In the first international summit after the abrogation of Article 370, Srinagar is gearing up to host the G-20 meeting and the preparations are in full swing in Jammu and Kashmir.
Among the 15 institutions in the country chosen to host Youth-20 and Civil -20 events which are being organised in connection with India's G-20 Presidency, the University of Kashmir (KU) is one of them. It's for the first time in the past 70 years that J-K would be hosting an international event like G-20.
KU has already held a C-20 working group meeting on the theme of 'Gender Equality and Disability', according to a report.
The report said that at the three sessions of the C-20 working group at the KU campus in Srinagar, the experts called for greater awareness of gender equality and inclusion of specially-abled persons in policies concerning their welfare.
KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Nilofer Khan presided over the opening session.
The C-20 is an official engagement group of G-20 providing a platform for Civil Society Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and government representatives to engage important stakeholders for a discussion on selected themes.
"The C-20 events will be followed by the Y-20 programs at the University of Kashmir. These events are being held in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision that calls upon the country to present its experiences, learning and models as possible templates for others, particularly the developing world, during India's G-20 Presidency," the report said.
Notably, the Youth-20 is a G-20 engagement group constituted in the run-up to Youth-20 Summit to be held at Varanasi in June 2023 and the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has decided to hold various seminars in universities across the country to disseminate the country's G-20 agenda to the wider public at grassroots.
"The Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Kashmir for organising pre-summit events as a prelude to the main Youth-20 Summit. Delegates from G20 countries will be participating in the Y20 event at KU," the report said.
The broader themes for the Y20 Summit, among others, include Industry 4.0, Innovation and 21st Century Skills; Start-up India Policy; National Education Policy-2020; India's Digital Revolution; Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction; National Action Plan on Climate Change; Peace Building and Reconciliation; Youth in Democracy and Governance, besides Health, Wellbeing and Sports, it added.
The hosting of one of the G-20 meetings in J-K has the potential to boost tourism and handicrafts in Kashmir by bringing increased attention and investment to the region.
"The G-20 has also recognized the importance of improving the living standards of the people of Kashmir. To this end, the organization has supported initiatives to provide access to education, healthcare, and other basic services," it said.
Hosting the G-20 meeting in Srinagar is also an opportunity for the government to showcase the development which Jammu and Kashmir witnessed after the abrogation of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Indian Constitution, three years ago.
"Till 2019, anyone who used to land in Kashmir was misled by the Pakistan-sponsored separatists," the report said.
"Ahead of India's taking over the G-20 presidency, Pakistan had launched a diplomatic campaign to block any G-20 event to be held in Jammu and Kashmir. But all its attempts went in vain as none of the G-20 countries paid any attention towards the hue and cry raised by Pakistan. Its claim that Jammu and Kashmir is a "disputed territory" had no takers. None of the countries objected to J&K being chosen as a venue for one of the scheduled G-20 meetings," it added.