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The rising modest fashion sector of Kashmir



Modest fashion sector of Kashmir

Dhaar Mehak M

Farkhanda Shafat 

Modest fashion has lately emerged as a counter-fashion trend led by progressive Muslim countries and fashionistas. From the Islamic point of view, modest fashion is an emergent phenomenon offering non-adherent and non-transparent clothes that cover a large part of the body. The modest fashion segment of the fashion industry is being validated as a growing global industry. The influence of the modest fashion industry has been growing globally so much so that the lead fashion houses from around the world have started to venture in this line of clothing.

Given the fact that Islam is one of the major religions of the world, 24% of the global population is Muslim. As such, the segment of the global population dressing modestly is considerably high. But a clear-cut definition of modest fashion has been absent for the most part in history. People have culturally been dressing in their own modest ways. However, with the widespread growth of the internet, social media and influencer culture, the clothing segment has also witnessed a major trend shift.

The term modest fashion or modest dressing refers to a style of fashion in girls of carrying much less skin-revealing garments, particularly in a way that satisfies their religious and stylistic requirements for reasons of faith, faith or non-public choice. The exact interpretation of ‘modest’ varies across cultures and nations. There is no unambiguous interpretation as its miles stimulated via socio-cultural traits of each country. Beyond its various interpretations, there is a unanimous agreement about the concept that modest style means free clothing, relaxed dressing and overlaying of the body in keeping up with the person’s own definition of comfort.

Fashion is a lucid and subjective term. People at individual level from across the world have diverse preferences and choices relating the clothes that one prefers to wear. One of the trends that are currently sweeping the contemporary fashion world is the modest fashion. Under the influence of modest clothing, a person is not only given an opportunity of covering almost all parts of the body but at the same time, the clothes worn are comfortable and loose ensuing both comfort and confidence.

The modest fashion has evolved from being a concept to becoming an economic parallel of the global fashion industry. According to the Dinar Standard State of Global Islamic Economy Report 2022, Muslims’ spending on apparels has grown by 05.7 percent in 2021 to the valuation of $295 billion. The demand for modest fashion has been manifesting an increase over the course of past few decades. The economic significance of this rising trend is of immense importance especially across the Muslim dominated pockets of the world.

Given the customization and modified preferences of the consumers belonging to this market segment, there are opportunities for young enthusiastic entrepreneurs to set distinctions by creating their unique brands. In the era of internet and social media boom the scope of international recognition is highest of all times and so is the scope for a carefully handled brand to capture not only the local and national but the international modest fashion market as well. The demand for customization makes the segment even more lucrative in terms of the final outfits that are designed and the profit margin such specifications lead to.

The modest fashion segment in Kashmir has seen a steady growth over the period of time. Given the Muslim majority nature of the local populace and the growth of internet and social media influencing the people with an inclination towards modern clothing have been looking for locally available options. This has opened up arena for the young entrepreneurs to venture in this direction.

One such instance is the business line by the name of “Modest Forever Kashmir”. The owner of the store, a young entrepreneur from Valley says that he was inspired by his friend from Delhi. This friend of his has a manufacturing unit in Delhi where they produce various lines of modest clothing to be sold in the rest of the country. Having Kashmiri roots the owner of Modest forever knew the nature and inclination of the local market.

For the people of Kashmir, the definition of modest clothing for a very long time has been putting up an ‘Abaya’ or a ‘Burqah’ over their usual clothes. People with liking for such attires have had limited options. The market in Goni-Khan Lalchock and the market around the Jamia Masjid in Nawhatta has served as the modest clothing hotspots in the Srinaar city for a very long time. With the evolution of the tastes and preferences of the people, especially the younger generation, these markets haven’t been able to cater to all their demands. Finding the open spot in the local market the entrepreneur came up with the store in the Nowgam area of Srinagar. The store offers a wide variety of colours, patters, shades and customizations to the customers.

For the people of Kashmir interested in venturing in this line of business, the scope is immense. One of the major bottlenecks that a standard/traditional business faces while setting-up is the initial cost of production. In the contemporary times, where the online venturing is the most accessible channel to commercialization, people with an idea can start the business with the least (initial) cost of production. As such, for the people of Kashmir who are interested, the scope in the modest clothing segment of the clothing industry is immense.

