Kashmir University signs MOU with unregistered coaching centre

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Srinagar: The University of Kashmir has signed an MoU with an unregistered coaching centre for teaching students in violation of rules.

Authorities at the Kashmir University have given a contract to Focus Coaching Centre without issuing any tenders for the same.

Official sources said the Vice-Chancellor Kashmir University last month approved the contract in favour of the said coaching centre to use the varsity premises for the coaching of Class 12th, JEE Mains and JKCET for which the Dean Academics of the varsity also issued an order. “The MOU has been signed with the partnership of profit share 35 and 65 per cent to varsity and coaching centre respectively,” an official said.

Sources said many coaching centres were willing to use some rooms of the Kashmir University for the coaching centre and were willing to give more share in profit to the varsity. “But the university issued the contract to the unregistered coaching centre without issuing any tenders. All this was done in a hush-up manner,” they said.

The High Court has directed the divisional administration of the Kashmir valley to close down all the unregistered coaching centres in the region. But the name of the coaching centre mentioned in the MoU is not registered with the Directorate of School Education and now operates inside the premises of the varsity.

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Despite the blanket ban on government teachers, two of the employees of the Pharma Department and a school teacher also teach students in the coaching centre for which the Dean Academics issued a notice on December 12, 2015, No F(JKCET-DAA)KU/15 in which the list of the faculty members of the said coaching centre are mentioned who are teaching students during office hours.

“These two employees remain absent from their duties and give coaching to the students despite not being experts in the relevant subject. A government teacher is also a faculty member of the coaching centre,” an official said.

Recently, the J&K Government framed new guidelines for the tuition centres in Kashmir to monitor the functioning and pupil-teacher ratio in these institutes.

A three-member committee has recommended a limited Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) up to 150 in the private tuition centres besides the availability of space measuring 3×3 sq. ft per student in the classrooms. However, the coaching centres accommodate 200 to 230 students in one classroom having a capacity of 100 students.

Mukhtar Ahmad Kant, a co-partner of the coaching centre said they provide 35 per cent profit shares to the varsity as per the MoU.

When asked how they run the unregistered coaching centre that too inside the premises of the Kashmir University, he replied, “It is actually a cluster of four registered coaching centres. And the people who teach there have been given permission by the university authorities,” he said.

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Dean Academics of the varsity Prof Muhammad Ashraf Wani admitted that they didn’t invite tenders for it. “We conducted a survey to find teachers having a better reputation. On that basis in the interest of students, we signed an MoU with the said coaching centre,” he said.

When asked how the university was allowing two of its employees to teach in the coaching centre, he replied, “We have permitted them in the interest of students but they can teach only before and after office hours. If you have any evidence they teach in the coaching centre during office hours, we will take action.”

Wani said they have outsourced some rooms and get a share in the profit. “If we feel that their services are not up to the expectations, we will terminate the contract,” he said.

Feigning ignorance about the name of the government teacher in the notification, Wani said, “The names of the faculty members were provided to me by Mukhtar Kant, co-partner of the coaching centre.”

He further said he will look at how a government teacher was teaching without conveying us.

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