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NEW DELHI: NIIT Foundation in partnership with Microsoft India inaugurated a Computer Lab for visually impaired Children in ‘Institution for the Blind’, Lajpat Nagar on December 14, 2017. Dr. M. P. Yadav – Delhi Directorate Education, Dist. North West A, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest with some other officials from Directorate.

Close to 120 people attended the event, prominent among them were Mrs. Charu Kapoor – COO, NIIT Foundation, Ms. Manju Dhasmana - Philanthropies and CSR Lead of Microsoft India and Mr. Sunil Khurana – President, ‘Institution for the Blind’. Other senior officials from NIIT Foundation and the school also gathered for the inaugural ceremony. The event began with lighting of lamp following which the Chief Guest declared the Computer Lab open, students presented songs and ghazals to mark the occasion.

Mrs. Charu Kapoor, COO, NIIT Foundation shared, “In the past too, NIIT Foundation has been involved in imparting skills training to youth with special needs and placed them successfully, however, providing skill development courses at school level is a path-breaking concept introduced by NIIT Foundation. We soon realized that just setting up a digital classroom in such schools would not suffice, so we placed a facilitator well equipped to adopt a unique pedagogy aligned with 21st Century Learning Skills who would handhold students with special needs with special care”.


 Organization Background - NIIT Foundation (NF) is a not-for-profit education society set up by the promoters of NIIT in 2004. Its mission is to positively impact the underprivileged of the country through its educational processes and also by providing them employability skills that betters their job prospects. Towards that, NF runs various grass roots initiatives by setting up skill development centers in urban and rural areas, installing hole-in-the-wall learning stations to bridge the digital divide, industry tie-ups for job placement of the underprivileged youth and supporting other NGOs through capacity building. NF brings professional skill set to the CSR domain and partners with corporates to implement their CSR projects.

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  • 19th ICOMOS General Assembly concludes at New Delhi
  • ‘We have to take advantage of all credible forums to rediscover our historical linkages’

NEW DELHI: Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu and Mr Tassaduq Mufti, Coordinator, J&K Chief Minister’s Grievance today visited the Heritage Exhibition organized by the Department of Archeology, Archives & Museums, J&K Govton the sidelines of the 19th General Assembly of ICOMOS at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road here. It is for the first time that ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) General Assembly is being held in India. The objective of the event was to provide an opportunity to promote international cooperation for creating a robust ecosystem for heritage conservation.


Dr Drabu visited various stalls established by the Department of Archeology, Archives & Museums and expressed satisfaction over showcasing of the heritage and archaeological treasure of the state at the international level through ICOMOS. He said such initiatives would go a long way in rediscovering J&K’s traditional linkages and promoting heritage tourism in the state. “We shall have to take advantage of all the forums to showcase our treasured heritage and ICOMOS is one such credible forum,” he said.


Pertinently, Dr Drabu had earlier unveiled the J&K pavilion at the event on 12 December 2017. J&K’s distinct pluralistic heritage and culture was displayed through artefacts, pictures and models at the exhibition. Documentary films on SPS Museum, Dogra Art Museum, Mubark Mandi Heritage Complex and Cultural Tourism Potential of J&K were also shown during the 3-day exhibition.

Other Departments from J&K, who participated in this international event include Tourism and Handlooms and Handicrafts. Director Archives, Archaeology & Museums, M S Zahid briefed the Finance Minister about various activities undertaken by the Department during the international event. He said the Department also participated in the scientific symposium on the themes ‘Heritage as Peace Builder’, ‘Tying and Benefiting’,‘Heritage as Victim’, ‘Heritage and Democracy’ and ‘Documenting India’s Vernacular Heritage’ organized on the sidelines of the event.


Earlier, Mr Tassaduq Mufti, Coordinator, J&K Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell also visited the exhibition and appreciated the efforts of the Department of Archeology, Archives & Museums for projecting the State’s rich heritage at the international fora. During the event, renowned heritage professionals from diverse cultural backgrounds including archaeologists, architects, urban planners, engineers, curators, building conservation professionals and art historians shares and exchanged views and ideas on issues of Integrating Heritage and Sustainable Urban Development by Engaging Diverse Communities, Role of Cultural Heritage in Building Peace and Reconciliation, Protecting and Interpreting Cultural Heritage in the Age of Digital Empowerment; Culture-Nature Journey, exploring the Complexities of Human Relationships with Natural and Cultural Places under the overarching theme of 'Heritage and Democracy'.



The speakers also stressed upon the need of incorporating heritage related curriculum in schools, colleges and universities besides involving public private partnership and assistance of volunteers in such activities.

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  • FM addresses 90th Annual General Meeting of FICCI

NEW DELHI: Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu today called for proactive engagement of major corporate houses from across the country with Jammu and Kashmir to channelize substantive investment to the State. “There is tremendous scope for investment in potential sectors of strength like energy, horticulture, handloom and handicrafts, biotechnology, food processing, tourism, information technology, education, skill development and sports in J&K which have strong inter-linkages with the other sectors,” Dr Drabu said while addressing the 90th Annual General Meeting of Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here this morning.


He said J&K also has potential for becoming a Special Educational Zone for foreign universities and Special Economic Zone for exquisite Handicrafts and Sports Goods besides attracting investment for setting up a Dry Port and Cold Chain. “I would request you to start engaging with J&K and its people, to help us put the State on a faster path of development and growth,” Dr Drabu told the business tycoons from India Inc present at the meeting.


He said FICCI can help in tourism promotion in the State by organizing various high-profile events and also facilitate building physical and digital connectivity and market linkages. “Given its network, FICCI can also help the state to strategize connectivity and infrastructure development for creation of wealth in the areas of social, economic and ecological enterprises in J&K,” he said.

Dr Drabu said given its geographical location, Jammu and Kashmir could become a hub for forging a new economic linkage in the region between the South and the Central Asia. “There is a convergence of views on varied issues and interests between the Central Asian Republics and India, including promoting economic, scientific and cultural cooperation in the region,” Dr Drabu said adding that given its historic links with Central Asia, J&K can become a surface transport passage for reviving traditional economic linkages in the region.

Referring to implementation of GST, Dr Drabu said there may be operational and technical issues involved in the implementation of the new tax regime, but it has federalized the Indian economy and has transformed the business ethics in the country. He called for doing away with the MRP (maximum retail price) under the GST regime.“MRP is from a pre-liberalized era. We need to now abolish MRP as it has become redundant under GST regime,” Dr Drabu said.


He also suggested that composition scheme for small businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1 crore should be tweaked to allow some input tax credit. “Larger companies are not buying from small businesses due to lack of input tax credit,” he noted. He also called for bringing back the reverse charge mechanism under GST that has been deferred till March.



Pertinently, besides Dr Haseeb Drabu, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Modi, Finance Minister of West Bengal, Dr Amit Mitra and Finance Minister of Kerala Dr T M Thomas Isaac were specially invited to address the 2-day Annual General Meeting of FICCI which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi here yesterday. President FICCI, Rahesh C Shah and FICCI General Secretary, Dr Sanjay Baru also addressed the session.