Gulmarg’s Hoteliers Stare At Uncertainties


In Kashmir winters, when the temperature plummets to minus seven degrees and everything freezes to a halt, Gulmarg is the most happening place in the valley. The road to Gulmarg from Tangmarg is frequently jammed by the rush of locals and tourists. All the hotels are packed. When  you reach the main Gulmarg bowl, here’s what you are likely to see on any typical day in this season: tourists driving sledges down snow slopes; young children from different schools of the valley learning to ski; pony wallahs in large numbers taking tourists to different spots on their horses and adventurous skiiers leaving for backcountry skiing. A small, serene church at the centre of it all completes the landscape to perfection.

In this merry setting, a grim-looking young hotelier is standing outside his hotel.  He refuses to talk, fearing any word from him could jeopardise his hold on the hotel constructed by his grandfather in the 1980s after getting one kanal of land on lease from the government in 1978 for 40 years.

“I fear any sentence from me could offend the government and I will be the first one to be evicted from my hotel,” says the young hotelier, pleading anonymity.

Gulmarg Image by Photojournalist Abid Bhat
Image by Photojournalist Abid Bhat

The hoteliers in Gulmarg and Pahalgam who had taken lands on lease in 1978 will soon be hit by an order issued by the Lieutenant Governor’s administration in December last year asking them to “hand over the possession of the land taken on lease, failing which the outgoing lessee shall be evicted.” The government rolled out new rules under the Jammu and Kashmir Land Grant Rules-2022 legislation. For the past four years hoteliers of Gulmarg and Pahalgam have been asking for extensions on their leases.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha maintains that new land lease rules notified by the administration will benefit the common people. He dismisses political outrage in Jammu and Kashmir over a government directive to land leaseholders, saying the new laws would hardly affect 400 to 500 people. He is certain that it will not impact the poor.

On January 11, the J&K administration issued another order directing all the Deputy Commissioners to ensure 100 per cent removal of encroachments from state land, including roshni and kahcharai (grazing land) by the end of January 31. The order has created panic all across Jammu and Kashmir, with political parties seeking its withdrawal.

Under the Roshni Act, 2001, the transfer of ownership rights on state land was approved for 33,345.35 kanals (1 kanal= 0.8 acre) in the valley as against 3,14,810.18 kanals in Jammu. The approving committee fixed the total price of these lands at Rs 317.55 crore but only Rs 76.46 crore was deposited.

The Hoteliers In Gulmarg And Pahalgam Who Had Taken Land On Lease In 1978 Will Soon Be Hit By An Order Issued By The Lieutenant Governor’s Administration In December Last Year Asking Them To Leave.

However, the high court of J&K on 9 October, 2020, made all the transfers of land under the law as illegal, declaring the Roshni Act “unconstitutional.” Though there are review petitions pending before the Supreme Court and Jammu&K high court against the 2020 Roshni judgment of the High Court, the government has started eviction drives leading to protests in Jammu.

While it remains to be seen whether the government will budge under pressure in the case of the taking over of ‘grazing land’ and ‘state land’, the government is certain about auctioning properties in Gulmarg and Pahalgam whose leases have expired. Hoteliers were not expecting this blow.

Years ago, the late veteran journalist, BG Verghese, was the first to suggest that Gulmarg could become the Davos of South Asia. Later, when tourism started picking up in J&K, former chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, reiterated the idea during then Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s, visit to Kashmir in 2003. Economist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar on January 29, 2005 in his article “Get Ready for Davos 2035” pictured Gulmarg as apt for the annual economic forum meeting. There was optimism all around.

But then things can change at any moment in the valley. In the days leading up to 5 August, 2019, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government abrogated Article 370, it ensured that all tourists vacated hotels from Kashmir, including those in Gulmarg. At midnight, tourists and all non-locals were forced out of their hotel rooms and asked to leave Kashmir. Soon after the abrogation of Article 370, the only life in Gulmarg was that of stray dogs frantically moving from one hotel to another in search of food.

At present, there is relative peace in Kashmir with no incident of stone-throwing and protests taking place. Tourists are reportedly visiting Gulmarg in hordes.

A local politician of the Tangmarg area says that between 1990 to 1997, tourists were not visiting Gulmarg. In 1996, when Dr Farooq Abdullah took over as chief minister after a long spell of Presidential rule in J&K, he began encouraging tourism, asking those who had taken a 40-year lease in 1978 to construct hotels. However, real progress in the tourism sector started after 2002, when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took over as chief minister, says a local politician.

