Kashmir University has little funds for scholars

Scholarship money meager;cumbersome process troubles aspirants

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Srinagar, Dec 9: In a major concern which could have serious repercussions on the field of research at the University of Kashmir, the varsity has failed to increase the stipend of scholars who are presently getting a meager monthly stipend of Rs 2500—far less than in other universities.
An associate professor said due to entanglements in administration, the University has “neglected the field of research” with scholars of almost all departments feeling marginalized. “Even though the University is brushing aside the negligence by providing a stipend of Rs 2500, it has largely failed to focus on the field of research by increasing the stipend of scholars,” the AP, wishing anonymity said.
He said a delegation of scholars had even met the Vice Chancellor and submitted a proposal “but our voice was muzzled.”
“If the University has to really prosper, it has to focus on research. But the non-seriousness of the administration is taking it backward,” he said.
Another academic said the varsity could bear a stipend of Rs 5000 per month to a scholar. “If not that of JNU and Delhi University, the Kashmir University could bear up to Rs 5000. And the administration has to realise that it is neglecting the key sector of research,” he added.
The professor said even the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) team slammed the varsity for lagging behind in field research. “The team took a serious note of how the University was dealing with the research filed and how stipend is given to students. But the University is still silent on the matter,” he said.
A source said in each department or research centre, the University offers four scholarships—two for whole-time PhD scholars and two for whole-time MPhil scholars. “And if there is no PhD scholar in the department, the scholarships are supposed to be received by MPhil scholars,” he said. The process of availing scholarship however is cumbersome for scholars, he added.
“The scholars are given monthly scholarship of Rs 2500. But every time a scholar intends to avail the amount, he/she has to carry out a time-consuming and cumbersome process: They have to submit an affidavit from the 1st Class Magistrate, a progress report from the supervisor concerned and a certificate from the head of the department, reckoning letter, joining report, MA marks card, MPhil result notification (in case of PhD scholars),” the source said, adding that scholars have to follow the same process in the subsequent month.
Scholars who spoke to Greater Kashmir said the stipend was too little and the process too embarrassing.  “The scholarship process is so cumbersome that much of our time gets wasted in it every month. We have to keep rushing from department to General Administration Department and back; and then to court. We have to wait hours to get our documents signed by the officials. That is the biggest embarrassment for us,” a group of scholars said.
The scholars complained that the Varsity was not releasing the stipend on monthly basis. “After going through a tedious process every month, we are told there are no funds. I have started my PhD three years back but have not received a penny from the University,” a scholar said. “Even the MPhil scholars who had applied for the scholarship in August, 2012, are yet to receive the amount,” she said.
“The University does not even pay us when we participate in national and international seminars. In other universities of India scholars are paid a stipend of Rs 8,000 to 10,000 per month,” the scholars said.
Vice Chancellor Kashmir University Prof Talat Ahmad, Registrar Prof Zaffar Ahmad Reshi and Public Relations Officer Showkat Shafi did not respond to repeated telephone calls.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 9 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 10 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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