A University’s Fall

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Started on a high note with western model in mind, IUST is falling from grace even before a formal take-off. With political connections, family ties and lineage deciding its human resource, education seemingly is the last priority. Kashmir Life reports the unmaking of Kashmir’s Islamic University

A landscape view of  IUST. Pic: Bilal Handoo

A landscape view of IUST. Pic: Bilal Bahadur

It was summer 2005 when Prof Siddiq Wahid, a 54-year-old Harvard historian was chosen to establish a new university at Awantipora, Pulwama. Given his impressive academic exposure, a hope to see new, vibrant and a different educational institution took birth. With such high aspirations, Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST) came into being at Awantipora.

Prof Siddiq Wahid, a PhD in Inner Asian Studies from Harvard University, was appointed as the first Vice Chancellor of the University. When a man who studied in Harvard and taught in Harvard and Metropolitan Universities for many years talked of ‘evolving a model of education with emphasis on leadership in (Islamic University) Kashmir’, it seemed achievable.

In the beginning, IUST looked different and impressive.  Wahid, then 54, was perhaps the only aged academic manager in the campus, rest of his colleagues were in the age group 28-42.

But today, 10 years later, a keen look into the university shows up a nasty picture.

In the first ten years, the land acquired by the university may have doubled, the number of students may have increased 6 times but there seems no subsequent improvement in the facilities and the infrastructure available to the students. Though new construction is taking place in the campus but a number of departments and laboratories are still run from pre-fabricated huts and tin sheds.

“Good teachers and good teaching make a classroom, rest does not matter,” justifies Dr Abdul Rashid Trag, present Vice Chancellor of IUST. “We lack some equipment but to provide a good practical exposure to the students, we share the infrastructure of comparatively better institutions like that of NIT, Srinagar. It is what UGC tells us to do.”

When compared to the other universities in J&K like Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) and Mata Vaishno Devi University (MVDU), which were established around the same time, IUST looks like a primary school, says an educationist wishing anonymity.

“No it very much looks like a university,” says Dr Trag, “even the UGC team that visited IUST recently highly appreciated our progress.”

Dr Trag admits funding has been a major problem for the university. “Since the inception of university, Muslim Wakf board – the parent funding agency – has only paid Rs 9 crores of the total due amount of Rs 58 crores.”

“The universities which you are comparing us with (BGSBU and MVDU) get lakhs of donation every year, apart from funds from their parent funding agencies like state and UGC,” says Dr Trag.

IUST was established by state’s Muslim Wakf Board under the Act No. XVIII of 2005 passed on 7 November 2005 by the state legislature. As per the act, Wakf Board is supposed to grant Rs 2 crore each year.

Dr Trag opines, when state had conceived the idea of establishing a university it should have reserved at least Rs 300 to Rs 400 crores to make it work smoothly. On the contrary, its lone funding agency – Muslim Wakf Board – got away after handing over just Rs 30 crores.

Till recently, university was managing its expenses mostly from the fees collected from the students.

The administration of the university informs that a team supervised by the VC is working in double shifts to come up with better and improved infrastructure.  They say the university is following a proper ‘Master Plan’ and will soon be shifting from pre-fabricated huts and tin sheds to concrete buildings.

Even the sole canteen in the campus is run from a tin shed has a significant population of flies in summers! The place does not offer proper sanitation and hygiene, students complain.

Influencing Recruitment

Muslim Wakf Board may have failed to pay the promised annual grant, but the Board has a considerable influence over recruitment of human resource in the University. They have had their share.

Shazana Andrabi’s appointment exemplifies the Muslim Wakf Board’s influences, perfectly. Presently In-Charge of the department of International Relations (Previously Peace and Conflict Studies), Shazana has done her post-graduation in History.

Her recruitment is an interesting case. Shazana is the daughter of Iftikhar Andrabi who in 2005 assumed the chair of Chief Executive Officer in the state’s Muslim Wakf Board. Besides, she is niece of Mehboob Beg, a former National Conference man who switched sides before recent state Assembly elections.

Former IUST  VC Prof  Sidiq Wahid with Governor NN Vohra.

Former IUST VC Prof Sidiq Wahid with Governor NN Vohra.

Shazana with a Master’s degree, perhaps having no experience in administration, was appointed as an Assistant Registrar in the university in 2005. Of the six assistant registrars, she was ‘randomly’ picked up for one year masters course in Peace and Conflict in a university of Costa Rica.

Context: Prof Wahid on behalf of IUST had signed an MoU with the University of Peace (UPEACE), Costa Rica. Under this pact, IUST could send any Kashmiri to study this yearly program in UPEACE. In first year, Prof Wahid chose and sponsored Shazana Andrabi, an Assistant Registrar, and Wajahat Ahmed Peer, a contractual faculty member of a newly established department of Peace and Conflict Studies.

Prof Wahid wanted to establish a full-fledged department of Peace and Conflict in IUST. Interestingly, it is the only place in the state that offers a master’s program in the subject. IUST has now changed the nomenclature of the course from Peace and Conflict Studies to International Relations (Peace and Conflict studies).

“Professor [Wahid] was very eager to start a master’s program in Peace and Conflict Studies,” says Raouf Rasool, a former and founder faculty member of the department.

