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Proposal for National Wildlife University hits another road block

Pending since 2004, KU’s expert commit turns down offer

By By Farooq Ganai, NAK

Jammu : The prestigious proposal for establishment of National University of Environment, Forests and Wildlife (NUEFW) in Jammu and Kashmir has hit yet another road block as it has been turned down by a committee of experts from University of Kashmir.

The proposal was submitted by Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment to the chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in February 2007 and the work to examine the proposal was entrusted to Forest Department for further course of action.

According to sources in civil secretariat a proposal for the creation of National University of Environment, Forests and Wildlife (NUEFW), at a suitable place in Jammu and Kashmir, was formulated with a view to introduce vocational, job oriented and environment friendly educational training and research programmes at Bachelor’s Master’s and Doctoral levels.

The proposal after approval of the government of Jammu and Kashmir has to be passed by Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.

“As per the proposal a small campus (in the beginning) has to be established for offering full time programmes but around 10,000 students were expected be admitted in the distance learning courses besides 1000 full time students in the main camps”, sources told News Agency of Kashmir.

Sources claimed that if approved a Memorandum of understanding was to be signed between the government of Jammu and Kashmir and the collaborating institution.

Government of Jammu and Kashmir, sources said, constituted an expert committee at University of Kashmir to discuss the proposal and it was asked to report back to the government.

However, to the utter surprise, the committee in its report to the government has rejected the proposal, sources told NAK.

When contacted Commissioner Secretary Forests Atal Duloo, told News Agency of Kashmir that a copy of proposal was received by his department and same was forwarded to Higher Education as it pertains to it.

He said that a special committee was framed by the University of Kashmir which rejected the proposal of the prestigious National University of Environment, Forests and Wildlife (NUEFW).

“The recommendations of KU are being looked into and if the rejection is based on some genuine objections then it will be examined and communicated to the center” he said.

The proposal was earlier submitted in March 2004 however government and the then forest minister did not understood the importance of the project and that it remained buried in the civil secretariat.

Sources, preferring anonymity, claimed that a fresh proposal was submitted in February 2007 after the forest minister Qazi Muhammed Afzal expressed his desire to establish a separate University under the aegis of the department of Environment and Forests of J&K Government.

If the sources have to be believed the proposed university requires zero percent funding from the state sector as the finances were to be provided by Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment.

Sources said that even the name of Prof. Hamid Anwar Dar, former Controller of Examinations University of Kashmir, was also proposed for heading the institution.

It is a prestigious project and the state will be benefited at large in case it sees the light of the day. “The fee for the students from Jammu and Kashmir is to be subsidized while students from other countries will have to pay their fees in foreign currency which will help in having a large reserve of foreign exchange”, sources quoting the proposal said.