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Several north Kashmir schools have classes existing only on papers

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Srinagar, Apr 27: Indicating the sorry state of affairs in the School Education Department, several classes in the schools in many education zones of Baramulla district have zero enrollments.
In the ongoing academic session of 2018-19, the entire class 6th “is missing” at Middle School, Sriwarpora in the district’s Nihalpora education zone, an official in the School Education Department told The Kashmir Monitor.
At Primary School Rather Mohalla in Guyiwa area of the same education zone, the official said there was zero enrolment in class 5th.
Middle School Badipora in Tangmarg zone of the north Kashmir district also has not even a single student enrolled in class 6, said the official.
In the same education zone of the district, class 5th at Primary School Khan Mohalla, Chonti Pathri “does not exist” as per the official.
“If a class, say 5th or 6th, is missing in a school in the current academic session, it means that there has been no enrolment in class 4th and 5th respectively in the last academic session,” the official said.
“There are many more schools (in Baramulla district) where some classes do not exist at all,” he said.
The reason for the zero enrolment in the classes was that the government had “unnecessarily opened schools in violation of the norms”, as per the official.
“Within the radius of say 1 km, where there should have ideally been one school, there are as many as 4-5 schools,” the official said.
“Had the schools been opened as per the laid-down criteria, it would have improved the schools’ infrastructure,” he added.
“In Guyiwa, there are as many as 5-6 primary and middle schools within a radius of just half a kilometer. Same is the case with Sriwarpora area. Even after the government clubbed the schools in Sriwarpora, there is still the problem of below par enrolment there.”
A top-rung official said a number of schools across the valley, where hundreds of Rehbar-e-Taleem teachers (ReTs) were recruited “on political grounds”, have been opened without considering the toll they would take on infrastructure.
Admitting to the zero enrolment in different classes at schools in the district, Chief Education Officer Baramulla, Abdul Ahad Ganai, said, “What happens is that a candidate fails at times or skips schooling, so some particular class may be missing.”
“Maybe a particular class is missing, but there is good enrolment in the schools,” Ganai said.
Ganai acknowledged to the fact that schools had been set up in excess against the laid down norms.
“There are no two opinions on that; I agree with you. But I also don’t know why they have been set up,” he added.
Zonal Education Officer Nihalpora, Abida Fazli, said, “There might be accommodation problem for the missing classes”.
“The Sriwarpora School is undergoing construction, so they might have shifted the class to some other school,” she said.
Fazli also echoed Ganai that the schools had been set up in excess as compared to the prescribed norms.
“That is right. They have set up schools everywhere, so there is a meager enrolment. I know some schools where, there is an enrolment as meager as 50 even after clubbing 4-5 schools,” she added.


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Kashmir

Entrepreneur duo comes up with ‘Fast Beetle’, valley’s ‘first’ logistics company

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Jan 22: In the fast paced world, convenience and ease of access is a mantra that no business can afford to ignore.

In Kashmir too, the customer demands his pound of flesh and businesses have begun to cater to this aspect.

Enter ‘Fast Beetle’, a specialised delivery service that began operations last year and claims to be the first logistics company in the entire valley that provides end-to-end service to the entrepreneurs, specifically women.

 

Owned by two young entrepreneurs, Sami Ullah and Abid Rashid, the logistics company promises to take on the challenge of fulfilling the promise of timely delivery. They ensure that orders received from many valley based e-commerce websites reach the customer within a day.

After completing his MBA, Sami Ullah, 27, started working with a company called ‘Kashmir Box’. He came across many e-commerce website owners who were facing problems in the delivery of their products. This triggered the idea behind his startup.“What I observed was that the issue was mostly faced by female entrepreneurs. They find difficult to move out from their home every day. So I decided why not set up a delivery service,” recalls Sami Ullah.

Last year in September, Sami Ullah started working on the idea along with his friend Abid, who too has an MBA.
After two months of research, the duo gradually built their network with the local e-commerce websites, soon interacting with over 50 entrepreneurs, mostly women.

