Whose baby is Government Polytechnic College Pulwama?

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In 2012 academic session, the NC-Congress coalition Government had given a nod for setting up of Government Polytechnic Engineering Colleges in every district. The Jammu & Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examination (JK-BOPEE) being a competitive authority, conducted the entrance examination for filling up the intake capacity of seats in all such polytechnic colleges. During the counseling session, the (JK-BOPEE) filled up the 180 seats for every constituent college, except for Government Polytechnic College, Pulwama, which was handed over to Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora (IUST), to run the college, as the Government found it difficult to establish a proper campus, as large number of locals in district Pulwama were demanding polytechnic college.

IUST later advertised the admission notification from office of the Registrar, for admission to various polytechnic engineering programmes, in School of Engineering and Technology, with the intake capacity of 60 students per branch. After successfully conducting the entrance examination, 40 seats had been filled under Open merit category and 20 seats had been filled under the self-finance quota, in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical engineering branches respectively. The first batch of these 180 students were directly shifted to CGI-made sheds to attend the day-long lectures, instead of providing them accommodation in a building, showing the step-motherly treatment by University authorities, despite receiving a huge chunk of admission and semester fee from them. The University authorities had initially received INR 16,000 (Sixteen Thousand) from every student as a first semester fee and those candidates who had been admitted under self-financed category have paid INR 84,000 (Eighty four Thousand) admission fee, for Electrical and Mechanical Engineering branches, and 1.2 lakh for Civil Engineering branch.

The 2013 batch students of University Polytechnic Engineering College made hue and cry and demanded that their fee structure should be same as that of other Government Polytechnic Colleges running in the state, forced the University authorities to revise the fee structure in tone with other Government Polytechnic Colleges. Before the change in fee structure, the University authorities used to provide laboratories for practical’s, browsing center for e-learning, and also promised to provide them accommodation in building, but the Polytechnic students at IUST don’t get such facilities from past more than four years. Various times the concerned students approached the authorities, with a plea to shift them in proper building, but all in vain. The aggrieved students say thatthey were victimized for making hue and cry over the previous fee structure set by University. Some years back, when the team of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) had arrived in the campus for inspection, all Diploma Engineering students were shifted to School of Technology Building in Academic block-2. Later the students were forced to attend their classes in CGI sheds, “Said a group of aggrieved students”.

According to some internal sources at IUST, the couple of practical labs were meant for polytechnic college, but the university had used these labs for B-Tech students. After establishing Polytechnic College in IUST Campus, the state government had allotted a huge chunk of money for upgrading the building and other infrastructure at GPC Pulwama, but still diploma engineering students are taking their classes in CGI & Bamboo Hut made sheds, in which most of them are in pathetic state. In 2017 academic session the IUST had advertised tender notice namely “Construction of Polytechnic College block IUST Campus Awantipora” vide E-NIT No: IUST/EW/CVL/17/TEND/POLY/04 dated 09-01-2017, later this tender notice was cancelled due to some administrative reasons vide Notification No: IUST/EW/CVL/17/76 Dated: 07-03-2017.After that IUST had re-advertised a notification from office of the Superintending Engineer IUST, inviting e-tenders on behalf of Hon’ble Vice Chancellor IUST, for electrification of Government Polytechnic College near police station Awantipora, under estimated cost of INR 66,00,000under E-NIT NO:IUST/EW/18/TEND/ELE/POLY/08 Dated:02-07-2018, which put polytechnic students  in a great dilemma, why University Polytechnic College has been thrown out from main campus to other site, which is 2Km’s away from main campus.

When this writer visited the campus on 09-01-2018, strained to see that some officials were mounting the sign boards in Academic block-2 under the name (Poly lecture hall 01, 02, to 08, and setting up the sign boards on all practical labs, dedicated to polytechnic engineering college, so to catching the outsiders attention. when the reporter confirmed it from an university official, whether now the Diploma engineering department had been allotted a building, the response of the official was utterly shameful. She replied, “It is only for 4 days, as some officials from All India Council for Technical Education are visiting the campus”.

As of now, the University is moving from strength to strength, but the staff behavior at times leaves a lot to be desired. Some polytechnic students have a shattering experience with the employees of IUST and while expressing their disappointment some students narrated about the ill-mannered staff which they add was a serious problem. The University employees must know, they are work in a Public institution which runs on Student’s money whether “small or big”.

It is a prerequisite for the staff to behave properly with the students while understanding their profession and must contribute immensely towards the student relations. The University employees must know that they are part of an institution and students need to be treated in a dignified manner, many students suggest. The onus completely lies on Dean Student’s welfare, to retain all collective focus on student relations, as a responsible institution. There is also a dire need to take action against such officials, who are showing unhealthy and arrogant behavior and must carry forward the philanthropic activities in a professional manner with a mission to meet its obligations as a socially relevant institution. “Nasti Seath Kath Karen Chali ne” said one of the female student (name with held) while using a Kashmiri expression for impolite or arrogant behavior.

The Polytechnic College at IUST was meant to expand the avenues and enhance the technical education programmes, but it remains mired in procedural and bureaucratic vacillation by playing such a mockery with the career of students enrolled in Polytechnic College, by which they have completely failed to cope up with the newly approved higher education policy reforms at Diploma Engineering level, as the students with bundle of hopes were left in a bad shape from the day of their enrollment. The condition of these students is desperate for all to see, especially in terms of infrastructure, more often quality based education.

The aggrieved students are demanding that the University Grants Commission (UGC), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Hon’ble High Court, Bar Association of District Court Pulwama, Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Judicial Magistrate Awantipora, Civil society, The Trade Union leaders, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCCI), RTI Associations must take a strong note on such academic failure, as the university has failed to give imputes to dying academic scenario at Government Polytechnic College Pulwama.

It is ironical that the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) too failed to meet its objectives and mission as a national-level apex advisory body, to conduct a survey on the facilities available for technical education in Government Polytechnic College Pulwama in a coordinated and integrated manner. There are a number of negative and unacceptable consequences of this administrative failure. However, something needs to be conveyed to general public from Hon’ble Vice Chancellor about the logic behind shifting Diploma classes to Academic block-2, when the students are on winter vacations?


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