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Kashmir University gets A+ NAAC accreditation

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Srinagar, May 20: After bagging 53rd rank in NIRF 2019 and 51st in QS India University Rankings 2019, the University of Kashmir added yet another feather to its cap by scoring A+ grade in the recent reaccreditation cycle by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

According to the result issued by NAAC, the University of Kashmir is scoring an impressive 3.31 Institutional Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) on a scale of 04 ahead of several other leading Universities in the country.

The University has scored 3.89 in Infrastructure and Learning Resources, 3.67 in Curricular Aspects, 3.18 in Teaching Learning and Evaluation, 3.05 in Research, Innovations and Extension, 3.61 in Institutional Values and Best Practices, 3.1 in Governance, Leadership and Management and 2.94 in Student Support and Progression.

 

The long-awaited accreditation was awarded to the University by peer NAAC team on Monday, May 20, 2019, which visited the varsity in the first week of May 2019 from 02-05-2019 to 04-05-2019.

It is in place to mention here that KU has earlier been accredited during its previous two cycles first in 2002 and then again in 2011 and on both these two occasions the University was awarded grade ‘A’ by NAAC.

Pertinently the Peer NAAC team comprising of six members during its visit to the University earlier this month applauded University for its research standards and stated that the varsity has made a quantum jump in its Infrastructure and Learning resources.

Being the chairperson of Monitoring and Steering Committee the Vice Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad personally monitored the preparedness of the University for the Peer NAAC team visit.

While congratulating the staff, students, scholars and alumni on the occasion Prof Talat said “I congratulate both teaching and non-teaching faculty, students, scholars and alumni for this tremendous feat. It was a team effort and we succeeded in our efforts. However at the same time we must understand that we don’t have to be complacent and work harder to achieve much higher grade next time so that our University gets international recognition.”

Registrar KU Dr Nisar A Mir said “I congratulate all the stakeholders of the University and this particular grade will ensure better job placements for our students and will fetch more fellowships to our scholars. Moreover, it will help us to upgrade our infrastructure while we will succeed in securing better funds from different funding agencies governed by UGC and other bodies.”

Governor congratulates varsity:

Governor Satya Pal Malik, Chancellor of the University of Kashmir, Monday congratulated Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor of the University, his colleagues, staff and students for being awarded A+ Accreditation by peer NAAC Team.

Governor has expressed happiness on the impressive performance of the University by securing 3.31 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) on a scale of 04. He has urged for making the University a leading Institute in teaching and research and wished it success in all its future academic endeavours.


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Defunct street lights? Don’t expect SMC to fix them

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Srinagar, Jun 17: Srinagar plunges into darkness soon after sunset as most of the street lights in the capital city are defunct.

This being so since Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) claims it is incapable to deal with the issue.

In absence of this basic facility, the city residents face a lot of inconvenience moving out of their homes to the markets or masjids during the evening and early morning hours.

 

Cases of burglary and dog-bites have been reported from many secluded areas where residents complain of either having defunct or no street lights.

People living in many of these poorly-lit areas feel scared to venture out of their homes in late hours.

“I prefer not to leave my home after Isha namaz. Dogs chase passersby since there is no street light in this colony,” said Bashir Ahmed, 60, a resident of Illahibagh.

SMC claims it has installed more than 40,000 street lights across the city. However, majority of them remain dysfunctional due to lack of an established electric division and less technical manpower in the corporation.

Executive Engineer SMC, Qazi Imtiyaz who looks after the Mechanical division, said: “We have nothing. Zero manpower to look after the technical faults of street lights. There is no electric division in our corporation.”

SMC Commissioner, Khursheed Ahmad Sanai said: “SMC lacks an established electric division as well as skilled staff to mend defunct street lights in Srinagar. But we are constantly making up to illuminate more areas through whatever little staff is available to us.”

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RKFC signs top English striker

More signings to follow; Club on track to become India’s football powerhouse

Nisar Dharma

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Srinagar, Jun 17: J&K’s premier football club, Real Kashmir FC, has signed an experienced striker from England to play for the team in the upcoming season.