Raouf has done his Masters in Journalism besides holds a degree in Peace and Conflict from University of Norte Dame in Unites States and interestingly has earned a top merit of 3.89 out of 4.

While wanting to offer a two years master’s program in Peace and Conflict studies, Prof Wahid had called Raouf to IUST to ‘help’ him start and consolidate the course, Raouf remembers.

He agreed to contribute as he was wishful to use his expertise of Peace and Conflict studies and his experience in US.

“I am associated with journalism since 1997 but could hardly get an opportunity to use my expertise of Peace and Conflict Studies, so I could not reject this opportunity,” says Raouf.

Eventually, Wahid chose three people, Raouf Rasool, Muhammed Junaid and Wajahat Ahmed Peer to frame the course work. The three had to later sit in an ‘informal’ interview.

Two years later, June 2009, IUST invited applications for the permanent post of Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies. As guidelines of UGC suggest, the applicants with masters in the subject concerned, MA in Peace and Conflict Studies, with NET/SLET or PhD were invited. However, since Peace and Conflict Studies as an academic discipline is fairly uncommon, UGC is yet to institute NET in it; and even SLET too is not conducted in this subject. So, those applying for the post automatically get NET exemption.

Interestingly, even though the job advertisement had sought MA in the subject concerned as basic qualification, applications of candidates from backgrounds in Sociology, Political Science, Islamic Studies, Public Administration and Human Rights were also entertained, Raouf remembers.

“I did not apply but Prof Wahid forcefully made me to apply, as he said that he wants me to consolidate the department in next 5 to 10 years. It appeared he felt only I could do it,” recalls Raouf.

Of the 15 candidates who were interviewed on August 20, 2009, Athar-u-din Shawl topped the list, followed by Shazana Andrabi. Lubna, a PhD in Public Administration, was at number three and Raouf, a topper having masters in Peace and Conflict from an American University, was at number four!

Prof Wahid was very eager to start a masters programme in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Prof Wahid was very eager to start a masters programme in Peace and Conflict Studies.

Athar-u-din has done LLB and MA in Human Rights from Aligarh Muslim University, besides has qualified NET.

“This was insulting,” says Raouf. “But I believe Prof Wahid wanted to appease two major political parties, National Conference (NC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to favour his extension as VC.”

Shazana being Mehboob Beg’s niece, an NC man then, and Athar’s father Muneer-u-din Shawl, a PDP man, satisfied both the parties.

Interestingly, Muneer-u-din Shawl, a lawyer from South Kashmir is believed to be very close to PDP patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and was reportedly Mufti’s chief campaigner in South during 2008 elections.

After the results were declared Raouf moved to court and challenged the merit list. Athar and Shahzana’s appointment are now subject to the final court orders. Interestingly, in these four years, Raouf’s case has not been heard in the court even once. Reason: “Athar’s father, Muneer, is a well-known lawyer of the Valley,” believes Raouf.

Apart from questioning qualifications of the duo, Raouf has an interesting mail to share.

This is an email note which the then VC wrote to Raouf while the interviews were on: “…Bore to mey ab ho gaya! One of the candidates we are interviewing for CIPACS just told us that Amartya Sen is a gender specialist, a woman and that ‘she has written many books on conflict’. A PhD, mind you!! So let me wish you luck with such stiff ‘competition’! Siddiq”

Dr Trag says, “I am not answerable to their appointments. It was not my tenure then. Besides, it is a matter sub-judice and we will act as the court directs us.”

Looking at Prof Wahid’s era as VC, there a many questionable appointments that come to fore. From Assistant Registrars to many Head of the Departments (HoDs), people have been appointed on the basis of their political associations, family status etc.

Sources say mediocrity, appeasement to political bosses and nepotism is what works in IUST.

Interestingly, in 2010, Dr Trag recruited Iqbal Mirza, a simple BTech, now pursuing his M Tech, as an Assistant Professor.

“There was no better candidate than him. Besides, he left a permanent government job as Junior Engineer as he was interested in academics. I had to adjust him,” justifies Dr Trag.

“The recruitments are already done and we can’t terminate them. To grow we would better like to concentrate on positive developments rather than the negative things of the university,” feels Dr Trag.

Pertinently, Iqbal Mirza and Dr Trag belong to the same town, Tral.

Besides, the pass-out students, especially from Social Sciences allege that they are being ignored while the recruitment drives are on for contractual as well as permanent posts.

Saqib (name changed), a former student at the department of Peace and Conflict studies having interest in academics has applied for the post of Assistant Professor since 2010. And repeatedly, his application form is being rejected despite having all the relevant qualifications.

“By repeatedly rejecting my application, aren’t they questioning their own teaching?” asks Saqib, “If I have a master’s program in the relevant subject from IUST, besides having attended few fellowships, why is my application being rejected? Interestingly people having degrees in allied subjects are being entertained.”

Similarly, a former student from the department of Mass Communication and Journalism, Aqib (name changed) having qualified NET was rejected in 2013 and the two other candidates, Janisar Qureshi and Ishfaq Shah, none of them had qualified NET then, were recruited!

“This is the most racist university campus in Kashmir. Only people from certain castes are promoted and entertained during recruitments,” says  Majid (name changed), a former student of the university who has been trying his luck since 2010 to teach in Mass Communication and Journalism department. “If you go through the names of all faculties especially HoDs, you will come to know what I am saying.”

