JK News Today

Jammu, March 14:

The Union Territory (UT) of J&K is ready for big transformation in the wake of post-Article 370 period, more in the economic fields where it has been a laggard for various political reasons for years together.

These observations were made by Dr Kuldeep Agnihotri, Vice Chancellor of Central University of Himachal Pradesh while delivering key note address during a seminar organized by Sanskriti Samvad Foundation here on Sunday on the topic “Changing Face of J&K”.

Prof J P Sharma, Vice Chancellor of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture Science and Technology (SKUAST) Jammu has presided over the function. Mohan Singh Sudan, president and CEO, Chamber of International Trade and Industry (CITI) delivered special presentation.

Dr Agnihotri underlined how the political idiom of the state has undergone a major transformation in which people are finding their meaningful participation.

He said that the recent DDCA elections in J&K established that people are not concerned about Article 370, they wanted development, growth, and peace.

He said the number of seats Gupkar group received would not be an appropriate assessment of the election. “ But it largely explained that people wanted to look beyond their exploitation and they are looking for a life beyond terrorism”, he added.

He said development works were deliberately held back due to political reasons but the DDCA elections have demonstrated that people want to grow beyond that.

Dr. Agnihotri said a new chapter has started in the J&K which would go a long way to change the face of the state.

Prof JP Sharma, in his presidential address, suggested that in spite of the fact that J&K had many geographical disadvantages there is an urgent need to turn a new chapter in farming and related dairy activities.

He said given the state of agriculture affairs the need of the hour is to go for diversification and value-addition in agriculture. He cited examples of farmers who, with their meagre piece of land, could earn much more than the traditional farmers because they decided to innovate and experiment and diversify.

He said the Corona period has taught new lessons in farming after society realised the need for organic products like gilloy, turmeric, alluyvera.

“Within their limited resources farmers can go for integrated farming, besides taking new initiatives in processing and value addition of their produce”, he added.

Mohan Singh harped on new vistas that have opened after the restoration of peace in J&K. He underlined the need for agriculture to go global so that farmers did not remain confines to the traditional limits. He said new systems of marketing should be developed and like smart cities, the concept of smart villages should be promoted for holistic growth and development of farmers.

He wanted J&K to develop wellness tourism for the revival of industry and need to undertake innovative steps to take agriculture and horticulture beyond its traditional boundaries.

This was the first seminar organised by the Chandigarh-based Sanskrit Samvad Foundation, an NGO engaged in building a narrative on nationalistic and cultural issues.