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Srinagar, Mar 29 (UNI) Urging the Centre to declare the Jammu and Kashmir a ''Special Education Zone'', Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) welcomed the decision to establish one of the five newly proposed Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) in the state.

A spokesman of the PDP, a partner in the Congress led coalition government, said given its serene environs and pleasant weather conditions, Kashmir has the immense potential of becoming a hub of modern educational facilities if premiere educational and technical institutions like IITs and IIMs were established here.

''The setting up of an IIM could be the significant beginning in that direction,'' he said and expressed hope that a central university would also be established in the state soon as has already been announced by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The spokesman has urged the government to identify and remove the intentional hurdles being created to sabotage the setting up of Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DAIICT) at Humhama for which all the formalities including identification of land were completed.

However, he said, unfortunately for some time now conscious attempts were being made by certain quarters in the government to sabotage this prestigious project.

Extension and expansion of latest educational and technological facilities to the state, the spokesman said would not only boost the skill and job prospects of the local youth, but would also contribute towards the economic prosperity of the state after having suffered immensely because of the turmoil.

''Even in the most trying circumstances, the State's youth has done it proud in whatever field they took a plunge and they now deserve a better deal to improve their career prospects,'' he said.

UNI BAS GL KN2023

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