By Naveed Bukhtiyar
In every semester examination, many students are not allowed to sit in examinations in Kashmir University because there is a Roll No. fall in the shortage list. Surprised students have no option but to resist. Weeping and angry they knock the door of the courts the and media but return empty handed and are forced to leave those papers in which they face shortage.
I want to bring to the notice of the public that shortage has become the tool in the hand of the Kashmir University to harass students. Students who were detained from writing papers claimed 100% attendance but according to shortage list they were not having 75% which is the minimum attendance setup by the University for Students to be allowed write exam papers.
Each year, many students have to drop papers due to this drama; even top most seniors are not spared, who are on the verge of leaving their respective departments which unnecessarily extends their degree by not allowing them to sit in exams. When I tried to question the committees made for the attendance there reply is “Justice should be done to the students who have been regular to university”. I agree with them on this, but what happens to their Justice system when they allow some students on someone’s phone or on Fake duty slips?
The shortage system is a scam in the Law department, which needs to be taken seriously. Lecturers usually don’t take the attendance of student on the attendance book; instead they make a note of Roll No’s on a page in the class room and then at the end of the semester, they start maintaining attendance book (up to that time they’ve lost some papers on which attendance was noted).
I want to bring into notice the one of the India’s best institution, that is, the JNU, since its inception has never used shortage as tool for good performance of students but it has always produced the best brains. Recently, a shortage policy was introduced in this institution also but it received wide criticism from JNU students as well as Civil Society in India. It is believed that JNU has been able to maintain high quality product reputation because there was no such shortage policy as comparable to Aligarh Muslim University, Banaras Hindu University, Allahabad University and others which are in deteriorating condition after the UGC has introduced shortage policy in universities.
Most of the better universities in the world – whether or not subsidized by the government – do not require compulsory attendance at the postgraduate level (and often at the undergraduate level, too) because students are expected to know that poor attendance or absenteeism impacts adversely on academic performance. This is not true for postgraduate studies at most Indian universities, including many schools and departments at JNU. It is possible for students to perform reasonably well without attending lectures even when postgraduate taught in about the same way as institutions abroad because faculty members, administration and students prefer to go through the motions of following existing rules and regulations.
University always takes the plea of Conflict zone for every delay for exam conducts, results or other activities. Why should it get the benefit of the conflict? Who is actually a true sufferer due to this conflict? For example, south Kashmir is always on the boil and for students from that area, it is difficult to reach the university but such things are never considered and university continues with classes.
By way of a conclusion, I want to make two recommendations to the University to amend their shortage policy:
First, there should be strict circular that attendance should be done in class on attendance books only and not on paper or anything else;
Second, usually students have attended the 50% of classes but since they are not having the minimum of 75% attendance they are dropped. I suggest there should be time limit for them to sit in examination at least student having 50% attendance will get 50% percent of time to write exams.
This will be much student friendly approach in this conflict ridden valley saving time as well as career of students.
—The author is a law student and a student Activist. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org