RBI outreach programme
organized at Samba

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Reserve Bank of India, Jammu conducted an outreach programme today at Surara village in Samba district as part of its financial....more

Governor, CM greet people
on Nauroz

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Governor N. N. Vohra, and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today greeted the people on the auspicious ...more

Governor for greater
coordination between
Agricultural Universities,
field agencies

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Governor N. N. Vohra, has stressed the need for complete coordination between the Agricultural Universities and all concerned departments and field agencies of the ...more

Jora reviews arrangements
for Amarnath Yatra

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora today chaired a meeting convened to review ....more

Punjabi adaptation of ‘Toba
Tek Singh’ presented

By Lalit Gupta

JAMMU, Mar 20: On third day of the ongoing Annual Drama Festival- 2012, Manoranjan Kala Kendra presented Punjabi play ‘Rishtyaan Da Ki ,...more

CTA delegation calls on
Devinder Rana

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: A delegation of J&K College Teachers Association (Jammu Wing) today called on Devinder Singh Rana, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister.The delegation discussed the issues relating....more

Proposal to open 10,000
Anganwari Centres
submitted to Centre: Sakina

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU Mar 20: The House today passed grants amounting to Rs. 53632.74 lakhs for the year 2012-13 in favour of the Departments of Social Welfare, ARI and Trainings with voice vote. Replying to the debate on demands for the grants,....more

BPL patients getting free facilities
Chopra Nursing Home to be
revived on PPP mode: Chib

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: The Medical Education Department is vital component of healthcare sector which produces skilled manpower, provide medicare to the patients besides look after the Medical Colleges and its associated hospitals.......more

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Comprehensive information source on Indo-Pak Peace Process, Kashmir Elections, Militancy, Terrorism, News, Events, Autonomy & Self Rule.

No funds diverted from SDA to JDA: DyCM.....

Work on Kargil varsity campus from June: Manohar......

9124 industrial proposals received, land allotted to only 841......

Police teams searching for missing XEn: Sagar.....

House adjourned for lack of quorum.......

AJKCLF criticises State Govt policy .....

PHE employees hold protest, highlight demands.....

Trustee reviews activities of Dharmarth Trust.....
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Mar 20: Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust is all set to ensure best worshipping arrangements for devotees at historical Shri Raghunathji and Shri Ranbireshwar temples during ensuing Navratrs and Ramnavmi festivals. Yuvraj Vikramaditya Singh, Trustee, reviewed the necessary arrangements at a high level meeting which was attended by Dharmarth Trust president Thakur Divakar Singh and secretary Shashi Khajuria.

Training workshop on ARCTM organized.....

PSA deputation meets Relief Commissioner.....

Free eye camp organised.....

PHE employees hold massive rally.....

Colorful shades of Gujjar heritage draw huge crowd.....

HGWA highlights demands.....
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Mar 20: Continuing their protest, J&K Home Guard Welfare Association (HGWA) warned the Government to consider their long pending demands or else all the Home Guards along with their family members will come out on roads with black flags through out the State.Addressing the protestors, Vice president of the Association Bilal Ahmed said the administration is forcing us to go on hunger strike by avoiding our genuine demands.

HR Phonsa gets Ashok Mitra award.....

9 bovine animals seized by cops, smugglers escape.....

Kashmiri Hindus not ready to go back in Valley: SDS .....

SMC rises from slumber in Hotel Cardoba case......

Abducted woman recovered.....

Army organises pre-recruitment training .....

DB orders status-quo ....

CJ's directives in petition filed by MLAs.....

KP youth warn to continue protest.....

SFCCA holds meet .....

Swami Dinesh Bharti takes Charri Mubarak to holy cave.....

Mata Kheer Bhawani Asthapan at Jagti colony.....


RBI outreach programme organized at Samba

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Reserve Bank of India, Jammu conducted an outreach programme today at Surara village in Samba district as part of its financial inclusion and awareness drive, Dr. D, Subba Rao, Governor of RBI graced the occasion.

Among others Mushtaq Ahmed, Chairman and CEO, J&K Bank, Mubark Singh District Development Commissioner, Samba, M. Rajeshwar Rao, Banking Ombudsman, Delhi and J&K, S.C Rabra, Chief General Manager NABARD, other senior Government officials and bankers attended the programme.

A large number of villagers including women, senior citizens, MNREGA beneficiaries, farmers, teachers and students also attended the programme.

The RBI Governor visited the stalls/pavilions put up by various SHGFs/NGOs, NABARD, Govt. Departments, RRB, J&K Bank and RBI at the venue showcasing their services. J&K Bank extended facilities of exchanges of torn and soiled notes to the residents.

The Governor also interacted with residents and enquired about the problems and difficulties faced by them in getting banking facilities. He advised bankers to take effective steps for redressal of the problems raised by the SHGs, NGOs and the residents.

The Governor also interacted with the school students from Government Middle School, Surara and Government High School Nichla Surara, Dr. Subbarao impressed upon them the importance of financial literacy and highlighted important functions of and features of genuine currency notes .

The outreach programme was inaugurated by the Governor in presence of a large gathering. K.K. Saraf, Regional Director, RBI Jammu in his welcome address highlighted the objective of holding the financial literacy programme in the village.

Addressing the gathering, Governor touched upon the important functions of RBI viz. issuing and managing currency, controlling inflation through formulation of monetary policy, expanding outreach and banking awareness deposit insurance scheme, etc.

He also highlighted the facilities of no frills account', General Credit Cards Kissan Credit Cards and overdraft facilities against these accounts and also explained the BC model and mobile banking scheme through which the banking facilities could be availed. He advised the villagers to avail the services offered by different banks and to harness the natural potential available in the village and thereby improve their economic condition.

The Chairman and CEO J&K Bank Mushtaq Ahmed assured to meet the expectations of RBI.

The audience was familiarized with the history and functions of Reserve Bank of India through a film show. Films on features of genuine bank notes and on the functioning of Banking Ombudsman were also shown for the benefit of the public. Literature highlighting the functions of RBI and on financial literacy and education was distributed to the students and other members of the audience.

Meanwhile, Dr. D. Subba Rao met Governor N. N. Vohra, at Raj Bhawan here this evening.

During their meeting, the Governor and Dr. Subbarao discussed various important issues relating to the speedy socio-economic development of the State, functioning of the banking sector in the State and ways to enhance financial inclusion, particularly in the rural areas.


Governor, CM greet people on Nauroz

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Governor N. N. Vohra, and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today greeted the people on the auspicious occasion of Nauroz.

In a message of felicitations, the Governor observed that the festival has both cultural and religious significance. He said that this important day is also observed as World Arbour Day, adding that one and all should join hands in planting the maximum number of trees for preserving the environment.

