The systems need to be put in place at KU
Srinagar: There appears to be some kind of an underlying volcano at the Kashmir University that is potentially dangerous for its teachers and students in the event of its eruption. Why the campus has become what insiders say a ‘hotbed of despondency’ for its teachers and students has its roots in the alleged chronic maladministration that the varsity has passed through just before the first woman Vice Chancellor took the reins of the campus in May this year.
Running the administrative affairs on adhocism and personal likings, one man-multiple post syndrome and total lack of transparency in the administrative and financial affairs concerning teachers and students have only contributed to further polluting the academic atmosphere in the campus, now under the command of the new Vice Chancellor who is battling allegations of inaction and indecision to curb the alleged maladministration of the yesteryears, insiders say.
And it is not surprising at all. For, the institution’s heads have a legacy of sidelining issues of favouritism at the top level to save the skin of few individuals at the expense of institutional progress and image. To cite a recent example, the University’s inaction on a serious issue of alleged breach of its student data has only strengthened this public belief that the University still runs on personal considerations than safeguarding of institutional interests which are otherwise held supreme and sacred elsewhere.
The least the Vice Chancellor could have done is to order a third party evaluation of all its IT operations to reassure its students and teachers that nothing bad had happened to their data that could risk their privacy. Instead, the VC choose to adopt the grand old path of looking the other way and let some officials become the judge, jury and hangman all by themselves to give a clean chit to themselves on their own.
If that is how an academic institution’s head delivers, one can only once again express a regret and remorse over the indecision and inaction that the University is known to follow on serious matters. How does it help the University to not inquire into alleged fraud Ph.D degree given an official holding an important administrative position or failure of officials to have the official rotated every three years as is the case with other heads of departments? It only spoils the University’s image, the insiders added.
If some University officials are being probed by ACB or other investigating agencies, how do they continue to occupy administrative positions till they come clean? It is a blot on the face of the administration to set such a bad precedent of looking the other way on highly sensitive matters.
The university is expected to be a place where transparency is held dear to everything else. But if transparency becomes the first casualty, then all other expectations fall flat. Merely saying by the VC that the university will move on the path of excellence is rhetorical until it is followed with action against instances of maladministration.
By looking the other way on issues like data-breach and allegations of corruption against few officials who are under probe of the investigating agencies, the Vice-Chancellor is only harming her own cause of working with transparency. It is like scoring a self-goal after self-goal that would only end up in your loss at the end. Sooner the Vice Chancellor understands this, better it is for the institution—and for her own image and reputation too.
The Jammu and Kashmir LG, who is the Chancellor of universities in J&K, must step in to address the worsening administrative affairs at the Kashmir University before the volcano really bursts to engulf the institution’s credibility and reputation. The Chancellor is duty-bound to crack the whip and he needs to do it soon.