Srinagar: Craft Development Institute (CDI) has lost its affiliation with Kashmir University. Since 2012, the affiliation has not been renewed since, and the institute is now scrambling to get one after student protests at the campus and at Kashmir University brought the issue to light.
Anxious students, who have seen the university set syllabus and question papers for different courses and issue datasheets and set admission procedures feel that their future was at stake.
The Joint Director Handicrafts, Nazir Ahmad Mir, calls the lapse a “big mistake”. While he hoped for a quick resolution, Musadiq Amin Sahaf, Dean Academic Affairs at Kashmir University said that “CDI doesn’t full fill the norms” set for acquiring the affiliation.
Mir told Kashmir Reader that he appreciated the students for “highlighting” the issue and that CDI, as well as Kashmir University, were responsible for the lapse. He said he was taking charge of the situation and assured students that the matter would be resolved.
But the Dean Academic Affairs, Sahaf, doubted that the affiliation would come through and that his office was in no mood to “let the future of students get spoiled”.
“There are certain norms if the institute (CDI) wants to get affiliated under UGC. It should have permanent faculty who have qualified NET or hold a doctorate, but CDI doesn’t full fill same norms,” Sahaf said. “We gave them eighth months to get these norms fulfilled. After that we will reassess whether we can renew the affiliation.”
The institute at Bagi Ali Mardan Khan in Nowshera came about with a focus on integrating development of handicraft sector. Students allege that the institute’s goals of producing qualified and skilled professionals are not matched by the attitude of its administrators. At present, 50 students are enrolled for different courses.
“They are playing with our future,” Sana Iqbal, a first semester student at CDI. said of the administration. “Our (academic) session started in October 2017. We went to KU to talk to dean academics about the affiliation. He was blunt, ‘what is CDI?’, he asked. He said his office was not aware about it (CDI) and that the institute was ‘not affiliated’.”
CDI students have been demanding for a UGC recognition for their masters course in craft management and entrepreneurship. But the officials at Kashmir University, they say, were categorical that such a recognition was not possible. “If we are paying hefty amounts for a degree, why is not our institution affiliated and our degrees recognized?” asked a student.
The degree, officially designated as Masters in Craft Management and Entrepreneurship (MCME) is the only graduate programme, instituted by the Department of Management and Commerce Studies, which has not been recognized by the University Grants Commission yet.
“For the last four years, they (CDI administration) are playing with our future. They have been making fake promises since the beginning,” Said Mariya, a fourth semester student.
She described how graduate students at CDI were instructed by under-graduate teachers, which they say “is a clear violation of guidelines set by Kashmir University”.
Waseem, a 4th semester student, questioned the CDI management for their lax attitude. “If the afflation by Kashmir University demands to be renewed after every year, why was CDI sleeping over it since 2012?”
Sajid Nazir, a senior faculty at CDI, said that the chaos happened due to lack of communication between the institute and Kashmir University. “We both are responsible for this, as we were unaware about the renewal of afflation and Kashmir University also did not remind us.”
“Yesterday, we completed all affiliation formalities with Kashmir University, we won’t let students to suffer. We will make sure to end this problem as soon as possible. Kashmir University had also promised us help.”