The Governor hoped that this auspicious day would be the harbinger of sustained peace, progress and prosperity in the State.

In a greetings message on Nauroz-e-Alam, Omar Abdullah expressed the hope that the day will herald peace, prosperity and progress in the State and the country.

The Chief Minister also reminded the significance of March 21 as the World Arbour Day and called for massive plantation across the State.


Governor for greater coordination between Agricultural Universities, field agencies

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Governor N. N. Vohra, has stressed the need for complete coordination between the Agricultural Universities and all concerned departments and field agencies of the State Government for ensuring rapid transfer of the technologies to equip the farmers with latest know-how and timely providing irrigation facilities, seeds, fertilizers and other inputs for securing the objective of substantially increasing the agri-production in the State in the coming years.

The Governor, as chief guest, was addressing the valedictory function of the 2-day Kissan Mela-2012 organized by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST), Jammu, at its main Campus at Chatha near here today. The main theme of the Mela was "Innovative Farm Technologies for Profitable Agriculture", with major thrust on demonstration of the transferable technologies to improve agriculture productivity and sustainability.

The Governor, who is the Chancellor of the University, observed that there is vast potential in increasing productivity and production of cereals, vegetables, mushroom, pulses, oil seeds, horticulture, floriculture, fisheries, beekeeping, animal and sheep husbandry, poultry and other allied activities, adding that every effort is required to be made to optimally benefit from this potential.

He also emphasized the need for making available post-harvest technologies and marketing facilities to the growers so that they could get remunerative returns for their produce. He added that J&K is largely dependent on imports of pulses, oil seeds, food grains, milk, mutton and poultry products from outside the State and in this context stressed the need for a well coordinated approach to gain self-sufficiency in regard to all these areas.

The Governor called upon the farmers to visit the Integrated Farming System Research Model of FSR, which has been established by the University on 1.5 hectares of land for undertaking advance research targeting small and marginal farmers. He added that by adopting such models farmers can benefit immensely even from their small land holdings. He observed that keeping in view the small land holdings in J&K the possibilities could also be explored for the promotion of contract farming to benefit the small farmers. He said that another area which requires greater focus is enhancing agri-productivity and production in the rain-fed areas.

The Governor observed that lot of work is taking place in the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (Jammu) in the arenas of teaching, research and extension activities.

The Governor gave away prizes to the farmers and various organizations for their outstanding achievements in the varied fields of agriculture and allied activities.

The Governor, accompanied by Ghulam Hassan Mir, Minister for Agriculture, and Dr. B. Mishra, Vice Chancellor, SKUAST, visited various stalls at the exhibition put up as part of the Kissan Mela, interacted with the scientists and stallholders and evinced keen interest in the exhibits.

Earlier, the Governor visited the Integrated Farming System Research Model FSR Centre at the University Campus. He enquired about the progress of various aspects of the Integrated Farming System. He urged the Vice Chancellor to explore the possibility of setting up a hatchery in the University Campus to provide quality chicks to the farmers.

The Governor laid foundation stone of the School of Bio-Technology, Directorate of Extension Education, Estate Division, Examination Hall Complex, International Guest House, Lecture Theatres and Health Centre. He also inaugurated Faculty Blocks of the Faculty of Agriculture.

Ghulam Hassan Mir, Minister for Agriculture, speaking at the valedictory function, emphasized the need for discouraging the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural use, encouraging the concept of contract farming and largely focusing on the promotion of organic farming.

Dr. B. Mishra, Vice Chancellor of the University, in his welcome address, dwelt on the aims and objectives of organizing the Kissan Mela, achievements of the University and its future plan of action.

Dr. K. S. Rissam, Director, Extension, presented a vote of thanks.


Jora reviews arrangements for Amarnath Yatra

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora today chaired a meeting convened to review the action taken on the recommendations of High Level Committee (HLC) on Shri Amarnathji Yatra 2012.

The recommendations of the HLC include construction of impregnable gates at Chatwari and Domel for effective regulation of the yatri movement, proper registration of the yatris, upgradation of the existing Rangamore-Baltal-Domel road, improvement, up-gradation of Baltal track to the holy cave, widening, improvement of works along Chandanwari-holy cave route, establishment of Transit Camps along National Highway from Lakhanpur to Sonamarg, Pahalgam, establishment of Shelter Units at various locations along the yatra routes, up-gradation of medical facilities, strengthening of Water Supply System at Baltal, Panjtrani, Sheshnag and holy cave camps, provision for better power supply Arrangements, engaging experienced and reliable officers to SASB.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jora instructed Commissioner Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Atal Dulloo to maintain close coordination, not only with all the Heads of the Departments involved in the conduct of the yatra, but also with various District Administrations having stake in the smooth conduct of the Yatra.

He also instructed him to ascertain the progress of various works taken up on the HLC recommendations, the funds for which stands already released by the Planning Department and being executed by the District Development Commissioners.

The meeting was also attended by Principal Secretary, Home, Principal Secretary, Planning and Dev Deptt, Principal Secretary to Governor, Principal Secretaries of , PDD, PW (R&B) Department, PHE Departments, H&ME Deptt, Director Tourism Jammu and Kashmir. Mr. Jora also called upon heads of all these departments to extend full cooperation to make the yatra successful.


Punjabi adaptation of ‘Toba Tek Singh’ presented

By Lalit Gupta

JAMMU, Mar 20: On third day of the ongoing Annual Drama Festival- 2012, Manoranjan Kala Kendra presented Punjabi play ‘Rishtyaan Da Ki Rakhiye Naa’, at the Abhinav Theatre, here today.

Directed by T S Premi, the play written by Dr Atamjeet Singh, an adaptation of ‘Toba Tek Singh’, that highlights the historical tragedy of the sub-continent’s partition as two countries of India and Pakistan and how it resulted into psychological crises for masses with shared socio-cultural legacy.

The plot of the play set in the backdrop of a mental asylum with Hindu and Muslim inmates, weaving through the biographical details of each mental patients, emphasizes how common people were suffered due to de-linking from cultural roots but also severance of the inter-se human relation ships leading to life long pain and sufferings.

Today’s presentation was a performance with occasional bright spots, like the acting of individual artists and emotive intensity of few scenes that did captivate the audience.

The cast of the play included Tejendra Singh Premee, Tej Paul Singh Marshal, Ajay Sharma, Harishpal Singh Bedi, Gorav Sharma, Vijay Kumar Sharma, Divya Sahni, Pandit Makhan Lal Shastri, Neha Verma, Tarun Sharma, Sidharth Sharma, Amrik Singh, Vivek Salotra and Rajan Sharma.

