Haroon Reshi

Why KU’s north, south campuses may miss NITI Aayog research funds?

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Academics pitch for creating research schools in satellite campuses

Srinagar: While appreciating Kashmir University’s decision to grant recognition to its North and South campuses as research centers, many academics suggest that research schools should also be created in these satellite campuses to make them eligible for NITI Aayog research funding.

They say that creating new schools/faculties at North and South campuses of the university is imperative because NITI Aayog is presently working on a paper to provide funding to universities directly through the school system.

Pertinently, Kashmir University authorities recently announced recognition of Satellite campuses as research centers for conducting various research programmes.

An order issued in this regard reads: “On the recommendations of Standing Operational Committee of University Research Council and in anticipation of the approval of competent bodies, the Vice-Chancellor has been pleased to grant recognition of Satellite Campuses South and North as research centers for conducting research programmes in various PG disciplines being taught at these campuses….”

The decision was applauded by the academics and students in general. However, now many of them advocate for creating research schools at these campuses.

“We were pursuing hard for recognition of research centers because there was great incompatibility in terms of facilities. Our research scholars and officials would face inconvenience because of the long distance to the main campus. They had to make long travel for the meetings, documentation work, etc at the main campus. Now, both the satellite campuses will have minimum dependence on the main campus. And, it will also pave the way for more autonomy for the campus in the future,” Dr. Aijaz Ahmad Wani, Director South Campus told ‘Kashmir Images’.

He added, “Until now, South and North campuses had only academic status. Thus their activities used to be confined to 10 to 4 work only. However, after getting research centers our research scholars and teachers will be available in the concerned departments till late hours. Also, various agencies can now be pursued for granting funds for research. This can bring an increasing number of projects to the campus and eventually it will ensure more output and also generate revenue for the campus,” he added.

Some senior academics also told ‘Kashmir Images’ that creating research schools as well at these campuses is equally imperative for making them entitled to NITI Aayog funds for research. They say creating research schools will also enhance the research capabilities at these campuses.

They say research schools should be created instantly at the South and North campuses “to catch up with soon to be released policy documents of Niti Auyog”.

“The more schools simply mean more funding to the university,” a senior academic in Kashmir University told ‘Kashmir Images’.

He said, “The university can create more schools and ask for more funding for research from NITI Aayog. The NITI Aayog policy shall create its own index to measure the performance of different schools after every two years; therefore it is imperative that research schools are created in these satellite campuses.

“Also, without a school system, it is difficult to create a culture of research in these satellite campuses,” the academic added.

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