The nepotism while recruiting human resources especially the faculty is taking toll on the students.

A student wishing anonymity shares an anecdote of his department: “My guide rejected my synopsis about Kashmir Conflict because she [Shazana Andrabi] thought I am emotionally involved with the cause, instead suggested me to study something about Egypt.”

Surprisingly, the students at Humanities Department are asked to submit a master’s thesis in their last semester without having research methodology in their curriculum!

“As far as I know research methodology is not important in Masters. It is essentially taught in PhD programs. Still I will look into the matter,” says the Vice Chancellor Dr Trag.

On hearing this response, a student sarcastically commented, “I think IUST has copied course design and curriculum from two different universities that is why they are not complementing each other. Research methodology is the backbone of any thesis whether masters or PhD.”

Prof AR Trag, VC Islamic University of Science & Technology

AR-Trag-vice-chancellor-IUST

Prof AR Trag

On Infrastructure:

Good teaching and good teachers make a classroom, rest does not matter. Besides, we are improving our infrastructure. It may take some time but our progress is pacing up. I admit that if we compare IUST with other universities which were established around the same time, we are behind, reason being less number of working days and limited funds.

 Funding:

Presently the scenario is better. We are being funded by state, UGC and Muslim Wakf Board. However, the major part of our expenditure is covered by the fees paid by the university students. The state government till 2009 used to release Rs 1 crore annually in our favour, but when we submitted a proposal and forwarded our master plan [including buildings]they agreed to release funds in our favour. Since then we are getting Rs 8 crore for construction and Rs 5 crore under salary quota. This year we are expecting Rs 5 crore under infrastructure development and Rs 4 crore under salary quota.

Since last year, after we covered the 12 B status, UGC also started granting funds in our favour. They sanctioned Rs 7 crore under infra-structure and development.

Wakf Board is supposed to give us Rs 2 crores each year but they fail to maintain consistency. Till now of Rs 58 crore only 8-9 crores have been granted.

But overall funding has been a problem which has restricted our growth. We too realize that we don’t have infrastructure at par with the other universities but we are trying our best. Our team, led by me, work in double shifts. We too are interested to provide better infrastructure including laboratories and playground but we have our compulsions. In a nut shell, as compared to past six years University is progressing at a much better pace. Besides, a few other independent projects are granted in our favour which will help us to grow.

Recruitment policy:

For recruiting teaching staff we have to follow the UGC guidelines and if we fail they will stop funding us. For the recruitment of non-teaching staff we have framed our own policy. We have had some controversies regarding recruitments but the matter is sub-judice and we have to wait for the court orders. We try to focus on positive things rather than discussing negative things, as we want growth. I can’t fire any of them [Shazana Andrabi, Iqbal Mirza or Athar-u-din]. If I did they too will move to the court and will hamper the smooth going of my university, which I don’t want.

About Shazana’s and Athar’s appointment?

I was not the Vice Chancellor then so I can’t answer.

About Iqbal Mirza’s appointment?

Yes, I selected him and I can very well justify my decision. The appointment happened in 2010 when he was just a B.Tech but today he is pursuing his M Tech so his appointment should not be a problem. And now I can’t fire him. For the first time this year we received a number of applications otherwise the response used to remain poor. And we had to manage among the hand full of people. People with more competent degrees opt for better opportunities.

See, we do not have enough people in Kashmir who have qualified GATE or NET/SLET, so we have to compromise for the betterment of our students.

Is Sameer Wazir, finance officer of IUST, just a graduate?

He is working on the contract basis; he is not a permanent member. His contract gets renewed every year.

It is alleged that IUST ignores its own pass-out students during recruitment drives?

Own students are every university’s weakness. We know how seriously we teach our students. If the applicant [IUST’s pass-out] is competent we will never ignore them. The only thing we avoid is to select the recent pass-outs. We prefer to have a gap of at least one year as we believe it causes indiscipline in the class if the teacher and student belong to the same age group.

Why isn’t IUST starting PhD programs?

PhD is essential part of any university. We started in MBA, Islamic Studies, Arabic and English. In other departments the faculty members do not satisfy the norms which are needed to start the program.

Note:

Kashmir Life thanks its esteemed readers for showing overwhelming response to our stories. However we at the same time request our readers to refrain from any abusive comments that may harm anybody’s image or character.

We also request our readers not to go personal against any individual while commenting.

Kashmir Life retains the right to remove any such comment which it think goes against ethics, morality and decency. However positive response and healthy argument is always welcome.

30 Comments

  1. baba gulam shah university is much forward from iust, same type of funding was given to both institute under wakf, iust is highly corrupted n scandled like ku, just improve ur selves sky is limit where u ll find baba gulam shah already there. campus seems to b without hardwork, target, aim, management & quality of education.

  2. We the students on

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    We the former students of the university would like to submit that Sideeq Waheed is not a Hero but whatever the mess if today is because of him. While we applaud your efforts to bring to notice some facts, but you have only focused on one individual and department [Shahzana Andrabi] while missing some important fact. For the sake of the general public lets bring them to notice.

    Shazana’s is not the only illegal appointment in the campus. The MCA department is full of them. Look at the MCA and the people recruited floating every norm under the sun by PDP. All of them have been a shame on the name of academics and if you are in their class you would hang you head in shame. Two students among us writing this letter are from the department.

