SRINAGAR: SKUAST-K Scientists and Teachers Association (SSTA) on Sunday opposed the recent move of the Jammu and Kashmir Government to establish Horticulture University in the Kashmir Valley.
In a handout issued here, Dr SA Dar, president SKUAST-K, said that the proposal of new university is an unwise move as such policy matters fall under the jurisdiction of various statutory bodies of SKUAST-K and decided by university council headed by the governor.
“This order is undermining the statutory bodies and seizes the autonomy of our institution and we will oppose any such move. The Chancellor in the recently concluded 32nd council meeting had already stressed for the need of a horticulture policy in the state vis-à- vis strengthening the faculty of horticulture and advised against any “hurried decision to set up a university of horticulture,” he said.
Dar said that establishing new university is merely a cosmetic exercise which would have direct impact on the food security of the state.
“The experiments are being carried out on all the main agricultural crops, besides it houses main laboratories and all agricultural degree courses are conducted there. Establishing a new university means setting up a new infrastructure, creation of new jobs from auxiliary staff to the faculty. But to establish a university in an existing university is just befooling the people and robbing the resources of the parent University,” he added.
He said that the ‘ill-conceived’ decision was taken hastily because it would paralyze and impede the functioning of this already existing agricultural university.
“We have opposed the move in past and we will continue to fight for the interests of SKUAST-K in future as well, come what may” the president said.
Dr J A Bhat General Secretary of SSTA, in an emergency meeting at Shalimar campus, said that the decision has hurt the interests of SKUAST-K. He demanded the association to be taken into confidence, otherwise any consequence thereof shall be the responsibility of the government and not of the association.
SSTA also appealed the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the University to look into the matter.