On the fourth day of the festival organized by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Union Cultural Troupe would present Hindi play Ateet Ke Sakshi.


CTA delegation calls on Devinder Rana

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: A delegation of J&K College Teachers Association (Jammu Wing) today called on Devinder Singh Rana, Political Advisor to the Chief Minister.

The delegation discussed the issues relating to the enhancement of superannuation age of College Teachers as per the UGC guidelines and also sought early reimbursement of 80 per cent arrears from UGC.

The CTA delegation also justified the rationale behind these demands within the limits of UGC guidelines which govern the eligibility, recruitment and promotion of college as University Teachers in the State.

Devinder Singh Rana apprised the delegation about the Government's policy on these issues and assured to take up the matter with the Chief Minister and also sought opinion from concerned departments.

The delegation was led by Dr Avinash Kumar Gupta, president CTA. Those who accompanied included Dr Satesh Bhan, general secretary, Prof Mohammad Zaman, Dr Vijay Kumar Sharma, Dr R S Jamwal, Prof B K Gandhotra, Prof Neeraj Gupta, Prof Jagdish Kumar, Dr C K Khajuria and Prof Joginder Singh.


Proposal to open 10,000 Anganwari Centres
submitted to Centre: Sakina

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU Mar 20: The House today passed grants amounting to Rs. 53632.74 lakhs for the year 2012-13 in favour of the Departments of Social Welfare, ARI and Trainings with voice vote.

Replying to the debate on demands for the grants, the Minister for Social Welfare Sakina Itoo said that the Social Welfare Department is the most important Department which is connected with the common man and particularly dealing with the welfare of the people who for one reason or the other have lagged behind in the process of development and deserve every sort of help and compassion from the Government.

Giving details of last three years achievements, the Minister said that during the period there was enhancement of ` 66 crore in the Plan-outlay and flow of funds under Centrally sponsored schemes. She said that during 2009-10 plan outlay was ` 295.08 crore while as the expenditure was ` 258.56 crore.

The Minister said that during 2011-2012 Plan-outlay reached to ` 303.29 crore with an expenditure of ` 230.03 crores (75% of Plan allocation) up to February 2012 and it is expected that the expenditure will be 100% by the end of current financial year. She said that under the Centrally sponsored schemes there was a total availability of funds to the tune of ` 323.26 crore for the financial year 2009-10 which is expected to touch ` 356.35 crore during the year 2011-12.

She said that for the benefits of the beneficiaries under financial assistance scheme for old aged, widows and handicapped persons 4 lakh BPL and 2.56 lakh AAY families are registered in the State.

The Minister said that an amount of ` 131 crore has been spent by the department during financial year 2011-12 which were provided to 2,29,995 beneficiaries of old aged persons, women in distress and 1,23,858 physically challenged persons in the state. She said that under the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) 1,29,000 beneficiaries under the age group of 65 years and above have been covered so far.

Referring to Scholarships to SC,ST,OBC and Minority Students of the State, the Minister said that ` 49.93 crore have been provided as scholarship during the year 2010-2011 to more than 5.39 lakh students of SC/ST/OBC, Minorities, G&B and Pahari Speaking communities at pre-matric and post-matric levels upto Ph.D level including professional courses.

Highlighting the achievements of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) she said a project for opening of around 10 thousand additional Anganwari Centres has been submitted to the Government of India under new scheme Anganwari On Demand.

The Minister elaborated that more than 28,000 Anganwari Centres have been established in 141 ICDS Projects where around 9 lakh women and children have been benefited, which is one lakh higher than the previous years achievement. The Minister said that for the coverage of these beneficiaries, the Department is spending an amount of more than ` 240 crores annually which include more than ` 98 crore on nutrition. In addition to this, there are 457 crèche centres run by Social Welfare Board benefiting more than 11 thousand children with an expenditure of more than ` 1.25 crore, she added.

Regarding the measures taken for streamlining of ICDS, the Minister said that the decision of Central Government to double its share of honorarium for AWWs/AWHs, has been implemented from January, 2012. She said that in order to clear arrears , there is a requirement of more than ` 55 crore which has been projected to GoI. She further said that for the encouragement of Anangwari workers having done extra-ordinary work in the implementation of ICDS, the department has decided to give awards to such workers both at the state level and also recommend cases for central level award.

Ms. Sakina said that in order to utilize 100% funds under district sector and Central sector, the Department has decided to implement the Take Home Ration scheme as provided in ICDS manual whereby the beneficiaries who due to some unavoidable reason are not able to attend the Anganwari Centre, they can take ration to their homes.

The department has already taken a decision to introduce the local items like apple, rajma etc., in the nutrition menu because these are locally available and are also rich in nutrients.

She said that an important initiative has been taken by passing "Domestic Violence Act, 2010" which includes provisions for making legal help available at the door steps of women in case they are subjected to domestic violence. Rules in this regard have already been framed and the field level infrastructure including appointment of protection officers has already been started. The Department is in the process of setting up of State Commission for protection of child rights. As per the provisions Juvenile Act, District-level Juvenile Justice Courts are being set up to deal the cases of children, she added.

Ms.Sakina said that the Department has prepared a comprehensive Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) which will go long way in providing the rehabilitation of children who are under difficult and unfavourable conditions. The implementation of this scheme will initially involve an amount of ` 40 crores which will be provided by the Central Government after MoU is signed.


BPL patients getting free facilities
Chopra Nursing Home to be revived on PPP mode: Chib

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: The Medical Education Department is vital component of healthcare sector which produces skilled manpower, provide medicare to the patients besides look after the Medical Colleges and its associated hospitals.

This was stated by the Minister for Medical Education R S Chib While replying to the discussion on Health and Medical Education in the Upper House here today.

The Minister said the State has three Medical Colleges, two Dental and one Unani and Ayurvedic College, 12 associated hospitals and Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, adding that over 40 lakh patients were provided treatment in these institutes.

Referring to total bed strength in the tertiary care hospitals in the state, Mr. Chib said that it has raised to 4280 beds, adding that 200-beds capacity have been added in pediatrics SMGS, Hospital Jammu and 50 bed in Emergency under Prime Minister Swasth Sureksha Yojna there by raising bed strength to 1975 from 1725 in hospitals. He said two new 200-bedded maternity hospitals one each in Jammu and Srinagar are coming up at an estimated cost of ` 50 crore each to reduce the pressure on existing maternity hospitals. He said that 250 beds capacity would be enhanced in the children hospitals this year. The Minister said that the work on 200-bedded LD hospital in Srinagar is apace. The two storeys of the building has been completed in which OPD has been started, adding that ICU capacity has been enhanced to 20 numbers in the hospital.