 The Authors are affiliated to the Department of Economics, Islamic University of Science and Technology and can be reached at

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J&K ATAL Yojna to target 35,000 youth for entrepreneurship in 4 years



ATAL J&K Yojna to target 35000 youth

LG chairs joint meeting of JKEDI, EDII

BK News

Jammu, Jan 6: ‘J&K Government is focusing on creating a robust ecosystem for growth and empowerment of entrepreneurs of J&K, besides paving a strong foundation to nurture the entrepreneurship abilities and skills of the youth’.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha said while chairing a meeting with the officers of Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) Ahmedabad at the Civil Secretariat.

With the intervention of Lt Governor, the EDII will play a significant role in the implementation of entrepreneurship initiatives in J&K, including ATAL J&K Yojana. It will also provide area-specific technical expertise, handholding for Entrepreneurship Development Solutions for the Youth of J&K in Talent, Tradition, Tourism, Trade and Technology.

The Lt Governor asked the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) Ahmedabad to work in close coordination with Mission Youth J&K to provide sustained handholding to the young and budding entrepreneurs for their inclusive growth and development.

The Lt Governor observed that the UT Government is working with a vision for engaging and empowering the youth of J&K by creating sustainable livelihood avenues for them.

Laying special emphasis on promoting self-employment for the skilled youth, the Lt Governor asked the concerned officers to identify potential sectors for growth and expansion in entrepreneurship.

He further asked them to lay special focus on the development and entrepreneurship training of SC & ST Candidates and prioritizing SC & ST majority districts for entrepreneur skill development of the youth.

Explicitly help SC & ST candidates and give consistent hand-holding to them. Workout the modalities for integrating the programme with Mission Youth, said the Lt Governor.

With the expertise EDII will bring to the table, the development of entrepreneurship in J&K would get a determined push to achieve desired results on the ground, he maintained.

During the meeting, a detailed presentation was given on ATAL J&K Yojana (Accelerated Transformation of Aspirations & Livelihoods for Youth in- J&K).

It was informed that the duration of the project is from the year 2021-24 covering 20 Districts with more than 35,000 youth to be oriented, creating 10,000 Conventional Tiny Enterprises (CTE) and more than 1000 Impact Making Enterprises (IME) to generate around 1 lakh direct and indirect employment.

On  EDII & JKEDI approach in the initiative, it was informed that they are going to play a major role in identifying location-specific business on terms of Vocal for Local with the use of available resources and local skills; growth of the existing business by providing handholding, business development services, branding & networking; focusing on sectors and sub-sectors; mentoring and counselling in Compliances, Technology sourcing, Business plan & Credit Linkages;  to focus on Startups under Incubation, Statutory requirements, Linking to Startup India Mission.

The project would have a great impact in mainstreaming entrepreneurship among local youth; wealth creation; balanced regional growth; increased competition among existing entrepreneurs; community development; employment generation; boost in economic growth by introducing new technologies, innovation and services.

Proposed interventions in J&K include Entrepreneurship orientation cum awareness program; Skill-Preneurship programs on various products/ Enterprises; training of Trainers programs on entrepreneurship development and capacity building of stakeholders and NGOs; innovation-based entrepreneurship certificate program; technology-based incubation support for new start-ups and interface with commercial technology support organizations; need-based research and policy action recommendation; project M&E, dossier and online tools are the primary responsibility of JKEDI and EDII, it was informed.

BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lt Governor; Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner/Secretary to the Government, Industries and Commerce Department; Prof Sunil Shukla, DG EDII; HK Mittal, Advisor, EDII; Raman Gujral, Director, Projects, EDII and GM Dar, Director, JKEDI attended the meeting.

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Progress of annual credit plan for Shopian reviewed



J&K Bank conducts DLRC meet

Srinagar, Sep 21: To review the performance of banks and other concerned departments under Annual Credit Plan (ACP) for the first quarter of the current financial year, J&K Bank conducted the District Level Review Committee (DLRC) cum District Consultative Committee (DCC) meeting of District Shopian.

Deputy Commissioner Shopian Choudhary Mohammad Yasin chaired the meeting that was attended by DDM NABARD, District level officers of various Government Departments, and banks.

During the meeting, Lead District Manager (LDM) Ghulam Rasool Dar apprised the house that all banks operating in the district disbursed Rs 185.25 crore under District Credit Plan 2020-21; out of which Rs 162.49 crore were disbursed under priority sector to 5275 beneficiaries and Rs 22.76 crore to 1286 beneficiaries under nonpriority sector.

