Kashmir, the integral part of the largest democracy on Earth, is known to the world for its pristine beauty which has been tumbled down under the garb of Pakistan sponsored terrorism, pseudo concept of ‘Azadi’ and the fanatic religious fundamentalism over the period of time due to political compulsions and gluttony of ‘Pakistani Political Leadership’ which tried to disturb the peace in Kashmir in the name of religious identity, that affected the health of Kashmir, due to which it lagged behind as compared to other states of India, especially, in the field of ‘Modern Education’, ‘Rationality’ and ‘Development of Scientific Temperament’. The peaceful land of Kashmir in ancient times has been a key contributor in rich & diverse Indian culture, education and traditions beyond the geographical boundaries as mentioned by the Scottish historian, John Mackenzie, “Kashmir has enriched the globe code of conduct with its conviction of Dharma, virtue of peaceful co-existence, and belief in the theory of Karma…”. Kashmir was the land where people from all sects lived peacefully that empowered the Kashmir to etch its name in the field of education and enrichment of glorified culture across the world in golden letters till the advent of ‘Pakistani Sponsored Terrorism that affected the modern education system in the valley.Schools and edifying establishments have existed in Kashmir in all epochs for last many centuries but they were less reachable to some sections of society in some rules in the recent pasts due to religious restrictions imposed by some potentates. In post-independence period after 1947, political turbulences, conservative societal brashness, ignorance and lack of amenities affected the modern education arrangements in Kashmir. In nutshell, till 2008, Kashmir had a very short period of progress, peace and happiness due to which it lagged far behind in generating modern education institutions for the progress of minds based on methodical characters. In recent past, to break the predicament of progress of Kashmir, the ‘Central Government’ proposed the triad of ‘Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhuriyat’ but this inventiveness turned out to be only virtual for the want of political plums from state leaders. During all this pandemonium time in Kashmir, Indian Army was one of the frontrunners that was immensely contributing towards the inclusive development of Kashmiri youth as a ‘Ray of Hope’ by the means of various projects under ‘Operation Sadhbhavana’ viz running of ‘Army Goodwill Schools’ since 1990 at various remote places which over a period of time have produced many intellectual students who are exploiting their talent at national-international levels. Overall, Indian Army till date has established 43 ‘Goodwill Schools’ in isolated areas; approximately, one lakh fifty thousand plus students have benefitted in last 22 years; roughly, 14,500 students are currently obtaining excellence in education in primary, secondary & higher secondary levels; around, 1500 students from economically feeble segments are receiving scholarships and nearly 1000 teaching and non-teaching staffs are active in various ‘Goodwill Schools. Stimulated by the constructive results, additional education initiative was started under “Kashmir Super 50” for preparing students for NEET and JEE, to the under privileged children of the valley. The result is very promising with 100% success rates. Many of the alumni are perusing their ‘Medical and Engineering Degrees’ from various renowned institutions from India and abroad.Many reports claimed that, the central government since 2008 has put Kashmir on the through fare of economic growth which is further boosted after the abrogation of Article 370. The vision of ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ and investment in the field of education towards achieving the goalmouth has created the positive spirit in ‘Kashmiri Youth’ which is materialising into results on ground as the percentage of ‘Kashmiri Youth’ in institutions and competitive exams like IIT, IIM, NEET, NIFT, CLAT and AILET for Law studies and various UPSC exams is on the rise since 2019 apart from admissions in various renowned private institutes. Not only academics, but ‘Kashmiri Youth’ are also inscribing their footprints in sports and in other futuristic fields at National and International level. The change in attitude for the positive growth and sense of commitments towards responsibilities in the mindset of civil administration has contributed immensely for the improvement of educational and skill development standards in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. Lot of initiatives have been taken and are being taken to enable schools and increase intake dimensions of educational institutes specially in far flung areas of Kashmir not only through government establishments but also by the private players since 2008.As per the report, in 2018-19, J & K’s gross enrolment ratio in higher secondary level was 42.4 percent and in 2020-21 the digit touched 50.1 percent. Similarly for the secondary level, in 2020-21 it was logged as 59.8 percent against 2018-19’s 58.7 percent. It is pertinent to note that, before 2019, the enrolment in schools was plummeting. However, after the Abrogation of article 370, the enrolment has amplified by 14.2 percent in Government Schools. Before 2019, J & K tiered 17th in the ‘National Achievement Survey’, in 2021-22 it has been boosted to 6th position at national level. Notwithstanding of two years COVID-19 pandemic, the ‘School Education Department’ has done incredible work and 1.24 Lakh boys and girls have been enrolled for initial infantile attention and edification. In past two years only, 2000 Kindergartens, 1420 Vocational Training Centres and 28 Residential Girl Hostels have been established, 12,000 teachers have been trained, and more than five lakh pupils have been given new education ingredients like ‘Collaborative Tablets, Robotics Laboratories, Digital Schoolrooms, Atal Tinkering Workrooms etc’. As per the statements given by numerous government bodies, J & K is on the track of evolving as a ‘National Educational Hub’, that will provide ‘Educational and Employment Opportunities’ for the youth to take all strata of the society towards comprehensive progress which will support in tumbling the religious fundamentalism & radicalization and creating true spirit of independence (Azadi) in the heart and minds of the Kashmiri people. Education is the first and foremost right of all human beings. Education gives strength for achieving future with positive outlook and make human being optimistic. The belief in investing in future of youth is undoubtedly an optimistic hope for the positive future of Kashmir. Portion of things have been completed and several are on the way. As a result of massive efforts and investment in education segment in the past ten years, the Kashmir is marching on the trail of rationality, wisdom, national integrity, development of scientific temperament and creating the modern society.

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