Kashmir University or 10-Janpath?

The University of Kashmir is posing a new challenge to regional parties in J&K,particularly National Conference

MATTER OF CONCERN

ABID BASHIR

Had National Conference founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah been alive, he would not allow so many things to happen that his progeny is otherwise permitting. There is a reason to it: who would like to see an otherwise grassroots party losing its grip on ground? At least Sheikh Abdullah would not, given how he nurtured National Conference to ensure its lasting survival in the State. But with the party leaders overlooking lot many concerns around, even the institutions brought up and nurtured by Sheikh Abdullah seem to be distancing from National Conference today, like the University of Kashmir.
Today, sadly, the coin has flipped both for the National Conference and the University itself. Today the ruling National Conference seems to be losing its grip on the University affairs, given how its leaders are overlooking audacious attempts by the Vice-Chancellor to ‘introduce’ Congress at the University of Kashmir. All this is being done under the garb of Congress-backed projects like ‘Himayat’ and ‘Udaan’ whose execution in the University by the otherwise failed Center for Career Counselling and Planning is making the entry of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) leaders, of the rank of its Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, ‘easy’ to the campus. Courtesy, the Vice-Chancellor, who, we were told, is an academician and researcher of high stature. But with the unbridled entry of Congress politicians including Salman Khurshid, Mani Shakner Iyer, Jairam Ramesh, to name a few, to the campus in the past two years, has put a question mark over his credentials.
The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is also the pro-chancellor of the state Universities, has been candid enough to acknowledge that the Kashmir issue is political in nature and is no way related to unemployment. Omar has said this before the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi as well. Yet, the trumpet ‘we are here to address unemployment’ is being blown by the Congress leaders at the University through ‘Udaan’ & ‘Himayat’—the two schemes whose guidelines nowhere make a mention of a University being among its implementing agencies. Anyways today there are also questions raised about the efficacy of such schemes wherein a government survey about ‘Himayat’ recently said “a large percentage of Kashmir youth placed in different companies outside have left their jobs and returned home disappointed. Reason: Unattractive salary, improper working conditions at the work and living places, unsuitable food and unsatisfactory security.” The Vice-Chancellor may be right in beating the drum of having ‘placed 800 youth’ under ‘Himayat’ and ‘Udaan’, but has anyone ascertained the figure or their living/working conditions? No. In a news report, a parent recently said, his son was given a ‘job’ under Himayat @Rs 5000 a month. But, he said, his son had to pay Rs 4000 as rent for accommodation alone. Also, I was also wondering why the Vice-Chancellor never found time to introduce ‘Beti Anmol’ scheme launched by the National Conference a couple of years back!!
The political moves like ‘Himayat’ (support) and ‘Udaan’ (hope) have sadly diminished the ‘support’ and ‘hope’ that the students and academics expected from the Vice-Chancellor. Today not only do the students and academics of the University feel stifled vis-à-vis freedom of speech and expression, they are put under the cover of CCTVs to ensure they stand up in “honour of the national anthem”. Indeed, friends in the University often narrate how students are directed to shun classes with their Heads of Departments categorically directed to ensure that the students make it to the venues of Congress politicians. And on top of everything, they say, the Vice-Chancellor would issue blunt directives in high-level ‘academic’ meetings that the students should (come what may) stand up to the “national anthem” as he cannot “afford to be embarrassed.” It is also a sad story that none among the so-called conscious professors have the courage to tell the Vice-Chancellor that nowhere in India do politicians like Salman Khurshid get a “national anthem honour.” Then why single out Kashmir University? None among them point out as to why the University Tarana—which calls University a place where Abinav Gupta’s ocean of knowledge ‘surges high’ and where Sheikh Abdullah sees at the University from a Lion’s Eye—has been abandoned and replaced with the “national anthem.”
Now the question is who’s going to address all these important issues concerning our highest chair of learning? Here the onus lies on the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is the Pro-Chancellor of the University, to see what’s going on in the campus. The concerned quarters need to take a note of the lopsided politics being thrust on the University which has vitiated its academic atmosphere and administrative set-up badly. The University’s Vice-Chancellor may well earn some ‘accolades’ by being so generous to his bosses, but the real question is who’s going to address the issue of falling standards of academics and administration at Kashmir’s highest chair of learning.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST




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