The Jammu and Kashmir Bank was generous in giving loans to Kashmiri businessmen who started constructing hotels. Around 20 hotels have come up in Gulmarg since 2004.  Till 2008, the tourism flow continued but after the mass protests of 2008, Kashmir witnessed a dip in tourism once again. In the protest years of 2010 and 2016 and during the lockdown of 2019, tourism was at an all-time low. “Yes, we had a lease for 40 years but we have availed less than 15 years of it in reality due to the turbulent situation. I am telling you with all honesty that since the government came up with an order not extending the leases and putting us on notice, I am taking anti-depressants,” says the hotelier. “I will have to sell my house to repay the loan that I have taken against my hotel in Gulmarg. Like others, I will be on the road,” he adds.

Gulmarg Was The Summer Retreat Of The British Punjab Elite. Its First Exploration As A Destination Is Credited To The Last Kashmiri Independent King, Yousuf Shah Chak, Who Gave The Place Its Name: Gul-Marg—The Meadow Of Flowers.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party leader and former MLA from the Tangmarg-Gulmarg area, Ghulam Hassan Mir, says the eviction drive in Gulmarg will be the biggest across India. “When the government says they have brought Kashmir at par with the rest of the country after August 5, 2019, the government should also apply the same rules as are in place elsewhere in the country,” says Mir, who was the tourism minister in the PDP-Congress government in the erstwhile state of J&K.

“In the rest of the country after the expiry of the lease, the leaseholder has the right to freehold. Why is it not being adopted in Kashmir?,” he asks. “I can feel the pain of these hoteliers who have brought tourism to Kashmir after taking loans from banks to raise infrastructure for tourists when no one was visiting Kashmir,” the former tourism minister adds.

Former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, was the first to criticise the government order on the grounds that the BJP was snatching land from locals and giving it to outsiders. Mufti went further, arguing that the government was adopting the Israel model in Kashmir­—divesting locals from land and giving it to the outsiders, making locals “strangers in their own land.”

Altaf Thakur, spokesperson of the BJP, says that hoteliers obtained land on lease in Gulmarg and Pahalgam and other places of Jammu and Kashmir because they had political affiliations with parties such as National Conference, PDP and Congress.  “Now it will be the common Kashmiri who will benefit from the auction. Political parties are creating an impression that Gulmarg will be given to outsiders. It will not,” says Thakur.

The government argues that under the Jammu Development and Srinagar Development Authorities, around 25,000 people have got land on lease. “Why is there so much fuss over 245 people whose leases have expired?” asks a senior official.

Mir takes a different view. “In the original Land Grants Act, 1960, there is a rule to extend the lease upto 90 years and these hoteliers have invested in the land taking that clause in the law into consideration,” he adds. “Otherwise why should they have invested their money  if they knew the government was not going to extend the lease,” he argues.

In Srinagar, businessman and PDP leader, Mohammad Iqbal Tramboo, says the elected government in the 1970s gave the land on lease after a proper auction. “All these hotels are not illegal but have tourism registrations,” he adds.

He concedes that among the hoteliers in Pahalgam or Gulmarg, some might have political connections but not everyone. “Majority of the leaseholders have nothing to do with politics or political parties. They invested in Gulmarg after taking loans from banks,” he adds.

In 1990, bank-borrowing in J&K was to the tune of Rs 700 crore. “Today it is Rs 60,000 crore in Kashmir and Rs 40,000 crore in Jammu. All these people who have land leases have taken loans against their running business properties. The day the government auctions their hotels, they will have to sell their homes to repay the loans,” Tramboo says. 

Gulmarg was once the summer retreat of the British Punjab elite. Its discovery is credited to the last Kashmiri independent king, Yousuf Shah Chak, who gave the place its name, Gul-Marg—the meadow of flowers. Until then, it was just another pasture. During the Raj, there were summer lodges and a civil surgeon stationed there. It has the second oldest golf club after Calcutta, east of the Suez.

This year, as many of the developed properties in Gulmarg will be up for grabs as there lease have expired, it will be seen to whom the Davos of Kashmir goes.

(This appeared in the Online edition of Outlook India, written by Naseer Ganai)

Nadia Shameem JKAS Success Story: Left studies, did low paying job to support family

Nadia Shameem

SRINAGAR: 25 -year-old Nadia Shameem of Adoora Baramulla has proved that no financial crisis, hardship and adversity can stop you from achieving your goal. Nadia, who cleared the prestigious Jammu & Kashmir Combined Competitive Examination, quit regular studies at very young age and took up a lowly-paid government job to support her family financially, but didn’t give up her dream of making it big in life.

Nadia said she did her schooling from Kekashan School, Handwara.

“I have done my initial schooling from Kehkashan School Handwara. After passing my 10th class examination, I got admission in the  Saint Joseph Baramulla for higher secondary education. I secured 3rd position in the entrance examination conducted by the institution for admission,” she said.

Nadia said she got admission in SKUAST Kashmir, but had to quit her studies after she was selected for a job of in the civil secretariat.

