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10-day training on role of nanotech in agriculture commences at SKUAST-K



Training on role of nanotech in agriculture

BK News

Srinagar, Feb 3: With an aim to enhance higher-order professional skills of the students, a 10-day training programme on ‘Role of Nanotechnology in Modern Agriculture’ commenced at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir.

The training has been organised by the university’s Division of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Horticulture under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K.

About 250 students and scholars from 23 agricultural universities and other institutions from across the country are participating in the training. Participants were chosen from 600 applicants.

More than 20 nanotechnology experts including five renowned international academicians will be delivering the lecturers and conducting the training covering a wide range of topics in the broader realm of nanotechnology.

Director Education and Dean Faculty of Fisheries, Prof MH Balkhi, who was the chief guest at the inaugural function, while lauding the organizers for conducting the training on nanotechnology which is most relevant in the present times, said it should be used for the benefit of humanity.

He said nanotechnology should help the farmers in reducing the use of problematic pesticides as rampant use of chemical pesticides has harmed human health and imbalanced the ecology. Therefore, the focus should be on efficient nano-pesticides, which are safe for human life and the environment, he added.

Director Planning and Principal Investigator IDP-NAHEP for SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai said such skill trainings are important for shaping the students of the university for the future. He said the earlier thrust of the students was on the public sector employment but those jobs have squeezed now. Presently, it is all knowledge-based economy and students have to compete in the private sector which is driven by the 4th generation industrial revolution, he said.

“To compete in the knowledge economy, students need to have higher-order professional skills in nanotechnology, automation, artificial intelligence, block chain etc.,” Ganai said, adding, “Agriculture is a thriving sector with a lot of innovation opportunities from the farm up to when the food reaches a mouth and nanotechnology has an important role to play in it all.”

Head Division of Plant Pathology, Prof Nisar Ahmad Khan talked in detail about the role of nanotechnology in modern agriculture. Prof Tariq Ahmad Shah in his welcome address provided a detailed overview of the 10-day programme.

Dr Tariq A Sofi presented the vote of thanks. Dr MD Shah, Dr Mushtaq A Bhat, Dr Afaq Hamid of Plant Pathology and Dr Shabir Ahmad Bangroo of Soil Sciences, besides a number of faculty members and students, participated in the inaugural function.


Nobel laureate economist Prof Yunus to address Kashmir students



Prof Yunus to address Kashmir students

BK News

Srinagar, Feb 9: Nobel laureate economist and World-renowned microfinance banker Prof Muhammad Yunus will address Kashmir students, academicians, and entrepreneurs in an online programme on March 11 at 3.30 pm.

To discuss the post-COVID19 innovation and growth model, Prof Yunus will be the lead participant in a fireside chat on ‘Rethinking Innovation and Growth Models in Post-COVID19 World’ organised by IIED Centre of NIT Srinagar in collaboration with School of Management, Zhejiang University and Yonus Centre, Dhaka.

“We are happy that Yunus Sahab agreed to participate. His few words could be boon for students. I believe we all – students and faculty – will benefit,” said Prof Saad Parvez, Head of Innovation Incubation & Entrepreneurship Development (IIED) Centre of NIT Srinagar.

Prof Parvez, who is also the convenor of the programme, said besides NIT, students from the Higher Education Department and other institutions will also be able to participate in the event.

As the pandemic has wreaked havoc on nearly all business, economic, education, health, and social sectors, there is huge policy cry to ‘rethink’ the existing business and innovation models around the world. Prof Yunus is one such voice advocating to redesign and rethink the existing growth models.

Prof Yunus is considered the father of both social business and microcredit. He is the founder of Grameen Bank, and of more than 50 other companies in Bangladesh.

Prof Yunus and Grameen Bank were jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

In 2012, the Fortune Magazine named Prof Yunus as ‘One of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time’ for his constant innovation and enterprise.

He is one of only seven individuals to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom and the United States Congressional Gold Medal. He has also appeared on the cover of Time Magazine, Newsweek, and Forbes Magazine.

Chief discussant for the event will be Prof Xiaobo Wu of Zhejiang University, China. He is director of the National Institute for Innovation Management and Zhejiang University—Cambridge University Joint Research Centre for Global Manufacturing and Innovation Management.

The discussion will be moderated by Dr Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, who works as an Innovation Researcher with the Zhejiang University, China. Hailing from Kupwara, Dr Fayaz holds a PhD in innovation studies from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Dr Fayaz thanked Talat Parvez Rohella, Commissioner Secretary to Government, Department of Higher Education, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, the Director of NIT -Srinagar, Prof Rakesh Sehgal, Dean School of Management, Zhejiang University, Yonus Centre Dhaka for helping facilitate this event. He also thanked STC- Srinagar and Raheem Greens for agreeing to offer the technical support for the session

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Kashmir’s local e-marketplace Jhelum Cart launches app



Jhelum Cart launches app

BK News

Srinagar, Feb 3: With an aim to provide a foolproof online marketplace like Amazon or Flipkart, Jhelum Cart – a Srinagar-based e-commerce website – launched its app here at Aksa Mall.

