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Set up agro-logistic centres to improve horti produce: Secy Fin to officers

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Jammu, Nov 27: Principal Secretary Finance, Navin K Choudhary Tuesday called for establishing a chain of agro-logistic centers (ALCs) in the State to improve processing, storage, quality assurance, transportation, and distribution of horticultural and allied produce.

“ALCs will provide all necessary post-harvest facilities and services in one place to improve value chain from farm to market through increased efficiency gains for all participants and increase price transmission to small-scale producers and small and medium-sized agribusinesses,” Navin said during thepre-budget discussions of the Agriculture Production, Horticulture, Floriculture, Animal/Sheep Husbandry and allied departments here today.

Principal Secretary, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, Secretary Agriculture Production &Horticulture, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, Secretary Floriculture, Parks and Gardens, Mohammad Javed Khan, Director Budget, Imtiyaz Ahmad, other senior officers of Finance Department and Heads of Departments of the concerned organizations attended the meeting.

Kashmir-based officers joined the meetings through video-conferencing.

He said the ALCs will also help increase domestic sales and exports of horticulture produce while reducing post-harvest losses and handling costs. “Horticulture remains a promising sector in J&K. This important sector, however, is still underdeveloped due to lack of access to modern production and post-harvest technology and financing,” he said and added that the Government would explore the possibility of financing ALCs on pilot basis.

The Principal Secretary Finance called upon the HoDs of Agriculture, Horticulture and Floriculture Departments to evolve new concepts and innovations by adopting multi-cropping system in the potential areas to enhance production and productivity in the State. He called for making optimum use of available resources and formulation of innovative projects to help boost the State’s rural economy. He also laid stress on developing high density nurseries, seed farms and providing advanced technologies to the farmers so that they can adopt these concepts for enhancing the production.

Navin called for organizing the farmers to adopt the cluster approach in the development of Mushroom, Poultry and dairy sectors which have great scope in the domestic market. He asked for encouraging the farmers to be competitive with their Punjab and Himachal counterparts in developing the latest varieties of fruits, vegetables and multi-grains to earn more profits. He also suggested measures which can be more useful for the farming community.

In the marathon deliberations, Principal Secretary Finance sought the suggestions from concerned officers vis-à-vis realization of targets, revenue generation and implementation of various programmes by these departments and future plans for the next financial year.

Navin laid stress on realization of targets and spending the resources strictly under the budgetary provisions and called for discouraging the practice of creating liabilities. He also urged the HoDs to speed up the on-going projects and complete them in set timeline to avoid cost escalation. He also asked for observing austerity measures and avoiding wasteful expenditure upto the extent possible, especially under the head “Other Expenditures” (O/Exs).

The Administrative Secretaries and HoDs gave detailed status of current year’s expenditures, targets, financial constraints and their future requirements to accomplish the targets and completing the ongoing projects.


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Work hard to secure NAAC accreditation: Adv Ganai to College principals

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Jammu, Dec 10: Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, Monday asked college principals for working hard to secure accreditation and motivating other colleges to initiate the process of accreditation.

He said this after inaugurating a 2-day Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop for hand-holding Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) here at GGM Science, College here.

The Advisor hoped that with NAAC support the state will be able to achieve the target of improving overall education infrastructure.

Ganai said that the State Government is keen to support the institutions for maintaining and improving their standard for NAAC accreditation. He added that various measures have already been initiated, besides providing financial assistance to colleges to achieve the goal.

The Advisor asked the Director of Colleges for initiating the process of assessing quality of lectures being delivered in colleges, besides motivating more colleges for securing accreditation for overall improvement in quality of teaching and infrastructure buildup.

Speaking on the occasion, the Advisor lauded the organizers for organizing the event and asked the trainees for utilizing the services of experts to understand the process of accreditation.

The event is being organized by National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC) in collaboration with Department of Higher Education Jammu & Kashmir to train college principals and professors on process of accreditation frame work.

Director of Colleges, Prof. Zahoor Ahamd Chatt informed that various initiatives have already been taken by the Higher Education Department to motivate more colleges to initiate the process of NAAC accreditation and so far 37 colleges have initiated the process and 33 colleges have yet to submit report in this regard. He said that the department has taken various initiatives to retain A-plus grading of accredited institutes.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Advisor   NAAC Dr. B.S. Ponumdiraj and Senior Communication cum Publication Officer NAAC, Dr. Wahid Hasan said that NAAC has created a special cell with a focus to assist and motivate institutions of state to get NAAC accreditation.

During the inaugural session, a 15 minute documentary was also screened to understand the process and frame work of NAAC accreditation.

