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 Couple among 4 killed, 2 hurt in Doda


GJ Report
Doda, Apr 17: In a tragic road accident at least four passengers including driver and a couple was killed and two sustained injuries, when a tempo traveler they were travelling in skidded off the road and rolled down into a gorge in mountainous Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir. "The ill fated vehicle JK02AG-840 carrying passengers was on its way from Charala to Doda town when the driver lost control over the vehicle near Thalela and it rolled down into a 300-feet deep gorge resulting in on the spot death of a couple and injuries to four others out of them two critically injured succumbed in the District Hospital," a police spokesman here said. On receiving information, Police personnel and locals rushed to the spot and started rescue operation.
The injured identified as Shashi Kumar, 25, son of Jaswant Singh, resident of Nai Doda and Rajinder Singh, 36, son of Batcher Singh, resident of Rokali were admitted in the district hospital.
Meanwhile the deceased were identified as Jaswant Singh, 50, son of Amar Nath his wife Bimla Devi, 48, resident of Nai Bhalla, Babu, 25, son of Gori Chand, resident of Phadra Charella and Inderjeet, 28, son of Som Nath, resident of Punja, Doda.
Meanwhile in another road mishap one person was killed and five others sustained injuries when a Tavera vehicle 6393-JK01N on way from Jammu to Srinagar when reached at Sher Bibi in Banihal area of Ramban district rolled down about 200 feet into a gorge resulting in injuries to six passengers this afternoon.
Out of the injured one person identified as Sameer Ahmed, 25, son of Abdul Aziz Khan, resident of Srinagar succumbed to his injuries.
Meanwhile other injured were admitted in CHC Banihal identified as Abdul Majeed Mir, son of Mohammad Sultan, resident of Gulbarg Colony, Haiderpura Srinagar, Sayed Altaf Ahmed, son of Sayed Abdul Gani, resident of Kandama Badgam, Srinagar, Ali Mohammad Najar, son of Abdul Gani Najat, resident of Natipur, Srinagar, Billal Ahmed, son of Ali Mohammad, resident of Natipura, Srinagar and Ghulam Din Wani, son of Ghulam Mohammad Wani, resident of Sherabaad, Pattan.


 HC issues directions in petition against enhanced fee by Pvt schools

JAMMU, APR 17: In a petition filed by the Parents Coordination Committee and others seeking directions to the managements of private schools who are charging the fee under the heads which are not prescribed under the School Education Act 2002 or SRO 123 for scrapping the enhanced fee, Justice Mohd Yaqoob Mir of J&K High Court at its Jammu Wing after hearing Advocate GS Thakur appearing for the petitioners, issued notice to the state of J&K through Commissioner/Secretary Education, Director School Education and others returnable within four weeks. In the meanwhile Court ordered that the Managements of the Private Schools shall ensure that the fee under the heads which are not prescribed in the rules shall not be charged.
In the petition it has been submitted that despite announcing the constitution of committee by the Minister, nothing has been done so far and the private schools in the state have monopoly in charging hefty fee having their uniform and books outlet and looting the hard earned money of the petitioners. Thus, the education in the school has been made profiteering and commercial which is prohibited by the Supreme Court in a number of judgments. (JNF)


 State’s unity, harmony, solidarity NC’s political genesis: Omar


GJ Report
Mendhar, Apr 17: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Wednesday said that more than 70000 vacancies in government departments would be filled up on fast track through a mechanism of holding interviews at district level by the recruiting agencies so that job-seekers from rural and far-off areas have not to travel longer distances. "I have directed for introduction of this mechanism as early as possible so that vacant posts are filled up by the eligible candidates", he said and added that creation of jobs for youth in government and private sectors is the focal point in employment policy of his government.
Addressing a public gathering at Mendhar in Poonch district, the Chief Minister said that he would take up the issue of organizing recruitment rallies by various central government agencies including Indian Railways for the youth of far-flung areas to expand job market for them.
The Chief Minister said that the execution agencies of various power and road projects have also been given directions to give top priority to the employment of local youth in these projects.
"The State Government envisages launch of various micro and small hydro projects in feasible areas on small rivers, brooks and streams in the remote areas in which locals would be provided jobs," Abdullah said.
Highlighting merits of unity and reminding people of the sacrifices made by National Conference to strengthen communal harmony, solidarity and unison between various sections of the society in the State, Chief Minister said that dividing people in the name of region or religion can be the handwork of 'pen and ink pot' (symbol of PDP) or 'kamal' (symbol of BJP), but the bearers of 'red flag with plough' (NC Flag) has always worked to unite the communities and harmonize Jammu and Kashmir.
Advising Gujjars and Bakerwals to live in brotherhood and harmony and reject those who try to wedge them apart for vote bank politics, Omar told them to complement each others' efforts aimed at welfare and development of weaker sections.
He said some elements want to divide them for vested interests. He asked them to beware of this conspiracy and exhibit their unity in fighting poverty and injustice. He said National Conference symbolizes their aspirations and works for their unity to help their equitable, holistic and all round development.
"You are aware that the preachers and exercisers of 'divide and rule' politics have left you alone after getting your votes. Your representative under the command of its party (PDP) leadership choose to remain out of Assembly proceedings and did not voice your demands in the House for petty political gimmickry", he said and advised the people to send such representatives in the Assembly who would stand for their cause and plead their demands vehemently in the floor of House.
Omar referred to the comprehensive development process kick-started by his government in the State and said that thousands upon thousands big and small works completed in all sector of development are speaking for themselves on the ground.
On the various demands presented to him at the public meeting by the MLC of the area Javaid Rana in a memorandum, the Chief Minister said that he would depute, Minister for Planning and Development to the area so that demands are addressed amicably and purposefully through the development policy.
The Chief Minister said that Power Development Department has assured him that the storm damaged electricity supply system in Poonch district would be restored by the end of April 2013.
He said he has given strict orders for booking the persons involved and responsible for heavy damage to the power system in the area and added that the erring officials would be handed over severe punishment under the law.


 People can bring in change by making parties accountable: Mehbooba


Srinagar, Apr 17: The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alleged that all major decisions since 1931 taken by the National Conference (NC) had a devastating effect on Jammu and Kashmir. Stressing the agenda of hope, peace and prosperity of her party PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today said it was not only unfair to club her party with NC but part of a design to paint entire mainstream black because of the misdeeds of the present ruling dispensation.
Addressing a party workers meeting at Uri in the border town she said on no scale could PDP the youngest party of the state be compared with NC that has been in the driver's seat for most part of the last one century.
She said PDP in fact is a response from the people to the need for a democratic alternative without which democracies are considered incomplete.
"How can our party founded only 12 years back be compared with NC that has been responsible for all major decisions since 1931 which have mostly had a devastating effect on the state," Mehbooba asked.
During its brief tenure in government PDP only brought relief and neutralised the impact of NC rule, she claimed.
On the scale of governance and showing J&K a way out of the decades long dark tunnel, Ms Mehbooba said PDP's stint in power with just 16 seats in assembly its performance is something that weighs heavy over decades of NC's record.
She said her party does not live in the past nor does it treat itself at war with its political adversaries.
"We only want to continue the unfinished agenda to bring permanent peace to the state, lift the siege around it, restore its dignity that has been grossly undermined and create conditions in which the people can prosper and our youth have a bright future," she said.
Ms Mehbooba said on all these issues a strong and successful beginning had been made in 2002 but subsequent events resulted in the reversal of that process.
It is now for the people of this state to enable the party resuming and carrying forward that process which could liberate us from a constant fear, uncertainty and instability that has resulted in immense trouble to several generations of Kashmiris.
She said there should be no reason for continuing despondency and trouble if the people learn to use their vote for holding political parties to account as is done in real democracies like rest of the country.
She said if even in large states like UP, people can change political parties with decisive mandate why can't it be done in our state where it had in the past been happening when NC received huge mandate.
'Unless we learn to use the right to vote effectively and wisely the problems facing the people would not go away as any ruling party could take them for a ride which unfortunately had been happening so far' Ms Mehbooba said. (UNI)


