From being housed in abandoned police station buildings to prefabricated huts, Colleges across Jammu and Kashmir are living testimony of ‘non-seriousness’ and ‘pathetic politicization’ of higher education.
The law makers purely for political considerations and with an aim to address their respective constituencies got colleges sanctioned but cared little to raise the infrastructure for them. Ironically, what to talk of infrastructure, several colleges are facing shortage of students and in certain subjects; they have no students at all.
Several other colleges have staff shortage while many others are running with too little workforce. Yet neither respective governments nor those heading the higher education department ever bothered to constitute a fact-finding committee so that those colleges which are not administratively and otherwise feasible are closed down.
Those who haven assigned the task of constructing these college buildings are working at snail’s pace. From identification of land to possession to take over of the same for construction, pace of the work is not only slow but if it is taken into account; these college buildings are likely to be completed in next one decade.
And when the Union Human Resource Development Ministry came to know about this mess and asked the state government to explain reasons for this, they were told that “J&K is passing through difficult times. Atmosphere is disturbed. Militancy and riots have made the situation worrisome and people are finding it difficult to work under these strained circumstances.”
Union Ministry accepted the reply and even they did not bother to ask state government reasons for lying blatantly. According to details available with Newspoint Bureau, of the 63 newly sanctioned colleges which includes 31 in Jammu and 32 in Kashmir, 44 s are yet to have even plinth of their proposed college buildings.
19 degree colleges which have their own buildings are yet to be made fully functional. A look at details revels that building of Government Degree College (GDC) Kathua which was sanctioned in the year 2005 is being completed. 17.5 Kanals of land has been transferred from Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) R.S.Pura for making this college functional.
A degree college at Sarah Bagah in Morh is functioning in a 10 room private building after it was sanctioned in the year 2011. GDC Paloura is in the building of already oversaturated Government Commerce College (GDC) at Canal Road. Banihal Degree College is functioning in Government Higher Secondary School.
Nowshera Degree College is inside the premises of Government Middle School (GMS) Nowshera. Same is the case of College sanctioned for Bani. Jindrah College is running from a pre-fabricated hut and four rooms of Government Higher Secondary School (GHSS) Jindrah. College for Dharmari-Reasi is functioning in the building of Government ITI Dharmari. Colleges in Bishnah, Budhal, Utrasoo, Gurez, Kilam, Tangdhar, Kokernag and Kangan are functioning from School Buildings and pre-fabricated huts.
16 colleges, all in Jammu region are without playfields and in most of the other cases, college students are using playground meant for school students. Sharing makes life difficult for both school as well as college students. Ask the politicians and they would tell you that a beginning has been made and infrastructure would become available with the passage of time, caring little that competition does not allow you to wait for movement of government files.
“How can a child complete when he has now been given a college in his vicinity which is almost non-functional. He gets teachers who prefer being in city colleges, then going to colleges located in the far-flung and rural areas,” said an educationist. He added that the planners should be tried in the court of law for playing joke with the students.