Mr. Chib said that department would continue its focus on development of infrastructure with a view to improve the health care services in tertiary sector. For this purpose the construction of basic infrastructure including OT Block at B&J Hospital, construction Sarai at SMHS Hospital Srinagar, Girls Hostel of Dental College Srinagar, OT of Medical College Hospital Jammu, major renovation/ upgradation of undergraduate/ postgraduate hostels in GMC Jammu are targeted to be completed during the next fiscal.

Regarding progress on Super Specialty Hospital, Jammu, Mr. Chib said that the civil work on Super Specialty Hospital Jammu has been completed and would be commissioned soon after equipping the Operation Theatres with latest technology.

Regarding improvement in functioning of Sher-e- Kashmir Institute of Medical Science Soura Srinagar, Mr. Chib said that various sophisticated modernized diagnostic machines have been installed in the institute for better treatment of patients.

Responding to some points raised by the members, the Minister said Chopra Nursing Home would be revived on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode for providing better medicare to the patients. He said that BPL beneficiaries are being provided free diagnostic facilities and free medicines. He said the accident victims get compensation and free medicines, besides free meal and accommodation to their attendants. A bio-gas plant has been established at Nagrota and Budgam to dispose-off the medical wastage.

Referring to security and sanitation issues, the Minister that SPOs have been engaged with the help of Home Department and one hospital has been outsourced for sanitation. Health Minister Sham Lal also highlighted achievements of his Ministry.

Earlier, 9 members took part in the discussion on functioning of the department and suggested measures for bringing improvement in the medicare facilities through Medical Education Department.


No funds diverted from SDA to JDA: DyCM

Excelsior Correspondent

Jammu, Mar 20: Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand today informed House that ` 71.99 crore have been spent on various development works taken up by Housing and Urban Development in Jammu city since 2011-2012 against the allocation of ` 81.49 crore up to ending February 2012 whileas in Srinagar an amount of ` 131.36 crore against amount of ` 152.82 crore stands utilized during the same period.

He said no fund have been diverted from Srinagar Development Authority to Jammu Development Authority.

Admitting that capital cities and some district headquarters are facing over trafficking and parking problems, Tara Chand said that efforts are underway to reduce the traffic problem by way of road widening and construction of flyovers, grade separators at various places and sub ways, walk ways at busy intersections to overcome the traffic congestion. He said traffic signal lights are being installed in two capital cities. He said parking lots are being created and new policy on purchase of own vehicle was under consideration.


Work on Kargil varsity campus from June: Manohar

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Minister of State for Higher Education, Manohar Lal Sharma informed the House that work on the construction of Kargil University Campus would commence from coming May-June 2012 and is expected to start its function from the academic session 2014-15 subject to the availability of resources and completion of building.

The Minister was replying to a question of Aga Syed Ahmad Rizvi here today. He said 600 kanal of State Land have been identified and stands transferred to University of Kashmir for the purpose.

Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora, while replying, on behalf of Minister for Education, to a question of Raninder Kumar Sharma said that 35 students of 11th class and 57 of class 12th are being taught Punjabi in Boys HSS, Nowshera and GHSS, Nowshera respectively.

Replying to another question of Nizam-ud-din Kathana the Minister said "there is no proposal for establishment of new schools and up-gradation of existing schools under SSA and RMSA in Kokernag constituency". He said, however, survey is being conducted throughout the district for identification of un-surveyed habitations and villages to reflect them in current year annual plan and budget of SSA. He said EGS Centres functioning at Village Balsoo Gurdidraman was merged with another EGS Centre Herpora, Gurdidraman during reconciliation of EGS Centres.

Replying to another question of Aga Syed Ahmed Rizvi, the Minister informed that House that 9 schools have been upgraded in Kargil district during 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 while the Centre has approved up-gradation of three more schools during current fiscal. He said that Centre did not agree to upgrade MS Tangoola on the basis of norms fixed for the purpose. However, MS Farona, Khavous and Kaksar would be recommended for up-gradation in phased manner.


9124 industrial proposals received, land allotted to only 841

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: The quantum of support accorded to the investors in the industrial sector in J&K after announcement of new Industrial Policy in 2004, can well be gauged from the fact that out of 9124 proposals of small scale units received in Jammu, only 841 units were allotted land.

These revelations came to the fore in the Upper House after a question was raised by NC member Vijay Bakaya today. He pointed out that despite efforts of the State Government no much encouragement has been witnessed to this sector as the figures suggest.

Minister in charge Surjit Singh Slathia while replying said that 9124 proposals of small scale units were received in Jammu while 13911 in Kashmir region. An investment of ` 7768 crores was proposed for Jammu while ` 479.67 crores in Kashmir. Out of these, 3334 units were approved in Jammu while and only 841 were allotted land. In Kashmir 7463 proposals were approved and land was allotted to nearly 1041 small scale units.

He said 66 proposals of large and medium units were received and 48 were approved and all of them were allotted land. An investment of ` 2987 crores was proposed. Responding to another question, Slathia said 113 proposals of SSUs were pending for want of land in Jammu and 18 large and medium. In Kashmir only 39 proposals were pending for want of land.

Mr Bakaya said as per figures pending proposals should be more than 2500 but it is strange that only 113 have been shown by the department in reply. It means the others have been discouraged and must have diverted to other places. He said why there was so long pendancy. Mr Ajay Kumar Sadhotra said many units in Samba have almost closed down. Was there any proposal to cancel such units and provide premises/ land to others. Sheikh Gulam Rasool asked whether was there any proposal to establish units away from urban areas where land is easily available. The minister said that the unit holders have not abandoned but they have lowered their production. Such proposal is already there in case they wind up. He said several rural areas have been taken up for establishment of industry.


Police teams searching for missing XEn: Sagar

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Minister for Law and Parliament Affairs Ali Mohammad Sagar said that Jagdeep Singh Bali son of Harbans Singh R/o Magarmal Bagh, Srinagar, around 57 years old, has been reported missing since February 18, 2012.

He is working as Executive Engineer in the PHE Department in Monitoring Cell, Rajbagh, Srinagar. In this context, a written report was received by SHO, Police Station, Shergadi on February 19, 2012 at around 10.30 AM from one Dr. A.P. Singh Bali son of O.S.Bali R/o Baghat-e-Barzulla alongwith Abhaydeep Singh Bali, son of the missing person. Accordingly, a missing report vide D.D No-09 dated 19-02-2012 stands registered in the Police Station, Shergadi. Thereafter, search for the missing persons was started immediately. All the possible steps are being taken by the police to trace out the missing person.