  Protest sparks in Khour over closure of schools

GJ Report
Jammu, Apr 16 : Protest sparked in Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand's Khour Constituency over the closure of schools with an aim to ensure massive gathering at a political rally. Amid anti-Deputy Chief Minister slogans, locals including the parents of the students from different villages assembled in the bordering Pargwal area and staged demonstration. Led by Sarpanch Bhupinder Singh Manhas, the protestors criticized the Dy CM for issuing 'verbal order' regarding closure of schools at the cost of students' future. Protestors alleged that the order was issued by the concerned Minister, who holds portfolio of Education Department thus forcing the staff and the teachers to attend the rally held at Government Higher Secondary School Khour.
"There are two gazetted holidays ahead on Thursday (Mela Bahu Fort) and Friday (Ram Navmi) followed by weekend and with the closure of schools the working days were reduced to three only, which is a mockery of the department," Sarpanch Bhupinder Singh said. He said that over 250 children from different villages of Pargwal area have already shifted to private schools in Akhnoor and by indulging into such tactics just to garner publicity; the DyCM is forcing more parents to shift their wards to private schools which we will not tolerate.
"The Deputy Chief Minister has 'verbally' issued an order to the concerned authorities for closure of schools for his political motive in the name of 'Teachers Convention," BJP Block President Jai Singh and senior leader Shamsher Singh, said. They alleged that there were no working hours in Primary, Middle, High and Higher Secondary Schools in Khour Block today and even the teachers who used to cook mid-day meal, were busy attending the rally on the Dy CM's directions.
Some eye witnesses also confirmed the participation of a large number of members of teaching fraternity in the rally.


‘Amchies to recruit against Ayush Docs under NRHM’


GJ Report
Leh, Apr 17: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad said that Amchies to recruit against AYUSH Doctors under National Rural Health Mission.
On an invitation by Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Chief Executive Councilor LAHDC, Leh Rigzin Spabar today had a detailed meeting with him at the national capital about the ongoing projects and issues of Health sector in Leh.
Giving details of completed projects under Health Sector, Spalbar apprised the Minister that R 3.5 crore CT Scan machine along with building, an Oxygen Plant worth R 1.70 crore, Cardio Care Unit worth R 1 crore have been completed so far.
He informed him that a building of Sowa Rigpa Research Center along with hospital and heating system amounting R 2.65 crore has been completed.
The "E" Block of the SNM Hospital was also completed and works on "D" block for which Maharasthra Government has given R 6 crore is under construction.
The CEC also projected a list of important demands for improving the health sector in Leh which included opening of new 30 Medical Aid Centers (MAC), upgradation of Primary Health Centers of Khaltsi and Nyoma to Sub District Hospitals, upgradation of Nine MAC to PHC, providing MRI machine and Dialyses machines under NRHM, sanctioning of nine Ambulance for Leh District, affiliation of SNM Hospital with Jammu or Srinagar Government Medical College, recruitment of Amchies in place of AYUSH doctors under NHRM in Ladakh, upgradation of Oxygan Plant and sanctioning of funds for its maintenance.
Spalbar also demanded a mobile hospital explaining the minister about the vast scattered area of Leh.
He also apprised him that R 2 crore is being expended annually on Central Heating system of SNM Hospital and Sub District Hospitals of Leh district and demanded for providing of extra funds under NHRM for this purpose.
Putting forth the demand of LAHDC Leh, CEC strongly urged for opening of a National Institute for Sowa Rigpa impressing on its need and importance after its recognition by the GoI stating that it will further assist in developing the field in the region.
The CEC invited the Minister to visit Leh for inaugurating the completed projects and thanked him on behalf of the people Leh for his genuine consideration of the needs of the people of the region and timely support availing with best of medical facilities through government sponsored schemes and projects.
Azad however, on the spot gave the decision to recruit qualified Amchies against the AYUSH Doctors under NHRM in Leh and also assured to provide required ambulances for Leh district.
The Minister said that he is personally following the projects ongoing in Leh and will soon visit the region to inspect the completed works and assured of an extensive tour of the District in June.

Go Air to operate direct flights from Mumbai to Srinagar

Jammu, Apr 17: The Go Airways would operate direct flights from Mumbai to Srinagar from tomorrow and is also exploring possibilities to operate night flights from several capital cities of the states of the Country to Srinagar to meet the rush of tourists to the Valley and other destinations of the State.
"State Government has already taken up the matter for operation of night flights from different cities to Srinagar with the Centre and other State Governments to facilitate the tourists planning to visit tourist destinations of the State. We have received positive response and government hopes that night flights to Srinagar would be started soon," Chief Executive Officer of Go Air Company here said in a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Tourism Ghulam Ahmad Mir.
The Tourism Minister also hailed the steps of the Company and hoped that the Company would soon start its night flights to Srinagar from different Cities for the convenience of tourists.
The Minister assured all possible support of the State Government to Air Companies for starting their night flights to Srinagar and said that main objective of the government was to provide better facilities to the tourists in the State which includes facilities of Air and Rail services.

BJP MLAs submit memorandum to Omar

Jammu, Apr 17: Bhartiya Janata Party MLAs from the bordering constituencies today submitted memorandum to the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah seeking compensation to the farmers in electricity bills.
BJP MLA from March Constituency Choudhary Sukhnandan and from Suchetgarh Constituency Sham Choudhary today called onMr Abdullah at his residence and submitted a memorandum for his consideration and favourable action for farmers.
The memorandum said that the farmers in Jammu province are allegedly being harassed by the State Power Development Department as they are served pending electricity bills for the period of last 10-15 years.
There seems no justification in demanding the pending bills and the department is totally responsible for the lapse of not collecting electricity tarrif regularly, it said.
"The farmers pay 'aabhiyaana' (revenue) for getting water through canals for irrigational purposes but the same is never available when the farmers need during sowing season," the memorandum read adding that the government charges 'aabhiyaana' regularly but water is not released when it is needed most.
In such a situation, farmers are forced to purchase motors and fix them in fields to pump out water for irrigation, which are being run for few days with electricity. The MLAs however, appealed the Chief Minister that the pending bills should be divided into atleast five to six easy installments without surcharge so that they (farmer) can pay it.

Nair takes stock of welfare schemes

KUPWARA, Apr 17: Advisor to the Prime Minister, T K A Nair today visited Kupwara district to review the implementation of various centrally sponsored schemes being launched for improving socio-economic conditions of the people and enhancing the employability of the educated unemployed youth of the state. Nair inspected Shehjar Community Resource Centre being setup at Kupwara for providing Skill Development Training to the militancy affected people to earn their livelihood.
On the occasion, the Advisor interacted with the trainees and expressed satisfaction for the measures undertaken for imparting training under Seva Help Foundation in the district.
Among others, Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, SSP Kupwara and officers of district administration accompanied the Advisor.
Speaking on the occasion, Nair reiterated that the government is committed to provide succor to the people being effected during the turmoil in the valley. He said that the affected people are being provided incentives for education and improving their socio-economic conditions besides facilitating old age persons.
He enjoined upon the people to avail the benefits of different welfare schemes being launched in the state. He also exhorted for effectively implementation of these schemes for maximum benefits to the people.

8 ASIs & 17 HCs promoted

JAMMU: The Departmental Promotion Committee under the chairmanship of S M Sahai, Additional Director General of Police Armed, approved promotions of 17 Head Constables to the rank of Assistant Sub-Inspectors, 08 ASIs to the rank of SIs, besides granted "In-situ" promotions to 18 officers/officials of J&K Armed Police.
The ADGP assured to convene DPC meetings in future for timely promotions in J&K Armed Police as and when vacancies are available, besides Grade Placements for next higher grades of followers of J&K Armed Police is also in queue. Sahai while congratulating the newly promoted officers and officials expressed hope that they will continue to work with the same devotion and dedication.

