SRINAGAR — Declaring 10 colleges in Kashmir as worst hit by the recent floods, the State’s Ministry of Higher Education has sent a note to the State Cabinet recommending postponing of all examinations in institutions under its ambit from existing October-November session to March-April, 2015.

The affected colleges—seven in Srinagar and three in Anantnag—cater to 18 per cent of entire college-going students of Kashmir. “The floods have destroyed everything in these 10 colleges, be it their laboratories, libraries, classrooms or offices,” said Muhammad Akbar Lone, Minister of Higher Education.

He added, “Our estimates indicate that the floods have directly affected 20,000 students or about 18 per cent of the entire college student population in the valley.”

The damage is so severe in the colleges that the concerned department is unable to decide where to start again. In some places, the operation to clear muck is yet to start. “We are grossly affected and after consultation with all stakeholders, we came to the conclusion that we have to postpone all examinations,” said Lone.

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“Even in colleges or universities, which remained unaffected, there are students who have no books or study material as their houses were washed away; so we have to take into consideration their condition too,” he said.

The Ministry has sent a note to the State Cabinet recommending that all undergraduate and postgraduate exams be rescheduled. “Since this is a policy decision, we have asked the Cabinet to approve postponing of exams from October-November session to March-April session,” he said.

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Lone said, “We want to give enough time to the affected students to prepare for the exams. We thought of holding exams in January-February but winter won’t allow it; so March-April is best suited. We have also asked the parents and students to come up with suggestions as to what more needs to be done for the benefit of students.”

The government is also mooting several proposals to reform the higher education sector. “We may start semester sessions in every course from 2015. There is a proposal for that,” said Lone, adding, “The semester session is in vogue in every state and even here, we have started semester sessions in MBA and BBA.”

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