Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Kashmiri students studying in North Indian state of Punjab since Tuesday are holding protests against the move by some engineering and management colleges, especially in Chandigarh area, to club these colleges with Maharaja Ranjit Singh State University MRSSU which isn’t recognised in Jammu Kashmir.
According to students, the move shall endanger the career of the students as their degrees shall be deemed as invalid in Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, these institutions were affiliated with Punjab Technical University (PTU).
Speaking to Kashmir Life over phone from Punjab, a student from Swami Vivek Anand Institute of Engineering & Technology said for the first year his results were declared by Punjab Technical University (PTU). “This year, our results were declared by some other college which is unrecognized by Jammu and Kashmir government; this is simply ruining our careers,” the student said adding, “We (Kashmiri students) spoke to some official in Kashmir about the matter who feigned ignorance about such step by PTU.”
The PTU has been divided and Maharaja Ranjit Singh College is now new deemed university which has been assigned to give away degree certificates which is not recognized in J&K.
“The bona-fide issued to us by college shows that our college is affiliated to PTU,” a student said. “We had assembled today morning at Aryans Group of Colleges to demand refund of fee and return of certificates from our colleges when the policemen manhandled us,” a student alleged. “Certificates issued by the PTU are recognized by J&K government. The Punjab government recently approved establishment of Maharaja Ranjit Singh State University (MRSST),” said a group of students. “The territorial jurisdiction of this University would be over colleges in Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Mansa, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Patiala and Sangrur districts of the state. Our colleges fall in these areas, thus come under the domain of this university,”
The students said that they had asked the college authorities to pay fee back to them but were denied. “We thought of cancelling our admissions but they did not allow us to do the same; now we request J&K education minister, Naeem Akhtar to intervene in the matter and save our careers.”
When contacted, an official in education ministry told Kashmir Life that those who go outside J&K for studies must check list of recognized universities and colleges from HRD ministry and state education ministry websites. “At first, students are themselves responsible as they should have checked the validity of the colleges,” he said.
The official further said that Education Minister, Naeem Akhtar, has already raised matter with union Human Resource and Development Ministry. “Something shall be done soon,” he assured.
Further, the official asserted that state of J&K has no legal authority to intervene in cases pertaining to other states and hence, J&K education ministry cannot interfere in the matters of such colleges. “Students should knock the doors of local courts of Punjab if colleges are not returning them their certificates; this is criminal attitude.”