Czech Ambassador calls on CM

JAMMU: Ambassador of Czech Republic Miloslav Stasek today called on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah here.
During the meeting matters of mutual interests were discussed. Czech Ambassador showed keen interest in the initiatives, the Chief Minister has taken for public empowerment, bringing transparency in the functioning of administration, making government officials legally liable for public services delivery to the people in a fixed time frame and improving the governance in the State.

Court timings to change from May 1

JAMMU: According to the order issued by Registrar General J&K High Court, Suresh Kumar Sharma the High Court of J&K and Subordinate Court shall function for summer session 2013 with effect from May 1, 2013 as per the notified timings.
From May 1, 2013, the timing of Jammu Wing of the High Court shall be from 08:00 AM to 02:00 PM with half an hour break from10:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Similarly the timing of Srinagar Wing of the High Court shall be from 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM with one hour break from 01:00 PM to 02:PM.
However the timing of Subordinate Courts in Jammu Division shall be 8:00 AM to 01:30 PM from May 1, 2013. (JNF)


'Remain vigilant against communal, divisive forces'

NOWSHERA, APR 17: Ravinder Sharma, MLC, General Secretary and Spokesperson, JKPCC today conducted an extensive tour of border areas of Nowshera in Rajouri.
Addressing a meeting of prominent citizens of the area, Sharma cautioned them against the designs of communal and divisive forces and asked the people to be vigilant and safeguard the interests of state and the nation.
He said that the issues of border migrants are receiving due attention and have been taken up with the Congress leadership and State Government from time to time and said that the people residing near LOC have been facing immense difficulties during the border disturbance and border conflicts and deserve comprehensive policy for their welfare, relief and rehabilitation. Sharma said that in the recent assembly session, the government has assured that all pending cases of those who have suffered causalities and became handicapped due to mine blasts or in firing at border would be paid ex-gratia relief. There power bills for the period they stayed out from their residences during border conflict will be considered for waiver because they have not consumed the power and they have been charged by the department on flat rates.
Sharma also paid obeisance at the Dev Sathan of "Baba Beeram Shah Ji" and at Ravi Dass Temple at Jhangar, where thousands of people attended the annual yagna and prayed for peace and harmony in the society. He also inaugurated a community hall at Baba Beeram Shah Dev Sathan and also laid foundation of another hall near Guru Ravi Dass Sabha at Jahangar.
He demanded renovation and preservation of all Mughal shrines en-route Jhangar to Bafliaz and exploiting the tourism potential of this area including Mangal Devi at Seri, Mangla Mata at Bhawani, Ziarat Shah Lakh, Qila Darhal, Baba Sunder Singh shrine and Baba Banda Singh Bhahadur Dera at Rajouri.
The meeting was attended by the Block Development Officer, Sarpanchs, Parshotam Kumar, Bindu Choudhary, Khaleel Ahmed, President, Block Congress Committee, Nowshera, Harbans Lal Bakshi, Choudhary Inder Kumar, Ram Prashad, Choudhary Ram, Ex-Sarpanch, Bhai Satpal and others.


Maintain tempo of teaching to enhance students' skills: Lone to teachers

JAMMU, APR 17: Minister for Higher Education, Mohammad Akbar Lone this evening distributed job letters among fresh engineering graduates at Government Women College, Gandhi Nagar, here.
The Function was organized by Departmental Training and Placement, Government College of Engineering and Technology, Jammu.
Principal of the College, Prof Atula Dhar in her welcome address apprised the Minister about the achievements registered by the College during last couple of years. Special Secretary, Higher Education, Hemant Kumar, Director Colleges, Prof Nalini Kohli, Principal, GCW, Parade, Prof Hemla Aggarwal, Principal Government Women's College, Gandhi Nagar, Prof Kiran Bakshi, Joint Director Information Jammu, Samita Sethi, senior functionaries of host college and large number of students were present on the occasion. Around 80 engineering graduates who had completed their professional degrees in various streams including civil, electrical and mechanical engineering were provided job letters by the Minister.
Addressing the function, the Minister said that the Government is contemplating to encourage the efficient functioning of engineering colleges in private sector and steps are afoot to boost the morale of top professionals to open a chain of private engineering colleges to provide students ample opportunities to groom within State and serve the people with spirit and courage.
Appreciating the teachers for providing quality education to the students, the Minister urged upon them to maintain the tempo of teaching in future also so that more and more students come out with flying colours.
Earlier, the students presented a joint prayer which won a great applause from the audience.


 'Aayakar Sewa Kendra' inaugurated at IT Office

JAMMU, APR 17: As a step forward in the direction of providing state of the art facilities to the tax payers, Aayakar Sewa Kendra and a passenger lift were formally inaugurated in Income Tax Office, here today. In an exceptional move, the honour was given to Waris Masih, the senior most Safai Karamchari alongwith Arjun Singh, the senior most T A in the office to inaugurate the above facilities. They were also joined by S.L. Mahajan, the senior most Advocate.
On the occasion, A.K. Thatai, Commissioner of Income Tax, J&K, B.B. Singh Commissioner (Appeals), J&K, R.K. Kakar, Joint Commissioner, Rakesh Kumar, Dy. Commissioner of Income Tax (HQ.), Rajiv Gubgotra, Asstistant Director (Investigation) and all ITOs were present from the department side.
In addition to this, R.K. Dogra, S. Mehta, V. Grover and Rattan Lal Gupta, the prominent Advocates, and Pardeep Gandotra and Joginder Singh, Chartered Accountants were also present on the occasion. All present on the occasion expressed their deep satisfaction and appreciation for the initiatives and efforts of the department for improving the facilities to the tax payers.


NC, Congress responsible for bloodshed in Kishtwar, Doda: BJYM

KISHTWAR, APR 17: Yuva Adhikar Yatra started by the State unit of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha( BJYM) reached Kishtwar, here today. Yatra was accorded warm welcome by the BJYM Kishtwar district President, Ashish Sharma, Rocky Goswami, Ranjeet Singh, Sandeep Shan and Preshant Bhandari alongwith hundreds of local youth at Shalimar and organized a massive Motorcycle-Car rally that passed through the City and culminated at the Dak Bungalow where a big youth rally was organized by the local unit of BJYM.
Addressing the youth rally, the BJYM State President, Ravinder Raina accused National Conference and the Congress for the killings in Kishtwar and Doda districts during the period of terrorism. He said National Conference and the Congress are responsible for the bloodshed in Kishtwar and Doda districts as both the parties adopted the pro-separatists agenda and demoralized the nationalist people of the region. Raina said that the family member of all those who were killed by the terrorists are still waiting for justice but NC led coalition is patronizing the terrorists by so called Rehabilitation Policy and has demoralized the highly qualified and educated youth of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh by implementing new recruitment policy. He said it has now clear to all that this Congress-National Conference government has all affections for terrorists and all hatred for the youth of Jammu, Kashmir and the Ladakh.
Lambasting the NC-Congress government for ignoring the youth especially of Kishtwar and Doda districts, senior BJP leader, Sunil Sharma said that NC-Congress is responsible for the present crisis and the mismanagement in the state. He said this government has totally ignored the people who suffered by virtue of Pakistan sponsored terrorism in Doda and Kishtwar and on the contrary this government is adopting an appeasing policy towards separatists. He said the areas like Paddar, Nagsini, Marwaha, Wardwan, Chatru, Sarthal and Dacchan are the worst victims of terrorism and are still the most backward areas of the State but NC-Congress Ministers are looting the State by indulging in corruption and have no concern for the poor people of the region. Expressing anguish over the ignorance of Youth and patronizing the terrorists by the state government, BJP district President, Rajinder Singh said that Surrender Policy for terrorists is encouraging secessionism and terrorism in the state and has demoralized the nationalist youth. Others who spoke on the occasion included Inderjeet Singh Sambyal, Narinder Singh Kotwal, Basant Raj, Nazir Ahmed Khandey, Khushi Mohd, Capt. Hukum Chand, Chuni Lal Shan, Honey Singh Jamwal and Naresh Sharma. District President, Ashish Sharma presented the vote of thanks.