    Go to Arabic department, one of its faculty member Majeed Andarbi has an MPhil in Urdu and was teaching in a primary school, he was also illegally appointed- imagine a mathematics teacher teaching science. In the same department there is faculty namely Arif Kazi who when appointed was not even a simple MA, his case and another faculty mebers case is worth consideration Inanyats, still in court. Done by Sideeq Waheed so no hero.

    All this happened in the time of your Hero Harvard educated “scholar” Sideeq Waheed. He used to see faces of people and then appoint them, is the famous proverb any one in IUST will tell you. He ruined the university, nothing else, so please don’t call him hero. He has failed in Harvard. A Harvard university scholar doesn’t run a tour and travel agency and write JKLF press notes and then switch sides.

    He appointed Fozia Qazi directly professor in the university floating every norm and then after three years married her. So this how your hero build this university.

    Then go to our favorite journalism department, Monisa Qadri and Ruheela Hassan are the jokes on the name of academics. Show me one single good journalist which is a pass out of IUST. Monisa Qadri was appointed by the present finance minister and about Ruheela less said then better.

    Then enter Food Technology there is a teacher namely Farhana allaie was appointed on a phone call from the governor house.
    We can write pages and pages on engineering on MBA on electronic but nothing would happen. Because the governments have always treated this university as their den where they sent every failed person under the sun.

  3. this is a university that breeds mediocrity,after abdullahs IUST is the next big thing that deceives the kashmiri nation
    Mr admin put me a mail i would like to contribute too

  4. many mor Mr.zahoor A.P. (Electrical deptt) is a btech,Dr.Feroze & Dr.Asifa baba are from science background (electronics) and are teaching Engineering Students..

  5. Wajahat Peer is no holy cow, as some of his fanatic student believe, his qualification was son of a bureaucrat ( G A PEER) and his caste (PEER). Other wise he is simply a German language student. He has BA in German language from JNU and some certificate course in global exchange programme. The fishy part is how he was also choosen for Costa Rica? He is a crass and mediocre like his brother Basharat Peer. Peers have habit of making a cult following, Wajahat by his well mannerism has impressed lot of students to shield his incompetency and ineligibility.

    • Zulfikar,

      I think both the reporter as well as you need to get your facts right. Facts can be subversive, but only if they are facts! First, the first chair of the concerned department was Jalil Ahmad “ZARGAR,” the second incharge of the department was Rouf AHANGER, and the third person who ended up heading the center was Muhamad Junaid (RATHER). Second, Muhamad Junaid had an MA and MPhil from JNU. Wajahat, whose name has been incorrectly, and possibly deliberately, cited as Wajahat Peer uses the ‘legal’ name of Wajahat Ahmad. There is no Peer in his name. Although his father is a Peer, he chose to drop the surname, because of his progressive politics that abhors casteism. Third, you got his qualifications totally wrong. At the time of his recruitment, he had a BA in German Studies from JNU and a two years Masters degree in Social Sciences from the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany and the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa. And he was a recipient of a University of Freiburg – DAAD Scholarship for his Masters. He also had a two year prior work experience with a leading think-tank and an American NGO. Mediocre people don’t receive reputed and competitive international scholarships, nor do they end up writing for the New Yorker or the New York Times, like Basharat Peer does. Fourth, even objectively speaking, somebody will really have to be suffering from some mental malfunction to call either of the two brothers incompetent.They have a cult following because of their intellect. Go eat your heart out from jealously, which you clearly seem to be suffering from.

  6. First of all accolades to the KL team, nobody in the Kashmiri Media has the guts to come with such an investigative and exposing cover story. Reminds me of Tehelka. Grear Job Team KL. Allah bless you for the good work you are doing. You have brought facts to the fore. I agree with whatever has been said in the comments. I am a product of IUST as well but I have seen this institute degrade with each passing day. I don’t recommend this university to anyone now. It has been plagued since inception but we as Kashmiris don’t have choice. On one side we have IUST and on the other we have KU. I can bet CU would live up to the reputation of these two predecessors. We recently became the no 1 state interms of corruption leaving Bihar behind. What can we expect from any Govt or Semi Govt run department. The permanent employees of IUST belong one extended family and even if they take people outside the influential circle, they are taken only as contractual. I recently heard about the illicit scandals between faculty and students and those faculty members are still working normally. My only request if anyone is listening please for god sake, Introduce a bill in Assembly and omit the name “ISLAMIC”. You guys are spreading filth there and are attributing it to ISLAM. There is nothing Islamic about IUST.

  7. Wow… what are you all talking about
    … amazing. .. plz tell me who in kashmir dsnt work on influence starting from going to school to getting a place in makbara. …
      Now talking about the university and specifically about Shazana Andrabi.. Yes her father  Iftikhar Andrabi was the CEO of wakf but that doesn’t prove anything. . Shazana got the job coz she had done Masters in history from kashmir university and got 2nd rank in university which was not coz her uncle is Mr. Mahboob baig but coz she is a hard working n an intelligent person… Shazana being appointed randomly for masters in Costa Rica was not really random… Mr. Sidiq wahid den VC of university saw her abilities on that bases he choose her and not forgetting  she dint let him down as she got a gold medal there and was announced the best student of the year… so I suppose rather than pointing fingers at her we kashmiris should be proud of her n in courage her and take kashmir to the other level… clearing NET exam dsnt mean anythnig …Guys grow up … jst coz u have a certificate dsnt mean u r better than others… Let’s prove it… KASHMIR LIFE  who has a problem n doubts on shazanas abilities let’s call dem over and call Shazana as well n see who is deserving… Mr. Rouf u can come ahead as well… by de way it’s really cheap of u all to associate her intellegence saying she is niece of Mr . Mahboob beigh.

