“The government is working on the development, promotion of spiritual tourism”
‘SMVD Gurukul is a center of knowledge and wisdom’
Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha attended the celebration of the 37th founding day of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and the 12th annual day of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Gurukul, Charan Paduka, Katra today at the Matrika auditorium of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University.
On this occasion, Sinha laid the foundation stone for various shrine council and gurukul projects, including a new hostel and accommodation facilities for shrine council employees in Ardhkuwari and Banganga.
In another important welfare measure for sanctuary board employees, Sinha announced hardship pay for 1,450 SMVDSB employees stationed at higher elevations. It also deployed a new RFID system for the convenience of worshipers. The system will provide seamless access control with minimal hassle for worshipers. For better crowd management and tracking of Yatries, 29 counters and control rooms have been installed in Katra. Verification counters have been set up at seven locations on the track.
He was further informed that the works on the spiritual theme park will start before the start of the Navratras.
Addressing the gathering, the Lieutenant Governor congratulated all members, stakeholders and others associated with the Board of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Gurukul on the Foundation Day.
Observing that the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Gurukul is a center of knowledge and wisdom, he said that the Gurukul is a perfect medium to train future leaders who will be well acquainted with modern, traditional and spiritual education.
For the past 12 years, the Gurukul has paved the way for a strong spiritual and cultural foundation at J&K. Gurukul’s affiliation with Central Sanskrit University in New Delhi is an important step for the revival of Sanskrit in J&K and for connecting students to science and spirituality, he added.
“At Gurukul, we should encourage original ideas among students and nurture their spirits so that they can learn higher life values and devote themselves to nation building. We should strive to bring about necessary changes to the program in accordance with the National Education Policy,” the Lieutenant Governor urged all stakeholders.
“During the past two years, we have tried to reshape the education system of J&K in accordance with the national education policy. Work has been done to develop all institutions, from school level to university level, as centers of shift in consciousness. Today, our young people are prioritizing service to society as well as personal aspiration and this is a noticeable transformation after a long time,” he added.
“We have launched several important initiatives over the past two years, including the flagship ‘Student-Teacher Tutoring’ program which is a revolutionary step towards improving learning outcomes by identifying learning gaps. In the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Gurukul also, teachers will have the opportunity to radically change their teaching methods by assessing the needs, abilities and interests of students. This will also lead to commensurate changes in the curriculum to inculcate ideas based on future requirements, he continued.
The Lieutenant Governor appreciated the management’s efforts for Central Sanskrit University affiliation and the expansion of the Gurukul with respect to student admission.
He also highlighted the measures taken to meet the needs of the 8-9 lakh devotees who visit the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine every month.
“On this occasion, we must also recall the key role of Shri Jagmohan ji, former Governor of the former J&K, in the constitution of the SMVD Sanctuary Council,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
“Keeping in mind the strong rush of devotees, we are constantly improving the facilities to make their pilgrimage hassle-free. In the past two years, new projects have been sanctioned for better facilities and resources and significant measures have also been taken for crowd management at the Holy Shrine. Work on Sky Walk will be complete by December,” the Lieutenant Governor said.
“The Memorandum of Understanding between the National Highway Logistics Management Limited (NHMLL) and the Katra Development Authority which was signed on August 30, 2022 will establish one of its intermodal stations for enthusiasts bringing services like the heliport, train station , bus stop, automatic stop, parking lot, five-star hotels and other modern facilities in one place,” he added.
Listing a host of new initiatives being taken to ensure pilgrims around the world benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and further strengthen the link between the local economy and pilgrimage, the Lieutenant Governor said the government was working to development and promotion. of the spiritual tourism circuit. “Efforts are being made for the conservation and revitalization of spiritual cultural heritage and to bring prominent spiritual and religious places like Purmandal-Utterbehni, Mansar-Surinsar and Shiv Khori into the country’s religious tourism circuit, which will also generate livelihood opportunities for residents,” said the Lieutenant Governor.
“No less than 18 conservation projects of places of spiritual cultural significance have been started in Jammu, Kathua, Ramban, Reasi, Samba, Udhampur which have been neglected for years. After waiting seven decades, all these sites will be restored and the surrounding infrastructure will also be developed and comprehensive and holistic development of the entire area will be ensured,” the Lieutenant Governor added.
The Lieutenant Governor also said that strict action will be taken in accordance with the law against those guilty of alleged irregularities in the examination for recruitment of the sub-inspector, financial accounts assistant and junior engineer.
“There were complaints of irregularities in the recruitment examination of the sub-inspector, the assistant accountant and the junior engineer. A high-level committee investigated the allegations without delay and in view of the recommendation of the committee, the investigation of these three reviews has been handed over to the CBI,” Sinha said.
“I want to assure the young people that there will be no compromise on transparency and merit. Justice will be ensured, their ability and merit will be respected and strict measures will be taken against all those elements who have tried in such a way unethical to harm the future of deserving aspirants,” he added.
Mahamandleshwar Shri Swami Vishveshvaranand Giriji Maharaj, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Member and Chairman of the Board, observed that in a short period of 12 years since its inception in 2010, the Gurukul has made a name by providing quality education in Sanskrit. and other subjects and expressed confidence that very soon it will emerge as a center of excellence.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, in his remarks acknowledged the unprecedented emotional connection to the shrine and commended the achievements made so far. He stressed the need to promote an enjoyable and hassle-free experience for visiting pilgrims.
Sh Anshul Garg, Managing Director of SMVDSB, in his welcoming remarks, highlighted the initiatives taken under the leadership of the Honorable Lieutenant Governor to facilitate pilgrims initiated in a very short time by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board as the mobile app, Pooja Prasad / Panch Mewa Prasad home delivery, 24 hour call center for yatri facilitation, installation of high-tech video walls, construction of Durga Bhawan, e-library, queue management Yatri (Sky walk) queue, underground wiring project and RFID project.
He also thanked the Chief Secretary for giving his full support to the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board in times of need. He also briefed the assembly on efforts to continue to improve the functioning of the Gurukul.
Dr. Dhananjay Mishra, Director of the Gurukul, presented the institution’s annual report while the students of the Gurukul performed an impressive Sanskrit play titled “Bharat Vijayam”, which was highly praised by the audience.
The Lieutenant Governor congratulated deserving students who have excelled in academics and various other extracurricular activities over the past year.
He has also published a book titled “Gurukulodayam”, which traces the founding and development of Gurukul as a Sanskrit learning institute. He also opened a photo exhibit that captured the pilgrim-centered services and social support interventions of the shrine council since 1986.
On this occasion, the Lieutenant Governor also laid the electronic foundations for the new catering and accommodation complex at SMVD Gurukul and the Nature Interpretation Center and Seed Bank of Kunia Nursery, Panthal.
An impressive presentation of the Bhagawati Stuti cultural program, Bhajans, by the students was one of the main highlights of the event.
Sanctuary Board Members: – Sh Baleshwar Rai; Dr. Ashok Bhan, Dr. Neelam Sareen, Sh Suresh Kumar Sharma, Sh Raghu K. Mehta; Teacher. Shrinivasa Varakhedi, Vice-Chancellor, Central Sanskrit University Delhi; Teacher. (Dr.) Ravindra Kumar Sinha, VC SMVDU; Dr. Sanjeev Jain, VC Central University Jammu was present on the occasion.
Padma Shri Vishwamurti Shastri, SMVD Gurukul Director; Sh Mukesh Singh, ADGP Jammu; Sh Ramesh Kumar, Jammu Divisional Commissioner; Ms. Babila Rakwal, Deputy Commissioner Reasi, in addition to students, faculty members and prominent citizens also attended the ceremony.