Srinagar: Come any all-India level competitive examination and Kashmiri students have a constant complaint: that their examination centres have been set up outside the valley, despite their having preferred local centres at the time of submitting application forms.
Now the National Testing Agency (NTA) has scheduled the National Eligibility Test (NET) between June 20 and 28, but the divisional administration of Kashmir has yet again failed to get the testing agency to set up adequate exam centres for Kashmiri students within the valley.
Apart from the scorching heat wave prevailing outside the valley, and the unpredictable highway which is more often closed than open, many candidates whose examination centres have been designated in Jammu and elsewhere in India say that they cannot even afford to travel outside the valley in the first place. Irshad Ahmad, one of them, said, “It is very cumbersome for me to appear in the exam at Jammu.
I can’t bear the expenditure.” Sharing the same grievance, another aspirant feared he might not make it to the examination centre designated outside the valley. Sharing his ordeal in last year’s NET examination, the aspirant said, “I somehow managed to reach the exam center but many of my friends missed the exam as the national highway was blocked because of heavy landslides. I will never forget those difficulties which I faced last year.”
Candidates complained that they had approached the NTA last year also, “but it seems that the agency is least bothered about the sufferings of Kashmiri students”. The aspirants once again appealed to the NTA to make sure that adequate examination centers were set up in the valley.
“We hope our students won’t suffer any more and their future won’t be ruined,” they said. In February, the divisional administration had assured Kashmiri aspirants of competitive examinations that the examination centres would be set up within the valley. Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan told Kashmir Reader that he will look into this matter.