J&K administration to conduct countrywide roadshows ahead of global investors summit

Jammu: In a bid to attract investment and industries to Jammu and Kashmir, the Union territory administration has come up with a plan to send 54 of its top officers to conduct roadshows across the country from February 17.

Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam chaired the second apex committee meeting on Friday to review the preparations for the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir Global Investors Summit 2020, to be held in the capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu.

In the run-up to the mega event, roadshows were scheduled from February 17 onwards in major cities across the country, a senior officer said, adding that each roadshow will focus on showcasing specific sectors for seeking investment in Jammu and Kashmir.

The roadshows will be held in Bengaluru and Kolkata on February 17, in Mumbai on February 21, in Hyderabad on March 2, in Chennai on March 5 and in Ahmedabad on March 9, officials said.

Fifty-four senior officers and dignitaries will preside over the pre-event functions slated during the roadshows, they added.

International roadshows were also being planned to attract foreign investment, the officials said.

Besides, mini conclaves will be held in Srinagar and Jammu in March, they added.

Signing of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the interested investors will also form a part of the roadshows and the main summit, the officials said.

Reviewing the preparations of various pre-event activities, the chief secretary laid emphasis on ensuring the participation of major industry players for an enhanced awareness among investors to project Jammu and Kashmir as an investment-friendly region.

It was decided that the Media and Publicity Committee will finalise the media plan and share it with the Industries department for its implementation.

Nodal officers from each department shall be nominated for dissemination of information on the focus sectors.

The chief secretary expressed optimism that the summit will prove to be a gala event.

“The summit will not only help present business-friendly policies of the government, identify business opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir to the participating trade and industry organisations, but also harmonise Jammu and Kashmir’s intrinsic strength and aspirations of development and employment opportunities,” he said.

The chief secretary asked all the administrative secretaries concerned to re-double their efforts to prepare investment-friendly sectoral polices within a week.

He also stressed on the need to synergise the roles and responsibilities of the administrative secretaries, heads of departments and other officers to encourage one-on-one interaction with potential investors in their respective departments and areas so as to make the summit productive and outcome oriented. (PTI)

Death toll in China’s coronavirus epidemic jumps to over 1600

BEIJING: Death toll in China’s coronavirus has gone up to 1,631 with 143 new fatalities reported from all over the country, Chinese health officials said on Saturday.

Hubei Province, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak, reported 2,420 new confirmed cases and 139 new deaths on Friday, China’s National Health Commission said.

Two deaths were reported from Henan and one each from Beijing and Chongqing as the overall death toll reached 143 with 2,641 new confirmed cases of the infection being reported from 31 provincial-level regions, the Commission said.

The number of new cases included 1,138 clinically diagnosed cases, which have been seen as confirmed cases. The latest report brought the total confirmed cases in Hubei province to 54,406 cases.

The total number of cases in China have gone up to 67,535.

Second batch of foreign envoys including EU representatives to visit J-K today

Pic credit ANI

A fresh batch of 25 foreign diplomats, including those from Germany, Canada, France and Afghanistan, will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday to witness the ground situation in the region nearly six months after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Consitution.

This is the second batch of foreign diplomats that will be visiting Jammu and Kashmir in the last one month.

According to local media reports, the delegation will be meeting fruit growers in North Kashmir before reaching Srinagar where they are scheduled to meet media representatives, civil society groups and politicians of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian Army will also brief the visiting diplomats on the security situation in Kashmir and are expected to give a detailed presentation on Pakistan’s involvement in fomenting and sponsoring terrorism in the newly-formed Union Territory.

According to reports, the envoys will have a night halt in Srinagar before moving to Jammu next day where they are expected to meet Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu and civil society groups.

The fresh batch of diplomats also includes EU representatives from Poland, Bulgaria and Czech Republic, and their participation assumes significance as the EU Parliament recently initiated to bring a joint draft resolution on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Kashmir, the vote on which was later deferred.

Also, the India-EU summit is also slated to take place in Brussels next month where External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will be participating.

Last month, envoys of 15 countries including US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster and diplomats from Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, Niger, Nigeria, Morocco, Guyana, Argentina, Philippines, Norway, Maldives, Fiji, Togo, Bangladesh and Peru visited Jammu and Kashmir on January 9 and 10 to see first-hand efforts being made by the government in the region.

ANI spoke to some of the envoys who visited Kashmir last month. The diplomats had expressed satisfaction and hoped for the return of normalcy in the region soon.

Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau had said he witnessed “normalcy in the daily lives of the people” during his trip to Jammu and Kashmir.

“I want to say that it was a very worthwhile trip. Seeing is believing. That has us to have a fuller picture of the situation here,” Chau had told ANI.

