Quotas and Reservations in our Universities

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An Open Letter to Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Central University of Kashmir

Recently, a local English Daily Published an interview with the current Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Central University of Kashmir (CUK). The Hon’ble Vice Chancellor highlighted one of the crucial lacunas of the varsity, that University will have a special Admission quota for the Students of Ganderbal, where the permanent Campus is being established.

As far as special quota to students of District Ganderbal is concerned, this statement of Hon’ble Chancellor has come in the back drop of Political mobilization, and seems to be a good political gesture but a bad academic policy. By this standard- a special quota for the students of District Pulwama in Islamic University Campus would be justified since the university is located in the jurisdiction of District Pulwama! A special quota for the students of District Srinagar in Kashmir University and so on! I think the statement was only a political Stunt as such has no validity even in the eyes of University Grants Commission (UGC).

Central university has progressed well under the able leadership and a strong administrative setup but to make such a claim can prove detrimental for the academics. No one can deny the exemplary work of the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Central University of Kashmir when it comes to enriching the academic setup and ensuring that CUK becomes the first choice of students across the state.

The University authorities have to implement new educational initiatives for fresh intake rather than special reservation and quotas. We know, the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Kashmir had given a nod for academic activities in various off site campuses, which not only augmented the existing higher education facilities in Kashmir, but also helped in diversification of academics.

All Quotas like Management Quota, Self-finance Seats, NRI Quota and Special reservation as a policy reform in higher education have dented the credibility of our academics. These quotas and reservations have converted our educational Institutes into Financial Corporations. It is time to change old guards, so to have a single merit list to fill up the intake capacity of seats. To restore the integrity of Universities, the concerned authorities and University administrations have to work in a planned manner and with a proper vision that would facilitate comprehensive policies to maintain the sanctity of Universities.

The Higher education sector in Jammu and Kashmir needs serious reforms to keep pace with the dynamic and competitive world standards where students need to acquire relevant skill development and robust infrastructure rather than admission quotas and reservations.

 (The writer is a Srinagar based freelance Journalist)

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