SRINAGAR: The only nursing college the Higher Education Department has established in Kashmir is without a permanent campus and its own faculty, while the department cites “non-availability of state land” to explain the delay.
The department established two nursing colleges in J&K last year, one each for Srinagar and Jammu.
Although the Kashmir-based nursing college took the lead against its Jammu counterpart by starting classes in 2017 itself, after getting affiliation from Kashmir University, the college’s not having land of its own forced it to start operations inside Women’s College, M A Road, Srinagar, from where it is functioning till date.
The Jammu nursing college could not start operations last year because Jammu University did not grant it affiliation in time.
For the Srinagar college, the department had appointed nine faculty members, including an associate professor, an assistant professor and six tutors on consolidation basis in May last year.
The department has not appointed even a single permanent faculty member to the college during the last one year.
Principal Nursing College, Srinagar, Zamrooda Akhter told Kashmir Reader that the Higher Education Department had directed the Srinagar district administration to identify land to build a campus for the college.
While the enrolment at the college had gone to 120, the institution was still “foreign” to the Women’s College, M A Road, Akhter said.
“The department can either buy a building or identify land where the campus can be built,” she added.
Although the department had identified two buildings, one at Gogji Bagh and another in uptown Chanapora, a college insider told Kashmir Reader that “neither of them was feasible for the college”.
Commissioner Secretary, Higher Education Department, Sarita Chauhan said that they could not get state land for the college.
If the location is not too far away from Srinagar, the department would be content even were it to get state land for the nursing college in either of the adjacent districts of Budgam or Ganderbal, Chauhan informed.
While the district magistrates were preoccupied with the local body elections in the state, the Commissioner Secretary asked the college principal and the local MLA to take the lead in identifying the college land.
Chauhan said that a permanent faculty to the college would be appointed once the posts were created.
She hoped that the pace of work would catch up once the Panchayat elections in the state were over.