“I had to quit my studies due to financial constraints. I joined as an orderly in the civil secretariat to support my family,” news agency KNO quoted Nadia as having said.

Nadia said she continued her studies through distance mode after taking up the job.

“I completed my B.A (Hons) in Sociology from IGNOU because I wanted Sociology to be my optional,” she said, adding that she simultaneously started preparing for civil services.

“After getting into service, I got more insights and inspirations to be part of the service,” she added.

Nadia, who cracked the prestigious civil service examination in her maiden attempt, said her mother and her teachers were an inspiration for her.

“The motivation behind my journey was my mother, my teachers and my colleagues who had faith in me. Everybody would feel that I have the potential to do the best against all odds.  This thing kept the fire alive in me,” she said.

She said it was a bit difficult to balance between job and studies, but she managed.

“I would get up early to study and off days on Saturday and Sunday really helped me in preparation for the examination. I took earned leave right before Prelims, Mains and Interview,” she said.

Her mother Shameema, a housewife, says her daughter excelled in studies right from childhood.

“My daughter has been an amazing student. She bagged state-level positions in 10th as well as 12th class. She was loved by all her teachers and relatives for being extraordinary,” she said.

Shameema says her daughter was adamant to be financially independent.

“It was her decision to quit studies at SKUAST as she is a very responsible daughter. After taking up the job, she took up another challenge to clear the civil services examination. She qualified the examination. I am proud of my daughter,” she said.

What happened in Mushkoh Valley during Kargil war of 1999?


The Mushkoh Valley is a valley in Ladakh, India. Considered to be glaciated and unsuitable for human habitation, it came into prominence in 1999 during the Kargil conflict when Pakistan infiltrated troops across the Line of Control. The Mushkoh valley is the limit of at the western extremity of Ladakh, west of which lies the northern reaches of the Kashmir valley.

Hours after the legendary Captain Vikram Batra of 13 JAK RIF and his men crushed the enemy at a height of 16,087 feet to capture Point 4875 Mushkoh Valley, a team of paratroopers based in Agra was airlifted to Ladakh. Led by a Major from Agra, the men were ordered to capture Point 4700.

On July 7 afternoon, the team was asked to prepare for the battle.

The commander of the para company was initially instructed to create a base camp near Bakarwal (grazing area) of Mushkoh valley until his remaining men joined him. However, his mission soon changed to capturing Point 4700, which was nearly 5km away.

The famous Tiger Hill
The famous Tiger Hill

Unaware of the towering height, the Major made a bold decision to take only 30 men, who were of non-combat ground such as cook, laundrymen, clerk and even unfit men to conduct a recce and understand the terrain and help the assault team to preserve their energy for quick and decisive assault.
“Since the Point 4700 and the terrain towards it were unknown to them, the officer was ready to sacrifice himself and non-combat men in order to gather vital information of ground zero situation and enemy setup, which could have given advantage to the assault team,” said an officer.

“It was July 8 evening, when the team left for the mission. It was pitch dark night with bone-chilling cold, shivering and challenging steep climbing. They walked for the entire night and covered the majority of distance. In the day time, the team hid to avoid getting spotted by enemy troops and rested behind huge stones and ice walls. However, seeing his men exhausted, the team leader decided to continue the recce mission along with his shadow ‘buddy’ and asked the remaining team to stay put and guide the assault team towards Point 4700. The second night was unforgiving for the duo. To keep themselves warm and avoid becoming a victim of hypothermia, the leader and his buddy slept in one sleeping-bag after reaching as close as up to 800 metres away from Point 4700,” he says.

Hailing from an Agra village, the officer is the second generation of his family to join the Indian Army. His father retired as a subedar.
“Extremely exhausted, the para assault team reached the duo. Taking them further to capture the height at night could have turned fatal. Each man was carrying 30-40 kg of load with himself, that too on steep climbing. Such physical challenge is unbearable at times. Therefore, they rested in the night with a resolve to launch assault in the early hours of morning. With energy gained, they started to advance towards the height.

The Major was leading from front with a radio operator behind him and a paratrooper, Gopal Singh (23), but terrain was such that their hands were not on their weapons and suddenly the enemy started firing at them. The bullets passed left and right of them. In the encounter, the Major along with the radio operator lost their balance and skied into a gorge but were saved by a boulder.

However, Gopal engaged himself in retaliating fire, but he was later found with a bullet in his chest with a gun nozzle towards the enemy. In the meanwhile the company senior JCO (junior commissioning officer) presumed the team leader and radio operator dead and informed the same to HQ over the radio. However, the Major who heard the message on his radio, called HQ and informed about his status,” said a paratrooper officer.

