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September 2022 Yojna Magazine: J&K And Ladakh

Yojana Magazine Summary for September 2022 Issue

Yojana Magazine is an important source of material for the UPSC exam. The monthly magazine provides details of major government schemes and programmes in various domains. Moreover, coming from the government, it is an authentic source of information for the UPSC Exam. Here, we provide the Gist of Yojana, exclusively for the IAS Exam.

Chapter 1: Counter Terrorism Scenario in J&K

Background

  • Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is  one of the most picturesque regions of the country. However, the region has been afflicted by the problem of cross-border terrorism, separatist violence and armed militancy for more than 30 years.
  • However, since the early 1990s, this militancy has transformed radically as various internal and external dynamics have impacted it, such as the driving role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), evolution of Kashmir’s separatist politics, influence of terrorist groups and the emergence of social media.
  • This makes the militancy in J&K today a qualitatively different challenge to the security establishment than it was in 1989 when scores of Kashmiri youths crossed the Line of Control (LoC) to train in Pakistan-occupied J&K (PoK) and joined the ranks of terrorist outfits.

Latest developments

  • The 5th of August 2022, marked three years since the Union Government revoked the special status of J&K and created two new Union Territories (UTs) of J&K and Ladakh.
  • This change is said to be a landmark moment for the region, marking a break from the past to herald a new administrative and security approach to this strategically-important region.
  • Several initiatives implemented by the J&K UT administration and security-establishment since then demonstrate that there is hope for a better future.
  • At present, the Indian security establishments extend their firm control of the situation in J&K. Security agencies have kept up the pressure on militants through dynamic operations and have cut off the support from terror ecosystems.
  • Despite there being some evolving and emerging challenges from the Counter-Terrorism (CT) perspective, security forces are confident of tackling them effectively.

Current Terrorism Outlook for the Region

Terrorist strength table 1

  • The current residual strength of the terrorists operating in the region is a key indicator of the improved security situation in the region.
  • The numbers during the early 1990s were in the thousands. However, the situation has changed significantly. Current terrorist strength in Kashmir stands at about 163.
  • These individuals mainly belong to the three terrorist groups namely Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).
  • It is also seen that the role of Pakistani terrorists has now been reduced to guiding and motivating the local terrorists.
  • South Kashmir remains the main hub of militancy while North Kashmir has been a key entry point for Pakistani Militants through the LoC.

Tackling Cross-Border Militant Infiltration

  • Pakistan-based terrorist organisations have used the mountainous terrain in north Kashmir to sneak into the Kashmir Valley.
  • Militants enter through the south of Pir Panjal range, Jammu-Samba-Kathua plains and the hilly Rajouri-Poonch areas.
  • To counter this infiltration, security forces have set up a highly-effective three-tiered counter-infiltration grid.
    • The Indian Army forms the first tier on the LoC, followed by the second tier of paramilitaries such as the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and the third comprises the J&K Police (JKP).
    • Further, the security forces have deployed Anti Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS) fencing and have enhanced surveillance through the use of drones, night-vision equipment, and hand-held thermal imaging devices.
  • These efforts combined have contributed to the infiltration levels going down significantly. As seen in the below table:

terrorist strength table 2

Crackdown on Terrorist Groups and their Ecosystem

  • The security agencies have increased the pressure on the terrorist groups in the region through several Counter-Insurgency (CI) operations.
  • The elimination of the top militant leadership and disruption of their subversive plan has yielded great results.
  • Army officials also highland that due to sustained CI operations terrorist groups are joining hands and are now operating together.
  • A crucial part of the security crackdown is the punitive action against the subversive elements of the ecosystem that support the terrorists that include the network of Over Ground Workers (OGWs) and terrorist sympathisers.
  • Security agencies have targeted the OGWs who help the militants by providing multiple services such as recharging mobile phones, providing shelter and informing the terrorists about the security forces movements.
  • Since 2019, J&K Police have arrested more than 900 OGWs under the Public Safety Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
  • Countering terrorist finances has been another key area of focus. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has launched several investigations into the cases of terrorist financing.
    • The MHA has set up a Terror Monitoring Group, comprising representatives of security agencies like NIA, Central Bureau of Investigation, Intelligence Bureau and JKP and financial agencies like Central Board of Direct Taxes, and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs to closely monitor terrorist financing cases
  • Several soft measures such as exercising maximum restraint, avoiding pellet guns and minimising collateral damage during the CI operations and protest demonstrations have also helped the cause by gaining the trust and respect of the civilians in the region.