    I good thing about Mr.  Mahboob beigh being her uncle is she has a background of politics which makes them very intelligent thus proving the point why she was choosen as assistant registrar  finance which she herself left…

     Yes about Iftikhar andrabi … He has 4 kids and all the very well setteled and definetly it’s coz of him that his kids r what they r today coz he worked hard for dem n toughy them how go live life.. that’s the reason shazana andrabi is wt she is now not coz of the influence… If it would be influence his eldest son would not have been a SVP  of a multinational compony in US… I suppose wakf board dsnt help der… n neither his other too kids one being a banker and a real estate compony owner nor an architect .. so guys grow up n think before u write about someone like this.
     Jst because u can’t reach the level she is now u can Wright without no wing the facts… n how can the news paper publish such a thing

    Now talking about Mr.Sadiq Wahid he had been proved as being a bad VC because he married one of the girls working in university… For God’s sake which book says u can not marry anyone working with u … Guys coz of this thinknig u all have kashmir is were it is dis time… Grow up guys… grow up.. its time to change …
    1 guy is angry coz he is being regected for last few years … after nowing how bad this institute is y is he trying der again and again … y dsnt he apply somewer else n get a job as according to him he is well qualified… plzzz guys see ur faults.. He is not good at it.. jst coz he has a certificate dsnt mean he will get a job … use ur head… use it guys it’s high time … If dey r buised what about the other places he applied y dint he get a job in last 4 years… y blame the institute…

    • I am aghast Sister Sophia, Why you got offended when real facts are brought to the fore.
      It is because of corruption by people mentioned in this story Kashmir is where it is today and you have said totally opposite of that. You are infact shooting the messenger. When poor kashmiris are raising their voice against this brutality and injustice you are asking them to shut up and telling them their mentality is responsible for their plight. How can you forget the scandals of Wakf board, what do they do with all the money which they receive as part of donations. This is the age of Wiki Leaks, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and you are blaming this magazine for doing this story, I wonder what mindset you have. This is the modern day fearless journalism and instead of appreciating you are denouncing this magazine. I feel SORRY .
      I am sorry if my words sound too harsh but I have studied at this university and have seen how things work and how filthy it is.

      PEACE and rest Allah hu Aaalam (Allah knows best)

    • @Sophia i have read these lines mentioned by you in favour of ms Shazana Andrabi. but the question is how a history student holds Hod of International Relations department . ?.

  8. Dear Editor
    Institutions of excellence are built brick by brick, layer after layer, and while doing so, there is an often inconvenient but widely held assumption in air, that genuine and healthy criticism with timely interventions leads to, and adds Color, to the very greatness of any structure.

    So it augurs well to the facet that the unstoppable and the very best in the field, and for the very essence of journalism would try to lead with the torch, to probe, and highlight the “if’s“ and “whys” of the wrongs, if at all committed, in our society and bring them to pubic domain.

    But, and, there is a BUT. What would you call it if the very tangibles of a story are, let us say, based on a conjured biased presumption in the mind of a journalist or for that matter the very source and the feeders are hypocritical. There is, as any school of reporting would teach you, the other side of the story. The centuries old tradition has been that hearsays are corroborated with testimonies, facts are separated from fiction, allegations are researched upon, and mudslinging is avoided.

    (Full disclosure: I taught in IUST briefly before leaving it and know almost everyone here in these comments.) What shocks me and should shock every conscious citizen of this land, who have been following the rise and fall of this magazine is: that a responsible and often engaging team of KL fell into a trap, laid well with wrong notions, misinformation, fraudulent intentions, and untrue assumptions and hearsays.

    So, here I say, and while pondering over it with great ferocity every minute, that it is a good decision and with GREAT intentions that the owners and editors of this magazine have allowed the mudslinging and character assassination of our daughters, sisters and our teachers. Great contribution by Kashmiri Life, Jawhara Shawal must be happy today in her grave. A look at the Wikipedia page of KL reveals that Ms Shawal was an ardent advocate of women empowerment, what a great women empowerment and service you guys are enduring to her cause by allowing lunatics and some miscreants to assassinate the character of few individuals. And that too in a society where tagging people is a normal affair but getting away with that tag isn’t.

    The policy of this magazine and the people who sit on the comment board-it seems- is to humiliate individuals, indulge in character assassination of people, let people poke their nose into the personnel lives of individuals, individuals of honor and dignity.

    Kashmir Life is a small magazine, every day Greater Kashmir, Rising Kashmir and a host of other publications must be receiving thousands of comments from people, but we have never seen them publishing them on their websites. No responsible media house would do it. It is understandable, how we the people in Kashmir, think and react to issues given the last 24 years have made us only destructive, often cynical and great spectators.