“The situation turned more complicated for the radio man and Major, while they were attempting to climb back, as scree kept forcing them down. Moments later, they both lost each other in pitch darkness of the terrain and confusion caused by physical exhaustion. Their men were shouting to guide them, but due to echo in the valley Major was not able to locate them. Unknowingly, he started walking towards the enemy side, but uncertain about to whom he was approaching, he decided to stand where he was. Meanwhile, the radio man somehow managed to join the team back, where he was given immediate medical aid, while three men led by second in command (2IC), also a Major rank officer — armed with only grenades and three ropes of 300 feet length each came down, and hours later located him.”
Narrating further, the officer said, “Team leader was taken back to HQ. After debriefing by his seniors, he was given another team to lead and was asked to capture the height with assault from two sides, as the first team was already near point 4700. On July 11, at around 10 pm, the two teams led by the Major advanced towards the peak 4700. After heavy fire exchange, at around 2:30am on July 12 morning, the guns of enemy troops suddenly stopped. By 4am, the para team informed the HQ of capturing the peak. On reaching the site, they saw a large number of war like stores, gas masks, blood-stained clothes, and a huge cache of ammunition.”

“The 2IC was given a chief of Army staff commendation letter for his voluntary act of saving his leader and recovering the body of Gopal.” Gopal was given sena medal posthumously.

IUST Conducts Bakery training workshop


Awantipora: A 3-day training workshop on basic bakery organized jointly by the Skill and Capacity Development Cell, CIED IUST, and the Department of Food Technology began here today. The program aims to impart hands-on training to students from different Colleges as well as University in basic bakery thereby helping students in developing entrepreneurial skills.

The program was inaugurated by Registrar IUST, Prof Naseer Iqbal who highlighted the initiatives taken by the University in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.

IUST Conducts Bakery training workshop 1

Director CIED Dr. Parvez A. Mir talked about innovation culture and change in approach from “Job Seeker to Job Giver”. Dr. Tariq Ganie, Head Food Technology Department spoke about the scope in the field of Food Technology as well as the availability of facilities including NABL-accredited testing Laboratories in the department.

Dr. Darakshan Majid, Coordinator Skill and Capacity Development Cell explained the various entrepreneurship avenues available to the students and hoped that the students would find the workshop beneficial.

J&K Right To Information Act, 2005 – Editorial

RTI Act 2005

The objective of the Right to Information Act, 2005 is to empower citizens by way of promoting transparency and accountability in the working of the Government and eradicating corruption to make democracy work for the people in real sense. An informed citizen is well equipped to keep necessary vigil on the instruments of governance and make the government more accountable towards the citizens.

All government agencies come under the purview of the Act, and it contains mechanisms devised on multiple levels to ensure that the Act is followed in letter and spirit. Post-reorganization, the Right to Information Act, 2005 was made applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with a view to empower the citizen as a responsible and active participant in the workings of the Government.

Although significant strides have been made by the various departments, offices and other agencies of the Government in realizing the vision of the Right to Information Act, 2005, more steps need to be taken to usher in accountability in governance and fuse authority with accountability at all levels. The Act casts important obligations on public authorities so as to facilitate the citizens of the country to access the information held under their control.

It is accordingly enjoined upon all public offices to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of the Act ibid. and facilitate speedy dissemination of information to the information seeker.

All public offices shall sensitize their CPIOS on the important provisions of the RTI regime viz. Voluntary Disclosure of information, adherence to the prescribed timelines for disposal of RTI applications, prompt transfer of applications and appropriate disposal of appeals by the appellate authorities.

Further, all Administrative Secretaries/Heads of Departments/ Managing Directors shall conduct fortnightly reviews to ascertain the status of disposal of RTI applications received in their offices and furnish the compliance report in this regard to the General Administration Department.

These instructions are brought into the notice of all concerned for immediate compliance.

Swagatam Portal Registration, Login, Appointment

Swagatam Registration

Swagatam is an initiative by the Government of India to facilitate the common man. Swagatam facility enables the citizens to have a smooth and simple process of making an appointment. It will bridge the gap between the Government and the common man and will enhance the opportunity of a common man to meet a government officer, hassle free. It has advanced features of eliminating all the cumbersome and tedious procedure of making a request for an appointment and then visiting the premises.

We have shared a detailed Process of Registration, Login, and Other things required for the site in order to make an appointment with the Government official in any Secretariat of the Country.

Fixing appointment using

  • Visit website and register yourself with your mobile number and email id.
  • Direct Link to Register
Swagatam Portal Registration, Login, Appointment 2
  • On registration, the user gets a One-Time Password (OTP) on his / her Mobile phone. The OTP allows the user to confirm the registration;
Swagatam Portal Registration, Login, Appointment 3
  • Log in using registration details and select Office and officer with whom appointment is sought. Also input your preferred slots for date and time;
  • The request for meeting is submitted to the concerned officer. The concerned officer will schedule the appointment based on his engagements. The visitor gets email and SMS alert on his mobile phone as soon as the appointment is fixed;
  • Visitor logs into the system and prints his Gate Pass;
  • Visit the office at the appointed time. The Visitor may kindly take the entered Digital ID for his / her identification purposes; and
  • In the event of change of appointment timing, the Visitor gets SMS and email alert.