 

Emerging Counter Terrorism Challenges 

  • Radicalisation and Terrorist Recruitment: Increase in the local terrorist recruitment in areas such as Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Awantipora have been a key cause of concern. Radicalisation of the local youth has been the main cause for recruitment.
    • The Indian Army’s “Sahi Raasta” initiative aims to tackle the issue of radicalisation by bringing the youth on the right track through national integration tours, sports training programmes and festivals, and skill development workshops.
  • Hybrid terrorists and virtual terrorist outfits: With increased CI ops and neutralisation of many active militants, terrorist masterminds have changed their strategies.
    • With the advent of modern technologies in cyberspace such as the dark web, the militants are using technological advancements to achieve their agenda.
    • These new set of terrorists are regarded as “Hybrid terrorists”. In response, the security agencies are enhancing their human and technical intelligence capabilities to counter this terrorist recruitment.
  • Pakistan’s information warfare: The ISI is working hard to spread disinformation on social media platforms as Pakistan’s material and financial support to terrorist groups such as LeT and JeM have attracted global scanner.
    • This information warfare campaign by Pakistan is a significant challenge because it exploits any minor incident to create a false narrative against India and its security forces.
    • Countering these narratives will require a comprehensive national effort anchored in India’s democratic credentials.
    • Indian Army’s Srinagar-based Chinar Corps is implementing a counter-response, but its efforts need national amplification.

Chapter 2: Ushering Investments

Introduction

  • The long-term strategy of reorganising the erstwhile State into two Union Territories of Ladakh and J&K was to transform the region and its economy by unlocking its complete potential.
  • J&K government expenditure in 2018-19 was 57% of the total State GDP which was mainly financed by the Central Government which reflects huge dependence on the government and a weak private sector.

Framing Economic Policies

  • A suitable economic policy for any region has to take into account both the advantages and disadvantages of that region and also take into account the location and topography.
  • One of the key disadvantages of the region is the cost factor as the price of the goods produced also must include the transportation costs.
  • An appropriate strategy for such high-cost economies that should guide both investors and policymakers is to promote the production of goods and services of niche areas/ segments where customers are willing to pay a premium amount which compensates for the disadvantages of high transportation costs.
  • These products/services must be the natural strength of the region due to natural endowments or products/services that have evolved with the application of traditional skills/ knowledge over a long period of time.
    • Example: J&K handicrafts, unique handlooms and crafts and exquisite cuisine, J&K Apples, walnuts and saffron, etc.

Attracting Investments

  • The Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Policy 2027-30 is the flagship policy with respect to investment and industrial growth in the UT.
  • The New Industrial Development Scheme promises a higher incentive for investment in remote areas that will help with balanced development while enabling J&K to leverage its land abundance in areas hitherto neglected.
  • The Policy has a key focus on investment, growth and employment. Considering the centrality of the objective of employment generation, the objectives of the Policy and the choice of industries focused upon products/services that are high in value which includes both J&K’s traditional strengths such as tourism, handicrafts and horticulture as well as new sectors like IT, ITES. healthcare, etc.
  • The new policy also focuses on synergies with existing strengths like post-harvest management of Horticulture and Film Tourism as an add-on to Tourism.
  • Learning from experience, the Policy is also more concerned with extending financial support as compared to previous policies.

Tourism

  • While J&K has long been associated with tourism, it has surprisingly never figured among the top ten States/UTs when it comes to tourist arrivals
  • The current Budget of J&K by providing support and resources for the development of 75 new destinations, seeks to expand the region’s tourism.
  • Smart convergence with other public expenditures such as the culture department which seeks to revive traditional fairs and Sufi festivals, many of them in remote, lesser-known destinations
  • The J&K tourist village network scheme incentivises local youth groups to promote rural tourism is expected to further add to this effort.
  • Targeted public investment in roads and urban infrastructure is aimed at making the new locations more accessible and sustainable.

Horticulture

  • The Budget’s emphasis on horticulture addresses both the productivity and the income issues of the sector. The thrust on cold storage capacity
  • The thrust on cold storage capacity expansion, increase in productivity of apple through high-intensity orcharding, and support to high value and low volume agro-products like aromatic and cash crops and vegetables are all budget initiatives along with the GI-certification initiatives for saffron and other crops are expected to benefit the sector.

Foreign Trade and Investment

  • There have been strategies to leverage India’s recent trade agreement such as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE (another off-budget element of transformation) to seek markets, investments and tourists.
  • Considering the proximity and familiarity of UAE with J&K, the Gulf Investment strategy seeks to build on these links and potentialities.

Impact on J&K Bound Investment

  • Combined with the end of constitutional uncertainty in the region, a far better law and order situation, a massive thrust on infrastructure and a focused strategy for economic development, there has been an increased interest in the region by investors.
  • The UT Government reported that it received investment proposals worth Rs. 51,000 crores whose employment potential is nearly 2.37 lakhs.
  • Considering the total spending of the Industrial Policy is nearly Rs. 28.400 crores spread over 10 years, the potential investment being “crowded in” appears to be impressive
  • Further, the interest in the region now extends to overseas investors, especially well-known names and brands in the UAE.

