The Decline and Decline of Kashmir University

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JAVEID HASSAN MALIK

There was a time when getting admission in Kashmir university was considered as an achievement; now times have changed so has the standard of Kashmir university. Contemporarily, not getting admission in Kashmir university is considered as a blessing in disguise as a student gets the chance to look for some alternative university where his or her degree gets completed on time and those who get admission in Kashmir university have to regret through out there course completion for not being awarded degree on time and facing of other nuisances.
The valleys highest seat of learning has reached its lowest ebb thanks to people ruling it who keep on exacerbating its problems rather than overcoming the mess that crept in its working with some bold measures. Unfortunately, there seems to be no hope of light at the end o the tunnel. Though Kashmir university highlights it’s ranking on top of its website among top 100 universities in India but It appears to be just an illusion for any student affiliated with university who knows the university like the palm of his hand.
Nothing remains hidden in this universe, so has the Kashmir universities failure of not following its academic calendar in letter and spirit. The root of higher education system , that is , the undergraduate courses have got so much infected that it seems beyond repair now, so much so that, only a proverbial elixir can treat it. One Can’t fathom the hardships that these students have to face courtesy of the faulty semester system which seems to have totally failed on ground .
Take the example of 5th and 6th semester students: they got admitted in 2015 and now we are at the tail end of 2018 and yet they haven’t completed their degrees, thanks to compulsive merging of two semesters that our university could afford to hold yearly entrance exam otherwise they would have had no fresh batch of students to enter the university. After conducting the entrance exam in haste, the admission process has not been completed yet as discrepancy has been found in the results of the majority of students (courtesy the faulty evaluation system). The manner in which the evaluation of papers is done, it would have been better to curtail this exercise. Nowadays, inter college evaluation of papers is , that is, papers of one college are given to some other college for checking is taken recourse to. Those people are being given authority to check papers that have no valid credentials of being a subject expert; so they just do this checking just for the sake of earning money as they get paid for checking these papers. To earn maximum money in minimum time they play T20 with papers, so to speak, and ultimately those who suffer are poor students.
I meet many good students in my official capacity as a teacher who keep on complaining of being dragged to apply for rechecking there paper for not being allotted the marks they were expecting and , the irony is that while applying for rechecking they have to pay a fee for it. Let’s assume that, if on rechecking of paper, it was found evaluator had not done his job of evaluation properly and had genuinely stolen the marks of a student what he deserved, does our university have the guts to punish the evaluator for his or her ignorance and refund the fee to the student what he or she had paid for rechecking the answer scripts.
Regarding holding of examinations, nothing has changed under the semester system. It seems like we are going from bad to worse. Last month, KU brought out date sheet of 1st semester. It was disheartening to see an examination meant to be completed in few weeks is being completed in one and a half month; in some streams, two papers have got gap of six days to prepare and others have got just few days of gap between papers. Why such discrepancy in exams? Why can’t exams be held individually and separately for different streams? This would have ensured that teaching exercise continued in colleges and examinations would have finished in minimum time like it happens in the main campus without wasting months.
Now, let us take an overview of the CBCS (Choice based credit system), the so called “paradigm shift” from conventional ways of studies. It just seems to have proved to be a hoax. Under the CBCS , skill enhancement courses are taught in 3rd and 4thsemester; I wonder how do they qualify to be skill enhancement courses when you have to teach a subject called analytical chemistry as skill enhancement course like history as no practical’s are mentioned in syllabus for it. The irony is that analytical chemistry is a subject which deals with teaching of methods and instrumentation used in chemistry labs The same is the case with other skill enhancement subjects; it seems like they are just there for formality purposes to justify CBCS.
Now, we have a new person at helm of the university who has already been tested once. Let us see what he has to offer. It is yet to be discovered whether he means business or just procrastination like the ex Vice Chancellor. The time has come for the VC to take principals of affiliated colleges into confidence and bring our college education system back on track with no further delay.

—The author can be reached at: malikjavid86@gmail.com