State’s only listed company J&K Bank bagged the Financial Express Best Banks Award in the Old Private Sector Banks category for scaling up its business and strengthening the balance for the year ended March 2011. Chairman & CEO, Mushtaq Ahmad received the coveted trophy from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Mumbai. The award, Ahmad said, is an inspiration for the future and the recognition of our past. “It is the recognition of our innovative approach towards business,” he said, adding he had dedicated the award to all the stakeholders of the bank. The bank has set ambitious expansion targets that include taking business to Rs 100 thousand crores and the net profit to Rs 1000 crores by March 2013, which coincides with platinum jubilee year.

Red Army has destroyed “17 unused bunkers” of Indian army in Chumur village near Leh on August 25 when its personnel crossed over to this side of the Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in two choppers. There are 90 inhabitants in the 27 houses of the village. Revelations are part of the report – compiled by the local SDM – that DC Leh, Tsering Angchuk, had sent to the defence ministry. Each chopper was carrying six to seven personnel. The district administration came to know of the incursion only on September 9. The Chinese Army members also made two symbols, including a star, with stones at the site. No ink was used to make these symbols. ITBP deployed in the area was watching the entry through binoculars. Earlier in October 2010, state government was forced to abandoned implementation of MGNREGA in Demchok area after Red Army threatened the workers.


Peacenik moderate Mirwaiz Umer Farooq who left Srinagar at the peak of wiki leak cable revelations attended OIC foreign ministerial Contact Group on J&K. Reports quoted the cleric as saying that the OIC general secretary, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, has reiterated the organisation’s full support. The meeting was attended by the representatives from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan and Niger. He said he talked at length about the state of human rights in the state especially the unmarked graves that, of late, are in sharp focus of the society.


Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has asked chief minister, Omar Abdullah, to strengthen project implementing agencies in rural development sector for effective use of funds under PMGSY. Against the availability of Rs 2658 crores (5111 kms), J&K has spent only Rs 765 crores since 2009-10. There are 900 habitations out of the total habitations identified under Core Network  still uncovered. J&K could implement projects worth Rs 359 crores in 2009-10 and Rs 297 crores in 2010-11. For the current fiscal, while Rs 450 crores have been already released, the expenditure by now has been a meagre Rs 109.92 crores. Delay, Jairam has warned, would trigger cost escalations and add to the burden on the J&K government.


Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi is visiting Islamabad to give a boost to the membership drive of the youth Congress. This would be Rahul’s first visit to the state since 2009. Rahul had wished to visit at least two colleges in Srinagar – either SP College or the Amar Singh College besides the SP School. But the local party workers have politely advised against the idea saying he will face protests or uncomfortable questions. Instead, they have suggested him to visit a women’s college or a few schools that fall within the security zone.


At its 32nd yearly conference the Adbi Markaz Kamraz sought a classical status to the Kashmiri language. It did pass a set of resolutions regarding the language and elevating its status besides restoring the autonomous character to the J&K Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages. As per the traditions, it honoured various literary figures. Markaz’s highest award Sharf-e-Kamraz was given to poetess Naseem Shafai, the Khilate Hanfi Sopori was presented to Wali Mohammad Bhat Aseer, Talha Jehangeer and Aga Syed Mohammad Hadi Alsafvi. The Mohi-Ud-Din Hajini Gold Medal was awarded to a student Waseem Ahmad for securing first position in masters (Kashmiri) in the University of Kashmir. A number of books were released in the two day conference as well. Markaz has also set up a welfare trust to help the poets and writers in times of need.


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