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Rush hour at KU: Varsity gets makeover to impress NAAC

Accreditation expired in 2016, cost university Rs 150 cr

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Apr 26: Authorities at Kashmir University (KU) are on their toes these days trying to make the varsity look good – both aesthetically and on papers – in order to impress the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) team visiting to review it the next month.
The varsity has not received any funds from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) as it failed to renew its accreditation from the NAAC since 2016.
Sources in the varsity told The Kashmir Monitor that the administration and the departments are busy compiling their ‘achievements’, especially on the research front, these days.
These ‘achievements’ would then be presented before the visiting NAAC team to get a decent rating.
Apart from it, the varsity, sources said, is busy giving the University a makeover by painting the buildings, renovating the existing infrastructure and constructing new ones as well.
“We are neck deep in work. We have been ordered since early this month not to take any leaves until the NAAC review is over,” a source in KU said.
The NAAC team, the source added, is expected to visit the varsity in the first week of May.
The team is expected to do an exhaustive review of the university’s performance on certain parameters. They include research, educational processes and outcomes, covering the curriculum, teaching-learning, evaluation, faculty, infrastructure, learning resources, organisation, governance, as well as financial well-being and student services.
The NAAC accreditation is renewed after every five years to all the universities across India. Based on the rankings scored in the review, the universities get the MHRD funds.
“The university could not qualify for government of India grants of over Rs 150 crore since 2016. As a result, the functioning of the varsity has been badly impacted,” the source told The Kashmir Monitor.
Given the lack of funds, the University, the source added, had to bump up the admission fee.
“The former vice chancellor hiked the fee structure by almost 50 percent to overcome the financial constraints since 2016. With no funds from the Centre, the varsity is purely run on state government’s aide and the money generated through students fees,” the source said.
In 2011, the NAAC granted KU an A grade, which it flaunted on its documents and advertisements.
“A degree from a varsity with good NAAC grade gives a better chance to get admissions or jobs outside the state,” the source said.
He added that the former KU vice chancellor, however, was less concerned about pursuing NAAC renewal.
“It was during the tenure of former vice chancellor Riyaz Punjabi that the University received its NAAC accreditation in 2011 followed by huge funding from the Centre,” the source said.
Registrar KU, Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir confirmed that the varsity was not receiving MHRD funds after NAAC accreditation expired in 2016.
“God knows why Kashmir University did not get NAAC accreditation over the years as I was not here. The MHRD funds are linked to NAAC accreditation and funds are provided according to the grading. We hope the NAAC team would visit the varsity next month and renew the NAAC accreditation,” Mir added.
NAAC is an organization that assesses and accredits higher education institutions in India. It was formed after recommendations from National Policy on education (1986), which laid emphasis on upholding the quality of higher education in India.


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Metropolitan Project: Over 94 lakh kanals identified in JK

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jul 18: Over 94 lakh kanals of land has been identified across Jammu and Kashmir for developing the state under the ambitious Metropolitan Region Development Authorities (MRDA) project.

Under the project, two Metropolitan Region Development Authorities will reduce the deficit on infrastructure – water supply, roads, sewage, drainage, light rails, e-buses and other amenities.

“The authorities will also develop satellite townships in Greater Jammu and Greater Srinagar. Million square feet IT parks will also be developed in these townships,” the document reads.

 

Governor Satya Pal Malik-led administration recently announced creation of Jammu Metropolitan Region Development Authority and Srinagar Metropolitan Region Development Authority — to provide an integrative framework for the purpose of planned development of these regions.

As per the details, the government has identified 94,22,465 kanals of land in 2559 villages of 14 districts in the state.

In Kashmir, 1452 villages comprising of 4989304 kanals of land would be covered under MRDA.

In Srinagar district, 124 villages comprising 514116 kanals of land would be covered. In Pulwama, 922715 kanals of land in 240 villages have been identified for implementation of project under MRDA.

Similarly, 331799, 1049195, 451400, 142461 kanals of land would be covered in Kulgam, Baramulla, Shopian, and Bandipora districts respectively.

Around 44,33,161 kanals of land would be covered in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Reasi, Udhampur under MRDA.

The MRDAs, as per the document, have been selected on the principles of regional planning and development.

An official of Housing and Urban Development Department said a process has begun for acquisition of land for the project.

“All types of land are being covered under MRDAs. Besides government land, we have also identified private land which ought to be acquired. But some land owners are not willing to provide land saying that government is not paying them commensurate to market value,” the official said.

He said the land owners want promulgation of an ordinance to replace old law “which will enable them fair compensation during acquisition”.

Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Dheeraj Gupta said that all types of land were being covered under MRDAs. “We will acquire private land wherever needed,” Gupta added.

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India to Pak: Release, repatriate Jadhav immediately

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New Delhi, Jul 18: Describing the detention of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav in Pakistan as “illegal” and under “fabricated” charges, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday urged Islamabad to release and repatriate him immediately.

Making a statement in Rajya Sabha, he said the verdict of the International Court of Justice is not only a vindication for Jadhav but also for all those who believe in the rule of law.

The International Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that Pakistan must review the death sentence for Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism”.

 

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

A bench led by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf ordered an “effective review and reconsideration of the conviction and sentence of Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav”.

The bench also ruled by 15 votes to 1 that Pakistan had violated India’s rights to consular visits after Jadhav’s arrest.

Pakistan “deprived the Republic of India of the right to communicate with and have access to Mr Kulbhushan Sudhir Jadhav, to visit him in detention and to arrange for his legal representation”, the judges had said.

Pakistan was under the obligation to inform India about the arrest and detention of Jadhav under the Vienna Convention, Judge Yusuf had ruled.

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Jadhav guilty of crimes against people: Imran

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Islamabad, Jul 18: Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan Thursday said that he appreciated the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision to “not to acquit, release & return” Kulbhushan Jadhav, day after the world court in The Hague directed Pakistan to review the death penalty given to the former Indian Navy commander.

Holding Jadhav responsible for “crime against” Pakistani people, Khan said Pakistan will proceed per law.

“Appreciate ICJ’s decision not to acquit, release & return Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav to India. He is guilty of crimes against the people of Pakistan. Pakistan shall proceed further as per law,” Imran tweeted.

 

On Wednesday, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to make an “effective review and reconsideration” of the conviction and death sentence of Jadhav.

The world court also rejected all objections raised by Pakistan, granting consular access to Jadhav “without further delay”, in a verdict that was hailed in India as a “big victory” for the country. It agreed with India’s stand that Pakistan had violated the Vienna Convention by denying access.

In a reprieve for Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017, a 16-member bench by a 15:1 vote continued the stay on the execution.

A Chinese judge was part of the majority verdict while the ad hoc judge from Pakistan on the bench headed by President of the Court Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf of Somalia gave a dissenting opinion.

Rejecting Pakistan’s objection to admissibility of the Indian application in the case, the court in its 42-page order held that “a continued stay of execution constitutes an indispensable condition for the effective review” of the sentence of Jadhav that had strained relations between the two neighbouring countries.

The bench, however, rejected some remedies sought by India, including annulment of the military court’s decision convicting Jadhav, his release and safe passage to India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the verdict, saying “truth and justice” have prevailed while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and former external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj described it as a “big victory” for India.

Despite the order backing India, Pakistan claimed victory. The country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: “Jadhav shall remain in Pakistan. He shall be treated in accordance with the laws of Pakistan.” Jadhav was arrested in Balochistan on 3 March, 2016, by Pakistani security agencies and was convicted of being a spy. In April 2017, Pakistan had announced that Jadhav was given death sentence by a military court.

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