Blasts, firing, stoning, hartals replaced by education, industry, infra: Shah

Shah to launch computerisation projects for agri, rural dev banks, Registrar of Coop Societies

‘Jobs were earlier given on slips, now on merit’
*Deprived sections to get rights after reservation in PRIs
*Crackdown on terror financing, assets being seized, attached

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Jan 25: Union Home Minister Amit Shah today said following delimitation and reservation arrangements in the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in Jammu and Kashmir, the deprived people will get their rights as he maintained that the jobs are now being given on the basis of merit, capability and in complete transparent manner while earlier they were doled out on political recommendations and corruption.
Shah was addressing JKAS officers and compassionate appointment beneficiaries under SRO-43 after they got the job letters and virtual inauguration of 100 e-buses in Jammu and Kashmir, from New Delhi.

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He said Jammu and Kashmir is now moving forward in development and democracy while there has been steep decline in violent street protests, militancy and civilian killings.
Union Minister for Heavy Industries Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Home Secretary AK Bhalla and Parshant Lokhande, Joint Secretary MHA (J&K and Ladakh) joined the function virtually from New Delhi while Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Jugal Kishore Sharma and Ghulam Ali Khatana, MPs, and Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo besides other senior officers of civil administration were present at Jammu Convention Centre where 209 JKAS officers and 885 beneficiaries of compassionate appointments under SRO 43 got the job letters.
“After Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, Panchayat elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018 with 74 percent voting while Block Development Council (BDC) polls were held in October 2019 with 98 percent turnout. As many as 3650 Sarpanchs were elected in 4483 constituencies.
“In this way, Modi Government has given an opportunity to 35,000 Panchs, Sarpanchs and public representatives of local bodies to work in a democracy. Now fresh delimitation is taking place here in which reservation arrangements are being made so that the deprived people get their rights,” Shah said.
He said he has been connected to Jammu and Kashmir since 1985 in different capacities.
“Jobs in Jammu and Kashmir were being given with active support of political leaders. Without political recommendation or corruption, getting job was impossible in Jammu and Kashmir. Political slips were required to get jobs but now these clips have been replaced by exam papers. I can say with fully authority that all 209 JKAS appointments have been made on the basis of merit and transparency,” the Home Minister said.
He said due to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a new era of peace and security has started in Jammu and Kashmir. He added that the Prime Minister has transformed Jammu and Kashmir, which was “known for terrorism”, into a tourism hub.
“When Article 370 was scrapped, several leaders who had been taking advantage of it and had made democracy a joke said it would not have any effect on Jammu and Kashmir. But there has been a huge change,” Shah said.
“The era of bomb blasts, firings, stone-pelting and shutdowns has been replaced by education, schools, colleges, medical colleges, management institutions, industries and infrastructure. This is a big change that Jammu and Kashmir is going through,” he asserted.
The Home Minister said after the abrogation of Article 370, there has been a 70 per cent decline in total terrorism-related incidents, an 81 per cent reduction in civilian deaths, and a 48 per cent decline in the death of security forces. This shows that a new era of happiness and peace has begun in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.
He asserted that Jammu and Kashmir did not witness a single incident of stone pelting in 2023.
“The Modi Government is cracking down on terror financing, sealing and freezing assets of terrorists and has also outlawed several terrorist organisations. There were 2,654 incidents of organised stone pelting in 2010, which has come down to zero in 2023. There were 132 incidents of organised strikes in 2010 but not a single incident took place in 2023,” Shah said.
He said 112 civilians died in stone pelting in 2010 but not a single civilian died in 2023. In 2010, the number of civilians injured in stone pelting was 6,235 but no one was injured in such an incident last year.
Shah also virtually distributed 209 appointment letters to Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) officers including 96 who have been allotted JKAS, 63 Accounts Gazetted Services and 50 JKPS. He also gave away virtually 885 jobs on compassionate grounds under SRO-43.
Jammu and Kashmir received investments worth Rs 297 crore in 2019-20 and this increased to Rs 2,153 crore in 2022-23, he said.
“Nearly Rs 6,000 crore of investments are in the pipeline. This shows progress,” he said, adding that Jammu and Kashmir’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has increased from Rs 1 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,27,927 crore in 2022-23.
Shah further appealed to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to enrol themselves as voters and become part of the democratic setup of the country.
“The youth of Jammu and Kashmir who carry computers in their hands instead of stones are connected and contributing to the progress of Jammu and Kashmir. Over 7 lakh youths have taken part in sports and this is a big thing,” he said.
Jammu is getting 100 e-buses and these will ensure a reliable, comfortable, economical and durable public transport facility for the people of the district, the Home Minister said.
These buses will also ply from Jammu to Katra, Kathua, Udhampur and on internal routes of Jammu.
“These buses will not only resolve commuting problems of the people in the coming days but will also be very useful from the environmental point of view,” Shah said.
Mentioning that the buses involved a cost of Rs 561 crore for 12 years operations and maintenance, the Home Minister said 25 of them are 12 meters and 75 of nine meters. Besides easing travel, the e-buses will also ensure clean environment which has also been a priority of the Government.
Earlier, there were 94 colleges in Jammu & Kashmir, today there are 147, earlier there were no IIM, IIT, and AIIMS, today IIM, IIT, and two AIIMS have been established. Similarly, there were 4 medical colleges, now 7 new medical colleges have been established. There was not even a single nursing college, today there are 15 nursing colleges, medical seats were 500, now they have increased to 1300, PG seats were 367, now 300 more seats have been added and 3000 nursing seats have also been increased, Shah said
Shah said that 173 projects have been completed here under the Smart City Mission and homes to 1,45,000 people have been allocated within a very short period from 2019 to 2024. He said that the work of providing tap water to the houses of 13 lakh people has been done and along with this, the entire health expenses of up to Rs 5 lakh of 82 lakh people are being borne by the Government of India and the Government of Jammu & Kashmir.
He said that earlier only 60 services were online in Jammu & Kashmir, which has now increased to 1102, due to which corruption has been curbed.