    The story is: A former graduate student of CIPACS now International Relations appears for the interview conducted every year for contractual faculty. He fails to pass the interview three times. Applies in Mathematics department- which has a course related to peace studies- after teaching there for six months his contract ends. He again appears for the parent department but again fails. The head of the department- in this case Mathematics- writes a letter saying Mr X could not satisfy the students with his teaching abilities after receiving feedback from them.

    Following which Mr X leads a smear campaign against the department head; the university in general, gangs up with a former employee of the university and one former member of faculty even surprisingly leaks a personnel email communication between him and a former VC!

    If Mr X was fit for teaching why did he never get a job in any other place in Kashmir. Islamic University is not the only university in entire Jammu and Kashmir. His comments on his former boss are humiliating, insulting and too personnel. Imagine in a conservative society like ours, I shout at the top of my voice that your sister is dating someone what would be your reaction?

    Can you discuss the personnel relationship of people on a public platform like this? I am baffled. For the sake of record the head of the mathematics department taught for 10 years in a US college, before coming back to Kashmir. So what should we expect her to do pack her bags and leave again, because we can teach our kids don’t need specialist any expert to teach us!

    Few former faculties of the department of Peace and Conflict Studies now International Relations, have made it a mission in their life to target one specific individual, presently the in-charge of the department. Ms Z is not lase Faqir, has an MA in History from Kashmir university, scored the highest rank in Costa Rica where the UN has a mandated university for Peace studies. Imagine while raising two infant children at the same time and also completing her degree. She made it a point to learn something in life, and impart it to Kashmiri students. I am not defending her but please also see the positives. Should it invites jealousy and envies, yes it does?

    She has been teaching in the department for five years now and who the hell in this world says a bureaucratic exam called NET defines your intelligence and the ability to teach. Do you think she would have gained or lost something by teaching in the department for five years. Leaving this for you to Calculate. Now assassinate her charterer for that. Throw mud on her, would it change anything, nothing. Good Journalism and commenting, Proud Kashmiri’s please do indulge in character assassination.

    Ms A, an assistant professor in the department of Food Tech is a gold medalist from Jamia Millia Islamia, has topped the class in her masters. As the students suggest she doesn’t know teaching, and I am not defending her teaching style, how come a panel selected her at the first place. Was she appointed by the Vice Chancellor of IUST; no, but by a panel of experts. Mind you experts who normally select people for a university job are not always from the state. In most cases the experts are invited from out side the state.

    Mr T, who has been called a Satan, is presently doing a Phd in the IIT Delhi. I am sure we Kashmiris know what it means to get seat for a Phd in an IIT. I think it hell is a tougher exam then GRE and then go begging to the American universities for scholarships. And for us Mr T is a Satan. It might well happen that he would chose not to come back and when former students can compere him with Satan. So who loses Mr T: our children! He might have been strict but does that mean he is Satan. And imagine we Muslim calling a person Satan for being strict, because he has a beard.

    Mr S is presently doing Phd in Jawahar Lal Nehru university, I am sure no PDP leader would have called the JNU admission committee to select him for his Phd. I am sure you are not suggesting that also Or is there any conspiracy theory being cooked here also by a former students or a former facility. Mufti Syed must have gone to JNU vice chancellor and asked him for his admission (Sick).

    Ms M teaches and Ms L teach in journalism department, had a NET at the time of their appointment, besides teaching they also learned something, did their Phd’s during the same time. They were appointed when the university was new. One of them a good researcher lead a team of researchers last year and came up with a brilliant report. So how come know it is being said a PDP leader appointed one of them. When I was their I often has conversation with journalism department students I have never heard these complaints on their teaching skills.

    It is but natural that out of 50 students in a normal classroom some would be having issues with teaching style of teacher and with the ways of his/her teaching methods but what is shocking is the former teachers and students are commenting here using the fake names and have mobilized an army of trolls.

    We all know people who have been commenting here assassinating characters are the same ones who call themselves revolutionaries sit in the fancy studious in New York and teach Kashmiri people on Facebook how to get Azadi and bring revolution. They marry American girls to get citizenships so that they can live in America and teach Kashmiris the ways a revolution works. But would never appreciate if someone leaves that comfort and decides to live a life in this hellhole. They provoke former students to write comments here because their inefficiency was caught multiple times. Two courses in a particular department were copied from two American Universities; since so many people have lauded the efforts of some teachers let us also admit that. So that it would never be discussed how Kashmir was the only thing that was taught for three hours in class room. Kashmir is not the only thing which need to be taught there are other things also.

    I urge you please come and work here why to write on social networking sites and the comments sections of this website. If things are not good and doesn’t look right why not help in making them right instead of criticizing and creating confusion. As a former faculty I would like to tell you here that these are our institutions we have to set them in order and to all those students who have been critical of their teachers criticism is good, but do it in your class room.

    This institution is so young that had been in any other state it would gave been in two room of a building we have ample examples of that in India. Now would you say that it is improving and creating new infrastructure and facilitating good teaching is also because of the corruption.

    People should make efforts to see the positive also not just negative at the end of the days these are our institutions. We should advice them not demean them.

    I hope this comment would pass through the moderation process.

