Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today addressed a seminar on ‘Society, Culture & Social Change: Kashmir & Beyond’ organised by Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) and Indian Sociological Society.

The Lt Governor congratulated VC, IUST, Prof Shakil Ahmad Romshoo and Convener of the event, Prof Abha Chauhan for facilitating an open academic dialogue which brought together experts, sociologists, academicians from India and abroad to discuss change in the backdrop of accelerated development and globalization.

The Lt Governor said the two-day seminar will generate actionable recommendations that have the potential to accelerate the means of welfare of general populace. He further observed that all such recommendations will be incorporated in the policy making by the UT administration and implemented on ground for the welfare of the common man of Jammu Kashmir.

The Lt Governor said that India thrives in its diversity. Moral and social values, ancient tradition and cultural legacy is the real wealth of our society. We have overtaken the UK to become the world’s fifth-largest economy which shows our socio-economic development derives strength from these values, he added.

Today, the Indian Diaspora is considered the largest and the most prosperous group in the world and people of Indian origin including J&K have become the significant driver of global growth, the Lt Governor added.

Underscoring that mobility, access to grow, greater control is the key for socio-economic growth, the Lt Governor observed that a large population of J&K was deprived of it for a long time. The transformation post 2019 has empowered every section of society with access to all benefits provided by the constitution, he added.

J&K UT’s socio-economic & cultural sector is witnessing transformation. We aim for higher economic growth, fast infrastructure development while preserving & promoting our cultural ethos, the Lt Governor noted.

The Lt Governor observed that deliberate attempts were made to keep Jammu Kashmir, the land of spirituality and wisdom, away from progress & prosperity due to Article 370 and 35-A. The lack of access to benefits brought stagnation to growth. “Discrimination was a norm and social welfare was an exception. However, under the guidance of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, all the progressive laws were implemented and reforms were introduced to bring J&K at par with other developed states,” Lt Governor said.

Speaking on the social transformation taking place in different sectors in Jammu and Kashmir in the past three years, the Lt Governor said that accelerated pace of development, participative, transparent and accountable governance system, massive investment flow, easy accessibility of public service, empowerment of women and deprived section of the society is being ensured to end Social-inequality.

The unprecedented change taking place in Jammu and Kashmir is also helping to promote the cultural activities. A cinema hall is opening this month after three decades. The Culture of organizing literary festivals, art camps have picked up across the UT. Local Handicrafts and handlooms sectors have been revived and a new dawn has been witnessed by the tourism sector, he added.

Prof. Shakil Ahmad Romshoo, Vice Chancellor IUST, in his welcome address highlighted the significance of academia in finding solutions to the problems of the society and the world.

He further underscored the University’s crucial role of guiding and preparing the future human capital.

Prof Abha Chauhan, President Indian Sociological Society and Convener of the event spoke on the syncretic culture prevalent in Kashmir since centuries.

Sociology is needed in every sphere of life and the society. The idea of the seminar is to focus on implementing the key values of sociology in society, she added.

Prof Pirzada Mohd Amin, Organising Secretary informed that experts from Universities around the country and abroad will share their knowledge and deliver lectures, through offline and online modes, during the seminar.

Prof Nilofer Khan, Vice Chancellor, University of Kashmir; Sh Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Sh Vijay Kumar, ADGP Kashmir; Sh Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to Government, Youth Services and Sports, besides former Vice Chancellors, experts & sociologists from across the country and abroad, faculty members of IUST, senior officers of UT Administration, Police and Army were present on the occasion.

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