Replying to a calling attention motion of Dharam Bir Singh Oberoi and Dr. Bashir Ahmed Veeri, the Minister said that all the police stations/police posts of J&K have been informed immediately with regard to the missing of the subject.

He said all the religious places (Gurdwaras), Hospitals, Bus Stands, Railway Stations etc. were thoroughly searched by a special team of Police. This is being done in close co-ordination with the family members/ relatives of the missing person.

The Minister said that the details along with the photograph of the missing person were flashed on television, radio and all the leading newspapers of the State. Information about the missing person, alongwith the photograph, is being continuously published in the dailies through the Media Centre of J&K Police.

He said the call details of the missing person's mobile phone were analyzed. However, it has been found that the missing person is rarely using his mobile phone and only 11 calls with very short durations (seconds) have been made. Further, the phone has been found switched off since then. The call analysis and IMEI search of the mobile phone is being carried out on daily basis.

Sagar said all the details about the missing person from his working place have been ascertained. People associated with the missing person are thoroughly questioned to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing person.

He said a reward of ` 10,000 has been announced for any person giving any information about the missing person and round the clock security cover has been provided to the family on their request.

He said special search teams of Police have been constituted which are constantly searching for the missing person.

He said Police is also getting in touch with the police authorities of other states especially Punjab Police to trace the missing person.


Discussion on public health in LC
House adjourned for lack of quorum

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: How much interest the members of Upper House take in the business proceedings, especially when the issue of Health was under discussion was witnessed today when the Deputy Chairman had to adjourn the House due to lack of quorum.

The members opened discussion in the House of Elders on the working of Health and Medical Education. Minister in charge Health Sham Lal Sharma and Minister for Medical Education R S Chib were there to respond to the points raised and suggestions given by the members.

The quorum in the House was at its low ebb as usual. Dy Chairman Mohd Yousuf Taing was presiding. The proceedings were in progress with minimum 10 members in the House including Mr Taing and Minister for Medical Education, Mr Chib, who is also member of this House. As PDP member Murtaza Khan left the House, the quorum was reduced to eight, excluding presiding officer. Secretary Legislative Council after two minutes, pointed out to the chair that quorum was not complete. Mr Sadhotra who was participating in the discussion pressed that quorum was complete. The Dy Chairman then after recounting the members, declared that House is adjourned for ten minutes as the quorum was not complete.

This shows the concern of the members of this House that how much they are concerned about the Health of the people who have sent them as their representatives. During entire proceedings, the number remained at the low ebb ranging from 10 to 13, during most of the time in the House of 30 members. Despite recent directive from the Chairman on the subject, the same thing was repeated again.


AJKCLF criticises State Govt policy

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: The All J&K Contractual Lecturers (10+2) Forum (AJKCLF) today held a protest here today.

The Forum observed "Kaam Chhor Hartal" called by its provincial president, Anil Kumar and various other members of Forum.

While addressing the gathering, Anil Kumar spoke on the issue of non-regularisation of the contractual lecturers and asked the State Government to issue selection list of contractual lecturers.

Dr Surinder Shastri criticised the policy of State Government towards contractual lecturers.

He said Government should collect the data of all contractual lecturers and submit it to the empowerment committee on the pattern of 12 contractual lecturers who completed seven years of service.

Surinder Pal Singh demanded enhancement in salary saying that the Government should give 12 months salary to contractual lecturers on the pattern of JEs, Agricultural Technocrats and Doctors.

Rajni Jamwal and Suresh Kumar Sudan demanded granting of pending arrears of contractual lecturers on the line of 6th Pay Commission from January 2006.

Surinder Kumar and Vikas Gupta criticised State Government for not issuing appointment letters.

Others also spoke on the occasion and criticised the Government policies for not cooperating with the contractual lecturers.


PHE employees hold protest, highlight demands

Excelsior Correspondent

BILLAWAR/KATHUA, Mar 20: Water Works (PHE) Employees Association Billawar Sub-Division and Kathua Division today held protest demonstrations at Billawar and Kathua to highlight their demands.

President Billawar Sub Division, Mohinder Kumar and president Kathua Division, Kuldeep Raj presided over the demonstrations in their respective divisions.

Leaders from the provincial body also joined the demonstrations at Billawar and Kathua.

During the demonstration, the speakers stressed hard for the demands of PHE employees which included release of the pending wages of CPS workers at `125 per day, release of the wages of those employees who had been engaged in the year 2005, authentication of all the workers who are engaged before November 2011 and regularize those daily rated workers who have completed seven years of service.

Regarding transferring policy of class IV PHE employees, they demanded that those who have completed their tenure in other sub-divisions be transferred back to their home stations for they are facing a lot of hardships.

Besides, they demanded that the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) be convened to review the promotion of field staff twice in a year and all vacant posts be filled up on the recommendation of DPC in a transparent manner.

Prominent among those who spoke in demonstration at Billawar included general secretary of the Association, Sub-Division Billawar, Rattan Chand, Sapurad Ali and many others while those who spoke at Kathua included general secretary, Rakesh Kumar, Harbans Lal, Prem Lal and others.

Similar protest demonstrations were also held by the Association at Hiranagar and Basohli under the presidentship of Sham Lal and Mahadev Singh respectively.


Trustee reviews activities of Dharmarth Trust

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Jammu and Kashmir Dharmarth Trust is all set to ensure best worshipping arrangements for devotees at historical Shri Raghunathji and Shri Ranbireshwar temples during ensuing Navratrs and Ramnavmi festivals.

Yuvraj Vikramaditya Singh, Trustee, reviewed the necessary arrangements at a high level meeting which was attended by Dharmarth Trust president Thakur Divakar Singh and secretary Shashi Khajuria.

Speaking on the occasion Yuvraj Vikramaditya Singh impressed upon the officers and concerned staff to show no let up in responsibilities assigned to them for comfortable visit and worship by devotees during Navratras. The behaviour of Trust staff especially posted for the purpose of helping devotees should be courteous and in this connection no alibi would be heard, he said.

Earlier Vikramaditya Singh visited Raghunathji and Ranbireshwar temples and took stock of the arrangements. He also interacxted with Pujaris and other staff members.

Later Yuvraj visited site of the coming up famous Yasho-Karan Park behind Shri Ranbireshwar temple, Shalamar Road Jammu. He told that Chairman Trustee, Maharaja Dr Karan Singh has already donated ` 11 lakh for construction of the park. He further told that this park will be an added beauty for the city of temples. Park will have a modern fountain besides attractive beds of flowers and bowers.


