WHY #UNI4KASHMIR?
Kashmir Life|January 21-27, 2021
The rudimentary shifts dictated by the Fourth Industrial Revolution has posed newer challenges to societies across the globe. Dr Mehboob Makhdoomi, who was educated in the West and worked in the consultative educational sector, is planning a university with peoples’ cooperation to address Kashmir’s knowledge deficit. In this write-up, he explains the motives, intentions and rationale for the initiative
Dr Mehboob Makhdoomi

Jammu and Kashmir is a politically turbocharged region where every activity is looked at with suspicion. To make it worse, there are two competing and fiercely contesting narratives that compel people, to compartmentalize those who proclaim to do ‘something’ for the people - in one bracket or the other, at the psychological level. This is not the fault of people though. We have been betrayed time and again by such ‘messiahs’, and these people speak from experience. Fortunately, it is the politicians who have hoodwinked us till now, not anyone in the name of education, which is an apolitical tool to bring social good. This is the raison d’être of this write-up.

I have dreamt of coming up with an international standard university in Kashmir. I could have done the same by accepting investors without any hassle, but I chose no owners for this project. Not that I am against privatization, but if the sole objective of such a venture is profit-making, the superlative quality that has been envisioned will surely take a hit. This is why a capitalistic model may not be germane here. One may have called it a gift from this generation to the next, but I find ‘gift’ to be a misleading term simply because it is not; we owe it to them.

2 KEY REASONS

There are two reasons why I am determined to go for it, taking a personal risk.

One, having worked as a quality specialist of higher education overseas for the past seven years and studied at some of the best universities in the world, I clearly see that years of education that our teachers and students work so hard for is not going to fetch them what they expect. I say this over and over again that the jobs our students are being trained to do have either become or will become extinct in a few years. The entire landscape of education has metamorphosed. It is painful to see these smart students moving towards a dead-end in herds.

Two, for some reason, money seems to be only the means of sustenance, not a success parameter. The true gratification that one could derive is from giving, not taking. If all of us just keep piling our personal resources, where is collectivism? It is the social impact that we should strive to create. To think about ourselves and our children is important, but to limit our lives just to that, tantamount to merely being animals.

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