SMC celebrates National Cleanliness day

Irfan Rashid

Srinagar, Jan 30: After embracing Swach Bharat Abhiyan, Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Friday started a cleanliness drive on National Cleanliness day.

The drive was started at Dastigeer Sahab Shrine where presently urs is going on. The visitors lauded the cleanliness drive efforts of SMC. Later it was also started in Dargah Shrine.

“It soothes the eyes when we see clean environment in these sacred places,” said Farooq Ahmad, hailing from Kupwara, a visitor to the shrine.

Besides these, Nallah Mar road to Dalgate has been marked for phase one cleaning and Dalgate to Batamaloo has been marked for phase two cleaning. Few wards have also been marked for early cleanliness phase including ward number 1, 2, 5,6,7,9 and 18.

Many officials of SMC were present on the occasion including Incharge Chief Sanitation officer Mohd Ashraf Warsi, Sanitary inspectors, sanitary supervisors and ward officers. Speaking on the occasion, Chief sanitary officer said: “we will also increase our efforts in door to Door Dustbin cleaning by the help of Hooper vehicles, starting in Lal Chowk and Raj bagh.”

“The hands of SMC are always to help the local people,” said G N Qasba, SMC Commissioner.


IUST Recruitment Scam

Alumni denied to be eligible 

Irfan Rashid

Awantipora, Jan 30: The alumni of the same centre in Islamic university of Science and technology (IUST) have been left in tight corner after the IUST authorities rejected their Job applications in the Centre for International Relations.

This centre was earlier formed in 2008 as centre for Peace and conflict studies in view of the opportunities for researchers and scholars for further research in conflict zones including Kashmir. But few years back in mid 2011, the name of this institute was changed to Centre for International Relations.

Earlier this year Islamia University had advertised posts for contractual Assistant professors under notification number IUST/Reg/Adv/15/352-390 on 19th January. The candidates who have passed out of the same centre were shocked to know that their job applications have been rejected as they are not eligible to be Assistant professors in the new centre.

But the qualification shown by authorities is that the candidates should have MA International relations but specialization in Peace and conflict studies which has left the candidates in puzzling situations.

The last date for submitting hard copies of job applications was 29th January and putting further suspicion on the recruitment process, out of 18 subjects to be advertized, only in centre for International relations; the interview day has been given to be next day after last date, 30th January.

“We feel strangulated this time by our own department and want Vigilance to investigate the case,” said by Group of candidates in a chorus.

On contacting Vice Chancellor (VC) IUST, Ab Rashid Trag, he denied that any one approached him in this regard and asked candidates to visit him personally, though the interview process was going on.

Snowfall brings hope in Kangri weavers

Irfan Rashid

Srinagar, Jan 29: With fresh snowfall in Valley on Thursday, a new wave of happiness flashed the Kangri weavers of Kashmir when they were seen to make great business in the whole valley.

Every year hundreds of Kangri weavers are waiting for the Snow in winter to earn their livelihood for the rest of the year but this season they had to wait almost till the end of Chillai kalaan.

“We have hopes associated with the winter snowfall that not only locals but even tourists will buy them and that money will suffice for whole year,” said Mohd Yusuf, Kangri weaver of Charari Sharief.

These Kangri weavers every year get credit from the banks and are hopeful to make that with high sales of kangris.

“I had burrowed Rs 50000 from J&K Bank to bring Kaanea and in this season I did not earn more than Rs 15000,” said Ali Mohd, adding “Now I have some hope.”

The sales of Kangri go on steep with snow every year.

“Till now no one gave us more than Rs 100 for a kangri but now I can sell them for Rs 150,” said Ab Salam, from Bandipore.

Many tourists, who visit Kashmir, also take with them a piece of Kangri with them outside the state and even country.

When asked one foreign tourist about kangri; “I guess a kangri is earthenware filled with glowing embers and encased in pretty handmade wicker baskets and is carried as a personal warmer in winter Kashmir,” replied Mr. Stephen Arnold, hailing from London, on a family vacation to Kashmir.

One Historian Shahnaz Mir says Kangri is synonymous with winter. “For us winter means Kangri. When temperatures dip to sub zero, we fill our Kangris with burning charcoal and use it inside our phirens,” says Shahnaz, who lives in Charari Sharief. “The thing I like about Kangri is its portability. You can take it anywhere”.