    Best
    A Kashmiri

    • To: A Kasmiri
      Dear kashmiri,
      First of all i don’t know whats your gender if it’s he, she or the other. i just scrolled and skimmed through your idiosyncratic and pulpless mumbo jumbo of words. i don’t understand what you want to prove. For me your argument is the anti thesis of the classical Schrodinger’s cat and poison. as per Schrodinger’s cat dilemma you need to open the box with the poison and the cat to see if the cat is alive. so this so called magniloquent and nasty volley of semantic torpedoes which i am hurling for those who are a clean SHIT…………… on the system. now if we want to see whether the cat is alive or dead, we need to open the Pandora box and that is why this page is swelling day in and out. IUST is in need of Good and quality teachers and not a place to dumb garbage. Let me remind you that when the body has tumor some healthy tissue also goes to the anvil to save the rest. I am highly optimistic that KL Team will keep the fag of committed journalism alive and not act like other papers of the valley replace the mast head with the ad and serious stories are always in the limbo. Its up to KL either to fall or rise.
      Had the two young men in the classical Watergate episode which saw the back of Nixon, not acted as true warriors, US would have been today Latin America.

    • Mr Kashmiri…
      What world are you living in. You are saying you have taught at IUST and I believe you because the caliber of your writing says it.
      You can well be a member of the rotten club. I don’t want point out anything now but for one thing if you sound so pissed about somebody leaking a personal communication (email) at his won will, why do you get offended. This is the age of wiki leaks, Snowden, Julian Assange etc. Get a life and try to contribute some positives to the society rather than defending the un defend-able. PEACE

  9. This is like a basket full of crabs. Has anyone seen them? They never get out, not because they cannot; but because they pull each other down. Introspect and question both parties rather than passing judgments.

  10. Gazala Wahab on

    My dear how does it make a difference, Afroz Bisati, was teaching in a primary school took a leave for two months and while on leave got a job in IUST, while the children in the primary school suffered. Imagine he teaches ISLAMIC studies.

  11. Aasiya Malik on

    Someone built an imaginary wall to vent their frustration and everyone else is banging their head against it. What irony …

  12. Manzoor Wani on

    Such sophisticated language shows your intellect and ability to have a sane, logical and civil debate ..

  13. Such things are responsible for the brain drain in our valley. We are ourselves responsible for loosing our quality students. They are forced to move outside country for earning their livelihood. Pity on such bureaucrayts.

  14. well this is really sad..KL Team has let down its readers and its well wisher by removing a number of comments which were there till yesterday. So you guys proved you are no different from the paid and manipulated media.
    I wish you could have stood firm by what you came up with. I hope you are not withdrawing this story from your your archives as well. Won’t be surprised either if this comment of mine isn’t moderated to be published. Indeed this is Kashmir :)

  15. Mansoor Wani on

    All great leaders were questioned at least once in their life time, this includes religious and corporate leaders. I don’t want to go into the religious leaders but I am sure everyone here is well read in Islam and knows what the Quran says about how to behave when you have a difference of opinion and evaluate before judging anyone.

    Walt Disney was reportedly fired by a newspaper editor for not having good ideas and no imagination. Founder of hugely successful company “Fed Ex” Smith’s college professor stated that his concept of Federal Express was “interesting, but not feasible”, Steve Jobs was actually fired from Apple Computers, the very company that he is responsible for making it the success it is today and there are many more stories like these.

    The point here is that these people had it IN them; while most people dismissed them there was that one individual who saw the spark and encouraged them to keep going. Before casting doubts on Mr. Wahid’s intentions if one would only have investigated the interview process that the said individuals in this discussion are being referred to, we would have realized that these individuals were selected by a panel and most of them have continued to evolve (which is the key trait of a believer). In retrospect I say Mr. Wahid was a visionary and had his able panel of interviewers pick people that may not be “fit” as per the traditional guidelines but were more than fit to build the next generation of Kashmiris.

    Think before you judge
    Many Muslims read the Qur’an with the intention of reward, yet we forget that the main purpose of the Qur’an is to guide us.

    Allah ta’ala says,

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلاَمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ كَذَلِكَ كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

    O you who have believed, when you went forth in the cause of Allah, investigate; and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace, “you are not a believer,” aspiring for the goods of worldly life; for with Allah are many acquisitions. You [yourselves] were like that before, then Allah conferred His favor upon you, so investigate. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted. (Suratul Nisaa: 94)

    We should not act without confirming and investigating. Allah commands us to do “bayyan” (to verify, clarify, investigate) in this ayah–we must find out both sides of the story, and confirm it before we act. Think through the times where we held a negative opinion about someone based on a little of what we saw of them. Did we go further and confirm with them or were we quick in judging them?

  16. I would like to make one final comment and would like to see the response of the defendants of corrupted souls.
    Now that its an open secret that the Finance Officer of IUST is a simple B.Com holder and his sub-ordinate i.e., Asst Finance Officer is an M.Com holder…don’t you guys see the disparity here or you have just closed your eyes to the wrong happening around you. Even if according to the VC the finance officer is on a contract..don’t you think there is a not a single person who has better ability and better qualification to become the Finance Officer of this varsity. Why aren’t they advertising this post every year to get the best talent on board and give some hard working/qualified person a chance that he/she deserves.
    What kind of answer is the VC giving that I hired a Btech as a permanent faculty and can’t do anything about it now.
    The fact, its a money minting institute and the students of Valley should stay away from this Varsity if they don’t want to waste the hard earned money of their parents. Better to stay contented with college degrees and strive for excellence in corporate world which is still free from corruption and Bias. Professional Degrees from this Varsity won’t fetch you much.