Appropriate Investor Strategy

  • The profitability of investments depends on how closely the business plan is linked to the natural, traditional and human capital endowments of J&K and a well-designed business venture running on those lines will not depend on state subsidies for it to be profitable.
  • The recent rush of tourism to J&K that broke records demonstrates the profitability of this sector to the investors.
  • Startups in horticulture and post-harvest value addition can potentially be another profitable area. Investments in both areas leverage the natural endowments of the UT amplified with local knowledge and tradition and make it rewarding for the investor.
  • The investor can also choose to invest in other promising areas such as IT and ITES and take advantage of the region’s considerable local talent pool
  • Another virgin sector for the region could be the services sector, especially the Education, Health and Holistic Wellness sectors.

Chapter 3: Sustainable Tourism

Introduction

  • Tourism has gained extensive recognition as an important industry in the district of Ladakh in view of its potential for the creation of employment opportunities and generation of income on a vast scale.
  • The tourism sector has a direct impact on the socio-economic sector of the region and many others working in allied industries such as transportation, lodging, catering, cottage industry, etc.
  • However, tourism causes a major strain on the natural resources of the sensitive ecosystem and extreme climate change impacts are also endangering the lives here.
    • The glaciers are melting rapidly, and snowfall has decreased dramatically over the past two decades.
    • Rainfall has also become irregular.
    • Flash floods due to cloud bursts in the Leh-Ladakh region are also casting doubt on Ladakh’s long-term sustainability.
  • The unprecedented increase in tourism has led to “over-tourism” in these locations, which has an immediate negative impact on natural resources, cultural legacy, and quality of life. This awareness has sparked debate on sustainable tourism.

Tourism potential

  • Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are the three distinct regions. The potential for tourism from both domestic and foreign visitors is enormous in all three regions.
  • Its effects are apparent in the service sector industries such as transportation, hospitality, horticulture, handicrafts, and small-scale manufacturing.
  • Kashmir is famously referred to as “paradise on earth” and has long been a major tourist attraction.
  • The region is also known as the “Switzerland of the East” because of its abundance of snow capped mountains, rivers, and freshwater lakes.
  • There is a plethora of products that can be purchased in the region which attracts visitors.
    • Each district has a lot to offer to the visitors, including abundant natural resources, adventure tourism (such as river rafting and mountain climbing), numerous trekking routes, pilgrimage tourism, wildlife tourism, heritage tourism, ethnic food festivals, and cultural events, handicrafts, etc.

Government initiatives

  • The Ladakh Government has undertaken the task of waste management with the goal to safeguard the environment.
  • The Central Government is also working towards making Ladakh a tourist destination with a focus on aspects of adventure, culture, and responsible tourism.
  • Seven projects worth Rs 594 crores have been sanctioned for J&K and Ladakh under Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD Schemes, under the Ministry of Tourism
    • These are expected to make Ladakh a high-value, low-impact tourism destination that fosters sustainable and inclusive growth for the local community.
  • Through the promotion of tourism in Ladakh, the aim is to create employment for the locals and promote Ladakh’s culture and products to tourists from India and the rest of the world.

Sustainable Tourism

According to United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), sustainable tourism should:

  • Make the best use of environmental resources, which are crucial to tourism development, while maintaining crucial ecological processes and aiding in the preservation of natural heritage and biodiversity.
  • Respect the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, preserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values. and promote intercultural understanding and tolerance.
  • Ensure long-term economic viability, distributing socio economic advantages to all stakeholders in a balanced way, including chances for permanent employment and income generation, social services for host communities, and aiding in the reduction of poverty.

Sustainable Tourism

Image Source: ScienceDirect

Way forward

  • The tourism industry in places like Ladakh depends on presenting an image of a pristine natural place, but most visitors in these regions show little regard for the sensitive ecosystem and cultural sensitivities of the region.
  • Each year they generate tonnes of waste, endangering the environment and human health as well as ruining the beauty of the place.
  • At present, the strategy should be the reduction in significant risk of pollution and environmental degradation, and promote sustainable tourism.
  • The potential of high-end tourism and wildlife conservation is yet to be harnessed through a scientific understanding and efficient planning.
  • Without a proper understanding of the delicate interlinkages of different landscape components, the rapid development of tourism may affect the unique ecosystems of the region.
  • It is crucial to consider the sustainability prospects for tourism growth in these regions as threats to the socio-cultural heritage, intensive use of finite resources, and negative externalities, as elsewhere, could have other detrimental effects.
  • J&K and Ladakh must strive to develop into Eco-Tourism hotspots because uncontrolled tourism contributes to the ecological imbalance brought on by climate change.
    • Eco Tourism is ethical travel to unspoiled areas that protects the environment, promotes community development, and educates both locals and visitors.
  • The UT may take inspiration from Bhutan, which has pledged to “absorb more carbon than we release and to be a net sink for global greenhouse gases”.

