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SKUAST-K to hold international conference on regenerative medicine 

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International conference on regenerative medicine 

2-day event to be held jointly with KU, IIT Kanpur 

Srinagar, April 26: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir in association with the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and the University of Kashmir is organising a two-day international conference on ‘Recent Advances in Biomedical Sciences and Regenerative Medicine (RABSRM 2022) on May 6&7.

The conference is being organised as part of the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) programme, Ministry of Education (MoE), Government of India, that aims at improving the research ecosystem of India’s higher educational institutions. Department of Science and Technology, GoI & World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project for the institutional development of SKUAST-K are also supporting the event.

Department of Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, IIT Kanpur; Division of Animal Biotechnology, SKUAST-K; and Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Innovations, KU are jointly organising the event to be held at SKUAST-K, Shalimar campus and KU campus, Hazratbal on May 6&7 respectively.

To review the preparations for the international conference, a meeting was held at SKUAST-K under the chairmanship of Director Research, Sarfaraz Ahmad Wani and Dean Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, MT Banday in which scientists, faculty members and organisers of the conference participated. 

The mega-conference is being held under the patronage of VC KU Prof Talat Ahmad and VC SKUAST-K Prof Nazir Ahamd Ganai. Prof Ganai, in his message, highlighted the importance of the conference in the present scientific era and hoped that it will provide an opportunity to discuss and deliberate on the issues shared across related fields concerning the improvement in life and working of mankind.

The RABSRM 2022 conference aims to bring together experts, researchers, young scientists and academicians from around the world to disseminate knowledge from interdisciplinary backgrounds. The knowledge provided by the eminent speakers and researchers will help to foster the research culture in the area of biomedical sciences and regenerative medicine at the universities of Jammu and Kashmir and around the country. The conference will provide an opportunity to discuss recent developments in biomedical research in health and diseases and foster future directions in drug discovery and therapeutic interventions. The themes of the conference include Bioengineering, Regenerative Medicine, Cancer Biology, Drug Design and Delivery, Vaccine Biology, Tissue Engineering, Biomaterials, Molecular Therapeutics, Animal Biotechnology, Stem Cell Gene Therapy & Biomarkers.

The conference solicits contributions of abstracts for oral/poster presentations that address themes and topics of the conference. Participants are required to submit their research abstracts online. Students/Postdocs/Faculties can submit abstracts describing original and unpublished results in all the areas of Biomedical Science and Medicine and are invited for the presentation at the conference after the acceptance. The template of the abstract can be found on the website: www.rabsrm.org. Among the leading National and International scientists participating in the two days event include the names of Jukka Seppälä from Aalto University, Finland, Andreas Nüssler from Univesity of Tuebingen, Germany, Jouni Partenan Aalto University, Finland and Hanna Isaksson from Lund University, Sweden as Key International Invited Speakers for the event. 

The event will be one of its rear kind in this part of the world where the professionals across diverse disciplines will be deliberating on the theme interrelated across all the steams of concern. The event is expected to host renowned professionals from various national and international organisations for the two days here at Srinagar. 

Education

Prof Nilofer Khan becomes first woman VC of Kashmir University   

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Prof Nilofer Khan VC KU

Malik Nisar

Srinagar, May 19: Srinagar, May 19: Lt Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday appointed Prof Nilofer Khan as the vice chancellor of University of Kashmir.

Prof Khan is the first woman to become the vice chancellor of KU since its inception.

Lt Governor in the exercise of powers vested on him under Section 12 of the Kashmir and Jammu Universities ACT, 1969, in his capacity as the chancellor of University of Kashmir has appointed Prof Khan as the Vice-Chancellor of University of Kashmir, for the period of three years, mentions the order issued by the Raj Bhawan here.

Prof Khan worked as a senior professor at the KU’s Department of Home Science. She has vast experience as an educationist and administrator and has previously headed various departments and faculties.

She will replace earth-scientist Prof Talat Ahmed whose three-year term ended in August 2021.

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Editorial

Editorial | Back to School

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Back to School

Re-opening of educational institutions: A welcome move

BK Editorial Desk

Back to School | The Jammu and Kashmir administration’s much-awaited decision to throw educational institutions open for in-person teaching is both timely and welcome. It would be after more than two years of frequent disruptions caused by the recurring waves of the Covid19 pandemic that children would be seen returning to their schools from March 1, 2022. It is no less than a moment of great celebration to be able to see children, who have borne the maximum brunt of the pandemic, back to their classrooms and playgrounds. And this moment certainly needs to be cherished for varied reasons.

It needs little reiteration that keeping children away from schools comes at a huge cost that probably no conscious society can afford to pay. It doesn’t have only to do with depriving children of education and practical training, it has also to do with some bigger and more important matter than this: depriving them of socialising with their peers, conversing with them on a daily basis and/or learning from each other in space and setting that they feel belongs solely to them.