Announcing on RKFC’s official Twitter handle, the club management wrote: “RKFC is delighted to announce the signing of Kallum Higginbotham from Dunfermline Athletic, Scotland. Kallum is an experienced striker who has played at the highest level in the UK. Kallum has played for top teams such as Huddersfield Town, Kilmarnock, and Motherwell.”

Former Kilmarnock frontman, Kallum, who’s originally from Salford, England, will join the club in the third week of July, club sources told The Kashmir Monitor.

 

With Rangers legend David Robertson training the team, Kallum will be the second European player to play for RKFC after the coach’s son Mason.

The club finished third in the I-League last season in their first campaign in the top flight.

Terming it as an important signing, club’s co-owner, Sandeep Chattoo said: “Today’s signing of Kallum shows our intent that we mean business. We will leave no stone unturned to make RKFC a powerhouse of football not just in India but Asia. In coming days we will unveil more top signings. As a co-owner, I want to tell the fans that we will do whatever we can to play top class breathtaking football next season. RKFC is not just a football team. It’s the heartbeat of the state. For me personally it’s a project. We have just completed phase one. Lot more to follow.”

Head Coach David Robertson had a similar viewpoint on Kallum’s inclusion in the club: “Signing player of Kallum’s experience and quality is a huge statement and shows continued ambition of Real Kashmir. He will give us an extra edge upfront and can also play in various roles within the team. Our team is shaping up nicely and we are all eager and excited for the start of the new campaign.”

President J&K Football Association, Zameer Thakur congratulated the team on the signing.

“We welcome this signing and hope that RKFC will not just maintain but improve its last season’s performance in the upcoming one,” he told The Kashmir Monitor. 

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Overall nuclear arms decline but India, Pak, China expanding arsenal

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Stockholm, Jun 17: The overall number of nuclear warheads in the world has declined in the past year but nations are modernising their arsenals, a report published Monday said.

At the start of 2019, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea had a total of some 13,865 nuclear weapons, according to estimates in a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

That represents a decrease of 600 nuclear weapons compared to the start of 2018.

 

But at the same time all nuclear weapon-possessing countries are modernising these arms ¬– and China, India and Pakistan are also increasing the size of their arsenals.

“The world is seeing fewer but newer weapons,” Shannon Kile, director of the SIPRI Nuclear Arms Control Programme and one of the report’s authors, told AFP.

The drop in recent years can mainly be attributed to the US and Russia, whose combined arsenals still make up more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

This is in part due to the countries fulfilling their obligations under the New START treaty — which puts a cap on the number of deployed warheads and was signed by the US and Russia in 2010 — as well as getting rid of obsolete warheads from the Cold War era.

The START treaty is however due to expire in 2021, which Kile said was worrying since there are currently “no serious discussions underway about extending it”.

Next year the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) — considered the cornerstone of the world’s nuclear order — turns 50.

The number of nuclear arms has been drastically reduced since a peak in the mid-1980s when there were some 70,000 nuclear warheads in the world.

While Kile said progress should not be underestimated, he also noted a number of worrying trends, such as the build-up of nuclear arms on both sides of the border between India and Pakistan, and the danger of a conventional conflict escalating to a nuclear one.

There is also a more general trend towards an “increased salience” of nuclear weapons, where changing strategic doctrines, particularly in the US, are giving nuclear weapons an expanded role in both military operations and national security dialogue, Kile said.

“I think the trend is moving away from where we were five years ago, where the world’s nuclear weapons were being marginalised,” Kile said.

Former UN chief Ban Ki-moon recently urged nuclear powers to “get serious” about disarmament and warned there was a “very real risk” that decades of work on international arms control could collapse following the US pullout of the Iran nuclear deal, which he said sent the wrong signal to North Korea.

Global disarmament efforts also suffered a blow when the United States announced in February it would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, prompting Russia to say it would also suspend its participation.

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