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IIM-J Srinagar Off-Campus holds innovators meet



IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet

Institute’s incubation centre ThinkIN to commence work in Srinagar soon

Srinagar, Aug 27: Indian Institute of Management Jammu (IIM-J), Srinagar Off-campus organised an innovators Meet at their Nowgam campus here.

IIM-J Srinagar innovators meet


The program was organized in association with Grassroots Innovations and Agumemtation Network (GIAN), Gujarat. The program was attended by more than 20 innovators from different parts of the valley, who shared their experiences and challenges in a session that was also attended by scholars, researchers and faculty members from institutes like Harvard University, Zhejiang University, NIT Srinagar, IIM Jammu, GIAN and Kashmir University.

IIM Jammu started its off-campus in Srinagar recently and the campus is set up with an aim of broad outreach and a focus on corporate training, innovations and Entrepreneurship in the Kashmir region.

The objective of this in-house discussion was to facilitate the bottom-up narrative about local innovations. The structural and institutional challenges peripheral innovators face while scaling up their innovations were identified and documented. To nurture local innovations both from the formal and informal settings, it was agreed that a robust actor-sector collaboration will be forged.

In his welcome and concluding address, Chairman IIM Jammu’s Srinagar Off-campus Dr Muqbil Burhan assured the innovation stakeholders of the valley that IIM Jammu will offer a strong platform for local innovations, traditional industries and outstanding traditional knowledge holders and play an important role in creating an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Further, he said that IIM has set up an Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre at Srinagar and Jammu campuses with the sole objective of nurturing innovation and startups. The centre has also set up a business incubator with the name “ThinkIN” for startups and is going to be functional this year with the first batch of incubatees.

Dr Sheikh Fayaz Ahmad, who is currently working as an innovation researcher at Zhejiang University China, also spoke on the occasion and stressed understanding the bottom-up narrative from innovators which is a must for crafting any innovation policy. Referring to the innovation policy history, he said that the top-down policy directionality has not helped local innovations. The local narrative about innovations is always wanting. For building a robust innovation system in Kashmir he mentioned that innovators perspectives are very important.

Dr Shabir Hassan, a research scientist at Harvard Medical School while congratulating local innovations, IIM Jammu and Gian spoke about the importance of organising discussions and discourses on value-based innovations and entrepreneurship for nurturing innovation culture in Kashmir. He agreed to work with the local innovations for further value addition and scaling up. Appreciating the idea of creating innovation clubs, he suggested that local innovation stops should be set up in local universities and enterprises.

Syed Nadeem, Gian coordinator, referred to local success stories documented by his organisation from the last ten years. He said that local innovations fail to create meaningful impact precisely because of institutional hurdles. Creating pro-innovation institutions and the right incentives he believed would usher an innovation culture in Kashmir.

The meet was also attended by Prof Saad from NIT Srinagar who gave his valuable suggestion to the innovators and suggested collaboration supporting a better ecosystem for innovations in the valley. Various successful Entrepreneurs from the valley like Sheikh Iqbal (Founder, Tashawur), Ufair Aejaz (CEO & Founder KMTTI), Abdul Hamid Bhat (CEO Raheem Greens) also attended the event and interacted with the innovators on the occasions.

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SKUAST-K student bags Rs 1 lakh prize at IIT Jammu startup competition



SKUAST-K student bags prize

Faculty member Dr Khalid Masoodi wins special prize  

BK News

Srinagar, Feb 7: SKUAST-K student, Ahmer Bashir Shah, has won first prize and a Rs 1 lakh cash award for his startup idea of converting human hair into organic fertiliser in a contest organised by IIT Jammu.

IIT Jammu’s Institute Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Centre (I2EDC) has organised the ‘Startup Competition for Enterprising Teams with Million Dollar Ideas’. Ahmer Bashir of SKUAST-K’s College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (CoAET) has secured the first position among 130 contestants from various higher education institutes of Jammu and Kashmir.

Another member of Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir Dr Khalid Z Masoodi, Assistant Professor at the Division of Plant Biotechnology, has won a consolation prize of Rs 10,000 under ‘Best Local Resource Relevant Project’ for his idea of anti-cancer food from a local underutilized crop.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai congratulated Ahmer Bashir and Dr Khalid Masoodi for bringing laurels to SKUAST-K. He said to make SKUAST-K the best innovation university in the country, every possible step is being taken to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurship and startup creation at the university.

Ahmer Bashir, mentored by the IDP-NAHEP team of the university, has won many awards, previously as well, for his idea to solve the poor solid waste management problem in the country, particularly keratinous wastes, including human hair, which are the hardest protein and take more than 50 years to decompose naturally, making it an environmental concern. It took him several attempts to devise a method for converting all these keratinous wastes into an organic liquid that can be readily used as an NPK, mineral and micronutrient-rich fertilizer in Indian agricultural systems resulting in restricted use of toxic chemical inputs into soil.

