By Nisar Dharma
Srinagar, Apr 01: The University of Kashmir’s 2017 pact with ‘Chanakya Academy’ to coach 70 odd IAS aspirants has turned into a disappointment for the enrollees with issues of payments, faculty, and accommodation piling up even as the actual class-work has remained suspended for over two weeks now.
A source in the varsity told The Kashmir Monitor that around 70 IAS aspirants paid a hefty Rs 1 lakh each to get enrolled in the residential coaching programme which began in September.
Kashmir University (KU), the source added, was supposed to pay the remaining around Rs 60,000 each candidate to the academy.
The programme was part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between KU and ‘Chanakya Academy’, a Delhi-based IAS-coaching institute in May 2016.
KU, the source said, was supposed to provide the space for coaching, accommodation and food to the aspirants, while the faculty from Chanakya would train them.
On KU’s end, the Centre for Career Planning and Counselling (CCPC) was coordinating the programme.
“The coaching programme has turned into a complete mess. It was advertised back in February 2017, but the coaching started as late as September. KU and Chanakya were supposed to enroll 100 students but could manage to attract only around 70 aspirants, who were to be trained for the 2018 Civil Services exam,” the source added.
One of the programme enrollees, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that for the last two weeks, the coaching programme has remained suspended.
“As per Chanakya office set up here in CCPC, the faculty has been placed on hold since they had not received the payment from the KU,” the enrollee said.
As per the enrollee, around 16 girls among the 70 were part of the programme, which has been rife with issues since September.
“It was a residential programme and we were supposed to be provided with accommodation. But for the first many weeks, we weren’t provided with any accommodation and it was only after we boycotted the classes and raised the issue with the Vice Chancellor that the male aspirants were settled in KU’s hostels and females in Zabarwan guest house,” the aspirant said.
Three components of General Studies paper, as per the enrollee, were yet to be touched.
“Although, they are supposed to complete the coaching by May 15, the optional subjects are totally untouched. The CS-prelims is on June 03. We all were supposed to be trained for it. Even if they resume the classes, they will rush through the syllabus now,” the enrollee said.
Besides, the enrollee said that they are told that only a few of the optional subjects will be taught.
Mohammad Ayoub, Coordinator CCPC, told The Kashmir Monitor that the classes were put on hold because “they wanted to take a break.”
“Since, we had continuously conducted classes without taking any break, so we decided to halt the programme for some time,” he said.
Asked about the fee issue, Ayoub said it was an “internal arrangement issue” and the “student’s interests won’t be hit.”
“I have not received any communication regarding the fee issue,” he said.
On not teaching all the optional subjects, he said “70 odd students may have chosen around 15 optionals and it was not possible to teach all of those”.
“We, in consultation, with the students have arrived at a consensus to teach only two to three optional subjects which most of the students have chosen,” he said adding: “I understand there would be hundreds of issues but let me tell you we are very sincere in our efforts.”
Altaf, the person from Chanakya deputed at KU, said that “CCPC has not requested Chanakya for the faculty.”
“Any more information would be provided by our Delhi office,” he said.
No one from Delhi office was available to comment on the matter.
Dean Academic Affairs KU, Prof Musadiq Amin Sahaf, who had signed the MoU on the varsity’s behalf, too said the classes were put on hold because people conducting them and students “needed a break”.
On the payment issue, he said it was a different matter and was not connected with the suspension of the classes.
“The payment is in the process,” he said.
Address reason forcing youth to take up arms: Mirwaiz to Guv
Srinagar, Jan 18: On J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s statement that the government does not want to ‘kill militants but militancy’, Hurriyat (M) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Friday said if that was the case the Governor should address the cause that forces the young boys to take up the arms.
“If it is so and they (Governor’s administration) are sincere then the government should address the cause that is leading these educated and young boys to take to arms,” Mirwaiz said while addressing the Friday Congregation at Jama Masjid here.
Calling for a political process to resolve the issue, Mirwaiz said: “…start a political process in earnest to address the sentiment behind it and resolve the dispute. It will not only save the lives of our youth but soldiers also, end militarization and the resultant atrocities that governor sahab wants Joint Hurriyat leadership to convey to him, and end the uncertainty and hostility that the region is hostage to for past 71 years.”
Mirwaiz also reacted to the army’s statement terming 2018 as ‘remarkable year’ because of militant killings calling the same “extremely unfortunate and inhuman.”
Mirwaiz called it strange that a well-trained armed force meant to fight another well trained armed force was “celebrating and patting its back on killing young men and boys, some as young as 14, while some budding intellectuals and academics, and calling it remarkable.”
“…army’s boasting of the killings of militants, who are not some hard core armed guerillas and terror mongers, but sentiment driven youth forced to take to arms as a consequence of severe repression due to forcible control,” said the Mirwaiz, according to a statement.
