Srinagar, Feb 11: SKUAST-K Scientists and Teachers Association (SSTA) flays the decision to constitute committee for establishing the horticulture university by making amendments in SKUAST Act.1982. Reiterating that any move to establish Horticulture University at the cost of SKUAST-K shall be opposed profoundly, Dr S.A. Dar, president SSTA said that the state government in an order has shockingly proposed to amend the SKUAST Act, 1982,which is an unwise move from the state government because of the fact that such policy matters fall under the jurisdiction of various statutory bodies of SKUAST-K and decided by university council headed by the Governor, who is the Chancellor of the University. “This order is undermining the statutory bodies and seizes the autonomy of our institution and we will oppose any such move”, Dar said, in a statement to KNS. The Chancellor in the recently concluded 32nd council meeting had already stressed for the need of a horticulture policy in the state vis-à-vis strengthening the faculty of horticulture and advised against any “hurried decision to set up a university of horticulture”. SSTA demands that if the present Government of Jammu and Kashmir is serious enough in establishing a Horticulture University, then it should not be merely a cosmetic exercise by changing the sign board hanging above the main gate of well established University, which is not only unjustified but rationally incorrect and it will have direct impact on the food security of the state. The Experiments are being carried out on all the main agricultural crops, besides it houses main laboratories and all agricultural degree courses are conducted there.” Establishing a new university means setting up a new infrastructure, creation of new jobs from auxiliary staff to the faculty. But to establish a university in an existing university is just befooling the people and robbing the resources of the parent University. According to the president SSTA the hasty and ill-conceived decision of establishing Horticulture University at any campus of SKUAST-K will paralyze and impede the functioning of this already existing acclaimed agricultural university. We have opposed the move in past and we will continue to fight for the interests of SKUAST-K in future as well, come what may” the president said. Dr J A Bhat General Secretary of SSTA, in a written statement, today said that in an emergency meeting of the association held at Shalimar campus today were highly dismayed to learn from the order issued by Government wherein establishment of Horticulture University by amending the SKUAST-K, Act 1982 is proposed. He said if any decision hurting the interests of SKUAST-K is implemented and the association is not taken into confidence, any consequence thereof shall be the responsibility of Government and not of the association. SSTA appeals the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the University to look into the matter regarding proposed horticulture university with due protection of the assets, infrastructure and staff of SKUAST-Kashmir, which has already well-established Centre of excellence in different agricultural science domains.