Researchers at KU face accommodation crisis

Researchers at KU face accommodation crisis
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SRINAGAR: Kashmir University (KU) is facing dearth of accommodation for researchers even as the varsity is proposing residential hostels for them to enhance the working hours and create a conducive working environment at the institution.
Provost, Boys Hostels KU, G N Khaki told Kashmir Reader that only 58 scholars could be accommodated at ‘Gani Kashmiri Research Scholars Inn’- the lone hostel for male scholars at the varsity.
More than 200 scholars, Prof Khaki informed, had been “in queue over the last one year” to get accommodation at the hostel.
In the wake of shortage of space, Prof Khaki emphasised on additional accommodation for the research scholars at the institution.
“The scholars have grown in number as the research is gaining momentum at KU. Most of the scholars stay at the varsity till the completion of their research programmes. So, a very few vacancies are being created, which happens only after a scholar vacates the hostel after he completes the programme atleast in 3-4 years,” Prof Khaki said.
He however informed that an additional accommodation for the scholars was being built at the KU’s Zakura campus.
“The VC has already agreed to construct a hostel specifically for research scholars,” he added.
Making the KU campus residential for every research scholar “is long overdue” for which a proposal was mooted at the meeting of the varsity’s planning board recently, Dean Research KU, Prof Zafar A Reshi told Kashmir Reader.
“In the meeting, I had put up a suggestion why we should not have this institution residential for research scholars, which would mean construction of say couple of hostels,” Prof Reshi informed.
The move, he said, would be advantageous in enhancing the working hours and providing conducive working environment to the researchers.
“Since many scholars have to pay heavy amounts as rent, they, at least, would be saved from that. It is a manageable thing for which the university has to take a call and convince government for funding. As dean research, I will be strongly supporting it,” he said.
The proposal though, has to be pursued at various levels, Prof Reshi added.
“For financial implications, it goes to financial committee, then to syndicate and ultimately to the council headed by the chancellor,” he explained.
“That way I don’t think it should be difficult in case there is some sort of effort. It should materialise,” he said.
Prof Reshi hoped that making the campus residential for the researchers would “help to improve the research standards”.
“They would be able to devote most of their time to their research. There would be lot of academic life at the university beyond office hours as well,” he added.