J&K COVID19 RESEARCH INITIATIVE 2020

WHY THIS INITIATIVE?

The ongoing corona virus crisis has resulted in unprecedented economic, social and psychological disruption in many people’s lives across the world. There is barely any unanimity of opinion among global scientific communities about how this virus would unfold in the coming days and also the nature and the intensity of probable impacts on human life.

Many societies around the globe have taken several initiatives to deepen their understanding about the nature of this crisis, and are brainstorming and researching how to better re-position our societies to better face this situation and secure the future of coming generations. In Jammu & Kashmir, independent and high-quality research, including data analysis and interpretation, about this situation is all the more important because the region’s vulnerabilities are myriad and complex.

Under this backdrop, Ziraat Times and its sister concern J&K Economic Conclave have started the “J&K Covid19 Research Initiative”, which aims to deepen the understanding about the possible social, economic and environmental challenges and opportunities that could unfold as a result of the Covid-19 crisis in Jammu & Kashmir.

KEY OBJECTIVES OF THE INITIATIVE

  1. Undertake objective, evidence-based research studies to obtain a clearer picture of the probable scenarios that could emerge in Jammu & Kashmir during and after the Covid19 crisis.
  2. Consider three probable scenarios – a ‘good case scenario’ (Assuming the Covid19 situation and its adverse social and economic impacts would remain with us for six months), a bad case scenario (Assuming a one year period for this crisis to persist)and a worse-case scenario (Assuming the Covid19 situation and its adverse social and economic effects would remain at peak for a 2-year period).
  3. Explore the immediate and medium-term outlook for food security, health care and education in Jammu & Kashmir.
  4. Analyse the overall business and trade situation vis-a-vis the above mentioned three scenarios in the country and within Jammu & Kashmir, including on tourism sector, and analyse the challenges and opportunities that the new situation might offer.
  5. Undertake high-quality analysis and interpretation of Covid-19 related information and data and make recommendations for minimizing adverse impact on Jammu & Kashmir, guided by global and local best practices.
  6. Research Jammu & Kashmir’s current fiscal situation and analyse how the three probable scenarios could affect the state’s revenue generation capacity, public taxation structure, borrowings and their cumulative impact on the people of J&K.
  7. Explore the challenges and the opportunities in the private education sector in J&K, identify the new technologies and pedagogies that could be embraced for minimizing educational, economic and psychological disruption among students and key stakeholders of the education sector in J&K.
  8. Analyse the likely scenarios in the financial sector in J&K, including the nature and extent of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs), lending potential of banks, risk exposure and the likely priority areas of lending in the changed circumstances.
  9. Systematically and sectorally, analyse the economic, social and psychological impact of long Internet shutdown and continuation of 2G Internet in Jammu & Kashmir.
  10. Evaluate the environmental dimension of Covid-19 and similar epidemics/pandemics and suggest ways and means for harmonized human-natural world interface in J&K. (This area would also analyse the impact of growing use of agro-chemicals in J&K’s food chain and evaluate the loss of bio-diversity and its impact on J&K.)

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS

(The steering committee is under expansion and this list will be regularly updated)

Mr Abdul Rashid Chadinoo, Managing Director Aarafh Foods and Spices. 
Mr. Baldev Singh Raina (Chairman, PHDCCI-J&K Chapter)
Dr Gazalla Amin (Entrepreneur)
Mr. G. N. Var (Chairman, J&K Private Schools Association)
Mr. Iftikhar Drabu (International Energy Expert)
Mr Izhan Javed (CEO, Fruit Master Agro Fresh Pvt Ltd, J&K)
Dr. Javaid Khan (Asstt Prof, Department of Economics, Kashmir University)
Ms. Khairun Nissa Shah (Director, World Trade Centre-India)
Mr. Manzoor Wangnoo (Chairman, Nigeen Lake Conservation Organisation)
Mr Mian Javed (Environmentalist, IFS-Rtd)
Mr. Mir Ashraf (President, Federation Chamber of Industries, Kashmir -FCIK)
Mr Mushtaq Chaya (Chairman, J&K Hoteliers’ Club and Mentor PHDCCI, J&K Chapter)
Mr. Niaz Shah (Proprietor ICE)
Dr Qasba Nabi (Former Commissioner SMC and Development Consultant)
Dr Qazi S. Azher (Associate Professor Michigan State University)
Mr. Shakeel Qalander (Former President FCIK)
Dr Sheikh Fayaz (Zhejiang University)
Prof. Siddiq Wahid (Academic and Former VC, IUST, Kashmir)
Dr. Suhail Naik (President, Doctors’ Association Kashmir-DAK)
Mr. Suneel Wattal (Corporate Consultant)
Mr. Vikrant Kuthiala (Businessman and former Director J&K Bank)
Mr. Arjimand Hussain Talib (International Development Specialist & Founding Editor, Ziraat Times)