    God Bless Kashmir and its PEOPLE

  17. Zainab Qasim on

    I think rather than bringing the above report of Kashmir Life down to mere “who teaches how? or the quality of education being imparted in the said university” (which of course is and should be central to debate as good teaching is the essence of education but please let us separate the two issues here) and focus on the important point in question, i.e, what about the norms, policies, rules laid down by UGC for recruiting teaching staff in the educational institutions? What about the “eligibility criteria” in terms of educational qualification set for any post in any institution including educational ones? If “Talent” as suggested by some here in the comment section should be the measuring yard for recruitment, then what is the measuring device for calculating ‘that’ talent? Why are applications invited by the Authority from those ‘eligible’ ones only? Yes, I completely agree that the teaching staff under question in the IUST might be very good at their respective courses but one cannot rule out the due process that needs to be followed in selection process. Another question remains, are the people including those whose names appear in write up and in the comment section as well the only ones who own that ‘talent’ and without holding the due qualification required for the post as per the rules of UGC? Is it the specific section (Qadris, Qureshis, Andrabis etc etc and those closely linked to the politicians the ONLY ones/MAJORITY of them who inherent that ‘talent’)? Just try to look the deep-rooted nexus of this specific section of our society and the politics that is being played at the cost of many meritorious candidates. And then can we afford to admit the failure of “dropped ones” to the “selected ones” who teach and produce ineligible by-product?
    Mr./Ms. Kashmiri, I am sure you would have tallied your “Qualification degrees” with the “Eligibility Criteria” prior applying for the post of Faculty member in IUST UNLESS you were not one of their “Choices”? And you are no different from the person “who sits in the comment board of KL” against whom you have levied several allegations by saying he/she “seems to humiliate individuals, indulge in character assassination of people, LET PEOPLE POKE THEIR NOSE INTO THE PERSONAL LIVES OF INDIVIDUALS”, just introspect your comment and see you have ended up doing the same by calling someone marrying off from America in order to get American citizenship. Moreover, Kashmiris are well-versed with the aspiration of Azadi, we don’t need/allow anyone to define our Azadi. I am sure you have drawn your inspiration of ‘Azadi’ from your muses like Abdullahas and Muftis. Chill

    Regards,
    Zainab

  18. “Few former faculties of the department of Peace and Conflict Studies now International Relations, have made it a mission in their life to target one specific individual, presently the in-charge of the department. Ms Z is not lase Faqir, has an MA in History from Kashmir university, scored the highest rank in Costa Rica where the UN has a mandated university for Peace studies. Imagine while raising two infant children at the same time and also completing her degree. She made it a point to learn something in life, and impart it to Kashmiri students. I am not defending her but please also see the positives. Should it invites jealousy and envies, yes it does?

    She has been teaching in the department for five years now and who the hell in this world says a bureaucratic exam called NET defines your intelligence and the ability to teach. Do you think she would have gained or lost something by teaching in the department for five years. Leaving this for you to Calculate. Now assassinate her charterer for that. Throw mud on her, would it change anything, nothing. Good Journalism and commenting, Proud Kashmiri’s please do indulge in character assassination”…I copy pasted this from above coz I’ve not found any argument in my life so very ‘UNREASONABLE’ like this one…I do not know whether I should weep bitterly or ROFL at this???!!!! How can a University which brags of being renowned even make such red herrings and sweeping generalizations? OMG…so IUST at best recruits people on emotional rather than ELIGIBILITY CRITERION…”rearing up 2 infant kids”..what the hell!!! so all half-mothers and half-widows of Kashmir are even more eligible than Ms.Z for this blah blah blah position…to get job in Indian University in the capacity of Asst Professor the eligibility criterion is NET or PhD….there’s no escape from this…and a year’s Master’s program from COSTA RICA or any other God Forsaken place is not recognized by the UGC…and if MA History student can be HOD of the now rechristened Peace and Conflict Studies department then why on earth the alumnus of the department called not eligible for the post in the same department…this clearly and in not many words rather EXPLICITLY shows the INSECURITY of the personnel of the same department- to safeguard their positions and interests- all treachery…..if we are not able to see through this then there is something severely faulty with our process of reasoning…we should come out of this emotional argument speciously safeguarding the selfish interests of the ineligible lot and see to it that recruitment procedures become more transparent and authentic…I am proud of the alumnus of this University who exhumed this apparently dead corpse….we need to feel the ‘heart-burn’ of the youth and support them in making the corrupt system JUST…I appeal to the UGC and the other concerned bodies to set up an enquiry commission at the earliest…NOW IS THE TIME!!!!

  19. This is all ridiculous. The fact is that instead of making it better its been dug into the ground. Its painful to see all this and what education can these people impart when they don’t have the passion or the vision.
    Astagfirullah Al Adeem

  20. so nice of hrm mam of food tech 6th sem ..
    bada acha tareeqa hai boys ko girls set connect karney ka …

    ye univ hai koi lovers point nahi hai jahan ye sab aap karte hou .. univ padaney aur padney k liye.. disgusting

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