Four university campuses approved for FATA

FATA university is the first ever University in the semi-tribal area and was set up in 2016 In Darra Adam Khel. The government has decided to establish four university campuses in FATA region.(Photo courtesy: FATA university website)
Updated 19 March 2018
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Four university campuses approved for FATA

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s government has decided to establish four university campuses in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
FATA University, the first ever university in the region, was set up in 2016 in Darra Adam Khel, a semi-tribal area infamous for the manufacture and sale of weapons.
Four campuses of FATA University — one each in North Waziristan, South Waziristan, Bajaur and Khyber — have been approved, university Vice-Chancellor Dr. Tahir Shah told Arab News.
Campuses will be set up in other areas in due course, said the university’s deputy director of planning and development, Naveed Tariq.
“Almost a month ago, we visited North Waziristan and Bajaur to select sites for the campuses,” he told Arab News.
“On Friday, we visited Khyber for the same purpose. The visit to South Waziristan… is likely soon.”
Meanwhile, the FATA Grand Alliance, a union of tribal elders, has called for the reopening of colleges that were closed when the army launched an operation against the Taliban.
“Four colleges in North Waziristan alone… remain closed since the army launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the militants,” alliance Chairman Malik Khan Marjan told Arab News.
Besides reopening the closed colleges, the government needs to launch another university, as well as medical and engineering colleges in every tribal agency, he said.
“This is the only way to educate the tribals, who have long suffered displacement and wars,” he added.


India’s ruling party seeks to energise workers after state losses

“We realize that rural distress and employment generation are the key issues and we are working on them,” said BJP spokesman Gopal Krishna Agarwal. (AFP)
Updated 14 December 2018
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India’s ruling party seeks to energise workers after state losses

  • The government announces so-called minimum support prices for most crops to set a benchmark

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling BJP will try to canvass and galvanize its activists across India before a general election due next May, after losing power in three heartland rural states, senior leaders said after a meeting on Thursday.
Disgruntled voters blamed the slow pace of job creation and weak farm prices for the Hindu nationalist party’s defeat in the states, two of which it had ruled for three straight terms.
“We realize that rural distress and employment generation are the key issues and we are working on them,” said BJP spokesman Gopal Krishna Agarwal, who attended the meeting. “They’ll have to be tackled, and we will take suggestions from wherever needed.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) various wings — representing women, farmers, lower castes, Muslims and young members — will all hold deliberations after losses in the supposed stronghold states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
“These meetings are aimed at preparing for the 2019 election and spreading the party’s message in various sections of society,” Bhupender Yadav, a BJP national general secretary, said after the meeting, which he said had been scheduled before the state election results came out on Tuesday.
He also announced that a planned national convention would be held in New Delhi on Jan. 11 and 12.
Senior BJP minister Nitin Gadkari told the ET Now business channel on Thursday that the agriculture sector may have been neglected under their government.

JOBS AND FARM PRICES
Agarwal, a chartered accountant who is also a director in a state-run bank, said increasing lending for job-generating small businesses was a key focus, as was enhancing procurement of grain from farmers by government agencies at state-mandated prices so there are no distress sales.
The government announces so-called minimum support prices for most crops to set a benchmark, but state agencies mainly buy limited quantities of staples such as rice and wheat at those prices, restricting benefits of higher prices to only around 7 percent of India’s 263 million farmers, according to various studies.
Following the state election setbacks, Modi’s government is expected to announce loan waivers worth billions of dollars to woo farmers, government sources told Reuters this week.
Agarwal said the party’s loss in Madhya Pradesh, known for multiplying agriculture production under three BJP governments, has reinforced its realization that higher output helps consumers by bringing down prices, but can badly hurt farmers.
“The focus has so far been on consumers, like importing onions when prices shot up,” Agarwal said. “Now we need to look at the producers, not just the consumers.”
He also said there was a case for fiscal stimulus, given that inflation fell to a 17-month low in November. Food inflation sank to a negative 2.61 percent from a negative 0.86 percent in October, according to official data released on Wednesday.