Srinagar, Nov 20: After facing major embarrassment amid allegations of large-scale academic and financial irregularities, the Kashmir University (KU) Vice Chancellor has sacked Director and contractual faculty of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Kaushal Kendra after two of its B.Voc courses overran deadlines by a huge margin, leaving the students in a state of shock and dismay.
According to official documents, Director of DDU Kaushal Kendra, Dr Ghulam Hassan Mir along with three contractual staff members were relieved “with immediate effect” owing to closure of the project, which was launched by KU in 2019 with much fanfare only to be left embarrassed three years later.
Notably, the B.Voc course in Automotive Technology and B.Voc course in Electronic Media overran completion deadlines, with students of one batch left with incomplete syllabus and without examinations for more than a year.
Surprisingly, while the Central project, worth Rs 3 crore, was closed almost a year ago, it is only this month that the KU acted to shunt out the contractual faculty and Director after academic and financial irregularities in the programme implementation surfaced in the media.
“Now that DDU Kaushal Kendra failed to complete the courses, the remaining part of the two courses has now been handed over to Media Education Research Centre in case of Electronic Media, and to Institute of Technology Zakura Campus in case of Automotive Technology,” according to the available documents.
According to many students pursuing these courses, the Directorate of Kaushal Kendra fared poorly from day one on the implementation front.
From engaging local roadside mechanics for otherwise professional training in automotive technology to delayed classes in Electronic Media, complaints continued to pour in with KU authorities looking the other way, the students said.
“These courses were supposed to complete in 2022 with the whole project coming to an end, but one full batch is yet to complete the syllabus while another is yet to appear in final examinations,” the students said, regretting having joined the courses which “failed to yield the desired outcomes”.
With KU now belatedly acting against Director and Contractual faculty, who overran contract period and thus drew salary and emoluments in excess, cry for a formal probe into the DDU Kaushal Kendra functioning by state investigating agencies has gained steam.
“Removing the director is not enough. We want a full probe into financial and academic irregularities in implementation of the Central scheme which has failed to prove beneficial to the students,” the aggrieved students demand, seeking personal intervention of LG and VC.
“There have been serious deviations in recruitments made in DDU Kaushal Kendra which need to be probed. Furthermore, some staff have still been retained despite the project’s closure which is a scam,” the insiders said.
Many students are also dismayed at shifting courses to MERC and IOT Zakuraz, saying these departments have their own courses to handle and “will pay least attention to our courses”.
“We have been betrayed in a big way despite paying huge money. This delayed degrees and delayed examinations are true for the University which is grappling with decline in student strength in almost all courses now,” the aggrieved students rued.
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