Training workshop on ARCTM organized

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Department of Paediatrics, Government Medical college, in collaboration with IAP Jammu city Branch organized a training workshop on ARCTM (Allergic Rhinitis and its Co-Morbidities Training Module), a visionary programme of Central IAP in SMGS Hospital.

Dr. Rajinder Singh, Principal and Dean GMC, Jammu was the chief guest during the training workshop which was attended by over 55 delegates from all over the State.

Dr H Paramesh, a renowned Pediatric Pulmonologist and Environmentalist of International repute and Director, Lakeside Medical Centre and Hospital, Bangalore was the Faculty, who deliberated on various aspects of Allergic Rhinitis and its Co-morbidities.

He discussed the rapidly changing health scenario of children in relation to deteriorating life styles and environmental conditions. He stressed that healthy life style habits inculcated during the childhood, can to a large extent ward off pulmonary morbidities of adulthood. He also deliberated on various issues pertaining to difficulties in treating Asthma which is often co existent.

Dr Rekha Harish, Prof & Head Department of Paediatrics and President IAP City Branch Jammu and the Chief Organiser of the event, in her welcome address, expressed her concern over the lack of awareness about this very important and common problem.

She informed that prevalence of Nasal Allergy or Allergic Rhinitis (AR) is rapidly increasing worldwide due to rising environmental pollution, Indoor and Outdoor allergens. It affects 20-40% of children worldwide and 80% of children with asthma also suffer from AR. It often co-exists with other morbidities, like Sinusitis, Middle ear infections / effusions, Tonsillar and adenoidal hypertrophy,Vernal conjunctivitis and eczema. All these collectively and adversely affect the hearing, writing, reading and concentration process during studies which often deteriorate the school performance.

Dr Rajinder Singh himself being an eminent Pulmonologist of the State not only presided over this function but also actively participated in the scientific interactions. Other prominent personalities present in the workshop were Dr D B Sharma, Dr K B Gupta, Dr Ashok Gupta, Dr G S Saini, Dr Sanjeev Digra, Dr Ravinder Gupta, Dr S S Slathia, Dr Ashu Jamwal, Dr Razac, Dr Neera Singh, Dr Sulakshna and Dr Sarmal.

Dr Sunil Dutt Sharma carried out the proceedings of the workshop while Dr Deepak Kumar presented the vote of thanks.


PSA deputation meets Relief Commissioner

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: A delegation of Pending Shopkeepers’ Association (PSA), Jagti township, met Relief Commissioner Ravinder Pandita and apprised him about the problems being faced by them.

Various issued were discussed during the meeting and the stress was laid on construction of shops at Jagti township. They requested the Relief Commissioner for early construction of shops to provide some relief to them.

Relief Commissioner gave a patient hearing to the demand and said that the proposal for construction of shops of Jagti township is under process and the file is in Civil Secretariat.

The members of the Association who met Relief Commissioner were Subhash Handoo, Manoo Ji Tikoo, Piyaray Lal Pandita, Manoo Ji Ganjoo, Deepak Dhar, Daya Krishan Raina, Surinder Pandita, Ashok Reshi and Bansi Lal.


Free eye camp organised

Excelsior Correspondent

BILLAWAR, Mar 20: KLSM Rotary Eye and ENT Hospital in collaboration with Rotary Club Udhampur and Hari Prabhu Sanstha organised one day free eye check camp at Hari Prabhu Ashray, Nagrota Gujroo.

During the camp, 120 patients were examined by the team of doctors from Rotary Eye and ENT Hospital out of which 16 patients were screened for implementation of IOL (Cataract Surgery).

The surgery of these patients was performed at Rotary Eye & ENT Hospital today.

Free transportation of all the patients from Nagrota Gujroo to Udhampur was arranged by the Sanstha.

Besides free checkup and distribution of medicines, free glasses were also given to poor persons having vision problem.

Sanstha also granted financial help for marriages of three poorest and orphan girls and sponsored the medical expensives of one Rekha Devi who is suffering from heart ailment and has been advised Pacemaker by Dr CD Gupta (Cardiologist).

Brigdaier Amarjeet Singh, Ram Lal Updhay and members of Sanstha were also present on the occasion.


PHE employees hold massive rally

Excelsior Correspondent

UDHAMPUR, Mar 20: In protest against non-payment of wages for the past nine months as also for other burning demands the Water Works (PHE) Employees Association, held massive rally and demonstration at district headquarters under the leadership of Som Nath, INTUC president and senior vice president of Association for Jammu province.

Employees and workers from far flung areas of the district iuncluding Ramnagar, Dudu, Basantgarh, Majalta, Mansar, Chenani, Kud, Patnitop, Sudhmahadev, Latti-Dhuna, Tikri, Jib-Thati, Panchari, Bamhag etc participated in the rally which started from PHE Complex and after passing through Town Hall, Gole Market, Mukherjee Bazar, Slathia Chowk assembled at DC Office Complex, where amidst shouting of slogans, a charter of demands was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner.

Besides release of wages other demands highlighted in the rally pertained to engagement of new staff for new water supply schemes under Centrally sponsored schemes to lessen the burden of existing staff; Transfer of employees who have served outside their homes for a considerable period of time, nearer to their respective residences; conducting of DPC meetings to fill up vacant posts; Change of designation as per nature of jobs being performed by staff; Clarification of SRO 149 and Benefit of SRO 64 etc. The speakers also declared that no worker of the PHE Department would go for attendance to any other agency other than their own department.

Som Nath appealed the employees to remain united and asked the provincial body to give call for "Kam Chor Hartal" as no other option was left except that to get their demands conceded.

Others who spoke included Rattan Singh, Vijay Kumar, Surak Parkash, Subash Chander, Jagdish Magotra, Krishan Chand, Munshi Ram Bali, Baldev Raj, Makhan Chand, Shiv Lal Sharma and Charan Dass.


Colorful shades of Gujjar heritage draw huge crowd

By Lalit Gupta

JAMMU , Mar 20: The novel initiative to showcase cultural richness of the nomadic tribe of Gujjars through exhibition of ethno-cultural objects and performances of folk songs, ballads, as part of the three-day Gujjar Heritage Fair, is not only attracted Gujjar leaders and other members of the community but also general public including tourists, at the Kala Kendra, here today.

Organized by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, second day of the Heritage Fair titled as ‘Gojri Literary  Festival’ opened with a  two-day State level  seminar on the topic ‘Ethno Cultural Heritage of Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir’.

The seminar was inaugurated by Choudhary Bashir Ahmed Naz, Vice Chairman, State Advisory Board for Development of Gujjars and Bakerwals. Other members of the presidium included Kuldeep Verma, Vice Chairman, Advisory Board for Development of Other Backward Classes, prominent Gujjar leader Choudhary Gulzar Ahmed Khatana and eminent writer Choudhary Fazal Mushtaq.

