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  • Stresses on eco-sustainable livelihood opportunities

MAHARASHTRA: The Minister for Tourism and Culture Tassaduq Hussain Mufti participated in UN Environment-Sanctuary Nature Foundation meet in Maharashtra. The meet held in Tadoba wildlife Tiger Sanctuary from February 20th to 22nd February 2018 was aimed to understand and explore ways of fashioning tourism into a livelihood generator. Mufti said that over the past decades, Jammu And Kashmir State has witnessed the destruction of its environmentally fragile areas, lakes, rivers and meadows to its booming tourism industry.


He said that most of these areas have become concrete jungles without proper sewerage and waste management setup. Tourism Minister also said that J&K Government needs to take immediate steps in turning its exquisite forests, rivers, mountains, wetlands and lakes of the state to the advantage of local communities, and to the advantage of the incredible biodiversity of the state through best practices in tourism.


The Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir has immense potential for sustainable tourism with eco-sustainable livelihood opportunities for local communities in a manner that preserves the health, scenic and natural attributes of the tourism sites with the involvement of local communities as its integral part. Mufti also visited Gothangaon in Maharashtra next to the Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary to understand the Community Owned Community Operated Conservancy (COCOON Conservancy)


The Minister said that the initiative holds out hope for replicable community sustainability, biodiversity enhancement and climate action which are essential elements for creating a model of accountable and sustainable eco-tourism in the state of Jammu and Kashmir which won’t expropriate land, water and natural resources. The meet was born of a sense of wonder for India’s natural heritage, and the drive to affect positive change and envisioned a world with abundant biodiversity, a sustainable climate and an equitable future for one and all through policy changes, advocacy, science, on-ground support and habitat management. 


Legendary conservationist and founder of Sanctuary Asia, India’s leading nature and conservation portal Bittu Sehgal and Global Head of the United Nations Environment and an eminent Environmental Champion Eric Solheim also participated in the meet. Besides, Additional Chief Secretary Government of Maharashtra Praveen Pardesi, Director, Tourism Kashmir Mehmood shah, Regional Wildlife warden, Kashmir Rashid Y. Naqash and Representative from Wildlife institute of India Bilal Habib were also present in the meeting.

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  • Calls for training JK youth in micro, small, medium enterprises

NEW DELHI: Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq Khan today called on Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Giriraj Singh to discuss support of the Ministry in training the youth of the state in various skills. The Minister was accompanied by Mission Director Bakshi Javid Hamayun and Additional Mission Director Kapil Sharma.


Abdul Haq apprised the Union MoS about the initiatives taken by the state government with regard to the training being imparted to the youth in various skills and the subsequent placements by various project implementation agencies. The Minister further informed that JKSRLM has been entrusted with the responsibility of training and placing over 1.24 lakh youth with an allocation of Rs 1,601.51 crore for a period of three years under Himayat scheme.


He said the department has already signed MoUs with atleast 7 PIAs while over 1,100 youth are already undergoing skill training in different trades within and outside state while process is going on to send more youth for different trainings. Abdul Haq sought the intervention of Ministry of MSME in training the youth in various skills and said the Ministry is having state-of-the-art tool rooms (Training Centres) to train and subsequently put up for placement trainees trained under these skill in tool rooms.


He appealed the Minister to train JK youth under Himayat scheme so that the youth are able get skills in market-oriented trades so that they can either get jobs in such industries or are able to set up their own units with the help of government or other related initiatives. Giriraj Singh expressed satisfaction over the ongoing project and said the project will help the youth to get empowered by being able to earn their livelihood with dignity.


The Union Minister directed for incorporation of the Minister’s proposal in the existing schemes of the Ministry. Various meetings were also scheduled with different HoDs of MSME Ministry to be held in the near future wherein the integration of DDU-GKY could be integrated in the existing schemes of MSME.  The Minister assured to give special status to Jammu and Kashmir State in its layout of national schemes whenever launched in future and also to include option of launching ongoing existing schemes of the Ministry to JK.

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NEW DELHI: In a negative development, India has slipped in corrupt nations list while maintaining 81st rank in Transparency International’s Global Corruption Perception Index 2017. Pertinently, According to the report published in Times of India quoting a report of Transparency International release which has characterised India as “among the worst regional offenders” in the Asia Pacific region on grounds of journalists, activists, opposition leaders and even staff of law enforcement or watchdog agencies being threatened or even murdered.


While it maintained its score at 40 on a 100-point scale where anything below 30 is considered seriously corrupt, its ranking changed from 79th last year partly because Vanuatu, one of the countries added to the rankings this year, was rated higher and partly because others improved, said the report. In this, it was clubbed with the Philippines and Maldives, said the report. “These countries score high for corruption and have fewer press freedoms and higher numbers of journalist deaths,” the report quoted release of Transparency International.


Interestingly, Pakistan with a score of 32 and China with 41 are perceived to be more corrupt than India and Russia is more corrupt than all three counties with a score of 29, the report said. New Zealand and Denmark were ranked as the cleanest countries in the 2017 list as in 2016, with scores of 89 and 88, respectively, the report said. According to the Transparency International Syria, South Sudan and Somalia were ranked as the most corrupt countries with scores of 14, 12 and 9, respectively and are the three countries that were tied with India in 2016.


The analysis, which incorporates data from Committee to Protect Journalists, showed that in the last six years, 9 out of 10 journalists killings of journalists happened in countries that score 45 or less on the index, the report mentioned.