‘Study in BGSBU, benefit from an uninterrupted academic environment’

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  • Publish Date: Mar 5 2018 2:36AM
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  • Updated Date: Mar 5 2018 2:36AM
‘Study in BGSBU, benefit from an uninterrupted academic environment’

Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University (BGSBU) in Rajouri, despite being a more recently established varsity, has carved a space for itself in imparting quality education, research and training in the field of Engineering and Technology, Biological Sciences, Management, Arts, Social sciences and Humanities.


Professor Javed Musarrat, the current Vice Chancellor of BGSBU, joined the University in October, 2015. Prior to his appointment, he was the Dean of Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at Aligarh Muslim University and Chairman of Department of Agricultural Microbiology. Prof. Mussarat has served in the United States as visiting scientist in Michigan State University, and visiting assistant professor, Ohio State University, Columbus. Prof. Musarrat was also the Chair Professor, DNA Research Chair, King Saud University, Riyadh. He has also received several awards and is a member of various editorial boards of Scientific Journals. Since taking over as VC of BGSBU, he has initiated several infrastructural projects and courses in the university, and other developmental projects are underway. 

In conversation with Ink, Professor Musarrat talks about the challenges and advantages of the university compared to other universities of J&K, and how the university offers a suitable, uninterrupted academic environment for Kashmiri students who form the bulk of students enrolled in different courses in the varsity.


BGSBU is comparatively a new University. How has the university progressed since it was established, and how do you look at the current status and standard of this University as compared to other Universities in Jammu and Kashmir?


I agree that BGSBU is comparatively a new University and still in a stage of infancy. I’ve completed now almost half of my tenure at BGSBU, and I’d an ample opportunity to assess and analyze its evolutionary pattern and future growth. I am duty bound to protect this young institution from all upheavals and cataclysms. I joined BGSBU on October 28, 2015, with the mission to enhance the visibility of BGSB University as one of the leading teaching and research universities in pursuit of excellence. Compared to other universities of J&K, BGSBU has some unique features. Firstly, it is located in geographically difficult area close to line of control, specifically catering to the educational requirements of our tribal communities apart from the people coming from rest of the State. Attracting people from distant corners of the State and other regions of the country to campus is an uphill task and can only be possible by improving the quality of education and residential life in campus. 

Secondly, the university is focusing on promoting quality and have taken affirmative action such as: (i) Establishment of Research and Innovation Cell with innovation club, to identify, nurture and support talent at undergraduate level, ii) Modernization of research infrastructure to improve quality and visibility of on-going research work in different disciplines, iii) Opportunities for collaborative research with advanced research centres/institutes of national and international repute, iv) Promotion of cross-disciplinary initiatives in research especially in the Schools of Science, Technology and Management, and v). Strategies to enhance funding for research. Qualitative changes are now visible in terms of strengthening of existing courses, introduction of new courses, establishment of new Schools and Department of Studies, execution of infrastructural projects and amelioration of academic, sports and extracurricular activities. 


Few other universities were also started when BGSBU came into existence. What are some of its unique features and advantages as compared to other universities in J&K?

BGSBU is the only university in J&K which is thriving on minimum financial support, perhaps with the lowest recurring grant/Capex funding vis-à-vis any other university in the State. I am pleased to say that it is the only university which has established three nursing colleges simultaneously at three different locations, in shortest period of time, without any seed money. I’ve also started 13 new academic programmes in a short span of two and a half years. More programs will be started in future. 


Tell us about various courses, quality of faculty, and facilities provided by the varsity for prospective students who would want to enroll in the university?

The university has started many new courses in the last two academic sessions. We have launched MBA (Hospitality & Tourism) in the School of Management Studies, M.A. Urdu, and M.A. Islamic Studies in the School of Islamic Studies & Languages, MSc.  Physics in the School of Material Sciences & Nanotechnology, MSc. Microbiology in the School of Biosciences & Bio-technology. B. Ed. in the School of Education, B.Sc. Nursing in the School of Nursing and Biomedical Sciences.   Also, evening courses such as M. Sc. Mathematics - Evening Programme, in the School of Mathematical & Computer Science, B.E. Civil Engineering and B.E. Electrical Engineering in the School of Engineering and Technology. We’ve initiated several one-year Diploma programs, such as Diploma in Front Office, Diploma in House Keeping, Diploma in Food & Beverage Services. We’ve also instituted two new School of Studies:  School of Material Sciences & Nanotechnology and School of Nursing and Biomedical Sciences, and three new Department of Studies: Departments of Biotechnology, Departments of Zoology and Departments of Botany, besides M. Phil and Ph.D Programmes in all disciplines including Electrical and Renewable Energy Technology. 

The existing faculty and technical staff is highly trained and research-oriented. Since University is committed to quality education, we recruit, support and retain accomplished academic and administrative manpower capable of providing leadership. About 57 highly qualified, and experienced permanent faculty has been inducted by a rigorous selection process through General Selection Committee and around 27 new faculty members with M.Tech. and Ph.D degrees from IITs, NITs and other prestigious technical institutions of the country have recently joined the School of Engineering and Technology through TEQIP-III programme.


The University is situated close to the border area of an already disturbed state. What are the challenges you face, and is there any political interference when it comes to admissions and overall functioning of the institution?