“My observation is that we see normalcy in the daily life of the people, which is a very positive sign,” the envoy had said, adding that his interactions with different groups in the region had him felt that they are “very happy with the current situation.

BDC chairman held in murder attempt case in Samba

Jammu: A Block Development Council (BDC) chairman was arrested for allegedly attempting to kill two brothers over an old enmity in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Wednesday.

Vijaypur BDC chairman Yogeshwer Singh, a resident of Suchani village, was arrested in connection with a case registered against him and his relatives at the local police station under various sections including attempt to murder, a police spokesman said.

The court of Principal Sessions Judge, Samba, had on February 6 granted interim bail to Singh. It, however, revoked the bail on Tuesday, leading to his arrest.

On January 31, Mohit Jamwal lodged a complaint with the police alleging that he and his brother Rohit Jamwal, also residents of Suchani village, were assaulted by the BDC chairman and his relatives with the intention to kill them over an old enmity, the spokesman said.

The brothers had reached Vijaypur police station in an injured condition. They alleged that Singh saw them leaving their house on a motorcycle and within minutes, a vehicle, in which the BDC chairman’s relatives were travelling, hit them from behind on reaching Patyari, causing injuries to them, the spokesman said.

Maneshwar Singh was driving the vehicle and Dineshwar Singh was also travelling with him at the time of the incident.

After the brothers were left injured, the vehicle occupants returned with Yogeshwar Singh and his brother Romeshwar Singh and allegedly assaulted the complainant with rods and a bat, the police spokesman said.

He said efforts are on to arrest other accused in the case. (PTI)

Five lives lost their life in road accident at Drabshalla, Kishtwar

Five people lost their life in a road accident on National Highway Jammu-Kishtwar-NH244 on Wednesday.

As per reports, the car accident took place near Paani Nallah in Drabshalla area of Kishtwar District in which five persons lost their lives when a Maruti car Bearing Registration Number JK07-2745 skidded off from the road and plungs into deep gorge. Deceased perosn included a minor baby from Jammu died on spot.

Bodies identified as Sanjay Kumar S/o Pawan Kumar-32, Pawan Kumar S/o Bansi Lal-33, Rekha Devi W/o Pawan Kumar-26, Rita Devi W/ o Rakesh Kumar -30, Kewal Krishan S/o Phool Chand 37, all are the residents of village Bahadat Tesil Drabshalla.

My Valentine, UN-World Radio Day.

Umar Nisar

A Young kashmiri Radio Broadcaster, RJ Umar Nisar, who’s Bollywood acclaimed TEDx Speaker and also known as Radio boy of India. Sharing his story of half decade in Radio Industry on this World Radio Day-2020

In 2014, when cloudburst and floods devastated the Valley, i started contributing with a community radio show “Pesh Kadam” that was managed by Department of Journalism, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora. I was 14 years old when i fell in love with Radio and getting into it was more like impossible.  I went through a lot of predicaments in my journey, but those hurdles didn’t stop my Passion for Radio, i worked hard day and out, finally my hard work paid off and i intiated Kashmir’s first Online Radio Station “Pannun FM Internatinal”, became the youngest director and Radio jockey in state. It was not just a proud moment for me but for the whole state especially for the people of my hometown tral.  Slowly people started recognising me and my work. 
Why i fell in love with Radio? Ummmm!!!I had the heart and determination to be on-air and the best platform for my creativity & passion was just ‘Radio’. Radio is a platform that has advantages over other media as it is a cheap source of information and can be used to Send messages to illiterates, neo-literates and highly educated receivers simultaneously. it does not require captivity. Listeners can receive messages even when they are working. Farmer may listen to farm programmes while working in fields, a busy executive may listen to it even while driving or a housewife may listen to her favorite programme even while working in the kitchen. Future! Radio’s future is a mystery. It is not easy to predict the future of radio. The future of radio would depend on changing regulatory scenarios, technological developments and change of listener’s appeal. Radio’s current localization and specialized programming will continue. Technologically, radio transmission will improve greatly. FM will continue to grow faster and bigger. 
Meanwhile, i was following technology and was a techie, got to know about future Broadcasting “PODCAST”.”Podcast” is a portmanteau word, formed by combining “iPod” and “broadcast”. The term “podcasting” as a name for the nascent technology was first suggested by The Guardian columnist and BBC journalist Ben Hammersley, who invented it in early February 2004 while “padding out” an article for The Guardian newspaper. The term was first used in the audioblogging community in September 2004, when Danny Gregoire introduced it in a message to the ipodder-dev mailing list, from where it was adopted by Adam Curry . Despite the etymology, the content can be accessed using any computer or similar device that can play media files. Use of the term “podcast” predated Apple’s addition of formal support for podcasting to the iPod, or its iTunes software.I researched more about podcast and started to work over it, finally, i was successful to turn radio into a digital Podcast. My Podcast got international acclamination, and it was due to my success in the journey of radio, i got a chance to stand on the stage where king khan of Bollywood too stood. King khan was the first Bollywood actor to speak at ted talks and i was the first Kashmiri teenager to speak at ted talks. This was not less than a dream for me!
Currently i’m working with a kashmir based radio station “95 FM Tadka ” and managing my Podcast at the same, aiming to revolutionise the platform of radio in valley.

