Friday, February 27, 2009

Kashmir University to host Int’l book fair from March 2

Kashmir University's Allama Iqbal Library is all set to host a mega international book fair from March 2. Forty-five local, national and international level book publishers shall be participating in the 3-day book fair, which will be inaugurated by the KU vice-chancellor, Prof Riyaz Punjabi.

The publishers shall put on display more than 50,000 titles of books on varied subjects. Tata Mc Graw Hills, Taylor and Francis, Springer, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press are among the prominent publishers who will participate in the book fair.

The KU chief librarian, Riyaz Rufai, said the mega event is expected to cater to ardent needs of academic community of the university besides the student and scholars of other colleges and research institutes in the Valley.

The event is expected to focus on some important issues including awakening reading habit amongst people, bringing passionate browsers more closer to books of their interest and choice, arranging books and other reading material relevant to areas of study and research for enthusiastic selectors, development of literary culture in Kashmir, showcasing books on other courses run in some technical colleges and institutes of the valley.

"The online books and book stores are an added feature of the fair," Rufai said.

It will be organized in two beautifully decorated Pandalas (tents) outside the Iqbal Library.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lone elected J&K Assembly speaker

Former Deputy Speaker, advocate and senior politician Mohammad Akbar Lone was unanimously elected as Speaker of the 11th Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on the inaugural day of the Budget Session, here today.

Minister for Finance, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather proposed the name of Lone for the post of Speaker and Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand seconded the proposal. Speaker Pro-tem, Chowdhary Mohammad Aslam sought vote in favour of Lone, who got unanimously elected by a voice vote.

After being elected as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Pro-tem Speaker Chowdhary Mohammad Aslam, PDP Legislature Party Chief Ms. Mehbooba Mufti and BJP Legislature Party Chief Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta escorted Lone to the Chair of the Speaker.

Various Members from both Treasury and Opposition benches felicitated Mr. Lone on being elected as the Speaker of the 11th Legislative Assembly today.

Tara Chand, while congratulating Lone on getting elected as the Speaker of the 11th Legislative Assembly, said he has worked with best capabilities as Deputy Speaker during the last six years. This, he said, has invited acclaim and appreciation for Mr. Lone. He also said that as Speaker, Mr. Lone would be able to maintain discipline and decorum in the House as he is a seasoned politician, legislator and a lawyer.

Rather congratulated Lone on being elected as Speaker and hoped that as the Presiding Officer of the House, he will work in an impartial manner to accommodate the views of the Members across the House. He said that rising above party lines, Mr. Lone is expected to prove his prudent nature. He said that Lone's role as Deputy Speaker during the last six years has been appreciable.

Speaker Pro-tem Chowdhary Mohammad Aslam, while congratulating Mr. Lone, said his experience as a former Deputy Speaker would be of immense help to him in discharging his duties as Speaker. He also wished him a successful role as the custodian of the House.

Ms. Mufti also congratulated Mr. Lone on getting elected as the Speaker of Legislative Assembly. She said that as a custodian of the House, he would discharge his duties in an impartial and efficient manner, adding that as Deputy Speaker, Mr. Lone's role has been exemplary. She offered full cooperation on behalf of her party to the newly-elected Speaker for smooth conduct of the business in the House.

Prof. Gupta, while felicitating Mr. Lone, said he expected him to work with dedication and fearlessly for ensuring the Members of the House to raise public issues and maintain the decorum of the House.

CPI (M) Member, Mr. M. Y. Tarigami said that maintaining dignity of the House is the biggest responsibility of the Speaker which is possible only by extending Members' cooperation to the Speaker. He said the Members from both Treasury and Opposition benches would have to be very responsible and cooperative in smooth conduct of the business.

Leader of the Democratic Party Nationalist Mr. Ghulam Hassan Mir also greeted Mr. Lone and said that during the Budget Session, there can be divergent views of the Members for which the Speaker will have to be cool and sober.

Others Members who also felicitated Mr. Lone on being elected as Speaker include Mr. Harsh Dev Singh of the J&K Panthers Party, Mr. Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen of PDF and Mr. G. M. Saroori of the Congress.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CM opens Boys' Hostel at Baba Ghulam Shah university at Rajouri

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday asked the students to concentrate wholeheartedly on their studies and bring laurels to the State by exhibiting their mettle and excellence in the field of science and technology.

The Chief Minister, on the last phase of his three-day extensive tour of the twin border district of Rajouri and Poonch, today visited Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah (BGSB) University of Science and Technology, about 11 kilometres from here.

Mr. Abdullah said, "Your parents want you to be example for others and earn them name by achieving new highs in education", adding, "You should come up to the expectations of your parents and the State".

