Saima Bashir | Tabish Khan
It has become a new fad among tech-savvy Kashmiris of late. Killing time on computers is no longer just spoiling oneself with addictive games and no-holds-barred Internet browsing.
An assortment of young Kashmiris have decided to push the envelope. In recent times, Kashmir has produced more app developers than it has ever in the past.
A Kashmiri girl Mehwish Mushtaq was honoured with Devi award. Her achievement? Mehwish rose to fame last year when she put on the glorious mantle of becoming the first Kashmiri girl to develop an android application.
Her app, Dail Kashmir, provides information about addresses, e-mail IDs, phone numbers of important and commercial services in Kashmir.
Similarly, Peer Viqar (22) resident of Natipora has developed Meeqat app. It is an app, which gives alarm at the prayer time.
Presently, Peer Viqar is a student of Mass communication from Kashmir University.
During developing the app, he said, he faced financial problems as there are no marketing financers to help app developers. He said that there is no basic ground for software innovation in Kashmir and this has caused lot of problems to him.
“I have been into software market from last 10 years and besides app I have also launched CITY FM JK online radio app last year,” he said. Viqar had a stellar stint in the software business but he laments that one in Kashmir has to struggle for it as assistance from government has remained unforthcoming.
Another youth Danish Mehraj (22), from Khrew Pampore, a student partner at Microsoft, Srinagar has developed new version of Windows 8 at the age of 19. Danish is currently pursuing his MCA. “There is no platform for the students who wish to pursue their future in software engineering,” Danish said.
There was no training center available for him, he said, “therefore I have joined online classes from Microsoft virtual academy.” He has also developed an app that can translate languages.
Danish said that in future the whole world will have to be dependent on two things: technology and sustainability. “Youth don’t need to worry about jobs,” he said. “They can raise revenue in software market also.”
Likewise, Mohammad Arooj, a law student at Central University has developed two apps: One of which, he has dedicated to his varsity. It is a monitoring app which will be available on Google store in March.
This app will be beneficial for the students of CUK. They are likely to get all updates like notification results, photographs and also facilitate the Public Relations of the University directly on their mobile phones.
Arooj said that the students have to visit the university website continuously, which is not always accessible due to low internet connectivity. This app will help them to remain updated viz a viz varsity activities.
Source code will be provided to everyone, Arooj said. That will enable varsity authorities and students to get the app modified easily in future. “Everyone will be a copyright of the app.”
Division of properties have become a reason for relationship conflicts. Arooj has also developed an inheritance calculator.
“It is mathematical in nature,” he said. “One has to just enter the number of siblings and relatives and amount of property and then click the calculate button to know how much property belongs to a person according to Islamic law.”
Both the apps are non-profitable in nature.
“Apps help developers in generating their revenue by three modes: advertising, buying the apps, and in-app purchases,” said Zeeshan Ahmad who runs a techno company, Cuboid Media.
He suggested that the syllabus of the various IT schools and engineering colleges must be introduced with the latest languages of that students’ talents will get honed. “This will ensure they don’t have to face problems and they will have an obstacle-free journey ahead.”
(Saima Bashir and Tabish Khan are internees with Kashmir Life)