VC CUK chairs DIC Steering Committee meet

Ganderbal: The Steering Committee Meeting of the Design and Innovation Centre (DIC) of Central University of Kashmir (CUK) was held online and offline at the varsity’s Green Campus with Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj ud Din in chair.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mehraj ud Din Mir said, the university was among the few varsities across the country, which bagged the prestigious project in December 2018 and the university has spoke centres across Kashmir and Ladakh, with each having a dedicated coordinator. He said the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and Government are happy with the project and appreciated it. Prof. Mehraj ud Din said that in consultation with the functionaries in the department of Higher Education, ten colleges were identified and the project launched. He said the project has been further extended for one more year and the authorities in the Department of Higher Education have expressed their earnest desire to add up more colleges to the list. CUK Vice-Chancellor said the candidates in these spoke centres have produced quality merchandise, which would have been exhibited during the meeting, but could not, due to the Covid pandemic.
Project Director, and Registrar, Prof. Fayaz A Nika, while deliberating upon the operative aspects of the project said, DIC is a prestigious project of CUK intended to develop innovation and entrepreneurial culture. He said the DIC is offering programmes in four areas including diplomas in Kashmiri food production and processing, design and dress making, Kashmir and Ladakh craft and herbal medicine and aromatic technology. He said the DIC till date has trained 143 individuals in these crafts. Prof Nika said the scheme has been drafted carefully and is being implemented in letter and spirit. He said the DIC has sanctioned 11 research projects, the prototypes of which have been received for further examination. He revealed that the project has well defined parameters and a properly laid down plan of execution. He also informed that there have been a lot of hiccups in the years 2019 and 2020. However, the project has navigated through turbulent waters.
Director Colleges, Prof. Yaseen Ahmad Shah and former director Colleges Prof. Zahoor Ahmad Chatt were special invitees. Prof. Yaseen Ahmad Shah said the CUK shall play a lead role and help the college sector in providing skill education. For the purpose, he identified 15 colleges, where CUK may help in skill development initiatives among the youth for development of entrepreneurial culture. Prof. Zahoor Ahmad Chatt said the CUK should rope in experts from the respective fields in order to provide quality skills training to the individuals. He underscored the need of promoting skill development at different levels of education. Prof. Yasmeen Ashai also spelled out various measures to promote the skill development in Kashmir.
Controller of Examinations, Prof. Parveen Pandit, also emphasized the need for promoting skill development in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. She said the DIC project could prove helpful in generating employment and the job seekers can become job providers.
Addressing the meeting in online mode, Coordinator Prof. N A Nadeem, underscored the need of implementing a plan of action formulated during the previous Steering Committee Meeting, in letter and spirit. He said the DIC could add up more colleges in addition to the existing ones. Prof. Nighat Basu, who is the Coordinator of spoke centre at Government Women’s Polytechnic College Bemina, which offers programmes in dressmaking, said the main objective of DIC was to promote innovations. She said the college authorities have extended all the necessary support in running the programmes and making them successful.
Dean School of Life Sciences, Prof. M Afzal Zargar, emphasized the need to focus on skill training in herbal medicine and aromatic technology. He said more emphasis has been given on skills than theoretical aspects. He said the Vice-Chancellor has also approved the establishment of a herbal garden.
Dean School of Education, Prof. Syed Zahoor Geelani, Dr. Firdous Ahmad Sofal, Dr. Asif Khan and Mr. Ashiq Najar, also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the working of their respective spoke centres. Irfan Ahmad Dar, coordinator of the spoke centre, also gave a brief presentation on the occasion.

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