Unreal Grading(s)

Unreal Grading(s)

After its team visited Kashmir University from May 2-5, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has given Grade ‘A+’ rating to the varsity, the same grade the institution was given last time. University officials, though, are claiming an “improvement” given the “tougher” criteria of evaluation lately. There are issues with both assessments, one that of the NAAC and the self assessment of the university. Prima facie, it’s not clear what methodology the NAAC has employed to arrive at the conclusion it has arrived at. While the methodology is unclear or even obscure, the results or conclusions are astounding. These are so because Kashmir University has, over time, become a moribund and a decrepit institution whose only claim to fame lies in “mass producing” students with degrees. Or, in other words, the University is not associated with excellence. It has not produced world class research or research papers, its research output is not commensurate with incisive and path breaking research, the quality of the human capital that it produces is sub par, its infrastructure is not up to standards and its pedagogical methods are stuck in the past. The list can go on and on but the point is that Kashmir university , defying its potential , is, to repeat , a moribund institution . stuck in deep rooted inertia which is both structural and conceptual in nature. All this flies flat against the NAAC accrediting the university with gradings that seem to be unreal. In fact, the NAAC would have done the Kashmir University a favor if these grades would have corresponded to reality. If this would have been the case, the Kashmir University would have been forced or compelled to pull its sock up, so to speak, to improve performance at a range of levels. But, nay, the surreal grading will now add to the layers of inertia that define the university. Truth be told, the Kashmir university needs fundamental and paradigm changing reform not to elevate it performance and measures thereof but to actually stay relevant. The university is stuck in such a dated time warp that continuing along the same path and structures amount to playing with the lives and futures of both current and future students. Let then the NAAC grading not merely engender and breed complacency but focus and concentrate minds on the nature and scope of the challenges, of an existential nature, that Kashmir university faces.