by Sammah Masoodi
SRINAGAR: In 2017, twenty-five aspiring nurses submitted their applications under the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme (PMSSS) and enrolled in a college in Rajasthan. Since their admission, these students have become ensnared in an endless struggle between the college and the Rajasthan Nursing Council, still awaiting the tangible manifestation of their registration certificates.
Umair Shafiq, a student ensnared in this predicament, enrolled in Venkateshwar College, affiliated with Sai Tirupati University, Rajasthan, to pursue a BSc in Nursing. Throughout the four-year course, Shafiq and his peers were misled with erroneous assurances that the college had obtained registration. Yet, as the culmination of their degree approached, the Rajasthan Nursing Council declined to issue them the necessary registration certificates.
The dispute between the college and the Rajasthan Nursing Council led to the rejection of students’ applications. After finishing the course in 2021 and a one-year hiatus, the college pursued legal action. However, the Rajasthan Nursing Council issued a provisional certificate valid for three months.
Masood, from Baramulla, voiced his frustration, saying, “My father, a carpenter, invested his earnings in my education. Now, after 7 years, I’m at home, unemployed, awaiting the court case’s resolution.”
Shafiq lamented, “Seven years have passed, and we are unable to continue our studies, secure hospital employment, or even apply for jobs. Some qualified for competitive exams, while others underwent coaching, but ultimately, we all had to abandon our pursuits.” Shafiq revealed, “We protested at college, seeking justice, but were met with a lathi charge; some of us even wound up in the hospital.” Expressing the prolonged distress, he added, “It’s been too long, and it feels like living in a state of trauma; now, even our families can’t support us.”
The college chairperson neglected to apprise them of the conflict. Sameena, commenting on a friend who recently married, conveyed, “My friend has given up hope of obtaining the degree.”
On November 21, 2023, the High Court of Judicature for Rajasthan at Jodhpur referred the case for a fresh decision after eliciting responses from the respondents—the state government, Rajasthan Nursing Council, and Indian Nursing Council.
The J&K Nursing Council has rebuffed the students due to the unavailability of hard copies of their registration certificates. The students implore the administration of Jammu and Kashmir to investigate the matter, urging the court to expedite resolution.
Efforts by Kashmir Life to contact college officials proved futile. Despite numerous calls and messages, there was no response from the officials.