Scholarship fiasco: JK students leaving studies midway

Kashmiri students losing careers, leaving studies midway

Irfan Rashid

Srinagar, Jan 29: Dozens of students from Jammu and Kashmir Thursday staged protests in Chandigarh and Haryana for being allegedly duped in the name of Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme.
More than 90 students of Jammu and Kashmir had secured admission in Indo-Globe College of Engineering, Abhipur Chandigarh, under much hyped Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) in 2013 for Bachelors in Technology (B.Tech) and more than 100 students in Alfallah School of Engineering and Technology, Dhauj Faridabad, Haryana.
Only 32 students have received their scholarship for three semesters in Indo-Globe College of Engineering and the rest are at the verge of leaving their studies. And no student has received scholarship for the year 2013-14 in Alfallah School of Engineering and Technology.
These students are from poor families of Bandipora, Srinagar, Kishtwar, Kathua, Poonch, Doda, Pulwama, Kupwara, Islamabad (Anantnag) and Baramulla districts who are left with no option but to leave their studies midway and return home.
“We were supposed to get Rs 1.25 lakh per annum for our engineering course but hitherto we have not received a single penny,” sobs Tariq Lone of Kupwara while calling Greater Kashmir.
Around 5,000 students from Jammu and Kashmir were placed in different institutes of the country in 2012 under the PMSSS.
“Every semester my family has to borrow Rs 50,000 and I feel like murdering my family because they are not equally helping my siblings,” recounts Tasaduq Bashir, resident of Kulgam.
“I feel it was only a trick played with Kashmiri youth, we were cheated,” said Sabrina Jan, resident of Srinagar.
This initiative was to ‘win the hearts of youth’ by doling out the massive Rs 1200 crore PMSSS package. The common perception in New Delhi was that it will earn a soft spot somewhere in the hearts of ‘youth on the edge.’ Three years down the line, the ill-fated scholarship scheme has destroyed thousands of careers.
An official from Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) told Greater Kashmir that majority of the colleges have been released the funds and others are in process.

Sopore Death still unsolved

Police is trying to show this murder as suicide or love triangle’

Irfan Rashid

Srinagar, Jan 28: Still after passing 25 days of the mysterious murder of a 20-year-old Umar Ishaq Mir, Police are clueless, causing apprehensions among people who staged a protest Wednesday in Press Enclave against the lazy investigations of the police.

A village headman’s (Sarpanch’s) son was found dead on January 4th in Tujjar area of Sopore town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The deceased was lone son of his parents and sole breadwinner of the family which included 5 sisters.

Omar was a student of 12th class.

“We all relatives were on the graveyard of his uncle on his 5th death day and there was a lot of dust, then Omar went to home and told sister to boil water for him till he comes back,” said Waseem, cousin of Omar.

But Omar goes missing and despite locals searching throughout the night, his dead body was recovered only on the next morning on a bank of stream. “His arms were tied inside the Pheran and head was dropped in the water,” said Javid Abdullah, adding “we found injuries on his shoulders, neck and head.”

On 5th day after his death, his mobile phone was found on the death spot which was dry. As per locals, on 15th day, two persons were searching in the night in that place adding to more suspicion.

“Police is trying to show this murder as suicide or love triangle to escape the duty of investigations,” said one relative.

When contacted SSP Sopore, Abdul Qayoom, he responded: “why are you worried about this (Aap ko kya paraishani hai), let them protest.”

5 months after floods, Sonawari locality still inundated

Irfan Rashid

Residents blame illegal orchards; DC says encroachment removed

Sumbal, Jan 29: Even though five months have passed since devastating floods hit Kashmir, around 85 houses are still inundated in Ganstan area of Sonawari with residents accusing some persons of raising orchards in the way of nearby rivulet.
About 87 families in Branghair Mohalla Ganstan, with their farmlands completely under water, accuse some influential persons of encroaching the Ambirkhan rivulet.
“We are thankful to DC Bandipora who sent a team to the spot but they did nothing concrete for the drainage of water,” said Master Jalaludin Bhat.
“We have lost everything, no action has been initiated by the government,” said Ghulam Muhammad Dar.
Branghair Mohalla and adjoining villages are low lying habitations located along the Ambirkhan rivulet- a tributary of Jehlum.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Dr Shah Faesal, said that removal of the encroachment was delayed due to a dispute between two groups. He said the whole encroachment has been removed and relief distributed properly.

Paramedical Students protest against GMC

GMC authorities passed their blue eyed boys and failed others’

Irfan Rashid

Srinagar, Jan 28: After falsely promising to give grace marks to paramedical students, Government Medical College (GMC) students today again staged a protest in press enclave.

Scores of students pursuing diplomas in Lab Technician, medical assistant, FMPHW and MMPHW raised slogans against the GMC authorities for allegedly failing them in the examination held during last year.

After seeing out of syllabus questions in the examination, they starting leaving the examination hall but were assured by the paramedical Incharge Dr Bilal Ahmad to give 20 grace marks to every candidate, they said.

“My course is FMPHW and we had appeared in exam before flood but were asked again to appear in the exam in Paper A after flood because our papers were washed out and we did so calmly,” said Akhtara Ehsaan.

“My course is medical assistant second year and I was shocked to see paper from D Pharmacy Syllabus,” said Fayaz Ahmad.

They alleged GMC authorities to pass their blue eyed boys and failing others who deserved grace marks.

When results appear on 7th January, they were shocked to see that they have been failed.

They approached to the Registrar Academics, Dr Waseem Qureshi who had assured to solve the issue within three days but nothing positive happened.

Students went on for Xerox copies and today after receiving duplicate copies, they were raising voice against injustice meted out to them. The Xerox copies showed that they were not given promised 20 grace marks and had to fail.

When contacted Dr Shabir, controller examinations, he said,” We have already given them 5 grace marks.”