New Delhi, May 15: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has issued an advisory for Indian students categorically stating that the educational institutions including universities, medical colleges, technical institutions situated in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) are neither established by the Indian government nor recognised by statutory authorities including UGC, AICTE and Medical Council of India (MCI). It cautions the students and advises them against taking admission in any institution in the region.
UGC circular calls PaK an “integral part of India”, states the territory to be under illegal occupation of Pakistan
The circular emphasises that Pakistan administered Kashmir is an integral part of India and that the institutions in any territory under illegal occupation of Pakistan, including AJK (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) and Gilgit Baltistan are currently not recognised in India.
The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had also sent a letter on similar lines asking the Secretary- Higher Education Department and General Administration Department, Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir to caution students about enrolling in institutions in PaK. The letter was sent after the cases of 25 such students had reached the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for attestation.
No educational institution of the region is recognised by any statutory body of India including UGC, AICTE or MCI
AICTE stated in the letter that it had discussed the cases of the 25 students along with the Ministry of External Affairs. It further requested the state government to advise students studying in AICTE approved institutions, state government technical colleges and Polytechnic colleges not to take admissions in PaK institutions for education.
The Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has condemned this move of the regulators. The Association argues that such directions negate the basic principle of SAARC cooperation, where both India and Pakistan are signatories. “India is part of SAARC group and all educational institutes in all the countries should be treated at par. One cannot pick and choose educational institutes in a particular region. Today they are barring educational institute in PaK and tomorrow they may bar educational institutes in other countries,” said G.N. Var, Chairman PSAJK.
Var also said that the move will have serious repercussions in the long run besides impacting education of hundreds of students right now. The SAARC group and all associated agreements have been honoured through many decades even in hostile conditions including war. He termed the sudden barring of educational institutions in PaK as “beyond comprehension”.