CCB sets Rs 700 crore target for current fiscal

JAMMU, APR 17: "The result of the Citizens' Cooperative Bank (CCB) Limited for the year 2012-13 has shown encouraging trends. The membership of the bank has gone up to 30567 with a share capital of R 601.59 lakh against last year's bench mark of R 546.47 lakh". This was stated by the Chairman, CCB, Jammu, Dinesh Gupta while addressing a Press Conference here today.
He also said that the deposits of the Bank are to the order of R 29068.88 lakh whereas the advances are R 12339.01 lakh and the bank has also affected a record recovery of R 2409.17 lakh during the financial year.
He lauded that the percentage of net NPAs to total loans has gone down and the Bank is in profit. The Bank being committed for service to the society has advanced a substantial amount of R 7182.65 lakh to priority sector and has made advances to the tune of R565.59 lakh only to weaker sections.
Besides making advances, the Bank is making investments in Government of India and other approved securities and has also initiated Treasury operation to increase its income.
He informed that the bank has set a business target of R70000 lakh for the financial year 2013-14 while it envisages to bring down net NPAs below 5 percent.
"The Citizens' Cooperative Bank Ltd. Jammu which was established in 1978 is now the largest Urban Cooperative Bank among four Urban Cooperative Banks of Jammu and Kashmir" he added.


Basohli miniature painting camp concludes

JAMMU, APR 17: The 5 days Basohli miniature painting camp which began at Mubarak Mandi here on Saturday concluded today. Organised by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages on the eve of World Heritage Day, the event saw participation of several established and emerging artistes.
On the concluding day today, certificates of participation were presented to the participants by Commissioner cum Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Atal Dulloo. A painting exhibition showcasing the painted works was also thrown open by him.
It may be recalled that the camp was inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand on April 13 as part of Baisakhi celebrations. As many as 13 artistes from Kathua, Basohli, Jammu and Udhampur participated in the 5-day long camp.
Speaking on the occasion, Atal Dulloo assured the participants that adequate financial support would be provided to them by the government for promotion of this art form.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Secretary Academy, Khalid Bashir Ahmad said that the aim of holding the camp was to create awareness among people about preservation of cultural heritage of the State. He said that such events were important as they provided a ready platform to the artistes for showcasing their talent.
The artistes who participated in the camp included Dharampal Verma, Shakeel Ahmad Raza, Kabir Maharana, Sona Padaha, Dheeraj Kapoor, Rajini Balla, Pooja, Savita Sharma, Sushil Padaha, Antima Manhas, Deepa Soni, and Anuradha Kumari.


PDP leader alongwith 300 supporters joins BJP

SRINAGAR, APR 17: Inspired by the nationalist, people-friendly and secular credentials of the party, PDP leader from Kashmir, Ghulam Mohammad Mir, alongwith three hundred supporters joined BJP in a function held at Lala Rukh Hotel, here today.
BJP National Secretary, Dr. Anil Jain, State President, Jugal Kishore Sharma, State General Secretary (Organisation), Ashok Koul, Haleema Begum, Dr. Ali Mohd Mir and other senior leaders from Kashmir welcomed Mir and his supporters into the partyfold by garlanding them.
Mir, a retired Deputy Director of Horticulture Department and PDP leader from valley had contested the 2008 Assembly election from Handwara constituency on the mandate of PDP.
Welcoming the new entrants in the party, Jugal Kishore Sharma said that BJP is not only a political party but a mission to work for the nation and strengthen the ties of this state with the rest of the country. He said that BJP stands for peace and normalcy in the state and we have made sacrifices for defeating anti-national and pro-separatist forces in the state. He expressed grave concern over non implementation of the 73rd and 74th amendments of the Indian Constitution as a result of which the democracy at the grassroot level has not been allowed to flourish, which is indeed very unfortunate.
Dr. Anil Jain said that the mantra of our party is "Justice to all and appeasement to none". We do not mislead the people on hollow slogans and indulge in policy of dividing the masses for vote bank politics like Congress, NC and PDP. For us, welfare and upliftment of the masses is on top agenda and we are committed to end discrimination and ensure brotherhood".
Ashok Koul said that our organisation treats Jammu and Kashmir as crown of mother India and has been agitating for the abolition of separate symbols which induce a sense of separatism. He said that the joining of people in large numbers even in valley itself is the indicator of the fact that people have seen through the game plan of Kashmir based parties and understood that BJP can only be their real representative.
Ghulam Mohammad Mir said that the he has himself realized that the false campaign against BJP to paint it as communal party is baseless and the fact is that this party is of the masses and works for the masses. This is the only party which promotes brotherhood, nationalism and agitates for the rights of people. "It is the only party which has been making sincere efforts to ensure friendly relations with neighbouring countries and return of normalcy in the state", he added. Mir assured the party leadership to work whole heartedly to further strengthen BJP in Kashmir and remove the misconceptions from the minds of people about it.


Augmentation of water supply from Chenab reviewed

JAMMU, APR 17: Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pardeep Gupta today convened officers meeting to review the preparedness of Summary Appraisal Report (SAR) under "Augmentation of water supply to Jammu from Chenab River costing R 771 crore under JKUSDIP to be funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The meeting was informed that this sub-project aims at providing water supply to the population within the limits of Jammu Development Authority at 135 IPCD by increasing potable water production in Phase-I by 240 MLD to meet the water demand up to year 2031 and in Phase-II by another 240 MLD to meet the water demand up to year 2046.
The population to be benefited has been worked out as 2464000 souls in the year 2031 and 3688000 souls in the year 2046. The Sub project scope of Phase-I consists of construction of intake structures at River Chenab laying of Raw Water Rising Main, construction of 240 MLD Water Treatment Plant (WTP) at Village Gurah Pattan, laying of about 20 km, clear water gravity main up to CPS, Muthi, construction of pump house at CPS, Muthi, laying of 35 km pumping mains, and others.
Threadbare discussion was held on various vital issues so that the proposed projects would be started soon. It was informed by ERA authorities that the tendering process would possibly be taken up be ending this year.
Divisional Commissioner asked the ERA and other concerned departments to work in close synergy so that these vital public works are not delayed due to lack of coordination at any level.
The meeting was attended by CEO, ERA, Saurabh Bhagat, Chief Engineer R&B, Tehseen Mustafa, CE, PDD, Shenaz Goni, Director, ERA, Naresh Langeh, ADC, Jammu, Dr. R. S. Sharma, SE, Hydraulic Circle Sushil Aima, Joint Director Joginder Pal, XEN, Irrigation, K. C. Gupta, other senior officers of ERA and concerned departments.


JTC submits memorandum to Governor

JAMMU, APR 17: Expressing their resentment against the failure of the state government to address the hardships being faced by Kashmiri Pandit (KP) Community, dozens of KPs today staged a protest under the banner of Jagti Tenement Committee (JTC) in front of Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to the Governor.
While briefing the media, Shadi Lal Pandita, President, JTC said that KPs were forced to leave their homes and hearths and the community has not left their native localities at their sweet will as such no charges are liable to be paid by this community till their permanent rehabilitation at a safe and single place in Kashmir Valley and restoration of the losses suffered.
He further said that agreement form issued by the Power Development Department is not applicable to the migrant community putting up in different migrant camps as they do not possess any property of their own and have been temporarily rehabilitated under Prime Minister's relief package.
The JTC leaders said that while the government was providing relief to the migrants it is not understood how they are demanding electric charges out of this meager relief.
He appealed to the government to restrain from threatening government employees (Migrants) for stopping their pay in case they do not bear the electric expenses and demanded immediate restoration of power in Jagti migrant camp.


