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Kashmiri trio takes charge to build progressive future through innovative policy research and youth engagement

Kashmiri trio takes charge to build progressive future through innovative policy research and youth engagement

The world is currently facing critical economic, social, and political issues that require innovative solutions and India too has been struggling with knowledge production and public institutions, as well as in terms of decision makers using the knowledge to make informed decisions, resulting in policies that are often made and implemented without the desired impact.

However, amidst these concerns, there is a ray of hope emanating from north Kashmir's district Bandipora. In a remarkable display of determination and vision, three young boys from the region namely Nasir Khuehami, Ummar Jamal, and Arshad Hussain Lone have embarked on a journey to set up their own think tank.

Their aim is to pave the path towards a more inclusive, just, and equal world, starting from their own community. The trio believes that there is a pressing need to work on improving government policy.

Hailing from a district that is famous for the three A's - A'lim (knowledge), Adab (good habits or literature), and Aab (water) - the trio has established the J&K Centre for Peace, Research, and Sustainable Development (JKCPRS). This think tank is the first of its kind in J&K and represents a beacon of hope for the region's future.

With their innovative ideas and dedication, Nasir, Ummar, and Arshad are challenging the status quo and demonstrating that young people can be powerful agents of change. By setting up the JKCPRS, they are taking proactive steps towards creating a better world for all, regardless of their background or circumstances. Their initiative serves as a reminder that positive change can start from the grassroots level, and that we all have a role to play in shaping a brighter future. It intends to conduct advanced and in-depth research on a wide range of policy-relevant issues with a focus on India's 21st-century challenges.

Besides policymaking it has been mentoring students from marginalized communities about various national and international prestigious fellowships and helping students to gain knowledge about scholarships, the admission process, and the application process in order to enable them to pursue education in India's premier educational institutions and abroad. It aims to have enough representation of marginalised communities in global higher education institutes.

Through their think tank, the trio is working to create solutions to critical issues that have been ignored for far too long.

They understand that the problems facing their community cannot be solved overnight, but they believe that every small step counts towards a better future.

Their approach is refreshing, as they are not waiting for someone else to fix the issues. Instead, they are taking responsibility for the challenges that they see and are working to create a better future for themselves and their community.

Their work has already gained recognition and support from various sectors, highlighting the importance of the JKCPRS and the role of young people in shaping the future.

Nasir said that JKCPRS's mission is to provide a platform for dialogue, research, and advocacy on issues related to peace, and sustainable development. JKCPRS aims to develop practical solutions to these issues through research, advocacy, and partnerships with relevant stakeholders.

By working together with civil society, government, and academia, the JKCPRS hopes to create lasting change and promote a brighter future for all.

In a world where it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the scale of the problems we face, the story of Nasir, Ummar, and Arshad serves as a source of inspiration.

Their journey highlights the power of youth and the potential for positive change, even in the most challenging circumstances.

Leading the charge is Nasir Khuehami, a master's student in Conflict Analysis and Peace Building from Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi.

"We want to generate policy-oriented research, analysis and advice on various local and national issues. The centre recognizes that effective policy solutions must be equitable and environmentally sound, ensuring a prosperous future for all. By engaging with young people, we are also tapping into the energy and creativity of the next generation of leaders," Nasir Khuehami said.

He further said that we aim to work in the fields of education, environment, youth empowerment, tribal affairs, livelihood programmes, vocational training, health, ST and OBC development, child and youth rights, and skill development.

"The focus into improving the lives of the underprivileged, Nasir said. He believes that in contemporary times, India is facing pressing problems such as extreme poverty, unemployment, inequality, climate change, and caste discrimination," he further said adding that to tackle these challenges, the importance of good ideas can be acted upon.

As the JKCPRS hotbed of ideas for government to draw upon Nasir added that they intend to put efforts to promote good governance in Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory.

"We aim to have a dedicated research wing aimed to do extensive and cost-effective research in areas of horticulture, health and education. Our vision is clear - to make a difference in the lives of people in J-K and India at large, by addressing critical issues and implementing solutions through innovative and effective measures," Nasir said.

He also said that in future, JKCPRS aims to offer internships to undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students to gain insights into governance, education, youth engagement, and tribal affairs and enrich their knowledge and experience in the field of strategy and public policy.

According to Nasir, the objective of this initiative is to provide practical work experience to students and early-career researchers, helping them develop their careers and learn about public policy issues.

These internships will not only enhance their knowledge and skills but also provide them with an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the world of policy-making.

The objective of this initiative will be to provide students and early-career researchers with practical work experience. They will work closely with experienced professionals and learn about the intricacies of policy-making firsthand. This internship program not only provides a chance for career development but also equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become future leaders in the field of public policy.

"Our objective is to enrich the knowledge and experience of students in the field of strategy and public policy," Nasir added.

Ummar Jamal, the Founding Secretary of JKCPRS, is committed to promoting innovative ideas and facilitating productive debates on matters of public policy.

Hailing from the Quil Muqam area of district Bandipora, Jamal envisions JKCPRS as a think tank that not only serves as a catalyst for ideas but also helps policymakers set the policy agenda.

According to Jamal, the think tank aims to provide evidence-based analyses and recommendations that will enable policymakers to formulate and enact effective policies. By bringing together diverse viewpoints, JKCPRS seeks to foster an exchange of ideas and promote a culture of innovation and excellence in the field of public policy.

Jamal says the primary aim of our think tank is the generation of innovative ideas and having debates on matters of public policy, bringing together different viewpoints and thereby facilitating an exchange of views.

One of the primary areas of focus for JKCPRS is the education sector, as Jamal believes that quality education is imperative for any country to survive and thrive in the modern competitive world.

"Education is of paramount importance for any country to survive and thrive in a modern-day competitive world. Quality education is highly imperative. With this in mind, the think tank is dedicated to working towards the development of policies that will enhance the quality and accessibility of education for all," Jamal further said.

Jamal also said that while endeavours are being made to revolutionize our education system to bring about a positive change in society, yet there are many measures untaken to make our education system more vibrant.

He further said that the organization aims to become a catalyst for ideas that will help policymakers set the policy agenda and formulate effective policies that will benefit society as a whole.

"We aim at transforming the Indian education system to match the needs of the 21st century. Evidence-based analyses and recommendations are vital in the education sector to equip our education system to cater optimally to the 21st-century learner. By bringing together diverse perspectives and promoting productive debates, the think tank seeks to foster an environment of innovation and excellence in the field of public policy," Jamal added.

Jamal further explained, "We believe that quality education is the foundation of any successful society. That's why JKCPRS is dedicated to working towards the development of policies that will enhance the quality and accessibility of education for all."

With this goal in mind, the organization is committed to collaborating with policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders to develop policies that will ensure that every individual has access to quality education.

Arshad Hussain Lone who has worked on tribal issues in J-K said that tribal communities in India largely remained isolated from the mainstream of national life.

Tribal people live in remote rural hamlets in hilly, forested or desert areas where illiteracy, malnutrition, inadequate access to potable water, and lack of personal hygiene are quite common.

He said that J-K Centre for Peace, Research and Sustainable Development (JKCPRS) aims to have a rich policy, based on the feedback from tribal leaders, individuals, NGOs, and organizations in the public and the private sector, directed to secure all-round development of tribals. (ANI)

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