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.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

J&K Has the Highest Illiteracy in Northern States

The State with highest per capita enrollment is also the one with low ilitracy - proof that money (easy money) does not buy success

J&K Most Illiterate Among Northern States: Census Report

Early Times Report

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir is least literate among northern states including the newly carved out Uttarakhand, reveals the latest census report.

Though the state's literate population has been pegged at more than 68 percent of the total 1.25 crore persons - with a decadal growth of 13 percent - it is far behind other northern states like Himachal Pradesh (83.78 percent), Punjab (76.68 percent) Haryana (76.64 percent), Delhi (86.34 percent) and newly created Uttarakhand (79.63 percent). Jammu and Kashmir's literate population was recorded at 55.50 percent in 2001 census.

According to the census data, more people in JK are leaving farms and villages to settle in towns and cities. Around 30 percent of over 1.25 crore state population has been recorded to be living in urban JK, the report says.

The share of urban population in the state has gone up to 27.21 percent and the people living in rural areas constitute 72.79 percent of total populace. He said the urban population has shown steady growth of more than 6 percent in past three decades as figures in 1981 stood at 21.05 percent. Data says that the gap between the urban and the rural population is narrowing and the two may cut across each other in coming few decades.

These figures have been revealed by recent Census carried out by the Union Government. As per 2011 census, Jammu and Kashmir has over 72.45 lakh (78.26 percent) literate persons including 43.70 lakh males and 28.74 lakh females. More literate population (48.98 lakh) is living in rural JK compared to 23.47 lakh in urban areas of the state.

The ratio of rural to urban literacy rate is 64.97%: 78.19%. The winter capital tops in the literacy rate at 83.98 % followed by Samba at 81.08%, while Ramban and Bandipora districts have the lowest literacy rate in the State.

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