The e-venture is founded by a trio of friends, Ahmed Nabeel, Naveed Qadir Wani and Arif Ahmed Najar.

“The e-marketplace aims to provide a foolproof e-commerce platform, safe and enjoyable for both buyers and sellers with themes to achieve efficiency, user-friendliness and empowerment,” said co-founder Ahmed Nabeel, presented the idea of Jhelum Cart at the inaugural function.

Nabeel toured the audience through the inception of the venture and the reasons which led him and his friends to crystallize their ideas.

“We tend to complain a lot about the lack of opportunities; however, we do not take necessary steps to create ones for ourselves and our fellow people in Kashmir, so we took a leap in the area where we found a lot of scope of doing work,” he said.

While explaining the working of the application, Nabeel said, “The interface of the application is very user-friendly which was designed while keeping in view the ease of buyers and sellers”.

It has kept the internet restraints in consideration for persistent working in Kashmir, “Since e-commerce hasn’t thrived much in the Valley because of the internet restrictions, we have made the application 2G compatible. We have designed our application on sellers model while giving two separate applications for buyers and for sellers,” he added.

The application which has WhatsApp integration also provides real-time notifications to buyers, every time a seller uploads a new product, they [buyers] have followed too. The application also provides a unique opportunity of bargaining which most other E-commerce websites do not provide, he said.

The application provides sellers with tutorial sessions on the usage of the seller dashboard to upload and manage their inventory. The application gives sellers a scope to target local, national and international customers delivering products in one day time within Srinagar area.

About 50 sellers have signed up with Jhelum Cart so far. Some of their major sellers include Kohli Brothers, Cash N Carry, Bestseller Bookstore, Shoe Universe, Black Bough, Gladsome, Apple Valley, Black Burn, Royal Life and others.

The launch was attended by local entrepreneurs, journalists and young business enthusiasts.

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Online registration fee collection portal JKGRAS rolled out



Registration JKGRAS roll out collection

Pawan Kotwal holds meeting-cum-training of registrars, sub registrars

BK News

Jammu, Jan 28: Inspector General Registration, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Thursday rolled out J&K Government Receipt Accounting System (JKGRAS) portal in Registration Department for easy payment of registration fee by the citizens for getting registration of documents done at the Sub Registrar offices from anywhere without visiting the treasuries or banks.

Dr Pawan Kotwal, later, convened a meeting cum training session of all the Registration Officers to acquaint them with JKGRAS module.

Additional Inspector General Registration, Jammu, Leena Padha, Tehsildar Headquarter, Rafiq Ahmad Jaral and all the Registrars, Sub Registrars of J&K participated through video conferencing.

Technical Director NIC, J&K, Rajesh Kumar gave a detailed presentation on the GRAS module.

The government has recently launched the Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) portal in the Union Territory.

Dr Kotwal asked the developers to incorporate the features as per the requirement of the registration department and ought to be linked with the NGDRS portal so that the Sub Registrars can lock the e-registration challan smoothly. He also asked the scientists to use all the protection techniques, so that the e-Challan of payment once used, may not be used again by anyone.

While rolling out GRAS for collection of the registration fee, Dr Kotwal directed all the Sub Registrars to adopt the new mode of payment of registration fee mandatorily.

Responding to the queries of registration officers, Dr Kotwal said that the GRAS is at the evolutionary stage and lot of changes will be made as per the requirement of departments. He asked the registration officers to provide all the requirements through email at the earliest so that necessary customization can be made in the system.

The Department of Registration has adopted the online registration system by using the NGDRS system developed by Software Development Unit of NIC, Pune, since September 18 last year, in five districts of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Srinagar and with effect from November 9 in rest of the 15 districts.  Till date, 9695 documents have been registered online in five districts and 1114 documents in the remaining 15 districts. Further, the department has successfully adopted e-stamping in whole of the Union Territory of J&K in collaboration with Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), which is the Central Record Keeping Agency.

Also, the SHCIL has set up about 400 Authorized Collection Centers (ACCs) including banks and stamp vendors, where the applicants deposit the stamp duty electronically. Till date, Rs, 97.87crore have been collected through e-stamping since 18th September 2020. By adopting e-stamping, the government has saved a huge amount of about Rs. 35 crore, which was earlier spent on printing of stamp papers besides plugging the leakage and ensuring efficiency and transparency in the stamp duty collection.

Now, with the introduction of e-Registration fee collection, the revenue collected on account of stamp duty and registration fee would be foolproof, transparent and easily monitorable besides being citizen-friendly reform. This would be one of the major reforms of e-governance in the UT of J&K.

The GRAS portal is accessible by logging onto  A user can generate e-Challan through this portal and deposit the registration fee either through internet banking service available 24X7 or over the counter in any branch of the J&K Bank in J&K as well as rest of the country.

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