Nursing, Paramedical Colleges in J&K at verge of closure as maximum seats remain vacant

JAMMU — More than one hundred Nursing and Paramedical Colleges across Jammu and Kashmir are at the verge of closure because of almost negligible admissions for the last two academic sessions.

These colleges alleged that delayed counseling with lengthy procedure and ‘un-necessary’ criteria adopted by the Jammu Kashmir Board of Professional Entrance Examination (BOPEE) for the admission are responsible for the seats remaining vacant

Worried over the non filling up of seats, the aggrieved colleges are seeking permission to allow them conducting admissions on their own after completion of counseling by BOPEE, but there has been no response from the Government even as the next academic session is nearing to commence.

Pertinent to mention that there are around 150 Nursing and Paramedical Colleges across Jammu and Kashmir which offer Diploma and Degree in various Para-Medical courses. There are more than four thousand seats in the Degree courses and around 20 thousand in Diploma courses in these colleges. Most of these colleges are private and unaided, generating funds from the admissions to run the courses.

While the admissions in these colleges were earlier conducted through J&K Paramedical and Nursing Council on the basis of academic merit, BOPEE was assigned this task after re-organization of J&K into two Union Territories and issuance of SRO 505 and 640 in this regard.

The crisis erupted with the introduction of new system of admissions for these courses through BOPEE, which conducts entrance test for the same, which is followed by the counseling. Unprecedented delay in counseling and failure of the candidates to qualify the entrance test are the reasons behind maximum seats in the Para-medical courses remaining vacant.

According to the official sources, admission in the Nursing and Para-Medical courses has dropped to around 15 percent of the total capacity and the situation can be gauged from the fact that there are a number of colleges where not even a single admission was made for the 2022-23 academic session.

The crisis has brought these colleges at the verge of closure as running huge infrastructure with enough staff strength is not possible when the only source of revenue generation through admissions is yielding zero income. Closure of such a big number of Nursing colleges is all set to render thousands of their employees jobless.

These include several prominent Nursing colleges also, such as Acharya Shri Chander Institute of Nursing Education, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi College of Nursing, Bee Enn College of Nursing etc.

The aggrieved colleges alleged that main reasons behind poor admission was too much lengthy procedure and delay in conducting counseling by BOPEE. “When the BOPEE was conducting third round of counseling here, Nursing Colleges in neighbouring Punjab were preparing for the exams,” said Chairman of a college.

To overcome the unprecedented crisis for the last two academic sessions, these Nursing colleges have separately written to the Health and Medical Education Department, J&K Government seeking permission to allow them filling up of the vacant seats after BOPEE concludes its counseling.

“Due to delay in admission, the eligible candidates go to Punjab and other States with the result we are left with the few candidates and sanctioned seats remain unfilled,” read the memorandum, written by Principal of a Nursing College to the Administrative Secretary, H&ME.

Because of most seats remaining vacant and also the academic session getting delayed, the SMVD College of Nursing had even gone ahead of issuing advertisement for the admissions though the same was kept on hold after an explanation was sought from the Health and Medical Education Department.

When contacted, BOPEE Controller of Examination, Dr Sunil Gupta explained that there was some court case over reservation issue which led to delay in counseling for not only the Nursing and Para-Medical but also MBBS and Engineering courses for the session 2022-23.

“As for as the permission for conducting admissions by these colleges on their own is concerned, this is a policy decision and the call has to be taken by the Administrative Department since BOPEE is just an implementing agency,” he added.

Since there has been no positive response from the Government, uncertainty continues to loom large over the fate of these Nursing Colleges and thousands of employees working there. — (Daily Excelsior)