Majid Kapra

CUK decision to withdraw PhD vacancies draws flak

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Srinagar: The aspiring PhD candidates, having completed their post-graduation from the Central University of Kashmir (CUK) have raised their concerns over the varsity’s recent decision to withdraw PhD vacancies.

The candidates, representing various social science disciplines including economics, education, languages, and law, have expressed dissatisfaction over the decision, which they alleged has been taken in haste.

The university had initially advertised these vacancies in April, only to retract them within a day, leaving many prospective applicants bewildered.

In their quest for answers, the students reached out to key figures within the varsity, to know their viewpoint.

Professor Farooq Shah, Director of Research at CUK, reportedly stated that the decision rests solely with the administration, implying his inability to influence the outcome.

Professor Shahid Rasool, Dean of Academic Affairs CUK, promised to raise the issue with the Vice-Chancellor. However, when the Vice-Chancellor was approached, he cited concerns regarding the university’s low ranking and infrastructure limitations as reasons for the withdrawal, aggrieved students say.

Despite repeated attempts, Vice-Chancellor could not be contacted for his comment.

However, Dean Academic Affairs CUK, Shahid Rasool said the varsity has not withdrawn PhD vacancies but the decision as per Government of India’s recommendations in this direction could not be implemented well on time.

“We have not withdrawn PhD vacancies; the varsity actually lacks the space to accommodate students. There is also reservation in admissions by the Government of India and we have been asked to prepare a roaster; remaining students falling in JRF category can avail direct admissions,” he told ‘Kashmir Images’.

Puzzlingly, this rationale has raised eyebrows among the social science students, who emphasized that their field of study did not necessitate advanced laboratories or specialized facilities. Moreover, the students highlighted the plight of their senior peers, some of whom have been waiting for several years to pursue PhD studies.

A poignant concern was raised for those above the age of 30, who have elderly parents to care for and cannot undertake PhD studies outside the region. Additionally, female candidates, constrained by various societal factors, find it challenging to pursue research opportunities outside Kashmir.

The students’ collective plea is for the university to promptly re-advertise the PhD vacancies to prevent jeopardizing their academic and career aspirations.

With numerous departments within CUK having PhD vacancies, the students’ appeal calls upon the administration to reconsider its decision and ensure opportunities for academic growth and research within the region.

The future of these aspiring scholars hangs in balance, and they anxiously await a response from the university administration to safeguard their academic pursuits and careers.


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