Srinagar: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Wednesday said the education sector in Jammu and Kashmir will be totally revamped to make it more research-oriented saying “the state has all the required ingredients to become an elite knowledge society.”

Praising the role of universities of Kashmir and Jammu in promoting advanced research in science, Sayeed highlighted the urgent need to improve the standards and quality of higher education in the state.

Sayeed, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, said: “J&K should be a place where people from the rest of the country, and even outside, will feel privileged to come for acquiring knowledge…the education sector will be totally revamped to make it vibrant and research-oriented.”

Sayeed was speaking at a special convocation held at the varsity here to felicitate Bharat Ratna and internationally- acclaimed scientific researcher C N.R Rao.

The CM highlighted the role of universities and other institutes of higher studies in developing ‘knowledge temper’ amongst aspiring students and said he cherishes the dream of making J&K the “knowledge capital” of the country.

“It needs to begin at the primary school level. No matter how big the seat of higher learning will be, it is ultimately the craving within the students that counts in making them exhibit their talent,” he said.

Describing human resource as the most invaluable asset available with him, he said: “We have to make our schools attractive and irresistible for our children and their parents. We can solve our problems only through education and we are committed to bring reforms in the system.”

Sayeed congratulated Rao and thanked him for accepting the Degree of Doctor of Science (HonorisCausa) from the University of Kashmir and dwelt at length on the remarkable contribution made by Rao as a researcher in the field of Chemistry and higher education within the country and abroad.

“I hope that many of the faculty members and students would feel inspired by his unstilted commitment to science and quality of work that he carried out over the years,” he said.

“J&K has the potential to grow. As many as 51 young boys and girls qualified IAS, IFS and IPS and other central service exams over the last few years, which is an encouraging sign,” he said.

Requesting Rao to associate himself with researchers and teachers of J&K as an “inspirational guide”, the Chief Minister urged the teachers in the institutes of advanced learning to be part of the knowledge movement that his government is about to launch.

He urged the parents and teachers to play their role in meeting the challenges of global benchmarks in education sector.

Asking the country to emulate the role of Wakaf property in promotion of higher education, Sayeed said the revenue generated by using the property has helped in creation of two excellent universities in the state.

He said these universities have laid the foundation for community participation in the promotion of education. “It could be a model for the country where huge Wakaf properties lie utilised or otherwise exploited,” he said.

Recalling the glorious history of Kashmir when it was known as ‘Sharda Peeth’, Sayeed said Kashmir had a unique distinction of having established a university right at the beginning of the Christian era.

He also mentioned in his speech the boost the education sector got during the reign of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin who established a great school known as “Urwat-ul-Wusqa”.(PTI)