HOW THE RESEARCH WOULD BE CONDUCTED?

This initiative aims to focus primarily on the social, economic and environmental dimensions of the Covid19 situation in Jammu & Kashmir, with an approach that is objective, inclusive, non-partisan and logical. The design of research studies shall follow the globally-recognized logic model approach. This initiative is not designed to delve into any political and geo-political issues.

Jammu & Kashmir has a large pool of intellectual resources which have valuable research acumen and insights into understanding of the unfolding socio-economic situation and valuable global experience. J&K Covid19 Research Initiative is an attempt to provide a platform to that resource, and engage in a collaborative exercise of research and reflection for the wellbeing of Jammu & Kashmir. Under this initiative, there will be several fields of study. Each field will have a team leader and editing expert/s. Anyone – research scholars, students, self-employed professionals, public job holders, businessmen, etc. – interested in research and analysis work in these areas, and can spare at least seven hours a week, is welcome to be a part of this exercise.

RESEARCH TOPICS

  1. Immediate and medium-term outlook for food security in Jammu & Kashmir. Covid-19 crisis:
  2. Current situation, possible future scenarios and the need for better preparedness in J&K.
  3. J&K’s fiscal situation: Probable scenarios in revenue generation, tax implications on people and borrowings.
  4. Post-Covid situation in Jammu & Kashmir: Likely challenges and opportunities in services and industrial sectors.
  5. New local, regional and global job market realities: Imperatives for repositioning and options before J&K.
  6. New challenges and opportunities in school and higher education sector in J&K due to Covid19 crisis.
  7. Financial sector in J&K: Changing dynamics, managing Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) and options in sustainable financing.
  8. Internet restrictions in J&K: Economic, social and psychological impact in Jammu & Kashmir.
  9. Environmental dimensions of Covid-19 in J&K: Minimizing J&K’s vulnerability to future pandemics.

HOW WOULD THE RESEARCH WORK BENEFIT THE POTENTIAL RESEARCHERS?

Such research work, besides helping our collective understanding of this crisis and how to navigate it better, is expected to help the research participants in strengthening their professional profile and, hopefully, help their personal growth trajectories as well.

The final products will be produced with full credit to the researchers, with Ziraat Times/JKEC mention as facilitators of the work. Due mention shall also be made of team leaders and editor/s of respective research studies.

ZIRAAT TIMES’ ROLE

In this initiative Ziraat Times shall be responsible for:

  • Providing overall facilitation and coordination of the exercise. It is also responsible for producing the draft concept note for the initiative, form the Steering Committee and nominate members for it. Members of the Steering Committee shall also recommend members for Technical Experts Group and Steering Committee itself. The final say about the membership of the Steering Committee shall rest with Ziraat Times.
  • Facilitating necessary online trainings/orientations to all research groups, providing technical support with developing structures for the research studies and draw work plans.
  • Supporting Experts Groups and Researcher Groups in accessing good quality data, information and facilitate contacts, wherever required, to relevant private and public data/information sources.
  • FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The initiative is envisioned to be a volunteer-based exercise. Everyone is expected to contribute his/her time and energy voluntarily to this work.

HOW TO VOLUNTEER

If you wish to be a part of this challenging and, expectedly, enriching exercise, just drop in an email at jkeconclave@gmail.com – with a few lines explaining your motivation to be part of this exercise, and how would you like to contribute to the initiative.