Blessings come in all shapes and sizes. In the holy month of Ramzan, and very near to Eid, Indian Army gifts a bunch full of joys wrapped with opportunities, to the youth of Kashmir. The initiative to develop Super 30 programme from engineering to the field of medical has become a reason for the smile on the face of thousands of students; adding splendid joy to the festive occasion.
Super 30, the initiative by Anand Kumar, a mathematician, aims at providing entrance exam coaching for IIT-JEE to support the economically unprivileged students. He is recognized world-wide for his mentor-ship and efforts.
A similar platform, Kashmir Super 40, was adopted by Indian Army for the student of Kashmir to help them achieve educational success. The initiative began in 2013 in collaboration with the Center for Social Responsibility and Learning (CSRL) and Petronet LNG Ltd. (PLL), solely for engineering students as “Kashmir Super-40”. The project was a big success. In 2017, 28 students from Super 40 had cracked IIT-JEE Mains exam while 9 got into IIT.
After the triumph of engineering project, the Indian Army inaugurated “Kashmir Super 30” on 12th June 2018 for medical aspirants in the valley. The entrance exam coaching programme for NEET is being managed by an NGO, National Integrity and Educational Development Organisation (NIEDO), based in Kanpur. The NGO will avail teachers for academics while the Indian army manages the overall logistics, administration and infrastructure of the programme with the funding from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).
“I will be very happy to see you all joining the medical colleges across India next year”, says Chinar Corps Commander as he applauds, compliments and wishes luck to the selected students of Kashmir Super 30 for their final training period of 12 months. The selection process that began after signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 15th March 2018 was lengthy and yet vigorous. NIEDO conducted a written test for over 14,000 applicants lead by an interview and screening test for 170 shortlisted students. They were finally able to select 30 skilled, bright and aspiring students from the huge crowd of enthusiastic candidates of Kashmir Valley. The fact that so many students were looking forward to career opportunities in medicine was inspiring. The whole procedure turned out to be one of the best event to be held during Ramzan.
We whole-heartedly thank our Indian Army for their support and productive vision for our future as they take another initiative in the field of academic development of Kashmir. The Kashmir Super 40 project have proved to be an effective tool in transforming the society and we hope the same from Kashmir Super 30 as well. We believe that the endeavour will infuse a new ray of hope in the lives of under-privileged students. It will not only help them in recognising their talents but also make them able for better employment opportunities. At New Age Kashmir we cherish the efforts of Kashmiri people, Army and look forward to more generative developmental ideas.
says the protagonist, Shahid, of the Bollywood movie Shahid. Read the article to find out why I have opened my article with the above quote.
The apples of Kashmir do not need any introduction. The stories of the taste of its divine fruit are popularly spread across the globe and thus, are in high demand, especially, in South Asia. Jammu and Kashmir is famous for producing a wide variety of apples which serves as a direct or indirect source of income for farmers. It is in the apple-picking season, which is from late July to October, that the actual joy of farmers can be seen. The green apple orchards, the dew drops on the fruits, and the sun kissed trees magnify their happiness with the beauty of Kashmir.
To keep the craze of apple farming intact and to nurture the productive growth of apple plantation, an US-educated Kashmiri born engineer, Khuram Shafi Mir, has taken revolutionary actions towards it. He is the son of a farmer from Penjoora village, district Shopian, who from an early age of 17 has been making efforts to enhance the plantation of world-class apples that ripen in the arms of Kashmir. His achievements begun from establishing a Control Atmosphere Store (CAS) in 2009. After working hard for 9 years to revive the apple industry of Kashmir, he finally set up a high-density apple orchard in June 2018 in Leh region.
Khuram, for a very long time, wanted to set up a high- density apple orchard, which is different from traditional orchards. A high-density orchard gets sunlight from all directions which helps the apples to ripen in same colour from all sides. The dream has finally taken a shape with the help of Ladakhi engineer, innovator and education reformist, Sonam Wangchuk, whose vision has served as a guiding star for Khuram’s ideas.
The high- density orchard, initiated by Khuram, has been set up in Phyang village of Jammu and Kashmir, 19 kilometres away from Leh at the university campus of Sonam Wangchuk’s initiative, namely, Himalayan Institute for Alternate Learning (HIAL). The plantation began with planting 264 trees of Gala Redlum, Red Vilox, Fuji and Golden Reaindeep apple varieties. Khuram mentions that they have changed three layers of barren soil successfully to ensure healthy plantation. And, thanks to Wangchuk, as his innovation of irrigating the orchard with the strong trellis system that receives water from “ice stupa”, has added more motivation to the initiative.
Nazi Ahmad, the horticulturist and head of the task force for high density plantation, has estimated that by 2050 the demand for apples in the world will reach up to 160 lakh metric tons. The current production is of 35 lakh metric tons. As per Ahmad, this is the perfect time to choose contemporary technique of high-density orchards over traditional orchards. Even the locals have begun to realise the importance of high-density apple orchard and have already adopted to it.
Khuram and Wanchuk are two Kohinoors (Diamond) of Kashmir. They continuously remind the youth about the necessity of education, the resulting economical and national growth that comes from it and the hard-work that eventually pays off. Khuram becomes an inspiration to generations for his vision as he takes revolutionary steps towards the development of his state and country altogether.
New Age Kashmir happily represents gems like Sonam Wangchuk, the great engineer who inspired the character of Phunsukh Wangdu in “3 Idiots”, and introduce sprouting personalities like Khuram Shafi Mir, who have over and over taught the lesson of hard-work and dedication.