Dr Javaid Rahi, Chief Editor Gojri Langauge, in his welcome address said that this seminar would help us in tracing the origin, evolution and dispersal of Gujjars in Jammu and Kashmir and analyze the dynamics of social change, impact of modernization and subsequent change in their ethno-political attitudes and socio-economic situation of tribe.

Bashir Naz in his presidential address said that Gujjars are a prominent tribe of south Asia and have own legacy, history and culture. Speaking about Gujjar heritage  exhibition, he said this is a historic event for whole community. He congratulated Academy and Gojri wing for holding such a mega event.

In paper reading session conducted by Mansha Khaki, total number of 10 papers were presented by scholars and writers, which included Gulzar Khatana, Munshi Khan Chowdhary, Ayaz Rasool Nazki, Fazal Hussain Mushtaq and others. Those who presented their short stories in a session conducted by Dr Shah Nawaz included Prof Mirza Khan Waqar, Yaseen Naz, Amin Qammar, Rashid Shabnum and others.

In the Gojri Cultural Evening, the performers included Bashir Mastana and party, Begum Jan and Party, Razia Begum and Party, Master Kartar Chand and Party, Allah Rakha Chiechi and Party, Noor un Nissa and Party, Bashir Jangal and Party, Ghulam Hussain Dansalya and Party.  

Hundreds of visitors including legislatures, artists, people representing cross sections of society today visited all five galleries of Kala Kendra  wherein Gujjar Heritage was on display.

Tomorrow on the concluding day of the Heritage Fair other than the paper reading session, State Level Mehfil-e-Mushaira and Gojari folk play and folk sports will be held.


HGWA highlights demands

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Continuing their protest, J&K Home Guard Welfare Association (HGWA) warned the Government to consider their long pending demands or else all the Home Guards along with their family members will come out on roads with black flags through out the State.

Addressing the protestors, Vice president of the Association Bilal Ahmed said the administration is forcing us to go on hunger strike by avoiding our genuine demands.

He stressed the administration for the regularization of Home Guards and providing the same salary as is being paid to the Home Guards of neighbouring States like Haryana and Punjab, as they are also performing their duties day and night with full dedication like other jawans.

President of the Association, Kamla Sharma said though all the jawans of Home Guards have received their arms training at different training centers and are fully aware of their duties and are ready to perform their duties anywhere they are deputed, yet authorities are not coming forward to give the reasons as why the demands of Home Guards are kept pending, when the demands of casual labourers and other employees have been fulfilled.

She appealed the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to protect the interest of the jawans of Home Guards, as State Home Guard was established by his grandfather Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohd Abdullah, who always remained kind to the jawans.


HR Phonsa gets Ashok Mitra award

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: HR Phonsa was awarded Ashok Mitra award for social services during the sixth national level Dhamma Sangati Samaroh held at Agra, attended by eminent writers, poets, social reformers and Buddha Bikhshus.

The award was presented by the Ashoka Sarvangiya Vikas Society, Pune, to commemorate services rendered by eminent personalities in the field of social service, art, literature and for spreading the message of Dhamma.

The function was presided over by Prof Rattan Lal Songara, who marked installation of fourth Ashoka pillar in Purvodhaya Buddha Vihar, Chakipath.

Phonsa has been actively involved in the field of social services at the State and national level.

Among others present were Anand Mahasthavir, Ashok Sheelwant, Dr SP Sumnakshar and Rtd Justice Bharavia.


9 bovine animals seized by cops, smugglers escape

Excelsior Correspondent

KATHUA, Mar 20: The police seized a truck loaded with nine bovine animals near river Ujh today while the smugglers escaped from the spot.

A police spokesman said that police party intercepted a truck No. JK02T/ 7660 at village Pandori near river Ujh today. The vehicle was on way to J&K from Punjab, through a link route. The driver jumped away leaving behind the truck on seeing police party. Nine oxen were loaded in the vehicle. The police said these animals were taken to Police Station and a case was registered against the accused persons. Manhunt was launched for the smugglers and further investigation was on, police said.

It is pertinent to mention here that for the last several months, many bovine animals along with vehicles were seized in Kathua and Samba districts but police claims every time that "smugglers managed to escape’’.


Kashmiri Hindus not ready to go back in Valley: SDS

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: The Saadhoo Dharamsthan Samitee, J&K (SDSJK) today claimed that the news item published in local newspapers on March 19 regarding the statement of working president, regarding Sadhoo Dharamasthan Surkhney Samitee, J&K as baseless, is again an effort of covering on part of the Kashmiri Hindus.

The Samitee said it was known to all that the Kashmiri Hindus despite offering of packages were not staying in Kashmir valley and are not ready to go back despite efforts from the State Government.

It added that there are 442 Dharmsthan of Hindus in Kashmir but the Kashmiri Pandits stated that they were managing temples.

The Samitee further said there are 117 temples which are being managed by security forces and none of the Kashmiri Pandits has been working as Pujari of the temple.

The Samitee said few temples were saved due to personnel of security forces like Army, CRPF etc who have been protecting and performing the worship and also kept the ancient Dharmsthan opened.

The Samitee further claimed that the figures and data showing particularly the worship part was away from reality rather they were misleading the people at large.

It added that the Mahants of Khatdarshan and Saadhoo Samaj had lived during the peak militancy and still living till date.

The Samitee said the statements being issued by Kashmiri Hindus community were false and the bogey of passing bill was a publicity stunt to divert the attention of the Government from public issues.

The Samitee totally denied the news item which appeared in the newspapers on March 19 and requested the media to bring out the truth by visiting ancient Dharmsthan of Hindus in Kashmir which remained open during militancy and managed by Om Saadhoo.

The Samitee also expressed gratitude to a Muslim boy for maintaining the Shiv Ji Maharaj temple at Gulmarg for the last 20 years while the Kashmiri Hindus community was misleading to all the concerned on this particular issue.

The Samitee resolved that in order to bring a positive change, there is no need of passing of Bills for the religious places rather there is need of strong will to overcome the difficulties which could not be done by issuing statements in the newspapers.


SMC rises from slumber in Hotel Cardoba case

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Mar 20: The Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) authorities today broke silence on the illegal construction of Hotel Cardoba in the Sanat Nagar area of the city. The SMC authorities issued notice to Dr. Sibtain Masoodi the owner of the hotel and asked him to honour the court order that calls upon to stop construction of the hotel.

In a press statement issued here this evening, Municipal Commissioner Dr. Ghulam Nabi Qasba has said that hotel Cardoba is a chronic violation, adding that the area where the hotel has come up is a purely residential one.

