BGSBU: New decisions with big hopes
Representational ImageSource: Facebook@BGSBUofficial

BGSBU: New decisions with big hopes

Time will decide whether the decision bears fruit for the university or is finally remembered as a bad experiment

The authorities atBaba Ghulam Shah Badshah University(BGSBU) this year announced a fifty percent relaxation in the admission fee for the students aspiring to pursue various postgraduate, undergraduate, B.Tech and other diploma courses offered by the University.

The announcement was seen as one of the major decisions taken by the university administration in the history of the varsity since its establishment.

However the move created a debate with some stakeholders opposing the decision saying that the massive reduction in the admission fee by the university was an acknowledgment by the varsity administration that the institution is least preferred by the students.

However, on the other hand it was considered as a positive move particularly for the students who do not afford to pursue higher education or B.Tech courses in the Universities within J&K and outside due to the financial constraints faced by their families. The move is also termed as a shot in the arm for the youth in Pir Panjal range who have to move to Kashmir University or Jammu University or universities outside J&K to pursue their higher educational courses.

The BGSBU came into existence by an Act of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly called the Jammu & Kashmir Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Act No. XVI of 2002. The University is nurtured by the Jammu & Kashmir Wakf Council.

Meanwhile, the reduction in admission fee was announced a few weeks ago after the University administration issued an online process for the admission of students for 2021 academic year in various postgraduate, undergraduate, besides B.Tech and diploma courses offered by the University.

The online submission of application forms for admission to different programs commenced from June 01 and the university besides reducing admission fee also slashed the amount of application form paid by the students. The amount was slashed from Rs 1000 to Rs 650.

On the day of the launching ceremony of the online admission process 2021, the Vice Chancellor (VC) BGSBU Rajouri Prof Akbar Masood stated that the university strives to cater the needs of those who aspire to be the leaders.

In his statement, the VC BGSBU also expressed his expectation that students will apply in large numbers and be a part of a unique academic environment at BGSBU.

The reduction in fee was announced after it was observed that the institution was receiving a lukewarm response from the students for their admission.

Established some 16 years ago, the BGSBU had failed to continue with its legacy of maintaining its academic standards. Last year, the University started the admission process soon after the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, but given the poor response of the students to various courses being offered there, the University did away with the otherwise mandatory entrance examination for many programmes to fill up the regular seats, not to talk of admissions against payment seats.

However, this year the University is comparatively receiving a good response from the student. On an average the university is receiving 50-60 admission forms per day.

The University used to get a good response from students for admissions in certain courses, the academic standards in the much-hyped school of engineering witnessed a significant downfall in the past few years despite its teachers trying their best to provide the best possible education amid meager resources and facilities.

The school of engineering would receive not less than 3000 applications for admissions from students some five years ago, which reduced to mere 200 till last academic year for an intake capacity of 300 students.

The number of admissions in many other departments had also seen a steep decline, tarnishing the image of the University, which had, soon after its inception, made a significant mark on the academic landscape of the country.

However, the overall performance of the University is expected to improve after the change of the guard a few months ago.

Even though the University apparently saw a decline in admission but the institution got its recognition at various national platforms and stood ahead of hundreds of other Universities.

The University was placed in band ‘A’ in the category of Government and Government aided Universities in Atal ranking ARIIA 2020. Out of 674 higher educational institutions, BGSBU was ranked among the universities which fall between 6th and 25th positions under different categories in Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) 2020 – an initiative of the Ministry of Education. The rankings were announced at a virtual function held at the national capital by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu in August last year.

Also, the incumbent VC of BGSBU had earlier stated that the identification of grey areas and overcoming other deficiencies will be a priority to improve the public perception about the University.

He made this statement the day after he assumed the office of VC of the BGSBU. He stated that efforts will be given to change the public perception about the university in a positive way.

He had already hinted about taking some out of box decisions to improve the admission process of the institution as soon after joining the University a few months ago he said efforts will be made to address the issue of decline in the admission and make the institution a centre of academic excellence.

Notably the motive behind establishment of the University was to provide higher education facilities to the aspiring youth in the area. It should have been on the priority list of the formed VCs to increase the student enrollment and also provide quality education to the people, which is the basic purpose for which the university was established in the area.

Given the location of the University, government as well as the varsity administration is expected to move beyond fee reduction and execute other out of box ideas to make this institution a centre of excellence.

To begin with, the University has announced the reduction in admission fee which hopefully will attract the students for their admission in the institution. But it is just an experiment whose result is yet awaited. Only time will decide whether the decision will bear fruits for the university or will be remembered as a bad experiment.

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