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J&K Bank’s CSR, Go-Green Initiative in Kashmir University






Srinagar, Oct 8: Ever since assuming the role of Chairman and CEO at J&K Bank, I have sincerely and seriously been working to forge partnerships with the leading academic institutions of the state.

Staying focused on creating a strong industry-academia relationship, I strongly believe that mutual collaboration in the new fields of research and development will surely help us explore and create fresh opportunities for the socio-economic development of Jammu and Kashmir.

J&K Bank Chairman and CEO Parvez Ahmed made these remarks soon after handing over the keys of Critical Care Ambulance and 11-seater battery-operated vehicle for differently-abled students to the Vice-Chancellor Kashmir University (KU) Professor Talat Ahmad under the bank’s CSR Program in presence of Registrar KU Dr Nelofar Khan and bank’s Zonal Head Kashmir Central-I Tabassum Nazir.


On the occasion, the bank under its Go Green Initiative also dedicated 100 bicycles for in-campus commute and specially designed 50 comfortable three-seater garden-benches.

The function was attended by Dean KU Prof Zaffar Ahmad Reshi, Dean Academics Musadiq Amin Suhaaf, Controller Examinations Prof Farooq Ahmad Mir, President Kashmir University Teachers Association Muheet Ahmad, HoDs of various departments, faculty members, bank’s Cluster Head Fayaz Ahmad, Head Business Units University Campus Showkat Makhdoomi and other officials of the bank and university.

“As far as our business relationship with this institution of excellence is concerned, we have a longstanding trust of decades at our backs to carry it forward beyond the preferred client-reliable financial service provider status. I am very hopeful that working with the eminent personality like Professor Talat Ahmad, a remarkable blend of research and academic excellence, we will set higher benchmarks in the institutional collaboration for the betterment of society besides strengthening the mutually beneficial bonding,” Chairman said.

The chairman further divulged the aim to reinvigorate relations with Kashmir University and incorporating new age products and customized services for an enhanced client experience.

“It is in this direction that very recently, we both entered into an engagement for Kashmir University as our Most Preferred Customer adding more gravity and privileges to our relations with you, he said.


Furthermore, he  expressed his happiness to see the work in progress for establishment of the bank’s Digital Lounge cum thinking space within University premises which will further offer an immersive banking experience to the university with state of the art transaction and digital facilities.

As responsible Corporate Citizens, the chairman stated, “We have in the past come together for various CSR initiatives and we will continue to support more such engagements to help the University achieve its true potential as centre of excellence. We value the contribution of Kashmir University to our state and society in creating reason driven intellectuals for building a rational, successful society and as a mark of our acknowledgment to the hard work of outstanding students, we have already announced institution of Gold Medals to the overall academic toppers of Kashmir University.

Besides, it is a privilege an honor to humbly dedicate the ambulance for health centre of the University, one 11 seater electric vehicle for movement of physically challenged students, Rs. 10 lacs as contribution towards the fund reserved for financially poor students, cycles for in-campus travel convenience as a GREEN initiative for the students of the University.

Citing entrepreneurship and self-employment as twin important areas of engagement between the two institutions, he added, “We are keen to actively support the ideas/ventures seeding out of the KU incubation centers for we see entrepreneurship and self-employment as the way forward for the productive engagement with the youth of the state.”



Action plan for conservation, development of medicinal plant sector in JK discussed




Srinagar, May 23: Advisors to Governor, K Vijay Kumar and K Skandan today jointly chaired a meeting to discuss the potential of medicinal Plants sector in the state, action plan for conservation, development and sustainable management of Medicinal Plants and structural support required for development of the State Medicinal Plant Board.

The meeting also discussed the achievements already registered by SKUAST-Kashmir and other concerned agencies in the Medicinal plant sector.

Vice Chancellor SKUAST-K Prof Nazeer Ahmad, PCCF J&K Suresh Chugh, Chairman SPCB Ravi Kesar, CCF T Rabi Kumar, Regional Director RCFC Dr Sheikh Bilal, experts from SKUAST-K and other concerned officers attended the meeting.


VC SKUAST-K along with his team of experts gave a detailed presentation regarding work done already in the field of medicinal plants by the University and the activities that are being carried out to explore the potential of medicinal plants and their cultivation for demonstration purpose at present. Work done at Faculty of Forests and at Division of plant biotechnology of SKUAST-K was alsodiscussed in the meeting.

Threadbare discussions were held on the role of both the Agricultural Universities of the state in rendering their support to the State Medicinal Plant Board, research work being carried out by them to know more about the medicinal plants that are being available in the state and its strategy to cultivate these plants with a commercial point of view.It was informed that around 571 different kinds of medicinal plants are available in the state out of which some are high end plants having high commercial and medicinal value.

Role of Forest department in this sector was also reviewed and it was decided that the department would be playing a positive role in assisting the State Medicinal Plant Board in its activities and also providing every kind of support to get maximum benefits from the medicinal plant sector in the state.