"Despite issuing strict warning, the owner of the building, Sibtain Masoodi is continuing with the violation of norms. He has transformed the building which is all an illegal structure and without the permission of competent authority said Dr. Qasba.

The Municipal Commissioner said that SMC has initiated action and a notice has been served to the owner to stop the construction immediately and comply with court orders.

It would be in place to mention here that a labourer was killed while as another one was injured as portion of under constructed hotel caved in on March 10.

The SMC officials launched an assault on a delegation of the residents when they raised their objections over the construction of the hotel. One of the delegation members namely Syed Adil was injured in the attack carried out at the behest of Chief Enforcement Officer-SMC, Ghulam Mohammad Bafanda.

Following this the residents of the area in order to safeguard their interests approached the High Court. Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir on January 1, 2010 ordered that the status-quo should be maintained and that the present position will be maintained.

However, the residents of the area said that despite the court directions, Dr. Masoodi used to carry out the work clandestinely under the nose of SMC officials.


Abducted woman recovered

Excelsior Correspondent

UDHAMPUR, Mar 20: Police today recovered one abducted woman along with her two kids from Jammu who was kidnapped from her residential village Darsoo, tehsil Udhampur by one Shams Din son of Abdul Rashid of Darsoo tehsil Udhampur on February 14, 2012.

According to police spokesman, a police party under the supervision of SHO Police Station Udhampur, Gian Chand Sharma made hectic efforts to find the woman and subsequently the woman along with her two kids was recovered from Bari Brahamana.

The accused was arrested on the spot and a case under FIR No 93/2012 U/S 366/343 stands registered at Police Station Udhampur.


Army organises pre-recruitment training

Excelsior Correspondent

BHADERWAH, Mar 20: 4 RR (Bihar) today organised a pre-recruitment training in Sitengal for youth of Bhaderwah region.

The training was meant to impart basics of the physical and written tests which were required for the recruitment in TA with overall aim of making the youth from remote areas empowered for employment.

One of the participants, Master Irshad Ahmed said "4 RR (Bihar) has taken a positive initiative to teach us pre-recruitment training so that we will be able to utilise the time available for our better future".

Father of Master Pinku Kumar said "It was beyond our means to provide pre-recruitment training to our son.

Army has done a lot of good for us and for upliftment of the youth.


PIL challenging extraction of magnesite from Trikuta Hills
DB orders status-quo

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: In a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging extraction of magnesite and setting up of plant for production of dead burnt magnesia at Panthal near holy and world famous shrine of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Chief Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla and Justice Hasnain Massodi issued notices to respondents and ordered that status quo be maintained till next date of hearing.

The PIL has been filed by Advocates Vilakshana Singh and Deewakar Sharma against de-notification of Trikuta Wild Life Sanctuary in order to justify legality of proposed mining without adhering to the provisions of Wild Life Protection Act and also without adhering to various Supreme Court guidelines.

After hearing petitioners in person and Advocate Anil Verma for the Shrine Board, the Division Bench issued notice to the respondents. Advocate S S Chib accepted notice on behalf of Union of India and Advocate Anil Verma on behalf of Shrine Board. The DB also issued notice to other respondents returnable within two weeks.

In the meantime, Division Bench ordered that status-quo be maintained till next date of hearing.


CJ's directives in petition filed by MLAs

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: In an application filed by leader of BJP in Assembly, Jugal Kishore and MLA Jammu East, Ashok Khajuria seeking transfer of three petitions filed by MLA Prof Gharu Ram, Jagdish Sapolia, Baldev Raj and others, Chief Justice of State High Court, Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla issued notice to Commissioner Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Legislative Assembly through its Speaker, Chairman of Legislative Council, Prof Gharu Ram Bhagat, Bharat Bhushan, Baldev Raj, Jagdish Sapolia, Lal Chand and Durga Dass, all MLAs, returnable in two weeks.

After hearing Senior Advocate K S Johal assisted by Advocate Monika Kohli, the Court issued notices and directed registry to list the case immediately after two weeks.


KP youth warn to continue protest

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj (YAIK) today reiterated that it will take its present struggle to logical conclusion and continue dharna till government issues order for filling up of 800 de-reserved and 700 non joining posts among the waiting list candidates of PM’s employment package for Kashmiri migrants.

Addressing the protestors at the venue of dharna today YAIKS president R K Bhat said that legislators of almost all political parties have shown concern for the plight of displaced youth and assured to take up the issue in State Assembly.

He said the YAIKS leaders met MLAs from various political parties and they assured their full support to displaced youth. He said it is not known why government delaying issuance of orders in this regard though promised a number of times earlier.

Meanwhile the chain hunger strike launched by the unemployed Kashmiri Pandit youth under the banner entered the 8th day today.


SFCCA holds meet

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: J&K State Forest Corporation Contractors Association (SFCCA) today held a meeting under the chairmanship of Sajjad Ahmed Butt.

A new body was constituted during the meeting replacing the old. All the members were unanimously elected.

Altaf Hussain Keen was elected as president while Javid Iqbal Malik as advisor. Mohammad Irfan Siddiqui was elected as secretary while Tariq Hussain Butt as joint secretary.

Abdul Qayoom Begwan was elected as cashier.


Swami Dinesh Bharti takes Charri Mubarak to holy cave

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: Swami Dinesh Bharti today took a Charri yatra to holy cave of Mata Vaishno Devi from his Galbaky, Ashram in Gajansoo near here.

Swami Ji came into a religious procession from his Ashram to Marh and thousands of devotees including men women and children participated in it wherefrom he left for the holy cave of Ashram along with his disciples.

Swami Ji will take the holy Charri to Mata Vaishno Devi on the occasion of Navratra festival. Earlier while giving religious discourses Swami Ji highlighted the significance of the Narwratras.


Mata Kheer Bhawani Asthapan at Jagti colony

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 20: A general public meeting was held at Jagti Colony where in it was decided unanimously that an Asthapan will be constructed in the premises of holy spring which exists in lane 26/27.

This holy spring is said to be one of the old /ancient springs of Mata Vaishno Devi where she took rest while traveling to Katra.

The Biradari has now decided to construct a temple, which will be most probably the replica of Kheer Bhawani Tulmulla.

During the meeting, working committee for construction of the temple was constituted, which included Kaka Bhan (Head I), Maharaj Krishan (Head II) and Mannu Pandita (cashier) while Veer Koul, Kundan Lal, Jitender Dhar, Bharat Ji Moti, Vesh Nath Bazaz, Avtar Bhat, Avtar Thusoo, Raj Kumar and Bitan Jee are other members of the committee.

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