Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Tuesday impressed upon the youth to rely on their own potential and ability to revolutionize the State’s economy. He asked them to put their talent in use and become agents of socio- economic transformation.
“How long the State would wait for outside Big Business to invest here. We have to steer our economy on our own terms and conditions and by our own means”, Omar told students at Amar Singh Collage and added that while his government is continuously endeavoring to rope in outside investors to become partners in economic growth and employment generation in the state, it has focussed to encourage locals in a big way to achieve the cherished goal of industrialisation and entrepreneurship development.
Giving replies to the questions in an interaction session with students after inaugurating Institution of Mathematical Sciences in Amar Singh College Complex this morning, the Chief Minister said that entrepreneurship development in the agriculture and allied sectors, tourism, handicrafts, Information Technology and Science Technology has tremendous promises and a bright future. He asked the youth to come forward with confidence to prove their mettle in this field and play an important role in achieving economic independence and ensuring holistic development.
In reply to a question regarding reluctance by investors to venture in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister said that biggest burden, they consider in this regard, is the unpredictable law and order situation in the state. He said shut downs and incidents like Gool and Budgam, marring the peace and tranquility, makes them apprehensive in launching business projects in the state particularly in Kashmir valley. He said import of raw material from outside of the state and marketing of finished goods again by exporting these from the state to the outside markets make them hesitant to invest.
Omar said that the biggest disadvantage in this regard is the ‘Image’ of the state being presented by the media to the outside world. He said when media magnifies even minor law and order problems and smaller disturbances, which otherwise exist in every part of the world, out of preposition, the image of the State progressing towards peace and development gets tarnished. However, he said that his government is making all out efforts to provide secure, productive and beneficial environment for outside investors to be partners in the economic development of the state. “At the end of the day businessmen count profits and this is the only objective they have to make investment in any part of the world”, he added and said that for this they require calm and peaceful atmosphere which has received severe jolt during the 25 years’ period of disturbance.
The Chief Minister listed the measures his government has taken to make higher education highly productive for upgrading skills and employability of youth. He said that thousands of students coming out from colleges and universities in the State feel it most difficult to get jobs in the modern job market where scientific knowledge and technical know-how rules the roost besides the talent and qualification. He said his government has flagged this aspect as one of the priority concerns and job oriented courses in higher educational institutions and polytechnic colleges have been introduced.
Omar said that problem of un-employability is equally grave as that of unemployment as such, he added that his government is giving stress on enhancing employability of youth through various centrally and state sponsored schemes. He mentioned Himayat and Udaan initiatives in this regard and referred special drive of the state government for opening polytechnics and ITIs across the state with modern subjects of high job potential.
The Chief Minister said that private sector is also being encouraged to open high job oriented institutes in the State so that the routine trend of acquiring traditional education of obtaining graduation and post graduation in the subjects which do not promise meaningful and gainful employment is improved upon by both private and public initiatives. He said the state has talent, quality, climate, geography and potential for opening such institutions in the state as exist in Pune, Bangalore and other parts of the country. “We are trying our best to harness this advantage”, he said.
Omar Abdullah also replied various questions on State’s financial health, expansion and up gradation of higher education, introduction of new courses, conservation of heritage buildings, creation of sports facilities, up gradation of laboratories and libraries, implementation of special scholarship scheme and reservation for NCC in government services.
The Chief Minister also attended interaction meeting with the Principals of Government Degree Colleges of the State and shared the view points on various matters of importance for the development of higher education and welfare of faculty.
The Principals participating in the interaction session brought various matters pertaining to administration, introduction of new courses, autonomous status of Degree Colleges, enhancement of retirement age of faculties, helping growth of mathematics, physics and other subjects of modern relevance in Colleges and Universities, creation of separate engineering division for higher education, providing of matching share for UGC grants and screening of students for admitting in PG courses.
The Chief Minister while giving his remarks pertaining to these matters stressed on imparting quality education in the higher educational institutions. He also laid stress on creating befitting and quality infrastructure to house various faculties comfortably and make excellence ruling the roost in these institutions. He also asked the Principals to prefer the proposals for matching shares for seeking UGC assistance well in the beginning of the year so that these are incorporated in the annual plan of the state.
The Institute of Mathematical Sciences launched today by the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah in the newly constructed infrastructure in Amar Singh College aims at conducting research in mathematical sciences and dissemination of findings to the related sectors for use and benefits. It will link various institutions of the country and collaborate in research. It will train young scientists in better equipping with knowledge of tools and techniques for applied sciences. Principal, Prof. Wali Mohammad Shah of Sopore Degree College will act as the Principal Nodal Officers for the institutions which will also have an office in Jammu at MAM Science College where the activities will be coordinated by Dr. Rajshiri Dhar as Nodal Officer.
The infrastructure for J&K Institute of Mathematical Sciences (JKIMS) has been constructed at a cost of over Rs. 174 lakh by the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC).
Later, the Chief Minister also interacted with the group of students who had conducted 14 day Bharat Darshan organised by the Army under Sadhbhawna Programme.
The students gave account of their study tour and presented resume of various benefits and adventures of the tour to the Chief Minister.
When a 13 year boy from Banihal, namely Tauqeer Ahmad exhibited his desire to study in the famous Mayo College of Ajmeer visited by the students during the tour, the Chief Minister told him that he will bear all educational expenses of the student of Mayo College when the student obtains admission there.