The Author can be contacted at: rjumar.95fmtadka@gmail.comAnd also on Instagram at: Rj_Umar_Nisar

Centre wants new dawn of development, accountability in J&K: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

E-inaugurates Rs. 16.53 cr Malroo bridge, Rs. 6.62 cr FPF office bldng, lays foundation of Dara High School

Union Minister for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today said that the Central Government wants a new dawn of development and accountability in the functioning of government machinery in Jammu & Kashmir.

He said this at the Public Outreach Programme and E-inauguration/foundation stone laying ceremony at Harwan block in Srinagar.

Advisor to Lt Governor, Farooq Khan and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary were also present on the occasion.

The function was also attended by large number of people from different areas of Srinagar.

In his opening remarks, the Union Minister said that the Center’s outreach programme provides an opportunity for people to raise their demands and seek their resolution. He said the huge gathering at today’s event reflects the interest of people in development of their place.

“It is time for people to take benefit of development schemes. J&K should be part of developmental story of India. Our government wants people of J&K as first beneficiaries of any developmental programme,” he told the gathering.

He added that central government is monitoring and ensuring that funds that are meant for developmental schemes reach to the grass root level.

“Central governments were always releasing funds for J&K, but there was no accountability on the spending. They were going into the pockets of few people,” he said.

Regarding the Haj quota this year, Naqvi said they would try to accommodate all the Haj aspirants from Jammu & Kashmir.

“More than 2 lakh Hajis go for Haj every year from India. We ensure all the facilities are available to the Hajis. To ensure transparency India is the first country to digitize details of journey of pilgrims,” he said.

He also said that to encourage youth to take different job-oriented courses, skill development courses are being imparted for minority communities.

Meanwhile, Naqvi in presence of Advisor Khan e-inaugurated the 5×44 meter trussed Girder Bridge over River Jehlum at Malroo which has been constructed at the cost of Rs 16.53 crore. He also e-inaugurated a mega 1223.69 sqm Forest Protection Force(FPF) office complex at Bemina which was constructed at a cost of Rs 6.62 crore.

The Union Minister along with Advisor Khan also laid e-foundation of High School Building at Dara to be constructed at a cost of Rs 97.01 lacs.

On the occasion Advisor Khan said that it is a golden opportunity for the people of J&K to raise their issues with the Union Ministers.

“It will also help the Ministers to know the status of various schemes/programmes on ground,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary during his welcome address gave historical background of Harwan area.

Later, Union Minister also toured the Dal Lake and interacted with members of boatmen community. He heard their demands and assured them Central Government is working on various fronts to promote tourism in Kashmir.

