BRAINSTORMING SESSION at IIC Annexe on 6th August 2014

Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC) in collaboration with Bharatiya Vitta Salahakar Samiti (BVSS) organized an exclusive (by invitation only), Brainstorming Session on “Governance and Economic Development in the State of Jammu Kashmir” on 6th August 2014, at India International Centre (IIC) Annexe, New Delhi. The Session was attended by a power-packed close-knit group of 40 participants comprising of current and former Ministers, Members of Parliament, Bureaucrats, Technocrats, Industrialists, Finance Professionals, Academicians and Media Persons.

The 5-hour Brainstorming Session was divided into 2 Sections of 2.5 hours each. Each section was further bifurcated into 2 sub-sections focusing on a particular theme of relevance. For instance, the 2 Sub-sessions of Session-I were: i) Present Status and Challenges and ii) State of Governance. Similarly, the 2 Sub-sessions of Session-II were: i) Economic Development: Avenues and Bottlenecks and ii) Way Ahead.

Each session had a lead speaker belonging to the region, who introduced the topic and its key facets. The aim of this exercise was to set the tone and tenor of the discussions that followed, on fact-based, ground realities and commercially viable and practical solutions, which was the ultimate aim of this Brainstorming Session.

The opening session on Present Status and Challenges, was spread across 1.5 hours with approximately 30 minutes dedicated to each of the 3 regions of the State of Jammu-Kashmir. The segment on Jammu was spearheaded by Prof, Dipankar Sengupta, a Professor of Economics at the University of Jammu. The Kashmir segment was introduced by Shri. Rajesh Gupta, an entrepreneur and hotelier from the State of Jammu Kashmir. Shri. Ashutosh Bhatnagar, the Executive Director of JKSC, led the discussions on Ladakh. The deliberations in these sessions made it obvious that everyone present in that room was serious about resolving the tangles that hold back the bounty-rich state of Jammu Kashmir to its destined place of Top 5 States of the Country.

 

 

The Session on the State of Governance in JK was led by Shri Shakti Pathak, a Civil Servant from the State of Jammu-Kashmir. As a native of the land, his comments were terse and thought-provoking. It forced all to think why things are the way they are and what is the way out of this seemingly ‘catch-22’ situation. 

The post-tea Session began as per schedule and saw a few more high profile participants flying in, especially to be a part of the deliberations. 2 such noteworthy and active additions were Dr. Jitendra Singh (Minister of State in PMO) and Shri Suresh Prabhu (former Cabinet Minister).

The first sub-session, namely Economic Development: Avenues and Bottlenecks, saw Prof. Dipankar Sengupta, a young economist of repute, serving as a Faculty at the University of Jammu for close to a decade, present an in-depth analysis of the Economy of the State of Jammu Kashmir - its niche areas, geographical indicators, core competencies, unique differentiators along with the pitfalls, stumbling blocks and dampeners. All in all, it was a segment that attracted a lot of attention of the Finance and IT professionals and Industrialists in the Auditorium, who sought more sector-specific information and clarification, with a view to participating in the process of boosting the Jammu-Kashmir economy in a big way.



 

 The final segment titled ‘The Way Ahead’ was moderated by the Director of JKSC, Shri Arun Kumar. Based on the proceedings of the previous sessions, the insights shared by experts from Jammu-Kashmir, quantum of data circulated and views of a cross-section of the distinguished audience, the moderator very deftly chalked out areas of intervention based on tangible and measureable parameters like economic development of the State and its people, National Security, Environmental sustainability, Optimal use of existing resources and exploring untapped resources and other human development indicators like employment generation, education and skill development, equitable opportunities of growth and self-realization, etc. The highlight of this concluding segment was consensually arriving at ‘doable’ (practical) solutions to some pressing problems of the region and drafting an initial blueprint of the same, which will be further refined and worked upon in detail, in due course of time, so as to be able to present it before the concerned authorities in a concrete policy dossier form.