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GoI to give Rs 65 cr to Ladakh varsity

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Jammu, Dec17: The State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the Jammu and Kashmir University of Ladakh Bill, 2018.

The Bill aims at setting up a University for entire Ladakh, as a Cluster University. It will get Rs 65 Crore from Government of India (GoI) from the next academic session as initial grant. The University will fulfil a long-standing demand of the people of Ladakh region.

The already functioningthree  Degree Colleges of Kargil district will be affiliated to the Cluster University of Ladakh with Degree College Leh constituting the lead college.

 

All the new colleges to be set up in future in Ladakh region are envisaged to be constituents of/affiliated with the Cluster University of Ladakh.

There are five Degree Colleges functioning in Ladakh region, one each at Leh and Nobra in Leh district and one each at Kargil, Zanskar and Drass in Kargil district. All the five colleges are presently affiliated with the University of Kashmir.

Ladakh region with a population of 2.75 lakh as per 2011 census has a student population of 40%. As per the rough estimates, around 90% of students from Ladakh have enrolled in different Universities across the country for studies and the remaining 10% study in Ladakh.

The public representatives and students of Ladakh region have been persistently demanding for setting up a University in Ladakh region so that local students could have easy access to higher educational opportunities in their own area for which they otherwise have to migrate to other parts of the state/country thereby causing immense economic, social, psychological and other hardships to them besides draining the local talent from the region.

The establishment of Cluster University in Ladakh will provide equitable opportunity to the students of Ladakh region to pursue various undergraduate, post-graduate and diploma courses in different streams and subjects through regular mode without any displacement from their region. It will reduce the responsibility of other Universities in the state/country and enable Colleges of Ladakh region to enhance their capacities to become dynamic, demand driven and quality conscious.

With its unique topography and difficult terrain, in addition to introduction of fundamental courses, a University in Ladakh will offer specialized subjects in the domain of Mountain Studies, Environmental Studies, Climate Change Studies, Glacier and Water Studies, Geology, Sustainability and other fields of sciences, which can add value and meaning to the higher studies programme for the regional students.


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After Noori, Kashmir scientists planning to clone Hangul

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Apr 25: After successfully cloning Pashmina goat in 2012, the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry at SKUAST-K is now contemplating to make clone of Kashmir Stag (Hangul).

Realising that the Hangul was gradually getting extinct from the valley, the scientists at Department of Biotechnology SKUAST-K Shuhama came up with this idea.

“This project is in infancy as we require permission from Wild Life department, local government and Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA),” said Dr Riyaz Ahmad Shah, a veterinarian in the animal biotechnology center of SKUAST.

 

Shah said the execution of the project would require heavy funding and creation of the advanced infrastructure in the research centre.

“First of all a Deer park in needed where there these animals must have been already reared. Then advanced infrastructure is need as we currently have some basic machinery here. So overall this project can be only executed when the government is serious in accomplishing it,” he said.

He said the cloning could be achieved by using the body cells of some other inter-species including a goat or a sheep.

While the initial work including the framing of paper has been done, Shah said the tracing and catching this rare animal was becoming equally challenging for the concerned department.

“They usually die on being caught by the people. Still it could be managed but they are not being currently traced in abundance in the forests here,” he said.

 Shah believed that cloning of the deer can be an equally effective process like breeding procedure done to improve their population.

Official data reveals that population of Hangul has reduced to from 5,000 to 182 in last 118 years.

Department of Wildlife’s data shows the population of Kashmiri Hangul in 1900 was 5,000, spread over 65 miles from north to east of the Jhelum and lower Chenab valley.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is also all set to declare it a ‘critically endangered’ species to protect this beautiful animal from disappearing from earth.

In 2012, scientists at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SKUAST) successfully cloned the first Pashmina goat. The healthy female goat was born using a foster mother and it took two years for standardisation of the technique.

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Assembly polls in JK: EC to convene meeting today

Agencies

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New Delhi, Apr 25: Election Commission of India (ECI) officials will meet on Friday to discuss assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government are also expected to attend the meeting to assess whether the state assembly elections can be conducted in June this year.

While announcing the seven-phase Lok Sabha election schedule on March 10, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora had said that elections for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly would not be conducted along with the Lok Sabha elections. In June 2018, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had withdrawn support to the PDP, led by Mehbooba Mufti in the 87-member state assembly.

 

Since the fallout of the coalition government, the state has been under President’s rule.

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IT Dept searches premises of kin of ex-minister

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Apr 25: The Income Tax Department Thursday carried out searches at two premises of a kin of Imran Reza Ansari, a former minister in the PDP-BJP coalition, for alleged tax evasion, officials said here.

They said the income tax officials, assisted by the Jammu and Kashmir police and the CRPF, carried out the searches at a business complex in the upmarket Karan Nagar where locations of North Point Complex were searched by the tax personnel.

Later, a team was sent to search another premises of the family at Alamgiri Bazar in the downtown Srinagar.

 

The income tax officials maintained that Thursday’s raids were carried out on a business family and were in no way connected to Ansari, a politician who switched over to People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone.

Ansari’s sister is married to the family whose premises have been raided.

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