Dr Masoodi has screened 25,000 medicinal plant extracts endogenous to Kashmir valley, resulting in the discovery of 16 new anticancer molecules against Prostate cancer and Lung cancer. SKIDDDL-1 was one of the molecules isolated from an underutilized crop TaxO that has been consumed for ages in Kashmir as a vegetable. Dr Masoodi and his Team designed a Magic food from this.

At the IIT Jammu competition, the second and third prizes have won by Harkeerat Kaur of Azad Identity Solution and Mansi Sharma of Manukrishi, respectively, for Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 cash prize.

To encourage entrepreneurship in J&K and Ladakh, IIT Jammu hosted the competition for startup ideas exclusively for the teams led by Higher Education and Research Institutes fraternity, including students, faculty, and staff in J&K and Ladakh.

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SKUAST-K holds webinar on startup ideation



SKUAST-K webinar on startup ideation

BK News

Srinagar, Jan 19: On National Startup Day, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir held a webinar titled, ‘Startup Kashmir: Idea to Business’ for agriculture students.

The programme was organised to acquaint the students with various concepts of innovation, startups and entrepreneurship.

SKUAST-K webinar on startup ideation The webinar was conducted by the university’s Faculty of Agriculture under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K.

Startup coach and Managing Partner of REIN Labs – Mumbai-based innovation, incubation and research organisation – Saurabh Sinha was the main expert of the webinar, who dwelled in detail about the transformation of an idea into a startup or business in particular reference with agriculture.

Sinha in his talk said that there is a need to invest in fundamental research and focus on innovation as growth levers. “We need to create products, services or solutions out of our innovations that solve global as well as our local problems,” he said.

He said students need to be oriented in a way that use their time during graduation doing projects, prototypes and products addressing real life social problems.

Dean Faculty of Agriculture, Prof Raihana Habib Kanth, also addressed the students.

Besides the Faculty of Agriculture staff and team IDP-NAHEP, more than 90 students participated in the webinar.

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Culture of an organisation and changing it



Culture of an organisation

BY Mohammad Mutaher Zerger

Culture of an organisation! So what is this culture? Something we subscribe to once we enter an organisation. Something that needs to be learnt? Something that’s aloud? Well, culture is culture, whether it is of a civilisation, a species or a family. It’s something, which is an invisible code of conduct, something which a person is accustomed/ acclimatised to, over a period of time, being at where he is.
Culture is like the atmosphere. It is invisible, yet its effect is felt and felt strongly. If you are able to survive within this atmosphere/ adapt to it, you feel better there, if not, you feel hypoxia.
Lots of startups these days feel the need for a culture; actually there, always is one, but it’s not the one which is feasible for their organisation now, it isn’t keeping pace with the pace of the development of that organisation, their demand is to become more adaptive and innovative and for that their culture needs to be the one which enhances that adaptation and innovation, aiding their rapid growth and expansion. So they are actually looking for a Cultural Change.
Culture change is often the most challenging part of the transformation of this young organisation. Innovation and speed demand new behaviours from leaders and employees that are often opposing/hostile to corporate cultures; which has historically been adapted/ has historically come into existence.
Culture change can’t be achieved through top-down mandates or SOP. It lives in the collective hearts and habits of people and their long term perception of “how things are done around here. Someone with authority can’t demand compliance to culture, it’s within.
Well, What are some of the things we can do to enhance the change of the auto-adapted culture of an organisation?
Simply explaining the need for a change of a culture is not going to change it, there are some vital practical steps (among numerous ones) which an organisation needs to employ over a period of time to bring in that some change in the culture, and make this culture bend towards the direction the organisation wants it to bend towards.
Cause of existence of an organisation and its benefit to society and employees at large:
The growth and actions of the organisation should speak about the benefits it is imparting to the society and employees at large; the growth should be synchronised with the vision; what this rapid growth has in store for the employee and the society as well. Some short term benefits should be employed immediately and long term ones should be clear without any fog. This will give the employee an inert, inner, sense of security, which will auto help him, adapt to the cultural change, without him consciously knowing that he is adapting to this change of culture; actually without him knowing that culture is changing.

Creating the Networks of Change

Advocacy of change and its benefits to the organisation and people within and outside the organisation should be aloud. It can be so when an organisation creates a network of advocates who have understood the benefits of this change, and this network goes out and re-networks and again re-network to make this change understood to the masses at large. It takes its similarity with the adaption of the religions worldwide, where the missionaries go all out to spread it, advocating its benefits for the one who adapts it and to the society at large.

Creating Dissemination Platforms

Creating dissemination platforms is vital for understanding the response. It’s like having dual communication with the people who are the recipients of this cultural change. Encouraging the employees and leaders to interact on these platforms is required.

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