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J&K’s ‘Aroma Mission’ to be among torchbearers of Viksit Bharat: Jitendra Singh

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Jammu:  Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said Jammu and Kashmir born ‘Aroma Mission’ will be among the torchbearers of “Viksit Bharat”.

The minister was speaking after chairing the first-of-its-kind meeting with PRI representatives, including members from District Development Councils. The meeting, aimed at fostering connection with the society for StartUp promotion in the region, was held at CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu.

“J&K has become a role model for the rest of India, which was exemplified by the depiction of lavender farms of Bhaderwah town of Doda, through a tableau on Kartavya Path in the national capital on the occasion of the Republic Day.

“The youth of J&K associated with the Aroma StartUps ecosystem have emerged as brand ambassadors of purple revolution across the country,” he said.

Describing J&K’s Aroma Mission as a success story, he called for investing time and efforts to harness the hitherto unexplored or under-explored areas, contending that these areas hold the key to propelling India’s economy.

The minister said agri startups are fast becoming avenues of self-employment for youth of the Union Territory. Pitching for more public-private partnership in agri startups, Singh said the era of silos is over, hence collaboration should be fostered among the two sectors.

Underlining the importance of generating awareness about cultivation of Himalayan resources like lavender, he called upon the DDC members to play their part in this endeavour so that a large number of youth in their areas can join agri start-ups and earn their livelihoods in a sustainable manner, and contribute to India’s GDP.

The Minister also called upon CSIR-IIIM to conduct research and find out which new crops are feasible for cultivation based on the topography of different regions of Jammu and Kashmir. He stressed that more and more people need to be engaged in the agri-startup ecosystem.

“In the last 10 years under the leadership of Modi, the number of start-ups in the country has crossed the one-and-a-half-lakh mark,” he said, adding India’s bio-economy is currently valued at over USD 140 billion from USD 10 billion a decade ago.

The minister expressed happiness at India being known as a leader in preventive healthcare in the world, thanks to its much recognised vaccine programme which helped save lakhs of lives across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the space sector, he said investment worth more than Rs 1,000 crore has come in the area in just eight months last year.

He said the government has set a target of attracting more than USD 40 billion dollar investment by 2040 in space.

“But, India is expected to exceed the target according to the recent ADL (Arthur D Little) Report which said the country is projected to reach USD 100 billion by 2040.”

Singh said the number of space startups has grown in India since Prime Minister Modi undertook reforms in this sector.

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