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Improve financial health, modernize fleet, machinery: Adv Kumar to SFC

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Jammu, Nov 28: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar Wednesday asked the State Forest Corporation (SFC) to bring efficiency in its functioning and to improve the financial health of the organization by taking innovative steps.

He pressed on re-skilling of the employees to have proper utilization of human resource available with the corporation.

The Advisor, who is also the Chairman of the corporation made these remarks while addressing the 68th Board of Directors Meeting of State Forest Corporation (SFC) at Civil Secretariat, here today.

The BoD meeting was attended by Principal Secretary Planning Rohit Kansal, Commissioner Secretary Forests M K Dwivedi, PCCF J&K Suresh Chugh, Managing Director JKSFC Vasu Yadav, Director General Codes Mohammad Rafi Andrabi, Chief General Manager (P&P JKSFC) A R Mogal, FA&CAO JKSFC Manohar Lal and other concerned officers.

Managing Director JKSFC gave the overview of the corporation along with its financial and physical achievements. He also presented before the meeting various agenda items for the discussion and approval.

It was informed that during 2017-18, 40.579 lakh cft of timber was extracted and sales were made upto 41.623 lakh cft thereby recording sales revenue (Net) to the tune of Rs 18800.52 whereas during the current year upto ending September 2018, 20.672 lakh cft has been extracted recording sales revenue (Net) upto Rs 8519.69 lakh.

The meeting had threadbare discussions on the various agenda items that were proposed before the Board for its approval.

It was decided in the meeting that to ensure transparency in the allotment of contracts except in case of exigencies, all the extraction works are put to tenders through e-tendering process.

With regard to the welfare initiatives for the employees of the corporation, it was approved that for payment of gratuity, the ceiling is revised to Rs 20 lakh with effect from March 29, 2018 bringing it in consonance with the Central Payment of Gratuity Act.

The board also approved increase of 12 percent Dearness Allowance (DA) in two installments of 6 percent each making it to 125 percent from the existing 113 percent, the SFC employees are presently getting.

After having thorough discussion on the available human resource and the jobs assigned to them, the meeting also agreed to re-organization proposal for making it a viable organization. The Advisor also emphasized on re-skilling of the employees making them more efficient and contributing positively for the development of the organization.

The Chairman asked for getting the positive inputs from other SFC’s in the country doing well in terms of extraction and generation of good revenue.

The board also agreed to support the Forest Department to defray the expenditure on account of marking and enumeration.

While discussing the initiatives undertaken by the corporation to ensure its operations through digital platforms, the Advisor asked for doing all the process of extraction digitally thereby ensuring zero leakage. All the services should be made online to achieve better results, he added.

“To achieve efficiency and ensure transparency in the functioning, adoption of IT-enables services is the only way which not only reduces the gaps but also improves the efficiency of any organization”, the Advisor said.

In another important move, the board also approved release of payment to Wakf Board against the stocks of Baba Reshi to the tune of Rs 1.13 crore.

The Board also had brief discussion over exploring the possibilities of medicinal plantation in the state. Forest department and JKSFC both were asked to take collective efforts for seriously looking into and taking help of the experts in the field to guide in this direction.

With a view to enhance the efficiency during extraction operations, the Advisor asked for taking steps to modernize the fleet & machinery of the corporation. “JKSFC should have best and updated machinery which would surely slash down the cost of timber extraction and increase the overall output”, the Advisor said.

During the meeting, several viable suggestions were also floated by the Directors and other concerned officers for overall development of the corporation. The management of JKSFC was asked to redouble their efforts towards making the corporation more profitable thereby making it financially robust.


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State

APSCC holds Mehbooba responsible for internal bickering in PDP

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Srinagar, Dec 13: All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) today said that the internal bickering and disintegration of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has taken place due to the wrong polices of present party President and former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti.

In a statement, APSCC Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said that Mehbooba Mufti failed not only as chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, but also as President of PDP. Raina said that Mehbooba could not pursue the agenda as set out by her father Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and it is due to reason that PDP has disintegrated like a pack of nine pins.

The APSCC Chairman said that Mehbooba played truant with the Sikh community of the state by denying them rights that were due to them under the National Minorities Act. He said the PDP President in fact sabotaged the extension of minority status to Sikhs of the state by filing a counter affidavit in the court of law and that too at the highest level.

“Before 2014 assembly elections Late Mufti Sayeed promised before a huge gathering of Sikhs that he would give minority status to Sikhs of Jammu & Kashmir and the same formed a part of the party manifesto for those elections. However, for three and half years the powerful Kashmiri Pandit lobby ensured that Mufti does not fulfill the promises made to the Sikh community,” said Raina.

The APSCC Chairman said that after being elected as CM of state in 2016, Mehbooba was keen to implement the central policies in state. He said her advisor Prof. Amitabh Mattoo manipulated certain orders and rephrased the same so that the Kashmiri Pandits get benefitted out of the revised orders.