When the first wave of the pandemic struck the world, it not only impacted businesses and economies, it also dealt a great blow to the education sector whose impact can be felt for a very long, long time. And India is no exception to this. No doubt efforts were made by the central government as well as the local governments in States and UTs to shift to the online mode of education as early as possible, this transition came with its own sets of problems, especially widening the learning gaps of children and leading to what is now commonly referred to as digital divide. According to a UNICEF study, approximately 1.5 million schools have closed in India affecting nearly 247 million elementary and secondary school children. This is apart from the fact enlisted by the National Sample Survey of 2017 to 2018 which reported that only 23.8% of Indian households had any type of internet access and, as a case of gender disparity, only 16% of women have mobile internet access compared to 36% of their male counterparts.

Now that the decision to throw the doors of educational institutions open for children has finally been taken, there can’t be a better time than this to put our heads together, collectively, to ensure that there’s no more disruption to the students’ teaching and learning. And this not only requires the government of the time to get serious in its approach it also calls for the active involvement of civil society members, parents and non-governmental organisations to make this happen for the welfare and wellbeing of children. The UT administration has already declared that the year 2022 shall be the ‘Year of Academics’ in Jammu and Kashmir and therefore it requires a serious effort by one and all to translate this goal into a reality. School administrators will have to step in with a great sense of great responsibility and accountability to ensure that nothing goes wrong while they bring children to schools from March 1. It would be imperative to follow all necessary guidelines vis-à-vis Covid19 so that no more disruptions are allowed to disrupt the education of children who have been at the receiving end of this grotesque pandemic.

Apart from facilitating children to interact more with their classmates and friends, it would be great to engage them in creative pursuits to help them widen their imagination and understanding from a very young age. Schools don’t have to be merely temples of learning; these have to be the temples where the overall personality development of pupils is taken care of with immense seriousness. Encouraging children to actively take part in sports activities can also go a long way in de-stressing them from the burden of immense stress that they have been facing in closed spaces, away from their schools, for the past two years. Apart from their physical well-being, their mental well-being has to be an area of priority given what they have gone through. Let their return to schools don’t be academically burdensome in any manner, at least for a while.

Let everyone play his role in facilitating the return of children to schools. It is a welcome move. Let’s cherish the moment.

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Education

SKUAST-K holds seminar on implementation of NEP-20 in agricultural institutions

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SKUAST-K seminar on implementation of NEP-20

Varsity creating its unique path in modern agri-education: Former VC Prof Tej Pratap

Srinagar, Feb 19: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir organised a seminar on ‘Implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 by Agricultural Institutions’ for deans, directors, HODs, professors and other officers of the university.

Vice Chancellor, GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar, Prof Tej Pratap, and Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, conducted the workshop to acquaint the SKUAST-K academics and office bearers with the various objectives and implementation process of NEP-20 by the agricultural institutions.

Prof Pratap, who is also chairman of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) committee set up for the implementation of NEP-20 in agricultural universities and heads the 6th Deans Committee for modification of farm education curriculums as per the new education policy, gave a detailed overview on the changing role and preparedness of agricultural institutions into multidisciplinary professional and skill universities as envisioned in the NEP-20.

He said the courses offered by agriculture varsities will have a more flexible structure and will be encouraged to become inter-disciplinary with flexibility in choosing vocational courses as the ICAR is working to bring agricultural education in line with the vision of the new policy unveiled by the Centre.

While preparing the students for creativity, critical thinking and conflict of perceptions, Prof Pratap said, NEP aims to enhance student employability by equipping them with different skills to overcome the challenge of unemployment.

Prof Tej Pratap, who also served as the vice-chancellor of SKUAST-K from 2010 to 2015, while complementing the university for its overall development over the years, said he is happy to see the university growing in each aspect of agricultural education, be it research, extension, academics, or innovations.

After listening to Vice Chancellor Prof Ganai about the SKUAST-K’s institutional development plan and its vision related to the implementation of NEP-20, Prof Tej Pratap said, “There are very few institutions in the country, who are at the level of thinking for creating its own path, the way SKUAST-K has envisioned its unique path in modern agri-education. This is beyond NEP. And this is the way forward.”

Prof Ganai gave a detailed overview of the varsity’s institutional development plan for making SKUAST-K a preferred Agri-Education destination and to develop a model education system to generate the next-gen graduates who will steer technology-driven agriculture in J&K and the country.

Drawing parallelism between NEP and the IDP of SKUAST-K, the vice chancellor said the university under the NAHEP had embarked on a mission to create an inspiring ecosystem for outcome-based learning to foster creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial aptitude.

Prof Ganai said SKUAST-K has already got approval for establishing the innovation and entrepreneurship centre and AI&ML Centre for fostering startups and tech-based solutions for agriculture.

Besides scientists and scholars, all the directors, deans HoDs, professors and adminstrative officers of the varsity attended the seminar.

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