Should a Government order follow completing of essential prerequisites for the concerned issue or precede it after it is issued and announcements too made about it, has generated a bit of curiosity in respect of the previous Government according sanction to 14 new degree colleges in Jammu and Kashmir, the fate of which now appears to have slipped into dormancy if not expectedly permanently. These proposed new colleges were to be made functional right from the current session itself.
These Degree Colleges were slated to be opened, seven each in Jammu and Kashmir provinces, keeping in mind the problem of accessibility gap in the areas where students had to walk long distances to reach colleges. One of the reasons for students preferring to be drop outs relate to the problem of long distances to reach schools and colleges from their homes and back; and to resolve that problem, these colleges were sanctioned to be opened at Chenani, Mongri, Vijaypur, Dongi , Ramkot and Dudu- Basantgarh in Jammu division . Even another one was proposed to be opened in Paddar also. Similarly, Kashmir valley had to have these colleges opened at Kralpora, Langate, Thindim Kreeri, Zainapora, Wachi, Shalibug, Chadoora and Vilgam . So far so good and a long awaited good news for the students aspiring to have their colleges comparatively nearer to their homes.
Unlike other State projects of infrastructural nature where usually more time is consumed on completing formalities and procedures before the work actually gets started, in the opening of the these colleges, however, some “urgency” was visible as it was directed to make them functional right from the academic session of 2018-19. To cut down on the time likely to be taken in construction of buildings, it was decided to have them operated from make shift accommodation. On the face of it, the entire proposal looked marvelous and satisfying. However, the proposal seemed to have been made and necessary orders issued all in a huff and puff as no proper concurrence was obtained from two vital departments of Finance and Planning. The much hyped cabinet decision about the entire issue, therefore, proved to be in a state of latency.
It is reported that due to the proposal having got no acquiesce from the two pivotal departments, establishment of these colleges has been kept in abeyance. Obviously, this exercise was to have been completed before final announcement of opening of these colleges as the required staff for such colleges and providing of some elementary but necessary facilities could neither be possible without finance nor without planning. How could, therefore, both these Departments not get involved in the whole exercise, is the main question which is why the Government order under reference, has dipped into quiescence. The Governor’s administration having decided, therefore, to keep the order in abeyance should prove to be of little surprise. Obviously, the Cabinet approval should have been sought only after the two departments concurred and got involved in the entire exercise. The orders to this effect, it is learnt were going to be issued within days.
This sort of development, obviously, was going to dampen the spirits of those students who had lot of hopes that their precious time could be saved in walking long distances between the nearest existing colleges and their homes which they could devote instead towards their studies. It is sure, though unfortunate, that one full fledged session that of 2018-19, the proposed one to make these new colleges functional from, is gone and pending completing of the necessary but mandatory formalities , no positive development could take place.
It is imperative to inquire as to why such reckless approach was adopted in an issue of the importance of educational institutions like new Degree Colleges which was decided to be opened to mitigate the hassles on account of long distances, weather problems and other difficulties experienced by the students in their absence . Queries from both Planning and Finance Departments must be replied and cleared by the Department of Higher Education and other connected departments. Other shortcomings, necessarily not intentional but probably as a result of a burst of over enthusiasm, must be looked into and removed in the interests of the students of these areas which were going to be directly benefitted with opening of these new institutions of learning. The golden axiom continues to hold good, “better late than never.”