State Education Advisory Board, Private Schools Fee Monitoring Committee framed: Dy CM

JAMMU, APR 17: Underlining commitment of the government to improve education scenario in the state, Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand said that in order to fine tune the department according to modern day education requirements the work on drafting a new education policy is underway and very soon the state shall have a futuristic policy in place.
He said that the government has already framed the State Education Advisory Board for the purpose of formulating education policy and administration.
"The Board besides Chairman will have 5 ex-officio members and 6 non-officio members who would be eminent educationists of the state and would give suggestions on formulating an education policy keeping in view the requirements and topographical constrains," he added.
Tara Chand was addressing a one day educational convention at Khour, today.
As per instructions of the Deputy Chief Minister the convention started with a pledge of commitment, dedication and professional approach towards work. All the delegates alongwith the Deputy Chief Minister and senior level officers of the department took the pledge.
Stressing upon keeping a tab on private school fee structure, Tara Chand said that the government as per the directions of Supreme Court has framed a committee headed by retired Chief Justice for fixation of fee structure of private educational institutes in the State, adding that the committee would fix the fees so as to prevent profiteering, payment of capitation or unjustified charging of fee in any other manner.
Underlining achievements of the department, the Deputy Chief Minister said that in short span besides preoccupations of assembly over ten thousand promotions have been made, more than five thousand lecturers have been regularized and around thirteen thousand vacancies have been referred to concerned recruitment agencies, adding that instructions have been given to SSB and PSC for ensuring fast track recruitment for the said posts. He said en-masse promotions at all levels in the department has been done both for teaching as well as non teaching staff.
Tara Chand said that very soon a comprehensive transfer policy would be framed for rationalizing transfers in the department. He said four zones would be created as per the topography of the area and all those who get promoted would have to compulsorily serve for one year in the tough zone. Those suffering from life consuming diseases and over 55 years of age would be suitably adjusted as per the policy and female staff would get postings in those schools which have proper road connectivity, he added.
"I appeal to all teachers to admit their own children in government schools so that others get encouraged and make sure that special care is given to all students by giving extra time also," he added.


Aijaz tours Gool area

GOOL, APR 17: Minister of State for Revenue and Relief, Aijaz Ahmed Khan has said that all possible efforts shall be made to ensure nook all development of every nock and corner of the state. The Minister was addressing several public meetings at Bolni and Mahakund of Gool block in District Ramban today.
Aijaz said that a number of roads and other development projects initiated in last four years are nearly completed and others are in progress to be completed soon. He said a large number of schools were opened as well as up graded in area.
The Minister announced seven room additional accommodation for Hr. Secondary School Tetharka under RMSA and BRGF, Health sub center for Bolni, Animal Husbandry centre for Tetharka. He also sanctioned R12.62 lakh for electrification of uncovered areas and R 62 lakhs plan under MGNAREGA and ten more Anganwari centre for the area.
Earlier various deputations called on the Ministers en route at Dharamkund, Haroog, Shelkund, Sangaldan and Gambhiri under the leadership of local representatives who apprised the Minister with demands and problems being faced by the people of the area.
Aijaz assured the people that their genuine demands would be fulfilled in a time bound manner. He took serious note of delay in construction of school buildings under various schemes in the area. He asked the DDC to take strict action against those people who are responsible for the delay in constructions.
Responding to the demands, Aijaz directed the CEO to ensure Teaching staff in Hr. Sec School Sangaldan and other adjoining Schools of the area on academic arrangement basis.
He instructed the ACD to ensure maximum participation of people in MG-NAREGA so that people are benefitted.
Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Shyam Vinod Meena, Chief Education Officer, ACD, CAHO, DSHO, Tehsildar Gool, SDPO, TSO and officers of other Departments, sarpanches, panches and prominent citizens accompanied the Minister during the visit.


Gurezi inaugurates BVH at Kalibari

KATHUA, APR 17: In a bid to boost the activities of Sheep and Animal Husbandry Departments and develop their infrastructure at modern lines, the Minister on State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Nazir Ahmed Gurezi today inaugurated Block Veterinary Hospital (BVH) at Kalibari.
Addressing a gathering on the occasion, the Minister said that BVH would help in providing health and veterinary cover to sheep and goat population of the area.
Appealing to people to avail the benefits of various schemes of reservation under various categories, the Minister stressed upon them to provide quality education to their children.
Stressing for using latest technology in the production of mutton, the Minister said that Government has provided hi-breed livestock to the farmers so that the economic conditions of this community are improved.
He said that instructions have already been issued to keep available every medicine at the doorsteps of the goat and Sheep rearing communities so that they may be able to flourish this trade, adding that this sector has huge employment generating potential.
The Minister was further informed that the district has a sheep breeding farm at Billawar and a dairy goat farm at Rajbagh where quality rams and bucks are produced for genetic improvement and 766 such rams and 95 bucks were distributed by the department among the private flocks for cross-breeding purposes during this period.
Responding to the demands of the people like Insurance, and providing medicare to the flocks during migration at different remote and hilly areas, Gurezi said that he has already issued instructions to the Officers for providing quality medicines to them.
Earlier, the Member Parliament, Chowdhary Lal Singh urged the Minister for providing medicines to the members of these communities for saving the lives of their sheep and goats.


JKAACL organizes multilingual 'Literary Meet'

KARGIL, APR 17: A three days District Level Multilingual Literary Meet, organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Language (JKAACL) Kargil, commenced today at Academy Hall, Baroo.
On the inaugural day the Chief Executive Councilor, Ladakh Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Kargil, Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan was the Chief Guest and the State Minister for Science and Technology, IT, Education, Health and Youth Service and Sports Feroz Ahmad Khan was the Guest of Honour.
The three days long event is aimed for providing platform to the people of Kargil to express and exchange their fresh literary efforts, and to encourage literary writing in local regional languages besides Urdu.
During the meet, 70 scholars will present their papers, poems and short-stories in Purgi, Sheena, Balti, Urdu and Kashmiri languages.
On the inaugural day, two papers by Ajaz Hussain Munshi and Jawed Jalib and four short stories by Mohammad Sadiq Hardassi, Tsewang Namgyal Yakum, Mohammad Hussain Rehnuma and Mohammad Ali Khan Sabeel were presented. Seven poems were also narrated by eminent poets, which included Mohammad Hussain Fayaz, Ahmad Jawan Drassi and Haji Mohammad Baqir Baqir.
Addressing the gathering, Feroz Khan said that any society with tradition, culture and language is just like a dead valley which has no identity and appreciated the role of the Academy for organizing such events to uplift and preserve the tradition, language and culture of Kargil.
Appreciating the role of the Academy for organizing such programmes on regular intervals, Feroz hoped for more improvement in the working of the organization, so that the outside world be made aware of the rich culture, tradition and language of Kargil.
Presenting a brief overview of the activities of the Sub Office of JKAACL, Tak said that it is as always conscious of the preservation and promotion of the multiethnic culture and tradition of the area, which is a healthy harmony of several different languages, dialects and cultures and on account of this feature holds the potential to attract scholars, tourists and researchers. It is this potential and preeminence that needs to be maintained in future, and added that for the accomplishment of this objective, the Academy unit at Kargil has been conducting a series of cultural, literary, children programmes and other related programmes and more are coming in future.