While discussing the action plan, it was stressed that for making the medicinal plant sector of the state sustainable, State Medicinal Plant Policy needs to be framed. The Advisors asked SMPB to study the policies of other states and prepare a draft by taking out best practices from them also in consonance with the National Medicinal Plant Policy.

It was also decided that a database having details of the medicinal plants that are available in the state must be created along with the value assessment of the products to get its commercial value. Further, it was told that the cultivation of high end (commercially viable) plants and research oriented work would be taken care of by the Agricultural Universities of the state and Forest department also to take up cultivation of plants at their nurseries and other identified places.

Stress was also laid on re-generation of the species which are rare so that the fear of extinction of such plants can be taken care of.

With regard to  the awareness programme, the Advisors asked VC SKUAST-K to organize a Seminar/Workshop on the topic soon involving experts from other states, faculty/students from Agricultural Universities, Forest Officers, Forestry Scholars/Graduates and other stakeholders so that participants can share their expertise on the subject with others and make value addition to their existing knowledge.

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Dearth of NEET SS centres in Kashmir: Candidates in fix, urge Guv to intervene

Hirra Azmat



Srinagar, May 23: Hundreds of doctors appearing in the upcoming National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Super Speciality (NEET SS) examinations from Kashmir are in a fix as the dearth of examination centres in the valley will force them to choose a centre outside the region or state.

NEET SS 2019 is a Super Speciality national-level exam being conducted by National Board of Examinations to offer admission in DM/MCh courses.

The exam is scheduled on 28 June in online mode and the registration has already started from 8 May.


The candidates from Kashmir, however, are unhappy by the “lackadaisical attitude” of the authorities in failing to get sufficient number of examination centres allotted to the valley. 

A doctor who is appearing in the exam said that last year almost 90 percent of the candidates were accommodated in examination centres in Kashmir but this time hardly 15 percent have been allotted valley-based centres.

“They have allotted only one centre for DM/MCh candidates here. Not more than 15 percent have got the examination centre in the valley. Majority of the candidates will have to travel outside the valley to sit in the exams,” the doctor said wishing not to be quoted by name.

He added that as most of these candidates are working in the various hospitals of the valley, they will have to take at least three days’ leave to travel out of Kashmir and sit in the exams.

“As a result, the hospitals will face a deficiency of staff,” he said.

The doctor appealed the J&K Governor to take up the issue with the NEET SS organisers.

Last week, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) too had taken note of this concern and had urged Governor Satya Pal Malik to take up the matter with the appropriate authorities.

“It is very unfortunate that every time we are made to beg to authorities to get sufficient number of examination centres to Kashmir so that our candidates are not made to suffer but it seems that our demands are falling to deaf ears,” Dr Suhail Naik, president DAK had said in a statement.

Atul Dulloo, Principal Secretary Health and Medical Education told The Kashmir Monitor that the doctors “should have informed the authorities about it when they were applying for the courses.”

“Now, they are coming up at the eleventh hour. We will still raise the issue with the concerned authorities and see what can be done,” he said.

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City areas waterlogged, again; SMC, works dept in slumber

Bisma Bhat



Srinagar, May 23: Once again a short-spell of rain submerged several city roads, exposing the faulty drainage system in Srinagar.

As predicted by the local meteorological department, the majority of the plains in Kashmir, Thursday witnessed a heavy downpour.

Soon, roads in Srinagar including the city-centre Lal Chowk and its adjoining areas were clogged with rainwater as the drainage system gave up within an hour or so of the rainfall.


Neither Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) nor Public Works Department has, in recent years, been able to resolve the issue which, time and again causes inconvenience to commuters and the business community.

Apart from Lal Chowk and its surrounding areas, those that witnessed water-logging included Karanagar, Nawabazar, Jahangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Gogji Bagh, Bemina, Mehjoor Nagar, Residency Road, Hazuri Bagh, Rambagh, Shalteng, and Batamaloo.

Pedestrians were seen saving their clothes from water splashed on them whenever any vehicles drove through the flooded roads.

Abdul Ahad, a pedestrian while walking near Hari Singh High Street was so annoyed that he started abusing the authorities for failing to permanently resolve the public issue.

Bikers were seen holding up their legs while driving through several inches of water on the intersection between Residency Road and MA Road here.

Rains had also made driving dangerous as the depth of water-filled potholes was impossible to predict for the motorists.

The overall public movement in the city was hindered to a large extent.

No employee of SMC or the Works Department was seen on the field.

Even after repeated attempts to contact them, no officer from SMC or Works Department was available for their comments.

In February, the then Executive Engineer Drainage, SMC, Muzaffar Kakroo had claimed to complete 80% of drainage infrastructure.

He had even said that “complete infrastructure of drainage system across Srinagar along with the water disposal infrastructure will be completed in the month of May-August 2019.”

Seeing the state of drainage on Thursday, it was safe to say that the same had not been achieved.

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