“It is simply the intensity of their passion that drives these young boys, who are poorly trained and starved of ammunition to be able to give a real fight, in this greatly unequal battle to an armed force of a country,” Mirwaiz said.
He said the pain and loss that all of Kashmir feels at the killings of militants only adds to people’s resolve and pushes more young to join in.
“Instead of admitting this, the armed force of a country that prides itself in the history of its freedom struggle by honoring the likes of Subhash Chander Bose who raised Indian National Army to fight the British colonial rule , sells the killing of these armed youth as a great achievement to people of India,” he said.
The chief cleric said many in Indian army have in their write ups and lectures admitted that Jammu and Kashmir is a political problem that has to be resolved as such.
“Those who are using militarization to prolong the status quo should understand that it comes with a cost and keeps increasing complexities,” said the Mirwaiz, adding that the whole world has said that there can be no military solution to the dispute.
Drug Abuse in Kashmir: Over 300 cases registered, 482 peddlers arrested in 2018
Srinagar, Jan 18: Kashmir has emerged as one of the major consumers of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with police registering over 300 cases against drug peddlers in the region during 2018.
As per the official figures of the police department, at least 312 cases were registered against the drug peddlers in the valley during the year.
Police arrested 482 persons involved in these cases. In 221 cases, the charge sheets have been filed while 91 are still being investigated.
Of the cases, 123 have been registered in south Kashmir followed by 108 in north and 81 in Central parts of the valley.
Police have also seized a huge quantity of contraband substances including poppy straw, fukki, brown sugar, charas, heroin, ganja, bhung putri, and opium straw from various parts of Kashmir.
As per official data, the drugs seized include poppy straw (1734.7 kg), fukki (850.61 kg), brown sugar (6.88 kg) and charas (73.27 kg), apart from other seizures of opioids.
Another disturbing trend has been the increased use of narcotic drugs including heroin, sedatives and painkillers.
“Use of these substances increases the intensity of addiction and hastens the process of complete subjugation to the narcotic dependence,” a police official said, adding that heroin is often considered as a “status symbol” among the drug addicts.
Last year, the report by Narcotics Control Bureau of Union Ministry of Home Affairs’ said J&K was among the top states in India in the cultivation of illicit crops.
The former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti too had directed police to use Public Safety Act (PSA)–a law under which a person can be detained without trial for up to two years–against those involved in the cultivation and smuggling of drugs.
RKFC vs Shillong Lajong FC: Snow Leopards aim repeating history
Shillong (Meghalaya), Jan 18: Real Kashmir FC head coach David Robertson Friday said the team’s five- day stay in Shillong has helped his players to prepare themselves “mentally as well as physically” for a “bigger” game against Shillong Lajong FC.
Before resuming their home leg, RKFC will Saturday face Shillong Lajong FC, which currently is rooted to the bottom with just four points from 12 games.
Last month, RKFC played dominating football against Shillong defeating it 6:1 at Srinagar’s Astro-Turf ground.
Coach Robertson, in a pre-match conference on Friday, said his players understood the technicalities of the venue, Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, which is very similar to the visitor’s home turf.
“The Shillong playground is similar to that of Astro-Turf, which too has a synthetic turf. Currently, there is good spirit within the team and players are ready for the match,” he said.
Coach Robertson said his team is confident enough for the upcoming match as all eight foreigner players are declared fit for the game.
“We are enjoying the season as we haven’t faced any defeat since March 2017 in away games. So, in tomorrow’s match, we are expecting some good results to get three points before our home matches resume,” he said.
The RKFC head coach said the pressure will be more on the host team but quickly added that Shillong Lajong’s ability to bounce back can’t be underestimated.
“It will be premature to predict about the upcoming game. There are chances that the game can be difficult for us but we have to continue our momentum to get good results tomorrow,” he said.
“There is great enthusiasm in my team and every game, irrespective of the team’s rank, is challenging for us,” Robertson added.
Shillong Lajong FC so far scored almost at a rate of a goal every match but has conceded at a rate of three goals a game, highlighting a rickety defensive line.
RKFC, on the other hand, is on an unbeaten run of eight games that has helped them accumulate 22 points after 12 rounds.
Shillong Lajong FC coach Alison Kharsyngtiew said the physical stature of RKFC players can give a tough competition to any team.
“Considering the physicality of the RKFC team, the game can be tough. But we are ready to give our best,” he said.
Asked about the reasons behind featuring at the bottom, he said his players are very young.
“This is the future of our national team and entire north-east. We have to guide them and encourage them to do better in future,” he said.
He said two of his players including defender Rakesh Pradhan and midfielder Hardy Nongbri are injured and won’t play the upcoming match.