Private school body seeks law on private education in J&K

Private school body seeks law on private education in J&K

Says PMSSS a ‘well thought out process to ruin career of Kashmiri students’

With Kashmiri students from different states returning home to avoid harassment and intimidation they are facing there following the Pulwama attack, the private school association J&K (PSAJK) Friday urged the government to make a law enabling them to set up private colleges and universities in J&K.

Addressing media persons in Srinagar, President PSAJK G N Var said the setting up private colleges and university “will stop the drain of youth from the valley who opt for outside state colleges”.

“Around Rs 1200 crore is drained to outside state private colleges and universities as the government has blocked any move to establish the private colleges here,” Var said.

Var said the much hyped Prime Minister’s special scholarship scheme (PMSSS) was a “well thought out process to ruin the career of Kashmiri students”. 

“The government of India befooled our local political leaders in 2010 under the garb of this scheme. If this scheme was for the benefit of our students then why our students have to go to outside colleges to avail this benefit,” Var asked.

He said the benefits of PMSSS should be extended to state colleges for convenience of the students. “The Kashmiri students are adjusted under the scheme in low grade colleges where the intake seats remain vacant due to poor response of the outside students,” he said, adding that the scheme was launched to provide aid to outside colleges only.

The press conference was jointly organised by the PSAJ&K and coaching centres association Kashmir (CCAK).

The association president said around 1000 students have returned to valley while as some are stranded in Jammu due to closure of Jammu Srinagar highway. 

The students fled to valley after facing intimidation and physical assault by mobs in many places outside the valley, particularly in Dehradun, Uttrakhand and Hayrana in the wake of an attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama last week.

Around two dozen Kashmiri students were suspended and two Kashmiri professors were sacked from the institutions outside state.

“These students including girls have been humiliated, intimidated and threatened. Even some were beaten and at some places the colleges have been forced to rusticate the students and police at many places have been pressurised to register cases against Kashmiri students on frivolous charges,” Var said.

He said the PSAJ&K in collaboration with CCAK will accommodate these students free of cost to enable them to complete their degrees.

“We are ready to teach these students and we urge the government to think some out of box solution to authorise the exam conducting bodies here to conduct exam of these students as well,” he said.

“We have roped in educationists and academicians across valley who are ready to teach these students on volunteer basis. CCAK has offered free admission to students in various courses,” he said.

Var said most of the courses like B.Tech, BBA, MBA and BCA can be taught in private higher secondary schools and government colleges while using existing infrastructure in these institutions.

“We don’t have dearth of faculty as well. The students who were in the midst of coaching for competitive examinations like NEET, JET, IAS will also be provided free admission in coaching centres, as the arrangements have been made to accommodate them,” he said.

Var threatened to boycott the PMSSS if it is not extended to the government colleges of the state. 

“The students already enrolled in outside colleges are not willing to join back and their parents are in despair as well. We can’t afford to send another lot of students under PMSSS and make them hostage in the colleges,” he said.

Var said the then government in 1996 allowed establishment of B.Ed. colleges by relaxing rules following which scores of colleges gradually built their infrastructure. “We want J&K government to come to the rescue of the students and relax the rules for establishment of private colleges and universities in state, as a one-time immediate measure,” he said, adding that colleges and private universities should be allowed to operate from rented accommodations with assurance of development of infrastructure within five or 10 years.