Bhaderwah Campus organizes Tech Quiz 'Quest-2013'

BHADERWAH, APR 17: The MCA Department of Bhaderwah Campus, University of Jammu, today organized a Tech Quiz 'Quest-2013', in which five teams participated.
The students who took part in the quiz included Arun and Kali Charan of MCA 4th Semester, Pranav and Aijaz of MCA 2nd Semester, Suhail and Kanchan of MCA 4th Semester, Anil and Balvir of MCA 2nd semester and Narinder and Dinesh of MCA 4th Semester.
The Tech Quiz 'QUEST-2013' was an audiovisual treat, which was divided in four rounds. Students appreciated the academic enrichment through this innovative quiz. Audience too got a chance to participate and won prizes.
The quiz was attended by the faculty members of Bhaderwah Campus and students of MCA Department.
The team of Arun and Kalicharan won the quiz, whereas the team of Dinesh and Narinder was runner up. Third prize was won by the team of Suhail and Kanchan.
On the occasion, a solo song by Dinesh, student of 4th semester and a skit by the students of 2nd semester were also presented.
Prof. M.A.Malik, Director Bhaderwah Campus, University of Jammu inspired the students and suggested them to take part in co-curricular activities in addition to their academics.
Sourabh Shastri, I/C Head, MCA Department, emphasized that activities like quiz are very useful in sharpening the knowledge of students in varied subjects of Programming, Electronics, Data bases, Data Structures and Operating Systems.
Dr Neeraj Sharma, I/C Head, IME Department, said that in the era of competitions, it is important to organize such programmes to prepare the students for bigger competitions.
The quiz was anchored by Jyoti Bakshi, Rachit Gupta and Akash Shaan, students of 4th semester. Other participants were Shubam, Ravinder, Rahul, Balvir, Rajinder, Yasir, Manohar and Anil.
Later, Bablu Sharma presented the formal vote of thanks. Dr Umesh Choudhary, Dr. Subash Chander, Nidhi Sambyal, Preeti Rajput, Muzaffer Hameed, Amit Sharma, Sunil Bhardwaj, Kulvir Katoch, Abhishek Sharma, Vidhu Koul, Rajbeer Kour and Yasir Ali were also present on the occasion.


NSUI to boycott CM's visit

DODA, APR 17: The District unit of National Student Union of India (NSUI) has decided to boycott the visit of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to Kishtwar and other adjoining areas.
The decision was taken by the members of the NSUI, under the leadership of their President Saqib Lone, in a meeting here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Saqib said that to register their resentment against the CM's non-responsive attitude towards college and university campus, at Kishtwar the local unit of NSUI has decided to boycott his visit.
He further added that in 2010, when Omar Abdullah visited the area to inaugurate the University Campus Kishtwar, he (CM) had promised that five subjects of Post graduation would be taught at Kishtwar Campus, but after lapse of three years, only three subjects are available in the Campus. He also expressed his resentment on the apathetic attitude of the administration towards the people of the area.
Meanwhile Sidiqi Aftab, President NSUI GDC Kishtwar appealed to the student community to boycott Omar Abdullah's visit to Kishtwar and support the organization. Aftab said that there is no Jammu University Entrance Test centre in Kishtwar campus, whereas every other campus of JU possesses the same.
He expressed his resentment against this discrimination with the campus and demanded for the same at the earliest.


Army helps in solemnizing marriage of poor girl

KALAKOTE, APR 17: The Rashtriya Rifles Battalion, located at Kalakote, assisted a poor family to solemnize the marriage of their girl namely, Talmeen Akhtar D/o Mohd Ashraf, of Beragoa area, here today.
As per the reports, Mohd Ashraf is a poor man with limited sources of income. Due to poverty, Mohd Ashraf could not get her daughter married, causing desperation in the family. Even the girl had started getting into depression, seeing the condition of the family.
When approached, the Army unit assured Mohd Ashraf of all necessary help and asked him to go ahead with the marriage arrangements. Finally, the marriage was solemnized on April 17, with great pomp and show.
The Army extended help in terms of ration, tents, drinking water and other requisite items required for the marriage. Besides this, the neighbours also contributed as per their capacity. The noble gesture of the Army was appreciated by the local populace of the area. Thanking the Army, Mohd Ashraf said that it is the Army that stands by the locals during difficulties and i am indebted to the soldiers for the service they have rendered. Had the Army and neighbours not helped me timely, my daughter would have remained unmarried and become mentally unstable due to depression, he further added.


Clear advertisements outstanding of newspapers: Viqar

JAMMU, APR 17: Minister of State for Technical Education, Information and Hospitality and Protocol, Viqar Rasool today asked the officers to carry out the necessary renovation of the JK Houses situated outside the state. The Minister was addressing officers during a high level review meeting of Information and Hospitality and Protocol Departments today. The Minister directed the officers of the Planning Department to provide requisite funds for ensuring the liquidation of the outstanding of advertisements being given to the newspapers. Viqar also asked the officers to work out modalities for setting up of colonies for media persons at Jammu as well as Srinagar.


Place petitioner's case before DPC for promotion as SP: HC

JAMMU, APR 17: In a petition filed by one Arun Kumar presently Deputy Superintendent of Police seeking his promotion to the post of Superintendent of Police alongwith similarly situated DySPs alleging that the respondents ignored the petitioner and did not place his name before DPC for promotion to the post of Superintendent Police, Justice Tashi Rabstan of J&K High Court at its Jammu Wing after hearing Sr. Advocate Surinder Kour assisted by Advocate Deepinder Preet Kour appearing for the petitioners, issued notice to Chief Secretary, Commissioner/Secretary Home Department and Director General of Police J&K, returnable within four weeks. In the meanwhile Justice Tashi ordered that subject to objections from the other side and till next date, respondents are directed to place the case of the petitioner for promotion to the post of Superintendent of Police before the Departmental Promotion Committee on the basis of his seniority, provided he is eligible. (JNF)


BGSBU organizes Annual Sports, Cultural Fest

RAJOURI, APR 17: Artists from across the nation performed during the Annual Sports & Cultural Fest -2013 was organized by Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University in the University campus at Rajouri. A concluding function in this context was held to mark the end of sports and co curricular activities which were going on in the University for the last couples of months. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Irshad A Hamal was the chief guest on the occasion.
The event started with the recitation of verses of the holy Quran followed by University Tarana sung by the students of the University. Dean Students MR Chowdhary presented a detailed report of the sports and cultural activities in the University.
The cultural event started with a Kashmiri folk song by the students of the University which was followed by a song of Basher Mastana & Party. During the programme Kartar Singh & Party, Suri Singh & Party, Sanjay Singh & Party besides Gojri, Dogri, Pahari and Himachali songs of University scholars enthralled the audience. A singer Shahzad Ahmed had specially landed in Rajouri to perform in the programme while a singer from Army cadre also performed in the programme.
In his address, Vice Chancellor Prof IA Hamal appreciated the students and other artists who took part in the cultural event and said that cultural activities are important to build a complete personality of the scholars. He also lauded the players who participated in various games and performed well. He added that sports activities teach discipline and it also maintains the health of the scholars. He said that the University is sincere in all activities with stress on academics and is also making all efforts to keep the sports and cultural events rolling in the varsity.
The programme was compared by faculty members Dr Asgar Ali Shah, Mir Aijaz and Dr Liaqat Nair.
Later best performers of various departments in different games were awarded prizes.
Registrar & Dean MR Chowdhary, Dean Academic Affairs AK Koul, Principal College of Engineering & Technology Mohammad Asgar, Principal University Polytechnic Col. KK Dogra, Director Centre for Biodiversity Studies Prof. BA Wafai, Controller of Examination Mohammad Ishaq, Special Secretary to VC Suneet Gupta, Incharge Deputy Director Physical Education & Sports Mohammad Din, University Engineer BR Chadgal, other senior officers of University, Head of the Departments, faculty members & staff were present on the occasion.
Deputy Commissioner Rajouri Saugat Biswas, Deputy Inspector General of Police Danesh Rana, Superintendent of Police Mubashir Latifi besides people from Rajouri Poonch also graced the occasion.


Computer lab established under Sadbhavna

UDHAMPUR, APR 17: As a part of the ongoing "Operation Sadbhavna" project in J&K, the Indian Army established a Computer Training Laboratory at Bal Ashram, here today. The project included donation of computer related hardware and other assistance in setting up of the lab to cater to the requirement of approximately 55 orphans residing at the Ashram.
Addressing the gathering at felicitation ceremony, Brigadier Salim Asif of 87 Mountain Brigade emphasized on the ever increasing importance of computers and the need to promote computer literacy. Even though the project is a small scale gesture, it is certainly an innovative step towards constructive channelization of youth that would go a long way in development of individual personality. The Social and Welfare officers of District and Tehsil were also present on the occasion. Brigadier Salim Asif requested the civil administration to promote other such ventures so as to contribute towards overall growth of the state. He also interacted with the orphans and staff at Bal Niketan and assured career and professional guidance to the students as and when required.
The staff at Bal Ashram was of the opinion that these welfare activities would facilitate in bridging the gap between Awam and Jawan.