IN-SANE-ITATION

BENEATH THE SCENES

Shivani Pachori

No one will understand it better than the person himself who goes into a man hole to clean shit of others. How ironical it is to see countries making plans to land on moon but lack in developing machines which could deal with the sewage of the nation. Despite of the laws made in India for Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act 2013 which states that manual scavenging, cleaning of dry latrines and all kind of manual cleaning of excrement as well as cleaning gutters, sewers and septic tank is a prohibited act in India. Yet prevalence of manual scavenging is not at all affected. According to a nationwide survey in 2018, over 42,000 manual scavengers exist in our country (precise numbers – 42,302) with UP excelling the charts (19,712) followed by Maharashtra (7,378) and Uttarakhand (6,033). This is what the survey conveys which is usually a manipulated number which we all are familiar with.
The core purpose of the prohibition of this act was to abolish the caste system or “jaati vaad” which was prevailing amongst the sanitation workers. Since the varna system the “Shudhras” or the “Dalits” were considered the ones accountable for the cleanliness of toilets and sewages in the society. To keep a check on the basic human rights i.e., Article 15 which ensures Social equality and equal access to public areas and Article 17 which states abolition of untouchability, government made laws for abolition of scavenging. But the scenario reveals that government itself is the biggest violator of its own laws. It is seen that the Indian Railways employ scavengers and sanitation workers for manual cleaning of the tracks.
Sanitation is an important issue in India which can just not be ignored so are the problems of the sanitation workers who deal with it. It is the demand to understand the problems at the same level at which they are faced. Assuming the depth of problems will generate no remedies.
As the definition itself says, scavenging refers to the unsafe removal of raw untreated human excreta manually hence; it is an urging demand of the society for the development of machineries which could be used instead of humans for the purpose of sanitation cleaning.
It is often seen that the workers employed for the purpose of sanitation cleaning are not trained and are just enrolled for the job due to the already facing shortage of workers which comes as a major drawback in their working. According to the survey of 2018 only 2,660 got skilled training so far out of 42,302 workers. Skilled development and training of at least a year is must for such works along with proper guidance to use equipments. This will reduce the risks of accidents during the working. Once the training is completed a license shall be allotted to them which could prove that the person is trained and is eligible to work in any circumstance.
Equipments are the companions of sanitation workers which have always been used when there is any inspection or the tenders are being given to the in charge. Seriousness of the body suits, mask, boots and gloves is always overlooked which need to be told to the workers. Present conditions shows how the workers themselves are disgusted by the work they do as they work bare body without any caution and equipments. Therefore they indulge themselves in alcohol and drugs to forget about their social and working status. Nobody on duty pays attention to the state of workers before they are landed into a man hole. Several workers get drunk before going into a man hole to tolerate the disgust they feel in it and after they get out of it. Several deaths are recorded due to the drunken state of the workers.
There are no safety measures provided to these workers. Canister masks are provided with warnings which states that these should not be used in oxygen deficit areas but inside the chambers there are poisonous gases such as methane, hydrogen sulphide, carbon mono-oxide and ammonia which leads to decrease in oxygen level in the chambers and causes Hypoxia which can lead to immediate deaths. Hence, having a compatible suit with oxygen cylinders is must for sanitation workers working inside chambers. This will not only save them with the physical health issues but also the mental stigma they face after they get out of those chambers filled with filth of all kinds.
Average life expectancy of Indians is nearly 69 years but these hazardous works make the life expectancy of these workers below 60 if they do not die of any accident. Unexpected and sudden deaths due to lack of caution are yet to mention. Stats reveal that one manual scavenger die in every 5 days due to accidents and mishaps. There is a strict need of paying attention towards the working conditions of the sanitation workers and these should imply right from the start.
Nobody seems bothered after the task is once done but behind the scenes are often left unseen and beneath the scenes are even beyond one’s imagination.

Nowgam Road Traffic Accident: Police registers Case, Driver of the Vehicle arrested

January 07:  A traffic mishap occurred at Nowgam area in the outskirts of District Srinagar today morning resulting in injuries to two persons.

The road traffic accident happened when two vehicles one of which belonged to Armed Police collided and consequently two persons sustained injuries. The injured persons were shifted to hospital for the treatment of injuries however one of the injured persons identified as Tehseen Nazir of Nowgam succumbed while the other injured person continues to receive treatment at the hospital and is stated to be stable.

Police has registered a case FIR No: 03/2019 under relevant sections of law in this regard. Driver of the police vehicle has been arrested.
Further investigation in the matter is in progress.

Envoys from 16 nations, including US, on two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir

starting today; will meet L-G GC Murmu, civil society members

New Delhi: US Ambassador to India Kenneth I Juster will be among envoys of 16 countries who will undertake a two-day trip to Jammu and Kashmir starting Thursday, officials said.

The Delhi-based envoys will fly to Srinagar on Thursday morning before going to Jammu, the winter capital of the newly created Union Territory, for an overnight stay. They will meet Lt Governor GC Murmu as well as civil society members, they said.

Besides the United States, the delegation will include diplomats from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Norway, Maldives, South Korea, Morocco and Nigeria, among others.

Brazil’s envoy André Aranha Correa do Lago was also scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir. However, he backed out because of his preoccupation in Delhi, the officials said on Wednesday.

Envoys from 16 nations, including US, on two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir starting today; will meet L-G GC Murmu, civil society members
Representational image. Getty Images

The European Union (EU) countries are understood to have conveyed that they would visit the Union Territory on a different date and are also believed to have stressed on meeting three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti – who are under detention.

According to the officials, the envoys travelling on Thursday will meet civil society members and receive a briefing on the security situation from various agencies.

“On the same day, they will be taken to Jammu where they would meet Lt Governor Murmu and other officials before returning to the National Capital on Friday,” they added.

The officials said the envoys of a number of countries had requested the government for a visit to Kashmir to get a first-hand account of the situation prevailing in the Valley following the abrogation of certain provisions of Article 370.

The move is a part of India’s diplomatic outreach to rebut Pakistan’s propaganda against it on the Kashmir issue.

This will be the second visit of a foreign delegation to Jammu and Kashmir since the Centre’s move to revoke the state’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union territories – Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier, a delegation of 23 EU MPs was taken on a two-day visit to assess the situation in the Union Territory by the International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies, a Delhi-based think tank.

However, the government had distanced itself from the visit of the delegation. Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had informed Parliament that the European parliamentarians were on a “private visit”.