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India’s Journey Toward an Inclusive Digital Nation

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are rapidly establishing themselves as a thriving hub for agricultural startups, riding the wave of the “Purple Revolution,” a pioneering initiative focussed on lavender cultivation. Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh, recently highlighted the success of this agri-tech endeavour, underscoring its impact on the national landscape.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

As Jammu and Kashmir progress in their digital transformation journey, the integration of critical services into the Public Service Portal aligns with the government’s broader effort to leverage technology for the benefit of citizens.

The “Purple Revolution” exemplifies how technological innovation in agriculture can become a catalyst for economic growth, offering a blueprint for inclusive and transparent governance in the digital era.

The Republic Day tableau, showcasing lavender farms in Bhaderwah, served as a powerful testament to J&K’s emerging status as an agritech hub. The “Purple Revolution” has garnered nationwide acclaim and is inspiring similar initiatives in other Himalayan states, including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Nagaland.

Bhaderwah, a picturesque town in district Doda, has become the cradle of the Agri Startup hub, with lavender cultivation taking centre stage. Prime Minister Narendra Modi shed light on the Aroma Mission spearheaded by the Ministry of Science & Technology. This mission, which involves cultivating lavender on a large scale, provides India with an alternative source for economic growth.

Over 3,000 lavender entrepreneurs from Bhaderwah are redefining agricultural entrepreneurship, setting an inspiring example for the youth of India. The success of these startups contributes to the realisation of the vision of “Viksit Bharat” by 2047, offering a lucrative avenue for self-employment through agricultural innovation.

Dr Singh, addressing a Kisan Sammelan organised by CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine in Hiranagar, Kathua, expressed delight at the recent depiction of Bhaderwah’s lavender farms at Kartavya Path. He celebrated the success of the “Purple Revolution,” noting that states like Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Nagaland have followed suit, engaging in lavender cultivation inspired by J&K’s Aroma Mission.

The lavender revolution has not only garnered attention for its economic potential but has also become a model for promoting India’s ‘Startup India, Stand Up India’ initiative. Dr Singh emphasised that the number of startups in India has surged past 1.25 lakh, showcasing the country’s evolution as a global player in this field.

The Aroma Mission’s success lies in the government’s unwavering support, as highlighted by Dr Singh. Prime Minister Modi’s vision for a startup-centric India, coupled with strategic efforts, has transformed the agricultural landscape. Lavender-made products from J&K are now sold in large quantities in states like Maharashtra, generating substantial revenue for producers.

Dr Singh urged the youth to embrace the agri-startup ecosystem, emphasising its potential to contribute to economic value addition. The Public Service Portal, an initiative under the Ministry of Science & Technology, is set to become a crucial enabler for budding entrepreneurs, providing them with easier access to information, transactions, and government services.

India is committed to fostering inclusivity, serving all communities and regions and empowering women in the tech sector, providing opportunities for skill development in alignment with the country’s digital transformation goals.

In a notable celebration of Republic Day 2024, over 250 women workers from leading electronic manufacturing companies participated, highlighting India’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The event, organised by government bodies, recognised the valuable contributions of women in the sector, emphasising their reliability and commitment.

The women workers expressed gratitude for the platform provided, showcasing India’s dedication to empowering women in technology. A special training workshop during the celebrations focused on upskilling and reskilling, aligning with Digital India’s goals for talent development in the electronic manufacturing sector.

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