Czech Media team, T&T operators to visit J&K: Milosalav

JAMMU, APR 17: The Czech Republic would depute its Tour and Travel Operators besides media persons on a familiarization trip to Jammu and Kashmir for encouraging its citizens to visit the state.
This was revealed by the Ambassador of Czech Republic, Milosalav Stasek during his meeting with Tourism Minister, Ghulam Ahmad Mir here today. He also offered the support from his Country to J&K Government for promotion and showcasing of the abundant tourism potential of the Jammu and Kashmir.
The Ambassador appreciated the efforts of the State government for promoting its tourism by creating world class tourist infrastructure besides offering adventure and golf tourism for high end tourists. He also hailed the governments' efforts to restore peace and normalcy in the State and added that Jammu and Kashmir State was as safe as other parts of the World, so there should be no reservations to any tourist to visit the State.
Minister of State for Tourism and Home, Sajad Ahmad Kichloo, Commissioner Secretary, Tourism and Culture and Atal Duloo were also present in the meeting.
During the one hour meeting, several issues related to tourism Cooperation between the Czech Republic and Jammu and Kashmir State were discussed.
Tourism Minister briefed the Ambassador about the overall tourism scenario of Jammu and Kashmir. He informed that Jammu and Kashmir offers varied attractions for the tourists round the year. "It has three regions with natures gifted tourism potential. Kashmir called as paradise on earth, Jammu city of Temples and Ladakh the moon land on earth", Mir informed.
The Tourism Minister informed him that Kashmir has the distinction of having four distinct seasons and each complimenting the other, adding that Kashmir has lot of adventure activities in winter with Gulmarg being one of the key destinations offering Skiing, Heliskiing, Gondola and much more. Regarding Ladakh, Minister said it is the Moon Land and if tourists want to have the feel of moon, there is no need to spend lots of dollars on space journeys, they are invited to Ladakh, which is common man's moon land, he said. Mir said that Ladakh is also well known for its lakes like Pan Gong and Psomorori, Buddhist monasteries, rich Buddhist culture, trekking passes and adventure motorsports.
He described Jammu as city of temples and with highly revered shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi, adventure tourism like paragliding, Rafting and Mountaineering. He said Jammu is blessed with lakes like Surinsar and Mansar, while in R.S.Pura sector one can witnesses various species of migratory birds. He said recently the government has started border tourism in Suchetgarh, where necessary tourist related infrastructure has been created.
Tourism Minister hoped the other Countries would also issue positive advisory to their citizens to visit of the State.


 Feroz, Kacho review SSA, RAMSA schemes

SHOTOPA/KARGIL, APR 17: In order to upgrade the basic educational setup and to ensure quality education in all the government schools, Government of India has taken various initiatives under RAMSA and SSA Schemes and the progress of these schemes was today reviewed during a meeting was conducted in Kargil under the Chairmanship of the Chief Executive Councilor LAHDC Kargil Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan.
The Meeting was attended by the State Minister for Science & Technology, IT, Education, Health and Youth Service and Sports Feroz Ahmad Khan, Executive Councilor Haji Ghulam Amir Kamran, Ghulam Rasool Nagvi and Punchok Tashi besides other district officers.
It was informed during the meeting that with the help of these schemes the literacy rate has reached 74%, which is quite satisfactory and due to these schemes 933 teachers and 937 RETs have been engaged. 660 disabled students have been enrolled to various schools to get basic education and arrangements have been made for home tutors to impart education to 53 disabled students under these schemes.
The meeting also discussed various ongoing school construction projects in the district under these schemes as well as awareness campaigns to make common people aware about education.
Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan stressed upon ensuring quality education in schools for which he said teachers have to work with full dedication. He directed the concerned officers to gear up the checking process.
Meanwhile earlier in the day the Chief Executive Councilor LAHDC Kargil Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan along with Executive Councilor Syed Kazim Sabere paid a surprise visit to various schools of TSG Block which included High School Minjee, 2 Middle Schools of Trespone village, Primary and Middle School Saliskote and checked the attendance register of the staff.


NPP to hold leadership training camp

JAMMU, APR 17: The leadership training camp of JKNPP shall be held on 20th April 2013 in Jammu in which the members of the Working Committee as well as the Pradesh and District leadership shall be participating. According to a handout issued by the JKNPP, this is first camp of this kind being held after the 2008Assembly elections.


Ensure speeding up MGNREGA convergence: Sagar

JAMMU, APR 17: Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Ali Mohammad Sagar today asked the officers to ensure that the convergence of the plantation aspect of MGNREGA is done at an earliest.
The Minister was addressing officers during a high level meeting convened to work out the modalities of convergence of plantation of MGNREGA with other line departments like Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Forest etc.
Commissioner Secretary Rural Development Department, Farooq Ahmed Peer, Commissioner Secretary Forests, Aijaz Iqbal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Vinod Ranjan, Directors Rural Development, Jammu / Srinagar, Shafiq Ahmed Raina, Mir Altaf Ahmed, Director Social Forestry, A. K. Gupta, Member Secretary MGNREGA, Pawan Rathore and other senior officers of Horticulture, Agriculture, Sericulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Forests were present in the meeting.
The Minister directed the officers to prepare a detailed project report about the activities of the different departments to be undertaken under the convergence aspect of MGNREGA so that the execution of the plantation drive and other related aspects can be executed within the shortest possible time. He said that the scope of activities to be undertaken under this flagship schemes can also be broadened so that the activities like floriculture, pisiculture, afforestation, soil erosion and animal husbandry and other related activities can be undertaken.
Sagar said that the scheme has been instrumental in changing the socio-economic profile of the people living in far-off areas and the need is to broaden the ambit of the scheme by ensuring its convergence with that of other departments.
The Minister also directed the officers to conduct workshops wherein the officials of different departments can be educated about the guidelines of convergence of the scheme with their parent departments so that the execution of the same is speeded up. He said that we also have to ensure that the funds earmarked under the plantation activity are utilized to the maximum and in a judicious manner.


Legal fraternity should debate new policy on JAC: Bhim

NEW DELHI, APR 17: "It appears that the political leadership intends to take over the reins of Judiciary by bringing the judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court of their choice. The latest proposal of the Central government to appoint Judicial Appointments' Commission with Law Minister with two so-called eminent jurists is fraught with dangers to dilute the judicial authority for political gains by the power." This was stated by Prof Bhim Singh, a senior Executive Member of the Supreme Court Bar Association besides being Chairman of the State Legal Aid Committee as well as Member of the National Integration Council while reacting to the Cabinet note circulated by the Law Ministry.
Singh observed that any attempt to interfere with the judiciary shall prove highly counterproductive and may give rise to unrest among the elite class also. He called this an attempt to empower the government and the Chief Ministers to appoint judges in the High Courts and the Supreme Court which in no way shall be acceptable to the people of this country. He strongly rejected the cabinet note circulated claiming that, "The proposed amendments will provide constitutional backing to the process of consultation through the institution of JAC and will make the process truly participatory between the executive and the judiciary compromising the independence of the judiciary." It shall not be Judicial Appointment Commission but a mockery of judicial system unknown in the history of democracy.
Bhim Singh urged Chief Justice of India to convene a meeting of the representatives of Bar Associations drawn from all the High Courts of India and the Supreme Court so that the matter could be discussed. He agreed with Chief Justice, Altmas Kabir that appointments to the higher judiciary are made after intense deliberations and there is no cause to impose the Law Minister and his favourite jurists to dilute the Constitution of the JAC.


