Chaired by Governor N.N. Vohra, Chancellor, of the Kashmir University, the meeting of the University Council was held here at the Raj Bhavan today. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Pro Chancellor of the University, and Mr. Naeem Akhter, Minister of Education, participated in the discussions. The Governor and the Pro Chancellor stressed the need to institutionalize a system of the VCs holding regular meetings for securing effective harmony in dealing with all policy and other major issues. Deliberating on the efforts required to be made for securing the balanced development of the students, the Chancellor, Pro Chancellor and Minister for Education, suggested a range of initiatives, including enhanced focus on student and faculty exchange programmes; strengthening sports related infrastructure in the Universities and their affiliated colleges; and promotion of music and fine arts and the spoken languages in the overall curricula of the Universities and the colleges.
The Council reviewed Action Taken on the decisions taken in its preceding meeting, and Prof. Andrabi, Vice- Chancellor, informed the Governor that, as earlier advised by him, action had been initiated for arriving at a better understanding of issues relating to the changing weather patterns and resulting effects on agricultural production. In this context, the Departments of Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Centre of Research and Development have been organizing discussions with the Departments of Forests, Tourism, Wildlife, Fisheries, State Pollution Control Board, Municipal Corporation Srinagar, LAWDA, Department of Ecology, Environment and Remote Sensing, IIIM Jammu and Srinagar, GMC Srinagar, SKIMS etc. The Governor again stressed the need to focus research on major local problems and endeavour to secure tangible outcomes, particularly in regard to problems relating to water resources, aquatic biodiversity, wetland management, glacier resources, air pollution, medicinal plants, carbon sequestration, soil chemistry, saffron, fish genetics etc.
The Council enhanced the number of scholarships and fellowships for the research scholars from the existing 4 scholarships per department to 6; raised the monthly emoluments of contractual lecturers to be engaged by the University to Rs. 25,000 per month, provided they possess Ph.D /NET/SLET and Rs. 20,000 per month to those who do not possess these qualifications.
The Council approved: (i) the introduction of a second shift in identified post-graduate programmes with a view to accommodate eligible students who are unable to get admissions to University due to the limited number of seats; (ii) establishment of an Institute of Paramedical Sciences at South Campus, Anantnag, and an Institute of Innovation and Technopreneurship Development at Baramulla; (iii) withdrawal from the academic session 2016 onwards of the private mode of education wherever offered at the under-graduate and post graduate levels and introduction of Distance Mode of Education for all undergraduate and post graduate courses wherever possible; (iv) adoption of new statutes to govern Choice Based Credit System and PG Course for the students admitted during the year 2015; (v) adoption of semester based two tier scheme of examinations for various undergraduate courses; (vi) implementation of the modified scheme of Choice Based Credit System at the post graduate level from the academic session 2015; (vii) regularization of contractual teachers having more than 7 years service working in the University’s Model High School, (viii) regulations for re employment of university teachers after retirement, in the light of UGC Model Guidelines; and (ix) implementation of revised UGC Guidelines in toto in respect of Academic Staff College.
The Vice Chancellor made a power point presentation on the status of various ongoing research and infrastructure related projects and those in the pipeline, achievements of the University in varied fields since the last meeting of the Council, introduction of various new courses, status of filling up teaching and non-teaching positions in the University etc.
Among those who attended the Council meeting were Prof. R.D. Sharma, Vice Chancellor, Jammu University; Mr. B.R. Sharma, Chief Secretary; Mr. Navin K. Choudhary, Commissioner Finance; Ms. Sarita Chouhan, Commissioner Secretary to Government, Higher Education Department; Prof. Neelofar Hassan Khan, Dean Students Welfare, Kashmir University; Prof. Yasmin Kawoos, Principal, Government Degree College, Bemina; Prof. Nasreen Malik, Principal, Government Degree College, Ganderbal; Prof. N. A. Rather, Dean, Faculty of Physical and Material Science, KU; Prof. Akbar Masood, Dean, Faculty of Biological Sciences, KU; and Prof. Musadiq A. Sahaf, Registrar, Kashmir University.