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 said in Kathua today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to strengthen grassroots democracy in Jammu & Kashmir.Speaking at a series of programmes during his visit to Kathua, the Union Minister said, the consistency, conviction and commitment with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi places Jammu & Kashmir on a high priority is reflected in the fact that even during his Independence Day address from the ramparts of Red Fort on Sunday, he referred to Jammu & Kashmir more than once. The Prime Minister not only mentioned the delimitation exercise currently underway but also referred to the plans of holding election to the Legislative Assembly in the times to come, he said.Dr Jitendra Singh said, right from the first day, when he took over as Prime Minister in 2014, Narendra Modi has made it clear that he would bring all the peripheral regions of the country like Jammu & Kashmir and North East at par with the rest of the country. The passion and intensity with which he has worked towards this goal is borne out by the fact that in order to ensure the elections of Panchayats in Jammu & Kashmir, the Prime Minister not only demonstrated an uncompromising determination but later also made history by holding the first-ever District Development Council election in Jammu & Kashmir, he said.
Today not only Jammu & Kashmir is on the fast track of development in the last few years, said Dr Jitendra Singh, but a conscious effort has been made to ensure that there is equitable development of every region. This, he said, was also mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address on Sunday, while referring to Jammu & Kashmir.While earlier, the Minister said, there often used to be complaints of discrimination in allocation of funds and projects to Jammu region, today, on the contrary, many of the projects which were sanctioned simultaneously for both the regions have progressed faster in Jammu region because of the peculiar circumstances in the Kashmir region. In this respect, he referred to AIIMS in Jammu where second batch of MBBS has started, while in Kashmir, it is yet to take off and similarly, the first phase of Ring Road is already dedicated to public in Jammu, while in Kashmir region the Ring Road project is yet to take off.Dr Jitendra Singh referred to North India's the first-ever Biotech Industrial Park set up in Kathua, which is going to become functional in next few months while, he said, the Department of Space and ISRO have set up first-ever academic Department of Space Technology and Research at Central University, Jammu.During the day-long visit, Dr Jitendra Singh also visited Government Medical College, Kathua, where he inaugurated the newly set up Oxygen Plant under PM Cares and also inspected the facilities at the Vaccination Centre. He also contributed a portable Ultrasonography machine to the hospital from his MP fund.During the visit, Dr Jitendra Singh also visited an outlet HatliMorh set up for providing free ration to the needy under Pradhan MantriGaribKalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), where he provided free bags from his personal resources to the beneficiaries. He said, it is the vision of PM Modi because of which not a single citizen of India was allowed to go to sleep hungry and free ration is being provided to the needy across the country.Dr Jitendra Singh also convened a joint meeting of the District Administration, the DDC and prominent citizens at Kathua, where he reviewed the progress of various ongoing works and also called for close interaction and integration between the administration and the citizens.Later in the evening, Dr Jitendra Singh handed over trophies to the winners of the Girls Cricket Tournament, which was organized at his initiative as Member of Parliament.