University of Kashmir – Dinosaur in Making

Standing in the line of eternity outside a window and inside the window a sole finger, aided by two eyes, is searching for the letters on keyboard; the finger type “N” and the eyes start searching for the letter “A”………… found and typed. This is how the word “NAME” is typed in almost five minutes by the “Angutha Shaps” (illiterate people who use thumb impression instead of signature) of our age, and computers are supposed to make you work speedy. These A.Ss are managing the largest and highest educational institute in Kashmir.

Couple of weeks ago during the Friday sermon the imam sahib of university mosque said, “…This is the highest educational institute so we expect the students and staff to be of highest quality…” Imam Sahib was right in saying so but the reality is that the selection process of staff (teaching & mom-teaching) and students of the university leaves a lot to be wished.

It is commonly understood that only three types of people are employed in the university: (1) The who’s who; people who are well connected politically and socially (2) The promised child; kids or relatives of University officials (3) The lucky; these are the ordinary people who get lucky as no one from above two categories is interested in the post they have applied for. Sometimes they even have to pay hefty bribes to secure their selection.

This type of selection process has an extremely adverse effect on the functioning of the whole university. There is no quality or value addition in the form of new hires apart from the chance addition through the lucky group.

When the incompetent people are hired by the university, it is an achievement beyond them. They no more strive for anything; they sit in their chair, abuse and order people as if it is their birth right. The teaching staffs after being appointed in the university have no higher aims to aim for, this is where the callous attitude, which is eating the university from within, creeps in. This attitude is then transferred to students, it being contagious, through whom the whole society is infected.

University of Kashmir reeks of corruption, complacency, incompetence and inefficiency in every aspect of its operation.

University of Kashmir being the prime university of the valley and caters to almost 90% of students. Keeping this fact in mind the management is expected to always be at their innovative best, but alas! The management seems to have not even heard of word innovation. Kashmir University has a website but how helpful or effective is it in attaining its objective? Various people will have various opinions about this website let me tell you mine, it is the worst website I have seen of nay educational institute. If you have to search for something on this website it is near to impossible, only the experts (internet café people inside the university campus) know what to find where.

There is also a separate website for filling forms online, but here also university only took a half step forward, one can fill the form online but can’t submit it online. One necessarily has to submit it physically. From here one’s ordeal of standing in the line starts; first you have to stand in line outside the bank counter to pay fees, then to submit the form and then again to know the status of your form.

Why can’t we just do away with this line system by having a complete online system; which would provide solutions from paying fee online, submitting form online, getting updates online and various other services?

The tragedy with our University is that anything that involves money, on it the first right is of the promised child or the who’s who. The Kashmir University website met the same fate as did various other initiatives or programs. So under such environment how can we expect the website to be state of art or innovative, the website designing or any other initiative is just a pretext to withdraw money.

University of Kashmir’s Center for Career Planning and Counseling (CCPC) started a program for coaching Kashmiri students for competitive exams, it started with much fanfare but as the years passed the authorities lost interest in it. The initiative’s downward slide can be summarized in the table below.

S.No Programme Examination Year No of Participants
1 6th coaching  program KAS prelims 2008 52
2 7th coaching  program KAS prelims 2009 135
3 8th coaching  program KAS Mains 2009 78
4 9th coaching  program KAS prelims 2010 40
5 11th coaching  program KAS prelims 2012 33

While commenting about the current state of the coaching program Mohammad Tarique Khan, who happens to be the deputy director of Centre for Coaching & Career Planning (Jammia Millia) besides being a renowned historian and author, said, “this program has been a causality of chalta hai attitude”

Regularly we hear the University Authorities making tall claims but we all know how shallow these claims are. To give you a snap shot of what people / students think about university have a look at these tweets:

“@altaf_jh: one of the most erudite, inefficient, ridiculous, autocratic administrations I have ever seen”

“@IbneBattuta: Kashmir University is the hub of nepotism and family progression”

Instead of introspection the university is busy of boasting of its NAAC A+ rating, which has been acquired by bribing the NAAC team with expensive gifts (Saffron, Shawls etc.). In reality the university doesn’t have anything apart from the beautiful campus and Iqbal library to boast of.  It is high time that the government takes a serious note of the mess that the university has turned into. It is not only affecting the university only but has a very adverse effect on the society at large.

Also Appeared in The Kashmir Monitor

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