‘Selections through academic merit will be last resort’
Srinagar: Amid speculations that this year’s Kashmir University entrance test will not be held due to the coronavirus situation, the teachers’ association at the varsity has advocated the holding of the entrance test.
The KUTA, Kashmir University Teachers’ Association, said on Friday that the varsity administration’s recent proposal to do away with the entrance test, and instead admit students on academic merit basis, should be the “last resort when everything else fails”.
Last week, the KU administration issued a circular saying it may not be possible to conduct this year’s entrance test and that admissions shall be made on the basis of merit obtained in the qualifying examination.
President KUTA, Prof Manzoor Chachoo, told Kashmir Reader that the administration had not yet decided to do away with the entrance test and the proposal was still under debate.
He said that the KUTA had put it across to the varsity administration not to abolish the entrance test. The varsity administration, on its part, is in talks with teachers on how to conduct the entrance test, Chachoo said.
While the priority under the prevailing circumstances is to save lives of teachers and students, the KUTA president said that transport facility can be provided for candidates and social distancing maintained at the examination centres.
“Besides, we should be able to provide masks and sanitisers to students,” he said.
He said that there have also been discussions over conducting the entrance test in phases, in order to prevent large gatherings.
He said the varsity administration may have to take help from the municipality in fumigating the examination centres before and after the entrance test. He added that the administration was also in talks with the municipality to set up a fumigation channel at the entrance.
The KU administration is also mulling to conduct the entrance test online, provided the government facilitates high-speed 4G internet connectivity, the KUTA president said.
“The administration is looking at different issues pertaining to the conduct of entrance test. Admitting students on the basis of academic merit will be the last resort when everything else fails,” Chachoo said.
He said that many students have been preparing and waiting for the entrance test. The majority of the teachers, he said, were in favour of conducting the entrance test, “so that quality and sanctity of admissions is maintained”.
Chachoo argued that there were many bright students who, for one reason or the other, do not score high in the qualifying examination. Such students will be deprived of a fair chance at selection in case the entrance test is abolished, he said.
Registrar of Kashmir University, Prof Nisar Ahmad Mir, also said that the proposal to do away with this year’s entrance test is still under discussion and has not been finalised yet.