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 NIT-Srinagar declares winter vacation 10 days ahead of schedule

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Academic activities suspended at Islamia College in Srinagar; Online classes in all degree colleges of Kashmir region from Dec 1

Srinagar: The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar closed for winter vacation on Thursday — 10 days ahead of schedule — as a precautionary measure, a day after protests against a student’s social media post spread to other institutes.

The Islamia College of Science and Commerce suspended all classwork and internal examinations scheduled for the day.

While NIT Srinagar declared a holiday for Thursday, the Dean of Students Welfare issued a circular announcing winter vacation in the engineering institute from today. The circular also directed all students living in the hostels to vacate the boarding facility with immediate effect.

The Registrar of the institute said the winter vacations “have been preponed only by 10 days” and there will be no academic loss for the students.

“We have winter vacations every year and the same is the case this year also. The vacations were scheduled from December 9 but have been preponed,” Registrar Ateekur Rehman said.

Asked about the ongoing examinations of the students, he said the students will write the remaining papers upon their return from winter vacation. “We will ensure that there is no academic loss for the students,” he added.

Protests were held at the NIT-Srinagar on Tuesday over a student’s social media post allegedly hurting religious sentiments. The protesters demanded stringent action against the non-local student who has been sent home on leave. 

The students blocked both the gates of the institution, located in the Nigeen area of the city, and raised slogans inside the campus. 

After the protests, police registered a case and started an investigation. Police filed a case against the student for promoting religious enmity between communities. 

The website of the NIT Srinagar has been taken down “for maintenance”.

“Sorry for the inconvenience but we’re performing some maintenance at the moment. If you need to you can always contact us, otherwise, we’ll be back online shortly!”  the message on the website of the NIT Srinagar reads.

Protests were also held at Amar Singh College and Islamia College here on Wednesday against the post, videos of which were shared by many social media users.

“The police received information about a protest by students at the NIT campus. Upon investigation, it was discovered that a student had posted objectionable content on social media, though the video was not the student’s own, but taken from YouTube,” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, V K Birdi said on Tuesday. 

Birdi said the content of the post has hurt the religious feelings of the people. 

“The police have received a written complaint from the NIT registrar urging legal action. We have taken legal action under relevant sections of the law. The investigation is going on,” the IGP had said.

 Meanwhile, with the early onset of winters, Jammu and Kashmir Higher Education Department Thursday ordered that it will conduct online classes in all government degree colleges of Kashmir region from December 01, 2023.

According to the news agency KNO, Special Secretary to the Government, Dr Ravi Shanker Sharma in a communique said, “Due to early onset of winter, students enrolled in Government Degree Colleges of Kashmir Division are facing major challenges in commuting to college and, thereby, attending classes.

“Situation has got compounded due to disruption to normal class-work with inadequate heating arrangements,” it reads.

The communique further states that with the implementation of admission based on merit and choice, students have to travel distances or stay in hostels or in private accommodations which has put them to severe hardship due to early onset of harsh winter.

“In order to ensure unhindered academic delivery in adverse and extreme cold conditions, it is impressed upon all the Principals of Government Degree Colleges of Kashmir Division that classes will be conducted via online mode w.e.f. December-01-2023 till December-31-2023 or till winter vacations are announced, whichever is earlier,” the communique reads.

“Further, Principals of Government. Degree Colleges of Kashmir Division are directed to ensure that the faculty will attend their respective colleges regularly and take their classes online from the colleges in order to complete the syllabus as per academic calendar,” the official said.

It also said that all internal examinations and semester-end examinations will be conducted as per notified schedule of universities or institutions. (With inputs from KNO)

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