15 September – Engineers’ Day. Whole world was busy celebrating this very very special day as it marks one of the important personnel that have led us to such an advancement in every field. But on the contrast some engineering students were sitting at their home contemplating when will they be able to re-join their college again and start their new semester. These students are the students of one of the premier and prestigious institute of our nation: National Institute of Technology, Srinagar.
And it seems very disturbing to see them in this condition. Already there is a rat race in our nation to get enrolled in one of the premier colleges like this which ensure you of your bright future and on the contrary situations like this develop which shows us the poor and pathetic functioning of our education system. Yes poor and pathetic and there are reasons to satiate us on this issue.
NIT Srinagar is situated on the banks of famous Dal Lake and is one of the 31 NITs directly under the control of MHRD. It was ranked 67 among the top 100 technical institutes of India recently by MHRD in April 2016 but the recent situation raises question not only on effectiveness of its functioning and carelessness of its administration but also on the government and MHRD.
The college was closed on 3rd July for almost 20 days as summer breaks prevailed according to its curriculum and was set to reopen on 25th July. We all are now acquainted with the current situations of Kashmir Valley and the phase the people of the valley are going through. There has been a curfew in almost whole valley for almost 65 days as of now and due to the prevailing situation of curfew in valley lecturers, professors and teachers are unable to reach NIT campus in Hazratbal area which is justifiable on their part. Keeping this fact in mind and hoping situation will get better with coming days administration of the institute decided to extend the registration dates from 1st-4th August which was a proper step. But the situation got more worse and therefore the dates were extended to 19th-23rd August and this time too it was okay but what followed after that is really concerning for all of us.
The situation are not getting better any day in Kashmir and dates are already extended six times with the current date of registration being extended to 1st-3rd October. NIT Srinagar follows a major winter break driven curriculum and therefore odd semesters are scheduled from August to November with holidays from December to February. And after losing 2 months already there seems no point of still extending the dates. If the dates keep on extending like this there are two possibilities to this: 1. Recovery of the loss in winter break or 2. Extension of degree by half semester; and both of these are dangerous specifically the later one.
In 2014, floods affected the semester and then in March 2015 swine flu did the same. Then odd semester of 2015 was normal but again in April 2016 NIT Srinagar found itself between the NIT clash and campus row issues which further affected the semester again. These raises a serious question because to complete a semester of 4 months in 2-3 months is a complete cumbersome and tiresome thing for the students. Also NIT Srinagar does not follow two examinations semester but three. This adds to the overhead of irksome schedule of the students that they have to follow. A schedule saying: Classes, Lab Practical, Minor-1 Examinations, Classes, Lab Practical, Minor-2 Examinations, Classes, Lab Practical, Lab Examinations, Classes, Major Examinations.
Such a hectic schedule can exasperate a full grown man and we are talking about students here. And the major thing to note is that this is not the first time for the institute situation like this arising otherwise we could have ignored because one time is acceptable. But it seems each and every semester is affected by one thing or the other. Students have urged and requested MHRD and central government various time by going to their offices in Delhi and mailing to concerned ministers and PM to look into the matter and do the right thing as soon as possible but all went in vain. All government say is we have forwarded your concern to the administration of the institution and complain is closed. Meetings with high profile ministers have also been all futile. And do you the administration which is unable to take proper steps for the future will take consideration on this matter?
The situations not only affect the studies of the students but also many other activities like placement process, internship process and etc. Administration is so careless that students themselves has to arrange their current placement procedure at NIT Delhi campus. Such an administration is literally of no use. After doing everything in their hand and still finding themselves with no help simply makes the students tired and irritating. What this all is doing is wasting their precious time as far as their studies are concerned in the wake of things getting better.
It’s acceptable that permanent shift of a premier institute like NIT is not possible at any cost. It will surely raise questions on the integrity of Kashmir to India. It is also futile because shifting of such a permanent setup is just not possible. But a temporary shift of the campus is possible in every aspect and manner and it should be done as soon as possible, as things getting better does not look coming in the near future to come. It will help to resume classes albeit for 2 months only now but if started soon the loss occurred can be recovered. With now less than 2 months remaining it’s time for the government to take some serious actions and do the groundwork being responsible for saving the future of bright students of a premier institute so that people can still have faith in our education system.