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On-spot testing vans keeping check on food adulteration

Monitor News Bureau





Srinagar, Jan 21: To check food adulteration, the Drug and Food Control Organisation (DFCO) claims to have made four Mobile Food Testing Vans functional in Kashmir division.

According to a government report, five well-equipped vans have been procured through J&K Medical Supplies Corporation in 2017-2018.

Besides, Rs 6 crore was released for strengthening the existing Food Testing Laboratories at Jammu and Srinagar in 2016-17.


The van comes fully equipped with gadgets such as a milk analyser, hot air oven, hot plate, mixer grinder, digital weighing scale, power generator, air conditioner, and many more.

These vans are used to tests common adulterants in milk, water, edible oils, and other food items, and make it possible to draw on-the-spot samples and generate instant reports of the analysis.

The vans make rounds of city and other districts to collect samples for quality tests.

Moreover, the department has deputed a mobile food testing team consists of a food safety officer, lab technician, and a van driver to handle the vans.

“We have a food safety officer, technician and a driver. We don’t need more staff for these vans,” said Deputy Commissioner Food Safety Kashmir, Irfana Ahmed.

As per her, four vans are functional in Kashmir division, running on different routes and districts.

“We have vans at the division level. We are sending these vans to different districts and are also covering different areas of the city. Recently, we have sent these food testing vans to Jawahar Nagar, Raj Bagh and Parimpora. People who want to test the food products can test freely with the help of these vans,” she said.

Jammu and Kashmir Drug Controller, Lotika Khajuria, said, “The mobile food testing vans have been kept for surveillance and awareness. One van has been provided by food safety authority of India. Three are procured by state government.”

She said they depute these vehicles to check sale of substandard food items in markets.

“These vans check milk products, spices, edible oils, and colouring agents. If substandard food is found, our inspectors carry out crackdowns. These vans are not run daily, but we have chalked out a timetable for them,” she said.

The mobile vans, as per FSSAI, are meant to strengthen the country’s food testing infrastructure and “enhance surveillance activities and outreach even in far-flung areas”.



3 militants killed in Anantnag gunfight

Press Trust of India



SRINAGAR: Three militants were killed on Wednesday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, officials said.

The encounter broke out at Pazalpora area in Anantnag on a specific intelligence provided by the district police.

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Governor chairs Ist meeting of Jammu Cluster University Council

Monitor News Bureau



SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 15: Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chancellor of the Cluster University of Jammu, today chaired the first meeting of the University Council here at the Raj Bhavan.

Advisor to Governor, Khurshid A. Ganai, Pro-Chancellor was also present in the meeting.

While taking overview of the activities of the Cluster University, the Chancellor and Advisor called for creation of University’s own campus with the establishment of schools of excellence. At the outset, the Chancellor stressed that the Cluster Universities are created with the vision to have a strong commitment to nurturing collegiality and leading collaboratively with unremitting dedication to improve transparency and efficiency. He further said that the Cluster University inherits an academic mission whose goals are lofty, yet firmly grounded in an ethos of dynamism and academic responsibility and the mission is to create a community of lifelong learners that fosters Research, Development, Quality, Innovation, experimental learning, community engagements, academic leadership and administrative support.


The Members made several tangible suggestions to make the Cluster University Jammu a real hub of educational activities. They said that Cluster University is a new concept in Jammu and Kashmir and it needs to be empowered so that it becomes choice of students over other Universities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Prof Anju Bhasin, Vice-Chancellor, Cluster University of Jammu made a detailed presentation on the activities and various initiatives taken by the University. The presentation focused on the functioning of the administrative, academic, financial, examination, evaluation and other sectors. She also reported the status of student enrolment in the University, and measures for the development of students and faculty.

Listing some achievements by the University, the VC apprised that 12 new 5 year integrated courses, Honours programme in each of the colleges at UG level and new self-financing innovative, cross disciplinary skill based courses have been introduced. She further highlighted the important reforms introduced by the University which includes Academic Calendar defined for year-1, year-2 and year 3, flexibility to students to choose elective courses, admissions through centralized process, holding of examination in time-bound manner etc.

Financial Commissioner Finance (Financial Advisor Universities), Dr. A.K. Mehta, Financial Commissioner to Governor, Umang Narula, VC, Cluster University of Srinagar, Prof. Sheikh Javid Ahmed, VC, Jammu University, Prof. Manoj Kumar Dhar, Secretary Higher Education, Talat Parvez Rohella, Dean Faculty of Education, Prof. M.A. Lone, Dean Academic Affairs, Prof. Poonam Dhawan, Dr. Jatinder Khajuria, Registrar Member-Secretary, Prof. Anil Gupta, Principal S.P.M.R College of Commerce, Jammu, Prof. Sangeeta Nagri, Principal, College of Education, Jammu, Prof. Koushal Smotra, Principal, GGM Science College, Jammu and Prof. Ravinder Tickoo, Principal, GCW, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu attended the meeting.

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Centre mulling political initiative in Kashmir




Srinagar, Oct 15: After restoring mobile phone connectivity in the Valley on Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is now working on a mechanism to initiate political engagement which is likely to involve mainstream political parties.

The move is expected to lead to the release of more political leaders from detention though a decision releasing former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti is not on the table yet, Indian Express reported on Tuesday.

Quoting sources, the report said the Centre was keen on beginning political dialogue within the Valley to bridge the trust deficit between the state administration and Kashmiris following the August 5 decision to scrap the state’s special status and bifurcate J&K into Union Territories.


The political mechanism currently under discussion is likely to involve second-rung leaders from regional parties in the Valley to form a political council that can initiate dialogue with people and assuage their fears in the wake of the August 5 decisions, report said.

Part of this council’s mandate is alleviating the sense of alienation and anger in the Valley. Also on the table are certain special provisions that will protect local jobs and the settlement of outsiders in the Valley in order to protect its demographic character and culture.

“Delhi is keen on initiating political engagement. The contours of it are still under discussion. Among the ideas is involvement of the existing political class which as of now does not include the Muftis and the Abdullahs,” the report quoted a senior official privy to the developments.

“Gradual release of significant political actors will be taken in the weeks to come. The Home Minister has already said that statehood will be returned. A decision on who these political actors will be is yet to be taken,” the report added.

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