Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jammu University's Improper Junket to China Exposed

CAG Report takes the University of Jammu to task for its sloppy management

JU delivers on disappointment not excellence

Srinagar: With Jammu University boasting of achieving academic excellence, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has punctured the tall claims by unearthing misappropriation of crores of rupees, and pointing out serious flaws in the administrative and academic functioning of the varsity.

The CAG report has held the university responsible for high incidence of revision of results consequent on revaluations and incompletion of research projects and non-submission of PhD thesis by the scholars even after the lapse of five year period.

Financial Mismanagement:

The University receives funds from the State government and grants from the University Grants Commission (UGC) to meet its requirements. It also receives funds from the Government of India (GoI) for specific schemes and projects. Scrutiny of records has revealed that local funds amounting to Rs 12.99 crore received by various departments had not been included in the internal receipts resulting in understatement of receipts and expenditure. “Out of this amount, Rs 1.91 crore was spent by the University on items which were not permissible to be spent from the local funds,” the CAG report reads.

Incomplete Researches:

Audit scrutiny of 16 projects taken up during 2002 and 2003 revealed that they were not completed by December 2007.

“Within this period Rs 1.01 crore was incurred. Besides, out of five research projects entrusted to the university, three projects had been left midway during 2003-2008,” the report reads.

Laxity in Program Implementation:

The university statutes require the scholars joining PhD program to submit research thesis within five years which are extendable to seven years.

However, it was seen that out of 554 scholars registered for pursuing PhD between April 1998 and October 2002, only 306 scholars had submitted their thesis upto January 2008.

“Out of the remaining 248 scholars, 241 had yet to submit their thesis, while registration of only seven scholars was cancelled. It was also seen that thesis of only 258 scholars out of 306 was accepted,” the report reads.

The status of 241 scholars was being ascertained, which indicated laxity in monitoring the research programs.

A tour to China was conducted for the students of Mass communication and Journalism in October 2007 on which an expenditure of Rs 8.70 lakh had been incurred.

“Scrutiny of records revealed that neither the members sent on tour to China were related to the subject nor was any student included in the tour, thus defeating the intended purpose,” the CAG report points out.

Astronomy Failure:

Scrutiny of records reveals that Rs 15 lakh was released in July 2001 by UGC for setting up a library, an observatory, a computer laboratory and a horoscope bank for the purpose.

“However, the university failed to set up the department. The Registrar stated that University Council did not approve setting up of the department. The university should have obtained the approval of its council before approaching the UGC for permission to set up the department,” the report says.

Late results:

There were delays of 11 to 274 days in declaration of results in respect of PG examinations. The University Statutes provide for declaration of results not later than six weeks of the respective dates of termination of examination.
“Delay in results reflects the inefficiency in the functioning of the University,” the report states.

Skill oriented approach missing:

The university has not adopted skill oriented approach to widen the knowledge base of students though the Registrar stated that the varsity had already laid emphasis on skill oriented education by opening new streams in post graduate departments besides courses in BCA and other streams which also fetch employment to the students.

Inventory Mismanagement:

For the upgradation of the computer centre, a non-recurring grant of Rs 12 lakh was approved in January 2007 by UGC.

“An amount of RS 9.60 lakh was released for utilization during 2007 to purchase the equipment. Scrutiny revealed that the amount was not utilized and as a result the university lost the opportunity to upgrade the computer centre as the grant was blocked. The delay in upgradation of the centre also incurred the interest of Rs 67 lakh per annum,” the report said.


The records revealed that expenditure towards printing of study material for various correspondence courses had exceeded the budget provisions during the period 2003 to 2007 resulting in the accumulation of financial liability of Rs 1.03 crore despite availability of funds ranging between Rs 12.19 crore and Rs 22.72 crore.

The Registrar has, however, said the liability will be cleared from the internal resources of the varsity.

(Rising Kashmir)

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