Omar proposes, babus don’t dispose, and JKIMS fails to take off

Srinagar: A year after Chief Minister Omar Abdullah inaugurated the Jammu Kashmir Institute of Mathematical Sciences (JKIMS), the institute is yet to take off, thanks to the bureaucracy.
The institute was inaugurated on July 30, 2013 at Amar Singh College Srinagar after Higher Education Department transferred one crore rupees to it.
The government had decided to set up the institute on the recommendation of the academicians in order to encourage the students of the state to take up research in the field of Mathematical Sciences. In June 2013, a formal order (265-HEof 2013 DTD. 06-06-2013) was issued by the government giving nod to establishment of JKIMS.
The JKIMS was supposed to introduce various courses and carry out research and pursue studies on subjects like Mathematical Physics, Mathematical Engineering, Mathematical Economics, which ordinarily cannot be initiated by or introduced in the conventional departments of the state universities.
But so far not a single course has been started by the JKIMS, sources told Kashmir Reader. With no funds being made available to it after the inauguration, the JKIMS has failed to launch any program and achieve its objectives, they said.
According to sources, apart from the initial one crore rupees, no more funds were made available to the institute, as government has even failed to sign a Memorandum of Association (MoA) with the institute which would have given it status of a society and made funds available to it.
“During last one year the file regarding the setting up of institute has only gone from State Higher Education Department to State Finance Department to Planning Department, with no one ready to sign MoA with the institute and grant funds to it,” the sources said.
“It seems there are certain forces in bureaucracy who are not happy over the establishment of an independent institute of such nature in the state,” the sources added.
Last year, the Chief Secretary convened a meeting along with Secretaries of Finance, Planning and Higher Education Departments and other concerned bureaucrats regarding the institute. “But the decision to sign an MoA was delayed after few bureaucrats questioned the requirement of such an institute in the state. Some bureaucrats even suggested making the institute a part of Kashmir University,” the sources said.
Soon after, the Chief Secretary sent the file back to Higher Education Department with the note that the department should take care of the institute under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) program.
“But it was also turned down by the Higher Education Department,” the sources said.
With no funds available, the institute has not been able to start any program for which it was created except organizing few so-called talent hunt competitions, extension lectures, counseling sessions and workshops.
At its main office at Amar Singh College, the institute is headed by Director and supported by three teachers and two clerks, while its sub-office in Jammu the institute is headed by nodal officer and two clerks. All of them have been deputed from Higher Education Department and every month a hefty sum of money is spent on their salaries by the department with no objective being served.
Director JKIMS, Wali Mohammad Shah admitted that due to bureaucratic interference the institute has failed to become fully functional.
“Bureaucrats will not understand the importance of the institute. They think it will be like Mathematics department of any university. I think academicians should also be allowed to participate in their meetings to make them understand,” Shah told Kashmir Reader.
However, he said that he has referred the file to Higher Education Minister who has directed the Chief Secretary to reconsider it. “The file is before the General Administration Department and no progress was made during last four months due to the Code of Conduct in place, but I am hopeful that something substantial will come out this month,” said Shah.
Minister of Higher Education, Akbar Lone said that funds are not available for the institute. “But I have taken the matter with concerned officials and formed a council to look into the issue. Hopefully the matter will be solved within a week,” Lone said.