Kashmir has lost another gem, a professor and celebrated innovator, to COVID 19
I am deeply saddened to share that today at 2:45 AM (16th of May) , we lost Prof. G M Bhat, Head, Department of Electronics Engineering, Institute of Technology and Director of the Institute of Technology, University of Kashmir (KU).
Prof. Bhat, an innovation evangelist, helped create many meaningful platforms for local innovators in Kashmir at KU. He was instrumental in establishing the National Innovation Foundation’s innovation cell at KU in 2006 and helped create DSIR, Ministry of Science & Technology, a TePP Outreach-cum- Innovation Center at KU. Besides playing a key role in setting up the Institute of Technology, Zakura Campus and the Institute of Engineering & Technology, Safapora,
Prof. Bhat was awarded two patents for his electro-mechanical cassette player and novel techniques for plus code modulation in 2003. His famous innovation is MIKSHAFUT-TAREEQ, a path detection device for people with visual impairments.
He is the first from Kashmir and from Kashmir University to have received two patents. I worked with Prof. Bhat from 2006 to 2010. Colleagues and I helped him scout and identify local innovations from Jammu and Kashmir. Prof. Bhat, together with NIF, GIAN, helped scout more than 2000 local innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge practices from all districts of Jammu and Kashmir. Without a doubt, he was an inspiring professor and a brilliant innovator.
As an institution builder, Prof. Bhat created many centers and departments at KU. Further, as a champion of self-reliance and technological autonomy, he campaigned for local innovations and local technologies. I profiled his work for the Times of India’s SRINAGAR edition ‘Srinagar Plus’ in 2008.
As shown in the newspaper clip, his dream was to see local innovations being used and sold in the world’s largest markets. I spoke with Prof.
Bhat’s wife, Prof. Tasleem, at 10.00 PM yesterday. She was broken and completely dissatisfied with the COVID-19 management at JLNM hospital. She informed me that hospital authorities continue to show apathy in managing COVID-19 patients.
Inexperienced technicians have been hired who can’t even take a basic x-ray properly: she informed me that yesterday, the staff had to repeat an x-ray three times because an inexperienced technician was on duty. Prof Bhat has two school-aged daughters, and his brother-in-law passed from COVID-19 a few weeks ago.
Prof. Bhat’s passing is not only a personal loss for me; Kashmir has been deprived of a great son, a brilliant human, a prodigy, and an amazing innovator. We pledge to continue his mission and to try to make Kashmir proud with local innovations.
His dream will be realized someday. Inshallah. Rest in peace, Professor.
Abdul Hamid Bhat Anil Gupta Vipin Kumar Nitin Maurya Sabzar Wani Habibullah Shah Syed Nadeem