Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kashmir University Takes a Big Step in Promoting Women Science Scholars

A Red Letter day for women scientists and technologists in Kashmir

KU Scholars Excel in “National Women Scientist Scheme”

Srinagar: Vice chancellor Kashmir University Prof. Riyaz Punjabi Saturday called upon Kashmiri women scientists to bring about significant change by working at the grass root level especially outside Srinagar city for women's empowerment and inspire other women to take up science as their field of research.

The participation of women in the dynamic field of science is central not only in our efforts for gender equality, but also to make women stakeholders of the future construct of the world, VC told a gathering comprising young women scientists at the committee Room of the University of Kashmir here at Kashmir University campus .

The event chaired by the Vice chancellor was an interactive meeting between the department of science and technology Government of India (DST-GOI) and the women scientists University of Kashmir and was part of the women scientist scheme which encourages women for research in basic and applied sciences.

The confirmation letters for approved research proposals to 10 Kashmiri women scientists amounting to Rs 1.40 crore were handed over to them on spot by VC, KU Prof Riyaz Punjab . Dr H B Singh officer in charge women scientist scheme DST-GOI and coordinator and liaison officer for the scheme for Kashmir division Prof A. H. Munshi was also present at the function besides top officials and senior teachers of the University. Earlier a national women sensitization meeting was held at Banaras Hindu University Varanasi on 2nd and 3rd May this year where 14 research projects from women scientists from University of Kashmir were presented out of which 10 proposals were sanctioned .

“A big achievement “ responded KU VC , Prof Riyaz Punjabi on the occasion and added that he is overwhelmed to learn that ten of our students from Kashmir have made it to the scheme . He congratulated and thanked Prof H U Munshi and Dr H B Singh for their efforts. He asked the participants to broaden their activities as a “ women scientific community” and reach country side to spread the message of importance of science in our lives and inspire others women to take up science for their research.VC said that we must discuss the gender issues, which hinder growth of women as a scientist to create awareness regarding available government schemes for promoting science careers for women. VC said that by all means we got to address the issues pertaining to encouraging women to take up science and provideOpportunities to them to go ahead.

Women scientist scheme department of science and technology Government of India is aimed to provide opportunities to women scientists and technologists for perusing research in frontier areas of science and engineering. A special provision has been made under this scheme to encourage those women scientists who have had breaks in their careers Prof . H U .Munshi of the department of botany at KU and the local coordinator for (WOS-A)says that the e scheme provides a research grant with an upper limit of Rs 17 lac for a well defined project proposal for a period of three years. This grant includes the fellowship of the applicant and costs of small equipments contingencies, travel, consumables etc.

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