SRINAGAR: SKUAST Scientists and Teachers Association (SSTA) has pledged to not allow the proposed bifurcation of the varsity at any cost.
As per a statement, a general body meeting of SSTA was held here at Nund Reshi Convention Centre, Shalimar, on Thursday with Vice Chancellor, SKUAST-Kashmir in chair.
“Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology was established by an act of state legislation in 1982 and was soon bifurcated by creating SKUAST-Jammu out of it. The move had a very drastic effect on the resources of university which led to shortage of technical manpower leading to reduction in a tangible research output and its further bifurcation is not affordable,” the statement said.
It said SSTA demands that if the present government of Jammu and Kashmir is serious enough in establishing a horticulture university, then “it should not be merely cosmetic practice by changing the signboard hanging above the main gate of well established Faculty of Agriculture at Wadura to a Horticultural University which is not only unjustified but rationally incorrect and detrimental to the current infrastructural set up of agricultural research in SKUAST-Kashmir”.
The statement added, “The university has already suffered a lot in terms of dwindling land resources viz prime maize research stations at Pahalgam, Manasbal, Balapora and at other places. It is unaffordable now to lose the remaining half of the University in the name of establishing a Horticultural University.”
Establishing a new university means setting up a new infrastructure, creation of new jobs from auxiliary staff to the faculty, the meeting observed, adding, but to establish a university in an existing university is “befooling” people and robbing the resources of the parent university. “Therefore the contemplated move and whatever will hurt the academics, research, extension and other mandates of SKUAST-Kashmir would be opposed tooth and nail.”
SSTA extended full support to government for establishing the horticulture university but not at the cost of Faculty of Agriculture (Wadura) which has already well-established centre of excellence in different agricultural science domains, the statement said.
In the meeting, scientists vowed to work with all energy and zeal for the welfare of farming community through better extension and research besides producing quality human resource from the university. “Scientists in one voice pledge that they will not allow anybody to divide the policy and the programmes of the SSTA.”
On the occasion, Vice-Chancellor promised the administrative cooperation to scientist fraternity in meeting their genuine demands.
General Secretary, SSTA, Dr J A Bhat presented a power-point presentation regarding the newly introduced performance based appraisal scheme for the promotion of scientists to higher grades.
SSTA also appealed the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the University to look into the matter regarding the proposed horticulture university with due protection of the assets, infrastructure and staff of SKUAST-Kashmir.