Dean Research Studies University of Jammu, Prof Jigar Mohammad, Principal GGM Science College Jammu Dr. Satinder Singh, college principals and faculty from across the state were also present on the occasion.

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Complete Aadhar seeding of pensioners by Jan 15: Secy SW to officers

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Jammu, Dec 10: Secretary Social Welfare Department (SWD), Dr. Farooq Ahmad Lone Monday directed the concerned Directors to gear up and complete the Aadhaar seeding of pensioners under ISSS & NSAP Scheme by 15th of January, 2019.

The Secretary issued these instructions while reviewing the Aadhaar seeding of beneficiaries receiving pension under Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS) & National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) here at meeting.

Director General, Social Welfare Kashmir, Director Finance, Social Welfare Department and Director, Social Welfare, Jammu attended the meeting.

During the meeting, it was informed that in Kashmir Division the Aadhaar seeding under ISSS is 66% and under NSAP scheme the Aadhaar seeding is 38 % whereas in Jammu Division the Aadhaar seeding under ISSS as well as NSAP is 50%.

It was also decided that the pensioners/Beneficiaries shall be given an opportunity to deposit/update their Aadhaar numbers against the respective Pension Scheme/Component of ISSS/NSAP at the nearest Tehsil Social Welfare Office by/before 15th of Jan, 2019 which shall help the Social Welfare Deptt to identify and weed out ineligible beneficiaries under the different components of ISSS/NSAP Schemes viz; Old Age Pension, Widow Pension & Disability Pension and cover the pending cases.

It was given out that Pension for the Month of January 2019 onwards under different components of ISSS/NSAP Scheme shall be credited into the bank accounts of only those Pensioners/Beneficiaries whose accounts shall be Aadhaar updated/seeded except for those having valid reasons.

For availing Aadhaar services, ISSS/NSAP Scheme Pensioners/Beneficiaries have been advised to visit the nearest Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) office where Aadhaar capturing facilities are available.

 

 

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Expedite digitisation work in G&B Hostels: Secy TA to officers

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Jammu, Dec 10: Secretary Tribal Affairs (TA) and Cooperatives Abdul Majid Bhat, exhorted upon the officers to expedite the digitization works in the existing and under construction Gujjar and Bakkerwal (G&B) Hostels in the state.

“ It is imperative that these hostels are equipped with technologically advanced infrastructure to enable the students of the community keep pace with  today’s world of digital knowledge and technology”, the Secretary maintained while reviewing the functioning of tribal Affairs department at an officers meeting here today.

Stressing upon the need of providing digital services to the students, the Secretary asked the officers to speed up the work on creation of computer Lab, internet facilities and other related services in these hostels so that the students here could keep pace with the competitive world.

The Secretary asked the officers to organize debates, symposiums cultural programmes and other functions to boost morale of the students besides enabling them develop a sense of competition. Such events provide a platform to students to exhibit and further polish their talent in the fields of their choice, he added. He also asked the authorities to enhance the bedding capacity in these hostels so that the intake capacity is raised to accommodate more students.

Taking cognizance regarding lack of proper utilization of funds, Secretary exhorted the officials to ensure judicious utilization of allocated amount under different schemes so that these institutions serve as a hub of quality education and excellence for tribal students.

The Secretary asked the concerned officers to further gear up their men and machinery for quality and timely completion of all projects being executed for the welfare and development of Tribal population of the state.

Referring to certain complaints regarding poor basic amenities and unhygienic in Gujjar and Bakkerwal hostels, the Secretary exhorted upon the concerned officers to look into the matter and initiate prompt action in this regard. He asked them to ensure that the students of this under privileged community are facilitated with enhanced services with emphasis on comfortable and hygienic environment and healthy food which is pre-requisite for overall development of youth.

Majid asked the officials to raise massive awareness among the schemes and programmes envisaging overall development of tribal community who are an integral part of our society.

Director Tribal Affairs, Mushtaq Ahmad, informed the meeting that work on establishment of 19 cluster Model Tribal Villages is in full swing and the process for development of more 16 tribal villages as Model Villages is also under consideration. Besides, two Milk Villages, one at Pulwama and one at Rajouri, have also been created which are functional. He further informed that the department is also working earnestly towards skill development of tribal population besides improving services for them in health sector, agriculture and allied fields. He added that the construction work on five Eklavya Model Residential Schools and seventeen Schedule Tribe Gujjar Bakerwal hostels is in progress. Besides, the department has provided Biomass Cook stoves to about 8500 families at Kishtwar to save the tribal women from several health hazards being caused due to smoke of traditional Chullahs.

 

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