The recent mess that the undergraduate students of various colleges affiliated to the University of Kashmir are in, prompted me to write this piece. It is a failure of the varsity to adapt itself to the implementation of semester system at Undergraduate level. Having read in newspapers that the 2015 Batch UG is yet to complete its graduation, I am really amazed that how authorities at Kashmir University have put careers of thousands at stake. I do not know the exact reasons for it happening at UG level but I would like to convey my feelings which are somewhat similar to the UG students. Being a Post Graduate Pass out student from the ‘’47th Ranked’’ university in the country I want to make it abundantly clear why I shouldn’t have studied in this NAAC accredited ‘’A’’ University.
Now allow me to narrate my saga.
Before the flood deluge of September 2014, I managed to secure a place for myself in Kashmir University and post floods I joined formally and began the course I was enrolled into. Thrilled and excited , and at the same time hoping for the completion of my degree in October 2016 (grace time of 3 months included) which is necessary to be factored in given the situation in Kashmir.
After a gloomy start to our so-called two-year course, we started at a snail’s pace in our first semester but appeared in the exams smoothly. This was, of course, the first time; I was to appear in the departmental exam inside the campus of the varsity. Previously, I had also appeared in exams conducted by Kashmir University but that was in college, at the undergraduate level. After appearing in the semester 1st exam, I got accustomed and acquainted with the atmosphere, procedures, and rules in the department and subsequently sat in the classes for the second semester in April 2015. Continuing my classes in the second semester, I appeared in end semester examination of the second semester in the months of September- October 2015. It was going good up to then and after this delays started coming one after another which disturbed the whole schedule recurrently.
The University broke for vacations on 15th January 2016; we had to stop attending our third-semester exams and were forced to leave for internships by our department which was only scheduled to be completed in 8 weeks but unfortunately got stretched to three months, courtesy of our department.
Resuming classes in the Month of April 2016 and hoping that the syllabus would be completed quickly and we would appear in our 3rd-semester exams in mid or end May so that we would kick-start our 4th semester immediately and complete our degree. You all will be surprised to know that the date of 3rd Semester examination was fixed from 16th July 2016. The date was decided by taking into consideration students’ views too (but at the end, it is the university authorities or departmental authorities who take the ultimate decision).
We all know what happened after 7th July 2016 in Kashmir and all the hopes of completing our degree before October or November were shattered as the unrest got prolonged. Change is such a phenomenon which is bound to happen and the political atmosphere in the state also changed as the unrest entered the 3rd and 4th month. People from all the factions started to gear up with a hope to compensate for the losses, be it in trade, education, business, and others. But, Kashmir university authorities kept sleeping and were not in a mood to wake up from their deep slumber. How could they wake up as paid vacations were going on smoothly for them? Finally, they woke up( as usual, late) and decided to conduct our exams from the month of December 2016. This was our third-semester exam which was to be conducted before unrest and could have been conducted very easily after 15th October immediately, like other universities did but it was stretched and delayed to December. Whenever I used to enquire from anyone about such a delay, I would get an answer ‘’meeting mai yehi decide hua hai’’ (it was decided in the meetings, in which students interests were never taken care of).
I know that unrest did affect all but when it comes to education, many institutions except Kashmir University tried fully to compensate and gear up and did fairly well. Kashmir University being ‘’student unfriendly’’ did not care for the students by over delaying things. It is a habit which is deeply rooted there and needs to be addressed seriously. Many aspirants who want to pursue higher education have started to realize these facts, and have begun to opt for other universities in and outside the state. Those who don’t or can’t are forced to stick to it here and get trapped in the enigmatic and perplexing system. In fact, the recent protests by undergraduate candidates were only because of unnecessary delays caused due to the sluggish approach of authorities out there.
Coming back to my point , I started my 4th semester in the month of February 2017 and was sure to complete it in the month of April as was reiterated by the ‘’dynamic’’ VC Sahib and heads of departments that 4th semester would be sort of a crash course and completed quickly. The quickness was only in the completion of class work and the termite was still in the wood. I was happy that after such a long delay , I will get a sigh of relief by completing my “unending’’ course in April or May 2017 but the delay and lethargic approach which is embedded there since years flaunted its colors’. Delays and dramas over delays maintained their status quo. Students, unable to do anything continued to suffer and are suffering.
The shocker is that our 4th-semester results got declared on 20th September 2017, three years after our enrollment into the varsity. Our batch mates from other universities also faced a delay but not to such a great extent. We, here, are used to such delays but when you land in the job market out there , have to explicate to your employer the delay after your scheduled end of the degree. And, explaining to them the above things may sound trash to them which unfortunately no one from the university understood or understands.
If anyone thinks this is an exaggerated depiction, can check the result declaration and other details from the KU website which is freely available?
(P.S: Some weeks ago I applied for a degree certificate there and was told that it will be ready after a short span of 3 months! God Bless the prevalent system at KU)
—The author is an MBA-FM (Batch 2014). He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and his twitter handle is humayun_nazim