While reviewing the progress and achievements made by the banks in the implementation of various government-sponsored schemes, Chairman DLRC Choudhary Mohammad Yasin) stressed upon the need to implement all the schemes rolled out by the Government of India under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan in letter and spirit by all stakeholders with close coordination.

He appreciated the role of the banks which they played during the challenging times due to the Covid19 pandemic.

Priority sector advances of the district, which comprises 82 pc of the total credit exposure, were at Rs 1133.15 Cr as on 30th June 2020 as compared to Rs 1017.12 Cr recorded last year witnessing the growth of 11.40% on YoY basis.

The deposits of the district stood at Rs 1182.95 Cr as on 30th June 2020 as compared to 1028.98 Cr recorded last year showing a growth of 14.96% YoY basis, while as the advances were at Rs 1365.25 Cr at the end of the quarter under review against Rs 1240.39 crore as during the corresponding quarter of last year showing a growth of 10.06% on YoY basis.

The CD Ratio of the district was 115% as on 30th June 2020.

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Pandemic’s deep economic impact and need for proactive policies



To mitigate the damage, governments should focus on containing the pandemic, helping families and supporting businesses

James Villafuerte 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh heavily on health and economic systems around the world. Millions have been infected and hundreds of thousands have lost their lives. Border controls continue to be strictly implemented in many countries, impairing global production capacity, and creating one of the most serious crises in history.

The ongoing pandemic as a “crisis like no other,” according to the June World Economic Outlook Update of the International Monetary Fund, which has downgraded its global growth forecast to -4.9% for 2020. The World Bank, in its Global Economic Prospects, in June cut its forecast to -5.2% and called the crisis one of the deepest recessions in over 150 years, next to recessions after World War I, in the 1930s, and after World War II. ADB also cut its growth projection for Developing Asia by over 2%—since April— to 0.1% in 2020, the lowest regional growth outcome in six decades.

A recent ADB report estimates the COVID-19 economic impact will range from $5.8 trillion if the outbreak is contained and economic conditions normalize in 3 months, to $8.8 trillion if it takes longer or 6 months to rein in the virus and normalize economic conditions  As a share of global GDP, the damage could range from 6.4% to 9.7%, excluding the impact of government measures taken to mitigate its impact. About 30% of this global impact will be accounted for by Asia, where in the two scenarios output will fall by $1.7 trillion and $2.5 trillion, which is 6.2% to 9.3% of regional GDP.

The pandemic will also likely reverse some of the hard-won development gains 
that Asia has achieved since the global financial crisis.

The ADB study also notes severe employment effects from the pandemic. Globally, 158 million to 242 million jobs will be lost in the two scenarios (6.0% and 9.2% of total employment). For Asia, the drop in employment will reach 109 million to 167 million jobs—or as much as 69% of total employment losses globally. This estimated impact is more than seven times the employment decline in Asia during the 2008–2009 global financial crisis—which reduced employment by about 22 million people, measured on a fulltime job equivalent basis.

Moreover, the pandemic will also likely reverse some of the hard-won development gains that Asia has achieved since the global financial crisis. For example, relative to a scenario without COVID19, the long containment scenario—where it takes 6 months to contain the virus and normalize economic conditions—will see 56 million people move into extreme poverty, earning $1.90 a day or less, and 140 million surviving on $3.20 a day.

For these reasons, strong government support of households and businesses is warranted. This could take the form of payroll support, subsidies, unemployment assistance and help for job-seekers. Cash transfers to those in the informal employment sector, and the distribution of essential services and commodities, including through community feeding programs, are also vital. Incorporating this type of government policy response could soften COVID19’s economic impact by as much as 30%–40%, reducing global economic losses to $4.1 trillion–$5.4 trillion (4.5%–5.9% of global GDP), the ADB study noted.

Policymakers should continue to focus on three key actions at this time. First, governments must do all they can to contain the pandemic as soon as possible to reduce the economic costs. Sufficient testing, tracing and isolation, effective social distancing, and securing protective and medical equipment are critical elements.

Second, it is important for governments to help struggling families and businesses mitigate adverse impacts of the pandemic and to head off the long-term consequences for growth and development that could otherwise occur. Third, governments need to manage supply chain disruptions, support e-commerce and technology solutions for delivering goods and services, and prepare for a gradual opening of economies when things get better. And they will get better.

James Villafuerte is Senior Economist, ADB Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department.

Courtesy: Asian Development Bank 

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