The highest seat of learning in Kashmir Valley, the Kashmir University (KU) is once again in news and this time also for wrong reasons. The Varsity has been proving a living example of sluggishness and lethargy at the highest level.
The KU which should have been perusing to fathom an improvement in the overall functioning of the University is doing the other way round. Kashmir University’s NAAC accreditation has expired in May 2016 and since then no one in the Varsity has bothered to get the NAAC certification renewed.
The level of lethargy and indifferent attitude can be gauged from the fact that the University officials have not even bothered to apply for the renewal certification by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).
The fallout of not having an NAAC certification has meant that the Varsity has been deprived of funds under centrally sponsored schemes like Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA).
RUSA is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), launched in 2013 aims at providing strategic funding to eligible state higher educational institutions. The central funding (in the ratio of 60:40 for general category States, 90:10 for special category states and 100% for union territories) would be norm based and outcome dependent.
The funding flows from the central ministry through the state governments/union territories to the State Higher Education Councils before reaching the identified institutions. The funding to states is made on the basis of critical appraisal of State Higher Education Plans, which would describe each state’s strategy to address issues of equity, access and excellence in higher education.
Due to the failure of the varsity administration, the GoI denied release of Rs 100 Crore for the university under RUSA scheme. These funds were meant for overall development of the varsity as various new streams could have been introduced in the varsity utilizing these funds.
NAAC assesses and accredits higher education institutions in India. It was formed after recommendations formulated in the National Policy on Education (1986), which laid emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in India.
An institution accredited by NAAC signifies that it has met certain standards of excellence across its operations. Apart from making educational institution eligible to grants from government of India there are major benefits for students as well. NAAC accreditation is renewed after every five years after head of the institution applies for it. At the time of last NAAC accreditation, KU bagged ‘A’ rank from the NAAC team during their visit to the varsity.
The KU top bosses need to do some brain storming sessions and devise a plan to set things on track. The functioning of the varsity has been attracting lot of attention for the way things have been shaping up.
Officials in the varsity who are deserving and capable to take the institution to the next level are sidelined and changes are executed without ascertaining their fallout on the functioning of this premier institution of learning.