Kashmir University has offered to take over the Craft Development Institute (CDI), which is admitting students to unrecognised courses not taught by trained faculty.
Administered by the Handicrafts Department, CDI was established in 2004 to impart “full-fledged professional educational programmes” and provide entrepreneurship opportunities to people in the handicrafts sector.
However, it, in its 13 years of existence, has failed to do either.
The CDI, as on date, offers a single masters programme in Craft Management and Entrepreneurship (MCME).
Musaddiq Sahaf, Dean Academic Affairs at Kashmir University, told The Kashmir Monitor that its faculty, “borrowed” by the Handicrafts Department, was “not qualified to teach” the subject.
The institute, Sahaf said, has “not been able to handle the institution for the last many years”.
“The question is that you need to understand things from both the technical and the academic point of view. As far as the latter is concerned, the Higher Education Department can understand it better,” Sahaf said.
Underlining the significance of the MCME programme offered at CDI, Sahaf said the Handicrafts Department “cannot understand the significance of the programme”.
“It is a highly professional programme offered only in the valley. And it is not a diploma course.”
While KU itself framed the syllabus and curriculum for the programme, the faculty is being appointed by the Handicrafts Department.
Unlike colleges in the valley where, as per Sahaf, there are Curriculum Development Committees to periodically review the curriculum, the same does not happen at CDI, he said.
He said the KU has recently written to the CDI management regarding taking over the institute.
“We have given them six months’ time to reply over the matter,” he said.
“We had been reluctant so far, but the problems of students have compounded of late,” Sahaf added.
Although the recent apprehensions of the students over the affiliation of the institute were addressed by the KU, however they complain that the CDI has miserably failed to provide entrepreneurship opportunities to them.
A CDI insider also admitted that the institute has not been able to enhance the skills of the trainees who pass out.
Over the KU’s proposal of taking over CDI from the Handicrafts Department, Commissioner Secretary Industries and Commerce, Shailendra Kumar who is also a member of the CDI’s executive committee, said, “That is their opinion.”
“The executive committee of the CDI will go through the report and take a decision accordingly”.

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