Kashmir University’s Slow and Steady Regression

Kashmir University’s Slow and Steady Regression
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Kashmir University, allegedly the premier and highest learning institute of the valley has, over time, morphed into a veritable moribund institution. An insalubrious development that should raise alarm bells and even hackles across sections of society, the drift and regression of the university has been inexorable. The reasons, in the main, neither pertain to the conflict nor the general inertia that pervades the institutions of Jammu and Kashmir. One major reason that can be isolated for the institution’s regression, it is bad and poor leadership. The reference here is to the bevy of Vice Chancellor’s , barring an odd one or so, who have almost brought Kashmir university to ruin, especially in the region’s recent history, spanning the past three decades or so. While the nature of conditions would inevitable constrain the choice of Vice Chancellors for the university, given that extraordinary talent would not venture here, but the people who have actually manned the highest position at the university , in the years in contention have not done anything useful for it; , in fact, they are culpable for its slide. Once, in office, these people have either treated the university and the office of the Vice Chancellor , as their fief, power centers to indulge in politics and politicking or power has gone to their head. Not to single him out but, in very recent times, this is perhaps best reflected in the outgoing Vice Chancellor, who has had to disgracefully demit office and exit. As a result of all this, Kashmir University has suffered: both its institutional fabric , its structures and academic standards have gone from bad to worse. The major sufferers have been the students of the university who, after their stint , at the university , have a piece of paper( degrees) , in their hands , but their attainment in terms of knowledge and learning outcomes , is subpar. This, to emphasize , is not the students’ fault; they are unfortunate and hapless victims of a university that has failed them. Now, the university has a new Vice Chancellor who has ably, effectively and efficiently led institutions of high repute and great worth. The hope is that, the new Vice Chancellor, to employ a business term, will turn around the university and render it into an institution of excellence, the kind that will redound to the benefit and welfare of students. The task is humungous , and there will be reasons to be disheartened and disappointed but, in the final analysis, what differentiates great and able leadership that is transformative and dynamic from the mediocre variety, among other things, is quiet determination, grit and staying power. For the sake of Kashmir University and its students, present and future, the hope is something good must happen!

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