Rector removed after enquiry reveals ‘messy state of affairs’ in KU’s Kargil campus

Rector removed after enquiry reveals ‘messy state of affairs’ in KU’s Kargil campus
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SRINAGAR:The Rector of Kashmir University’s Kargil satellite campus, M Y Shah has been removed from office by the authorities after an enquiry into allegations of mismanagement, lobbyism and infighting in the campus besides his continued absence from the office.
The enquiry committee comprising Prof GM Bhat, Director Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Safapora, Prof Asifa Jan, Dean School of Social Sciences, Dr Muheet Ahmed Butt, president Kashmir University Teachers Association (KUTA), Dr Wasim Bari, Joint Secretary KUTA, Dr Feroz Ahmad Gurkoo, Deputy Registrar Administration, has revealed a messy state of affairs going-on within the campus since last several years and recommended the removal of Shah from office.
The committee in its report has said that they have found substance in most of the allegations against Shah including his continued absence from the campus, authorising juniors to function as in-charge officers, failure to appoint heads for various departments and conferring administrative assignments to juniors.
Shah has also been found guilty of apathy towards the student’ grievances, purchase of fire alarm system without VC’s approval, indifference towards several sub-ordinates, delaying installation of computers in IT Lab and Browsing Centre and indifference towards the academic affairs of the campus that led to groupism within the faculty.
The committee has referred to an incident where a sweeper, Mohammad Jawed, posted at the campus who allegedly enjoys backing of Rector, thrashed four faculty members after they questioned the sweepers’ temerity to shift the lone internet facility from Information technology department, where it is needed most, to hostel building.
The committee observed that the teachers and other staff at Kargil Campus were divided in two main lobby groups, one of them backed by the rector himself.
“Faculty of the Kargil campus is suffering from division, groupism and lobbyism, which has vitiated the atmosphere in the campus. Teachers are at loggerheads with each other. For several academic and administrative assignments, juniors have been preferred over seniors which has derailed the system, promoted non co-operation amongst the staff and inculcated an appeasement culture among the teachers. The prevailing groupism has led to fractural meetings, since all the members do not attend the meetings convened by the respective Officers-in-charge,” observed the committee.
As reported by the teachers, non-teaching staff and the students to the enquiry committee, the rector has been mostly absent from the campus. During the last two years, he has been physically present at the campus for just 65 days.
Further, the report has said that during inquiry it was revealed that “in some cases contractual appointments were made without experts (by the rector)”, while as, several irregularities were found in examination system of the campus which, among others, include delayed conduct of examinations.
“(Moreover), Rector has appointed juniors as chairpersons of several administrative committees and left out a section of senior teachers, which has led to groupism and animosity among the teachers,” it said.
Though the departmental letter heads and departmental office slips have been prepared, yet the heads for individual departments have not been appointed till date, which it said, has created many operational problems of academic and administrative nature.
“As such, there is no one in any department who could be approached by the students for resolution of their issues related to admission, registration, academic and examination. Such problems have aggravated to a large extent due to the absence of the rector from the campus,” it said.
In July this year, 20 computers were purchased for browsing centre. However, not a single among them has been made operational as of now. Moreover, it said that a brief look at the cash book revealed that it has not been properly maintained and reconciled till February 2017.
“A cursory view of the records revealed that some payments including the purchase and installation of fire alarm system has not been authorised by the Vice Chancellor,” it said.
Strangely, no audit has been conducted since the establishment of the campus and in order to streamline the accounts, cash book and other records, committee has recommended that an extensive exercise of physical verification of all moveable and immoveable items along with audit of all records should be done by the administration of varsity.
Registrar Kashmir University, Khursheed Ahmad Butt confirmed the removal of rector and said the said person was found guilty of mismanagement while handling the campus. “He had mostly been absent from the campus that had created a messy situation there,” he said.