In a significant initiative towards promotion of J&K’s official language, the Government today constituted the first ever State Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (SCPUL).According to an order issued by the Principal Secretary to the Government, Higher Education Department, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon, the Council will be headed by the Minister for Education. The non-official Members of the Council include Prof Hamidi Kashmiri, Prof Mohammad Zaman Azurdah, Prof Nazir Ahmad Malik, Prof Noor Mohammad Shah, Prof Ahmad QuddusJaved, Prof Zahoor-ud-Din, Wali Mohammad Aseer, Farooq Muztar, Khalid Bashir Ahmad and Javed Azar.The official Members of the proposed council include Vice-Chancellors of all Central/State Universities of J&K; Administrative Secretaries of Finance, School Education, Culture & Law Departments; Secretary, J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages; Director State Council for promotion of Urdu Language; Principal Information Officer; Director Colleges; HoD, Department of Urdu University of Kashmir; HoD, Department of Urdu, University of Jammu; HoDs of Urdu Department of MAM College Jammu, GDC Poonch, GDC Doda, GDC Baramulla, GDC Anantnag, Amar Singh College Srinagar, GDC Leh and GDC Kargil.Pertinently, the announcement for constitution of the State Council for Promotion of Urdu was made by the Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu on the floor of the State Legislature in his budget speech last month.“Urdu is not just the official language of the state and spoken in all its regions, it is also a vast repository of the cultural heritage of Indian sub-continent, popularly known as Ganga-JamniTehzeeb. Last year the Government had announced constitution of a Council for Promotion of Urdu Language. This could not get fructified in time. This year, the proposed Council will be formed without any further delay. I have set aside Rs 2 crore for the purpose,” Dr Drabu had said in his budget speech.