After addressing the students, the Chief Minister inaugurated the Boys' Hostel and also laid the foundation stone of the School of Biosciences and Biotechnology Park. The boys' hostel has been constructed at a cost of Rs. 2.30 crore and will accommodate nearly 300 students. The hostel comprises 65 rooms, besides dining halls and other facilities.

Later, the Vice Chancellor, Mr. Masud Chowdhary briefed the Chief Minister about the academic and infrastructure development programmes of the University. Mr. Abdullah asked the University Management to look for generating more and more resources for making the university self-sufficient. He said that subjects of high marketability should be made important part of the curricular activities so that after passing out, the students are absorbed without having to wait for long.

The Chief Minister also visited various faculties and blocks of the University and interacted with the teaching staff.

Later, Mr. Abdullah distributed appointment letters among 24 youth under SRO-43 while as 16 persons were given cheques of Rs. 4 lakh each, in lieu of the appointments.

Yesterday, the Chief Minister had distributed similar cheques at Poonch among the persons under SRO-43.

Speaking to the beneficiaries, the Chief Minister said that relief provided by way of financial assistance or in the shape of employment would not compensate the loss of their dear ones, however, it is only to express sympathy of the Government and the concern it has for the welfare of the bereaved families.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Press club Jammu set for elections

The sitting president of the Press Club of Jammu, Manu Shrivatsa accompanied by his ten member team today filed the nomination papers for the post of President of the Club, elections of which scheduled to be held on February 25, 2008.

Mr Shrivatsa, who is sitting President of the Club, is seeking mandate of the journalist fraternity to further accelerate the developmental activities of the Club.

Accompanied by a number of working journalists, Manu Shrivatsa filed his paper for the post president, Sohial Kazmi for the post for secretary general, Raju Kerni for the post of vice president and Zorawar Singh for the post of treasurer.

In the previous team Manu Shrivatsa is the president and Sohail Kazmi is secretary general. Raju Kerni, a veteran journalist, who had won last election as Treasurer, is seeking mandate of the voters for the post of vice president.

For this panel, seven journalists namely Sant Kumar Sharma, Rajnesh Parihan, Channi Anand, Mukesh Gupta, Sanjeev Sharma, Sanjay Pathak and Vinod Kumar filed their papers for the posts of the member executive committee. First time a journalist from Kathua is also contesting election of Press Club. Sanjay Pathak, who is the panel of this team, a prominent journalist of Kathua district.

While addressing the journalist fraternity after filing the nominations, Sohail Kazmi said that during their tenure their team has accelerated developmental activities in the Press Club. He said that their panel has been seeking mandate on developmental plank and said that their team has initiated many welfare schemes for the journalist members.

Reporters and photo journalists from all the prominent news papers and news channels were present on the occasion to express their solidarity with the present team and assured full cooperation in elections. They said that victory of the present team is must in the interest of the working journalists.

J&K annual plan pegged at Rs.6,500 cr

The Minister for Finance, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rahim rather today said that the next year's proposed Annual Plan size of Jammu and Kashmir is slated to be Rs. 6,500 crore, excluding Rs. 2,417 crore proposed plan outlay under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme (PMRP) for 2009-10.

The proposed plan outlay 2009-10 was discussed at a high-level meeting here today, held under the chairmanship of Minister for Finance, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Abdul Rahim Rather.

The proposed plan outlay will soon be submitted to the Planning Commission, Government of India, for subsequent approval.

The meeting discussed threadbare proposed plan of PMRP and earmarked Rs. 2,417 core for 2009-10 to complete the various flagship programmes undertaken under this scheme. The important projects taken up under this programme include Baglihar Hydro Electric Project, Mughal Road, Srinagar-Leh Power Transmission & Distribution Line, Khanabal-Pahalgam Road, Narbal-Tangmarg Road, 14 New Colleges, 9 New Women ITIs, Model villages, Two-Room quarters for Kashmiri migrants under Phase I and Ramban-Dhamkund Road, 10 more collages and 5 more ITIs of Phase II.

To minimize the negative impact of global economic meltdown and the recessionary trends it has produced all over the world on the economy and developmental schemes, the meeting discussed a comprehensive stimulus plan of Rs. 1,000 crore for rural infrastructure and social security schemes in the State to be forwarded to the Central Government for approval. The plan was formulated in the backdrop of communication received by the Government from the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, to take appropriate monetary steps to supplement the fiscal measures designed by Centre to stimulate the economy.

The works covered under the flagship programmes include Housing for urban poor, Indira Awas Yojana, Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and National Social Assistance Programme.