Chapter 4: Education & Skilling

Background

  • With Ladakh becoming a Union Territory in 2019, various opportunities have opened up for the region which is blessed with unique natural resources, a pristine environment and an amiable population.
  • The influx of funds from the Union Government and efforts of leadership at the centre and UT-level offer the Ladakh Administration the opportunity to draw a unique development model.
  • Youth play a crucial role in the development model, hence it is important to equip the youth of Ladakh with the requisite skills and capacity
  • The population in Ladakh for 2019-20 in the age group of 18-23 years was 36,588, while the current enrollment in the colleges and universities in Ladakh stands at around 3,938, and similar numbers are seen in Higher Educational Institutes outside the UT.
  • Youth from the region are involved in Government jobs or engage in Tourism and related industries.
  • In recent years, the administration has focused on tapping this demographic dividend and building the capacity of the youth of Ladakh so that they actively contribute to sustainable growth in the region.

Quality Education and Enabling Infrastructure

  • The key focus has been on offering quality higher education in Ladakh and as a result, the University of Ladakh (UoL) was established in 2019 as a cluster University comprising 6 constituent colleges located at Leh, Kargil, Nubra, Zanskar, Khaltsi and Drass.
  • The courses offered in the University have now expanded to 22 Departments that include specialised subjects like Forensic Science, Police Administration and Bachelor of Physical Education.
  • 16 MoUs have been signed by UoL with other institutes to promote student exchange programmes, faculty development, collaboration on research and capacity building, etc.
  • The infrastructure in the constituent colleges has also been strengthened to cater to growing student strength and the quality of education is also being improved through Faculty Development programmes, students exchange programmes and visiting faculty.
  • Under the Special Development Package announced by the Government of India for the new UT of Ladakh, infrastructure projects of around Rs 200 crores have been sanctioned for the colleges in the year 2021-22 which includes hostels, libraries, multi-purpose Hall landscaping and sports grounds, and construction has started at the sites.
  • The enrollment in colleges and universities has seen a sharp rise in the past two years.

Scholarships

  • To encourage merit students, Ladakh administration launched the Rewa (Ladakhi word meaning expectation) Scheme in 2021 to give financial assistance of upto Rs 1 lakh to meritorious students of Class X and XII, irrespective of their family income.
    • The financial assistance is given to enable students to take up coaching for national-level examinations like NEET, JEE, UG CLAT and NDA.
    • Under the Rewa Scheme, all those qualifying preliminary examinations of Civil Services, Engineering Services and Forest Services are also given financial assistance upto Rs 1.54 lakh for taking up coaching for the Mains exams.
  • About 9,363 students in Ladakh availed scholarships under the Post Matric Scholarship Scheme of the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) in the year 2021-22.
  • Further, around 347 students from Ladakh availed of scholarship under the Prime Minister Special Scholarship Scheme, which is specifically for students of Ladakh and J&K studying in recognised institutes outside the two UTs.

Collaboration with Indian Institutes of Technology

  • For the first time ever, the students of Ladakh have got an opportunity to intern with and pursue a postgraduate course in M.Tech at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), as part of the collaboration between the Higher Education Department, UT Ladakh and the consortium of IITs.
  • The programme was launched in June 2022 and is conceived for a period of five years.
  • The programme aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship focused on the local ecosystem and skill development of youth for enhancing employment opportunities.
  • The programmes at the IITs will not only give the students valuable experience but will also help them explore different opportunities, build their entrepreneurial skills, and create new paths for research and development.

Skilling Ladakh

  • Skilling and vocational education is an integral part of the National Education Policy, 2020 and steps are being taken to strengthen and expand the skilling ecosystem in Ladakh.
  • Ladakh has two Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) along with two Polytechnic Colleges.
  • To strengthen the infrastructure of the two ITIs, new workshop buildings are coming up with state-of-the-art equipment.
    • Acknowledging that to improve the quality of training at the ITIs, it’s imperative to improve the quality of instructors, therefore the remuneration of guest faculty has been increased by 2.5 times the existing remuneration.
  • Horticulture and Floriculture have been introduced to explore new avenues in keeping with the requirements of the region and aspirations of the students.
  • To further strengthen and expand the skilling ecosystem in Ladakh in tune with the National Skill India Mission, Ladakh Skill Development Mission (LSDM) was set up in 2021 to formulate skill development programmes under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and other skill development programmes of various Ministries.
  • First-ever Kaushal Mela was organised in March-April 2021 to expose youth to opportunities for skilling and subsequent employment opportunities.

