the UT,” he said.

LG Sinha said that as far as he knows such facilities in medical field are not available anywhere in the country if looked at with population ration.

He added that Jammu and Kashmir is the only place which is providing free health insurance cover upto Rs 5 lac to every citizen, be it poor or rich.

The new hospital has secondary and tertiary care facilities in Interventional Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Neurosurgery, Orthopaedic and Joint Replacement Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery, Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Neonatology, Internal Medicine, Urology, Rheumatology, Onco Surgery, Ophthalmology, ENT, Plastic and Vascular Surgery, Pulmonology, Nephrology, Neurology, 24×7 Trauma and Critical Care. The hospital also includes a state-of-the-art radiology department, round-the-clock pharmacy, labs, and ambulance services. It also has a 24×7 toll-free mental health helpline facility, an official statement said.



Sinha declares Aug 5 as ‘Bhrashtachar Mukti Diwas’ in J&K; launches initiatives for tribal community

Srinagar, Aug 05:  Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today announced the government’s decision of extending various provisions under the Public Services Guarantee Act completely through online mode. 

He also launched major initiatives with a vision for a prosperous tribal community, and announced that 5th August will be celebrated as ‘J&K Bhrashtachar Mukti Diwas’.

Online public services are now linked with timelines laid down under the Public Services Guarantee Act (PSGA). The defaulting officers will be served notices for failure in automated online mode, and linked with penal provisions, said the LG. 

On the occasion, the LG inaugurated eight tribal hostels built at a cost of Rs 26 crore and laid the foundation stones for Rs 100 cr worth 25 tribal hostels.

The occasion also witnessed the launch of a series of initiatives by the LG including a coaching programme for NEET/JEE and competitive examinations under TOP 50, Host 50 and Stars 100 schemes.

Top-20 meritorious tribal students received laptops for their outstanding performance in the matriculation exam.

Apart from this, the top two students have also been felicitated with a cash award of Rs one lakh each. Besides, tablet computers and sports kits were distributed among hostel students. Smart cards were distributed to migratory tribal populations to ensure their smooth seasonal migration, an official press release said.

The LG also flagged off an exposure tour of 200 tribal hostel students to various parts of the country under “Bharat ko Jano” programme which will instill the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ among the tribal youth.

Dedicating new initiatives to the people of tribal community, the LG said that the schemes by Tribal Affairs Department will unleash the productive potential of the youth, holistic development of tribal community free from all discrimination, fear and insecurity.

Expressing gratitude towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi for securing the rights of the tribal community in J&K, the LG reiterated the government’s commitment to empower the tribal population of J&K “who were neglected for decades”.

“We are working with a resolve to make the development process holistic, universal and impacting all sections of the society. For the first time in the history of J&K, the tribal population is feeling fully integrated, connected with the mainstream of development. For the first time, their voice is being heard and they have been given their due rights,” said the LG.

The initiatives launched today are part of the continuous endeavours of the government to promote the welfare of tribal community and ensure that the present & future generations of the community have all the facilities which their previous generations were deprived of, he observed.

“Dedicated focus is being given towards facilitating best education to the new generation of the tribal community. We expanded the scope of pre-matric scholarship to 1.5 lakh students and 12,500 children were selected for post-matric scholarship. Rs 50.62 crore worth scholarships are being given for the education of the children of tribal community, which is a big record in itself,” the LG added.

“We are also spending Rs 40 cr to convert 200 schools in tribal areas into smart schools. Till 31st March, 100 schools have been converted into smart schools and the work of remaining 100 schools will also be completed soon,” the LG informed. 

Under initiatives of Host-50 and Top-50, 100 meritorious students of tribal community, including 45 girls will be provided coaching for the first time in Government Empanelled Institutes for NEET/JEE exams, besides scholarship worth Rs 70,000 to Rs 75,000 per year will be given to those who would crack the  competitive examinations.

100 tribal youths aspiring for civil services exams like UPSC and JKAS will get the quality coaching in the reputed institutes under Stars-100 scheme, and the administration will bear the expenses of tuition fees, study material for the talented tribal graduates belonging to poor families.

Moreover, 2000 tribal youths will be trained in formal skill development in different professions, and many such youths who have already taken informal training in any occupation will also be certified.

In yet another important step, pre-matric scholarships for the tribal communities have been on-boarded on the National Scholarship Portal. Now, the scholarship amount will be transferred directly to the accounts of 10,000 tribal students in a completely transparent manner. Besides, we have taken a step forward to encourage sports culture among the tribal youth, said the LG.

Under the ‘Technology Enabled Education Scheme’, Tablet computers preloaded with course wise study material distributed to 800 tribal hostel students of 10th, 12th and PG will prove to be an important factor in promoting digital literacy among the youth of the tribal community, it was informed.

A video clip on reformative measures taken by the government for students of tribal population of J&K was displayed on the occasion, besides the testimonials of several tribal children expressing their feelings after benefiting from various initiatives dedicated to children of tribal community.

Besides handing over cash prizes and felicitating meritorious students belonging to tribal community of J&K UT and providing them Laptops, Tablet computers and sports kits, the Lt Governor also felicitated the wardens of tribal hostels for their continuous support to students in their education journey.

Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary while speaking on the occasion said that the government is taking dedicated steps and initiatives for tribal people. The laptop and tablets provided to students would make them able to script a bright future with their hardwork and determination, he added.

Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, in his welcome address gave details of the inauguration of various major initiatives for the tribal community of J&K.

B K Singh, Principal Secretary School Education; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, besides a large number of students from tribal community and their wardens and members of tribal community were present during the grand ceremony of major initiatives of Tribals Affairs Department.

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