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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Kashmir Tops in Primary Health Care

Statistics may not lie, but they can be abused. In this they made the State look good

Remarkable Improvement in JK Governance: Survey

New Delhi: A survey conducted by the India Today has indicated that the Jammu and Kashmir State has shown remarkable improvement in the governance during last two years. As against rank 16 in 2008, Jammu and Kashmir jumped to rank 10 in 2010 while it stood at rank 11 in 2009.

The survey results came weeks after six month long unrest, that disrupted normal life in Kashmir valley, began to subside.

The Jammu and Kashmir State has been adjudged the best State in the Country for successful implementation of schemes in Primary Health Care sector and Mahatama Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

The State has also been ranked third in Micro Economy, fourth in Primary Education and Investment Environment while it stands at rank sixth in Consumer Markets sector.

The awards for the achievements were received by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah from the Vice President, Mr. Hamid Ansari at the State of States Conclave at Delhi today.

The survey for ranking various states in governance and implementation of development schemes in different sectors was conducted by the India Today Group of Publications.

Giving top ranking to the Jammu and Kashmir State in Primary Health Care sector and MGNREGA implementation, the report issued at the Conclave says that in 2010 the State has targeted an expenditure of Rs. 600 crore under MGNREGA almost three times the last year’s. The Government has been able to generate more than 7.9 lakh mandays for about 2.5 lakh households and spent nearly Rs. 140 crore.

The parameters of ranking good health in the State has been captured by the infant morality rate, the percentage of births assisted by the trained personnel, the number of registered doctors, access to water, good hygiene, removal of biases against women and girl child and per capita expenditure on health and family welfare.

The survey report also indicated improvement in the infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir while it also recognized improvement in the State in the field of agriculture. In composite ranking J&K has also shown improvement and its position from rank 11 in 2008 has jumped to rank 8 in 2010.

Giving details of the methodology adopted by the survey, the report says that the objective route has been used, relying solely on data from central sources to adjudge the State’s and formulate rankings list so that non-comparability of data across States was not an issue.

The survey picked eight heads with various sub-heads of prosperity and budget, present age of urban population, per capita capital expenditure, inflation, per capita debt, per capita GSDP, per capita revenue of SEB, law and order, health, mortality rate, education, literacy rate, consumer markets, per capita deposits, percentage of cultivated area, food grain

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