I’m grateful to Allah (SWT) for providing me this great opportunity to come and serve the wonderful people of this sacred land, blessed with sanctification of the great saint Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah (R.A). The University is located in the best eco-climatic zone of the country. In my opinion it is an ideal place for pursuing education owing to its pristine environment, free from all kinds of pollution. It is indeed a health resort-cum-education hub and deserves to be projected as a safe heaven for younger generation to join us and build their academic career. Being located in a geographically difficult terrain, it has its own inherent issues, which have never ever bothered me in execution of my assignments and implementation of projects. I am here from Aligarh Muslim University with almost 30 years of my experience in education and administration to give my best to BGSBU with the aim to make this university as a teaching and research University. What I desire in return is the commitment and selfless participatory role of my faculty, staff and students in raising the academic bar of this university. I’m fortunate to enjoy all support from the stakeholders of the university with absolutely zero interference from any corner. The present political dispensation and other friends, irrespective of their political affiliations, are all very supportive and well wishers of the university, which is a very healthy sign of an educated society. 


The distant location of the University makes it difficult for employers and companies to visit and hire young graduates and post-graduates from the campus. Are there any plans to bridge this gap and ensure good placement of the university graduates?

BGSBU has a special focus on quality placement and expansion of scope and opportunities for students enrolled in the university. We have full-fledged Placement Bureau in our university with a placement officer and paraphernalia who coordinate with placement coordinators in each department. Apparently, it seems that the companies and employers might exhibit reluctance in conducting placement drives at such a distant location. However, our campus placement record is comparable with any other state university and is often better than many. In spite of all odds, we succeed in bringing companies to campus for placement drives and job fares. 

Around 27 companies visited our campus for placement drives in the year 2015-16 and 2016-17 and a total of 340 students were selected through campus placements. Besides, 103 students were selected through Uddan and 42 B.Tech students were selected for State Govt. jobs in R&B and PHE Departments, after I have joined the BGSBU. Nevertheless, I am concerned and our placement cell is striving hard to improve the placement of our students for which we have recently constituted Industry Communication Cell (ICC) for establishing Industry-academia interface, initiated internship/ apprenticeship programs and we will also invite corporate representatives for interaction with students and conduct mock interviews and aptitude workshops. 


BGSBU also attracts hundreds of students from all districts of Kashmir who are presently pursuing various courses in the university. What does the university offer them compared to other universities in the Kashmir region so that more Kashmiri students can opt for various courses in BGSBU?

BGSBU campus provides a very safe, convenient, environmentally clean and academically and culturally vibrant place to live and study. It is a safe-heaven for those who want to pursue quality education with zero interruptions in academic calendar. Unfortunately, in recent years, our sister Universities in Kashmir valley often observe upheavals and academic disruptions, whereas BGSBU remains free from such commotions. Apart from peaceful and clean academic ambiance, we at BGSBU provide an enriched campus life through extra-curricular activities, art, literature, sports, and cultural clubs. Therefore, I whole heartedly invite the parents and students to visit BGSBU and become a member of BGSBU fraternity. Our Information Bulletin for Admissions for Academic Session-2018 has been released and is available at our university website. I urge all 12th pass-outs and graduates from Kashmir to join BGSBU for building a successful career. 


Has the state government extended enough support to the university over the years? What are your expectations from the present government, any financial support required to upgrade the existing infrastructure and come up with more departments and courses to attract more students from the state?

BGSB since its inception has been supported by the State government and Auqaf. BGSBU is still a budding university and, therefore, deserves generous State funding for strengthening of existing programmes and future expansions. Recently, our recurring grant has been enhanced for which I owe my gratefulness to Hon’ble Chancellor and present political dispensation. Nevertheless, it is still one third of our salary component and I wish that State should at least provide the Salary component to the University. It will catalyze the process of academic transformation and change the teaching-learning and research landscape of the university. 

In order to attract the best faculty and staff for our academic programmes and to motivate our existing staff and students, it is essential to have good infrastructure and adequate facilities. Quality of faculty and good infrastructure has a cascading effect on the overall performance of the institution. We at BGSBU are provide training and enhance learning opportunities to our staff to orient themselves as smart workers and develop culture of performance based promotion. We are striving hard to generate sufficient recurrent surplus to sustain University’s infrastructure and academic activities, raising corpus fund and evolving engagement practices with supportive network of alumni, friends and well-wishers for project specific fund-raising strategy. Besides, we keep our hopes high for more support from the State Government and other stakeholders for promoting academic and research programmes, and holistic growth of the university. 


What is your message to the prospective students from Kashmir and other regions who would like to pursue different courses from the varsity in the new academic year?

My message to all prospective students is to come and join BGSBU for developing their career path. This university has a student centric approach. Our endeavors are directed to ensure that our students expand their knowledge base, unlock their creativity and enhance their capacity for critical thinking and analysis so that they grow and become well-rounded individuals and committed citizens. And we provide them an ethic of service and social responsibility by combining scholarship and social objectives (local and national), to foster community partnership in learning and discovery. 

BGSBU is committed towards academic freedom, equality, cultural diversity, integrity, respect for others and sustainable development. I personally believe in mutual respect and universal brotherhood and hope to build a vibrant ecosystem where ideas flourish to empower future generations.  Finally, we at BGSBU uphold highest ethical standards, integrity, and professionalism, and remain committed to transparency and accountability.