Direct Link to Login

Swagatam Login

Also Check: iGOT Karmayogi Portal Registration Process, Login, email ID

On- Boarding Procedure for an Organisation

  • The organisation Administration can login with the official email id with or
  • Verification will be done through OTP at the email id entered;
  • Submit the information as desired in t he form and generate the form as requested;
  • Get the application signed by the Administration of the organisation and upload the same the Swagatam;
  • Name, designation, contact details of a System Administrator (System Administrator would typically be managing the application for the organisation. He should be appropriately qualified / trained)
  • NIC will create the User id and Password and communicate the same to the Nodal Officer and System Administrator System Administrator of the organisation will get the Master Data of the employees entered.

Key Features

  • Solution for all Central, State and Public sectors offices;
  • Cloud based, multi – tenant;
  • Highly scalable;
  • SMS and email alerts for the visitors;
  • Allows Reception registering of visitors directly also; and
  • Query and reports to support management. – FAQs

How to Register on Swagatam Portal?

Follow the steps given in the first Paragraph of this article to make an appointment with any Government official in any secretariat of India.

Is Registration important for making appointment with government officials using Swagatam?

Yes, it is compulsory for the people of this country including the Government servants too.

How to reset the Password of Swagatam Account?

Swagatam Password Forgot

We have given the link to reset password of the Swagatam Account, Just open that Link and enter your given mobile number and then an OTP will be sent on your registered number and by entering the OTP on the required field you will be asked to change the Password of your Swagatam Account.

Early to Bed Early to Rise | Editorial

Early to Bed Early to Rise | Editorial 4

Early risers are often thought of as energetic problem-solvers leading businesses, organizations, or sometimes even nations. Ever wondered how a morning person can get so much done in only 24 hours? Waking up early gives you a head start on your day.

Night owls may disagree. They may argue that it’s possible to get extra work done at the end of the day. While this may be true for some, the vast majority of us are conditioned to be most productive during the early hours of the day.

The Science Behind Morning Wakefulness and Nighttime Sleepiness

Our bodies are designed to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin after dark. The sleep-wake cycle in our body is regulated by our circadian rhythms, our body’s internal clock, which works with the light and darkness around us. When our retina perceives light, it signals the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (our body’s biological master clock) to suppress melatonin production, causing wakefulness. We are naturally attuned to being more responsive and alert during morning hours and sluggish and sleepy at night.

9 Benefits to Getting Up Early

Before you get into the habit of waking up early, you should know the benefits that come along with it. If you are already an early riser, you know what the mornings bring, apart from the beautiful sunrise. However, for those who are not early risers, here’s a list of the many advantages.

Enhanced Organizing Skills

Your early morning hours tend to be the most productive time of day because you get uninterrupted time to yourself. You can accomplish any task faster when you don’t face distractions.

You can use this peaceful and quiet time to plan your day ahead, allocating a certain time frame for each of your tasks. Mentally working out your day before you start it enhances your organizing skills, promoting productivity.

Eat Healthy Foods

Waking up early gives you time to make a healthy breakfast. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, smoothies, salads, and fruit bowls only require a few minutes to prepare. Early risers have this time to prepare a simple and healthy breakfast for themselves and their family. If you wake up late, chances are you’ll be late for everything else, creating a domino effect.  When you’re running late, you’ll oftentimes pick up an easy-to-eat breakfast like a doughnut or muffin, or skip breakfast altogether.

Breakfast is an important meal, giving you the energy to start the day. Skipping this meal makes your body crave energy and you end up eating something high in sugar or fat to instantly satiate yourself.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising in the morning is considered best because it gives you an adrenaline boost. Adrenaline enhances alertness, helping you overcome the sleepy feeling. Moreover, if you’re in a morning exercise schedule there are fewer chances of missing it due to some other important task eating into its time. For example, if you exercise in the evening there are higher chances of missing it due to extra hours at work, a get-together with friends, or sheer exhaustion.

Beat Peak Traffic Commute

If you wake up early, you can leave your home early, beating peak traffic hours. You don’t waste time being stuck in traffic while commuting to work or dropping the kids off.  You’ll also be on time for all your other appointments throughout the day.

Stay Stress-free

Waking up early gives you the leisure to plan your day ahead. You aren’t rushing through your day in a haze with a cluttered mind. Planning ahead eliminates the stress that comes with rushing to get things done. Moreover, when you wake up early, you have more time for some stress-busting leisure activities, helping you start your day with a calm and composed mind. You are better equipped to prioritize and solve problems, the key to remaining stress-free throughout the day.

