Other States

Don’t opt for PoK varsities: Ministry

UGC advisory evokes sharp reaction from students, separatists in J&K

The Ministry of Human Resource Development has directed students from Jammu and Kashmir to avoid enrolling for any courses in universities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), evoking sharp reaction from students and separatists.

In an advisory issued on May 8, University Grants Commission secretary Rajnish Jain cautioned the students against taking admission in “unapproved institutions in PoK”.

“Since PoK is an integral part of the Union of India and the educational institutes, including universities and medical colleges, are not established by the Government of India nor recognised by the UGC or the All India Council for Technical Education or the Medical Council of India, therefore students are cautioned against taking any admission in any college in any territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan, including PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan,” reads the UGC communiqué.

6% reservation

The move comes after the Ministry of External Affairs was asked to take a call on 25 students from J&K pursuing their courses in medical colleges in PoK, where five medical colleges have kept 6% seats reserved for the students from this part of Kashmir.

The MEA had directed the MHRD to advise students from J&K against such admissions.

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq described the move as “unfortunate politicisation of education, which violates the fundamental right of students to seek education anywhere on the globe”.

‘Regressive move’

“It has put the career of those studying there in jeopardy and uncertainty. That part of Kashmir is also part of entire J&K, of which they are State subjects. After suspension of cross-Line of Control trade that has greatly affected the traders and those associated with it and the economy, this is another regressive move,” the Mirwaiz told The Hindu.

Private Schools’ Association of Jammu and Kashmir chairman G.N. Var said that such directions negate the basic principle of SAARC cooperation, of which both India and Pakistan are signatories. “India is part of the SAARC group and all educational institutes in all the countries should be treated on par. One cannot pick and choose educational institutes in a particular region. Today they are barring educational institutes in PoK; tomorrow they may bar educational institutes in other countries,” said Mr. Var.

He said the SAARC and all associated agreements have been honoured through many decades and hostile conditions including war, and suddenly barring PoK educational institutes “is beyond comprehension”.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:43:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/dont-opt-for-pok-varsities-ministry/article27142915.ece

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