Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is often called as“Heaven on the Earth”, a newly born Union Territory of India which offers boundless investment opportunities to the prospective entrepreneur investors, as the valley has rich resources.The scrapping of the long-prevailing Article 370 is a historic moment, adding “the significant move opens up potential opportunities for the development-led economic growth in the new Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir”.It would help to increase trade in sectors like carpets, handicrafts, sports goods, horticulture and food processing. While it may in the long term strengthen the economy of the J&K territory on the one side and its local producers, entrepreneurs, business people and professionals can get due recognition monetarily on the other, expecting a surge in investments or a windfall in residential, commercial and retail segments, say experts. Further it may certainly be a positive for the hospitality and the tourism sectors too besides other sector like infrastructure development such as hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, tourism, hospitality, energy development plants and eventually the retail and entertainment sectors in the territory. Against this background, Government of Jammu and Kashmiris poised to invite private players both of national and international repute for setting up new ventures in potential business areas such as education, health care, tourism, energy, agro-processing, manufacturing, infrastructure, etc., for the first time in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Hence a public trust like “Foundation for Education for All, New Delhi”has entered into MOU with the State Government in January 2020 to set up following new ventures in the region so as to infuse modern technology, hybrid human resource and overseas investment while implementing the projects over the period of time that helps to further enhance the socio-economic impact of the proposed ventures on the J&K economy.
As the Jammu & Kashmir has Gross Enrolment Ratio of 30.9 %, higher than the National Average it will have an immense opportunity in setting up of Smart Schools, Residential Schools, Colleges and Private Universities. The state administration has introduced recently the Jammu & Kashmir Education Investment Policy 2020 which includes necessary reforms to revamp its education system from primary to university level to make it more research-oriented besides the territory has all the required ingredients to become an elite knowledge society. Jammu & Kashmir should be a place where people from the rest of the country, and even outside the country, will feel privileged to come for acquiring knowledge. The role of universities and other institutes of higher studies in developing knowledge temper amongst aspiring students and also cherishes the dream of making J&K region as the "knowledge capital" of the country. Such progressive development has attracted the eye of private equity players and venture capital funds as well, who have also shown interest in this unique and emerging business opportunity, which balances investor returns with social responsibilities. This became the guiding force for setting up of present prestigious project on Hi-tech EduCity in Kashmir Valley. This proposed ultra-modern EduCitywith a contingent of best branded global residential and smart schools and market demanded professional colleges for varied streams along with multi-disciplinary technology university, premier multi-foreign universities, global knowledge park, etc., will not only provide the best of education, but also the environment to fill the innovation gap in the curriculum and requirements of the industry. Projecting into the future, this Hi-tech Education City project aims to provide the world’s best resources for students all over the world, with job opportunities that abound within the same locale itself in the Kashmir Valley. Against this background the foundation is planning to set up the state’s first private hi-tech Educity in Kashmir Valley.
With huge potential for economic prosperity, Jammu & Kashmir region urgently needs to restructure its education system with a focus on skilling and creativity.Emergence as the human resource capital of the north India would surely require high-quality entrepreneurial skilling of youth. New skill development initiatives will significantly help actualize the inert potential of the territory. Thus, J&K union territory further needs to adopt a practical, skilled-based graduate education system and embed experimental learning programs into the curriculum which will enable students to work and get professional experience while studying in the field of critical thinking, creativity and communication skills and be job-ready upon completion of studies.Skill-gap is one of the gravest concerns in the J&K’s education system. The inability of equipping students with future-ready skills can be attributed to the dated curricula, poorly trained faculty, and flawed teaching and learning pedagogy. While overhauling a curriculum won't happen overnight, but the proposed skills university can consider updating their elective courses to bridge the gap in sun rise technical areas.
It is not denying factor that jobs are important for the economic growth in the country and it has been noticed that about one million additional people join the workforce every year in India. In such a scenario, skilling is the appropriate solution to help the youth in getting productively employed. There has been, however, a mismatch between the skills that are imparted and the jobs that are available. We need to ensure that there are skills imparted to make the youth ready for 21st century jobs.This became the guiding force for setting up of the first Private Hi-tech Skills University in Jammu region, viz., “New Age Skills University” with the mission of “providing employment-oriented skill education to young graduates in association with industries and companies.”
The healthcare industry in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir has experienced a proliferation of innovations aimed at enhancing life expectancy, quality of life, diagnostic and treatment options, as well as the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the healthcare system.Hence government, corporate sector, NGOs and other sectors of societies have to enter into mutually beneficial partnership to serve the health needs of the poor and the lower income vulnerable population. These partnerships have to be well thought out, structured and open to independent assessment to ensure transparency and outcome. Government has taken various initiatives in health sector to provide quality health care facilities to the people of the Union Territory despite several constraints like; financial resources, difficult topography/ terrain, poor road connectivity, low presence of private sector and also making it accessible, affordable to all specially to under-served and under- privileged segments of the population. It is in this connection a leading public trust like Foundation for Education for All New Delhi is planning to set up a super multi-specialty hospital attached with a modern nursing and paramedical college and a hi-tech skill development medical center, one each in Jammu and another in Kashmir valley for operationalizing super-specialties like Neuro Surgery, Cardio Vascular Thoracic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Urology, Neurology, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology and other value supportive medical services in the new Union Territory. The proposed super specialty hospitals would bridge the gap in accessibility to tertiary healthcare services in Jammu and Kashmir region. Further the hospitals would be equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic and clinical facilities to provide best in A-class medical service and treatment to the local community at affordable cost, supported by the NRI investors and seasoned medical professionals across the globe.
Jammu & Kashmir’s booming tourism industry benefits specific sectors. Traditional crafts are being developed and promoted by the government because crafts are a key component of region’s tourism. Artisans, who usually are from rural areas, get to distribute their crafts to a bigger market, hopefully fueling growth in the rural communities to which they belong. Another aspect of J&K’s tourism industry is its flora & fauna. The aim is better organization and administration of territory’s nature and wildlife reserves. This binds well for the region’s efforts at sustainable development of ecological resources. In this regard private players can also play a key role in developing modern tourism without affecting traditional values of rural and hill society in this Union Territory.
Augmentation of infrastructure is the key to the expansion of tourism sector. Development of tourism infrastructure at tourism destinations could create a critical mass for achieving its targeted objectives and other socio-economic benefits to the society. Development of tourism infrastructure in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir requires large investments that cannot be undertaken out of public financing alone, and that in order to attract private capital as well as the techno-managerial efficiencies associated with it, the scheme is meant to promote Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in tourism infrastructure development. Viability Gap Funding under the scheme is normally in the form of a capital grant at the stage of project construction. It is in this connection a registered public trust like Foundation for Education for All, New Delhi has come forward to set up Luxury Hill Resorts with sophisticated amenities in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir with NRI participation.