Apprenticeship

  • Under the Apprenticeship Act, all establishments having a workforce of 30 or more are mandated to undertake Apprenticeship Programmes and engage apprentices.
  • Apprenticeship acts as a bridge course for fresh graduates and puts the responsibility on the industry to extend on-the-job training to fresh pass-outs of colleges.
  • Students can avail of apprenticeship to gain skills of their choice and at the same time earn while they learn.

Entrepreneurial Education

  • Entrepreneurial education is to be built into the education which is also emphasised in the National Education Policy 2020.
  • A comprehensive project is being worked to introduce entrepreneurship as a credit-based subject in Higher Educational Institutions.
  • The Department of Industries has also taken up a number of initiatives like setting up the Ladakh Incubation Centre, training in leather goods, exploring the export market for fruits, handloom and handicrafts.

Path ahead

  • Ladakh can offer a unique development model which is carbon neutral and this can be achieved only through the active participation of all the stakeholders, the most important of which are the citizens.
  • It is important that youth are made the catalyst in the growth story through education, skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Chapter 5: Bridging the Digital Divide

Background

  • The school education in Jammu and Kashmir is spread over 200 educational zones
  • However, in 2020, due to the COVID pandemic, the education system in J&K was forced to shut down abruptly and the face-to-face mode of teaching was shifted to online mode.
  • The closure of educational institutions urged the Government to take up various digital initiatives in school education for continuity of education.

Efforts by the government to ensure continuity in learning 

  • A project named “Directorate of School Education Jammu Home Classes” was started by the Directorate of School Education Department Jammu for ensuring that children continue their education during the pandemic.
  • A Google form was developed and shared with the faculties to invite them to contribute to the home classes and digital applications such as Google Meet, Zoom, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram were used to implement the project.
  • Further, to expedite the process of teaching and learning, the department started a dedicated YouTube channel “DSE Jammu Home Classes
  • The video lectures were also recorded and telecast through local cable networks and radio stations.
  • The “DSEJ’s Home Assignment“‘ actively engaged the students during the pandemic wherein students were given assignments on a weekly basis.

Important initiatives

  • SARAL Android App: SARAL (Students Accessible Resource and Learning Application) is an App developed by the IT wing of the Directorate of School Education Jammu.
    • The App has been developed on the concept of “All-in-One” which connects students to e-content available on various educational portals like DIKSHA, e-Pathshala, Swayam, e-VidyaDaan, and Swayam Prabha.
  • “Aadharshila” School Tracking & Monitoring System: Aadharshila is a web-based system developed by the Directorate of School Education, Jammu.
    • The system is designed to digitise all the government schools in Jammu, monitor and keep track of infrastructure, teachers, and their expertise in teaching.
    • This data helps to identify various indicators such as teacher-student ratio, category-wise student details, scholarship details, students without Aadhaar details, etc.
  • Samadhan: Samadhan is an online grievance redressal system that aims at increasing transparency and improving the delivery mechanism in school education.
    • The system is designed by DSE and developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC).
    • The platform can be used by parents, students, and teachers to put forth their grievances.
  • J&K Education Hub: J&K Education Hub is a web-based system that is used to host the academic digital content developed by teachers of government schools.
    • The portal has a special section that highlights the achievements of teachers and students.
  • e-Office at Directorate of School Education, Jammu: The e-office at the directorate was started to streamline the office working system to ensure transparency and accountability
    • The e-office is a digital system developed by NIC to make the office paperless.
  • System for Management of Private Schools: It is a web-based system used in the management of private schools.
    • It caters to all private schools irrespective of their Boards like JKBOSE, CBSE, or ICSE.
    • The initiative is under development and is expected to be completed soon.

Chapter 6: Fostering MSMEs and Artisans

Introduction

  • With a multitude of people, different regions and their traditions, the region is home to numerous famous arts and crafts.
  • Kashmir is known for its handicrafts throughout the world. The carpets, silks, shawls, basketry, pottery, copper and silverware, Papier-mâché, and walnut wood are most sought after.
  • Kashmir’s traditional handloom weaving has existed for centuries and has developed a name for itself across the world.
  • Apart from designs found specifically in the area, raw materials such as the pashmina, silk or wool are in great demand.
  • The cottage handicrafts industry provides direct employment to over 3 lakh artisans.
  • A new plan for global cooperation has been launched with Germany which is one of the biggest patrons of Kashmiri handicrafts.

Current Status of MSMEs

  • The MSMEs in the region are involved in a diverse range of manufacturing and service activities.
  • Most MSMEs work in the following domains:
    • Manufacturing: Food processing, Steel fabrication, Packaging water, Cardboard  manufacturing, Furniture-based industry, Handicrafts & Handlooms based Units, Cricket Bat manufacturing
    • Services: CA Stores, Hotelier Industry, Tour and travel based industry. Tourism related service.
  • The major industrial estates of the valley have been developed with the use of Micro & Small Enterprises – Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) Scheme of Ministry of MSME, with total project cost of approximately 46 crores.
  • SFURTI (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) clusters are also working in the region.
  • J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) is establishing and nurturing an entrepreneurial ecosystem under the micro and village industries sector across the UT.
    • KVIB artisans produce customer-savvy products and foster a strong rural community spirit by establishing a sustainable and dynamic village and traditional industries sector.
  • The Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) which is a central sector scheme is also being implemented in the region on war footing by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) where the government subsidy is routed through the identified banks for eventual distribution to the beneficiaries/entrepreneurs in their bank accounts.

