Srinagar, Nov 01 :
With PG admissions at the Kashmir University witnessing a sharp decline for the first time in its history, academicians have voiced concern over failure of the Varsity authorities to address the burgeoning issue.
The Varsity authorities are themselves struggling to find ways and means to fill up the vacant seats in various PG courses at the main and satellite campuses.
Sources told the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that almost all seats in self-finance category at the main campus are vacant, while scores of seats in General (Open) category are also vacant in the Main Campus at Hazratbal, as also at the satellite campuses in Baramulla, Anantnag and Kupwara.
“Nearly 100 seats in main campus are vacant in various PG courses in General category, while over 200 seats are vacant in self-finance category,” the sources added.
The situation with Institute of Technology, Zakura Campus, is worst with 80 to 90 percent seats in its various branches vacant. Some seats are vacant in computer engineering course at North Campus as well. Even newly introduced courses at North Campus and Kupwara Campus have found very little takers, reflecting the University’s failure to do proper homework before launching these courses.
Academicians have voiced concern and requested LG Manoj Sinha, who is the KU’s Chancellor, to discuss the matter in the J&K Higher Education Council (JKHEC) headed by him.
“This situation is unprecedented. VC KU should have apprised the Chancellor about the declining admissions so that JKHEC could discuss ways and means to address this critical issue,” said a KU teacher, wishing not to be named.
He said the University authorities seem to be unmoved by the declining admissions which is tarnishing the perception and reputation of the institution in the eyes of the public.
“If admissions have dipped so much this year, there are fears that the situation could be worse next year. It is high time for the University to stop granting extension after extension for admissions and seriously find out reasons for steep dip in admissions,” said a teacher at South Campus.
He said the University’s decision to call for ‘open and spot admissions’ in bid to fill vacant seats is fraught with potential consequences. “Giving open admissions means compromising with merit and quality of candidates,” the teacher said.
“Five months have passed since the entrance test was held, but admissions are still open. How long will this work?” Another academician suggested that JKHEC should order an academic audit of various courses being offered by the University to assess their viability and future prospects.
“If some courses need to be closed, it must be done. But new courses should be introduced strictly after assessing their viability,” he said.
A KU official said recently the Vice Chancellor chaired a meeting of officials to discuss the issue of declining admissions, but couldn’t reach a consensus on the way forward.
“Once upon a time KU was the most sought-after institution where students would be more than willing to pay for payment seats. There was no question of any vacant seat in any department,” said a former KU Dean.
“Today, there is a huge question mark on the academic and research activities of the University despite its claims of NIRF and NAAC rankings”—(KNO)