J&K, Himalayan States fountainhead of Aroma StartUps: Dr Jitendra

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh addressing members of civil society organisations.
Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh addressing members of civil society organisations.

Excelsior Correspondent
NEW DELHI, Mar 3 : Jammu & Kashmir and Himalayan States like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh are the fountainhead of Aromatic StartUps who have emerged as a new genre after the popular “Purple Revolution” from a small town of Bhaderwah in district Doda.
This was stated by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh while interacting with members of civil society organisations at an outreach programme.
He said PM Narendra Modi had devoted a substantial slot in his “Mann Ki Baat” broadcast to describe the virtues of lavender farming undertaken in Bhaderwah.
The Minister said, the geography and climatic conditions of these States favour the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants and these can be developed into Agri-tech StartUp enterprises. This is especially relevant given the recent interest in medicinal plants in following the COVID pandemic.
The Union Minister of State (I/C) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said that this interaction with the NGOs is part of an outreach programme to have a dialogue with those involved in social service. He added that these interactions also provide valuable feedback and suggestions for the Government.
The Union Minister appreciated the work being done by the organisations and said that they provide an opportunity to reach and influence people in the farthest corners of our nation. Speaking about the conducive climate of hill areas for aromatic plants, the Minister said that the Government has started an ‘Aroma Mission’ through CSIR in the Union Ministry of Science & Technology.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that CSIR is providing comprehensive handholding from product development to marketing. He said that our youth has made the nation a hub of start-ups in the last 10 years, but we need to expand our vision beyond the IT-enabled services sector and look at the Agri-tech sector for unleashing our untapped potential.
The Union Minister also advocated that the NGOs working in the health sector explore telemedicine. He added that in hill States such ‘Doctors-on-Wheels’ can provide not only diagnostic tests but expert consultation within an hour’s time.
Dr Jitendra Singh also said that in the last 10 years, PM Narendra Modi has sprung new hope in the nation’s collective psyche. He added that the massive infrastructure development in the thus far neglected North-Eastern India is a testament to the will of the Government to invest in all our people. Dr Jitendra Singh said that the development of railway and air infrastructure in these parts has meant the end of their isolation from the rest of India.
The Union Minister said that the focus of the Modi Government in the last 10 years has been on employment generation and capacity building of our youth. The Union Minister further said that hard work being done for the people has led to faith in the leadership of PM Modi. He added that this new modus-operandi and a new culture of our polity have been endorsed by our citizens who have reposed their faith in Modi.