By Irshad Khan
Srinagar, Apr 12: Disputing the authorities’ claims of improving the school infrastructure, Government Middle School at Khanyar demonstrates the consistent apathy shown by the government.
Set up in a rented building, belonging to the J&K Wakf Board, near the DastgeerSahab (RA) shrine way back in 1950, the school has not been provided with a building of its own.
The rented building has turned dilapidated and unsafe.
Despite the authorities formally declaring it unsafe a few years back, the school, as per the sources, continues to function in the same building.
The staircase leading to the first floor of the building is dangerously dark and without electricity.
On Monday, when it happened to be raining, the crumbled ceiling allowed the water to seep into the classrooms.
Four shabby rooms with worn-out doors and windows further reflects on the below par infrastructure of the school.
While a relatively full attendance could be expected on the first day of the week, barely a dozen of the 52 enrolled students had turned up.
In fact the thin attendance on a particular day and the meager enrollment of students in the first place reflects on the acute shortage of infrastructure at the school, which probably has been keeping the students in the locality away from the school.
Seven teachers, mostly females, posted at the school also complained about the repeated failure of the School Education Department to improve the infrastructure.
Over the worsening condition of the school over the past many years, a teacher quipped, “Nothing has improved in the school”.
Another teacher, however, hoped that the school would soon get its building.
“We are hopeful to get our own building soon. Wakf Board would dismantle this building,” he said.
An official in the School Education Department said they were made helpless by “the shortage of land for schools building in the education zones of Srinagar”.
“This is true for most of the zones. We just have a handful of schools with their own buildings. The rest are running in rented buildings,” the official said.
After Noori, Kashmir scientists planning to clone Hangul
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.
Assembly polls in JK: EC to convene meeting today
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.
IT Dept searches premises of kin of ex-minister
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.