Implementation of MSME Schemes 

  • MSME – Cluster Development Programme: The objective of the Scheme is to improve technology, skills, quality and market access, etc., through infrastructural facilities in the new/existing clusters of MSEs besides sustainable technology for the clusters.
  • ESDP – Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme: The aim of the scheme is to motivate young persons of different sections of the society including SC/ST/women, physically challenged, ex-servicemen and Below Line (BPL) persons to consider self-employment as a career option.
  • BPMS – Procurement and Marketing Support Scheme: The objective of the Scheme is to enhance the marketability of products and services:
    • To promote new market access initiatives, create awareness and educate the MSMEs.
    • To create more awareness about trade fairs, digital advertising, e-marketing, GST, and GeM portal.
  • MSME Sustainable (ZED) Certification Scheme: The Scheme envisages promotion of Zero Defect and Zero Effect (ZED) manufacturing amongst MSME and ZED assessment for their certification to encourage and enable MSMEs for manufacturing quality products by using latest technology and tools with the least effect on the environment.
  • Udyam Registration: The government has organised a system to facilitate the registration of MSMEs. A permanent registration number will be given after registration.

Udyam registration

  • Technology Centre at Samba: A technology centre is being set up at Industrial Estate, Samba (J&K).
  • National SC and ST Hub in Leh:  The National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (NSSH) Scheme which is an initiative of the Union Ministry of MSMEwas launched in 2016 by the Prime Minister.
    • The Scheme aims at capacity enhancement of SC/ST entrepreneurs and promoting “entrepreneurship culture” amongst the SC/ST population.

Chapter 7: Blooming Business of Lavender

Lavender

Lavender

Image Source: Freepik

  • Lavandula angustifolia Mill or the “True Lavender” is a small, non-hardy perennial evergreen subshrub.
  • It is commercially cultivated in many parts of the world.
  • Lavender is mainly cultivated for its essential oil, obtained by the hydro-distillation of its attractive flowering spikes.
  • Lavender is commercially one of the best-known essential oil-bearing plants grown for essential oil and dry flowers.
  • The variety of lavender is highly suitable for cultivation in the rainfed regions of the temperate regions of India, including Kashmir valley and temperate regions of the Jammu division.

Aroma Mission

  • The Aroma Mission was Launched in 2016 to boost the cultivation of Lavender in the region.
  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu (IIIM Jammu), are the nodal agencies of the mission.
  • Aroma Mission aims to make India a hub of opportunities in the domain of aroma products by developing and disseminating aroma-related S&T.
  • CSIR-IIIM introduced lavender to the farmers of different districts of J&K like Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Kathua, Udhampur, Rajouri, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kupwara and Bandipora.
  • Under the CSIR Aroma Mission, CSIR-IIIM has provided free Quality Naming Material (QPM) and an end-to-end technology package for cultivation, processing, value addition, and marketing of the lavender crop to the farmers.

Significance and Achievements of the Aroma Mission

Lavender essential oil

  • Lavender cultivation has employed large numbers of farmers and young entrepreneurs in the geographically remote regions of J&K.
  • A new industry around lavender cultivation has developed in the region with over 1000 farming families cultivating lavender on more than 300 acres of land.
  • Women are primarily employed in the Lavender fields for harvesting and processing of flowers. This has increased the income of women in the region.
  • Many young entrepreneurs have started small-scale businesses through the value addition of Lavender oil, hydrosol, and dried flowers.
  • Lavender oil produced in J&K has a market price of around Rs 10,000/- per kg in the Indian market and the dry lavender flowers fetch a price between Rs 1000 to Rs 1500.
  • The net annual income of lavender farmers has increased many folds from around Rs 40,000/- to Rs 60,000/- per hectare to almost Rs 3,50,000/- to Rs 6.00,000/- per hectare.
  • The production of lavender is said to be in an incipient stage and is expected to increase manifold in the coming years.
  • The production of lavender oil in J&K will help import substitution and save foreign reserves.
  • The Aroma Mission is attracting Startups and agriculturists from across the country.

Chapter 8: Universal Health Coverage in J&K

Introduction

  • In the post-pandemic period, the proverb “prevention is better than cure” has become very relevant.
  • The Sustainable Development Goal (SEC-3) reiterates the importance of prevention by introducing the concept of “Good Health and Well-Being
    • Universal Health Coverage (UHC) under SDG target 3.8 is a strategic priority of the World Health Organization (WHO) and it builds on the platform to provide a blanket of assuring end-to-end range of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.
  • Despite “Health” being listed as a State Subject in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) still invests a lot of resources in the State systems.

