SSTA refutes horticulture minister’s ‘misleading’ statement

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SRINAGAR: Taking a strong note of the statement made by Minister of Horticulture, Basharat Bukhari, SKUAST-K Scientists and Teachers Association (SSTA) on Sunday said that horticulture minister had made a misleading statement and quoted SSTA wrongly.
“We strongly condemn the statement of the minister in which he has said that government will establish the horticulture university, come what may,” an official statement read.
“We challenge the Hon’ble minister to show a single evidence where we have opposed the establishment of the proposed horticulture university in the state. We have welcomed and we would welcome if more such universities are established in the state but politicising education and damaging an already established institution is not tolerable and SSTA would not permit any such move,” the statement further read.
SSTA welcome government plans of establishing horticulture university but would not permit the robbing off its (SKUAST-K) resources, the statement read.
“We have learnt from reliable sources that government is shockingly planning of carving out horticulture university from SKUAST-K that would definitely harm the interests of SKUAST-K, that we would not permit to happen come what may,” it read.
Land is the primary requirement for an agriculture university for experimentation, cropping and laboratories and if any campus was snatched from the SKUAST-K, it cannot conduct the agriculture education and research properly, SSTA said in the statement.
SSTA believes that there were thousands of Kanals of horticultural land available with the government across Kashmir that could be converted into a horticultural university.
“Establishing a university means setting up new infrastructure, new employees. They cannot establish a university in an existing university,” read the statement further.
SSTA has requested the horticulture minister to refer to newspapers and to read between the lines himself how SSTA has always welcomed the government for its proposal to establish the horticulture university. “There is no case of any opposition from SSTA but again we repeat, horticulture university is welcome but not at the cost of SKUAST-K,” SSTA maintained.
SSTA further appealed government to search for suitable land for the proposed horticulture university away from the land and faculties under SKUAST-K and “there will be a huge resentment from our side if any of the faculty is seized from the SKUAST-K.”
SSTA also cautioned the government not to undermine the statutory powers of the varsity and no to go with any move that might cause any effect on the University Act, the statement added.