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JAMMU: Secretary Industries and Commerce, R. K. Bhagat today inaugurated the Jammu and Kashmir Pavilion at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The pavilion has been set up by the department of Handicrafts for participation of the J&K State in the India International Trade Fair-2015.

As many as 30 government departments and corporations including the department of Information, Tourism, Horticulture, Handicrafts, Handloom Development Corporation and organizations including Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of Chamber of Industries Kashmir have set up their stalls in the pavilion to showcase their products of the Jammu and Kashmir.

The department of handicrafts has deputed Quality Control Inspectors to maintain a strict quality control check in the J&K pavilion. High quality products including shawls, carpets, paper-machie, saffron and honey are available in the J&K pavilion. Director Handicrafts Gazenfar Ali was also present on the occasion.

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NEW DELHI:  NRI Institute presented the prestigious NRI awards – the Pride of India Awards 2015 in New Delhi today honouring personalities having contributed to India enormously in their respective fields. NRI Pride of India Award were constituted to be conferred on peoples of Indian Origin living in India and abroad for their outstanding achievements in the chosen field of activities for contribution to the socio-economic development of India. The awards are presented to individuals who have surpassed exceptional standards with selfless service and deep understanding of community’s need.  More than 250 high profile Peoples of Indian Origin from various parts of the world participated in the event.

The Pride of India Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to music legend Padmashri Pandit Bhajan Sopori. The citation read “the great Santoor legend and music composer Pandit Bhajan Sopori is a complete institution in himself. Regarded as the cultural bridge Jammu & Kashmir State and the rest of the country, he is hailed as the “Saint of the Santoor” and the “King of Strings”.

Representing the fabled 300 year old Sufiana Gharana of Kashmir, he has used his Santoor and his compositions to highlight the concept of oneness and foster unity enshrining the idea of national integration, humanism and peace. He has composed music for more than 5000 songs and created history by being the first person to play the Indian Classical music on the Santoor in concerts way back in the early 1950’s. In his six decades of dedicated work he has explored various dimensions of the Santoor, carrying out many path-breaking innovations”.

Pride of India Award was also conferred upon the young music maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori. The citation read “Versatile is one word that describes Abhay Rustum Sopori, for he is the youngest Santoor maestro, youngest classical musician to compose and conduct orchestras and folk & Sufi ensembles, and has also been the youngest recipient of all the awards that he has received including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi’s first Ustad Bismillah Khan Puraskar, J&K State Award (highest Civilian Award of Jammu & Kashmir) and Bharat Shiromani Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution and achievements in music.

A representative of the fabled Sufiana Gharana of Kashmir, the exclusive traditional Santoor family with its roots over more than 300 years, Abhay has carried forward the great legacy of his family in propagating and promoting the Indian culture globally. He has the credit for creating a Cultural Revolution in the Jammu and Kashmir State bringing the youth together through music. His efforts and initiatives have been path-breaking creating a new generation of music connoisseurs and bringing more recognition to the art and culture of the country. Abhay also had the honour to be the first ever composer & conductor to share the stage and conduct along with the maestro Zubin Mehta giving international recognition to the music of Kashmir and creating history in the world of music”.

The awards were presented by NRI Institute’s Secretary General Mr Manu Jagmohan Singh, Ambassador of Egypt H.E Hatem El Sayed Tageldin , Ambassador of Gambia H.E Dembo M Badjie, Ambassador of Jordan H.E Hassan M. Al Jawarneh, Deputy Head of Mission of Czech Republic  Roman Masarik, Deputy Head of Mission of Turkish Embassy Umit Alpaslan Kilic , BJP President Delhi - Satish Upadhyay, UN Security Adviser Ahmad & Tina, H.E Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina Sabit Subasic, H.E Ambassador of Cyprus Demetrios Theophy Lactou and others.

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SRINAGAR:   The Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture & Languages and the Sri Pratap College Srinagar are jointly organizing a "Mushaira" for the college students of Kashmir valley on the 24th of November, 2015 at Sri Pratap College Auditorium. Twenty Five (25) poets drawn from various degree colleges of the valley shall be reciting their poetic compositions in the "Mushaira" to be attended by academicians, poets, intellectuals and students. The event which is the first ever inter-college "Mushaira" for undergraduate students shall be attended by other dignitaries also. A senior poet shall be sitting in the "Mushaira" for the overall patronage and guidance of the budding poets. The Cultural Academy shall be suitably honouring all the participating student poets. All the invited participants and guests have been requested to be seated in the auditorium within 10:30 a.m.