KU’s flawed admission policy mars Govt’s ‘education at doorsteps’ idea

Can’t Define Catchment Areas On The Basis Of Campuses: Dean Academics


Srinagar, Apr 30: While the J&K government is beating the drum of ‘making all-out efforts to provide higher education to aspirants in rural areas at their doorsteps’, the Kashmir University’s flawed admission policy for postgraduate courses is marring the initiative in broad daylight. Here is how:
 According to students, who have been selected to various postgraduate courses in the recently-concluded entrance examination, the varsity is spoiling the essence and objective of the establishment of satellite campuses in districts like Anantnag (Islamabad) and Baramulla. The varsity, they say, while making the admissions on the basis of merit of students in the entrance test ironically fills up the seats by preferring the ‘top-layer of selectees’ for the Main KU Campus while sending others for campuses in South and North Kashmir. “If a particular department the intake capacity is 50 students, the first 20 selectees are selected for the concerned KU department at the Main Campus and the rest are sent to South or North campus or for the colleges offering that particular course,” a group of selected PG students told Greater Kashmir. “This is grossly illogical. What is the fun of establishing the satellite campuses if the students from that particular area can’t study there? This way we not only bulldoze the essence of that vital initiative of higher education at doorsteps of aspirants but also create that wedge of ‘good and bad’ campuses, which is unwarranted.”
 According to students, the admissions should be made on the basis of ‘catchment area’, purely on the basis of merit. “This time around, a student from Anantnag (Islamabad) is selected for the Main Campus while one from Srinagar or Baramulla is selected for the South Campus in Anantnag. It is not only an inconvenience to both but also a psychological trauma that probably the student selected for the Main Campus is better than the one selected for the South Campus or that he might get better education than the other,” said Mujeeb (name changed), a student from Anantnag selected for PG course in English at the Main Campus. “It is unfortunate that such a malicious wedge is being created in the minds of students when all of them happen to have qualified the same entrance examination.”
 According to students, the varsity doesn’t even consider volunteer requests for ‘swapping’ of seats. “There are girl students from, say, Anantnag who want to study in South Campus rather than the Main Campus in Srinagar or vice-versa for varied reasons like financial implications, travel or domestic problems. Their voluntary requests are not considered on the flimsy grounds that the rules don’t permit so. This is unfortunate,” they said.
 According to KU insiders, if the swapping is entertained, it would lessen the burden on the varsity’s overcrowded student hostels. “And more importantly, it would retain the basic essence of the establishment of satellite campuses. The University requires to revisit this flawed admission policy. The Chancellor’s office must intervene and set this gross irregularity right,” said a KU teacher, wishing anonymity.
 Pertinently, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is the Pro-Chancellor of the Universities, and Governor NN Vohra, who is the Chancellor of the varsities, have been repeatedly advocating ‘education at doorsteps’, particularly while inaugurating different satellite campuses.
 When contacted, the KU’s Dean, Academic Affairs, Prof A M Shah said: “Since Kashmir University offers admission at a central level, we can’t define catchment areas on the basis of campuses.”
 He said for the varsity, the entire Kashmir region is a catchment area and students from across the Valley can seek admission in the main campus. “The campuses were established to develop the university further. We can’t restrict students of Kashmir to campuses only,” Shah said.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 May 2013 00:00:00 IST

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