Fate of KU’s Archaeology dept in limbo

Admission to master’s programme expected to be put on hold again

Srinagar: Kashmir University is likely going to suspend admission to master’s programme in Archaeology this year again because of acute shortage of subject-specific teachers in the Valley.
Last year, the varsity had put on hold admission process to the programme just two years after starting the course in 2017. Currently, only a single permanent faculty assisted by a contractual teacher are teaching 30 students admitted in 2017 and 2018, respectively. According to an official, three contractual teachers hired by the varsity did not turn up since February 2019.
Consequently, the Centre for Central Asian Studies (CCAS), which runs the programme, had requested the varsity to put on hold fresh admission process to the programme last year. Similarly, the CCAS has again shot a letter to the KU administration last week requesting it to withhold admissions in the face of dearth of faculty, Kashmir Reader has learnt from reliable sources.
A source familiar with the issue said that the CCAS does not want to put career of students at stake due to unavailability of teachers. In Kashmir, there is a death of teachers in the specified subject, which has put the fate of the department in a state of uncertainty, an official said.
Now, the CCAS’s is going to hire five guest faculties from outside the Valley to teach the students of previous two batches. They are likely to join their duties next month, he added.
The CCAS, according to the official, will have to renew the proposal of hiring the guest faculty every month because as per the University Grants Commission (UGC) norms, guest lecturers are to be hired on monthly basis.
Director CCAS Prof Tariq Ahmad Rather said that they are still in a dilemma whether fresh admissions at the department were feasible in the face of scanty teaching faculty. He, however, quickly added that the decision about it will be taken once the guest faculty joins the department.

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