Srinagar, Nov 08: All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Thursday demanded that a high-level probe should be ordered in the issue of doling out secret packages to the members of Kashmiri Pandit community over the past so many decades.
In a statement issued to the media, APSCC Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said that the probe should be carried out by a team comprising of some seasoned members of the parliament or by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Raina said that successive governments in the state and center have been very kind enough to Kashmir Pandits by sanctioning packages for them at the cost of majority Muslim community and minority Sikh community.
“Over the years it has been observed that the governments in New Delhi have been announcing packages for Kashmiri Pandits and nothing has been done with respect to the Muslim and Sikh communities. Sikhs are up against many odds and are facing difficulties with regard to employment, political representation and assistance on the business as well as agriculture and horticulture sectors,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman said that a thorough probe would expose the officials who have been doling out packages to Kashmiri Pandits from time to time. He said that since people involved in different scandals have been exposed time has come when the same parameter is applied vis-à-vis sanctioning undue and un-favourable packages for Kashmiri Pandits.
“The SRO 425 issued in October 2017 by the state government to provide government jobs under the Prime Minister’s package to Kashmiri Pandits who have not migrated from the valley is an act of gross discrimination against the Sikh community as Sikhs did not move from valley as soon as militancy began in the valley,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman said that SRO is arbitrary and illegal and infringes fundamental rights of the Sikhs which the Constitution of India has given them under Articles 14 and 16. He said the attitude of the Jammu & Kashmir and central governments right from 1989 has full of apathy and discrimination towards the Sikhs especially those living in the valley.
“Sikhs living in Kashmir should be thankful to S Santpal Singh, S Harjeet Singh and A Vikramjeet Singh advocate and others who took the bold initiative of filing a writ petition in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court while challenging the SRO 425. There is a simmering discontent among Sikhs with regards to SRO 425 and the same has added to the woes as well as the agony of the community members,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman asked the members of Sikh community to stand up and wage a battle against the injustices that are meted out to them by the people at the helm of affairs in New Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir. He sought a moral, physical and financial support for the members of the community who have challenged SRO 425 in the court of law.
“Time has come when we shall get united and take a bold initiative so that our youth are given jobs that have been denied to them on one pretext or other. Sikhs should leave the casual approach and it is time to become more pro-active so that rights are given to us more so when the same are guaranteed by the constitution,” said Raina.
Restoration of autonomy our principal objective: NC
Srinagar, June 16: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Sunday said the party is not seeking anything novel or outside the ambit of constitution of India, saying the party is seeking the restoration of autonomy to the state.
National Conference senior leaders led by Party general secretary Haji Ali Muhammad Sagar addressed series of worker’s conventions at Ashmukam, Pahalgam and Khanabal Anantanag.
While addressing the workers, general secretary said that the party was not seeking anything new or unconstitutional. “We have been demanding for the restoration of the position that our state enjoyed until 1953. Our party is seeking the restoration of the position to the state that was achieved by our state through Delhi agreement. We are the only Muslim majority state of India; Maharaja’s accession with the union of India was purely restricted to certain areas. However what was achieved by the leadership of our party was unscrupulously eroded by the successive state governments after the unconstitutional and illegal arrest of Sher- e- Kashmir,” he said adding, “our state is not like any other state of India; the people at the helm of affairs in New Delhi should understand that they are dealing with an area, historically and geographically and in all manner of things with a certain background. They have to be men of vision and there has to be a broad minded acceptance of facts.”
Sagar while underscoring for the need of having dialogue with the disgruntled youth of the state said, “The idea of achieving long lasting peace in the state cannot be achieving by closing the doors for dialogue and reconciliation. The youth of our state have never felt so discontented and alienated as they are feeling now. The need of the hour calls for engaging with the youth. An earnest dialogue with the youth will inevitably prove fruitful towards increasing the prospects of peace and prosperity in the state.”
Sagar while exuding confidence into the workers said that PM Modi throughout his campaign in the run up of parliament elections racked up the names of Dr. Farooq and Omar Abdullah and criticized them all along his election campaign trail. “However people of Kashmir came out and attested to the policies of the party leadership. The victory of the party candidates from all the three constituencies of the state is reflective of the mood of the people. The people of Kashmir have considerably reposed their faith in the party for the sole purpose of protecting the interests of the state,” he said adding, “People have come to understand that there is no other credible and strong voice other than National Conference in the state that could put stiff resistance to the machinations of BJP, RSS and its henchmen in the state. The eloquent and forceful avowals of party vice president in the parliament are still alive in the explicit memories of people, who know how Omar sahib spoke when Mehbooba Ji failed to do so.”
Sagar further added that the forces as are inimical to the special status and integrity of the state were worried by the wave on ground in favor of National Conference and its leadership. “However there is scope for complacency, we have to keep on striving hard to achieve our goal. Our goal is explicit and clear, it is to protect the identity of the state and put the state back on the track of development and prosperity. Our principal objective is to work for the restoration of autonomy to the state. The move will go a long way in removing the cobwebs of mistrust between New Delhi and the state,” he said.