Various initiatives by MoHFW

  • Through the National Health Mission (NHM) the Ministry has developed a robust grass-root level cadre of health workers such as the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activists) workers.
  • Additionally, the expansion of the network of ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) and other field health staff to support have put in place an all-encompassing coverage system.
  • The Ayushman Bharat-Health and Wellness Centre (AB-HWC) of NHM, has been a flagship programme of the Government of India and is the biggest intervention in strengthening primary level healthcare in recent years.
  • The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) is said to be the most ambitious health sector intervention of the decade.
  • The Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(AB-PMJAY) which seeks to provide free inpatient department (IPD) expenses coverage for BPL patients throughout the country with an annual cover of Rs 5 lakh, is also a landmark scheme in J&K.

Health coverage achievements in J&K

  • The response of the populace across the region towards community-based interventions has been overall positive, which is reflected in the Health Management Information System (HMIS) and RCH Portal.
  • These portals have ensured sustained monitoring and evaluation of fieldwork, along with providing an idea of the sheer volume of services that have been delivered which have resulted in improved health outcomes for the UT of J&K which includes reduced Infant Mortality Rate and Neonatal Mortality Rate.

health coverage JK

  • Early detection of diseases closer to home is being made possible in J&K by ensuring population-based screenings at HWCs for major Non-Communicable diseases such as Diabetes and Common Cancers.
  • Screening has been further expanded to include a range of diseases including Ophthalmic care, ENT care, Elderly care, and Palliative care.

Chapter 9: Where Sky is not the Limit

Satish Dhawan Centre for Space Sciences (SDCSS)

Satish Dhawan Centre for Space Sciences SDCSS

Image Source: ISRO

  • To understand space science and its applications, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has set up various institutes in different parts of the country.
  •  J&K is one of the regions which has an advanced space research centre namely the Satish Dhawan Centre for Space Sciences (SDCSS) at the Central University of Jammu.
  • SDCSS is established under the collaboration of ISRO and the Central University of Jammu (CUJ).
  • SDCSS is said to be a premiere Centre in northern India which helps in tapping the potential of space applications for the region and provides an opportunity for the youth to contribute to the field of space science.
  • The area of space applications is of particular interest to J&K and the larger Himalayan region as its economy and habitations are influenced by the vegetation cover, forest area, snow, landslides, avalanches and other atmospheric conditions
    • To monitor these, a remote sensing and GIS lab is set up in the Centre which helps in forecasting air pollutants, and particulate matter, identifying temperature inversions and their correlation with atmospheric stability using mesoscale atmospheric models and 3D-Var data assimilation techniques.
  • The establishment of SDCSS will help address the need of the emerging Geospatial and Space Technology which in turn help in the development of the J&K region.
  • SDCSS also has facilities for Geospatial Data analysis that will help in the sustainable use of natural resources and planning land-use patterns.
  • It also consists of ground-based observations for Atmospheric Studies, a research lab for astrophysics, Atmospheric Sensing, and Glacier Studies Lab
  • A Disaster Management Centre will also be set up at SDCSS that helps in managing disasters such as floods, landslides, forest fires, drought, and climate change.

Hanle Space Observatory

Hanle Space Observatory

Image Source: The Better India

  • The Indian Astronomical Observatory (LAO) located at Hanle near Leh in Ladakh is said to be one of the most promising observatory sites globally
  • The region offers numerous advantages such as more clear nights, minimal light pollution, background aerosol concentration, extremely dry atmospheric conditions, and uninterrupted by rains.
  • Researchers from India and their collaborators carried out a detailed study of the night-time cloud cover fraction over eight high altitude observatories, including three in India, namely IAO in HanleMerak (Ladakh), and Devasthal (Nainital).
  • Digpa-ratsa Ri in Hanle, was chosen as the prospective site for a National Observatory after a study of meteorological conditions over the Indian subcontinent in 1993.
  • The highest peak in Digpa-ratsa Ri is at an altitude of 45I7 metres, and has been named Mount Saraswati. The location of the Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) is to the east of the peak.
  • After examining several years of data on various astro-climatological parameters, the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) installed the HCT at IAO, Hanle, in 2000.
  • Due to the uniqueness of this site, many astronomical telescopes operating at optical and infrared wavebands have been installed at Hanle by several institutes in the country.