Enjoy Quality Sleep

Early risers tend to fall asleep faster. You don’t have to count sheep to sleep. When you wake up early, your body feels tired early, leading to quality sleep as soon as you go to bed. You get accustomed to the natural circadian rhythm, making you early to bed and early to rise.

Longer waking hours lead to sufficient accumulation of adenosine. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that causes sleepiness by inhibiting neuron activity. Waking up earlier leads to faster accumulation of adenosine, making you feel sleepy in the evening hours. Going to bed early improves your chances of completing all four stages of sleep through the four to six sleep cycles, making you feel well-rested and rejuvenated the next morning.

More Energy

Early birds have better sleep quality than night owls because they have higher chances of completing all stages of the required sleep cycles. They wake up with more energy than night owls, who usually don’t get enough time to complete all sleep stages.

Completing sleep stages and cycles improves both physical and mental well-being. Growth hormones, causing tissue repair and regeneration, are released during the deeper stages of sleep.

Feel Happier

When you wake up early, you reap the benefits of many good habits, leading to an energetic, well-rested, stress-free, punctual, and healthy you. You get a sense of order in life, making you feel happier. In fact, according to a 2012 National Library of Medicine study, healthy adults who woke up early had a more positive state of mind than night owls.

Better Grades

Getting up early may also improve your chances of scoring higher than others in academics. In a recent study, students who woke up early in the morning got better results than those who stayed up late. On average, the early birds got a full point higher in their GPA (grade point average) than the night owls.

Sleep Needs By Age

On average, a healthy adult usually needs 7 hours of sleep to feel well-rested, but your body’s sleep needs change with age. Here’s a breakdown of age-wise sleep needs.

AgeSleep Hours
0 to 3 months14 to 17 hours
4 to 11 months12 to 15 hours
1 to 2 years11 to 14 hours
3 to 5 years10 to 13 hours
6 to 13 years9 to 11 hours
14 to 17 years8 to 10 hours
18 to 64 years7 to 9 hours
65 years+7 to 8 hours

How to Wake Up Early

Now you know why  “early to bed and early to rise can make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” With this knowledge, you may be drawn by the idea of making your day more productive.

It may take you anywhere between 30 to 60 days to get accustomed to the habit of waking up early. Once you get used to your new sleep schedule, you won’t even need an alarm to wake you up.

Here we’ll share tips and discuss some steps to help you foster the good habit of waking up early, without compromising sleep.

Start Gradually

Set realistic expectations and don’t start with an unnatural hour while waking up early. It’s best to push the time gradually. For example, if you are used to waking up at 7 am, start by setting the alarm for 6:45 am. Once your body gets adjusted to this change, you can push it further by another 15 minutes. Going step by step will help your body better adapt to the change. When you wake up 15 minutes earlier than your usual time, you won’t resent the idea and give it up altogether feeling sleep-deprived.

Keep the Alarm Clock Away From the Bed

Keeping the alarm clock away from the bed decreases your chances of hitting the snooze button. Instead of keeping the clock on your bedside table, you can keep it on a shelf or a table on the other side of the room. When the alarm rings, you’ll have to walk up to it to turn it off. Taking those few steps to your alarm may help you shake yourself out of slumber.

Get Out of the Bedroom As Soon As You Wake Up

Your brain is conditioned to feel sleepy in the bedroom. Stepping out of the bedroom as soon as you wake up discourages you from going back to sleep again. Many night owls, while trying to become early risers, give in to the temptation of going back to bed when they spend time in the bedroom.

Motivate Yourself

Having a motivation to get up will help you wake up early. For example, you may want to wake up early to go to the gym, or to spend some time gardening. Whatever the motivation, try to keep something associated with it right in front of you. For example, you may keep your gym clothes or gardening gloves in a place where you can see them as soon as you get out of bed.

Reward Yourself

While training yourself to wake up early, you can incentivize the system. You can treat yourself to your favorite flavor of coffee or with extra time in the shower. Do something that you don’t usually do to make yourself feel special about your achievement of waking up early. Rewarding yourself helps you continue the practice diligently.

Follow Proper Sleep Hygiene

Develop a bedtime routine that tells your body it’s time to sleep. For example, take a hot shower, read your favorite book, or reminisce about the positives in your day. All of these help you unwind and prepare your body to sleep. Taking a warm water shower physiologically prepares your body for sleep. The warm water raises your body temperature and then as you step out of the shower, it drops immediately. When you sleep, your body experiences a drop in temperature, so a warm bath facilitates this process of sleep.

Stay Away From Blue Lights

Blue lights from the television or your electronic devices can suppress melatonin production. Insufficient or delayed production of this sleep-inducing hormone may negatively affect your sleep quality. To be consistent about waking up early, you need to sleep early.

