A high level Central team comprising of senior officers of the Government of India, led by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, today visited the venue of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally on the 24th of this month at Palli Panchayat, Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.

As already reported, the “Panchayti Raj Diwas” this year is being organised by the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Science & Technology, the Department of Biotechnology and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India.

The prominent among those who accompanied the Union Minister to Palli Panchayat included Chetan Prakash Jain, CMD, Central Electronics Limited, PSE under Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Union Ministry of Science and Technology, which is in the process of setting up of a Solar Plant in the Palli Panchayat in a record time of 20 days. The 500 KV Solar Plant is being installed on a total area of 6,408 square metres and will provide clean electricity and light to 340 houses in the Panchayat, thus making it the first Carbon Neutral Panchayat under the Government of India’s “Gram Urja Swaraj Programme”.

The other senior Central Government functionaries who accompanied Dr Jitendra Singh included Sunil Kumar, Surveyor General of India, Dr Purnima Rupal, Senior Scientist from CSIR, Union Ministry of Science & Technology, Dr Dev Priya Dutta senior Scientist from Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India, Dr Sreenivas Reddy, Director IIIM-CSIR Jammu, Dr Vaishali Punjabi and Dr Richi Senior Scientists from Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, Dr Vipin Kumar Director, National Innovation Foundation, Gandhinagar Gujarat, Dr Bharat Bhushan, Dr Gaurav Jain and Dr B K Tyagi, from Vigyan Prasar, Union Ministry of Science & Technology, among others.

A team of senior J&K officers led by Additional Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo also interacted with the Central team at the site of the programme at Palli Panchayat.

Speaking to media after the visit, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the choice of Palli Pancyat as the venue of the national level Panchayati Raj Diwas indicates the high priority given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Jammu & Kashmir and the Modi government’s focus to strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in the Union Territory. He said, Prime Minister Modi will be undertaking this visit for the first time after the first-ever election to the District Development Councils held in Jammu & Kashmir 70 years after independence.

Prime Minister Modi, said Dr Jitendra Singh, has been over the last 8 years reiterating his government’s commitment to establish grassroots democracy in Jammu & Kashmir, with focus on development and equitable distribution of resources among all sections of society and all regions. He recalled that soon after becoming Prime Minister, one of the first major programmes of PM Modi was the inauguration of Railway Station at Katra and soon thereafter when the entire Srinagar city was under flood water, he chose to spend his first Diwali as PM in 2014 among the flood victims of the Valley, which reflects his sensitive concern for the people of Jammu & Kashmir.

Living up to the spirit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concern for rural upliftment, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Union Ministry of Science & Technology headed by him will endeavour to showcase during the Panchayati Raj Diwas, some of the latest scientific innovations, which are applicable for rural development and upgraded agricultural farming but are somehow not being adequately used in this part of the country. He said, there will be an attempt to exhibit Drone Technology in Agricultural farming, Aroma Mission & Purple Revolution Floriculture mission, modern uses of Bamboo, wastewater management, etc.