“In the first stage, we did the mapping of Instagram pages and accordingly approached them. We started off as delivery boys and would pick up the products ourselves,” recounts Sami Ullah.

The founders started the company with a moderate capital saved from their previous jobs and they worked on a minimum-profit basis.

However, their start-up didn’t progress the way they had planned. The challenges came as the business started to evolve.“As the customers multiplied, the phone calls about the delivery details increased too.

The clients would call us repeatedly to ensure if their product was delivered. The whole process became tedious,” says Sami Ullah.

The duo then developed a software that streamlined the order details including the delivery status.“When the entrepreneurs create an order, the company receives an e-mail automatically through the system. Our admin assigns the delivery boys and then forwards the details of the order.  It provides an end to end protection to our clients,” explains Sami Ullah.

At present, the duo functions from a warehouse in Zaldagar area of old-city.

They have five people working for them.

The company receives over 50-60 orders on an average every day and has, so far, delivered over 4,000 orders.

They now earn double than what their jobs offered and are proud owners of five motorcycles used for the delivery purposes.“Most deliveries that we do are for cosmetics, medicines, clothes, shoes and other grocery items,” says Sami Ullah.

The company charges the client a commission on the total value of the order.

The company has extended its cash on delivery services in Anantnag, Sopore and Baramulla and plans to start a franchise model in every district in the future.

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Kashmir

No public transport in late hours; authorities say electric buses in offing

Sakeena Banday

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Srinagar, Jan 22: Authorities have failed to provide inter and intra-district public transport service for the people of Kashmir, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours.

Each working day, commuters can be seen jostling for seats in private cabs here, a limited number of which ply to and fro the districts of Kashmir.
At Jehangir Chowk in Srinagar, people are seen anxiously waiting for a cab in late hours, knowing if they miss one, they may have to wait for hours for another.

A similar situation is also faced by the commuters on various city routes, who complain about the absence of passenger buses and cabs.

 

In addition to the hassle, the passengers pay a much higher fare than they would have had there been any government transport service available.
“After 5 pm, cabs running from Lal Chowk to Nishat are difficult to find and even after waiting for hours at Jehangir Chowk, we hardly find any transport in the evening,” said a resident of Nishat, who travels to the city-centre each day.

The problem, commuters say, aggravates in winters because of lesser daylight.“There is hardly any direct cab service between Lal Chowk and Soura. I travel by bus which moves very slowly, wasting a good hour and a half for the journey that can be completed within 30 minutes,” a resident from Soura said.

Principal Secretary Transport Department, Asgar Hassan Samoon said the government’s plan to run eco-friendly, battery-powered buses will be rolled out in Jammu and Kashmir soon.“It will take some time because we need to set up electric charge-stations. Till then, by the month of March, 50 to 70 city buses should be started (sic),” he said.

Asked about inter-district transport, Samoon said: “We will try to start night services and transport services for long routes as well.”

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JK fully prepared for census of water bodies: Revenue Deptt

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Jammu, Jan 22: Department of Revenue today said that Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who is also Census Commissioner, has initiated all the requisite measures for smooth conduct of 6th Minor Irrigation Census and first census of Water Bodies with the reference year 2017-18.
The census is being conducted in Jammu and Kashmir along with other States by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
For conducting the census efficiently, field functionaries of Revenue Department viz Tehsildars/ Naib-Tehsildars/ Girdawars/Patwaries/OQs have been imparted training at their respective District Headquarters in all Districts except Leh and Kargil by the Planning Cell in the Office of Financial Commissioner, Revenue.
The schedules along with Guidelines and Instruction Manual have been distributed among the Tehsils. Village directory required by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India has been prepared and sent to the concerned.
“Deputy Commissioners have been authorized as per plan of activities approved by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to procure Mobile Devices for each Tehsil as required for capturing photographs of water bodies, a statement of the Department said.
“A mobile-friendly app/software would be made available by the concerned Ministry.”
All enumerators have been kept in the state of readiness for field operation which shall commence as per the time schedule to be circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India, the statement added.

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