Central University Woes: The Primacy of the Political over the Academic

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Abrar Reyaz

The news regarding the shifting of transit campuses of Central University of Kashmir from Nowgam and Sonwar, Srinagar has shocked and irked the student community. The decision was made at the time, when the academic session 2018 was going to start in March, after a two month long winter vacation. The education minister has sought the transfer and shifting of campuses within fifteen days, which is altogether bizarre and freaky decision.
The worst sufferers of this decision are the students who know how much time it takes to adjust to different places. Nowgam transit campus(es) were advantageous to students, being close to the railway station; students belonging to Anantnag, Kulgam and Baramulla easily managed to reach university on time.
It is pertinent to note that in 2017, an NAAC team visited the university to accredit it. It took the university administration two long months to adopt cosmetic measures to show achievements in terms of infrastructure. It made students suffer because the university lacks adequate working staff and most of the work had been entrusted to teaching staff in the name ‘Preparations for NAAC Team’ that disturbed the academics and made students suffer. Although the exams were conducted on time, but the students were made to suffer, as some of senior professors were not able to deliver class lectures for one whole month.
Given this backdrop, one can vividly imagine, what will happen to academic session of 2018.
The people of Ganderbal threatened to come on roads, if their demands of shifting campuses were not met. The government, in reaction to this, is trying to save its face by shifting the campuses at this crucial time as far as students’ academic year is concerned. It could easily have been done in the last two months of vacation.
The Central University was established in 2009 but it is still being operated from transit campuses in Nowgam and Sonwar, Srinagar. The government has failed to make Ganderbal campus functional for years now. In order to hide its failure, it is shifting campuses again to some transit campuses in Ganderbal. Moreover, it is also succumbing to the pressure of people of the area. All this goes against the well being and interests of students. The government shouldn’t turn students into scapegoats. I close with the hope that good sense will prevail and the said order will be taken back.

— The author is a student of CUK and can be contacted at: abrar_reyaz@live.com