Staying away from blue lights at least an hour before bedtime helps you achieve the goal of sleeping early. This practice also prevents you from scrolling through your phone, tablet, or binge-watching your favorite series. All these activities may further stimulate your brain, delaying sleep.

Be Kind to Yourself

If you feel under the weather or exhausted, be easy on yourself and don’t force yourself to wake up too early. This flexibility will prevent you from resenting the idea of waking up early.

Eliminate Excuses for Sleeping In

When you’re in the process of training yourself to wake up early, you may feel like sleeping in on a rainy or cold day. Try to avoid giving in to such excuses, because once you give in, it’ll be difficult to break out of the habit and you’ll have to retrain yourself all over again.

Eat a Light Dinner

Heavy and spicy meals may make you feel drowsy temporarily, but they take longer to digest, impacting sleep.

If the food doesn’t get digested well before you lie down, it may cause acid reflux and heartburns. Moreover, the extra calories get accumulated as fat in your body. It’s best to eat less than 500 calories for dinner. A light meal including lean meat or fish and some veggies should be enough to keep you full, preventing midnight snacking.

Eating tryptophan-rich food such as salmon, chicken, eggs, spinach, and nuts may promote sleep. The hormone melatonin is derived from this amino acid, tryptophan.

AIR – 213 Rank in 2020, IPS Nirja Shah fails UPSC Mains 2022, calls the exam ‘humbling’

AIR - 213 Rank in 2020, IPS Nirja Shah fails UPSC Mains 2022, calls the exam 'humbling' 5

Union Public Service Commission: UPSC declared the UPSC Mains Result 2022 yesterday, December 6, 2022. Amongst the various candidates who appeared for the UPSC Civil Services 2022 exam was IPS Officer Nirja Shah. Nirja Shah took to social media to share that despite clearing the UPSC CSE 2020 with AIR 213, she failed to clear the UPSC Mains 2022.

Nirja Shah, who is currently in the West Bengal cadre of the Indian Police Services. She cleared the UPSC Civil Services 2020 exam and secured the All-India Rank of AIR 213, at her third attempt. However, during her fourth attempt, Shah failed to clear the Mains exam and will not be moving on to the interview and personality test round.

Calling the exam humbling, Shah took to Twitter to share her reaction to the UPSC Result 2022. “Didn’t clear UPSC mains after getting Rank 213 in UPSC 2020, it’s genuinely humbling. You finally see that this exam is about so many factors beyond your control,” she tweeted.

Shah completed her Law Degree from Gujarat National Law University, GNLU Gandhinagar and also is a recipient of the LAMP fellowship. Nirja appeared for the UPSC CSE exam twice before clearing it. In her first two attempts, she failed to clear the UPSC prelims exam. However, in her third attempt at the UPSC Civil Services Exam, she managed to clear the exam and was recommended for IPS.

UPSC declared the UPSC Mains Result 2022 today, December 6, 2022 on the official website – A total of 2,529 candidates have been declared eligible for the personality test, whose dates would be announced in due course of time (Times Now News)*.

Depression A Serious illness | Editorial

Depression, A serious Illness

Depression is a very serious matter, which does not discriminate. Depression does not care what your age is, what gender you are, or even what your race or social class is. Depression can often make a person feel sad, helpless, hopeless, and irritable. It is normal for people to have these feeling sometimes, but some people cannot just snap out of it and this is the difference between what is normal and major depression. It is the determination and brutality of the emotions that determine the mental illness of depression from normal mood changes.

We are going to talk about different types of depression and how it can affect you. Depression is an illness that affects your body, mind, disposition, thought, sleep, energy, concentration, weight, and much more. Depression is not a mood, it is not a sign of personal weakness, and it cannot be simply willed away. Clinical depression is constant and can interfere significantly with an individual’s ability to function by emotional experiences of sadness, loss, or passing mood states. Clinical depression can be devastating to all areas of a person’s everyday life, including family relationships, friendships, and the ability to work or go to school.

Bipolar disorder (manic- depression) is a mood disorder, which means that the symptoms are abnormalities of mood. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of both serious mania and depression. Bipolar disorder can have a devastating impact on sufferer’s lives and can lead to suicide if it is not treated. Major depression is a more common illness, the symptoms of which are mainly those of ‘low’ mood.


Several things can cause depression; one of the causes can be attributed to a deficiency of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that signal from one nerve cell to another. The immune system of a depressed person is usually very low and therefore ineffectively responding to diseases, including cancer. The everyday stressors faced Nowadays By people have simply become too much for many to bear, and reasonably so. In recent years, taking an anti-anxiety

Medication or anti-depressant has become as common as taking a multi-vitamin.

