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Govt out to clear ‘misconceptions’ about old Srinagar

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 17: To counter old Srinagar’s “negativity image”, the government plans to focus on “bringing back its old glory” by organising programmes and revamping the historical sites.
Given the previous year’s Islamic events held by the Tourism Department at downtown, the authorities have decided to hold more such programme to bring the area on the tourism map.
“Last year we held some of the programmes like Islamic convention and then calligraphy at Jamia Masjid, evoking a good response. Basically, downtown has been wrongly projected as a stone pelting area. The misconception regarding it needs to be cleared,” Director Tourism, Mahmood A Shah, told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said they would primarily focus on reviving the heritage tourism in the area by acquiring some old buildings.
“We have written to the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar in this regard. Some of the buildings have been identified in this regard, and they will be renovated to attract heritage lovers,” he said.
Shah said the department was getting in touch with the owners to fully take over these building.
“The problem we face right now is that these building have multiple legal heirs. But then, we hope that this step building will attract tourists towards downtown,” he said.
Shah informed that the department was also taking up the matter of reviving water transport in the city, particularly in old Srinagar, with the government.
“We actually want to show the visitors actual flavour of downtown. Many heritage buildings including residential houses, shrines and temples are located on the Jhelum banks, so it can attract heritage lovers,” he said.
Director Tourism also said the government would improve sanitation in old Srinagar.
“Improving hygiene in downtown is most required. The area otherwise looks mostly unclean. Besides, the department would equally concentrate on promoting the cuisines famous in these city areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government sources said they have already planned revamping the historical sites under the Smart City Mission.
“Nearly half a dozen buildings have been identified in this regard particularly in the old Srinagar, which will be taken care of by the government under its Smart City mission. Buildings, which are old and dilapidated but of historical importance, will attract people,” a source said.


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Kashmir

3 militants killed in Anantnag gunfight

Press Trust of India

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SRINAGAR: Three militants were killed on Wednesday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, officials said.

The encounter broke out at Pazalpora area in Anantnag on a specific intelligence provided by the district police.

 
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Kashmir

Governor chairs Ist meeting of Jammu Cluster University Council

Monitor News Bureau

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SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 15: Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chancellor of the Cluster University of Jammu, today chaired the first meeting of the University Council here at the Raj Bhavan.

Advisor to Governor, Khurshid A. Ganai, Pro-Chancellor was also present in the meeting.

While taking overview of the activities of the Cluster University, the Chancellor and Advisor called for creation of University’s own campus with the establishment of schools of excellence. At the outset, the Chancellor stressed that the Cluster Universities are created with the vision to have a strong commitment to nurturing collegiality and leading collaboratively with unremitting dedication to improve transparency and efficiency. He further said that the Cluster University inherits an academic mission whose goals are lofty, yet firmly grounded in an ethos of dynamism and academic responsibility and the mission is to create a community of lifelong learners that fosters Research, Development, Quality, Innovation, experimental learning, community engagements, academic leadership and administrative support.

 

The Members made several tangible suggestions to make the Cluster University Jammu a real hub of educational activities. They said that Cluster University is a new concept in Jammu and Kashmir and it needs to be empowered so that it becomes choice of students over other Universities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Prof Anju Bhasin, Vice-Chancellor, Cluster University of Jammu made a detailed presentation on the activities and various initiatives taken by the University. The presentation focused on the functioning of the administrative, academic, financial, examination, evaluation and other sectors. She also reported the status of student enrolment in the University, and measures for the development of students and faculty.

Listing some achievements by the University, the VC apprised that 12 new 5 year integrated courses, Honours programme in each of the colleges at UG level and new self-financing innovative, cross disciplinary skill based courses have been introduced. She further highlighted the important reforms introduced by the University which includes Academic Calendar defined for year-1, year-2 and year 3, flexibility to students to choose elective courses, admissions through centralized process, holding of examination in time-bound manner etc.

Financial Commissioner Finance (Financial Advisor Universities), Dr. A.K. Mehta, Financial Commissioner to Governor, Umang Narula, VC, Cluster University of Srinagar, Prof. Sheikh Javid Ahmed, VC, Jammu University, Prof. Manoj Kumar Dhar, Secretary Higher Education, Talat Parvez Rohella, Dean Faculty of Education, Prof. M.A. Lone, Dean Academic Affairs, Prof. Poonam Dhawan, Dr. Jatinder Khajuria, Registrar Member-Secretary, Prof. Anil Gupta, Principal S.P.M.R College of Commerce, Jammu, Prof. Sangeeta Nagri, Principal, College of Education, Jammu, Prof. Koushal Smotra, Principal, GGM Science College, Jammu and Prof. Ravinder Tickoo, Principal, GCW, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu attended the meeting.

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Centre mulling political initiative in Kashmir

Agencies

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Srinagar, Oct 15: After restoring mobile phone connectivity in the Valley on Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is now working on a mechanism to initiate political engagement which is likely to involve mainstream political parties.

The move is expected to lead to the release of more political leaders from detention though a decision releasing former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti is not on the table yet, Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

Quoting sources, the report said the Centre was keen on beginning political dialogue within the Valley to bridge the trust deficit between the state administration and Kashmiris following the August 5 decision to scrap the state’s special status and bifurcate J&K into Union Territories.

 

The political mechanism currently under discussion is likely to involve second-rung leaders from regional parties in the Valley to form a political council that can initiate dialogue with people and assuage their fears in the wake of the August 5 decisions, report said.

Part of this council’s mandate is alleviating the sense of alienation and anger in the Valley. Also on the table are certain special provisions that will protect local jobs and the settlement of outsiders in the Valley in order to protect its demographic character and culture.

“Delhi is keen on initiating political engagement. The contours of it are still under discussion. Among the ideas is involvement of the existing political class which as of now does not include the Muftis and the Abdullahs,” the report quoted a senior official privy to the developments.

“Gradual release of significant political actors will be taken in the weeks to come. The Home Minister has already said that statehood will be returned. A decision on who these political actors will be is yet to be taken,” the report added.

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