NOMINATED: The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia
University Graduate School of Journalism, has nominated Kashmir Times Delhi bureau chief Iftikhar Gilani as one of its faculty for a fellowship programme in Bangkok from October 11 to 17. On the eve of Eid, Geelani also received the Sahitya Academy award for the Urdu version of his debut ‘My Jail Diary’. Another Kashmir Times staffer Athar Parvez has been selected to get the ADB award for development reporting. He would be honoured in Tokyo on October 23, this year.

DROPPED: New Delhi has dropped the idea of setting up an IIM in Kashmir as the state got a central university each at Srinagar and Jammu. The decision, termed a special dispensation, was taken in wake of unrest in Jammu and chief minister Omar Abdullah’s request that his state would need two separate universities. The decision, according to government took the decision “in view of its (J&K’s) special status, with two separate regions with distinct geographical, social, cultural and ethnic characteristics” to meet “regional aspirations”.

EXHUMING: CBI that is now investigating the twin rapes and murders of Shopian is exhuming the bodies, a step that police’s SIT had skipped. It is bringing in top notch forensic experts from AIIMS to help in the process so that the culprits behind the May 30 incident are nailed. A division bench of High Court is hearing the case on September 30 and this will be the first hearing in which CBI will present its investigations made so far.

ACQUIRED: Penguin imprint Viking has acquired Mirza Waheed’s “In the Valley of Yellow Flowers” for an undisclosed sum. Termed to be a “heartbreaking and shocking story” of the erosion of a Kashmiri community as the young men enter Pakistan for getting trained as militants, Mary Mount, editorial director said they acquired UK and Commonwealth rights via David Godwin from DGA. Viking plans to publish the book early 2011. Told through the eyes of a young man who, along with his parents, is the last inhabitant of the village, Mount said it was a “wonderful debut”. A Kashmiri journalist, Waheed currently works for the BBC’s Urdu Service at Bush House.

AWARDED: Pragya Khanna, a young cyto-geneticist from Jammu has been awarded International Educator of the Year by The International Biographical Centre of Cambridge (UK). She has discovered 14 additional species of chironomus, popularly called Midge Fly. Interestingly, seven of the 14 larvae have been named after her and numbered from PK1 to PK7. She had studied French for two years before starting her research. Pragya teaches Zoology at state run Women’s college in Jammu.

KILLED: Sudden upsurge in militant activities led to killing of a Army major and some soldiers in separate encounters and left at least three officers injured. Major J S Suri from Hyderabad was killed in Bonyari, a barely a few days ahead of his birthday for which his wife had air-dashed to Srinagar. Slain militants include two top militants from Hizb-ul- Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba. In last 50 days, there have been as many as 36 encounters, police sources said.

EARNED: State owned Cable Car Corporation earned eight crore rupees in first two quarters of this fiscal which is quite large compared to Rs. 5.73 crore that the corporation netted last fiscal. The number of cable cars on the ropeway have gone up from 40 to 86. The corporation has ordered a techno-economic feasibility study for proposed Jammu Ropeway Project and approved the setting up of a ropeway for the shrines of Makhdoom Sahib and Aishmuqam.

READY: After losing substantial market share and becoming the third player in J&K mobile sector, the state owned BSNL is preparing to launch its 3G services next month. It had been put on hold by Home Ministry for security concerns but were given go ahead after installing additional equipment to monitor the traffic especially the video calls. The service, however, would initially be available in Jammu to be followed by Srinagar.


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