Colleges seek funds under separate head to manage heating arrangements

"However, every time we return disappointed as the college officials dodge us on one pretext or the other," an aggrieved student said.
The students are approaching the concerned college authorities with their grievance to provide heating arrangements in classrooms.
[Representational Image]
The students are approaching the concerned college authorities with their grievance to provide heating arrangements in classrooms. [Representational Image]File/GK

Srinagar: Amid complaints of non-availability of heating arrangements for the students in classrooms, college principals blamed the lack of resources to meet the exigency.

Complaints are pouring in from all districts regarding the lack of heating arrangements in classrooms of the colleges.

However, the college authorities blamed the lack of resources for failing to arrange the facility for the students. Some of the college principals attributed it to the change in the session.

"Earlier, the classwork would continue till mid-November and we would usually hold the exams in December for which the resources for ensuring heating arrangements in exam centres was managed out of the exam fund component," a senior professor said. "However, this year the session changed to March and the classwork continued till December. We have no separate funds for heating arrangement of classrooms."

Greater Kashmir already reported that majority of the colleges have left the students to shiver amid the biting cold.

The students are approaching the concerned college authorities with their grievance to provide heating arrangements in classrooms.

"However, every time we return disappointed as the college officials dodge us on one pretext or the other," an aggrieved student said.

The issue of non-availability of heating arrangement in classrooms was recently discussed during a meeting convened at Cluster University Srinagar (CUS).

A college professor said that the meeting was convened after the Vice Chancellor (VC) of CUS during his visit to GDC Bemina found students shivering in classrooms.

"The classrooms had no heating arrangement for the students. Following this a meeting of principals of all constituent colleges was convened at CUS and the principals were requested to provide heating arrangement to the students amid the prevailing cold weather conditions," the professor said.

J&K government has not handed over the administrative and financial control of the constituent colleges to the CUS.

The university only frames syllabus besides making admissions and conducts the examinations of the students of the five constituent colleges.

"The colleges have the funds available with them but the college principals are not utilising the money to provide the heating arrangement to students," the professor said.

Another professor said that the colleges could manage the heating arrangements out of local funds that could be utilised for student services.

"Local fund of the college has several heads and one component is student service under which the colleges can provide heating arrangements to the students," he said.

The professor said that the rooms of college principal, HoDs of different departments, and staff rooms were equipped with heating facilities but only the students were being made to suffer.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Principal Amar Singh College Srinagar, Prof Bashir Ahmad Rather said that the college does not have a separate objective for classroom heating arrangements.

"But we are making arrangements by managing things at our own level. My college has around 30 to 40 classrooms and it is not possible to provide heating arrangements in each classroom," he said.

Prof Rather said that the money for hot and cold charges was provided by the CUS, which was received a few days ago.

"The funds were actually utilised during exams in previous years. We have received it from the CUS and will disburse it to the concerned staff," he said referring to the refusal of the sweepers and local fund staff to set up coal heaters in classrooms.

Prof Rather said that during previous years there was no requirement of heating arrangement in classrooms as the class work would culminate in mid-November.

"But the academic session has changed from this year and classwork is still going on. We are compiling an action plan and providing heating arrangements to the students," he said.

Prof Rather said that a meeting was convened with CUS where the issue was discussed in detail.

"I conveyed to them that a separate head should be maintained for hot and cold charges from the next session so that heating arrangements are provided in classrooms," he said.

Nodal Principal Kashmir Colleges Prof Khurshid Ahmad Khan, who is also Principal of SP College, said that the colleges were independent to manage their logistics.

"We ensure that heating arrangements are in place during exams but there can be problems with regard to the availability of the facility during routine classwork," he said. “The issue was already discussed in a meeting convened at CUS Srinagar.”

Meanwhile, an official said that Kashmir was a winter zone area where every year temperature gets below sub-zero levels.

"Making arrangements for heating is the prerogative and a usual business for all academic institutions," the official said. “Every year colleges procure LPG refills and hard coke as per GFR in hundreds of metric tonnes. This hard coke or LPG is used for heating arrangements in colleges after November 15."

The official said that all such expenses were made from the college pool funds, which runs in crores of rupees for big colleges.

"When any college in the city or other district can spend money from pool fund on dry fruits, refreshments, decoration for unfruitful, and self-promotional activities of the principal, why can't they spend the same amount in providing heating arrangements for the students who every year pay for these things as is a norm in other colleges," he said.

The official said that the students pay hot and cold charges every year as part of the annual fee.

“In other major colleges, providing heating arrangements is a norm. No employee is paid additional allowance for burning the hard coke. It is part and parcel of their duty," he said.

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