“It is a pity that all the legislators knew about this, but none among them raised a finger against the same. Mehbooba led state government filed an affidavit in Supreme Court and opposed the extension of National Minority Act to Jammu & Kashmir. She also issued SRO 425 by virtue of which employment benefits due to Sikhs were given to the Kashmiri Pandit youth,” said Raina.

The APSCC Chairman said that despite meeting Mehbooba many times no headway whatsoever was made with regards to demands of Sikhs living in Jammu & Kashmir. He demanded that Election Commission of India should ban PDP since the party went against its own election manifesto by opposing minority status to Sikhs and that too in the apex court of country.

Raina said that Kashmiri Pandits can never be given minority status since Hindus are in majority and not in minority in India. He said that communities like Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Jains have been classified as minorities in India by National Commission for Minorities.

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State

NET aspirants demand exam centres within Kashmir

Kashmir News Service

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Srinagar, Dec 13: Students here are up in arms against the National Testing Agency (NTA) for designating their exams centers for upcoming NET exams outside J&K state.

The NET (national eligibility test) exams are starting from December 19 onwards by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
From this year, the UGC established NTA as a premier, specialist, autonomous and self-sustained testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for admission, fellowship in higher educational institutions.

“The problem is that many students from Kashmir have their centres in Jammu, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab. It is discrimination with aspirants from Kashmir,” said one of the aspirants adding that the bad weather could prove fatal for the aspirants.

The aspirants told CNS that the candidates from Kashmir Valley had prioritized their exam centres in Baramulla and Srinagar district and had given alternate option for their centre in Jammu and Kathua.

“But most of the students have their exam centres outside J&K state,” he said.

The aggrieved students also said they it was not possible for them to afford air tickets to travel to other states and appear in exams.

The aspirants have sought intervention of Jammu Kashmir Governor, Chief Secretary and Advisors to Governor.

“Please establish exam centres for us in Kashmir Valley,” they said.

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PSAJK attends Int’l conference in Indonesia on quality Islamic Education

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Indonesia, Dec 13: In a first, a delegation of Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) participated in the International conference titled “Dawah and Islamic Education; Challenge, Concept and Policy,” in Indonesia.
The PSAJK delegation, which was only one to be invited from India, detailed the situation regarding education among muslims in the subcontinent in general and Kashmir in particular. They actively participated in sharing of ideas for achieving quality Islamic Education in tune with world standards.
The conference organised by Mu’allimin and Mu’allimaat Muhammadiyah (MMM), a leading non-profit and social group of Indonesia, was convened to discuss ways and strategies to elevate the quality of Dawah and Islamic education in the world.
“The conference was attended by leading academicians and educations of the Islamic world. All of them felt that the level of education in Islamic world, be it Islamic or Science, lags in quality,” said G N Var. “There were number of brain storming sessions aimed to devise ways to standardise the level of education in the Islamic world.”
According to the organisers, the grand conference, which was organised on the eve of centenary celebrations of the parent organisation, was aimed to become a media of aspiration and network among people and organisation of Dawah and Islamic Education institutions coming from various countries. The conference was attended by delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Japan, India, United Kingdom and Turkey.
Institutions and organisations of these nine countries signed the MOU to promote value based moral education, student and faculty exchange programmes, reservation for meritorious and deserving students.
“The MOU was one of our biggest achievements. It has opened the gates of best educational institutes of nine countries for our students,” said Var. “The collaboration will also lead to increase in the professional capacity of institutes and quality of education. We will also be able to host students from these countries. It will have a far reaching effect.”
The speakers at the conference described the golden age of learning in Islamic world and described the reasons that led to downfall of the knowledge industry. There was a unanimous commitment toshare the knowledge and work hard to reclaim the knowledge centre status.
The conference agreed to rejuvenate the understanding and spirit of Al-Maun to inspite progressive Dawah and forward looking Islamic education in the new century.
While giving a presentation, the Director of MMM said that the institute models its education on renowned Islamic thinker KHA Dahlan’s four principles. The first principle is Ilm before Amal (first to understand and then apply), second being akhlaq or character building, third being competency building (skill development) and fourth being critical thinking. The last principle advocates student centred learning and encourages the students to question and debate.
KHA Dahlan was an Indonesian Islamic revivalist who established Muhammadiyah.
The conference also agreed to annually organise the conference at a global scale. The PSAJK put forward the name of Kashmir for the next round of conference to be held in 2019. After the deliberations, three finalists namely Kashmir, Malaysia and Turkey were shortlisted for the host candidates.
The final announcement of venue will be confirmed by 28 February 2019.
MMM is a major Islamic Non-Government Organisation of Indonesia with more than 9000 Schools and 184 Universities.
Muhammadiyah is the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia with 29 million members and solely devoted to social and educational activities.

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