Chapter 10: Kashmir: Poetry and Mysticism

The contributions of Kashmir in the field of literature

  • In the evolution and development of literary, criticism, metaphysics and poetics in Sanskrit, Kashmir holds an important place as being the birthplace or residence of several prominent literary critics, theoreticians, philosophers and commentators.
  • The list includes names such as Panini, Chandracharya, Bharata, Kshemendra, Abhinavagupta, Vasugupta, Somananda, Somadeva, Bilhana, Kalhana, Patanjali, Anandavardhana and many others.
    • Panini’s Astadhyayi is the basis of Sanskrit grammar
    • Bharata’s Natyashastra is the foundational text for theorising on dramaturgy.
  • The poetic theories of aucitya, guna, rill and dhvani are the contributions of Kashmir to Indian poetics.
  • From Buddhism to Shaivism to Sufism, Kashmir’s literary and cultural landscape has enriched the corpus of mysticism and literature in India.
  • The great philosopher Abhinavagupta lived in Kashmir in the 11th century and his name has become inseparable from the philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism.
    • This system of philosophy teaches the concepts of abhas-vad (intuition) and pratyabhijna (recognition).
    • Abhinavagupta also added the ninth rasa, “shanta rasa” to the typology of eight rasas enumerated by Bharata in Natyashastra.
    • His other compositions include TantralokaAbhinavabharati, commentary on the Bhagavad Gita titled Gitartha Samgraha and Parmarthasara 
  • There was a robust spiritual environment wherein saint-poets such as Lal Ded flourished and composed vaakhs (four-line stanzas).
    • In contemporary Kashmiri poetry, Bimla Raina has preserved the tradition of the singing of Lal-Ded’s vaakhs.
  • Sheikh Noor-ud-din Noorani was a master in the rishi or reshut parampara of Kashmir wherein his mystical thought blended the values of Kashmir Shaivism and Sufism.
    • He composed four-to six-line poems known as shrukh in Kashmiri and is also credited with translating the Holy Quran into Kashmiri.
  • The tradition of great women saints and mentors is preserved in the verses and dargahs in Kashmir.

The first all-women Sufi band was formed in 2015 in the region and they call themselves “Yemberzal” and are dedicated to preserve the Sufiana mausiqi, the tradition of Sufi music and Kashmiri classical music.

Chapter 11: Dogri Literature

Dogras

  • Historical references show that the word “Duggar” is derived from “Durgar” and the most primitive mention of it is found in Chamba copper plates of 11th century A.D.
  • Duggar refers to the community inhabiting the region between the Ravi and Chenab rivers.
  • It is said that by the 19th century when British came to these parts, the entire mountainous and sub-mountainous region between Sutlej and Chenab rivers was called Duggar and its inhabitants Dogras
  • Dogras are well known as warriors and for their miniature Pahari paintings all over the world.

Dogri Literature

  • Dogri is the mother tongue of Dogras, and its earliest mention is found in 1317 A.D. in an enumeration of Indian languages made by Amir Khusro.
  • Dogri literature, like all other regional works of literature, existed mainly in the oral form.
  • Dogri literature as a whole can be divided into two categorie
    • Folk literature: Folk tales, songs, idioms, proverbs, riddles, ballads, Karaks, etc. provide a representative of Duggar life.
      • It is universal as the contents within are also universal.
      • It talks about different rituals, traditions, nature, and local deities.
    • Written literature: References to written literature have been found during 16th and 17th-century historical sagas and Khandkavyas.
      • Maharaja Ranbir Singh also got translations of Sanskrit books to develop Dogri prose for common use.
      • Frederic Drew, a scholar and traveller who lived in the state from 1862 to l 872, gives an account in his work of Maharaja’s Royal Darbar in which all documents were in Dogri.
  • The “History of Dogri literature” published by Sahitya Akademi notes that the early specimens of Dogri writing are found in rock and temple inscriptions, copper-plate inscriptions, rhapsodies in praise of kings and their genealogical tables
    • They were mostly found in Takri script in Duggar till the beginning of the 20th century. However, it is not in use anymore.
  • With time, the Devanagari script was adopted by Dogri writers which gave a boost to the language to flourish.
  • The significant poets of Dogri language include Manakchand, Gambhir Rai, Devi Dina, Maya Das, Raghubir Das, Ganga Ram,, Sant Ram Shastri, Mehta Madura Das, Hakam Jatt, Mulraj Mehta, Baba Kanshi Ram, Kavi Dattu and Hardutt and Dinu Bhai Pant.
  • Professor Ram Nath Shastri is famously known as the “Pitamaha of Dogri” and “Bharatendu Harishchandra of Dogri”.
    • He is a Padma Shri awardee and he led the movement for winning gratitude and honour for his mother tongue Dogri and convinced those established writers penning down their creative works in other languages to realise their moral responsibilities towards their own language and traditions.
    • He inspired people to write in Dogri and enrich their language and literature.
  • After the abrogation of Article 370, Dogri has become one of the five official languages of J&K along with English, Hindi, Urdu, and Kashmiri.

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