AHMEDABAD, March 2 : Addressing the “Kashmir Festival” organized by the Gujarat University here, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh hailed the “aspirational” StartUps of the new genre and said, festivals like this provide an opportunity to the youth from different regions of the country to come together and exchange their experiences as well as best practices in the emerging avenues. He said, the “Kashmir Festival” will hopefully provide a very valuable exposure for the youth from Jammu & Kashmir because Gujarat is a State traditionally known to be ahead of other States in terms of entrepreneurship and futuristic vision for innovative initiatives.
The very fact that the event is being held in Gujarat University, said the Minister, assumes significance since this is the University whose alumni include eminent scientists and innovators like Vikram Sarabhai and Dr K Kasturi Nandan who laid the foundation for post-independence India to emerge as a front- line nation of the world through scientific and technological excellence.
Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Jammu & Kashmir had to wait for seven long decades before a distinguished son of the soil from Gujarat in the form of Prime Minister Narendra Modi came and liberated the people of J&K from the shackles of Article 370 and gave them the sense of esteem of being the citizens of India. Similarly, he said, another son of the soil from Gujarat, Home Minister Amit Shah ensured the extension of the Central Laws to the UT of J&K so that the people of J&K could enjoy the same rights and privileges as people in other parts of the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Dr Jitendra Singh, will go down in the history as the leader who showed courage of conviction to correct a constitutional anomaly and an abrasion of democracy by abrogating Article 370 and 35 A and thus ensuring the mainstreaming of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of India. The event of Kashmir Festival in the Gujarat University and the enthusiasm of the participants is an indication of this and the people of J&K, particularly the youth who do not wish to miss the opportunities in new India, will always remain indebted to Prime Minister Modi, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, after more than three and half years of that path-breaking decision, it is evident that Jammu and Kashmir today is better placed than it was before August 5, 2019. He said, more than 800 central laws have become applicable to Jammu and Kashmir after it got the Union Territory status.
The Minister referred to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Institute of Sustainability (IIS), Gujarat University and University of Kashmir for establishment of IIS at University of Kashmir. He said, the mutual collaboration for joint studies, research, study program, the training program, entrepreneurship, Policy Design and Analysis, policy advocacy, implementation of SDGs etc will get a new high after the MoU.
Dr Jitendra Singh noted that the mission of IIS is to train and educate the citizens in tune with a sustainable society and a sustainable planet by bringing best practices for air, water, soil, space, climate, forest, environment, natural resources, forestry, smart cities and agriculture. IIS promotes excellence through innovative and applied research and impacting the world through policy, practice, training and continuous engagement.
He also pointed out that Indian Institute of Sustainability, Gujarat University has made collaborations with 27 organizations like, LBSNAA, Niti Ayog, DRDO, UNITAR, Pidilite, and many more prestigious organizations and this collaboration will help a lot to the students of University of Kashmir.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, Gujarat is at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship, co-operative culture and sustainability and is making all efforts for implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in our university system. He said, Gujarat is the first state to have developed the Student StartUp & Innovation Policy (SSIP), and climate change department of the country. The farmers of Kashmir can learn a lot from this co-operative culture of Gujarat, it will help them to improve product and service quality. They can learn about the various business and marketing methods.
Gujarat University is the State’s oldest and largest University catering to the needs of higher education of about 4 Lakh students scattered across 300 plus affiliated colleges. The idea of setting up the university was conceived in the 1920s by Mahatma Gandhi and the seed of inceptions was laid down by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in 1949. The glory of the university is reflected in some of the eminent alumni like PM Narendra Modi, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai , the Father of India’s Space Program, Dr. K. Kasturirangan former Chairman, ISRO, Dr. Ila Bhatt (SEWA), Justice Ahmedi former Chief Justice of India, Pankaj Patel CEO, Zydus Cadila, Mr. Kharekwala Wockhardt, Dr. Ravindra Dave former Chairman, UNESCO and many others.
The University secured 13th rank amongst State Universities in NIRF ranking, 1st in GSIRF ranking and Top 25 in ARIIA ranking. Gujarat university took a lot of initiatives such as establishing the GUSEC, India’s number one incubator, social enterprise focused incubator, AIC GUSEC, Research park, defense initiative IDSR (Institute of Defense Studies and Research) etc., which are playing a vital role in the development of the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh thanked Vice Chancellor of Gujarat University Prof. Himanshu Pandya, Dr. Manjoor Ahmed Mir, Coordinator and Mr. Sudhanshu Jangir, Director IIS, Gujarat University for the collaborative program of both the Universities and lauded the Gujarat University for taking the initiative of setting up an institution with great possibilities of solving the grand challenges of society.
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