Kashmir Badly Needs a Medical University. Here’s Why

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Tawfeeq Irshad Mir

The paradise on earth, a designated prestigious honor being revealed on it has driven speculations all over the globe, but the figures on ground reveal that Kashmir has lost the glory to be called paradise, as paradise is defined by comfort and healthy endeavors, but the state doesn’t have any of it. While the world countries were busy, describing their economic pursuits, assessing different economic graphs in Davos, Switzerland in the World Economic Summit, the world economic leaders held the opinion that India continues to be the hostile space for health industry,, with multi specialized medical Universities scattered over a spatial pattern in almost all the states, leaving Jammu and Kashmir in despair, in agony, as the only left region without a medical University.
There has been a paradigm shift in the buildup of health institutions in the valley, splattered in a haphazard manner, with absolute lack of connect, inducing a major jolt to the thousands of medical, nursing, paramedical students, as they herald the ambitions to scoop to the highest possible level. The SKIMS is the only institute with deemed University status; but that too fluctuates, with its administrative onset, with new onset of new political regimes.
The other medical institutions, including the premier, Government Medical College (GMC) associated nursing colleges, paramedical institutions, the GMC associated hospitals, the thousands of mini health institutions wear a deserted look, the whole narrative is nerve wracking , as thousands of medical, nursing, paramedical, dental students are left in despair.
All this poses the biggest challenge to the administrative set up, as the different administrative units work in separation; an incoherent approach is visible; there is lack of intent connect. These administrative units have failed miserably to cater to the needs of people, in general, and students, in particular. It often surprises the conscientious minds of Jammu and Kashmir, that the GMC despite being the premier medical college, with multi functionary associated hospital has not been given university status.
The biggest problems lie in the admission of students, their academic arrangement, their dispersal, conduct of exams and delivering of results.
The valley’s premier medical college is affiliated with the already burdened Kashmir University, while thousands of medical thousands, nursing students, paramedical students knock to get illumination of health endeavor, the approach of medical college to Kashmir university has always been agonizing; the students feel heat and dust during registration process, encounter delayed exams, and incompetent delivering of results.
In December 2017, the Bsc nursing students from college of nursing GMC expressed their outrage over delay of results, while protesting at Pratap Park; the students said to media personnel that despite 6 months , their results have not been declared yet and that there was absolute loss of connect between the administrative unit of the said college and the administrative officials at Kashmir university, as the course is registered there. When the students approached the University officials, the officials said that their external practical award sheet was missing, after they conveyed the same to the administrative unit in respected nursing college. This aroused utter confusion in the minds of students which eventually provoked them to stage a protest. The untraced practical award sheet continues to be a mystery, and how they furnished the marks certificates to the students is in chaos till now. (This is one of the incidents I have witnessed myself. There are dozens of such outrages but with the passage of time, these voices subside)
The conduct of exams for these medical students affiliated with Kashmir university has been an uncertain element; theirs is a chronic shortage of predicament and appropriateness, sometimes the notifications brew the students; sometimes instantly, sometimes late but never on time.
Another problem lies with engagement of staff, as different health institutions work independently; separate notifications for the same post are put up; sometimes the selection is on the basis of merit, and sometimes on the entrance exam, with variable pay scale, the prevalence of such instinct has infinite consequences.
There is an ardent need to place these all non integrated institutions under one umbrella, with a mega administrative department, that will eventually bring the health industry under one banner, shunning its deserted outlook. The development of a medical University in Kashmir will heal the impending miseries, accord relief to all. Let the process begin now!

The author can be reached at: tawfeeqirshad@gmail.com