How to Alleviate

Two amino acids are known to alleviate depression in many persons. They are tyrosine and L- phenylalanine. The two amino acids are a natural precursor of certain neurotransmitters.

Steps To Alleviate it Fast Suggested By (WHO) Self Medication Tips

  • Set goals
  • Exercise Daily
  • Eat healthy Food
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take on responsibilities
  • Challenge negative thoughts
  • Do something new
  • Try to have fun (it will release Dipomiane in Mind)


Article by Nadeem Mohammad Mir for, YOU CAN REACH OUT THE AUTHOR ON Email:- Twitter:- nadeem_mir04

Agriculture, Forestry graduates left with no Jobs in Jammu and Kashmir

SKUAST Kashmir Students Protest

Over the past many years, the J&K government has accorded approval to the authorities at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Science and Technology (SKUAST) for introducing more professional courses.

The professional courses were introduced with an aim to instil professional skills to the students and make them employable for new jobs and serve the society.

But the government’s failure to provide employment opportunities to the professional qualified youth graduating from SKUAST gets reflected in the resentment brewing among the pass outs of different departments of SKUAST- Kashmir.

Recently, the forestry graduates complained against the government over what they termed as flawed recruitment rules and scarcity of jobs.

Agriculture, Forestry graduates left with no Jobs in Jammu and Kashmir 6
Students of Sheri Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology (SKUAST holding placards during a protest on Wednesday, February 16, 2021. Kashmir Life Image by Shakir Ashraf

The forestry graduates are staging massive protests for last 1 decade over the eligibility criteria set by the government for different posts. This is not the only sector where the candidates after completing their professional courses land in a state of despair because of non-availability of jobs but almost every department is moving ahead with the archaic job policies which have no match with the new courses offered in colleges and universities.

The SKUAST started the Forestry course in 1995 and presently the intake capacity of the Faculty of Forestry, SKUAST-K is more than 50 for under graduate courses, 18 in post-graduate courses and 14 in P.hD.

All these courses were started after getting approval from the government, but the government has failed to review and amend the recruitment policies in order to create job opportunities for these youth. Though the course was started with a positive move in terms of strengthening the Forest sector, but it largely failed to address the purpose of providing jobs to the professional candidates.

Till the time over 1000 students have graduated from the Faculty of Forestry of SKUAST-K. Out of them around 250 students have pursued master’s degree while more tha 89 students have done their Ph.D from prestigious universities across India. But most of them are running from pillar to post to get the jobs.

Similarly, the undergraduate and postgraduate courses in horticulture were started in SKUAST-Kashmir in 2007 on basis of the consent from the government. But despite holding master’s degree and Ph.D in horticulture sciences the candidates are rendered jobless.

In SKUAST-Kashmir there are 7 faculties in place offering different undergraduate and postgraduate courses to the students. These include faculty of agriculture, agri-engineering, horticulture, fisheries, forestry, sericulture and veterinary science. Out of all these courses, only veterinary science is running smoothly which has comparatively better employment opportunities after completing their degree.

But the students in other faculties have become victims of official apathy. In case of fisheries department, at the time of any recruitment, the candidates having done masters or Ph.D in Zoology subject are also considered eligible for the fisheries posts in the government which are limited in number.

Same is the case with our faculty of forestry. The government invested crores of rupees to establish a faculty of forestry. The candidates who graduate from the department are thorough professionals as compared to those who have been recruited in the forest department decades ago and continue to run the department at higher positions. Ironically, all the candidates after completing their B.Sc, M.Sc and and Ph.D in forestry are rendered jobless as the government has no job policy for all of us as well.

SKUAST-Kashmir has produced well trained professional human resources which are fit to serve in the agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fisheries department.

People who are presently working in the department have done their degrees more than 30 to 40 years ago and it is also a fact that there has been no considerable improvement on ground in these sectors.

Government should create job opportunities for the young professional lot who have vast knowledge and better understanding of the issues and problems in forestry and other sectors. 

Depriving job opportunities to the professional graduates is complete injustice with them. If the government will continue to turn a blind eye towards this grave issue, these professionals have no other options than to get frustrated; any cold response from the government will discourage the young students to pursue their professional courses and they will switch back to the archaic non-professional courses at undergraduate and post gradation level.

The authorities at SKUAST have written letters and official communications to J&K Public Service Commission (JKPSC) and government to revisit the eligibility criteria of candidates in these departments. We cannot blame the University for the dearth of jobs, because the job of the university is to train and teach the students and make them eligible to serve in the government department.

It is high time for the government to take a review of the recruitment policies and create employment opportunities for the unemployed professional youth possessing professional degrees. Let there be jobs not the liabilities.

(By: Tanveer Ahmad Rather | The writer is a Ph.D scholar at SKUAST-Kashmir, via-ZiraatTimes)