Utilization of bio-resources available in J&K UT
*Several officers unaware of being members of GB, EC
JAMMU, Nov 20: Even after admitting officially that Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been blessed with immense bio-resources and there is a dire need to promote setting up of biotechnological and industrial ventures, a body of several top bureaucrats and experts has failed to start planning process during the past 10 months.
The most shocking aspect is that several officers are completely unaware of being members of the body, which is headed by none else than one of the Advisors to the Lieutenant Governor.
The Government vide Order No.285-JK(GAD) dated February 26, 2020 reconstituted Governing Body (GB) and Executive Committee (EC) of the Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Biotechnology Parks Society in order to chalk out strategy to utilize the medicinal plants, photo-pharmaceutical, pharma bio-resources and aromatic plant bio-resources available in the Union Territory.
The other objectives of the society are creation of core technology infrastructure to enable setting up of new industries in J&K based on unique bio-diversity (medicinal and aromatic plants), protein therapeutics, vaccines and fermentation products to incentivize and support; to ensure human resource development leading to entrepreneurship development; to promote setting up of biotechnological and industrial ventures; to provide formal and operational links with centres of knowledge creation such as National R&D laboratories, universities, institutions and research organizations in India and abroad and create a strong network.
It was also mentioned in the order that society will facilitate flow of venture capital funds and bank credits to biotechnology companies and create conducive ecosystem for attainment of all these objectives.
In order to ensure that society meets the purpose behind its creation, a Governing Body headed by Advisor (B) was constituted and it is comprised of Administrative Secretaries of Finance, Health and Medical Education, Science and Technology, Revenue, Planning Development and Monitoring, Industries and Commerce, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Vice-Chancellors of Universities of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Director Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, CEO of National Medicinal Plant Board, Director Forest Research Institute, Director Indian System of Medicines and Drug Controller etc.
Similarly, an Executive Committee headed by Administrative Secretary of Science and Technology Department and comprised of Director Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, MD SIDCO, Director Indian System of Medicine and CEO J&K Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Board and others was framed.
However, despite lapse of 10 months neither Governing Body nor Executive Committee has conducted any sort of exercise for the reasons best known to those heading the same, official sources told EXCELSIOR, adding “due to slackness on the part of those who are supposed to conduct the meetings of the Governing Body and Executive Committee the objectives behind creation of Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Biotechnology Parks Society could not be achieved till date”.
“At least two meetings of the Governing Body should have been convened till date as it was specifically mentioned in the order of February 2020 that Governing Body will meet at least once in a quarter”, sources said while disclosing that Governing Body is supposed to provide overall policy guidance and directions for efficient functioning of the society in fulfilling its objectives as laid down in the Memorandum of Association.
Similarly, the Executive Committee is supposed to consider progress reports for the implementation of various projects and to keep the Governing Body informed of all the important decisions taken by it regarding the functioning of the society.
The most shocking aspect is that several officers and experts, who are members of the Governing Body and Executive Committee, are completely unaware of formulation of the society.
EXCELSIOR contacted a number of officers to ascertain the status of deliberations conducted by the Governing Body and Executive Committee but they expressed ignorance about such a step initiated by the Government.
“Neither we have been formally communicated about being members of the Governing Body and Executive Committee nor any meeting notice has been received during the current year so far”, they said while wishing anonymity.
How the Government is going to utilize bio-resources available in J&K UT with such a non serious approach?, sources asked, adding “it seems that concern for taping the potential was confined to only formulation of society, its Governing Body and Executive Committee”.