ICCR showcases Jammu's performing art forms at Dhol Devta

REASI, APR 17: 'Kud Festival' primarily featuring 'Kud' dance groups and other performing art traditions of the hills of Reasi featured in Indian Council for Cultural Relations' fortnightly programme Horizon Series at the lawns of Dhol Devta, village Bakkal, here today.
Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India reached to the remotest part of the State and rejuvenated the rarest ethnic performing traditions of Jammu region in a major event "Kud Festival' which attracted large crowds featuring over seventy traditional artists. Speaking on the occasion, the Regional Director of ICCR, Balwant Thakur said that it is for the first time that ICCR has moved out of Jammu to identify the major representative performing traditions of Jammu region. It was desired that ICCR should not limit itself to the city auditoriums but should make efforts to reach to the places from where these fantastic traditions originate. He expressed happiness the way people of village Bakkal and adjoining villages respond to such happenings and have love and respect for their cultural belongings.
'Kud' is one of the most popular dance forms of the hills of Reasi. Kud of this area has established its distinct identity and has excelled at the National level by making it to the most of the National folk dance festivals. Kud is also found in Bhaderwah and Paddar. Primarily performed by men-folk this ritualistic dance is performed to please the local deities. For centuries this wonderful tradition of dance survived in the same fashion and later it began to be performed in other festivities like marriages, child birth, crop cutting, etc. The other forms which featured in this festival included 'Masade', 'Bhakh' 'Shinjh' 'Dafle' and 'Goria'.
'Bhakh' is out of the world singing style which has many rare and unique features. The speciality of this form of singing is that it is sung without the accompaniment of any musical instruments in a chorus style by a group of six to seven singers.
The Prominent traditional artists who featured in the 'Kud Festival' included Shaptan Singh, Shambu Singh, Bhuri Singh, Angrez Singh, Mohan Lal, Karnail Singh, Ajay Kumar, Sunder Singh, Prakash Chand, Sanjeet Singh, Balwan Singh, Tota Ram, Chunni Ram, Mangu Ram, Suraj Ram, Indru, Lajwanti, Kamlesh Kumari, Sunita Devi, Sushma Devi, Rano Devi, Neelam Devi, Bubly Devi, Godavari Devi, Savitri Devi, Rano Devi, Sharistha Devi, Saraswati Devi, Shello Devi, Kamlo Devi, Kunj Lal, Makhan Lal, Subash Chand, Krishan Chand, Balwant Singh, Suram Chand, Baldev Raj, Subash Singh, Gandharv Singh, Naseeb Singh, Daya Ram, Sansar Chand and Dhani Ram.


Water scarcity in Katra will soon be overcome: Sham

REASI, APR 17: Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma today said that scarcity of drinking water in Katra will be overcome very soon. He said that the Dhansar Water Supply Scheme has been initiated to cater to the needs of Katra town exclusively.
Interacting with the prominent citizens of Katra town, the Minister said that Government is aware of the drinking water requirements of Katra town in view of huge flow of tourists, therefore the Dhansar WSS was started in November, 2011 which is targeted to be completed in March 2014. He said that the executing agency has been directed to speed up the pace of work and complete the project within the time schedule.
Meanwhile, the Minister directed the Chief Engineer, PHE to immediately dispatch the necessary equipment to augment the Jajjar Water Supply Scheme to enhance its efficacy. The Katra town is presently fed by this scheme. He also directed the local officers to effectively regulate the water supply in the town. To meet the additional requirement, he asked for keeping a provision of tanker services.
Earlier, the Minister inspected the Dhansar Water Supply Scheme along with a team of engineers. He issued instructions to the engineers to ensure quality of work and complete the scheme as per the target. He also directed them to expedite the compensation to the land owners whose land has been acquired by the department for developing the scheme.
While briefing the Minister about the status of the scheme, the Chief Engineer, PHE, Ashwani Sharma informed that over 50 percent works have been completed and all out efforts will be made to commission the scheme according to the schedule. He said the scheme was started in November, 2011 at an estimated cost of R 47.42 crore. The designed capacity of scheme is 1 lakh gallon per hour.
It will have four stages alongwith equal number of sump tanks to ensure the efficiency of the scheme. The scheme has rich source of Dhansar spring.


Encroachment on forest land is almost contained: Altaf

JAMMU, APR 17: Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment, Mian Altaf Ahmad, in presence of Minister for Housing, Culture and Floriculture, Raman Bhalla inaugurated Tawi Herbal Eco-Park, spread over 133 hectares at Bandi Khad near Bahu Fort, here today.
Altaf said that need of the hour was to sensitize the new generation about the importance of environment, adding that saving environment and protection of forests and wildlife has been prioritized in the State. He said that the drive launched by the department against forest land encroachers was showing good and encouraging results. He said department with active support and cooperation of the people has succeeded in fencing the critical areas, particularly in Jammu, adding that encroachment has almost been contained.
The Minister said that efforts are being made to develop alternate eco friendly entertainment spots for Jammu people and the plan conceived by the officers of forest department for developing a park will benefit a large populace including domestic tourists visiting the city. He said this circuit connecting Mahamaya Mandir, Har Ki Podi Mandir and Bawe Di Mata Mandir will go a long way in promoting pilgrimage tourism in the Jammu city.
Appreciating the efforts of officers, the Minister asked them to take in account the plantation of trees while making further developmental plans of the park. He said 2 huts of the department existing in and around the park have been repaired.
Raman Bhalla, while speaking on the occasion, said that development of park will go a long way in promotion of tourism activities in the area, adding the rush of pilgrims to Mahamaya Mandir, would further go up with a massive park coming up in its vicinity. He said influx of tourism to the state was increasing and there was a need to make them aware about new tourist spots being created in Jammu city.
Bhalla said that introduction of Cable Car from Mubarak Mandi to Bahu Fort and development of artificial lake downstream Tawi River would add new dimensions to its attraction, besides offering more entertainment opportunities to the locals and the tourists visiting the city of temples.
He said 5D system would be installed in the park for entertainment of the children.
Earlier, Mian Altaf inaugurated Computer Lab at Chief Conservator's office Dogra Hall.
Meanwhile, Altaf also inaugurated Regional Office Complex of Soil Conservation Department constructed at a cost of R 78.56 lakh at Reka in Jammu.
The Minister said that Forests, water bodies and perennial rivers fed by glaciers were the main attraction for the tourists visiting Jammu and Kashmir and these are required to be protected at every cost. The Minister hoped that by virtue of cooperation of every individual, government would succeed in ensuring green revolution across the length and breadth of the State.
Asking for making judicious use of available funds and resources, the Minister asked the functionaries that the result of the conservation and development of forests and other natural resources shall be visible on the ground.
He asked the functionaries to ensure that the funds being spent through various wings of the department are put to best use for the benefit of people and restoration and revival of State's green gold.


Congress, NC have abused secularism: Jitendra

JAMMU, APR 17: Strongly reacting to the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC), President, Saif-ud-Din Soz's remarks while addressing the Congress Party's Legal Cell that parties like BJP stood no match to secular credentials of the Congress, the BJP State Chief Spokesperson and National Executive Member, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that on the contrary, the truth is that it is the two ruling coalition parties, Congress and the National Conference who are guilty of having abused secularism and as President of one of the coalition partners, Soz owes an explanation about why the Congress maintained a studied silence while its partner National Conference violated the oath of Constitution as well as propriety of official position by instigating communal passions, appeasing separatist elements and dividing the people of state on religious lines by vociferously coming out in support of terrorists like Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat but not showing same enthusiasm to take up the case of Chameil Singh, an innocent farmer who was murdered in a Pakistani Jail after he had inadvertently strayed into Pakistani territory.
Claiming that BJP is the only genuinely secular party in the country today, Singh said that if secularism means shying away from paying homage to slain CRPF Jawans as the ruling coalition leadership was seen doing recently in Srinagar or if secularism means reluctance to say "Bharat Mata Ki Jai", then the BJP is proud that it does not emulate such "secularism" which is practiced by the NC and the Congress. He said that it is a shame that even the Jammu based leaders from the ruling coalition prefers to speak in separatist jargan to please their Kashmir-centric masters and yet believe that people of Jammu are convinced about their secular claims.
In the larger interest of nation and the state, Dr. Jitendra Singh appealed to everyone across the party lines to adopt secularism as a way of life rather than a political rhetoric.





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