Kashmiri Students Demand University Entrance Exam Centres, Seek LG’s Intervention
Hundreds of Kashmiri students who will take entrance examinations of different universities in June and July have demanded exam centres of all prestigious universities, including Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) University and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), in Srinagar.
According to the students, it would not be possible for examinees staying in far-flung areas to take exams in Delhi and Aligarh due to the scorching heat and financial constraints. Both JMI and AMU have reserved some seats for Kashmiri and distance mode students.
JMI, which extended the registration deadline for undergraduate and postgraduate admission on Saturday, will hold entrance exams on June 11 instead of June 3. AMU’s entrance exams are likely to be held in June and July.
Students from poor families said that they cannot afford air tickets to travel to other states to take exams. “It is very inconvenient for us to travel and spend money on accommodation in other states if examination centres are not set up here. Students from average income group families can’t afford travel and accommodation expenses,” one of the JMI examinees said.
“It is not possible for a majority of students to afford air tickets and book hotels. Most of the students hail from marginalised communities. Going by road is a time-consuming process, particularly through the Jammu-Srinagar Highway. It will take them days to reach Delhi and Aligarh. Students who have opted for more than one subject will have to stay longer,” another student from the border area of Gurez, which comes under Bandipora district, said.
Kashmiri students mostly prefer AMU and JMI for postgraduate and PhD courses for safety and security. Around 1,300 students are pursuing professional and non-professional courses at AMU while about 350 students are enroled at JMI in undergraduate, postgraduate and research courses.
“Aligarh is like a second home for Kashmiri students,” said Javid, a research scholar from AMU, which has the largest number of Kashmiri students.
“AMU and JMI have not set up exam centres in Srinagar leaving students from the marginalised section high and dry,” said Abdul Ahad, one of the parents from Uri, Baramulla, whose son will take the entrance examinations of both AMU and JMI. “It was my dream to send my son for higher studies to a historical and prestigious institution like AMU. But it seems impossible.”
Hundreds of parents like Ahad have sought the intervention of authorities to set up exam centres in Srinagar. “It will be very unfortunate if a student misses an entrance exam only because he/she can’t travel outside the state. The remoteness of an examination centre should not be a hindrance to a Kashmiri student’s dream of pursuing education and ambition,” said the father of another JMI master’s degree examinee.
The students have shot off a letter and mails to Jamia, Aligarh and Jammu and Kashmir Administration to intervene in the matter so that the exam can be held in Kashmir province as well, but till now repeated mails remain unanswered.
The students have shot off a letter and emails to the JMI and AMU administrations to intervene in the matter but haven’t received a reply. They have also requested lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha to intervene. The staff of these universities didn’t answer calls made regarding the problem. Official sources in Raj Bhavan said that the students have been asked to send a letter mentioning their demands and the matter will be taken up with the universities.
The writer is the national spokesperson of the J&K Students Association. The views are personal.
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