CDI not to enroll for Craft Management course this year

CDI not to enroll for Craft Management course this year
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Faculty positions as per UGC norms not filled

Irshad Khan

SRINAGAR: The Craft Development Institute (CDI), Srinagar, has withheld admissions this year to the lone master’s programme the institute offers as it has failed to appoint the faculty required as per University Grants Commission (UGC) norms to teach the course.
Established in the year 2004 at Nowshehra, the CDI, as on date, offers a single master’s programme, in Craft Management and Entrepreneurship (MCME), introduced at the institute in 2012.
Although affiliated with the University of Kashmir, the CDI is currently administered by the Handicrafts Department.
After directions from Kashmir University to appoint the faculty as per UGC norms, in-charge Director, CDI, Zubair Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that the institute’s Executive Board had decided that “the institute should not issue any admission notification for the time being”.
The board, which met on March 19 after the KU directions, had asked the CDI to submit a proposal over the appointment of a full-time director, faculty and other financial requirements.
“We submitted a proposal regarding the financial requirements on April 9. The admissions for this year have not been made yet,” Zubair said.
“It is the requirement that the director and faculty be appointed under UGC norms,” he added.
To appoint faculty as per the UGC norms, Zubair said that the CDI recruitment rules needed to be amended.
“It is beyond my power because you have to appoint the director and faculty members and fix their pay scale. The board has to take a call on that.”
Zubair said that they had asked the government that those passing out from the CDI “be given preference for various technical posts”.
While admissions to the MCME programme would not be made this year, Zubair however said the institute is “committed over the studies of the students constituting three batches” currently enrolled at the CDI.
While Zubair holds additional charge of Director CDI, an insider from the CDI said that the Handicrafts Department has been hiring faculty “from here and there”.
“A faculty member has to have a doctorate and academic experience of up to 15 years. As per UGC norms, there ought to be a selection committee for the appointment of faculty members,” added the official.
Confirming that admissions for the current academic year had been put on hold, Commissioner Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar, who is also the chairman of the CDI’s Executive Board, said that this year’s admissions for the MCME programme would not be made at all.
“We would not take any student this year unless we fulfil the UGC norms,” he added.
Kumar hoped that the admissions would continue from next year.
“It was the KU that put a condition that they would recognise a course only when there is manpower and infrastructure as per UGC norms. We have to change the recruitment rules and pay scale for appointing the faculty now. It would not happen overnight. It will take some time.”
Kumar said that the KU had told them that “they will recognise the courses of the students currently enrolled at the institute.”
Besides the CDI not appointing the faculty as per UGC norms, Dean Academic Affairs, KU, Musaddiq Sahaf said that the CDI management did not reply to the varsity’s offer to take over the institute.
Sahaf further said, “When the government can create 60 positions for a course elsewhere, creating four to five faculty positions must not be a big deal.”
To mention, the MCME students at CDI had in December last year alleged that the institute had failed to affiliate itself with both the KU and the UGC.