Kashmir University’s inapt diktat puts academic year of candidates at stake

In the ongoing admission season, career of many aspirants seeking admission at the University of Kashmir is at stake unnecessarily due to an inappropriate diktat, which is against the interest of candidates at large.

Unlike several other prestigious institutions, the University of Kashmir does not allow provisional admission of candidates whose final year / semester result of qualifying examination is not declared by June 17, even before the merit list of entrance examination is made public. Although comparison is not a justification and adherence to rule-book is tantamount to the professional conduct of the institute, but owing to ambiguous statements and delayed admission process by the University, it must amend the decree.

The University lays down eligibility criteria for admissions under section II of Admission Notification number 3 of 2015, which also reads, “Those candidates who have appeared in qualifying examination and are awaiting for final year results, can also apply at their own risk and responsibility.”

As the notification does not provide any detail in this regard, common understanding and experience suggests that the candidates would be required to prove eligibility at the time of admission, or soon after that, but the University’s new diktat forces them to provide qualifying exam details even before the merit list is made public, otherwise they would be marked ‘ineligible’. I fail to understand why the University allowed candidates to appear in entrance test provisionally when it did not intend to even process their merit, leave aside offering provisional admission.

The University’s admission policy for 2015 says that “candidates having passed the qualifying examination with the required minimum percentage of marks in aggregate… are eligible to apply for admission to the respective programme/s.” But as per the admission notification, candidates whose results are awaited could appear for entrance examination. This signifies that eligibility is required to be proven at the time of “admission”, not before exhibiting the merit list. Also, the admission policy document does not mention any criteria for candidates applying provisionally, as mentioned in the admission notification. This leads to confusion among candidates whose careers are now at stake.

It is pertinent to mention here that the University used to conduct entrance and admission procedure in months of February and March earlier, however, it was delayed this year due to unknown reasons. In February, qualifying examination marks of most of the candidates are not declared, hence, they are not eligible for admission and have to apply next year. On the contrary, as the admission process was delayed this year, many students must have been able to save their academic year while many others still cannot seek admission due to pending results, which are mostly declared by July.

In this perspective, the delayed admission process came as a blessing for some students while many others still have to drop a precious academic year, which is of paramount importance owing to rising unemployment and other social concerns including late marriages, fear psychosis, rising stress and anxiety, rising suicide rates, etc. This is a mere discrimination and injustice.

The University must process the merit list of candidates and call them for admission and if they fail to produce their qualifying exam details at that stage, they may not be granted admission. A more appropriate way is to allow admission of merit holders on provisional basis, as many other Universities do, by seeking an affidavit by means of which candidates would provide qualifying examination details within a stipulated timeframe.

The University needs to recognize this genuine demand of candidates while the admission policy cannot be cited as a justification against this appeal, owing to its unclear approach in this regard and the fact that the University itself did not follow certain rules under its admission policy. For example, under entrance exam to post graduate programme in Mass Communication and Journalism, the admission policy states that Question Paper II shall be of 40 marks and 2 hours duration while the syllabus of the same course states that Question Paper II carries 60 marks and 2.5 hours duration. The admission policy also states that on the basis of the merit in Paper I, answer books of Paper II of the candidates numbering “five times” the intake capacity shall be evaluated. However, the entrance syllabus of the same course states that Paper II of candidates numbering “four times” the intake capacity shall be evaluated. These are some clear indications that the University is itself not properly adhering to its admission policy, so it lacks moral and ethical ground to site any of its policies as a reason for downplaying this appeal.

In my plea to the University’s Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and State’s Education Minister, I seek resolution of this conflict in favour of the candidates whose precious academic year is at stake due to this diktat of the University.

Profile photo - Vijdan KawoosaAuthor is the founder / editor of JandK Now and one of the candidates seeking admission at the University of Kashmir. He can be e-mailed at editor@jandknow.com and followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vijdankawoosa