Among others party senior leaders Provincial president Nasir Aslam Wani, state secretary Sakina Itoo, district president Altaf Kaloo, south Zone president Dr. Bashir Ahmad Veeri, Pir Muhammad Hussain, Muhammad Shafi also addressed the workers and impressed upon them to effectively engage with the people.
Judiciary for more welfare initiatives, better environment for Senior Citizens
Srinagar, June 16: Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta, Judge Jammu and Kashmir High Court today said that Judiciary is committed to protect the rights and welfare of the senior citizens, for which serious efforts will be made to create a better atmosphere in the society for these special people. The initiative for setting up of Ahatay Waqar was one of the steps taken in this direction.
Justice Gupta was speaking on a one-day training and capacity building Programme on “empowering the Senior Citizens” through Universal access to legal and social justice. The event was organised by J&K State Legal Services Authority with the technical support from RRTC Anugraha, Delhi.
Justice Gupta said that Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Justice Gita Mittal has been personally monitoring senior citizen friendly initiatives in the State and has guided the judiciary to set up Ahata Waqar, which is to institutionalize efforts for the benefits of the elderly population.
“The week-long campaign to sensitize the population in all districts of the state regarding rights of senior citizens show the seriousness of judiciary regarding the issue. We want that every youngster in the state should be aware of the rights of senior citizens and also respect elderly people to avoid any abuse,” said Gupta.
Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Abdul Rashid Malik presented the vote of thanks and hailed efforts of everybody who organized and participated in the week-long campaign—Ageing with Dignity.
“This sensitization program is a new beginning to acknowledge the sacrifices of the elderly population and our duties towards them. Senior citizens don’t only need financial help but emotional support like a newborn baby. They need to be empowered through legal and social support. Some of the skilled senior citizens could be encouraged to pursue their skills,” said Malik.
Dr Abha Chowdhary, Resource Person from New Delhi congratulated J&K State Legal Service Authority for organizing the campaign in all districts and sensitizing youth about the rights and the protection of elders from abuse.
“Ahatay Waqar is a pilot project of Chief Justice Gita Mittal,which was responded extremely positively as senior citizens are very happy. This pilot project should be replicated in other districts as well,” said Chowdhary.
The event was attended by Sanjay Dhar, Registrar General, J&K, High Court, Abdul Rashid Malik, Principal District and Sessions Judge, Srinagar, Mohammad Akram Choudhary, Member Secretary, J&K State Legal Services Authority, Adnan Sayeed, Secretary DLSA Srinagar, Dr. Abha Chowdhry, Chairperson, Anugraha, New Delhi, Judges from all over Kashmir Province.
‘NAAC-accredited colleges swelled from 13 to 30’
Hr. Edu Deptt clarifies reports on accreditation of Degree Colleges
Srinagar, June 16: The Department of Higher Education has clarified a news story regarding NAAC accreditation of Degree Colleges in Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is clarified that assessment norms of the NAAC have undergone certain changes in recent times under which obtaining higher grades of A and A ++ and also maintaining earlier NAAC gradings of educational institutions have become a challenge for the Higher Education institutions. 70% of the assessment is virtually machine driven and in this process local difficulties and vagaries can easily miss deserving consideration. Accordingly, this concern is under a frank and open discussion at the national level and hence is not outside the purview of revision,” an official statement said.
“Since the NAAC accreditation has been made a precondition for receiving financial assistance of national level bodies including UGC, RUSA, etc, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has taken the challenge of getting all it’s eligible higher education institutions accredited at the hands of assessing agencies like NAAC, NIRF, AICTE, NBA etc within the timeline of 2022 set as a national level target,” the statement said.
“The Department of Higher Education is conscious that the newly established colleges shall require substantial time to achieve perfection with regard to the seven main criterions of NAAC assessment. These colleges being in infancy cannot be expected to have well-established systems for student placements, corporate MoUs, IT-supported academic transactions, skilling and vocational development of students, state of the art and inter-disciplinary research lab facilities which are some benchmarks for fetching highest NAAC grades,” it said.
“The Department derives the satisfaction that the NAAC authorities have established a special cell at its Bangalore headquarters to facilitate the degree colleges of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to sail through the mandatory stages of submission of IIQA, Student Satisfaction Survey, Data Verification and Validation, Submission of Self Study Report and NAAC peer team visits etc which require a lot of honest effort and dedication of stakeholders including students, teachers, support staff, parents, alumni and the administrative department. The Department also records its appreciation for the newly established colleges for having exhibited the passion and courage for presenting themselves for NAAC accreditation despite their difficulties and challenges with regard to infrastructure, permanent faculty and student support systems.
The Department is honestly committed to providing support and necessary handholding to all the higher education institutions in their journey and aspirations for achieving excellence in all aspects of their functioning. The Department is proudly announcing that because of the efforts of all the stakeholders the number of accredited colleges with various NAAC rankings has swelled from 13 odd (April 2019) to around 30 at present while all remaining eligible colleges are at various stages of the accreditation process,” the statement added.
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