First of all I would like to know about your professional and academic background?
I passed my LLB from Kashmir University & did masters in history from the same university in 1984. After that I went to St Xaviers College Mumbai for computer education. I received an Expert Certificate in Administration with specialization in computers from India International Trade Centre and got selected as Computer Professional to Saudi Arabia for a company named Algosaibi Group. I worked with them for a period of 4 years and then switched to Saudi Airlines for another 2 years. I came back to Kashmir in 1991 – 1992 and joined a joint venture of SIDCO and Bombay Management as Administrative Officer. After that I joined Unit Trust of India at Delhi as Chief Representative for Kashmir. I served Cancer Society of Kashmir as Administrative Officer during the Chairmanship of Dr Mehraj ud Din, the then Director SKIMS, Soura, before establishing the institute in 2000.
What was the idea behind starting a computer institute?
I established the institute in 2000 under the banner of Central Cyber Center (CCC). Later we decided to convert it to a non profit trust under the banner of Computer Trust of Kashmir. The idea behind the establishment of trust was to provide free / low budget computer training to students who cannot afford high fee involved with these courses. From the last 10 years, we are charging nominal charges from students for majority of courses. This has helped thousands of students to achieve their dream of computer education. We get students from far flung areas of the state like Kupwara, Gurez etc. We have diversified our trainings to include personality development and competitive examination coaching as well.
What is the current enrolment of students in your institute?
Presently it is the largest enrolling centre regarding the computer training , personality development and competitive examinations in the state. Actually we train 5000 to 6000 people for computers every year which include students, businessmen & employees.
What are the courses offered by your institute?
We teach computer basics, computer languages, hardware & networking here. Special training is available for AutoCAD and Tally programs. We also arrange special training for computer languages like C, C++, Visual Basic & .net.
What is your experience in running a successful institute?
This institute has made me proud and has been successful in achieving its goals and objectives. We have been successful in imparting quality trainings to a greater mass at affordable costs. I see my students adjusted everywhere from readymade shops to airports. Whenever I get a chance to meet these students, they are all praises for efforts put in by the administration, faculty and institute to help them settle in their lives, and that too, at nominal charges.
Any difficulties faced in running this institution?
Difficulties are part of the game. The most tough challenge for us was getting registration for the institute after having such a vast infrastructure. Electricity is an issue that is to stay here, but we have put up a backup with 4 generators to serve the purpose. We have been able to move ahead through all the challenges / difficulties. This would have not been possible without the active support of my wife, Dr Ulfat Qari, who is presently serving as Assistant Professor, Govt Degree College for Women, M A Road. She has been always there to lend a hand in bad times. Thank you Ulfat!
What are the plans ahead?
We are planning to spread our network across the state in all districts in near future. We have already been approached by many people for the same.
What is your view of IT in J&K?
IT is a requirement in every field now, but government is not utilizing it properly. They have restricted the role of computers to type writers only in their offices. They don’t recruit professionals in the field but mere operators are recruited. Little chances are there for the professional to get absorbed in their own state. They have to leave for other states which is very unfortunate. We have professionals who have been trained from outside, offering training in the institutes of the state which is exciting.
People associated with IT in J&K are of the opinion that IT is going to be a big industry in state. What is your take on this?
I welcome their opinion and that is a fact. We have software startups coming up here. Hardware and networking sector is growing with many local players out there. People are starting BPOs and that is a good sign among others.