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FFC’s 6 % annual fee order: Parents, PSAJK discontent with hike

Sakeena Banday

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Srinagar, Feb 01: The parents, as well as Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK), have expressed their discontent over the order issued by Jammu and Kashmir Fee Fixation Committee (FFC), a government-appointed body, which approved 6 per cent fee hike in private schools three days ago.

The committee on January 28 approved an annual fee hike of 6 per cent for private schools. “The private schools may raise their fee structure annually by not more than 6 per cent on the fee structure existing as on August 1, 2018,” read the order.

However, the order has come under sharp criticism from various quarters.

 

In a statement issued here, the Parents’ Association of Private Schools Kashmir (PAPSK) condemned the Committee’s latest order by saying, “The order is against the interests of the parents and sets up the wrong precedence for future.”

Mubashir, whose ward studies in Green Valley School said, “Authorities did not take the parents association on board before drafting this order. By just talking to few people doesn’t mean that they took parents association into consideration. It is purely is a business.”

Zahoor Ahmad, another guardian whose ward studies in DPS Baramullah, said, “This is injustice towards the parents. I fail to understand why do we have to pay the tuition fees during winter vacations?”

Meanwhile, another private school association, the Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has termed the government decision to allow a 6% fee hike annually “as too late and too little.”

The Association also expressed its shock over the government’s decision, to stop private schools from charging a one-time admission fee from students.

The Association said that the Committee should have followed the Indian system, wherein 8-15 % fee hike is allowed.

G N Var, Chairman of PSAJK, said, ” We want the government to allow us to charge 10% annually as per government order of 2006 and also one-time admission fee as is the norm.”

“From smart classrooms to new learning aids and specialized training to teachers, everything become possible when schools have good finances,” Var added.

Chairman of FFC, Justice (Retd) Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain, refused to comment over the issue.


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State

DC Shopian suspends two forest officials

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Shopian, June 26: Two officials of Forest Department including an In-Charge Forester were suspended today by Deputy Commissioner Shopian, Dr Owais Ahmed, for their callous attitude towards their duties.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner’s office received multiple complaints about the smuggling of forest wood and cutting of green trees in Keller belt of district Shopian.

Acting on these complaints, a preliminary enquiry committee headed by Divisional Forest Officer Shopian was constituted by Deputy Commissioner Shopian. After a brief enquiry into the matter it was found that few officials have been negligent in performing their duties. 

 

Taking cognition of the issue, Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday suspended two employees of forest department. Deputy Commissioner Shopian said that till the completion of enquiry these two employees have been put under suspension and more investigation regarding the case is going on.

He said that his administration shall not tolerate any kind of negligence and callous attitude towards duties. He further added that those found guilty will face stern action.

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Tourism has come to standstill in Kashmir: Tarigami

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Srinagar, June 26: Senior CPI(M) leader and former legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Wednesday said that the tourism industry in Kashmir has come to an almost complete standstill and the slump is affecting the livelihood of a sizeable section of the population.

“Houseboats are empty, taxi drivers and shikara owners are idle with no business on the horizon,” Tarigami said in a statement.

“Tourism sector in Kashmir is going through its worst crisis with many hotels closing down, staff being laid off and players in the industry looking for alternative businesses or even job opportunities. Businesses linked with tourism, including handicrafts, restaurants and transporters, are also facing a financial crisis. People, who are associated with tourism, are facing difficulties to feed their families,” Tarigami said.

 

He added that the atmosphere of panic has been created by TV channels who are portraying Kashmir in a negative manner.

“The electronic media’s coverage of the developments were damaging the tourism industry. The continuous negative coverage, especially of violence, which is not the overwhelming reality in Kashmir, has stalled tourist inflow to Kashmir,” said Tarigami in a statement.

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Dir Gen IMD meets Guv

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Srinagar, Jun 25: Dr. K.J. Ramesh, Director General, Indian Meteorological Department, met Governor Satya Pal Malik at the Raj Bhavan here on Tuesday.

Dr. Ramesh briefed Governor about the present weather forecasting set up in the State and its usefulness for issuing timely weather advisories to people and pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra during the duration of the Yatra.

Governor highlighted the crucial importance of timely and advance weather forecasts for managing the movement of Yatris, which is highly dependent on the weather conditions.

 
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